We’ve been a little remiss with Peggy’s Diaries updates recently so here’s a four week catch up. Also loyal readers, for the first time we’ve decided to suppress some names in a couple of diary entries. Peggy writes about some sensitive issues that concern people who are still around and it seemed respectful to make them anonymous.
Here’s what was going on in the world these weeks in 1960
- North Korea’s President Kim Il-sung made his first proposal for the reunification of his nation and South Korea under a “North–South Confederation” or “Confederal Republic of Koryo”. The plan, proposed again in 1971, 1980 and 1991, envisioned both nations initially keeping their political systems, with a “Supreme National Committee” to guide cultural and economic development.
- The Republic of the Congo, an autonomous colony of France since 1958, formerly known as the French Congo or a part of French Equatorial Africa, attained independence under that name, becoming the second nation to use it. In that the Belgian Congo was also referred to as the Republic of the Congo, reference to the nation’s capital was made as Congo (Brazzaville), to distinguish it from Congo (Léopoldville) (later Zaire), and now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Former Roman Catholic priest Fulbert Youlou became the nation’s first President.
- Joseph Kittinger parachuted from a balloon over New Mexico at 31,333m (102,800 feet). He set records, which stood for 52 years, for highest altitude jump; longest free-fall by falling 25.7 km (16 miles) over a period of 4 minutes and 38 seconds before opening his parachute; and fastest speed by a human without motorised assistance (320 mph).
- After 82 years as a British colony, the Mediterranean island of Cyprus was proclaimed independent by its last British Governor, Sir Hugh Foot. The new state, populated by Cypriots of Greek and Turkish descent, had Greek Cypriot Archbishop Makarios III as its President, and Turkish Cypriot Fazıl Küçük as its Vice-President.
- The first successful running of a computer program written in COBOL was carried out on an RCA 501 computer. COBOL, the “Common Business Oriented Language”, was an improvement in the adaptation of the FLOW-MATIC computer language developed by Grace Hopper.
- The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 5 into orbit, with the dogs Belka and Strelka (Russian for “Squirrel” and “Little Arrow”), 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety of plants. Recovered the next day after 18 orbits, the menagerie became the first living animals to return safely to Earth after being placed into orbit.
- Hans Peter Luhn was awarded U.S. Patent No 2,950,048 for “a computer for verifying numbers”. The Luhn algorithm checksum formula, assigned to the IBM Corporation, provides a method for validating credit card numbers.
- Oscar Hammerstein II, died aged 65. A week later, the lights of Times Square were turned off for one minute, and London’s West End lights were dimmed in recognition of his contribution to the musical.
- The Sabin polio vaccine, designed by Dr. Albert Sabin to be taken orally rather than the polio shots developed by Dr. Jonas Salk, was announced as “suitable for use in the United States” by Surgeon General Leroy E. Burney.
- In Washington, reporters asked President Eisenhower about Vice-President (and Republican presidential candidate) Richard Nixon’s experience. Charles Mohr of TIME Magazine asked Ike, “if you could give us an example of a major idea of his that you had adopted …” and the President replied “If you give me a week, I might think of one.”
- Cassius Clay of the United States (later Muhammad Ali), defeated Zbigniew Pietrzykowski of Poland to win the gold medal in the Olympic light heavyweight boxing competition. Franco De Piccoli of Italy was the Olympic heavyweight boxing medalist.
- The Richardson-Merrell pharmaceutical company submitted an application to the FDA for approval of selling thalidomide in the United States, which it intended to market under the name Kevadon, beginning on March 6, 1961.
- Abebe Bikila of Ethiopia won the Olympic marathon, setting a world record (2 hours, 15 minutes, 16.2 seconds) and running the entire 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195 km) while barefoot, becoming the first person from Sub-Saharan Africa to win an Olympic gold medal.
- ITV inaugurated regular television broadcasts of English professional football matches, starting with the Football League First Division match between Blackpool and visiting Bolton Wanderers. Wanderers won the match, 1–0.
And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:
Sunday 14th August 1960
We’ve had a dirty Sunday! – have stayed in our working togs all day! I’ve washed & ironed as much as I can so as not to have it hanging around for the visitors for tomorrow. Showery day but not too bad.
Monday 15th August 1960
Joan & family Bringing Eileen
Joan & family arrived at 10.50 – lunch at 11.45 – they were away at one pm – making for Bury S.E. I was surprised to hear the car Prefect 53 they arrived in is their own. Very nice too. Eileen & I took the children for a long walk.
Tuesday 16th August 1960
Nice day – we have been to the village this afternoon. Its nice having Eileen for company – Philip is getting used to her now – he is having a bad teething spell & is very miserable. I’m hoping to make jam tonight & bottle plums & made 10lb jam 6 Bottle ?vics?
Wednesday 17th August
A nice surprise this afternoon – a parcel from Ted & Jackie containing a lovely Worcester Ash Tray!
Another fine day – we’ve been to the clinic & village. I made another 6lbs jam this morning so have used all the plums.
Thursday 18th August 1960
Jim & GeeGee (Birthdays)
Gillian had a bad night last night & Cyril ended up in her bed & she with me! Its been stormy today and is chilly. We’ve been out as far as Browns & round Little heath Rd. Gillian is very irritable.
Up from 11.30 – 2am with Philip.
Friday 19th August 1960
We’ve been hoping the Lyons Coffee Couple (advertising gag) would call on us today with a free £5!! But of course no luck. Feeling very tired after Phil’s effort last night. Expect Cyril is too. Haven’t been out. Mowed the lawn this pm & ironed. Letter from Dad. Eileen has gone all Home Sick on us. – or something.
Saturday 20th August 1960
Rang Joan last night about Eileen going home – & again this evening to confirm it. We’ve been to L’head this morning & to Welling this after-noon. Found Cyril’s mother almost her old self – looking very well. Nice tea with Doris & Will- left them at 6 – home 7.15. Children not settling very well this evening. Gillian is overtired.
Sunday 21st August 1960
It’s been a funny sort of Sunday with our having to go to Paddington this morning. We put Eileen on the 10am train. Late lunch & a later one still for Philip as he slept late on our return. We’ve all been in the garden this afternoon.
Monday 22nd August 1960
A very dull & depressing sort of day. Letter from Joan which doesn’t seem as bright & friendly as usual. Maybe its my imagination. Have had a heavy wash & am not looking forward to ironing tonight! We’ve been as far as the village.
Tuesday 23rd August 1960
Philip played up during the night – consequently we were tired & overslept this am. – the morning Cyril had to leave early to take the car for service. It’s a dull showery day. We’ve been to the village. Letter from Rob.
Wednesday 24th August
Another stormy day. Heard from Mrs G that she is expecting me tomorrow so shall make an early start. Only been as far as Weedons this afternoon.
Thursday 25th August 1960
9am train to Frimly
We’ve had a very nice day out at Frimley & my how that place has changed – shops everywhere. The children have been very good. We called on Olive for half an hour – I met Cyril at Oxshott & he brought Gillian home. We all had a bit of a meal & Gillian & Phil in bed by 7.20.
Friday 26th August 1960
Heavy thunderstorm at lunch time but its cleared & become quite warm & sunny. Philip had a crying spell this morning but he has been all right since his sleep. We’ve been to the village. I went to bed very early.
Saturday 27th August 1960
Miserable start to the day – Cyril & I had a “difference”! last night & the atmosphere is very strained. Took the children to the village – early lunch & off to Welling. Our poor little Gillian had her finger trapped in the car door. We took her to hospital & she had her hand x rayed – no bones broken – but the poor darling – it did hurt her.
Found Mum looking well & hoping to be out soon. Home at 7.15pm.
Sunday 28th August 1960
Gillian none the worse for her accident yesterday – she slept late this morning. A heavy storm put paid to Cyril’s gardening. We went over to Chertsey to Pages this afternoon & stayed to tea – Home about 6.40pm
Monday 29th August 1960
Bad start with the weather but it has cleared up & the washing is all dried & ironed. Philip has been very good – slept all morning after a shaky start Gillian has been quite happy. I rang Doris this afternoon to let her know Gillian’s hand is O.K. Letter from Joan.
Tuesday 30th August 1960
Philip is worrying me a bit – he brought up all his breakfast this morning but has seemed quite all right since. Its a changeable day again – blowing hot then cold. We’ve been to the village & to Browns.
Wednesday 31st August
We went out early today – had Philip weighed at the clinic – he has gained in spite of his sickness & teething trouble.
Letter from Dad – a birthday card from Edna for Philip – with the news that she is expecting a baby in Nov! Good for her.
Thursday 1st September 1960
Very stormy day & I’ve had a “messy” sort of day – in & out with the washing etc! – defrosting the fridge at the same time!!! Philip had £2 for his birthday today from Molly & Ted. I’ve been very busy this evening icing cakes.
Friday 2nd September 1960
Day off for Cyril
Our dear Philip is one year old today.
Philip has had a very nice day – & is a lucky boy. Lots of cards – 21 – £3.10 – & several presents. I’ve a big job of thank you letters to write now!! We had Andrew & Gillian to tea – went to the zoo this afternoon to Gillian’s delight – she has been good – very excited. Cyril went to Esher this morning.
Saturday 3rd September 1960
What a night with Philip until 2.30 this morning. Just after he had gone off (we came down for a cuppa about 1.30am) Gillian fell out of bed!! We could hardly keep our eyes open all morning. Pouring when we went to L’head. Cyril kept the infants in the car while I shopped. Cleared up this afternoon – I took Jill & Phil to the fete while Cyril cemented the path.
Sunday 4th September 1960
Lovely morning – but heavy showers since lunch. We’ve been out in the country for an hour – Headley way – picked some sloes for Gin – all we need now is the gin!
Monday 5th September 1960
Dull morning but it cleared up & its been quite hot this afternoon. We took a walk to the village – took Gillian’s coat to be cleaned as I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will fit her at least for part of the winter. She has been a bit miserable today. Letter from Jacq.
Tuesday 6th September 1960
Susie Macnamara (Birthday).
Its been raining all day today – we’ve had to go out in it too. Philip slept very well this morning but Gillian has been irritable. I’m not feeling so good myself! Letter from Mur.
Awful night with Philip.
Wednesday 7th September 1960
Dr. L saw Philip this afternoon & has prescribed some medicine – 4 junior Disprin at night! He thinks its teeth giving the trouble. Have just put a match to the fire & now the sun is shining! Letters from Joan & Dodo.
Thursday 8th September 1960
I was stunned today with the news in a letter from ____ that ____ is to have a baby. What on earth she & ____ are going to do I don’t know – her people must be very upset – Apparently marriage is out of the question. ____ is so young – Only 17 – in fact I don’t think she is 17 yet.
Friday 9th September 1960
We had a surprise run to Welling last night to see Mum settled in Doris’. Home at 9.30 with two sleepy heads! Gill very miserable today. Rang ____ last night. ____’s mother is hoping to get her into a home to have the baby & get it adopted straight away. What an unhappy situation. Another letter from Joan today. I’ve written to her. Warm & sunny again – we’ve been to the village.
Saturday 10th September 1960
Philip’s second polio injection 2pm
A warm sunny day again & we’ve been very busy. At least Cyril has. The front garden is dug now & the one side ready for seed. We went to Hensham this morning & bought some good seed. I baked afterwards – then took Philip for his Polio injection. He made a great to do about it! Afterwards Cyril minded them both for an hour while I went to the jumble sale. Nothing much there though. Mowed the lawn when I got back. Rang Doris – Mum is quite well & trying to get around on her crutches. I haven’t composed a letter to Mrs. ____ & ____ – or ____ yet! Difficult task.