Here’s what was going on in the world this week in 1960
- At the 32nd Academy Awards ceremony, Ben-Hur won a record eleven Oscars, including Best Picture.
- In the first major primary for the Democratic nomination, voters in Wisconsin overwhelmingly favoured John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts over Hubert Humphrey from neighbouring Minnesota. The margin was 478,118 to 372,034. Vice-President Nixon was unopposed for the Republican nomination.
- In an event described as “unique in world postal history”, the governments of 70 nations simultaneously issued stamps to commemorate World Refugee Year.
- Under the Unlawful Organisations Act No. 34, the African National Congress and Pan Africanist Congress parties were banned in South Africa. This resulted in the formation by Nelson Mandela and others of “Umkonto we Sizwe” (“Spear of the Nation”), the guerrilla wing of the ANC.
- Project Ozma, under the direction of astronomer Frank Drake at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, in Green Bank, West Virginia, began a search for extraterrestrial life. After detecting nothing from Tau Ceti, Drake steered the telescope toward Epsilon Eridani and picked up signals at precisely eight times per second. As rumours spread that the Project had picked up signs of intelligent life, the source of the signal was traced to an airplane.
- In West Germany and the Netherlands signed a border agreement to restore land taken during the Dutch annexation of German territory after World War II. Germany agreed to pay DM 280,000,000 for the return of Elten, Selfkant (Zelfkant), and Suderwick (Zuiderwijk) and as reparations.
- South Africa’s Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd was shot and seriously wounded by David Pratt, a white farmer, in Johannesburg. Verwoerd survived, but would be stabbed to death in 1966.
And here’s what was keeping Peggy busy:
Sunday 3rd April 1960
Ted S (Birthday)
A blustery day today after a wet night. Cyril has done some digging in the back & this afternoon he took Jill & Sue for a short walk. I’ve just written to Dad & am now going to knit!
Monday 4th April 1960
Ellen de Loong (Birthday)
Quite warm today – we should see the grass coming up soon. I’ve finished my washing & ironing – we’ve only been for a short walk – as far as the paper shop into the Recreation Ground. Washed my hair. Not a very exciting budget.
Tuesday 5th April 1960
Dull day. I’ve been expecting the maintenance man to come & see to cracks etc – but he didn’t turn up! We’ve been to the village & I’ve bought wool to start another cardigan for Jill – a thick knit one!
Wednesday 6th April 1960
Cyril at Farnboro’
Dr Lyttle was very pleased with Philip today & has decided to start his innoculations this month. I have to take Phil for a blood test at the end of May. Very April showery today & we have the carpenter in!!
Thursday 7th April 1960
Very warm this morning – almost like a summers day. The carpenter has finished so I’ve made a start at cleaning ?down – it’s going to be a long hard job. Raining now – 5.15pm
Friday 8th April 1960
I rang Cyril this afternoon – & he tells me he’s passed his board – but that it means outstation posting! – He couldn’t say much on the phone, so I’m anxious for him to come home. Another very fine day – haven’t had the fire lit all morning. I feel so sad – we’ve had to have our poor Susie taken away – her ears were getting worse. I can’t believe I won’t see her again.
Saturday 9th April 1960
It’s inevitable I suppose – my thoughts keep turning to Susie – I find myself looking round for her & Gillian has asked for “my Susie” several times.
Its a nice afternoon after a very showery morning. Cyril went to Esher – then finished washing the walls for me while I prepared the lunch – he’s gardening in the back this afternoon – with Gillian’s help?