Week 52 : 25th-31st December 1966

Diary Shelf

Here’s the last week of Peggy’s diary entries for 1966. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the regular readers, those who just dip in occasionally, and those who have only recently discovered Peggy’s world, for making this all worthwhile and so rewarding. 1967 of course kicks off next week and it would be great if Peggy were to gain a few more followers and readers in the coming year. So please follow, share, tweet and comment.

So for the last time in 1966. Here’s what’s going on around the world this week:

  • December 25th – Died: Nicholas Dandolos, Greek-born American gambler known as “Nick the Greek”. An obituary would note that, “Possibly half a billion dollars passed through Nick’s fingers during a lifetime of wagering on dice, at card tables, and at race tracks. He was alternately a millionaire and penniless 73 times in his lifetime.”
  • December 26th – The third phase of the Cultural Revolution, referred to as the “Economic Warfare and Revolutionary Rebels” phase, began as the Chinese Communist Party pritned editorials directing the Red Guards to become “revolutionary rebels” and to “carry the Revolution into the factories and farms”.
  • December 28th – China conducted its fifth nuclear test, and a subsequent analysis of the radioactive fallout from the test indicated that China had developed a “triple stage bomb”, considered the precursor to a hydrogen bomb because the second stage produced a fusion reaction necessary to trigger the thermonuclear explosion. The 300-kiloton bomb, the United States Atomic Energy Commission concluded, was also the “dirtiest” of the bombs, maximizing both radiation and fallout.
  • December 30th – Operation Marigold, a secret attempt to reach a compromise solution to the Vietnam War, failed after attempts by Polish diplomat Janusz Lewandowskiand the Italian ambassador in Saigon, Giovanni D’Orlandi, in collaboration with American ambassador in Saigon Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.. Polish Foreign Minister Adam Rapacki relayed Hanoi’s final rejection to the U.S. Ambassador in Warsaw, John A. Gronouski.
  • December 31st – In the most expensive art theft in history up to that time, thieves stole eight paintings from London’s Dulwich Art Gallery, the oldest art museum in the United Kingdom, and demanded a ransom of 100,000 pounds sterling for their safe return. The paintings themselves were considered worth more than $20,000,000. Three of the paintings would be recovered a couple of days later, and the next evening, the other five would be found “wrapped in old newspapers behind a bush” at Streatham Common, a few miles from the gallery.

But for now, here’s how the family are ending 1966!

Sunday 25th December 1966 – Christmas Day
At last!! Philip awake at 5:30am, but managed to contain himself till 6:30am. They were so thrilled with their gifts and they had such a lot! Cyril gave me three fivers! Went to church at 10am. We have had the usual drinks here and there. Late lunch at 3pm, didn’t wash up until 5pm. All the Turners came in for the evening – bed about 2am

Monday 26th December 1966 – Boxing Day
Up and cleared up by eleven and prepared drinks etc. for our visitors. They all came – and stayed until quarter to two! So another late lunch. Turners in during the evening , bed about 12!

Tuesday 27th December 1966
Did a bit of washing early – but it has rained on and off all day. Have been trying to do some ‘ta’ letters! Had tea with the Turners. Trying to get to bed early tonight. It’s 10:30 now!!

Wednesday 28th December 1966
It was horrible going to work today! Worked until 1pm then brought it all home with me and have done another 4½ hours!! Sue came home to turkey lunch with us. Cyril has had a pottering day! Going to have the car serviced tomorrow.

Thursday 29th December 1966
Worked until 12:15 today – Cyril picked me up and while he and Bill serviced the Corsair, I took the children – plus Helen to Leatherhead. Gillian bought her record “Peter and the Wolf”. Philip bought his tunnel and had his hair cut. We were home soon after five. Cyril met the bus!


Peggy’s 1966 household accounts. She recorded everything spent throughout the year down to the last half penny.

Friday 30th December 1966
Have done a good job tonight – balanced my yearly accounts – and found I have spent £150 more this year!! (The accounts are fascinating. Click on the image for an enlarged view) Going well? Only worked two hours – then went to Guildford. Not a very successful day – all we did was get tired out. Bought a couple of lamps in the sales.

Saturday 31st December 1966
Went to Kingston – certainly not our weekend! Scratched the car badly trying to park! Most depressing last day of ’66. Bought Gill’s bed – £17.10.6d. Took the decorations down – defrosted the fridge – washed! Bought two slips (35/- each) in Hides sale with my Christmas money.

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