Week 51 : 17th-23rd December 1967

Diary Shelf

Here’s what’s happening around the world this week in 1967:

  • 17th December 1967 – The Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, disappeared while swimming in the sea near Portsea, Victoria. A search by 200 people failed to find him.
  • 19th December 1967 – The United Nations General Assembly approved Resolution 2345, “The Agreement on the Rescue of Astronauts, the Return of Astronauts and the Return of Objects Launched into Outer Space”.
  • 19th December 1967 – The Royal Navy frigate HMS Minerva engaged a French oil tanker, the Artois, which was attempting to run the British blockade of the Mozambique port of Beira to stop shipments of oil from Rhodesia. The Captain of the Minerva issued a “Stop or I Fire” directive which the French vessel’s captain, Daniel Remaud ignored. Despite four warning shots, the Artois proceeded to dock at Beira anyway.
  • 21st December 1967 – Representatives of the kingdoms of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Libya announced that they would form the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries(OAPEC). Membership was open to oil exporting Arab nations with a goal of making economic decisions independent of the political goals of the other Arab League members.
  • 21st December 1967 – Died: Louis Washkansky, 55, the first human heart transplant, died 18 days after the landmark surgery by Dr. Christiaan Barnard. Washkansky’s anti-rejection therapy had been successful in preventing organ rejection but had depleted his immune system and in the frantic battle to fight rejection, Barnard had overlooked the simple diagnosis of pneumonia which ultimately killed his patient.
  • 23rd December 1967 – On his way back from the memorial service for Australian Prime Minister Holt, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson made an unannounced Christmas visit to American troops in South Vietnam. Following the visit, Johnson flew westward to Karachi to meet with the President of Pakistan and from there he traveled to Rome, where he was greeted by Italy’s President Giuseppe Saragat. A U.S. Army helicopter then flew him to the Vatican to meet with Pope Paul VI for an hour. It would be reported later that “Johnson irritated the pope by his hastily arranged helicopter landing in the Vatican gardens”, and that, according to the Time, the Pope “slammed his hand on to his desk and shouted at Johnson.”

And in the week before Christmas, Peggy’s kept busy in Oxshott:-

Sunday 17th December 1967
Put the tree up this afternoon, so great excitement. Have been trying to do my accounts but seem to be about £40 out!!!!

Monday 18th December 1967
Feeling sore-throaty today – hope I’m not cooking up a cold for Christmas! Snow to wake up to this morning – it has since turned to rain. Finished icing my cake tonight.

Tuesday 19th December 1967
Cyril and I went up to Liz Burgess’ tonight for coffee and punch evening! Mrs Boyce sat in for us. I still have a bit of a sore throat and cough. Taking brandy for it.

Wednesday 20th December 1967
Still coughing! I hope I don’t get an attack at the luncheon tomorrow. Worked all day and we went to the Carol Service in Church this evening. Cyril got the turkey this morning. 15lb 1oz @ 4/6 per lb. £3.7.9d

Thursday 21st December 1967
Luncheon at The Fairmile.
In spite of my misgivings I quite enjoyed the luncheon – but feeling rotten when I got home so went to bed. Chest very sore from coughing.

Friday 22nd December 1967
Went to see Dr. L. this morning – he put me on Penicillin. Did a bit of shopping and back home to bed. I can ill afford the time to stay in bed.

Saturday 23rd December 1967
In bed most of the day. Cyril has had to do all the shopping. I don’t even feel much like a Christmas drink. News that Tim is poorly again has distressed me a great deal. He has to go to see the specialist on 27th.

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