September of 1960 saw the first ever televised presidential debate between Vice President Richard Nixon, Republican, and Democrat John F. Kennedy who met in Chicago to debate live. Radio listeners thought Nixon won, while television viewers chose Kennedy.
Nixon was not handsome like the image conscious Kennedy. Nixon was nervous, sweating like a pig, needed a shave and when answering questions, he looked at the host, not into the camera which made him look “shifty” to viewers. Nixon wasn't helped when a reporter asked President Eisenhower to name some of his vice president’s contributions. Exhausted and irritated after a long press conference, Eisenhower replied, “If you give me a week, I might think of one. I don’t remember.” He intended it to be a self-deprecating reference to his own mental fatigue, but the Democrats used it in a television commercial that ended with the statement, “President Eisenhower could not remember, but the voters will remember.” In January 1961, John F. Kennedy became President.
|"Tricky Dick" as Nixon was later to become known|
In other major developments the US entered the Vietnam War, the IRA started it's fight against the British, Chubby Checker and the twist started a new dance craze, a Soviet missile shot down the United States' U2 spy plane, aluminum cans were used for the first time, Xerox introduced the first photocopier, Fidel Castro nationalized American oil, sugar and other US interests in Cuba and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was formed.
There were major food shortages in East Germany and 160,000 refugees crossed to West Germany resulting in Nikita Khrushchev ordering the construction of the Berlin Wall. In Sharpeville, South Africa Afrikaner police opened fire with sub-machine guns on black demonstrators March 21st. Fifteen African countries gained independence and South Africa left the Commonwealth.
Chile suffered one of the greatest earthquakes on record that loosed a tsunami. Hurricane Donna formed on August 31st and battered the Caribbean and Eastern United States until mid-September.
The American Heart Association linked smoking to heart disease and death in middle-aged men. In the UK, Princess Margaret married Antony Armstrong Jones, a British photographer and film-maker.
The Canadian Prime Minister was John Diefenbaker and Charles de Gaulle was President of France, Jawahar Lal Nehru was Prime Minister of India and Harold Macmillan of England.
In Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay (who later took the name Muhammad Ali) won his first professional fight after having won the Gold Medal in the Olympic games which were held in Rome. The Winter Olympics were held in Squaw Valley, California.
The Soviet Union beat Yugoslavia 2-1 to win the first ever European Football Championship. In pop culture Lady Chatterley's Lover went on sale in England 32 years after it was banned while Coronation Street Soap premiered on television in the UK. The Etch-A-Sketch was introduced for $2.99 manufactured by Ohio Art Company.
We chess players had our own news headlines. The biggest being Tal's defeat of Botvinnik for the World Championship. US Women's Champion Lisa Lane was hot. But, there was a lot of other things happening, too.
Yugoslavia - Gligoric ahead of Bertok
Soviet Union - Korchnoi ahead of Petrosian
United States – Fischer ahead of Lombardy
Poland -Doda ahead of Filipowicz, Drozd and Mannke
Argentina – Najdorf ahead of Julio Bolbochan
Hungary – Sazbo ahead of Barcza and Portisch
Great Britain - Jonathan Penrose
Nimzo Memorial Copenhagen - Petrosian
Marianske Lazne – Pachman
Madrid Zonal playoff – Gligoric, Portisch, Pomar and Donner
Varna – Padevsky and Krogius
Sarajevo – Pachman and Puc
Sao Paulo – Julio Bolbochan
Santa Fe – Gligoric ahead of Szabo
Beverwijk – Larsen and Petrosian
Hastings – Gligoric and Bondarvesky
Stockholm – Tal ahead of Uhlmann
Leipzig Olympiad – Soviet Union (Tal, Botvinnik, Keres, Korchnoi, Smyslov, Petrosian) ahead of United States (Fischer, Lombardy, Byrne, Bisguier, Rossolimo, Weinstein)
Buenos Aires - Reshevsky and Korchnoi ahead of Szabo
Mar del Plata – Spassky and Fischer ahead of Bronstein