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Of World Interest

April 4 - Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart.

Luna (Earth's Moon)

On July 20th, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon. NASA Apollo 11 landed on the lunar surface. Buzz Aldrin and Armstrong spent 21 hours on the surface and returned to Earth with 46 pounds of lunar rocks.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."



September 1 – A coup in Libya ousts King Idris, and brings Colonel Muammar al-Gaddafi to power.


15 October 1969, a bodyguard killed president Shermarke while prime minister Igaal was out of the country. (The assassin, a member of a lineage said to have been badly treated by the president, was subsequently tried and executed by the revolutionary government.) Igaal returned to Mogadishu to arrange for the selection of a new president by the National Assembly. His choice was, like Shermarke, a member of the Daarood clan-family (Igaal was an Isaaq). Government critics, particularly a group of army officers, saw no hope for improving the country's situation by this means. Critics also saw the process as extremely corrupt with votes for the presidency being actively bid on, the highest offer being 55,000 Somali Shillings (approximately $8,000) per vote by Hagi Musa Bogor. On 21 October 1969, when it became apparent that the assembly would support Igaal's choice, army units, with the cooperation of the police, took over strategic points in Mogadishu and rounded up government officials and other prominent political figures.

October 21 – General Siad Barre comes to power in Somalia in a coup, 6 days after the assassination of President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke.

Although not regarded as the author of the military takeover, army commander Major General Salad Gabeire Kediye and Mahammad Siad Barre assumed leadership of the officers who deposed the civilian government. The new governing body, the Supreme Revolutionary Council leader Salad Gabeire, installed Siad Barre as its president. The SRC arrested and detained at the presidential palace leading members of the democratic regime, including Igaal. The SRC banned political parties, abolished the National Assembly, and suspended the constitution. The new regime's goals included an end to "tribalism, nepotism, corruption, and misrule". Existing treaties were to be honored, but national liberation movements and Somali unification were to be supported. The country was renamed the Somali Democratic Republic.



October 1 – The Beijing Subway begins operation.

North Korea

April 14 - The EC-121 shootdown incident: North Korea shoots down the aircraft over the Sea of Japan, killing all 31 on board.

Southeast Asia


March 18 - Operation Breakfast, the secret bombing of Cambodia, begins.


Battle of Hamburger Hill

In May, the U.S. Army's 3d Battalion, 187th Infantry Regiment, part of the 101st Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles", attacked a well-fortified position, including trenchworks and bunkers, of the North Vietnamese Army on Ap Bia Mountain near the Laotian border. The battle took place on Dong Ap Bia (Ap Bia Mountain) in the rugged, jungle-shrouded mountains along the Laotian border with South Vietnam. Rising from the floor of the western A Shau Valley, Ap Bia Mountain is a looming, solitary massif, unconnected to the ridges of the surrounding Annamite range. It dominates the northern valley, towering some 937 meters above sea level. Snaking down from its highest peak are a series of ridges and fingers, one of the largest extending southeast to a height of 900 meters, another reaching south to a 916-meter peak. The entire mountain is a rugged, uninviting wilderness blanketed in double- and triple-canopy jungle, dense thickets of bamboo, and waist-high elephant grass that in some cases was taller than an M114 APC. Local Montagnard tribesmen called Ap Bia "the mountain of the crouching beast." Official histories of the engagement refer to it as Hill 937, but the soldiers who fought there dubbed it "Hamburger Hill", referring to the fact that those who fought on the hill were "chewed-up like hamburger mince".

The battle on Hill 937 occurred during Operation Apache Snow, the second part of a three-phased campaign intended to destroy People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN) Base Areas in the remote A Shau Valley. This campaign was a series of operations intended to neutralize the A Shau, which had been an infiltration route into South Vietnam prior to 1966, when the North Vietnamese seized the Special Forces camp in the valley and established a permanent presence. Subsequent U.S. efforts to clear the valley had been consistently unsuccessful. Lieutenant General Richard Stilwell, commander of XXIV Corps, amassed the equivalent of two divisions supported by substantial artillery and air support to accomplish the task. The North Vietnamese had moved their 6th, 9th, and 29th Regiments into the area to recover from losses sustained during a previous U.S. Marine operation (Operation Dewey Canyon) in February.

Assigned to Apache Snow were three airmobile infantry battalions of the 101st Airborne Division (Major General Melvin Zais, commanding). These units of the division's 3rd Brigade (commanded by Colonel Joseph Conmy) were the 3rd Battalion, 187th Infantry (LtCol. Weldon Honeycutt); 2nd Battalion, 501st Infantry (LtCol. Robert German); and the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry (LtCol. John Bowers). Two battalions of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam's (ARVN) 1st Division (the 2/1st and 4/1st) had been temporarily assigned to the 3rd Brigade in support. Other major units participating in Apache Snow included the 9th Marine Regiment; the 3rd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment and the 3rd ARVN Regiment.

Colonel Conmy characterized the operation as a reconnaissance in force. His plan called for the five battalions to "combat assault" into the valley by helicopter on 10 May 1969 and to search their assigned sectors for PAVN troops and supplies. If a battalion made heavy contact with the North Vietnamese, Conmy would reinforce it by helicopter with one of the other units. In theory, the 101st could reposition its forces quickly enough to keep the PAVN from massing against any one unit, while a U.S. battalion discovering a North Vietnamese unit would fix it in place until a reinforcing battalion could lift in to cut off its retreat and destroy it.

The U.S. and ARVN units participating in Apache Snow knew, based on existing intelligence information and previous experience in the A Shau, that the operation was likely to encounter serious resistance from PAVN. Beyond that, however, they had little intelligence as to the actual strength and dispositions of PAVN units. Masters of camouflage, the North Vietnamese completely concealed their bases from aerial surveillance. When PAVN forces moved, they did so at night along trails under triple-canopy jungle. They effected their command and control mainly by runner and wire, leaving no electronic signature to monitor or trace. U.S. battalion commanders had to generate their own tactical intelligence by combat patrols, capturing equipment, installations, documents, and occasionally prisoners of war to provide the raw data from which to draw their assessment of the North Vietnamese order of battle and dispositions. It was this time-consuming and hit-or-miss task which characterized the main efforts of the Colonel Honeycutt's 3/187th Infantry during the first four days of the operation.

Initially, the operation went routinely for the 101st Airborne Division. Its units experienced only light contact on the first day, but documents captured by 3/187th indicated that the 29th PAVN Regiment, nicknamed the "Pride of Ho Chi Minh" and a veteran of the 1968 Tet Offensive assault on Hue, was somewhere in the valley. Past experience in many of the larger encounters with PAVN indicated the North Vietnamese would resist violently for a short time and then withdraw before the Americans brought overwhelming firepower to bear against them. Prolonged combat, such as at the Dak To and Ia Drang, had been relatively rare. Honeycutt anticipated his battalion had sufficient capability to carry out a reconnaissance on Hill 937 without further reinforcement, although he did request that the brigade reserve, his own Bravo Company, be released to his control.

Honeycutt was a protégé of General William C. Westmoreland, the former commander of U.S. forces in Vietnam. He had been assigned command of the 3/187th in January and had by replacement of many of its officers given it a personality to match his own aggressiveness. His stated intention was to locate the VPA force in his area of responsibility and engage it before it could escape into Laos.

On 11 May, Honeycutt assigned Alpha and Delta Companies to recon the north and northwest fingers of Ap Bia Mountain, while Bravo and Charlie Companies climbed towards the summit by differing routes. Moving out of the helicopter landing zone (LZ) on the north ridge, Bravo Company made heavy contact with the North Vietnamese within a kilometer of the summit late in the day. Honeycutt quickly directed Cobra helicopter gunships, known as Aerial Rocket Artillery (ARA), to support a hasty assault. In the heavy jungle, the Cobras mistook the 3/187th battalion command post on the LZ for a PAVN unit and attacked, killing two and wounding thirty-five, including Honeycutt. This friendly fire incident disrupted battalion command and control and forced 3/187th to withdraw into night defensive positions. The contact, however, confirmed that a substantial North Vietnamese force was present, which Honeycutt estimated as a reinforced platoon or company.

For the next two days, Honeycutt maneuvered his companies toward positions for a coordinated battalion attack on the 13th, but was frustrated by both difficult topography and North Vietnamese resistance. One unit, Delta Company, descended into a steep muddy ravine on 12 May in a flanking maneuver, suffered numerous losses, and was unable to extricate its casualties for two days. The company eventually returned to the battalion LZ on 15 May without participating in the assault.

Map reconnaissance and helicopter overflights had not indicated that the initial scheme of maneuver was impractical, but the three contacts indicated that the North Vietnamese strength was greater than originally estimated, had likely received reinforcements from Laos, and were entrenched in well-concealed bunkers. The North Vietnamese commander's demonstrated tenacity and willingness to replace heavy losses indicated he intended to put up a stiff fight for Hill 937.

The 1/506th had made no significant contacts in its area of operations, and at midday 13 May, the brigade commander, Colonel Conmy, decided it would move to cut off North Vietnamese reinforcement from Laos and to assist Honeycutt by attacking Hill 937 from the south. It's Bravo company was heli-lifted to Hill 916, but the remainder of the battalion made the movement on foot, from an area 4 kilometers from Hill 937, and both Conmy and Honeycutt expected the 1/506th to be ready to provide support no later than the morning of 15 May. Although Bravo Company seized Hill 916 on the 15th, it was not until the 19th that the battalion as a whole was in position to conduct a final assault, primarily because of nearly impenetrable jungle.

The 3/187 conducted multi-company assaults on 14 and 15 May, incurring heavy casualties, while the 1/506th made probing attacks on the south slopes of the mountain on the 16th and 17th. The difficult terrain and well organized North Vietnamese forces continually disrupted the tempo of U.S. tactical operations on Hills 916, 900, and 937. Steep gradients and dense vegetation provided few natural LZs in the vicinity of the mountain and made helicopter redeployments impractical. The terrain also masked the positions of the 29th PAVN Regiment, making it nearly impossible to suppress anti-aircraft fire, while the jungle covered the movement of North Vietnamese units so completely that it created a nonlinear battlefield. PAVN soldiers, able to maneuver freely around the LZs, shot down or damaged numerous helicopters with small arms fire, rocket-propelled grenades, and crew-served weapons. The North Vietnamese also assaulted nearby logistical support LZs and command posts at least four times, forcing deployment of units for security that might otherwise have been employed in assaults. Attacking companies had to provide for 360-degree security as they maneuvered, since the terrain largely prevented them from mutually supporting one another. PAVN platoon- and company-sized elements repeatedly struck maneuvering U.S. forces from the flanks and rear.

The effectiveness of U.S. maneuver forces was limited by narrow trails that funneled attacking companies into squad or platoon points of attack, where they encountered PAVN platoons and companies with prepared fields of fire. With most small arms engagements thus conducted at close range, U.S. fire support was also severely restricted. Units frequently pulled back and called in artillery fire, close air support, and ARA but the North Vietnamese bunkers were well-sited and constructed with overhead cover to withstand bombardment. During the course of the battle the foliage was eventually stripped away and the bunkers exposed, but they were so numerous and well constructed that many could not be reduced by indirect fire. Napalm and recoilless rifle fire eventually accounted for destruction of most fortifications.

U.S. battle command of small units was essentially decentralized. Though Honeycutt constantly prodded his company commanders to push on, he could to do little to coordinate mutual support until the final assaults, when the companies maneuvered in close proximity over the barren mountain top. Fire support for units in contact was also decentralized. Supporting fires, including those controlled by airborne forward air controllers, were often directed on the platoon level. Consequently overloaded command and control communications networks and other factors resulted in five attacks by supporting aircraft on the 3/187th, killing seven and wounding 53. Four of the incidents involved Cobra gunship helicopters, which in one case were more than a kilometer away from their intended target.

On May 16, Associated Press correspondent Jay Sharbutt learned of the ongoing battle on Hill 937, travelled to the area and interviewed Zais, in particular asking why infantry rather than firepower was used as the primary offensive tool on Hill 937. More reporters followed to cover the battle, and the term "Hamburger Hill" became widely used.

The U.S. brigade commander ordered a coordinated two-battalion assault for 18 May, with 1/506th attacking from the south and 3/187th attacking from the north, tring to keep the 29th PAVN Regiment from concentrating on either battalion. Fighting to within seventy-five meters of the summit, Delta Company 3/187th nearly carried the hill but experienced severe casualties, including all of its officers. The battle was one of close combat, with the two sides exchanging small arms and grenade fire within twenty meters of one another. From a light observation helicopter, the battalion commander attempted to coordinate the movements of the other companies into a final assault, but an exceptionally intense thunderstorm reduced visibility to zero and ended the fighting. Unable to advance in what was now a quagmire, 3/187 again withdrew down the mountain. The three converging companies of 1/506th struggled to take Hill 900, the southern crest of the mountain, encountering heavy opposition for the first time in the battle.

Because of the heavy casualties already sustained by his units, and under pressure from the unwanted attention of the press, Zais seriously considered discontinuing the attack, but decided otherwise. Both the corps commander and the MACV commander, General Creighton W. Abrams, publicly supported the decision. Zais decided to commit three fresh battalions to the battle and to have one of them relieve the 3/187th in place. The 3/187th's losses to this point had been severe, approximately 320 killed and wounded, including more than sixty per cent of the 450 experienced troops who had assaulted into the valley. Two of its four company commanders and eight of twelve platoon leaders had become casualties.

The battalion commander of the 2/506th, LtCol. Gene Sherron, arrived at Honeycutt's CP on the afternoon of 18 May to coordinate the relief. 3/187th was medevacking its latest casualties and its commander had not yet been informed of the relief. Before any arrangements were made, Zais landed and was confronted by Honeycutt, who argued that his battalion was still combat effective. After a sharp confrontation, Zais relented, although he assigned one of Sherron's companies to Honeycutt as reinforcement for the assault.

Two fresh battalions - the 2/501st Infantry and ARVN 2/3d Infantry - were airlifted into LZs northeast and southeast of the base of the mountain on 19 May. Both battalions immediately moved onto the mountain to positions from which they would attack the following morning. Meanwhile the 1/506th for the third consecutive day struggled to secure Hill 900.

The 3rd Brigade launched its four-battalion attack at 1000 on 20 May, including two companies of the 3/187th reinforced by Alpha Company 2/506th. The attack was preceded by two hours of close air support and ninety minutes of artillery prep fires. The battalions attacked simultaneously, and by noon elements of the 3/187th reached the crest, beginning a reduction of bunkers that continued through most of the afternoon. Some PAVN units were able to withdraw into Laos and Hill 937 was secured by 1700.

U.S. losses during the ten-day battle reportedly totalled 70 dead and 372 wounded. To take the position, the 101st Airborne Division eventually committed five infantry battalions, about 1,800 men, and ten batteries of artillery. In addition, the U.S. Air Force flew 272 support sorties and expended more than 450 tons of bombs and 69 tons of napalm. The 7th and 8th Battalions of the 29th PAVN Regiment suffered 630 dead discovered on and around the battlefield, including many found in makeshift mortuaries within the tunnel complex, and an unknown number of wounded that likely totalled most of the remainder of the two units.

The repercussions of the battle were more political than military. Questions raised by the media concerning the necessity of the battle stirred controversy for weeks after the fighting ended. These issues flared up again when the new commander of the 101st Airborne Division, Major General John W. Wright, quietly abandoned the hill on 5 June. The debate over "Hamburger Hill" reached Congress, with particularly severe criticism of military leadership by Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Mass), George McGovern (D-South Dakota), and Stephen M. Young (D-Ohio). In its 27 June issue, Life Magazine published the photographs of 241 Americans killed in one week in Vietnam, considered a watershed turning point in the war. While only five of these were casualties on Hamburger Hill, many Americans had the perception that all the dead were victims of the battle.

The controversy of the conduct of the Battle of Hamburger Hill led to a reappraisal of U.S. strategy in South Vietnam. As a direct result, to hold down casualties, General Abrams discontinued a policy of "maximum pressure" against the North Vietnamese to one of "protective reaction" for troops threatened with attack, while President Nixon announced the first troop withdrawals.

Central America

Honduras and El Salvador

The Football War

Border tensions began between the two countries after Oswaldo López Arellano, a former president of Honduras, blamed the deteriorating economy on the large number of immigrants from El Salvador. From that point on, the relationship between the two countries grew acrimonious and reached a low when El Salvador met Honduras for a three-round football elimination match as a preliminary to the World Cup. Tensions escalated, and on July 14, 1969, the Salvadoran army launched an attack against Honduras. The Organization of American States negotiated a cease-fire which took effect on July 20 and brought about a withdrawal of Salvadoran troops in early August.



French Industry

March 2 - In Toulouse, France the first Concorde test flight is conducted.


February 27 - Richard Nixon visits West Berlin and is met with massive demonstrations and an unsuccessful bombing attempt against his motorcade. Dieter Kunzelmann and Rainer Langhans, Kommune I members, are arrested. The bomb was supplied by Peter Urbach, a Security Police agent provocateur.

April 1 - Socialist Bureau founded.

July 15 - Local government office in Bamberg severely damaged and blank ID cards stolen.

Fall - Urban guerilla groups the Tupamaros West Berlin and the Tupamaros Munich formed. Six bombings in West Berlin.

October 21 – Willy Brandt becomes Chancellor of West Germany.

December 16 - Arrest warrants in connection with West Berlin bombings issued for Bernhard Braun, Michael "Bommi" Baumann and an unidentified Dutchman. All 3 go underground.

December - Socialist Patients Collective (SPK), a collective of mental patients, formed in Heidelberg.

Great Britain

October 5 – Monty Python's Flying Circus first airs on BBC One.

November 25 – John Lennon returns his MBE medal to protest the British government's support of the U.S. war in Vietnam.


January 1 - People's Democracy begin a march from Belfast to Derry, Northern Ireland in support of civil rights.

January 27 - Reverend Ian Paisley, hardline Protestant leader in Northern Ireland, is jailed for 3 months for illegal assembly.


December 12 – The Piazza Fontana bombing in Italy (Strage di Piazza Fontana) takes place. A U.S. Navy officer and C.I.A. agent called David Carrett is later investigated for possible involvement.


January 24 - Martial law is declared in Madrid, the University is closed and over 300 students are arrested.

April 9 - Fermín Monasterio Pérez was killed by ETA in Biscay, Spain being the 4th victim in the name of the Basque nationalism.

Middle East


February 4 - In Cairo, Yasser Arafat is appointed Palestine Liberation Organization leader at the Palestinian National Congress.


March 17 - Golda Meir becomes the first female prime minister of Israel.


January 27 - Fourteen men, 9 of them Jews, are executed in Baghdad for spying for Israel.

North America


February 13 - FLQ terrorists bomb the Stock Exchange in Montreal, Quebec.


March 19 - British paratroopers and Marines land on the island of Anguilla.

United States

January 10 - After 147 years, the last issue of The Saturday Evening Post is published.

January 30 - The Beatles give their last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records. The impromptu concert was broken up by the police.

February 7 - The original Hetch Hetchy Moccasin power plant is taken offline.

April 9 - The Harvard University Administration Building is seized by close to 300 students, mostly members of the Students for a Democratic Society. Before the takeover ends, 45 will be injured and 184 arrested.

June 28 - The Stonewall Riots on Christopher Street began the gay liberation movement.

Stonewall Riots

The Stonewall riots were a series of violent conflicts between New York City police officers and groups of gay and transgender people that began during the early morning of June 28, 1969, and lasted several days. Also called the Stonewall Rebellion or simply Stonewall, the clash was a watershed for the worldwide gay rights movement, as gay and transgender people had never before acted together in such large numbers to forcibly resist police harassment directed towards their community.

Prior acts of group resistance that contributed to recognition of GLBT civil rights include the 1966 Compton's Cafeteria Riot of transgender citizens in San Francisco.

On Saturday morning, June 28, 1969, shortly after 1:20 a.m., police raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village. A number of factors differentiated the raid that took place on June 28 from other such raids on the Stonewall Inn. In general, the sixth precinct tipped off the management of the Stonewall Inn prior to a raid. In addition, raids were generally carried out early enough in the night to allow business to return to normal for the peak hours of the night. At approximately 1:20 a.m., much later than the usual raid, eight officers from the first precinct, of whom only one was in uniform, entered the bar. Most of the patrons were able to escape being arrested as the only people arrested “would be those without IDs, those dressed in the clothes of the opposite gender, and some or all of the employees” (Duberman 192).

Details about how the riot started vary from story to story. According to one account, a transgender woman named Sylvia Rivera threw a bottle at a police officer after being prodded by his nightstick (Duberman). Another account states that a lesbian, being brought to a patrol car through the crowd put up a struggle that encouraged the crowd to do the same (D’Emilio 232). Whatever the case may be, mêlée broke out across the crowd—which quickly overtook the police. Stunned, the police retreated into the bar. Heterosexual folk singer Dave van Ronk, who was walking through the area, was grabbed by the police, pulled into the bar, and beaten. The crowd’s attacks were unrelenting. Some tried to light the bar on fire. Others used a parking meter as a battering ram to force the police officers out. Word quickly spread of the riot and many residents, as well as patrons of nearby bars, rushed to the scene.

Throughout the night the police singled out many transgender people and gender nonconformists, including butch women and effeminate men, among others, often beating them. On the first night alone 13 people were arrested and four police officers, as well as an undetermined number of protesters, were injured. It is known, however, that at least two rioters were severely beaten by the police (Duberman 201-202). Bottles and stones were thrown by protesters who chanted “Gay Power!” The crowd, estimated at over 2000, fought with over 400 police officers.

The police sent additional forces in the form of the Tactical Patrol Force, a riot-control squad originally trained to counter Vietnam War protesters. The tactical patrol force arrived to disperse the crowd. However, they failed to break up the crowd, who sprayed them with rocks and other projectiles.

Eventually the scene quieted, but the crowd returned again the next night. While less violent than the first night, the crowd had the same energy as it had on the previous night. Skirmishes between the rioters and the police ensued until approximately 4:00 a.m.. The third day of rioting fell five days after the raid on the Stonewall Inn. On that Wednesday, 1,000 people congregated at the bar and again caused extensive property damage.

Numerous books on this North American gay civil rights flash point have been written. In 2004, St. Martin's Press published David Carter's Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution, based on ten years of research and interviews with participants. In the book Carter examines inconsistencies of historical record, debunking a number of myths that have surrounded the events of June 1969, including the oft-repeated urban legend that it was the death of Judy Garland that sparked the riots.

In 2016, President Obama declared the Stonewall Inn a National Monument.

July 20 - Apollo 11 lands the first humans on the Moon's surface.

August 8 – A fire breaks out in the Bannerman's Castle in the Hudson River; most of the roof collapses and crashes down to the lower levels.

August 8 - In the afternoon, Charles Manson called together several Family members, Manson announced, "Now is the time for Helter Skelter." That evening he told three female members of the Family, Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel, and Linda Kasabian, to get an additional change of clothes, a knife, and a driver's license. Manson discussed details of his plan with a fourth Family member, Charles "Tex" Watson before all four piled into an old Ford. As they drove down the driveway of the ranch, Manson stuck his head in the car window and told them "to leave a sign." He said, "You girls know what I mean, something witchy." Although Tex understood his mission fully, the three women knew neither their destination nor that the night was destined for murder.

August 9 – shortly after midnight on August 9, the group pulled up in front of the Bel Air residence of actress Sharon Tate, famous for her recent role in the movie Valley of the Dolls. Tate shared the home with her husband, director Roman Polanski, who was in London at the time working on his next film project, The Day of the Dolphin. In his absence, two friends were staying at the large home at 10050 Cielo Drive, including coffee heiress Abigail Folger and her lover, Voytek Frykowski. Also in the home that night was hair stylist Jay Sebring, a friend of Tate's.

After Tex cut the telephone wires leading to the Tate home, the four scrambled over the fence at the bottom of the property and began heading up the hill leading to the residence. A car pulled up the driveway. Tex leaped forward, stuck his hand through the car window, aimed at the driver's head, and pulled the trigger four times. The first victim in the Tate-LaBianca killings was eighteen-year-old Steven Parent, in the wrong place at the wrong time. While Kasabian waited below by the car, the other three Family members entered the Tate home. Within minutes, the screams began. Watson would later describe the next four victims "as running around the place like chickens with their heads cut off."

In all, the four victims received 102 stab wounds. Sharon Tate was the last to die, knived by Watson while she was held down by Susan Atkins. Atkins said later that she tasted Tate's blood and found it to be "warm and sticky." She took some of Tate's blood and used it to scrawl, on the porch wall, "PIG."

August 10 – The Manson Family kills Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy Los Angeles business people.

October 2 – A 1.2 megaton thermonuclear device is tested at Amchitka Island, Alaska. This test is code-named Project Milrow, the 11th test of the Operation Mandrel 1969-1970 underground nuclear test series. This test is known as a "calibration shot" to test if the island is fit for larger underground nuclear detonations.

October 5 - The statue commemorating the policemen killed in the 1886 Haymarket affair was dynamited. The blast broke nearly 100 windows and scattered pieces of the statue onto the Kennedy Expressway below. No one was ever arrested for the bombing.

October 9–12 – Days of Rage: In Chicago, the United States National Guard is called in to control demonstrations involving the radical Weathermen, in connection with the "Chicago Eight" Trial. The Days of Rage demonstrations did not turn out as Weatherman members had anticipated. The combination of low turnout and enormous numbers of police made for an even more violent demonstration than originally intended. The reaction to the Days of Rage demonstrations permanently damaged the relationship between Weatherman, SDS and the Black Panther Party while paving the way to more militant actions by Weatherman and eventually leading to the organization moving underground.

October 15 – Vietnam War: Hundreds of thousands of people take part in antiwar demonstrations across the United States.

October 17– Fourteen black athletes are kicked off the University of Wyoming football team for wearing black armbands into their coach's office.

November 3 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the "silent majority" to join him in solidarity with the Vietnam War effort, and to support his policies. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew denounces the President's critics as 'an effete corps of impudent snobs' and 'nattering nabobs of negativism'.

November 9 – A group of Amerindians, led by Richard Oakes, seizes Alcatraz Island for 19 months, inspiring a wave of renewed Indian pride and government reform.

November 10 – Sesame Street premieres on the National Educational Television (NET) network.

November 12 – Vietnam War – My Lai Massacre: Independent investigative journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the My Lai story.

November 15 – Vietnam War: In Washington, DC, 250,000–500,000 protesters stage a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".

November 20 – Vietnam War: The Cleveland Plain Dealer publishes explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai massacre in Vietnam.

November 20 – Richard Oakes returns with 90 followers and offers to buy Alcatraz for $24 (he leaves the island January 1970).

November 21 – U.S. President Richard Nixon and Japanese Premier Eisaku Sato agree in Washington, D.C. to the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. retains rights to military bases on the island, but they must be nuclear-free.

December 1 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II (on January 4, 1970, the New York Times will run a long article, "Statisticians Charge Draft Lottery Was Not Random").

December 2 – The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its debut. It carries 191 people, most of them reporters and photographers, from Seattle, Washington to New York City.

December 4 – Black Panther Party members Fred Hampton and Mark Clark are shot dead in their sleep during a raid by 14 Chicago police officers.

December 6 – The Altamont Free Concert is held at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. Hosted by the Rolling Stones, it is an attempt at a "Woodstock West" and is best known for the uproar of violence that occurred. It is viewed by many as the "end of the sixties."

December 30 – The Linwood bank robbery leaves two police officers dead.

U.S. Industry

October 17 – Willard S. Boyle and George Smith invent the CCD at Bell Laboratories (30 years later, this technology is widely used in digital cameras).

October 31 – Wal-Mart incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.

November 15 – Dave Thomas opens his first restaurant in a former steakhouse on a cold, snowy Saturday in downtown Columbus, Ohio. He names the chain Wendy's after his 8-year-old daughter Melinda Lou (nicknamed Wendy by her siblings).

U.S. Politics

Nixon becomes President January 20 - Lyndon Baines Johnson leaves office as Richard Milhous Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States of America.

Richard Milhous Nixon (January 9, 1913 – April 22, 1994) became the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. He is the only U.S. President to have resigned from office. His resignation came in the face of imminent impeachment related to the Watergate scandal. Nixon's misuse of presidential powers, along with his broad view of the prerogatives of the President, led many to call his time in the White House the Imperial Presidency.

Nixon is noted for his innovative foreign policy, especially détente with the Soviet Union and his opening of U.S. relations with the People's Republic of China, as well as for his middle-of-the-road domestic policy that combined conservative rhetoric and, in many cases, liberal action, as in his civil rights, environmental and economic initiatives.

Nixon was the 36th Vice President (1953–1961), serving under Dwight D. Eisenhower. Some give Nixon credit for redefining the role of the Vice-President. During his time in that office, he was a highly visible spokesman for the Eisenhower administration, particularly on issues affecting the Republican Party and international affairs during the Cold War.

November 21 – The United States Senate votes down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement Haynsworth, the first such rejection since 1930.

U.S. Technology

The Internet

The first four nodes of the Internet were connected by a physical network. The four initial nodes were: University of California at Los Angeles, SRI (in Stanford), University of California at Santa Barbara, and University of Utah. The network bandwidth was 50 Kbps, less than dial-up modems in 2007.

September 2 - In a lab at the University of California, Los Angeles, two computers passed test data through a 15-foot gray cable to a packet switcher. Stanford Research Institute joined the fledgling ARPANET network a month later; UC Santa Barbara and the University of Utah joined by years end, and the Internet was born.

October 29 - UCLA Professor, Leonard Kleinrock, sent a message from one computer to another. He connected the school's host computer to one at Stanford Research Institute. Kleinrock said, "What we wanted to do was send a message essentially from UCLA to SRI's host. And frankly, all we wanted to do was log in -- to type an l-o-g, and the remote time-sharing system knows what you're trying to do.

So we typed the "l," and we asked over the phone, "Did you get the 'l?' " And the response came back, "Yep, we got the 'l.' " We typed the "o." "Got the 'o?' " " 'Yep, got the 'o.' " Typed the 'g.' "You get the 'g?' " Crash! SRI's host crashed at that point. So the very first message ever on the Internet was the very simple, very prophetic "lo," as in lo and behold."

U.S. Entertainment

Woodstock Music & Art Fair (informally, Woodstock or The Woodstock Festival) was a music festival, billed as "An Aquarian Exposition", held at Max Yasgur's 600 acre dairy farm in the rural town of Bethel, New York from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Bethel, in Sullivan County, is 43 miles (69 km) southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York, in adjoining Ulster County.

Thirty-two acts performed during the sometimes rainy weekend in front of nearly half a million concertgoers. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest moments in popular music history and was listed on Rolling Stone's 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll. Performers included:

Friday, August 15

  • Richie Havens
  • Swami Satchidananda - gave the invocation for the festival
  • Sweetwater
  • The Incredible String Band
  • Bert Sommer
  • Tim Hardin
  • Ravi Shankar
  • Melanie
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Joan Baez

Saturday, August 16

  • Quill, forty minute set of four songs
  • Keef Hartley Band
  • Country Joe McDonald
  • John Sebastian
  • Santana
  • Canned Heat
  • Mountain
  • Grateful Dead
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Janis Joplin with The Kozmic Blues Band
  • Sly & the Family Stone
  • The Who began at 4 AM, kicking off a 25-song set including Tommy
  • Jefferson Airplane

Sunday, August 17 to Monday, August 18

  • The Grease Band
  • Joe Cocker
  • Country Joe and the Fish
  • Ten Years After
  • The Band
  • Blood, Sweat & Tears
  • Johnny Winter featuring his brother, Edgar Winter
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Neil Young
  • Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Sha-Na-Na
  • Jimi Hendrix

U.S. Industry

February 9 - The Boeing 747 makes its maiden flight.

U.S. Law

February 24 - Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District: The U.S. Supreme Court rules that the First Amendment applies to public schools.

March 3 - In a Los Angeles, California court, Sirhan Sirhan admits that he killed presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

March 10 - In Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. (he later retracts his guilty plea).


March 2 - Soviet and Chinese forces clash at a border outpost on the Ussuri River.



November 17 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki, to begin the SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.


October 1 – In Sweden, Olof Palme is elected Labour Party leader, replacing Tage Erlander as prime minister on October 14.

Southeast Asia


King Norodom Sihanouk, worried about increasing Vietnamese communist use of Cambodian soil, made new overtures to America and turned away from China.


  • January 5 - The Soviet Union launches Venera 5 toward Venus.
  • January 15 - The Soviet Union launches Soyuz 5.
  • February 24 - The Mariner 6 Mars probe is launched.
  • March 3 - Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 9 (James McDivitt, David Scott, Rusty Schweickart) to test the lunar module.
  • March 13 - Apollo program: Apollo 9 returns safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
  • November 14 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 12 (Pete Conrad, Richard Gordon, Alan Bean), the second manned mission to the Moon.
  • November 19 – Apollo program: Apollo 12 astronauts Charles Conrad and Alan Bean land at Oceanus Procellarum ("Ocean of Storms"), becoming the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon.


  • March 28 - Former United States General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower dies after a long illness in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C.
  • June 22 - Judy Garland, Actress, aged 47 of a barbiturate overdose.
  • September 2 – Ho Chi Minh, former president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam


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