- American U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, shot down over Russia (May 1).
- Khrushchev kills Paris summit conference because of U-2 (May 16).
- Top Nazi murderer of Jews, Adolf Eichmann, captured by Israelis in Argentina (May 23)—executed in Israel in 1962.
- Communist China and Soviet Union split in conflict over Communist ideology.
- Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Madagascar, and Zaire (Belgian Congo) gain independence.
- There are 900 US military advisers in South Vietnam. Background: Vietnam War
Population: 3.039 billion
Nobel Peace Prize:
Albert John Luthuli (South Africa)
- John F. Kennedy defeats Richard Nixon in a closely-fought presidential race.
- Black sit-in at Greensboro, N.C., diner receives national attention. Background: Civil Rights
- U.S. Statistics
President: Dwight D. Eisenhower
Vice President: Richard M. Nixon
Life expectancy: 69.7 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 18.9
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 17.3
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 4.7
US GDP (1998 dollars): $526.6 billion
Federal spending: $92.19 billion
Federal debt: $290.5 billion
Consumer Price Index: 29.6
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.04
Pittsburgh d. NY Yankees (4-3)
Boston d. St. Louis Hawks (4-3)
Montreal d. Toronto (4-0)
Women: Maria Bueno d. S. Reynolds (8-6 6-0)
Men: Neale Fraser d. R. Laver (6-4 3-6 9-7 7-5)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
Ohio St. d. California (75-55)
NCAA Football Champions
Minnesota (AP, UPI, NFF) (8-2-0) & Mississippi (FW) (10-0-1)
- Seventy million people watch the presidential debate between Sen. John F. Kennedy and Vice President Richard Nixon.
- John Coltrane forms his own quartet and becomes the voice of jazz’s New Wave movement.
- Ninety percent of U.S. homes have a television set.
- Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho terrifies movie-goers and becomes one of the year’s most successful films, as well as one of the most memorable psychological thrillers.
- Psycho, The Apartment, The Sundowners, Sons and Lovers
- John Barth, The Sot-Weed Factor
- Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
- Flannery O’Connor, The Violent Bear It Away
- Anne Sexton, To Bedlam and Part Way Back
- William Styron, Set This House on Fire
- John Updike, Rabbit, Run
Fiction: Advise and Consent, Allen Drury
Music: Second String Quartet, Elliott Carter
Drama: Fiorello! George Abbott, Jerome Weidman, Jerry Bock, and Sheldon Harnick
Oscars awarded in 1960
Academy Award, Best Picture: Ben-Hur, Sam Zimbalist, producer (MGM)
Nobel Prize for Literature: St. John Perse (Alexis St.-Léger Léger) (France)
Grammys awarded in 1960
Record of the Year: “Mack the Knife,” Bobby Darin
Album of the Year: Come Dance With Me, Frank Sinatra (Capitol)
Song of the Year: “The Battle of New Orleans,” Jimmy Driftwood, songwriter
Miss America: Lynda Lee Mead (MS)
- The first working laser is built by T. H. Maiman (US).
- Echo I, the first communications satellite, is launched.
- NASA launches Tiros I, the first weather satellite. Background:
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Willard F. Libby (US), for “atomic time clock” to measure age of objects by measuring their radioactivity
Physics: Donald A. Glaser (US), for invention of “”bubble chamber”” to study subatomic particles
Physiology or Medicine: Sir Macfarlane Burnet (Australia) and Peter Brian Medawar (UK), for discovery of acquired immunological tolerance
- Boris Pasternak
- Emily Post
- Lawrence Tibbett