1960 in the United States
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Events from the year 1960 in the United States.
- President: Dwight D. Eisenhower (R-Kansas/New York)
- Vice President: Richard Nixon (R-California)
- Chief Justice: Earl Warren (California)
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: Sam Rayburn (D-Texas)
- Senate Majority Leader: Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Texas)
- Congress: 86th
- January 2 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy (D-MA) announces his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.
- January 19 – The Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan is signed in Washington, D.C.
- January 23 – Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh descend into the Mariana Trench in the bathyscaphe Trieste, reaching the depth of 10,916 meters.
- January 25 – In Washington, D.C., the National Association of Broadcasters reacts to the payola scandal by threatening fines for any disc jockeys accepting money for playing particular records.
- February 1 – Greensboro sit-ins: In Greensboro, North Carolina, four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the Southern United States, and six months later, the original four protesters are served lunch at the same counter.
- February 9 – Adolph Coors III, chairman of the board of the Coors Brewing Company, is kidnapped and captors demand $500,000. Coors is later found dead and Joseph Corbett, Jr. is indicted.
- February 11 – The airship ZPG-3W is destroyed in a storm in Massachusetts.
- February 13 – Nashville sit-ins begin.
- February 18 – The 1960 Winter Olympics open in Squaw Valley, Placer County, California.
- February 29 – The first Playboy Club opens in Chicago.
- March 6 – Vietnam War: The United States announces that 3,500 American soldiers will be sent to Vietnam.
- March 17 – Northwest Airlines Flight 710 crashes near Tell City, Indiana, killing all 61 on board.
- March 22 – Arthur Leonard Schawlow and Charles Hard Townes receive the first patent for a laser.
- March 28 – Director Stanley Kramer receives the first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- April 1
- The United States launches the first weather satellite, TIROS-1.
- The 1960 United States Census begins. There are 179,323,175 U.S. residents on this day. All people from Latin America are listed as white, including blacks from the Dominican Republic, European whites from Argentina and Mexicans who resemble Native Americans.
- April 4 – The 32nd Academy Awards ceremony is held; Ben Hur wins Best Picture.
- April 13 – The United States launches navigation satellite Transit I-b.
- April 17 – Russwood Park, a baseball stadium in Memphis, Tennessee, burns to the ground from a fire shortly after a Chicago White Sox versus Cleveland Indians game.
- May 1 – A Soviet missile shoots down an American Lockheed U-2 spy plane; the pilot Gary Powers is captured.
- May 6 – President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.
- May 9 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announces that it will approve birth control as an additional indication for Searle's Enovid, making it the world's first approved oral contraceptive pill.
- May 10 – The nuclear submarine USS Triton, under the command of Captain Edward L. Beach, Jr., completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the Earth.
- May 16
- May 20 – In Japan, police carry away Socialist members of the Diet who are protesting the Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan; the Japanese House of Representatives then approves the treaty.
- June 7 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy wins the California Democratic primary.
- June 16 – The film Psycho is released, directed by Alfred Hitchcock.
- June 29 – Bhumibol Adulyadej becomes the first Thai monarch to address the United States Congress.
- July 1 – A Soviet MiG fighter north of Murmansk in the Barents Sea shoots down a 6-man RB-47. Two United States Air Force officers survive and are imprisoned in Moscow's dreaded Lubyanka prison.
- July 4 – Following the admission of Hawaii as the 50th U.S. state the previous year, the 50-star flag of the United States debuts in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- July 11 – Harper Lee releases her critically acclaimed novel To Kill a Mockingbird.
- July 13 – U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy is nominated for President at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California.
- July 21 – Francis Chichester, English navigator and yachtsman, arrives in New York aboard Gypsy Moth II, having made a record solo Atlantic crossing in 40 days.
- July 25 – The Woolworth's counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, the subject of a sit-in which sparked sit-ins and pickets across the southern United States in February 1960, serves its first black customer.
- July 25–28 – In Chicago, the Republican National Convention nominates U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon for President and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. for Vice President.
- August 6 – Cuban Revolution: In response to a United States embargo against Cuba, Fidel Castro nationalizes American and foreign-owned property in the nation.
- August 16 – Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,333 m). He sets world records for: high-altitude jump; free-fall by falling 16 miles (25.7 km) before opening his parachute; and fastest speed by a human without motorized assistance, 982 km/h (614 mi/h). These records would stand unbeaten for over 60 years.
- August 17 – The trial of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers begins in Moscow.
- August 19 – Cold War: In Moscow, downed American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers is sentenced to 10 years imprisonment by the Soviet Union for espionage.
- August 25 – The USS Seadragon surfaces at the North Pole, where the crew plays softball.
- August 29 – Hurricane Donna kills 50 in Florida and New England.
- September 1 – Disgruntled railroad workers effectively halt operations of the Pennsylvania Railroad, marking the first shutdown in the company's history (the event lasts two days).
- September 5 – 1960 Summer Olympics: Cassius Clay wins the gold medal in boxing.
- September 8 – In Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (activated by NASA on July 1).
- September 26 – The two leading U.S. presidential candidates, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, participate in the first televised presidential election debate.
- October 13 – The Pittsburgh Pirates defeat the New York Yankees in the seventh game of the World Series on Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run.
- October 14 – U.S. presidential candidate John F. Kennedy first suggests the idea for the Peace Corps.
- October 26 – Robert F. Kennedy calls Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., and secures his release from jail on a traffic violation in Atlanta, Georgia.
- October 29 – In Louisville, Kentucky, Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) wins his first professional fight.
- November 8 – 1960 United States presidential election: In a close race, Democratic U. S. Senator John F. Kennedy is elected over Republican U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon, becoming (at 43) the youngest man elected President.
- November 13 – Sammy Davis, Jr. marries Swedish actress May Britt.
- November 14 – New Orleans school desegregation crisis: Ruby Bridges and the McDonogh Three become the first black children to attend an all-white elementary school in Louisiana.
- November 15 – The Polaris missile is test-launched.
- November 24 – Basketball player Wilt Chamberlain grabs 55 rebounds in a single game, the all-time record in the NBA.
- December 2 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the use of $1 million for the relief and resettlement of Cuban refugees, who have been arriving in Florida at the rate of 1,000 a week.
- December 5 – Boynton v. Virginia: The U.S. Supreme Court declares segregation in public transit to be illegal.
- December 12 – The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Federal Court ruling that Louisiana's segregation laws are unconstitutional.
- December 13 – Navy Commander Leroy Heath (Pilot) and Lieutenant Larry Monroe (Bombardier/Navigator) establish a world altitude record of 91,450.8 feet (27,874.2 metres) in an A3J Vigilante carrying a 1,000 kilogram payload, besting the previous record by over 4 miles.
- December 16
- U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter announces that the United States will commit five atomic submarines and eighty Polaris missiles to NATO by the end of 1963.
- 1960 New York air disaster: United Airlines DC-8 collides with a TWA Lockheed Constellation over Staten Island, New York City. All 128 passengers and crew on both planes are killed, as are 6 persons on the ground.
- December 19 – Fire sweeps through the USS Constellation, the largest U.S. aircraft carrier, while it is under construction at a Brooklyn Navy Yard pier, killing 50 and injuring 150.
- December 20 – Discoverer 19 is launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, to measure radiation.
- January 1 – Michael Seibert, ice dancer and choreographer
- January 4 – Art Paul Schlosser, singer-songwriter
- January 21 – Toxey Haas, businessman, founder of Haas Outdoors, Inc.
- January 28 – Robert von Dassanowsky, academic, writer, poet, film and cultural historian and producer
- January 29
- February 7 – Robert Smigel, actor, comedian and puppeteer
- February 22 – Charles Cullen, serial killer
- February 29 – Tony Robbins, motivational speaker and author
- March 9 – Finn Carter, actress and photographer
- April 13 – Bob Casey, Jr., U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania since 2007
- April 18 – J. Christopher Stevens, diplomat, U.S. Ambassador to Libya (d. 2012 in Libya)
- April 28
- April 20 – Rodney Holman, American football player and coach
- May 3 – Jaron Lanier, computer scientist
- May 6 – John Flansburgh, rock musician (They Might Be Giants)
- May 10 – Dean Heller, U.S. Senator from Nevada since 2011 to 2019
- May 21
- May 25 – Amy Klobuchar, U.S. Senator from Minnesota since 2007
- June 3 – Don Brown, novelist, author and attorney
- June 6 – Steve Vai, guitarist
- June 12
- June 17 – Thomas Haden Church, film actor
- June 21 – Kevin Harlan, sports announcer
- June 22 – Erin Brockovich, environmental activist
- June 24 – Siedah Garrett, singer-songwriter and pianist (Brand New Heavies)
- June 26 – Zachary Breaux, jazz guitarist (d. 1997)
- June 28 – John Elway, football player
- July 1 – Guy Williams, basketball player
- July 10 – Ariel Castro, criminal (d. 2013)
- July 11 – David Baerwald singer-songwriter (David & David)
- July 14 – Kyle Gass, singer-songwriter and guitarist and actor
- July 22 – Jon Oliva, vocalist and pianist (Savatage)
- August 7 – David Duchovny, actor
- August 13 – Lorna Simpson, African-American photographic and video artist
- August 17 – Sean Penn, film actor
- August 26 – Branford Marsalis, African-American jazz musician
- September 14 – Melissa Leo, film actress
- September 14 – Yolanda Saldívar, American criminal, perpetrator of the murder of Selena
- September 17 – Alan Krueger, economist and advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama (d. 2019)
- September 30 – Blanche Lincoln, U.S. Senator from Arkansas from 1999 to 2011
- October 13 – Joey Belladonna, born Joseph Bellardini, thrash metal vocalist (Anthrax)
- October 18 – Craig Mello, biologist
- October 20 – Peter Fitzgerald, U.S. Senator from Illinois from 1999 to 2011
- November 11 – Stanley Tucci, actor and film director
- November 14 – Tom Judson, musical theatre actor
- November 15 – Keith Washington, singer
- November 19 – Matt Sorum, hard rock drummer of Guns N' Roses, Velvet Revolver and The Cult
- November 25
- December 1 – Carol Alt, model and actress
- December 2 – Deb Haaland, politician
- December 3
- December 5 – Brian Bromberg, jazz bassist and composer
- December 9 – Jeff "Swampy" Marsh, television director, writer, producer, storyboard artist and actor
- December 21
- December 22 – Jean-Michel Basquiat, artist (d. 1988)
- December 27 – Fred Hammond, African American gospel musician
- December 31 – John Allen Muhammad, African-American spree killer (d. 2009)
- January 1 – Margaret Sullavan, film actress (b. 1909)
- January 4 – Dudley Nichols, screenwriter (b. 1895)
- January 10 – Arthur S. Carpender, admiral (b. 1884)
- January 12 – William Adams Delano, architect (b. 1874)
- January 16 – Rudulph Evans, sculptor (b. 1878)
- January 24
- January 25 – Diana Barrymore, stage & film actress (b. 1921)
- January 28 – Zora Neale Hurston, African-American folklorist and author (b. 1891)
- February 6 – Jesse Belvin, R&B singer (b. 1932)
- February 12 – Bobby Clark, comedian and singer (b. 1888)
- February 29
- March 4 – Leonard Warren, operatic baritone (b. 1911)
- March 11 – Roy Chapman Andrews, explorer, adventurer and naturalist (b. 1884)
- March 26 – Ian Keith, actor (b. 1899)
- April 5 – Alma Kruger, actress (b. 1868)
- April 17 – Eddie Cochran, rock singer (b. 1938)
- April 19 – Beardsley Ruml, economist (b. 1894)
- April 25 – Hope Emerson, actress (b. 1897)
- May 2 – Caryl Chessman, criminal (b. 1921)
- May 11 – John D. Rockefeller Jr., financier and philanthropist, son of John D. Rockefeller (b. 1874)
- May 27
- June 4 – Lucien Littlefield, actor (b. 1895)
- June 6 – Ernest L. Blumenschein, painter, member of Taos art colony (b. 1874)
- June 20 – John B. Kelly Sr., Olympic rower (father of Grace Kelly) (b. 1889)
- June 25 – Tommy Corcoran, baseball player (b. 1869)
- July 15 – Lawrence Tibbett, operatic baritone (b. 1896)
- July 16 – John P. Marquand, novelist (b. 1893)
- July 22 – Buddy Adler, film producer (b. 1909)
- July 26 – Cedric Gibbons, Irish-American art director (b. 1893)
- August 10 – Frank Lloyd, film director (b. 1886)
- August 14 – Fred Clarke, baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates), member of MLB Hall of Fame (b. 1872)
- August 23 – Oscar Hammerstein II, librettist (b. 1895)
- August 27 – Stanley Clifford Weyman, impostor (b. 1890)
- September 8 – Oscar Pettiford, African-American jazz bassist and composer (b. 1922)
- September 11 – Edwin Justus Mayer, screenwriter (b. 1896)
- September 20 – David Park, painter (b. 1911)
- September 23 – Kathlyn Williams, actress (b. 1879)
- October 11 – Richard Cromwell, actor (b. 1910)
- October 15 – Clara Kimball Young, actress (b. 1890)
- October 22 – Morgan Dennis, painter and illustrator (b. 1892)
- October 31 – H. L. Davis, author (b. 1894)
- November 3
- November 5
- November 7 – A. P. Carter, singer and songwriter (b. 1891)
- November 12 – Lord Buckley, monologist (b. 1906)
- November 14 – Walter Catlett, actor (b. 1889)
- November 16 – Clark Gable, film actor (b. 1901)
- November 17 – Gene Ahern, comic-strip artist (b. 1895)
- November 19 – Phyllis Haver, film actress (b. 1899)
- November 28 – Richard Wright, African-American novelist (b. 1908)
- November 5 – Johnny Horton, country singer, in automobile accident (b. 1925)
- December 8 – Ross T. McIntire, naval surgeon (b. 1889)
- December 13 – John Charles Thomas, operatic baritone (b. 1891)
- December 26 – Giuseppe Bellanca, Italian-American aircraft designer and company founder (b. 1886)
- "History of the Walk of Fame". Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved October 29, 2012.
- "Population" (PDF). Retrieved 16 July 2016.
- "Texas Department of Criminal Justice Offender Search". offender.tdcj.texas.gov.
- "John Allen Muhammad". Biography.
- Media related to 1960 in the United States at Wikimedia Commons