1969 was an interesting year. It was last year in the awesome decade that was the 1960s. So many things happened in this year, it’s impossible to mention all of them in one blog post, but it’s possible to point out some notable events that happened in this year.
Here are 20 Notable Events in 1969
1. It was year that humans first set foot on the moon
Apollo 11 was launched at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida on the 16th of July 1969 and the Eagle Lunar Module successfully landed on the moon 4 days later (on the 20th of July 1969). Neil Armstrong stepped off the lunar module on the 21st of July 1969 and uttered the now infamous words “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The crew were back on planet Earth on the 24th of July 1969. An estimated 500 million people watched the live broadcast on television.
A few months later, the crew of Apollo 12 also landed on the moon. The crew tried to broadcast parts the mission but the television camera was damaged by sun exposure soon after landing.
2. Woodstock attracted more than 400,000 rock fans
The festival was held in August 1969 at on Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Joan Baez, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Country Joe McDonald, Santana, Canned Heat, Mountain, The Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, Sly And The Family Stone, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Joe Cocker, Ten Years After, The Band, CSNY, (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), Jimi Hendrix and a few other artists / bands were on the line-up.
There are people that think that The Beatles (who only wanted to perform if the Plastic Ono Band was also on the bill), The Doors (who cancelled their set because they thought it would be a second rate festival), Led Zeppelin (Whose manager thought that they would just be “another band on the bill”) and Bob Dylan performed at Woodstock, but that’s not the case. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine listed Woodstock as number 19 of the 50 Moments That Changed the History of Rock and Roll.
Check out Grunge’s list of Messed Up Things That Happened At Woodstock below:
3. The Beatles released their final studio album
Abbey Road‘s cover art featured the iconic photograph of John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison walking across a zebra crossing near the entrance to the famous Abbey Road recording studio. The was released on the 26th of September 1969. The album topped the charts around the world and stayed in the UK and US charts for over 80 weeks.
4. Some legendary bands were formed in 1969
The Allman Brothers Band, The Carpenters, Crazy Horse, Faces, Hall & Oates, Hot Chocolate, Humble Pie, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, Mott The Hoople, Mungo Jerry and The Pointer Sisters came together in this year.
5. Some great movies were released
1969 saw the release of Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, The Love Bug, Midnight Cowboy, Easy Rider, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Paint Your Wagon, The Italian Job, True Grit and Once Upon a Time In The West.
6. Some legendary artists / bands released their debut albums in 1969
Neil Young, The MC5, Free, Alice Cooper, Joe Cocker, CSNY (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), Elton John, Roberta Flack, Santana, Janis Joplin, Mott The Hoople, Humble Pie, Yes, The Allman Brothers, Kool & The Gang, The Jackson 5 and Led Zeppelin released their debut albums in this year.
7. It was the year that Boeing 747 had its first flight
On the 9th of February 1969, the first Boeing 747 jumbo jet took off from a Boeing field in Everett, Washington and flew to New York City. Most of the 191 people on board were reporters and photographers.
8. Some notable books were published
Mario Puzo’s The Godfather, Michael Chrichton’s The Andromeda Strain, Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman, Charles Bukowski’s Notes of a Dirty Old Man, Maya Angelou’s I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings and Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible was published in 1969.
9. It was a year that saw great technological advancements
In 1969, the first Concorde test flight was conducted in France, the first eye transplant was performed and the first ATM (Automated Teller Machine) was installed in the USA. In the same year, UNIX was developed by AT&T employees at Bell Labs, ARPNET (the predecessor to the Internet) was created and the micro processor, battery powered smoke detector and laser printer were also invented. Seiko also sold its first quartz watch in this year.
10. Richard Nixon was inaugarated as the 37th US President
Nixon had served as US Vice President from 1953 to 1961. He was the first former vice president to have returned to private life and subsequently be elected as US president.
11. AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) was incorporated in this year
Jerry Sanders (an electrical engineer), along with seven of his colleagues from Fairchild Semiconductor formally incorporated the company on the 1st of May 1969. Sanders had grown frustrated with the increasing lack of support, opportunity, and flexibility within the company. He later decided to leave to start his own semiconductor company.
12. The Tate-LaBianca murders were committed
The 1969 murders were perpetrated by members of the Manson Family in Los Angeles, California, under the direction of its leader Charles Manson. They murdered five people, including actress Sharon Tate and several of her guests, on August 9–10, 1969. Allegedly displeased with the subsequent panic around the murders,
Manson ordered the murders of supermarket executive Leno LaBianca and his wife Rosemary the following evening in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles with the goal of making it seem like the murders had been perpetrated by the Black Panthers. Manson was eventually incarcerated in 1971.
13. Gaddafi deposed King Idris in Libya
On 1 September 1969, while King Idris was in Turkey for medical treatment, he was deposed in a coup d’état by a group of Libyan Army officers under the leadership of Muammar al-Gaddafi. The monarchy was abolished and a pro-Arabic, anti-Western, Islamic republic was proclaimed.
14. Several countries signed the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty
The treaty (whose objective is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and weapons technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmamen) opened for signature in 1968 and entered into force in 1970. As required by the text, after twenty-five years, NPT Parties met in May 1995 and agreed to extend the treaty indefinitely. In 1969, the Soviet Union, the USA and more than 100 other countries signed the treaty. South Africa only signed the treaty in 1991.
15. Some famous folks were born
2 Friends Cast Members (Jennifer Anniston & Matthew Perry), Jennifer Lopez, Jack Black, Matthew McConaughey, Michael Schumacher, Jason Bateman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mariah Carey, Jay-Z, Paul Rudd, Marilyn Manson, Gerard Butler, Gwen Stefani, Cate Blanchett, Renee Zellweger, Ice Cube, Dave Grohl, Keith Flint (The Prodigy), Wes Anderson, Sean “Puffy” Combs, Ken Jeong, Peter Dinklage (Tyrion from Game Of Thrones), Edward Norton, Patton Oswald, Christian Slater, Verne Troyer (“Mini Me”), Thomas Jane, Pauley Perette (Abby from NCIS), James Small, 2 South African Cricketers (Jonty Rhodes and Hansie Cronje) and Ernie Els were all born in 1969.
16. Francisco Macias Nguema executed 150 people in Equatorial Guinea
Nguema did this on Christmas Day with with soldiers dressed as Santa Clause and while “Those Were The Days, My Friend” by Mary Hopkin was playing in the background. He was a politician who served as the first President of Equatorial Guinea from the country’s independence in 1968 until he was overthrown in 1979.
17. El Salvador and Honduras had a brief war
This happened after tension arose in a 1970 FIFA World Cup qualifier. This war became later known as the “Soccer War”. The war started on the 14th of July 1969 and ended on the 18th of July 1969. It’s also referred to as the “100 Hours War”. An estimated 3,000 people died.
18. Jim Sullivan recorded an album called U.F.O.
The album featured strange lyrics about him leaving his family and being abducted by aliens. Sullivan disappeared six years later without a trace. The only piece of evidence being his abandoned car found on a desert road.
19. Penn State student Betsy Aardsma was stabbed in the chest
The 22-year old was stabbed while she was doing research in the campus library. Because the wound was so small and because she was wearing a red dress, paramedics thought that she had a seizure before she died. The case is still unsolved.
20. Three legendary TV Shows aired for the first time
Scooby-Doo aired on CBS, Monty Python’s Flying Circus aired on BBC One and Sesame Street aired on PBS for the first time in 1969.
Well, there you have it, 20 Notable Events in 1969. If I’ve left out something important, feel free to comment below. If you’ve learned something today, feel free to share this article with your friends.
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