Learn more about 1960
1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar).
1960 is known as the "year of Africa."
- February 1 - 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 6 months later the original 4 protesters are served lunch at the same counter.
- February 3 - Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Harold Macmillan makes the Wind of Change speech to the South African Parliament in Cape Town (although he had first made the speech, to little publicity, in Accra, Gold Coast - now Ghana - on January 10 the same year).
- February 5 - The CERN particle accelerator is inaugurated in Geneva, Switzerland.
- February 9 - Joanne Woodward receives the first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- 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 10 — In Brussels, a conference about Belgian Congo independence begins.
- February 11 - The airship ZPG-3W is destroyed in a storm in Massachusetts.
- February 11 - Twelve Indian soldiers die in clashes with Chinese troops at their common border.
- February 13 — Nuclear testing: France tests its first atomic bomb in the Sahara.
- February 18 — The 1960 Winter Olympics open in Squaw Valley, California.
- February 29-March 1 (night) — An earthquake totally destroys Agadir, Morocco.
- April 1 - Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad, 1st Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, dies in office. He is replaced by Hisamuddin Alam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah, Sultan of Selangor.
- April 1 - The United States launches the first weather satellite, TIROS-1.
- April 4 — The first 3 female priests are ordained in Sweden.
- April 12 — Eric Peugeot, youngest son of the founder of Peugeot, is kidnapped in Paris. Kidnappers release him April 15 in exchange for $300,000 ransom.
- April 13 - The United States launches navigation satellite Transat I-b.
- April 13 - The Blue Streak missile is cancelled, ending the United Kingdom's imperial ambitions.
- April 16 - Gunman David Pratt attacks South African Prime Minister Henrik Verwoerd in Johannesburg, wounding him seriously.
- April 16 - The Times of London abandons use of the term "Imperial and Foreign News", replacing it with "Overseas News", and changes its house style from "to-day" to "today".
- April 18 - On the campaign trail in West Virginia, Senator John F. Kennedy says, in reply to a question about his Roman Catholic faith, "I don't think that my religion is anyone's business."
- April 21 — In Brazil, the country's capital (Federal District) is shifted from Rio de Janeiro to Brasília. The Guanabara State is founded to succeed Rio de Janeiro as the Brazilian Federal District.
- April 27 — Togo gains independence from French-administered UN trusteeship.
- May 1 - A Soviet missile shoots down an American Lockheed U2 spy plane; the pilot Francis Gary Powers is captured.
- May 1 - In India, May 1st is declared as 'Maharashtra Divas', i.e., Maharashtra Day (the same day is also celebrated as 'Kaamgaar Divas', i.e., Workers Day).
- May 4 — West German refugee minister Theodor Oberländer is fired because of his Nazi past.
- May 6 - President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.
- May 9 — Reproductive rights: The Food and Drug Administration approves the sale of the birth control pill.
- May 10 — The nuclear submarine USS Nautilus completes the first underwater circumnavigation of the Earth.
- May 11 — In Buenos Aires, 4 Mossad agents abduct fugitive Nazi Adolf Eichmann, who was using the alias "Ricardo Klement".
- May 13 — A Swiss/Austrian expedition makes the first ascent of Dhaulagiri, the world's 7th highest mountain.
- May 14 — The Kenyan African National Congress Party is founded in Kenya, when 3 political parties join forces.
- May 15 — Sputnik 4 is launched into Earth orbit.
- May 16 - Nikita Khrushchev demands an apology from U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower for U-2 spy plane flights over the Soviet Union, thus ending a Big Four summit in Paris.
- May 16 - Theodore Maiman operates the first laser.
- May 20 — In Japan, police carry away Socialist members of the Diet; Parliament then approves a security treaty with the United States.
- May 22 — Great Chilean Earthquake: Chile's subduction fault ruptures from Talcahuano to Taitao Peninsula, loosing a tsunami and one of the greatest earthquakes on record. Seismographs in Valdivia crash.
- May 23 — Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion announces that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann has been captured.
- May 27 — In Turkey, a bloodless military coup d'état removes President Celal Bayar and installs General Cemal Gürsel as head of state.
- 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 10 — The Soviet Union beats Yugoslavia 2-1 to win the first European Football Championship.
- July 11 - Moise Tshombe declares the Congolese province of Katanga independent; he receives Belgian help.
- July 11 - U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy is nominated for President at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California.
- July 12 — Orlyonok, the main Young Pioneer camp of the Russian SFSR, is founded.
- July 14 — The United Nations decides to send troops to Katanga to oversee Belgian troops withdrawal.
- July 20 — Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) elects Sirimavo Bandaranaike Prime Minister, the world's first elected female head of government.
- July 21 — Francis Chichester, English navigator and yachtsman, arrives in New York aboard Gypsy Moth II — he has 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 - July 28 - In Chicago, the Republican National Convention nominates U.S. Vice President Richard M. Nixon for President and Henry Cabot Lodge for Vice President.
- July 27 — The OECD is founded in Paris.
- August — Stanley Clifford Weyman, U.S. impostor, is killed trying to prevent a robbery.
- August 5 — Burkina Faso (Upper Volta) declares independence from France.
- August 6 - Cuban Revolution: In response to a United States embargo, Cuba nationalizes American and foreign-owned property in the nation.
- August 6 - In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Albert Kalonji declares the independence of the Autonomous State of South Kasai.
- August 7 — Côte d'Ivoire becomes independent.
- August 11 — Chad becomes independent.
- August 13 - Central African Republic becomes independent.
- August 15 - Congo-Brazzaville becomes independent.
- August 16 - Joseph Kittinger parachutes from a balloon over New Mexico at 102,800 feet (31,333 m). He sets unbeaten (as of 2005) 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).
- August 16 - Cyprus gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
- August 17 - Gabon gains independence from France.
- August 17 - The trial of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers begins in Moscow.
- August 18 — Enovid, the first commercially produced oral contraceptive, is launched in Skokie, Illinois.
- 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 19 - Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 5, with the dogs Belka and Strelka (Russian for "Squirrel" and "Little Arrow"), 40 mice, 2 rats and a variety of plants. The spacecraft returns to earth the next day and all animals are recovered safely.
- August 20 — Senegal breaks from the Mali Federation, declaring independence.
- August 25 - The 1960 Summer Olympics open in Rome.
- August 25 - The USS Seadragon (SSN-584) surfaces at the North Pole, where the crew plays softball.
- August 29—September 13 — Hurricane Donna kills 50 in Florida and New England.
- September 1 - Sultan Hisamuddin Alam Shah, Sultan of Selangor and 2nd Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, dies in office. He is replaced by Tuanku Syed Putra, Raja of Perlis.
- September 1 - Disgruntled railroad workers effectively halt operations of the Pennsylvania Railroad, marking the first shutdown in the company's history (the event lasts 2 days).
- September 5 - 1960 Summer Olympics: Cassius Clay wins the gold medal in boxing.
- September 5 - Congo president Joseph Kasavubu fires Patrice Lumumba's government and places him under house arrest.
- September 8 — In Huntsville, Alabama, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (which NASA had already activated on July 1).
- September 14 - Colonel Joseph Mobutu takes power in Congo in a military coup.
- September 14 - Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela form OPEC.
- September 22 - Mali, sole remaining member of the Mali Federation following the withdrawal of Senegal a month earlier, declares full independence as the Republic of Mali.
- September 26 — The 2 leading U.S. presidential candidates, Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy, participate in the first televised presidential debate.
- December 1 - Patrice Lumumba, the deposed premier of the Congo, is arrested by troops of Colonel Joseph Mobutu.
- December 1 - A 5-ton Soviet spacecraft containing animals, insects and plants is launched into orbit; it burns up upon re-entry.
- December 2 - The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Geoffrey Francis Fisher, talks with Pope John XXIII for about an hour in the Vatican. It is the first time in more than 500 years that a head of the Anglican Church had visited the Pope.
- December 2 - U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the use of $1M for the relief and resettlement of Cuban refugees, who have been arriving in Florida at the rate of 1,000 a week.
- December 2 - Congolese soldiers arrest Patrice Lumumba.
- December 4 — The admission to the United Nations of Mauritania is vetoed by the USSR.
- December 5 — Pierre Lagaillarde, who led 1958 and 1960 insurrections in Algeria, fails to appear in a Paris court. He has reportedly fled with 4 fellow defendants to Spain en route to Algeria.
- December 7 — The United Nations Security Council is called into session by the Soviet Union, to consider Soviet demands that the U.N. seek the immediate release of former Congolese Premier Patrice Lumumba.
- December 9 — French President Charles de Gaulle's visit to Algeria is marked by bloody riots by European and Muslim mobs in Algeria's largest cities, killing 127 people.
- December 12 — The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Federal Court ruling that Louisiana's segregation laws are unconstitutional.
- December 13 - While Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia visits Brazil, his Imperial Guard revolts unsuccessfully against his rule. The rebels proclaim the emperor's son, Crown Prince Asfa Wossen, as Emperor.
- December 13 - Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Honduras found the Central American Common Market.
- December 14 - Antoine Gizenga proclaims in Stanleyville, Congo, that he has assumed the premiership.
- December 14 - The OECD is formed in Paris.
- December 15 - King Mahendra of Nepal deposes the government and takes power into his own hands.
- December 15 - King Baudouin of Belgium marries Doña Fabiola de Mora y Aragon.
- December 16 - U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter announces that the United States will commit 5 atomic submarines and 80 Polaris missiles to NATO by the end of 1963.
- December 16- 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 17 — Troops loyal to Haile Selassie I in Ethiopia suppress the revolt that began December 13, giving power back to their leader upon his return from Brazil. Haile Selassie absolves his son of any guilt.
- 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 XIX is launched into polar orbit from Vandenberg Air Force Base, to measure radiation.
- December 27 — France sets off its third nuclear test blast at its atomic proving grounds at Reggane, Algeria.
 World population
- World population: 3,021,475,000
- Africa: 277,398,000
- Asia: 1,701,336,000
- Europe: 604,401,000
- Latin-America: 218,300,000
- Northern America: 204,152,000
- Oceania: 15,888,000
- January 2 - Christian Bartolf, German author and scientist
- January 2 - Naoki Urasawa, Japanese manga author and artist
- January 3 - Sandeep Marwah ,Founder of Film City Noida,India
- January 4 - Michael Stipe, American singer (R.E.M.)
- January 6 - Nigella Lawson, British chef and writer
- January 6 - Howie Long, American football player
- January 12 - Oliver Platt, Canadian actor
- January 13 - Kevin Anderson, American actor
- January 20 - Will Wright, American computer game designer best know for hugely successful games such as The Sims, Sim City, and Spore (video game)
- January 22 - Michael Hutchence, Australian musician (INXS) (d. 1997)
- January 28 - Robert von Dassanowsky, American cultural historian, writer, and producer
- January 29 - Greg Louganis, American diver
- January 29 - Gia Carangi, American model (d. 1986)
- January 29 - Sean Kerly, British field hockey player
- 19 February - Prince Andrew, Duke of York
- March 4 - Mikko Kuustonen, Finnish singer and songwriter
- March 4 - Mykelti Williamson, American actor
- March 7 - Joe Carter, baseball player
- March 7 - Ivan Lendl, Czech tennis player
- March 8 - Finn Carter, American actress
- March 13 - Adam Clayton, Irish bassist (U2)
- March 13 - Joe Ranft, American animator (d. 2005)
- March 14 - Kirby Puckett, baseball player (d. 2006)
- March 15 - Maki Nomiya, Japanese singer (Pizzicato Five)
- March 18 - Richard Biggs, American actor (d. 2004)
- March 21 - Ayrton Senna, Brazilian race car driver (d. 1994)
- March 23 - Nicol Stephen, Scottish politician
- March 24 - Nena Kerner, German singer
- March 26 - Marcus Allen, American football player
- March 27 - Hans Pflügler, German footballer
- March 29 - Marina Sirtis, British actress
- April 2 - Linford Christie, British athlete
- April 3 - Elizabeth Gracen, American beauty queen, actress, and model
- April 4 - Jane Eaglin, English soprano
- April 4 - Hugo Weaving, Australian actor
- April 11 - Jeremy Clarkson, English journalist and television show host
- April 14 - Brad Garrett, American actor
- April 16 - Rafael Benitez, Spanish football manager
- April 18 - Neo Rauch, German painter
- April 19 - Frank Viola, baseball player
- April 23 - Valerie Bertinelli, American actress
- April 26 - Roger Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran)
- April 28 - John Cerutti, baseball player and announcer (d. 2004)
- April 29 - Phil King, British bassist
- July 3 - Vince Clarke, English songwriter (Depeche Mode, Yazoo, and Erasure)
- July 5 - Pruitt Taylor Vince, American actor
- July 10 - Owen John Byrne, Irish software engineer
- July 13 - Ian Hislop, British broadcaster and editor
- July 17 - Jan Wouters, Dutch football player and manager
- July 18 - Anne-Marie Johnson, American actress
- July 21 - Ezequiel Viñao, Argentine-born composer
- July 21 - Fritz Walter, German footballer
- August 4 - José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Prime Minister of Spain
- August 7 - David Duchovny, American actor
- August 8 - Ulrich Maly, German politician and Mayor of Nuremberg
- August 10 - Antonio Banderas, Spanish actor
- August 14 - Sarah Brightman, English soprano singer and actress
- August 17 - Sean Penn, American actor
- August 17 - Belinda Carlisle, American singer
- August 19 - Morten Andersen, American football player
- August 24 - Cal Ripken, Jr., baseball player
- August 26 - Branford Marsalis, American musician
- November 3 - Karch Kiraly, American volleyball player
- November 10 - Neil Gaiman, English author
- November 11 - Peter Parros, American actor
- November 11 - Stanley Tucci, American actor and film director
- November 17 - Jonathan Ross, English television presenter
- November 18 - Kim Wilde, English singer and gardener
- November 25 - Amy Grant, American musician
- November 25 - John F. Kennedy, Jr., American lawyer and journalist (d. 1999)
- November 26 - Harold Reynolds, baseball player and broadcaster
- November 27 - Yulia Tymoshenko, Prime Minister of Ukraine
- November 30 - Rich Fields, American television personality
- January 4 - Albert Camus, French writer, Nobel Prize laureate (automobile accident) (b. 1913)
- January 12 - Nevil Shute, English writer (b. 1899)
- January 24 - Edwin Fischer, Swiss pianist and conductor (b. 1886)
- February 3 - Fred Buscaglione, Italian singer and actor (b. 1921)
- February 10 - Aloysius Stepinac, Catholic prelate (b. 1898)
- February 11 - Ernő Dohnányi, Hungarian conductor (b. 1877)
- February 29 - Walter Yust, American encyclopædia editor (b. 1894)
- March 2 - Stanisław Taczak, Polish general (b. 1874)
- March 9 - Jack Beattie, Irish politician (b. 1886)
- April 1 - Tuanku Abdul Rahman ibni Almarhum Tuanku Muhammad, King of Malaysia (b. 1895)
- April 17 - Eddie Cochran, American singer (b. 1938)
- April 24 - Max von Laue, German physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1879)
- May 3 - Masa Niemi, Finnish actor (b. 1914)
- May 8 - J. H. C. Whitehead, British mathematician (b. 1904)
- May 11 - John D. Rockefeller Jr., American philanthropist (b. 1874)
- May 30 - Boris Pasternak, Russian writer, Nobel Prize laureate (declined) (b. 1890)
- May 31 - Walther Funk, German Nazi politician (b. 1890)
- June 14 - Ana Pauker, Romanian politician (b. 1893)
- June 25 - Tommy Corcoran, baseball player (b. 1869)
- June 27 - Lottie Dod, English athlete (b. 1871)
- July 15 - Set Persson, Swedish politician (b. 1897)
- July 16 - John P. Marquand, American novelist (b. 1893)
- August 29 - Vicki Baum, Austrian writer (b. 1888)
- September 1 - Hisamuddin Alam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah, King of Malaysia (b. 1898)
- September 9 - Jussi Björling, Swedish tenor (b. 1911)
- October 31 - H. L. Davis, American author (b. 1894)
- November 2 - Dimitri Mitropoulos, Greek conductor, pianist, and composer (b. 1896)
- November 5 - Mack Sennett, Canadian film producer and director (b. 1880)
- November 5 - Johnny Horton, American country singer (b. 1925)
- November 7 - A.P. Carter, American singer and songwriter (b. 1891)
- November 16 - Clark Gable, American actor (b. 1901)
- December 26 - Watsuji Tetsuro, Japanese philosopher (b. 1889)
 Nobel prizes
 Ship events