Thursday, 12 May 2011

Key Events of the 1960s

by Marjorie H Morgan © 2013

Section 1
1960 – 1969
Entering the Wilderness

Some Key Events of the 1960s

All key events take play in the UK, unless otherwise stated.

  • Anti-Apartheid movement formed
  • Actors Equity Advisory Committee founded – late 1960s
  • Birmingham Immigration Control Association formed
  • The Boycott Movement is renamed the Anti-Apartheid Movement
  • Sapphire film wins BAFTA for Best British Film.
  • Edric Connor becomes Britain’s first black film director for Bound for Lagos

  • Negro Theatre Workshop established
  • V.S. Naipaul wins the Somerset Maugham Award for his book Miguel Street

  • West Indies Federation (also known as Federation of the West Indies) – ended on 31st May 1962 (it had been established on the 3rd January 1958)
  • Independence of Jamaica
  • Independence of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago joins the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Commonwealth Immigrants Act
  • Learie Constantine granted a knighthood

  • Britain fails to gain entry to the European Economic Community (EEC)
  • American President Kennedy assassinated
  • Barry Reckord’s Skyvers played at the Royal Court Theatre
  • Claudia Jones organises UK civil rights march to coincide with US march for freedom
  • C.L.R. James writes the literary classic Beyond a Boundary
  • Formation of Bob Marley and the Wailers in Jamaica
  • Bristol Bus Boycott
  • Harold Wilson elected Prime Minister of a new Labour Government
  • Campaign Against Racial Discrimination (CARD) founded
  • BBC2, second public TV channel, begins transmission
  • The West Indian Gazette ceases publication when its founder, Claudia Jones, dies
  • Martin Luther King wins the Nobel Peace Prize and preaches at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London
  • BBC1 documentary The Colony, filmed in Birmingham, was shown on national television

  • Race Relations Act (first)
  • Race Relations Board founded
  • Rent Act reduces rent control
  • Michael X (aka De Freitas) becomes president of the Racial Adjustment Action Party (RAAS)
  • Notting Hill Carnival moves from the halls to the streets
  • First Commonwealth Arts Festival held in UK (London, Cardiff, Liverpool and Glasgow venues)
  • BBC1 airs controversial drama Fable, where apartheid is reversed and white people become second-class citizens

  • England wins the World Cup
  • Labour wins the general election with an increased majority
  • Caribbean Artists Movement founded
  • New Beacon Books founded
  • Black Panther party (militant political party) formed in USA by Huey P Newton and Bobby Seale
  • Independence of Guyana
  • Independence of Barbados
  • Guyana and Barbados joins the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Colour TV introduced
  • Learie Constantine appointed first black rector of St Andrews University, Fife

  • National Front formed from extreme-right, anti immigration parties
  • West Indies Associated States founded
  • Leeds hosts its first West Indian Carnival
  • Abortion is legalised
  • Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia joins the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Michael De Freitas is distinguished as the first non-white person to be prosecuted under the Race Relations Act (1965) for discrimination
  • Tony O’Connor is appointed as the first black Headmaster in Britain when he takes control of Warley School in Worcestershire
  • E.R. Braithwaite’s novel To Sir, With Love, detailing his experiences as a teacher, is filmed with Sidney Poitier as the lead actor

  • Commonwealth Immigration Act
  • Community Relations Commission (CRC) founded
  • National Committee for Commonwealth Immigrants closes – succeeded by CRC
  • Community Relations Act
  • Martin Luther King assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee
  • American athletes perform Black Power salute as a political gesture at Olympic games to protest against ongoing racial battle in America
  • CARIFTA – Caribbean Free Trade Area established

  • Caribbean Education and Community Workers Association founded
  • George Padmore Supplementary School for West Indians founded
  • Black Education Movement founded c. 1969
  • Race Today journal emerges from the newsletter of the Institute of Race Relations
  • Voting age reduced from 21 to 18
  • Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon
  • First Pan African Conference held at Leeds University – hosted by the West Indian Students’ Union and the African Students’ Union
  • British troops deployed in Northern Ireland
  • West Indies Associated States formed
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines joins the Commonwealth of Nations
  • Learie Constantine is the first black man to be appointed to the House of Lords

 This page will be updated regularly. 
(Last updated: 18/11/2011)

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