Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho became the first American film ever to show a toilet flushing on screen. The first of the 5-pointed pink stars in the sidewalk on the “Hollywood Walk of Fame” was unveiled. It was awarded to actress Joanne Woodward. Billy Wilder’s The Apartment was the last black-and-white film to win the Best Picture Academy Award Oscar until Schindler’s List (1993).
Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten, received full credit for writing the screenplays for Preminger’s Exodus and Kubrick’s Spartacus, thus becoming the first blacklisted writer to receive screen credit. In 1960, Trumbo was also finally reinstated in the Writers Guild of America. This official recognition effectively brought an end to the HUAC ‘blacklist era’.
Clark Gable died of a heart attack (and coronary thrombosis) at the age of 59. Gable was buried at Forest Lawn next to his deceased actress/wife Carole Lombard, who died in an airplane crash in 1942. Art director Cedric Gibbons, who during his long career had won 11 Oscars for Art Direction (from 1929 to 1957) (from a total of 39 nominations), died at the age of 67. Actress Margaret Sullavan, died at the age of 50 of an accidental overdose of barbiturates.
Jack Kennedy (L) & Dick Nixon exchanging smiles, standing under glaring lights prior to beginning their 1st TV debate.
John F. Kennedy won the U.S. Presidential election by the narrowest margin in history following the first-ever televised presidential debates. At age 43, he became the second youngest man to serve as President and the youngest man elected to the office.
In Greensboro, North Carolina, four black students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University began a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter. The event triggered many similar non-violent protests throughout the Southern United States, and six months later the original four protesters were served lunch at the same counter. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.
Xerox introduced the first photocopier. Aluminum cans were used for the first time. “The Twist” dance craze swept the nation. The FDA approved the first oral contraceptive pill. President Eisenhower sent 3,500 soldiers into Vietnam.
Advise and Consent by Alan Drury won the Pulizter Prize for fiction. Fiorello!, book by Jerome Weidman and George Abbot; music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, won for Drama. U.S. Scientists were named Time Magazine’s Men of the Year. “The Theme from a Summer Place”, an instrumental by Percy Faith and His Orchestra, spent nine weeks atop the Billboard charts.
Still from the Eichmann trial
Seventeen African nations gained independence. A Soviet missile shot down the US U2 spy plane. Fidel Castro nationalized American oil, sugar and other US interests in Cuba. OPEC ( Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ) was formed. Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was captured by Israeli agents in Argentina.
The list of films I will select from for 1960 is here. I have previously reviewed Le Trou on this site. There’s lots to look forward to!
Montage of stills from Oscar Winners
Montage of stills from nominees in major Oscar categories