Ten most important historical events of the 1960s


A Concorde prototype

The Swinging Sixties were a time of cultural revolution in the UK. Music has changed forever with the popularity of Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds and more, while film and literature have featured some of pop culture’s most iconic characters. Rights have expanded, technology has advanced, and football has come home. It may be difficult to pick just ten important events that took place from 1961 to 1970, but we have done our best to narrow them down. If there is anything you think we left out that is worth including on this list, you can let us know in the comments.

1961 – James and the giant peach are published

While not the first book written by Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach helped make him a household name in children’s literature. His literary career will continue until 1991 The Minpins and will produce some of the best children’s books of the twentieth century, such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, The BFG and Matilda.

1962 – Dr No Firsts

“Tie. James Bond.” The iconic line was pronounced in the first adaptation of Ian Fleming’s novels with Dr. No in 1962. Although the franchise didn’t begin until Goldfinger, it debuted here and, to date, has produced twenty – seven films (only twenty – including four official), including No Time to Die from this year. Bond has launched a wave of imitators such as The Avengers, Danger Man, Mission: Impossible, and more.

1963 – Doctor Who Premiere

In November, one of the oldest TV shows came to fruition when Doctor Who first aired on the air. Created by BBC drama director Sydney Newman as a sci-fi series that could teach children about history, concepts like The Doctor, the TARDIS, the Daleks, etc. are now part of our pop culture lexicon.

1964 – Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister

Harold Wilson won his first time as Prime Minister in the 1964 elections which delivered a Labor majority for the first time since 1951. His domestic politics during his first term in Downing Street focused on social reforms , including workers’ rights, civil liberties, housing, health and education. He was also a strong supporter of the United Kingdom, joining the European Community (later known as the European Union). Wilson would end up being the last strong Labor leader until Tony Blair.

1965 – Creation of a comprehensive education system

It might seem hard to believe even today, but there was a time when the British education system was even more classist. To alleviate what he saw as social differences caused by the placement system that often left the poorest children behind. The Labor government of Secretary of State for Education Anthony Crossland has implemented a policy to force all secondary schools in Britain to convert to this system and to accept students regardless of educational background or income. .

1966 – England wins the World Cup

When you hear English football fans say ‘It’s coming home’, that’s when they refer to it. Football (or soccer as some Americans call it) was first invented with its current rules in England, and in 1966 England hosted (and won) their first World Cup. This monumental moment in English sport made players into legends and is still viewed with nostalgia even today.

1967 – Abortion and homosexuality partially decriminalized

Among the personal freedoms extended by the British government under Wilson and Labor included a partial decriminalization of abortion and homosexuality via the Abortion Act 1967 and the Sexual Offenses Act 1967. The first act legalized the practice for up to 28 weeks for a number of reasons while the latter suppressed the criminality of sexual acts between two consenting male partners over the age of 21. It was the first salvo of the sexual revolution of the 1960s in Britain and helped increase rights in the country.

1968 – The troubles begin

Historians disagree on exactly when the “unrest” began in Northern Ireland, but 1968 saw an increase in activism and violence on both sides which would continue until the agreement. of Good Friday in 1998. Catholic activists began to protest for civil rights and often found themselves attacked by loyalist counter-protesters and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The increase in violence would see the IRA reform in 1969, waging a campaign of terror throughout Northern Ireland and other parts of the UK.

1969 – Inaugural flight of the Concorde

The Concorde was the world’s first civilian supersonic aircraft, and it made its maiden flight on March 2, 1969, from London to New York, reducing the travel time to three hours. Concorde planes were produced until 1979 and were not completely phased out until 2003. Even today, the fascination with supersonic flight has led some companies to see if it can be redone with a new design.

1970 – Age of majority lowered to 18

In Britain, the age of majority for men had been 21 since medieval times, and they could not fully inherit property or marry voluntarily until that age was reached ( for women, it was 14 if they were married and 16 if they were single). In 1970 the Labor government concluded that this was incredibly obsolete given modern progress in society and made the age of majority 18 for everyone. In addition to other rights acquired at 18, the government has also lowered the voting age.


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Patrick F. Williams

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