Individual media Reference department
Quotations department Media department Reference department
< previous | next >
1960 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.


links and notes
  Cultural highlights  
January 9  JVC’s KV-1 helical scan VTR is shown publicly.  
January 10  El Paso by Marty Robbins reaches number one in the US record charts, despite its running time of 5 minutes 17 seconds  
January 28  Intervision link is established by the International Radio and Television Organisation (OIRT), the East European equivalent of Eurovision.  
January 31  ITV transmitter at Dover, England opens.  
February  CBS becomes the first US television network to broadcast the Winter Olympics live from Squaw Valley, California, having paid $50,000 for the television rights. > August 25
• Olympics dossier
March 8  For the release of Psycho, director Alfred Hitchcock and distributor Paramount mandate that no one will be admitted to the auditorium after the film has started so as not to spoil the suspense. This can be seen as a trigger for the practice of discrete rather than continuous performances.  
March 10  Music Week (formerly Record Retailer) publishes the first UK top 50 record listing.  
March 11  Australian Broadcasting Commission begins television broadcasting in Adelaide.  
March 16  A bout de soufflePremiere in Paris of A Bout de Souffle (Breathless), a seminal work of the French nouvelle vague (new wave) cinema movement, directed by Jean-Luc Godard from a scenario by Franηois Truffaut.  
March  Report of the O'Conor Committee, Children and Television Programmes, proposes that the period from 18:00 to 21:00 should be regarded as 'family viewing time'. The BBC issues a guidance note for producers that programmes before 18:00 should be suitable for children, between 18:00 and 19:00 'not unsuitable', and only after the main evening news at 21:00, from 21:25 onwards, should 'tough adult programmes' appear. The Independent Television Authority (ITA) decides that it would be inappropriate to formalise a written code, reflecting the view of the O'Conor Committee. O'Conor Committee on written codes

21:00 has been the watershed ever since
March  Television service starts in Costa Rica. • Television service start dates
April 24  Newsreels are included in the British film registration requirements.  
April  Ampex introduces the Intersync accessory which makes it possible to cut to or from videotape without rolls or discontinuity and to do dissolves and some special effects.  
April  Ampex demonstrates the first automatic television time-base error compensator, Amtec.  
April  Radio Veronica, broadcasting in Dutch, goes on the air from international waters off the Dutch coast between Scheveningen and the Hague.  
April  British and American time signals, transmitted from Rugby (GBR), Beltsville (station WWV) and Hawaii (station WWVH) are synchronised.  
May 7  Australian Broadcasting Commission begins television broadcasting in Perth, Western Australia.  
May  Harold Pinter's first television play, A Night Out, is screened on ITV in its Armchair Theatre series. It attracts an audience of 6.38m. Pinter later calculates that for so many people to see one of his plays in the theatre it would have to run for 38 years.
June 1  US television network ABC signs its 100th affiliate station.  
June 4  Australian Broadcasting Commission begins television broadcasting in Hobart, Tasmania.  
June 20  BBC Overseas Service begins French-language transmissions to Africa.  
June 22  European Agreement on the Protection of Television Broadcasts is agreed in Strasbourg.  
June 22  Hartford Phonevision Company (the name later changed to RKO General Phonevision Company) applies for an FCC licence to conduct pay TV experiments over WHCT (Channel 18) at Hartford, Connecticut, of which it is licensee. > 1961
June 29  BBC Television Centre opens at White City in West London; cost so far is £12m.  
June  KFVS-TV mast at Cape Girardeau, Missouri, US opens—at the time the world’s tallest structure at 510m. < 1959
> 1962
June  French government signs a pact with the Motion Picture Export Association of America (MPEA) to relax, but not remove, the limitation on the number of US films allowed into France, retrospective to July 1959. Until now a core of only 110 import licences has been permitted, with only minor exemptions.  
June  Television service starts in Syria. • Television service start dates
June  Bing Crosby is awarded a platinum disc for sales of 200m records.  
July 13  The Committee on Broadcasting 1960 (Pilkington Committee) is set up by UK government to consider the future of broadcasting, cable and ‘the possibility of television for public showing’, and in particular the profits made by ITV contractors. > 1962
July  Television service starts in Egypt. • Television service start dates
July  Pulsed ruby laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation), invented by Dr Charles H Townes, is demonstrated by its maker Theodore H Maiman (1927- ) at Hughes Aircraft Company Research Laboratories, Malibu, California. It is the first practical laser of any kind.  
August 1  Chubby Checker's record The Twist is released in the USA, triggering perhaps the biggest dance craze since the Charleston.  
August 12  NASA launches the first communications satellite, Echo I.  
August 20  Official opening of the Norwegian television service. • Television service start dates
August 25  Opening of the 17th Olympic Games in Rome is transmitted live via the Eurovision link. CBS shows video recordings that are flown to the US, having paid $700,000 for the US television rights. This is the first time the Olympic Games have been shown in extenso on US television, thanks to the introduction of videotape since the previous event. • Olympics dossier
August  Television service starts in the Netherlands Antilles. • Television service start dates
•  Films Act consolidates UK legislation concerning cinema licensing, quota of screen time devoted to British films and prohibition on ‘blind booking’ (ie, films must be trade shown before theatrical release, although alignments between distributors and exhibitors are permissible).  
•  Ban on supplying theatrical films to British television is broken when 55 post-war features are sold to an ITV company.  
September 10  Regular colour television transmissions begin in Japan, using the NTSC system, the third country to adopt the system after the US and Cuba.  
September 26  First of four Kennedy-Nixon presidential election debates (this from Chicago) breaks new ground on US television networks. Kennedy is adjudged the more telegenic.  
•  Spending on television commercials for the US presidential campaign amounts to $10m.  
•  Ampex takes a helical scan videotape machine to the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention but does not display it as there are no competing machines to force its entry into the market.  
autumn  Colour version of JVC’s helical scan VTR, KV-2, is completed.  
November 2  Penguin Books is acquitted by an English court of publishing an obscene book—D H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover.  
November 28  In the US, CBS radio increases its hourly news bulletins from five to ten minutes.  
November  Television service starts in Rhodesia. • Television service start dates
December 9  First episode of television soap opera Coronation Street is broadcast by Granada Television in UK. The original cast assemble on the roof of Granada's Manchester studio for what becomes a historic (if not iconic) team photograph [right].
• Click on picture for more.
Source: Granada Television
December 25  The Queen's Christmas message to the Commonwealth is pre-recorded for the first time.  
December  Use of 'time spots', in which advertisers can have their product associated with the station clock on UK independent television stations, is banned by the Independent Television Authority.  
•  Techniscope wide-screen 35mm film format is introduced by Technicolor Italiana. To achieve a 2.35:1 aspect ratio it has only two perforation pulldown instead of the normal four, reducing the vertical resolution of the film by half. For release purposes, a conventional anamorphic four-perforation pulldown print is made. [American Cinematographer Manual claims early 1963 for introduction.]  
•  British ‘realist’ film The Angry Silence is made by newly formed Beaver Films, headed by Richard Attenborough and Bryan Forbes, for only £97,000 by offering a deferred payment scheme for artists.  
•  The only film ever to use the Smell-o-Vision system is Scent of Mystery, produced by Mike Todd Jr. > 1981
•  First film production in Upper Volta (=Burkina Faso): A Minuit ... L’Indιpendance.  
•  White light reflection holograms first made by Y N Denisiyk in USSR.  
•  Super Technirama 70 wide-screen film format is used for the production of Spartacus.  
•  Film Finance Corporation established in India to fund quality productions.  
•  Entertainments Duty repealed in UK.  
•  Associated British Pictures Corporation has 319 cinemas in its ABC chain.  
•  First British university lectureship in film studies is established at the Slade School of Art, University College, London. Film director Thorold Dickinson is appointed. The post is upgraded to a professorial chair in 1967.  
•  Tiros I weather satellite transmits television pictures of world cloud cover to US.  
•  The UntouchablesGrowth in violence in American television; the trend is lead by The Untouchables, starring Robert Stack [right]  
•  NHK conducts its first national time use survey of Japanese households.  
•  Production of Film Industriel ΰ Quatre Ecrans (Industrial film on four screens) by Henri Storck in Belgium.  
•  Richard Leacock’s television film Primary leads to growth in the use of cinι-veritι for television.  
•  Television services Channel 9 and Channel 13 start in Argentina.  
•  World television population: US 85m, UK 10.5m, West Germany 2m, France 1.5m.  
•  Associated-Rediffusion Television opens Studio 5 at Wembley Studios near London, the largest television studio in the world.  
•  Television service starts in Ecuador. • Television service start dates
•  British Forces Broadcasting Service is re-organised with help from the BBC, establishing headquarters in London under a newly appointed director.  The BFBS produces 30-35 hours of programming a week for worldwide distribution on tape and by direct broadcasts.  
•  Australian Broadcasting Control Board imposes a 40 per cent Australian content quota on television stations, including at least four hours of prime-time per month. > 1964
•  First battery-powered transistor television sets appear on the US market.  
•  BBC Enterprises is formed to exploit BBC sound and television programmes overseas.  
•  Granada Television and Associated-Rediffusion conduct UK audience research.  
•  Ramona by The Blue Diamonds becomes the first disc to sell over a million copies in Germany and more than 250,000 copies in the Netherlands.  
•  Theme music from several films reaches the hit parades of the US and Europe, including Theme from ‘The Apartment’, Exodus, Never on Sunday and Theme from ‘A Summer Place’. Additionally, a British album of film title music, ‘Exodus’ and Other Great Themes by Mantovani and his Orchestra, starts a 65-week run in the US album charts, selling half a million copies within a year. The album of Elvis Presley’s GI Blues movie is also released this year, becoming a hit in 1961.  
•  Thomson Newspapers merges Empire News into News of the World and closes Sunday Graphic.  
•  Associated Newspapers buys UK daily News Chronicle and its companion London evening paper The Star, merging them respectively into its own Daily Mail and Evening Standard.  
< previous | next >

Page updated 12 June 2009
© David Fisher