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1966 Chronokey Chronomedia index
Numbers after entries link to the list of references.

links and notes
  Cultural highlights | Predictions made this year  
January 1  Radio Scotland pirate ship goes on the air.  
January  Television service starts in Upper Volta (=Burkina Faso). Television service start dates
January  Independent Television programme contracts in UK are extended for a further year to July 1968.  
January  UK's Monopolies Commission concludes, after a 2½ year investigation that Kodak operates a monopoly in the supply and processing of colour film but that it is not against the public interest. The practice of nearly every other supplier whose products include the cost of processing would operate against the public interest. The Commission recommends abolishing import duty on colour film and that Kodak should reduce its prices.  
January 7  Doomed UK two-channel pay TV experiment begins in London and Sheffield. Run by Pay-TV Ltd, a consortium comprising British Home Entertainment (formed and chaired by film producer Lord Brabourne), British Relay Wireless and Associated British Picture Corporation (ABPC), it has a licence that runs to 1968 with a limit of 10,000 on the number of subscriptions. Brabourne's associates include Sir Laurence Olivier, Dame Margot Fonteyn, Lord Harewood, Field Marshall Lord Slim and Sir Rupert Hart-Davis. > 1968
January 19  In a Federal Communications Commission hearing, producer Robert Montgomery testifies that rigging of quiz shows and bribery (payola) have been common in the television industry.  
February 3  Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft lands on the moon.  
February 5  BBC opens a radio relay station on Ascension Island in the mid Atlantic.  
February  University of the Air proposals, published as a UK government White Paper, starts the process leading to the Open University. The idea had first been proposed in 1926. > 1971
February  Boots closes the last of its Booklovers' lending libraries.  
March 1  Soviet spacecraft crash-lands on Venus.  
March 3  UK Postmaster General, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, authorises the introduction of PAL colour television transmissions, to start towards the end of 1967. It will cost the BBC an extra £1m-£2m, paid for by a supplementary licence fee, for four hours a week, rising to 10 hours a week after 12 months. Later in the month, the BBC says that with colour films, bought-in programmes and outside broadcasts, it will start with about 12-15 hours of colour a week.  
March  Television service starts in Israel. Television service start dates
March  In a UK survey just ended, 23 per cent of leisure time for both males and females is spent watching television. Among married men with children in the age group 31-45 the proportion of time rises to 29 per cent, in age group 46-60 it is higher still at 34 per cent. Among married women with children the proportion is only 24 per cent, but married women aged 61 reached 29 per cent. For single women aged 19-22, television took up only 10 per cent of leisure time. The survey, conducted September 1965-March 1966, is later published as Planning for Leisure.  
March  BBC publishes a pamphlet on Local Radio in the Public Interest, offering to run nine pilot local stations with no increase in the licence fee.  
March  Ampex announces an automatic velocity compensator for eliminating colour errors due to videotape speed variations.  
March  Sony announces Videomat and Video Color Demonstrator machines using plastic discs for recording and playback of monochrome moving pictures and colour still pictures respectively. These developments are forerunners of the Mavica electronic stills camera system.  
March 30  BBC Television cancels a screening of Peter Watkins’ deliberately shocking film about nuclear war, The War Game, which it had commissioned. The film, shot on 16mm and subsequently blown up to 35mm, is released theatrically and wins the Academy Award (Oscar) for best documentary.  
April 3  Soviet Luna 10 spacecraft orbits the moon.  
April 21  Opening of UK parliament includes televising of scenes from inside the House of Commons for the first time. The hot lights and bulky equipment do not encourage MPs to favour regular televising of debates.  
April 23  Molniya-1 satellite is launched by USSR into geostationary orbit. Once established it is used for television relays between Moscow and Vladivostok, a distance of 6,200 miles.  
April  Ampex announces VR-6000 fixed-head home video recorder using one-inch tape and having built-in tuner for recording one programme while watching another, and optional camera.  
April  Westel firm of California announces a portable television camera and back-pack recorder, WRC-150, weighing 7 lb and 23 lb respectively. Recorder holds 30 minutes’ supply of one-inch tape.  
•  Thomson Organisation buys The Times newspaper.  
May 1  From South Africa Radio RSA begins short-wave trannsmissions.  
May 3  The Times publishes news on its front page.  
May  Radio England pirate station goes on the air from a ship in the Thames Estuary; Britain Radio broadcasts begin from the same ship. > November 14
May  Completion of Japanese nationwide colour television transmitter network.  
June 2  American Surveyor I spacecraft lands on the moon, transmitting 11,000 television pictures of the moon’s surface.  
June 6  American Gemini 9 returns to Earth, after a flight including a two-hour space-walk, seen live on television.  
June  Radio 270 pirate ship goes on the air, broadcasting to northern England from off the Yorkshire coast.  
July 1  Overnight colour television test transmissions begin in Canada.  
July 22  Four-week Oslo conference of 79 countries under the auspices of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) ends without agreement on a pan-European colour television standard. The continent will be divided between SECAM (France and most of the Soviet bloc) and PAL (everywhere else).  
July  US Air Force funds RCA to research solid state image sensors.  
July 30  Final of the World Cup (England 4 West Germany 2) culminates a month in which BBC Television's average audience share is 58 per cent—the highest since the introduction of ITV in 1955.  
August 2  Radio Vila begins transmissions in the New Hebrides.  
August 15  Radio Free Asia begins transmissions in South Korea.  
September 1  Regular experimental colour television programming begins on CBC in Canada. About 30 hours a week is broadcast on the English-language service, of which two-thirds is acquired programming, whilst most of the 15 hours a week on the French-language service is originated by CBC, there being few other sources of French colour programming.  
September 30  Television service starts in Iceland. Ríkisútvarpið-Sjónvarp broadcasts for 99 hours in the following three months on three days a week. > 1967
Television service start dates
October 19  Paramount Picture Corporation acquired by Gulf + Western, an diversified company, and becomes just a part of one division which accounts for less than 15 per cent of conglomerate business.  
October  Television service starts in Iran. Television service start dates
late  National Society of Film Critics is founded in US.  
November 14  Radio England pirate ship begins transmissions in Dutch and changes its name to Radio Dolfijn  
November  NHK, national Japanese broadcasting organisation, begins use of a new colour kinescope system that reportedly gives excellent resolution.  
November  NBC screens first made-for-TV feature-length film, Fame is the Name of the Game, as part of a regular series. The 120-minutes features are made by Universal.  
December  Radio Essex pirate station is successfully prosecuted in UK but is renamed BBMS (Britain’s Better Music Station) pending appeal.  
December 22  ITA announces proposal for re-organisation of UK Independent Television regions, with five major programme companies and 10 smaller ones.  
•  Videotape production now used extensively for television programmes and commercials. US Clairol and Arrow video adverts receive industry awards in competition with filmed entries.  
•  NBC uses instant replay in coverage of Rose Bowl American football game.  
•  British researchers at Standard Telecommunications Laboratories at Harlow, Essex propose that laser light beams transmitted by glass fibres could be used as communications carriers.  
•  Films Act passed by UK parliament extends the life of the National Film Finance Corporation, Eady levy and film quota regulations.  
•  Television service starts in Zaire. Television service start dates
•  Intelsat agrees plan for global communications system of at least three geo-stationary satellites with capacity of 1,200 two-way telephone links plus television circuits, to be in place by 1968. The cost of building ground stations is estimated at £150m.  
•  Revelation of Soviet aims for a global satellite television network in the current five-year plan evokes visions of direct reception of transmissions on cheap portable transistor colour TV sets.  
•  A Eurospace consortium memorandum proposes domestic direct satellite reception (later known as DTH) rather than terrestrial re-transmission of television signals.  
•  La Grande Vadrouille, a comedy about war, becomes the most popular film ever at French cinemas (17.2m admissions). It is released in the US as Don't Look Now...We're Being Shot at! > 2008
•  There are 664 art-house cinemas in the USA. [0076]  
•  State-owned Ukrtelefilm production company is established in Ukraine.  
•  First successful hologram of a human subject made by L D Siebert of the Conductron Corporation using a pulsed laser.  
•  SECAM colour television signals are transmitted between Moscow and Paris using a Soviet Molniya satellite.  
•  Film-making continues to spread in parts of Africa:
• Chad: Les Abattoirs de Forcha, a 15-minute documentary directed by Edouard Sailly
• Dahomey (=Benin): a short called Ganviι, mon village, directed by Pascal Abikanlou
• Guinea: the first feature film, Sergeant Bakary Woolιn, directed by Lamine Akin

> 1974
< 1953
•  Durwood Theatres opens the first four-screen multiplex cinema. > 1969
•  Decca Records in London applies Dolby A-type noise reduction to a recording of Mozart’s Piano Concerti 8 and 9 by Vladimir Ashkenazy.  
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Page updated 29 June 2009
© David Fisher