1961 - 1970



January 1: Farthing ceases to be legal tender

March 8: First US Polaris submarines arrive at Holy Loch

March 13: Black & White 5 notes cease to be legal tender

March 14: New English Bible (New Testament) published

April 12: Yuri Gagarin flight into space and back

April 23: Census: Pop. E&W 46M, Scot 5.1M, NI 1.4M

May 1: Betting shops legal in Britain

October 10: Volcanic eruption on Tristan da Cunha whole population evacuated to Britain



May 25: Consecration of new Coventry Cathedral (old destroyed in WW2 blitz)

June 15: First nuclear generated electricity to supplied National Grid (from Berkeley, Glos)

July 10: First live TV between US and Europe (Telstar)

October 24: Cuba missile crisis brink of nuclear war

December 22: No frost-free nights in Britain till 5 March 1963



March 27: Beeching Report on British Railways (the 'Beeching Axe')

Aug 1: Minimum prison age raised to 17

Aug 8: 'Great Train Robbery' on Glasgow to London mail train

September 17: Fylingdales (Yorks) early warning system operational

September 25: Denning Report on Profumo affair

November 18: Dartford Tunnel opens

November 22: President Kennedy assassinated in Dallas, Texas



April 9: First Greater London Council (GLC) election

April 21: BBC2 TV starts

September 4: Forth road bridge opens

'Beatlemania' begins



February 7: First US raids against N Vietnam

April 6: Launch of Early Bird commercial communications satellite

Aug 1: TV ban on cigarette advertising in Britain

September 21: Oil strike by BP in North Sea

October 28: Death penalty abolished in Britain for murder [some say 18 December 1969]

November 11: Declaration of UDI in Rhodesia

December 22: 70mph speed limit on British roads

Common Land Registration Act people who thought they still held common rights had to register them



February 3: Soft landing on moon by unmanned Luna 9

March 23: Archbishop of Canterbury meets Pope in Rome

May 16: Seamen's strike (ended 1 July)

July 30: World Cup won by England  at Wembley (4-2 in extra time v West Germany)

September 8: First Severn road bridge opens

October 21: Aberfan disaster slag heap slip kills 144, incl. 116 children

December 1: First Christmas stamps issued in Britain



January 27: Three US astronauts killed in fire during launch pad test

March 18: Torrey Canyon oil tanker runs aground off Lands End

May 28: Francis Chichester arrives in Plymouth after solo non-stop circumnavigation (knighted 7 July)

July 1: First colour TV in Britain

July 13: Public Record Act records now closed for only 30 years (but census still closed for 100 years)

July 18: Withdrawal from East of Suez by mid-70s announced

September 3: Sweden changes rule of road to drive on right

September 20: QE2 launched on Clydebank

September 27: Queen Mary arrives Southampton at end of last transatlantic voyage

October 5: Introduction of majority verdicts in English courts

December 3: First human heart transplant (in S Africa)



February 18: British Summer Time introduced

April 23: Issue of 5p and 10p decimal coins

May 6: Enoch Powell 'Rivers of Blood' speech on immigration

May 10: Student riots in Paris

July 29: Pope encyclical condemns all artificial forms of birth control

September 15: Severe flooding in England

September 16: Two-tier postal rate starts in Britain

October 5: Beginning of disturbances in N Ireland



March 2: Maiden flight of Concorde

March 7: Victoria Line tube opens in London

April 17: Voting age lowered from 21 to 18

July 1: Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales at Caernarfon Castle

July 21: First men land on the moon.  The United States launched Apollo 11 towards the moon on July 16. On July 20, astronauts Neil A. Armstrong and (Buzz) Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. walked on the moon's surface. As Armstrong took his first step, he radioed a message to the world: "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

July 31: Halfpenny ceases to be legal tender

October 14: 50p coin introduced in Britain (reduced in size 1998)


March 16: Publication of complete New English Bible

June 17: Decimal postage stamps first issued for sale in Britain

July 30: Damages awarded to Thalidomide victims