A walk down memory lane – The 60s

This is an overview of what moved me, impressed me, touched me during the 60’s.

Some of this will only make sense when you’re Dutch.


  • Besides being the year I was born, 1961 was also the year in which President Kennedy promised to start manned missions to the moon.
  • Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was the first man in space!
  • Alan Shepard was the second man in space!
  • Eastern Germany starts to build the Wall.
  • The Orient Express made its last tour.
  • Amnesty International was founded.
  • Unimate, the first robotic arms was commissioned.


  • President Kennedy launches the program for manned missions to the moon!
  • Cuban missile crisis bringing us all too close to nuclear disaster.
  • NASA Ranger IV crashes on the moon.
  • NASA launched Mariner 2.
  • European Space Agency launched.
  • The Beatles are declined by DECCA.
  • USA detonates a hydrogen bomb 320 km over the Johnson atoll, causing a massive opening in the ionosphere.
  • Nelson Mandela arrested.


  • President Kennedy “Ich bin ein Berliner”.
  • President Kennedy assassinated.
  • NASA lost contact with Mariner 2 after successfully observing Venus.
  • US – Soviet Union Hot Line introduced.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. “I have a dream”.
  • First Touch Tone phones.
  • North Sea frozen several days during an extremely cold winter.
  • Skating dominance era by  Ard Schenk and Kees Verkerk starts.
  • Valentina Teresjkova was the first woman in space!
  • Phillips introduces the Compact Cassette and Player.


  • War in Vietnam escalates further.
  • NASA launches Mariner 4 spacecraft on a mission to explore Mars.
  • Ford Mustang is introduced.
  • Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment.
  • BASIC programming language introduced.
  • IBM introduces System/360.
  • China detonates its first nuclear bomb.
  • Sony introduces the VCR.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. arrested for eating in a “whites only” restaurant.
  • PLO founded.
  • ABN launched.
  • UN mission to Cyprus starts.


  • War in Vietnam continues to escalate.
  • NASA launches Ranger 8 Moon Mission which takes pictures of the Moon before crashing.
  • First New Year’s dive in Scheveningen.
  • European Community founded.
  • Moore’s Law introduced.
  • NASA launches Gemini 4, and Edward White performs the first space walk!
  • Princess Beatrix engaged to Claus von Amsberg.
  • NASA launches Gemini 5 which breaks the manned mission record by staying in space for almost 8 days!
  • Manneke Pis stolen.
  • Queen Juliana opens the Zeelandbrug, with 5022 meters the longest bridge in Europe.


  • Death-toll continues to increase in the Vietnam war, mainly among civilians.
  • Startrek first episode broadcasted.
  • NASA’s Gemini 8 mission aborted after successfully docking in space.
  • NASA’s Gemini 10 sets multiple records!
  • USSR’s LUNA 10 orbits the moon.
  • NASA’s Lunar Orbiter 1 orbits the moon.
  • USSR’s Luna 9 lands on the moon!
  • NASA’s Surveyor 1 lands on the moon!
  • Princess Beatrix marries Prince Claus von Amsberg.
  • Queen Juliana opens the Coentunnel.
  • Johan Cruijff plays his first game for Oranje.


  • The war in Vietnam continues, death-toll escalates further.
  • 6 day / Yom Kippur War in Israel.
  • NASA’s Lunar Orbiter 3 mission orbits the moon and takes hundreds of pictures.
  • UK and Ireland apply for EEC membership.
  • China detonates its first hydrogen bomb.
  • NASA’s Apollo 1 capsule catches fire, killing all 3 astronauts.
  • USSR’s Soyuz crashes after its first manned space mission, killing cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov.
  • Prince WIllem-Alexander is born.


  • The War in Vietnam continuous, high civilian death-toll caused by Tet-offensive and My Lai.
  • Vietnam peace negotiations start in Paris.
  • Martin Luther King Jr assassinated.
  • Robert Kennedy assassinated.
  • Intel Corporation launched.
  • France becomes a nuclear power.
  • Prague Spring started and crushed.
  • Kees Verkerk wins Gold in the winter Olympics.
  • NASA’s Apollo 7 is launched for a 11 days mission in which it orbits earth 163 times.
  • NASA’s Apollo 8 is launched, the first manned mission to orbit the moon!
  • USSR’s  Tupolev Tu-144 is the first supersonic airplane.


  • USA starts withdrawing troops from Vietnam, the beginning of the end of a dirty war which has killed millions and left millions without anything.
  • NASA’s Apollo 10 performs a successful dry run for the later landing on the Moon.
  • NASA’s Apollo 11 lands on the Moon, making Neil Armstrong the first man on the Moon!
  • NASA’s Apollo 12 lands on the Moon.
  • Maiden flights of the Boeing 747 Jumbo-jet.
  • First nuclear power plant in The Netherlands.
  • Woodstock!
  • China-Soviet border conflicts.