February 3. Addressing the South African Parliament, the
British prime minister, Harold Macmillan coined a phrase which
was to transform the post-war world: "The wind of change is blowing
through this continent and, whether we like it or not, this growth
of national consciousness is a political fact."
For Britain his "Wind of Change" speech meant the gradual end
of Empire in Africa. In our former colonies, leaders once regarded
as troublemakers or even terrorists were leading their nations
towards independence and a new, less formal Commonwealth.
If Britain was resigned to the process, South Africa certainly
was not. Macmillan's words outraged a system founded on apartheid,
or separate development of the races. South Africa's rulers believed
that blacks had no place in politics and could be treated as second-rate
citizens for ever.
At Sharpeville in the Transvaal on March 21, just over a month
after Macmillan's historic words, a crowd of Africans demonstrated
against the carrying of identity cards. Police opened fire and
70 demonstrators were killed and more than 200 wounded.
The world was outraged. The UN called for apartheid to be scrapped,
to no avail. "If they do these things," commented the police commander
at Sharpeville, "they must learn their lesson the hard way."
Wolves missed out on a double by just one point when they were
pipped at the post by Burnley who won the league for the first
Consolation was to come a few days later when they beat another
Lancashire side Blackburn to win the FA Cup for the fourth time
- although the game itself was slammed at the time for negative
play by both sides.
Two goals from Norman Deeley and an own goal by Blackburn sealed
the victory for a side which for the first time in years was without
Billy Wright who had retired at the start of the season.
July. Held at the height of a hot Mediterranean summer
and against doctors' orders, the 1960 Rome Olympics produced a
crop of sporting stars from the 19-year-old Huddersfield swimmer
Anita Lonsborough to the bare-footed marathon man from Ethiopia
Abebe Bikila. The biggest name - and one that was soon to be changed
- was that of the light heavyweight US boxer Cassius "I Am The
Greatest" Clay. His later claim that he could float like a butterfly
and sting like a bee was soon evident in a fleet footed style
which saw him win olympic gold. It was predicted that he could
become a world champion and under his own name and later Muhammad
Ali he duly did.
November 9. John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the youngest
President of the USA and the first Roman Catholic incumbent when
he scraped home after a pulsating election battle against former
Vice President Richard Nixon. Within days there were accusations
that his father, a self-made millionaire and former ambassador
to Britain, had been able to "buy" the presidency for his son.
Soon his kingly court was to be filled with friends, family and
associates and advisers from the two East Coast universities the
young JFK had attended.
November 2. One of many dates which were said to have
signposted the start of the permissive society was the one on
which an Old Bailey jury ruled that the novel "Lady Chatterley's
Lover" was not obscene. It was one of the poorest works by the
long dead Midlands writer D H Lawrence but the one which was to
make him a household name. Penguin Books had been prosecuted for
obscenity over the book which contained explicit descriptions
of the sex act.