September 19, 1959, The Cold War: Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev had arrived in the US on September 15 for a summit meeting with President Eisenhower. The Soviet leader indicated a desire to see Hollywood. September 19 began pleasantly enough, with a tour of the Twentieth Century Fox Studios. Kurshchev was taken to the sound stage for the movie "Can-Can" and was immediately surrounded by the cast of the film, including Shirley MacLaine and Juliet Prowse. The cast members performed a number from the film. Frank Sinatra was brought in to serve as an unofficial master of ceremonies later lunched with an obviously delighted Khrushchev.
Later Twentieth Century Fox President Spyros P. Skouras introduced Khrushchev at Los Angeles Town Hall. Skouras, an ardent anticommunist, irritated Khrushchev by referring to the premier's famous statement that Russia would "bury" capitalism. Skouras declared that Los Angeles was not particularly interested in "burying" anyone, but would meet the challenge if posed. Khrushchev's famous temper quickly flared. He charged that Skouras's remarks were part of a campaign to heckle him during his trip to America.
Khrushchev's anger increased when he learned that he would not be allowed to visit Disneyland. Government authorities feared that the crowds would pose a safety hazard for the premier. Khrushchev, still fuming about the debate with Skouras, exploded. "And I say, I would very much like to go and see Disneyland. But then, we cannot guarantee your security, they say. Then what must I do? Commit suicide? What is it? Is there an epidemic of cholera there or something? Or have gangsters taken hold of the place that can destroy me?"
September 15, 1961, the Cold War & Nuclear and Chemical Weapons: U.S. starts underground nuclear testing with a series of nine low yield underground experiments at Yucca Flat with a further 62 tests there in 1962. The Soviet Union activity extended to a series of 50 detonations.
September 15, 1961, the Pendletons, a group from Hawthorne, California, attend their first real recording session at Hite Morgan's studio in Los Angeles. The band recorded 'Surfin'.
September 15 – October 19, 1962: “Sherry” by the Four Seasons #1 Billboard Hot 100.
September 15, 1963, BLACK HISTORY: while riding on the handlebars of his 16-year-old brother’s bicycle, near his family‘s home, 13-year-old Virgil Ware was killed on Docena-Sandusky Road, outside Birmingham, Alabama. 16-year old Larry Joe Sims shot at the Ware brothers while he was riding by on a motorbike with Michael Lee Farley. Sims shot Virgil twice,. Sims and Farley had just attended a segregationist rally. Both were charged with first-degree murder, but an all-white jury convicted them on the lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter. Judge Wallace Gibson suspended the boys’ sentences and gave them two years probation.
September 15, 1963, BLACK HISTORY, Church Burning & Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bombing: Birmingham, AL. 18 days after Martin Luther King’s speech, Bobby Frank Cherry, Thomas Blanton, Herman Frank Cash, and Robert Chambliss, members of United Klans of America, a Ku Klux Klan group, planted a box of dynamite with a time delay under the steps of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, near the basement. At about 10:22 a.m., twenty-six children were walking into the basement assembly room to prepare for the sermon entitled “The Love That Forgives,” when the bomb exploded. Four girls, Addie Mae Collins (aged 14), Denise McNair (aged 11), Carole Robertson (aged 14), and Cynthia Wesley (aged 14), were killed in the attack, and 22 additional people were injured, one of whom was Addie Mae Collins' younger sister, Sarah. The explosion blew a hole in the church's rear wall, destroyed the back steps and all but one stained-glass window, which showed Christ leading a group of little children. (BH, see Oct 7; Sixteenth Street, see Sept 26, 1977; CB, see June 16, 1964)
[That year, John Coltrane composed “Alabama” The following year Joan Baez released “Birmingham Sunday” and Phil Ochs released “On Her Hand a Golden Ring”]
September 15, 1965: Otis Redding released his Otis Blue: Otis Redding Sings Soul containing his composition “Respect”
September 15, 1965, Joe Namath takes his Army physical. December 9, 1965, Namath classified 4F and ineligible for the draft. The Army decided it couldn't take care of his knees.
September 15, 1970, Weather Underground: the WUO helped Dr. Timothy Leary escape from the California Men's Colony prison.
September 15, 1978, BLACK HISTORY & Mohammed Ali: Exactly seven months after losing to Spinks, Ali battles him in the Superdome in New Orleans. Ali defeated the younger Spinks, becoming boxing’s first three-time heavyweight champion.