1960s Technological Milestones

1960s Technological Milestones

No time in human history has lacked innovation, but some eras seem to have a plethora of new technology. Of course, technology feeds on itself: inventors spinning a new technology into several new items.

Here is a list of the many technological advances that happened during the social revolution of the 1960s. Of course both fed on each other.

1960s Technological Milestones

Sound

Rudy Van Gelder
1960s Technological Milestones
Van Gelder studio

February 7, 1960: Hank Mobley recorded his “Soul Station” album in Van Gelder Studios of Rudy Van Gelder in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. After having gained a reputation in the mid-Fifties for the quality of the recordings he made in the living room at his parents’ house in Hackensack, New Jersey, Van Gelder moved to a new facility in Englewood Cliffs in 1959. The structure was inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and bore some resemblance to a chapel, with 39-foot ceilings and fine acoustics. Critic Ira Gitler described the studio in The Space Book (1964) liner notes:”In the high-domed, wooden-beamed, brick-tiled, spare modernity of Rudy Van Gelder’s studio, one can get a feeling akin to religion“.

Stereo singles

1960s Technological Milestones

April 4, 1960: RCA Victor Records announces that it will release all pop singles in mono and stereo simultaneously, the first record company to do so. Elvis Presley’s single, “Stuck on You,” is RCA’s first mono/stereo release.

Enoch Light/Terry Snyder

May 2 – 8, 1960: Enoch Light/Terry Snyder and the All Stars’ Persuasive Percussion was Billboard’s #1 stereo album.  Enoch Henry Light was a classical violinist, bandleader, and recording engineer.

As A & R chief and vice-president of Grand Award Records, he founded Command Records in 1959. Light’s name was prominent on many albums both as musician and producer. He is credited with being one of the first musicians to go to extreme lengths to create high-quality recordings that took full advantage of the technical capabilities of home audio equipment of the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly stereo effects that bounced the sounds between the right and left channels (often described as “ping-pong”).

He also was the first to use the “gate fold” style album cover that became well-known with the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s album in 1967.

Compact cassette

August 30 – September 3, 1963: Dutch electronics company Philips introduced the compact cassette at the Berlin Radio Show (also known as the German Radio Exhibition or Internationale Funkausstellung). Its initial function was as a recording device; only later did prerecorded music become available.

Synthesizer

October 12 – 16, 1964: Robert A. Moog and Herbert A. Deutsch introduce and demonstrate their music synthesizer at the convention of the Audio Engineering Society in NYC.

1960s Technological MilestonesDolby noise reduction

 

August 20, 1967:  The New York Times reported about a noise reduction system for album and tape recording developed by technicians Ray and D.W. Dolby. Elektra Record’s subsidiary, Checkmate Records became the first label to use the new Dolby process in its recordings.

1960s Technological Milestones

Space

Navigational satellite

April 13, 1960: the US launched the first U.S. navigational satellite, the Transit-1B on a Thor-Ablestar rocket. The Ablestar carried out the first engine restart in space to refine the orbit.. The payload, weighing 265 pounds, included 2 ultrastable oscillators, 2 telemetry transmitters and receivers, batteries and solar cells. The Transit system was designed to meet Navy’s need for accurately locating ballistic missile submarines and other ships. It achieved initial operational capability in 1964 and full capability in Oct 1968. Its navigational broadcasts were switched off deliberately on 31 Dec 1996. The Joint Chiefs of Staff had decided to rely on GPS alone for navigation and positioning, retired after more than 32 years of continuous, successful service to the U.S. Navy.

Relay 1

November 22, 1963:  the Relay 1 first broadcast. It was to be a prerecorded address from the President Kennedy to the Japanese people, but was instead the announcement of the Kennedy’s assassination. Later that day, satellite carried a broadcast titled Record, Life of the Late John F. Kennedy, the first television program broadcast simultaneously in the U.S. and Japan.

Armstrong, Aldrin, & Collins

July 20, 1969: Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become the first men to walk on the moon. They then rendezvous with Michael Collins in the command module for the return to Earth.

1960s Technological Milestones

Communication

Push-button phone

1960s Technological Milestones

November 18, 1963: the advent of the push-button phone, officially introduced in two Pennsylvania communities, Carnegie and Greensburg.

Instant replay

December 7, 1963:  CBS Sports Director Tony Verna used a system he’d invented to enable a standard videotape machine to instantly replay during the Army-Navy game. It was used only once for a touchdown withTV commentator Lindsey Nelson advising viewers “Ladies and gentlemen, Army did not score again!”

TTY

In 1964: in California, deaf orthodontist Dr. James C. Marsters of Pasadena sent a teletype machine to deaf scientist Robert Weitbrecht, asking him to find a way to attach the TTY to the telephone system. Weitbrecht modified an acoustic coupler and birth to “Baudot,” a code that is still used in TTY communication.

April 30, 1964: TV sets would be drastically different after a ruling by the FCC stating that all TV receivers should be equipped to receive both VHF (channels 2-13) and the new UHF(channels 14-83). As a result, TV dealers scrambled to unload their VHF-only models as fast as possible. Antenna manufacturers were kept busy, as the new UHF receivers required new antennas too.

911

February 16, 1968:  the nation’s first 911 emergency telephone system was inaugurated in Haleyville, Ala.

Internet

October 29, 1969: the Internet had its beginnings when the first host-to-host connection was made on the Arpanet – Advanced Research Projects Agency Network an experimental military computer network – between UCLA and the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, Calif.

1960s Technological Milestones

Miscellaneous

Astrodome

1960s Technological Milestones

April 9, 1965:  (from the AP) HOUSTON, Tex. — There was a bomb scare but President Johnson showed no concern Friday night as he and 47,876 other fans watched air conditioned baseball. An anonymous report that a bomb had been placed in the $31.6 million Harris County Domed Stadium proved false but it caused the President and the first lady to be late for the opening of the all-weather structure. They saw 7 1/2 innings as the Houston Astros opened their astrodome by beating the New York Yankees 2-1 in 12 innings. The President told newsmen he was impressed with the stadium, which permits professional baseball to move indoors for the first time. Because of the bomb scare, the presidential party watched the game from the private suite of Roy Hofheinz and R.E. (Bob) Smith, owner of the Astros. The suite is 30 feet above the right field pavilion and the crowd saw the President and Mrs. Johnson only through its windows. They did not go down on the playing field.

Pampers

April 27, 1965:  R. C. Duncan was granted a patent for ‘Pampers’ disposable diapers.

Super 8 film

Super 8 film

 

May 1, 1965:   after press releases in April, Eastman Kodak Co. introduces its Super 8 film format at a public debut at the International Photography Exposition in New York. One of the main selling points: the plastic cartridge that made loading the film much easier.

Artificial Heart

December 3, 1967:  surgeons in Cape Town, South Africa led by Dr. Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant on Louis Washkansky, who lived 18 days with the new heart.

ATM

September 2, 1969:  America’s first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York.

1960s Technological Milestones 

1960s Technological Milestones

Donald Donny York

Donald Donny York

Happy birthday
March 13, 1949
Donald Donny York
York patiently signing more than a few albums for a fan at an airport

There have been many many members of Sha Na Na over the years, but Donny is one of the only two originals who still remain in the group.

Donald Donny York

Social media footprint

I’ve done many little pieces about the performers at Woodstock, but Donny York is the only one I’ve found a Linked In page for. Under Education, he lists the following:

  • B.A., liberal arts, political science,   – 
  • Transformed the King’s Men into Sha Na Na
  • Activities and Societies: King’s Crown Activities

His Facebook page expands upon his personal information:

  • Studied Political Science at Columbia University
  • Went to Borah High School (Boise, Idaho)
  • Lives in Midlothian, Virginia (though it seems he’s back west now)
  • From Boise, Idaho
  • Married to Lily Grace
Donald Donny York

Pat Boone

Donald Donny York

In addition to his years with Sha Na Na, he worked with Pat Boone on his 2006 memoir. Of that he says: “For me, getting this gig was a case of “Wait until the folks back home find out about this!” It was like the gig of a lifetime—even measured against the great gigs I’ve already stumbled into in places like Woodstock or in cinematic majesties like Grease. I appeared in them, along with other worthy young talents by the dozen. But I’m the only guy who assisted Pat Boone in the preparation of his definitive autobiographical career memoir. Back home they’ll be more impressed about my affiliation with Boone than they were about Woodstock or Grease, and they’ll probably have gotten it just about right. (Think effect on history, as opposed to reflection of it.)

IMDB: He is an actor, known for The Fall Guy (1981), Sha Na Na (1977) and Festival Express (2003).

Here’s a YouTube “video” which is simply an audio recording of Donny describing the beginning of Sha Na Na and more.

Donald Donny York

USSR Dissolves

USSR Dissolves

Long live our Soviet motherland,
Built by the people’s mighty hand.
Long live our people, united and free.
Strong in our friendship tried by fire.
Long may our crimson flag inspire,
Shining in glory for all men to see.

The Red Menace

As Baby Boomers there was no greater enemy than the Soviet Union.   We stockpiled atomic weapons for the war that was sure to come. We put those weapons on top of rockets, in land bunkers, aboard submarines, ships, huge flying bombers, and secret places.

If a Boomer were a Catholic, then they prayed for the conversion of “Russia”  (easier than saying the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) at the end of every Sunday mass.

If we wanted to label something an enemy, we said the person was a Communist, a Red, a -nik.

We had to keep Communism contained despite its spread into so many countries: eastern Europe, Cuba, central America, Africa, South America, and Asia.

We sent thousands of our soldiers to Korea to stop the spread of Communism. We sent thousands of our troops to Vietnam to stop the spread of Communism. Our military budget, the largest of any nation anywhere, was predicated on stopping Communism.

USSR Dissolves

Birth of a Nation

On December 30, 1922 in post-revolutionary Russia, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) is established, comprising a confederation of Russia, Belorussia, Ukraine, and the Transcaucasian Federation (divided in 1936 into the Georgian, Azerbaijan, and Armenian republics). Also known as the Soviet Union, the new communist state was the successor to the Russian Empire and the first country in the world to be based on Marxist socialism.

The USSR eventually consisted of: Russia, Ukraine, Byleorussia, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Lithuania, Latvia,  Estonia, Moldovia, Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Turmenia, and Tajikistan.

USSR Dissolves

Dissolution of a Nation

When it happened, it happened, ironically,  like the dominoes we had fought so hard to stop from happening.

The economics, the politics, the many pieces that led to the dissolution of the USSR are more than this blog can cover. Dates are easier to list.

These dates include the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from the countries of eastern Europe. Countries that while not officially part of the USSR, were satellites of the vast Union.

USSR Dissolves

Leaks in the dam

September 11, 1988: 300,000 demonstrate for independence in Estonia.

August 23, 1989: two million indigenous people of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania joined hands to demand freedom and independence, forming an uninterrupted 600 km human chain called the Baltic Way.

August 23, 1989: Hungary (a Soviet satellite) removed border restrictions with Austria (a free European country)

September 10, 1989: thousands of East Germans cross the Austria-Hungary frontier after Budapest waived border restrictions amid the largest legal exodus from eastern Europe since 1945.

USSR Dissolves

Satellites waiver

The Wall Falls

November 9, 1989: the fall of the Berlin Wall. East Germany’s communist government allowed all citizens direct passage to the west, rendering the Berlin Wall obsolete.

Czechoslovakia

November 17, 1989: riot police put down student protests against the communist government in Czechoslovakia. The incident started a series of non-violent protests that finally forced the communists from power two weeks later.

November 29, 1989: in response to a growing pro-democracy movement in Czechoslovakia, the Communist-run parliament ended the party’s 40-year monopoly on power.

Romania

December 15, 1989: a popular uprising began in Romania.

December 17, 1989: Timișoara Riot in Romania. Demonstrations in the city of Timișoara were triggered by the government-sponsored attempt to evict László Tőkés, an ethnic Hungarian pastor, accused by the government of inciting ethnic hatred. Members of his ethnic Hungarian congregation surrounded his apartment in a show of support. Romanian students spontaneously joined the demonstration which had became a more general anti-government demonstration. Regular military forces, police and Security fired on demonstrators killing and injuring men, women and children.

December 19, 1989: workers in Romanian cities go on strike in protest against the communist regime.

December 21, 1989: Romanian leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu, spoke to crowd of the Socialist revolution’s chievements and Romanian “multi-laterally developed Socialist society.” Roughly eight minutes into his speech, several people began jeering, booing and whistling at him and shouting “Timișoara,” a reaction that would have been unthinkable for most of the previous quarter-century of his rule. As the speech wore on, more and more people did the same. He tried to silence them by raising his right hand and calling for the crowd’s attention before order was temporarily restored, then proceeded to announce social benefit reforms. The crowd continued to boo and heckle him.

December 22, 1989: the Romanian army defected to the cause of anti-communist demonstrators, and the government of Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown. Ceaușescu and his wife Elena flee.

Berlin

December 22, 1989: Berlin’s Brandenburg gate is reopened.

USSR Dissolves

Ceaușescus executed

December 25, 1989: near Târgoviște, Romania the  Ceaușescus were court-martialled on orders of the National Salvation Front, Romania’s provisional government. They faced charges including illegal gathering of wealth and genocide. Ceaușescu repeatedly denied the court’s authority to try him, and asserted he was still legally president of Romania.

At the end of the quick trial the Ceaușescus were found guilty and sentenced to death. A soldier standing guard in the proceedings was ordered to take the Ceaușescus out back one by one and shoot them, but the Ceaușescus demanded to die together. The soldiers agreed to this and began to tie their hands behind their back which the Ceaușescus protested against but were powerless to prevent.

The Ceaușescus were executed by three of soldiers though reportedly hundreds of others also volunteered. The firing squad began shooting as soon as the two were in position against a wall. Before his sentence was carried out, Nicolae Ceaușescu sang “The Internationale” while being led up against the wall.

USSR Dissolves

Republics waiver

Lithuania

January 11, 1990: in Lithuania, 300,000 demonstrated for independence.

Armenia and Azerbaijan

January 16, 1990:  in the wake of vicious fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in Azerbaijan, the Soviet government sends in 11,000 troops to quell the conflict.

The fighting–and the official Soviet reaction to it–was an indication of the increasing ineffectiveness of the central Soviet government in maintaining control in the Soviet republics, and of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s weakening political power.

Political power outage

February 7, 1990: the Central Committee of the Soviet Union’s Communist Party agreed to endorse President Mikhail Gorbachev’s recommendation that the party give up its 70-year long monopoly of political power. The Committee’s decision to allow political challenges to the party’s dominance in Russia was yet another signal of the impending collapse of the Soviet system.

Lithuania

March 15, 1990:  the Soviet Union announced that Lithuania’s declaration of independence was invalid.

May 4, 1990: Latvia declared independence from the Soviet Union.

One Germany

October 3, 1990: Germany reunited.

USSR Dissolves

August 1991 dominoes

Georgia

April 9, 1991: the Supreme Council of the Republic of Georgia declared independence from the Soviet Union.

Estonia

August 20, 1991:  Estonia declares its independence from the Soviet Union.

Lativa

August 21, 1991:  Latvia declares its independence from the Soviet Union.

Ukraine

August 24, 1991:  Ukraine declared independence from Soviet Union.

Belarus

August 25, 1991:  Belarus declares independence from Soviet Union.

Moldova

August 27, 1991:  Moldova declares independence from the Soviet Union.

Communist Party suspended

August 29, 1991: after three hours of anguished debate, the Soviet Parliament voted to suspend all activities of the Communist Party pending an investigation of its role in the coup. It was an action that confirmed the demise of the old regime even as the search quickened for new forms of association and order. The fate of the party was already sealed before Parliament’s vote. Individual republics had closed its offices and seized its vast properties and funds and President Mikhail S. Gorbachev had quit as its General Secretary and had called on the leadership to step down. But Parliament was the only national institution with the formal powers to act against the entire organization, and its decision served to confirm the indictment already passed by the people. [NYT article]

Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan

August 30, 1991:  Azerbaijan declared independence from Soviet Union.

Kyrgystan & Uzbeckistan
Uzbeckistan
Kyrgystan

 

 

 

 

 

 

August 31, 1991:  Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan declare independence from the Soviet Union.

USSR Dissolves

Final pieces fall

Tajikistan

September 9, 1991: Tajikistan declares its independence from the Soviet Union.

Armenia

USSR Dissolves

September 21, 1991:  Armenia declares independence from the Soviet Union.

Turkmenistan

USSR Dissolves

October 27, 1991: Turkmenistan declares its independence from the Soviet Union.

Kasakhstan

USSR Dissolves

December 16, 1991: Kazakhstan declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

Russia

USSR Dissolves

December 12, 1991: Russia independent

USSR Dissolves

The The End

USSR Dissolves

December 24, 1991: Mikhail Gorbachev resigned as head of Soviet Union.

December 26, 1991: the official dissolution of the USSR.

USSR Dissolves

Treaty of Accession

April 16, 2003: 10 countries signed  the 2003 Treaty of Accession admitting them to the European Union (EU). After Malta and Cyprus, eight of the ten new EU nations (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania) were former communist countries. The signing of the treaty in Athens marked the first time that former members of the Soviet Bloc joined the EU.

USSR Dissolves

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