Key Moments of 1969

A few key moments of culture-shifting 1969, the simultaneous beginning, and end, of an era.

January

-The Soviet Union has all kinds of space activity going on

-Richard Nixon inaugurated as 37th President of the United States

-Led Zeppelin releases debut album, Led Zeppelin I

-The Beatles give their final live performance, from a rooftop

February

-Front de Liberation de Quebec terrorists (FLQ) attacks the Montreal Stock Exchange multiple times

-Three of four Beatles (save Paul McCartney) hire manager Allen Klein, against Paul’s wishes

-Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan record together in Nashville

March

-Sirhan Sirhan admits he killed Robert Kennedy

-Operation Breakfast (part of Operation Menu) begins, secretly expanding the U.S.’s involvement in Vietnam to Cambodia

-Paul McCartney marries Linda Eastman

-John Lennon marries Yoko Ono

-James Earl Ray admits to killing Martin Luther King Jr., later retracts admission

-United States launches Apollo 9

-John Lennon and Yoko Ono hold first bed-in

April

-The L.A. Free Festival ends early after a riot in Venice, California

-The Smothers Brothers Comedy hour is cancelled

-Massive antiwar demonstrations being held around the U.S. in places like New York City, San Francisco and Los Angeles

May

-Jimi Hendrix arrested at Toronto International Airport for possession of narcotics

-The Zip to Zap riot occurs in North Dakota

-United States launches Apollo 10

-Hamburger Hill begins in Vietnam

-John and Yoko’s second bed-in

June

-Elton John releases Empty Sky (UK)

-Noel Redding announces he has quit The Jimi Hendrix Experience

-Stonewall riots in New York City

-Hee Haw debuts on CBS

July

-Ted Kennedy drives off a bridge (Chappaquiddick)

-Neil Armstrong takes first steps on moon (Apollo 11)

-Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones found dead in his home swimming pool

-First U.S. troop withdrawals made from Vietnam

August

-The Manson Family murders

-Woodstock

September

-The Brady Bunch premieres on ABC

-The Beatles release Abbey Road

October

-Ho Chi Minh dies (former president of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam)

-First broadcast of Monty Python’s Flying Circus

-Race riot in Springfield, Massachusetts

November

-Richard Oakes leads a group of students and Bay Area Native Americans that seize Alcatraz for 19 months

-Elvis Presley’s “Suspicious Minds” reaches number one at radio (his last number one during his lifetime)

-Rolling Stones release Let It Bleed

-Simon & Garfunkel perform live for the first time with a band at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois

December

-Boeing 747 Jumbo Jet makes its debut

-Draft Lottery held for Vietnam. First time in U.S. since WWII

-Two Black Panther Party members shot dead in their sleep during a raid by Chicago Police

-Altamont Speedway Free Festival takes place at the Altamont Speedway in Northern California. Meredith Hunter murdered by a Hells Angel as the Rolling Stones perform on stage. Often viewed as the “end of the sixties

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