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Timeline: 1967

Timothy Leary

Timothy Leary

Jan 13 In Togo, Lieutenant-General Gnassingbe Eyadema seizes power in bloodless coup. Political parties are dissolved. Eyadema will rule as "president" unchallenged until he dies in 2005.

Jan 14  In San Francisco's Golden Gate Park approximately 30,000 take part in a "be-in." Among the participants are Allen Ginsberg, credited with creating the term "flower power," and Timothy Leary, fired Harvard professor and LSD guru, who calls on people to "Turn on, Tune in and Drop out."

Jan 16  California's governor, Ronald Reagan, meets with FBI agents for information on Berkeley campus radicals.

Jan 20  Governor Reagan and the state's Board of Regents fire Clark Kerr, president of California's university system. Reagan thinks Kerr has been too soft on student protesters.

Jan 20  Evangelist Billy Graham describes some of the Crusaders for Christ at the Berkeley campus as "a bit zealous" but says he prefers that to "cold, frigid" efforts.

Jan 27  A fire erupts during a launch pad test, killing US astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward Higgins White and Roger Chaffee.

Jan 27  The US, Soviet Union and Britain sign an Outer Space Treaty. The treaty prohibits use of space, the moon or other celestial bodies as a military base or for any purpose not peaceful.

Feb 7  In Britain, the British National Front is founded. Its purpose is to oppose immigration, multiculturalism and to replace internationalism, including the United Nations and NATO, with bilateral agreements.

Feb 15  In Vietnam, thirteen US helicopters are shot down in one day.

Feb 18  China sends three divisions to Tibet.

Feb 24  The Soviet Union forbids its East European satellites to form diplomatic relations with West Germany.

Feb 27  The Caribbean Island of Dominica acquires independence from Britain and remains within the Commonwealth.

Mar 1  China's Red Guards have been having disputes over which of them best represents Chairman Mao's thinking. Now they are returning to school. 

Mar 6  President Johnson announces his plan for a lottery for conscription into the military: "the draft."

Mar 9   While in India, Stalin's daughter, Svetlana Alliuyeva, defects to the US through its embassy.

Mar 12   Indonesia's State Assembly removes all powers from Sukarno and names General Suharto acting president.

Mar 13  Soul singers Otis Redding and Sam & Dave arrive in London to begin their 4-week tour of Europe to rave audiences. The Beatles send their private limos to pick them up. Their use of the word "soul" say Sam & Dave, who helped popularize the word, is not about race, it is about freedom.

Gerald Ford

Gerald R. Ford, a hawk regarding Vietnam

Haight Ashbury

George Papapoulos

Colonel Papadopoulos, dictator

Mar 21-23  In Sierra Leone four days have passed since its first parliamentary elections since independence. The head of the army, Brigadier-General David Lansana, seizes power. Multi-party democracy in Sierra Leone ends. Two days later, senior military officers overthrow Lansana and create a "National Reformation Council." Democracy is not restored.

Mar 22  Regarding Vietnam, Republican House Minority Leader, Gerald R Ford, alongside Republican Senator Dirksen, says that President Johnson "does not have sufficient resolution."

Mar 29  France launches its first nuclear submarine.

Apr 4  Martin Luther King Jr. denounces the war in Vietnam. An angry President Johnson will call him "that goddam nigger preacher."

Apr 5  Grayline bus service begins tours of the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, its tourist riders to stare at so-called hippies who live there. 

Apr 14  In San Francisco thousands protest President Johnson's policy in Vietnam by marching from the Ferry building to Kezar Stadium which they fill to capacity. A Vietnam veteran, David Duncan, gives the gathering's keynote speech. 

Apr 17 Long hair has been growing in popularity among Greek youth, and rightist military leaders dislike it. The Rolling Stones perform in Athens and receive a tumultuous welcome, but they feel bad vibrations from the police and are happy to return to their departing airliner.   

Apr 21 Ultra-conservative generals in Greece fear results of the elections scheduled for May. A coup led by Colonel George Papapoulos takes power. Papadopoulos is to appoint himself prime minister and regent to the crown. Moderate and leftist politicians will be arrested. Long hair and Western music will be banned along with the music of composer Mikis Theodorakis of "Zorba" fame.

Apr 25  Britain grants internal self-government to Swaziland.

Apr 28 Boxing champion Muhammad Ali has refused induction into the Army and is stripped of his boxing title.

Apr 28  General William Westmoreland tells the US Congress that the United States will "prevail in Vietnam." His analysis of the war is that the stuggle in Vietnam did not have origins within Vietnam – as with French colonialism. Westmoreland sees the problem as South Vietnam (a creation rising from French colonialism) as having been "marked as a target for the Communist stratagem called 'War of National Liberation.'" He says he sees "no evidence that this is an internal insurrection."

May 1 In Nicaragua, Anastasio Somoza Debayle, a member of the family that has ruled since 1937, becomes president. He remains director of the National Guard, giving him absolute political and military control.

May 8  Boxer Muhammad Ali is indicted for refusing induction into the US Army.

May 8  Twenty-six Black Panthers, led by Bobby Seale, visit California's state legislature concerning gun legislation. They are openly armed, arrested and charged with disturbing the peace.   

May 16  Egyptians have been interested in erasing the disgrace of their defeat by Israeli forces back in 1956. Egypt's president, Gamal Abdul Nasser, sends his tanks forward on Egyptian territory in the Sinai desert,  closer to Israel. He asks the United Nations to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Sinai.

Nasser and Hussein

King Hussein of Jordan and Nasser of Egypt sign a war treaty

cartoon of Nasser

The Lebanese newspaper, al-Jarida, foresees a Nasser victory

May 24  The UN forces have left the Sinai. Egypt has erected a blockade at the Strait of Tiran against Israel's access to shipping in the Red Sea. Egypt moves 9,000 men, 200 tanks and guns to positions at the edge of the Gaza Strip, near Rafah. A speech by Nasser gives his military officers confidence in victory.

May 25  The Israeli military chief of staff, Yitzhak Rabin, suffers a nervous breakdown from which he will soon recover.

May 26  Israel's foreign minister, Abba Eban, leaves Washington after a one-day visit. President Johnson is friendly toward Eban and complains of his need of Congressional approval if he is to help Israel with the weaponry that it wants. In recent days Johnson has been bombarded by telegrams from Jews requesting help for Israel, but he is upset over widespread hostility among Jews in the US toward his policies regarding Vietnam, and he is angry with Israel for its failure to publicly support the US in Vietnam and to press Israel's friends in the US to back his policies in Vietnam. "Israel gets more than it's willing to give," he comments, "It's a one way street." 

May 27 Nasser postpones his military attack planned for the 28th. He is afraid of  US intervention and does not know whether he will have military support from the Soviet Union. Nasser's pilots are disappointed. One of them complains that they should "trust that Allah will aid us."

May 30 Jordan signs a pact with Egypt, stipulating that Jordan's forces are to be placed under Egyptian military command. Iraq joins the pact.

Jun 2  Students in West Germany have been protesting every week. Today Benno Ohnesorg, protesting with others a visit by the Shah of Iran, is shot dead by overzealous police. Protesting youth acquire a martyr.

Jun 2  Rioting and looting erupt in the Roxbury section of Boston. Nearly 100 are arrested.

Jun 2  Nasser's strategy is now to let Israel strike first. He claims that he cannot risk alienating world opinion by attacking first. He assures his military commanders that they could manage a first strike from Israel and says that it will come by June 5 at the latest.

Jun 5  Egypt's air force is on alert and expecting air attacks at dawn. When the attack doesn't come the pilots relax and have breakfast, away from their planes. Israeli aircraft, employing the tactical element called "the unexpected," show up at nine in the morning, having avoided Egyptian radar by approaching from an unexpected direction. Within 100 minutes Egypt no longer has an airforce. Egypt's 13 airbases, 23 radar stations, anti-aircraft sites and 107 aircraft are destroyed. The Israelis lose nine planes. In the United States, Secretary of State Dean Rusk is relieved that the Israelis have not been driven to the beaches, but he is angry with them for having struck first.

Jun 9  Israel turns around an attack by Egypt's ally, Syria. Israel attacks the Syrians on the Golan Heights – high ground from which the Syrians had been shelling Israel. 

Jun 10  Egypt has launched its tanks against Israel, but, with Israel ruling the skies and Egyptian troops suffering poor communications, Egypt's ground war fails.

Jun 11 In Egypt the fiction has arisen that British and American intervention is the cause of the poor performance of Egypt's military. From Cairo, a radio broadcast of "Voice of the Arabs" tells the Egyptian people that the United States is "the hostile force behind Israel ... the enemy of all peoples, the killer of life, the shedder of blood that is preventing you from liquidating Israel." The Soviet Union plays to Arab sentiment. It verbally attacks the US and severs relations with Israel.

Janis Joplin

Janis Joplin in her happier time

Jun 12  The US Supreme Court declares all state laws prohibiting interracial marriage unconstitutional.

Jun 16-17 The Monterey International Pop Festival opens in California and is attended by over 200,000. Featured are Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane, the Greatful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Otis Redding and many others.

Jun 17 Communist China has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb.

Jun 19  On television, Paul McCartney of the Beatles repeats his admission that he has taken LSD.

Jun  21 Summer begins. A song is in the air called California Dreaming. "If you are going to San Francisco be sure to wear some flowers in your hair." The lyrics also speak of "a love-in there." School is out. Tens of thousands of young people are headed to San Francisco for what will be called a "summer of love."

Jun 26  A "race riot" begins on the east side of Buffalo, New York, where fourteen people are shot. The Buffalo riots will last five days.

Jun 28 The California State legislature passes a law, the Mulford Act, prohibiting the carrying of firearms in any public place, effectively outlawing Black Panther safety patrols in Oakland.

Jul 4  Britain's parliament decriminalizes homosexuality.

Jul 4  In the United States the Freedom of Information Act becomes official. To withhold information, government agencies must show its need to be classified.

Jul 6  The Biafra region of Nigeria claims succession. Civil war erupts that is to last two years and claim approximately 600,000 lives.

Jul 13  Black "rioting" begins in Newark, New Jersey.

Jul 15  Black "rioting" erupts in Detroit.

Jul 17 Black "rioting" erupts in Cairo, Illinois.

Jul 20  Black "rioting" erupts in Memphis, Tennessee.

Jul 26  The Black power celebrity, H. Rap Brown, is arrested for inciting a riot in Maryland.

Jul 27  President Johnson appoints the Kerner Commission to assess the causes of the violence. The report will be released in early 1968. It will conclude that the rioting of 1967 was the result of black frustration over a lack of economic opportunity.

Jul 30  A week of looting and burning in Detroit is quelled by the arrival of 4,700 paratroops dispatched by President Lyndon Johnson.

Jul 30  Four people are killed during a "race riot" in Milwaukee.

Jul 30  General William Westmoreland claims both that he is winning the war in Vietnam and needs more troops.

Aug 1  Blacks riot in Washington D.C.

Aug 1  Israel acts on a threat made to Jordan at the beginning of the Six-Day War. Because Jordan did not stay out of the war, Israel takes control of the entire city of Jerusalem.

Aug 3  President Johnson announces plans to send 45,000 more troops to Vietnam.

Aug 7 China agrees to give North Vietnam aid in the form of a grant.

Aug 7  In East Jerusalem a general strike by Arabs protests Israel's annexation.

Bonnie and Clyde

Aug 13  In US theaters the movie Bonnie and opens.

Sep 4  During an interview for television, Michigan's governor, George Romney, says he was brainwashed by US officials during his 1965 visit to Vietnam. It is to be seen as the end of his chances for the Republican presidential nomination for 1968.

Sep 23  The Soviet Union has been under moral pressure from North Vietnam to help their struggle for national liberation. It signs an agreement with Hanoi to send more aid.

Oct  Former US Vice President, Richard Nixon, writes an article for Foreign Affairs magazine and says "Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations."

Oct 2  Thurgood Marshall becomes the first black justice of the US Supreme Court.

Oct 6  The "summer of love" in San Francisco has turned into a nightmare. The "Diggers," recognized by their activism as leaders of "hippie" community in San Francisco, parade with a coffin in the Haight-Ashbury district to mark the "Death of Hip."  Haight-Ashbury cultural radicals have been moving north into rural Mendocino County, where until recently young men with long hair had been beaten up. Mendocino County is about to be transformed.

John McCain

John S. McCain III

Oct 9  In Bolivia, Che Guevara and fellow guerrillas have failed to win over rural farmers. Guevara and three comrades are captured and executed.  

Oct 17  In New York the musical Hair premiers Off-Broadway.

Oct 17  President Johnson's draft has mobilized those who are threatened by it. In Oakland, California, young men subject to the draft join anti-war protesters from the Berkeley campus and overturn cars, block intersections and temporarily close down the Oakland city center. Anti-war demonstrations also take place outside draft boards in various cities.

Oct 17  The US Army sends one of its battalions into a trap, killing sixty-one of them. This is not supposed to be happening, and the army will describe it to news people as a victory. (See They Marched into Sunlight by David Maraness.)

Oct 18  At the university in Madison, Wisconsin, hundreds of students protest recruiting by Dow Chemical, the maker of napalm and Agent Orange. Madison police turn violent. Dozens of students are beaten bloody and 19 police officers are treated for minor injuries at local hospitals. The violence by police politicize thousands of previously apathetic students.

Oct 20  In Meridian, Mississippi, seven men are convicted of violating the civil rights of the three civil rights workers murdered in 1964.

Oct 26  John McCain bails from his damaged plane and falls into Hanoi’s Truc Bach Lake. He is viewed as a heinous criminal, beaten, bayoneted in the foot and groin and taken away for imprisonment and more primitivity and torture.  

The Shah of Iran

The Shah

Oct 26  The Government eliminates draft deferments for those who violate draft laws, including the burning draft cards or interfering with military recruitment for the war.

Oct 26  In Iran, his imperial majesty, the King of Kings, the Shadow of God and Light of the Aryans, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, has his official coronation.

Oct 27  Richard Nixon claims that the US must pursue the war in Vietnam to a "successful" conclusion or risk a Third World War.

Oct 28  While going for food at four in the morning, Huey Newton is pulled over and hassled by sarcastic Oakland policemen. A shootout results in the death of one of the officers, John Frey. Newton is taken to the police station, spit at and threatened with "an accidental shooting."

Nov 2  President Johnson holds a secret meeting with a group of the nation's most prestigious leaders ("the Wise Men") and asks them to suggest ways to unite the American people behind the war effort. They conclude that the American people should be given more optimistic reports on the progress of the war.

Nov 7  President Johnson signs the Public Broadcasting Act, establishing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. 

Nov 9  A five-choice Vietnam war referendum at University of California showed today 55 per cent of the students casting ballots favored immediate withdrawal of US troops.

Nov 13  In Oakland, a county grand jury indicts Huey Newton on charges of first-degree murder, attempted murder and kidnapping.

Nov 13  In Cleveland, Ohio, Carl Stokes is elected mayor – the first African-American mayor of a major US city.

Nov 17  President Johnson tells the nation that in Vietnam "we are making progress." He says, "We are inflicting greater losses than we're taking."

Nov 21 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the air quality act, allotting $428 million for the fight against pollution.

Nov 21 General Westmoreland tells news reporters:  "I am absolutely certain that whereas in 1965 the enemy was winning, today he is certainly losing."

Nov 30  South Yemen becomes independent from Britain.

Dec 5  In the city of New York, 1,000 antiwar protesters try to close a draft center, resulting in the arrest of 585, including Allen Ginsberg and Dr. Benjamin Spock.

Dec 8-10  From Moscow, Leonid Brezhnev flies to Prague, invited by the Czech Communist Party's first secretary and the country's president, Antonin Novotny, who wants Brezhnev's help in resolving a political crisis. Brezhnev is dismayed by the extent of dislike for Novotny among his fellow Communists. It is your business (eto vasha dyelo) he tells the Czechs and flies back home.

Dec 10  Otis Redding joins the many music stars who die in airplanes. He and six others die when their plane crashes into Lake Monona in Wisconsin.

Dec 31  Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Paul Krassner, Dick Gregory and friends pronounce themselves "Yippies" members of the Youth International Party. These are young men who know about street theater attracting media attention. Rubin believes that pot smoking is going to end the war in Vietnam.

Dec 31  Some 474,300 US soldiers are now in Vietnam.

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