28 November 1960

Mauritania becomes independent of France.

Mauritania is a country located in Northwest Africa:

Capital and Largest City: The capital city of Mauritania is Nouakchott.

Population: As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Mauritania had a population of around 4.6 million people. Please note that population figures may have changed since then.

Official Language: Arabic is the official language, and French is also widely used, particularly in administrative and educational contexts.

Currency: The currency used in Mauritania is the Mauritanian ouguiya.

Geography: Mauritania is characterized by vast desert landscapes, with the Sahara Desert covering much of its territory. The country has a coastline along the Atlantic Ocean to the west.

Independence: Mauritania gained independence from France on November 28, 1960.

Government: Mauritania is a presidential republic, and the President of the Republic serves as both the head of state and head of government.

Economy: Mauritania’s economy is heavily dependent on agriculture, fishing, and mining. The country is a significant producer of iron ore, and mining plays a crucial role in its economy.

Culture: Mauritania has a rich cultural heritage influenced by Arab-Berber traditions. Traditional music, dance, and oral literature are important aspects of Mauritanian culture. The country is also known for its distinctive Moorish architecture.

Religion: Islam is the predominant religion in Mauritania, with the majority of the population adhering to Sunni Islam.

Issues: Mauritania faces challenges such as poverty, human rights concerns, and issues related to slavery, which has been officially abolished but still persists in some forms.

Wildlife: Despite its arid landscapes, Mauritania is home to diverse wildlife, including various bird species. Banc d’Arguin National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is known for its biodiversity, especially its birdlife.

19 October 1960

The United States imposes a near-total trade embargo against Cuba.

The United States trade embargo against Cuba, also known as the Cuban embargo, is a comprehensive set of economic sanctions that the United States has imposed on Cuba since the early 1960s. The embargo is one of the longest-standing trade embargoes in modern history and has had a significant impact on Cuba’s economy and its relationship with the United States and the rest of the world.

Origins: The embargo was initially imposed during the early 1960s in response to the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro. The U.S. government was concerned about the spread of communism in the Western Hemisphere and viewed Castro’s government as a threat to American interests.

Embargo Components: The embargo encompasses a series of economic, commercial, and financial sanctions. This includes restrictions on trade, investment, and travel between the United States and Cuba.

Helms-Burton Act: In 1996, the United States enacted the Helms-Burton Act, which strengthened the embargo. This law allows U.S. citizens to sue companies that use or profit from property confiscated by the Cuban government after the revolution. It also makes it more difficult for the embargo to be lifted without significant political changes in Cuba.

Impact on Cuba: The embargo has had a significant impact on Cuba’s economy. It limits the country’s ability to trade with the United States, one of its closest neighbors, and has hindered foreign investment. This has contributed to economic difficulties in Cuba, although the Cuban government has also implemented its own economic policies that have played a role in the nation’s economic situation.

International Opposition: The embargo has been widely criticized by the international community. The United Nations General Assembly has consistently passed resolutions calling for an end to the embargo, with the vast majority of member states opposing the U.S. policy.

Changes in U.S. Policy: Over the years, there have been some changes in U.S. policy towards Cuba. Most notably, President Barack Obama announced a series of measures in 2014 to normalize relations with Cuba, including re-establishing diplomatic relations and easing travel and trade restrictions. However, many of these changes were reversed or tightened during the administration of President Donald Trump.

10 September 1960

At the Summer Olympics in Rome, Abebe Bikila becomes the first sub-Saharan African to win a gold medal, winning the marathon in bare feet.

Abebe Bikila was an Ethiopian long-distance runner who is perhaps best known for his historic victory at the 1960 Rome Olympics when he won the marathon race while running barefoot. Abebe Bikila was born on August 7, 1932, in Jato, a village in the mountains of Ethiopia. He came from a humble background and initially served in the Imperial Bodyguard of Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

1960 Rome Olympics: Abebe Bikila made history at the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy. He was selected to represent Ethiopia in the marathon, which is a 26.2-mile (42.195-kilometer) race.

Barefoot Running: Bikila made a bold decision to run the marathon without shoes. This decision was not premeditated but was due to circumstances. His official running shoes were causing him discomfort, so he decided to run barefoot, a style he had trained in previously.

Victorious Run: Bikila’s decision to run barefoot turned out to be a brilliant choice. He completed the marathon in 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 16.2 seconds, setting a new world record and becoming the first African to win a gold medal at the Olympics. His performance made him an instant global sensation.

Symbol of African Athleticism: Abebe Bikila’s victory and barefoot run symbolized the emergence of African athletes on the international stage. It shattered stereotypes and demonstrated that athletes from Africa, particularly Ethiopia, could excel in long-distance running.

Repeat Victory: Bikila’s success did not end in Rome. He went on to win another Olympic gold medal in the marathon at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, becoming the first athlete to successfully defend his Olympic marathon title.

Legacy: Abebe Bikila’s legacy extends far beyond his athletic achievements. He inspired generations of Ethiopian and African athletes, paving the way for their success in long-distance running. His determination, strength, and iconic barefoot run continue to be celebrated in the world of sports.

Injury and Tragic Accident: Unfortunately, Bikila’s career was cut short by a car accident in 1969 that left him partially paralyzed. Despite this tragic event, he remained active in sports and various other pursuits.

Passing Away: Abebe Bikila passed away on October 25, 1973, at the age of 41. His legacy lives on as a symbol of Ethiopian and African athletic prowess.

25 August 1960

The Games of the XVII Olympiad commence in Rome, Italy.

The XVII Olympiad, also known as the 1960 Summer Olympics, was held in Rome, Italy. The Games took place from August 25 to September 11, 1960.

First Olympics in Italy: This was the first time the Olympic Games were hosted by Italy. Rome was chosen as the host city, and it became the second European city (after London) to host the Games twice, the first time being in 1908.

Innovations and Modernization: The 1960 Olympics marked a significant step in modernizing the Games. The event saw the introduction of a number of technological innovations, such as electronic timing and a photo-finish camera to accurately measure the times and places of the athletes in races.

New Sporting Facilities: The Rome Olympics led to the construction of several new sports venues and facilities. The most famous of these is the Stadio Olimpico, a large sports complex that continues to host major sporting events to this day.

International Broadcast: The 1960 Olympics were the first to be broadcast internationally via satellite. This allowed people around the world to watch the events live, marking a major development in global sports broadcasting.

Participation and Events: The Games saw the participation of athletes from 83 nations, competing in 150 events across 17 sports. These sports included athletics, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, boxing, and more.

Diplomatic Impact: The Rome Olympics had political and diplomatic significance. The Games were seen as a way for Italy to showcase its post-World War II recovery and reintegration into the international community.

Abebe Bikila’s Historic Win: One of the most memorable moments of the Games was Ethiopian runner Abebe Bikila’s victory in the marathon. Bikila became the first African to win a gold medal in the Olympics, and he did it barefoot, capturing the world’s attention.

Doping Controversy: The 1960 Olympics were not without controversy. Danish cyclist Knud Enemark Jensen died during the Games, and it was later revealed that he had taken a performance-enhancing drug called Roniacol. This incident drew attention to the issue of doping in sports.

Legacy: The 1960 Rome Olympics left a lasting legacy for the city and for the Olympic movement as a whole. The success of the Games inspired subsequent hosts to improve their infrastructure and organization, contributing to the growth and modernization of the Olympics.

14 July 1960

Jane Goodall arrives at the Gombe Stream Reserve in present-day Tanzania to begin her study of chimpanzees in the wild

Jane Goodall is a renowned British primatologist, anthropologist, and animal rights activist who is best known for her groundbreaking research on wild chimpanzees in Tanzania. Her work has revolutionized our understanding of primate behavior and has had a profound impact on the fields of anthropology, ecology, and conservation.

Jane Goodall was born on April 3, 1934, in London, England. Her fascination with animals began at an early age, and she dreamed of working with them in Africa. In 1957, at the age of 23, she fulfilled her dream by traveling to what is now Tanzania to work as a secretary for archaeologist and paleontologist Louis Leakey.

Leakey recognized Goodall’s passion for animals and offered her the opportunity to study chimpanzees in the wild. In 1960, Goodall began her groundbreaking research in the Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, where she observed and documented the behavior of wild chimpanzees.

Goodall’s research challenged the prevailing scientific notions of the time, which believed that humans were the only species capable of using tools. She observed chimpanzees using and making tools, such as using sticks to extract termites from termite mounds. This discovery had profound implications for our understanding of the evolutionary relationship between humans and other primates.

Goodall also made important observations about the social structure and behavior of chimpanzees. She discovered that chimpanzees have complex social relationships, engage in cooperative hunting, and exhibit aggressive behaviors. Her findings shed light on the similarities and differences between humans and chimpanzees, and they continue to influence our understanding of primate behavior today.

In addition to her research, Goodall has been a prominent advocate for conservation and animal welfare. She founded the Jane Goodall Institute in 1977, which works to protect chimpanzees and their habitats and promotes environmental education and sustainable practices. The institute has since expanded its efforts to include other endangered species and ecosystems around the world.

Jane Goodall’s contributions to science and conservation have been widely recognized and honored. She has received numerous awards and honors, including the Kyoto Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Life Science, and the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science. Goodall’s work has also inspired generations of scientists and environmentalists to study and protect the natural world.