16 July 1965

The Mont Blanc Tunnel linking France and Italy opens.

The Mont Blanc Tunnel is a major highway tunnel in Europe that connects Chamonix, France, with Courmayeur, Italy, passing under the Mont Blanc mountain in the Alps.

Length: The tunnel is approximately 11.6 kilometers (7.2 miles) long.
Construction: It was constructed between 1957 and 1965 and officially opened on July 19, 1965.
Purpose: The tunnel serves as a crucial link for transportation between France and Italy, facilitating the movement of goods and passengers.
Traffic: It is used by a significant amount of road traffic, including cars, trucks, and buses.
Safety and Upgrades: Following a tragic fire in 1999 that resulted in the loss of 39 lives, the tunnel underwent extensive safety upgrades and reopened in 2002 with improved safety measures.
Economic Impact: The tunnel plays an important role in the regional economies by providing a direct route through the Alps, reducing travel time and costs associated with transportation.

The Mont Blanc Tunnel remains one of the major trans-Alpine road tunnels in Europe, contributing significantly to the connectivity between the two countries it links.

6 April 1965

Launch of Early Bird, the first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit.

Early Bird, also known as Intelsat I, was indeed the first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit. It was launched on April 6, 1965, by NASA for the Communications Satellite Corporation (COMSAT), which later became Intelsat.

Purpose: Early Bird was designed to relay television, telephone, and telegraph signals between the United States and Europe. Its geosynchronous orbit meant that it stayed fixed relative to a point on Earth, allowing for continuous communication coverage between these regions.

Design and Technology: The satellite was cylindrical in shape, measuring about 76 centimeters (30 inches) in diameter and 170 centimeters (67 inches) in length. It weighed approximately 34 kilograms (75 pounds). Early Bird used a system of microwave relay and ground stations to receive, amplify, and retransmit signals.

Launch and Orbit: Early Bird was launched aboard a Delta D rocket from Cape Kennedy (now Cape Canaveral) in Florida. It was placed into a geosynchronous orbit, specifically positioned over the Atlantic Ocean.

Operational Success: Early Bird was highly successful and revolutionized global communications. It facilitated the transmission of the first live television broadcasts across the Atlantic, including the historic boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston in 1965. It also significantly reduced the time delay in international telephone calls.

Later Operations: Early Bird operated for almost four years, far surpassing its expected operational lifespan of 18 months. It was eventually retired in 1969 but remained in orbit as a backup until 1976.

Legacy: Early Bird’s success paved the way for the development and deployment of subsequent communications satellites. It demonstrated the feasibility and reliability of satellite communication systems, leading to the rapid expansion of global telecommunications networks.

17 September 1965

The Battle of Chawinda is fought between Pakistan and India.

The Battle of Chawinda was a significant engagement during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965. This conflict, also known as the Second Kashmir War, took place between India and Pakistan over the disputed regions of Jammu and Kashmir. The Battle of Chawinda occurred in the Sialkot sector of Punjab, Pakistan, and it was one of the largest tank battles since World War II.

Background: The war began in April 1965 and escalated in September. Both India and Pakistan had territorial disputes in the region of Jammu and Kashmir, which led to this conflict. The Pakistani military, under the leadership of President Ayub Khan, sought to challenge Indian control over certain areas.

Location: Chawinda is a town in the Sialkot district of Punjab, Pakistan. It was strategically important because it was situated near the border and had good road connectivity.

Tank Warfare: The battle primarily involved tank warfare. The Indian Army’s 1st Armored Division, commanded by Major General Rajendra Singh Yadav, faced off against the Pakistani Army’s 6th Armored Division, commanded by Major General Nasir Ahmad. Both sides had American-made M48 Patton tanks and British-made Centurion tanks.

Fierce Fighting: The battle commenced on September 11, 1965, and continued for several days. It was characterized by intense tank battles, artillery duels, and infantry engagements. The terrain was flat and open, which favored tank warfare.

Pakistani Defense: The Pakistani forces, under the leadership of General Ahmad, put up a determined defense. They used anti-tank mines and well-prepared defensive positions to slow down the Indian advance.

Stalemate: Despite heavy fighting and casualties on both sides, the battle reached a stalemate. Neither side could achieve a decisive victory in the Chawinda sector. The battle eventually subsided, with both sides claiming success.

Ceasefire: The Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 ended with a ceasefire agreement brokered by the United Nations and the Tashkent Agreement in January 1966. The ceasefire left the situation in Kashmir largely unchanged.

Legacy: The Battle of Chawinda is often regarded as a symbol of the courage and determination of both the Indian and Pakistani soldiers. It also underscored the limitations of armored warfare in the subcontinent’s terrain.

28 March 1965

An Mw? 7.4 earthquake in Chile sets off a series of tailings dam failures, burying the town of El Cobre and killing at least 500 people.

The earthquake that occurred in Chile in 1965 is known as the Great Chilean earthquake or the Valdivia earthquake. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, with a magnitude of 9.5 on the Richter scale, and it caused widespread damage throughout the country.