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  • Australia's population = 12, 407, 217

  • Casey Antarctic base is established
  • Caroline Jones joins the ABC's "This Day Tonight", becoming the first regular female reporter on Australian television
  • Former Governor General Lord Casey is named Australian Of The Year
  • GMH opens Australia's first automotive safety design test centre at Lang Lang Proving Ground, Victoria, exhibits the first Australian-made V8, the Holden Hurricane experimental car, and produces its 2 millionth Holden, an HT
  • ARPA-Net, the world's first system of networked computers and the prototype for the Internet, is established in the USA.

    Visual Art
  • Ray Crooke's portrait of author George Johnston wins the Archibald Prize
  • pop artist Christo 'wraps' Little Bay
  • John Olsen's The Chasing Bird Landscape is awarded the Wynne Prize
  • famed artist and author Norman Lindsay dies

  • satirical magazine Oz ceases publication in Australia
  • beloved children's author and illustrator May Gibbs dies
  • George Johnston wins his second Miles Franklin Award for his novel Clean Straw For Nothing

    Performing Arts
  • Alex Buzo's play Rooted
  • Jack Hibberd's play Dimboola
  • Hair premieres in Sydney
  • top Australian pop groups The Easybeats and The Twilights break up

  • Jack & Jill: A Postscript wins the AFI Best Film Award
  • 2,000 Weeks (Tim Burstall)
  • Age Of Consent (Michael Powell)
  • Home Movie (Arthur & Corinne Cantrill)
  • The Intruders (Lee Robinson)
  • It Takes All Kinds (Eddie Davis)
  • Little Jungle Boy; Strange Holiday (Mende Brown)
  • White-Orange-Green (Arthur & Corinne Cantril)
  • You Can't See 'Round Corners (David Cahill)

  • Graham Kennedy wins his fourth Gold Logie

Lord Casey - Australian of the Year 1969

The Rt Hon Richard Gardiner Casey (b. Brisbane, 29 August 1890; d. Berwick, Victoria, 17 June 1976.), Baron of Berwick, Victoria, and of the city of Westminster KG GCMG CH, Governor-General of Australia, 1965-69. Born: 29 August 1890 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. Died: 17 June 1976.

Casey was educated University of Melbourne (studied engineering 1909) and Cambridge (BA 1913, MA 1919). MC 1917, DSO 1918, Companion of Honour 1944, Baron 1960, GCMG 1965, KG 1969. HE worked for the Mount Morgan Company 1914, then saw war service, chiefly as a staff officer, 1914-19. From 1919-24 he worked on various company boards, including Mount Morgan and a small steel-manufacturing firm, and unsuccessfully tried to sell a new kind of car engine designed by A.G.M. Michell He was Australian political liaison officer in London 1924-31. He first joined the Federal parliament in 1931. He was MHR for Corio 1931-40, Assistant Federal Treasurer 1933-35, Treasurer 1935-39, Minister in charge of Development & Scientific & Industrial Research 1937-39, Minister for Supply & Development 1939-40, Member, Australian Delegation, Imperial Conference & Coronation 1937, Australian Representative, Imperial Conference on Conduct of War 1939, first Australian Minister to USA 1940-42, UK Minister of State for Middle East and member of British War Cabinet 1942-43, Governor of Bengal 1944-46, Federal President, Liberal Party of Australia 1947-49, MHR for Latrobe 1949-60, Minister for Works & Housing 1949-51, Minister for Supply and Development (National Development from 1950) 1949-51, Minister in charge of CSIRO 1950-60, Minister for External Affairs 1951-60, Governor-General of Australia 1965-69. Privy Councillor 1939. Fellow, Australian Academy of Science 1966. Australia's Casey Antarctic research station and several geographical features in Antarctica were named after him.

Portrait (1968) by Sir William Dargie (b. 1912), oil on canvas 104 x 85cm, Historic Memorials Collection, Parliament House, Canberra




4th Hey Jude
The Beatles   

11th  Star Crossed Lovers
Neil Sedaka   

18th Star Crossed Lovers
Neil Sedaka   

25th Star Crossed Lovers
Neil Sedaka

Major overseas releases:
The Beatles - Yellow Submarine
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Blood, Sweat & Tears
James Brown - Give It Up Or Turn It Loose
Fairport Convention - What We Did On Our Holidays
Aretha Franklin - Soul '69
Tommy James & The Shondells - Crimson & Clover
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin
Moby Grape - Moby Grape '69
The Move - Blackberry Way
Neil Young - Neil Young

1 BBN, a small Massachusetts communications company, begins development of the first Interface Message Processor (IMP). The devices, intended to enable separate mainframe computers to be connected in networks, have been commissioned from BBN by the US government's Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), but only after all the major US telecommunications companies had turned the idea down as unfeasible. ARPA's networking project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is the first practical application of early '60s research into computer networking by Dr Paul Baran, who developed the theories of 'time-sharing' and the 'packet switching' of data between computers. Baran's research was part of US strategic initiatives to develop alternative communications networks after US nuclear weapons testing revealed that enemy nuclear strikes could disable or destroy much of the existing US strategic communications infrastructure. When delivered to ARPA in September 1969 the IMPs are used to create the world's first computer network, ARPA-Net, which becomes the prototype for the development of the Internet in the 1990s. (-> 1/9/69)

- The news that Peter Tork is quitting The Monkees makes the front page of the January 1 edition of GO-SET.

2  The Beatles begin work on a new film and album project at Twickenham Film Studios, London. The project, tentatively named "Get Back", is eventually renamed Let It Be.

3  30,000 copies of John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Two Virgins album are seized at Newark Airport. The album has been declared pornographic in New Jersey, USA, because of the nude photo on the cover.

4  The final UBU final Underground Dance is held at Paddington Town Hall, featuring new Sydney band, Tully, plus The Id. The show is also a welcome-home for artist Martin Sharp and UBU's Aggy Read.

8-9  More than 80 bushfires ravage Victoria, killing 23 people, including 18 killed in the town of Lara, near Geelong and six people killed in their cars on the Melbourne highway just outside the city while trying to escape the fires. 200 houses are destroyed.

10  In the UK the Wooton Report on Drug Dependence is published. It calls for liberalisation of the controls on soft drugs but is blasted by the British press, who dub it a 'Junkies' Charter'

13  Cannons from the HMS Endeavour are recovered from Endeavour Reef, off Cooktown in north Queensland. The cannons were jettisoned from the Endeavour to lighten the ship after she ran aground on the reef on 10 June 1770.

17  Led Zeppelin release their debut album in the USA; Creedence Clearwater Revival release Bayou Country; The Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet reaches #5 on the US charts.

20 Richard Milhous Nixon is inaugurated as the 38th President of the United States.

22 Ian Meldrum announces in GO-SET that The Twilights are to break up.

30 The Beatles perform their historic lunchtime rooftop concert in London, playing a short set of old and new songs on the roof of the Apple offices in Baker St, before being stopped by police. Filmed as a segment for a planned documentary (provisionally titled "Get Back" and eventually renamed Let It Be), the concert catches Londoners by surprise, and many local office workers climb up or over adjoining buildings to catch a glimpse of the legendary band in action. It is the Fab Four's first public performance since their retirement from touring in 1966, but it also proves to be their last before they split officially at the beginning of 1971. The Apple concert also marks the only time The Beatles perform live in public with another musician, American singer, songwriter and keyboard player Billy Preston.

Listen, Listen / Just One More Chance
The Avengers

1x2x3x4 / Sailing




1st Star Crossed Lovers   
Neil Sedaka   

8th Star Crossed Lovers   
Neil Sedaka   

15th Star Crossed Lovers   
Neil Sedaka   

22nd Star Crossed Lovers   
Neil Sedaka

Major overseas releases:
Blood, Sweat & Tears - You've Made Me So Very Happy
The Byrds - Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde
Aretha Franklin - The Weight
The Hollies - Sorry Suzanne
Jefferson Airplane - Bless Its Pointed Little Head
MC5 - Kick Out The Jams
The Temptations - Cloud Nine
Stevie Wonder - I Don't Know Why/My Cherie Amour

2  The Twilights perform their farewell show at the Trocadero in Sydney. The legendary Adelaide band is a last-minute inclusion in the the Ray-o-Vac Batteries Spectacular, which features an all-star lineup: The Groove, Johnny Farnham, The Dave Miller Set, The Las De Das, Heart'n'Soul, Respect, Clapham Junction and The Executives, with comperes Ward Austin and Dal Myles. 5000 fans attend, with thousands more reportedly turned away.

3  Yasser Arafat becomes leader of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO).

7 1500 people attend UBU's "Underground at the Showground", with Tamam Shud and Tully at the AMP Pavilion, Sydney Showground. This latest UBU Underground Dance has been relocated after being banned from Paddington Town Hall due to complaints about noise and the 'casual attire' of patrons.

10 External Affairs minister Paul Hasluck is appointed to succeed Lord Casey as Governor General.

- The Southern Aurora passenger train collides with a goods train outside Violet Town, north of Melbourne, while travelling at 80mph. Ten people are killed, and more than fifty people are injured; many of the fatalities and injuries occur just after the crash, when the train's power car explodes and bursts into flame. The sound of the collision could be heard heard ten miles away.

14  The ARPANET computer network is tested for the first time. Four computers at UCLA, Stanford Research Institute, UC Santa Barbara and the University of Utah are linked and operators attempt to send the word 'login' over the network, but the system crashes after the letter 'g'.

18  Singing star Lulu and The Bee Gees' Maurice Gibb are married in London.

19  Australian cricketer Doug Walters makes the record books by taking both a century and a double century in the same match during the Fifth Test against India.

21  UBU's second 'Underground at the Showground' event with Nutwood Rug Band and Tully.

24  The Jimi Hendrix Experience perform their final concert together at the Royal Albert Hall, London.

28 Victoria introduces provisional ("P-plate") licences for novice drivers.

Hayride / Early Morning
Flying Circus

My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man/Ebeneezer
The Valentines




1st Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da   
The Beatles   

8th Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da   
The Beatles   

15th Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da   
The Beatles   

22nd Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da   
The Beatles   

29th Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da   
The Beatles

Sydney's Channel 10 screens a new film clip for Flying Circus' Hayride, one of the first such promotional films for an Australian band Australia; it was made for EMI by UBU's David Perry and Aggy Read

Graham Kennedy wins the Gold Logie at the annual TV Week Logie Awards.

Major overseas releases:
The Beach Boys - 20/20, I Can Hear Music
James Brown - I Don't Want Nobody To Give Me Nothing
Cream - Goodbye Cream
Fairport Convention - What We Did On Our Holidays
Genesis - From Genesis To Revelation
The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground

2  The Concorde makes it maiden flight and flies at supersonic speeds for the first time for a period of nine minutes.

4  Notorious London underworld figures Ronnie and Reggie Kray are found guilty of the murder of gangster Jack "The Hat" McVie.

10 James Earl Ray pleads guilty to the murder of civil rights leader Martin Luther King and sentenced to 99 years in prison.

12  Paul McCartney marries American photographer Linda Eastman at Marylebone registry Office in London.

13  Brisbane becomes the first Australian capital city to receive natural gas with the opening of the Roma pipeline. Natural gas is also piped into Victoria from the Bass Strait fields for the first time

- Drug Squad detectives raid George and Patti Harrison's house in Esher, outside London

15  Cream's farewell LP Goodbye Cream reaches #1 on the UK charts.

19  New Sydney band Sherbet debuts at the New 2UW Spectacular at Brookvale Oval.

20  Liberal MP Edward St John accuses PM John Gorton of impropriety. The allegations stem from a report about Gorton socialising with 19-year-old Geraldine Willisee (sister of journalist Mike Willissee) at a late-night drinks party at the US Embassy in Canberra.

- John Lennon and Yoko Ono marry at the British Consulate in Gibraltar.

23 UBU's Second Intergalactic Festival Lightshow Concert at the Greek Theatre, Redfern, with Tamam Shud, Nutwood Rug and John Sangster

25 The Nimmo Committee strongly criticises aspects of the health insurance industry

Harry The Happy Hooligan / How'd We Ever Get This Way? 
Ronnie Burns

Relax Me / Dance To The Music
The Groove




5th Where Do You Go To (My Lovely?)   
Peter Sarstedt   

12th Where Do You Go To (My Lovely?)   
Peter Sarstedt   

19th Where Do You Go To (My Lovely?)   
Peter Sarstedt   

26th Where Do You Go To (My Lovely?)   
Peter Sarstedt

The La De Das' The Happy Prince is released. It is Australia's first rock concept album, based on the story by Oscar Wilde. Although widely praised by critics, the album bombs commercially. The album's release is quickly followed by the band's departure for England.

Groundbreaking documentary series "Chequerboard" begins it first season on ABC-TV.

British music sales figures show that for the first time more albums than singles were sold in 1968 with sales reaching a record figure of £30 million.

Major overseas releases:
The Beatles - Get Back
Leonard Cohen - Songs From A Room
Bob Dylan - Nashville Skyline
The Flying Burrito Brothers - The Gilded Palace of Sin
Jimi Hendrix Experience - Crosstown Traffic
Simon & Garfunkel - The Boxer

1 Thomas Keneally wins his second consecutive Miles Franklin Award for his novel Three Cheers for the Paraclete.

2  Go-Set announces that Party Machine will split.

11-12  East Sydney Technical College hosts Alexander Nevsky's Homecoming, a "happening" devised by David Humphries for the National Art Students' Union, featuring experimental theatre troupe The Human Body, with music by Tully and the Art Students Pop Orchestra, and lighting by UBU.

13 The last trams run in Brisbane.

16 Federal Opposition leader Gough Whitlam pledges that, if elected, a Labor government will abolish university fees and replace them with a system of needs-based scholarships.

21  Janis Joplin plays the Albert Hall, London; her lead guitarist, Sam Andrews, overdoses on heroin after the gig.

24  250,000 people protest in New York following the heaviest bombing raid on North Vietnam in the war so far. Almost 550,000 American troops are stationed there at the time.

27  The Beatles Get Back enters the UK charts at #1.

The Happy Prince (LP)
La De Das




3rd Where Do You Go To (My  Lovely?) 
Peter Sarstedt  
10th Where Do You Go To (My Lovely?)
Peter Sarstedt  

17th Get Back
The Beatles with Billy Preston   

24th Get Back
The Beatles with Billy Preston
31st Get Back
The Beatles with Billy Preston 

Get Back becomes the 6th Beatles single to hold the #1 spot simultaneously in America, England and Australia.  

Wendy Saddington quits Chain to join Copperwine.

Conservationists launch a campaign to save Victoria's Little Desert after the Vic. Minister of Lands approves a scheme to subdivide Crown land in the area for sheep farms

The Film & Telelvision Committee of the Australian Council of the Arts recommends the establishment of a federally-funded film and television school, a film corporation and an experimental film fund.

Major overseas releases:
The Beatles - The Ballad Of John And Yoko
Blood, Sweat & Tears - Spinning Wheel
Crosby, Stills & Nash - self-titled LP
Joni Mitchell - Clouds
The Moody Blues - On The Threshold Of A Dream
The Who - Tommy
John Lennon/Yoko Ono - Unfinished Music No. 2: Life With The Lions

1 Australia becomes a party to the Universal Copyright Convention

3  Jimi Hendrix is arrested at Toronto airport in Canada and charged with possession of heroin.

3  Eric Clapton and Ginger Baker (ex Cream) and Steve Winwood (ex Traffic) announce the formation of their new four-piece 'supergroup' Blind Faith, with Ric Grech (ex Family) on bass.

7  In Washington, PM John Gorton publicly expresses his support for President Richard Nixon, American foreign policy and the war in Vietnam. Privately, Gorton opposes the war and seeks to end Australia's involvement.

10  The Moody Blues On The Threshold Of A Dream reaches #1 in the UK album charts.

12  A van carrying members of British folk-rock group Fairport Convention crashes on the M1 motorway. The accident is caused by their roadie falling asleep at the wheel and the van runs off the road and somersaults forty feet down an embankment. The roadie is thrown through the windscreen and breaks both legs; lead guitarist Richard Thompson suffers broken ribs and concussion, bassist Ashley Hutchings sustains a broken nose and cheekbone and whilst guitarist Simon Nicol, who had been asleep in the back of the van, escaped with concussion. The two other passengers, drummer Martin Lamble (who was still in his teens) and Thompson's girlfriend,Jeannie Franklyn, are killed. Franklyn, a noted London clothing designer, had made outfits for many musicians, including Cream, and Jack Bruce names his acclaimed 1970 solo LP Songs For A Tailor in memory of her. The death of Lamble (who is replaced by Dave Mattacks) is a major factor in group's subsequent shift to a more traditionally-based English folk repertoire.

21  Union leader Clarrie O'Shea is released after six days in Pentridge Prison. The leader of the Victorian Tramways union had been jailed for contempt by Justice Kerr of the Industrial Commission after refusing to provide union accounts following non-payment of fines. It is later revealed that O'Shea's $8000 fines had been paid by Opera house lottery winner Dudley McDougall, in order to prevent a major industrial confrontation.

28  Descendants of bushranger and folk hero Ned Kelly join with Actors Equity in protesting against the casting of Rolling Stones lead singer Mick Jagger in a new film about the bushranger, to be made in Australia by British director Tony Richardson.

Tweedelee / Caroline Court
The Avengers

La La / Last Train
Flying Circus

Come & Fly With Me / Swallow, Little Swallow
The Las De Das

Dear Prudence / This Must Be The End
Doug Parkinson In Focus




7th  Get Back  
The Beatles + Billy Preston  

14th Get Back  
The Beatles + Billy Preston 
21st The Real Thing 
Russell Morris 
28th The Real Thing 
Russell Morris

Major overseas releases:
James Brown - Mother Popcorn
Joe Cocker - With A Little Help From My Friends
Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash
Elton John - Empty Sky

3 History tragically repeats itself when the Australian aircraft carrier HMAS Melbourne collides with the US destroyer Frank E. Evans during SEATO naval exercises in the South China Sea. The Melbourne slices the Evans in two and she sinks within in minutes, with the loss of 73 American lives. The Melbourne suffers no casualties. The ill-fated carrier had been involved in another disastrous collision with HMAS Voyager in Feb. 1964 which cost the lives of 82 Australian sailors.

4 Hair premieres in Sydney at the Metro Theatre, Kings Cross. The Australian version of the controversial "tribal love rock musical" is by produced by Harry M. Miller, and directed by Jim Sharman. The cast includes former Cam-Pact member Keith Glass, actor Reg Livermore and young African-American singer Marcia Hines, who has been specially imported for the show. The musical backing is provided by an augmented lineup of Tully, with special lighting effects by UBU and a specially-made 35mm film by UBU's Albie Thoms.

8  Brian Jones announces that he has quit The Rolling Stones, telling the media, "I no longer see eye to eye with the discs we are cutting."

13 The Rolling Stones hold a press conference in Hyde Park, London to introduce their new member, former Bluesbreakers lead guitarist Mick Taylor who is replacing Brian Jones.

17 Albie Thoms' underground film Marinetti has a stormy premiere at the Rose Bay Wintergarden, and the press report that between one quarter and one half of the 2000-strong audience walked out during the screening.

19 The full bench of the Arbitration Commission formally endorses the concept of equal pay for women.

22 Legendary actress and singer Judy Garland dies in London.

25 Statistics are released showing that one-third of Australian women aged between 15 and 49 are now using the oral contraceptive pill.

27 Police raid the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in Greenwich Village, New York. Enraged patrons fight back, and the conflict becomes a cornerstone event in the formation of the Gay Liberation Movement.

28  Jimi Hendrix announces a new bassist for his group The Experience, his old army buddy Billy Cox, who will replace Noel Redding.

There's No Love Left / Keep A Little Love
Mike Furber

The Wind / Play The Song
The Groove

Monty & Me / Little Roland Lost





5th The Ballad Of John & Yoko
The Beatles   

12th  The Ballad Of John & Yoko
The Beatles   

19th The Ballad Of John & Yoko
The Beatles   

26th MacArthur Park
Richard Harris

Doug Parkinson In Focus wins the Hoadley's Battle of the Sounds. Runners-up The Masters Apprentices are second, but are judged so close to the winners that they are also awarded a prize of a return trip to England. After the contest there are allegations that Parkinson's management have misappropriated the prize money.

Alex Buzo's new play Norm & Ahmed premieres in Melbourne. The play depicts racial conflict, and ends with a violent scene in which the 'Ocker' character Norm savagely bashes the Asian character, Ahmed, and calls him a "fucking boong". The play's language attracts the attention of the Victorian Vice Squad and after the premiere, director Graham Blundell and actor Lindsay Smith are arrested and charged with obscenity.

Long-running national magazine program Australia All Over begins on ABC Radio

Major overseas releases:
Jeff Beck - Beck-Ola
David Bowie - Space Oddity
Deep Purple - The Book Of Taliesyn
The Doors - The Soft Parade
Fairport Convention - Unhalfbricking
The Rolling Stones - Honky Tonk Women
Yes - Yes
Neil Young - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere

3  Former Rolling Stone Brian Jones (left) is found dead in the swimming pool at his Surrey estate. Jones, 27, founder of The Rolling Stones, had officially quit the group less than a month earlier, on 8 June. Jones had been under considerable pressure from police and the media after a series of highly-publicised drug busts. The subsequent coronial inquest returns a finding of death by misadventure "due to drowning under the influence of alcohol and drugs". Over the ensuing years there are persistent claims that Jones was murdered by a contractor he had hired to do building work on his estate, although no evidence ever comes to light.

4 Thousands of people march through capital cities protesting Australia's involvement in the Vietnam conflict, and 30 people are arrested in Melbourne when about 3000 demonstrators storm the US Consulate.

- Australia sweeps the Wimbledon men's titles, with "Rocket" Rod Laver winning the men's singles and John Newcombe and Tony Roche win the doubles.

- The Plastic Ono Band release Give Peace a Chance

5 The Rolling Stones perform a free concert at Hyde Park in London attended by 250,000 people. The concert is dedicated to the memory of Brian Jones

6 Mick Jagger leaves for Australia to film Ned Kelly, despite local protests over his casting. 

7 The first broadcast of "PM", the evening sister program to ABC Radio's morning current affairs show "AM". The original Executive Producer is Tim Bowden; John Highfield (ex-AM) and Laurie Bryant alternate as host until April 1970 when Huw Evans takes over. He is replaced in 1972 by Bill Dowsett. Young journalist Bob Carr (the future NSW Premier) is one of the early members of the PM reporting team.

- singer Marianne Fathfull is admitted to hospital in Sydney in a coma after a drug overdose. Faithfull is in Sydney with her boyfriend Mick Jagger for the filming of Ned Kelly.

13 Mick Jagger begins filming of Tony Richardson's film "Ned Kelly". Shooting continues in the Bungendore area, near Canberra, until mid-September

15 Mick Jagger records an interview for Sydney radio station 2SM

16 The Apollo 11 spacecraft is launched from Cape Canaveral.

18   Mary Jo Kopechne, a former secretary to Sen. Robert Kennedy, drowns when the car in which she is a passenger, driven by Senator Edward Kennedy, plunges off a low bridge at Chappaquiddick Island, Massachusetts, after a late-night party. Kennedy, 37, manages to escape from the submerged car and swim ashore but does not report the accident until the next morning, later claiming that he had been in shock.

Although the true cirucmstances of Kopechne's death are never properly explained, it is now generally believed that Kennedy (who had reportedly been drinking heavily all evening) left the party with Ms Kopechne intending to drive to a secluded part of the island and have sex with her. On the way, Kennedy encountered a local police car and, fearful of being picked up for drunk driving, he drove off at speed, took a wrong turn onto the bridge and lost control of the car, which plunged into the water. Kennedy panicked after the accident and fled the scene. It is claimed that he delayed reporting the accident for many hours to give himself time to contact associates and arrange a coverup, although these allegations have never been proven.

The diver who recovers Kopechne's body the next day repeatedly expresses the opinion that she may have survived underwater for up to two hours after the accident by breathing a bubble of trapped air, and that she could have been saved if rescue personnel had been promptly called to the scene. The scandal surrounding Kopechne's death almost destroys the political career of Kennedy, who had been considered a likely candidate for the 1972 presidential elections.

Kennedy subsequently pleads guilty to leaving the scene of an accident but escapes with the minor penalty of having his driver's license revoked for one year. During the investigation it emerges that Kennedy had a string of minor scandals behind him. He had been expelled from Harvard for cheating in his sophomore year; after readmission, he was expelled from a Harvard rugby match for starting three fist-fights during a single game, and during his time at Virginia Law School he earned the nickname "Cadillac Eddie" because of his reckless driving -- he was booked four times in 1958-59 for serious traffic offences including included running red lights and driving with his lights off at 90 mph through a suburban area.

21 Australia joins a record global audience of over 300 million people to who watch the historic live telecast of the first moon landing by American astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin.

Don't Fall In Love/I'm Gonna Be A Country Boy Again
Ray Brown




2nd  In The Ghetto   
Elvis Presley   
9th In The Ghetto   
Elvis Presley   

16th My Sentimental Friend   
Herman's Hermits  

23rd In The Year 2525   
Zager & Evans   
30th Honky Tonk Women   
The Rolling Stones

GTK, a new pop music magazine show, premieres on the ABC. Originally a ten-week experiment. the show goes on to run for seven years. Founding producer Ric Birch, whose previous credits include the popular ABC drama Bellbird, is Australia's youngest-ever producer of a national TV show. Birch goes on to become a prominent TV director, and later becomes a leading international event coordinator, with credits including the opening and closing ceremonies for the Los Angeles and Sydney Olympic Games.

Major overseas releases:
Blind Faith - Blind Faith
Nick Drake - Five Leaves Left
Fairport Convention - Unhalfbricking
Jethro Tull - Stand Up
The Move - Curly
Santana - Santana

1 Fusions, a new music series featuring Tully, premieres on ABC TV. Recorded in June, it includes lighting by UBU's Aggy Read.

9  Five people are slain in a horrific multiple murder in the exclusive Hollywood suburb of Benedict Canyon. The victims are soon identified as movie star Sharon Tate (wife of acclaimed Polish-born film director Roman Polanski), coffee heiress Abigail Folger and her boyfriend Voytek Frykowski, Tate's former boyfriend, celebrity hairdresser Jay Sebring, and Steve Parent, a friend of the Polanski's caretaker. Police arriving at the scene in the early hours of 10 August are shocked by the savagery of the killings -- Parent, Sebring and Frykowski have been shot with .22 calibre pistol, Sebring and Frykowski had been brutally bludgeoned about the head, and all but Parent had been repeatedly stabbed. Sebring and Tate (who was more than eight months pregnant with her first child) are found in the living room. Tate had been stabbed seven times, hanged and then laid dead on the living room floor; a rope tied around her neck was also wound around the neck of Sebring, whose body was lying nearby. Frykowski and Folger are found on the front lawn and Parent in the driver's seat of a car parked in the driveway. The word "PIG" is found written in blood on the front door of the house.

10 Los Angeles is rocked by another brutal double murder, when a wealthy couple, Rosemary and Leno LaBianca, are found slain in their home in the outer Hollywood suburb of Los Feliz. Both were victims of a franzied stabbing attack; Reno LaBianca was stabbed 26 times, Rosemary 41 times. The grisly killings of the LaBiancas and the five people murdered at the Tate house are subsequently shown to have been carried out by the so-called 'Manson Family' cult on the orders of its deranged leader, sinister L.A. counterculture identity Charles Willis Manson.

Several months later, Charles Manson and several his followers (including four women) are arrested and charged with the killings. They are subsequently convicted of the Tate-LaBianca murders and the killing of two other men.

The Manson trial proves to be the longest, most expensive and most highly publicised in American legal history up to that time. During the sensational trial the group fires their original defence attorney, Ronald Hughes, and another member of the cult murders him a few days later. A prosecution witness, Barbara Hoyt, was threatened by the Family, then lured to Honolulu by one of Manson's female followers, who tried to kill her with a massive dose of LSD. It emerges that Manson and his gang had probably killed the oocupants of the Polanski house as an act of revenge on its owner, noted L.A. record producer Terry Melcher (son of film star Doris Day). Melcher had moved out several months before and had rented the property out the house to the Polanskis, but Manson had visited the house at least twice after that.

The Manson-Melcher connection had come about through Beach Boy Dennis Wilson. In 1968 Wilson had picked up two female hitchhikers who introduced him to Manson. Manson and his group later moved into Wilson's house for several months, Wilson had used some of Manson's lyrics on a Beach Boys recording ("Never Learn Not To Love"), and he had also taken Manson to Melcher's home. Melcher (who was also working with The Beatles Apple label at the time) had evidently incurred Manson's wrath because Melcher had auditioned him with a view to recording him and/or financing a film, but had turned him down, Melcher's also had close Beach Boys/Beatles connections and Manson was obsessed with The Beatles and with the supposed 'secret messages' which he believed were hidden in their lyrics.

A cellmate of one of the accused, Susan Atkins (who killed Sharon Tate) told police that Atkins told her that the Manson family had drawn up a list of celebrity victims including Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Frank Sinatra, Steve McQueen and Tom Jones, with elaborate plans on how each of them were to be killed. The murders were apparently intended to draw world attention to the Manson cult and to Manson's delusional belief that the world would soon be engulfed in a global race war. During this racial Armageddon, they believed, Manson and his followers would hide in a city of gold which, Manson claimed, lay beneath Death Valley, after which Manson would re-emerge as Jesus Christ ("the fifth angel") and rule the world with the other four 'angels', The Beatles.

15-17 The Woodstock Festival (officially titled The Woodstock Music & Arts Fair) makes headlines around the world. The landmark three-day musical event is held over a holiday long weekend on the property of dairy farmer Max Yasgu, near Bethel, a small town in upstate New York. Although organisers had been forced to relocate from the original venue near the town of Woodstock, they take the name with them. It is orignally planned to cater for around 100,000 paying patrons, but by August 14 an estimated 250,000 people have arrived and organisers wisely declare it a free festival. Tens of thousands more are unable to attend, trapped in massive traffic jams, some of which stretch up to 20 miles along the roads leading into Bethel. On the opening day the colossal crowd is estimated at over 500,000 -- more than ten times the size of any previous rock concert or festival ever held in the U.S. There is ample scope for a major disaster: a huge crowd, little security, lots of drugs, and totally inadequate facilities. Discomfort is increased by wild summer storms, which turn most of the festival grounds to mud and at one point threaten to topple the stage. In spite of this, the event is virtually trouble-free, with only two accidental deaths (and two births). The 1969 festival and its legendary 1967 predecessor, the Monterey Pop Festival, bookend an explosive three-year period of musical and social change in America, and in future years Woodstock will come to symbolise the best (and worst) of '60s American popular culture.

The stellar lineup, now enshrined in rock legend, is headlined by many of the biggest acts in the world, several of whom had made their international debut at Monterey -- Joan Baez, Tim Hardin, The Incredible String Band, Ravi Shankar, Sly & The Family Stone, Canned Heat, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Blood, Sweat & Tears, The Jeff Beck Group, The Band, Ten Years After, Johnny Winter, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, John Sebastian, Country Joe and the Fish and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Woodstock also features the live debut of supergroup Crosby, Stills & Nash and makes overnight stars of three previously unknown acts: Richie Havens, Melanie Safka and San Francisco Latin-rock band Santana. Although he is approached, and rumours abound that he will appear, Bob Dylan is one of the few major American acts who does not perform.

Woodstock is comprehensively filmed and recorded, although some acts including The Band, refuse to allow their sets to be included in the subsequent movie -- a decision they later regret, since it effectively reduces them to a footnote in the Woodstock story. Although the festival itself makes a huge net loss, and costs a whopping US$2.4 million (including six-figure artists' fees, the highest ever paid up to that time) the massive publicity Woodstock generates enables the promoters to make lucrative deals for the sale of film and music rights. The subsequent documentary film and soundtrack albums return an immense profit and the Woodstock movie goes on to win the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1970.

17 Tully headlines a special Sydney Town Hall concert, supported by the John Sangster Quintet and The Executives, and presented by Hair producer Harry M. Miller  

18 Mick Jagger suffers minor injuries when he is accidentally shot during the filming of Tony Richardson's feature "Ned Kelly", near Bungendore NSW.

21 Bob Dylan makes his first public appearance in more then three years when he plays at the Isle Of Wight Festival.

25-31 Underground Festival, Union Theatre / Argyle Bond Store, Sydney, with performances by Cafe La Mamma, The Tribe, Human Body and music by Lindsay Bourke, Nutwood Rug and Tamam Shud and a lightshow by UBU.

25 The twelve-sided 50 cent piece replaces the round coin.

31 In what is presumed to be a politically motivated attack, a group of 'gatecrashers' invade a party for campaign workers at the Melbourne home of Labor opposition frontbencher Dr Jim Cairns. Five men and two women seize Dr Cairns from behind and he is bashed and kicked unconscious; his wife Gwen is beaten and choked when she tries to defend him.

- Bob Dylan makes his first live appearance in three years at the Isle Of Wight pop festival in Britain

New releases

Parenthesis / Got My Woman
The Executives

Together Til The End of Time/It's In Your Power

Today (I Feel No Pain) / Theme From 12th House  
Doug Parkinson In Focus (withdrawn)




6th Honky Tonk Women 
The Rolling Stones  

13th Honky Tonk Women 
The Rolling Stones  

20th Honky Tonk Women 
The Rolling Stones  

27th Honky Tonk Women 
The Rolling Stones

The La De Das' version of The Beatles' Come Together, produced by Norman "Hurricane" Smith is released in the UK. Unfortunately it proves to be a repeat of the Twilights' bad experience with their version of The Hollies' What's Wrong With The Way I Live? in 1967. The La De Das' record generates considerable interest but it is 'gazumped' by EMI's release of the Beatles' original version just as the La De Das cover begins to get significant airplay.

Major overseas releases:
The Band - The Band
The Beatles - Abbey Road
The Jeff Beck Group - Beck-ola
Jack Bruce - Songs For A Tailor
Joe Cocker - Delta Lady
The Hollies - He Ain't Heavy (He's My Brother)
Humble Pie - Natural Born Bugie, As Safe As Yesterday Is
Van Morrison - Astral Weeks

1 Massachusetts communications company BBN delivers the first Interface Message Processor (IMP) devices to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). ARPA computer scientists then use the IMPs to connect computers at four separate university locations at UCLA, Stanford University, the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Utah, thus creating the world's first computer network ARPA-Net. By April 1971 there are eighteen computers connected in the ARPA network, which is the foundation stone for the development of the Internet.

3 North Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh dies in Hanoi.

20 Balmain beats South Sydney in the Rugby League Grand Final

24 The Easybeats begin their final Australian tour in Toowoomba.

27 Richmond beats Carlton in the VFL Grand Final.

29 Justice Little of the Victorian Supreme Court overturns an earlier decision to dismiss charges against three actors from the play "The Boys In The Band", and convicts them of using obscene language in a public place. The play's free use of swear words had attracted the attention of the Victorian Vice Squad who raided the play and charged the actors.

- Mining company Poseidon announces the discovery of a massive nickel lode at Windarra WA. The news sparks off a boom in mineral stocks, and Poseidon shares, which had previously traded as low as 6 cents, will peak at a high of $280 in Feb 1970 before crashing. The company goes into receivership in 1977.

New releases

Show Me Home / Mr Time 

Come Together / Here Is Love
La De Das




4th The Girl That I Love   
Russell Morris   
11th The Girl That I Love   
Russell Morris   

18th The Girl That I Love   
Russell Morris   

25th One   
Johnny Farnham

Pop artist Christo 'wraps' Little Bay, south of Sydney.

ABC Radio cuts The Children's Hour from 50 minutes to 30, and moves it back from 5:00pm to 4:30pm. The long-running "The Argonauts Club", which began in January 1941, is cut back from five days to one day per week (Sunday), and is extended from 30 to 45 minutes.

The trial of the so-called 'Chicago Eight' begins. During the trial Black Panther Bobby Seale is ordered by the judge to be bound to a chair and gagged.

Major overseas releases:
The Band - Up On Cripple Creek
The Beatles - Something / Come Together
Blood, Sweat & Tears - And When I Die
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King
The Kinks - Arthur
Diana Ross And The Supremes - Someday We'll Be Together
John Lennon - Cold Turkey, The Wedding Album
Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II
The Byrds - The Ballad Of Easy Rider

1 OZ magazine ceases publication in Australia.

2 Author Katherine Susannah Pritchard dies

5 "Correspondents Report" premieres on ABC Radio

6 Ground-breaking TV comedy series "Monty Python's Flying Circus" premieres on the BBC. 

11 Locomotive 3801 makes Australia's last scheduled passenger journey by steam train, from Sydney to Goulburn, NSW.

12 ABC Assistant General Manager Wally Hamilton suspends This Day Tonight executive producer Bruce Buchanan over a satirical item about Chairman Mao, planned for the previous day's program, even though it is not shown on air.

21 Legendary 'Beat' author and poet Jack Kerouac dies, aged 47

24-25 The Easybeats play their last ever Sydney concerts at Caesar's Disco, Sydney.

25 The Gorton Liberal government scrapes back into power with a greatly reduced majority. Future Labor PM Paul Keating and Liberal Deputy PM Lionel Bowen are among the new MPs elected.

26 The Easybeats play their last concert in Wollongong. The band split soon after, although no official announcement is made. It is the last time all five members perform together until their reunion tour in 1988.

- promoter Barry Hayes presents "The Great Happening" at Liverpool Speedway, Sydney. Playing two three-hour shows, the bill for the day includes ten leading Aussie acts: Doug Parkinson In Focus, Johnny Farnham, The Valentines, Mecca, The Flying Circus, The Dave Miller Set, Aesop's Fable, Mike Furber, The Affair and Tamam Shud.

28 Sydney becomes the focus of attention for the international art scene as "pop" artist Christo completes work on a huge new outdoor project, called "Wrapped Coast". Christo has selected Sydney's Little Bay, the property of Prince Henry Hospital, located 14.5 kilometers (9 miles) southeast of the city. The cliff-lined shore area that he has chosen to wrap is approximately 2.4 kilometres (1.5 miles) long, 46 to 244 meters (150 to 800 feet) wide, 26 meters (85 feet) high at the northern cliffs, and at sea level at the southern sandy beach. One million square feet of erosion control fabric are used for the wrapping. 56.3 kilometers (35 miles) of polypropylene rope, 3.8 centimeter in diameter (1. 5" ) is used to tie the fabric to the rocks. Ramset guns fire 25,000 charges of fasteners, threaded studs and clips to secure the rope to the rocks. Mr. Ninian Melville, a retired major in the Army Corps of Engineers, is in charge of the workers at the site. 17,000 work-hours, over a period of four weeks, are expended by 15 professional mountain climbers, 110 laborers, architecture and art students from the University of Sydney and East Sydney Technical College, as well as a number of Australian artists and teachers. The project is financed by Christo and his wife and collaborator Jeanne-Claude through the sale of Christo's original preparatory drawings and collages. The coast remains wrapped for a period of 10 weeks, after which all materials are removed and the site returned to its original condition.

Christo's "Wrapped Coast", Little Bay *

31 The cast of "Boys in the Band", playing at the Playbox Theatre, Melbourne, appeal against fines imposed for using obscene language during their performance.

New releases

Show Me Home / Mister Time 

Son of a Lovin' Man / People Gotta Live Together

Without You / Hair
Doug Parkinson In Focus

Mad House
Ray Brown & Moonstone

It's About Time / Sha La La




1st  One   
Johnny Farnham   

8th I'll Never Fall In Love Again  
Bobby Gentry   

15th I'll Never Fall In Love Again  
Bobby Gentry   

22nd Something / Come Together   
The Beatles   

29th Something / Come Together   
The Beatles

The La De Das undertake an ill-fated six-week tour of France. The only highight of the visit is a meeting with rock'n'roll legend Gene Vincent.

Bob Gould, owner of Sydney's Third World Bookshop, is charged with publishing and possessing obscene material -- posters of drawings by 19th-century artist Aubrey Beardsley.

Sydney journalist and editor Francis James is detained by authorities while on a visit to China.

The first natural gas from the Moomba field is piped into Adelaide.

Relics of the English ship Tryal, wrecked in 1622, are found near the Monte Bello Islands, off the WA coast.

Major overseas releases:
The Band - The Band
Deep Purple - Deep Purple
Humble Pie - Town And Country
The Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers
Led Zeppelin - Whole Lotta Love
John Lennon/Yoko Ono - Wedding Album
The Rolling Stones - Let It Bleed

4 Bookmakers reap a huge windfall in 'dead' money when the heavily-backed favourite Big Philou is scratched from the Melbourne Cup only 39 minutes before the race. An investigation later reveals that the horse had been doped. The eventual winner is Rain Lover, for the second year in a row.

21 Renowned Australian artist, author and bohemian Norman Lindsay dies at his home in Springwood in the Blue Mountains, aged 90.

25 John Lennon returns his MBE award. In his letter to the Queen, Lennon says the award is being returned in protest against "Vietnam, Biafra, and Cold Turkey slipping down the chart"

26 Pelican, the Uni. of WA student newspaper, is charged with obscenity over its Censorship issue (3/9/69), which features a lengthy anti-censorship article by David Roe. In court the Guild of Students is represented by young Perth barrister Ian Temby (a future NSW Director of Public Prosecutions and founding director of  the NSW ICAC). The paper is later found to be obscene and the editor and printer convicted and fined $50. The subsequent (failed) appeal was supported by a fund launched by Guild President (and future ALP leader) Kim Beazley.

27 Beloved Australian children's author and illustrator May Gibbs, creator of Snugglepot & Cuddlepie dies in Sydney, aged 93.

- The Rolling Stones play their first concert at New York's Madison Square Gardens

29 The standard gauge railway line between Sydney and Perth is completed

New releases

Smiley / Jodie
Ronnie Burns

Hey Man / You're Gonna Love Me
The Executives

I'm On Fire / Watch Me Burn
Mike Furber

Western Union Man / Home Is Where The Heart Is
Max Merritt & The Meteors

Become Like You / Give A Little More



6th Something / Come Together  
The Beatles  
13th Something / Come Together  
The Beatles  

20th Penny Arcade  
Roy Orbison  

27th Suspicious Minds  
Elvis Presley

Customs Minister Don Chipp bans the book Oh! Calcutta.

UK yacht Morning Cloud wins the Sydney To Hobart Yacht Race

Major overseas releases:
Fairport Convention - Liege and Leaf
The Moody Blues - To Our Children's Children's Children
John Lennon - Live Peace In Toronto
The Temptations - Psychedelic Shack

4 Chicago police shoot and kill two members of the Black Panthers.

6 The Rolling Stones perform at the infamous Altamont Speedway concert in California. Held only three months after Woodstock, the free event is marred by serious crowd violence, and by attacks on performers including Jefferson Airplane's Marty Balin, who is knocked out on stage by a member of the Hell's Angels. Later, during the Stones' set, an audience member is bashed and fatally stabbed by Hell's Angels "security" after he allegedly produces a gun. The entire debacle is captured for posterity by director Jean Luc Godard, who is making a documentary on the Stones.

13 The US Supreme Court orders the end of racial segregation in the South

16 PM John Gorton announces that Australia will follow the lead of the United States' "Vietnamisation" policy and will also begin withdrawing troops from South Vietnam in the near future.

16 John and Yoko pay for posters put up in 11 cities worldwide proclaiming 'War Is Over If You Want It. Merry Christmas from John and Yoko'.

19 A stock market buying frenzy pushes shares in the nickel mining company Poseidon to a record high of $130; a few years before Poseidon shares had been trading for as little as 6 cents.

23 Graham Kennedy ends his 12-year reign as Australia's "King Of Television", retiring as the host of the hugely popular In Melbourne Tonight. "IMT", which premiered in May 1957, made household names of "Gra-Gra" and offsider Bert Newtown.

24 Following police raids on a California desert ranch, members of the so-called "Manson Family" are arrested and charged with multiple murders in the wake of the Tate-LaBianca killings (<- Aug 9).

28 The ABC screens Man On A Green Bike, a 50-minute comedy film directed by Peter Weir, and co-written by Weir and Grahame Bond (later of The Aunty Jack Show).

28 The American Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifies the new Boeing 747-100 Jumbo Jet for commercial service.

31   John Lennon is featured on a BBC-TV special 'Man of the Decade'. Lennon comments optimistically on the Sixties, saying: "Not many people are noticing all the good that came out of the last ten years ... The moratorium and the vast gathering of people in Woodstock ... the biggest mass of people ever gathered together for anything other than war ... The good thing that came out of the Sixties was this vast, peaceful movement ... The sixties were just waking up in the morning. We haven't even got to dinnertime yet. And I can't wait! I can't wait, I'm so glad to be around."

New releases

Arkansas Grass/Samantha   

Run Run Run / All Fall Down
Flying Circus

Carroll County Accident / Hole In The Ground 
Bobby & Laurie

Chart information copyright © Oz Net Music Chart 1997

*Christo's "Wrapped Coast", Little Bay, Australia, 1969
Christo & Jeanne-Claude
Co-ordinator: John Kaldor
Photo: Harry Shunk - sourced from the Christo and Jeanne-Claude homepage
Image ©1969 Christo