Features

50 Things That Shaped Our World in 1969

By Association Adviser staff • March 28, 2019

Naylor was founded in 1969 in Winnipeg, Canada, and while we like to think that event constitutes important world history, there were a lot of other notable events happening around the world. Here’s a glimpse into what life was like in 1969. If you’re of a certain age, do you remember any of these details? What was YOUR life like in 1969?

Remarkable Events

  • The Space Race continued with several remarkable achievements. On January 16, two cosmonauts transfer from the Soyuz 5 spacecraft to Soyuz 4 via spacewalk while the two craft are docked together, the first time people ever changed spacecraft in such a way.
  • Venera 5 and Venera 6, two Soviet spacecraft, launched in January to explore Venus. The two vehicles arrived in Venus’s atmosphere one day apart in May and were able to transmit information about the planet for about 50 minutes before the Soviets lost contact with them.
  • The Apollo 11 module/the Eagle lands on the Moon on July 20. An estimated 500 million people worldwide watched the live broadcast. Neil Armstrong takes his historic first steps on the Moon at 10:56 pm Eastern time and states his now-famous words, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” 
Neil Armstrong walking on the moon
Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. Photo: HQ.nasa.gov.
  • Richard Nixon is inaugurated as the 37th president of the United States.
  • Pierre Trudeau is the prime minister of Canada. He was the father of current Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
  • On February 13, the Front de libération du Québec (FLQ) terrorists bomb the Montreal Stock Exchange. Twenty-seven people are injured.
  • French is made equal to English throughout the Canadian national government on July 7.
  • In August, Woodstock attracts more than 350,000 rock n’ roll fans to a farm in upstate New York. Jimi Hendrix, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, and The Who are among the artists that performed.
More than 350,000 music revelers attended Woodstock in New York in August 1969.
More than 350,000 music revelers attended Woodstock in New York in August 1969.
  • 250,000 protesters march on Washington against the Vietnam War.
  • Hurricane Camille hits the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people.
  • Project Blue Book, the United States Air Force’s investigation into unidentified flying objects (UFOs), officially comes to an end on December 17, 1969.

New in 1969

  • Your ability to read this article is courtesy of ARPANET, the Internet’s predecessor. ARPANET was a U.S. military communications project with the goal of connecting computers. Two computers, one located at UCLA and the other at Stanford, sent the first electronic communication to each other on Oct. 29, 1969. ARPANET was shown to the public in 1972 but was largely obsolete by 1989.
  • The Montreal Expos baseball team debuted in April 1969. The Expos were the first Major League Baseball team to be founded outside the U.S. They won their first game against the New York Mets. In 2004, the team moved to Washington, D.C. and became the Washington Nationals.
The Montreal Expos debuted in the MLB, beating the New York Mets during their first game in April 1969.
The Montreal Expos debuted as the first non-U.S. team in the MLB. They beat the New York Mets during their first game in April 1969. Photo: Reddit
  • Sesame Street debuts on National Education Television, the precursor to the Public Broadcasting Service.
Sesame Street debuted on television in 1969.
Sesame Street debuted on television in 1969.
  • On February 9, the first Boeing 747 jumbo jet takes off from a Boeing field in Everett, Washington and flies to New York City. Most of the 191 people on board were reporters and photographers. On March 2 in Toulouse, France, the Concorde takes its first test flight.
  • Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart on April 4.
  • On August 21, Donald and Doris Fisher opened the first Gap store in San Francisco.

Pop Culture in 1969:

  • The Beatles record Abbey Road, their final album together.
  • The novel The Godfather by Mario Puzo is first distributed to bookstores.
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is released in movie theaters in the United States.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford starred in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
Paul Newman and Robert Redford starred in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Sports:

  • The Montreal Canadiens defeat the St. Louis Blues four games to none to win the Stanley Cup on May 4.
  • UCLA wins its third consecutive NCAA basketball championship by defeating Purdue University, 92 to 72.
  • On September 22, San Francisco Giant Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants becomes the first MLB player since Babe Ruth to hit 600 career home runs.
  • The New York Mets defeat the Baltimore Orioles four games to one in the World Series. It is considered a huge upset in baseball.
  • Brazilian soccer player Edson Arantes do Nascimento, also known as Pelé, scores his 1,000th goal.
The Montreal Canadiens defeat the St. Louis Blues four games to none to win the Stanley Cup on May 4.
The Montreal Canadiens defeat the St. Louis Blues four games to none to win the Stanley Cup on May 4. Photo: yathehabsrule.blogspot.com

Cost of Living in 1969:

  • Year End Close to the Dow Jones Industrial Average: 800
  • Average Cost of new house: $15,550.00
  • Average Income per year: $8,550.00
  • Average Monthly Rent: $135.00
  • Average Cost of a New Car: $3,270.00
  • Cost of a gallon of gas: 35 cents

Celebrities born in 1969:

  • Christy Turlington, American model, January 2
  • Dave Grohl, American rock drummer and composer, January 14
  • Mo Rocca, American humorist, journalist and actor, January 28
  • Jennifer Aniston, actress, February 11
  • Brad Werenka, Canadian ice-hockey player, February 12
  • Patrick Roach, Canadian actor, March 4
  • Mariah Carey, American pop singer, March 27
  • Paul Rudd, American actor, comedian, writer, and producer, April 6
  • Siri Lindley, American triathlete, May 26
  • Ice Cube, American rapper and actor, June 15
  • Cree Summer, American-Canadian actress and singer, July 7
  • Joe Sakic, Canadian hockey player, July 7
  • Anne Marie DeLuise, Canadian actress, August 3
  • Donnie Wahlberg, American singer, August 17
  • Tyler Perry, American actor, film director, and screenwriter, September 13
  • Gwen Stefani, American singer, actress, and television host, October 3
  • Brett Favre, football player, October 10
  • Sean Combs, American rapper and entrepreneur, November 4
  • Matthew McConaughey, American actor, November 4

Sources: Wikipedia, http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1969.html , https://timelines.ws/20thcent/1969.HTML