Well I turn 50 years old today and I am looking forward to the next 50 years. I was wondering what were the best inventions in the last 50 years. Computers, VELCRO®, video games or is it something else? There was a list in Popular Mechanics. But there wasn’t anything listed for 1960 the year I was born.
Lasers were invented in 1960 by Theodore Harold Maiman, an American physicist. Hughes Research Laboratory in Malibu, California is the place where Maiman made the first working laser. The 694 nm (wavelength) red light was produced with the help of flashlamp-pumped and solid-state synthetic ruby crystal.
Looking back over 50 years I have to be thankful for many things. Here are a few things besides my birth that happened in 1960 that were remarkable:
- 1960 marked the first televised debate for a presidential election. Senator John F. Kennedy debated Richard M. Nixon. Nixon seemed nervous and pale, but Kennedy was cool and looked like a movie star. They say that those that listened to it on the radio thought Nixon won and those that watched on TV thought Kennedy won. The problem for Nixon is that most people watched it on TV. In a small Irish bar in the first Ward in Buffalo New York when Nixon spoke they turned off the volume.
- In 1960 NASA sent up ECHO, the first communications satellite to be seen with the naked eye.
- American “U2” spy plane shot down over the USSR.
- The Olympic Games were held in Rome and Wilma Rudolf won three gold medals. And a young man named Cassius Clay won the gold medal in the light heavyweight boxing category.