July 3, 1960: I’m Sorry

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(Pictured: singer Dinah Washington.)

This might not be one day in your life, but it’s one day in mine.

July 3, 1960, was a Sunday. Today is the last day on which the United States will fly a 49-star flag. Although Hawaii was admitted to the Union last August, it will not get its star on the flag until tomorrow. Sunday newspapers report on the wave of European nations granting independence to their African colonies. The Belgian Congo became the Republic of Congo last week, with Patrice Lumumba heading its government. Italian and British Somaliland have both become independent and merged as the Somali Republic. Ghana has gained its independence from Britain. Portions of French West Africa have become the nations of Mali and Senegal; other nations are expected to be created from French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa later in the summer. The island of French Madagascar has become the Malagasy Republic. Former president Harry Truman says Democratic presidential candidate John F. Kennedy lacks the maturity to be president. Truman, who backs Missouri Senator Stuart Symington for the nomination, says that he will not attend the opening of next week’s convention because he does not want “to be a party to … a prearranged affair.” Kennedy has refused immediate comment. National Guardsmen are on patrol in Newport, Rhode Island, after disturbances at the Newport Jazz Festival yesterday. Twelve thousand people unable to get into the festival rioted; police responded with tear gas. The remainder of the festival has been canceled; organizers fear the cancellation means a permanent end to the festival. Future member of Depeche Mode and Erasure Vince Clarke is born.

In today’s Peanuts strip, Snoopy lives too close to the ballpark. In the majors today, the New York Yankees, leaders of the American League, sweep a doubleheader from the Detroit Tigers, 7-6 and 6-2. Mickey Mantle homers for the Yanks in the nightcap. The Yankees have a three-game lead over Cleveland, which beat the Washington Senators 11-5. The Pittsburgh Pirates lead the National League by three-and-a-half over the Milwaukee Braves. The Pirates lost to the Dodgers 6-2; Don Drysdale pitched a complete game to get the win for Los Angeles. The Braves beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-3 on Del Crandall’s two-out single in the top of the 14th inning. Crandall will start for the National League in baseball’s two All-Star games, on July 11 and 13, joining fellow Braves Joe Adcock, Eddie Matthews, and Henry Aaron. Four Yankees will start for the AL: Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, and Moose Skowron.

Tonight’s TV lineup includes plenty of Westerns, including Maverick, Death Valley Days, The Overland Trail, and The Rebel. Also tonight: Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Loretta Young Show, and The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan’s guests tonight include singer Rosemary Clooney and singing group the Wanderers, comedians Phil Foster and Dave Barry, two illusionists, a trapeze act, a three-man balancing act, and a group of plate spinners. At Muntz TV in Toledo, Ohio, you can get a 21-inch TV theater combo, with a radio and phonograph equipped for stereo for $198, no money down, cash or terms with trade.

At WNOE in New Orleans, “Walking to New Orleans” by Fats Domino is the #1 song. Brenda Lee is at #3 with “I’m Sorry,” and “Only the Lonely” by Roy Orbison checks in at #8. Dinah Washington has two records on the chart: “A Rockin’ Good Way” with Brook Benton at #4, and her own “This Bitter Earth” at #14. Further down, “Tell Laura I Love Her” by Ray Peterson is at #25 and “When Will I Be Loved” by the Everly Brothers is #27. WNOE listeners can get copies of Jackie Wilson’s “A Woman, a Lover, a Friend” and Brian Hyland’s “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” for 79 cents “at record shops mentioned on WNOE.”

Perspective From the Present: African decolonization continued swiftly throughout the early 60s, and many of the new African nations were plagued by unrest and civil war. Senator Kennedy would hold a press conference on Monday to respond to Truman, and said he would not, as Truman suggested, decline the Democratic nomination. Truman would eventually campaign for JFK in the fall. From 1959 to 1962, Major League Baseball played two All-Star games in two different cities. The 1960 games were the only ones played so closely together; others were separated by a gap of three weeks or more.

I was four months old on this date, and I am told that when Mother and Dad took me to the fireworks the next night, I stared open-mouthed at the sky all the while.

2 thoughts on “July 3, 1960: I’m Sorry

  1. Leo Edelstein

    1960 was a great year for this 12-year old. Heavy into The Milwaukee Braves, collecting Topps baseball cards, five cents a pack, why is it so hard to find an Eddie Matthews, a Warren Spahn, a Henry Aaron? I’d guess “Walkin’ to New Orleans” played once an hour on 920am WOKY, one of two Milwaukee rock n rollers (1340am WRIT). It was on the radio of our 1957 Ford Country Squire as we headed to vacation at Wisconsin Dells, and stayed at a little place called Chula Vista Resort.
    What fun!

  2. Wesley

    I love the context you present here. WNOE had a great lineup with classic tunes including two numbers by Dinah Washington, yet at the same time the treacly “Tell Laura I Love Her” was amid the playlist too. And I’d never imagine any context where Jackie Wilson’s “A Woman, a Lover, a Friend” and Brian Hyland’s “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” would be mentioned in the same sentence.

    Other minor note: as much as I appreciate Truman as a president, some of his actions after his presidency don’t thrill me as much, including him calling Martin Luther King Jr. a “troublemaker” as well as this initial dismissal of JFK as the Democratic presidential nominee.

    And last but certainly not least, Happy Independence Day 2021 to my fellow Americans!

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