October 1967

What was making the news in October 1967?

With the news regularly covering the latest advances in space exploration and the race to offer scheduled space transportation, it is a little crazy to consider that 50 years ago this month, the first man made object landed on Venus. Having been launched in June of the same year, Venera 4, part of the Russian space programme, entered the Venusian atmosphere on October 18th, sending data back before contact was lost, presumably as part of the landing/impact with the surface.

On the subject of speed, Tuesday 3rd October 1967 was the date that William “Pete” Knight made the fastest flight of a powered aircraft, at a speed of Mach 6.72 (4,520 miles) (7,270 km) per hour. Whilst unmanned aircraft have exceeded this speed since, this remains the record for manned flight.

With nuclear subs in the news again as Trident is up for renewal, we are reminded that October 1967 saw the Royal Navy commission HMS Resolution, it’s first Polaris Ballistic missile submarine.

T-shirt adorning, poster boy for the modern revolting masses, Che Guevara, was captured on 8th October and then executed on the 9th at the order of the Bolivian President. His body was buried on the 11th after his hands were removed so the authorities could retain his fingerprints and verify his identity. Guevara’s tomb was concreted over and turned into a runway. Some 30 years later, his body, along with 5 others were found at the site and subsequently returned to Cuba.

On 31st October, The Queen performed the state opening of parliament and in her speech advised that her Government and Prime Minister, then Harold Wilson, would seek to remove the Governmental powers and hereditary succession of the House of Lords. After 18 months of no progress on the matter, the bill was dropped. It would be 1999 under another Labour Government led by Tony Blair before any major reforms took place. Fast forward to 2017 and it’s still a subject for debate!

As we have reviewed the events of 1967 in our 50th anniversary year, it is funny how many subjects remain current or are being revisited. There are simply too many to mention each month but it has been an enjoyable process to look back and remember the people and events that made 1967.