Page Last modified 13 Apr 2011
1 min read

It is a time of prosperity and pop culture. The East–West divide is put sharply into focus by the building of the Berlin Wall.

In 1962 the publication of the book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson alerts a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of pesticides. It sparks environmental awareness.

We see the first large oil spills from super tankers, but also the founding of the first international environmental Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) — the World Wildlife Fund. Nuclear proliferation and photos of Earth from space emphasise the consequences of technological achievements, as well as Earth's truly fragile place in the Universe.

The EEC launches its Common Agricultural Policy. To date it still accounts for about 45 % of the EU budget.

Russian Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space.

The Berlin Wall is built.

The Antarctic Treaty comes into force. Its aim is to ensure scientific cooperation and to prevent Antarctica becoming the focus of international argument over ownership. 39 countries are signatories.

World Wildlife Fund is founded, an international organisation for the conservation, research and restoration of the natural environment.

The book Silent Spring by Rachel Carson alerts a large audience to the environmental and human dangers of pesticides. It sparks the environmental movement.

Signing of the Berne Accord, a transboundary cooperation to protect the River Rhine.

The first supertanker accident, as the 'Torrey Canyon' runs aground between the Scilly Isles and Land's End in England. 120 000 tonnes of oil leaks, killing most of the marine life along the whole of the south coast of Britain and the Normandy shores of France.

Directive on classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances.

The Icelandic summer-spawning herring stock collapses as a result of high fishing pressure and deteriorating environmental conditions.

American Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the Moon. Iconic images of the Earth as seen from space and the Moon enter world history.

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