24 July: Wilfred Roman Oquendo, a Cuban-born American citizen, hijacks Eastern Airlines Flight 202 at pistol point in Miami and forces the pilot to take him to Cuba. 'Skyjacking' has been developed by Fidel Castro's brother Raul, initially targeting the planes of Cubana de Aviación; in the US it is not technically illegal until September 1961:
26 July: In the African sub-Saharan continent, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) votes in a constitutional referendum to allow some representation for black people, in the Rhodesian Parliament.
Although technically non-racial, there are two electoral rolls: on the 'A' list 50 constituencies are largely inhabited by whites; the 15 on the 'B' list are almost entirely black. The 'B' roll therefore has c. 23% of the seats in Parliament.
'It may be that many of us would like to see rather more, but, even a year ago, the most liberal-minded Southern Rhodesian that I have met would hardly have looked forward to being able to have 15 so quickly, and many were hoping to get only two, three or four after the next election' -
Later, as other African countries gain sovereignty, Southern Rhodesia wishes to follow suit, but is refused UK permission on the grounds that it has not yet moved to majority rule; this leads in 1965 to the colony's 'unilateral declaration of independence', not recognised internationally or by the United Nations. Following internal conflict and a period of direct rule from Britain, Zimbabwe gains its independence at last in 1980.
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