17 December 1967

Harold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia, disappears while swimming near Portsea, Victoria, and is presumed drowned.

Disappearance of Harold Holt
Searching Cheviot Beach.jpg
Searchers combing Cheviot Beach after Holt's disappearance
Date17 December 1967
Timeapprox. 12:20 p.m.
LocationCheviot Beach, Point Nepean, Victoria, Australia
Coordinates38°18′42″S 144°39′50″E / 38.3117°S 144.6640°E / -38.3117; 144.6640
ParticipantsHarold Holt, Prime Minister of Australia
OutcomeHolt presumed to have drowned

On 17 December 1967, Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia, disappeared while swimming in the sea near Portsea, Victoria. An enormous search operation was mounted in and around Cheviot Beach, but his body was never recovered. Holt was presumed to have died, and his memorial service five days later was attended by many world leaders. It is generally agreed that his disappearance was a simple case of an accidental drowning, but a number of conspiracy theories still surfaced, most famously the suggestion that he had been collected by a Chinese submarine. Holt was the third Australian prime minister to die in office, after Joseph Lyons in 1939 and John Curtin in 1945. He was initially replaced in a caretaker capacity by John McEwen, and then by John Gorton following a Liberal Party leadership election. Holt's death has entered Australian folklore, and was commemorated by, among other things, the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre.


Harold Holt became Prime Minister of Australia in January 1966, following the retirement of Sir Robert Menzies. He was a career politician, entering parliament at the age of 27 and becoming a government minister at the age of 30.[1] As with Menzies, Holt refused a security detail upon taking office, considering it unnecessary and potentially alienating to the general public. His stance changed after two incidents in mid-1966 – a window in his office was shattered by a sniper, and then an assassination attempt was made on Arthur Calwell, the Leader of the Opposition. Holt grudgingly accepted a single bodyguard for his official duties, but refused any protection while on holiday, regarding it as a violation of his privacy.[2][3] His wife Zara later suggested that this was so he could hide his extramarital affairs.[4]

Holt and the ocean

Harold Holt on a spearfishing expedition at Portsea, Victoria, in 1966.

Holt was a keen outdoorsman and had beach houses at Portsea, Victoria, and Bingil Bay, Queensland. He was introduced to spearfishing in 1954, and it soon became his preferred vacation activity. Holt wore a wetsuit so he could fish year round, and preferred either skin diving or snorkelling as he found air tanks burdensome and inauthentic.[5] Once he had speared a fish, he would unzip his suit and place it inside (still bleeding), allowing him to continue fishing.[6] According to his companions, Holt had "incredible powers of endurance underwater", and sometimes kept himself amused during parliamentary debates by seeing how long he could hold his breath. Although he could tread water for long periods, he was not a strong surface swimmer.[7]

Several of Holt's friends confronted him about the dangers of his hobby, including his press secretary, Tony Eggleton, to whom Holt responded, "Look Tony, what are the odds of a prime minister being drowned or taken by a shark?".[7] On 20 May 1967, Holt had a close call while diving at Cheviot Beach on the Mornington Peninsula, where he became distressed and called for help. Pulled ashore by his diving companions, he remained conscious but turned purple and vomited a large amount of seawater. Holt attributed the incident to a leaking snorkel, and supposedly remarked, "That's the closest I have ever been to drowning in my life!".[5] A few months later, on 5 August, he was spearfishing at Dunk Island on the Great Barrier Reef. He spent 25 minutes chasing a large coral trout, but eventually had to abandon the pursuit due to extreme shortness of breath.[7]

Holt's health

Holt had been in reasonably good health throughout his life, although he had a family history of premature death – his father had died at the age of 59 and his older brother at the age of 57.[8] He suffered a severe concussion in a road accident in November 1955, in which the driver of his ministerial car was killed.[9] In September 1967, Holt began treatment for a painful shoulder injury that he had originally suffered playing football in his youth; he was prescribed painkillers and twice-weekly physiotherapy. A few days before his death, he had been briefly examined by his personal physician, Marcus Faunce, who advised him to avoid over-exerting himself and to cut back on swimming and tennis.[8] The Prime Minister is Missing, a 2008 docudrama, suggested that Holt's judgment on the weekend of his death had been clouded by his medication, in combination with work-related tiredness and stress. Morphine was named as the drug that he had been prescribed, although there is "no direct evidence" that he had taken any on the day of his death.[10]

Lead-up to 17 December

Holt's final cabinet meeting of 1967 began late on Thursday, 14 December, and ended early the following morning. He returned to The Lodge for a few hours of sleep, and then returned to his Parliament House office at 8:30 a.m. to finalise a press release. At 11 a.m., Holt left Parliament House and was driven to RAAF Base Fairbairn, where he boarded a military jet to Melbourne. His wife Zara stayed in Canberra to finalise preparations for the annual Christmas party. On arriving in Melbourne, Holt and his personal secretary, Patricia De Lacy, were driven to his constituency office. After dictating a few letters, he went on to his home at St Georges Road, Toorak. There, he informed his housekeeper, Edith "Tiny" Lawless, that he would be spending the weekend at his beach house.[11] He also carried with him a letter from the Liberal Party whip expressing concern at the performance of the government.[12]

Holt drove down to Portsea in his red Pontiac Parisienne. He stopped in Sorrento on the way, where he ran into his neighbour, Marjorie Gillespie, and received an invitation to evening drinks. He spent about an hour with Gillespie and her husband Winton, and then had dinner with Lawless, who had driven down separately with Holt's clothes and provisions for the weekend. On Saturday, 16 December, Holt rose early and ate a light breakfast. He did some gardening, and made phone calls to Eggleton and his stepson Nicholas, inviting the latter down to Portsea. Holt played tennis in the afternoon, and then spent some time with Nicholas and his family. In the evening, he attended a neighbour's cocktail party for about an hour, and then returned home to host a dinner party with about a dozen guests.[13]


Cheviot Beach, the site of Holt's disappearance, faces the Bass Strait separating Victoria and Tasmania

Holt again rose early on Sunday, 17 December, and after breakfast telephoned his wife. He drove to the local general store mid-morning, where he bought insect repellent, peanuts, and the weekend newspapers. One of the headlines in The Australian was "PM advised to swim less", which detailed the latest advice from Holt's doctor; however, it is unclear if Holt bought or read that particular paper. On returning home, Holt made plans for the rest of the day, which included a visit to Point Nepean, a barbecue lunch, and an afternoon spearfishing trip. At 11:15 a.m., he and four others set out for Point Nepean, where they hoped to watch solo circumnavigator Alec Rose pass through The Rip into Port Phillip Bay. He was accompanied by Marjorie Gillespie, her daughter Vyner, and two family friends of the Gillespies, Martin Simpson and Alan Stewart.[14] It was a hot day, and Rose's yacht was barely visible, so the group only stayed a short while before leaving.[15]

On the drive back to Portsea, Holt suggested that the group stop at Cheviot Beach for a swim – it was about 12:15 p.m., and he wanted to cool down and work up an appetite before lunch. Holt knew the area well and had swum there many times before, in 1960 even salvaging a porthole from the SS Cheviot, the shipwreck that had given the beach its name. Holt did not hesitate in entering the water, despite a large swell and visible currents and eddies.[15] Stewart was the only other swimmer, as the others considered it unsafe. Stewart stayed close to shore, and even in the shallows felt a strong undertow. However, Holt swam into deeper water and was dragged out to sea. The others called out to him, but he did not raise his arms or cry for help. He soon slipped under the waves and out of sight, in a manner which Marjorie Gillespie described as "like a leaf being taken out [...] so quick and final".[16]


Following Holt's disappearance, Stewart drove to the nearby Officer Cadet School Portsea, an Australian Army training facility. The school was virtually deserted as most personnel were on annual leave, but the Victoria Police were contacted and initiated what became "one of the largest search operations in Australian history". The search for Holt's body began at 1:30 p.m., when three amateur divers entered the water and found it too rough.[16] They were soon joined by helicopters, watercraft, police divers, and two naval diving teams.[17] However, little progress was made, due to the rough conditions and limited equipment available. By the end of the day, there were more than 190 personnel involved, with operations based out of the Officer Cadet School;[18] this number would eventually increase to more than 340.[19]

The search resumed just before 5 a.m. on 18 December, despite strong wind, heavy seas, and occasional rain. Working in shifts, 50 divers focused on the rock pools and ledges near where Holt had last been sighted. They were forced to free dive to minimise injury, as they were continuously being driven against the nearby cliff face. Due to a change in the tide, the search was suspended at 8 a.m. and did not resume until mid-afternoon.[19] The following day's operations were again hampered by the weather.[20] Conditions improved on Wednesday, 20 December,[21] but by the following day most personnel were being withdrawn. The search for Holt's body was officially called off on 5 January 1968, although it had been gradually scaled back to the point where it consisted only of a daily beach patrol.[22] Lieutenant-Commander Phil Hawke, who led the HMAS Lonsdale diving team, would later state that "any chance of finding the prime minister was lost by the Sunday night".[20]


Rumours of Holt's disappearance reached the media just over an hour after it occurred,[16] and the first conclusive report was made at about 1:45 p.m., on Melbourne radio station 3DB.[17] Zara Holt was told of her husband's disappearance by Peter Bailey, one of his secretaries.[18]

Memorial service

External video
Footage of Holt's memorial service from the National Film and Sound Archive

A memorial service for Holt was held on Friday, 22 December, at St Paul's Cathedral, Melbourne. It was led by Tom Thomas, the Dean of Melbourne, with a single eulogy given by Philip Strong, the Anglican Primate of Australia. Due to the absence of a body, there were no prayers of committal. There were 2,000 attendees within the cathedral, and many thousands more lined the nearby streets and listened through a public address system.[23] Thirty newspaper reporters were given seats, but only one official photographer was allowed, as well as a single video camera at the back of the building. It was attended by the following leaders :

The following countries : Fiji, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, and Western Samoa sent their foreign ministers as representatives, while numerous other countries sent their ambassadors.[24]. After the service, there was a formal reception at Government House, Melbourne.[24]

Succession issues

John McEwen, the leader of the Country Party and de facto deputy prime minister, was at his farm in Stanhope, Victoria, when he was informed of Holt's disappearance. He immediately made his way to Canberra, and on the evening of 17 December met with Lord Casey, the Governor-General, at Yarralumla.[25] Casey had already conferred with Chief Justice Garfield Barwick and Attorney-General Nigel Bowen, and agreed with McEwen that he should be commissioned to form a caretaker government while the Liberal Party elected a new leader. This was based on the precedent set in 1939, when Earle Page was made temporary prime minister after the death of Joseph Lyons.[26] Casey issued a statement announcing his intentions the following day,[27] and McEwen was sworn in as prime minister on the afternoon of Tuesday, 19 December.[20]

Discussions about who would succeed Holt as leader of the Liberal Party began as soon as his disappearance became general knowledge.[28] The situation was complicated by McEwen publicly announcing that the Country Party would leave the coalition if the Liberals selected Treasurer William McMahon (the party's deputy leader).[21] The leadership election was not held until 9 January 1968, the 23rd day after the disappearance. The four candidates were John Gorton, Paul Hasluck, Billy Snedden and Les Bury. Gorton was elected over Hasluck on the second ballot, and was sworn in as prime minister the following day – the first senator to hold the office. In line with the constitutional convention that the prime minister must sit in the House of Representatives, he resigned from the Senate on 1 February to contest the by-election caused by Holt's death, which was held on 24 February. He won an easy victory, and was sworn in to the House on 12 March.[29]


According to his biographer, Tom Frame, "there could never realistically be much doubt that Harold Holt drowned – he was simply one of the number of ordinary Australians who drown each year through poor judgment or bad luck."[30] Holt likely misjudged his own swimming ability and the roughness of the conditions, and was simply overcome by exhaustion. Alternatively, he may have suffered a heart attack, been struck by driftwood, stung by jellyfish, or attacked by a shark. Holt's body was probably either trapped below the surface or washed out to sea on the ebb tide. It was not unusual for this to occur – three men had drowned at a beach in Rye a few years earlier, with one body disappearing and the other two ending up in different places.[31] Sir Robert Southey, a senior figure in the Liberal Party's organisational wing, said of the events in a 1994 interview:

My own feeling about what happened is something like this; [Holt] was a very good swimmer, a very good snorkeler and he came back to Melbourne and troubled, not very well, overstretched, overstrained, worried I believe at the ascendancy which Whitlam was beginning to gain and thinking, 'Well now I can relax there's one area in which I really am unchallenged boss, and that's the sea.' And I think in that sort of frame of mind he went to the element where he felt liberated and misjudged the kindness with which his favourite element would receive him on that fateful day.[12]

Some have suggested that Holt entered the water primarily in order to impress Marjorie Gillespie, with whom he was rumoured to be having an affair. Zara believed that this was the case,[4] and in 1988 Gillespie publicly identified herself as Holt's lover. However, in an earlier interview she had been specifically asked if their relationship was sexual in nature, and did not characterise it as such.[32]

Formal investigations

The Victoria Police launched a formal investigation into Holt's disappearance the day after it occurred. Jack Ford, a former homicide detective, was chosen to head the investigation, with Aubrey Jackson of the Commonwealth Police assisting.[27] The resulting police report was released on 5 January 1968, but did not record any definitive findings due to a lack of evidence. Senior pathologist James McNamara was consulted about what might have happened to Holt's body, and suggested that it may have trapped by kelp and then consumed by sea creatures (specifically sharks, crayfish, and/or sea lice). If that were the case, "the body would have been reduced to a skeleton in a period as short as 24 to 48 hours".[31] Some of those involved in the investigation later reported that certain relevant information had been deliberately omitted from the final report – for instance, Simpson's statement that Holt had had several cans of beer in his bag.[a][34]

The federal government declined to conduct its own inquiry, as the disappearance was considered uncontroversial and his family did not want one.[30] Until 1985, state law did not allow for the Victorian Coroners Court to conduct an inquest without the presence of a body. In August 2003, State Coroner Graeme Johnstone announced that his office had compiled a list of 103 cold cases involving suspected drownings where bodies were never recovered.[35][36] By November 2004, 82 cases had been deemed suitable for coronial inquests, including that of Holt.[37] Johnstone opened a formal inquest in August 2005,[38] and handed down his findings early the following month. He concluded that, "Mr Holt took an unnecessary risk and drowned in rough water off Cheviot Beach [...] there is nothing of significance in any of the material gathered that would indicate anything other than drowning occurred".[39] Johnstone also criticised the decision not to hold a governmental inquiry at the time of the disappearance, suggesting that it "may have avoided the development of some of the unsubstantiated rumours and unusual theories".[40]

Suggestions of suicide

Some have advanced the view that Holt's death was not accidental, but rather that he chose to end his own life. Supporters of this theory claim that Holt was depressed and mentally unstable, and killed himself because he thought his political career was in jeopardy. Those who reject it point to his joie de vivre and commitment to his family, as well as the plans he had made for the coming year.[41] The 1968 police report specifically ruled out suicide, as Holt had followed "an ordinary domestic pattern" in the days before his disappearance, and suicides in front of witnesses were considered atypical.[32]

Who Killed Harold Holt?, a Nine Network television documentary that aired in 2007, gave particular credence to the suicide theory, as did an article in The Bulletin published the same year. In response, Holt's son Sam gave an interview in which he said "there's no mystery, in essence there's no credibility at all; no one in our family believes it"; Zara had earlier said that her husband was "too selfish" to commit suicide.[41] Two of Holt's former colleagues, Tony Eggleton and Malcolm Fraser, were also interviewed around the same time, and both rejected any suggestion of suicide; Alick Downer and James Killen had expressed similar sentiments in their memoirs.[b] In contrast, Edward St John believed suicide was plausible, suggesting that Holt's death "appeared to be an act of a man who either wanted to die or didn't much care whether he lived or died".[43] Senior public servant Sir Lenox Hewitt recalled in a 1994 interview that Holt had seemed depressed in the period before his death.[12] Peter Butt, who produced the 2008 docudrama The Prime Minister is Missing, observed that "no one thought it was in his character and all those who know him dismiss the idea completely".[10]

Conspiracy theories

Holt's disappearance spawned numerous conspiracy theories, most of which involve claims of a cover-up at the highest level of government. A 1968 story in the Sunday Observer claimed that Holt had been assassinated by the CIA, supposedly because he intended to pull Australia out of Vietnam.[32] There were also suggestions that Holt had been killed by the North Vietnamese (after being incapacitated by a nerve agent),[44] or that he had faked his own death to be with a lover.[45] In 1983, British journalist Anthony Grey published The Prime Minister Was a Spy, in which he claimed that Holt was a lifelong spy for the People's Republic of China. According to Grey, Holt faked his own death in order to defect to China, and was "collected" by frogmen who dragged him to a waiting submarine. Reviewers noted multiple factual errors in the book, not least that it was physically impossible for a submarine to be positioned so close to the shore. Zara observed that her husband "didn't even like Chinese food".[46]


Holt is remembered more for the circumstances of his death than for his political achievements. Sol Encel believed that his disappearance marked the end of an interregnum between the stability of Menzies and the internal conflict the Liberal Party experienced under Gorton and William McMahon. Australia had only one prime minister (Menzies) from 1949 to 1965, but then from 1966 to 1975 had six prime ministers.[47] Peter Bowers said that Holt's death ended Australia's "age of innocence", as it meant national leaders could no longer keep their private lives completely away from public scrutiny.[48]


On the first anniversary of Holt's death, a commemorative plaque was bolted to a reef at Cheviot Beach, approximately 15 metres (49 ft) underwater.[49][50] There are monuments to Holt on the cliff above the beach and at the Melbourne General Cemetery, the latter featuring the inscription "he loved the sea".[51][52] In September 1968, a naval communication station in Western Australia was renamed in Holt's honour.[53] The following year, Holt's widow was invited to Los Angeles to launch the USS Harold E. Holt – one of only a handful of U.S. Navy ships named after foreign leaders.[54] In March 1969, the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre was opened in suburban Melbourne. It had been under construction at the time of Holt's death, and the Malvern City Council voted to name it in his honour, in part because he had been the local member of parliament.[55] The Australian Army also dedicated a swimming pool to Holt's memory – the Harold Holt Memorial Pool at the Australian base in Vũng Tàu, Vietnam.[56]

Popular culture

A banner at the 2010 Australian federal election making reference to Holt's disappearance

Holt's death has entered Australian folklore, and is frequently the subject of black humour.[57] Travel writer Bill Bryson labelled it "the swim that needed no towel".[58] Holt's name has become a byword for any sudden or unexplained disappearance; the phrase to do a Harold Holt is rhyming slang for to bolt (i.e., to make a quick exit).[59][60] Holt's death spawned a storyline in the Australian soap opera Neighbours, and has also been credited with inspiring The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, a British television series.[61] In 1988, rugby league commentator Jack Gibson – ex-coach of the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks – said that "waiting for Cronulla to win a Grand Final is like leaving a porch light on for Harold Holt". Over the following thirty years, opposition fans taunted Cronulla by waving posters of Holt's face and dressing up in wetsuits; the club eventually won its first premiership in 2016.[62] An entry in the online horror series the SCP Foundation designated SCP-3477 sees several humanoids all claiming to be Harold Holt.[63]


  1. ^ Holt did not have a reputation as a prolific drinker, and reputedly favoured cocktails rather than wine or beer.[33]
  2. ^
    • Eggleton said Holt "didn't sound like a man planning to jump into the sea and end it the next day" (in reference to a phone conversation they had had on 16 December).[41]
    • Fraser said "if somebody is planning to jump off a cliff, they are not at the same time planning to have a major cabinet review of the direction that Australia's taking" (in reference to plans he and Holt had discussed for 1968).[42]
    • Downer said "no one who really knew Holt would lightly come to such a conclusion ... Holt was not the sort of man who would sacrifice everything for the unknown".[32]
    • Killen said "there was nothing I ever saw in his make-up which would give the slightest support to the view that he could become desperate and suicidal".[43]


  1. ^ I. R. Hancock, Holt, Harold Edward (1908–1967) Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, published first in hardcopy 1996, accessed online 14 September 2017.
  2. ^ Frame, Tom (2005). The Life and Death of Harold Holt. Allen & Unwin. p. 149. ISBN 1-74114-672-0.
  3. ^ Frame (2005), p. 219.
  4. ^ a b Silence of Harold Holt's secret lover, Marjorie Gillespie Archived 2017-08-14 at the Wayback Machine, The Daily Telegraph, 13 September 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  5. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 272.
  6. ^ Home movies cast angler Holt: all the way with LBJ Archived 2008-02-10 at the Wayback Machine, The Age, 1 November 2007. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Frame (2005), p. 273.
  8. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 274.
  9. ^ Frame (2005), pp. 51–52.
  10. ^ a b Harold Holt drowning under the spotlight, The Weekend Australian, 18 October 2008. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  11. ^ Frame (2005), p. 246.
  12. ^ a b c Belsham, Bruce; Clark, Tim (1994). "It's Alright Boss". The Liberals: Fifty Years of the Federal Party. Episode 2. ABC.
  13. ^ Frame (2005), p. 247.
  14. ^ Frame (2005), p. 248.
  15. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 249.
  16. ^ a b c Frame (2005), p. 250.
  17. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 251.
  18. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 252.
  19. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 259.
  20. ^ a b c Frame (2005), p. 262.
  21. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 264.
  22. ^ Frame (2005), p. 265.
  23. ^ Frame (2005), p. 266.
  24. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 267.
  25. ^ Frame (2005), p. 253.
  26. ^ Frame (2005), p. 254.
  27. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 261.
  28. ^ Frame (2005), p. 255.
  29. ^ Frame (2005), p. 269.
  30. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 295.
  31. ^ a b Holt (2005), p. 275.
  32. ^ a b c d Frame (2005), p. 277.
  33. ^ Frame (2005), p. 136.
  34. ^ "The mystery of Harold Holt", The Gold Coast Bulletin, 30 August 2003.
  35. ^ Harold Holt may get his inquest – 36 years on Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, The Sydney Morning Herald, 25 August 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  36. ^ Memories of the hunt for Harold Holt Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, The Age, 26 August 2003. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  37. ^ "Holt inquest to be held next year" Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, The Age, 15 November 2004. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  38. ^ Harold Holt inquest starts, 40 years on Archived 2018-02-28 at the Wayback Machine, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 August 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  39. ^ Final verdict on Holt disappearance Archived 2016-04-16 at the Wayback Machine, The Age, 2 September 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  40. ^ Harold Holt drowned, coroner finds Archived 2016-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 September 2005. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  41. ^ a b c Harold Holt disappearance: 48 years on and still no answers, Herald Sun, 16 December 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  42. ^ Fraser challenges Holt suicide theory, The Australian, 15 November 2007. Retrieved 11 November 2017.
  43. ^ a b Frame (2005), p. 276.
  44. ^ Frame (2005), p. 278.
  45. ^ Frame (2005), p. 293.
  46. ^ Frame (2005), pp. 278–292.
  47. ^ Frame (2005), p. 301.
  48. ^ "The death that ended our age of innocence". The Age. 31 December 2001. Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  49. ^ In Memory of Mr. Harold Holt Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, The Australian Women's Weekly, 1 January 1969.
  50. ^ The little known underwater plaque for Harold Holt Archived 2018-02-28 at the Wayback Machine, ABC News, 14 February 2017. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  51. ^ Harold Holt Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, Monument Australia. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  52. ^ Melbourne General Cemetery Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, Museum of Australian Democracy. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  53. ^ HEH Naval Communication Station Archived 2017-06-06 at the Wayback Machine, Shire of Exmouth. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  54. ^ All the way, and beyond, The Weekend Australian, 4 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  55. ^ History of Harold Holt Swim Centre Archived 2017-06-08 at the Wayback Machine, City of Stonnington. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  56. ^ Australian War Memorial Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  57. ^ "Australian humour". Australian Government. Archived from the original on 18 December 2017. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
  58. ^ How to Speak Australian Archived 2017-08-28 at the Wayback Machine, The New York Times, 20 August 2000. Retrieved 9 November 2017.
  59. ^ Straight to the poolroom with these Australian idioms Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, Oxford Australia, 10 August 2016. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  60. ^ Harold Holt does a Harry Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, Ozwords, 5 August 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  61. ^ The swim that needed no towel ... Archived 2017-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, The Guardian, 24 August 2005. Retrieved 4 November 2017.
  62. ^ Harold Holt’s grandson will cheer for Cronulla in Sunday’s NRL grand final Archived 2016-11-04 at the Wayback Machine, The Daily Telegraph, 28 September 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2017.
  63. ^ SCP Foundation - SCP-3477. SCP Foundation. Retrieved December 22, 2018 from http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-3477 Archived 22 December 2018 at the Wayback Machine.

External links

10 October 1967

The Outer Space Treaty comes into force.

Outer Space Treaty
French: Traité de l'espace
Russian: Договор о космосе
Spanish: Tratado sobre el espacio ultraterrestre
Chinese: 外层空间条约
Outer Space Treaty parties.svg
Signed27 January 1967
LocationLondon, Moscow and Washington, D.C.
Effective10 October 1967
Condition5 ratifications, including the depositary Governments
DepositaryGovernments of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the United States of America
LanguagesEnglish, French, Russian, Spanish and Chinese
Outer Space Treaty of 1967 at Wikisource

The Outer Space Treaty, formally the Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, is a treaty that forms the basis of international space law. The treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of June 2019, 109 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.[1] In addition, Taiwan, which is currently recognized by 14 UN member states, ratified the treaty prior to the United Nations General Assembly's vote to transfer China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971.[5]

Among the Outer Space Treaty's main points are that it prohibits the placing of nuclear weapons in space, it limits the use of the Moon and all other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes only, and establishes that space shall be free for exploration and use by all nations, but that no nation may claim sovereignty of outer space or any celestial body. The Outer Space Treaty does not ban military activities within space, military space forces, or the weaponization of space, with the exception of the placement of weapons of mass destruction in space.[6][7] It is mostly a non-armament treaty and offers insufficient and ambiguous regulations to newer space activities such as lunar and asteroid mining.[8][9][10]

Key points

The Outer Space Treaty represents the basic legal framework of international space law. Among its principles, it bars states party to the treaty from placing weapons of mass destruction in Earth orbit, installing them on the Moon or any other celestial body, or otherwise stationing them in outer space. It exclusively limits the use of the Moon and other celestial bodies to peaceful purposes and expressly prohibits their use for testing weapons of any kind, conducting military maneuvers, or establishing military bases, installations, and fortifications (Article IV). However, the treaty does not prohibit the placement of conventional weapons in orbit and thus some highly destructive attack strategies such as kinetic bombardment are still potentially allowable.[11] The treaty also states that the exploration of outer space shall be done to benefit all countries and that space shall be free for exploration and use by all the states.

The treaty explicitly forbids any government to claim a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet.[12] Article II of the treaty states that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means." However, the state that launches a space object retains jurisdiction and control over that object.[13] The state is also liable for damages caused by its space object.[14]

Being mostly an arms-control treaty for a peaceful outer space use, it offers insufficient and ambiguous regulations to newer space activities such as lunar and asteroid mining.[8][10][15] It therefore remains under contention whether the extraction of resources falls within the prohibitive language of appropriation or whether the use encompasses the commercial use and exploitation.[16] Seeking clearer guidelines, private companies in the US prompted the US government and legalized space mining in 2015 by introducing the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act of 2015.[17] Similar national legislations legalizing extraterrestrial appropriation of resources are now being replicated by other nations, including Luxembourg, Japan, China, India and Russia.[8][15][18][19] This has created a controversy on legal claims for mining for profit.[15][16]

Responsibility for activities in space

Article VI of the Outer Space Treaty deals with international responsibility, stating that "the activities of non-governmental entities in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, shall require authorization and continuing supervision by the appropriate State Party to the Treaty" and that States Parties shall bear international responsibility for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities.

As a result of discussions arising from Project West Ford in 1963, a consultation clause was included in Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty: "A State Party to the Treaty which has reason to believe that an activity or experiment planned by another State Party in outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, would cause potentially harmful interference with activities in the peaceful exploration and use of outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, may request consultation concerning the activity or experiment."[20][21]


The United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) coordinates[23] these treaties and other questions of space jurisdiction.

List of parties

The Outer Space Treaty was opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union on 27 January 1967, and entered into force on 10 October 1967. As of June 2019, 109 countries are parties to the treaty, while another 23 have signed the treaty but have not completed ratification.[1]

Multiple dates indicate the different days in which states submitted their signature or deposition, which varied by location. This location is noted by: (L) for London, (M) for Moscow, and (W) for Washington, DC. Also indicated is whether the state became a party by way of signing the treaty and subsequent ratification, by accession to the treaty after it had closed for signature, or by succession of states after separation from some other party to the treaty.

State[1][2][3][4] Signed Deposited Method
 Afghanistan Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Mar 17, 1988 (L, M)
Mar 21, 1988 (W)
 Algeria Jan 27, 1992 (W) Accession
 Antigua and Barbuda Nov 16, 1988 (W)
Dec 26, 1988 (M)
Jan 26, 1989 (L)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Argentina Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Apr 18, 1967 (M)
Mar 26, 1969 (M, W) Ratification
 Armenia Mar 28, 2018 (M) Accession
 Australia Jan 27, 1967 (W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Austria Feb 20, 1967 (L, M, W) Feb 26, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Azerbaijan Sep 9, 2015 (L) Accession
 Bahamas Aug 11, 1976 (L)
Aug 13, 1976 (W)
Aug 30, 1976 (M)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Bangladesh Jan 14, 1986 (L)
Jan 17, 1986 (W)
Jan 24, 1986 (M)
 Barbados Sep 12, 1968 (W) Accession
 Belarus Feb 10, 1967 (M) Oct 31, 1967 (M) Ratification
 Belgium Jan 27, 1967 (L, M)
Feb 2, 1967 (W)
Mar 30, 1973 (W)
Mar 31, 1973 (L, M)
 Benin Jun 19, 1986 (M)
Jul 2, 1986 (L)
Jul 7, 1986 (W)
 Brazil Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Feb 2, 1967 (L, W)
Mar 5, 1969 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Bulgaria Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Mar 28, 1967 (M)
Apr 11, 1967 (W)
Apr 19, 1967 (L)
 Burkina Faso Mar 3, 1967 (W) Jun 18, 1968 (W) Ratification
 Canada Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Chile Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 3, 1967 (L)
Feb 20, 1967 (M)
Oct 8, 1981 (W) Ratification
 China Dec 30, 1983 (W)
Jan 6, 1984 (M)
Jan 12, 1984 (L)
 Cuba Jun 3, 1977 (M) Accession
 Cyprus Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 15, 1967 (M)
Feb 16, 1967 (L)
Jul 5, 1972 (L, W)
Sep 20, 1972 (M)
 Czech Republic Jan 1, 1993 (M, W)
Sep 29, 1993 (L)
Succession from  Czechoslovakia
 Denmark Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Dominican Republic Jan 27, 1967 (W) Nov 21, 1968 (W) Ratification
 Ecuador Jan 27, 1967 (W)
May 16, 1967 (L)
Jun 7, 1967 (M)
Mar 7, 1969 (W) Ratification
 Egypt Jan 27, 1967 (M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (W)
Jan 23, 1968 (M)
 El Salvador Jan 27, 1967 (W) Jan 15, 1969 (W) Ratification
 Equatorial Guinea Jan 16, 1989 (M) Accession
 Estonia Apr 19, 2010 (M) Accession
 Fiji Jul 18, 1972 (W)
Aug 14, 1972 (L)
Aug 29, 1972 (M)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Finland Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Jul 12, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 France Sep 25, 1967 (L, M, W) Aug 5, 1970 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Germany Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Feb 10, 1971 (L, W) Ratification
 Greece Jan 27, 1967 (W) Jan 19, 1971 (L) Ratification
 Guinea-Bissau Aug 20, 1976 (M) Accession
 Hungary Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Jun 26, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Iceland Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Feb 5, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 India Mar 3, 1967 (L, M, W) Jan 18, 1982 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Indonesia Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Feb 14, 1967 (L)
Jun 25, 2002 (L) Ratification
 Iraq Feb 27, 1967 (L, W)
Mar 9, 1967 (M)
Dec 4, 1968 (M)
Sep 23, 1969 (L)
 Ireland Jan 27, 1967 (L, W) Jul 17, 1968 (W)
Jul 19, 1968 (L)
 Israel Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Feb 18, 1977 (W)
Mar 1, 1977 (L)
Apr 4, 1977 (M)
 Italy Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) May 4, 1972 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Jamaica Jun 29, 1967 (L, M, W) Aug 6, 1970 (W)
Aug 10, 1970 (L)
Aug 21, 1970 (M)
 Japan Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Kazakhstan Jun 11, 1998 (M) Accession
 Kenya Jan 19, 1984 (L) Accession
 North Korea Mar 5, 2009 (M) Accession
 South Korea Jan 27, 1967 (W) Oct 13, 1967 (W) Ratification
 Kuwait Jun 7, 1972 (W)
Jun 20, 1972 (L)
Jul 4, 1972 (M)
 Laos Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Jan 30, 1967 (L)
Feb 2, 1967 (M)
Nov 27, 1972 (M)
Nov 29, 1972 (W)
Jan 15, 1973 (L)
 Lebanon Feb 23, 1967 (L, M, W) Mar 31, 1969 (L, M)
Jun 30, 1969 (W)
 Libya Jul 3, 1968 (W) Accession
 Lithuania Mar 25, 2013 (W) Accession
 Luxembourg Jan 27, 1967 (M, W)
Jan 31, 1967 (L)
Jan 17, 2006 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Madagascar Aug 22, 1968 (W) Accession
 Mali Jun 11, 1968 (M) Accession
 Malta May 22, 2017 (L) Accession
 Mauritius Apr 7, 1969 (W)
Apr 21, 1969 (L)
May 13, 1969 (M)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Mexico Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Jan 31, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Mongolia Jan 27, 1967 (M) Oct 10, 1967 (M) Ratification
 Morocco Dec 21, 1967 (L, M)
Dec 22, 1967 (W)
 Myanmar May 22, 1967 (L, M, W) Mar 18, 1970 (L, M, W) Ratification
   Nepal Feb 3, 1967 (M, W)
Feb 6, 1967 (L)
Oct 10, 1967 (L)
Oct 16, 1967 (M)
Nov 22, 1967 (W)
 Netherlands Feb 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1969 (L, M, W) Ratification
 New Zealand Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) May 31, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Nicaragua Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 13, 1967 (L)
Jun 30, 2017 (W)
Aug 10, 2017 (M)
Aug 14, 2017 (L)
 Niger Feb 1, 1967 (W) Apr 17, 1967 (L)
May 3, 1967 (W)
 Nigeria Nov 14, 1967 (L) Accession
 Norway Feb 3, 1967 (L, M, W) Jul 1, 1969 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Pakistan Sep 12, 1967 (L, M, W) Apr 8, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Papua New Guinea Oct 27, 1980 (L)
Nov 13, 1980 (M)
Mar 16, 1981 (W)
Succession from  Australia
 Paraguay Dec 22, 2016 (L) Accession
 Peru Jun 30, 1967 (W) Feb 28, 1979 (M)
Mar 1, 1979 (L)
Mar 21, 1979 (W)
 Poland Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Jan 30, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Portugal May 29, 1996 (L) Accession
 Qatar Mar 13, 2012 (W) Accession
 Romania Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Apr 9, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Russia Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification as the  Soviet Union
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines May 13, 1999 (L) Succession from  United Kingdom
 San Marino Apr 21, 1967 (W)
Apr 24, 1967 (L)
Jun 6, 1967 (M)
Oct 29, 1968 (W)
Nov 21, 1968 (M)
Feb 3, 1969 (L)
 Saudi Arabia Dec 17, 1976 (W) Accession
 Seychelles Jan 5, 1978 (L) Accession
 Sierra Leone Jan 27, 1967 (L, M)
May 16, 1967 (W)
Jul 13, 1967 (M)
Jul 14, 1967 (W)
Oct 25, 1967 (L)
 Singapore Sep 10, 1976 (L, M, W) Accession
 Slovakia Jan 1, 1993 (M, W)
May 17, 1993 (L)
Succession from  Czechoslovakia
 Slovenia Feb 8, 2019 (L) Accession
 South Africa Mar 1, 1967 (W) Sep 30, 1968 (W)
Oct 8, 1968 (L)
Nov 14, 1968 (M)
 Spain Nov 27, 1968 (L)
Dec 7, 1968 (W)
 Sri Lanka Mar 10, 1967 (L) Nov 18, 1986 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Sweden Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 11, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
  Switzerland Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Dec 18, 1969 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Syria Nov 19, 1968 (M) Accession
 Thailand Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Sep 5, 1968 (L)
Sep 9, 1968 (M)
Sep 10, 1968 (W)
 Togo Jan 27, 1967 (W) Jun 26, 1989 (W) Ratification
 Tonga Jun 22, 1971 (M)
Jul 7, 1971 (L, W)
Succession from  United Kingdom
 Tunisia Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Feb 15, 1967 (M)
Mar 28, 1968 (L)
Apr 4, 1968 (M)
Apr 17, 1968 (W)
 Turkey Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Mar 27, 1968 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Uganda Apr 24, 1968 (W) Accession
 Ukraine Feb 10, 1967 (M) Oct 31, 1967 (M) Ratification
 United Arab Emirates Oct 4, 2000 (W) Accession
 United Kingdom Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 United States Jan 27, 1967 (L, M, W) Oct 10, 1967 (L, M, W) Ratification
 Uruguay Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Jan 30, 1967 (M)
Aug 31, 1970 (W) Ratification
 Venezuela Jan 27, 1967 (W) Mar 3, 1970 (W) Ratification
 Vietnam Jun 20, 1980 (M) Accession
 Yemen Jun 1, 1979 (M) Accession
 Zambia Aug 20, 1973 (W)
Aug 21, 1973 (M)
Aug 28, 1973 (L)

Partially recognized state abiding by treaty

The Republic of China (Taiwan), which is currently recognized by 14 UN member states, ratified the treaty prior to the United Nations General Assembly's vote to transfer China's seat to the People's Republic of China (PRC) in 1971. When the PRC subsequently ratified the treaty, they described the Republic of China's (ROC) ratification as "illegal". The ROC has committed itself to continue to adhere to the requirements of the treaty, and the United States has declared that it still considers the ROC to be "bound by its obligations".[5]

State Signed Deposited Method
 Republic of China 27 Jan 1967 24 Jul 1970 Ratification

States that have signed but not ratified

Twenty-three states have signed but not ratified the treaty.

State Signed
 Bolivia Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Botswana Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Burundi Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Cameroon Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Central African Republic Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Colombia Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Democratic Republic of the Congo Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Apr 29, 1967 (M)
May 4, 1967 (L)
 Ethiopia Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Feb 10, 1967 (M)
 Gambia Jun 2, 1967 (L)
 Ghana Jan 27, 1967 (W)
Feb 15, 1967 (M)
Mar 3, 1967 (L)
 Guyana Feb 3, 1967 (W)
 Haiti Jan 27, 1967 (W)
  Holy See Apr 5, 1967 (L)
 Honduras Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Iran Jan 27, 1967 (L)
 Jordan Feb 2, 1967 (W)
 Lesotho Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Malaysia Feb 20, 1967 (W)
Feb 21, 1967 (L)
May 3, 1967 (M)
 Panama Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Philippines Jan 27, 1967 (L, W)
Apr 29, 1967 (M)
 Rwanda Jan 27, 1967 (W)
 Somalia Feb 2, 1967 (W)
 Trinidad and Tobago Jul 24, 1967 (L)
Aug 17, 1967 (M)
Sep 28, 1967 (W)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies". United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Retrieved 16 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b "TREATY ON PRINCIPLES GOVERNING THE ACTIVITIES OF STATES IN THE EXPLORATION AND USE OF OUTER SPACE, INCLUDING THE MOON AND OTHER CELESTIAL BODIES". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2015.
    "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies [London version]". Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies". United States Department of State. 30 June 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Договор о принципах деятельности государств по исследованию и использованию космического пространства, включая Луну и другие небесные тела" (in Russian). Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 28 August 2015.
  5. ^ a b "China: Accession to Outer Space Treaty". United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  6. ^ Shakouri Hassanabadi, Babak (30 July 2018). "Space Force and international space law". The Space Review. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  7. ^ Irish, Adam (13 September 2018). "The Legality of a U.S. Space Force". OpinioJuris. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  8. ^ a b c If space is ‘the province of mankind’, who owns its resources? Senjuti Mallick and Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan. The Observer Research Foundation. 24 January 2019. Quote 1: "The Outer Space Treaty (OST) of 1967, considered the global foundation of the outer space legal regime, […] has been insufficient and ambiguous in providing clear regulations to newer space activities such as asteroid mining." *Quote2: "Although the OST does not explicitly mention "mining" activities, under Article II, outer space including the Moon and other celestial bodies are "not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty" through use, occupation or any other means."
  9. ^ Space Law: Is asteroid mining legal?. Wired. 1 May 2012.
  10. ^ a b Who Owns Space? US Asteroid-Mining Act Is Dangerous And Potentially Illegal. IFL. Accessed on 9 November 2019. Quote 1: "The act represents a full-frontal attack on settled principles of space law which are based on two basic principles: the right of states to scientific exploration of outer space and its celestial bodies and the prevention of unilateral and unbriddled commercial exploitation of outer-space resources. These principles are found in agreements including the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 and the Moon Agreement of 1979." *Quote 2: "Understanding the legality of asteroid mining starts with the 1967 Outer Space Treaty. Some might argue the treaty bans all space property rights, citing Article II."
  11. ^ Bourbonniere, M.; Lee, R. J. (2007). "Legality of the Deployment of Conventional Weapons in Earth Orbit: Balancing Space Law and the Law of Armed Conflict". European Journal of International Law. 18 (5): 873. doi:10.1093/ejil/chm051.
  12. ^ Frakes, Jennifer (2003). "The Common Heritage of Mankind Principle and the Deep Seabed, Outer Space, and Antarctica: Will Developed and Developing Nations Reach a Compromise?". Wiscoscin International Law Journal (21 ed.): 409.
  13. ^ Outer Space Treaty of 1967#Article VIII  – via Wikisource.
  14. ^ Wikisource:Outer Space Treaty of 1967#Article VII
  15. ^ a b c Davies, Rob (6 February 2016). "Asteroid mining could be space's new frontier: the problem is doing it legally". The Guardian.
  16. ^ a b Koch, Jonathan Sydney (2008). "Institutional Framework for the Province of all Mankind: Lessons from the International Seabed Authority for the Governance of Commercial Space Mining". Astropolitics. 16 (1): 1–27. doi:10.1080/14777622.2017.1381824.
  17. ^ "U.S. Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act". Act No. H.R.2262 of 5 December 2015. 114th Congress (2015-2016) Sponsor: Rep. McCarthy, Kevin.
  18. ^ Ridderhof, R. (18 December 2015). "Space Mining and (U.S.) Space Law". Peace Palace Library. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  19. ^ "Law Provides New Regulatory Framework for Space Commerce | RegBlog". www.regblog.org. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  20. ^ Terrill Jr., Delbert R. (May 1999), Project West Ford, "The Air Force Role in Developing International Outer Space Law" (PDF), Air Force History and Museums:63–67
  21. ^ Wikisource:Outer Space Treaty of 1967#Article IX
  22. ^ Status of international agreements relating to activities in outer space as at 1 January 2008 United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs, 2008
  23. ^ Beyond UNISPACE: It's time for the Moon Treaty. Dennis C. O'Brien. Pace Review. 21 January 2019.

Further reading

  • Annette Froehlich, et al.: A Fresh View on the Outer Space Treaty. Springer, Vienna 2018, ISBN 978-3-319-70433-3.

External links

2 October 1967

Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first African-American justice of the United States Supreme Court.

On this day in 2 October 1967, Chief Justice Earl Warren swore in Thurgood Marshall as the first black U.S. Supreme Court justice in the nation’s history. His father, William Marshall, who was a railroad porter, and his mother, Norma, a teacher, instilled in him an appreciation for the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.

Marshall, as chief counsel for the NAACP in the 1940s and ’50s, devised the legal strategy that did much to end officially sanctioned racial segregation in the United States.

After being rejected by the University of Maryland Law School, Marshall, the grandson of a slave, studied at the predominantly black Howard University Law School in Washington. At Howard, he came under the wing of Charles Houston, a prominent civil liberties lawyer, and, in 1933, graduated first in his class. In 1936, he joined the legal division of the NAACP, which Houston then directed.

20 September 1967

RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 is launched Clydebank, Scotland.

The following day, Wednesday, September 20, 1967, a ship that would play a very important part in the life of the Port of New York, Cunard’s QUEEN ELIZABETH 2 was launched at Clydebank, Scotland. She has since visited the port more times than probably any other ocean liner.

The Port of New York was not the scene for the historical maritime event of this day. It took place over 3000 miles away at Clydebank, Scotland in the shipyard of John Brown & Company Limited. An ocean liner that was destined to play a major role in the life of the Port of New York was under construction there. On September 20, 1967 Her Majesty The Queen named the new Cunard liner that was being built in the same place as many Cunard liners of the past. On the same stocks were constructed QUEEN ELIZABETH, QUEEN MARY, AQUITANIA, and LUSITANIA. This newest Cunarder, yard No.736, known up to now as “Q4” was scheduled to be launched on this day.

12 July 1967

Riots break out in Newark, New Jersey.

The 1967 Newark riots was one of 159 race riots that swept cities in the United States during the “Long Hot Summer of 1967”. This riot occurred in the city of Newark, New Jersey between July 12 and July 17, 1967. Over the four days of rioting, looting, and property destruction, 26 people died and hundreds were injured.

In the decades leading up to the riots, deindustrialization and suburbanization were major contributors to changes in Newark’s demographics. White middle-class citizens left for other towns across North Jersey, in one of the largest examples of white flight in the country. Due to the legislation of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, white veterans, who had just returned from fighting in World War II, began to emigrate from Newark to the suburbs where there was improved access to interstate highways, low-interest mortgages, and colleges. The outflow suburban sprawl of white veterans from Newark was rapidly replaced with an influx of blacks moving into the Central Ward; the blacks, however, faced discrimination in jobs and housing, ultimately making their lives exponentially more likely to fall into a cycle of poverty. By 1967, Newark was one of the United States’ first majority-black cities, but was still controlled by white politicians.

Racial profiling, redlining, and lack of opportunity in education, training, and jobs led the city’s African-American residents to feel powerless and disenfranchised. In particular, many felt they had been largely excluded from meaningful political representation and often subjected to police brutality.

Unemployment and poverty were very high, with the traditional manufacturing base of the city having been fully eroded and withdrawn by 1967. Further fueling tensions was the decision by the state of New Jersey to clear tenement buildings from a vast tract of land in the Central Ward to build the new University of Medicine and Dentistry. Thousands of low-income African American residents were displaced at a time when housing in Newark was aging and subjected to high tax rates.

Many African Americans, especially younger community leaders, felt they had remained largely disenfranchised in Newark, despite massive changes in the city’s demographic makeup. Mayor Hugh Addonizio, to date the last white mayor of the city, took few steps to adjust to the changes and provide African Americans with civil leadership positions and better employment opportunities.

Despite being one of the first cities in the country to hire black police officers, the department’s demographics remained at odds with the city’s population, leading to poor relations between blacks and the police department. Only 145 of the 1,322 police officers in the city were black, mirroring national demographics, while the city grew to be over 50% black. Black leaders were increasingly upset that the Newark Police Department remained dominated by white officers, who would routinely stop and question black youths with or without provocation.

The Newark riots of 1967 were in response to an incident of excessive force where two Newark Police officers arrested and beat John Smith an African American taxi driver. The riots in Newark occurred 2 years after riots in Los Angeles and came at a time when racial tensions were high. Historians believe that the shrinking of the economy, increased unemployment, and a city with a majority African American population which was being run by white politicians increased tensions during that era.

This unrest and social change came to a head when two white Newark police officers, John DeSimone and Vito Pontrelli, arrested a black cab driver, John William Smith, on the evening of July 12. After signaling, Smith passed the double parked police car, after which he was pursued and pulled over by the officers. He was arrested, beaten by the officers and taken to the 4th Police Precinct, where he was charged with assaulting the officers[9] and making insulting remarks.

Residents of Hayes Homes, a large public housing project, saw an incapacitated Smith being dragged into the precinct, and a rumor was started that he had been beaten to death while in police custody. Smith in fact had been released in the custody of his lawyer. The rumor, however, spread quickly, and a large crowd soon formed outside the precinct. At this point, accounts vary, with some saying that the crowd threw rocks through the precinct windows and police then rushed outside wearing hard hats and carrying clubs. Others say that police rushed out of their station first to confront the crowd, and then they began to throw bricks, bottles, and rocks.

A person who had witnessed the arrest of Smith contacted members of the Congress of Racial Equality, the United Freedom Party, and the Newark Community Union Project for further investigation; they were subsequently granted access to Smith’s 4th Precinct holding cell. After seeing the injuries Smith sustained from the police, they demanded him to be moved to Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, New Jersey, and were granted their request.

At least five police officers were struck by stones, according to one officer. Some residents went to City Hall and shouted angry protests. After midnight false alarms caused fire engines to race around a six-block area along Belmont Avenue. Looters smashed windows of a few stores and threw merchandise onto sidewalks. According to police, liquor stores were the main target of looters. As the rumors were dispelled, things calmed.

19 December 1967

The Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt, is officially declared dead.

Harold Holt, the Prime Minister of Australia, disappeared while swimming near Portsea, Victoria, on 17 December 1967. A massive search operation was mounted in and around Cheviot Beach, but his body was never recovered. He was eventually declared dead in absentia, and his memorial service five days later was attended by many world leaders. It is generally agreed that his disappearance was a simple case of an accidental drowning, but a number of conspiracy theories still surfaced, most famously the suggestion that he had been collected by a Chinese submarine. Holt was the third Australian prime minister to die in office, after Joseph Lyons in 1939 and John Curtin in 1945. He was initially replaced in a caretaker capacity by John McEwen, and then by John Gorton following a Liberal Party leadership election. Holt’s death has entered Australian folklore, and was commemorated by, among other things, the Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Centre.

Harold Holt became Prime Minister of Australia in January 1966, following the retirement of Robert Menzies. He was a career politician, entering parliament at the age of 27 and becoming a government minister at the age of 30. Emulating Menzies, Holt refused a security detail upon taking office – he considered it unnecessary and potentially alienating to the general public. His stance changed after two incidents in mid-1966 – a window in his office was shattered by a sniper, and then an assassination attempt was made on Arthur Calwell, the Leader of the Opposition. Holt begrudgingly accepted a single bodyguard for his official duties, but refused any protection while on holiday, regarding it as a violation of his privacy. His wife Zara would later suggest that this was so he could hide his extramarital affairs.

10 February 1967

The 25th Amendment of the United States Constitution is ratified.

Twenty-fifth Amendment, amendment (1967) to the Constitution of the United States that set forth succession rules relating to vacancies and disabilities of the office of the president and of the vice president. It was proposed by the U.S. Congress on July 6, 1965, and it was ratified on Feb. 10, 1967. While the first section of the Twenty-fifth Amendment codified the traditionally observed process of succession in the event of the death of the president—that the vice president would succeed to the office—it also introduced a change regarding the ascent of the vice president to president should the latter resign from office. In the event of resignation, the vice president would assume the title and position of president—not acting president—effectively prohibiting the departing president from returning to office.

Prior to the passage of the amendment, nine presidents—William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Warren G. Harding, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower—experienced health crises that left them temporarily incapacitated, with death resulting in six cases. After the passage of the amendment, Pres. Ronald Reagan was incapacitated for some 24 hours while undergoing surgery for a gunshot wound resulting from a failed assassination attempt, though no official designation of presidential responsibility was ever made. Indeed, this portion of the Twenty-fifth Amendment has never been invoked.

12 January 1967

James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically frozen with the aim of future resuscitation.

On 12 January, 1967, Dr. James H. Bedford became the first man to enter cryonic suspension. The story of his suspension and his care over the intervening years is covered elsewhere. The purpose of this article is to document Dr. Bedford’s condition as assessed by a brief external exam conducted on 25 May, 1991. At this time, Dr. Bedford was transferred from the horizontal sealed-in-the-field cryogenic dewar into which he had been welded in April of 1970 to a state-of-the-art multipatient dewar.

Overall this examination indicates that the patient has at least not been warmed above 0°C. Further, the presence of undenatured hemoglobin as evidenced by the presence of bright red blood, and the appearance of the water ice remaining on the patient, including what appeared to be loose condensed “frost” from his cooling to -79°C suggests that rewarming was not to any high subzero temperature.

In the cryonics community, the anniversary of his cryopreservation is celebrated as “Bedford Day.” The story even made the cover of a limited print run of Life magazine before the presses were stopped to report the deaths of the three astronauts in the Apollo 1 fire instead.Bedford’s body was maintained in liquid nitrogen by his family in southern California until 1982, when it was then moved to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, and has remained in their care to the present day.

2 January 1967

Ronald Reagan become the Governor of California.

Ronald Reagan was the Governor of California for two terms, the first beginning in 1967 and the second in 1971. He left office in 1975, declining to run for a third term. Robert Finch, Edwin Reinecke, and John L. Harmer served as lieutenant governors over the course of his governorship.California Republicans were impressed with Reagan’s political views and charisma after his “A Time for Choosing” speech,and nominated him as the Republican party candidate for Governor in 1966.

Reagan’s campaign emphasized two main themes: “to send the welfare bums back to work”, and regarding burgeoning anti-war and anti-establishment student protests at UC Berkeley, “to clean up the mess at Berkeley”. He was elected, defeating two-term governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown by nearly a million votes, and was sworn in on January 2, 1967 at ten minutes past midnight.In 1988, Reagan explained that this time was chosen because his predecessor, Governor Brown, “had been filling up the ranks of appointments and judges” in the days before his term ended. Professor Marcello Truzzi, a sociologist at Eastern Michigan University who studied the Reagans’ interest in astrology, regarded this explanation as “preposterous”, as the decision to be sworn in at that odd time of day was made six weeks earlier, and was based on advice from Reagan’s long-time friend, the astrologer Carroll Righter.

Reagan was elected to his first term as Governor of California on November 8, 1966 with 57.65% of the vote.