1960 Summer Olympics: Wilma Rudolph, who had overcome childhood polio, won the women's 100 meter dash with a time of 11.0 seconds. Although faster than the world record of 11.3, Rudolph's mark was not official because the wind had been blowing faster than 2.0 m/s. Rudolph earned three golds, including the 200 m dash and the 4 × 100 m relay. In the long jump competition, Ralph Boston of the United States broke the Olympic record that had been set in 1936 by Jesse Owens. Boston was 4 inches short of the world record of 26 feet 11¾ inches (8.21 m) that he had set on August 12.
Near Grafenwöhr, West Germany, 16 American soldiers were killed and 26 injured when an 8-inch howitzer shell crashed into them during a morning roll call. The shell had been overloaded with charge and went 4½ miles beyond its target.
In the bloodiest day of fighting since the Congo became independent of Belgium, more than 300 people were killed and 700 wounded as Congolese troops invaded the "Mining State" that had been declared by Albert Kalonji in the Kasai Province. The cities of Mwene Ditu and Laputa had been retaken by government troops loyal to Patrice Lumumba, while Kasai rebels were marching to defend the major city of Bakwanga (now Mbuji-Mayi).
In the Congo, President Joseph Kasavubu announced on Radio Leopoldville that he had fired Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. An hour later, Lumumba announced on the same station that he intended to stay, and then fired Kasavubu. Congo's Army Chief of Staff Joseph Mobutu sent troops to place Lumumba under house arrest while contemplating the future of Kasavubu's regime.
1960 Summer Olympics: At the men's 400 metre dash, the Olympic record of 45.9 seconds was broken by the first four finishers. Otis Davis of the US and Carl Kaufmann of Germany were both credited with a new world record of 44.9 (with Davis winning gold by 0.02 seconds), Malcolm Spence of South Africa at 45.5, and Milkha Singh of India at 45.6.
The Richardson-Merrell pharmaceutical company submitted an application to the FDA for approval of selling thalidomide in the United States, which it intended to market under the name Kevadon, beginning on March 6, 1961.
1960 Summer Olympics: The India men's field hockey team had never lost a game in Olympic competition since it first competed in 1928, had a 30–0 record and had outscored its opponents 197–8, until meeting Pakistan in the finals. A goal by Nasir Ahmad gave Pakistan a 1–0 victory, bringing India's streak to an end.
In a game against the Detroit Tigers, Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees hit a home run over the roof and out of Tiger Stadium. The distance was not measured until June 22, 1985, when it was determined to have been a record at 643 feet, surpassing Mantle's 1953 hit of 565 feet at Washington. Some observers doubt the measure, concluding that "it is impossible to hit a baseball that distance".
Against the advice of his campaign staff, presidential candidate John F. Kennedy had accepted an invitation to speak to Protestant ministers in Houston on the question of whether a Roman Catholic President could operate independently of the Vatican. In a famous address, Kennedy won over his audience, commenting, "I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president who happens also to be a Catholic." The next day, the Houston ministers described the address as "the most complete, unequivocal and reassuring statement which could be expected of any person in his position,". Kennedy's opponent, Richard M. Nixon, a Quaker, commented that he could conceive of no circumstances which might ever require either himself or Kennedy to have a conflict between religion and the presidency.
In Washington, D.C., charges were filed against a Tennessee bank and 27 individuals said to have used economic pressure to prevent black people from voting.
Lee Harvey Oswald's honorable discharge from the United States Marines, granted on September 11, 1959, was revised to an "undesirable discharge" (rather than a bad conduct discharge or a dishonorable discharge, which require a court martial), based on bringing "discredit to the Marine Corps through adverse newspaper publicity" since defecting to the Soviet Union.
Cuba nationalized its signature industry, seizing 16 cigar factories, 14 cigarette factories and 20 tobacco warehouses. Those manufacturers who could depart got a new start in other nations, and the famed "fine Cuban cigars" were replaced by Dominican, Nicaraguan, Honduran and other cigars.
Died:Héctor Castro, 55, disabled Uruguayan footballer who overcame the loss of an arm to help Uruguay win its first World Cup in 1930.
Two dogs, Pal'ma and Malek, were launched into space aboard an R-2 rocket by the USSR.
Amos Alonzo Stagg retired from coaching football after a career that had started in 1890, commenting that "For the past 70 years I have been a coach. At the age of 98 years, it seems a good time to stop." After two years at Springfield College, Stagg became the first head coach of the University of Chicago football team and remained there for 41 seasons. Forced to leave at age 70, he then guided College of the Pacific for 13 years. At age 85, he became an assistant to his son, the head coach at Susquehanna College, and then volunteered as an assistant at Stockton College in California.
Born:Damon Hill, English racing driver, in Hampstead, London
Died:John Brallier, 83, for many years believed to have been, in 1895, the very first professional American football player (although it was later determined that William Heffelfinger had turned pro in 1892). Brailler's death came on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the National Football League.
Nikita Khrushchev and other Communist Bloc leaders arrived in the United States on the Soviet ocean liner Baltika, which docked at New York City at 9:20 a.m. Accompanied by János Kádár of Hungary, Todor Zhivkov of Bulgaria, Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej of Romania, Khrushchev stepped off the ship to a mixture of cheers and boos, and then was driven to the Soviet consulate. Khrushchev and other leaders had arrived for the opening session of the United Nations General Assembly, and could travel to New York at any time under the terms of the United Nations Treaty. Though the United States government could not bar Khrushchev, it asked television networks to minimize coverage of the Khrushchev's visit, and restricted him from traveling outside of Manhattan and Long Island.
World Airways Flight 830 crashed three minutes after takeoff from Agana, Guam, killing 80 of the 94 persons on board. The DC-6B had been chartered by the United States Air Force to take military personnel and their dependents from Clark Air Force Base (in the Philippines) back to the United States, and had crashed into the side of Mt. Barrigada The crash was the first in the 12 year history of World Airways.
Pakistan and India signed the Indus Waters Treaty, agreeing to share the waters of the Indus River and its tributaries.
The opening of the new term of the United Nations General Assembly brought an unprecedented number of the world's leaders to New York City. The first ever meeting between Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev and Cuba's Fidel Castro took place, not in Moscow or Havana, but at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem, where Castro and his entourage were staying during their visit. Fifteen new members were admitted to the U.N., with the newly independent African nations of Dahomey, Upper Volta, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo (Leopoldville), Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar, Niger, Somalia, Togo, Mali and Senegal, bringing that body's membership to 98.
In an address at the United Nations, Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev surprised the gathered world leaders by calling for the Secretary-General to be replaced by a "troika", a three member panel drawn from the Western nations, the Communist nations, and the non-aligned (Third World) nations. The proposal was never seriously considered.
USS Enterprise, the first atomic-powered aircraft carrier in history, and the largest ship ever built up to that time, was launched at Newport News, Virginia, after being christened by Mrs. William B. Franke, wife of the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
The Howdy Doody Show presented its 2,343rd and final episode, after a run that started on NBC on December 17, 1947. After the marionette Howdy Doody, and host Buffalo Bob Smith, gave their farewells, Clarabell the Clown— who had used pantomime and honking horns to communicate, but had never spoken— surprised his audience by saying, "Goodbye, kids." 
The two leading U.S. presidential candidates, Republican Richard M. Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy, participated in the first televised presidential debate, which took place in Chicago at the television studios of WBBM-TV. The one-hour long event began at 8:30 pm local time. The first debate demonstrated the power of a television image in influencing voter choices, with Kennedy appearing tan and charismatic, while Nixon, due in part to a poor makeup (and a recent hospitalzation), looked unkempt and tense. A special act of Congress was passed in order to allow the American television and radio networks to broadcast the debate without having to provide equal time to other presidential candidates.
In Cuba, Fidel Castro created the "CDRs"—"Comites para la Defensa de la Revolucion" ("Committees for the Defense of the Revolution")—with volunteers reporting to the government about any counterrevolutionary behavior by their neighbors'. Officially, there were more than 100,000 CDRs and 88% of the adult Cuban population were members in 1996.
Died:James Squillante, 42, a New York mobster who controlled garbage collection, was last seen alive by a witness. Squillante had vanished from public view on September 23, and was presumed to have been murdered by a rival.
^"Blackout on Broadway to Honor Hammerstein", The New York Times, p. 52, September 1, 1960
^"London Honors Hammerstein", The New York Times, p. 14, August 26, 1960
^"Great Debate Scheduled For Tonight", Oakland Tribune, September 26, 1960, p1; ; "Nixon, Kennedy Meet Face to Face on TV", Los Angeles Times, September 27, 1960, p1
^transcript, "The History of Televised Presidential Debates", Museum of Broadcast Communications; Kurt Lang and Gladys Engel Lang, Television and Politics (U.S.A. Transaction Publishers, 2002) pp108–111