Cleo Quitmen performs with the Joffrey Ballet in Eugene Loring’s These Three

The Joffrey Ballet Presented These Three, based on the infamous murders of three civil rights workers in Mississippi. Clive Barnes thought These Three was a failure, although he commended him for addressing a highly charged human rights issue through dance theater.


Cleo Quitmen was a detroit native and studied ballet with Sofia Tsouklas who taught black students privately. When Quitmen was 17 she move to New York in 1954 with the hopes of studying at the  School of American Ballet. Unable to attend SAB as she had arrived mid-semester she began to study with Mattie Gabors and Alfredo Corvina at the Metropolitan Opera School.


“I’ve been a guest artist with Joffrey, American Ballet Theater, with Agnes de Mille,” Cleo Quitman says in a quotation on one of the photographic panels in the show. “And still it’s just for that one little sequence, like lighting a candle and blowing it out.” ~ Cleo Quitmen




Cleo Quitman








Other Happenings in 1966


  • Jan 1st All US cigarette packs have to carry “Caution Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health”
  • Jan 10 The Georgia House of Representatives votes 184-12 to deny Julian Bond his seat as a result of his opposition to the Vietnam War
  • Jan 12 LBJ says US should stay in South Vietnam until communist aggression ends
  • Jan 13 1st black selected for presidential cabinet (LBJ selects Robert C Weaver-HUD)
  • Feb 9 Dow-Jones Index hits record 995 points
  • May 9th 1st black member of Federal Reserve Board (A F Brimmer)
  • Nov 8th Movie actor Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California
  • Mar 16 Gemini 8 launched with Armstrong & Scott, aborted after 6.5 orbits
  • Mar 26 Large-scale anti-Vietnam War protests take place in the United States, including in New York, Washington D.C. and Chicago
  • Jul 4 LBJ signs Freedom of Information Act
  • Sep 5 Jerry Lewis’ 1st Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day telethon raises $1 million
  • Sep 15 U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to a sniper attack at the University of Texas at Austin, writes a letter to the United States Congress urging the enactment of gun control legislation.
  • Nov 8th Edward W Brooke (Rep-R-Mass) becomes 1st African American popularly elected to the US Senate



  • Jan 8 Georges Pompidou re-appointed French Prime Minister and forms new government
  • Jan 10 India & Pakistan sign Tashkent Declaration peace accord
  • Jan 12 3 British Members of Parliament are attacked in a hotel in Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe)
  • Jan 15 The First Nigerian Republic is overthrown in a military coup d’etat
  • Jan 19 Indira Gandhi elected India’s 4th Prime Minister
  • Jan 31 USSR launches Luna 9 towards Moon
  • Feb 2 Pakistan suggests a six-point agenda with Kashmir dispute as number one item for the proposed Indo-Pak ministerial talks after 1965 war
  • Feb 3 1st soft landing on Moon (Soviet Luna 9)
  • Feb 10 Harmel government in Belgium resigns
  • Feb 24 Coup ousts Pres Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana
  • Feb 25 Syrian military coup under General Hafiz al-Assad
  • Mar 1 Ba’ath-party takes power in Syria
  • Mar 8 An IRA bomb destroyed Nelson’s Column in Dublin
  • Mar 11 Military coup led by Indonesian Gen Suharto breaks out
  • Mar 31 Labour Party under Harold Wilson win British parliamentary election
  • Apr 21 Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie visits Kingston, Jamaica
  • Apr 28 OCAM, Common Afro-Mauritian Organization form
  • May 26 Buddhist sets himself on fire at US consulate in Hué, South Vietnam
  • May 26 Guyana (formerly British Guiana) declares independence from UK
  • Sep 8 The Severn Bridge is officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II
  • Sep 30 Botswana (formerly Bechuanaland) gains independence from Britain (National Day)


Arts & Sciences

  • Jan 7th Dance Theatre of Harlem debuts
  • Jan 12th “Batman”, starring Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, and Cesar Romero as The Joker, debuts on ABC
  • Jan 14 David Bowie releases his 1st single “Can’t Help Thinking About Me”
  • Jan 19th Neil Simons, Coleman & Fields’ musical “Sweet Charity,” premieres
  • Jan 30 Dmitri Shostakovitch completes his 11th string quartet
  • Mar 4 John Lennon says “We (the Beatles) are more popular than Jesus”
  • Mar 15th 8th Grammy Awards: Taste of Honey, Tom Jones, Sinatra & Streisand
  • Apr 1 1st world festival of black art (Dakar Senegal)
  • Apr 11th Frank Sinatra records “Strangers in the Night” single for his album of the same name. Later reaches #1 Billboard charts
  • Apr 28th 38th Academy Awards – “The Sound of Music”, Julie Christie & Lee Marvin win
  • May 1 Last British concert by Beatles (Empire Pool in Wembley)
  • Jun 10 Janis Joplin’s 1st live concert (Avalon Ballroom in SF)
  • Jul 25th Supremes release “You Can’t Hurry Love
  • Sep 8th “Star Trek” premieres on NBC-TV
  • Sep 16 Metropolitan Opera House opens in Lincoln Center, New York
  • Oct 12 Jimi Hendrix Experience forms with Jimi Hendrix, Noel Redding & Mitch Mitchell
  • Nov 20th “Cabaret” opens at Broadhurst Theater NYC for 1166 performances
  • Dec 18th Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” airs for 1st time on CBS

Human & Civil Rights

  • Jan 17th Martin Luther King Jr. opens campaign in Chicago
  • Mar 15th Racial riots erupt in the Watts section of Los Angeles
  • Apr 1 Loyalist led by Ian Paisley, a Protestant fundamentalist preacher, founded the Ulster
  • Constitution Defence Committee to challenge the civil rights movement; it set up a paramilitary-style wing called the Ulster Protestant Volunteers
  • May 13 US Federal education funding is denied to 12 school districts in the South because of violations of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
  • Jun 1 2,400 people attend White House Conference on Civil Rights
  • Jun 6th Activist James Meredith wounded by white sniper in Mississippi
  • Jun 13 US Supreme Court’s Miranda decision; suspects must be informed of rights
  • Jul 5 National Guard mobilizes in Omaha after 3rd night of rioting
  • Jul 12th Race riot in Chicago
  • Aug 5th Martin Luther King Jr. stoned during Chicago march
  • Aug 7th Race riot in Lansing Michigan
  • Aug 27th Race riot in Waukegan, Illinois
  • Sep 6 Race riot in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Oct 15th Black Panther Party was created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.
  • Nov 20 Men in Zurich vote against female suffrage


  • Jan 12 Red Auerbach wins his 1,000th game as coach of NBA Boston Celtics
  • Feb 11 SF Giant Willie Mays signs highest contract, $130,000 per year


  • Feb 14 Wilt Chamberlain breaks NBA career scoring record at 20,884 points
  • Apr 11 30th Masters Golf Tournament: Jack Nicklaus wins, shooting a 288
  • Apr 11 Emmett Ashford becomes 1st black major league umpire
  • Apr 18th Bill Russell became 1st black coach in NBA history (Boston Celtics)
  • Apr 19 Roberta Bignay becomes 1st woman to run in the Boston Marathon
  • Apr 26 Red Auerbach retires as Boston Celtic’s coach
  • May 21st Muhammad Ali TKOs Henry Cooper in 6 for heavyweight boxing title
  • May 25 Peru & Argentina soccer fans fight in Lima; 248 die
  • Jul 2 73rd Wimbledon Women’s Tennis Singles: Billie Jean King (Miss Moffat) beats Maria Bueno (6-3 3-6 6-1)
  • Jul 9 95th British Golf Open: Jack Nicklaus shoots 282 at Muirfield Gullane to become only the 4th person in history to win 4th to win all 4 majors
  • Jul 25 Mao Zedong swims the Yangtze River
  • Aug 6 Muhammad Ali KOs Brian London in 3 for heavyweight boxing title

Leave a Reply