I don't have Quercetani's "Athletics" in front of me, but the spin came into vogue in the late 1960's-early 1970's, led by such folks as Brian Oldfield. That being said, I believe Quercetani explains that the Russians had tinkered with the technique all the way back to the early 1960's. So if your friend happened to have lived in Novosbirsk or something, he could be right. (sarcasm here)
I have a collection of throw video from several decades and there a few from the sixties that use the spin.
Also, theres a video that Feuerbach/Wilkins put out in the 80's with the help of some buddies from way back as well as footage from back then.
So I agree that sometime in the 60's it first started showing up.
I still watch that video regularly, its great.