The decade of the 1960’s started off relatively quiet but would become known as a decade of change and turbulent times. The decade was marked by the space race, space walks and moon landings; it was a time of civil rights demonstrations, church bombings and race riots. There was a British invasion and the Beatles shot to fame. It was the time of the Viet Nam war; there were peace demonstrations, draft protests, sit ins, college riots and Weathermen bombings. There were happenings, hippies, long hair, bell bottoms and of course, the Woodstock concert. It was a decade of too many assassinations; by the end of the 10 year period America would be changed forever.
People survived the decade without cable TV, satellite communications, the Internet, GPS devices, PC’s, laptops, CD’s, cell phones, hand held media devices, VCR’s, DVD’s, digital cameras and host of other gadgets.
Here is a brief look at some people and events from the year 1964.
Lyndon Baines Johnson was the President of the United States.
Congressman John W. McCormack (D-Mass) was the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
On January 3, 1964 Senator Barry Goldwater (R-Arizona) announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for President of the United States.
On January 8, 1964 Lyndon Johnson delivered his first State of the Union address; in his speech LBJ declares a “war on poverty”.
On January 27, 1964 France and the Peoples Republic of China announce that diplomatic relations between the countries are being established.
On January 30, 1964 South Vietnamese General Nguyen Khanh leads a coup ousting Prime Minister Duong Van Minh.
On February 27, 1964 a mistrial is declared in the case of Byron De La Beckwith in Jackson, Mississippi; De La Beckwith was accused of the murder of Medgar Evers. De La Beckwith would be tried several more times and was finally convicted in 1994.
On March 4, 1964 Jimmy Hoffa President of the Teamsters Union was convicted on Federal charges of jury tampering.
On March 14, 1964 Jack Ruby was convicted of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald.
On May 2, 1964 the first major demonstrations against the Viet Nam war occurred in New York and San Francisco.
On June 12, 1964 a South African court sentenced Nelson Mandela to life in prison.
On June 21, 1964 civil rights activists Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney were killed in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
On June 19, 1964 Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass) was seriously injured in a plane crash.
On July 2, 1964 LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act.
On July 18, 1964 six days of race riots started in Harlem, New York.
On August 2, 1964 the USS Maddox was attacked by North Vietnamese patrol boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. On August 4, 1964 another attack against the USS Maddox and the USS C. Turner Joy was reported; this second attacked is widely refuted as never occurring. On August 5, 1964 US carrier based warplanes bombed North Viet Nam in retaliation.
On August 7, 1964 the US Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution giving President Johnson broad war powers; as a result of the resolution America’s involvement in the Viet Nam war would significantly escalate.
On August 28, 1964 several days of race riots broke out in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
On October 10, 1964 Harold Wilson became the Prime Minister of the UK.
On November 9, 1964 the House of Commons abolished the death penalty in Great Britain.
The unemployment rate for 1964 was 5.2%.
On January 29, 1964 the Winter Olympic Games opened in Innsbruck, Austria.
On June 21, 1964 Philadelphia Phillies Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game.
The Saint Louis Cardinals were the 1964 World Series Champions defeating the New York Yankees in 4 out of 7games.
On February 25, 1964 Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) became the new Heavyweight Boxing Champion defeating Sonny Liston in a 7 round bout held in Miami.
On April 17, 1964 Shea Stadium the home of the New York Mets opened in Flushing, New York.
On October 10, 1964 the Summer Olympic Games opened in Tokyo.
On December 27, 2010 the Cleveland Browns won the NFL Championship defeating the Baltimore Colts.
Arts and Entertainment
The 36th Academy Awards were hosted by Jack Lemmon on April 13, 1964. The Best Picture Award for 1963 went to, “Tom Jones”.
In 1963 the prime time Emmy for comedy went to, “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (2nd time in a row). In the drama category the prime time Emmy went to, “The Defenders” (3rd time in a row). The Emmy for best variety show was awarded to “The Danny Kaye Show”.
In 1964 no Pulitzer Prize for Fiction was awarded.
On January 16, 1964 “Hello Dolly!” opened on Broadway.
On March 30, 1964 the game show “Jeopardy” premiered on the NBC Television Network.
On April 4, 1964 the Beatles had the top 5 songs on the Billboard 40; they were, “Can’t Buy Me Love”, “Twist and Shout”, “She Loves You”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” and ” Please Please Me.”
On August 27, 1964 the Walt Disney movie, “Mary Poppins” opened in Los Angeles.
On September 17, 1964 the James Bond movie, “Goldfinger” debuted in the United Kingdom.
On September 17, 1964 the comedy “Bewitched” debuted on the ABC Television Network.
In 1964 famed internet author Leroy Coffie was born. Click here to see Leroy’s articles.
On January 11, 1964 US Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry first claimed that smoking was a health hazard.
On January 18, 1964 plans to build the World Trade Center in New York City were announced.
On April 17, 1964 IBM announced the new System 360 mainframe computer.
On April 22, 1964 the New York City World’s Fair opened in Flushing Meadow, Queens.
On December 10, 2010 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
Bureau of Labor Statistics