1964 News and Interesting History Tidbits


Gulf of Tonkin Resolution Vietnam
Gulf of Tonkin Resolution is passed which will allow President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization for increased use of military force in Southeast Asia, without a formal declaration of war by Congress.

The resolution is in response to the attack by three North Vietnamese torpedo boats on the US Destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin on August 2.





Funny Girl Musical
The musical ''Funny Girl,'' starring Barbra Streisand and featuring Sydney Chaplin, Kay Medford, Danny Meehan, Jean Stapleton, and Lainie Kazan, opened at the Winter Garden Theatre on Broadway.
In 1966 the production staring Barbra Streisand opened at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London's West End.








Alaska Earthquake
A massive earthquake Named the “Good Friday Earthquake,” that measured 8.6 on the Richter scale struck Alaska , flattening buildings and triggering a massive tidal wave.








Hidden Microphones found in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
The State Department told the press that 40 hidden microphones had been found in the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.








Peru vs Argentina Soccer Riot
Following the referee’s decision to disallow a goal in the last few minutes in a qualifier for the 1964 Olympics in a soccer match between Peru and Argentina the Peru fans riot and the resulting panic and lack of crowd control causes stampedes in which 300 fans are crushed and killed.







Civil Rights Act of 1964
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed into law by President Johnson.
The bill had a rough time going through the Senate when the "Southern Bloc" of southern Senators led by Richard Russell launched a filibuster lasting 54 days to prevent its passage.
Said Russell "We will resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races in our (Southern) states.".
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark piece of legislation that outlawed segregation in schools, public places, and employment. The bill also created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission covering both race and gender for the first time in history.






Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Italian government announces that the Leaning Tower of Pisa was in serious danger of collapsing in an earthquake or storm asking for suggestions on how to save one of Italy's top tourist attractions.

The work to save the Tower did not begin until 1999 and was completed in December 2001 .








Beatle Mania Hits America
The Beatles visit America for the first time and thousands of chanting fans greet them at Kennedy Airport in New York , during their tour they were mobbed by girls where ever they went. The Beatles were one of the first of many pop groups from England that ruled the American charts over the next few years .







Beatles Set New Record
The Beatles have record of twelve positions on Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at the same time surpassing the previous best by Elvis Presley.
The songs were

"Can't Buy Me Love"

"Twist and Shout"

"She Loves You"

"I Want to Hold Your Hand"

"Please Please Me"

"I Saw Her Standing There"

"You Can't Do That"

"All My Loving"

"Roll Over Beethoven"

"From Me To You"

"Do You Want To Know A Secret"

"Thank You Girl" .











The Rolling Stones
"The Rolling Stones band's debut album, "The Rolling Stones" issued in the US as "England's Newest Hit Makers" was released. The band consisted of Jagger, Jones, Richards, Wyman, and Watts.








MODS and Rockers England Whitsun Weekend Fights
Large numbers of Mods and Rockers involved in violent clashes at a number of seaside resorts on the south coast of England are given prison sentences following the Easter and Whitsun weekends when hundreds were arrested in Brighton, Margate, Bournemouth and Clacton following running battles between police and up to 1,000 Mods and Rockers.

The Mods and Rockers also had mass fights between the two gangs on the local beaches and promenades.

Mods wore designer suits and Parka jackets and rode Vespa or Lambretta scooters bedecked with mirrors with favourite bands including The Who.

Rockers wore leathers and rode motorbikes with no crash helmets with favourite music including Elvis Presley.







Jack Ruby Convicted
Jack Ruby is convicted of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President Kennedy, he is sentenced to death. The ruling is later overturned when his defense lawyers argued he did not receive a fair trial in Dallas due to the excessive publicity . A later date is set for a second trial at a change of venue, but he died of natural causes while waiting for the new trial.








The Mexican Farm Labor Program / Bracero Program Ends
The Bracero Program lasts to 1964 it was a guest worker program that ran from 1942 till 1964. The Mexican Farm Labor Program, informally known as the Bracero Program, sponsored some 4.5 million border crossings of guest workers from Mexico during it's 22 years and was started to provide agricultural labor during World War II due to the severe shortage in the US, it was also used to provide other unskilled workers for the rail roads during the World War II.










Nelson Mandela Jailed For Life
The leader of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, Nelson Mandela, is jailed for life for sabotage.










NFL Players Reinstated
Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers and Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions were reinstated by the National Football League after being suspended and investigated for gambling activities.








Taylor and Burton Marry
Actress Elizabeth Taylor and actor Richard Burton were married for the first time getting divorced in June 1974 only to get married again in October 1975 which lasts less than 12 months.








Egypt Aswan Dam Project
Following US refusal to help finance building the Aswan Dam , President Gamal Abdul Nasser of Egypt and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev mark the beginning of the project by diverting the Nile.

The Aswan dam is financed and built with Russian help and thousands of cheering Egyptian and Russian construction workers as the Nile is diverted into the man made channel which will allow the next stage of the Dam to begin.

The Aswan Dam came into operation in 1971 increasing good farming land in Egypt by one third, and creating the world's largest man-made lake Lake Nasser.






Population Explosion England
A study, estimates the country's population will increase by three million by the early 1980s and highlights the need for expansion of existing cities and the creation of three new towns in the South East.
The three "new towns" that were created were
Milton Keynes formally designated as a new town on 23 January 1967 Current Population estimate 184,506 .
Both Havant and Basingstoke did exist prior to 1964 but the number of houses and people living in the area significantly increased over the next two decades as green belt land was released for building.








Malta Gains Independence
Malta an Island in the Mediterranean Gains Independence from Great Britain in 1964 but is still part of the British Commonwealth








World's Fair Opens In New York
The third major World's Fair to be held in New York City opens . It was the largest World's Fair ever held in the United States, occupying nearly a square mile (2.6 km²) of land. and more fifty million people attend the Fair








First Ford Mustang
The first Ford Mustang is manufactured ready for release on April 16. The Mustang was championed by Ford Division general manager Lee Iacocca, with a suggested retail price of $2,368. The car was a great success and sold over one million cars in its first 18 months.








Sidney Poitier
Sidney Poitier becomes the first black actor to win the coveted "best actor" Oscar for his role in Lilies of the Field.








Great Train Robbers
At the old Bailey in London the great train robbers were sentenced to up to 30 years for their part in the Great Train Robbery .
Seven of the defendants - Ronald Biggs, Charles Wilson, Douglas Goody, Thomas Wisbey, Robert Welch, James Hussey and Roy James each received sentences of 30 years.
The robbery was from a mail train carrying 3.8 million pounds between Glasgow and London when 15 masked robbers stopped the train at by changing the signals to red and boarding the train armed with weapons.








James Hoffa
The president of the powerful American Teamsters union James Hoffa is found guilty and sentenced to eight years on bribery charges. He had been on trial 4 times earlier but had not been found guilty.

He appealed against the convictions and in 1966 while still going through the appeal process he was re-elected president of the lorry drivers' union in July 1966 - despite two prison sentences totaling 13 years hanging over him.

He vanished in mysterious circumstances in 1975 and has never been seen since, his body has still not been found and no one has been charged with his disappearance.








Malawi Gains Independence
Malawi in Africa formerly ( British Territory of Nyasaland ) Gains Independence from great Britain in 1964








Tanzania Gains Independence
Tanzania in Africa Gains Independence from the UK after combining the former Tanganika and the Island of Zanzibar in 1964








Olympic Games 1964
The Summer Olympic Games of the XVIII Olympiad are held in Tokyo, Japan
Joe Frazier, the future heavyweight champion of the world, won a gold medal for the USA in heavyweight boxing
Following world pressure over South African apartheid policies South Africa was barred from taking part due to its refusal to racially desegregate sport.








Bullet Train Introduced In Japan
The worlds first high speed rail network starts in japan
The Shinkansen ( Bullet Train ) network of high-speed railway lines in Japan opened on October 1, 1964, to co-incide with the Tokyo Olympics
The trains ran at 130 mph when first opened but have increased closer to 200 MPH .








Cassius Clay Becomes Champion
Cassius Clay, defeated Sonny Liston when Liston retired at the end of the sixth round in Miami to become Heavyweight Champion of the World








Donald Campbell breaks world water speed record
Donald Campbell breaks the world water speed record with his boat Bluebird, on Lake Dumbleyung in Perth, Western Australia. , the only man to break both land and water speed records in the same year.








Panama Canal To Be Replaced
The old Panama Canal was to be replaced by a new Atlantic-Pacific canal in 10-15 years according to U.S. President Johnson. A new deal with Panama was to be struck and interested countries invited to participate.








Panama Canal Zone
Anti American Riots break out by Panamanian students in the Panama Canal Zone after U.S. students raise the American flag. The resulting death toll is 21 Panamanians and three U.S. soldiers and releations between the two countries deteriorate.







Students Arrested
Police arrested some 800 students at the University of California at Berkeley, one day after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in.








Fighting between Ethnic Turks and Greeks
Following Cyprus gaining independence from the Britain in 1960 the fighting continues to increase in Limassol, Cyprus between ethnic Turks and Greeks which has left at least 16 people dead.








Dylan Releases The Times They Are A Changing
Bob Dylan releases "The Times They Are a-Changin" his 3rd album, by Columbia Records. The album is seen as a protest album featuring songs about issues such as racism, poverty, and social change. The title track was one of Dylan's most famous capturing the spirit of social and political upheaval that characterized the 1960s.








English Channel Tunnel
The British and French Governments announce commitment to build a tunnel under the English Channel. In 1984 Euro tunnel was selected to build the tunnel and The Channel Tunnel is finally opened in 1994. When completed The Channel Tunnel consists of three tunnels and is the longest undersea tunnel in the world, measuring 31 miles in total, with 24 miles under the sea.








Smoking Bad for You
U.S. Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry reports that smoking may lead to major health problems including lung cancer. Also a new study by The American Cancer Society has linked smoking to an increase in Heart Attack for the first time.








Three Civil Rights Workers Bodies Found
Three civil rights workers ( Michael Schwerner,Andrew Goodman and James Chaney ) were found buried in a partially constructed dam near Philadelphia, Mississippi. after disappearing more than a month before, police are investigating if members of the Ku Klux Klan are responsible.









Verrazano Narrows Bridge Opens
Staten Island and Brooklyn were linked by the new Verrazano Narrows Bridge with a center span of 60 feet. The longest in existence at this time.








US Poll Tax Abolished
The Poll Tax became illegal in all US states it had been a potent prerequisite, and sometimes outright barrier, to voting in national elections, and used as a blunt tool for barring poverty-stricken African-Americans and whites from participating in the electoral process.










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