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What Happened in 1964 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture

What happened in 1964 Major News Stories include The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed into law, The Beatles hold the top five positions in the Billboard Top 40 singles in America, Race Riots in Major US Cities, First pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, is established, 24th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is Ratified, Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton for the first time, U.S. Surgeon General reports that smoking may lead to lung cancer, Mods and Rockers fight at British Seaside Resorts

1964 as the war in Vietnam and US Congress Authorizes war against N Vietnam more American servicemen were dying, and after three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi the president signed the Civil Rights act of 1964 but this did not stop the violence as it continued to increase in many American Cities. Lyndon Johnson was also returned to power after a landslide victory. This was also the year The Beatles took the world and America by storm and Beatlemania went into overdrive as they released a series of number one hits including "I want to hold your hand" , "All my Loving" . Other British groups also found success including The Rolling Stones and The Animals and together with the American Talent of The Supremes and Bob Dylan many say this was one of the greatest years for music in the last century. Also one young loud talented boxer by the name of Cassius Clay won the Boxing World heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston.

Vietnam War

Three North Vietnamese torpedo boats attack the US Destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin US Congress Authorizes war against N Vietnam Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

More Information and Timeline For History Of Vietnam War From 1960 to 1964

1. Leading up to 1960 check out earlier Vietnam War History Check Out 1960

2. 1961 May Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Saigon and declared Ngo Dinh Diem the "Winston Churchill of Asia. Johnson assured Diem of more aid in molding a fighting force that could resist the communists.

3. 1963 January 3rd Vietcong units defeat South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) in Battle of Ap Bac

4. 1963 November 2nd Coup d'état in South Vietnam and Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated Major General Duong Van Minh takes control of South Vietnam

5. 1964 January 30th In a bloodless coup, General Nguyen Khanh seizes power in Saigon. South Vietnam

6. August 2 to 4th Sea battle between the North Vietnamese Navy's Torpedo Squadron and the destroyer USS Maddox and USS Turner Joy

7. August 10 Tonkin Gulf Resolution (officially, Asia Resolution, Public Law 88-408) passed by United States Congress

8. The Tonkin Gulf Resolution gave U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson authorization, without a formal declaration of war by Congress, for the use of conventional military force in Southeast Asia

By the following year over 200,000 US Troops are involved in the Vietnam war and sustained American bombing raids of North Vietnam, dubbed Operation Rolling Thunder, begin lasting for the next 3 years.

Boston Strangler

The Boston Strangler Albert DeSalvo is captured

More Information and Timeline For The Boston Strangler Murders

1. 1962 First Victim Anna E. Slesers is found strangled with the cord from her Bathrobe

2. 1962 Seven more victims are murdered Mary Mullen, 85, Nina Nichols, 68, Helen Blake, 65, Ida Irga, 75, Jane Sullivan, 67, Sophie Clark, 20 and Patricia Bissette, 23

3. 1963 Four more victims are murdered Mary Brown, 69, Beverly Samans, 23, Evelyn Corbin, 58 and Joann Graff, 23

4. 1964 January 4th The final victim Mary Sullivan, 19 is found

5. 1964 October 27th Albert DeSalvo is arrested and later confesses to being the Boston Strangler

6. 1967 Albert DeSalvo is found guilty and sentenced to Life Imprisonment

7. 1973 is found stabbed to death at Massachusetts Correctional Institution formerly known as MCI-Walpole

Though the crimes were attributed to Albert DeSalvo, investigators of the case have since suggested the murders (sometimes known as the silk stocking murders) were not committed by one person because the victims from different age and ethnic groups, and that there were different modi operandi.

Warren Commission

Warren Commission report on the assassination of President John F. Kennedy concludes Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone

More Information and Timeline for the Warren Commission

1. President John F. Kennedy is shot and killed on November 22nd, 1963 while visiting Dallas, Texas by Lee Harvey Oswald.

2. On November 29th, 1963, only a week after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, President Lyndon B. Johnson creates the President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy.

3. Chief Justice Earl Warren is appointed to head the commission and they were tasked with investigating the death of President Kennedy.

4. The Warren Commission, as it was called, spent nearly a whole year traveling to Dallas, listening to witnesses, examining government reports and looking into the alleged shooter's background.

5. On September 24th, the report was presented to President Johnson and then on September 27th, 1964 it was released to the public.

6. The report concluded that the gunman Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone with an unknown motive in assassinating President Kennedy and the Jack Ruby had acted alone in his murder of the suspect Oswald.

7. It was also reported that the Secret Service had not made adequate preparations for the president's Dallas visit.

8. The results proved to be somewhat controversial as there was some conflicting evidence and many people believed in different conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination such as there were multiple shooters involved or that foreign governments arranged the assassination.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed into law by President Johnson.

More Information and Timeline for the Civil Rights Act of 1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law on July 2nd, . The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their race, religion, sex, national origin, or the colors of their skin. It also made segregation in public places illegal, enforced the desegregation of schools and addressed unfair and unequal access to voting and voter registration.

The law was considered one of the crowning achievements during the civil rights movement and ended the Jim Crow laws that had legalized segregation in the United States since the end of slavery and the Civil War. While it did not solved the country's racial issues or end prejudice, it was the first step in creating a more fair and equal society.

Martin Luther King Jr. -- Nobel Peace Prize

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr receives the Nobel Peace Prize.

More Information and Timeline for Martin Luther King Jr. and the Nobel Peace Prize

On October 14th, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize was awarded to him for his efforts in leading the non-violent resistance against racial prejudice and segregation in the United States. King was only 35 years old when he received the prestigious prize, making him the youngest recipient at the time. King was awarded $54,123 of prize money, of which he donated to his cause in furthering the Civil Rights Movement.

Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton

Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton for the first time.

More Information and Timeline for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

Having first met while filming the movie Cleopatra in 1961, actors Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor make their much publicized relationship official on March 15th when they are married in Montreal. The two had both been married when they first started their relationship, a scandalizing event that garnered attention from the Vatican, which condemned them. The Burton-Taylor affair and marriage had the public fascinated and marked the beginning of the public's enthrallment with celebrity relationships. The pair were married until their divorce in June of 1974. They remarried each other in 1975 but divorced for a second time in less than a year.

Cost of Living 1964 - How Much things cost

Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.28%

Year End Close Dow Jones 874

Average Cost of new house $13,050.00

Average Income per year $6,000.00 -

Average Cost of a new car $3,500.00 -

Average Monthly Rent $115.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas 30 cents

Loaf of bread 21 cents

United States Postage Stamp 5 cents

Ticket to the movies $1.25

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 3,360

Yearly Inflation Rate UK 3.5%

Few Examples of Houses For Sale


Oakland California

Deluxe Condominium On lagoon with 2 bedrooms , 2 bathrooms, and patio swimming pool


Auburn New York

Cape Cod Style home 4 bedroom , family room , attached garage


Pasco Washington

Finest New Home with Whole house air conditioning and forced air heating, 3 bedrooms , 2 baths , family room, full basement including fitted kitchen appliances including dishwasher from Arizona sandstone

Popular Culture 1964

Sidney Poitier becomes the first black actor to win the "best actor" Oscar

"Hello Dolly," "Funny Girl," and "Fiddler on the Roof" premier on Broadway in New York.

The Rolling Stones release debut album, "The Rolling Stones"

The Beatles make their first appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The Beatles have 13 singles Billboard's Hot 100 at the same time

The first pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, is established

The Beatles hold the top five positions in the Billboard Top 40 singles in America

Bob Dylan releases "The Times They Are a-Changin" many consider a 1960s classic as it captured the changes hapening in society

BBC2 starts broadcasting in the UK.

Pablo Picasso painted his fourth Head of a Bearded Man

The Sun Newspaper is first published in the United Kingdom

Hasbro launch G.I. Joe an action figure for boys to join the Barbie Doll For Girls.

Buffalo Wings ( deep fried chicken wings coated with hot sauce ) are made at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is published written by Roald Dahl

Top of the Pops premieres on BBC television.

Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton for the first time

Popular Films

The Carpetbaggers

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

The Unsinkable Molly Brown

My Fair Lady

Mary Poppins

Popular Musicians

The Beatles

Roy Orbison

Ella Fitzgerald

Simon and Garfunkel

Mariner 4 spacecraft

The Mariner 4 spacecraft is launched by NASA.

More Information and Timeline for Mariner 4

The Mariner 4 spacecraft is launched on November 28th with the mission of photographing and studying the atmosphere of Mars. The Mariner 4 spacecraft reached Mars in July of 1965 and was the first successful mission to reach the red planet as well as the first to provide images of another planet from deep space. There were a total of twenty-one black and white photos that Mariner 4 relayed back to Earth. The spacecraft stopped communicating with NASA in October of 1965 when its antenna was no longer pointing in the correct position. The Mariner 4 space probe resumed communications in 1967 but was deactivated at the end of that year.

Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States

Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States Supreme Court Case decided.

More Information and Timeline for Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States

The United States Supreme Court made its decision on the Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States court case on December 14th, The motel had been refusing to allow African-American patrons to stay there and was subsequently charged with violating Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title II of the Civil Rights Act made racial discrimination illegal in places that offered public accommodation if it affected commerce. The court upheld the Title II Commerce Clause as constitutional and declared that places of public accommodation did not have a right to pick and choose guests as they pleased without regulation because of the involvement in commerce.

1964 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

Fashion Clothing Examples From 1964 Gala Separates, Wool Suede Sweater, Collared Dress, Sur Coat, Low Waisted Dress, Mens ShirtJac

Fashion Accessories Examples From 1964 Ornamented Flattie, Glove and Scarf Set, Pearl Rings, High Rising Casual Shoe, Nylon Lace Set, Long Gloves, Crystal Set, Quilted Bag

Toys From The Year 1964

1964 Toys including Scoobadoo Doll, Rock Em Sock Em Robots, Bop A Bear, Play Kitchen, Music Box Shoe, Drag Racing Strip, Scrabble

More News and Key Events From 1964

U.S. - University of California

Students storm the administration building and stage sit in at the University of California 800 are arrested.

U.S. - The Beatles

The first Beatles US Album Release "Introducing the Beatles," is released on January 10 News Events in the US by Vee-Jay Records

Malta - independence

Malta gains independence from the UK

U.S. - Cassius Clay

Cassius Clay Beats Sonny Liston on February 25th for World Heavyweight championship

Egypt -- Aswan Dam

Work Begins on The Aswan Dam by diverting the Nile to a manmade canal.

UK / France -- Tunnel

The British and French Governments announce commitment to build a tunnel under the English Channel

Scotland -- Forth Road Suspension Bridge

The Queen opens the Forth Road Suspension Bridge connecting Edinburgh to Fife

United States - War On Poverty Campaign

President Lyndon Johnson declares a War On Poverty Campaign.

U.S. -- Ford Mustang

The first Ford Mustang from Ford Motor Company is made.

U.S. - Verrazano Narrows Bridge

Verrazano Narrows Bridge is opened joining Staten Island and Brooklyn

U.S. -- 24th Amendment

The 24th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States is Ratified which removed the right to vote in federal elections on payment of a poll tax or other types of tax.

UK -- death penalty

The abolition of the death penalty in UK

US - Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time.

US - most powerful earthquake

The most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2, strikes South Central Alaska

Race Riots in Harlem

Race Riots in Harlem New York, Elizabeth, NJ, Paterson, NJ, Jersey City, NJ, Rochester, New York, Dixmoor, Chicago, Ill, Philadelphia,

U.S. - Poll Tax

The Poll Tax becomes illegal in all US states as it been used as a blunt tool for barring poverty-stricken African-Americans and whites from participating in the electoral process.


The so called BRAIN DRAIN of UK Scientists from UK to USA

UK - Mods and Rockers

Easter and Whitsun outbreak of Mods and Rockers on 18th May Fights and disturbances on British Seaside Resorts

South Africa - Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela and seven others are sentenced on June 12th to life imprisonment in South Africa

South Africa are barred from the Olympic Games in Tokyo due to their Apartheid Policies

Palestine - Palestinian Liberation Organization

The PLO Palestinian Liberation Organization, is established. Ahmad Shukeiri is the first leader with Yasser Arafat as one of the founding members.

UK - Interest Rate is Raised to 7%

The UK Interest Rate is Raised to 7%

UK - population

UK Report expects population to explode over next 20 years and plans for 3 new towns including Milton Keynes

U.S. - Ku Klux Klan

Three civil rights field workers disappear after investigating the burning of an African American church by the Ku Klux Klan.

U.S. - James Hoffa

James Hoffa is found guilty and sentenced to eight years on bribery charges

U.S. - World's Fair

World's Fair held in New York

U.S. - smoking - lung cancer

U.S. Surgeon General reports that smoking may lead to lung cancer

U.S. - Star Of India sapphire

Star Of India sapphire stolen from American Museum of Natural History in New York

Cyprus - Civil War

Civil War breaks out in Cyprus between Greeks and Turks

Tanzania / Malawi / Malta - Independence

Tanzania Gains Independence From Great Britain and combines the former Tanganika and the Island of Zanzibar

Malawi Gains Independence From Great Britain

Malta Gains Independence From Great Britain

Peru - Soccer Match Riot

A riot during a soccer match between Peru and Argentina ends with the loss of 300 fans dead.

UK - Great Train Robbers

Great Train Robbers get 30 years each

Brazil - military coup

A military coup d'etat in Brazil led by Gen. Humberto Castello Branco

U.S. - Jack Ruby

Jack Ruby is convicted of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin of President Kennedy

Japan - Olympics

The Summer Olympics are held in Tokyo, Japan

Austria - Winter Olympics

The Winter Olympic Games are held in Innsbruck, Austria

Born This Year in 1964

Teri Hatcher December 8th

Keanu Reeves September 2nd

Russell Crowe April 7th

Lenny Kravitz May 26th

Jeff Bezos January 12th

Michelle Obama January 17th

Courteney Cox June 15th

Boris Johnson June 19th

Sandra Bullock July 26th

Kamala Harris October 20th

Nicolas Cage January 7th

Melinda Gates August 15th

Stone Cold Steve Austin December 18th


BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), an easy to learn high level programming language is introduced.

IBM announces the System/360.

The worlds first high speed rail network opens in Japan

First Ford Mustang is manufactured

Sony introduces the first VCR Home Video Recorder History of Video Recorders

The first driver less train runs on London Underground

China explodes its first Nuclear bomb

Inventions Invented by Inventors and Country ( or attributed to First Use )

Computer Mouse USA by Douglas Engelbart

Bubble Wrap USA by Marc A Chavannes

Calendar For The Year 1964

1964 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia -- Prime Minister -- Sir Robert Menzies --

Brazil -- President -- Joao Goulart -- Till 1 April

Brazil -- President -- Ranieri Mazzilli -- From 2 April

Brazil -- President -- Ranieri Mazzilli -- Till 15 April

Brazil -- President -- Castelo Branco -- From 15 April

Canada -- Prime Minister -- Lester B. Pearson --

China -- Chairman of the People's Republic of China -- Liu Shaoqi --

France -- President -- Charles de Gaulle --

Germany -- Chancellor -- Ludwig Erhard --

India -- Prime Minister -- Jawahar Lal Nehru -- Till 27 May

India -- Prime Minister -- Gulzarilal Nanda -- From 27 May

India -- Prime Minister -- Gulzarilal Nanda -- Till 9 June

India -- Prime Minister -- Lal Bahadur Shastri -- From 9 June

Italy -- Prime Minister -- Aldo Moro --

Japan -- Prime Minister -- Hayato Ikeda -- Till 9 November

Japan -- Prime Minister -- Eisaku Sato -- From 9 November

Mexico -- President -- Adolfo Lopez Mateos -- Till 30 November

Mexico -- President -- Gustavo Díaz Ordaz -- From 30 November

Russia / Soviet Union -- First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union -- Nikita Khrushchev --

Russia / Soviet Union -- First Secretary of the CPSU -- Leonid Brezhnev --

South Africa -- Prime Minister -- Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd --

United States -- President -- Lyndon B. Johnson --

United Kingdom -- Prime Minister -- Sir Alec Douglas-Home -- Till 16 October

United Kingdom -- Prime Minister -- Harold Wilson -- From 16 October 1964