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1966 Major News Events in History

  1. Anti Vietnam War Protests from 1963 to 1966
  2. Miranda Rights come into being after the Supreme Court overturns the conviction on June 13th of a confessed rapist
  3. Aberfan disaster in South Wales a slag heap from the local coal mine slid down Merthyr Mountain
  4. The U.S. Department of Transportation is created.
  5. The name Mini-Skirt is attributed to Mary Quant who also went on to popularize hot pants in the later years
  6. The "Batman" television series starring Adam West debuts on ABC.
  7. The popular television show Star Trek debuts in September.
  8. NASA launches Lunar Orbiter 1, the first U.S. spacecraft to orbit the Moon.
  9. Soviet Union Lands Luna 9 on the Moon in February and the US follows on June 2nd with the Surveyor 1 soft moon landing.
  10. Ronald Reagan enters politics on June 7th becoming governor of California

More Detailed Information on each Event and those not included can be found below

What Happened in 1966 Important News and Events, Key Technology and Popular Culture

What happened in 1966 Major News Stories include Miranda Rights / Miranda warning becomes law, Worlds first vertical Jump Jet the Harrier is introduced, English Channel Hovercraft service begins, China's Cultural Revolution Begins, Subway Strike in New York brings the City to a stop, Miniskirts are in fashion, Charles Whitman kills 14 and injures 31 on a killing spree at the University Of Texas, US has nearly 500,000 troops in Vietnam, Aberfan disaster in South Wales, Vietnam War international days of protest,

1966 inflation grew as part of the effect to fund the war in Vietnam continued. Both the US and USSR continued in their space race to see who would be the first to land a man on the moon. Race riots continued to increase across cities in America and National Guards were needed to bring back law and order. The fashions in both America and UK came from a small well known street in London ( Carnaby Street ) part of the swinging London scene , both women and men wore patterned pants and flowered shirts and boots, shoes and even caps utilized the plastic and vinyl for a wet shiny look. The most popular groups included The "Beach Boys" with Pet Sounds, The "Rolling Stones" with Under my Thumb and The "Beatles" with Revolver, and Yesterday and Today.

Vietnam Protests

March 26th Vietnam War international days of protest

More Information and Timeline For Anti Vietnam War Protests from 1963 to 1966

1. 1963 May First Coordinated Protests against War In Vietnam held in London and Denmark

2. 1964 May 2nd First American student led protests held in New York City, San Francisco, Seattle and Madison

3. 1964 May 12 twelve young men in New York publicly burn their draft cards to protest the war.

4. 1964 August 10 Tonkin Gulf Resolution (officially, Asia Resolution, Public Law 88-408) passed by United States Congress giving 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.

5. 1964 December Joan Baez acts as the spokesman for 600 people in an antiwar demonstration in San Francisco

6. 1965 January 29th Students for a Democratic Society organize the first teach-in on the Vietnam war attracting 2,500 at the University of Michigan

7. 1965 April 17th 25,000 protesters including Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Phil Ochs attend March Against the Vietnam War in Washington DC organized by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) .

8. 1965 May anti-Vietnam War demonstration in London outside the U.S. embassy

9. 1965 May 5 Several hundred UC Berkeley students march on the Berkeley Draft Board and present the staff with a black coffin. Forty students burn their draft cards.

10. 1965 May 21-23 Vietnam Day Committee organizes the largest Vietnam teach-in to date at UC Berkeley

11. 1965 August 5 CBS Evening News shows film of Marines lighting the thatched roofs of the village of Cam Ne, Vietnam with Zippo lighters including critical commentary on the treatment of the villagers

12. 1965 October 15th Anti-Vietnam war rallies are held in four U.S. cities, police make the 1st arrest under a new Federal draft card-burning law

13. 1965 November 27th Between 15,000 and 25,000 anti-war demonstrators rally at the White House during an SDS-organized March on Washington for Peace in Vietnam

14. 1965 Gallup Polls show the American Public Support Changes from over 52% support for war to 49%

15. 1966 March 26th Up to 200,000 protestors attend anti Vietnam war protests around the world

15. July 3rd 4,000 demonstrated against the U.S. war in London outside the U.S. Embassy a number are arrested

15. November 30th Fifty to 100 students stage a sit-down protest around a Navy recruiter table in the UC Berkeley Student Union. Six protestors are arrested

16. Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali - formerly known as Cassius Clay - declared himself a conscientious objector and refused to go to war

17. 1966 Gallup Polls show the American Public Support Changes from over 52% support for war to 37%

The Anti-Vietnam War Protests continue until for 5 more years and American Support continues to erode, America Formally ends the war on January 23rd 1973 following the signing of the Paris agreement, I will cover the period from 1966 to the end of the war in a later year.

Miranda Rights / Miranda warning

Miranda Rights come into being after the Supreme Court overturns the conviction on June 13th of a confessed rapist ruling he had not been properly informed of his right to council and to not testify against himself

More Information and Timeline For Miranda Rights / Miranda warning

1. 1963 March 2nd Patty McGee while waiting for a bus in Phoenix, Arizona is abducted and raped then returned home

2. 1963 March 13th Ernesto Arturo Miranda was arrested based on circumstantial evidence linking him to the kidnapping and rape of Patty McGee 10 days earlier

3. 1963 March 13th Ernesto Arturo Miranda was not informed of his right to remain silent part of The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution (part of the Bill of Rights) codifies the right to silence

4. 1963 March 13th While in Police custody Ernesto Arturo Miranda admitted to having committed the crime and signed his confession.

5. 1963 June Judge Yale McFate sentenced Ernesto Arturo Miranda to 20 to 30 years on each charge, to be served concurrently.

6. 1966 February 28 through March 2 Miranda v. Arizona case is heard in the Supreme Court of the United States which disputed the verdict based on the issue on the Sixth Amendment issue of the right to counsel before interrogation.

7. 1966 June 13th Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the opinion in Miranda v. Arizona The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a lawyer and to have the lawyer with him during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, a lawyer will be appointed to represent him.

8. 1967 February After the Supreme Court decision set aside Miranda's initial conviction, the state of Arizona retried him. At the second trial, with his confession excluded from evidence, he was again convicted, and he spent 11 years in prison.

9. 1972 December Ernesto Arturo Miranda after serving only a third of his sentence was released .

The Miranda warning / Miranda Rights is the name of the formal warning that is required to be given by police in the United States to criminal suspects in police custody (or in a custodial situation) before they are interrogated, in accordance with the Miranda ruling. Its purpose is to ensure the accused is aware of, and reminded of, these rights under the U.S. Constitution, and that they know they can invoke them at any time during the interview.

Aberfan Disaster

Aberfan disaster in South Wales on October 21 News Events in United Kingdom, a slag heap containing unwanted rock from the local coal mine slid down Merthyr Mountain. As it collapsed it destroyed twenty houses and a farm before going on to demolish virtually all of Pantglas Junior School 144 people were killed, 116 of whom were children mostly between the ages of 7 and 10.

More Information and Timeline For The Aberfan Disaster

1. 1916 to 1966 Merthyr Vale Colliery dumps millions of cubic metres of excavated mining debris on Mynydd Merthyr directly above the village of Aberfan

2. 1963 - 1966 Many fears about the safety of the Aberfan tip complex are raised due to the unstable nature of the slurry being dumped on the mountain and it's possible instability due to heavy rains and the heavy gradient

3. October 16th to October 21st heavy rains are seen in the area

4. October 16th 9:15 a.m. more than 150,000 cubic metres of water-saturated debris broke away and flowed downhill towards the village at high speed

5. October 16th 9:15 a.m. Due to the fog Nobody in the village was able to see the slurry but everyone could hear the roar of the approaching landslide

6. October 16th 40,000 cubic metres of debris smashed into the village in a slurry 39 ft deep

7. October 16th The slurry destroyed a farm and twenty terraced houses along Moy Road and slammed into the northern side of the Pantglas Junior School and part of the separate senior school, demolishing most of the structures and filling the classrooms with thick mud and rubble up to 10 metres (33 ft) deep.

7. Hundreds of miners from local collieries rushed to Aberfan, especially from the nearby Merthyr Vale Colliery, as well as miners from Deep Navigation Colliery and Taff Merthyr Colliery in the neighbouring Taff Bargoed Valley, and also from pits across the South Wales coalfield to help in rescue efforts which continued throughout the night.

8. The disaster took the lives of 116 children and 28 adults

The Tribunal of Inquiry into the Aberfan Disaster Stated That: "Blame for the disaster rests upon the National Coal Board. This is shared, though in varying degrees, among the NCB headquarters, the South Western Divisional Board, and certain individuals. The legal liability of the NCB to pay compensation of the personal injuries, fatal or otherwise, and damage to property, is incontestable and uncontested."

Cost of Living 1966 - How Much things cost

Yearly Inflation Rate USA 3.01%

Year End Close Dow Jones 785

Average Cost of new house $14,200.00

Average Income per year $6,900.00 -

Average Cost of a new car $2,650.00 -

Average Monthly Rent $120.00

Cost of a gallon of Gas 32 cents

Dishwasher $119.95

Parker Pen Set $11.95

Toothpaste Crest 50 cents

Below are some Prices for UK guides in Pounds Sterling

Average House Price 3,840

Gallon of Petrol 5 shillings or 26 new pence

Few Examples of Houses For Sale

1966 New Brick Homes

Frederick Maryland

3 bedrooms large living room carport and full basement


Burlington North Carolina

2 bedroom with carport


Oakland California

Secluded 3 bedroom , double garage , hardwood floors , full electric appliances in Kitchen

Popular Culture 1966

Star Trek first episode of the science fiction television series Star Trek

Author Jacqueline Susann has her first novel, Valley of the Dolls published

Dr. Seuss' "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" the animated television special adapted from the book is shown for first time on CBS

Simon and Garfunkel release Sounds of Silence,

Popular Films


Dr. Zhivago

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

A Man for All Seasons

Popular Musicians

The Mamas and the Papas

The Beatles

The Monkees

The Beach Boys

The Rolling Stones

Simon and Garfunkel

Popular Songs

I'm a Believer The Monkees

Good Vibrations The beach Boys

Monday Monday The Mamas and the Papas

Wild Thing The Troggs

Department of Transportation

The U.S. Department of Transportation is created.

More Information for the Department of Transportation.

1. The United States Department of Transportation is created in October by an act of Congress.

2. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the act into law on October 15, 1966.

3. The purpose of the department was to create a level of Federal oversight in the development of transportation policy and the creation of public transportation infrastructure.

4. Alan S. Boyd was appointed as the first Secretary of Transportation in January of 1967 and the department began its official operations on April 1, 1967.

The Mini Skirt

More Information and Timeline For The Mini Skirt

1. 1955 Mary Quant opens a clothes shop in Kings Road, Chelsea, London, called Bazaar

2. Late Fifties a relatively unknown designer Mary Quant began experimenting with shorter skirts.

3. 1964 Mary Quant makes her skirts shorter and shorter in response to her customers comments

4. Quant is attributed to have named the miniskirt after her favorite make of car, the Mini

5. Other designers dispute who created the mini-skirt including Andre Courreges and John Bates

6. 1965 Andre Courreges a haute couture designer incorporated the Mini-Skirt into his Mod look, for spring/summer Fashion Show combined with white "Courreges boots" that became a trademark of the Mini-Skirt Fashion Scene.

7. 1965 October 30th The Miniskirt gained a wider audience when the model Jean Shrimpton wears a Miniskirt from the designer Colin Rolfe at the Australian Derby Day during the Melbourne Cup Carnival in Australia

8. 1965 More leading designers begin to include Mini-Skirts into their Autumn Winter Collections including one of the best known designers of the era. Yves St. Laurent.

9. 1966 As popularity grew amongst the younger generation hemlines gradually climbed upward and by 1966 some designs had the hem at the upper thigh

10. 1966 Popularity and the growth of outlets including major department stores both in the UK and around the world, plus the prevailing youth culture at the time and fashion-minded young women meant the Mini Skirt was the fashion of choice.

The name Mini-Skirt is attributed to Mary Quant who also went on to popularize hot pants in the later years, Although many designers claim Mini Skirts as their idea it was due to a combination of young women who became a powerful class of consumers demanding a fashion that matched the spirit of youth and in many way dictated to the designers what they wanted and changes to society in general in the swinging Sixties.

"Batman" television series

The "Batman" television series starring Adam West debuts on ABC.

More Information for the Batman Television Series

The campy and outlandish television show "Batman" airs for the first time on ABC during January . The show featured Adam West as the super-hero "Batman"and Burt Ward as his young sidekick "Robin." The show was tremendously popular after its debut but only lasted for three seasons as interest in the series declined and it was canceled in 1968. The show was known for its simple moral lessons and for airing two episodes per week with the first episode ending in a cliffhanger to be resolved during the second episode when it aired the following day. Considered to be a cultural phenomenon during the decade, many high profile stars made guest appearances on the show, sometimes being featured as villains. Some of the notable names to appear in either recurring roles or small guest roles included Vincent Price, Julie Newmar, Cesar Romero, Eartha Kitt, Burgess Meredith, Frank Gorshin, Rudy Vallee, Joan Collins, Lesley Gore, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Milton Berle, and Sammy Davis Jr.

Star Trek debuts

The popular television show Star Trek debuts in September.

More Information for Star Trek TV Show

1. The television show "Star Trek" debuts on NBC during September .

2. The science fiction show followed Captain James T. Kirk and his diverse crew of humans and aliens on their futuristic space adventures.

3. It was created by Gene Roddenberry to be a show similar in style to the popular Westerns of the time but set in space, with each episode featuring a new adventure with a modern morality lesson.

4. Many critics and television executives did not understand the show and it only aired for three original seasons.

5. After it ended, the show gained a cult following over the years and became more popular, spurring the creation of several films and six spin-offs.

Gemini 8

The Gemini 8 space mission is aborted early after technical difficulties interrupt the mission.

More Information for Gemini 8

The United States launched the Gemini 8 space mission during March . It carried astronauts Neil Armstrong and David Scott into space where they became the first mission to dock two spacecraft while in orbit. Unfortunately, soon after they completed the docking the two spacecraft began to violently tumble in what was also the first catastrophic failure during a U.S. Space mission that potentially threatened the lives of the astronauts on board. Armstrong and Scott were able to stabilize the craft but had to abort the rest of their mission. The mission lasted just over 10 hours and they successfully returned to Earth despite the issues. Armstrong would later become the first person to walk on the Moon during the Apollo 11 mission in 1969.

Gemini 10

The Gemini 10 space mission launches and is completed successfully.

More Information for the Gemini 10 Space Mission.

The Gemini 10 space mission launches in July . The spacecraft carried astronauts John Young and Michael Collins aboard the eighth manned Gemini flight. The astronauts performed two important space walks and several other experiments. The Gemini 10 mission became the first to execute a double rendezvous and it had also reached the highest point in space that a human had ever been at the time. The mission was successful and they returned to Earth after nearly 3 days.

Lunar Orbiter 1

NASA launches Lunar Orbiter 1, the first U.S. spacecraft to orbit the Moon.

More Information for Lunar Orbiter 1.

NASA's Lunar Orbiter 1 was launched during August and became the first U.S. spacecraft to orbit the Moon, the Soviet Union had accomplished the same feat during April of that year with their Luna 10 mission. The Lunar Orbiter 1 mission's main purpose was to photograph the Moon while also conducting experiments. The orbiter made it into the Moon's orbit successfully and took over 200 high resolution and medium resolution images, including the first two photos of Earth taken from the distance of the Moon. The spacecraft continued to orbit the Moon until the end of October when it was purposefully crashed into the surface of the Moon.

United States -- ATS-1 Satellite

The ATS-1 (Applications Technology Satellite) was launched by NASA during December . The ATS-1 was an experimental satellite that weighed about 750 pounds. It carried several experiments, including 2 for meteorological purposes. One of the experiments took full disk hemispheric images of the Earth every half hour. ATS-1 remained operational as it orbited around the Equator until December of 1978 when it was deactivated.

Luna 9

Soviet Union Lands Luna 9 on the Moon in February and the US follows on June 2nd with the Surveyor 1 soft moon landing.

More Information for Luna 9

The Luna 9 spacecraft arrives on the Moon during February . The Luna 9 mission was launched by the Soviet Union at the end of January and became the first spacecraft to make a successful soft landing on the Moon in February. It also became the first mission to take and transmit photographs on the surface of the Moon back to Earth. The craft measured the radiation that was detected on the Moon's surface and determined that potential future landers would not sink into the surface as well. The signal from the Luna 9 spacecraft stopped after a few days, ending the mission.

United States -- Gemini 12 Mission

NASA’s final Gemini mission, Gemini 12, was launched during November . Gemini 12 carried Buzz Aldrin and James Lovell into space where they carried out several experiments during its four day mission. The main purpose of the mission was to conduct several periods of extravehicular activity, which they did successfully. The astronauts also performed a docking with the Agena spacecraft. The Gemini program paved the way for future missions in the Apollo program, which also led to the Moon landing.

USSR's Luna 10

The USSR's Luna 10 spacecraft becomes the first man-made object to orbit the Moon.

More Information for Luna 10

The Soviet Union's Luna 10 spacecraft became the first man-made object to orbit the Moon during April . Luna 10 was launched by the USSR at the end of March, its mission being to orbit the Moon, observe the environment of the Moon, and to experience how to complete orbital operations in preparation for a potential manned-mission. As the craft orbited the Moon it collected data about the lunar magnetic field, radiation levels, its gravity field, and the composition of the lunar surface. Luna 10 completed a total of 460 lunar orbits during its 56 active days before it lost communication abilities when its battery died, ending the mission.

U.S. launches the Surveyor 1

The U.S. launches the Surveyor 1 space probe to the Moon.

More Information for the Surveyor 1 Space Probe

NASA launched the Surveyor 1 space probe during May . Surveyor 1 became the first U.S. spacecraft to successfully conduct a soft landing on the Moon. The Soviet Union had already done accomplished this feat earlier in the year with Luna 9. The unmanned Surveyor 1 mission was highly successful in its objectives and the robotic probe was able to transmit over 10,000 images of the lunar surface back to Earth. The Surveyor 1 mission was important in that it laid the groundwork for an eventual manned mission to the Moon which was accomplished in July of 1969.

1966 Mens and Womens Fashion Clothes

Fashion Clothing Examples From 1966 Maternity Dress, Four Piece Suit, Plush Parka, Olive Herringbone Sport Coat, Shell and Skirt Outfit

Fashion Accessories Examples From 1966 Wig Hat, Belted Shoe, Rabbit Fur Accessories, Wide Brim Hat, Envelope Bag, Pinch Front Dress Hat, Plain Toe Shoe, Clear Rain Gear

Toys From The Year 1966

1966 Toys including Bouncin Bronco Swing, Lego Set, Twister Game, Child's Typewriter, Lost In Space Robot, Electric Chord Organ, Skata Skoota, Trampoline

More News and Key Events From 1966

Houston Astrodome

The Houston Astrodome is built with the dome measuring 710 ft diameter

US Population 195 million

US Population exceeds 195 million

U.S. - Black Panthers

The Black Panthers are formed in US

U.S. -- Richard Speck

Richard Speck Murders 8 Nurses in Chicago Illinois

U.S. -- Charles Whitman

Ex Marine Charles Whitman kills 14 and injures 31 on a killing spree at the University Of Texas

U.S. -- 500,000 troops in Vietnam

US has nearly 500,000 troops in Vietnam

United States - Draft Deferment Test

The Draft Deferment Test is started in the US as a way for students to convince the Draft Board that they would serve the nation better in the quiet of the Classrooms than in the Jungles of Vietnam

U.S. -- Race Riots

Race Riots in Atlanta and Black Power becomes a significant factor in American Politics

U.S. - Subway Strike

On January 1st the Subway Strike in New York brings the City to a stop, within a few days the unions demands are met with a 15% Pay Rise

U.S. -- Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan enters politics on June 7th becoming governor of California

Canada -- Canada Pension Plan

Canada Introduces it's earnings-related social insurance program the Canada Pension Plan (CPP)

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Celebrates 100 years

U.S. - Health Warning

All cigarette packets in the United States must carry the health warning "Caution! Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."

Germany - Berlin Wall

4 dig under the Berlin Wall to gain freedom from East Germany

Italy - Flooding

The Arno River floods causing the flooding of the city of Florence, with thousands of historic books, manuscripts and fine art destroyed.


200,000 face starvation on The island of Lombak, Indonesia


Miniskirts are in fashion

UK - Cassius Clay Defeats Henry Cooper

Cassius Clay Defeats Henry Cooper in two title fights in London

Pakistan - India - Peace

Pakistani-Indian peace negotiations end successfully


Indira Gandhi is elected Prime Minister of India

Australia Dollar

The Australian Dollar was introduced at a rate of two dollars per pound, or ten shillings per dollar.

Italy - Pope Paul VI

Pope Paul VI and Arthur Michael Ramsey, the Archbishop of Canterbury, meet in Rome - the first official meeting for 400 years between the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches

Turkey - Earthquake

Earthquake in Turkey - 2394 dead, 10000 injured

Barbados - independence

Barbados achieves independence

UK - Moors murderers

The Moors murderers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley are jailed for life for the murder of 3 children

UK - drink driving laws

The UK implements much tougher new drink driving laws.

UK - World Cup

England defeats Germany to win the 1966 World Cup Final.

China's Cultural Revolution

China under Chairman Mao launches China's Cultural Revolution and begins purging intellectuals August 13

Botswana Lesotho - Independence

Botswana Gains Independence From Great Britain

Lesotho Gains Independence From Great Britain

UK - Harold Wilson

Harold Wilson and the Labour party wins the British General Election

Born This Year in 1966

David Schwimmer November 2nd

Gordon Ramsay November 8th

Adam Sandler September 9th

Mike Tyson June 30th

Patrick Dempsey Janury 13th

Liz Cheney July 28th

Helena Bonham Carter May 26th

Sinead O’Connor December 8th

Luke Perry October 11th


Worlds first vertical Jump Jet the Harrier is introduced in UK

Hovercraft service begins over the English Channel

Pampers create the first disposable Diaper

Color Television Sets become popular

There are 78 million cars registered in the US

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

Kevlar USA by Stephanie Kwolek

Fibre Optics England by Charles Keo and George Hockham

Moon Landing Russia Luna 9 lands softly on the Moon

Space Docking USA Gemini VIII docks with an orbiting satellite

Calendar For The Year 1966

1966 Calendar

Major World Political Leaders

Australia -- Prime Minister -- Sir Robert Menzies -- Till 26 January

Australia -- Prime Minister -- Harold Holt -- From 26 January

Brazil -- President -- Castelo Branco --

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 -- Till 1 December

Germany -- Chancellor -- Kurt Georg Kiesinger -- From 1 December

India -- Prime Minister -- Lal Bahadur Shastri -- Till 11 January

India -- Prime Minister -- Gulzarilal Nanda -- From 11 January

India -- Prime Minister -- Gulzarilal Nanda -- Till 24 January

India -- Prime Minister -- Indira Gandhi -- From 24 January

Italy -- Prime Minister -- Aldo Moro --

Japan -- Prime Minister -- Eisaku Sato --

Mexico -- President -- Gustavo Díaz Ordaz --

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

South Africa -- Prime Minister -- Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd -- Till 6 September

South Africa -- Prime Minister -- Balthazar Johannes Vorster -- From 6 September

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

United Kingdom -- Prime Minister -- Harold Wilson --