Saturday, May 17, 2014

50 Years Ago -- 1964

The year 1964 was an eventful time, including the Beatles & Rolling Stones arrival in the USA and triggering of the Vietnam War.

The following events took place in 1964.

Jan 10 -- Panama broke ties with the U.S. and demanded a revision of the canal treaty.

Jan 30 -- The USA launched Ranger 6 from Cape Canaveral. It was an unmanned spacecraft carrying six television cameras that was programmed to crash-land on the moon.

Feb 1 -- President Lyndon Johnson rejected Charles de Gaulle's plan for a neutral Vietnam.

Feb 6 -- Cuba blocked the water supply to Guantanamo Naval Base in retaliation of the USA seizure of four Cuban fishing boats and fines on Cuban fishermen near Florida. In response, the U.S. imposed water rationing and built desalination plants.

Feb 6 -- Paris and London agreed to build a rail tunnel under the English Channel.

 Feb 7 -- The Beatles began their first American tour, arriving at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, where they were greeted by 25,000 screaming fans.

Feb 7 -- Baskin-Robbins introduced Beatle Nut ice cream.

Feb 9 -- The Beatles made their first live American television appearance on "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Feb 9 -- The U.S. embassy in Moscow was stoned by Chinese and Vietnamese students.

Feb 25 -- Cassius Clay (later changed his name to Muhammad Ali) became world heavyweight boxing champion by defeating Sonny Liston in Miami Beach.

Mar 4 -- Jimmy Hoffa was convicted of jury tampering.

Mar 9 -- Five Lakota Sioux (Native Americans) occupied Alcatraz Island in a peaceful protest. They declared that it should be a Native American cultural center and university.

Mar 9 -- The first Ford Mustang rolled off the Ford assembly line.

Mar 14 -- A jury in Dallas found Jack Ruby guilty of murdering Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kenned.

Mar 15 -- Actress Elizabeth Taylor married actor Richard Burton in Montreal; it was her fifth marriage.

Mar 15 -- President Johnson asked for a War on Poverty and for Congress to ensure voting rights.

Mar 27 -- Valdez, Alaska, was hit by an 8.6 earthquake, the largest ever recorded in North America.

Apr 7 -- IBM introduced its System/360, the company's first line of compatible mainframe computers.

Apr 13 -- At the annual Academy Awards "Tom Jones" won Best Movie, Sidney Poitier won Best Actor and Patricia Neal won Best Actress.

May 19 -- The U.S. State Department announced that the U.S. embassy in Moscow had been bugged by a network of more than 40 microphones embedded in the walls.

Jun 1 -- The Rolling Stones arrived in the USA for the first time, landing at Kennedy Airport in New York.

Jun 12 -- In South Africa, Nelson Mandela (convicted of treason) was moved to a prison on Robben Island where he remained until Apr 1982.

Jun 20 -- General William Westmoreland succeeded General Paul Harkins as head of the U.S. forces in Vietnam.

Jun 21 -- Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman 20, Michael Schwerner 24, and James Chaney 21, disappeared near Meridian, Mississippi -- 40 days later their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam near Philadelphia, Miss.

Jun 24 -- The Federal Trade Commission announced that cigarette manufactures would be required to include warnings on their packaging about the harmful effects of smoking.

Jul 2 -- President Johnson signed into law a civil rights bill passed by Congress, .guaranteeing voting rights and equal access to public accommodations and education.

Jul 11 -- Queen Elizabeth ordered The Beatles to her birthday party, whereby they attended.

Jul 15 -- The Republican National Convention was held at the Cow Palace in Daly City, Ca. It elected Barry Goldwater as its presidential candidate. Goldwater proclaimed "Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice, extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."

Jul 18 -- Race riots erupted in the black areas of New York City and Rochester, NY, where 4 people were killed.

Jul 26 -- Teamster Union president Jimmy Hoffa and six others were convicted of fraud and conspiracy in the handling of a union pension fund.

Jul 27 -- President Lyndon Johnson sent an additional 5,000 "advisers" to South Vietnam.

Jul 28 -- American space probe Ranger 7 was launched toward the Moon, eventually sending back 4,308 pictures.

Aug 1 -- Arthur Ashe became the first African-American to play on the U.S. Davis Cup tennis team.

Aug 2 -- The Pentagon reported the first of two attacks on U.S. destroyers by North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin. Subsequent evidence supported claims that the Tonkin Gulf incident was deliberately provoked by U.S. Forces (thereby giving the USA a justification for escalating the conflict with North Vietnam).

Aug 2 -- There was a race riot in Jersey City, NJ.

Aug 4 -- President Johnson ordered an immediate retaliation for the Aug 2 attack on the U.S. destroyer Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin off North Vietnam.

Aug 4 -- The U.S. Navy destroyers Maddox and Turner Joy allegedly exchanged fire with supposed North Vietnamese patrol boats. NOTE: In 2005, it was reported that NSA officials deliberately distorted the Aug 4 data to support the belief that North Vietnamese ships had attacked American destroyers.

Aug 4 -- The bodies of missing civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James E. Chaney were found buried in an earthen dam in Nashoba County, Mississippi. Schwerner and Goodman were Jewish-Americans from Pelham and New York City respectively, and Chaney was a Black from Meridian, Mississippi.

Aug 5 -- The U.S. began bombing North Vietnam.

Aug 7 -- The U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, giving President Johnson broad powers to use unlimited military force to prevent attacks on U.S. forces.

Aug 11 -- There was a race riot in Paterson, NJ.

Aug 12 -- There was a race riot in Elizabeth, NJ.

Aug 15 -- There was a race riot in Dixmoor, a suburb of Chicago, Ill.

Aug 18 -- South Africa was banned from Olympic Games because of apartheid policies.

Aug 26 -- President Lyndon Johnson was nominated for a full term of U.S. President at the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, N.J.

Aug 28 -- There was a race riot in Philadelphia.

Sep 3 -- U.S. attorney general Robert Kennedy resigned.

Sep 12 -- Typhoon Gloria struck Taiwan killing 330, causing $17.5 million of damage.

Sep 27 -- The Warren Commission, investigating the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, announced that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Oct 12 -- Mary Meyer, one of John F. Kennedy's secret lovers up to his assassination, was brutally murdered on a walking path by the Potomac River.

Oct 14 -- Civil rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for advocating a policy of non-violence.

Oct 15 -- St. Louis Cardinals beat the New York Yankees in seven games to win the World Series.

Oct 15 -- Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev was removed from office, to be succeeded as premier by Alexei Kosygin and as Communist Party secretary by Leonid Brezhnev.

Oct 16 -- The New York Yankees fired manager Yogi Berra one day after their World Series loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Oct 16 -- Red China detonated its first atomic bomb to become the world's 4th nuclear power.

Oct 27 -- Singers Sonny and Cher were married.

Nov 2 -- Faisal ibn Abdul Aziz Al Saud succeeded his older brother Saud bin Abdul Aziz as king of Saudi Arabia.

Nov 3 -- President Johnson defeated Republican challenger Barry Goldwater to win a White House term as the 36th president by winning 486 electoral votes to Goldwater’s 52.

Nov 3 -- Robert Kennedy was elected senator from New York.

Nov 5 -- The Mariner 3 was launched but failed to reach a trajectory around Mars and ended up in distant orbit around the sun.

Nov 10 -- Australia began a draft to fulfill its commitment in Vietnam.

Nov 14 -- The U.S. First Cavalry Division battled with the North Vietnamese Army in the Ia Drang Valley, the first ground combat for American troops.

Nov 23 -- The Vatican abolished Latin as the official language of Roman Catholic Church.

Nov 24 -- Residents of Washington DC were permitted to vote for the 1st time since 1800.

Nov 28 -- Willie Nelson made his debut performance at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

Dec 3 -- Police arrested 824 students at the University of California at Berkeley, the largest mass arrest in U.S. history, after the students stormed the administration building and staged a massive sit-in as part of the Free Speech Movement.

Dec 4 -- Some 10,000 people attended a protest rally at the University of California at Berkeley

Dec 11 -- Frank Sinatra Jr. was released after being kidnapped for the ransom amount of $240,000.

Dec 13 -- In El Paso, Texas, President Johnson and Mexican President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz set off an explosion that diverted the Rio Grande, reshaping the U.S. & Mexican border, ending a century-old dispute.

Dec 24 -- The U.S. Headquarters in Saigon, South Vietnam, was hit by a bomb. Two officers were killed.

Dec 31 -- Syrian-based guerrillas of Yasser Arafat launched their first raid on Israel, attempting to provoke an Arab war against Israel.

The Top Ten songs in 1964:

1) I Want To Hold Your Hand -- The Beatles
2) She Loves You -- The Beatles
3) Hello Dolly -- Louis Armstrong
4) Oh, Pretty Woman -- Roy Orbison
5) I Get Around -- The Beach Boys
6) Everybody Loves Somebody -- Dean Martin
7) My Guy -- Mary Wells
8) We'll Sing In The Sunshine -- Gail Garnett
9) Last Kiss -- J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers
10) Where Did Our Love Go -- The Supremes

In the spring of 1964, I completed my sophomore year as a math major at the University of Minnesota.

I spent the summer working on a survey crew for the Minnesota Highway Department where we were laying out marker stakes for the new Interstate Highway 494 around Minneapolis.

In August, on my 20th birthday, I headed down to Miami, Florida, in my 1953 Chevy to enroll at Miami-Dade College in their computer science program. I spent one full year in Miami -- it was the best 5 years of my life.

Quote for the Day – "Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth… A government big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything you have." Barry Goldwater

Bret Burquest is the author of 10 books. He lives in the Ozark Mountains with a dog named Buddy Lee and where heaven on earth is a state of mind.

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