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1964 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1963

1964 History Snapshot

  • Politics: The Twenty-fourth Amendment to the US Constitution prohibits a poll tax for voting.
  • The Top Song was I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles
  • The Big Movies included Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady and Goldfinger
  • Price of 1 pound Bananas in 1964: 15 cents
    Dumont Color TV: $499.00
  • The World Population was ~ 3,270,000,000
  • The US Army used AQM-34 Ryan Firebees in Vietnam. They are the earliest drones.
  • Robert Moog invented the electronic sythesizer in 1964.
  • Jean Paul Sartre was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1964 but declined it, saying "a writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution".
  • And... Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots were introduced. Their names are Red Rocker and Blue Bomber.

World Series Champions

St. Louis Cardinals

NFL Champions

Cleveland Browns

AFL Champions

Buffalo Bills

National Basketball Association Champions

Boston Celtics

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Toronto Maple Leafs

US Open Golf

Ken Venturi

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Roy Emerson/Maria Bueno

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Roy Emerson/Maria Bueno

NCAA Football Champions

Alabama & Arkansas & Notre Dame

NCAA Basketball Champions


Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1964 - Nebraska over Auburn
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1964 - Illinois over Washington
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1964 - Alabama over Ole Miss

Kentucky Derby

Northern Dancer

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Courtenay Fleetfoot of Pennyworth

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

Lyndon B. Johnson

Miss America

Donna Axum (El Dorado, AR)

Miss USA

Bobbie Johnson (District of Colombia)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Julie Andrews, Brigitte Bardot, 'Wilhelmina' Cooper, Doris Day, Patty Duke, Anne Francis, Annette Funicello, Audrey Hepburn, Anna Karina, Sophia Loren, Tina Louise, Jayne Mansfield, Peggy Moffitt, Mary Tyler Moore, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Donna Reed, Jean Shrimpton, Elizabeth Taylor, Dawn Wells

"The Quotes"

- Gilligan

"Does she or doesnít she?"

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"
- Peter Sellers, in Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

"Come alive! Youíre in the Pepsi generation"
- Pepsi

"A martini. Shaken, not stirred."
- Sean Connery, as James Bond, in Goldfinger

"Please donít squeeze the Charmin"
- Dick Wilson, as Mr. George Whipple

"Let your fingers do the walking"
-Yellow Pages

"Put a tiger in your tank"
- Esso (later Exxon)

"If we lose freedom here, there is no place to escape to. This is the last stand on Earth."
-Ronald Reagan, on October 27, 1964, "A Time for Choosing" speech

Billy Graham, after watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show, said that the Beatles were "a passing phase" and "symptoms of the uncertainty of the times and the confusion about us."

After watching Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Daniel Ellsberg, who had been a RAND analyst and a consultant at the Defense Department, turned to his colleague and said, "That was a documentary!"

1964 Pop Culture History

The Sherman Brothers claimed to have made up the word "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" for the 1964 film Mary Poppins, yet the writers of a 1949 song called "Supercalafajaistickespeealadojus" unsuccessfully sued Disney. Disney's lawyers argued both were "nonsense words".

The first person to register for the first comics con, held in New York in 1964, was George R.R. Martin.

Swedish journalist exhibited paintings done by a chimpanzee under the name Pierre Brassau. The journalist was testing whether critics could tell the difference between true avant-garde modern artwork and a chimp's work. They could not, and in fact, praised the works.

Before the Star Trek's Vulcan nerve pinch, Ian Chesterton's character from a 1964 Doctor Who episode gripped an Aztec warrior between the shoulder and neck rendering him unconscious.

The modern version of the Hippocratic Oath was written in 1964 by a man named Louis Lasagna.

William Fullingim's marriage to Nancy Watson lasted for almost 85 years. They got married in 1879 (when William was 24 and Nancy was 18) and remained married until Nancy's death at age 103 in 1964. William died the next year at age 110.

Robert Moog develops his first electronic music synthesizer. RCA created the first music sythesizer in 1953.

Stephen Spielberg directed his first feature film, Firelight (1964), which was released at his local cinema. It was shot on a budget of $500, and took $501 at the box office, giving the film an official profit of $1

The Ford Mustang was introduced. Teacher Gail Wise was the first ever purchaser of a Mustang, paying $3419.

Japan's Hiroshima Peace Flame has been burned continuously since it was lit in 1964, and will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

After Bob Dylan offered The Beatles marijuana when he first met them in 1964 he was shocked to find out they weren't regular smokers. Dylan had misheard the lyric 'I can't hide' from I Want To Hold Your Hand as 'I get high'.

The very first use of audio feedback on a commercial pop record is the intro of the song I Feel Fine by The Beatles

Februay 9 - The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.

The Beatles' three-month stay atop the Billboard Hot 100 in 1964 was ended by jazz legend Louis Armstrong with Hello Dolly!

The reason you find so many 1964 nickels is that people thought that was the last year they contained silver so people hoarded them. The mints struck more coins to make up for the shortage. In reality, they were just made of nickel.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was supported by 80% of the Republican (with 61% Democrat) House members, and 82% of the Republican (with 62% Democrat) Senate members.

During their first American tour, The Beatles refused to play their scheduled concert in Jacksonville until the audience was desegregated.

For the 1964 World's Fair in New York, Wisconsin created a 34,951lbs cheddar cheese from the milk of 16,000 cows.

The Sharpie marker was introduced. The extra fine point came out in 1979 and the ultra fine point was released in 1989.

The BASIC (Beginner's All Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) computer language was created.

Jazz artist Dizzy Gillespie ran for president, promising to rename the White House "the Blues House" and appoint Ray Charles librarian of Congress, Miles Davis head of the CIA, and Malcolm X attorney general.

George R. R. Martin reputedly purchased the first ticket to attend the first Comic Con, held in New York in 1964.

Sitcom Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. was set in a marine base 1964 through 1969. The word 'Vietnam' was never once mentioned in it's 5 year run.

You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', cowritten by Phil Spector, was first performed by the Righteous Brothers. The song has received more airplay on radio and television than any other song in the past century.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer has been telecast every year since 1964, making it the longest running Christmas TV special in history. Santa never went back to the Island of Misfit Toys as he had promised and many children wrote in and complained, so a new credits sequence in 1965 showed Santa returning to the island, which was the sequence that has been used ever since.
What was wrong with Rudolph's Dolly for Sue?

The US Congress named bourbon whiskey as the official National Booze.

The Beatles released seven platinum records - in 1964 alone. Introducing... The Beatles, Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles' Second Album, A Hard Day's Night, Something New, Beatles for Sale, and Beatles '65 each sold over one million copies.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

Princeton University admitted Joseph David Oznot in 1964. From Michigan, he was a top student and concert pianist, had scored highly on the SAT, and had interviewed well. Oznot, however, did not exist.

Audrey Hepburn did not get an Oscar nomination for her performance in My Fair Lady. Marni Nixon did the singing, so the Academy figured it was "half a performance".

Paintings by a chimpanzee were displayed in a Swedish art gallery pseudonym "Pierre Brasau", supposedly an unknown french artist. The paintings were praised by critics, one of which went as far as to say "Pierre is an artist who performs with the delicacy of a ballet dancer."

A parent wrote to the US Attorney General complaining that the lyrics to Louie Louie by The Kingsmen were obscene. After 2 years of investigation, the FBI dissmissed the complaint because the lyrics of that recording were "unintelligible at any speed".

Pop Star Death: Sam Cooke (murder, he was apparently drinking and there was a misunderstanding)

"The Goldwater Rule" forbids psychiatrists from offering opinions on somebody s/he hasn't interviewed. It was created in response to Barry Goldwater suing Fact Magazine for $75K after publishing "1189 Psychiatrists Think Goldwater is Pyschologically Unfit to be President".

While filming Cheyenne Autumn, the Navajo actors hired to portray the Cheyenne would use crude language instead of the planned dialogue because no one on set spoke Navajo, even making jokes about the US colonels penis in what was meant to be a solemn speech.

U.S. paper currency is made Legal Tender for all Debts, Public and Private. According to the US Constitution, it must be backed by gold. It isn't anymore.

Jim "Wrong Way" Marshall was the defensive end of Minnesota Vikings (NFL). On October 25, 1964 in a game against San Francisco 49ers after picking a fumbled ball ran 66 yards the wrong way to his own end zone. It is called the most embarrassing episode in NFL history.

The story of Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed repeatedly in New York over a half an hour while 38 people looked on without helping, probably did not happen. It is likely "more parable than fact".

Dendrochronologist Donald Currey got his tree corer stuck in a bristlecone pine and retrieved it by cutting it down. After counting its rings, he realized he had killed the oldest recorded tree in the world.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Easy Bake Oven, G.I. Joe, Rat Fink Collectible Hot Rod Figures, Password Game , Mighty Tonka Dump Truck (made popular due to the elephant stepping on it during a commercial), PLASTIC Mr. Potato Head, Wham-O Professional Frisbees, Monster Magnet, Rube Goldberg's Animated Hobby Kit, Hand's Down (with Slam-O-Matic)

Fashion designers Andre Courreges and Mary Quant introduced the miniskirt, scandalizing conservatives and signaling the rapidily changing mores of the decade.

David Bowie's first TV appearance was in 1964 at the age of 17, but was not for his music; he was interviewed on the BBC's Tonight Show as the founder of 'The Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men'.

Creepy Magazine (1964-1983)

The Habits

Playing with Troll Dolls (Year 2)
Watching the cool kids drive their Ford Mustangs
Reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Reading The Spy Who Came in From the Cold by John Le Carre

1964/65 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Bonanza (NBC)
2. Bewitched (ABC)
3. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (CBS)
4. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
5. The Fugitive (ABC)
6. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
7. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
8. The Lucy Show (CBS)
9. Peyton Place II (ABC)
10. Combat! (ABC)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1964 include
The Animals, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Betty Everette, Bobby Vinton, Brenda Lee, Dave Clark Five, Dionne Warwick, The Drifters, Elvis Presley, The 4 Seasons, Gene Chandler, The Impressions, Jackie Wilson, Jan & Dean, Jerry Butler, Johnny Tillotson, Leslie Gore, Major Lance, Martha and the Vandellas, The Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Ray Charles, The Ronettes, Rufus Thomas, Sam Cooke, The Searchers, The Shangri-Las, Solomon Burke, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 1964

December 7, 1963 - January 3, 1964: The Singing Nun - Dominique

January 4, 1964 - January 31, 1964: Bobby Vinton - There! I've Said It Again

February 1, 1964 - March 20, 1964: The Beatles - I Want to Hold Your Hand

March 21, 1964 - April 3, 1964: The Beatles - She Loves You

April 4, 1964 - May 8, 1964: The Beatles - Can't Buy Me Love

May 9, 1964 - May 15, 1964: Louis Armstrong - Hello, Dolly!

May 16, 1964 - May 29, 1964: Mary Wells - My Guy

May 30, 1964 - June 5, 1964: The Beatles - Love Me Do

June 6, 1964 - June 26, 1964: The Dixie Cups - Chapel of Love

June 27, 1964 - July 3, 1964: Peter and Gordon - A World Without Love

July 4, 1964 - July 17, 1964: The Beach Boys - I Get Around

July 18, 1964 - July 31, 1964: The Four Seasons - Rag Doll

August 1, 1964 - August 14, 1964: The Beatles - A Hard Day's Night

August 15, 1964 - August 21, 1964: Dean Martin - Everybody Loves Somebody

August 22, 1964 - September 4, 1964: The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go

September 5, 1964 - September 25, 1964: The Animals - The House of the Rising Sun

September 26, 1964 - October 16, 1964: Roy Orbison - Oh, Pretty Woman

October 17, 1964 - October 30, 1964: Manfred Mann - Do Wah Diddy Diddy

October 31, 1964 - November 27, 1964: The Supremes - Baby Love

November 28, 1964 - December 4, 1964: The Shangri-Las - Leader of the Pack

December 5, 1964 - December 11, 1964: Lorne Greene - Ringo

December 12, 1964 - December 18, 1964: Bobby Vinton - Mr. Lonely

December 19, 1964 - December 25, 1964: The Supremes - Come See About Me

December 26, 1964 - January 22, 1965: The Beatles - I Feel Fine

Popular Movies

A Fistful of Dollars, A Hard Day's Night, A Shot in the Dark, The Americanization of Emily, Bikini Beach, Dear Heart, Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Fail Safe, Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, Goldfinger, Marnie, Mary Poppins, Mothra vs Godzilla, Muscle Beach Party, My Fair Lady, The Night of the Iguana, Pajama Party, Zorba the Greek, Zulu

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1964
# 1 Hits of 1964
Pop Culture News

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