1964 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

1964 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1964

  • World Changing Event: The Civil Rights Act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • The Top Song was I Want To Hold Your Hand by The Beatles
  • The Movies to Watch include Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, and Goldfinger.
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Martin Luther King.
  • The Most Famous People in the World were probably The Beatles.
  • Notable books include Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.
  • The price of 1/2 gallon Holland Dutch Treat ice cream in 1964 was 59 cents.
    Bulova Hi-Fi Record Player: $59.00
  • The Creepy Crawlers activity toy (die-cast hot plate) was introduced.
  • The Fab Four were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr- The Beatles
  • The Funny Late Show Host: Steve Allen
    The Funny Lady was: Moms Mabley
  • The Conversation: The US Surgeon General warned about smoking-related health hazards. Were cigarettes really bad for us?
  • Take our 1964 Quiz!

Top Ten Baby Names of 1964

Lisa, Mary, Susan, Karen, Patricia, Michael, John, David, James, Robert

The Sex Symbols, Hotties and Fashion Icons

Ursula Andress, Brigitte Bardot, Carroll Baker, Honor Blackman, Claudia Cardinale, Doris Day, Catherine Deneuve, Angie Dickinson, Shirley Eaton, Annette Funicello, Sophia Loren, Tina Louise, Babette March, Ann-Margret, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Elke Sommer, Elizabeth Taylor, Veruschka

Sex Symbols and Hollywood Hunks

Sean Connery, Elvis Presley, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney

“The Quotes”

– Gilligan

“Does she or doesn’t she?”

“Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!”
– Peter Sellers, in ‘Dr. Strangelove’

“Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation.”
– Pepsi

“A martini. Shaken, not stirred.”
– Sean Connery, as James Bond, in ‘Goldfinger’

“Please don’t 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)

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

Lyndon B. Johnson

Miss America

Donna Axum (El Dorado, AR)

Miss USA

Bobbie Johnson (District of Colombia)

The Scandals

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.”

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

The FBI sent a letter to Martin Luther King Jr., and it suggested that he commit suicide.

Kitty Genovese was murdered in 1964, and up to ~37 witnesses nearby did not act. The incident helped create the 911 emergency phone call system.

Daisy” Attack Ad from the 1964 Presidential Election against Barry Goldwater only ran once.

Fashion designers Andre Courreges and Mary Quant introduced the miniskirt, scandalizing society.

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

The Scary

In 1964, Three young Ph.D. grads were paid to develop a nuclear weapon design with public information in The Nth Country Experiment. They did so in less than three years. The report was classified.

Earthquake: The Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 was a magnitude 9.2 megathrust earthquake, lasting 4 minutes and 39 seconds. It was the most powerful earthquake recorded in North American history, and 139 people died.


The Hiroshima Flame of Peace was lit on August 1, 1964, in the hope of a world without nuclear weapons, and it will continue to burn until nuclear weapons are abolished worldwide. #peace

1964 Pop Culture Facts

The three rings around the Unisphere, the Queens, NY centerpiece for the 1964 World’s Fair, represented the orbital flights of Yuri Garagrin, the first man in space, John Glenn, the first American in space, and Telestar, the first active communications satellite.

Mr. Potato Head kits came without a body from 1952 until 1964. Real #potatoes were used until then.

The FBI spent four months investigating the song Louie Louie by The Kingsmen after receiving complaints about obscene lyrics. The investigation ended without persecution.

The Beatles are the only artists to hold all top 5 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 on the same week, April 4, 1964. #1. Can’t Buy Me Love, #2. Twist and Shout, #3. She Loves You, #4. I Want to Hold Your Hand, #5. Please, Please Me. In 1964, the best-selling Beatles merchandise was the “I Love Ringo” lapel pins.

The Beatles had 7 ‘Platinum’ Albums in 1964 – Introducing… The Beatles, Meet the Beatles!, The Beatles’ Second Album, A Hard Day’s Night, Something New, Beatles for Sale, and Beatles ’65 sold over one million copies.

Feb 9 – The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.

President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in his first State of the Union Address.

The film The Battle of the Bulge was so historically inaccurate that President Dwight D Eisenhower came out of retirement and held a press conference just to denounce the film.

The US had no Vice President for all of 1964. Lyndon Johnson never named a replacement. Hubert Humphrey became VP when he was inaugurated in 1965.

Jack White’s iconic guitar originally came from Montgomery Ward and was sold for $99 in 1964,

Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina holds the record for the most Olympic medals ever won by a female. Competing in three Olympics between 1956 and 1964, she won 18 medals.

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.

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, co-written 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 1900s.

The Ford Mustang was introduced.

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.

Hello, Dolly! opened in New York’s St. James Theatre.

Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published.

Merv Griffin’s game show Jeopardy! debuted on NBC. Art Fleming was the first host.

David Bowie’s first TV appearance was in 1964; he was interviewed on the BBC’s Tonight as the founder of ‘The Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Long-Haired Men’.

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

Mary Poppins premiered in theaters on August 27.

 The Updated Hippocratic Oath, rewritten in 1964 by Louis Lasagna

I swear to fulfill, to the best of my ability and judgment, this covenant:
I will respect the hard-won scientific gains of those physicians in whose steps I walk, and gladly share such knowledge as is mine with those who are to follow.
I will apply, for the benefit of the sick, all measures [that] are required, avoiding those twin traps of overtreatment and therapeutic nihilism.
I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug.
I will not be ashamed to say “I know not,” nor will I fail to call in my colleagues when the skills of another are needed for a patient’s recovery.
I will respect the privacy of my patients, for their problems are not disclosed to me that the world may know. Most especially must I tread with care in matters of life and death. If it is given me to save a life, all thanks. But it may also be within my power to take a life; this awesome responsibility must be faced with great humbleness and awareness of my own frailty. Above all, I must not play at God.
I will remember that I do not treat a fever chart, a cancerous growth, but a sick human being, whose illness may affect the person’s family and economic stability. My responsibility includes these related problems if I am to care adequately for the sick.
I will prevent disease whenever I can, for prevention is preferable to cure.
I will remember that I remain a member of society, with special obligations to all my fellow human beings, those sound of mind and body as well as the infirm.
If I do not violate this oath, may I enjoy life and art, respected while I live and remembered with affection thereafter. May I always act so as to preserve the finest traditions of my calling and may I long experience the joy of healing those who seek my help.

Nobel Prize Winners

Physics – Charles Hard Townes, Nicolay Gennadiyevich Basov, Aleksandr Prokhorov
Chemistry – Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin
Physiology or Medicine – Konrad Bloch, Feodor Lynen
Literature – Jean-Paul Sartre
Peace – Martin Luther King Jr.
*Jean-Paul Sartre declined his prize, saying “A writer should not allow himself to be turned into an institution”.

The Habits

Troll Dolls (Year 2)
Watching the cool kids drive their Ford Mustangs
Reading The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

1st Appearances & 1964’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents

Easy Bake Oven, G.I. Joe, Rat Fink Collectible Hot Rod Figures, Password Game, Mighty Tonka Dump Truck (continued to be made popular in the 1970s 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)

Best Film Oscar Winner

Tom Jones (presented in 1964)

Broadway Shows

Hello, Dolly! (Musical) Opened on January 16, 1964, and closed on December 27, 1970
Funny Girl (Musical) Opened on March 26, 1964 and closed on July 1, 1967
Fiddler on the Roof (Musical) Opened on September 22, 1964, and closed on July 2, 1972

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1964

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Armageddon by Leon Uris
Richard Scarry’s Best Mother Goose Ever by Richard Scarry
Candy by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang by Ian Fleming
Convention by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II
Come Back, Dr. Caligari by Donald Barthelme
The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
The Group – Mary McCarthy
Herzog by Saul Bellow
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss
It’s Like This, Cat by Emily Cheney Neville
Last Exit To Brooklyn by Hubert Selby Jr.
The Man by Irving Wallace
The Martyred by Richard E. Kim
The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss
This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
The Virtue of Selfishness by Ayn Rand
You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming

1964 Most Popular TV Shows

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)

1964 Billboard Number One Songs

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

January 4January 31:
There! I’ve Said It Again – Bobby Vinton

February 1March 20:
I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles

March 21April 3:
She Loves You – The Beatles

April 4May 8:
Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles

May 9May 15:
Hello, Dolly! – Louis Armstrong

May 16May 29:
My Guy – Mary Wells

May 30June 5:
Love Me Do – The Beatles

June 6 – June 26:
Chapel Of Love – The Dixie Cups

June 27July 3:
A World Without Love – Peter & Gordon

July 4July 17:
I Get Around – The Beach Boys

July 18July 31:
Rag Doll – The Four Seasons

August 1 – August 14:
A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles

August 15August 21:
Everybody Loves Somebody – Dean Martin

August 22September 14:
Where Did Our Love Go – The Supremes

September 5September 25:
The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals

September 26October 16:
Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison

October 17October 30:
Do Wah Diddy Diddy – Manfred Mann

October 31 – November 27:
Baby Love – The Supremes

November 28December 4:
Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri-Las

December 5December 11:
Ringo – Lorne Greene

December 12December 18:
Mr. Lonely – Bobby Vinton

December 19December 25:
Come See About Me – The Supremes

December 26, 1964 – January 15, 1965:
I Feel Fine – The Beatles


World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
NFL Champions: Cleveland Browns
AFL Champions: Buffalo Bills
NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
U.S. Open Golf Ken Venturi
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Roy Emerson/Maria Bueno
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Roy Emerson/Maria Bueno
NCAA Football Champions: Alabama & Arkansas & Notre Dame
NCAA Basketball Champions: UCLA
Kentucky Derby: Northern Dancer

More 1964 Facts & History Resources:

BabyBoomers.com (1964)
Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us)
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1964X
1964 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com
Civil Rights Act
Fact Monster
1960s, Infoplease.com World History
1964 in Movies (according to IMDB)
Retrowaste Vintage Culture
1964 Television
1960s Slang
Vietnam War: the Gulf of Tonkin
Voting Rights Act 1965
Wikipedia 1964