1966 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

 1966 Fun Facts, Trivia and History

Quick Facts from 1966

  • World Changing Event: Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution.
  • The Top Song was I’m A Believer by The Monkees.
  • The Movies to Watch include Alfie, The Sand Pebbles, The Professionals, and Fantastic Voyage.
  • The Most Famous Person in America was probably Walt Disney.
  • Notable books include In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and The Little Red Book, aka Quotations From Chairman Mao by Mao Tse-tung.
  • The price of one Scott ‘Jumbo’ paper towel, 200 sheets in 1966: 30 cents.
    Playing cards: 2 decks for 58 cents
    1 Wham-O Superball: 66 cents
  • US Life Expectancy: Males: 66.7 years, Females: 73.8 years.
  • The Funny Lady was Phyllis Diller
    The Funny Guy was Don Rickles
    The Funny Late Night Host: Johnny Carson
  • Bird is the Word: In 1966, a survey found that 100% of New Yorkers over 60 pronounced “bird” like “boid.” Among 8-19-year-olds, it was 4%.
  • Take our 1966 Quiz!

Top Ten Baby Names of 1966

Lisa, Kimberly, Mary, Michelle, Karen, Michael, David, James, John, Robert

Fashion Icons and Sex Symbols

Ursula Andress, Sunny Bippus, Claudia Cardinale, Julie Christie, Yvonne Craig, Doris Day, Catherine Deneuve, Angie Dickinson, Barbara Eden, Barbara Feldon, Jane Fonda, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Virna Lisi, Tina Louise, Ann-Margret, Elizabeth Montgomery, Caroline Munro, Julie Newmar, Ingrid Pitt, Diana Rigg, Tura Satana, Elke Sommer, Twiggy, Raquel Welch, Barbara Windsor

Leading Men and Hollywood Heartthrobs

Robert Goulet, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones

“The Quotes”

“Beam me up, Scotty.”
– William Shatner, as Cat. James Kirk, in ‘Star Trek’
(*he never actually said it!)

“Have it your way.”
– Burger King

“Fly the friendly skies.”
– United Airlines

Time Magazine’s Man of the Year

The Generation Twenty-Five and Under (Baby Boomers)

Miss America

Deborah Bryant (Overland Park, KS)

Miss USA

Maria Remenyi (California)

1966 Pop Culture Facts & History

James Faria and Robert Wright of Monsanto Industries invented AstroTurf in 1965. In 1966, it was first used in Houston’s Astro Dome.

Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar, pound-for-pound, five times stronger than steel.

Allen Astles tiddly-winked 10,000 tiddlywinks in just 3 hours, 51 minutes, and 41 seconds at the University of Wales.

The 8-track was a new-fangled option on many Ford cars.

John Lennon commented that The Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.”

In 1966, there was a sharp decrease in the Japanese birthrate because it was considered unlucky for a woman to be born that year, so many families aborted their female babies.

1st Appearances & 1966’s Most Popular Christmas Gifts, Toys and Presents

Spirograph, Twister, Barrel Of Monkeys, Crazy Maze, View-Master* with TV-themed reels
*View-Master originally came out in 1939

Best Film Oscar Winner

The Sound of Music (presented in 1966)

Broadway Shows

Mame (Musical) Opened on May 24, 1966 and closed on January 3, 1970
Cabaret (Musical) Opened on November 20, 1966 and closed on September 6, 1969

Popular and Best-selling Books From 1966

The Adventurers by Harold Robbins
Against Interpretation by Susan Sontag
All in the Family by Edwin O’Connor
Capable of Honor by Allen Drury
Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal by Ayn Rand
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
The Double Image by Helen MacInnes
The Embezzler by Louis Auchincloss
The Fixer by Bernard Malamud
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
The Little Red Book, aka Quotations From Chairman Mao by Mao Tse-tung
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
Octopussy and The Living Daylights by Ian Fleming
Paradiso by Jose Lezama Lima
Tai-Pan by James Clavell
Tell No Man by Adela Rogers St. Johns
The Source – James Michener
The Secret of Santa Vittoria by Robert Crichton
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

1966 Most Popular TV Shows

1. Bonanza (NBC)
2. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
3. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
4. The Lucy Show (CBS)
5. The Jackie Gleason Show (CBS)
6. Green Acres (CBS)
7. Daktari (CBS)
8. Bewitched (ABC)
9. The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
10. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (CBS)

1966 Billboard Number One Songs

January 1- January 7:
The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel

January 8January 22:
We Can Work It Out – The Beatles

January 29February 4:
The Sound of Silence Simon & Garfunkel

February 5February 18:
My Love – Petula Clark

February 19February 25:
Lightnin’ Strikes – Lou Christie

February 26March 4:
These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ – Nancy Sinatra

March 5April 8:
The Ballad Of The Green Berets – Sgt Barry Sadler

April 9April 29:
(You’re My) Soul And Inspiration – The Righteous Brothers

April 30 – May 6:
Good Lovin’ – The Young Rascals

May 7May 27:
Monday, Monday – The Mamas & The Papas

May 28June 10:
When A Man Loves A Woman Percy Sledge

June 11July 24:
Paint It, Black – The Rolling Stones

June 25 – July 1:
Paperback Writer – The Beatles

July 2July 8:
Strangers In The Night – Frank Sinatra

July 9July 15:
Paperback Writer – The Beatles

July 16 – July 24:
Hanky Panky – Tommy James

July 30August 12:
Wild Thing – The Troggs

August 13September 2:
Summer In The City – The Lovin’ Spoonful

September 3September 9:
Sunshine Superman – Donovan

September 10September 23:
You Can’t Hurry Love – The Supremes

September 24October 14:
Cherish – The Association

October 15 – October 28:
Reach Out I’ll Be There – Four Tops

October 29November 4:
96 Tears – ? & the Mysterians

November 5November 11:
Last Train To Clarksville – The Monkees

November 12November 18:
Poor Side Of Town – Johnny Rivers

November 19December 2:
You Keep Me Hangin’ On – The Supremes

December 3December 9:
Winchester Cathedral – The New Vaudeville Band

December 10December 16:
Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys

December 17December 30:
Winchester Cathedral – The New Vaudeville Band

December 31, 1966 – February 17, 1967:
I’m A Believer – The Monkees


World Series Champions: Baltimore Orioles
NFL Champions: Green Bay Packers
AFL Champions: Kansas City Chiefs
NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
Stanley Cup Champs: Montreal Canadians
U.S. Open Golf Billy Casper
U.S. Tennis: (Men/Ladies) Fred Stolle/Maria Bueno
Wimbledon (Men/Women): Manuel Santana/Billie Jean King
NCAA Football Champions: Michigan State & Notre Dame
NCAA Basketball Champions: Texas Western
Kentucky Derby: Kauai King
World Cup (Soccer): England

More 1966 Facts & History Resources:

Most Popular Baby Names (BabyCenter.com)
Popular and Notable Books (popculture.us)
Broadway Shows that Opened in 1966X
1966 Calendar, courtesy of Time and Date.com
Fact Monster
1960s, Infoplease.com World History
Miranda Warning
1966 in Movies (according to IMDB)
Pop Culture in 1966
Retrowaste Vintage Culture
1966 Television
1960s Slang
Wikipedia 1966