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 – Shel Silverstein
- Price of 1/2 gallon Holland Dutch Treat ice cream in 1964: 59 cents
Bulova Hi Fi Record Player: $59.00
- 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?
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
“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”
“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”
“Put a tiger in your tank”
– Esso (later Exxon)
Time Magazine’s Man of the Year:
Lyndon B. Johnson
Donna Axum (El Dorado, AR)
Bobbie Johnson (District of Colombia)
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 apparently drinking and there was a misunderstanding)
The FBI sent a letter to Martin Luther King Jr. and it suggested the 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 1964 Presidential Election against Barry Goldwater only ran once.
Earthquake: The Great Alaskan Earthquake of 1964 was a magnitude 9.2 megathrust earthquake, lasting 4 minutes and 39 seconds. It is 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 hope of a world without nuclear weapons, and it will continue to burn until nuclear weapons are abolished worldwide. #peace
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 where used until then.
The FBI spent 4 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 were 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 each sold over one million copies.
President Lyndon Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” at 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,
Feb 9 – The Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.
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 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”.
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)
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.
Best Film Oscar Winner:
Tom Jones (presented in 1964)
Broadway Show – Hello, Dolly! (Musical) Opened on January 16, 1964 and Closed: December 27, 1970
Broadway Show – Funny Girl (Musical) Opened on March 26, 1964 and Closed: July 1, 1967
Popular and Notable 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, 1963 – January 3, 1964:
Dominique – The Singing Nun
January 4 – January 31:
There! I’ve Said It Again – Bobby Vinton
February 1 – March 20:
I Want To Hold Your Hand – The Beatles
March 21 – April 3:
She Loves You – The Beatles
April 4 – May 8:
Can’t Buy Me Love – The Beatles
May 9 – May 15:
Hello, Dolly! – Louis Armstrong
May 16 – May 29:
My Guy – Mary Wells
May 30 – June 5:
Love Me Do – The Beatles
June 6 – June 26:
Chapel Of Love – The Dixie Cups
June 27 – July 3:
A World Without Love – Peter & Gordon
July 4 – July 17:
I Get Around – The Beach Boys
July 18 – July 31:
Rag Doll – The Four Seasons
August 22 – September 14:
Where Did Our Love Go – The Supremes
September 5 – September 25:
The House Of The Rising Sun – The Animals
September 26 – October 16:
Oh, Pretty Woman – Roy Orbison
October 17 – October 30:
Do Wah Diddy Diddy – Manfred Mann
October 31 – November 27:
Baby Love – The Supremes
November 28 – December 4:
Leader Of The Pack – The Shangri-Las
December 5 – December 11:
Ringo – Lorne Greene
December 12 – December 18:
Mr. Lonely – Bobby Vinton
December 19 – December 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