Dan Watson


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At the end of my discussion of Mad Men’s episode 401, I talked about how the show decided to skip from mid-December 1963 to Thanksgiving 1964.  Since I was curious, I decided to revisit 1964, and one way to do that was to check the Collier’s Yearbook for 1964 on my parents’ bookshelf.  The Collier’s Encyclopedia put out a new yearbook every year, as a sort of annual addition to the encyclopedia.  In the beginning of each there’s a timeline of events.  It’s interesting to see what events were singled out as historically important (only one year later), and the wording the editors chose to use.  So, quoted verbatim, here are some selections from the timeline in the 1964 yearbook:

1/11/64 – A federal study by Dr. Luther Terry, surgeon general of the Public Health Service, found that cigarette smoking was an important factor in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema and that it contributed so substantially to the American death rate that “appropriate remedial action” was necessary.

2/3/64 – A peaceful one-day boycott protesting racial imbalance in New York City schools brought an absenteeism of 34.8 percent above normal.

2/7/64 – The Senate passed a bill for an $11.6 billion tax cut, the largest in the nation’s history.

2/10/64 – With a roll-call vote of 290 to 130, the House of Representatives passed the most sweeping civil rights bill ever considered by Congress.

2/26/64 – President Johnson signed into law the tax reduction bill approved by Congress.

3/14/64 – In Dallas, Tex., Jack L. Ruby, 52-year-old nightclub owner, was sentenced to die in the electric chair for the “murder with malice” of Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President Kennedy; Ruby’s lawyers said they would appeal the verdict.

4/22/64 – The New York World’s Fair was opened by President Johnson; a traffic stall-in on highways leading to the fair, threatened by civil rights groups, failed to materialize.

5/15/64 – Governor Nelson Rockefeller won the Republican presidential primary in Oregon.

6/2/64 – Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater won the bitterly contested California Republican presidential primary, defeating New York’s Governor Nelson Rockefeller.

6/10/64 – The U.S. Senate, by a vote of 71 to 29, invoked cloture on the civil rights debate after a 74-day filibuster.

6/15/64 – New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller withdrew as a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in favor of Pennsylvania Governor Scranton.

6/19/64 – On the 83rd day of debate, the U.S. Senate passed the civil rights bill by a roll-call vote of 73 to 27.

6/22/64 – James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, and Andrew Goodman, civil rights workers in a drive for increased Negro voting registration, were reported missing in Mississippi.

6/26/64 – Following the worst outbreak of racial violence thus far in St. Augustine, Fla., the city’s law enforcement officials told a federal judge in Jacksonville that they were unable to prevent white mobs from attacking civil rights demonstrators.

7/2/64 – The most far-reaching civil rights legislation since Reconstruction days, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, became U.S. law when it was signed by President Johnson in ceremonies at the White House.

7/15/64 – On the third day of the GOP convention, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater was nominated the Republican presidential candidate on the first ballot.

7/18/64 – Following a protest march on a police station, racial rioting broke out in New York City’s Harlem; the violence grew out of the shooting of a 15-year-old Negro James Powell by a white police officer, Lt. Thomas Gilligan.

7/24/64 – President Johnson and Senator Goldwater, meeting at the White House, agreed that “racial tension should be avoided” during the presidential election campaign.  Riots broke out in the Negro section of Rochester, N.Y.

7/26/64 – As a “precautionary measure,” Governor Rockefeller dispatched 1,000 National Guardsmen to Rochester, N.Y., to quell racial rioting.

7/29/64 – Leaders of the major civil rights organizations, meeting in New York City, urged their members to observe a broad curtailment of demonstrations until after the election.

8/2/64 – The Defense Department announced that the U.S. destroyer Maddox, on a routine patrol mission in the Gulf of Tonkin, was fired upon by three unmarked North Vietnamese PT boats.  Racial rioting broke out in Jersey City, N.J., as Negroes began hurling bricks and gasoline bombs at policemen.

8/4/64 – Three bodies, found by the FBI in graves near Philadelphia, Miss., were identified as those of the three civil rights workers missing since June.

8/7/64 – The House of Representatives and Senate voted 416-0 and 88-2 to give prior congressional approval of “all necessary measures” that the president may take to “repeal any armed attack” against the U.S. forces and “to prevent further aggression” in Southeast Asia.

8/20/64 – President Johnson signed into law his $947.5 million antipoverty program.

8/26/64 – The Democratic National Convention chose Lyndon B. Johnson as presidential candidate and, upon President Johnson’s recommendation, Hubert H. Humphrey, the liberal Senate majority whip from Minnesota, as his vice-presidential running mate.

8/27/64 – In his acceptance speech, President Lyndon Johnson called the Democratic party “an all-American party for all Americans” and called for “a mandate to begin to build a great society.”

8/29/64 – Philadelphia’s mayor James Tate ordered a 125-block quarantine in the crowded Negro section of North Philadelphia, where racial rioting continued throughout the night.

9/3/64 – Robert F. Kennedy handed President Johnson his resignation as attorney general after winning New York’s Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate on September 1.

9/14/64 – A white boycott protesting the New York City Board of Education’s new integration program raised normal 10 percent absenteeism to 27 percent on the first day of classes in the city’s public schools.

9/27/64 – Reporting on their 10-month fact-finding mission, the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy, led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, declared that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the shooting of the late president, ruled out any tie between him and Jack Ruby, his assassin, and reprimanded the Secret Service and the FBI for not taking the proper precautions for Kennedy’s visit to Dallas in November 1963.

10/14/64 – The Nobel Peace Prize for 1964 was awarded to American civil rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

11/3/64 – Lyndon B. Johnson, who became president of the U.S. upon the assassination of President Kennedy in November 1963, won his own four-year term as he and his vice-presidential running mate, Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, received 61.2 percent of the popular vote, defeating Republican opponents Senator Barry Goldwater and Representative William Miller.  Also elected: 17 Democratic governors, 8 Republican; 323 Democratic congressmen, 147 Republican.

12/4/64 – In Mississippi, the FBI arrested 21 men, including the Neshoba County sheriff and two other law-enforcement officers, in connection with the murder of three civil rights workers June 21; conspiracy charges were brought against 19, and 2 were charged with refusing to disclose information about the crime.

12/10/64 – At a hearing in Meridian, Miss., U.S. Commissioner Esther Carter dismissed charges against 19 of the 21 men arrested in connection with the murder of three civil rights workers in June, after ruling as incompetent an FBI agent’s testimony about the confession obtained from one of the defendants.

12/11/64 – As the Cuban minister of industry, Maj. Ernesto Che Guevara, spoke before the UN General Assembly, a bazooka was fired toward the building from across the East River; anti-Communist Cubans were demonstrating at the time in front of the UN.  The conspiracy charge against the 20th defendant in the murder of three civil rights workers in Mississippi was dismissed at the request of the U.S. government.

12/14/64 – The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously upheld the public accommodations section of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Written by Dan

August 5, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Posted in History

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