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Solvay High School Class of 1964

Solvay, New York

presents

37 38 39 40 41....(and counting) years            

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1964...it was a very good, very interesting, very exciting....it was one hell of a year.



The Civil Rights Act of 1964

To enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction upon the district courts of the United States to provide injunctive relief against discrimination in public accommodations, to authorize the attorney General to institute suits to protect constitutional rights in public facilities and public education, to extend the Commission on Civil Rights, to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs, to establish a Commission on Equal Employment Opportunity, and for other purposes. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the "Civil Rights Act of 1964".

 

Vast forces dormant in nuggets of imprisoned sunlight? Machines that fly, think, transport, fashion and do man's work? Spices, perfumes, ivory, apes and peacocks? Dead Sea Scrolls? Images divine and graven? Painted lilies and refined gold? ...We have them all..."


New York World's Fair
Lyndon B. Johnson Elected 36th President in Landslide

President Johnson was nominated for re-election by acclamation at the Democratic convention in Atlantic City. Senator Goldwater ran for the republican nomination, He was opposed by Nelson Rockefeller, but was nominated on the first ballot.

Goldwater promised "a choice and not an echo." Goldwater suggested the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Vietnam if necessary. He called for deep cuts in the social programs. He also called opposed much of the civil rights legislation. He suggested that social security become voluntary, and that Tennessee Valley Authority be sold. Johnson campaigned on a platform of continued social programs, and a limited involvement in Vietnam.

The election of 1964 was the first election since 1932 that was fought over true issues, and which brought ideology into Americans politics. President Johnson won by a landslide.

More than 30 years ago, on January 11, 1964, Luther L. Terry, M.D., Surgeon General of the U.S. Public Health Service, released the report of the Surgeon General's Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health. That landmark document, now referred to as the first Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health, was America's first widely publicized official recognition that cigarette smoking is a cause of cancer and other serious diseases.

1964 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking and Health

Lyndon B. Johnson: The Prudent Progressive

There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood in 1964, led on to fame for Lyndon Baines Johnson.

 

From that November afternoon when he made it clear that the torch of continuity was safe in his hands to that November night nearly a year later when he won the biggest election triumph in history, it was his year--his to act in, his to mold, his to dominate.

And dominate it he did. By worlds and gestures, by pleas and orders. By speeches noble and plainly blunt. By exasperated outbursts and munificent tributes. By intuitive insights and the blueprints of planners.

Physics Charles Hard Townes
Literature John-Paul Sartre
Peace Prize Martin Luther King, Jr.
   

1964 Nobel Prize Winners

Tonkin Gulf Incident

 

 

Last night I announced to the American people that the North Vietnamese regime had conducted further deliberate attacks against U.S. naval vessels operating in international waters, and I had therefore directed air action against gunboats and supporting facilities used in these hostile operations. This air action has now been carried out with substantial damage to the boats and facilities. Two U.S. aircraft were lost in the action.-Lyndon Johnson

 

 

Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa (June 11).

Khrushchev is deposed; Kosygin becomes premier and Brezhnev becomes first secretary of the Communist Party (October).
President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy issues Warren Report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Select Economic Data from 1964
US GDP (1998 dollars):   $663 billion
Federal spending:   $118.53 billion
Federal debt:   $316.1 billion
Consumer Price Index:   31
Unemployment:   5.7%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.05

World Series: St. Louis beats New York Yankees, 4-3

Olympics held in Tokyo

Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston to win heavyweight boxing title.

Sports

 

Books of 1964

Come Back, Dr. Caligari, Donald Barthelme
77 Dream Songs, John Berryman
The Wapshot Scandal, John Cheever
Helmets, Two Poems of the Air, James Dickey
Second Skin, John Hawkes 
A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway
Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter, Katherine Anne Porter
Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby

Herzog, Saul Bellow

 

Movies, TV & Theater

Movies:  Lord of the Flies, A Hard Day's Night, My Fair Lady, Goldfinger, Zorba the Greek, Mary Poppins, 

Oscars:

Best Picture - My Fair Lady

Best Actor - Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady)

Best Actress - Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins)

TV:  The Munsters, The Virginian, Daniel Boone, Outer Limits, Gilligan's Island, Man from UNCLE, Flipper, Dr. Kildare, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea.

Peyton Place premieres on ABC and is the first prime-time soap opera. Color television makes its way into U.S. homes.

The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.  (According to some reports, not a single juvenile crime is reported in NYC the night of the Beatles' first appearance.)

Theater: Fiddler on the Roof, Hello Dolly


I want to Hold Your Hand, Hello Dolly, She Loves You, Can't Buy Me Love, Do Wah Diddy Diddy, Oh Pretty Woman, Baby Love, My Guy

Songs

The year it all came apart

'The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: The Beginning of the Sixties'
by Jon Margolis

Review by L.D. Meagher

April 27, 1999
Web posted at: 4:04 p.m. EDT (2004 GMT)

 

(CNN) -- "It was the year of the Beatles," Paul Simon once wrote, "the year of the Stones, the year after JFK."

It was a year that, to outward appearances, seemed like the decade or so that preceded it. But beneath that placid surface, the United States was changing in ways most Americans couldn't recognize or begin to understand. It was 1964, and the '60s were about to begin.

 "The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: The Beginning of the 'Sixties'" opens, appropriately enough, in the hours after John F. Kennedy was slain in November 1963.

It ends 12 months later, with the election of Lyndon Johnson to a full term as President of the United States. The 1960s, Margolis asserts, didn't begin with the calendar on January 1, 1960. They began that day in Dallas, when the shimmering image of the Kennedy Camelot was shattered by gunfire.

"One of the enduring images of those four days of mourning," he writes, "had been a sign posted outside a New York City newsstand that said, 'Closed because of a death in the American family.' On both counts, the newsie had had it right. There had been a death -- a murder -- but for all its horror, that murder had demonstrated the reality, and the resilience, of the American family."

In the wake of such tragedy, how could Americans still be considered "innocent"? Margolis uses the term in a very specific way. Despite the divisions in the country -- between left and right, young and old, rich and poor, white and black -- most Americans felt secure in the knowledge that they knew how the society was supposed to operate. Margolis calls it "the consensus." It was a set of societal and governmental assumptions most people would consider valid.

"The consensus," he writes, "was internationalist, integrationist, sophisticated and cosmopolitan. Above all, it was rational." And in 1964, it was starting to come apart.

The signs of the unraveling were visible, if not widely recognized. Margolis chooses the effort to entice Senator Barry Goldwater into the Republican Presidential campaign as an example. The move had an air of insurrection. Those behind it, notably conservative activist F. Clinton White, saw themselves as revolutionaries, storming the battlements of the establishment. As it became more likely to succeed, the Goldwater movement marched ever farther from the confines of the consensus. It even left its progenitors behind. "Revolutions, it's said, eat their young," Margolis trenchantly observes, "but Barry Goldwater's may have been the first to eat its father."

Not that the Democrats were having a much easier time of it. Throughout 1964, Johnson repeatedly expressed no interest in seeking the presidency in his own right. Robert F. Kennedy struggled to understand the legacy of his slain brother and to find his own role in carrying that legacy forward. A deep mistrust drove a wedge between the younger Kennedy and Johnson, who had every reason to become allies. They ended up bitter rivals.

The cracks in the consensus spread and multiplied. As Congress debated the Civil Rights Act, the bodies of three murdered civil rights leaders were being unearthed in Mississippi. The 1964 fall television season was a lightweight froth of new comedies like "Gilligan's Island" and "Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C." spiced up by a drama called "Peyton Place."

When the year began, crooner Andy Williams was a mainstay on every radio station. By mid-year, he'd been supplanted by four lads from Liverpool who pumped out cheeky love songs with an infectious beat. Their popularity was documented in, and inflated by, a low-budget movie. "A Hard Day's Night" promptly shoved the latest Technicolor Elvis Presley pabulum off the box office lists.

And without much fanfare, Congress approved a measure known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, granting the President authority to conduct an undeclared war in a place called Vietnam.

The characters are vivid and manifold -- Cassius Clay, Bobby Baker, Bob Dylan, Hubert Humphrey, Dr. Kildare and Dr. Strangelove.

Even those of us who lived through the '60s sometimes have trouble understanding them. "The Last Innocent Year" helps make sense of our memories. It can also help explain those times to people who know them only as some tangled threads in the American tapestry.

 

  • 24th Amendment to Constitution adopted, ensuring fair voting practices.  
  • Race riots break out in Harlem and other U.S. cities. 
  • President Johnson declares "war on poverty," introduces a variety of federal welfare programs, including Medicare (initially proposed by JFK in 1960).
  • Three civil rights workers murdered in Mississippi during "Freedom Summer."
  • Turkey attacked Cyprus
  • Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa convicted of fraud, conspiracy and jury tampering.
  • Space probe Mariner IV flies by Mars transmitting pictures of the planet's surface back to earth.
  • The Verrazano Narrows Bridge in NYC opens (world's longest suspension bridge).
  • First lung transplant.

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Sunday, July 02, 2006                                        

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