Beginning Year:       Ending Year:      
1957
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
The U.S. proposes a 10-month halt to nuclear testing as a first step toward disarmament.
Government
Stamps: The Citizen's Stamp Advisory Committee is created to provide advice to the Postmaster General on the subject matter and design of US stamps.
War
World War II: U.S. occupation forces leave Japan.
War
A Senate subcommittee holds hearings on U.S. preparedness to withstand Soviet military attack.
Science
The Federation of American Scientists urges a worldwide ban on nuclear weapon testing.
Science
Space Race: In October, the Soviet Union successfully launches the first artificial satellite, called Sputnik I (the Russian word for "traveler"; in November, they launch Sputnik 2, which carries a small dog named Laika into orbit.
Medicine
Walter Grey Walter (1910-1977) invents the brain EEG topography (toposcope).
Medicine
Daniele Bovet (1896-1980) wins the Nobel Prize for his discovery of antihistamines and muscle relaxing drugs.
Medicine
Vaccines: Albert Sabin (1906-1993) begins human trials on his oral polio vaccine.
Technology
Perceptron, a bionic computer that prints, writes, and responds to spoken commands is developed.
Education
Public Education: A federal court orders integration of Little Rock, Arkansas public schools. Governor Orval Faubus sends his National Guard to physically prevent nine African American students from enrolling at all-white Central High School. Reluctantly, President Eisenhower sends federal troops to enforce the court order not because he supports desegregation, but because he can't let a state governor use military power to defy the U.S. federal government.
Kennedy, Jackie
Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg (1957-), daughter of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, is born November 27.
Ford, Betty
Susan Ford Vance Bales (1957- ), daughter of Gerald and Betty Ford, is born July 6.
Economics
America’s first large nuclear power plant opens in Shippingport, Pa.
Economics
American Money: Paper currency is first issued with "In God We Trust" as required by Congress in 1955.
Daily Life
Fashion: The sack dress, unfitted material that drapes the body, is the fashion of the year.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Althea Gibson (1927-2003) becomes the first black person to play in and win Wimbledon and the United States national tennis championship. She won both tournaments twice, in 1957 and 1958.
Sports
Baseball: The Dodgers leave Brooklyn for Los Angeles. The Giants leave New York for San Francisco. Major league baseball finally reaches the west coast.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: John Lennon (1940-1980) meets Paul McCartney (1942- ) on July 6, 1957.
1958
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Government
Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971) becomes Soviet premier and first secretary of the Communist Party in the Soviet Union.
Government
The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) is established to ensure air safety.
War
The Defense Reorganization Act centralizes defense structure so that the U.S. can respond more quickly to a nuclear attack by the U.S.S.R.
Science
Space Race: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is established.
Technology
Space Race: Explorer I, the first U.S. earth satellite, is launched; Explorer II is launched, but fails to make orbit; the Soviet Union launches Sputnit 3; the U.S. launches Vanguard 1, which functions for 3 years.
Technology
Stereo LPs are introduced.
Technology
There are 160 electronic computers in use in Europe (1000 in U.S.)
Technology
Personal Computers: At Texas Instruments, Jack Kilby (1923-2005) completes building the first integrated circuit, containing five components on a piece of germanium half an inch long and thinner than a toothpick.
Education
Crayola: Prussian blue, the first Crayola crayon color to get a new name, becomes "midnight blue." Teachers prompted the change, as children could no longer relate to Prussian history.
Education
The Supreme Court orders states to not delay public school desegregation.
Education
The National Defense Education Act is signed; this authorizes low-interest, long-term tuition loans to college and graduate students.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) publishes "Suddenly Last Summer."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: Television penetration reaches 85% of population.
Ideas
Bionics is a word coined to describe artificial machines or systems that work and or look like living systems.
Reagan, Nancy
Ronald Prescott Reagan (1958- ), son of Ronald and Nancy Reagan, is born May 20.
Discovery
Sir Edmund Hillary (1919- ) reaches the South Pole overland.
Discovery
Explorer Sir Vivian Fuchs (1908-1999) completes the first crossing of Antarctica by land.
Daily Life
The first parking meters are used in London.
Daily Life
Crayola: The Crayola 64 Box with its signature built-in sharpener debuts, becoming the perennial favorite of Crayola colorers for more than 40 years.
Sports
Black Athletes: Willie O’Ree (1935-…) is one of the NHL hockey players in Boston Bruins.
Sports
Women in Sports: Women are admitted to the international cycling championships.
Popular Culture
At age 14, Bobby Fischer (1943- ) wins the U.S. Chess Championship for the first time.
Popular Culture
Rock ‘n’ roll star Elvis Presley (1935-1977) begins a two-year hitch in the U.S. army.
Popular Culture
Duke Ellington (1899-1974) composes the song "Satin Doll."
Religion
U.S. churches report large increases in membership since 1950.
Religion
Judaism: The Supreme Religious Center for World Jewry is dedicated in Jerusalem, Israel.
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1959
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Supreme Court rules that a person can be tried for the same offense in both state and federal courts (double jeopardy).
Government
New State: Alaska becomes the 49th state in the Union.
Government
Charles de Gaulle (1890-1970) becomes the first president of France’s Fifth Republic.
Government
Fidel Castro (1926- ) becomes the leader of Cuba after having ousted the right-wing dictator, Fulgencio Batista (1901-1973).
Government
American Flag: The Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 establishes the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
Science
International Atomic Energy Agency is formed to explore peaceful uses of atomic energy.
Science
Heat produced in a nuclear reaction is converted directly into electricity via a plasma thermocouple.
Science
Space Race: NASA selects the first 7 astronauts.
Technology
Space Race: The first spacecraft to orbit the Sun, Mechta (Luna 1) is launched by the USSR in January; Luna 2 impacts the moon in September; Luna 3 orbits the moon in October, photographing 70% of its surface.
Technology
GE demonstrates a radio-optical telescope tracking station for following and monitoring space vehicles.
Technology
Personal Computers: At Fairchild Semiconductor, Robert Noyce (1927-1990) constructs an integrated circuit with components connected by aluminum lines on a silicon-oxide surface layer on a plane of silicon.
Technology
Space Race: The U.S. launches Pioneer 4, which passes within 37,000 miles of the moon.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The San Francisco Mime Troupe created by R. G. Davis is established.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Ford Foundation funds the regional theatre program but it cannot continue because of a lack of subsequent investments.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Lorraine Hansberry (1930-1965) publishes "Raisin in the Sun."
Arts and Letters
Drama: Eugene Ionesco (1912-1994) writes the play "Rhinoceros."
Bush, Barbara
Lives of the First Ladies: Dorothy “Doro” Bush Koch (1959- ), daughter of George and Barbara Bush, is born August 18.
Economics
The Ford Motor Company establishes what today is the industry’s largest automobile leasing company known as Ford Credit. More than 40 years later, it’s still helping make vehicle ownership a more affordable reality for many.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: The Barbie doll is introduced at the American Toy Fair in New York City by Elliot Handler, founder of Mattel Toys, and his wife, Ruth.
Sports
The largest fish ever hooked with a rod and reel is landed by Alfred Dean in South Australia; the fish is a white shark measuring 16 feet and 10 inches and weighed 2,664 pounds.
Sports
Football: The American Football League is formed.
Popular Culture
Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) and Oscar Hammerstein (1895-1960) compose the score for "The Sound of Music."
Religion
The Dalai Lama receives political asylum from India, after fleeing Chinese repression of a Tibetan revolt.
Religion
Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) calls for Vatican Council II, the first ecumenical council since 1870.
Social Issues
Immigration: Fidel Castro’s Cuban revolution prompts mass exodus of more than 200,000 people within three years.
Reform
Labor Movement: Nationwide steel strike lasts 116 days; this is the longest steel strike in U.S. history.
1960
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution, enabling residents of the District of Columbia to vote for President and Vice President in national elections, is passed by Congress.
Politics
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) is elected as the 35th President of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is elected as the nation's 37th Vice President.
Politics
President Eisenhower (1890-1969) makes goodwill tours in the Far East and Latin America.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Oveta Culp Hobby (1905-1995) becomes the first woman to serve as Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. She is also the first director of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC), and the first woman to receive the U.S. Army Distinguished Service Medal.
War
Cuban Missile Crisis: December 19, Cuba openly aligns itself with the Soviet Union and their policies.
War
Cold War: U-2 photographic reconnaissance plane is shot down over Soviet territory. Premier Khrushchev denounces U.S. spying missions.
War
U.S. warns North Vietnam and Communist China not to intervene militarily in Laos.
Science
Nobel Prize in chemistry goes to W. Libby (1908-1980) for developing radiocarbon dating.
Science
D. Glaser (1926-) is awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing the bubble chamber.
Technology
Space Race: The world’s first meteorological satellite, Tiros I, is launched to provide pictures of cloud cover.
Technology
Airplanes: The X-15, an experimental rocket powered airplane, is flown at 2196 mph.
Technology
Space Race: The U.S. launches Discoverer XIV, its first camera-equipped spy satellite.
Technology
Personal Computers: Digital Equipment introduces the first minicomputer, the PDP-1, selling for $120,000. It is the first commercial computer equipped with a keyboard and monitor.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Harper Lee (1926- ) publishes "To Kill a Mockingbird."
Kennedy, Jackie
John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. (1960-1999), son of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, is born November 25.
Economics
Peace Corps: John F. Kennedy launches the idea of the Peace Corps at the University of Michigan during a campaign stop in his presidential bid. Critics of the program (including Kennedy''s opponent, Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994)) claim the program will be nothing but a haven for draft dodgers. Others doubt whether college-aged volunteers have the necessary skills.
Discovery
Women’s Firsts: Jacqueline Cochran (1906-1980) breaks the sound barrier by flying an F-86 over Rogers Dry Lake, California, at the speed of 652.337 miles per hour.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Ohio Art markets the first Etch-a-Sketch, invented by Arthur Granjean in the late 1950s, and originally called L'Ecran Magique.
Daily Life
Disasters: A United Airlines plane collides with a Trans World Airlines plane in a fog over New York City; the crash kills a total of 134 people on board and on the ground.
Daily Life
Women’s transcontinental air race is won by Mrs. Aileen Saunders. She flies 2709 miles in 18 hours and 7 minutes.
Sports
Black Athletes: Rafer Johnson 91935-…) is named by the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) to be the recipient of the James E. Sullivan Memorial Award in 1960, the highest award for an amateur athlete in the United States
Popular Culture
Alfred Hitchcock (1899-1980) releases the suspense thriller, "Psycho."
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Coming together as The Fabulous Silver Beatles, later shortened to The Beatles, the name of the band is a tribute to Buddy Holly's (1936-1959) band, The Crickets, combined with beat music, a common British term for rock and roll at the time.
Popular Culture
Chubby Checker (1941-) causes an international dance craze when he records "The Twist."
Popular Culture
Popular musicals include "The Fantasticks," "Bye, Bye Birdie," and "Camelot."
Religion
Three women are ordained as priests in the Swedish Lutheran Church.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Four black college students begin a series of sit-ins at a white-only lunch counter in Woolworth’s, Greensboro, South Carolina.
Reform
Peace Corps: John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) first announces his idea for a volunteer organization during the 1960 presidential campaign at a late-night speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 14.
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1961
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-third Amendment to the Constitution, enabling residents of the District of Columbia to vote for President and Vice President in national elections, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Government
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) is inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States, and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is inaugurated as the nation's 37th Vice President.
Government
Space Race: President Kennedy (1917-1963) addresses Congress, challenging the nation to go to the moon before the end of the decade.
Government
Peace Corps: President Kennedy (1917-1963) signs an Executive Order which officially starts the Peace Corps, and names Sargent Shriver (1915-) to be the program's first director. Concerned with the growing tide of revolutionary sentiment in the Third World, Kennedy saw the Peace Corps as a means of countering the notions of the "Ugly American" and "Yankee imperialism," especially in the emerging nations of postcolonial Africa and Asia.
War
Cuban Missile Crisis: Fifteen hundred Cuban exiles unsuccessfully attempt to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs; U.S. support for the attack is equally unsuccessful; President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) accepts sole responsibility for the Bay of Pigs failure.
Science
The Institute for Space Studies holds a two-month seminar on the origin of the solar system.
Medicine
The Chicago Heart Association begins recording children’s heart sounds as a means of detecting defects.
Technology
Space Race: Soviet cosmonaut Yuri A. Gagarin becomes the first human in space and also the first human to orbit the earth in a spacecraft; later in the year, Gherman Titov spends a day in space aboard Vostok 2.
Technology
Transit 4A, a communications satellite, is the first spacecraft to use nuclear power.
Education
Civil Rights Movement: This year marks the beginning of the Freedom Rides, and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s only visit to Seattle where he spoke at two assemblies at Garfield High School.
Arts and Letters
Literature: "Tropic of Cancer" and "Tropic of Capricorn," two novels by Henry Miller (1891-1980), are published in the U.S. after a 30- year ban for obscenity.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Bread and Puppet Theatre is created; the form is expressionistic and propagandistic. It uses puppets and masked actors who ritually offer bread to the audience.
Ideas
Murray Gell-Mann (1929- ) develops the Eight-Fold Way, a method of grouping subatomic particles into families.
Economics
Peace Corps: President Kennedy (1917-1963) establishes the Peace Corps to give trained manpower and technical assistance to underdeveloped countries.
Discovery
Space Race: Alan B. Shepard becomes the first American in space; Gus Grissom is launched in a sub-orbital flight.
Daily Life
France and England connect their electrical grids with a cable submerged in the English Channel.
Daily Life
President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) holds the first presidential news conference carried live on radio and television.
Daily Life
Disasters: A fire in Bel Air-Brentwood destroys 447 homes, including some owned by well-known Hollywood figures.
Sports
Baseball: Roger Maris (1934-1985) of the New York Yankees hits his 60th home run and sets the record for a 162-game schedule.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Wilma Rudolph (1940-1994) is the first African-American woman to receive the Sullivan Award (1961), the highest award in U.S. amateur sports.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Brian Epstein (1934-1967) agrees to become the band's full-time manager.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles play their first gig at Liverpool's Cavern Club, return to Hamburg, record backing for the singer Tony Sheridan; the single, "My Bonnie", was released in Germany, and credited to Tony Sheridan and the Beat Boys. It was the Beatles' first commercial release.
Popular Culture
Pete Seeger (1919- ) composes “Where Have All the Flowers Gone.”
Religion
The American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America merge to form the Unitarian Universalists
Social Issues
Immigration: The Cuban Refugee Program handles influx of immigrants to Miami with 300,000 immigrants relocated across the U.S. during the next two decades.
Social Issues
Native Americans: Over 500 Native Americans gather for the American Indian Chicago Conference to support tribal sovereignty and survival.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: In Hoyt v. Florida, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds rules adopted by the state of Florida that made it far less likely for women than men to be called for jury service on the grounds that a “woman is still regarded as the center of home and family life.”
1962
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, banning poll taxes, is passed by Congress.
Law
Education: The Supreme Court rules that public schools cannot require the recitation of prayers because it violates the First Amendment to the Constitution.
Government
Stamps: The first U.S. Christmas stamp is issued.
Government
The Trade Expansion Act gives the President the right to reduce tariffs and to assist companies hurt by lower duties.
War
Cold War: The Soviet Union exchanges captured American U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers (1929-1977) for Rudolph Abel, a Soviet spy held by the United States.
War
Vietnam War: U.S. troops on a training mission in Vietnam are ordered to fire if fired upon by enemy troops. A new military command, known as the Military Assistance Command (MAC) is set up in South Vietnam.
War
Cuban Missile Crisis: In a face-to-face standoff with Cuba over Russian missils on the island 90 miles from the continental United States, President Kennedy and Nikita Krushchev bring the world to the brink of war, the Kremlin ultimately agrees to remove the missiles.
Science
Marshall Nirenberg (1927- ) discovers the genetic code (DNA structure) for amino acid.
Science
Jacques Cousteau (1910-1997) publishes "The Living Sea," a work about underwater life.
Medicine
Vaccines: First Oral Polio Vaccine is used.
Medicine
Cadrioversion, the use of electric shock to restore a regular heartbeat, is introduced.
Technology
Space Race: John Glenn (1921- ) becomes the first American to orbit the Earth three times; Scott Carpenter repleats that feat; Walter Schirra orbits six times. Mariner 2 flies past Venus, and NASA selects its second group of astronauts.
Technology
Space Race: The Soviets launch two manned spacecrafts: Vostok 3 and Vostok 4.
Ideas
Jessica Mitford (1917-1996) publishes the controversial book "The American Way of Death;" it creates a great deal of interest in low cost yet very dignified burials.
Daily Life
The World’s Fair, Century 21 Exposition, opens in Seattle. The 600-ft Space Needle with a revolving restaurant on top is a popular attraction.
Daily Life
British weather reports give temperatures in Celsius as well as Fahrenheit.
Daily Life
History of Toys: Crayola: The Company renames the flesh crayon "peach" to recognize that not everyone’s skin color is the same.
Sports
Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Jackie Robinson (1919–1972) becomes the first African American to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Sports
Basketball: Philadelphia basketball star Wilt Chamberlain (1936-1999) scores an NBA-record 100 points in a single game.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Brian Epstein arranges for the Beatles to audition for Decca Records, which rejects the band on the grounds that guitar music is "on the way out"; they are later signed by EMI.
Religion
Pope John XXIII (1881-1963) excommunicates Fidel Castro (1926).
Religion
The Vatican Council II opens in Rome, called by Pope John XXIII (in 1959) to promote Christian unity.
Reform
American Protest Music: “The Death of Emmett Till” is composed by Bob Dylan (1941-) during the Civil Rights Movement.
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1963
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
In "Gideon v. Wainwright," the Supreme Court holds that public defenders must be provided for indigent defendants in felony cases.
Government
George Wallace (1919-1998), sworn in as Alabama’s governor, promises “segregation forever.”
Government
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is inaugurated as the nation's 36th President upon the assassination of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963). No new Vice President is selected.
Government
Stamps: The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP) code -- a five digit number -- began on July 1, 1963. The first number designates the state or area; the next two numbers, the area within that state or area; and the last two digits, the office itself.
War
The U.S. and the U.S.S.R. agree to set up a “hot-line,” a direct telephone link between Washington and Moscow, to prevent the start of nuclear war by accident.
Medicine
Dr. Michael E. DeBakey (1908-2008) develops a mechanical heart that is implanted in the chest to help the patient’s own heart pump.
Medicine
Vaccines: John F. Enders (1897-1985), T. H Weller (1915-2005), and Frederick C. Robbins (1916-2003) develop an effective measles vaccine.
Inventions
Computers: Douglas Engelbart (1925- ) invents the mouse pointing device for computers.
Technology
Polaroid introduces color film.
Technology
Color TV is relayed via satellite for the first time.
Education
An education report in Britain indicates that children should not be allowed to leave school before age 16.
Education
Libraries: Detroit Public Library issues skates to library student assistants so they can move quickly in the 230-foot-long stacks.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Free Southern Theatre is formed with the intention of raisin cultural awareness of blacks through white tradition.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Susan Sontag (1933- ) publishes "The Benefactor," a novel about people who are unable to distinguish reality from fantasy.
Arts and Letters
Soviet authorities begin a campaign to suppress “artistic rebels.”
Kennedy, Jackie
Patrick Bouvier Kennedy (1963), son of John and Jacqueline Kennedy, is born prematurely on August 7 at Otis Air Force Base, Massachusetts and dies August 9 of the same year in Boston because his lungs were too undeveloped to sustain him.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay, is closed.
Daily Life
Winston Churchill (1874-1965) posthumously becomes the first honorary U.S. citizen.
Popular Culture
The first discotheque, the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, opens in Los Angeles.
Popular Culture
"General Hospital," the daytime soap opera, airs on ABC for the first time.
Popular Culture
"Cleopatra," the most expensive motion picture to date ($37 million), opens in New York City and in theatres nationwide.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Beatlemania as a chaotic cultural phenomenon begins in Britain on October 13, 1963 with a televised appearance at the London Palladium.
Religion
The Catholic Church approves the use of vernacular languages- English in the U.S. - in place of Latin for parts of the Mass and for sacraments.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Civil rights demonstrations occur throughout the country. Medgar W. Evers (1925-1963), Field Secretary for the NAACP, is shot an killed in Jackson, Mississippi.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: The Equal Pay Act is passed by Congress, promising equitable wages for the same work, regardless of the race, color, religion, national origin or sex of the worker.
1964
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The 24th Amendment to the Constitution, prohibiting poll taxes, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Politics
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is elected President of the U.S. in his own right, and Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978) is elected the 38th Vice President.
Government
Stamps: The United States starts printing stamps of different designs on one sheet known as se-tenants. The Christmas issue of 1964 was the first year different designs were printed on the same pane of stamps.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Margaret Chase Smith (1897-1995), of Maine, becomes the first woman nominated for president of the United States by a major political party, at the Republican National Convention in San Francisco.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: The Civil Rights Act of 1964 ensures voting rights and prohibits housing discrimination.
Government
Lyndon Johnson (1908-1973) announces his war on poverty.
Science
The U.S. Navy begins its Sealab experimental program to determine if people can live and work for extended periods of time at the bottom of the ocean.
Science
British scientists leave England in large numbers for the U.S. - the “Brain Drain.”
Medicine
The first government report regarding the dangers of cigarette smoking is issued by Luther Terry (1911-1985), the U.S. Surgeon General.
Medicine
Vaccines: First vaccine for Measles is used.
Inventions
Bullet train transportation is invented.
Technology
Personal Computers: At Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire, the BASIC programming language runs for the first time. Developed by professors John Kemeny (1926-1992) and Thomas Kurtz (1928 -), BASIC is an acronym for Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code.
Education
Libraries: Twenty-five Freedom Libraries are established throughout Mississippi by a group of librarian volunteers in the civil rights movement.
Education
Public Education: Civil Rights Movement: In response to protests, and the often violent reaction to them, Congress passed several pieces of legislation seeking to end racial discrimination. These included the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, the Voting Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Bilingual Education Act.
Education
Public Education: Despite a number of Supreme Court cases and national legislation, less than 1 percent of all black children in the south went to a desegregated school.
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Black Arts Repertoire Theatre School is formed.
Arts and Letters
Architecture: Edward Durell Stone (1902-1978) designs the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. D.C.
Ideas
Walter R. Hess (1881-1973) publishes "The Biology of the Mind."
Economics
Ford introduces its Mustang at the New York World''s Fair.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Jack Ruby (1911-1967) is found guilty of the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald (1939-1963), alleged assassin of President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963).
Daily Life
Disasters: The most violent earthquake (8.3) in North America strikes Anchorage, Alaska.
Sports
Boxing: Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) (1942- ) becomes world heavyweight boxing champion for the first time by knocking out Sonny Liston (1932-1971) in Miami Beach.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles arrive in the U.S. for the first time, appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show; they also release their first album, "Meet the Beatles."
Popular Culture
The Rolling Stones release their first album.
Popular Culture
"Mary Poppins," a film starring Dick van Dyke (1925- ) and Julie Andrews (1935- ) becomes the most successful Disney film to date.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act passes including a prohibition against employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.
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1965
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The Twenty-Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, establishing Presidential succession, is passed by Congress.
Government
Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) is inaugurated President of the U.S. in his own right, and Hubert H. Humphrey (1911-1978) is inaugurated as the 38th Vice President.
Government
Capital Punishment: The death penalty is abolished in Britain.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Patsy Takemoto Mink (1927—2002), of Hawaii, is the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress. She served in the U.S. House of Representatives for 24 years.
Government
Immigration: The Immigration Act of 1965 abolishes quota system in favor of quota systems with 20,000 immigrants per country limits. Preference is given to immediate families of immigrants and skilled workers.
Government
The Maple Leaf Flag officially becomes the new national flag of Canada.
Science
Nobel Prize for Chemistry goes to R. Woodard for developing methods of synthesizing organic substances.
Medicine
Frank Pantridge (1916- 2004) installs the first portable defibrillator.
Technology
Space Race: Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov becomes the first man to walk in space.
Education
Public Education: The U.S. spends more than $26.2 billion for public school education: $654 per student.
Arts and Letters
Poetry: "Ariel," a collection of poems by Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), is published posthumously by her husband, English poet, Ted Hughes (1930-1998).
Arts and Letters
Drama: Neil Simon (1927- ) writes the play "The Odd Couple."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The El Teatro Campesino is established by Luis Valdez for National Farm Workers Association; the purpose of the organization is to perform dramatizations that can educate farm laborers in California.
Arts and Letters
The National Endowment of the Arts is established and begins a period of development of federal public support for major regional arts institutions.
Discovery
Sandage (1926- ) discovers blue galaxies. They are similar to quasars, but do not give off radio waves.
Discovery
Space Exploration: France becomes the third country with space exploration capabilities when they launch their satellite A-1.
Daily Life
There are more than 5 million color television sets in the U.S.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Stanley Weston creates a doll for boys--G.I. Joe--based on a new television show called "The Lieutenant."
Sports
Women in Sports: Golf: The Women''s Golf Open is televised nationally for the first time.
Popular Culture
The popular game show "Jeopardy" debuts on television.
Popular Culture
Sonny Bono (1935-1998) and his wife Cher (1946- ) achieve fame with their song “I Got You, Babe.”
Popular Culture
The Beatles: Queen Elizabeth II (1926- ) awards each of the four Beatles Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles start their second North American tour at Shea Stadium, which is the first rock concert to be held in a venue of that size.
Social Issues
Immigration: “Freedom flight” airlifts begin for Cuban refugees assisting more than 260,000 people over the next eight years.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Weeks v. Southern Bell, 408 F. 2d. 228 (5th Cir. 1969), marks a major triumph in the fight against restrictive labor laws and company regulations on the hours and conditions of women's work, opening many previously male-only jobs to women.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Peaceful civil rights marchers from Selma, Alabama, and brutally attacked with billy clubs and tear gas by police on the Edmund Pettus Bridge; the event becomes known as “Bloody Sunday.”
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) again leads the start of a civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama; on March 25, the 25,000-person march ends its journey on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery.
1966
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Civil Rights Movement: The Supreme Court upholds the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Politics
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (1952- …), of Florida, becomes the first Hispanic woman elected to Congress. She serves in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Government
Immigration: The Cuban Refugee Act permits more than 400,000 people to enter the United States.
Government
Indira Gandhi (1917-1984) is elected prime minister of India.
Government
The Cabinet-level Department of Transportation is established.
War
Vietnam War: The U.S. increases its military strength in Vietnam and its bombing of the North.
Science
President Johnson’s (1908-1973) Science Advisory Committee publishes "Effective Use of the Sea."
Inventions
The History of Toys: Elliot Handler, one of the co-founders of Mattel, Inc., invents Hot Wheels when he decides to add axles and rotating wheels to small model cars.
Technology
Personal Computers: Steven Gray founds the Amateur Computer Society, and begins publishing the ACS Newsletter. (Some consider this to be the birth-date of personal computing).
Technology
Space Race: Neil Armstrong (1930- ) and David Scott (1932- ), astronauts on board Gemini 8, rendezvous and dock with an unmanned target vehicle.
Technology
Space Race: Survivor I achieves a soft landing on the Moon and sends back 11,237 photographs.
Arts and Letters
Drama: Elia Kazan (1909-2003) writes the play, "The Arrangement."
Ideas
Francis Crick (1916-2004) publishes "Of Molecules and Men."
Economics
Railroad History: The Interstate Commerce Commission approves the merger of the New York Central and the Pennsylvania railroads.
Economics
The Motor Vehicle Safety Act sets the standard for all American automobiles built after 1968.
Daily Life
The Uniform Time Act establishes that daylight savings time is to be observed throughout the country from the last Sunday in April until the last Sunday in October.
Daily Life
The Salvation Army celebrates its 100th anniversary.
Daily Life
Congress enacts the truth and packaging law, which requires that clear and correct statements about the ingredients in about 8000 drug, cosmetic, and food products are printed for the consumer.
Daily Life
Fashion: Miniskirts come into fashion.
Sports
Baseball: Astroturf, the first artificial sports surface, is installed in the Houston Astrodome.
Sports
Soccer: England defeats West Germany to win the World Cup in soccer.
Popular Culture
"Batman" debuts on television.
Popular Culture
Tolkien’s "The Lord of the Rings" enjoys cultish popularity in the U.S.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: On July 2, 1966, The Beatles became the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. The performance ignited a lot of protest from local citizens who felt that it was inappropriate for a rock-and-roll band to play at Budokan.
Social Issues
Hate Groups: Ku Klux Klan makes attacks against blacks and civil rights workers in the South.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Race riots occur in slum areas of Chicago, Cleveland, and other cities. Congress authorizes funds to assist rebuilding programs.
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1967
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
The 25th Amendment to the Constitution, establishing presidential succession, is ratified by two-thirds of the states and added to the Constitution.
Law
Appointed by President Lyndon Johnson 1905-1973), Thurgood Marshall (1908-1993) becomes the first African American to sit on the Supreme Court.
Government
The first African-American senator elected by popular vote, Edward Brooke (1919- ) of Massachusetts, takes his seat.
Government
Peace Corps: Until about 1967, applicants to the Peace Corps had to pass a placement test that tested "general aptitude" (knowledge of various skills needed for various Peace Corps assignments) and language aptitude.
Science
Kornberg (1918- ) synthesizes biologically active DNA.
Medicine
Electroencephalographs (EEG) are teamed with computers to test the hearing of infants.
Medicine
10 million children are vaccinated against measles.
Medicine
Aspirin is found to be a possible cause of ulcers.
Medicine
High blood cholesterol is determined to be a factor in heart disease.
Technology
Space Race: A fire on the launching pad kills astronauts Grissom (1926-1967), White (1930-1967), and Chaffee (1935-1967), and destroys the Apollo 1 spacecraft during a simulated launch at Cape Canaveral.
Technology
3-D holographic movies are developed, and computers are used to create music electronically.
Education
Evolution: Tennessee formally repeals the 1925 law banning the teaching of evolution made famous in the Scopes Trial
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The New Lafayette Company is formed.
Carter, Rosalynn
Amy Carter Wentzel (1967- ), daughter of James “Jimmy” and Rosalynn Carter, is born October 19.
Johnson, Lady Bird
White House Wedding: Lynda Bird Johnson (1944-), daughter of Lady Bird (1912 -) and Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973), marries Charles S. Robb (1939 -) in the White House.
Economics
The establishment of Ford of Europe takes place.
Economics
Women’s Firsts: Muriel "Mickey" Siebert (1932- …) becomes the first woman to own a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and the first woman to head one of its member firms.
Daily Life
Disasters: An oil tanker, the Torrey Canyon, is wrecked off the coast of Cornwall in England, spilling 919,000 barrels of oil into the sea.
Sports
Football: The first Super Bowl is played: Green Bay Packers 35, Kansas City Chiefs 10.
Sports
Baseball: Mickey Mantle (1931-1995) of the New York Yankees hits his 500th career homerun.
Sports
Women’s Firsts: Women in Sports: Black Athletes: Althea Gibson (1927-2003) is the first African-American tennis player to win a singles title at Wimbledon.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: On June 25, 1967 The Beatles performed "All You Need Is Love" for the Our World television special. It was the first television special to air worldwide. Singing backup for the Beatles were a number of artists including Eric Clapton (1945- ), and members of the Rolling Stones and The Who.
Popular Culture
Ira Levin (1929-2007) publishes "Rosemary’s Baby."
Popular Culture
Twiggy (1949- ), a British model, takes world fashion by storm.
Reform
Civil Rights Movement: Riots occur in black areas of Cleveland, Detroit, Newark, Boston, New Haven, and other cities.
1968
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Politics
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), a Republican, narrowly defeats Democrat Hubert Humphrey (1911-1978) to become the 37th President of the United States; Spiro T. Agnew (1918-1996) is elected as the nation's 39th Vice President.
Government
Native Americans: Title II of the Civil Rights Act gives full civil rights to individuals living under tribal law.
Government
Civil Rights Movement: President Lyndon B. Johnson (1908-1973) signs the 1968 Civil Rights Law.
War
North Korea seizes the U.S. Navy ship Pueblo (the crew is released 11 months later).
War
Vietnam War: Viet Cong guerillas and North Vietnamese soldiers launch the Tet (New York) offensive.
War
Vietnam War: The My Lai massacre occurs in Vietnam.
Science
Geneticists reveal that some male criminals have an extra Y chromosome.
Science
James Watson (1928- ) publishes "The Double Helix," describing the DNA molecule.
Science
The discovery of a pulsar is announced.
Medicine
Surgeons experiment with animal hearts for transplants to human beings.
Medicine
Vaccines: The mumps vaccine, developed in 1966, is improved for human use.
Inventions
Computers: Hewlett-Packard introduces the first programmable scientific desktop calculator, called "the new Hewlett-Packard 911A personal computer". (This is claimed as coining the term "personal computer").
Inventions
Computers: Dr. Robert Dennard, of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center patents a one-transistor DRAM cell and the basic idea in the three-transistor cell, which will become the standard short-term storage medium for programs and data during processing (RAM).
Technology
Space Race: Surveyor 7, the last of America’s unmanned lunar probes, lands on the moon.
Education
Higher Education: Student unrest because of the Vietnam War and other social causes creates wide confusion and changes in university life.
Education
Public Education: African American Education: African American parents and white teachers clash in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville area of New York City, over the issue of community control of the schools. Teachers go on strike, and the community organizes freedom schools while the public schools are closed.
Arts and Letters
Literature: Kurt Vonnegut (1922- ) publishes "Welcome to the Monkey House."
Arts and Letters
American Theatre: The Negro Ensemble Company is formed.
Discovery
The skull of a 28 million year old ape is discovered in Egypt.
Daily Life
The nation’s first 911-phone system goes into service in Haleyville, Alabama.
Daily Life
London Bridge is sold to an American, who rebuilds it in Arizona.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Violent crimes have increased 57% since 1960.
Sports
Hugh Porter of Britain wins the world cycling championship in Rome.
Sports
Black Athletes: The first black male champion in tennis tournament is Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) who won the 1968 U.S. Open, the 1970 Australian Open, and the 1975 Wimbledon championship.
Popular Culture
Mike Nichols (1931- ) directs the film "The Graduate," starring Dustin Hoffman (1937- ) and Anne Bancroft (1931-2005).
Popular Culture
The classification of movies by “G,” “PG,” “PG-13,” and “R” begins.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles release a full-length musical cartoon, "Yellow Submarine."
Popular Culture
Disney’s Mickey Mouse celebrates his 40th birthday.
Religion
The foundation of the Temple of Herod is found in Israel.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: Executive Order 11246 prohibits sex discriminationby government contractors and requires affirmative action plans for hiring women.
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1969
Law, Politics, Government, and WarScience, Medicine, Inventions, and TechnologyEducation, Arts and Letters, and IdeasLives of the First LadiesEconomics, Discovery, and Daily LifeSports and Popular CultureReligion, Social Issues, and Reform
Law
Chief Justices: President Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994) nominates Warren E. Burger (1907-1995) as Chief Justice of the United States; he is confirmed by the Senate two weeks later and serves in that position for seventeen years until his retirement in 1986.
Politics
Large antiwar demonstrations take place, including Vietnam Moratorium Days in Washington, D.C.
Politics
Vice President Agnew (1918-1996) accuses network television and the press of biased news coverage.
Government
The Palestine National Congress appoints Yasser Arafat (1929-2004) as head of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Government
Women's Firsts: Golda Meir (1898-1978) is sworn in as Israel’s first female prime minister.
Government
Women’s Firsts: Shirley Chisholm (1924-2005), of New York, becomes the first African-American woman in Congress. Her motto is, "Unbought and unbossed." She serves in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years.
Government
Richard M. Nixon (1913-1994), is inaugurated as the 37th President of the U.S.. amd Spiro T. Agnew (1918-1996) is inaugurated as the nation's 39th Vice President.
War
Vietnam War: President Johnson (1908-1973) announces proposed withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam.
Science
A fossil skull found in Antarctica proves “without question” the theory of continental drift.
Science
The fourth or “D” ring of Saturn is discovered.
Science
The National Audubon Society begins a national campaign to ban DDT because the chemical is killing bald eagles.
Science
Ribonuclease is the first enzyme to be synthesized.
Technology
Space Race: The first manned mission (Apollo) to the Moon takes place.
Technology
Neil Armstrong (1930- ) is the first man to walk on the Moon, thus "winning" the space race for the U.S.
Education
Higher Education: Education of Women: Several traditionally all-male colleges, including Yale, Bowdoin, and Colgate, admit women students.
Education
Libraries: The Cooperative College Library Center, the first consortium of black academic libraries, opens in Atlanta.
Arts and Letters
Painting: Rembrandt’s (1606-1669) “Self Portrait” sells for $1,256,000 at Christie’s in London.
Arts and Letters
Dance: Arthur Mitchell (1934- ) establishes the Dance Theatre of Harlem.
Ideas
Arthur Jensen (1923- ) stirs widespread debate by his published claim that blacks are genetically less intelligent than whites.
Hoover, Lou
Herbert Hoover Jr. (1903-1969), son of Herbert and Lou Hoover, dies April 9 from cancer.
Economics
The United States attorney general charges IBM with unlawful monopolization of the computer industry, and requests the federal courts break it up.
Daily Life
Crime and Punishment: Sirhan Sirhan (1944- ) is convicted for the murder of Robert F. Kennedy.
Daily Life
Approximately 225 million telephones are in use throughout the world.
Daily Life
The U.S. government removes cyclamates (artificial sweeteners) from the market; laboratory experiments link these food additives with cancer.
Daily Life
The History of Toys: Parker Brothers markets the first Nerf ball, a polyurethane foam ball that is safe for indoor play. By year's end, more than four million Nerf balls are sold.
Daily Life
Fashion: Pants suits become acceptable for everyday wear by women.
Popular Culture
The Beatles: The Beatles begin recording their final album, entitled "Abbey Road," returning to the EMI studios in West London and the production team led by George Martin (1926- ). It proves to be a relatively smooth and peaceful production and a highly acclaimed album. Lennon announces to the other Beatles that he will be leaving the band just before that album's release but is persuaded to remain quiet in public.
Popular Culture
Katherine Hepburn (1907-2003) and Barbara Streisand (1942- ) share the Best Actress Oscar; Hepburn breaks the record as the only actress winning three such awards.
Popular Culture
The Rolling Stones release an album and a movie, both entitled Gimme Shelter.
Reform
Women's Rights Movement: California adopts the nation’s first “no fault” divorce law, allowing divorce by mutual consent.
Reform
American Protest Music: “One Tin Soldier” is written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter during the Vietnam War.
Reform
American Protest Music: “Blowing in the Wind” is written by Bob Dylan (1941- ) during the Vietnam War.