What Happened?

The months of our senior year were, as Walter Cronkite used to say, "full of those events that alter and illuminate our time." European colonial empires continued to erode, and in the U.S. social justice became a central issue of public policy. Major steps were taken in space exploration, and new devices such as the touch-tone phone made life easier on earth. U.S. involvement in Vietnam was on the threshold of major expansion. World leaders Jawaharlal Nehru, Konrad Adenauer, and Harold McMillan left the scene, and the assassination of John Kennedy imprinted everyone's memory.


      AUGUST 1963 TO JUNE 1964

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August 1963--The Philips company markets the first compact audio cassette player
August 1963--McDonnell Aircraft delivers the first Gemini space capsule to NASA
August 3, 1963--The Beatles make their final appearance at the Cavern Club in Liverpool
August 5, 1963--The United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain sign a limited test ban treaty banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere
August 8, 1963—More than $7 million is stolen in the Great Train Robbery in Buckinghamshire, England
August 18, 1963—James Meredith is the first black to graduate from the University of Mississippi
August 22, 1963--The X-15 aircraft sets an altitude record of 67 miles
August 28, 1963—Martin Luther King delivers his “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial
August 30, 1963--A hot line is established between Washington and Moscow to avoid strategic miscalculations
September 1963—Integration of public schools in Alabama begins despite the efforts of Governor George Wallace
September 1963--The federal hourly minimum wage is set at $1.25
September 2, 1963--The CBS Evening News is lengthened from 15 to 30 minutes; NBC's Huntley-Brinkley Report expands one week later
September 16, 1963—The nation of Malaysia is formed from four former British territories
September 20, 1963--President John Kennedy proposes a joint U.S.-Soviet expedition to the moon
September 24, 1963—Defense Secretary Robert McNamara arrives in South Vietnam to assess the U.S. war effort; 16,000 U.S. troops are in Vietnam in advisory status
September 27, 1963—Confessed mobster Joseph Valachi begins testimony on the mafia before a Senate subcommittee
September 27--The population of the United States reaches 190 million
October 6, 1963—The Los Angeles Dodgers defeat the New York Yankees, sweeping the 1963 World Series
October 16, 1963-- Konrad Adenauer retires as Chancellor of West Germany, succeeded by Ludwig Erhard.
October 18, 1963—Harold McMillan resigns as prime minister of the United Kingdom, succeeded by Alec Douglas-Home
October 18, 1963--NASA names 14 astronauts for the next stages of the U.S. space program, including Buzz Aldrin, Eugene Cernan, Alan Bean, and David Scott, who all eventually will walk on the moon

October 19, 1963--The Beatles record "I Want to Hold Your Hand"

November 2—President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam is killed in the overthrow of his government by a military coup

November 7, 1963—Nelson Rockefeller is the first to announce candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination in 1964
November 16, 1963-- The first touch-tone telephones are sold in the U.S.
November 22, 1963—President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas; Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as president
November 24, 1963—Jack Ruby kills accused Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald



December 4, 1963—The Second Vatican Council adjourns its second session, having approved use of the vernacular in parts of the Roman Catholic liturgy
December 5, 1963—President Johnson convenes the Warren Commission to determine the circumstances of the assassination of President Kennedy
December 7, 1963--Instant replay is used for the first time for a televised sports event, at the Army-Navy football game
December 12, 1963—Kenya gains independence from Great Britain
December 20, 1963—The last Studebaker automobile is produced in the United States
December 20, 1963--The Berlin Wall is opened for the first time for one-day visits by West Berliners to East Berlin
December 21, 1963—Armed clashes erupt between Greek and Turkish Cypriots
December 24, 1963--New York's Idlewild Airport is renamed John F. Kennedy Airport


December 29, 1963--In the National Football League championship game, the Chicago Bears defeat the New York Giants

January 1964—Egypt and the Arab League found the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

January 4-6, 1964—Paul VI is the first pope to visit the Holy Land
January 8, 1964—President Johnson proposes a War on Poverty in a speech to Congress


January 11, 1964--The U.S. Surgeon General issues the first government report stating that smoking may be hazardous to health
January 23, 1964—Ratification of the 24th amendment to the U.S. Constitution makes the poll tax illegal
January 29-February 9, 1964—The ninth Winter Olympic games are contested in Innsbruck, Austria; the Soviet Union wins the most medals, with Norway second and Austria third

February 6, 1964--France and the United Kingdom agree to build a tunnel under the English Channel

February 25, 1964—Cassius Clay defeats Sonny Liston for the World Heavyweight Boxing Championship

March 12, 1964—New Hampshire becomes the first state to sell lottery tickets
March 15, 1964--Elizabeth Taylor marries Richard Burton, her fifth husband

March 30, 1964--The original Jeopardy is first broadcast on NBC

April 1, 1964--A military coup overthrows the regime of President Joao Goulart of Brazil

April 13, 1964--Gus Grissom is named to command of the first manned Gemini mission; backup commander: Walter Schirra

April 13, 1964--Sidney Poitier is the first black actor to receive an academy award as Best Actor

April 17, 1964--American Jerrie Mock becomes the first woman to fly around the world solo
April 17, 1964—The Ford Motor Company introduces the Mustang
April 22, 1964—The New York World’s Fair opens
April 26, 1964—The United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, renamed Tanzania later that year, is formed from two former British colonies

April 26, 1964--The Boston Celtics win their sixth consecutive National Basketball Association championship

May 14, 1964--Egypt begins construction of the Aswan Dam on the Nile River.

May 27, 1964—Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India dies

May 28, 1964—The Saturn 6 rocket carries a mockup of an Apollo command module into space

June 2, 1964—Barry Goldwater wins the California Republican presidential primary, making him the favorite for the party’s nomination

June 2, 1964--The Rolling Stones perform their first concert in the United States

June 2, 1964—Lal Bahadur Shastri is elected to succeed Nehru as prime minister of India

June 12, 1964—A South African court sentences Nelson Mandela to life imprisonment

June 15, 1964--The last French troops leave the former colony of Algeria
June 19, 1964—The Civil Rights Bill of 1964 is passed by the U.S. Senate, clearing the way for its enactment
June 20, 1964--General William Westmoreland becomes head of U.S. forces in Vietnam
June 30, 1964—United Nations troops leave the former Belgian Congo after a four-year operation
The cover of Life magazine, June 12, 1964