1964 in the United States

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1964 in the United States
Years: 1961 1962 196319641965 1966 1967

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50 stars (1960–present)

Timeline of United States history
History of the United States (1964–80)

Events from the year 1964 in the United States.


Federal Government






  • April 2 – Mrs. Malcolm Peabody, 72, mother of Massachusetts Governor Endicott Peabody, is released on $450 bond after spending 2 days in a St. Augustine, Florida jail, for participating in an anti-segregation demonstration there.
  • April 4 – Three high school friends in Hoboken, N.J., open the first BLIMPIE on Washington Street.
  • April 8 – Four of 5 railroad operating unions strike against the Illinois Central Railroad without warning, bringing to a head a 5-year dispute over railroad work rules.
  • April 12 – In Detroit, Michigan, Malcolm X delivers a speech entitled "The Ballot or the Bullet."
  • April 13 – The 36th Academy Awards ceremony is held.
  • April 14 – A Delta rocket's third-stage motor ignites prematurely in an assembly room at Cape Canaveral, killing 3.
  • April 17
  • April 20 – U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in New York, and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow, simultaneously announce plans to cut back production of materials for making nuclear weapons.
  • April 22 – The 1964 New York World's Fair opens to celebrate the 300th anniversary of New Amsterdam being taken over by British forces under the Duke of York (later King James II) and being renamed New York in 1664. The fair runs until Oct. 18, 1964 and reopens April 21, 1965, finally closing October 17, 1965. (Not sanctioned, due to being within 10 years of the Seattle World's Fair in 1962, some countries decline, but many countries have pavilions with exotic crafts, art & food.)






  • September 4 – The last execution in the United States for a crime other than murder occurs in Alabama as James Coburn is put to death for robbery.
  • September 7 – President Lyndon Johnson's re-election campaign airs the controversial and influential "Daisy" ad.[6]
  • September 16 – Shindig! premieres on the ABC, featuring the top musical acts of the Sixties.
  • September 17 – Bewitched, starring Elizabeth Montgomery, premieres on ABC.
  • September 27 – The Warren Commission Report, the first official investigation of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy, is published.[4]


  • October 1 – Three thousand student activists at University of California, Berkeley surround and block a police car from taking a CORE volunteer arrested for not showing his ID, when he violated a ban on outdoor activist card tables. This protest eventually explodes into the Berkeley Free Speech Movement.
  • October 10–24 – The United States participated in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan and ranked first for the 10th time, brought home with 36 gold, 26 silver and 28 bronze medals for a total of 90 medals.
  • October 14 – American civil rights movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. becomes the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded to him for leading non-violent resistance to end racial prejudice in the United States.
  • October 15
    • Craig Breedlove's jet-powered car Spirit of America goes out of control in Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah and makes skid marks 5.97 miles long.
    • The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the visiting New York Yankees, 7–5 to win the World Series in 7 games (4–3), ending a long run of 29 World Series appearances in 44 seasons for the Bronx Bombers (also known as the Yankee Dynasty).
  • October 18 – The New York World's Fair closes for the year (it reopens April 21, 1965).
  • October 21 – The film version of the hit Broadway stage musical My Fair Lady premieres in New York City. The movie stars Audrey Hepburn in the role of Eliza Doolittle and Rex Harrison repeating his stage performance as Professor Henry Higgins, and which will win him his only Academy Award for Best Actor. The film will win seven other Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but Audrey Hepburn will not be nominated. Critics interpret this as a rebuke to Jack L. Warner for choosing Ms Hepburn over Julie Andrews.
  • October 22 – A 5.3 Kiloton nuclear device is detonated at the Tatum Salt Dome, 21 miles (34 km) from Hattiesburg, Mississippi as part of the Vela Uniform program. This test is the Salmon phase of the Atomic Energy Commission's Project Dribble.
  • October 27 – In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rebel leader Christopher Gbenye takes 60 Americans and 800 Belgians hostage.
  • October 29 – A collection of irreplaceable gemstones, including the 565 carats (113.0 g) Star of India, is stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
  • October 31 – Campaigning at Madison Square Garden, New York, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson pledges the creation of the Great Society.


November 3: LBJ re-elected in a landslide


  • December 1 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam (after some debate, they agree on a 2-phase bombing plan).
  • December 3 – Berkeley Free Speech Movement: Police arrest about 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover of and massive sit-in at the Sproul Hall administration building. The sit-in most directly protested the U.C. Regents' decision to punish student activists for what many thought had been justified civil disobedience earlier in the conflict.
  • December 6 – The 1-hour stop-motion animated special Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, based on the popular Christmas song, premieres on NBC. It becomes a beloved Christmas tradition, still being shown on television more than 50 years later.
  • December 10 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
  • December 14 – Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (379 US 241 1964): The U.S. Supreme Court rules that, in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, establishments providing public accommodations must refrain from racial discrimination.
  • December 15 – The Washington Post publishes an article about James Hampton, who had built a glittering religious throne out of recycled materials.
  • December 18 – In the wake of deadly riots in January over control of the Panama Canal, the U.S. offers to negotiate a new canal treaty.
  • December 27 – The Cleveland Browns defeat the Baltimore Colts in the NFL Championship Game.






  1. "Mission & History". National Museum of American History. Retrieved 2014-01-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Flynn, George Q. (1993). The Draft, 1940–1973. Modern war studies. University Press of Kansas. p. 175. ISBN 0-7006-0586-X.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Gottlieb, Sherry Gershon (1991). Hell no, we won't go!: resisting the draft during the Vietnam War. Viking. p. xix. ISBN 0-670-83935-3. 1964: May 12—Twelve students at a New York rally burn their draft cards...<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "On This Day", New York Times, retrieved November 2014 Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. Brown, Peter; Steven Gaines (2002). The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of the Beatles. NAL Trade. ISBN 0-451-20735-1.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Top 10 Campaign Ads: Daisy Girl". Time. September 22, 2008. Retrieved 2012-03-08.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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