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El Capitan High School
Class of 1964

1964 in Headlines, Events, Prices, and Other Trivia


National News

  • Lyndon Johnson crushes Republican presidential nominee Barry Goldwater with the most overwhelming popular vote in American history, more than 61 percent.
  • A presidental commission headed by the Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren concludes that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President Kennedy.
  • Three civil rights field workers disappear after investigating the burning of an African American church by the Ku Klux Klan.
  • Congress enacts the civil rights legislation.
  • James H. Meredith, an African American and a former serviceman in the U.S. Air Force begins his degree at the white only University of Mississippi in Oxford, Mississippi.
  • Students storm the administration building and stage sit in at the University of California 800 are arrested.
  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • In February the 24th Amendment to the Constitution makes the poll tax unconstitutional.
  • In July President Johnson signs the Medicare bill and the Great Society is under way.
  • In August Congress approves the Tonkin Gulf Resolution authorizing President Johnson aggression.""to take all necessary means to repel any armed attack against forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression."
  • In December President Johnson announces substantial increase in aid to South Vietnam "to restrain the mounting infiltration of men and equipment from the Hanoi regime in support of the Vietcong.
  • Dr. Luther L. Terry, the Surgeon General, releases a report linking cigarette smoking to lung cancer and other diseases.
  • Jimmy Hoffa is sentenced to 8 years for jury tampering.
  • The Boston Strangler is captured.
  • The British and French Governments announce commitment to build a tunnel under the English Channel
  • The most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2, strikes South Central Alaska
  • Race Riots in Harlem New York, Elizabeth, NJ, Paterson, NJ, Jersey City, NJ, Rochester, New York, Dixmoor, Chicago, Ill, Philadelphia
  • Soviet Union begins using spy satellites.
  • Jack Ruby sentenced to death for Oswald murder.
  • Nelson Mandela and seven others are sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa
  • The Chinese exploded an atomic bomb in 1964 after developing their own uranium mines, fuel-processing technology, bomb design, and test facilities.


  • The St. Louis Cardinals edge the New York Yankees in the World Series 4 games to 3.
  • Jim Brown leads the Cleveland Browns over the Baltimore Colts in the NFL Championship.
  • February 25, 1964 Cassius Clay (soon to be Muhammad Ali) scores a stunning upset over Sonny Liston to win the world's heavyweight championship.
  • Arnold Palmer wins fourth Masters.
  • Jim Ryan at age 17 runs a 3:50 minute mile.
  • May 24, 1964 - Lima, Peru; 318 people are killed and another 500 injured in riots at National Stadium after Argentina beats Peru in an Olympic qualifying match. The pandemonium breaks out when the referee disallows a Peruvian goal in the final two minutes.
  • The Summer Olympics are held in Tokyo, Japan
  • The Winter Olympic Games are held in Innsbruck, Austria

Technology 1964

  • BASIC (Beginners' All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), an easy to learn high level programming language is introduced.
  • IBM announces the System/360.
  • The worlds first high speed rail network opens in Japan
  • First Ford Mustang is manufactured
  • Sony introduces the first VCR Home Video Recorder
  • The first driver less train runs on London Underground
  • Computer Mouse invented in USA by Douglas Engelbart. In the patent application it is described as an "X-Y position indicator for a display system".
  • Bubble Wrap invented in USA by Marc A Chavannes


  • Rock 'n' roll has its first major shakeup in nearly a decade when in late January "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles tops the US Pop charts.
  • In February The Beatles appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show receives record ratings as Beatlemania explodes worldwide.
  • Four of the six #1 records between February and June are by the Beatles, a feat surpassed only by Elvis Presley in 1956.
  • Bands from England flood American shores with the Merseybeat sound overtaking the airwaves through June, resulting in the term "The British Invasion". By summer however American acts regain their footing with the two resident hit-makers The Beach Boys and The Four Seasons topping the charts in July.
  • The Beatles first film, "A Hard Day's Night" opens to rave reviews as the Beatles abandon their pop-band image for more complex songs on the soundtrack.
  • The next wave of the British Invasion featuring groups based in blues and R&B such as the Rolling Stones, Kinks and Animals follows by mid-summer and their raunchier style quickly makes the more restrained pop-sounding Merseybeat bands obsolete.
  • The second musical explosion of the year happens when Motown strikes back with its biggest hits to date by the Temptations, Four Tops and its newest group The Supremes who score three #1's in the final five months of the year.
  • The Rhythm & Blues Charts are discontinued for 1964 as Billboard magazine feels they've become indistinguishable from the Pop Charts. In just over a year they'll resume publication of The R&B Charts when the style of music becomes more popular than ever.
  • Feminist stances are taken in Dionne Warwick's "Don't Make Me Over" and Lesley Gore's "You Don't Own Me", marking the first time in mainstream rock that hit records espouse those emerging viewpoints.
  • The Rolling Stones release debut album, "The Rolling Stones"
  • Bob Dylan releases "The Times They Are a-Changin"
  • Sam Cooke, soul music's biggest star, is shot and killed by a woman at a hotel on December 10th. It is rock music's most publicized casualty since Buddy Holly's death in early 1959.

Television and Movies

  • The Beatles invade the U.S. on February appearing first on the Ed Sullivan Show.
  • The Beatles first film, "A Hard Day's Night" opens to rave reviews as the Beatles abandon their pop-band image for more complex songs on the soundtrack.
  • "My Fair Lady is the year's big Oscar winner.
  • Best Actor goes to Rex Harrison, in "My Fair Lady", and Best Actress goes to Julie Andrews, in "Mary Poppins".
  • Peter Sellers introduces his classic character Inspector Closeau in The Pink Panther. Other popular movies included Becket, Mary Poppins, Zorba The Greek, and Dr. Strangelove.
  • The new season's most popular series are Bonanza, The Andy Griffith Show, Bewitched, Gomer Pyle, USMC and The Fugitive.

More Pop culture

  • Hasbro launch G.I. Joe an action figure for boys to join the Barbie Doll For Girls.
  • Buffalo Wings ( deep fried chicken wings coated with hot sauce ) are made at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is published written by Roald Dahl
  • A bar in San Francisco introduces topless and later that year the bottoms come off.

Cost of Living

  • Yearly Inflation Rate USA 1.28%
  • Year End Close Dow Jones Industrial Average 874
  • Average Cost of new house $13,050.00
  • Average Income per year $6,000.00
  • Gas per Gallon 30 cents
  • Average Cost of a new car $3,500.00
  • Loaf of bread 21 cents
  • United States Postage Stamp 5 cents
  • Average Monthly Rent $115.00
  • Ticket to the movies $1.25


Major World Leaders

  • Australia Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies
  • Brazil President João Goulart Till 1 April Brazil President Ranieri Mazzilli From 2 April Brazil President Ranieri Mazzilli Till 15 April Brazil President Castelo Branco From 15 April
  • Canada Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson
  • China Chairman of the People's Republic of China Liu Shaoqi
  • France President Charles de Gaulle
  • Germany Chancellor Ludwig Erhard
  • India Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru Till 27 May India Prime Minister Gulzarilal Nanda From 27 May India Prime Minister Gulzarilal Nanda Till 9 June India Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri From 9 June
  • Italy Prime Minister Aldo Moro
  • Japan Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda Till 9 November Japan Prime Minister Eisaku Sato From 9 November
  • Mexico President Adolfo López Mateos Till 30 November Mexico President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz From 30 November
  • Russia / Soviet Union First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Khrushchev
  • Russia / Soviet Union First Secretary of the CPSU Leonid Brezhnev
  • South Africa Prime Minister Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd
  • United States President Lyndon B. Johnson
  • United Kingdom Prime Minister Sir Alec Douglas-Home Till 16 October United Kingdom Prime Minister Harold Wilson From 16 October 1964