1964 opened with a series of riots over the sovereignty of the Panama Canal zone, which ended with the involvement of the U.S. Army and was a significant factor in the United States’ decision to transfer control of the Canal to Panama in the 70’s.
Another important event in South America that year is the military coup against President João Goulart of Brazil, establishing a 21-year-long military dictatorship.
The United States are going through a rocky time against the backdrop of the Vietnam War. The first student demonstrations against the war occur concurrently in New York City and San Francisco on May 2nd. That same month, young men protest the war by burning their draft cards, the first such demonstration to occur.
President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, officially abolishing racial segregation in the country, although tensions between racial groups remain.
In sports, the 1964 Winter Olympics were held in Austria and Cassius Clay, who became Muhammad Ali in March of 1964, wins the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World on February 25th.
In the arts, the British Invasion of the United States begins when the Beatles, having released their first U.S. single a few weeks before, perform on the Ed Sullivan show for about 73 million viewers. The Rolling Stones and the Kinks, two other famous British bands, released their first albums in April and October, respectively.
In movies, actor Sydney Poitier became the first African-American to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his leading role in Lilies in the Field. That same year, the movie version of My Fair Lady wins eight Oscars. Notable births in 1964 include American actress Courteney Cox of Friends fame, Italian actress Monica Bellucci, First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama and Prince Edward, Earl of Essex.
Which were the most popular movies released this year ?
Which were the top hits of 1964 ?
Top #10 songs in the USA
- Dean Martin - Everybody Loves Somebody
- The Supremes - Where Did Our Love Go
- The Beatles - I Want To Hold Your Hand
- The Beatles - She Loves You
- The Dixie Cups - Chapel Of Love
- The Supremes - Baby Love
- Manfred Mann - Do Wah Diddy Diddy
- Mary Wells - My Guy
- The Beach Boys - I Get Around
- Louis Armstrong - Hello, Dolly!
Top #10 songs in the UK
- The Honeycombs - Have I The Right?
- Herman's Hermits - I'm Into Something Good
- Roy Orbison - It's Over
- Cilla Black - Anyone Who Had A Heart
- Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas - Little Children
- Sandie Shaw - (There's) Always Something There To Remind Me
- The Rolling Stones - It's All Over Now
- Roy Orbison - Oh Pretty Woman
- The Bachelors - I Believe
- The Swinging Blue Jeans - Hippy Hippy Shake
Which were the most popular books released in 1964 ?
Which were the top popular names given to babies born in 1964 in the USA ?
Top #10 male names
Top #10 female names
What happened in each day of 1964
Click on the dates below to find out what the world looked like in each day of 1964