The '60s at 50


March 1965: 'The Negro Family: The Case for National Action'

Few pieces of social science research have stirred as much controversy or had as great an impact as 1965's "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." The U.S. Department of Labor report, more commonly referred to as the Moynihan report after its author, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, focused on the deep roots of black poverty in the United States. Moynihan argued that the decline of the black nuclear family would significantly impede blacks' progress toward economic and social equality. Over the ensuing decades, the report has been hailed by some as prophetic and derided by others as a classic example of blaming the victim.
     -- "The Moynihan Report Revisited" (Urban Institute, June 2013): @

* Full text of report (U.S. Department of Labor): @
* PDF (Stanford University): @
* "Moynihan Report: The Negro Family Revisited" (project website): @
* "Moynihan of the Moynihan Report" (Thomas Meehan, New York Times, July 1966): @
* "A Troubled National Turns to Pat Moynihan: Idea Broker in the Race Crisis" (Life magazine, November 3, 1967, page 72): @
* "Freedom Is Not Enough: The Moynihan Report and America's Struggle over Black Family Life, from LBJ to Obama" (James T. Patterson, 2010): @
* "What the Left and Right Both Get Wrong About the Moynihan Report" (Peter-Christian Angier, The Atlantic magazine, 2014): @ 


Portraits of Selma and Montgomery

Links to the work of some of the photographers who chronicled the events of March 1965 in Alabama.

Note: The photo above comes from the website of the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma. I'm trying to find out who took it. Any information would be appreciated.

* Bob Adelman: @
* Archie E. Allen: @
* James Barker: @
* Morton Broffman: @
* Dan Budnik: @ and @ ("Marching to the Freedom Dream") and @ (Budnik's website)
* Frank Dandridge (search Getty Images for his name): @
* Bruce Davidson: @ 
* Bob Fletcher: @
* Matt Herron: @ and @ and @ ( 
* Dennis Hopper: @
* James Karales: @
* John Kouns: @ and @ (Syndic Literary Journal) and @ (Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement)
* Spider Martin: @
* Ivan Massar: @
* Charles Moore: @ (Kodak) and @ (The Red List)
* John F. Phillips: @
* Steve Schapiro: @ (The New Yorker) and @ (Monroe Gallery) and @ (Schapiro's website)
* Flip Schulke: @
* Robert Abbott Sengstacke: @
* Moneta Sleet Jr. (search for his name): @
* Stephen Somerstein: @
* Allen Zak: @
* Alabama Department of Archives and History: @
* @
* Houston Chronicle (slideshow): @
* Getty Images (search for "Selma to Montgomery March" or similar terms): @
* Library of Congress: @ 


Saturday, February 27, 1965: Vietnam 'white paper'

The United States published a new "white paper" on Viet Nam today that charged North Viet Nam with waging an aggressive war against South Viet Nam as if it were an open invasion. ... An evident purpose of the report, too, is to lend support to the Johnson administration's policy of striking against targets in North Viet Nam. These bombings, undertaken three weeks ago, are expected to continue. ... The white paper was designed to show with precise figures the extent to which Viet Cong guerrillas in the south are supported and controlled by North Viet Nam. Thereby it sought to refute any suggestion that it is simply a civil war being fought in South Viet Nam.
     -- Associated Press (link to story: @)

* "Aggression From the North: The Record of North Viet-Nam's Campaign to Conquer South-Vietnam" (complete report; from The Vietnam Center and Archive, Texas Tech University): @ 


Thursday, February 18, 1965: 'Grave but by no means hopeless'

Presenting the military budget to Congress, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara states: "The present situation in South Viet Nam is grave but by no means hopeless." His words echo exactly those of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in describing the situation in Indochina in 1954.

Dulles, June 4, 1954 (Associated Press story: @) 

* "The Threat of Direct Communist Chinese Intervention in Indochina" (Dulles, June 1954; from The Avalon Project, Yale Law School): @ 
* "The French Indochina War 1946-54" (Martin Windrow, 1998): @ 

McNamara, February 18, 1965 (Associated Press story: @)

* Full text of statement (from Department of Defense): @
* "Extracts of Statements by Robert S. McNamara on the Outlook in South Vietnam" (from The Harold Weisberg Archive): @
* "Leaders' Statements on Southeast Asia Examined" (Associated Press, February 21): @
* Excerpt from "Johnson's War/Johnson's Great Society: The Guns and Butter Trap" (Jeffrey W. Helsing, 2000): @ 


Saturday, February 13, 1965: Tiros-9

The Tiros-9 satellite (also known as Tiros IX) produces the first photomosaic of the world's cloud cover.

Caption: This global photomosaic was assembled from 450 individual pictures taken by Tiros IX during the 24 hours of February 13, 1965. The horizontal white line marks the equator. Special photographic processing was used to increase the contrast between major land areas, outlined in white, and the surrounding oceans. The brightest features on the photographs are clouds; ice in the Antarctic, and snow in the north are also very bright. The clouds are associated with many different types of weather patterns. The scalloping at the bottom shows how the Earth's horizon appears in individual pictures.

(Photo from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; link to larger image: @)

* "U.S. Has Big Wheel Satellite In Orbit" (Associated Press, January 22): @
* NASA summary of Tiros-9: @
* NASA summaries of all Tiros missions: @
* Tiros-9 summary (Florida State University): @
* "Catalogue of Meteorological Satellite Data -- Tiros IX" (Environmental Science Services Administration): @ and @
* "Observation of the Earth and Its Environment: Survey of Missions and Sensors" (Herbert J. Kramer, 2002): @
* "Earth Observations from Space" (National Academy of Sciences): @


Saturday, January 30, 1965: Billboard R&B charts

Billboard magazine resumes its listing of the nation's top rhythm-and-blues songs and also introduces a chart of the top R&B albums.

From the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: "The Billboard R&B chart was eliminated for 14 months between November 30, 1963 and January 23, 1965 owing to the regular crossover of titles between the R&B and pop singles charts. Billboard deemed the lists too similar to print both."

From the book "Yeah Yeah Yeah: The Story of Modern Pop" (Bob Stanley, 2013): "From November 30th 1963 to January 23 1965 there was no Billboard R&B singles chart. No reason was given, but the prevailing wisdom was that the chart methodology was in question, as Caucasian acts were scoring big hits. However, Cashbox, Billboard's main rival, continued to print R&B charts during 1964, and each of their number ones was by a black act.

From the book "Between Montmartre and the Mudd Club: Popular Music and the Avant-Garde" (Bernard Gendron, 2002): "Before the British Invasion, the pop and R&B charts had come to overlap so much that Billboard in December 1963 stopped publishing the R&B charts. White musicians were crossing over into the R&B charts apparently as frequently as black musicians into the pop charts. ... After the British Invasion -- the Beatles interestingly never crossed over -- the R&B charts were reconstituted by Billboard (January 1965), as black music went on separate trajectories from white rock music.

-- Image from January 30, 1965, issue of Billboard. Link (R&B charts on page 14): @ 


Wednesday, January 27, 1965: Vietnam memo

National security adviser McGeorge Bundy and defense secretary Robert McNamara send to President Johnson a memo titled "Basic Policy in Vietnam." They state:

What we want to say to you is that both of us are now pretty well convinced that our current policy can lead only to disastrous defeat. What we are doing now, essentially, is to wait and hope for a stable government. ... We see two alternatives. The first is to use our military power in the Far East and to force a change of Communist policy. The second is to deploy all our resources along a track of negotiation, aimed at salvaging what little can be preserved with no major addition to our military risks. Bob and I tend to favor the first course, but we believe that both should be carefully studied and that alternative programs should be argued out before you. ... the time has come for harder choices.

This came to be known as the "fork in the road" or "fork in the Y" memo, though neither phrase was used.

     -- Photo (cropped) from July 23, 1965; from left, Johnson, McNamara and Bundy. Original White House image: @

* Full text of memo (from "Foreign Relations of the United States, 1964-1968): @
* Original document (from LBJ Library): @
* "Observations Re South Vietnam After Khanh's 'Re-Coup' " (January 27, by assistant secretary of defense J.T. McNaughton; from Pentagon Papers): @
* January 27 telegram from Johnson to Gen. Maxwell Taylor, U.S. ambassador to Vietnam (from FRUS): @
* "The War Council: McGeorge Bundy, the NSC, and Vietnam" (Andrew Preston, 2006): @
* "Argument Without End: In Search of Answers to the Vietnam Tragedy" (McNamara et al., 1999): @
* "American Tragedy: Kennedy, Johnson and the Origins of the Vietnam War" (David Kaiser, 2000): @
* "Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam" (Fredrik Logevall, 1999): @
* "The U.S. Government and the Vietnam War: Executive and Legislative Roles and Relationships, Part III" (William Conrad Gibbons, 1989): @
* "The Case for the Vietnam War" (W.W. Rostow, Times Literary Supplement, June 1995): @ 

Wednesday, January 27, 1965: Shelby GT350 Mustang

Car designer Carroll Shelby introduces his version of the Ford Mustang -- the high-performance GT350 -- at California's Riverside Raceway. Base prices: $4,547 (street) and $5,995 (racing).
     -- Photo from

* May 1965 review from Car and Driver: @
* "The Ford Mustang GT350: Carroll Shelby & the American Pony War" (from @
* "1965 Shelby GT350 Mustang: The Car That Defined Mustang Performance" (from @
* "Mustang: A Short Story of Two Special Shelby Mustangs" (from LeMay -- America's Car Museum): @
* Road test (from @
* "The difference between the Shelby G.T. 350 and the Mustang ... plenty!" (from Old Car Manuals Project): @
* @
* @ 
* Earlier post on Ford Mustang (April 17, 1964): @ 


January 1965: Planned Parenthood

An $8,500 federal grant for birth control -- including the distribution of oral contraceptive pills -- has been approved for the South Texas Planned Parenthood Clinic of Corpus Christi. It is believed the funds, given as a part of the Johnson administration's war on poverty, are the first authorized for such a clinic not under the direction of a state welfare agency. The $8,500 is part of a $295,200 package for the Corpus Christi area from the Office of Economic Opportunity. The bulk of the money will go for other health, education and welfare measures.
     -- "Federal Birth Control Plan Approved for Corpus Unit" (Associated Press, January 28, 1965)
     -- Image from Planned Parenthood brochure, 1965

* "Population Explosion Is Under Study" (AP, January 7): @
* "Texas Clinic Using Poverty War Aid For Birth Control" (AP, January 25): @
* "Texas City Gets Federal Funds" (Milwaukee Sentinel, January 28): @
* "Parenthood Center Needs Even Great" (Corpus Christi Times, February 19; subscription only): @
* "Let us act on the fact that less than 5 dollars invested in population control is worth a hundred dollars invested in economic growth." (speech by President Johnson, June 25; Miller Center): @
* "Birth Control Effective in Texas" (Milwaukee Sentinel, July 14): @
* "Mothers Ask For Help and Families Continue to Grow" (AP, September 28): @
* "Pills, Publicity Lift Birth Control Secrecy" (Gannett News Service, August 17, 1967): @
* "Birth Control Movement in Texas" (Texas State Historical Association): @
* "Family Planning and the Demographic Imperative" (from "The Oxford Encyclopedia of Women in World History," 2008): @
* "Fifty Years of Family Planning: New Evidence on the Long-Run Effects of Increasing Access to Contraception" (Martha J. Bailey, Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2013): @
* Planned Parenthood Federation of America: @ 


Saturday, January 16, 1965: AFL All-Star game

The American Football League's All-Star game is played in Houston. The game was moved from the original site, New Orleans, after black players voted against playing because of their treatment by businesses in that city.

* "50 Years Ago: How New Orleans Lost the 1965 AFL All-Star Game" (New Orleans Advocate, 2015): @
* "Players Boycott AFL All-Star Game" (Pro Football Hall of Fame): @
* "Protest of Race-Related Slights Brought '65 Game Here" (Houston Chronicle, 2005): @
* "New Orleans, New Football League, and New Attitudes: The American Football League All-Star Game Boycott, January 1965" (Maureen Smith, in "Sports and the Racial Divide," 2008): @
* "AFL All-Star Game Is Moved to Houston" (Associated Press): @
* "Tackle Mix Backed Idea, Not Method" (Associated Press): @
* "AFL's Switch Dramatizes Negro Importance to Game" (Shirley Povich, Washington Post): @
* Photos of All-Star squads ( @ and @ 


Monday, January 4, 1965: State of the Union speech

     President Johnson launched a long-heralded multibillion-dollar drive tonight to create the great society "where freedom from the wants of the body can help fulfill the needs of the spirit."
     At the same time, Johnson extended an invitation to Russia's leaders to come over and learn something about us.
     Laying down his blueprint for his great society in his State of the Union message to a joint session of Congress and to the nation, the President:
     * Called for an excise tax cut which may total $2 billion.
     * Proposed a new, additional $1.5 billion aid-to-education program carrying help from the primary grades to graduate schools.
     * Plugged again for medical care for aged under social security and for a stepped-up war on poverty.
     * Demanded federal action to eliminate all voting restrictions aimed at Negroes.
     * Recommended standby legislative procedures to allow instant income tax cuts in the event of a recession.
     * Pledged to support repeal of section 14B of the Taft-Hartley Act authorizing state right -to-work laws.
     The unusual evening time chosen for delivery of the message assured President Johnson of the widest possible television and radio audience, coming as it did during "prime time."

-- Story from New York Daily News: @
-- UPI photo from U.S. House of Representatives: @

* Text of speech (LBJ Library): @
* Video: (LBJ Library): @
* Summary ( @
* Summary ( @
* New York Times story: @
* "Johnson Asks Excise Tax Cut" (Associated Press): @
* "LBJ, Congress Head Down Road to 'Great Society' " (Associated Press): @
* "The Week That Was" (Associated Press, January 10 and January 17): @ and @
* "Will Congress Nail Down the Great Society? ... Maybe" (Life magazine, January 15): @
* Earlier post on first "Great Society" speeches (May 1964): @ 


Friday, January 1, 1965: Soupy Sales

Soupy Sales, host of a children's program on WNEW-TV in New York, tells his young viewers:

"Hey, kids, last night was New Year's Eve and your mom and dad were out having a good time and it's only right, since they work hard all year long. And they're probably still in the bedroom asleep. Now, what I want you to do is tiptoe into the bedroom and don't wake them up and you'll probably see your mom's pocketbook on the floor along with your dad's pants. Now, be real careful, because we don't want to wake them up, but I want you to go into your mom's pocketbook and your dad's pants and you'll find some little green pieces of paper with pictures of guys with beards on them. Now, what I want you to do is take those little pieces of green paper and put them into an envelope, and on the envelope, I want you to write Soupy Sales, Channel 5, New York, New York, and you know what I'm gonna send you in return? A postcard from Puerto Rico."

A week and a half later, after station executives learn that a woman has complained to the Federal Communications Commission, Sales is suspended from the show for several days. (Accounts vary as to how much he actually received in the mail.) The incident only increases his popularity.

-- Quote from the 2001 book "Soupy Sez!" 

* Summary ( @
* Summary ( @
* Sales recounts the incident (video, 1993): @ 
* "A Little 'Good, Clean Violence' Beneficial, Says Soupy Sales" (Associated Press, May 1965): @
* Obituary (New York Times, 2009): @ 


Thursday, December 31, 1964: Bracero program

The Mexican Farm Labor Program, also known as the Bracero Program, was the result of a series of agreements between Mexico and the United States in response to the demand for agricultural labor during World War II. ... The Mexican workers were called braceros because they worked with their arms and hands (bracero comes from the Spanish brazo, or arm). The bilateral agreement guaranteed prevailing wages, health care, adequate housing, and board. ... Nationally, the Bracero Program continued until December 31, 1964, with nearly 4.5 million Mexicans making the journey during the program's twenty-two year existence. Braceros entered the United States under six-month to twelve-month contracts and were assigned to regions throughout the country. ... Once the contract expired, each bracero was required to return to Mexico and sign another contract in order to return to the United States to work. 

-- Text from "Bracero Program" (The Oregon Encyclopedia): @
-- Image from "Bittersweet Harvest: The Bracero Program, 1942-1964" (Smithsonian Institution): @

* Bracero History Archive: @
* "Los Braceros" ( @
* "Los Braceros: Strong Arms to Aid the U.S.A." (KVIE, Sacramento, Calif.): @
* "Bracero Program" (Texas State Historical Association): @
* "Bracero Program" (University of Texas): @
* "Bracero Program Establishes New Migration Patterns" (Oakland Museum of California): @
* "Braceros: History, Compenstion" (Rural Migration News, University of California Davis): @
* "The Bracero Program and Its Aftermath: An Historical Summary" (State of California, 1965): @
* "Opportunity or Exploitation: The Bracero Program" (National Museum of American History): @
* "Bracero program ends ... who'll harvest?" (Associated Press): @
* "Mexico Immigrant Labor History" (PBS): @ 


1964: Baby boom

The U.S. Census Bureau defines baby boomers as those born between 1946 and 1964. (Chart from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; red lines indicate boom years.)
* National Association of Baby Boomers: @
* California Booming (San Diego State University): @
* Boomer Cafe: @
* Boomer Project: @
* "Boomer Statistics" (from Baby Boomer Headquarters): @
* "Postwar 'Baby Boom' Travels Through Adulthood" (Associated Press, 1977; note that this story defines the boom years as 1946-1961): @
* "Don't Trust Anyone Over Thirty" (Howard Smead, 2000): @
* "Boomer Nation" (Steve Gillon, 2004): @ 
* "Baby Boom: People and Perspectives" (2010): @ 


December 1964: Bob Hope in Vietnam

The comedian, who had entertained U.S. troops during World War II and the Korean War, makes his first USO tour of military bases in Vietnam. Segments from the trip were shown on NBC the following January during "The Bob Hope Christmas Special." Hope would continue the holiday tours until 1972.
     -- Stars and Stripes photo from Tan Son Nuht Airport

* "Bob Hope brings Christmas cheer to troops in Vietnam" (Stars and Stripes, December 26, 1964): @
* "The Bob Hope Show; Christmas Day - 1964; Vinh Long, Vietnam" ( @
* "Hope Indomitable" (Associated Press, December 25): @
* Video from Da Nang Air Base (no sound): @
* Video from Camp Enari (no sound): @
* Front and back covers from "On The Road To Vietnam" (1965): @ and @
* Audio from Bien Hoa: @
* "Bob Hope's Vietnam Christmas Tours" ( @
* "On the Road: USO Shows -- Bob Hope and American Variety" (Library of Congress): @
* "Entertaining Troops" ( @
* Excerpt from "Bob Hope: A Life in Comedy" (William Robert Faith, 1982): @

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