The '60s at 50


Thursday, August 27, 1964: 'Mary Poppins'

Adapted by Walt Disney Productions from the books by P.L. Travers, "Mary Poppins" premieres in Los Angeles. The movie was a financial and critical success -- No. 1 at the box office for the year and nominated for 13 Academy Awards (winning five, including best actress for Julie Andrews and best song for "Chim Chim Cher-ee").

* Movie trailer: @
* Footage from premiere: @
* Review (Life magazine, September 25, 1964): @
* "At last Hollywood 'discovers' the toast of Broadway" (Life, November 13, 1964): @
* ' 'Mary Poppins' Lifts Disney to New Heights" (Associated Press, June 1965): @
* Official film site: @
* Entry from Turner Classic Movies: @
* Entry from "Movies of the '60s" (2004): @
* "Becoming Mary Poppins" (The New Yorker magazine, December 2005): @
* "How we made Mary Poppins" (The Guardian, December 2013): @
* "Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P.L. Travers" (Valerie Lawson, 2013): @
* "Myth, Symbol and Meaning in 'Mary Poppins': The Governess as Provocateur" (Giorgia Grilli, 2007): @ 


Saturday, August 22, 1964: Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

Fannie Lou Hamer, vice chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, testifies before the credentials committee in the days leading up to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey. She tells of trying to register to vote in 1962, and of being jailed and beaten in June 1963. Her statement was the most dramatic point of the MFDP's effort to represent the state instead of the all-white regular delegation. The committee offered to seat 2 members of the MFDP as delegates-at-large, which the group rejected. (The regular delegation was also unwilling to accept the compromise, as it required them to sign a "loyalty oath" to support the party platform and the presidential ticket in November.) The MFDP then left the convention and returned to Mississippi.

Fannie Lou Hamer
* Complete text and audio of testimony (American Rhetoric): @
* Partial video (networks cut away to televise an impromptu news conference by President Johnson, who wanted to divert attention from Hamer's testimony): @
* Johnson's remarks (American Presidency Project): @
* "LBJ Tells Governors Voters Won't Gamble" (Associated Press): @
* Biography (Mississippi Historical Society): @
* Biography (PBS): @
* Oral history (1972-73, University of Southern Mississippi): @
* Transcript of Hamer interview on June 1963 events in Winona, Mississippi: @
* Audio of 1965 interview with Hamer (Pacifica Radio Archives): @
* FBI files: @
* Links (Civil Rights Digital Library): @
* Fannie Lou Hamer Institute @ COFO (Jackson State University): @
* Hamer Institute videos: @
* @
* "This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer" (Kay Mills, 1993): @
* "For Freedom's Sake: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer" (Chana Kai Lee, 1999): @

* Summary ("Encyclopedia of the Sixties," 2012): @
* Summary and links (Veterans of the Civil Rights Movement): @
* Summary and links ( @
* Summary (Digital Library of Georgia): @
* Summary (Online Archive of California): @
* Links (Civil Rights Digital Library): @ 
* An extensive collection of related documents are available online at the Wisconsin Historical Society's Freedom Summer Digital Collection: @ (search for "Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party")
* "Basis for the development of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party" (MFDP): @
* "Brief Submitted by the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party" (to the credentials committee): @
* Statement by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. to credentials committee (The King Center): @
* "A Primer for Delegates to the Democratic National Convention Who Haven't Heard About the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party" (The King Center): @
* "The Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party: Background and Recent Developments" (Steve Max, Political Education Project, 1965): @
* Freedom Vote ballot (October-November, 1964; University of Southern Mississippi): @
* Congressional resolution recognizing 40th anniversary of MFDP (July 21, 2004): @

Democratic National Convention
* Convention photos and summary (Take Stock): @
* Photos (Library of Congress): @
* Video clips (eFootage): @
* "Civil Righters Demand Seats At Convention" (United Press International, August 21): @
* "Challenges of Mississippi, Alabama Delegations Heard" (Associated Press, August 22): @
* "Shocking Mississippi Testimony" (Jet magazine, September 3): @
* "Miss. Compromise Try Fails" (UPI, August 25): @
* "Mississippi Delegates Withdraw, Rejecting a Seating Compromise; Convention Then Approves Plan" (New York Times, August 25): @
* "Mississippi in Boycott" (AP, August 26): @ 
* "Showdown at the 1964 Democratic National Convention" (John C. Skipper, 2012): @ 
* For a Voice and the Vote" (Lisa Anderson Todd, 2014): @ 


Tuesday, August 18, 1964: South Africa banned from Summer Olympics

South Africa has been barred from taking part in the 18th Olympic Games in Tokyo over its refusal to condemn apartheid. The International Olympic Committee announced the decision in Lausanne, Switzerland, after South Africa failed to met an ultimatum to comply with its demands by 16 August. The IOC originally withdrew South Africa's invitation to Japan during the winter games in Innsbruck, Austria. It said the decision could be overturned only if South Africa renounced racial discrimination in sport and opposed the ban in its own country on competition between black and white athletes.
     -- From BBC; link: @

* "South Africa is banned from the Olympic Games" (South African History Online): @
* Excerpt from "The Politics of South African Football" (Oshebeng Alpheus Koonyaditse, 2010): @ 


1964: Predictions

The 60-hour week of 1914 that became the 40-hour week of 1964 probably will be the 30-hour workweek of 2014 -- a six-hour day five days a week.
     -- U.S. News & World Report, 1964

Shopping for food has undergone a radical change -- we now buy nearly everything hygenically packed from the display shelves of the many self-service stores -- and perhaps quite soon our purchases will be delivered to us by conveyor belt.
     -- "Home Management," edited by Alison Barnes, 1964

The new towns will inevitably awaken the public to the possibilities for better housing and environments. They may revolutionize the public taste, creating stronger demand for both sales and rental units.
     -- "New towns for America," House & Home, February 1964

One will be able to browse through the fiction section of the central library, enjoy an evening's light entertainment viewing any movie that has ever been produced (for a suitable fee, of course, since Hollywood will still be commercial) or inquire as to the previous day's production figures of tin in Bolivia -- all for the asking via one's remote terminal.
     -- Arthur L. Samuel, "The Banishment of Paper-Work," New Scientist, February 27, 1964

Man may have landed on the surface of Mars by 1984. ... Astronauts will be shuttling back and forth on regular schedules from the Earth to a small permanent base of operations on the Moon.
     -- Dr. Wernher von Braun, "Exploration to the farthest planets," New Scientist, April 21, 1964

No one will be willing any longer to earn his living by mending your watch or re-soling your shoes. When a watch goes wrong or a shoe sole wears down at the toe, the thing will just have to be thrown away and replaced by a mass-produced replica.
     -- Arnold J. Toynbee, "At Least the Beginnings of One World," April 21, 1964 

The U.S. population will reach 322 million to 438 million in 2010. (Actual number: 309 million.)
     -- "U.S. Population Estimates Listed," United Press International, July 1964; Census Bureau report: @

There is every likelihood that highways at least in the more advanced sections of the world will have passed their peak in 2014; there will be increasing emphasis on transportation that makes the least possible contact with the surface.
     -- Isaac Asimov, "Visit to the World's Fair of 2014," August 16, 1964

One of the great medical discoveries of the near future will be a method of suspended animation, so that a man can sleep away down the centuries and in this manner travel into the future. This technique, which may possibly be based on deep freezing, will one day be used to send into the future people suffering from diseases or ailments beyond the ability of present-day medical science to cure.
     -- Arthur C. Clarke, BBC's "Horizon," September 21, 1964

"Earning" a livelihood may no longer be a necessity but a privilege; services may have to be protected from automation and be given social status; leisure time activities may have to be invented in order to give new meaning to a mode of life that may have become "economically useless" for a majority of the populace.
     -- "Report on a Long-Range Forecasting Study," T.J. Gordon and Olaf Helmer for The RAND Corporation, September 1964 

The woman of tomorrow will wear pleats and tights, and live in a house spun from glass fiber, with patent-leather walls and no furniture at all.
     -- "Designs on Your Future," The Saturday Evening Post, October 17, 1964


Wednesday, August 5, 1964: Everett Alvarez Jr.

Navy Lt. (j.g.) Everett Alvarez Jr. is captured after he ejects from his plane, which was hit during a raid on a North Vietnamese base. He is the first U.S. pilot to be shot down over North Vietnam and held as a POW; he would be released on February 12, 1973.

Photo from Corbis Images. Caption: "In this photo from a Japanese documentary film taken by a Japanese cameraman who was on the scene accidentally when this incident took place, a man identified as Lt. Everett Alvarez (left) is escorted by a North Vietnamese sailor. Alvarez, a U.S. airman, was shot down the U.S. retaliatory raid on North Vietnamese PT boat installations in August."

* Summary from @
* Summary from U.S. Department of Defense: @
* "Chained Eagle" (Alvarez and Anthony Pitch, 1989): @
* 1981 interview ( @
* 2013 interview ( @
* "U.S. Retaliation: Air Strike is 'Devastating' " (Associated Press, August 5, 1964): @
* "U.S. Pilot Is Marched By Captors" (Associated Press, August 11, 1964): @
* "First Prisoner Release Completed" (New York Times, February 1973): @
* Earlier post on POW Floyd James Thompson (March 26, 1964): @
* "Two Men, Two Fates" (Stars and Stripes): @


August 1964: Gulf of Tonkin

Note: The story of what exactly happened in early August off the coast of North Vietnam -- in particular, the events of August 4 -- has been revisited and rewritten several times through the years, as various accounts and documents have come to light. What follows are newspaper excerpts from those days, since that reflects the general public's understanding of the situation at the time. For a review of the military actions as we now understand them, a good place to start is with "The Truth About Tonkin." (Naval History Magazine, February 2008; link: @

     -- Photo from U.S. Navy (link: @). Caption: "Photograph taken from USS Maddox (DD-731) during her engagement with three North Vietnamese motor torpedo boats in the Gulf of Tonkin, 2 August 1964. The view shows all three of the boats speeding towards the Maddox."

Sunday, August 2
     "Three Communist patrol boats attacked the destroyer USS Maddox in international waters off the coast of North Viet Nam Sunday with torpedoes and gunfire and the American ship, joined by U.S. Navy jets, fired back." -- United Press International: @
     * "President Johnson has ordered U.S. naval forces beefed up in the Tonkin Gulf area, off Viet Nam, and has ordered them to destroy any force that attacks them." -- Associated Press: @

Tuesday, August 4
     "The defense department announced Tuesday night that a second 'deliberate attack' was made on American destroyers patrolling off North Vietnam." -- Associated Press: @
     "President Johnson announced Tuesday night that 'air action is now in execution against gunboats' of North Vietnam which attacked U.S. destroyers twice in the Gulf of Tonkin." -- Associated Press: @
     * Video and transcript of August 4 speech (Miller Center): @
     * President's Message to Congress (August 5): @
     * "LBJ's Fateful Day: Aug. 4, 1964" (New York Times, 2008): @

Friday, August 7
      "The House of Representatives and the Senate approved today the resolution requested by President Johnson to strengthen his hand in dealing with Communist aggression in Southeast Asia." -- New York Times: @

August 10
     "President Johnson signed the congressional resolution supporting his actions in Southeast Asia and said he hopes it is read around the world as it states plainly 'where America stands.' " -- Associated Press: @
     * Joint Resolution: @
     * Resolution and roll call tally: @

Other resources
* Summary from "The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War" (2011): @
* Summary from U.S. Department of State: @
* Summary from Naval History and Heritage Command: @
* "USS Maddox (DD-73), 1944-1972: Actions in the Gulf of Tonkin, August 1964" (NHHC): @
* Selected documents (from NHHC): @
* Chronology of events (U.S. Air Force, October 1964): @
* "Presidential Decisions: The Gulf of Tonkin Attacks of August 1964" (Vietnam Information Group, 1968): @
* USS Maddox deck log, August 2: @
* "The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, 40 Years Later" (National Security Archive, 2004): @
* "Skunks, Bogies, Silent Hounds, and the Flying Fish: The Gulf of Tonkin Mystery, 2-4 August 1964" (Robert J. Hanyok, Cryptologic Quarterly, 2001): @
* Excerpt from "Vietnam and America: A Documented History" (1995): @
* "Choosing War: The Lost Chance for Peace and the Escalation of War in Vietnam" (Fredrick Logevall, 1999): @ 


August 1964: Looney Tunes

"Señorella and the Glass Huarache" is the last "Looney Tunes" cartoon short released by Warner Brothers' animation division, which had closed as the classic theatrical cartoons gave way to less expensive fare for moviehouses and TV.

* Watch the cartoon: @
* Entry from The Big Cartoon Database: @
* "That WASN'T All, Folks: Warner Bros. Cartoons 1964-1969" (from @
* "Looney Tunes & Merrie Melodies" (from The Cartoon Scrapbook): @
* "Warner Bros. Animation Chronology" (from @
* "Reading the Rabbit: Explorations in Warner Bros. Animation" (edited by Kevin S. Sandler, 1998): @ 


1964: Hippocratic Oath

The doctors' code of conduct is brought into the modern era in a version written by Dr. Louis Lasagna, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins Medical School. While the new version was known for its emphasis on patient care and not just disease treatment, it was also notable in that it removed the prohibitions on abortion and euthanasia. In the years that followed Lasagna's version became widely used in medical school ceremonies.
-- Image from a 1595 version in Greek and Latin. Complete page: @

* "Would Hippocrates Rewrite His Oath?" (Lasagna, New York Times Magazine, June 28, 1964; subscription required): @
* "The Hippocratic Oath Today" (Nova Online, 2001): @ 
* "Is the Oath Outdated?" (Doctor's Review, 2009): @ 
* "The History of the Hippocratic Oath: Outdated, Inauthentic, and Yet Still Relevant" (The Einstein Journal of Biology and Medicine, 2010): @
* "Do Euthanasia and Physician-Assisted Suicide Violate the Hippocratic Oath?" ( @
* Physician Oaths (Association of American Physicians and Surgeons): @
* Short biography of Louis Lasagna (National Institutes of Health): @
* Louis C. Lasagna Papers, University of Rochester: @ 


Thursday, July 23, 1964: Civil Rights Act arrests

GREENWOOD, Miss., July 24 -- The FBI has made its first arrests under the public accommodations sections of the new Civil Rights Act yesterday.
     Agents of the bureau charged three Greenwood white men with a conspiracy designed to keep a Negro from going to a movie theater. ...
     The FBI charged the three with "unlawfully conspiring to injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate" Silas McGhee, 21, of Greenwood, "in the free exercise of his right to full and equal enjoyment of a motion picture picture house, the Leflore Theatre."
     On July 16, Mr. McGhee staggered into the Greenwood FBI office, bleeding from head wounds and suffering from shock.
     Mr. McGhee, a staff worker with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committe, said the three, in a pickup truck, forced him at the point of a gun to accompany them.
     He said they asked him if he had been to the movie the previous night, When he replied yes, he said, he was beaten with a pipe and a board.
     -- Associated Press (full story: @)
     -- Photo of Leflore Theatre in the 1940s; from (link: @)

Note: The men were indicted, tried and found innocent.
     * "Federal Jury Indicts Three" (United Press International, January 1965): @
     * "Find Mississippians Innocent in Beating" (UPI, October 1966): @

More about the incident and the McGhee family
* "Freedom Summer Incident Summary by City or County" (Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive; scroll down to Greenwood): @
* "Miss. Woman Arrested After Punching Cop In Nose" (Jet magazine, September 1964): @
* "The McGhees: If You Don't Fight For It, You Don't Need It" (from "I've Got the Light of Freedom: The Organizing Tradition and the Mississippi Freedom Struggle," Charles M. Payne, 1995): @
* McGhee and his family are mentioned in several passages in "Pillar of Fire: America in the King Years" (Taylor Branch, 1997; search for "McGhee"): @
* Passage from "The Wrong Side of Murder Creek: A White Southerner in the Freedom Movement," Bob Zellner, 2008): @
* "The Shooting of Silas McGhee" (Linda Wetmore Halpern, 2010): @
* Passage from "Student Activism and Civil Rights in Mississippi: Protest Politics and the Struggle for Racial Justice, 1960-1965," James P. Marshall, 2013): @
* "Freedom Summer, 1964: Did It Really Change Mississippi?" (Nikole Hannah-Jones, The Atlantic magazine, July 2014): @

Other resources
* "Saturday, July 6, 1963: Greenwood, Mississippi" (earlier blog post; I'm fairly sure, though not absolutely certain, that the event featuring Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan took place on the McGhee family farm): @
* "Greenwood Theatre Torn Down By City" (Jackson Daily News, January 1969): @ 


Thursday, July 16, 1964: 'Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice'

Accepting the Republican nomination for president, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater tells delegates at the GOP national convention in San Francisco:

I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

The "extremism" issue had come largely from New York Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, whose pursuit of the GOP nomination failed as his party embraced more conservative views. Rockefeller (and in turn, the Democrats) warned that the Goldwater forces were a threat to peace and progress.

* Video of speech (C-SPAN via NBC): @
* Transcript of speech (Washington Post via Arizona Historical Foundation): @
* New York Times story, July 15: @
* Associated Press story, July 17 (note error in headline, which says "pursuit of happiness" instead of "pursuit of justice"): @
* United Press International story, July 17: @
* Life magazine, July 24: @
* "Goldwater Clarifies 'Extremism' " (Miami News, August 10): @
* Party platform (American Presidency Project): @
* Portion of Rockefeller speech to the convention (C-SPAN via NBC): @
* "Remarks on extremism at the 1964 Republican National Convention" (July 14; Rockefeller Archive Center; note: prepared remarks differ from speech): @
* Closing part of Rockefeller's speech ( @
* Rockefeller's "Call for a United Republican Party in the 1964 Election" (July 14, 1963; Facts on File History Database Center): @
* "The 1964 Republican Campaign" ("The Rockefellers," PBS): @
* "Margaret Chase Smith for President" (Maine History Online): @
* "1964: The Conventions" (U.S. Information Agency): @
* "The Delegate" (documentary, National Educational Television): @
* 1964 campaign commercials (The Living Room Candidate, Museum of the Modern Image): @
* "Election of 1964" (from "Presidential Campaigns: Documents Decoded," Daniel M. Shea and Brian M. Harward, 2013): @
* "Overviews & Chronologies: 1964" (Presidential Campaigns & Elections Reference): @
* "LBJ Fights the White Backlash: The Racial Politics of the 1964 Presidential Campaign" (Jeremy D. Mayer, Prologue magazine, National Archives): @
* "1964 Republican Convention: Revolution From The Right" (Rick Perlstein, Smithsonian magazine, August 2008): @
* "Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus" (Perlstein, 2001): @
* "Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP" (Mary C. Brennan, 1995): @
* Review of "Turning Right" (Matthew Dallek, The Atlantic, 1995): @
* "The Rise of the Counter-Establishment: The Conservative Ascent to Political Power" (Sidney Blumenthal, 2008): @
* "Barry Goldwater and the Remaking of the American Political Landscape" (edited by Elizabeth Tandy Shermer, 2013): @ 

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