April 30, 1964: UHF

In July 1962 President John F. Kennedy signed into law legislation that required all television receiving sets shipped across state lines to able to adequately receive all UHF as well as VHF frequencies. The goal of this law was to put UHF channels (channels 14 through 83) on a more equal technological footing with the VHF channels (2 through 13). Until this time, virtually all sets manufactured in or imported into the United States were equipped to receive the VHF channels only. Viewers interested in watching UHF channels were required to purchase a cumbersome UHF converter and attach it to their sets. These converters, which resembled metal bow ties and sat atop the receiver, did not allow viewers to "click in" the desired channel. The tuning dial operated fluidly, like a radio tuning knob, and viewers had to literally "tune in" the desired channel. With the commercial networks occupying the VHF channels and viewers disadvantaged in receiving the UHF frequencies, UHF channels (primarily independent commercial and educational or noncommercial stations) were in danger of extinction. The immediate goal, then, of all-channel legislation was the preservation of these channels. The longer-term goal was the encouragement of diversity (or the creation of "a multitude of tongues"), which was a guiding force behind much Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule making at the time. Therefore, on September 12, 1962, the commission proposed that any set manufactured in or imported into the United States after April 30, 1964, be all-channel equipped. The proposal became an official FCC order on November 21, 1962. Later amendments to FCC rules and regulations specified performance standards for the UHF circuit in the new receivers relating to sound and picture quality.
     -- From "Encyclopedia of Television" (2004)

* "All-channel television broadcast reception: Peak picture sensitivity" (U.S. Code of Federal Regulations, 1985): @
* The FCC and the All-Channel Receiver Bill of 1962" (Lawrence D. Longley, Journal of Broadcasting, 1969): @
* "The Impact of UHF Promotion: The All-Channel Television Receiver Law" (Douglas W. Webbink, Law and Contemporary Problems, Duke University, 1969): @
* "UHF" (from "The Federal Communications Commission: Front Line in the Culture and Regulation Wars," Kimberly A. Zarkin and Michael J. Zarkin, 2006): @ 
* "All Channel Receiver Act of 1962" (from "The Communications Act: A Legislative History of the Major Amendments, 1934-1996"): @ 
* "The ABCs of UHF-TV" (Popular Science, August 1964): @ 
* "All-Channel TV Deadline Set at May 1" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, November 24, 1962): @ 


Monday, April 27, 1964: LBJ's dogs

President Johnson picked his two beagle pups up by the ears Monday and let them yowl. "Why did you do that?" a woman reporter inquired. Johnson had just dropped "Him," and a few moments before had lifted "Her" by the ears and let her down. "To make him bark," he said. "It's good for him. And, if you've ever followed dogs, you like to hear them yelp." ... Some authorities on dogs questioned the President's handling.
     -- Associated Press (story: @)
     -- Photo by Charles P. Gorry, Associated Press

* "SPCA Yelps When Johnson Picks Dogs Up By Ears" (AP): @
* "Dog Lovers Howl Over LBJ Picking Up Beagles By Ears To Make 'Em Yelp" (AP): @
* "White House Mum on Mail Trend Reports" (AP, May 1): @
* "Dogs Have Got Presidents Both In And Out Of Trouble" (AP, May 18): @ 
* Phone call between LBJ and Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (April 29): @ 
* "A National Yelp Over an Earlift" (Life magazine, May 8): @
* "Her and Him" (Life magazine, June 19): @
* Entry from Presidential Pet Museum: @
* Entry from LBJ Presidential Library: @ 


Wednesday, April 22, 1964: World's Fair

The New York World's Fair bloomed in almost all its heralded splendor but rain, cold and fog put a decided damper on its opening Wednesday. ... President Johnson, noting the fair's theme of "peace through understanding," said that "peace is not only possible in our generation, but I predict it is coming much nearer." The United States, the President added, would soon be a nation "in which no man is handicapped by the color of his skin or the nature of his belief."
     -- Associated Press (story: @)
     -- Photo from untappedcities.com (story: @)

* Overview ("Encyclopedia of the Sixties," 2011): @
* Overview (University of Maryland): @
* Map and other items (Print magazine): @
* Guide book (www.butkus.org): @
* Slideshow (New York Daily News): @
* www.nywf64.com: @
* www.westland.net/ny64fair: @
* President Johnson's speech (American Presidency Project): @
* Speech and first day of issue stamp (www.historygallery.com): @
* "The Space Age Never Looked Brighter Than It Did in the Mid-1960s" (io9.com): @
* "Photographs and Memories" (Daily Kos): @
* "My Four-Day Guide to the World's Fair" (Bob Hope for Family Weekly, March 22): @
* "New York World's Fair Opens; Scores of Policemen Kept Busy" (United Press International, April 22): @
* "World's Fair" (Universal Newsreel): @
* "Peace Through Understanding" (newsreel, British Pathe): @
* "LBJ Opens World's Fair" (UPI and AP, April 22): @
* " 'Sleepers' of the World's Fair" (Family Weekly, August 9): @
* Life magazine, May 1: @
* "The End of the Innocence: The 1964-65 New York World's Fair" (Lawrence R. Samuel, 2010): @
* "Tomorrow-Land: The 1964-65 World's Fair and the Transformation of America" (Joseph Tirella, 2014): @ 


Monday, April 20, 1964: 'I am prepared to die'

Charged with sabotage and conspiring to overthrow the South African government, Nelson Mandela makes a statement to the court as the defense begins its case in what is known as the Rivonia Trial. He concludes by saying:

During my lifetime I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an idea for which I hope to live for and to see realized. But, My Lord, if it needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

-- Image from Australian Broadcasting Commission. Caption: "These are the five points Nelson Mandela jotted down in preparation for his statement ... 1. Statement from the dock 2. I meant everything I said. 3. The blood of many patriots in this country have been shed for demanding treatment in conformity with civilized standards. 4. That army is beginning to grow. 5. If I must die, let me declare for all to know that I will meet my fate like a man."
* Text of speech (Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory): @
* "Rescuing the Rivonia Trial recordings" (British Library; includes sound clips): @
* Trial summary (The Guardian): @
* Trial summary (South African History Online): @
* "The Rivonia Trial Fifty Years Later" (South African History Online): @
* "The Nelson Mandela (Rivonia) Trial" (Douglas Linder, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law): @
* "The State vs. Nelson Mandela" (Joel Joffe, 2007): @
* "Saving Nelson Mandela: The Rivonia Trial and the Fate of South Africa" (Kenneth S. Broun, 2012): @ 

Monday, April 20, 1964: Picturephone

NEW YORK -- See-as-you-talk telephone service was demonstrated yesterday between the Bell Telphone System's world's fair building and Disneyland, Calif.
     The first transatlantic call on what American Telephone and Telegraph Co. has named the "picturephone" was made by William L. Laurence, science consultant for the fair, to Donald Shaffer, managing editor of the Anaheim, Calif., Bulletin.
     Later hostesses at the fair and Disneyland were introduced via picturephone and chatted with each other. Both video and sound came through clearly.
     The system will be demonstrated during the fair with calls going between eight sets at the fair and three at Disneyland.
-- Story from Associated Press, April 21 (story: @)
-- Photos from AT&T Archives and History Center

* "Video Telephony: An idea whose time may have finally come" (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, 2014): @
* "Bell Labs PicturePhone" (MuseumLeap, 2014): @
* "A Brief History of the Videophone That Almost Was" (Paleofuture, 2013): @
* "Picturephone Dials Up First Transcontinental Video Call" (Wired, 2012): @
* "These Videophone Concepts Are Cooler Than Your iPhone's Facetime" (io9, 2013): @
* "Western Electric Products -- Picturephone" (Porticus Centre, Beatrice Co.): @
* "Now ... see and be seen by PICTUREPHONE!" (1964 advertisement): @
* "seeing by telephone ... the PICTUREPHONE story" (Bell System brochure, June 1964): @
* "Lady Bird Johnson Using Picturephone Service" (National Archives photo; June 24, 1964): @
* "Amazing New Picturephone" (Popular Science, June 1968): @
* Record magazine, Bell Laboratories, May/June 1969: @
* "Talking of Tomorrow" (video, AT&T Tech Channel, 1962): @
* "A Ballad for the Fair" (video, AT&T Tech Channel, 1964): @
* "Debut of the Picturephone" (video, AT&T Tech Channel, 1970): @ 


Friday, April 17, 1964: Ford Mustang

The gleaming red hood stretching back to the distant windshield is the business end of a new U.S.-built sports car. But unlike most other sports cars, this one -- a Ford subspecies called the Mustang, which goes on sale this week -- is not offered as a rich man's toy. The manufacturers produced it on the theory that a lot of people who would like to own a sports car hold back because of the generally prohibitive cost of most models. In its basic model with stick shift and standard 6-cylinder engine -- but without frills -- the Mustang is made to sell for $2,368 (F.O.B. Detroit), which puts it in the price range of sporty compacts. There are, of course, lots of optional doo-dads that can run up the price. With the addition of a hotter engine and other equipment, the Mustang can be turned into a racer. An an electrical device can be installed to allow the optional girl, who fits naturally into a sports car, to put the top down with a languid finger.
-- From "Sports Car for the Masses" (Life magazine, April 17; story: @)
-- Photo of Mustang on display at New York World's Fair; from FordOnline

* "Today in History: 1964 Ford Mustang Debuts" (from Fordautostore.com): @
* "Ford Mustang Introduced by Lee Iacocca at the 1964 World's Fair" (from FordOnline): @
* Text of Iacocca's speech (April 13): @
* Commercial (shown before debut): @
* Press kit: @
* "Ford Galloping Out a Mustang" (Miami News, April 13): @
* "New Mustang Looks Like Lot Of Car" (Pittsburgh Press, April 13): @
* "The Mustang" (Ford video on early stages of car's development): @
* Videos of first Mustang sold (April 15): @ and @
* Mustang YouTube channel: @
* "1964 1/2 Ford Mustang" (Car and Driver magazine, May 1964): @
* Happy 50th, Ford Mustang!" (Hot Rod magazine, 2014): @
* "The Ford Mustang Wasn't The First Pony Car" (Automobile magazine, 2013): @
* Mustang: Fifty Years: Celebrating America's Only True Pony Car" (Donald Farr, 2013): @
* "Mustang 1964 1/2 -- 1973" (Mike Mueller, 2000): @ 


Friday, April 10, 1964: Polo Grounds

A massive steel ball crashed against the grandstand wall of the Polo Grounds Friday with a thud -- unlike the sharp crack of a bat on a ball. The thud started the demolishing of the old diamond home of such greats as John J. McGraw, Christy Mathewson, Carl Hubbell, Mel Ott and Willie Mays to make way for 30-story apartment buildings.
     -- "Historic Polo Grounds Comes Tumbling Down in New York" (Associated Press; full story: @)
     -- Top photo from www.ballparksofbaseball.com; bottom photo from ESPN

* "Wrecker's Ball Tolls Knell at Polo Grounds" (Associated Press): @
* History of ballpark (Society for American Baseball Research): @
* Entry from www.ballparks.com: @
* Entry from www.ballparksofbaseball.com: @
* Entry from www.andrewclem.com: @
* "Classic Shots of the Polo Grounds" (Sports Illustrated): @
* "Polo Grounds, and Its Former Tenants, Emerge From the Shadows" (New York Times, January 2011): @
* "Land of the Giants: New York's Polo Grounds" (Stew Thornley, 2000): @ 


Saturday, April 4, 1964: Beatles on Billboard charts

The band holds the top five positions on Billboard magazine's Hot 100 singles chart for the week ending April 4. Altogether, 12 Beatles songs are in the Hot 100. (The following week, 14 songs would make the list.)
* April 4 Hot 100: @
* April 11 Hot 100: @
* Entry from www.mybeatles.net: @
* Entry from The Beatles Bible: @
* "Chart Crawls With Beatles" (Billboard, April 4; note that the article says, "In Canada, the Beatles hold the first nine chart positions."): @ 


Friday, April 3, 1964: Holograms

Emmett Leith and Juris Upatneiks published several papers on holography (a technique for making three-dimensional, viewable images) between 1961 and 1964. However, it wasn't until they showed a toy-train hologram to hundreds of attendees waiting in line at the April 1964 Optical Society of America meeting that the scientific community got excited over holography's potential.
-- From Center for Innovation Management Studies, North Carolina State University (link: @)
-- Image from MIT Museum (more images: @)

* "Wavefront Reconstruction with Diffused Illumination and Three-Dimensional Objects" (Leith and Upatneiks, Journal of the Optical Society of America, November 1964): @

* "How Holography Took a Giant Step Forward at the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan" (reprint from holophile.com): @

* Oral history with Leith (from American Institute of Physics): @
* Leith obituary (New York Times, 2006): @
* Hologram entry from "The Grove Encyclopedia of Materials and Techniques in Art" (2008): @
* "Holographic Visions: A History of New Science" (Sean Johnston, 2006): @ 


April 1964: MAD magazine Fold-In

Created by cartoonist Al Jaffee, the first Fold-In -- about the scandalous romance between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton -- appears in MAD magazine.

Note: Special thanks to Doug Gilford (madcoversite.com) for providing these images.

* Fold-In number 2 (June 1964): @
* Fold-In number 3 (July 1964): @
* "Fold-Ins, Past and Present" (New York Times, October 2010): @
* "The MAD Fold-In Collection: 1964-2010": @
* "Al Jaffee's Iconic Mad Fold-Ins" (Brain Pickings, August 2011): @
* "Al Jaffee's MAD Life" (Mary-Lou Weisman and Jaffee, 2010): @
* "Interview: Al Jaffee" (Boston Phoenix, November 2010): @
* "Cartoonist Al Jaffee Reveals the One Fold-In MAD magazine wouldn't run" (Yahoo/ABC): @ 


Wednesday, April 1, 1964: Plymouth Barracuda

Previewed for the press on April 1, the Plymouth Barracuda makes its public debut on April 4 at the International Auto Show in New York. Though touted as a rival to the Ford Mustang (which would be introduced two weeks later), Barracuda sales in 1964 were less than one-tenth that of the Mustang.
* "New Model Cars Pop Out Like Buds of Spring" (Associated Press, April 2, 1964): @
* "Family Car Taking on Sporty Look" (New York Herald Tribune, April 4): @
* Advertisement (Life magazine, May 15): @
* Brochure (from The Old Car Manual Project): @
* Entry from "The Complete Book of Dodge and Plymouth Muscle" (Mike Mueller, 2009): @
* "Happy 50th Birthday, Plymouth Barracuda" (from Hemmings Daily): @
* Entries from allpar.com: @ and @
* "Fish Story: The Plymouth Barracuda" (from Ate Up With Motor): @ 

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