United States and American History: Early 1964

About the history of the United States in early 1964, the Beatles and their albums, Bob Dylan is popular, Panama has problems, an amendment for fair elections, Vietnam woes, Supreme Court rules for one-man, one-vote.


--An English rock group, The Beatles, became so popular that the media coined the term "Beatlemania." In 2 U.S. tours during the spring, the Beatles made $1 million and their screaming teen-age fans often had to be restrained by police. They had 8 gold records for the year. In their 9 years together The Beatles recorded the following albums:

The Beatles: The Early Years 1962

(reissue of the Hamburg tracks)

Please Please Me 1963

With the Beatles 1963

A Hard Day's Night 1963

Beatles for Sale 1964

Help! 1965

Rubber Soul 1965

Revolver 1966

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts 1967

Club Band

Magical Mystery Tour 1967

(plus: Hello Good-bye; Strawberry Fields Forever; Penny Lane; Baby, You're a Rich Man Now; All You Need Is Love)

The Beatles (The Double White Album) 1968

Abbey Road 1969

Let It Be 1970

--American folk singer Bob Dylan also sky-rocketed in popularity in '64 with songs protesting the conditions and hypocrisy of American society.

Jan. 9-12 Nineteen Panamanians and 4 U.S. soldiers died in fighting which started when Panamanian students protested U.S. students' raising the U.S. flag alone over their school. On January 10, Panama broke relations with the U.S., accusing the U.S. of "an unprovoked attack" on its citizens and demanding a complete revision of the 1903 treaty ceding the Canal and Canal Zone to the U.S. On April 4, Panama resumed relations on U.S. terms.

Jan. 16 Ex-hog-cutter Antonio De Angelis, accused of perpetrating the greatest swindle in history, was arrested and held on bail of $46,500,000, also a record. De Angelis was convicted of making a profit of $175 million by substituting sea water for salad oil.

Jan. 23 Ratification of the 24th Amendment to the Constitution barring a poll tax in Federal elections. Five Southern States still had a poll tax, and 2, Texas and Virginia, passed laws for "dual elections" retaining the poll tax on the State and local levels.

Jan. 27 U.S. Defense Secretary McNamara remarked:

The survival of an independent government in South Vietnam is so important to the security of all Southeast Asia and to the free world that I can conceive of no alternative other than to take all necessary measures within our capability to prevent a Communist victory.

Feb. 3 Over 464,000 students were absent from New York City schools in a one-day protest to de facto segregation. The boycott was repeated on March 16. On June 15, New York came out with a desegregation plan acceptable to black groups. Similar boycotts were held in Chicago, Boston, Cincinnati, and Cleveland.

Feb. 7 In a nationwide Gallup Poll, 63% said they prayed frequently, 6% not at all, and 48% said they attended church regularly, 20% not at all.

Feb. 17 The Supreme Court ruled that U.S. congressional district apportionment had to follow the "one-man, one-vote" principle as nearly as possible. Thirty-seven States had over 100,000 vote differences in districts, and these variations had often been manipulated to under-represent minority groups and city-dwellers in general. On June 15, the Supreme Court also ruled that both houses of State legislatures had to be apportioned by population.

Mar. Sen. Ernest Gruening (Dem.-Alaska) registered the 1st congressional opposition to the Vietnam War, calling it a "wanton and bloody stalemate." Sen. Wayne Morse (Dem.-Oreg.) concurred.

Mar. 27 One of the worst earthquakes in modern history (8.4 on the Richter scale) struck Alaska, leveling downtown Anchorage and leaving 117 dead plus $750 million damage.

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