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1964 Fun Facts and Trivia

Gregory DeVictor is a trivia enthusiast who loves to write articles on American nostalgia.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1964.

This article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1964.

A Look Back at 1964

What are some fun facts, trivia, and history events from the year 1964?

  1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 1964 was “a year of strong expansion in the American economy. It was an unusual year, not simply because it marked the establishment of numerous records—in production and sales, in employee compensation and profits, in employment and living standards—but also because it was the fourth successive year of upturn.”
  2. U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry warned Americans that cigarette smoking caused both lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Later in the year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced “that it would require cigarette packages to carry a warning that cigarette smoking is dangerous to health.” (In 1960, about 60% of Americans smoked cigarettes.)
  3. President Johnson signed the Tax Reduction Act of 1964 into law. The bill lowered the top marginal tax rate from 91% to 70%, and also reduced the corporate tax rate from 52% to 48%.
  4. On January 24, the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by the states. The amendment prohibited both federal and state governments from imposing poll taxes on citizens before they could vote in a federal election.
  5. President Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
  6. The Warren Commission determined that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
  7. The 1964-65 New York World’s Fair took place on “650 acres of pavilions, public spaces, and displays from exhibitors around the world. Countries, cities, corporations, and private groups set up shop to display their ideas and accomplishments to more than 50 million visitors.”
  8. In the 1964 presidential election, President Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater—the Republican nominee.
  9. The first Ford Mustang came off the assembly line.
  10. G.I. Joe—a 12” military-themed action figure—was created by Hasbro, a Rhode Island-based toy company. According to ToyHallofFame.org, “By late 2004, Hasbro had sold more than 400 million G.I. Joe figures in the 40 years since the toy's debut. Because of his popularity, G.I. Joe has been both a battle-scarred soldier of America's culture wars and an influential toy prototype.”
  11. San Francisco’s cable cars were declared a national monument.
  12. A gallon of nonfat milk cost 95 cents, bananas were 15 cents a pound, and sugar was 59 cents for a five-pound bag. The sticker price for a new Ford Mustang was $2,368, and you could also buy a new Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III for $16,655.
  13. In 1964, 8-track tapes, AMC straight-6 engines, AstroTurf, Diet Pepsi, Lucky Charms, Nutella, Pop-Tarts, and Sharpie markers all appeared in the marketplace for the first time.
  14. At the 36th Academy Awards, Tom Jones won four Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director (Tony Richardson).
  15. The musicals Hello Dolly! (1-16-64), Funny Girl (3-26-64), and Fiddler on the Roof (9-22-64) all opened on Broadway.
  16. CBS purchased the 1964 and 1965 NFL TV rights for $28.2 million, and NBC purchased the 1965-69 AFL TV rights for $36 million.
  17. The soaps Another World (NBC) and As the World Turns (CBS) both premiered on daytime television, and the final episodes of the Danny Thomas Show and the New Phil Silvers Show were broadcast on CBS.
  18. Two days after arriving in the U.S., the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show to a television audience of about 73 million people. They played three songs—All My Loving, Till There Was You, and She Loves You—before taking a break for Ed Sullivan’s other guests, which included character actor Frank Gorshin and Welsh entertainer Tessie O'Shea.
  19. The first 12-ounce aluminum can was introduced by Royal Crown Cola.
  20. William Kerek from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio won the 37th Scripps National Spelling Bee with the word “sycophant.”

Here are the five most popular TV shows from 1964-65:

  1. Bonanza (NBC)
  2. Bewitched (ABC)
  3. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (CBS)
  4. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
  5. The Fugitive (ABC)

Here are ten food and beverage trends for the year:

  1. Beef Stroganoff
  2. Chicken pot pie
  3. Frozen dinners
  4. Gelatin molds
  5. Meatloaf
  6. Pineapple upside down cake
  7. Royal Crown Cola
  8. Swedish meatballs
  9. Vernon’s ginger ale
  10. Waldorf salad

Whether you’re a millennial, a 50-something, or a baby boomer, this article teaches you fun facts, trivia, and history from the year 1964. Find out about popular TV shows, movies, music, famous authors and novels, cool sports facts, and other interesting pop culture trends to get the right mix of questions and answers for your 1960s-themed trivia quiz.

Table of Contents

For easier reading, I have divided this article into the following categories:

  1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1964
  2. What Was the U.S. Economy Like in 1964?
  3. History Facts From the USA and World
  4. Sports Trivia
  5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends
  6. Nobel Prize Winners
  7. Best-Selling Books
  8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1964-65
  9. Favorite Radio Shows
  10. Highest-Grossing Films
  11. Horror Movies From 1964
  12. Biggest Pop Music Artists
  13. Top 40 Songs for the Year
  14. Food and Beverage Trivia
  15. Famous Birthdays
  16. Weddings and Divorces
  17. Well-Known People Who Died
  18. America’s Largest Corporations
  19. Companies and Brands Established During 1964
In 1964, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

In 1964, General Motors was America’s largest corporation.

1. Grocery Prices in the Year 1964

These grocery facts have been made available courtesy of the Morris County Public Library in Whippany, NJ.

  1. Bananas: 15 cents a pound
  2. Beef (ground chuck): 59 cents a pound
  3. Bread: 33 cents for a 32-ounce loaf
  4. Cake mix (Betty Crocker): 35 cents for a 19-ounce box
  5. Cereal (Kellogg’s corn flakes): Three eight-ounce boxes for $1.00
  6. Cheese (American slices): 51 cents for a 12-ounce package
  7. Cookies (Nabisco Fig Newtons): 31 cents for a 16-ounce package
  8. Duck: 39 cents a pound
  9. Fish (sole, fresh): 89 cents a pound
  10. Ham (Armour): $3.99 for a five-pound can
  11. Ice cream (Holland Dutch Treat): 59 cents for a half gallon
  12. Jell-O: 88 cents for 10 three-ounce packages
  13. Juice (orange, concentrate): 99 cents for five six-ounce cans
  14. Juice (Libby’s, tomato): 39 cents for four 18-ounce cans
  15. Lettuce (Iceberg): 19 cents for two large heads
  16. Margarine (Fleischmann’s): 42 cents for a one-pound package
  17. Mayonnaise (Hellmann’s): 59 cents for a one-quart jar
  18. Milk: (nonfat) 95 cents a gallon
  19. Milk (White House, evaporated): 79 cents for six 13-ounce cans
  20. Onions (Texas): Three pounds for 25 cents
  21. Oranges (Florida): 49 cents for a four-pound bag
  22. Peanut butter: 99 cents for a three-pound jar
  23. Pineapples (fresh whole): 39 cents each
  24. Potatoes (Maine): 45 cents for a five-pound bag
  25. Soda (Foodtown, assorted flavors): Seven cents a can
  26. Strawberries: 33 cents for a pint
  27. Sugar: 59 cents for a five-pound bag
  28. Chicken (fryers): 25 cents a pound
  29. Tea: 84 cents for a 100-count package
  30. Tuna (Chicken of the Sea, chunk white): Three 6.5-ounce cans for $1.00
In 1964, the film My Fair Lady won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (George Cukot).

In 1964, the film My Fair Lady won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (George Cukot).

2. What Was the U.S. Economy Like in 1964?

  1. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 1964 was "a year of strong expansion in the American economy. It was an unusual year, not simply because it marked the establishment of numerous records—in production and sales, in employee compensation and profits, in employment and living standards—but also because it was the fourth successive year of upturn.”
  2. Did the 1964 Federal income tax cut play a role in the “strong expansion” of the American economy? The BLS remarks that “Although many factors contributed to the 1964 advance, the exceptional strength of the expansion was attributable in large measure to the cut in Federal income taxes early in the year—the first major reduction in rates in a decade and the largest ever, gaged by the absolute size of the reduction.”
  3. Unemployment was 5.0% in December. The New York Times reports that before the decline in joblessness began in February, the U.S. unemployment rate averaged 5½% - 6% for more than two years. The Johnson administration as well as most economists agreed that a 5% unemployment rate was too high, and that a 4% jobless rate was the highest that could be considered tolerable.
  4. The jobless rate was 6.6% in 1960, 6.0% in 1961, and 5.5% for both 1962 and 1963. In 1965, unemployment fell to a more acceptable 4.0%.
  5. Inflation was 1.31%. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, “Purchasing power decreased by 1.31% in 1964 compared to 1963. On average, you would have to spend 1.31% more money in 1964 than in 1963 for the same item. In other words, $1 in 1963 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $1.01 in 1964.”
  6. Atlanta (1.60%) experienced the highest rate of inflation between 1963 and 1964. Other metropolitan areas with high inflation rates during the same period were Philadelphia (1.57%), New York (1.56%), San Francisco (1.54%), and Houston (1.54).
  7. Conversely, Chicago (0.40%) had the lowest rate of inflation between 1963 and 1964. Other cities with low inflation rates at the same time were Detroit (0.83%), Boston (1.35%), and Seattle (1.44%).
  8. Between 1963 and 1964, the cost of medical care (+2.11%), transportation (+1.49%), and apparel (+0.85%) increased the most. Conversely, there were no significant changes in the cost of food and beverages, housing, recreation, education, and communication.
  9. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Retail prices of food, both at home and away from home, rose in all of the 21 large metropolitan areas for which data are available separately between December 1963 and December 1968. The largest increases were recorded for Washington (20.2 percent), Kansas City (18.1 percent), and St. Louis (17.9 percent). The BLS adds that “Over the 5 years from December 1963 to December 1968, price increases for all food [at home and away from home] were smallest in the West Coast cities of Los Angeles (10.7 percent), Seattle (11.7 percent), and San Francisco (12.3 percent). Prices in New York also rose noticeably less than the U.S. average of 15 percent.”
  10. Median household income in the U.S. was $4,576.32, up from $4,076.86 in 1961.
  11. In 1982, a gallon of nonfat milk cost 95 cents, sugar was 59 cents for a five-pound bag, and 100 tea bags were 84 cents.
  12. The average cost of a new home was $20,500, and Americans paid an average of $2,250 for a new car.
  13. The average monthly rent was $115.00.
  14. The price for a gallon of regular gas averaged 30 cents.
  15. A first-class stamp cost five cents.
  16. The federal minimum wage was $1.25.
  17. The prime rate held steady at 4.5% for the year.
  18. On the last day of trading for the year, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 834.09.
  19. The price of gold averaged $35.35 per ounce.
  20. In 1964, the sticker price for a new Ford Mustang was $2,368. On the other hand, you could buy a new Rolls Royce Silver Cloud III for $16,655.
  21. A telephone call from a pay phone cost 10 cents.
  22. The price for a 26″ color TV averaged $379.
  23. The list price for Beatles’ albums was $5.98.
  24. Around 60% of the U.S. population smoked, and Americans paid on average of $1.60 for a pack of cigarettes.
  25. In 1964, New York’s subway fare was fifteen cents, tuition at Columbia was $1,700, and a two bedroom apartment in lower Manhattan rented for about $250 a month.
  26. A movie ticket cost $1.00.
  27. Look magazine was 25 cents an issue, and you could buy a one-year subscription to Life magazine (51 issues) for $5.00.
  28. A General Electric clothes dryer cost $99.95.
  29. The average price for a pair of Thom McAn shoes was $9.95.
  30. In 1964, you would have paid $1.96 for 400 Squib aspirin tablets.
In 1964, Pop-Tarts appeared on grocery store shelves for the first time.

In 1964, Pop-Tarts appeared on grocery store shelves for the first time.

3. History Facts From the USA and World

  1. In 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson was president of the United States.
  2. In his first State of the Union address on January 8, President Johnson asked Congress to declare an “unconditional war on poverty,” and to aim “not only to relieve the symptom[s] of poverty, but to cure it.” NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov reports that “Over the next five years, Congress passed legislation that transformed American schools, launched Medicare and Medicaid, and expanded housing subsidies, urban development programs, employment and training programs, food stamps, and Social Security and welfare benefits.”
  3. On January 11, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry warned Americans that cigarette smoking caused both lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. Later in the year, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced “that it would require cigarette packages to carry a warning that cigarette smoking is dangerous to health.” (In 1960, about 60% of Americans smoked cigarettes.)
  4. On January 14, Jacqueline Kennedy made her first public appearance since President Kennedy’s assassination.
  5. On January 24, the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified by the states. The amendment prohibited both federal and state governments from imposing poll taxes on citizens before they could vote in a federal election.
  6. On February 2, G.I. Joe—a 12” military-themed action figure—was created by Hasbro, a Rhode Island-based toy company. According to ToyHallofFame.org, “By late 2004, Hasbro had sold more than 400 million G.I. Joe figures in the 40 years since the toy's debut. Because of his popularity, G.I. Joe has been both a battle-scarred soldier of America's culture wars and an influential toy prototype.”
  7. On February 26, President Johnson signed the Revenue Act of 1964 into law. TaxFoundation.org explains that “The bill dropped the top marginal tax rate from 91% to 70% (and also reduced the corporate tax rate from 52% to 48%). In the wake of this reduction on high-earner households, federal revenue actually increased, rising from $94 billion in 1961 to $153 billion in 1968, an increase of 33 percent in real terms.”
  8. On March 9, the first Ford Mustang came off the assembly line.
  9. On March 14, Jack Ruby was sentenced to death for the murder of Lee Harvey Oswald. (On November 22, 1963, Oswald assassinated U.S. President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.)
  10. On March 24, the Kennedy half dollar was released.
  11. On March 27, the Great Alaska Earthquake and resulting tsunami killed 139 people, and became the second-largest earthquake ever recorded.
  12. On April 1, Cleveland recorded the lowest April temperature ever—10°F.
  13. On April 22, the 1964-65 New York World’s Fair opened, bringing excitement to a city and nation still grieving for an assassinated president. TheAtlantic.com tells us that the fair consisted of “650 acres of pavilions, public spaces, and displays from exhibitors around the world. Countries, cities, corporations, and private groups set up shop to display their ideas and accomplishments to more than 50 million visitors. Corporate America was heavily-represented, with one of the most-remembered exhibits being General Motors' Futurama, displaying colorful and imaginative views of future society.”
  14. On May 22, President Johnson “laid out his agenda for a ‘Great Society’ during a speech at the University of Michigan.” The Great Society—the largest social reform plan in modern history—was “an ambitious series of policy initiatives, legislation, and programs with the main goals of ending poverty, reducing crime, abolishing inequality and improving the environment.”
  15. On May 25, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 that closing public schools to avoid desegregation and “using public funds to support private segregated schools” was unconstitutional.
  16. On June 4, the Maldives—an island country in the north-central Indian Ocean that consists of a chain of about 1,200 small coral islands—adopted a constitution.
  17. On June 19, the Senate passed the Civil Rights of 1964 by a vote of 73 to 27. History.com tells us that the legislation, “which ended segregation in public places and banned employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, is considered one of the crowning legislative achievements of the civil rights movement.”
  18. On June 24, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that health warnings must appear on all cigarette packs. Under the terms of the FTC's Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act, effective January 1, 1966, “all cigarette packages and cartons sold in the United States and its possessions must bear the following statement: ‘Caution: Cigarette Smoking May Be Hazardous to Your Health.’” (The bill applied to imported as well as domestically produced cigarettes.)
  19. On July 2, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.
  20. On July 16, the Republican National Convention nominated Barry Goldwater for president of the United States. Goldwater was a five-term U.S. senator from Arizona, and is “the politician most often credited with having sparked the resurgence of the American conservative political movement in the 1960s.”
  21. NASA tells us that “Ranger 7 was a major turning point in the race to the Moon. The seventh in a series of early U.S. lunar impact missions, it was the first success after 13 failures in a row.” On July 31, Ranger 7 “sent back 4,316 stunning images before crashing into the Moon on the northern rim of the Sea of Clouds. The images helped [to] identify safe Moon landing sites for Apollo astronauts.”
  22. On August 5, the U.S. began bombing North Vietnam.
  23. On August 20, President Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act (EOA) into law. The EOA established “a variety of social programs aimed at facilitating education, health, employment, and general welfare for impoverished Americans.”
  24. On September 3, President Johnson signed the Wilderness Act into law. NPS.gov points out that the legislation “established the National Wilderness Preservation System and instructed federal land management agencies, including the National Park Service (NPS), to manage wilderness areas and preserve wilderness character.”
  25. On September 4, NASA launched the Orbiting Geophysical Observatory (OGO) that was designed to study the Earth's magnetosphere.
  26. On September 12, in the first football game at Shea Stadium, the Jets defeated Denver 30-6.
  27. On September 16, the last edition of the Daily Herald—a British socialist newspaper—was published.
  28. On September 27, the Warren Commission revealed that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
  29. On October 1, San Francisco’s cable cars were declared a national monument.
  30. On October 16, in the UK’s general election, the Conservatives narrowly lost to the Labour Party.
  31. On November 3, incumbent Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee. Johnson won 61.1% of the popular vote, which was “the largest share of the popular vote of any candidate since the largely uncontested 1820 election.”
  32. On November 3, residents of Washington, DC were permitted to vote for the first time since 1800.
  33. On November 21, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Staten Island, opened to traffic.
  34. On December 10, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
  35. On December 10, Dorothy Hodgkin became the first British woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Hodgkin is known for her work with penicillin and vitamin B12.
In 1964, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series.

In 1964, the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series.

4. Sports Trivia

Generally suitable for all age groups, sports questions are a welcome addition to any trivia quiz.

  1. AFL Champions: Buffalo Bills
  2. Indianapolis 500: A. J. Foyt
  3. Kentucky Derby: Northern Dancer
  4. NBA Champions: Boston Celtics
  5. NCAA Basketball Champions: UCLA
  6. NCAA Football Champs: Alabama, Arkansas, and Notre Dame
  7. NFL Champions: Cleveland Browns
  8. Orange Bowl: Nebraska over Auburn
  9. Rose Bowl: Illinois over Washington
  10. Stanley Cup Champs: Toronto Maple Leafs
  11. Sugar Bowl: Alabama over Ole Miss
  12. Tour de France: Jacques Anquetil
  13. U.S. Open Golf: Ken Venturi
  14. U.S. Open Tennis (men/women): Roy Emerson/Maria Bueno
  15. Wimbledon (men/women): Roy Emerson/Maria Bueno
  16. World Series Champions: St. Louis Cardinals
On February 9, 1964, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.

On February 9, 1964, the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.

5. Miscellaneous Fun Facts, Trivia, and Pop Culture Trends

PBS.org explains that pop culture is that loose blend of books, music, fashion and other daily ephemera that contributes to the identity of a society at a particular point in time. In the 1960s, radio, film, television, and books defined the essence of American pop culture.

  1. In 1964, popular baby names were Michael, John, David, James, Lisa, Mary, Susan, and Karen.
  2. The average life expectancy at birth in the U.S. was 70.17 years.
  3. The most popular holiday gifts were G.I. Joe, the Easy Bake Oven, collectible hot rod figures, the Milton Bradley Password game, Monster Magnet, the Mighty Tonka Dump Truck, and Mr. Potato Head.
  4. Fashion trends in 1964 included button-down shirts, turtlenecks, chunky knit sweaters, mini skirts, jax pants, stirrup pants, bell bottoms, pantsuits, low heels, boots and shoes made of vinyl, stockings or tall socks in all colors, pop art jewelry, and short bobbed hair or long straight hair.
  5. Fashion icons for the year were Julie Andrews, Brigitte Bardot, Doris Day, Patty Duke, Annette Funicello, Audrey Hepburn, Sophia Loren, Jayne Mansfield, Mary Tyler Moore, Julie Newmar, Kim Novak, Donna Reed, and Elizabeth Taylor.
  6. Donna Axum (Arkansas) won the Miss America crown.
  7. Bobbi Johnson (District of Columbia) became Miss USA.
  8. Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” was Lyndon Johnson.
  9. At the 36th Academy Awards, which honored the best films of 1963, Tom Jones won an Oscar for Best Picture, Tony Richardson (Tom Jones) won an Oscar for Best Director, Sidney Poitier (Lilies of the Field) won an Oscar for Best Actor, and Patricia Neal (Hud) won an Oscar for Best Actress.
  10. At the 16th Primetime Emmy Awards, The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series, and The Defenders (CBS) won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series. Likewise, Dick Van Dyke (The Dick Van Dyke Show) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, and Mary Tyler Moore (The Dick Van Dyke Show) won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
  11. Cars introduced in 1964 included the Ford Mustang, Chevrolet Malibu, Chevrolet van, Dodge A100, Fiat 850, Ford Thunderbird (fourth generation), Honda S600, Mercury Cyclone, Mitsubishi Debonair, Nissan Silvia, Plymouth Barracuda, Pontiac GTO, and Sunbeam Tiger.
  12. Other consumer products launched in 1964 were 8-track tapes, action figures, AMC straight-6 engines, Aramis (fragrance), AstroTurf, Brut (cologne), Diet Pepsi, Lucky Charms (cereal), Nutella, Pop-Tarts, Sharpie markers, and Teem (soft drink).
  13. The first 12-ounce aluminum can was introduced by Royal Crown Cola. (Coca-Cola didn’t start using aluminum cans until three years later.)
  14. St. Paul, Minnesota got its first McDonald’s restaurant. Hamburgers were 15 cents apiece.
  15. The plastic milk container was introduced for commercial use.
  16. Canada adopted the maple leaf as the official symbol for its national flag.
  17. Louis Lasagna, Dean of the School of Medicine at Tufts University, wrote the modern version of the Hippocratic Oath.
  18. On January 10, Vee-Jay Records released Introducing the Beatles.
  19. On January 18, I Want to Hold Your Hand became the first Beatles song to reach Billboard’s Hot 100.
  20. On February 7, the Beatles arrived at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.
  21. On February 9, the Fab Four appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show to a television audience of about 73 million people. They played three songs—All My Loving, Till There Was You, and She Loves You—before taking a break for Ed Sullivan’s other guests, which included character actor Frank Gorshin and Welsh entertainer Tessie O'Shea.
  22. On February 11, the Beatles gave a concert in Washington, DC at the Washington Coliseum.
  23. On February 16, the Beatles appeared again on the Ed Sullivan Show. They played six songs—She Loves You, This Boy, All My Loving, I Saw Her Standing There, From Me to You, and I Want to Hold Your Hand—for a television audience of about 70 million people who watched from 22,445,000 homes.
  24. On March 2, A Hard Day's Night began filming in London.
  25. On April 4, they held the Top Five positions on Billboard’s Hot 100, and seven other songs were also on the chart.
  26. On July 5, A Hard Day’s Night premiered in London. Four days later, an album with the same name was released.
  27. On January 24, CBS purchased the 1964 and 1965 NFL TV rights for $28.2 million.
  28. On January 29, NBC purchased the 1965-69 AFL TV rights for $36 million.
  29. On May 4, the soaps Another World (NBC) and As the World Turns (CBS) both premiered on daytime television.
  30. On June 27, the final episode of the New Phil Silvers Show aired on CBS.
  31. On September 14, the last episode of the Danny Thomas Show was broadcast on CBS. The show originally aired on ABC from 1953-57 until it moved to CBS from 1957-64.
  32. On September 14, the adventure series Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea premiered on ABC.
  33. On September 17, the sitcom Bewitched debuted on ABC.
  34. On September 18, the sitcom The Addams Family premiered on ABC.
  35. On September 19, the adventure series Flipper debuted on NBC.
  36. On September 22, the spy series The Man From U.N.C.L.E. premiered on NBC.
  37. On September 24, the sitcom The Munsters debuted on CBS.
  38. On September 25, the sitcom Gomer Pyle premiered on CBS.
  39. On September 26, the sitcom Gilligan’s Island debuted on CBS.
  40. On October 26, the Rolling Stones appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show.
In 1964, G.I. Joe was the most popular holiday gift.

In 1964, G.I. Joe was the most popular holiday gift.

6. Nobel Prize Winners

Beth Rowen tells us that winning a Nobel Prize is a life-changing honor. Whether the laureate is an internationally known figure (such as Mother Teresa) or a scientist from obscurity (like Richard R. Ernst), the award brings worldwide recognition that highlights one's life work and provides the funds to continue the mission.

This Nobel Prize information from 1964 has been made available courtesy of NobelPrize.com.

  • Chemistry: Dorothy Hodgkin
  • Literature: Jean-Paul Sartre
  • Peace: Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Physics: Charles H. Townes, Nikolay Basov, and Alexander Prokhorov
  • Physiology or medicine: Feodor Lynen and Konrad Emil Bloch

7. Best-Selling Books

This book trivia has been made available courtesy of PublishersWeekly.com.

  1. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré
  2. Candy by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg
  3. Herzog by Saul Bellow
  4. Armageddon by Leon Uris
  5. The Man by Irving Wallace
  6. The Rector of Justin by Louis Auchincloss
  7. The Martyred by Richard E. Kim
  8. You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming
  9. This Rough Magic by Mary Stewart
  10. Convention by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II

8. Most Popular Television Shows From 1964-65

This TV trivia has been made available courtesy of Nielsen TV Research.

  1. Bonanza (NBC)
  2. Bewitched (ABC)
  3. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (CBS)
  4. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
  5. The Fugitive (ABC)
  6. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
  7. The Dick Van Dyke Show (CBS)
  8. The Lucy Show (CBS)
  9. Peyton Place II (ABC)
  10. Combat! (ABC)

9. Favorite Radio Shows

Britannica.com tells us that “The decades between 1960 and 1980 witnessed the slow development of competition between established public-service broadcasters as well as the growing popular appeal of advertiser-supported music formats on pirate stations or developing local outlets.” In addition, FM radio expanded in many nations, and became the “fastest-growing segment of the broadcast business in the United States.”

Here are some of the most popular radio programs from 1964:

  1. Don McNeill’s Breakfast Club
  2. Ma Perkins
  3. Major League Baseball on NBC Radio
  4. Midwestern Hayride
  5. Milkman’s Matinee
  6. Monitor
  7. Moon River
  8. Pop Chronicles
  9. Ranger Bill
  10. Suspense (radio drama)
  11. The Bing Crosby - Rosemary Clooney Show
  12. The Black Mass (horror-fantasy radio drama)
  13. The Credibility Gap
  14. The Eternal Light
  15. The Romance of Helen Trent
  16. The Standard School Broadcast
  17. Theatre-Five
  18. Unshackled!
  19. Young Doctor Malone
  20. Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar
In 1964, Bonanza was the most popular television show.

In 1964, Bonanza was the most popular television show.

10. Highest-Grossing Films

This movie trivia has been made available courtesy of The-Numbers.com.

  1. From Russia With Love
  2. Goldfinger
  3. A Hard Day’s Night
  4. Mary Poppins
  5. The Fall of the Roman Empire
  6. Roustabout
  7. Zorba the Greek
  8. Father Goose
  9. Fail Safe
  10. The Night Walker
  11. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
  12. The Pink Panther

11. Horror Movies From 1964

Horror films for the year included 2000 Maniacs, The Black Torment, Blood and Black Lace, Castle of Blood, Castle of the Living Dead, Cave of the Living Dead, The Creeping Terror, The Curse of the Living Corpse, Devil Doll, The Evil of Frankenstein, The Gorgon, The Horror of Party Beach, The Last Man on Earth, The Long Hair of Death, The Masque of the Red Death, Monstrosity, The Night Walker, Straight-Jacket, Terror in the Crypt, War of the Zombies, and Witchcraft.

12. Biggest Pop Music Artists

Popular music artists from the year 1964 include the Beach Boys, the Beatles, Bobby Vinton, Brenda Lee, the Dave Clark Five, Dionne Warwick, the Drifters, Elvis Presley, the Four Seasons, Gene Chandler, the Impressions, Jackie Wilson, Johnny Tillotson, Martha and the Vandellas, the Marvelettes, Marvin Gaye, Mary Wells, Ray Charles, the Ronettes, the Shangri-Las, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, and the Temptations.

In 1964, the first Ford Mustang came off the assembly line.

In 1964, the first Ford Mustang came off the assembly line.

13. Top 40 Songs for the Year

This music trivia from 1964 has been made available courtesy of MusicOutfitters.com.

1. I Want to Hold Your Hand: The Beatles

2. She Loves You: The Beatles

3. Hello, Dolly!: Louis Armstrong

4. Oh, Pretty Woman: Roy Orbison

5. I Get Around: The Beach Boys

6. Everybody Loves Somebody: Dean Martin

7. My Guy: Mary Wells

8. We'll Sing In the Sunshine: Gale Garnett

9. Last Kiss: J. Frank Wilson & The Cavaliers

10. Where Did Our Love Go: The Supremes

11. People: Barbra Streisand

12. Java: Al Hirt

13. A Hard Day's Night: The Beatles

14. Love Me Do: The Beatles

15. Do Wah Diddy Diddy: Manfred Mann

16. Please Please Me: The Beatles

17. Dancing In The Street: Martha and The Vandellas

18. Little Children: Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas

19. Love Me With All Your Heart: Ray Charles Singers

20. Under the Boardwalk: The Drifters

21. Chapel of Love: The Dixie Cups

22. Suspicion: Terry Stafford

23. Glad All Over: The Dave Clark Five

24. Rag Doll: The Four Seasons

25. Dawn (Go Away): The Four Seasons

26. Bread and Butter: The Newbeats

27. It Hurts to Be In Love: Gene Pitney

28. Dead Man's Curve: Jan and Dean

29. Come a Little Bit Closer: Jay & The Americans

30. A World Without Love: Peter and Gordon

31. Have I the Right: The Honeycombs

32. Don't Let the Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man): The Serendipity Singers

33. Baby Love: The Supremes

34. Let It Be Me: Betty Everett and Jerry Butler

35. Wishin' and Hopin': Dusty Springfield

36. You Don't Own Me: Lesley Gore

37. Walk On By: Dionne Warwick

38. House of the Rising Sun: The Animals

39. G.T.O.: Ronny and The Daytonas

40. Twist and Shout: The Beatles

In 1964, chicken pot pies were all the rage.

In 1964, chicken pot pies were all the rage.

14. Food and Beverage Trivia

GoodHousekeeping.com tells us that “Like fashion, food falls in and out of style. Back when kids of the '50s and '60s were growing up, family dinners meant these dishes were front and center at every family get-together, holiday meal, or cocktail party your parents threw. Many of these recipes evolved from the appeal of new ‘convenience’ foods ranging from canned soups to boxed cake mixes.”

Here are some foods and beverages that were popular in 1964:

  1. 7-Up (lemon and lime flavored soft drink)
  2. Alegre (mango and pineapple flavored soft drink)
  3. Ambrosia
  4. Apple cake
  5. Baked Alaska
  6. Beef Bourguignon
  7. Beef Burgundy
  8. Beef Stroganoff
  9. Beef Wellington
  10. Bubble-Up (lemon and lime flavored soft drink)
  11. Canned meat, such as SPAM
  12. Cheesecake cookies
  13. Chicken a la King
  14. Chicken croquettes
  15. Chicken Kiev
  16. Chicken pot pie
  17. Chiffon pie
  18. Chime by Coca-Cola (a Dr. Pepper clone)
  19. Clam dip
  20. Coca-Cola
  21. Crab rangoon
  22. Cream cheese pumpkin pie
  23. Evervess (club soda with a lemon twist)
  24. Fondue
  25. Frozen dinners
  26. Fruit cocktail cake
  27. Gelatin molds
  28. Grasshopper pie
  29. Hires root beer
  30. Lobster Newberg
  31. Meatloaf
  32. Mountain Dew (citrus flavored soft drink)
  33. Nehi (grape flavored soft drink)
  34. Orange Crush (orange flavored soft drink)
  35. Party mixes
  36. Pepsi-Cola
  37. Pineapple upside down cake
  38. Popcorn balls
  39. Royal Crown Cola (aka RC Cola)
  40. Rumaki (GoodHousekeeping.com describes rumaki as an “appetizer consisting of chicken liver and water chestnuts wrapped in bacon.”
  41. Scalloped potatoes
  42. Squirt (grapefruit flavored soft drink)
  43. Swedish meatballs
  44. Teem (lemon and lime flavored soft drink)
  45. Tuna noodle casserole
  46. Tunnel of fudge cake
  47. Veep (lemon flavored beverage)
  48. Vernon’s ginger ale
  49. Wacky cake (GoodHousekeeping explains that “Dating back to the late 1940s, this cake has been a part of cookbooks ever since, says Byrn’s American Cake. What makes it wacky? No eggs, butter, or milk are used, and everything’s dumped into the pan and mixed. The cake grew in popularity because the inexpensive ingredients were in any pantry in the '50s and '60s, so it was easy to whip it up for last-minute guests.”)
  50. Waldorf salad
In 1964, tunnel of fudge cake was a real crowd-pleaser.

In 1964, tunnel of fudge cake was a real crowd-pleaser.

15. Famous Birthdays

Here are some of the famous people who were born in 1964:

  1. Bobby Flay: Chef
  2. Courtney Cox: Actress
  3. Courtney Love: Actress, singer, and songwriter
  4. David Morrissey: Actor
  5. Dell Curry: Basketball player
  6. Hoda Kotb: TV show host
  7. James Purejoy: Actor
  8. Jeff Bezos: Businessman and founder of Amazon.com
  9. Kamala Harris: United States senator
  10. Marisa Tomei: Movie actress
  11. Mariska Hargitay: Actress
  12. Mark Sheppard: TV actor
  13. Mary-Louise Parker: Actress
  14. Matt Dillon: Movie actor
  15. Michelle Obama: Wife of former U.S. President Barack Obama
  16. Nicholas Cage: Actor
  17. Rick Riordan: Author
  18. Rob Lowe: Actor
  19. Sandra Bullock: Actress
  20. Sarah Palin: Politician
  21. Stephen Colbert: Actor and writer
  22. Steve Wilkos: TV show host
  23. Vivica Fox: TV actress
  24. Wanda Sykes: Comedian
  25. Wendy Williams: TV show host

16. Weddings and Divorces

Weddings of interest:

  1. On January 25, actor and comedian Bill Cosby married Camille Olivia Hanks.
  2. On January 25, MLB outfielder Pete Rose and Karolyn Englehardt were married.
  3. On February 19, actor Peter Sellers married actress Britt Ekland.
  4. On March 15, actress Elizabeth Taylor and actor Richard Burton were married.
  5. On May 5, Hall of Fame catcher Roy Campanella married long-time friend Roxie Joynes.
  6. On June 27, Broadway actress and singer Ethel Merman and Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine were married.
  7. On July 2, gospel singer Mahalia Jackson married Sigmond Galloway.
  8. On August 5, film director Mel Brooks and actress Anne Bancroft were married.
  9. On August 14, world heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali married Sonja Roi.
  10. On August 29, Dick Cheney, the 46th U.S. Vice President, married Lynne Ann Vincent.
  11. On September 19, author Peter Benchley and environmental conservation advocate Winifred B. Wesson were married.
  12. On October 14, Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts married Shirley Shepherd.
  13. On October 27, singers Sonny & Cher were married.
  14. On November 12, Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn married actor Neil Nephew.
  15. On November 14, MLB right fielder Roberto Clemente and Vera Zabala were married.
  16. On November 22, actress Rosemary Clooney married actor José Ferrer for the second time.
  17. On December 20, fashion designer Ralph Lauren and Ricky Anne Loew-Beer were married.

Divorces:

  1. On March 6, actress Elizabeth Taylor divorced entertainer Eddie Fisher.
  2. On July 28, Broadway actress and singer Ethel Merman divorced Academy Award-winning actor Ernest Borgnine after 32 days of marriage.

17. Well-Known People Who Died

  1. January 17: T. H. White (English novelist)
  2. February 9: Willie Bryant (American jazz singer, band leader, and disc jockey)
  3. February 18: Joseph-Armand Bombardier (Canadien inventor and industrialist)
  4. February 25: Grace Metalious (American writer)
  5. March 23: Peter Lorre (Hungarian-American actor who played in Casablanca)
  6. April 5: Douglas MacArthur (U.S. general during World War II)
  7. April 14: Rachel Carson (American marine biologist, conservationist, and the author of the book Silent Spring)
  8. April 18: Ben Hecht (American playwright who wrote Child of the Century)
  9. April 20: Eddie Dyer (American baseball player)
  10. May 30: Leo Szilard (Hungarian-German-American nuclear physicist)
  11. August 3: Flannery O'Connor (American author)
  12. August 12: Ian Fleming (English author)
  13. August 27: Gracie Allen (American actress)
  14. September 28: Harpo Marx (American actor and comedian)
  15. October 10: Eddie Cantor (American comedian)
  16. October 15: Cole Porter (American composer and lyricist)
  17. October 20: Herbert Hoover (31st president of the United States)
  18. December 31: Bobby Byrne (American baseball player)
In 1964, the Cleveland Browns were the NFL Champions.

In 1964, the Cleveland Browns were the NFL Champions.

18. America’s Largest Corporations

Money.CNN tells us that “Since 1955, when the first FORTUNE 500 was created, more than 1,800 companies have appeared on the list. Many of these companies have changed names over this period, owing to mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcies. Other companies have gone private, or simply changed their names.”

Here is the 1964 FORTUNE 500:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. Ford Motor
  4. General Electric
  5. Mobil
  6. U.S. Steel
  7. Chrysler
  8. Texaco
  9. Gulf Oil
  10. AT&T

Here is the 1955 FORTUNE 500, the year in which the list was created:

  1. General Motors
  2. Exxon Mobil
  3. U.S. Steel
  4. General Electric
  5. Esmark
  6. Chrysler
  7. Armour
  8. Gulf Oil
  9. Mobile
  10. DuPont

19. Companies and Brands Established During 1964

  1. Arlington House Publishers: An American book publisher of jazz discographies
  2. Bonneville International: A media and broadcasting company
  3. Bose Corporation: A manufacturer of audio equipment
  4. Circus World: A toy store chain that was later purchased by Rite Aid
  5. The Franklin Mint: A private mint
  6. General Microelectronics: A semiconductor company
  7. Intelsat Corporation: A communications satellite services provider
  8. Rizzoli Bookstore: A general-interest bookstore
  9. Russ’s Market: A grocery store chain
  10. Sally Beauty Holdings: A retail chain that sells beauty supplies
In 1964, Sally Beauty—“the world's largest retailer of salon-quality hair color, hair care, nails, salon, and beauty supplies”—was founded.

In 1964, Sally Beauty—“the world's largest retailer of salon-quality hair color, hair care, nails, salon, and beauty supplies”—was founded.

References:

In 1964, Pepsi-Cola introduced Diet Pepsi.

In 1964, Pepsi-Cola introduced Diet Pepsi.

© 2020 Gregory DeVictor

Comments

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 23, 2020:

Interesting facts and trivia. Many of these were familiar especially the books and movies. I enjoyed this article. Thank you.

Gregory DeVictor (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on September 12, 2020:

Liz, thank you for the comment. Yes, My Fair Lady won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. I also learned that three blockbuster musicals—Hello Dolly, Funny Girl, and Fiddler on the Roof—all opened on Broadway. And then there was G.I. Joe.

Liz Westwood from UK on September 12, 2020:

This is a significant year for me. Once again you have put together a fascinating fact file. I was surprised to see 2 James Bond films. The gaps between Janes Bond films have increased a lot since then.