Skip to main content

1964 - The Year At A Glance

May 2024
1min read

January 11 Surgeon General Luther L. Terry releases his report on cigarette smoking.

January 16 Hello, Dolly! opens at the St. James Theater in New York City.

January 23 The Twenty-fourth Amendment, abolishing the poll tax, becomes part of the U.S. Constitution.

February 7 The Beatles arrive at JFK Airport.

February 25 The world heavyweight championship fight between Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston takes place.

March 27 Alaskan earthquake kills 117 people.

April 12 Arnold Palmer wins the Masters for the fourth time.

April 22 The New York World’s Fair opens.

May 30 A. J. Foyt wins the forty-eighth Indianapolis 500 at an average speed of 147 miles per hour.

June 10 Senate votes cloture on the civil rights bill, ending a 57-day filibuster.

July 2 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act.

July 15 Sen. Barry Goldwater is nominated for the presidency on the Republican ticket.

August 2 North Vietnamese PT boats attack the USS Maddox in the Gulf of Tonkin.

August 4 The bodies of three murdered civil rights workers are discovered outside Philadelphia, Mississippi.

August 7 Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, approving U.S. military intervention in Southeast Asia.

August 20 President Johnson signs the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, authorizing nearly $100 million for a Job Corps, training programs, and other anti-poverty initiatives.

August 27 Lyndon Johnson becomes the Democratic candidate for president.

September 3 LBJ signs the Wilderness Act, establishing a permanent wilderness system of more than nine million acres.

September 27 The Warren Commission releases its report, concluding that there was no conspiracy involved in the assassination of President Kennedy.

October 14 Martin Luther King, Jr., wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

October 15 The St. Louis Cardinals defeat the New York Yankees to win the World Series.

November 3 Lyndon Johnson is elected President with 486 electoral votes to Goldwater’s 52 and a popular vote of 43,126,506 to 27,175,754.

November 21 The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge opens, joining Brooklyn and Staten Island with a 6,690-foot span, the world’s longest.

November 28 Mariner 4 launches from Cape Kennedy, Florida. It will beam back pictures of the surface of Mars the following summer.

December 4 The FBI arrests 21 Mississippi residents in the murder of the civil rights workers, but the charges are soon dropped.

December 14 The Supreme Court rules that the public-accommodations sections of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibit discrimination in hotels, is constitutional.

—Joshua Zeitz

We hope you enjoy our work.

Please support this magazine of trusted historical writing, now in its 75th year, and the volunteers that sustain it with a donation to American Heritage.