On 50 Years Ago: 1965

1965 – that’s 50 years ago – before the birth of some readers here entered the world. Others remember the year. For me – I turned 12, which means I split the year in sixth and seventh grade.

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1965 – Started and ended on a Friday

1965 – a world population of 3,334,874,000

1965 – A world without the Super Bowl, personal computers, microwave ovens, cable or satellite television,  text messages, LEDs, GPS, caller ID, apps, blogs, Apple, Microsoft, Netflix, and more

1965 – World leaders as Lyndon Johnson, Charles De Gaulle, Georgios Papandreou, u Thant, Alexei Kosygin, and Harold Wilson

1965 – Singapore established as a city-state

1965 – Pope Paul VI becomes the first pope to visit the U.S.

1965 – The Gemini space program has 6 flights

1965 – Zimbabwe forms as Rhodesia declares independence from Great Britain

1965 – Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, Germany

1965 – The Astrodome (Houston) and the Gateway Arch (St. Louis) open

1965 – Cigarette ads banned from the telly in the UK

1965 – Sonny and Cher first television appearance on American Bandstand

1965 – India and Pakistan at war

1965 – Multiple storms kill thousands in India and Pakistan

1965 – U.S. President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society speech

1965 – Canada adopts the Maple Leaf flag

1965 – Second Vatican Council

1965 – Sound of Music, The Sons of Katie Elder, Dr. Zhivago, Thunderball, Von Ryan’s Express, The Great Race, and Cat Ballou

1965 – Born – JK Rowling, Shania Twain, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Stiller, Elizabeth Hurley,  Chris Rock, Charlie Sheen, and lava lamps

1965 – Much more … so see this photo essay from The Atlantic that sparked this post.


101 thoughts on “On 50 Years Ago: 1965

  1. I remember it well, and thank you for the stroll down memory lane, Frank. Funny you should be referring us to The Atlantic Monthly….my own personal memory of them in 1965: I won an Honorable Mention in their National College Poetry Writing Contest. I’ m glad you included lava lamps in the list of important births that year…


  2. Well… I am sorry to tell you that I remember naught from 1965, having been a mere year old by the time April came ’round!

    Interesting, tidbits, though!


  3. Teach, an enjoyable romp of a year I too lived, I was six. Your research impeccable. Though I differ with one detail. Am fairly certain I had a personal computer in 1965, it was great, you just had to shake it over your head to reboot (sorry old joke, and am using it till the horse is deceased).

    1965 through 68 are the years I often think back to, when writing shtufffs and pondering about this and that, as it relates to how we think and live now. Which is odd when, as I said I was six then. But by then I was listening to radio quite bit, and for reasons am not sure, often CBC Radio Canada – so where in the pops, the hiss of the transistor something soaked in. Maybe I was just a weird kid. OR I had an interesting history teacher along the way.


    • Calvin,
      I can see how an etch-o-sketch would be a home computer. 1965-1968 were very turbulent years for society … simply unreal … .and I’m one who says 1968 was the craziest of them all.

      Ah … the hiss of the transistor radio … and I still have one that I use!


      • I still listen, though not as frequently as I once did. As for hiss and pops, there was plenty years ago regardless if one listened on a transistor radio, that is back in the day of Peter Gzowski. I miss him in the mornings on Morningside, as I do Vicki Gabereau in the afternoon. Radio2 is good if you like a wide range of music. They’re own promotional says it all, “for those who love good music” and for the most part they deliver. Rich Terfry, aka hip artist Buck 65, I followed before he became radio host of Radio 2 Drive. Tom Powell’s Deep Roots radio show is great resource for old and new folk artists. An if any one likes musical history and genres, I think Vinyl Tap cannot be beat, hosted by Randy Bachman – very entertaining and informative.

        But back to 1965 through 68, CBC was really at it’s best when it came to reporting and assimilating varying thoughts, and movements on both sides of the border. They didn’t shy away from the craziness as Frank described. Intelligent radio. CBC was often recording Martin Luther King Jr’s sermons, talks and speeches, and am sure a lot archives are now thankful.

        It still does a good job. Still producing and reporting from the ground up, and not just relying on the internet. It is good radio, as is Public Broad Casting in the States, that to is exemplar, especially I think over the last ten years………..sorry for taking up space here Frank.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Yes very much alike. There is no denying, over the past 15 years PBS improved leaps and bounds -good medicine against the nonsense on the commercial network. Which brings me to a blog friend you and I share, don’t you think her first book and probably her soon to be released second, would make a fantastic radio play?


        • I’ll never forget when they changed the programming, yet again, and Rich Terfry took Jurgen Gothe’s (Disc Drive) place. I was not a happy camper. And in the beginning poor Rich sounded so nervous…he sure isn’t now!

          Ya gotta love Tom Allen. I call him the “Alton Brown” of music (even tweeted it to him!) He is to music what Alton is to food. So good!

          Yeah, love Tom Power too! and Julie Nesralla, who always has a smile in her voice.

          Can you tell I turn on the radio at 6:30 and keep it going at least until suppertime?

          Frank, CBC is quite similar to PBS indeed.

          Sorry for using up your wall to chat with Calvin. No, not really sorry…. 😛


  4. That was an interesting pictorial montage Frank – so much violence going on then! 1965 was the year NZ capitulated to US pressure and agreed to send troops into Vietnam. This was met with much protest and condemnation both here and abroad. I was pretty vociferous about it even back then! I think we kicked that government to the curb soon after………


    • Pauline,
      I knew ’65 was the year the Aussies joined the war, but didn’t realize it was also the year your country got involved as well. The anti-war years who quite full of protests. Glad you enjoyed the photo gallery.


  5. Interesting facts and data, along with a trip down memory lane! I was 15 that year and living in England. I saw the Beatles in 1964 before they visited the U.S. and changed American music; as well as the Rolling Stones, Moody Blues, Kinks, Hollies, Hermans Hermits, Dave Clark Five, and many more. I didn’t even know about the Beach Boys, Billy Joel, Elvis, or any other American group or singer until I returned to the U.S. in 1967.


    • David,
      Welcome first-time commenter … and simply wow … you saw all those groups? Amazing! You were living in England at a pivotal time in music history! Speaking of the Moody Blues, I’m astounded that they aren’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joan Jett before them is an insult.


  6. Ah, you’re still a young man, Frank, to have been in school in ’65. I remember it as a very good year… a year with much promise for the future. How amazing that it’s already 50 years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Dear Frank, in ’65 I starts school… sometimes I think, if in the last century (in general) we went a bit ‘too quickly toward self-destruction…
    These years that you describe are still “quiet” but basically it is true, the world takes its course and generations after generations will leave their mark!
    I worry just thinking about what will become our planet… having a “green-eco” soul…
    Serenity :-)c


    • Claudine,
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Interestingly, I don’t recall the environmental movement at that time …. but not that many years later it came to be.

      Interestingly that you used “quiet’ to describe this year. Whereas I see it as the year starting several years of turmoil … especially in the US … wow! … and the photo gallery at the end shows that.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for doing up big time the year I graduated from high school. Thanks especially for including the Atlantic 50 year photos. Looking over them helped me understand part of why I am who I am today.


    • Tim,
      This post is based around The Atlantic’s photos. After I found them, I then figured out a way to use them into a post (as opposed to simply a link on an edition of OITS). … and I tried to avoid mentioning items/events in the pictures … and to me, that photo gallery is powerful.


  9. This one brought back memories. In 1965, I got my first job and it was with Procter and Gamble. I could not believe the amount of money they were paying me to represent them. I went from having nothing to almost (to me) all the money in the world. I found out early that one’s demands soon spread out to consume the available income. Great post, Frank


  10. Seriously, I agree with another commenter in saying you need to go on Jeopardy. You would be great. And just think, I can be in the audience with a huge sign saying “Kick some butt Frank.” Don’t deny me of this right Frank LOL. I’m looking forward to it lol.


  11. 1965.

    I remember it. I was a 28-year old Lieutenant (j.g.) on my first shore duty in the Navy. We lived in Air Force base housing at Patrick AFB and I was a “test engineer” for the Polaris missile program, boarding newly-minted nuclear submarines to help qualify their crews by firing test shots down-range from Cape Canaveral. (They were still calling it Cape Kennedy then, in the afterglow of the assassination.) My boss told me and a partner that we faced the most difficult of jobs and would likely fail, careers in ruin. It was the easiest duty I ever had.

    Our oldest was 4 and the twins were 2. One of the twins swallowed a play dime and nearly choked to death – Mollie picked him up by the heels and out it finally came. There was a hurricane, a near miss. We took out a small loan to buy a larger b & w TV and a washing machine, the only loan we ever had except for cars and mortgages.

    In those days and at that age, the world was limned in extremes, few shades of gray. Communists were a world-wide threat, and their spies were said to have infiltrated. Nuclear war hovered, the Cuban Missile crisis fresh in memory. The Civil Rights demonstrations were seen by many whites as unjustified civil unrest. The space program was in its heyday with Satellite Beach, Cocoa Beach and the surroundings awash in free-spending contractors and spectators would flood the area for each launch, civil or military. Orlando, some 50 miles to the west, was a sleepy, dry burg where nothing much happened.


    • Jim,
      Wow …. thanks for digging to share your life from that year. You were on Polaris at a testy time! Loved the other tidbits regarding the kids, the TV, and the closing description of Orlando made me laugh – yet so true. I hope you saw the photo essay at the end … fabulous.


    • Ocean,
      Welcome first-time commenter. I wouldn’t say life was more vibrant and colorful then. Simpler because of less stuff – but difficult because of the various transitions going on at the time. To me, 1965 started a 3-5 year span of much cultural turmoil, and the photo essay at the end of this post will tell part of that story – so I hope you see it. OH well … just a few thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Frank, I’m way way behind. But I did click on that article — what a find!

    As for things I remember from the olden days, I always feel like I am quite old when I realize that I remember life before Post-It Notes!


  13. I love that Arch in St Louis – just looks so cool (It’s getting some repairs now?)
    Hard to believe the Sound of Music opened this year – and still keeps on ticking.
    High school for me. (Cat Ballou and Bond, James Bond were hot topics)
    Great fun!


  14. Yes, I saw it and it is very telling of the time!
    Tumultuous … hmm not much has changed in that regard. With or without all the inventions and tech advancements since then, man just can’t seem to get it right! Peace still evades the planet.


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