- Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa (June 11).
- Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin Resolution after North Vietnamese torpedo boats allegedly attack US destroyers (Aug. 7). Background: Vietnam War
- Khrushchev is deposed; Kosygin becomes premier and Brezhnev becomes first secretary of the Communist Party (October). Background: Rulers of Russia since 1533
- China detonates its first atomic bomb. Background: nuclear weapons
Population: 3.276 billion
Nobel Peace Prize:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (US)
- US Supreme Court rules that Congressional districts should be roughly equal in population (Feb. 17).
- Three civil rights workers—Schwerner, Goodman, and Cheney—murdered in Mississippi (June). Background: Civil Rights
- President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy issues Warren Report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.
- Jack Ruby convicted of murder in slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald.
President: Lyndon B. Johnson
Vice President: none
Life expectancy: 70.2 years
Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 23.9
Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 22.0
Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 5.1
US GDP (1998 dollars): $663 billion
Federal spending: $118.53 billion
Federal debt: $316.1 billion
Consumer Price Index: 31
Cost of a first-class stamp: $0.05
St. Louis Cardinals d. NY Yankees (4-3)
Boston d. SF Warriors (4-1)
Toronto d. Detroit (4-3)
Women: Maria Bueno d. M. Smith (6-4 7-9 6-3)
Men: Roy Emerson d. F. Stolle (6-4 12-10 4-6 6-3)
Kentucky Derby Champion
NCAA Basketball Championship
UCLA d. Duke (98-83)
NCAA Football Champions
Alabama (AP, UPI), (10-1-0); Arkansas (FW), (11-0-0) & Notre Dame (NFF), (9-1-0)
- Folk musician Bob Dylan becomes increasingly popular during this time of social protest with songs expressing objection to the condition of American society.
- Psychedelic bands such as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane enjoy great success with songs celebrating the counterculture of the ’60s.
- Peyton Place premieres on ABC and is the first prime-time soap opera. Color television makes its way into U.S. homes.
- The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.
- Red Desert, Dr. Strangelove, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Zorba the Greek, Becket
- Donald Barthelme, Come Back, Dr. Caligari
- John Berryman, 77 Dream Songs
- John Cheever, The Wapshot Scandal
- James Dickey, Helmets, Two Poems of the Air
- John Hawkes, Second Skin
- Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast
- Katherine Anne Porter, Collected Stories of Katherine Anne Porter
- Hubert Selby, Last Exit to Brooklyn
Oscars awarded in 1964
Academy Award, Best Picture: Tom Jones, Tony Richardson, producer (United Artists-Lopert Pictures)
Nobel Prize for Literature: Jean-Paul Sartre (France) (declined)
Grammys awarded in 1964
Record of the Year: “The Days of Wine and Roses,” Henry Mancini
Album of the Year: The Barbra Streisand Album, Barbra Streisand (Columbia)
Song of the Year: “The Days of Wine and Roses,” Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, composers
Miss America: Donna Axum (AR)
- Ranger VII takes 4,316 high-resolution pictures of the moon. Background: US Unstaffed Planetary and Lunar Programs
- US Surgeon General Luther Terry affirms that cigarette smoking causes cancer. Background: nuclear energy
Nobel Prizes in Science
Chemistry: Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin (UK), for determining structure of compounds needed in combatting pernicious anemia
Physics: Charles Hard Townes (US), Nikolai G. Basov, and Aleksandr M. Prochorov (both USSR), for developing maser and laser principle of producing high-intensity radiation
Physiology or Medicine: Konrad E. Bloch (US) and Feodor Lynen (Germany), for research on mechanism and regulation of cholesterol and fatty-acid metabolism
- Herbert Clark Hoover 10/20/1964
- Douglas MacArthur
- Harpo Marx