World Events

  • The first US combat troops arrive in Vietnam. By the end of the year, 190,000 American soldiers are in Vietnam. Background: Vietnam War
  • US marines land in the Dominican Republic as fighting persists between rebels and Dominican army (April 28).
  • France withdraws its Atlantic fleet from NATO.
  • Rhodesia unilaterally declares its independence from Britain (Nov. 11).
    World Statistics

    Population: 3.345 billion

    Nobel Peace Prize:
    UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)
U.S. Events
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., and more than 2,600 others arrested in Selma, Ala., during demonstrations against voter-registration rules (Feb. 1). Background: Civil Rights
  • Malcolm X, black-nationalist leader, shot to death at Harlem rally (Feb. 21).
  • Blacks riot for six days in Watts section of Los Angeles: 34 dead, over 1,000 injured, nearly 4,000 arrested (Aug. 11-16).
    U.S. Statistics

    President: Lyndon B. Johnson
    Vice President: Hubert H. Humphrey
    Population: 194,302,963
    Life expectancy: 70.2 years
    Violent Crime Rate (per 1,000): 24.5
    Property Crime Rate (per 1,000): 22.5
    Homicide Rate (per 100,000): 5.5

US GDP (1998 dollars):   $719.1 billion
Federal spending:   $118.23 billion
Federal debt:   $322.3 billion
Consumer Price Index:   31.5
Unemployment:   5.2%
Cost of a first-class stamp:   $0.05


World Series
LA Dodgers d. Minnesota (4-3)

NBA Championship
Boston d. LA Lakers (4-1)

Stanley Cup
Montreal d. Chicago (4-3)

Women: Margaret Smith d. M. Bueno (6-4 7-5)
Men: Roy Emerson d. F. Stolle (6-2 6-4 6-4)

Kentucky Derby Champion
Lucky Debonair

NCAA Basketball Championship
UCLA d. Michigan (91-80)

NCAA Football Champions
Alabama (AP, FW-tie) (9-1-1) & Michigan St. (UPI, NFF, FW-tie) (10-1-0)



  • The Sound of Music premieres. An instant hit, the film was one of the top-grossing films of 1965 and remains one of film’s most popular musicals.
  • ABC pays an unprecedented $32 million for a four-year contract with the NCAA to broadcast football games on Saturday afternoons.
  • Bill Cosby, starring in I Spy, becomes the first African American to headline a television show.


  • Dr. Zhivago, The Sound of Music, A Thousand Clowns, Darling


  • James Baldwin, Going to Meet the Man
  • Amiri Baraka, The Dead Lecturer
  • Heinrich Böll, The Clown
  • Malcolm X, The Autobiography of Malcolm X
  • Peter Matthiessen, At Play in the Fields of the Lord
  • Ralph Nader, Unsafe at Any Speed
  • Sylvia Plath, ArielThe Uncollected Poems
  • Eudora Welty, Thirteen Stories

Entertainment Awards

Pulitzer Prizes
Fiction: The Keepers of the House, Shirley Ann Grau
Drama: The Subject Was Roses, Frank D. Gilroy

Oscars awarded in 1965
Academy Award, Best Picture: My Fair Lady, Jack L. Warner, producer (Warner Bros.)

Nobel Prize for Literature: Mikhail Sholokhov (USSR)

1965 Emmy Awards

1965 Tony Awards

Grammys awarded in 1965
Record of the Year: “The Girl From Ipanema,” Stan Getz and Astrud Gilberto
Album of the Year: Getz/Gilberto, Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto (Verve)
Song of the Year: “Hello, Dolly!,” Jerry Herman, songwriter

Miss America: Vonda Kay Van Dyke (AZ)

  • Arno A. Penzias and Robert W. Wilson’s (US) discovery of cosmic background radiation confirms the “Big Bang” theory. Background: Astronomy
  • Early Bird, the first commercial communications satellite, is launched.
  • Wally Schirra and Thomas Stafford aboard Gemini VI perform the first rendezvous with another spacecraft, Gemini VII, with Frank Borman and James Lovell. Background: US Staffed Space Flights
  • Soviet cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov performs the first spacewalk (Mar. 18). Edward White II becomes the first American to walk in space (June 3). Background: Space Exploration

Nobel Prizes in Science

Chemistry: Robert B. Woodward (US), for work in synthesizing complicated organic compounds

Physics: Richard P. Feynman, Julian S. Schwinger (both US), and Shinichiro Tomonaga (Japan), for research in quantum electrodynamics

Physiology or Medicine: François Jacob, André Lwolff, and Jacques Monod (all France), for study of regulatory activities in body cells

  • Winston Churchill
  • Nat King Cole
  • T.S. Eliot
  • Adlai Stevenson