Born In ’64

Four million Americans came into the world that year. Here are some who have already made their mark on 2006.

Jeff Bezos, January 12: Founder and chief executive officer of; he was Time magazine’s Person of the Year in 1999.

Mariska Hargitay, January 23: The actress won an Emmy in 2006 for her role as Detective Olivia Benson in the hit show “ Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

Bret Easton Ellis, March 7: Author of the novels Less Than Zero (1985), The Rules of Attraction (1987), and the controversial American PRead more »

The World’s Fair

It was a disaster from the beginning


It had no fewer than three official themes, the remarkably clunky “Man’s Achievements on a Shrinking Globe in an Expanding Universe,” the less than original “Peace Through Understanding,” and the more or less meaningless “A Millennium of Progress.” Its symbol was the Unisphere, which still can be seen at Flushing Meadows Park, where the fair was held. It wasn’t even an official world’s fair, and most major countries boycotted it. It was a financial disaster.

One of the myriad souvenirs generated by the festival.
richard snow collection2006_5_59
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The Cost Of Living

What we spent to get through 1964

The Home

Three-bedroom ranch house in Parsippany, New Jersey: $23,000
Three-bedroom, two-bath house in Crystal Lake, Illinois: $20,900
Four-bedroom, two-bath house in South Bend, Indiana: $16,000
“Penthouse view” in doorman building on East Sixty-ninth Street, Manhattan: $245 per month
Furnished apartment with heated pool “convenient 10 minutes to Long Beach or Los Angeles,” two bedrooms: $120 per month
GE washing machine: $169
GE dryer: $99.95
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The Greatest Series?

Just as the year changed the nation, so its World Series changed American sports

Some World Series are great when you watch them, and some look great in the rear-view mirror of history. The 1964 World Series looked terrific at the time and has only gotten better. (You can check it out yourself, $34.95 on DVD from Baseball Direct,, in color and with commentary by the great Harry Caray.) The New York Yankees were the better team that year and the betting favorite. They won 99 games to the Cardinals’ 93, they out-homered St.Read more »

That Was The Year That Was

On what they still called their “home screens,” Americans got to watch the future

The Beatles’ appearance on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964 remains one of the most watched television moments in history. Those who saw it remember it almost as clearly as they remember the near-continuous coverage of the Kennedy assassination and aftermath the previous November. It was a watershed moment for millions of baby boomers, who, like television itself, were coming of age in 1964. Prophecies about the medium’s potential were fulfilled.Read more »

1964 The Year At A Glance

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. Read more »

1964 - The Year The Sixties Began

Viewing a transformation that still affects all of us—through the prism of a single year

It has been called the “burned-over decade,” a “dream and a nightmare,” the “definitive end of the Dark Ages, and the beginning of a more hopeful and democratic period” in American history. It’s been celebrated in movies like Forrest Gump and memorialized by television shows like “The Wonder Years,” “American Dreams,” and “China Beach.” Read more »

Democratic Debacle

The Republican party ensured a landslide defeat when it nominated Barry Goldwater in 1964, but the Democrats did far more lasting damage to themselves at their convention that year. In fact, they still haven’t recovered.

When several busloads of black Mississippians showed up in Atlantic City, they were there to drop a political bombshell.

Earlier this year sen. John Kerry caused a stir by saying that the Democratic party “always makes the mistake of looking South.... Al Gore proved he could have been President of the United States without winning one Southern state, including his own.”