The Headline News and Key Facts of 1965
On the National Scene
The Vietnam War escalates with over 100,000 troops and an intensive
bombing campaign and the first campus protests against the war begin. In June Congress authorizes the use of ground
Black nationalist leader Malcolm X is shot to death in New York.
Race riots in Watts section of Los Angeles result in 34 deaths.
Medicare program for senior citizens medical assistance becomes law.
The Great Archway in St. Louis is completed; it commemorates the Lousiana Purchase in
The Voting Rights Act becomes law.
Watts Ghetto riot leaves 34 dead.
25,000 march on Washington to protest the Vietnam War.
LBJ stops bombing and offers peace.
UFOs make headlines.
Winston Churhill dies.
The mini-skirt makes its debut in time for 35 million baby boomer women.
Remember the milkman. In 1965 25% of homes had their milk delivered that number would be
substantially decreased within a decade.
Diet Pepsi becomes available.
The ultr-resilient Super Ball is the biggest toy fad since the Hula Hoop. Skateboarding
is in the midst of its first wave of national popularity.
The "Hare Krishna" chant is used for the first time by the International Society for
The largest blackout in the nation's history from Toronto plant puts the lights out in
80,000 square miles to include New York. Nine months later many post baby boomers were born as a result of the
Bob Dylan "plugs in" at the Newport Folk Festival marking the shift from acoustic folkie
to rock 'n' roller.
Folk-rock is ushered in by The Byrds doing a cover of "Mr. Tambourine Man" which help introduce its author
Bob Dylan to a wider audience.
Protest-rock follows focusing on such topics as the escalating war in Vietnam with "Eve
Of Destruction" by Barry McGuire, to the civil rights battles in America exemplified by "People Get Ready" by the
Impressions, to simple anti-authority songs such as the Rolling Stones surly #1 hit "Satisfaction" which was the
biggest hit of the year.
Martha & The Vandellas "Dancing In Streets" is used as a rallying cry when racial
riots ignite in Watts during the summer and Los Angeles DJ The Magnificent Montague's slogan, "Burn Baby Burn"
takes on new meaning as the community goes up in flames.
Blues-rock hits its high point with The Yardbirds, The Who, The Pretty Things and The
Paul Butterfield Blues Band turning out acclaimed records in the aggressive style.
Southern soul scores its first major breakthroughs with Wilson Pickett, Otis Redding, Solomon Burke and Joe
Tex notching huge hits that cut across racial boundaries.
James Brown makes a startling and abrupt shift from pure soul to a rhythm-based new invention of his own
making called "funk" with the hits "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag" and "I Got You".
The Beatles and Elvis Presley, the two biggest names in rock history, meet for the only time at Presley's
Los Angeles home. While there John Lennon boldly asks his idol why he doesn't record rock 'n' roll
The first rock concert movie "The T.A.M.I. Show" is filmed in Santa Monica featuring The
Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Supremes, Jan & Dean, Miracles, Marvin Gaye, Chuck Berry and a show stopping
performance by James Brown.
Alan Freed, who coined the term "rock 'n' roll" and introduced it to white America a
decade earlier, dies broke and forgotten at age 44 of alcoholism.
Sandy Koufax leads the Los Angeles Dodgers over the Minnesota Twins in the World
Green Bay Packers over the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Championship. A year later Jim
Brown will retire at the peak of his remarkable career to go into the movies.
Movies and Television
The Sound of Music
with Julie Andrews wins best picture award as Lee Marvin wins best
actor for Cat Ballou. Other box office money makers included
Doctor Zhivago, Thunderball and Those Magnificient Men In Their Flying
the most popular series, followed by Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.,
The Lucy Show, The Red Skelton Hour
and The Andy Griffith
Show. The success of the James Bond movies inspires two successful series, Get
Smart and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Amos "N Andy is taken off the TV due to protests of racial stereo typing.
Ironically black actors are laid off.
Click Here for Billboard's Top Ten
hits for the day in 1965.