"History teaches everything including the future." - Lamartine
Who we are now has a lot to do with who we were. This is the second part of a look... an inventory, of the center of what some scholars are calling the "Long Sixties" - the period of 1955 to 1975 in which the cultural revolution of "the sixties" played out.
January 3, 1966. The first Acid Test is conducted at the Fillmore, San Francisco, when tubs of regular and high test Kool Aid are set out for the masses. Also in January, Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American Cabinet member, by being appointed United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. A B-52 bomber collides with a KC-135 Stratotanker over Spain and drops three 70-kiloton hydrogen bombs near the town of Palomares, and one more into the sea. Ooops. Young singer David Jones changes his last name to Bowie to avoid being confused with Davy Jones of the Monkees. Carl Brashear, the first African American United States Navy diver, is involved in an accident during the recovery of a lost H-bomb which results in the amputation of his leg; Brashear would later be portrayed by Cuba Gooding, Jr. in the film Men Of Honor (2000). January 1966 also saw Indira Gandhi elected Prime Minister of India and Simon & Garfunkel release "Sounds of Silence," which hit #1 on Billboard charts. Albums released in January 1966 include Them Again by Them, Ballads of the Green Berets by Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler, Just Like Us by Paul Revere & the Raiders and Jealous Heart by Connie Francis.
In February 1966, West Germany welcomes some 2,600 political prisoners from East Germany. The unmanned Soviet Luna 9 spacecraft makes the first controlled rocket-assisted landing on the Moon. The National Hockey League expands to twelve teams. A military coup in Syria replaces the previous government with a Ba'athist regime. The Australian dollar is introduced at a rate of 2 dollars per pound, or 10 shillings per dollar. On 19 February, Jefferson Airplane and Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin perform at the Fillmore auditorium in San Francisco (LSD-25 is still legal at this time). In February 1966 Wayne Shorter releases Adam's Apple; Boom by The Sonics; The Best of The Animals on MGM; Boots by Nancy Sinatra; She's Just My Style by Gary Lewis & the Playboys; The Sonny Side of Cher; Take a Ride by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels.
In March 1966, the Soviet space probe Venera 3 crashes on Venus, becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet's surface. The Ba'ath Party takes power in Syria. In an interview with London Evening Standard reporter Maureen Cleave, John Lennon of The Beatles states that they are "more popular than Jesus now." The U.S. announces it will substantially increase the number of its troops in Vietnam. An Irish Republican Army bomb destroys Nelson's Pillar in Dublin. The Texas Western Miners defeat the Kentucky Wildcats with 5 African-American starters, ushering in desegregation in athletic recruiting. The Labour Party under Harold Wilson wins the British General Election, gaining a 96-seat majority (a great improvement upon the five-seat majority gained at the election 17 months earlier). The Soviet Union launches Luna 10, which later becomes the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon. On March 3rd, Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay form Buffalo Springfield in Los Angeles, California. The Young Rascals, Gordon Lightfoot, the Mamas and the Papas and The Fugs all release their debut LPs; the Rolling Stones release their pre-psychedelic "greatest hits" collection, Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass); Barbra Streisand releases Color Me Barbra; Chet Atkins Picks on the Beatles and Phil Ochs in Concert are released.
In April 1966, Lyndon Johnson signs the 1966 Uniform Time Act, introducing daylight saving time. Bobbi Gibb becomes the first woman to run the Boston Marathon. On April 21st, an artificial heart is installed in the chest of Marcel DeRudder in a Houston, Texas hospital. On April 24, 1966, uniform daylight saving time is first observed in most parts of North America. U.S. troops in Vietnam total 250,000. In San Francisco, the Church of Satan is formed by Anton Szandor LaVey. Haile Selassie visits Jamaica for the first time, meeting with Rastafarian leaders. In April, 1966, Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass set a world record by placing five albums simultaneously on Billboard's Pop Album Chart, with four of them the Top 10. Their music outsells The Beatles by a margin of two-to-one... over 13 million recordings. On April 12th, Jan Berry, of Jan and Dean, crashes his Corvette into a truck that is parked on Whittier Boulevard in LA. Berry suffers total physical paralysis for over a year as well as extensive brain damage. The bands Love and The Seeds release debut albums. The Rolling Stones release their strongest LP to date, Aftermath.
On this one day, May 16, 1966, the Communist Party of China issues the 'May 16 Notice', marking the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, and the albums Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys and Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde are released (Dylan's "official" release date; the actual release was delayed until late June). And in New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his first public speech on the Vietnam War. Also release in May 1966, Up-Tight (Stevie Wonder); Midnight Ride (Paul Revere & the Raiders); Small Faces (Small Faces); Black Monk Time (The Monks); Strangers in the Night (Frank Sinatra). On May 17th, Bob Dylan and the Hawks (later The Band) perform at the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, England. Dylan is booed by the audience because of his decision to tour with an electric band, the boos culminating in the famous "Judas" shout.
In June, the final new episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show airs (the first episode aired on October 3, 1961). Civil rights activist James Meredith is shot while trying to march across Mississippi. Topeka, Kansas is devastated by a tornado that registers as an "F5" on the Fujita Scale, the first to exceed US $100 million in damages. On June 13th, the Supreme Court of the United States delivers its ruling in the case Miranda v. Arizona and establishes the rule that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them. Also in June of 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) is founded in Washington, DC. Released in June 1966, Paradise, Hawaiian Style (Elvis Presley); Gettin' Ready (The Temptations); Yesterday and Today (The Beatles, featuring the infamous "Butcher" cover art); Animalisms (The Animals UK); Animalization (The Animals US); The Impossible Dream (Jack Jones); The Incredible String Band's debut LP; and, on June 27th, the first two "double LPs" in rock music history: Blonde on Blonde (Bob Dylan) and Freak Out! (The Mothers of Invention).
1966 is only half over.
In July 1966, President Johnson signs the Freedom of Information Act, which goes into effect the following year. Richard Speck murders 8 student nurses in their Chicago dormitory. He is arrested on July 17. Also in July, groundbreaking takes place for the World Trade Center; Martin Luther King Jr. leads a civil rights march in Chicago, during which he is struck by a rock thrown from an angry white mob; Caesars Palace hotel and casino opens in Las Vegas; the Beatles release the legendary Revolver album in the UK; race riots occur in Lansing, Michigan. In the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong begins the Cultural Revolution to purge and reorganize China's Communist Party. Syrian and Israeli troops clash over Lake Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Galilee) for 3 hours. In July of 1966, the Beatles become the first musical group to perform at the Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo and Bob Dylan has his motorcycle accident in Woodstock, NY. Albums by The Byrds (Fifth Dimension), John Mayall (Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton), The Association (And Then... Along Comes the Association) and Beau Brummels '66 are released.
On August 16th, the House Un-American Activities Committee starts investigating Americans who have aided the Viet Cong, with the intent to make these activities illegal. Anti-war demonstrators disrupt the meeting and 50 are arrested. On August 17th, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Republic begin negotiations in Kuwait to end the war in Yemen. On August 24th, the Doors record their self-titled debut LP. On August 29th, the Beatles end their US tour and their concert career with a performance at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. Sniper Charles Whitman kills 13 people and wounds 31 from atop the University of Texas at Austin Main Building tower, after earlier killing his wife and mother. In August, the Beatles Revolver (in the US), The Paul Butterfield Blues Band's East-West and James Brown's It's a Man's Man's Man's World all see their original release.
On the first day of September, 1966, while waiting at a bus stop, Ralph Baer an inventor with Sanders Associates, writes a four-page document which lays out the basic principles for creating a video game to be played on a television. On September 8th, Star Trek, the classic science fiction television series, debuts on NBC-TV. The first episode of The Monkees is broadcast on NBC on September 12th. On September 14th, George Harrison travels to India for 6 weeks to study sitar with Ravi Shankar. Debut LPs by The Monkees and Jefferson Airplane (Takes Off) are released days apart. Also in September, British folk guitarist, Bert Jansch, (Jack Orion) and Donovan (Sunshine Superman) release new LPs.
In October 1966, Bobby Seale and Huey P. Newton found the Black Panther Party. Toyota Motors introduces the Toyota Corolla. An experimental reactor at the Enrico Fermi Nuclear Generating Station suffered a partial meltdown when its cooling system failed. The Soviet Union declares that all Chinese students must leave the country before the end of October. The Baltimore Orioles defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the World Series, 1–0, to sweep the series for their 1st World Championship. President Johnson signs a bill creating the United States Department of Transportation. The AFL-NFL merger is approved by the U.S. Congress. Grace Slick performs live for the first time with the Jefferson Airplane. Simon & Garfunkel release Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, The Kinks release Face to Face, and in New York City on October 8, 1966, WOR-FM becomes the first FM rock music station, under the leadership of DJ Murray The K.
In November, 1966, former Massachusetts Attorney General Edward Brooke becomes the first African American elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction. The actor, Ronald Reagan, is elected Governor of California. On November 9th, John Lennon meets Yoko Ono at the Indica Gallery. On November 24th, the Beatles begin recording sessions for their Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. Charley Pride is signed by RCA, and the Centre d'Etudes de Mathématique et Automatique Musicales (Centre for Automatic and Mathematical Music) is founded in Paris by Iannis Xenakis. The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators, one of three albums released that November to use the word "psychedelic" to refer to the sounds within, is released (the other LPs were The Blues Magoos' Psychedelic Lollipop, and The Deep's Psychedelic Moods).
In December of 1966, Walt Disney dies while producing The Jungle Book, the last animated feature under his personal supervision. The first Kwanzaa is celebrated by Maulana Karenga, founder of Organization US (a black nationalist group) and later chair of Black Studies, at California State University, Long Beach. Among the LPs released in December 1966 were debuts by Buffalo Springfield, Cream (Fresh Cream) and Tim Buckley.
The Top 40 songs of 1966 were: "The Ballad Of The Green Berets" Sgt. Barry Sadler. "Cherish" The Association; "(You're My) Soul And Inspiration" Righteous Brothers; "Reach Out I'll Be There" Four Tops; "96 Tears" ? & The Mysterians; "Last Train To Clarksville" Monkees; "Monday Monday" Mamas and Papas; "You Can't Hurry Love" Supremes; "Poor Side Of Town" Johnny Rivers; "California Dreamin'" Mamas and Papas; "Summer In The City" Lovin' Spoonful; "Born Free" Roger Williams; "These Boots Are Made For Walkin'" Nancy Sinatra; "What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted" Jimmy Ruffin; "Strangers In The Night" Frank Sinatra; "We Can Work It Out" Beatles; "Good Lovin'" Young Rascals; "Winchester Cathedral" New Vaudeville Band; "Hanky Panky" Tommy James & The Shondells; "When A Man Loves A Woman" Percy Sledge; "Paint It Black" Rolling Stones; "My Love" Petula Clark; "Lightin' Strikes" Lou Christie; "Wild Thing" Troggs; "Kicks" Paul Revere & The Raiders; "Sunshine Superman" Donovan; "Sunny" Bobby Hebb; "Paperback Writer" Beatles; "See You In September" Happenings; "You Keep Me Hangin' On" Supremes; "Lil' Red Riding Hood" Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs; "Devil With A Blue Dress On & Good Golly Miss Molly (Medley)" Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels; "Good Vibrations" Beach Boys; "A Groovy Kind Of Love" Mindbenders; "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" Dusty Springfield; "Born A Woman" Sandy Posey; "Cool Jerk" The Capitols; "Red Rubber Ball" Cyrkle; "B-A-B-Y" Carla Thomas; "Walk Away Renee" Left Banke.
Bands that first formed in 1966 include Buffalo Springfield, Cream, Eric Burdon & the Animals, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and The Monkees.
In film, a list of the six films that grossed over $10 million dollars gives an insight into how wonderfully varied the media was at the time.
1. Hawaii (Julie Andrews and Max von Sydow) $15,553,000
2. The Bible: In the Beginning (Michael Parks, Richard Harris, Ava Gardner) $15,000,000
3. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton) $14,500,000
4. The Sand Pebbles (Steve McQueen and Candice Bergen) $13,500,000
5. A Man For All Seasons (Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, and Robert Shaw) $12,750,000
6. The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming! (Alan Arkin and Carl Reiner) $10,164,000
1966 also saw the release of: Blowup, directed by Michelangelo Antonioni; Fahrenheit 451, directed by François Truffaut; Masculine-Feminine, directed by Jean-Luc Godard; Torn Curtain, directed by Alfred Hitchcock; The King of Hearts; Our Man Flint; The Wild Angels. 1966 saw the film debuts of Michael Douglas, Harrison Ford and Christopher Walken.
On TV... The Academy Awards air in color for the first time, on ABC.In a post-fight interview, Howard Cosell honors Muhammad Ali's wishes to no longer be referred to as Cassius Clay, contrasting with the approach of most other sports reporters of the time. Patrick McGoohan quits the popular spy series Danger Man (aired in the US as Secret Agent) after filming only two episodes of the fourth season, in order to produce and star in The Prisoner, which begins filming in September. The 1951–1953 CBS sitcom Amos & Andy is pulled from syndication broadcast due to complaints from civil rights organizations. New series of 1966 include Batman, The Green Hornet, The Girl From U.N.C.L.E., Star Trek, Dark Shadows, The Newlywed Game, The Monkees, Mission Impossible, The Hollywood Squares and The 700 Club.
In 1966 Cindy Crawford, Rachel Dratch, Edie Brickell, Greg Maddux, Stephen Baldwin, J. J. Abrams, John Cusack, Sinéad O'Connor, and Mike Tyson are born.
Buster Keaton, Hedda Hopper, Sophie Tucker, Maxfield Parrish, William Frawley, Bobby Fuller, Montgomery Clift, Bud Powell, and Lenny Bruce died.
In or about this year, one person returning to Haiti from the Congo is thought to have first brought HIV to the Americas.