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On The Day I Was Born: October 24, 1964

Updated on October 14, 2014
Photo of me being held by my dad
Photo of me being held by my dad | Source

What kind of world was I born into?

This is a snapshot of what was going on during the day (and year) of my birth -- October 24, 1964. It was an eventful year, and a lot of the happenings of 1964 are still significant in my life now. So let's explore!

A look at the year -- 1964

Major events of 1964 - Click on a thumbnail picture to enlarge it and read the story.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Malta gained independence from Britain on September 21st.China tested its first atomic bomb on October 16th.The Games of the XVIII Olympiad were held in Tokyo.  The opening ceremonies were on October 10th, and the closing ceremonies were on my birthday!The Ford Mustang was introduced on April 17th at the New York World's Fair.The Beatles came to America for the first time.  They landed in New York City on February 7th.The Good Friday earthquake hit Alaska on March 27th.  Measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale, it is the second biggest quake in recorded history.  131 people are killed in the quake and the resulting tsunamis.Cassius Clay wins the heavyweight championship of the world on February 25th and announced he was joining the Nation of Islam on February 27th.On January 11th, the Surgeon General released its landmark report that clearly states that smoking carries severe health risks.  Warning labels on cigarette packages soon follow.  Fortunately my parents had never smoked so there was no change needed Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 12th.  He was released in early 1990, when I was 25 years old.In the United States, after intense political machinations, the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress and then signed into law on July 2nd.  The full title of the law is: "An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction u
Malta gained independence from Britain on September 21st.
Malta gained independence from Britain on September 21st.
China tested its first atomic bomb on October 16th.
China tested its first atomic bomb on October 16th.
The Games of the XVIII Olympiad were held in Tokyo.  The opening ceremonies were on October 10th, and the closing ceremonies were on my birthday!
The Games of the XVIII Olympiad were held in Tokyo. The opening ceremonies were on October 10th, and the closing ceremonies were on my birthday!
The Ford Mustang was introduced on April 17th at the New York World's Fair.
The Ford Mustang was introduced on April 17th at the New York World's Fair.
The Beatles came to America for the first time.  They landed in New York City on February 7th.
The Beatles came to America for the first time. They landed in New York City on February 7th.
The Good Friday earthquake hit Alaska on March 27th.  Measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale, it is the second biggest quake in recorded history.  131 people are killed in the quake and the resulting tsunamis.
The Good Friday earthquake hit Alaska on March 27th. Measuring 9.2 on the Richter scale, it is the second biggest quake in recorded history. 131 people are killed in the quake and the resulting tsunamis.
Cassius Clay wins the heavyweight championship of the world on February 25th and announced he was joining the Nation of Islam on February 27th.
Cassius Clay wins the heavyweight championship of the world on February 25th and announced he was joining the Nation of Islam on February 27th.
On January 11th, the Surgeon General released its landmark report that clearly states that smoking carries severe health risks.  Warning labels on cigarette packages soon follow.  Fortunately my parents had never smoked so there was no change needed
On January 11th, the Surgeon General released its landmark report that clearly states that smoking carries severe health risks. Warning labels on cigarette packages soon follow. Fortunately my parents had never smoked so there was no change needed
Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 12th.  He was released in early 1990, when I was 25 years old.
Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life imprisonment on June 12th. He was released in early 1990, when I was 25 years old.
In the United States, after intense political machinations, the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress and then signed into law on July 2nd.  The full title of the law is: "An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction u
In the United States, after intense political machinations, the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress and then signed into law on July 2nd. The full title of the law is: "An act to enforce the constitutional right to vote, to confer jurisdiction u

I Wanna Hold Your Hand by The Beatles

Play the hits!

These were the Billboard Magazine Top 10 Songs of 1964, according to MusicOutfitters.com .

And every one of them I have heard at least a portion of before.

She Loves You by The Beatles

Hello Dolly by Louis Armstrong

Oh Pretty Woman by Roy Orbison

I Get Around by The Beach Boys

Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime by Dean Martin

My Guy by Mary Wells

We'll Sing in the Sunshine by Gale Garnett

Last Kiss by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers

Where Did Our Love Go by The Supremes

More Beatles!

For the week of April 4, 1964, the Beatles held ALL FIVE of the Top 5 spots on the Billboard singles chart, a feat that has never been duplicated.

Top-Grossing Movies of 1964 - According to Wikipedia, which does not cite a source

1. Mary Poppins* Disney Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke $45,000,000

2. My Fair Lady* Warner Brothers Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison $34,000,000

3. Goldfinger United Artists Sean Connery, Gert Frobe and Honor Blackman $22,998,000

4. The Carpetbaggers Paramount George Peppard and Carroll Baker $15,500,000

5. From Russia With Love United Artists Sean Connery and Daniela Bianchi $9,924,000

6. Viva Las Vegas MGM Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret $9,442,967

7. A Shot in the Dark United Artists Peter Sellers and Elke Sommer $6,748,000

8. A Hard Day's Night United Artists The Beatles $6,165,000

9. The Night of the Iguana MGM Richard Burton, Ava Gardner and Deborah Kerr $6,040,000

10. The Pink Panther United Artists Peter Sellers, David Niven and Robert Wagner $5,935,000

Wikipedia image
Wikipedia image

1964 -- The year in politics

1964 was an election year, of course, with President Lyndon Johnson standing for re-election. The Republican nominee challenging him for the White House was Barry Goldwater.

The result was one of the most lopsided wins in history. Here's the Wikipedia writeup: The 1964 Presidential Election.

Also, my birth year was one of the only times I have ever been pro-war! 1964 was the beginning of The War on Poverty!

A quizzical look on my face as Mom bathes me. I'm probably wondering what she thought about the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.

A quizzical look on my face as Mom bathes me. I'm probably wondering what she thought about the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.
A quizzical look on my face as Mom bathes me. I'm probably wondering what she thought about the imprisonment of Nelson Mandela.

October 24, 1964

What were other people doing on the exact day that I was born?

Me
Me | Source

How was MY day going?

Here's how October 24, 1964 was playing out for the Alexander family.

Well, when my mom first showed up at the hospital, nobody believed she was in labor because she wasn't screaming and freaking out. She was actually sent away. Fortunately, she was scheduled for a prenatal checkup with the doctor that day. She sat out in the car with my dad and they waited until her appointment time. She signed in, waited in the waiting room until her name was called, and then tried again to persuade the doctor that she was in labor. This is how she describes what happened next:

"He finally did an examination on me. I didn't know what the words 'almost fully dilated' meant, but I knew it had to mean something important, because after he said it everyone started running."

They raced her over to the labor ward (alone, of course, since husbands weren't allowed anywhere near the birth process back in those days), and then to the delivery room and got me out.

So that's what I was doing while the rest of the world was going about its business.

The Republic of Zambia is my twin! - We were both born on the same day and year.

The flag the Republic of Zambia.  Click on this flag to go to Zambia's official website.
The flag the Republic of Zambia. Click on this flag to go to Zambia's official website.

On October 24, 1964, Northern Rhodesia gained its independence from Britain and became the Republic of Zambia.

The British colonization of Zambia had begun in the 19th Century, spearheaded by Cecil Rhodes, who owned extremely profitable mining companies that profited from the natural resources of African countries. It is from Rhodes that Zambia got its colonial name, Rhodesia. Rhodesia was a valuable source of copper and lead.

In 1959, the United National Independence Party formed under the leadership of Kenneth Kaunda, and an organized struggle to be free from Britain began. When Zambia gained its independence on my birthday, Kaunda was its first president.

Sources: History of Zambia from HistoryWorld.net; Zambia: History from InfoPlease.com

The beautiful Victoria Falls are on the Zambezi River, which forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The beautiful Victoria Falls are on the Zambezi River, which forms the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe. | Source

Here's what the president was doing on my birthday . . .

It was the home stretch before the presidential election. President Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson appeared at a campaign rally at North Carolina State University on my birthday. NCSU has a nice picture of the Johnsons' appearance there on their website.

According to BrothersJudd.com, President Johnson made the following comment on my birthday. I don't know if he said it at North Carolina State University or somewhere else:

"A great strength of the two-party system is that basically we have been in general agreement on many things and neither party has been the party of extremes or radicals, but temporarily some extreme elements have come into one of the parties and have driven out or locked out or booed out or heckled out the moderates."

-Lyndon Baines Johnson, October 24, 1964

And check out these recordings of some of the president's phone calls from that day:

The Day In Music

On October 24, 1964, there was a BIG music event here in Los Angeles to welcome me as the newest resident! At the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, young people flocked to a pop festival featuring the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Lesley Gore, the Supremes, and Marvin Gaye. The event was called the T.A.M.I. Show. An fun event all around, but everyone agrees that the show-stealer who really made the night unforgettable was a new guy on the music scene, James Brown.

The T.A.M.I. Show Collector's Edition
The T.A.M.I. Show Collector's Edition

DVD of the legendary show. The Amazon review drops another tidbit, "look for Teri Garr as one of the dancers during 'Where Did Our Love Go?'"

 

The Stones also released an album that day, 12 x 5.

I'm not that much into the Stones, but I've heard two of the songs on 12 x 5 before: "It's All Over Now" and "Suzie Q".



And the #1 song on the Billboard charts for October 24, 1964 was "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann.

The cover of the New Yorker from October 24, 1964
The cover of the New Yorker from October 24, 1964

The Day In Print

If Mom & Dad had not been preoccupied with becoming parents that day, they might have taken the time to read a magazine.

In the Saturday Evening Post, they would have seen a very controversial interview with hot-headed boxer Hurricane Carter. That interview came back to haunt him later. There was also an article about Barry Goldwater and one about retired Rockettes.

In the New Yorker, columnist Nat Hentoff had written a profile of Bob Dylan.

The TV shows I pre-empted

By being born on a Saturday, I deprived my Mom of some classic 1964 television viewing.

So here you go, Mom. I can make it up to you now, by bringing you the shows you missed because you had just given birth to me. These are the shows that were on in prime time while you were stuck in the postpartum ward at South Hoover Hospital:


  • An episode of that brand new sitcom that had just premiered a month before: Gilligan's Island. The October 24th episode was called "Wrong Way Feldman" and was directed by Ida Lupino. I've got a snippet of the it right here, and you can get the whole episode at Amazon: Wrongway Feldman.
  • A new episode of The Outer Limits, which was in its second season. The episode was "Cry of Silence" starring Eddie Albert. I have a bit of it here. It looks a little creepy.
  • There was a short-lived series called Mr. Broadway that was airing that night. The episode was called "Nightingale for Sale" and Liza Minelli made a guest appearance. I couldn't find the episode, but I have a clip from another episode. Dave Brubeck did the music!

    WARNING EVERYBODY! The complete comes complete with an authentic 1964 cigarette commercial.

  • Alas, I couldn't find any clips or detailed information about that night's episode of The Famous Adventures of Mr. Magoo. The name of the episode was called "Mr. Magoo's The Three Musketeers (part 1 of 2)"; that's all I know.
  • Gunsmoke was in its 10th season or so. That night's episode was called "The Doctor's Wife.
  • The guests appearing on The Danny Kaye Show that night were Lucille Ball and John Gary. I don't have a clip, though

Anton van Leeuwenhoek
Anton van Leeuwenhoek

My birthday buddies

No one really well-known was born on the very same day as me, but here are some people who were born on October 24th in other years:

# 1632 – Anton van Leeuwenhoek, Dutch microbiologist

# 1855 – James S. Sherman, Vice President of the United States

# 1904 – Moss Hart, American dramatist

# 1926 – Y. A. Tittle, American football player

# 1930 – J.P. Richardson, The Big Bopper, American singer

# 1936 – David Nelson, Actor/Television Personality (son of Ozzie & Harriet Nelson)

# 1936 – Bill Wyman, English musician (The Rolling Stones)

# 1939 – F. Murray Abraham, American actor

# 1947 – Kevin Kline, American actor

# 1960 – B.D. Wong, American actor

# 1961 – Mary Bono, American politician (widow of Sonny Bono)

# 1972 – Scott Peterson, American murderer (husband of Laci Peterson)

# 1980 – Monica, American singer and actress

# 1980 – Casey Wilson, American comic actress (Saturday Night Live)

# 1981 – Tila Tequila, American model

My pick for most honorable member of the list is Anton van Leeuwenhoek. Least honorable, Scott Peterson.

The other entity that I share a birthday with is the United Nations. It was founded October 24, 1945 (see United Nations Day).

My first headshot.
My first headshot. | Source

Join the fun! - Make a page about the day you were born!

I made this page in response to Ramkitten's original "On the Day I Was Born" article.

You should make one, too! We want to know about your birthday. After you make yours, leave a comment on Ramkitten's page to let her know you did it.

So tell me what YOU were doing on October 24, 1964!

You probably weren't born yet, whippersnapper, but maybe you can tell my where your parents were. Thanks for dropping by!

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was a newbie at baby sitting for my younger sister: I was 14 and she was 2 and born in October also. I felt like she was my baby as my parents were working....who knew your date could bring up such memories...

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You can see what happened on the day you were born with The Birthday Times. It's a birthday newspaper.

      The address is thebirthdaytimes.com

    • joanhall profile image
      Author

      Joan Hall 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      @anonymous: Hi!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I too was born on October 24, 1964! Nice to "meet" you astral twin!

    • sousababy profile image

      sousababy 5 years ago

      Ha, I wasn't born yet . . but what a great trip through time. Happy Birthday Joan (bit belated)!

    • profile image

      RinchenChodron 6 years ago

      I was a sophomore attending high school in Colorado Springs.

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      It is really cool to look back at what was popular when we were born. Funny how I remember some of the things listed here like it was yesterday. Really awesome lens!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 6 years ago

      Had to come back and say that I loved this so much that I did one of my own for my birthday today! Thanks for such inspiration!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      hey there - i was born on 10-24-64 also! love your page, it's lots of fun. Nice to meet you, birthday buddy

    • MerylV profile image

      Meryl van der Merwe 6 years ago from USA

      Well, I was just a few months old on Oct 24, 1964. You covered this year so well that I don't think I will try to do another one!

    • BuckHawkcenter profile image

      BuckHawkcenter 6 years ago

      I love this and will have to do my own coming up in just over a month! But, I am NOTputting the year on my 'cuz you would then definitely call me an old lady, you young whippersnapper you!

    • ItsAngel LM profile image

      ItsAngel LM 6 years ago

      This is a great lens! hmmm a wonderful idea! thanks for the visit to your birthday.

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 6 years ago

      I was eight years old and doing all that kid stuff like making dens and things. The 24th is three days after my Mums birthday which was the date of the Battle of Trafalgar

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 6 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      This is great! (I'm so glad I go the lens to load. Internet is SO slow over here in Nepal, that I can't much on Squidoo. But I WAS able to get this lens into the featured module on mine and will see if I can lensroll now, too.) I love how you did this. Isn't it cool to find out what was happening on the very day we were born. You really came up with some good stuff!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Hmm, I would have been 16 then, so must have spent the day in classes at the high school. Not sure what day of the week Oct. 24 fell on.

      Loved all the details you put in this lens.

    • Wednesday-Elf profile image

      Wednesday-Elf 6 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

      Wonderful! You covered everything from music to movies to politics to world events! But, of course, the most important event of 10/24/64 was your 'birth'! :).

      I was living in Florida on the date of your birth - married, and a young mom to a 2-year-old, so I'm old enough to be 'your' mom! :).

      Enjoyed your memory trip on the Day you were born!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Well, let me think...I would have been 12 years old so I was probably dreaming about Paul McCartney and the cute boy down the street. Then again, I probably had my nose in a book reading about some far off place with characters I wished I could know.

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