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On The Day I Was Born: October 24, 1964
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
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
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
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.
October 24, 1964
What were other people doing on the exact day that I was born?
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.
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.
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:
- Talking with McGeorge Bundy about some negative campaign ads that had come out against him and discussing international affairs.
- Talking with John Knight about a settlement in a labor dispute. At the end of the conversation, Knight mentions that it's his birthday!
- Talking with Bill Moyers about more campaign intrigue.
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.
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 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
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).
Join the fun! - Make a page about the day you were born!
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!