Aug 082011

a blog buddy, lisa from ocdbloggergirl posted a link on google + earlier (she’s a really good writer, you should click her link and go check her out)

… it’s pretty cool! i wanted to share the link… it’s called “what happened in my birthyear”…. I was born in 1964… here’s what i got:


In 1964, the world was a different place.

There was no Google yet. Or Yahoo. Or Stumbleupon, for that matter.

In 1964, the year of your birth, the top selling movie was Mary Poppins. People buying the popcorn in the cinema lobby had glazing eyes when looking at the poster.

Remember, that was before there were DVDs. Heck, even before there was VHS. People were indeed watching movies in the cinema, and not downloading them online. Imagine the packed seats, the laughter, the excitement, the novelty. And mostly all of that without 3D computer effects.

Do you know who won the Oscars that year? The academy award for the best movie went to My Fair Lady. The Oscar for best foreign movie that year went to Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. The top actor was Rex Harrison for his role as Professor Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady. The top actress was Julie Andrews for her role as Mary Poppins inMary Poppins. The best director? George Cukor for My Fair Lady.

In the year 1964, the time when you arrived on this planet, books were still popularly read on paper, not on digital devices. Trees were felled to get the word out. The number one US bestseller of the time was The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré. Oh, that’s many years ago. Have you read that book? Have you heard of it?

In 1964… The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland is dissolved. U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater announces that he will seek the Republican nomination for President. In his first State of the Union Address, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declares a “War on Poverty”. United States Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry reports that smoking may be hazardous to one’s health, the first such statement from the U.S. government. Malcolm X leaves the Nation of Islam. The Supreme Court of the United States rules that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population. Merv Griffin’s game show Jeopardy! debuts on NBC; Art Fleming is its first host. Three high school friends in Hoboken, N.J., open the first BLIMPIE restaurant on Washington Street. IBM announces the System 360. The 36th Academy Awards ceremony is held. Nelson Mandela makes his “I Am Prepared to Die” speech at the opening of the Rivonia Trial, a classic of the anti-apartheid movement.

That was the world you were born into. Since then, you and others have changed it.

The Nobel prize for Literature that year went to Jean-Paul Sartre. The Nobel Peace prize went to Martin Luther King, Jr.. The Nobel prize for physics went to Nicolay Gennadiyevich Basov, Aleksandr Prokhorov and Charles Hard Townes from Soviet Union and the the United States for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle. The sensation this created was big. But it didn’t stop the planets from spinning, on and on, year by year. Years in which you would grow bigger, older, smarter, and, if you were lucky, sometimes wiser. Years in which you also lost some things. Possessions got misplaced. Memories faded. Friends parted ways. The best friends, you tried to hold on. This is what counts in life, isn’t it?

The 1960s were indeed a special decade. The Swinging Sixties saw the rise of counterculture. There was recreational drug use and casual sex. Many countries gained independence from their colonial rulers. Several governments turned to the left. In Britain, the Labour Party gains power. The Vietnam War continues. The Algerian War comes to a close. In the US, Hispanics fight to end racial discrimination and socioeconomic disparity. Feminism keeps rising. Art House films make it to theaters. The Beatles, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones play their music. The US and Soviet Union come close to a military confrontation during the Cuba missile crisis. Nixon becomes US president. Man lands on the moon during the Apollo 11 mission of the United States. The first heart transplantation occurs. The first computer game, Spacewar, is created.

Do you remember the movie that was all the rage when you were 15?Apocalypse Now. Do you still remember the songs playing on the radio when you were 15? Maybe it was My Sharona by The Knack. Were you in love? Who were you in love with, do you remember?

In 1964, 15 years earlier, a long time ago, the year when you were born, the song The House of the Rising Sun by The Animals topped the US charts. Do you know the lyrics? Do you know the tune? Sing along.

There is a house in New Orleans
They call the Rising Sun
And it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy
And God I know I’m one

There’s a kid outside, shouting, playing. It doesn’t care about time. It doesn’t know about time. It shouts and it plays and thinks time is forever. You were once that kid.

When you were 9, the movie Fantastic Planet was playing. When you were 8, there was Napoleon and Samantha. When you were 7, there was a Disney movie out called The Aristocats. Does this ring a bell?

6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1… it’s 1964. There’s TV noise coming from the second floor. Someone turned up the volume way too high. The sun is burning from above. These were different times. The show playing on TV is Love of Life. The sun goes down. Someone switches channels. There’s The Milton Berle Show on now. That’s the world you were born in.

Progress, year after year. Do you wonder where the world is heading towards? The technology available today would have blown your mind in 1964. Do you know what was invented in the year you were born? The Solid-state Electronic Calculator.

In the final days of summer 1964
He found a family undivided, divided on the war
Turning son against his elder, debating wrong and right
He was the image of his father, though they would not see eye to eye

That’s from the song Man of His Word by Bob Carlisle.

In 1964, a new character entered the world of comic books: Hawkeye. Bang! Boom! But that’s just fiction, right? In the real world, in 1964,Bridget Fonda was born. And Keanu Reeves. Rob Lowe, too. And me, of course. Everyone an individual. Everyone special. Everyone taking a different path through life.
It’s 2011.

The world is a different place.


Being an adult is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane.

  3 Responses to “1964”

  1. Verrrry interesting year, your year and that whole decade, most of which i missed living in another country. I was braless, worked, hung out at tomkins square park and had a “natural” and wore flimsy nightwear to the after hours jazz clubs on the lower eastside where i lived. The House of The Rising Sun is a life-long favorite of mine.
    I checked out my year – 1944 – the most interesting things were (1) the end of meat rationing and (2) that my good friend Nancy’s dad won the Nobel Prize for physics.
    Other than that it was depressingly sad war stuff going on and my mother, Rosie the Riveter, was never mentioned. But I think I’m going to like your friends blog –

  2. Thank you for this great retrospective look at an amazing year.

    • i thought it was pretty neat! so many things forgotten… at least by me… i think the only thing on the list i haven’t heard of is the book they mention…. as for the music and the movies, those i have watched or heard of…

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