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The Zanzibar Revolution (Arabic: ثورة زنجبار Thawrat Zanjibār) occurred in 1964 and led to the overthrow of the Sultan of Zanzibar and his mainly Arab government by local African revolutionaries. Zanzibar was an ethnically diverse state consisting of a number of islands off the east coast of Tanganyika which had been granted independence by Britain in 1963. In a series of parliamentary elections preceding independence, the Arab minority succeeded in retaining the hold on power it had inherited from Zanzibar's former existence as an overseas territory of Oman. Frustrated by under-representation in Parliament despite winning 54% of the vote in the July 1963 election, the mainly African Afro-Shirazi Party (ASP) allied itself with the left-wing Umma Party, and early in the morning of 12 January 1964 ASP member John Okello mobilised around 600–800 revolutionaries on the main island of Unguja (Zanzibar Island). Having overrun the country's police force and appropriated their weaponry, the insurgents proceeded to Zanzibar Town where they overthrew the Sultan and his government. Reprisals against Arab and South Asian civilians on the island followed the resulting death toll is disputed, with estimates ranging from several hundred to 20,000. The moderate ASP leader Abeid Karume became the country's new president and head of state, and positions of power were granted to Umma party members.
- Afro-Shirazi Party
At least 80 killed and 200 injured during revolution (the majority were Arabs) 
The new government's apparent communist ties concerned Western governments. As Zanzibar lay within the British sphere of influence, the British government drew up a number of intervention plans. However, the feared communist government never materialised, and because British and American citizens were successfully evacuated, these plans were not put into effect. Meanwhile, the Communist Bloc powers of East Germany and the Soviet Union, along with the anti-Soviet People's Republic of China, established friendly relations with the new government by recognising the country and sending advisors. Karume succeeded in negotiating a merger of Zanzibar with Tanganyika to form the new nation of Tanzania, an act judged by contemporary media to be an attempt to prevent communist subversion of Zanzibar. The revolution ended 200 years of Arab dominance in Zanzibar, and is commemorated on the island each year with anniversary celebrations and a public holiday.
Malta stands on an underwater ridge that extends from North Africa to Sicily. At some time in the distant past, Malta was submerged, as shown by marine fossils embedded in rock in the highest points of Malta. As the ridge was pushed up and the Strait of Gibraltar closed through tectonic activity, the sea level was lower, and Malta was on a bridge of dry land that extended between the two continents, surrounded by large lakes. Some caverns in Malta have revealed bones of elephants, hippopotamuses, and other large animals now found in Africa, while others have revealed animals native to Europe.
Neolithic and Temple period Edit
While until recently, it was believed that Malta's first inhabitants arrived in the islands in 5700 BCE, it has now been established that this occurred around 5900 BCE, as is evidenced by studies of ancient soils.  These first Neolithic people have generally been assumed to have arrived from Sicily (about 100 kilometres or 62 miles north), [ citation needed ] but DNA analysis shows that they originated from different parts of the Mediterranean, including both Europe and Africa. 
They were mainly farming and fishing communities, with some evidence of hunting activities. They apparently lived in caves and open dwellings. During the centuries that followed there is evidence of further contacts with other cultures, which left their influence on the local communities, evidenced by their pottery designs and colours. [ citation needed ] The farming methods degraded the soil and over the centuries the islands became too dry to sustain agricultural practices. This occurred partly due to climate change and drought, and the islands were uninhabited for about a millennium. 
Research carried out as part of the FRAGSUS project, comprising analysis of soil cores from valleys, which contained ancient pollen and animal evidence from past environments, revealed that “climate change fluctuations made Malta uninhabitable in some periods of prehistory. There was a substantial break of around 1,000 years between the first settlers and the next group who settled permanently on the Maltese islands and eventually built the megalithic temples.” 
A second wave of colonization arrived from Sicily in around 3850 BC.  Prof. Caroline Malone has said: “Given the restricted land space of Malta, it is remarkable that the second colonisation survived for 1,500 years. This sort of settlement stability is unheard of in Europe and is impressive in terms of how they were able to live on an ever-degrading land for such a period of time.” 
One of the most notable periods of Malta's history is the temple period, starting around 3600 BC. The Ġgantija Temple in Gozo is one of the oldest free-standing buildings in the world. The name of the complex stems from the Maltese word ġgant, which reflects the magnitude of the temple's size. Many of the temples are in the form of five semicircular rooms connected at the centre. It has been suggested that these might have represented the head, arms and legs of a deity, since one of the commonest kinds of statue found in these temples comprises obese human figures, popularly termed "fat ladies" despite their ambiguity of gender, and often considered to represent fertility. [ citation needed ]
The civilization which built the temples lasted for about 1500 years until about 2350 BC, at which point the culture seems to have disappeared. There is speculation about what might have happened and whether they were completely wiped out or assimilated, [ citation needed ] but it is thought that the collapse occurred due to climate conditions and drought. 
Prof. Malone has stated: "We can learn a lot from the mistakes made by the first Maltese. The lack of water, coupled with the destruction of soil that takes centuries to form, can cause the failure of a civilisation. The second group of inhabitants to Malta in 3,850-2,350BC managed their resources adequately and harnessed soil and food for over 1,500 years. It was only when climate conditions and drought became so extreme that they failed." 
Bronze Age Edit
After the Temple period came the Bronze Age. From this period there are remains of a number of settlements and villages, as well as dolmens — altar-like structures made out of very large slabs of stone. They are claimed to belong to a population certainly different from that which built the previous megalithic temples. It is presumed the population arrived from Sicily because of the similarity to the constructions found in the largest island of the Mediterranean sea.  One surviving menhir, which was used to build temples, still stands at Kirkop it is one of the few still in good condition. Among the most interesting and mysterious remnants of this era are the so-called cart ruts as they can be seen at a place on Malta called Misraħ Għar il-Kbir (informally known as 'Clapham Junction'). These are pairs of parallel channels cut into the surface of the rock, and extending for considerable distances, often in an exactly straight line. Their exact use is unknown. One suggestion is that beasts of burden used to pull carts along, and these channels would guide the carts and prevent the animals from straying. The society that built these structures eventually died out or at any rate disappeared. [ citation needed ]
Phoenicians and Carthage Edit
Phoenicians possibly from Tyre began to colonize the islands in approximately the early 8th century BC as an outpost from which they expanded sea explorations and trade in the Mediterranean. Phoenician tombs have been found in Rabat, Malta and the town of the same name on Gozo, which suggest that the main urban centres at the time were present-day Mdina on Malta and the Cittadella on Gozo.  The former settlement was known as Maleth meaning safe haven, and the whole island began to be referred to by that name.
The Maltese Islands fell under the hegemony of Carthage around the middle of 6th century BC, along with most other Phoenician colonies in the western Mediterranean. By the late 4th century BC, Malta had become a trading post linking southern Italy and Sicily to Tripolitania. This resulted in the introduction of Hellenistic features in architecture and pottery, discerning Malta was Hellenized it is not known if Malta was settled like a traditional Greek "apoikia", so, some support that Malta was never a Greek colony.  Hellenistic architectural features can be seen in the Punic temple at Tas-Silġ and a tower in Żurrieq. The Greek language also began to be used in Malta, as evidenced by the bilingual Phoenician and Greek inscriptions found on the Cippi of Melqart. In the 18th century, French scholar Jean-Jacques Barthélemy deciphered the extinct Phoenician alphabet using the inscriptions on these cippi. 
In 255 BC, the Romans raided Malta during the First Punic War, devastating much of the island. 
Roman rule Edit
According to Latin historian Livy, the Maltese Islands passed into the hands of the Romans at the start of the Second Punic War in the year 218 BC. As written by Livy, the commander of the Punic garrison on the Island surrendered without resistance to Tiberius Sempronius Longus, one of the two consuls for that year who was on his way to North Africa. The archipelago became part of the province of Sicily, but by the 1st century AD it had its own senate and people's assembly. By this time, both Malta and Gozo minted distinctive coins based on Roman weight measurements. 
In the Roman period, the Punic city of Maleth became known as Melite, and it became the administrative hub of the Island. Its size grew to its maximum extent, occupying the entire area of present-day Mdina and large parts of Rabat, extending to what is now the church of St Paul. Remains show that the city was surrounded by thick defensive walls and was also protected by a protective ditch that ran along the same line of St Rita Street, which was built directly above it. Remains hint that a religious centre with a number of temples was built on the highest part of the promontory. The remains of one impressive residence known as the Domvs Romana have been excavated, revealing well-preserved Pompeian style mosaics. This domus seems to have been the residence of a rich Roman aristocrat, and it is believed to have been built in the 1st century BC and abandoned in the 2nd century AD. 
The islands prospered under Roman rule, and were eventually distinguished as a Municipium and a Foederata Civitas. Many Roman antiquities still exist, testifying to the close link between the Maltese inhabitants and Sicily.  Throughout the period of Roman rule, Latin became Malta's official language, and Roman religion was introduced in the islands. Despite this, the local Punic-Hellenistic culture and language is thought to have survived until at least the 1st century AD. 
In AD 60, the Acts of the Apostles records that Saint Paul was shipwrecked on an island named Melite, which many Bible scholars and Maltese conflate with Malta there is a tradition that the shipwreck took place on the shores of the aptly named "St. Paul's Bay".
Malta remained part of the Roman Empire until the early 6th century AD.  The Vandals and later the Ostrogoths might have briefly occupied the islands in the 5th century,  but there is no archaeological evidence to support this. 
Byzantine rule Edit
In 533, Byzantine general Belisarius may have landed at Malta while on his way from Sicily to North Africa, and by 535, the islands were integrated into the Byzantine province of Sicily. During the Byzantine period, the main settlements remained the city of Melite on mainland Malta and the Citadel on Gozo, while Marsaxlokk, Marsaskala, Marsa and Xlendi are believed to have served as harbours. The relatively high quantity of Byzantine ceramics found in Malta suggests that the island might have had an important strategic role within the empire from the 6th to 8th centuries. 
From the late 7th century onward, the Mediterranean was being threatened by Muslim expansion. At this point, the Byzantines probably improved the defences of Malta, as can be seen by defensive walls built around the basilica at Tas-Silġ around the 8th century. The Byzantines might have also built the retrenchment which reduced Melite to one-third of its original size. 
Arab period Edit
In 870 AD, Malta was occupied by Muslims from North Africa. According to Al-Himyarī, Aghlabids led by Halaf al-Hādim besieged the Byzantine city of Melite, which was ruled by governor Amros (probably Ambrosios). Al-Hādim was killed in the fighting, and Sawāda Ibn Muḥammad was sent from Sicily to continue the siege following his death. The duration of the siege is unknown, but it probably lasted for some weeks or months. After Melite fell to the invaders, the inhabitants were massacred, the city was destroyed and its churches were looted. Marble from Melite's churches was used to build the castle of Sousse.  According to Al-Himyarī, Malta remained almost uninhabited until it was resettled in around 1048 or 1049 by a Muslim community and their slaves, who rebuilt the city of Melite as Medina, making it "a finer place than it was before." However, archaeological evidence suggests that Melite/Medina was already a thriving Muslim settlement by the beginning of the 11th century, so Al-Himyarī's account might be unreliable.  In 1053–54, the Byzantines besieged Medina but they were repelled by its defenders.  Although their rule was relatively short, the Arabs left a significant impact on Malta. In addition to their language, Siculo-Arabic, cotton, oranges and lemons and many new techniques in irrigation were introduced. Some of these, like the noria (waterwheel), are still used, unchanged, today. Many place names in Malta date to this period.
A long historiographic controversy loomed over Medieval Muslim Malta. According to the "Christian continuity thesis", spearheaded by Giovanni Francesco Abela and still most present in popular narratives, the Maltese population continuously inhabited the islands from the early Christian Era up to today, and a Christian community persisted even during Muslim times. This was contested in the 1970s by the medieval historian Godfrey Wettinger, who claimed that nothing indicated the continuity of Christianity from the late 9th to the 11th century on the Maltese Islands – the Maltese must have integrated into the new Arab Islamic society. The Christian continuity thesis had a revival in 2010 following the publication of Tristia ex Melitogaudo by Stanley Fiorini, Horatio Vella and Joseph Brincat, who challenged Wettinger's interpretation based on a line of a Byzantine poem (which later appeared to have been mistranslated). Wettinger subsequently reaffirmed his thesis, based on sources from the Arab historians and geographers Al Baqri, Al-Himyarī, Ibn Hauqal, Qazwini, who all seemed to be in agreement that “the island of Malta remained after that a ruin without inhabitants” – thus ruling out any continuity whatsoever between the Maltese prior to 870 and after. This is also consistent with Joseph Brincat’s finding of no further sub-stratas beyond Arabic in the Maltese language, a very rare occurrence which may only be explained by a drastic lapse between one period and the following. To the contrary, the few Byzantine words in Maltese language can be traced to the 400 Rhodians coming with the knights in 1530, as well as to the influx of Greek rite Christians from Sicily. 
Norman Kingdom of Sicily rule Edit
Malta returned to Christian rule with the Norman conquest. It was, with Noto on the southern tip of Sicily, the last Arab stronghold in the region to be retaken by the resurgent Christians.  In 1091, Count Roger I of Sicily, invaded Malta and turned the island's Muslim rulers into his vassals. In 1127, his son Roger II of Sicily fully established Norman rule in Malta, paving the way for the islands' Christianization. 
Malta was part of the Kingdom of Sicily for nearly 440 years. During this period, Malta was sold and resold to various feudal lords and barons and was dominated successively by the rulers of Swabia, Anjou,  the Crown of Aragon, the Crown of Castile and Spain. Eventually, the Crown of Aragon, which then ruled Malta, joined with Castile in 1479, and Malta became part of the Spanish Empire.  Meanwhile, Malta's administration fell in the hands of local nobility who formed a governing body called the Università.
The islands remained largely Muslim-inhabited long after the end of Arab rule. The Arab administration was also kept in place  and Muslims were allowed to practise their religion freely until the 13th century.  The Normans allowed an emir to remain in power with the understanding that he would pay an annual tribute to them in mules, horses, and munitions.  As a result of this favourable environment, Muslims continued to demographically and economically dominate Malta for at least another 150 years after the Christian conquest. 
In 1122, Malta experienced a Muslim uprising and in 1127 Roger II of Sicily reconquered the islands. 
Even in 1175, Burchard, bishop of Strasbourg, an envoy of Frederick I, Holy Roman Emperor, had the impression, based upon his brief visit to Malta, that it was exclusively or mainly inhabited by Muslims.  
In 1192, Tancred of Sicily appointed Margaritus of Brindisi the first Count of Malta, perhaps for his unexpected success in capturing Empress Constance contender to the throne. Between 1194 and 1530, the Kingdom of Sicily ruled the Maltese islands and a process of full latinisation started in Malta. The conquest of the Normans would lead to the gradual Romanization and Latinization and subsequent firm establishment of Roman Catholicism in Malta, after previous respective Eastern Orthodox and Islamic domination.   Until 1224, however, there remained a strong Muslim segment of society.
In 1224, Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, sent an expedition against Malta to establish royal control and prevent its Muslim population from helping a Muslim rebellion in the Kingdom of Sicily. 
After the Norman conquest, the population of the Maltese islands kept growing mainly through immigration from the north (Sicily and Italy), with the exile to Malta of the entire male population of the town of Celano (Italy) in 1223, the stationing of a Norman and Sicilian garrison on Malta in 1240 and the settlement in Malta of noble families from Sicily between 1372 and 1450. As a consequence of this, Capelli et al. found in 2005 that "the contemporary males of Malta most likely originated from Southern Italy, including Sicily and up to Calabria." 
According to a report in 1240 or 1241 by Gililberto Abbate, who was the royal governor of Frederick II of Sicily during the Genoese Period of the County of Malta,  in that year the islands of Malta and Gozo had 836 Muslim families, 250 Christian families and 33 Jewish families. 
Around 1249, some Maltese Muslims were sent to the Italian colony of Lucera, established for Sicilian Muslims.  For some historians, including Godfrey Wettinger, who follow on this Ibn Khaldun, this event marked the end of Islam in Malta. According to Wettinger, "there is no doubt that by the beginning of Angevin times [i.e. shortly after 1249] no professed Muslim Maltese remained either as free persons or even as serfs on the island."  The Maltese language nevertheless survived – an indication that either a large number of Christians already spoke Maltese, or that many Muslims converted and remained behind.
In 1266, Malta was turned over in fiefdom to Charles of Anjou, brother of France's King Louis IX, who retained it in ownership until 1283. Eventually, during Charles's rule religious coexistence became precarious in Malta, since he had a genuine intolerance of religions other than Roman Catholicism.  However, Malta's links with Africa would still remain strong until the beginning of Aragonese and Spanish rule in 1283, following the War of the Sicilian Vespers. 
In September 1429, Hafsid Saracens attempted to capture Malta but were repelled by the Maltese. The invaders pillaged the countryside and took about 3000 inhabitants as slaves. 
By the end of the 15th century, all Maltese Muslims would be forced to convert to Christianity and had to find ways to disguise their previous identities by Latinizing or adopting new surnames. 
How the 1964 Republican Convention Sparked a Revolution From the Right
There were only three small elevators at the Mark Hopkins, the splendid old San Francisco hotel that served as headquarters for contenders Barry Goldwater and William Scranton during the 1964 Republican National Convention. The wait that hot July week could stretch to 45 minutes. The day Goldwater was to accept the nomination at the Cow Palace in nearby Daly City, he caught a service elevator in the hotel kitchen.
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That was where a reporter cornered the Arizona senator and asked him whether the Democrats would campaign on the fact that nearly 70 percent of the convention delegates, acting on his campaign's instructions, had voted down a platform plank affirming the constitutionality of the recently passed Civil Rights Act. "After Lyndon Johnson—the biggest faker in the United States? He opposed civil rights until this year. Let them make an issue of it," Goldwater snapped back. "He's the phoniest individual who ever came around."
Goldwater's tone reflected the tenor of this ugliest of Republican conventions since 1912, as entrenched moderates faced off against conservative insurgents. In an era in which a national consensus seemed to have coalesced around advancing civil rights, containing Communism and expanding government, the moderates believed they had to win to preserve the Republican Party. The conservatives—who wanted to contain the role of the federal government and roll back Communism—believed they were saving not just the party but Western civilization.
The logy Mark Hopkins elevators gave the insurgents, flooding into town for what Goldwater biographer Robert Alan Goldberg called the "Woodstock of the right," at least two chances a day to bait Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, anchors of NBC's nightly newscast—and crypto-liberals, according to their harassers. "You know, these nighttime news shows sound to me like they're being broadcast from Moscow," one conservative observed to another on the way down, loud enough for the two newsmen to hear. Brinkley forbade his son, Alan, to show his NBC insignia, except to security.
The volume of right-wing rage at the media was novel at this Republican convention. Unprecedented, too, was the attention focused on the issue of television coverage. The convention was the first since CBS and NBC had expanded their nightly newscasts from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, and the first since the assassination and funeral of President John F. Kennedy redefined the bond between television and politics. In 1960, there were about as many journalists, both print and broadcast, as delegates. Four years later, broadcasters alone outnumbered delegates two to one.
As it happened, Alan Brinkley grew up to become one of the most distinguished historians of 20th-century American politics. He has written of the 1964 conventions, Republican and Democratic, as transitional—managed by politicians who were accustomed to backroom deal-making and high-pressure crowd tactics and were caught up short to learn that they were suddenly in the business of producing a TV show.
And what a show the GOP convention was! Conservatives from the West, the South and the Midwest were convinced that the only way moderate "Wall Street Republicans" had been able to run away with the presidential nomination every four years was that "a few secret kingmakers in New York" conspired to steal it, as Illinois activist Phyllis Schlafly put it in a self-published book, A Choice Not an Echo, several hundred thousand copies of which were distributed in the summer of 1964. (Some convention delegates reported receiving more than 60 copies in the mail.) They weren't going to let it be stolen this time.
Goldwater's finance chairman, Bill Middendorf, warned campaign aide Dean Burch that "the 1952 tricks will be used again": planted stories, whispering campaigns, threats, cajolery and the "shanghaiing and spiriting of delegates and alternates to distant points." Goldwater delegates were warned to be on the lookout "for unexpectedly easy companionship from new-found female friends." They were to contact the Goldwater headquarters on the 15th floor of the Mark Hopkins immediately after landing at the airport and to travel around town in pairs along pre-timed routes in radio-equipped cars. They used walkie-talkies only as back-ups, because these could be too easily tapped into—as, indeed, they had tapped into Scranton's.
Bill Scranton, whose patrician family ran the Pennsylvania coal town that bore his name, seemed to comedian Dick Gregory like "the guy who runs to John Wayne for help." (Goldwater looked like a cowboy.) Scranton had entered the race as a last-minute act of noblesse oblige. "Today the nation—and indeed the world—waits to see if another proud political banner will falter, grow limp and collapse in the dust," he had said as he announced his candidacy just four weeks before the convention. "Lincoln would cry out in pain if we sold out our principles."
According to a Harris Poll taken late that June, 62 percent of rank and file Republicans preferred Scranton to Goldwater, but the supposed Wall Street kingmakers were in dithering disarray. ("What in God's name has happened to the Republican Party!" muttered Henry Cabot Lodge —the party's 1960 vice presidential nominee—as he paged through the delegate list in his hotel room. "I hardly know any of these people!") The moderates' strategy was to put the Goldwaterites' perceived extremism on televised display, hoping delegates would flock to Scranton after being flooded by telegrams from outraged voters watching at home.
The moderates circulated a translation of an interview Goldwater had given to a German newsmagazine, in which he was quoted as saying he would tell his generals in Vietnam, "Fellows, we made the decision to win, now it's your problem." CBS correspondent Daniel Schorr then reported, "It is now clear that Senator Goldwater's interview with Der Spiegel with its hard line appealing to right-wing elements in Germany was only the start of a move to link up with his opposite numbers in Germany," with Schorr basing his assertion simply on the fact that Goldwater would be vacationing after the convention at an American military installation that was, coincidentally, in the former Nazi stronghold of Bavaria. (Schorr later said he did not mean to suggest "a conscious effort" by Goldwater to connect with the German right.)
Schorr's report only stirred the hornet's nest: the delegates who had trooped to the conservative Woodstock to nominate Goldwater greeted calls that they abandon him with angry defiance, and their loyalty put their candidate over the top. When Nelson Rockefeller, speaking to the assembled, advocated a platform plank denouncing extremism, galleries full of exuberant conservatives booed him. In his acceptance speech, Goldwater capped off the snub by lustily and defiantly proclaiming: "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And. moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue!" He raised the rafters.
The "stench of fascism is in the air," Pat Brown, California's liberal Democratic governor, told the press. His view was widely shared. The political world's near unanimous judgment was that Goldwater's landslide loss to LBJ that November was a disaster for all Republicans, not just conservative Republicans.
But Bill Middendorf would more accurately call his memoir of that year A Glorious Disaster. Out of its ashes and out of the fervent grassroots organizing that delivered Goldwater his unlikely nomination emerged a Republican Party surer of its identity and better positioned to harvest the bounty—particularly in the South—when the American mood shifted to the right during the cacophonous years that followed.
Rick Perlstein is the author, most recently, of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America.
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TV announcer (archival): Ladies and gentlemen across the nation, we’re packed in here, a half a million people I would say, here in Times Square. The village green of little old New York town.
Narrator: On December 31st, 1963, the usual collection of revelers gathered in Times Square to welcome the New Year.
TV Announcer (archival): In a matter of seconds it will be 1964. The New Year, a fresh start. Two seconds, one. Happy New Year! Happy New Year 1964!
Narrator: As they broke out the champagne, Americans were full of hope for the year ahead, but their optimism was tinged with a deep anxiety. No one could forget the shocking events that had occurred just five weeks earlier, in Dallas, Texas.
Reporter (archival audio): Mrs. Kennedy cried out when the shots were fired, was weeping and trying to hold up her husband's head.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The year 1964 really began on November 22nd, 1963, with the tragedy of the assassination of a president.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: It’s difficult unless you lived through it to realize how traumatic it was for Americans.
Robert Dallek, Historian: Shook the national confidence was the President so vulnerable? Is the country that vulnerable?
Walter Cronkite, CBS News (archival): From Dallas, Texas, the flash, apparently official. President Kennedy died at one pm Central Standard Time. Two o'clock Eastern Standard Time. Some 38 minutes ago.
Reporter (archival audio): We just got the word. Lyndon B. Johnson has been sworn in as the President of the United States.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): I know that the world shares the sorrow that Mrs. Kennedy and her family bear. I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help, and God's.
Jann S. Wenner, Founder, Rolling Stone: That singular event led to the 60s, as we know it. The letting loose of everything.
Narrator: It would be the year when change was inescapable, the moment that fundamentally altered the kind of nation America would become.
Robert Lipsyte, Sportswriter: It was in 1964 that every kind of split in American life suddenly became open and visible.
Muhammad Ali, Boxer (archival): I must be the greatest, I told the world.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: It was the kind of watershed that you very rarely see in history.
Marilyn B. Young, Historian: Things are cracking and breaking and fracturing, and being, most importantly, rethought.
Narrator: It would be the year when the future of the country would be fiercely and passionately debated.
Lee Edwards, Historian: 1964 was the year that changed American politics, absolutely.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): My fellow citizens, we have come now to a time of testing.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: We set the stage for this to be the greatest country ever. We set this stage whereby we could be the showcase for democracy.
Richard A. Viguerie, Conservative Activist: What happened in ’64 was terrifying to us. We saw America changing right in front of our eyes.
Leah Wright Rigueur, Historian: It’s just this explosive year where people are forced to say what they mean, mean what they say, and follow it up.
Narrator: 1964 would be the year when institutions came under assault, and when generations began to split apart.
Jann S. Wenner, Founder, Rolling Stone: It was the coming of age of the biggest, best-educated and wealthiest generation in the history of America, and there’s gonna be trouble. And there was.
Narrator: On January 1st, the year ahead did not appear to hold out the promise of revolutionary change. The new hit song on the radio was Bobby Vinton’s “There! I’ve Said It Again.” Vogue magazine’s cover proclaimed “the look that’s 1964" and featured a modest sky-blue blouse and jaunty straw hat.
Robert Cohen, Historian: I think a lot of people would say that we still weren’t out of the 50s completely. America hadn’t taken its coat and tie off yet.
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: The thing was to have a very narrow lapel, have a very narrow cut, and to go out into the world, with quite clear circumstances in which you advanced in one place. And that was that.
Reverend Ed King, Civil Rights Activist: You dressed like everybody else. Nobody was particularly noticeable.
Narrator: On television, Bonanza remained one of the nation’s highest-rated shows. Hello Dolly, starring Carol Channing, began its remarkable run on Broadway. And in movie theaters, Rock Hudson and Doris Day starred in the romantic comedy Send Me No Flowers.
Stephanie Coontz, Historian: As a teenager, I had thought that I would just get married. Every boy I used to date, I used to, you know, put Mrs. So-and-So in front of his name, you know?
Rick Perlstein, Writer: Walter Lippmann, the kind of marquee pundit of the day, said that America was more united and at peace with itself than it ever had been. I mean, 1964 is when we see this great mass middle class. People who grew up with outhouses in their backyard are taking their children to vacation houses on the lake. And the idea was that America had figured it out.
Stephanie Coontz, Historian: We came out of World War II the most prosperous nation in the world, and there was this tremendous sense that we had defeated Fascism.
Jann S. Wenner, Founder, Rolling Stone: Our parents had collaborated as a society and one of the greatest achievements ever, you know, World War II and the destruction of Hitler. You know there’s every reason to kind of get along and feel comfortable and not rock the boat. And it seemed like it was a period of quietude.
Narrator: Despite the outward appearance of calm, as the year began, Americans were still haunted by the assassination of their president.
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: Jack Kennedy represented the future he was the dream president and here he was cut off and who succeeds him? Lyndon Johnson. Lyndon Johnson is not a figure of great popularity in the general public.
John H. Bracey, Jr., Historian: Johnson has no legitimacy in that job. He’s there because somebody got shot. He wasn’t elected, somebody got shot.
Jon Margolis, Author, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: The Constitution says, when there is a vacancy, the vice president takes over. But he didn’t feel legitimate. It’s not just political. It’s sort of psychological. “I’m here. I’m the most powerful person in the world. But the public didn’t choose me. I didn’t get elected.”
Narrator: Johnson’s chance to prove himself -- the 1964 election -- was only 10 months away, and in the meantime, the new president faced a daunting set of challenges. John F. Kennedy had put forward a progressive legislative agenda to address the increasingly volatile problem of inequality in America -- a landmark civil rights bill, and a series of initiatives to fight poverty. Neither of them had made progress in a divided Congress. And on the international front, Kennedy’s policies had drawn America deeper into the simmering conflict in Vietnam. Now, on January eighth, only seven weeks after taking office, Lyndon Johnson had to make the case for his own administration in his first State of the Union address.
Reporter (archival audio): It is now 12:30 pm Eastern Standard Time in Washington. Everyone is assembled.
House Sergeant at Arms (archival): Mr. Speaker, the President of the United States.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: Lyndon Johnson wanted to be a great president. And I think he understood we had developed this broad middle class, but there were many groups that were completely left out. If he could do something that had never been done before in America, and that was actually attack the root causes of poverty, transform America, it would be a legacy that no other president would have had.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): This administration today here and now declares unconditional war on poverty in America.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: What he spells out to that Congress, it’s unprecedented. He says, “We’re not just going to try to alleviate poverty, we’re going to try and end it.”
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): Let me make one principle of this administration abundantly clear. All of these increased opportunities in employment and education and housing must be open to Americans of every color.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Johnson understands poverty and race are inextricably mixed in the great injustice in America. He is the president who has this vision of a vast, domestic reform of justice. You know, Martin Luther King said the moral arc of the universe bends slowly, but it bends towards justice. In 1964, Lyndon Johnson is trying to bend that arc faster.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): Join with me in working for a nation, a nation that is free from war, and a world that is free from hate.
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: For Johnson, the ghost of John Kennedy was huge in 1964. When Kennedy was killed, it was felt that somehow this was a plot to stop progress. Johnson has to make people feel that the spirit of John Kennedy is living on. Although in doing that he would do much more than John Kennedy actually ever did.
Lee Edwards, Historian: Johnson was going to promise to do away with poverty he was going to educate everybody. And everybody was going to have a house, everybody was going to have a TV set, and on and on and on and on. Of course the price tag for all of this would be billions and billions of dollars. For me, as a young conservative, I had very mixed feelings.
Richard A. Viguerie, Conservative Activist: For the young conservatives, LBJ was over the top. It was terrifying. We felt we could see our world slipping from us, and we wanted to change that.
Narrator: In early January, the nation’s press assembled on the lawn of a hilltop house in Phoenix. Arizona’s two-term Senator, Barry Goldwater, was about to make a dramatic announcement, one that would not only reshape the politics of 1964, but transform the American political landscape for generations to come.
Senator Barry Goldwater (archival): I want to tell you that I will seek the Republican Presidential nomination. And I've decided to do this because of the principles in which I believe and because I'm convinced that millions of Americans share my belief in those principle.
Richard A. Viguerie, Conservative Activist: Goldwater told us, he said, you know, as conservatives we can take this party over. Before that, we didn’t have a voice we didn’t have anybody speaking for us. The Republican Party was establishment Republicans, big government Republicans.
Narrator: For years, conservative activists had been searching for a presidential candidate who would embrace the ideals they cherished.
Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Leader: Before 1964, the Republican establishment was picking all of our candidates. They had given us two-time loser Tom Dewey. They were "me too" Republicans. Whatever the Democrats said, basically, they said, "me too." And we were tired of that. We wanted a real conservative who would stand up for real American and conservative principles.
Lee Edwards, Historian: We believed that we had the right ideas. You know, limited government, individual freedom, free enterprise, traditional American values, a strong national defense. These were not only conservative ideas, but were American ideas. We would organize ourselves into some kind a youth group, a political action group and coming out of that was Young Americans for Freedom. And really from the beginning we looked to Barry Goldwater.
Narrator: The senator’s philosophy had been distilled into a book entitled The Conscience of a Conservative, which quickly became a kind of manifesto for the new right.
Richard A. Viguerie, Conservative Activist: He believed in a balanced budget, he believed in limited government, he believed in increasing liberty and freedom for the individuals. Finally somebody is saying what we’ve been thinking about.
Lee Edwards, Historian: So we bombarded Goldwater with telegrams, with letters, with telephone calls and what have you, saying you must run, you must run, you must run for the country, you must run for the movement. And finally, at the last minute, he said, “All right, damn it, I will.”
Senator Barry Goldwater (archival): I won't change my beliefs to win votes. I will offer a choice, not an echo. This will not be an engagement in personalities it will be an engagement of principles.
Singer (archival audio): Goldwater, go, go, go, you’re going to win we know.
Reporter (archival audio): Goldwater’s ultra right supporters aren’t always middle aged by any means. To these young Republicans who wrote this ditty, Barry Goldwater is the old wild westerner come to life. A bulwark against the welfare state and red tyranny.
Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Leader: Goldwater was authentic, he said what he believed and believed what he said, and we liked that. 1964 was the birth of the modern conservative movement.
Narrator: At 1:20 pm on February 7th, Pan Am Flight 101 touched down at New York's recently renamed John F. Kennedy Airport, and the Beatles arrived in America.
Ed Sullivan (archival): Ladies and gentlemen, The Beatles!
The Beatles (archival, singing): Close your eyes and I'll kiss you. Tomorrow I'll miss you.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: I remember watching them on the Ed Sullivan Show.
The Beatles (archival, singing): I'll pretend that I'm kissing.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: I am in our TV room, hugging a Naugahyde ottoman to help anchor me. There they are with their long hair and Paul’s eyelashes, and their heels and they sang about us. They liked girls and they also felt the same pain that girls did. I think that's one of the big reasons we all screamed our heads off.
The Beatles (archival, singing): I will send to you.
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: The Beatles arriving represent hopefulness. They’re just a whole lot of fun filling stadiums.
Jann S. Wenner, Founder, Rolling Stone: I was just blown away by the kind of -- the life, the spirit, the enjoyment, the joy. The music was wonderful.
Beatles fans (archival): We want the Beatles! We want the Beatles!
Jon Margolis, Author, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: They did scare a lot of parents. These kids, they were the first generation who had been brought up in the well-ordered, comfortable life of suburbia and therefore, many of them were quite bored. And so they were beginning to rebel in sort of harmless ways. You know? Boys stopped cutting their hair. And there were fights in households. You have to get a haircut. I won’t get a haircut. I mean, you know, and that became kind of almost a public issue.
Reporter (archival): Is that a Beatle haircut you've got?
Boy (archival): Yes.
Reporter (archival): How’d you work it out?
Boy (archival): Well I let my hair flop around until it’s all messy.
Reporter (archival): What do your parents say about it?
Boy (archival): They don't like it.
Reporter (archival): Then why do you comb it that way?
Boy (archival): 'Cause I like the Beatles!
Reporter (archival): You don't care if your parents like it or not?
Boy (archival): Nope!
Robert Lipsyte, Sportswriter: The Beatles, they were in the beginning of their first American tour. They were in Miami Beach. So they went to have a picture taken with Sonny Liston, the heavyweight champion of the world. And he took one look at these four little boys and he said, “I ain't posing with them sissies.” So the Beatles were stuffed back into their limo, and as second-best they were taken to Cassius Clay’s training camp. Cassius Clay was fighting Sonny Liston for the heavyweight championship of the world.
So I'm 26 years old, I was a feature writer. I was sent down to cover the fight. I go down to where Cassius Clay trained. I go up the stairs to the gym, and there's this hubbub behind me. And I ask one of the guys, "Some group, you know, singers for girls." And Cassius Clay has not arrived. The Beatles turn around, ‘cause they’re not going to wait for some Cassius Clay, but the guards push them right up. In those days you could push the Beatles. They pushed them right up the stairs and they push all five of us into an empty dressing room, lock the door.
The Beatles were raging, and they were banging and cursing. And then suddenly, the door bursts open, and there is the most beautiful creature any of us have ever seen. You forget how big Cassius Clay was 'cause he was so perfect. He was laughing and he said, “Come on, Beatles, let's go make some money!” And they followed him out, like kindergarten kids.
February 18th, 1964. It’s an amazing moment, the kind of confluence of two of the great socio-cultural rivers of our time. And afterwards the Beatles leave. Cassius Clay goes back into that dressing room to get his rubdown. He beckons me over and he said, “So who were those little sissies?”
Narrator: The heavy-weight championship fight between Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston was scheduled for February 25th, at the Miami Beach Convention Hall. For the young challenger, this moment had been a long time coming. Clay had arrived on the boxing scene in 1954 and had captured the Olympic gold medal in 1960. Yet his professional record wasn’t all that impressive. He had fought a string of weak, handpicked opponents on the way to his matchup with Liston. By the eve of the fight, Clay was a 7-1 underdog. But the greater the odds against him, the more outrageous Clay became.
Cassius Clay (archival): Fifteen times I have told the clown what round he’s goin' down, and this chump ain’t no different. He’ll fall at eight to prove that I’m great, and if he keeps talkin’ jive, I’m gonna cut it to five.
If Sonny Liston whips me, I’ll kiss his feet in the ring.
I won’t get hit, I won’t get hit, I’m so quick. He’s gonna be so tired in five rounds.
John H. Bracey, Jr., Historian: He just didn’t shut up. He just, he’s rhyming all the time, he’s making predictions. You’re not supposed to make predictions when you fight, ‘cause you get in trouble. He didn’t care.
Narrator: Clay was not a typical heavyweight champ in another respect. A few years earlier, he had begun flirting with the Muslim faith, but he had kept his newfound spirituality quiet, afraid that if it became public he would be denied a shot at the title. Now, Clay’s moment had come.
Announcer (archival audio): World heavyweight boxing title on the line.
Jon Margolis, Author: Everybody who knew anything about boxing knew that Sonny Liston would just wipe up the floor with young Cassius Clay.
Robert Lipsyte, Sportswriter: I was sitting ringside. Once the fight began, there was no question Clay was in absolute control.
Announcer (archival audio): Another jarring right hand that time -- another one! Sonny wobbles. Sonny wobbles.
Robert Lipsyte, Sportswriter: Liston never came out for the seventh round, he had a deep cut.
Announcer (archival audio): They might be stopping it. That might be all, ladies and gentlemen.
Robert Lipsyte, Sportswriter: Clay won the fight.
Announcer (archival audio): Get up there, get up in the ring!
Robert Lipsyte, Sportswriter: The morning after the fight, he was uncharacteristically subdued and polite. He more or less said that he had done all these outrageous things, said all this, made these flamboyant actions to sell tickets for the fight, but that now that it was over he could be a polite and responsible gentleman champion. The younger reporters, we were really disappointed. And somebody said, "Are you a card-carrying Muslim?" And of course card-carrying, even in 1964, had some real resonance, you know "card-carrying communist."
Cassius Clay (archival): Why is everybody so shook up? What do I look like I am to you?
Reporter (archival): I don’t know Cassius, you just. Like you say, you're the greatest.
Cassius Clay (archival): I don't have to be what you want me to be. I'm free to be what I want to be and think what I want to think.
Jon Margolis, Author, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: He said, “I don't have to be what you want me to be.” And in a way it was the same thing that the kids who were not getting their haircuts were saying. It was the same thing that people were saying in politics. You've had this role cut out for me, but I don't have to play it anymore.
John H. Bracey, Jr., Historian: I’m not following the mold, whatever the mold was, like, I'm not in it, I'm going to be myself, and whatever that is.
Narrator: The next day, Cassius Clay put the rumors to rest, announcing that he had, in fact, joined the Muslim faith.
Reporter (archival): Why do you insist on being called Muhammad Ali now?
Cassius Clay (archival): That’s the name given to me by leading teacher, the honorable Elijah Muhammad. That’s my original name, that’s a black man name. Cassius Clay was my slave name. I’m no longer a slave.
Reporter (archival): What does it mean?
Cassius Clay (archival): Muhammad means "worthy of all praises" and Ali means "most high."
Robert Lipsyte, Sportswriter: He made no apologies for himself. He said, "Here I am." He just seemed like somebody who had come out of the neighborhood, somebody who was going to stand up for the man, and say what he believed in. The Beatles, Cassius Clay, I mean this was the toppling of the order that was my generation. And it was thrilling.
Stephanie Coontz, Historian: My mom was a homemaker in Salt Lake City. She had been a very adventurous young woman. She worked in the shipyards during World War II and was very proud of herself and very resentful when they were fired as soon as the first boatload of GI's came home. But it was time to start a family and she settled down and eventually got bored with it but had been so kind of brainwashed by the women’s magazines and the TV shows that even this woman who'd been very kind of bohemian and radical in her youth began to feel that there was something wrong with her for not being totally happy. The first time I learned this about her was in 1964. I was away at school and we had a weekly phone call and she started telling me about this book she was reading, The Feminine Mystique, and how indignant it made her and how it opened her eyes and then all of this all this stuff poured out of her. I had thought she was a totally happy homemaker. She said, "Oh my god" she said, "I was going crazy and I thought it was something wrong with me."
Narrator: The work of a magazine writer and student of psychology named Betty Friedan, The Feminine Mystique hit the bestseller lists on March 15th, 1964. It would become one of the most popular paperbacks of the year, and one of the most influential books of the century. In its pages, Friedan defined something that afflicted millions of American women she called it "the problem that has no name."
Claire Bond Potter, Historian: The problem that had no name was a strange stirring. Today we would call it depression, but what Friedan describes is a set of feelings that women can't put into words. That they are prosperous, they have children, they have husbands. In other words, they have everything that they have been told by commercial culture that they’re supposed to want, and yet they're still unhappy and they don’t know why.
Interviewer (archival): Now, Ms. Friedan, you feel then that a very tremendous problem with women is not knowing who they are -- a loss of touch of their own identity.
Betty Friedan (archival): Well, it's not being anybody themselves, for so many, and even feeling guilty. You see, I've had letters from over a thousand women since my book came out, and a woman today has been made to feel freakish and alone and guilty if simply she wants to be more than her husband's wife, her children’s' mother, if she really wants to really use her abilities in society. And so, all women have suffered by the feminine mystique.
Claire Bond Potter, Historian: Betty Friedan defines the feminine mystique as something that's invented in popular culture, and specifically by advertisers.
Advertisement (archival): You know, it's a crime not to have delicious coffee like this all the time. We will now that I've discovered "the mountains!"
Claire Bond Potter, Historian: Women are expected to be happy, by consuming things, consuming houses, consuming dishwashers, consuming the right soap, consuming the right clothes and makeup and shoes.
Advertisement (archival): All these reasons for being happy come out of this bottle.
Claire Bond Potter, Historian: The feminine mystique is something that doesn’t exist, that women can never be and women can never have and thus it becomes a trap for them.
Betty Friedan (archival): Television, for instance, you see there are no what I call, no heroines, things, on television today. There are -- there's this mindless little drudge who seems never to have gotten beyond fifth grade herself, whose greatest thrill and ecstasy is to get that kitchen sink or floor pure white. And needs the advice of some wise elderly man even to do that, you see…
Stephanie Coontz, Historian: At one point Friedan says, "A women will look around and she’ll think maybe it's her husband's fault, maybe her house isn’t big enough, maybe she doesn’t have enough kids, maybe she needs another child." She says, "None of it's that. It's that you're missing the opportunity to grow as a human being and that’s a normal desire, and when it is thwarted it's normal to feel bad about it, and so instead of allowing it to be thwarted you should do something about it."
Announcer (archival): A sure sign of spring and the first robin. Here are the hat fashions that will star in the Easter style parade.
Narrator: The spring of 1964 brought with it familiar rituals, but also signs that change was in the air. Visitors flocked past the tilted globe known as the Unisphere, as the World’s Fair opened in New York City Americans debated the Surgeon General’s recent announcement that smoking increased the risk of lung cancer and a stylish new convertible, the Ford Mustang, hit the American highway.
Jon Margolis, Author, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: The Mustang was sportier than any American car that had ever been created. It was designed for young people, and in buying one a person was making a statement about him or herself. As much as buying a piece of transportation to get from here to there.
Announcer (archival audio): Albert’s a Mustanger now. He bought a beautiful Mustang convertible. All of a sudden his whole life changed. Put a few kicks in your life.
Narrator: Americans were living through a period of unprecedented prosperity, flooding into newly built suburbs, raising larger and larger families.
Jon Margolis, Author, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: There had never been so many young people in the world and they never had so much money.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: Our parents came of age during the Depression and the second World War. These were times of sacrifice and privation. Our generation – we were told we were going to be different. We were gonna move into the suburbs. We were gonna go to college in record numbers. We were told over and over again that we were special, that our lives were going to be different. We were being told that we mattered economically. They were selling us everything. And once you start to think that you matter economically, you begin to think that you matter politically.
Narrator: On Friday, May 22nd, the largest class in the history of the University of Michigan gathered to hear its commencement address delivered by the president of the United States. Lyndon Johnson used the opportunity to introduce a phrase he hoped would embody the far-reaching goals of his presidency.
Robert Dallek, Historian: Franklin Roosevelt had the New Deal, Harry Truman had the Fair Deal, Kennedy had the New Frontier. What is his administration going to be called?
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): “In your time, we have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society. The Great Society demands an end to poverty and racial injustice."
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: A Great Society, that is his vision -- a moral, just America. When he said A Great Society, he meant a Great Society.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): So will you join in the battle to give every citizen the full equality which God enjoins and the law requires? Whatever his belief, or race, or the color of his skin."
Rick Perlstein, Writer: It has this kind of aching utopian energy of the sort that you can’t even imagine a presidential candidate speaking about now.
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: The Great Society, and where I was, and where an awful lot of Americans were, it offered such hope for so many people. It was the audacity of saying we ought to be as great as we say we are and we ought to be a society that makes good on its promises to all of its people, and we can do it. We can do it.
Narrator: The Michigan audience loved his speech and so did the nation’s press, but back in Washington, Lyndon Johnson knew that no amount of soaring rhetoric would make his Great Society a reality. What was needed was legislation that would use the power of the federal government to advance the cause of equality.
Martin Luther King (archival): This nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed.
Narrator: The March on Washington the summer before had thrust civil rights onto the national stage, but blacks in the South were still subject to pervasive and often violent discrimination. And mainstream civil rights leaders were finding it increasingly hard to manage the frustration within their movement.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: You have this long, pent up fight with civil rights reaching a crescendo. If this doesn’t change, if after all this sacrifice on the streets of the South -- they had fire hoses turned on them and police dogs. They were murdered there. What’s gonna happen if that situation, if government does not do something?
Leah Wright Rigueur, Historian: In 1964, race is coming to a boiling point. The 1964 civil rights bill is on the table -- Republicans and Democrats are arguing over, debating over, what will this mean to the country?
Robert Dallek, Historian: It was gonna end segregation in all places of public accommodation. Restaurants, swimming pools, bus stations, train stations.
Announcer (archival): ". cafeterias, lunch rooms, lunch counters, soda fountains, gasoline stations, theaters…”
Robert Dallek, Historian: It just was going to end a way of life across the South. It was a huge political gamble because Johnson is running for president. Is he going to alienate those Southern segregationists? Is he gonna lose the South?
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: Johnson had decided to turn the corner and that if that meant that the Democratic Party was gonna forgo Southern support, so be it. Chips were down.
Narrator: By early June, Southerners in Congress had been successfully blocking the bill for more than two months, and there was no reason to assume they would back down.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: The problem for Johnson in pushing through the civil rights bill was the same problem it had been for Kennedy and for anyone who wanted to promote civil rights, it had this solid Deep South core of Senators, solidly opposed to any federal action on civil rights, and a handful of other conservative Republicans, outside the region, which made it impossible to move forward.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: The South in the Senate has through the filibuster and the threat of the filibuster defeated every strong civil rights bill for almost a century. There is no sign that this is going to change.
Narrator: To defeat the South’s filibuster and break their stranglehold on the measure, Johnson needed 67 votes in the Senate. That meant 23 Republicans had to cross the aisle and support the bill.Rick Perlstein, Writer: What Lyndon Johnson had that John F. Kennedy didn't was an unbelievable power to sway legislators. There was this thing called the Johnson treatment. He’d kind of plant his shoes next to you, he'd tower over you, he'd literally grab your lapels, his hot breath would be six inches in front of your face.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: I mean this is the other side of Lyndon Johnson. He doesn’t just have the ideals he knows how to push the levers.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: He had this politician’s gift for knowing exactly what each person he was trying to persuade’s vulnerabilities were and he would hit them like a jackhammer.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: If the senator said, “You know, that’s gonna kill me with my constituency,” he would refute, he would cajole you, threaten you, or bribe you. Anything he had to do to get your vote. Richard Russell, the leader of the South, says, flatly, we could’ve beaten Kennedy on civil rights, we could’ve stopped ‘em in the Senate, but Lyndon Johnson, he says, will beat us. He’ll tear your arm off at the shoulder and beat you over the head with it. But he will get this passed. We’re going to lose.
Narrator: In the end, on June 19th, after the longest filibuster in the Senate’s history, 27 Republicans voted for the bill only six, including Barry Goldwater, voted no.
Announcer (archival audio): Congress passes the most sweeping civil rights bill ever to be written into the law. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is signed at the White House by President Johnson.
Narrator: But even as Johnson was enshrining civil rights into what he called "the books of law", he knew that the response to the measure would challenge not only his presidency, but the entire nation.
Richard A. Viguerie, Conservative Activist: It was a game changer. The creation of a new America.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: Civil Rights Bill, it lays out all of these divisions in American society. Whether it is social divisions, culture divisions, racial divisions. Suddenly you can’t escape from them anymore.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: It completely unravels the entire social system of segregation in the south. The very foundation upon which the quote-unquote "Southern way of life" is built. It’s revolutionary.
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: 90% of all the white people in the deep south thought, “Oh my god, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 means what!? What do you mean you’re going to tell me who I have to serve? They’re going to be in the same place as me?"
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): My fellow Americans, this civil rights act is a challenge to all of us, to go to work in our communities and our states in our homes and in our hearts to eliminate the last vestiges of injustice.
Reporter (archival): This is the demonstration that was suppose to have some 600 or a thousand people in it but now in addition to this civil rights demonstration we also had a demonstration by some young people for Ringo Starr. What is this all about?
Girls (archival): This is Ringo’s birthday today he’s 24, and this is a Beatles booster club, and Ringo is going to be president too.
Reporter (archival): You think so?
Girls (archival): There are going to be billions and trillions of girls voting for him. Ringo rules. No, be quiet. If Ringo is not president we want Johnson, nothing but Johnson, because Johnson is the best. Ringo is gonna win. We want Ringo.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: 1964, we were literally beside ourselves. Pop psychologists and sociologists were trying to figure out. What did it mean that young women were willing to violate police barricades, ignore police authority completely so that they could try to touch Ringo’s hair? What adults were seeing was a new youthful energy just being released by thousands and thousands of girls. It was kind of a collective jailbreak.
Narrator: The young girls at the barricades were not alone.
Announcer (archival audio): Everybody's going to Bikini Beach!
Narrator: All during the summer of 1964, new forms of rebellion were taking shape. Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello’s sexy, skin-filled beach movies raised eyebrows and packed summer movie theaters pop artist Andy Warhol thumbed his nose at the art establishment, with silk screens of Campbell’s soup cans that would appear in a gallery made to look like an American supermarket and novelist Ken Kesey, and his band of Merry Pranksters, hopped on their brightly painted Magic Bus, setting off from California on an LSD-infused road trip across the country.
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: In the summer of ’64, young people are proposing that an entrenched way of life be dismantled and superseded.
Jann S. Wenner, Founder, Rolling Stone: Young vs. old, and the new vs. the old. It was about that. You know, because we were young, and we knew better than anybody else. And it was about our youthful ideals and our youthful beliefs and what we want society to be.
Narrator: On June 15th, about 300 students, and a group of veteran civil rights activists, joined together for an experiment in social change. They had come to a small college in Ohio to prepare for Freedom Summer -- a radical new campaign to increase voter registration of blacks in the Deep South. The new recruits were young and idealistic. They were also, overwhelmingly, white.
Reverend Ed King, Civil Rights Activist: I was there for training as a minister. The point of the project was to expand the movement and here was this help from college students recruited through college chaplains.
John H. Bracey, Jr., Historian: They were gonna spend their summer in Mississippi fighting for black people’s freedom. And I think they saw it that way. They weren’t radical, radical kids, gonna take over the world kind of thing, they thought this was right, this is something you can do, it shouldn’t take that long because you’re doing something that’s right.
Narrator: The Freedom Summer Project was run by the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC.
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: Those who had been organizing for years conceived of a plan. The idea, quite brilliant idea, was to import students, young people, to make Mississippi front-burner news.
Narrator: The new strategy was necessary because, despite the promise of the Civil Rights Act, activists on the ground were making little progress towards equality.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: When a black person tries to vote in a place like Mississippi, there are all sorts of obstacles, both legal and illegal, they face. I mean, a legal obstacle might be, say, a literacy test in which they claim that they have to recite the entire Constitution. Illegal, you might be organizing to register voters in a church, and the Ku Klux Klan might burn your church down.
Reverend Ed King, Civil Rights Activist: In Mississippi we had been having one black man a month murdered by the Klan just to set an example there will be no voter registration work in this area. People felt like the government in Washington lets these things happen.
Bob Moses, Civil Rights Activist: Those kind of events, it was just utter silence, utter silence. There's nobody knows, and the media doesn't care.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: A lot of us were tired. We had been in this thing nonstop. So there were a lot of discussions going on at that time, what's gonna happen if you bring in all these young kids into the places. But we really felt we had no choice. The time was right. You had to get America's attention.
Narrator: The students had come to Ohio for a crash course in nonviolent activism, and the voter registration laws of Mississippi. They were also warned about what was waiting for them in the South.
Instructor 1 (archival): Most likely a cop won't try to chunk you in here but he will hit you across here.
Instructor 2 (archival): We want to get used to this, used to people jeering at us.
Instructor 3 (archival): Yell it out, get out of here nigger, nigger-lovers coming from the North. Go home Yankee!
Bob Moses, Civil Rights Activist: The goal for me was to help the students understand their job was just to be in Mississippi and survive. That was their job.
Reporter (archival): Do you worry about what's going to happen to you in Mississippi?
Activist (archival): Very much, this is something, which I had to think out before I even decided whether to apply to the program. And that is whether or not I was willing not only to face a beating but whether or not it was something worth being killed for. We all feel hopeful that we are gonna be able to do something when we sing songs together I think a lot of us mean it. That we shall overcome and that something really will come out over this summer.
Reporter (archival): With some knowledge of what may await them, but with little protection against it, they set forth for a summer in Mississippi.
Claire Bond Potter, Historian: It is a year of choice. And these college students are trying to decide what they can do to create a more just world.
Reporter (archival audio): Yesterday the first 200 civil rights workers arrived in Mississippi and fanned out over the state.
John H. Bracey, Jr., Historian: I don't think they sensed the danger, because you can't comprehend being in the United States and having somebody who wants to shoot you because you want black people to have the right to vote. We learned in civics class: everybody's a citizen they all have the right to vote, just about. Well, in Mississippi. Reporter (archival): You've got a telephone, I understand there have been quite a few people calling you. What do they say?
Activist (archival): Well we got a series of phone calls about two minutes after the telephone was installed. There is of course incredible profanity, numerous threats, bomb threats, personalized threats, asking for people by name.
Rita Schwerner Bender, Civil Rights Activist: People throw around the words police state but Mississippi was. I guess I would call it a Klan state. One thinks of the police as the protectors, the police were not the protectors.
Narrator: On June 21st, three members of the Freedom Summer Project based in Meridian, Mississippi -- Andrew Goodman, James Chaney, and Mickey Schwerner -- drove to the nearby town of Longdale, where a black church had been burned to the ground.
Reverend Ed King, Civil Rights Activist: The civil rights workers went up to talk to church people who had been beaten and attacked by the Klan. And somebody reported to the police that they were around.
Narrator: Anxious not to be on the roads at night, the three young men headed home. Outside the town of Philadelphia, they were arrested for speeding and taken to the county jail. Around 10 p.m. they were released. Then they disappeared. Andrew Goodman had only been in Mississippi for 24 hours, having just arrived from his training course in Ohio. James Chaney was a Mississippi native, working for an organization called CORE -- the Congress of Racial Equality. Mickey Schwerner, also with CORE, had arrived in the state six months earlier, with his wife Rita.
Rita Schwerner Bender, Civil Rights Activist: Mickey and I first went to Meridian to establish a community center there. It would be a place where kids could simply come and hang out and talk about what was going on in the community and how they wanted to effect it.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: When they first came in, I was not very pleased, to be honest with you. They came in this little Volkswagen like little flower people, so I didn't particularly like the idea. But then one day Mickey called me and asked me to come over. So, I made an excuse. He said, "Please come over." So I went over there.
When I got there, they had the Freedom School set up, they had books, they had all this stuff, they had all these kids there and people coming in, and I was just amazed, and that's when I began to get to know Mickey Schwerner. He made a statement to me at the time, and I still don't know today whether he was joking or not, he said, "Sometimes when I'm here, and I'm with the people, I don't know whether I'm black or white." And I sort of laughed it off and told him, "You white." But I wasn't understanding at that time, really, what he probably meant. And I wish I had a deeper conversation with him about that point. Cause he didn't laugh.
Reporter (archival): There is some mystery and some fear concerning three of the civil rights workers, two whites from New York City and a Negro from Mississippi. Police say they arrested the three men for speeding yesterday, but released them after they posted bond. They have not been heard from since.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: No one at the time thought we're gonna use them as kind of sacrificial lambs, but when it happened, that's exactly what it was. All of a sudden, instead of the three paragraphs on page 19A of the New York Times, it was front page.
Reporter (archival): James Cheney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.
Reporter (archival): Schwerner, Cheney, Goodman.
Reporter (archival): Mississippi in the past few days has become a kind of giant amplifier.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: Every news story was dominated by it, and the whole Freedom Summer became a kind of national exposure for what was going on in the Deep South.
Rita Schwerner Bender, Civil Rights Activist: I think it was pretty clear almost instantly when there was no information in the first few hours, I think it was pretty clear that they had been killed.
Reporter (archival): Do you believe your husband has been murdered?
Rita Schwerner (archival): I don’t know. I don’t want to say.
Rita Schwerner Bender, Civil Rights Activist: Since I was getting this attention in any event, I needed to draw attention to what this was all about. It wasn’t about three men, although it certainly in a personal way was about that. But it was really about what the violence was all about, what the denial of just basic human rights was all about and who were the usual victims.
Rita Schwerner (archival): As you know, lynchings in Mississippi are not uncommon they have occurred for many, many, many years. Maybe this one could be the last if some positive steps were taken to show that the people of this country have had enough. That they require that human beings be treated as human beings.
Reporter (archival): Someone spotted a charred blue station wagon in the woods about 20 miles from Philadelphia. The blue station wagon was the one in which they were last seen. It had been burned but it had not been wrecked.
Martin Luther King (archival): These young men have probably been killed in the state of Mississippi.
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: When black civil rights workers were murdered, the country could live with that. But, ok, other people are in danger, it looks like something else.
Reporter (archival): Goodman, 20, a New York college student, had never participated.
Leah Wright Rigueur, Historian: It's something that affects people who are sitting at home saying, "Well, this could never happen to somebody like me." All of a sudden this is something that could happen to someone like me.
Rita Schwerner Bender, Civil Rights Activist: Three days after the disappearance I went up to Washington, and I met with President Johnson. The major message of our meeting was, you know, we want you to do what it takes to figure out what happened to these three people. But, Mr. President, there has to be federal protection for civil rights workers. I was really pushing the president to make a commitment and he was trying to be as evasive as he could be. So we left and we were walking down this long corridor with the press secretary and he was obviously somewhat miffed, and said to me, “You know, you don’t talk to the President of the United States that way,” and I was a little bit miffed too, so I said, “Well, I think I just did.”
Narrator: Johnson remained committed to civil rights, but worried about further antagonizing the South by sending federal forces into Mississippi. Now, with the three men missing, and the national media refusing to let go of the story, the president felt enormous pressure to deliver results.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival audio): I asked Hoover two weeks ago, after talking to the Attorney General, to fill up Mississippi with FBI men and infiltrate everything he could. I’ve asked him to put more men after these three kids.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: They were finding bodies in Mississippi. While they were looking, they were finding bodies. And so the press would come out and says they found two bodies, or they found a body, and they'd check in the autopsy to see if it’s -- 'cause it's decomposed, whether to see if it's one of the missing people. And they'd kind of like, nope, they're not one of the missing people, there's like, okay, it really wasn't them, okay, maybe they're still alive. And you're like, wait a minute, you're finding bodies, people, you know, you're finding bodies, but they were black bodies. Still, America had not dealt with this thing about what really was going in Mississippi.
Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Leader: In 1964, I was the president of the Illinois Federation of Republican Women, and I went all over the state of Illinois, giving speeches for Goldwater. We wanted the grassroots to nominate the candidate. And that's why I wrote my book, A Choice Not An Echo. It started out as speeches and then I developed it into a little paperback book. I plunged with an order for 25,000, thinking that would take care of it, and I ended up selling three million out of my garage.
Narrator: When Barry Goldwater announced his candidacy, he was not considered a favorite for the Republican presidential ticket. But his celebration of individual liberty and his attacks on the federal government had struck a chord with the electorate.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: The Goldwater folks are these young, young Americans for Freedom activists, they’re housewives.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: Small businessmen, conservative professionals, doctors, dentists simply middle class Americans, who were, as they saw it, fed up with what was going on in American society.
Narrator: Members of what came to be known as “Goldwater’s Army” had fanned out across America, knocking on doors, raising fistfuls of cash, and lining up delegates to support his nomination. Now, they jammed the aisles of the aging, smoke-filled Cow Palace in San Francisco as the 1964 Republican National Convention was called to order on July 13th.
Richard A. Viguerie, Conservative Activist: It just didn’t get any better than this. We thought we had just died and gone to heaven politically. It was Mecca, I mean if you were a young conservative you just had to say, "I was there."
Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Leader: We all marched around, people were really revved up about getting Goldwater nominated and elected.
Narrator: Finally, a true conservative was poised to win the Republican nomination, and he had done it by embracing positions long considered too extreme for his own party. Goldwater was against a progressive income tax, believed Social Security should be voluntary, and, in the wake of the Cuban Missile Crisis, even seemed willing to consider using nuclear weapons against the Soviet Union. His vote against the Civil Rights Act had been yet another example of the Senator’s determination to go his own way.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: Goldwater was against the civil rights bill not because he was opposed to civil rights, but because he was opposed to the role of the federal government enforcing civil rights.
Lee Edwards, Historian: If you look at the Goldwater record in Arizona it's extraordinary. He helped to desegregate the Air National Guard. He hired blacks for his department store. He supported the idea of equal rights and equality, but he wanted it to come about in a conservative way, which is to say gradually, which is to say through states’ rights.
Leah Wright Rigueur, Historian: Goldwater believes that states should have the right to decide what is best for them. For black voters, that's interpreted as an open all-pass for segregationists, for racists, for white supremacists.
News Announcer (archival audio): The largest civil rights demonstration since the March on Washington last summer is assembled before the San Francisco City Hall. Forty thousand people, half of them Negroes, demonstrate against Goldwater.
Leah Wright Rigueur, Historian: At the 1964 convention there are these images of people angrily storming the street outside of the Cow Palace, saying “We do not want Barry Goldwater! We don’t want Barry Goldwater!” because they're terrified that the Republicans will nominate somebody that represents this conservative brand of Republicanism.
Narrator: But for the true believers inside the Cow Palace, Goldwater was the leader of a conservative wave that would sweep Establishment Republicans aside. At last, on the evening of July 15th, South Carolina put Goldwater over the top.
Announcer (archival audio): South Carolina casts 16 votes for Senator Barry Goldwater.
Reporter (archival audio): It surely begins right then and there. Barry Morris Goldwater, grandson of a Polish immigrant, senator from Arizona, and leader of the conservatives, is the Republican choice to oppose Lyndon Johnson for the presidency.
Lee Edwards, Historian: It was a delicious night for him and for us. The Republican Party had become the Conservative Party.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: When he was nominated, the first thing you would think Barry Goldwater would want to do is kind of heal all the factions, so everyone can kind of work together, and put their shoulder to the wheel to support the party in November. He does the exact opposite.
Senator Barry Goldwater (archival): Anyone who joins us in all sincerity we welcome. Those who do not care for our cause, we don't expect to enter our ranks in any case. I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: What Goldwater wanted to say was, "I'm a radical." Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: When that phrase was uttered it was deafening, the reaction to that, that was it. They were people on a mission, which was in the best American tradition to be emphatic about the redemption of our values and to be immoderate in advancing their position.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: 1964: both left and right are trying to kill each other, fighting over the same word, freedom. For the right, the greatest traducer of freedom is the federal government. For the left, it’s Southern segregationists. There’s no clear consensus over what that key concept, that key American concept, on what freedom even means.
Narrator: In the summer of 1964, in a small recording studio at Detroit’s Motown Records, the singer Marvin Gaye was laying down a demo for a new song when one of the label’s rising stars, Martha Reeves, happened to walk into the studio.
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: Martha heard that Marvin Gaye was singing a new song, and she loved Marvin Gaye, she used to sing backup for him. The song was called "Dancing in the Streets." Marvin Gaye saw her there and said, "Oh, why don't we let Martha do it?" So she sang it to the track. And she just nailed it.
Martha Reeves (archival, singing): Calling out, around the world, are you ready for a brand new beat?
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: The interesting thing about “Dancing in the Streets” and then you have this strong black voice saying, “summer’s here and the time is right for dancing in the street.”
Martha Reeves (archival, singing): Philadelphia PA, dancing in the street. Baltimore and DC now, dancing in the street.
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: The song lists all these cities. And they’re all cities with large, volatile black populations. You know, the lyrics are so right for the political movement that was coming.
Martha Reeves (archival, singing): It doesn’t matter what you wear, just as long as you are there.
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: In a way people were being called upon to rise up.
Martha Reeves (archival, singing): Everywhere around the world, they're dancin'.
Narrator: Over the course of the summer, "Dancing in the Street" would become one of Motown’s biggest hits, and an unexpected soundtrack for a nation in the midst of radical change.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: I came to New York in July to visit a friend of mine, James Baldwin's brother, David Baldwin. I was going to spend the night with him and then leave the next day and go back to Mississippi. And all of a sudden we heard all these sirens. What the heck is going on? So it finally just kept going and we decided to step out to see what we could see out there, and there's just, you know, lit up. The Harlem riots were going on.
Narrator: On July 16th, during an altercation with the manager of a Manhattan apartment building, a 15-year-old black teenager named James Powell was shot and killed by a white off-duty police officer. Two days later, a protest over the missing Mississippi civil rights workers turned violent, and Harlem began to burn. Suddenly, the racial violence that had been tearing apart the South was now flaring up in a northern city.
John H. Bracey, Jr., Historian: When I was growing up, policemen walked around communities, white policeman, single white policeman could walk around a neighborhood and tell you to move off the corner and so forth and you did. You know, you’d be standing there making noise, singing doo-wop or whatever, and there’d be one white policeman and he’d say, "Okay, it’s too late why don’t you all go home," and you went home. It never occurred to you that you would question authority of this policeman.
But when you shoot a black kid, it's like wait a minute. I thought, you know, protect and serve, you’re not protecting or serving you're hurting us. So that policeman coming around the corner don’t look the same any more. It’s like who are you to tell me what to do, why aren’t you locking up these white people that are messing with these black people. I mean that’s the hypocrisy that people see and that’s the hypocrisy that people respond to. People came out in large numbers.
Young black protester (archival): I walked downtown, just walking downtown. Cop come up to me, “Hey, you! Whatcha doing down here? Get up against the wall. Where’s your identification? Identify yourself." What right’s he got to come up to me like that for?
Man (archival audio): Because you ain’t white!
Young black protester (archival): That’s right, that’s right!
John H. Bracey, Jr., Historian: There was an increasing skepticism about the commitment of the white Americans to any kind of racial equality at all. Young people are saying, “You’re not moving fast enough," and Malcolm X is rising as a counter-voice to the Civil Rights movement.
Malcolm X (archival): We want freedom, by any means necessary. We want justice by any means necessary. We want equality by any means necessary.
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: Malcolm X made a very famous speech. It was this break in the civil rights movement that happened right there in the summer of '64.
Malcolm X (archival): We don’t feel that in 1964 that we should have to sit around and wait for some degree of civil rights.
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: There was no more patience. Black people had been left behind in an era of affluence.
Reporter (archival audio): Just heard a volley of shots ring out, this happened after a policeman was hit by a flying bottle. Guns started to fire.
Narrator: As the riots erupted, more than 8,000 people took to the streets, hurling Molotov cocktails, smashing windows, and looting local businesses.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: I watched police as they came in in trucks like that as taunting people, and Dave and I were walking down. There were some police and this kid darted out. And the cop just ran out and he knocked over a can, a trash can, but he was just trying to get out of the way. And this cop just turned around and unloaded on him. Blew him away right in front of me. And so David goes over and they tried to get David away from him, pull him away.
And this cop, he made David get on his knees and he put his gun to his head. And he said “I'm gonna blow you away, nigger.” And David looked at him and said, “You might as well kill me, cause you can't do me no more harm.”
Mickey and them are missing. I'm questioning myself. I'm questioning what we're doing, I'm questioning is that -- what is it that this country really listens to, you know what -- are they really getting it, you know?
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: In Harlem it wasn't simply about police misconduct. It was about low wages. It was about bad schools. It's about poverty. It's about racial subordination. There was something cooking up, especially during the summer, one more moment of brutality. One more instance of mistreatment, and, you know, there's a lot of tinder ready to burn up.
Narrator: By the end of July, the Freedom Summer project had nearly 900 volunteers at work on voter registration in Mississippi. But hanging over everything was the disappearance of the three civil rights workers, who had been missing for almost six weeks.
Reporter (archival): The hunt for clues, or something more grim, has reached the river dragging stage, with small boats being used along the muddy, shallow Pearl River.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: Johnson called up J. Edgar Hoover, the FBI, who was not terribly enthusiastic about Civil Rights, and he said, "You do what you need to do, what you have to do, I don't care how much you spend, I don't care who you bend, but you find out who killed these three young men."
Narrator: More than 250 FBI agents flooded into Mississippi, such a large force that local residents complained of a federal invasion of their state. At first there was nothing to go on but rumors, but as the long summer wore on, information began to leak out.
Jon Margolis, Author, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: The FBI went in there with skilled investigators, and lots of cash to pay, essentially, bribes to people, and they finally managed to get enough people to provide enough information. They were told that the bodies were probably buried under this dam, and they dug and they found the bodies.
Reporter (archival audio): Two of those bodies were firmly identified as those of Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman. Authorities are all but certain the third body is that of James Chaney.
Narrator: A group of local Klansmen, including the sheriff’s deputy, had shot the men at close range.
Reverend Ed King, Civil Rights Activist: Here we are, the Freedom Summer began the first day with these three men disappearing, and it's just about the last day of the summer when we're having the funeral for them. The law in Mississippi says that blacks and whites cannot be buried together even if they’ve been executed together. So the New York families are going to have services in New York, but the service for James Chaney was basically a memorial service for all three. Dave Dennis is carrying a very heavy personal load he was the nonviolent general who had ordered them to go into this very dangerous place.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist (archival): I feel that he's got his freedom. We're still fighting for it.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: Well I had been asked by the national office of CORE, there was so much unrest around the country and what was going on, there was mounting tensions, could you just take it easy? And we can try to make a quiet, low-key kind of eulogy, basically. And so I'd written some notes and I was gonna try to do this.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist (archival): But what I want to talk about right now is the living dead that we have right among our midst in the state of Mississippi but throughout the nation.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: And I looked out there, and I saw little Ben Chaney. And he loved his brother. And I was tired of going to funerals, I was tired of seeing it, and I looked at Ben Chaney, I saw this kid in Harlem. He couldn't have been much older. And I lost it. I lost it.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist (archival): I'm sick and tired and I can't help but feel bitter, you see, deep down inside, and I'm not going to stand here asking anybody in here not to be angry tonight. Don't bow down anymore. Hold your heads up! We want our freedom now! I don't want to have to go to another memorial. I'm tired of funerals. I'm tired of it! We've got to stand up!
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: The ultimate aim for Freedom Summer was to open the doors to give black people the right to participate, the right to vote. We felt the country could really see what was going on, that they we’re going to step up to the plate. Saying, look, we can't have this. This is America. We are a democratic society. These people need to be a part of this effort. So we really believed that. And the tragic thing about it, the young people who came down believed that. They believed in this country. This country missed a golden opportunity with those thousand kids.
John H. Bracey, Jr., Historian: And I think a lot of the hard lessons learned by young white kids in Mississippi that later got them into the Left, and later turned a lot of people very kind of radical, was that their parents had been lying to them about what the country was all about.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: When those kids left, they left Mississippi disappointed, they left Mississippi angry. They went back to their universities and colleges and they'd begin to question everything that this country was saying.
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: By 1964 I was editor of the family newspaper, the Delta Democrat-Times of Greenville, Mississippi. Freedom Summer, that stirred the beast. All of a sudden, these Freedom Schools and houses are popping up all over Mississippi. And with them come burnings, and explosions. The death of those boys was it. It was the end of the game for me. I had been very careful for a long time. I wanted to stay in business. At that point, I said the hell with this. I can’t just sit here and be an observer at a time in which change is supposed to be coming and every lever of power in this state has been used to stop it, including violence. And knowing there was not a thing to be done about it in Mississippi, I decided to go where I thought I could do some good and I went off to work for Lyndon Johnson.
There’s an old hymn, “once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide.” And that was it.
Narrator: As the November election approached, Lyndon Johnson could look back on his first months in office with justifiable pride. He had steadied the nation in the wake of President Kennedy’s death, passed historic civil rights legislation, and launched ambitious plans for the Great Society. On the campaign trail, the President was leading Barry Goldwater in the polls, and running on a platform of prosperity at home and peace overseas. Then, on the morning of August 4th, events on the other side of the globe threatened to derail Johnson’s plans.
Frank McGee, NBC News (archival): Good evening, I’m Frank McGee, NBC news. Today, for the second time, North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked United States naval vessels patrolling in international waters.
Narrator: Reports claimed American destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin had been attacked twice and suddenly the Vietnam War was front-page news. Johnson had hoped to put off the issue of Vietnam until after the election in the fall. In fact, for years, the war had remained a distant conflict most Americans cared little about. President Kennedy had begun sending military advisors to Vietnam back in 1961. By the time Johnson had inherited the war, the number had grown to more than 16,000, but the situation in South Vietnam had continued to deteriorate. Now, news of hostilities in the Gulf of Tonkin meant the war could no longer be ignored.
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: Johnson was running for election as a peace candidate, and all of a sudden there’s this incandescent war moment. There’s a hysteria about our ships being fired upon, and suddenly we were involved in a shootout.
Narrator: Although there was considerable doubt about whether the second attack against American destroyers had even happened, Johnson took decisive action -- ordering airstrikes in retaliation, and asking Congress for increased authority to prosecute the war.
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: Johnson avails himself of the moment to cash in on the avalanche of support.
Robert Dallek, historian: He goes to the Congress with what becomes known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Johnson wants a free hand. And it’s relatively easy for him to get it, because people don’t realize, the Congress doesn’t realize, the Senate does not realize what we are getting into.
News Anchor (archival): And here is a late development. President Johnson will go on live television and radio tonight with a statement on the situation in Southeast Asia.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): I shall immediately request the Congress to pass a resolution…
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: Tonkin Gulf provided a blank check for the expansion, which was of course going to come, apparently. Though God knows you didn’t know it at the time. I mean, that wasn’t what the campaign seemed to be about.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): We are not about to send American boys nine or 10,000 miles away from home, to do what Asian boys ought to be doing for themselves.
Max Frankel, Correspondent and Editor: Johnson knew the right rhetoric. He had to run as the fellow who was not gonna to go to war. And that was the burden on his conscience and on his shoulders, because behind the scenes he knows people were proposing a very significant escalation.
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: I think we smelled very big trouble. I don’t know that we could’ve imagined just how big and bad and long it was gonna be. But we took it very seriously.
Marilyn B. Young, Historian: I knew there was something fuzzy about it and I also knew it was an overreaction to retaliate in that form, it was a-- didn’t have to do with what occurred in the Gulf. I knew that. And yet I firmly believed he would end this thing.
Bob Dylan (archival, singing): Gather 'round, people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown. And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone. If your time to you is worth saving, then you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone, for the times, they are a-changin'.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: By the time Bob Dylan is singing "The Times they are A-Changin" in 1964, there was an emerging sense of betrayal. 1964 exposed fault lines around politics, fault lines around race, fault lines around gender.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: I think the story America had been telling, that it was united and at peace with itself, was an unsustainable story, and it kind of cracks of its own internal contradictions. And 1964 is when those contradictions come to a fore.
Narrator: In the autumn of 1964, after months marked by racial violence, and echoes of war overseas, Americans revisited the event that had so shaken the national confidence.
News Announcer (archival audio): “The final verdict on the fateful tragedy that engulfed the nation 10 months ago.”
Narrator: On September 27th, the Warren Commission announced that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman responsible for the assassination of President Kennedy.
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: Lee Harvey Oswald acting alone -- what’s going on here? This was a widely believed thing, that some kind of conspiracy was involved.
Walter Cronkite, CBS News (archival): The assassination of President Kennedy was, inevitably, a mystery story on a grand scale.
Narrator: In the days following its release, all three networks devoted extensive coverage to the Warren Report, fueling the national obsession with the assassination.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: Television had a huge impact on people’s sensibilities. Television is now a major fixture in people’s homes. It is delivering a half an hour of news every night and entertainment. So it’s all in there together.
Narrator: At first glance, the fall line-up that year was a reassuring collection familiar faces -- Andy Griffith, Gomer Pyle, and Dick Van Dyke.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: Television was still primarily black-and-white. And you could see it as a black-and-white world. You could see it as a very simple world. But you also see television representing what’s going on in the culture in a very metaphorical fashion.
Addams Family theme song (archival audio): They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: There are new shows like The Addams Family. Here are these ghoulish, monstrous, grotesque people moving in, bringing difference to the neighborhood.
Mrs. Addams, The Addams Family (archival): Welcome, honeymooners, welcome! Welcome!
Man, The Addams Family (archival): Aren’t they thoughtful, dear? Throwing rice.
Mr. Addams, The Addams Family (archival): That’s not rice, old man.
Mrs. Addams, The Addams Family (archival): It’s lizard’s teeth.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: It is this kitschy way to work through how to manage white-bread neighborhoods dealing with a very different kind of family moving in.
Darren, Bewitched (archival): I mean you’re going to have to learn to be a suburban housewife.
Samantha, Bewitched (archival): I’ll learn, you’ll see I’ll learn.
Darren, Bewitched (archival): Now you’ll have to learn to cook, and keep house.
Samantha, Bewitched (archival): And soon we’ll be a normal happy couple with no problems.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: People dismissed Bewitched as the kitschiest, most ridiculous show ever. But this is a very much kind of hinge show around women’s power, women’s desire for power.
Samantha, Bewitched (archival): I have to check my roast.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: Here is a show about a very beautiful suburban wife who happens to be a witch. Who has magical powers that her husband begs her not to use. You know, people think this is just entertainment, but people in television are members of our culture, and they imbibe the zeitgeist of the times.
Samantha, Bewitched (archival): I thought we could start with a protest march.
Woman, Bewitched (archival): I know one too.
Susan J. Douglas, Historian: Change is everywhere. Rebellion is everywhere.
Narrator: As the new school year got underway at the University of California at Berkeley, students flocked to the campus from all over the nation. In many ways they were typical American undergraduates -- clean-cut, career-minded, and conventional in most respects. But this year there was a difference. Some of them had spent the previous months working in Mississippi as part of the Freedom Summer.
Robert Cohen, Historian: By ’64, northern students are being inspired by the Southern freedom struggle and using civil disobedience to try to knock down all kinds of discrimination in their backyards.
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: We would organize people to go picket the Oakland Tribune and other institutions that discriminated against African Americans and we put our tables up right at the entrance to the campus.
Narrator: The center of student activism was a row of tables at the corner of Bancroft and Telegraph streets that had been traditionally used for the distribution of information about a wide range of campus activities.
Robert Cohen, Historian: And they think that's on city property. It turns out they're partially on campus property and there's pressure put on university administration -- how can the university be used as a center for social protest and social change?
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: And they told us, "You can no longer organize off-campus activities you can't have political tables on campus."
Robert Cohen, Historian: And that leads to this huge battle over free speech.
Student (archival): At this particular point, we have been denied this, and we think, whether or not this is true or not as far as why they're doing it, the effect of cutting this off is to stop political activity on this campus.
Clark Kerr, Chancellor of UC Berkeley: We told them they had to go back on the streets where they've been traditionally for this kind of activity. And they then took the position that, "We want to undertake these activities on campus property itself," and we said, "This is not possible."
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: That was sort of the crystalizing moment at which the free speech movement came into being. The free speech movement was organized by veterans of Mississippi Summer, and if you had been in Mississippi and you were up against the Ku Klux Klan and the racist leadership, to have some university administrator telling you "Ooh, boys and girls, you better not go pass out leaflets," that didn't go over well.
Robert Cohen, Historian: This is not the right group to challenge or the right time. Because by this time, even though they're young, they have a lot more political experience than the people who are, these middle-aged administrators who are trying to suppress them.
Narrator: Angry at what they perceived as a violation of their first amendment rights, a diverse coalition of student groups decided to defy the new restrictions and set up their tables even further inside the campus. In response, the administration suspended eight students associated with the protests.
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: At one point, people were sitting at a table and a guy named Jack Weinberg, who was a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, was at the table and he was not a student. And when they asked him for a student I.D. and he couldn't produce one the police told him that he was trespassing and he was going to be arrested.
Student (archival): You can’t just pick on one.
Police Officer (archival): I am arresting you, you’re either going to come with me.
Student (archival): All of us, you arrest us all, we’re all manning the table.
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: Instead of getting up, he used his civil rights training and just went limp. They drove a police car onto campus just about lunch hour when people were streaming out of their classes and we see somebody being bodily lifted into a police car. And so people said, "What's going on?" and they surrounded the police car, not on purpose, but once we found out what was going on it was like, "No, that's not right."
Students (archival): Let him go! Let him go! Let him go!
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: People start to argue about what we should do. Should we let them take the car? What if we get arrested? What should we do? And finally somebody brings a bullhorn and says, "Why don't we stand on top of the car so that people can hear?" So that's what we did. One person at a time who was going to speak did that. Every single one of them taking their shoes off so that we wouldn't damage the car. That was the kind of mentality. And so there was a spirited debate.
Todd Gitlin, Sociologist: What emerged was not simply, "Let's go support civil rights," but "Let's have a university that's sort of worthy of our better selves."
Student (archival): The remarkable thing about this entire situation is that there's been a coalition that I think is completely unusual in politics. There's been a coalition from youth for Goldwater all the way over from the Young Socialist Alliance. And usually these two groups don’t even speak together. This is an amazing thing to me, and a very happy experience for my life to see so many democratic students.
Jack Weinberg, Protestor (archival): I just did what any of my fellow students, or my fellows in all these organizations, would've done. So I was just singled out. Chance selected me. I’m no martyr.
Narrator: Jack Weinberg spent 32 hours in the police car, while more than a thousand students protested around him, and leaders of the new movement, including a young philosophy student named Mario Savio, negotiated with the administration. Finally, on the evening of October 2nd, the university and the demonstrators reached a deal.
Reporter (archival): What’s the word now, doctor?
University President (archival): Well, there has been an agreement signed.
Reporter (archival): Agreement signed?
University President (archival): Yes, by the student groups and by me as the president of the university, which has several points to it. The first point is that the student demonstrators shall desist from their illegal actions protesting university regulations. We’ve also agreed to set up a committee to examine the rules.
Narrator: For weeks the activists and university officials negotiated, searching for a way to end the crisis. Then the chancellor abruptly announced that Mario Savio and three other students would, in fact, be suspended. Infuriated, Savio and the other leaders raised the stakes, calling for immediate occupation of the administration building.
Mario Savio, Student Protestor: There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears, and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop.
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: Mario Savio was this eloquent, eloquent guy. I’ve never reread the speech but it was just burned in my memory.
Joan Baez (archival audio): We shall overcome. We shall overcome.
Robert Cohen, Historian: People are marching slowly in, Joan Baez is singing "We Shall Overcome." It's not like a hijacking. It's like a nonviolent occupation of the building that follows Mario's speech. The sense of community inside there was amazing. People were holding Freedom School classes, poetry's being read, films are being shown. It's like they're doing all this education reform work right in the building.
Jack Weinberg, Protestor (archival): The Bay Area Civil Rights Movement in the stairwell over there.
Student Protestor (archival): The door will be open for anyone who would like to leave and you may leave at any time but you may not get back into the building.
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: This was not a party. We were so idealistic and I remember calling my mom and I said, "Mom, I think I'm gonna get arrested."
University Administrator (archival): I have an announcement: This assemblage has developed to such a point that the purpose and work of the university have been materially impaired.
Narrator: In the early hours of the morning, hundreds of state and campus police entered the building and began arresting the demonstrators. Almost 800 students would be carted off to jail.
Jann S. Wenner, Berkeley Student: I could see the arrests going on, you know, and the cops, they’re dragging people down marble staircases.
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: I actually got up and walked, I have to say. And then we were thrown into paddy wagons and driven off. We started singing freedom songs.
Jann S. Wenner, Berkeley Student: Well it just galvanized everybody. I mean it just riveted the entire campus.
Narrator: And within days, the academic senate, composed of the university's faculty, voted overwhelmingly in favor of the students. The undergraduates who had faced disciplinary action had their suspensions dropped.
Reporter (archival): Several thousand students have gathered for what has been billed as a victory celebration. A victory the students feel is assured as a result of yesterday's action by the academic senate.
Stephanie Coontz, Berkeley Student: In 1964, even those of us who had tremendous criticisms of the government, its burgeoning involvement in Vietnam, its failure to really enforce the Civil Rights Act, nevertheless we were, we still had a lot of illusions or hope that America did stand for freedom, would stand up for freedom. And so there was the sense that when things went wrong, they must not understand. You know, maybe if we just explain to them that this is not part of our tradition, we should be doing something else. And then when they didn't listen, it was a radicalizing experience.
Jann S. Wenner, Berkeley Student: It was, to me anyway, it was the precedent of the modern student movement. Student protest, as we know it, as we came to know it, started there, then.
Robert Cohen, Historian: This is a moment when that sort of spreading of that hyper-democratic ethos of the freedom movement from the South is spreading nationally. Soon it's gonna be about the war. Later it's going to be about gender equality. It's going to burst into lots of other areas as well. So it really reshaped a lot of American politics, not just something strange that's happening in California. This is something that's going to be shaping American politics for years to come.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): My fellow Americans, your choice in this election may be the most important that you will ever make.
Narrator: As the presidential campaign entered its final weeks, both candidates appeared to be men with something to prove.
Senator Barry Goldwater (archival): I pledge that I will restore to America, a dedication to principle and to conscience among its public servants.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): Government is not an enemy of people. Government is the people themselves
Narrator: As he crisscrossed the country, campaigning at a breakneck pace, Lyndon Johnson seemed determined to win a victory that would vanquish any doubts about his legitimacy, and validate the social programs that were the centerpiece of his administration. Barry Goldwater, on the other hand, seemed less interested in winning the White House than in taking a stand on the conservative principles that he so passionately championed.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: The Goldwater people and the Johnson people saw this as a fundamental kind of choice.
Senator Barry Goldwater (archival): I suggest tonight that the liberal approach to America’s problems has failed miserably in every sphere of activity.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): Everyone can have a job. Every kid can have an education. We can get these folks off the streets. In time we can have the great society that we are all entitled to.
Senator Barry Goldwater (archival): “We can prevent Depression, we can have full employment.” I’ve heard these pipe dreams for the last 30 years. And I’ve never seen one of them come true.
Narrator: As the candidates made their case to the voters, a historic shift was underway in the electorate. Because of his support for civil rights, Johnson knew he was too unpopular to do much campaigning in the Deep South. His wife, Lady Bird, however, offered to go, convinced that Southern chivalry would still prevail. As it turned out, her reception was barely civil, and in South Carolina, she was almost shouted off the stage.
Robert Dallek, Historian: Johnson is now thoroughly identified with integration, with civil rights.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: Because of Barry Goldwater's vote against the civil rights act, because he speaks of the South as a class of people who are victimized by the north, this process of the solid Democratic South becoming a vehicle for the Republican Party begins. And that really is the most important realignment in the way the party system is structured since the American Civil War.
Narrator: If Goldwater’s fortunes were improving throughout the South, nationally his campaign was in need of a boost. It came from a surprising source.
Ronald Reagan, Actor (archival): Thank you, thank you very much.
Narrator: On October 27th, just one week before the election, the Goldwater campaign found themselves with an unused 30-minute block of television time on NBC. At the last minute the campaign chose to fill it with a speech that had been recorded earlier that fall, by an actor-turned-Republican-activist named Ronald Reagan.
Ronald Reagan, Actor (archival): For three decades we’ve sought to solve the problems of unemployment through government planning and the more the plans fail the more the planners plan. But now if government planning and welfare had the answer, and they’ve had almost 30 years of it, shouldn’t we expect government to read the scores to us once in a while?
Phyllis Schlafly, Conservative Leader: The Goldwater people just went bananas when they saw it.
Ronald Reagan, Actor (archival): Barry Goldwater has faith in us. He has faith that you and I have the ability, and the dignity, and the right to make our own decisions and determine our own destiny. Thank you very much.
Jon Margolis, Author, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: The reaction was so favorable that it was run again. It was originally scheduled to run once, and it ran again. And it established Ronald Reagan as a political factor to be reckoned with in the future.
Dan T. Carter, Historian: People may not have thought about him as a political candidate, but he was, from ’64 on, a serious political figure.
Lee Edwards, Historian: Without any question, that without any Goldwater there would have been no Ronald Reagan.
Narrator: On Election Day, November 3rd, Barry Goldwater and his wife arrived at their local precinct in Phoenix to cast their votes. The officials tried to wave the candidate inside but, characteristically, Goldwater insisted on waiting in line. Lyndon Johnson kept campaigning until the last possible moment. He had left nothing to chance, and by early that evening, the results would show just how completely the Johnson juggernaut had triumphed.
Walter Cronkite, CBS News (archival): Lyndon Baines Johnson has been elected president of the United States. And the landslide has carried him in for his first term in office on his own right, by his own election.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: Lyndon Johnson finally wins his landslide. He gets 61 percent of the popular vote, he wins every state except for a few in the South and Arizona, which Barry Goldwater barely wins, and the mandate for liberalism and the Great Society and civil rights has been achieved.
Narrator: Not only was Johnson’s presidential victory unprecedented, he had carried with him huge new majorities in both houses of Congress. Now the astonishing ambition of the Great Society seemed possible. Bill after bill -- for Medicare, federal aid to education, voting rights, environmental protection -- were all within reach, and the conservative opposition had been vanquished.
Rick Perlstein, Writer: The pundits claim that conservatism is dead, it’s that definitive.
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: But the thing about it was, the only people who didn’t think they were dead were the people who were supposed to be dead.
Jon Margolis, Author, The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964: The story they missed was that this candidate, Barry Goldwater, who espoused policies that were substantially outside the national consensus of the last previous 20 years at least, had gotten 40 percent of the vote.
Lee Edwards, Historian: That told us, we were right. Our ideas were not only right, but they have a power. They have an influence, they have a great, great potential.
Senator Barry Goldwater (archival): I have no bitterness, no rancor at all.
Mark Kurlansky, Writer: Twenty-seven million people voted for Barry Goldwater, and this became the base of a new Republican party.
President Lyndon B. Johnson (archival): The lights of Christmas symbolize each year the happiness of this wonderful season. But this year I believe their brightness expresses the hopefulness of the times in which we live.
Robert A. Caro, Author, The Years of Lyndon Johnson: At the end of the year Lyndon Johnson is where he has wanted to be all his life. He has a vision for the country -- you really feel this vision, it’s starting to move. He’s a figure just so immensely triumphant, it’s hard to believe that things are gonna change so dramatically.
Narrator: In the years ahead, Lyndon Johnson’s dream of a Great Society would be shattered by the long and divisive war in Vietnam. Embittered and unpopular, he would decide not to run for president four years later. The activists that had conceived of Freedom Summer would fight on, some continuing the path of non-violence, while others turned towards a new doctrine of black power. Out of the ashes of the Goldwater campaign, young Republicans would regroup, and finally make good on their conservative revolution.
A new generation would challenge authority at every turn, refusing to follow the rules, and helping to bring an end to the war in Vietnam. And women awakened by The Feminine Mystique would go on to champion a movement that would fundamentally reshape the nature of American society. The spirit of revolution that would be sparked by the tumultuous events of 1964, and reverberate throughout the rest of the 1960s and beyond, was summed up in a song by Sam Cooke, released in the final months of that transformative year. It was called "A Change is Gonna Come."
Sam Cooke (archival): I was born by the river…
Reverend Ed King, Civil Rights Activist: In ‘64 everywhere people are saying, "I can do something." Change is possible. Change is worth living and dying for and, would we dare go forward? Yes, we would.
Richard A. Viguerie, Conservative Activist: It was the creation of a new America. It was a door to our future. Once we went through it there was no going back.
Stephanie Coontz, Historian: 1964 saw a series of events that really did crystalize the tension between the tremendous sense of idealism coexisting with the dawning sense of outrage.
Dave Dennis, Civil Rights Activist: Here it is, America. Here's the bad, let's make it good. That's what we’re about. We're Americans.
Lee Edwards, Historian: We were still on fire, we were still feeling what it was like to mobilize, and I think I determined that coming out of that, that it is possible to change the course of history.
Hodding Carter III, Newspaper Editor: I would pay money to go back, just to live through that whole era again. I would make all the same mistakes, but I’d know, as I knew then, that I could never have asked for a better time to be involved in the affairs of my nation. Sixty-four was the propulsion from the past into the future.
1964 Election Videos - History
Senator Goldwater's demands that North Vietnam should be continuously bombed and his questioning of the US social security system proved unpopular.
The Democrats adopted a social reform platform, with President Johnson, also known as LBJ, campaigning as a candidate of peace, pledging not to widen US military involvement in Vietnam.
But soon after his election he increased the number of US troops in the region after sustained attacks by the communist Viet Cong. Troops numbers continued to mount reaching a peak of 550,000 in 1968.
In spite of this increase, there seemed no end to the war and LBJ's public support declined.
What is more, the cost of the war sucked money away from social programmes and began to fuel inflation.
Living standards for black Americans failed to improve and there were several race riots in the mid to late 1960s all over America.
On 31 March, 1968, LBJ shocked TV viewers with a national address in which he announced major reductions in the bombing of North Vietnam and a plan to request peace talks. He also said he would not be running for nomination for the 1968 presidency.
In 1969 LBJ retired to his ranch in near Johnson City, Texas. He died in January 1973 of a heart attack.
1964 Election Videos - History
The former colony of Northern Rhodesia - part of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland since 1953 - celebrated with a ceremony at the Independence Stadium in the capital, Lusaka, as a huge copper torch was lit on a hill overlooking the city.
The new president of the country, Kenneth Kaunda, was given the Instruments of Independence by the Queen's representative, the Princess Royal.
Thousands of people shouted "Kwatcha" - meaning the Dawn - as they watched the red, black, green and orange colours of the Zambian Republic's flag replace the British Union Jack to mark the official changeover at midnight.
Princess Mary read a personal message the Queen as the UK welcomed the newest member of its Commonwealth.
President Kaunda - the only candidate in the August elections - has given his first news conference since taking office.
He spoke of the new republic's "task of building a nation founded on respect for all people of all races, all colours and all religions".
And he told journalists Zambia would support Britain if neighbouring Rhodesia - formerly Southern Rhodesia - made a unilateral declaration of independence.
"That declaration would meet resistance from all over the world and would not last," he said.
The son of a Church of Scotland minister, Dr Kaunda, 40, has a reputation as a moderate and reasonable man, opposed to violence.
He supports the preservation of 10 of the 73 seats in parliament for the Europeans, for at least the next four years.
He hopes this will reassure the community of 70,000 Europeans in Zambia, most of whom work in the Copper Belt near the border with Congo and are of great economic importance to the country.
Many have already left for South Africa fearing increased African resentment against them.
One of Dr Kaunda's first acts as head of state was to release 200 "freedom fighters" jailed for sedition by the colonial administration.
He has also sent letters to the South African Prime Minister asking for African leaders, including Nelson Mandela, to be imprisoned in Zambia rather than their homeland.
Lusaka is currently home to the headquarters of 15 African freedom movements, including Zanu and Zapu from Rhodesia.
In 1972 he was sufficiently powerful to outlaw all opposition to the ruling United National Independence Party (UNIP) to create a one-party state the following year.
He was a keen supporter of the anti-apartheid movement and opposed Ian Smith's white minority rule in Rhodesia, causing economic problems for Zambia since the countries affected were their main trading partners.
Growing political unrest prompted President Kaunda to lift the ban on political parties in 1990.
He lost the multi-party elections in 1991 to Frederick Chiluba and the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).
In the early 1960s, the state of Mississippi, as well as most of the American South, defied federal direction regarding racial integration.   Recent Supreme Court rulings had upset the Mississippi establishment, and White Mississippian society responded with open hostility. White supremacists used tactics such as bombings, murders, vandalism, and intimidation in order to discourage black Mississippians and their supporters from the Northern and Western states. In 1961, Freedom Riders, who challenged the segregation of interstate buses and related facilities, were attacked on their route. In September 1962, the University of Mississippi riots had occurred in order to prevent James Meredith from enrolling at the school.
The White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, a Ku Klux Klan splinter group based in Mississippi, was founded and led by Samuel Bowers of Laurel. As the summer of 1964 approached, white Mississippians prepared for what they perceived was an invasion from the north and west. College students had been recruited in order to aid local activists who were conducting grassroots community organizing, voter registration education and drives in the state. Media reports exaggerated the number of youths expected.  One Council of Federated Organizations (COFO) representative is quoted as saying that nearly 30,000 individuals would visit Mississippi during the summer.  Such reports had a "jarring impact" on white Mississippians and many responded by joining the White Knights. 
In 1890, Mississippi had passed a new constitution, supported by additional laws, which effectively excluded most black Mississippians from registering or voting. This status quo had long been enforced by economic boycotts and violence. The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) wanted to address this problem by setting up Freedom Schools and starting voting registration drives in the state. Freedom schools were established in order to educate, encourage, and register the disenfranchised black citizens.  CORE members James Chaney, from Mississippi, and Michael Schwerner, from New York City, intended to set up a Freedom School for black people in Neshoba County to try to prepare them to pass the comprehension and literacy tests required by the state.
Registering others to vote Edit
On Memorial Day May 25th 1964, Schwerner and Chaney spoke to the congregation at Mount Zion Methodist Church in Longdale, Mississippi about setting up a Freedom School.  Schwerner implored the members to register to vote, saying, "you have been slaves too long, we can help you help yourselves".  The White Knights learned of Schwerner's voting drive in Neshoba County and soon developed a plot to hinder the work and ultimately destroy their efforts. They wanted to lure CORE workers into Neshoba County, so they attacked congregation members and torched the church, burning it to the ground.
On June 21, 1964, Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner met at the Meridian COFO headquarters before traveling to Longdale to investigate the destruction of the Mount Zion Church. Schwerner told COFO Meridian to search for them if they were not back by 4 p.m. he said, "if we're not back by then start trying to locate us." 
After visiting Longdale, the three civil rights workers decided not to take Road 491 to return to Meridian.  The narrow country road was unpaved abandoned buildings littered the roadside. They decided to head west on Highway 16 to Philadelphia, the seat of Neshoba County, then take southbound Highway 19 to Meridian, figuring it would be the faster route. The time was approaching 3 p.m., and they were to be in Meridian by 4 p.m.
The CORE station wagon had barely passed the Philadelphia city limits when one of its tires went flat, and Deputy Sheriff Cecil Ray Price turned on his dashboard-mounted red light and followed them.  The trio stopped near the Beacon and Main Street fork. With a long radio antenna mounted to his patrol car, Price called for Officers Harry Jackson Wiggs and Earl Robert Poe of the Mississippi Highway Patrol.  Chaney was arrested for driving 65 mph in a 35 mph zone Goodman and Schwerner were held for investigation. They were taken to the Neshoba County jail on Myrtle Street, a block from the courthouse.
In the Meridian office, workers became alarmed when the 4 p.m. deadline passed without word from the three activists. By 4:45 p.m., they notified the COFO Jackson office that the trio had not returned from Neshoba County.  The CORE workers called area authorities but did not learn anything the contacted offices said they had not seen the three civil rights workers. 
Nine men, including Neshoba County Sheriff Lawrence A. Rainey, were later identified as parties to the conspiracy to murder Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner.  Rainey denied he was ever a part of the conspiracy, but he was accused of ignoring the racially-motivated offenses committed in Neshoba County. At the time of the murders, the 41-year-old Rainey insisted he was visiting his sick wife in a Meridian hospital and was later with family watching Bonanza.  As events unfolded, Rainey became emboldened with his newly found popularity in the Philadelphia community. Known for his tobacco chewing habit, Rainey was photographed and quoted in Life magazine: "Hey, let's have some Red Man", as other members of the conspiracy laughed while waiting for an arraignment to start. 
Fifty-year-old Bernard Akin had a mobile home business which he operated out of Meridian he was a member of the White Knights.  Seventy one-year-old Other N. Burkes, who usually went by the nickname of Otha, was a 25-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police. At the time of the December 1964 arraignment, Burkes was awaiting an indictment for a different civil rights case. Olen L. Burrage, who was 34 at the time, owned a trucking company. Burrage was developing a cattle farm which he called the Old Jolly Farm, which is where the three civil rights workers were found buried. Burrage, an honorably discharged U.S. Marine, is quoted as saying: "I got a dam big enough to hold a hundred of them."  Several weeks after the murders, Burrage told the FBI: "I want people to know I'm sorry it happened."  Edgar Ray Killen, a 39-year-old Baptist preacher and sawmill owner, decades later was convicted of orchestrating the murders.
Frank J. Herndon, 46, operated a Meridian drive-in called the Longhorn  he was the Exalted Grand Cyclops of the Meridian White Knights. James T. Harris, also known as Pete, was a White Knight investigator. The 30-year-old Harris was keeping tabs on the three civil rights workers' every move. 54-year-old Oliver R. Warner, known as Pops, was a Meridian grocery owner and member of the White Knights. Herman Tucker lived in Hope, Mississippi, a few miles from the Neshoba County Fair grounds. Tucker, 36, was not a member of the White Knights, but he was a building contractor who worked for Burrage. The White Knights gave Tucker the assignment of getting rid of the CORE station wagon driven by the workers. White Knights Imperial Wizard Samuel H. Bowers, who served with the U.S. Navy during World War II, was not apprehended on December 4, 1964, but he was implicated the following year. Bowers, then 39, is credited with saying: "This is a war between the Klan and the FBI. And in a war, there have to be some who suffer." 
On Sunday, June 7, 1964, nearly 300 White Knights met near Raleigh, Mississippi.  Bowers addressed the White Knights about the "nigger-communist invasion of Mississippi" expected to take place in a few weeks, in what CORE announced as Freedom Summer.  The men listened as Bowers said: "This summer the enemy will launch his final push for victory in Mississippi", and, "there must be a secondary group of our members, standing back from the main area of conflict, armed and ready to move. It must be an extremely swift, extremely violent, hit-and-run group." 
Although federal authorities believed many others took part in the Neshoba County lynching, only ten men were charged with the physical murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.  One of these was Deputy Sheriff Price, 26, who played a crucial role in implementing the conspiracy. Before his friend Rainey was elected sheriff in 1963, Price worked as a salesman, fireman, and bouncer.  Price, who had no prior experience in local law enforcement, was the only person who witnessed the entire event. He arrested the three men, released them the night of the murders, and chased them down state Highway 19 toward Meridian, eventually re-capturing them at the intersection near House, Mississippi. Price and the other nine men escorted them north along Highway 19 to Rock Cut Road, where they forced a stop and murdered the three civil rights workers.
Killen went to Meridian earlier that Sunday to organize and recruit men for the job to be carried out in Neshoba County.  Before the men left for Philadelphia, Travis M. Barnette, 36, went to his Meridian home to take care of a sick family member. Barnette owned a Meridian garage and was a member of the White Knights. Alton W. Roberts, 26, was a dishonorably discharged U.S. Marine who worked as a salesman in Meridian. Roberts, standing 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) and weighing 270 lb (120 kg), was physically formidable and renowned for his short temper. According to witnesses, Roberts shot both Goodman and Schwerner at point blank range, then shot Chaney in the head after another accomplice, James Jordan, shot him in the abdomen. Roberts asked, "Are you that nigger lover?" to Schwerner, and shot him after the latter responded, "Sir, I know just how you feel."  Jimmy K. Arledge, 27, and Jimmy Snowden, 31, were both Meridian commercial drivers. Arledge, a high school drop-out, and Snowden, a U.S. Army veteran, were present during the murders.
Jerry M. Sharpe, Billy W. Posey, and Jimmy L. Townsend were all from Philadelphia. Sharpe, 21, ran a pulp wood supply house. Posey, 28, a Williamsville automobile mechanic, owned a 1958 red and white Chevrolet the car was considered fast and was chosen over Sharpe's. The youngest was Townsend, 17 he left high school in 1964 to work at Posey's Phillips 66 garage. Horace D. Barnette, 25, was Travis' younger half-brother he had a 1957 two-toned blue Ford Fairlane sedan.  Horace's car is the one the group took after Posey's car broke down. Officials say that James Jordan, 38, killed Chaney. He confessed his crimes to the federal authorities in exchange for a plea deal.
After Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner's release from the Neshoba County jail around 10 p.m. on June 21, they were followed almost immediately by Deputy Sheriff Price in his 1957 white Chevrolet sedan patrol car.  Soon afterward, the civil rights workers left the city limits located along Hospital Road and headed south on Highway 19. The workers arrived at Pilgrim's store, where they may have been inclined to stop and use the telephone, but the presence of a Mississippi Highway Patrol car, manned by Officers Wiggs and Poe, most likely dissuaded them. They continued south toward Meridian.
The lynch mob members, who were in Barnette's and Posey's cars, were drinking while arguing who would kill the three young men. Eventually Burkes drove up to Barnette's car and told the group: "They're going on 19 toward Meridian. Follow them!" After a quick rendezvous with Philadelphia Police officer Richard Willis, Price began pursuing the three civil rights workers.
Posey's Chevrolet carried Roberts, Sharpe, and Townsend. The Chevy apparently had carburetor problems, and was forced to the side of the highway. Sharpe and Townsend were ordered to stay with Posey's car and service it. Roberts transferred to Barnette's car, joining Arledge, Jordan, Posey, and Snowden.
Disposing of the evidence Edit
After the victims had been shot, they were quickly loaded into their station wagon and transported to Burrage's Old Jolly Farm, located along Highway 21, a few miles southwest of Philadelphia where an earthen dam for a farm pond was under construction. Tucker was already at the dam waiting for the lynch mob's arrival. Earlier in the day, Burrage, Posey, and Tucker had met at either Posey's gas station or Burrage's garage to discuss these burial details, and Tucker most likely was the one who covered up the bodies using a bulldozer that he owned. An autopsy of Goodman, showing fragments of red clay in his lungs and grasped in his fists, suggests he was probably buried alive alongside the already dead Chaney and Schwerner. 
After all three were buried, Price told the group:
Well, boys, you've done a good job. You've struck a blow for the white man. Mississippi can be proud of you. You've let those agitating outsiders know where this state stands. Go home now and forget it. But before you go, I'm looking each one of you in the eye and telling you this: The first man who talks is dead! If anybody who knows anything about this ever opens his mouth to any outsider about it, then the rest of us are going to kill him just as dead as we killed those three sonofbitches [sic] tonight. Does everybody understand what I'm saying? The man who talks is dead, dead, dead! 
Eventually, Tucker was tasked with disposing of the CORE station wagon in Alabama. For reasons unknown, the station wagon was left near a river in northeast Neshoba County along Highway 21. It was soon set ablaze and abandoned. [ citation needed ]
The Civil Rights Act of 1964: A Long Struggle for Freedom Immediate Impact of the Civil Rights Act
With the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the federal government offered its immense power to the struggle to realize a more just and inclusive American society that had begun a century earlier with Reconstruction. But passage of the act was not the end of the story. The act did not fulfill all of the goals of civil rights activists. It would take further grassroots mobilization, judicial precedent, and legislative action to guarantee civil rights for African Americans.
In response to a new wave of protest, the U.S. Congress soon followed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The act focused on redressing the legacy of discrimination against African Americans’ access to the ballot. The acts were swiftly tested in court and ultimately upheld by the Supreme Court in a variety of decisions beginning in 1964.
Emboldened by these remarkable achievements, other groups marginalized by discrimination have organized to assert their rights. Since the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, disenfranchised Americans have used it to challenge discrimination and harassment based upon race, national origin, religion, gender, and more.
The 1964 Election
In the 1964 presidential election President Lyndon Johnson ran against Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ), the Republican candidate. Senator Richard Russell, Jr., (D-GA) warned Johnson that his strong support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 “will not only cost you the South, it will cost you the election.” Johnson went on to win the presidency, in a landslide victory, by more than fifteen million votes. He captured ninety-four percent of the black vote. Goldwater won his native state of Arizona and five states in the Deep South.
MALE NARRATOR: The following is a pre-recorded paid political announcement.
JOHNSON: We have suffered a loss that cannot be weighed. I will do my best. That is all I can do. I ask for your help, and God's.
MALE NARRATOR: And so Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of the United States, thrust suddenly into leadership of the free world by the tragic assassination of John F. Kennedy, returned to the nation's capital. He came with grief in his heart, but he also came determined that the young President he had served would not live or die in vain.
JOHNSON: John Kennedy's death commands what his life conveyed: that America must move forward. And now the ideas and the ideals which he so nobly represented, must and will be translated into effective action.
MALE NARRATOR: The promises made that November day were strong promises. One by one, they have been kept. An eleven billion dollar tax cut, proposed by President Kennedy, was signed in law by President Johnson on February 26th. The President sought and won support from both parties in passing a bill to fulfill our founding father's commitment that every American have his full Constitutional rights. The anti-poverty bill expressed the President's and the people's determination to eliminate poverty from the richest nation in the world. It was signed on August 20th. Lead by the President, Congress passed five significant bills on education, more than any other Congress in recent history. The President signed the wilderness bill, saving threatened areas of natural beauty. He signed new legislation attacking the problems of transportation and housing in our cities. New programs to help insure the farmer a fair reward for his labor. In fact, forty-five major bills were passed. But the President's leadership was not felt in the halls of Congress alone. He helped to settle a four and a half year-old conflict between the railroad companies and the men who operate the trains, averting a strike that could have paralyzed the nation. He cut the Federal budget, only the second time in ten years this has been done, and federal expenditures have been kept below the level authorized in the budget. When American destroyers were attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin, he replied firmly and decisively, and Communist aggression was turned back. In the dark days of last November, President Johnson expressed the nation's purpose in three simple words: Let us continue. Vote for President Johnson on November 3rd. The stakes are too high for you to stay home.
"Accomplishments," Democratic National Committee, 1964
Video courtesy of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library.
From Museum of the Moving Image, The Living Room Candidate: Presidential Campaign Commercials 1952-2012.
www.livingroomcandidate.org/commercials/1964/accomplishments (accessed June 22, 2021).
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