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  1964
 
In the headlines

US President: Lyndon B Johnson

US Vice President: none

US Supreme Court rules that Congressional districts should be roughly equal in population

Three civil rights workers—Schwerner, Goodman, and Cheney—murdered in Mississippi

President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy issues Warren Report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone.

Jack Ruby convicted of murder in slaying of Lee Harvey Oswald.

Twenty-fourth amendment to Constitution is ratified

Nelson Mandela sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa

Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin Resolution after North Vietnamese torpedo boats allegedly attack US destroyers

Khrushchev is deposed; Kosygin becomes premier and Brezhnev becomes first secretary of the Communist Party

China detonates its first atomic bomb. Background: nuclear weapons

1964 Mile Posts

In The United States

  • Specialty and sporty cars are rapidly gaining favor: the Muscle car era begins
  • Industry output leaps to 7.9 million cars
  • All 1964 models have front seatbelts
  • More than one-fourth of the 1964 cars are two-door hardtops; nearly 69% have V-8 engines; 18.5% sport bucket seats
  • Dodge marks its 50th anniversary and provides the Official Pace Car, a Challenger convertible, fir the Indy 500 race
  • Studebaker arranges to buy engines from General Motor for Canadian-built 1965-1966 models
  • Automatic transmission selectors are standardized at "Park-Reverse-Neutral-Drive-Low" in some GM models, others follow for 1965
  • Liquor implicated in about one-half of US traffic fataliltes.
  • Harlan "Colonel" Sanders sells the largest roadside fast food chain (600 outlets) in the US tp John Y Brown for $2 million. Seven years later Brown sells the chain for $275 million to Heublon.
  • GM becomes the first US auto company to hire woman designers.
  • Santa Monica Freeway is completed essentially finishing Los Angeles freeway system.

US Auto Manufacturers

  • An automatic heat/air conditioning system, optional on Cadillacs, holds a pre-set temperature, while Twilight Sentinel controls the headlights.
  • Corvair, Falcon, and Valiant sales reduce imports to less then 5% of the US market.
  • Corvair get a $15 stabilizing bar, the key to reducing its dangerous death rate, but only because Chevrolet vice president Bunky Knudsen threatens to resign after his niece dies in a preventable Corvair roll-over accident.
  • Chrysler offers the first five-year 50,000 mile warranty.
  • Checker drops its Superba sedan and wagon, but keeps the Marathon
  • For the first time, a V-8 is available for the Dodge Dart and Plymouth Valiant
  • A prototype Studebaker SS roadster is shown-it will evolve into the limited-production Excalibur
  • restyled fourth-generation Thunderbird features "Silent-Flo" ventilation

And From Around the World

  • Japan's fatality rate per car has declined by 64% but the number of deaths is up 20%.
  • Lamborghini, the tractor manufacturer, begins to make sports cars.
  • DeGaulle prohibts Ford from reentering France as a manufacturer.
  • Exxon's worldwide slogan: "Put a tiger in your tank."
 
New Models: 1964
Chevrolet Chevelle Mercury Comet Caliente Oldsmobile Jetstar 88
 and Jetstar I
Studebaker Challenger Ford Mustang
(April 17, 1964)
Plymouth Barracuda Fastback
(April 1, 1964)

1964 Production figures

  1. Chevrolet ......................................... 2,318,619
  2. Ford ................................................ 1,594,053
  3. Pontiac ............................................... 715,261
  4. Plymouth ............................................. 551,633
  5. Buick .................................................. 510,490
  6. Dodge ................................................. 501,781
  7. Oldsmobile ........................................... 493,991
  8. Rambler ............................................... 393,859
  9. Mercury ............................................... 298,609
  10. Cadillac ............................................... 165,909
  11. Chrysler .............................................. 153,319
  12. Studebaker ............................................ 36,697
  13. Lincoln .................................................. 36,297
  14. Imperial ................................................. 23,295
  15. Checker (excluding taxis) ............................. 960

Some figures are estimates

By the Numbers

US Population...............................................................191,888,791

 

Federal spending ....................................................... $118.53 billion

US GDP (1998 dollars) ..................................................... $663 billion

Federal debt .............................................................. $316.1 billion

Consumer Price Index ................................................................. 31

Unemployment ...................................................................... 5.7%

DOW Average ......................................................................874.13

 

Average Yearly Income...........................................................$6,080

New Home (median price)......................................................$30,000

New Car (average cost)......................................................... $2,250

Gas gallon).............................................................................. 25¢

Stamp...................................................................................... 5¢

 

Bacon (pound) ........................................................................ 67¢

Bread (loaf).............................................................................22¢

Butter (pound) ......................................................................  75¢

Coffee (pound) ......................................................................  79¢

Eggs (dozen)...........................................................................54¢

Milk (quart)............................................................................ 27¢

Sirloin Steak (pound)..............................................................$1.05

Sugar (pound) ....................................................................... 15¢

New in 1964

Ford Mustang

GI Joe doll

Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (between Brooklyn and Staten Island: 6690' long)

Bullet Trian (between Tokyo and Osaka)

State Lottery (New Hampshire)

Spaghetti Western (A Fistful of Dollars)

Rudi Gernreich, American fashion designer, introduces the top-less swimsuit