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1966 History, Trivia and Fun Facts

<< - 1965

1966 History Snapshot

  • Politics: Mississippi was the last state to repeal prohibition on alcoholic beverages after the national prohibition ended in 1933. They ended their state prohibition in 1966.
  • The Top Song was I'm A Believer by The Monkees
  • The Big Movies included Hawaii, The Bible: In the Beginning and The Sand Pebbles
  • Price of Oldsmobile "98"Town sedan in 1966: $3,399.00
  • The World Population was ~ 3,401,000,000
  • Two men were killed and over two dozen injured in the Watts Riots in Los Angeles, CA.
  • The Crazy Conspiracy: Paul McCartney died in a car crash and was secretly replaced by a look-alike named Billy Shears.
  • The Batusi was made famous by Adam West's Batman.
  • And... In Harry Harrison's novel Make Room! Make Room!, which is the basis for the film Soylent Green, the population of the USA is said to be 344 million people, close to the US population today.

World Series Champions

Baltimore Orioles

NFL Champions

Green Bay Packers

AFL Champions

Kansas City Chiefs

National Basketball Association Champions

Boston Celtics

NHL Stanley Cup Champions

Montreal Canadiens

US Open Golf

Billy Casper

US Open Tennis (Men Ladies)

Fred Stolle/Maria Bueno

Wimbledon (Men/Women)

Manuel Santana/Billie Jean King

FIFA World Cup Soccer

England

NCAA Football Champions

Michigan State & Notre Dame

NCAA Basketball Champions

Texas Western

Bowl Games

Orange Bowl: January 1, 1966 - Alabama over Nebraska
Rose Bowl: January 1, 1966 - UCLA over Michigan State
Sugar Bowl : January 1, 1966 - Missouri over Florida

Kentucky Derby

Kauai King

Westminster Kennel Best in Show Dog

Zeloy Mooremaid's Magic

Time Magazine's Man of the Year

The Generation Twenty-Five and Under (Baby Boomers)

Miss America

Deborah Bryant (Overland Park, KS)

Miss USA

Maria Remenyi (California)

Fashion Icons and Movie Stars

Brigitte Bardot, Martine Beswick,'Wilhelmina' Cooper, Doris Day, Patty Duke, Barbara Eden, Barbara Feldon, Jane Fonda, Annette Funicello, Audrey Hepburn, Marta Kristen, Sophia Loren, Tina Louise, Peggy Moffitt, Mary Tyler Moore, Julie Newmar, Donna Reed, Diana Rigg, Diana Ross, Elizabeth Taylor, Marlo Thomas, Twiggy, Veruschka, Raquel Welch, Dawn Wells

"The Quotes"

"Beam me up, Scotty"
- William Shatner, as Captain James Tiberius Kirk, in Star Trek

"Have it your way"
- Burger King

"Fly the friendly skies"
- United Airlines

1966 Pop Culture History

James Faria and Robert Wright of Monsanto Industries invented AstroTurf in 1965. In 1966, it was first used in Huston's Astro Dome.

From 1936-1966, black Americans going on a road trip often used a Negro Motorist Green Book that would list businesses that sold to black people. The book helped travelers avoid one of 10,000 "sundown towns", places it was the law that all non-whites had to leave the town by sundown.

A desktop calculator in 1966 cost over $1000... that's about $7500 today, adjusted for inflation. By the early 70's they were still around $200, or what would be ~$1500 today.

In the 1966 film adaptation of Fahrenheit 451 the credits are spoken, not read, in keeping with the film's theme of destruction of reading material.

When James Robert Ringrose, one of FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives, was arrested in 1966, he presented the FBI agents with a "Get out of jail free" card from Monopoly.

The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds and Bob Dylan's Blonde On Blonde were both released on May 16, 1966.

Mrs. Miller was a middle-aged housewife with no formal music training, whose first album Mrs. Miller's Greatest Hits consisted of badly sung covers of popular pop songs from bands like The Beatles. Her album reached #15 on the Billboard's Top Albums chart in 1966.

Cher holds the record for longest time span between two consecutive number one hits in the USA, with the songs Dark Lady in 1974 and Believe in 1999 - a gap of 25 years. Second place is The Beach Boys, with Good Vibrations and Kokomo from 1966 and 1988 for a gap of 22 years.

Two men climbed up a hill in Brazil, placed lead masks over their faces, and apparently killed themselves for unexplained reasons. The only clue left behind was a note that read, "16:30 be at agreed place, 18:30 swallow capsules, after effect protect metals wait for mask signal."

Stephanie Kwolek invented Kevlar, pound-for-pound, five times stronger than steel.

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) in the USA has not endorsed the accuracy of figures in the federal budget since 1966.

In 1966, the US Postal Service switched from using passenger trains to transport the majority of mail to using trucks and airplanes. The loss in revenue caused passenger rail to become unprofitable in the United States..

During the 1966 World Cup final, the Daily Mail newspaper wrote that "West Germany may beat us (England) at our national sport today, but that would be only fair. We beat them twice at theirs." England won 4-2, its only World Cup victory.

Sir Christopher Lee did not speak in the 1966 film Dracula: Prince of Darkness because he thought the lines for Dracula were so appalling that he refused to say them.

On August 13, 1966, in response to John Lennon's "More popular than Jesus" comment, a radio station in Texas held a burning of Beatles merchandise. The next day, the broadcast tower was struck by lightning, damaging much of their equipment and sending the news director to the hospital.

James D. French was an American murderer who was put to death in 1966 by the electric chair. His last words were: "How's this for your headline? 'French Fries'".

According to the TV show Married with Children, Al Bundy scored four touchdowns in a single game while playing for the Polk High School Panthers in the 1966 city championship game versus Andrew Johnson High School, including the game-winning touchdown in the final seconds against his old nemesis, "Spare Tire" Dixon.

The Jungle Book marked the last animated film from the company to have Disney's personal touches, before his death on December 15, 1966

On August 29, 1966, The Beatles played what would become their last official concert as a band at Candlestick Park, San Francisco. The Park's capacity was 42,500, but only 25,000 tickets were sold, leaving large sections of unsold seats.

Allen Astles tiddlywinked 10,000 tiddlywinks in just 3 hours, 51 minites and 41 seconds at the University of Wales.

Jeremiah Denton, a POW during the Vietnam war for 8 years, gave a televised interview in 1966 in which he blinked his eyes in morse code to spell out the word "T-O-R-T-U-R-E" to communicate that his captors were torturing him and his fellow POWs.

After losing the record for highest grossing film to The Sound of Music in 1966, Gone With The Wind regained the record with a re-release in 1971.

RIP, Scandals, Sad and Odd News

John Lennon commented that The Beatles were "bigger than Jesus".

Until 1966 the Catholic Church had a list of forbidden books which aimed to protect the faith of followers by preventing the reading of "immoral" books of authors such as Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Immanuel Kant, Descartes, Galilei and Pascal. Darwin's works were never included in the list.

When the game of Twister was introduced in 1966,it was denounced by critics as "sex in a box". A PR firm got Johnny Carson to play the party game with one of his guests, actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, popularizing the game.

Newsday columnist Mike McGrady and his colleagues (using the pen-name Penelope Ashe) wrote an intentionally bad novel featuring no plot, and many sex scenes. They were trying make a point about literary standards and the tastes of readers. It became a best-seller - Naked Came The Stranger.

Firsts and the Biggest Christmas Gifts

Spirograph, Twister, Barrel Of Monkeys, Crazy Maze, View-Master* with TV themed reels

The 8-track was a new-fangeled option on many Ford cars.

Eerie Magazine (1966-1983)

Southern Living began publication

The Habits

Reading Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
Reading The Magus by John Fowles
Reading Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

1966/67 Biggest Television Shows

(according to Nielsen TV Research)
1. Bonanza (NBC)
2. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
3. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
4. The Lucy Show (CBS)
5. The Jackie Gleason Show (CBS)
6. Green Acres (CBS)
7. Daktari (CBS)
8. Bewitched (ABC)
9. The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
10. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (CBS)

Popular Music Artists

The Biggest Pop Artists of 1966 include
The Animals, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Billy Stewart, The Capitols, Carla Thomas, Dionne Warwick, Elvis Presley, The Four Tops, Frank Sinatra, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, Herman's Hermits, Jackie Wilson, James Brown, Joe Tex, Jr. Walker & the All Stars, Lou Rawls, The Lovin Spoonful, The Mamas & the Papas, The Marvelettes, The Monkees, Nancy Sinatra, Otis Redding, Johnny Rivers, Percy Sledge, Petula Clark, Ray Charles, The Righteous Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Sam & Dave, Simon & Garfunkle, Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, Tommy James & the Shondells, Wilson Pickett

(Data is complied from various charts including: Billboard's Pop, Rock, Airplay, R&B/Dance and Singles Charts. The Hot 100 is the primary chart used for this list.)

Number One Hits of 1966

January 1, 1966 - January 7, 1966: Simon & Garfunkel - The Sound Of Silence

January 8, 1966 - February 4, 1966: The Beatles - We Can Work It Out

February 5, 1966 - February 18, 1966: Petula Clark - My Love

February 19, 1966 - February 25, 1966: Lou Christie - Lightnin' Strikes

February 26, 1966 - March 4, 1966: Nancy Sinatra - These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

March 5, 1966 - April 8, 1966: Barry Sadler - The Ballad Of The Green Berets

April 9, 1966 - April 29, 1966: The Righteous Brothers - (You're My) Soul And Inspiration

April 30, 1966 - May 6, 1966: Young Rascals - Good Lovin'

May 7, 1966 - May 27, 1966: The Mamas & the Papas - Monday, Monday

May 28, 1966 - June 10, 1966: Percy Sledge - When A Man Loves A Woman

June 11, 1966 - June 24, 1966: The Rolling Stones - Paint It Black

June 25, 1966 - July 8, 1966: The Beatles - Paperback Writer

July 9, 1966 - July 15, 1966: Frank Sinatra - Strangers In The Night

July 16, 1966 - July 29, 1966: Tommy James and the Shondells - Hanky Panky

July 30, 1966 - August 12, 1966: The Troggs - Wild Thing

August 13, 1966 - September 2, 1966: The Lovin' Spoonful - Summer in the City

September 3, 1966 - September 9, 1966: Donovan - Sunshine Superman

September 10, 1966 - September 23, 1966: The Supremes - You Can't Hurry Love

September 24, 1966 - October 14, 1966: The Association - Cherish

October 15, 1966 - October 28, 1966: Four Tops - Reach Out, I'll Be There

October 29, 1966 - November 4, 1966: Question Mark & the Mysterians - 96 Tears

November 5, 1966 - November 11, 1966: The Monkees - Last Train to Clarksville

November 12, 1966 - November 18, 1966: Johnny Rivers - Poor Side Of Town

November 19, 1966 - December 2, 1966: The Supremes - You Keep Me Hangin' On

December 3, 1966 - December 9, 1966: The New Vaudeville Band - Winchester Cathedral

December 10, 1966 - December 30, 1966: The Beach Boys - Good Vibrations

December 31, 1966 - February 17, 1967: The Monkees - I'm a Believer

The Top 40 Songs of 1966*

*according to Billboard Magazine
1. I'm a Believer - The Monkees
2. The Ballad of the Green Berets - SSgt Barry Sadler
3. Winchester Cathedral - The New Vaudeville Band
4. (You're My) Soul and Inspiration - The Righteous Brothers
5. Monday, Monday - Mamas & Papas
6. We Can Work It Out - The Beatles
7. Summer in the City - The Lovin' Spoonful
8. Cherish - The Association
9. You Can't Hurry Love - The Supremes
10. Wild Thing - The Troggs
11. Reach Out I'll Be There - Four Tops
12. Paint It, Black - The Rolling Stones
13. When a Man Loves A Woman - Percy Sledge
14. You Keep Me Hangin' On - The Supremes
15. Hanky Panky - Tommy James and The Shondells
16. My Love - Petula Clark
17. The Sounds of Silence - Simon and Garfunkle
18. Paperback Writer - The Beatles
19. 96 Tears - ? & The Mysterians
20. Last Train to Clarkesville - The Monkees
21. Poor Side of Town - Johnny Rivers
22. These Boots Are Made for Walkin' - Nancy Sinatra
23. Good Vibrations - The Beach Boys
24. Good Lovin' - The Young Rascals
25. Strangers in the Night - Frank Sinatra
26. Sunshine Superman - Donovan
27. Lightnin' Strikes - Lou Christie
28. Snoopy vs. The Red Baron - The Royal Guardsmen
29. Mellow Yellow - Donovan
30. 19th Nervous Breakdown - The Rolling Stones
31. Lil' Red Riding Hood - Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
32. Daydream - The Lovin' Spoonful
33. Sunny - Bobby Hebb
34. Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind? - The Lovin' Spoonful
35. A Groovy Kind of Love - The Mindbenders
36. Barbara Ann - The Beach Boys
37. Red Rubber Ball - The Cyrkle
38. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down) - Cher
39. Yellow Submarine - The Beatles
40. Rainy Day Woman #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan

Popular Movies

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A Man for All Seasons, Alfie, The Bible: In the Beginning, Blowup, Born Free, Fantastic Voyage, Fahrenheit 451, Georgy Girl, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Hawaii, Our Man Flint, The President's Analyst, The Professionals, Seconds, That Darn Cat!, War and Peace, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

More Pop Culture History Resources

Popular Music in 1966
# 1 Hits of 1966
 
 
Pop Culture News
 
 


 
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