[This week the Book of Me, Written by You explores the year that we were born.]
The Beginning of My Life
I was born in January 1964 on a Tuesday. I was the last grandchild on the Lassalle side of the tree–the youngest of that generation. I was christened in June of the same year at the local Catholic Church. It doesn’t appear that there were any other major events in my immediate family that year. Though, I’m fairly sure the whole year wasn’t dedicated to me…LOL
I was born two months after JFK was assassinated. The country was in mourning and in transition. Lyndon Baines Johnson was President. Though, I wasn’t even alive, it feels as if I were.
I share my birthday with Matt Dillon, Mats Willander, and Prince Edward.
Best Actor and Actress for 1964 were Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady) and Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins). Best movie was My Fair Lady.
The New York Times bestseller for the week I was born was The Group by Mary McCarthy.
The Billboard #1 song the month I was born was Bobby Vinton’s “There! I’ve Said It”. It was soon to be followed by this group from England called The Beatles who rocked the world with their hit “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”. Yes, I was a Beatles fan! Though I think they were on the White Album by the time I was old enough to pay attention to what my oldest sister was listening to.
These TV Shows were on at 8pm the night I was born…Across the Seven Seas, Mr. Novak, Red Skelton Show, Combat, Where is Jim Crow? The only one I’ve heard of is the Red Skelton Show.
Top viewing that night was McHale’s Navy, The Jack Benny Program, The Telephone Hour, and The Richard Boone Show. I’ve heard and seen the first two many times.
Did you know it was the year that…
…the first Pope flew in a plane.
…the Beatles came to the US for the first time.
…the surgeon general reported for the first time that cigarette use was a factor in the death rate in the US.
…St. Louis beat the New York Yankees in the World Series.
…Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert (later Ram Dass), and Ralph Metzner wrote a book called “The Psychedelic Experience” based on their work with psychedelic drugs at Harvard.
…Massive Civil Rights protests were taking place in Atlanta, Georgia on the day that I was born.
Local News Stories From the Daily Review
New Turbine Car will be on display at Bayfair Mall. I have no clue what a turbine car is or was
The Alameda County Health Department Chief backed birth control for the county welfare program
A woman in Richmond fought off a strangler in her home. He fled the scene.
Chabot College presented plans for it’s library
A woman from my home town was found shot dead in her car at Cull Canyon
The city of Oakland made it’s bid for Finley’s A’s
How Much Did It Cost?
Things were a little cheaper in those days…then again, income was much lower as well. The average income in 1964 was $6,080.
This was from an ad for Bayfair Market at Bayfair Shopping Mall:
Frozen Vegetables 8 for $1
Ice Cream 1/2 gallon 39 cents
Peanut Butter 28 oz. 79 cents
Pillsbury Flour 5 lb. 49 cents
Butternut Coffee 2 lb can $1.00
Whole Chicken 25 cents per lb.
Bananas 3 for 39 cents
Oreos 2 for 89 cents
Campbell’s Soup 8 cans for $1
This was an entertaining and interesting look at the day I was born. I found it to be a volatile time in the country and in the world. It was a time of planning and progress locally with road widening, marina changes, new auto dealerships, and a focus on education. Nationally, civil rights protests captured the nation, and locally, birth control, services for the disabled, and food for the poor were issues (much like today).
There was the usual political bickering and quite a bit of crime. I was able to find 5 murders that happened locally in the first two pages of the newspaper. The more I read old newspapers the more I realize that the magical time where everyone got along and the only crime committed was by the local drunk who everyone took care of didn’t really exist outside of TV and perhaps small towns. I think that because there were no 24 hour news channels and the internet people were not as focused on the bad elements happening around them. If you didn’t get the newspaper, you could almost avoid them completely.
Thanks to Julie Goucher for this interesting challenge 🙂
Genealogist and writer. Creator of the Portuguese Hawaiian Genealogy and Heritage website, yourislandroutes.com