1964 Chapter 1

As champagne popped on December 31, 1963, America’s optimism was tinged with a deep anxiety. Just five weeks earlier, President John F. Kennedy had been assassinated, leaving Americans shaken and vulnerable. Eight days into the new year, the new President, Lyndon B. Johnson, gave his first State of the Union address, demanding an end to racial injustice and an “unconditional war on poverty in America.” Only a few days earlier, Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater had announced his intention to seek the Republican nomination for president, igniting a conservative movement that would reshape the politics of 1964 and transform the American political landscape for generations to come.

About the Film

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Whether in politics or popular culture, civil liberty or civil rights, 1964 saw a lot of change. What event or set of events do you think had the biggest impact on the year, on American society, or on America as we know it today? Share your story.