1961 1962 1963 - 1964 - 1965 1966 1967
| Decades: |
1930s 1940s 1950s - 1960s - 1970s 1980s 1990s
Events of 1964
- January 3 - U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater announces that he will seek the Republican nomination for President.
- January 5 - In the first meeting between leaders of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches since the 15th century, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I meet in Jerusalem.
- January 7 - A British firm, the Leyland Motor Corp., announces the sale of 450 buses to the Cuban government, challenging the United States blockade of Cuba.
- January 8 - In his first State of the Union Address, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson declares a "War on Poverty".
- January 11 - United States Surgeon General Luther Leonidas Terry reports that smoking may be hazardous to one's health (the first such statement from the U.S. government).
- January 12 - The predominantly Arab government of Zanzibar is overthrown by African nationalist rebels; a U.S. destroyer evacuates 61 U.S. citizens.
- January 12 - Routine U.S. naval patrols of the South China Sea begin.
- January 16 - John Glenn, the first American to orbit the earth, resigns from the space program.
- January 17 - John Glenn announces that he will seek the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senator from Ohio.
- January 18 - Plans to build the New York World Trade Center are announced.
- January 22 - Kenneth Kaunda is inaugurated as the first President of Northern Rhodesia.
- January 23 - Thirteen years after its proposal and nearly 2 years after its passage by the United States Senate, the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, is ratified.
- January 27 - France and the People's Republic of China announce their decision to establish diplomatic relations.
- January 28 - A U.S. Air Force jet training plane that strays into East Germany is shot down by Soviet fighters near Erfurt; all 3 crew men are killed.
- January 29 – February 9 - The 1964 Winter Olympics are held in Innsbruck, Austria.
- January 29 - The Soviet Union launches 2 scientific satellites, Elektron I and II, from a single rocket.
- January 29 - Ranger 6 is launched by NASA, on a mission to carry television cameras and crash-land on the Moon.
- January 30 - General Nguyen Khanh leads a bloodless military coup d'état, replacing Duong Van Minh as Prime Minister of South Vietnam.
- February 3 - Protesting against alleged de-facto school racial segregation, Black, Yellow and Prince Edward Islander groups in New York City boycott public school.
- February 4 - The Government of the United States authorizes the Twenty-fourth Amendment, outlawing the poll tax.
- February 6 - Cuba cuts off the normal water supply to the United States Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, in reprisal for the U.S. seizure 4 days earlier of 4 Cuban fishing boats off the coast of Florida.
- February 7 - A Jackson, Mississippi jury, trying Byron De La Beckwith for the murder of Medgar Evers in June 1963, reports that it can not reach a verdict, resulting in a mistrial.
- February 11 - Greeks & Turks begin fighting in Limassol, Cyprus.
- February 11 - The Republic of China (Taiwan) drops diplomatic relations with France because of French recognition of the People's Republic of China.
- February 17 - Wesberry v. Sanders (376 US 1 1964): The Supreme Court of the United States rules that congressional districts have to be approximately equal in population.
- February 17 - Gabonese president Leon M'ba is toppled by a coup and his archrival, Jean-Hilaire Aubame, is installed in his place.
- February 27 - The government of Italy asks for help to keep the Leaning Tower of Pisa from toppling over.
- February 29 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces that the United States has developed a jet airplane (the A-11), capable of sustained flight at more than 2,000 miles per hour and of altitudes of more than 70,000 feet.
- March 4 - Teamsters President Jimmy Hoffa is convicted by a federal jury of tampering with a federal jury in 1962.
- March 6 - Constantine II becomes King of Greece, upon the death of his father King Paul.
- March 8 - Malcolm X, suspended from the Nation of Islam, says in New York City that he is forming a black nationalist party.
- March 9 - New York Times Co. v Sullivan (376 US 254 1964): The United States Supreme Court rules that under the First Amendment, speech criticizing political figures cannot be censored.
- March 10 - Soviet military forces shoot down an unarmed reconnaissance bomber that had strayed into East Germany; the 3 U.S. flyers parachute to safety.
- March 10 - Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Ambassador to South Vietnam, wins the New Hampshire Republican primary.
- March 12 - Malcolm X leaves the Nation of Islam.
- March 14 - A Dallas, Texas jury finds Jack Ruby guilty of killing John F. Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
- March 20 - The precursor of the European Space Agency, ESRO (European Space Research Organization) is established per an agreement signed on June 14, 1962.
- March 26 - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara delivers an address that reiterates American determination to give South Vietnam increased military and economic aid, in its war against the Communist insurgency.
- March 27 - The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in U.S. history at a magnitude of 9.2, strikes South Central Alaska, killing 125 people and inflicting massive damage to the city of Anchorage, Alaska.
- March 29 - Radio Caroline becomes England's first pirate radio station, from a ship anchored just outside UK territorial waters.
- March 31 - The military, backed by the USA, overthrows Brazilian President João Goulart in a coup, starting 21 years of dictatorship in Brazil.
- April 5 - Jigme Dorfi, Premier of the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, is shot dead by an unidentified assassin in Puncholing, near the Indian border.
- April 8 - Gemini 1 is launched on the first unmanned test of the 2-man spacecraft.
- April 9 - The United Nations Security Council adopts by a 9-0 vote a resolution deploring a British air attack on a fort in Yemen 12 days earlier, in which 25 persons were reported killed.
- April 11 - The Brazilian Congress elects Field Marshal Humberto de Alencar Castello Branco as President of Brazil.
- April 12 - In Detroit, Michigan, Malcolm X delivers a speech entitled "The Ballot or the Bullet."
- April 14 - A Delta rocket's third stage motor ignites prematurely in an assembly room at Cape Canaveral, killing 3.
- April 16 - Sentences totalling 307 years are passed on 12 men who stole £2.6m in used bank notes, after holding up the night mail train travelling from Glasgow to London in August 1963 - a heist that became known as the Great Train Robbery.
- April 19 - In Laos, the coalition government of Prince Souvanna Phouma is deposed by a right-wing military group, led by Brig. Gen. Kouprasith Abhay. Not supported by the U.S., the coup is ultimately unsuccessful, and Souvanna Phouma is reinstated, remaining Prime Minister until 1975.
- April 20 - U.S. President Lyndon Johnson in New York, and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in Moscow, simultaneously announce plans to cut back production of materials for making nuclear weapons.
- April 22 - British businessman Greville Wynne, imprisoned in Moscow since 1963 for alleged spying, is exchanged for Soviet spy Gordon Lonsdale.
- April 22 - The 1964 New York World's Fair opens to celebrate the 300th anniversary of New Amsterdam being taken over by British forces under the Duke of York (later King James II) and being renamed New York in 1664.
- April 25 - Thieves steal the head of the |Little Mermaid statue in Copenhagen, Denmark (Henrik Bruun confesses in 1997).
- April 26 - Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania.
- May 2 - Senator Barry Goldwater receives more than 75% of the votes in the Texas Republican Presidential primary.
- May 2 - Some 400-1,000 students march through Times Square, New York and another 700 in San Francisco, in the first major student demonstration against the Vietnam War. Smaller marches also occur in Boston, Seattle, and Madison, Wisconsin.
- May 2 - Henry Hezekiah Dee and Charles Eddie Moore, hitchhiking in Meadville, Mississippi, are kidnapped and beaten by members of the Ku Klux Klan. Their badly decomposed bodies are found by chance 2 months later in July, during the search for 3 civil rights workers - Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner.
- May 7 - Pacific Air Lines Flight 773 crashes near San Ramon, California, killing all 44 aboard; the FBI later reports that a cockpit recorder tape indicates that the pilot and co-pilot had been shot by a suicidal passenger.
- May 7 - At a mail rockets demonstration by Gerhard Zucker on Hasselkopf Mountain near Braunlage (Lower Saxonia, Germany), 3 persons are killed by a rocket explosion.
- May 9 - South Korean President Chung Hee Park reshuffles his Cabinet, after a series of student demonstrations against his efforts to restore diplomatic and trade relations with Japan.
- May 19 - The United States State Department says that more than 40 hidden microphones have been found embedded in the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
- May 24–25 - The crowd at a football match in Lima, Peru riots over a referee's decision in the Peru-Argentina game; 319 are killed, 500 injured.
- May 26 - Nelson Rockefeller defeats Barry Goldwater in the Oregon Republican primary, slowing but not stalling Goldwater's drive toward the nomination.
- May 27 - Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India dies; he is succeeded by Lal Bahadur Shastri.
- June 2 - Senator Barry Goldwater wins the California Republican Presidential primary, making him the overwhelming favorite for the nomination.
- June 3 - South Korean President Park Chung Hee declares martial law in Seoul, after 10,000 student demonstrators overpower police.
- June 9 - In Federal Court in Kansas City, Kansas, army deserter George John Gessner, 28, is convicted of passing United States secrets to the Soviet Union.
- June 11 - Greece rejects direct talks with Turkey over Cyprus.
- June 11 - In Cologne, Germany, Walter Seifert attacks students and teachers in an elementary school with a flamethrower, killing 10 and injuring 21.
- June 12 - Pennsylvania Governor William Scranton announces his candidacy for the Republican Presidential nomination, as part of a 'stop-Goldwater' movement.
- June 12 - Nelson Mandela and 7 others are sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa, and sent to the Robben Island prison.
- June 21 - Three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James Chaney, are murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi, by local segregationist law enforcement officials.
- June 26 - Moise Tshombe returns to the Democratic Republic of the Congo from exile in Spain.
- July 2 - President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, abolishing racial segregation in the United States.
- July 6 - Malawi declares its independence from the United Kingdom.
- July 8 - U.S. military personnel announce that U.S. casualties in Vietnam have risen to 1,387, including 399 dead and 17 MIA.
- July 16 - At the Republican National Convention in San Francisco, U.S. presidential nominee Barry Goldwater declares that "extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice", and "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue".
- July 18 - Six days of race riots begin in Harlem.
- July 18 - Judith Graham Pool publishes her discovery of cryoprecipitate, a substance that extends the lives of hemophiliacs around the world.
- July 19 - Vietnam War: At a rally in Saigon, South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Khanh calls for expanding the war into North Vietnam.
- July 20 - Vietnam War: Viet Cong forces attack a provincial capital, killing 11 South Vietnamese military personnel and 40 civilians (30 of which are children).
- July 21 - Race riots begin in Singapore between ethnic Chinese and Malays.
- July 22 - The second meeting of the Organization of African Unity is held.
- July 27 - Vietnam War: The U.S. sends 5,000 more military advisers to South Vietnam, bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.
- July 31 - Ranger program: Ranger 7 sends back the first close-up photographs of the moon (images are 1,000 times clearer than anything ever seen from Earth-bound telescopes).
- August 4 - American civil rights movement: The bodies of murdered civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney are found.
- August 4 - Vietnam War: United States destroyers USS Maddox and USS C. Turner Joy are attacked in the Gulf of Tonkin. Air support from the carrier USS Ticonderoga sinks 1 gunboat, while the other 2 leave the battle.
- August 5 - Vietnam War: Operation Pierce Arrow - Aircraft from carriers USS Ticonderoga and USS Constellation bomb North Vietnam in retaliation for strikes against U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin.
- August 5 - The Simba rebel army in the Democratic Republic of the Congo captures Stanleyville, and takes 1,000 Western hostages.
- August 7 - Vietnam War: The United States Congress passes the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on U.S. forces.
- August 13 - Murderers Gwynne Owen Evans and Peter Anthony Allen become the last people to be executed in the United Kingdom.
- August 16 - Vietnam War: In a coup, General Nguyen Khanh replaces Duong Van Minh as South Vietnam's chief of state and establishes a new constitution, drafted partly by the U.S. Embassy.
- August 24–27 - The Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City nominates incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson for a full term, and U.S. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota as his running mate.
- August 28–30 - Philadelphia 1964 race riot: Tensions between Black residents and police lead to 341 injuries and 774 arrests.
- September 10 - Germany receives its 1,000,000th foreign worker.
- September 14 - The third period of the Second Vatican Council opens.
- September 14 - The London Daily Herald ceases publication, replaced by The Sun.
- September 21 - The island of Malta obtains independence from the United Kingdom.
- September 24 - The Warren Commission Report, the first official investigation of the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy, is published.
- September 25 - The Mozambican War of Independence is launched by FRELIMO.
- October 1 - Three thousand student activists at University of California, Berkeley surround and block a police car from taking a CORE volunteer arrested for not showing his ID, when he violated a ban on outdoor activist card tables. This protest eventually explodes into the Berkeley Free Speech Movement.
- October 1 - The Shinkansen high-speed rail system is inaugurated in Japan, for the first sector between Tokyo and Osaka.
- October 5 - Twenty-three men and thirty-one women escape to West Berlin through a narrow tunnel under the Berlin Wall.
- October 5 - Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip begin an 8-day visit to Canada.
- October 10–24 - The 1964 Summer Olympics are held in Tokyo.
- October 12 - The Soviet Union launches Voskhod 1 into Earth orbit as the first spacecraft with a multi-person crew and the first flight without space suits. The flight is cut short and lands again on October 13 after 16 orbits.
- October 14 - American civil rights movement leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. becomes the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
- October 14–15 - Nikita Khrushchev is deposed as leader of the Soviet Union; Leonid Brezhnev and Alexei Kosygin assume power.
- October 15 - The Labour Party wins the parliamentary elections in the United Kingdom, ending 13 years of Conservative Party rule.
- October 16 - Harold Wilson becomes British Prime Minister for the first time.
- October 16 - The People's Republic of China explodes an atomic bomb in Sinkiang.
- October 18 - The NY World's Fair closes for the year (it reopens April 21, 1965).
- October 22 - Canada: A Federal Multi-Party Parliamentary Committee selects a design to become the new official Flag of Canada.
- October 22 - A 5.3 Kiloton nuclear device is detonated at the Tatum Salt Dome, 21 miles from Hattiesburg, Mississippi as part of the Vela Uniform program. This test is the Salmon phase of the Atomic Energy Commission's Project Dribble.
- October 24 - Northern Rhodesia, a former British protectorate, becomes the independent Republic of Zambia, ending 73 years of British rule.
- October 26- Eric Edgar Cooke becomes the last man executed in Western Australia, for murdering 8 citizens in Perth, Western Australia between 1959 and 1963.
- October 27 - In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, rebel leader Christopher Gbenye takes 60 Americans and 800 Belgians hostage.
- October 29 - A collection of irreplaceable gemstones, including the 565 carat (113 g) Star of India, is stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.
- October 31 - Campaigning at Madison Square Garden, New York, U.S. President Lyndon Johnson pledges the creation of the Great Society.
- November 1 - Mortar fire from North Vietnamese forces rains on the USAF base at Bien Hoa, South Vietnam, killing 4 U.S. servicemen, wounding 72, and destroying 5 B-57 jet bombers and other planes.
- November 3 - U.S. presidential election, 1964: Incumbent U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson defeats Republican challenger Barry Goldwater with over 60 percent of the popular vote.
- November 3 - The Bolivian government of President Victor Paz Estenssoro is overthrown by a military rebellion led by General Alfredo Ovando Candía, commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
- November 5 - Mariner program: Mariner 3, a U.S. space probe intended for Mars, is launched from Cape Kennedy but fails.
- November 9 - The British House of Commons votes to abolish the death penalty for murder in Britain.
- November 10 - Australia partially reintroduces compulsory military service due to the Indonesian Confrontation.
- November 19 - The United States Department of Defense announces the closing of 95 military bases and facilities, including the Brooklyn Navy Yard, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, and Fort Jay, New York.
- November 21 - Second Vatican Council: The third period of the Catholic Church's ecumenical council closes.
- November 21 - The Verrazano Narrows Bridge opens to traffic (the world's longest suspension bridge at this time).
- November 24 - Belgian paratroopers and mercenaries capture Stanleyville, but a number of hostages die in the fighting, among them Evangelical Covenant Church missionary Dr. Paul Carlson.
- November 28 - Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 4 space probe from Cape Kennedy toward Mars to take television pictures of that planet in July 1965.
- November 28 - Vietnam War: United States National Security Council members, including Robert McNamara, Dean Rusk, and Maxwell Taylor, agree to recommend a plan for a 2-stage escalation of bombing in North Vietnam, to President Lyndon B. Johnson.
- December 1 - Gustavo Díaz Ordaz takes office as President of Mexico.
- December 1 - Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam (after some debate, they agree on a 2-phase bombing plan).
- December 3 - Berkeley Free Speech Movement: Police arrest over 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover and massive sit-in at the administration building, protesting the U.C. Regents' decision to forbid Vietnam War protests on U.C. property.
- December 10 - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway.
- December 11 - Che Guevara addresses the U.N. General Assembly.
- December 14 - Heart of Atlanta Motel v. United States (379 US 241 1964): The U.S. Supreme Court rules that, in accordance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, establishments providing public accommodations must refrain from racial discrimination.
- December 18 - In the wake of deadly riots in January over control of the Panama Canal, the U.S. offers to negotiate a new canal treaty.
- April 5 - Douglas MacArthur, American general and Medal of Honor recipient (b. 1880)
- April 8 - Alexander Rud Mills, Australian Odinist (b. 1885)
- April 13 - John T. Flynn, American anti-communist author (b. 1882)
- May 27 - Jawaharlal Nehru, First Prime Minister of India (b. 1889)