1964: Historical facts

The Beatles took the world and America by storm and Beatlemania went into overdrive as the band released a series of number one hits, including I Want To Hold Your Hand and All My Loving. Their first film, A Hard Day’s Night, is released.

The abolition of the death penalty in the UK.

Easter outbreak of Mods and Rockers fights at British seaside resorts.

The first pirate radio station, Radio Caroline, is established.

Top Of The Pops premieres on BBC television.

General Election: Labour Party defeats the Conservatives, ending 13 years of Conservative Party rule. Harold Wilson becomes Prime Minister, replacing Alec Douglas-Home.

Play School launches the UK’s third television channel, BBC Two.

A missing persons investigation is launched in Fallowfield, Manchester, as police search for 12-year-old Keith Bennett (17/6). Police launch another search after 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey goes missing in Ancoats, Manchester (26/12).

The Sun newspaper is published in the United Kingdom for the first time.

Seven of the Great Train Robbers are sentenced to 30 years each for their role in the 1963 robbery.

Forth Road Bridge opens over the Firth of Forth, linking Fife and Edinburgh.

Nelson Mandela and seven others are sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa.

Cassius Clay won the Boxing World heavyweight championship from Sonny Liston.

Other British groups finding success include The Rolling Stones and The Animals; plus American talent The Supremes and Bob Dylan. Many say this was one of the greatest years for music in the last century.

The British and French Governments announce their commitment to build a tunnel under the English Channel.

Popular films: Mary Poppins, The Carpetbaggers, It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, My Fair Lady.

Books include: Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple novel A Caribbean Mystery, Ian Fleming’s James Bond novel You Only Live Twice and his children’s novel Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Bubble Wrap is invented in USA by Marc A Chavannes.

Births in 1964 included: Bill Bailey, Prince Edward (Earl of Wessex), Kathy Burke, Christopher Ecclestone, Shane Richie, Bonnie Langford and Armando Iannucci.

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