|James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time|
John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Kennedy’s killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was murdered by Jack Ruby. Ruby died shortly thereafter. U.S. has 15,000 “advisors” in Viet Nam. 200,000 Blacks march on Washington. Martin Luther King delivered “I have a Dream“ speech. Governor George Wallace tried to prevent Blacks from attending the University of Alabama. Unemployment was at 5.5 percent. Pope John XXIII died. Kenya became an independent nation. Quasars were discovered. Michael E. de Bakey transplanted a human heart. Valium was developed. British Secretary of War, John Profumo, resigned after his affair with teenage showgirl was revealed. Julia Child premiered show on PBS. Stan Musial retired. Wilt Chamberlain scored 70 points in one game. Parnelli Jones won the Indianapolis 500. The Beatles opened for Helen Shapiro. Rolling Stones signed with Decca at George Harrison’s recommendation. Frank Sinatra’s son was kidnapped and returned. William Faulkner won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature for The Reivers. Ellis Peters (aka Edith Pargeter) won the top honor from the Mystery Writers of America for Death And The Joyful Woman. We also read such popular novels as The Group by Mary McCarthy, The Venetian Affair by Helen MacInnes, Caravan by James Michener, Shoes of a Fisherman by Morris L. West, The Hat on the Bed by John O’Hara, and On Our Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming. We also read The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, City of Night by John Rechy, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, V by Thomas Pynchon and Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. Cleopatra was tops at the box office. We also watched How The West Was Won, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, Tom Jones, Irma La Deuce, Son of Flubber and Dr. No. We listened to “Surfin’ in the U.S.A” by the Beach Boys, “The End of the World” by Skeeter Davis, “Rhythm of the Rain” by the Cascades, “He’s So Fine” by the Chiffons, “Blue Velvet” by Bobby Vinton, “Hey Paula” by Paul and Paula, “Fingertips by Stevie Wonder, “Washington Square” by the Village Stompers and “It’s All Right by the Impressions. Those who took their first breaths this year include: Michael Jordan, Johnny Depp, Seal, Jet Li, Quentin Tarantino, Brad Pitt and Whitney Houston. A number of notables didn’t make it to 1964: W.E. B. Dubois, Robert Frost, Rogers Hornsby, Aldous Huxley, Jack Carson, Zasu Pitts, Edith Piaf, Sabu, Jean Cocteau, C. S. Lewis, Adolphe Menjou and Dinah Washington. If you were around, what were you doing during this year of the water rabbit?