Rockford West High School Class of 1964
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Rockford West High School Class of 1964 - 1964 in Review

September 1963 Headlines
Integration was a leading headline this month, with AL governor George Wallace using state police to block integration of Tuskegee High School,  Birmingham closed schools, and a church bombing in Birmingham killed four Negro girls as they worshiped .  

International affairs were also prominent with heated exchanges between President John Kennedy and Fidel Castro, protests in Saigon, Algeria nationalized property owned by Europeans, Malaysia is formed by Singapore, Sarawak, and Malaya, and North Borneo, China and Russia exchange charges in border incursions, and the US ratified the nuclear test ban treaty.

Mob hitman Jospeh Valachi testified before Congress naming Vito Genefese as the Don of the Cosa Nostra.

October 1963 Headlines
Sandy Koufax sets a World Series strike out record with 15 in one game, and the Dodgers beat the Yankees 4 straight to take the World Series.

The US predicts victory in Viet Nam by 1965.  The UN votes to bar China.  Algeria and Morocco at war. Hurricane Flora strikes Haiti and Cuba.  President Kennedy meets with Yugoslav leader Marshal Tito.

November 1963 Headlines
Only  one story seemed to matter from the headlines of November of our Senior year -- and we all remember to this day where we were and how we heard  that JFK had been assassinated in Dallas TX.  The following days were dominated by the first around-the-clock news coverage on TV, with updates from Dallas, the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, the bazaar turn of events as Jack Ruby gunned down Oswald on TV, and images of the riderless horse, caisson, and the young boy saluting his father's casket.

Today, this is still one of the most controversial events in our lives.

December 1963 Headlines
By December 9, the FBI announced that Oswald acted alone.  The Warren Commission put in place by LBJ to put an end to conspiracy theories, but in the end will only become another aspect of the controversy.

The Chicago Bears beat New York for the NFL championship.

Frank Sinatra Jr. is kidnapped for ransom, and is returned safely after his father pays $240,000 to the kidnappers.

More than 800 people were rescued when the Greek liner Lakonia was ravaged by fire during a two-week holiday cruise. More than 150 people were missing and presumed dead.

January 1964 Headlines
Illinois beats Washington 17-7 in the Rose Bowl.

Riots in Calcutta between Muslims and Hindus leave 200 dead.

The nation's first 'disco' Whiskey-a-go-go opened on Sunset Strip in LA.

Plans for the construction of the World Trade Center were announced.

Soviets shot down a US plane with 3 aboard over East Germany, killing all.

Innsbruck winter Olympics begins.

Ranger space craft launched to moon with 6 TV cameras.  This launch followed by one day the launch of a Saturn rocket that put up a record payload of 10 tons into orbit and marking the first time the US exceeded Soviet achievements in space.

February 1964 Headlines
The Ranger space craft reaches the moon, only to crash without sending back pictures.

The US is invaded by the British again as the Beatles land in NY to the shrieks of $25,000 screaming fans.    Their hit song 'I want to hold your hand.' was on the top of the US charts.

Cassius Clay takes out Sonny Liston in a 6-round TKO to become World Heavyweight Champion.

March 1964 Headlines
Almost a half million students boycott NY schools in segregation protest.

Cassius Clay changes his name to Cassius X Clay.

A US reconnaissance plane is shot down over East Germany.

War on Poverty plan goes to Congress.

Jack Ruby is sentenced to death in killing of Lee Harvey Oswald less than 120 days after the event.

Jimmy Hoffa is sentenced to 8 years in prison for jury tampering in his 1962 conspiracy trial.

April 1964 Headlines
The first home TV recorder is demonstrated.

First US Gemini test flight orbits earth 3 times.

First woman makes solo round-the-world air flight.

Shea stadium opens and causes massive traffic jam on Long Island.

Celtics win their 6th consecutive NBA title.  Arnold Palmer wins his 4th Masters.

Ford introduces its new model for the youth market -- the Ford Mustang -- with a sticker price of $2368.

Sidney Poitier becomes the first Negro to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in Lillies of the Field.

The NY World's Fair opening to demonstrations and arrests involving Civil Rights Activists protesting at LBJ's opening speech.

May 1964 Headlines
Northern Dancer wins the Kentucky Derby.

The Pulitzer Prize committee decides no fiction, music or drama was worthy of a prize this year.

The Palestine National Congress meets in Jerusalem to form the the PLO.

A new channel was for the Nile River was blasted open by Soviet Premier Khrushchev and Egyption President Nasser to divert the Nile for the construction of the Aswan Dam to provide power for the United Arab Republic (Egypt and Syria).  The dam is scheduled for completion in 4 years.  Major construction has moved ancient Egyption  relics from the area to be flooded.

A.J. Foyt won the Indianapolis 500 for the second time in 4 years.

India's prime minister Nehru died.

The B70 -- one of only 2 manufactured  -- hit a record 3 times the speed of sound.  The 275 ton plane was the heaviest aircraft built to that time, but was considered obsolete by the time it rolled off assembly lines.  It was considered a research prototype for a possible US version of the Concorde.  The plane strongly resembles its super-secret SR-71 'Black Bird' that was the US's ultimate spy plane for decades.

The Soviets announce they have spy satellites in orbit taking photos of US bases.

June 1964 Headlines
I cannot believe it -- the history books missed a major event.  How could they omit the fact that we graduated?

Instead, they covered Sandy Koufax pitching his 3rd no-hitter and Lenny Bruce going on trial for obscenity for his night-club performance language.

General William Westmoreland takes over as head of US troops in Viet Nam.  Henry Cabot Lodge resigns as US enjoy to Viet Nam and is replaced by Maxwell Taylor.

Ted Kennedy is severely injured in a plane crash.

Ken Venturi wins the US Open.

Fidel Castro's sister defects to the US from Cuba.

Jim Bunning pitches a perfect game.

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