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1964: The World 50 Years Ago

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1964 was an eventful year -- a half-century ago, humans were making strides toward space travel beyond the Earth's orbit, and Tokyo hosted the 18th Summer Olympics. The Beatles took America by storm, as Race Riots gripped big cities -- and the the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was signed into law. Boxer Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali and the heavyweight champion of the world. Cyprus devolved into civil war between Turks and Greeks, and President Lyndon Johnson escalated U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. This is the first of five entries focusing on events of the year 1964 this week (and next Monday). Later entries will feature images from civil rights struggles in the U.S., Beatlemania, Alaska's Good Friday earthquake, and the New York World's Fair. [50 photos]

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The prize-winning coiffures in a contest in Munich, Germany on May 1, 1964. They were designed for evening wear and hairdressers said anyone with a little time can copy them. (AP Photo)
The prize-winning coiffures in a contest in Munich, Germany on May 1, 1964. They were designed for evening wear and hairdressers said anyone with a little time can copy them. (AP Photo)
Japanese torchbearers of the Olympic flame relay team run through the rain on their way to the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, in October of 1964. The Olympic Flame was to be lit by Yoshinori Sakai, who was born in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, the day the nuclear weapon destroyed that city. He symbolized the rebirth of Japan after the Second World War when he opened the Summer Olympic Games on October 10, 1964. (AP Photo) #
NASA Astronauts Frank Borman, Neil Armstrong, John Young, and Deke Slayton, during desert survival training in Reno, Nevada, on August 13, 1964. (NASA) #
A bloody encounter - Police officers struggle with man dripping wet from blast of fire hose during rioting in Rochester, new York in July of 1964. Blood streaks down man's face as he is taken into custody by police. Fire hoses failed to calm the man, who had been taunting police from his porch. (AP Photo) #
The Beatles arrive at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on February 7, 1964. From left: John Lennon (waving), Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and George Harrison. 1964 was the year Beatlemania swept through the United States. (AP Photo) #
A view of the Aswan Dam during construction in Egypt on April 1964. The majority of the construction took place from 1960 to 1970. (AP Photo) #
Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro, wearing the uniform of his favorite team Oriente, leads off from first base, during a baseball game at Varadero Beach, Cuba, on July 5, 1964. The premier hit two singles and drove in four runs in addition to pitching nine innings for the team of Camaguey Province. His team won 14-4 against the team of Pinar Del Rio. (AP Photo) #
As the sun goes down behind Staten Island, its light silhouettes the unfinished Verrazano-Narrows steel suspension bridge over New York Harbor on January 6, 1964. This view is from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The bridge opened to the public on November 21, 1964. (AP Photo/Dave Pickoff) #
Bob Dylan plays a bass guitar in a restaurant on June 15, 1964. (Douglas Gilbert/LOOK Magazine/Library of Congress) #
Flying low over the jungle, an A-1 Skyraider drops 500-pound bombs on a Viet Cong position below as smoke rises from a previous pass at the target, December 26, 1964. (AP Photo/Horst Faas) #
Actor Sidney Poitier is photographed with his Oscar statuette at the 36th Annual Academy Awards in Santa Monica, California, on April 13, 1964. He won Best Actor for his role in "Lilies of the Field." (AP Photo) #
Anchorage small business owners were going full tilt clearing salvageable items and equipment from their earthquake-ravaged stores on shattered Fourth Avenue in Alaska, in the aftermath of the March 27th magnitude 9.2 Good Friday earthquake, on March 30, 1964. (AP Photo) #
Members of the ultra leftist Zengakuren students association in Japan drag and beat a helmeted policeman during a protest demonstration at Sasebo naval base, against the arrival of U.S. nuclear-powered submarine Sea Dragon, on November 12, 1964. (AP Photo) #
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev laughs at his mistake in first identifying this ten pound Cornish cock as a hen during his visit to the British Agriculture Fair in Moscow, Russia, on May 28, 1964. (AP Photo) #
British actor Peter Sellers and his new bride, Swedish actress Britt Eklund, are greeted by photographers, newsmen and cheering well-wishers as they leave the registry office in Guildford, England, on February 19, 1964. (AP Photo) #
World Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Muhammad Ali, right, is shown with Black Muslim Leader, Malcolm X, outside the Trans-Lux Newsreel Theater on Broadway at 49th Street, New York City, on March 1, 1964. They had just watched a screening of films on Ali's title fight with Sonny Liston in Miami Beach, on February 25. (AP Photo) #
Rifle muzzles bristle on a rocky hillside in Cyprus on February 23, 1964, as Greek Cypriot trainee policemen undergo an arms drill in rough terrain outside Nicosia. All the recruits have joined the force since the emergency spawned by communal strife in the Island. (AP Photo) #
United Nations troops carry Turkish Cypriot women and children in the back of their armored carrier for a trip from their village of Kokkina to safety in Lefka, on August 9, 1964, due to heavy fighting in the area. (AP Photo/Str/Koundakjian) #
Cypriot youths March at the head of schoolgirls during an Anti-British demonstration in Nicosia, Cyprus, on May 29, 1964. The demonstrators were calling for the withdrawal of British troops from the UN force on the Island. (AP Photo) #
Rockets fired from Turkish Jet Aircraft found their mark on Cypriot ships during an engagement off the coast of the Mediterranean Island in Cyprus, on August 9, 1964. (AP Photo/Jim Pringle) #
A small electronic package, produced by Fairchild Controls Corp. of Hicksville, New York, is installed in a dummy by a technician at North American's Space Division in Downey, California, on October 30, 1964, to test Apollo lunar spacecraft equipment. The instrumentation is designed to foretell the reaction of astronauts to various gravity forces as they return to earth from the moon, thus providing data for the design of safer crew equipment. (AP Photo) #
Sonny Liston, right, lowers his head and works in close during the sixth round of heavyweight championship fight against Muhammad Ali (Cassius Clay) in Miami Beach, Florida, on February 25, 1964. Ali won the fight, and the heavyweight title, in a controversial bout. (AP Photo/File) #
The body of Indian Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharal Nehru is carried by officers of the armed forces to a funeral pyre on the banks of the Jumna River in New Delhi, India, on May 29, 1964, watched by thousands of mourners. (AP Photo) #
The annual Autorama in Detroit, Michigan, on January 10, 1964. Palema Dulmage, Queen of the 1964 Autorama, stands by a space age car. (AP Photo/Preston Stroup) #
Top Chinese communist leader, Chairman of Communist Party (CCP) and President of the Republic, Mao Zedong examines a home-made semi-automatic rifle during his visit to a military exhibition by the Beijing Units of the People's Liberation Army in June of 1964. (AFP/Getty Images) #
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, on June 26, 1964. (AP Photo/Robert Houston) #
Afghan boys, men, and women, some in bare feet, wearing long outer garments called an abaya or chador, shop at a marketplace in Kabul, Afghanistan, in May of 1964. (AP Photo) #
Ernesto "Che" Guevara, 1964. A Marxist revolutionary, was instrumental in developing the Soviet-Cuban relationship in the early 1960s, and by 1964 was acting as the head of the Cuban delegation to speak at the United Nations. (United Press International/Library of Congress) #
Donald Campbell's Bluebird streaks along the Lake Eyre speed track in Australia at 200 MPH on May 12, 1964 in the first trial run of 1964, attempting to raise the world land speed record. (AP Photo) #
Eager to shake his hand, Nigerians swarm round world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali as he sits atop his car during the drive to his hotel after arriving at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria on June 1, 1964. Ali, who is on a tour of West Africa, led the crowd in cheering himself as "King of the World." (AP Photo/Stan Grain) #
Vietnamese government troops attempt to force a suspected Viet Cong member to inform on Viet Cong movements in the Southern Mekong Delta of South Vietnam on July 14, 1964. (AP Photo) #
Bill Olsen of Brooklyn, a New York elevator inspector, on the job inspecting rides at Coney Island in the Brooklyn borough of New York, 1964, before the start of the summer season. (AP Photo) #
The XB70A Valkyrie bomber takes off at Edwards Air Force Base, California, on its second test flight, October 6, 1964. Only two prototypes were built, each capable of reaching speeds of Mach 3 at an altitude of 70,000 feet. (AP Photo) #
Earthquake victims in Niigata, Japan, carry what few belongings they could salvage, walking through a flooded street in this coastal city, which was devastated by a powerful magnitude 7.6 earthquake on June 16, 1964. (AP Photo) #
Capt. William A. Anders, U.S. astronaut, operates the controls of a machine simulating outer space flight as he trains for the two-man extended orbital flight of a Gemini capsule. The training session was in the Ling-Temco-Vought plant at Grand Prairie, near Dallas, Texas, on July 24, 1964. Projected image of moon in background heightens his illusion of space travel. (AP Photo) #
View of St. Louis Gateway Arch, rising on the Mississippi riverfront, taken from a downtown building in St. Louis on June 17, 1964. The arch opened four years later, on May 25, 1968. (AP Photo/Fred Waters) #
Soldiers move bodies to a mass grave which will be set on fire to prevent disease after a savage revenge raid by Senga villagers on members of the Lumpa Church of Alice Lenshina in Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), where more than 50 people were slaughtered on August 12, 1964. The conflict between UNIP (United National Independence Party) and the Lumpa Church reached a climax in July to October in 1964. The church rejected all earthly authority, established its own courts and refused to pay taxes or be registered with the state, clashing with the newly-founded Republic of Zambia. (-/AFP/Getty Images) #
Children in a Hong Kong refugee resettlement area watch as former Vice President Richard Nixon shows them his badminton service. Nixon visited Hong Kong, April 4, 1964, during a tour of countries in the Far East. (AP Photo) #
American Chief Master Sergeant Tom Rhone, left, and Canadian Flight Sergeant Peter Reny, RCAF, of Ottawa, stand outside the North Portal, the entrance to the NORAD nerve center being built in Cheyenne Mountain in the foothills of the Rockies in Colorado, June 4, 1964. The control center of North America's enemy attack warning system will be covered by 1,200 feet of solid granite and encased in steel. (AP Photo) #
Vietnamese troops with fixed bayonets face demonstrators in front of building where the ruling military met in Saigon on August 27, 1964. (AP Photo) #
Life in the Marina City Towers in Chicago, Illinois, on June 19, 1964. (AP Photo) #
North Korean leader Kim Il Sung returns salute at the citizens' rally that celebrated the 16th anniversary of founding of North Korea in Sinuiju City, North Pyongyang, on September 9, 1964. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP Images) #
A burning tire, left, flies toward spectators after a gasoline tank explosion resulting from a crash on fourth turn in the second lap at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Indiana, on May 30, 1964. Dave MacDonald's Ford Thompson racer swerved into the inside wall, causing more cars to crash. MacDonald, in his first Indy 500-mile race, and Eddie Sachs, driving a Ford Hallibrand, died in the accident. The race was postponed for almost two hours. (AP Photo/Bob Daugherty) #
U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy is surrounded by newsmen and well-wishers after accepting the Democratic nomination as their candidate for U.S. Senate. Behind him, at left, is his wife, Ethel. Kennedy was nominated during the Democratic Party's state convention at the 71st Regiment Armory in New York City on September 1, 1964. (AP Photo) #
The exit of a tunnel used in a mass escape of 57 people from East Berlin, crossing under the border to the cellar of a former bakery in Bernauer Street, West Berlin, in October of 1964. (AP Photo) #
Eleven years after the abortive East German revolt against communism, the barricaded borders of West Berlin, Germany were heavily guarded. In this image American soldiers on patrol along the barbed wire along the American sector attract the attention of a Red guard in Berlin, Germany, who focuses his field glasses on them on June 16, 1964. Behind the Red guard two steel-helmeted members of the East German border brigade pass by on a motorcycle patrol. (AP Photo/Edwin Reichert) #
Public viewing of the body of U.S. General Douglas MacArthur in the Rotunda in Washington, D.C., on April 10, 1964. (AP Photo) #
John Gideon Okello, named president of Zanzibar, on January 12, 1964 after the leader of the Zanzibar revolution overthrew Sultan Jamshid bin Abdullah and led to the proclamation of Zanzibar as a republic. (AFP/Getty Images) #
Artist Norman Rockwell, center, talks with astronauts John W. Young, left, and Virgil Grissom, right, at Cape Kennedy in Florida, on September 30, 1964. The two pilots were selected to fly the first manned Gemini orbital flight scheduled for 1965 when they will co-pilot Gemini III. Rockwell was doing a series of paintings at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Cape Kennedy spaceport. (AP Photo) #
This outline of black and white gives strollers at the 1964 New York World's Fair a peaceful appearance as they pass the water fountains and soft lights playing at the base of the Unisphere Fountain of Continents. (AP Photo/Jack Kanthal) #

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