Flashback : 1966

Fun facts from our graduating year!

We have included some music to help you reflect on a time not that long ago. Please send us any photos or other memories of 1966

World News

China’s universities are closed in the face of the advancing Cultural Revolution.

Charles de Gaulle pulls France out of NATO.

Botswana, Lesotho, and Guyana gain independence from England.

England wins its first World Cup over West Germany in Wembley Stadium

Jawaharlal Nehru’s daughter, Indira, becomes India’s Premier.

The first direct-dial international call is made. Previously, all international calls required operator assistance.

The US and USSR sign a treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space.

National News

Betty Friedan founds the National Organization of Women.

Eight nurses are murdered in Chicago by Richard Speck.

The Black Panthers civil rights group is formed.

The Supreme Court protects the rights of police suspects in Miranda v. Arizona, leading to the Miranda Rights.

Pampers introduces the first disposable diaper

“Star Trek” begins its first season on NBC.

Sports News

World Series Champions- Baltimore Orioles

Pro Football Champions – Green Bay Packers

Stanley Cup Winners – Montreal Canadiens

NCAA Basket ball Champions – Texas Western

College Football Champions – Notre Dame & Michigan State

Music Favorites

I’m a Believer – The Monkees

Cherish – The Association

Good Lovin’ – The Young Rascals

Good Vibrations – The Beach Boys

Hanky Panky – Tommy James & the Shondells

Last Train to Clarksville – The Monkees

Lightnin’ Strikes – Lou Christie

Monday, Monday – The Mamas & the Papas

Summer in the City – Lovin’ Spoonful

Wild Thing – The Troggs



US GDP (1998 dollars): $787.8 billion

Federal spending: $134.53 billion

Federal debt: $328.5 billion

Consumer Price Index: 32.4

Unemployment: 4.5%

How Much things cost in 1966

photo (2)
A dollar really went far in the 1960s — much farther than it does today. Before you get too nostalgic, remember that the median household income in 1967 was $7,143, and the minimum wage was $1.40 per hour. Of course, on the other hand, that same year, an average American home cost $24,600, and a Love Bug (a Volkswagen Beetle) could be had for a mere $1,500.

Three gallons of gas
Back in the’60s, people pulled up to the gas pump and actually said to the attendant, “Gimme a dollar’s worth.” In 1965, this amount could get you quite far, because gas was only 31 cents a gallon (it was up to 35 cents by 1969). To make sure your car would always start, you could get jumper cables for a buck and if you wanted to keep your ride looking great, you could buy car wax for a mere 99 cents.

20 First-Class Postage Stamps
In 1963, you could send letters to 20 friends for $1, or if you didn’t have a whole lot to say, you could send 25 postcards. But by 1968, prices went up — it cost 5 cents to send a postcard and 6 cents to send a letter.

A hamburger with fries, salad, and dessert
Actually, in 1965 you could score a meal with a double-decker burger for a buck! If you wanted to go out to dinner, you could eat at Oscar’s (a family restaurant chain in California), and for $1 you’d get a double-decker hamburger with French fries, salad, and ice cream for dessert. For only 30 cents more, you could get a complete fried chicken or shrimp dinner (also with fries and salad). Pie was only 35 cents a slice, an ice-cream sundae was 40 cents, and coffee or a soft drink cost 10 cents. By the way, if you wanted to grab a quick bite at a lunch counter, you could get a hot dog and a coke for 49 cents.

A gallon of milk (and other groceries)
In 1965 you could get a few food items for close to $1, but for the most part, the things you’d need to buy cost quite a bit less. So fill your vintage shopping cart with these items:

· Gallon of milk: 95 cents
· One regular size bottle of Heinz ketchup: 22 cents
· One dozen eggs: 53 cents
· One-ounce Hershey bar: 5 cents (Although the price remained the same, the size of the bar shrunk to 7/8 ounce in 1966 and 3/4 oz in 1968.)
· Pillsbury cake mix: 25 cents
· Pound of pork chops: $1.03
· Pound of sirloin steak: 85 cents
· Six-pack of Pepsi: 59 cents

Vietnam War Timeline: 1966
31st Jan.

Rolling Thunder bombing operations resumed.
11th Feb.

Johnson announces that the 205,000 troops will be increased gradually.
19th March

South Korea decides to send a further 20,000 troops to South Vietnam, in addition to the 21,000 already there.
28th March

25th Infantry Division deploys to Vietnam for operations in III Corps.

B-52’s join bombing raids on North Vietnam, dropping bombs huge quantities of bombs on the Mugia Pass.
25th May

1st Aviation Brigade arrives for operations in Vietnam.

U.S. increases bombing of the Ho Chi Minh trail in Laos, over a 100 missions a day.

U.S. Navy Seawolves (HC-1) is raised in Vietnam to support patrols in the Delta.
26th Aug.

196th Light Infantry Brigade is deployed to Vietnam
1st Sept.

In a speech in Phnom Penh, President de Gaulle of France denounces U.S. policy and urges the U.S. government to pull its troops out of South East Asia.
10th Dec.

199th Infantry Brigade (Light) arrives
16th Dec.

9th Infantry Division arrives in Vietnam
31st Dec.

385,300 U.S. military personnel in Vietnam.

According to a Gallup Poll, the percentage of Americans who thought the U.S. made a mistake sending troops to fight in Vietnam…
… in August 1965: 24%
… in March 1966: 26%
… in May 1966: 36%
… in November 1966: 31%
… in January 1967: 32%
… in April 1967: 37%
… in July 1967: 41%
… in October 1967: 47%
… in December 1967: 44%
… in February 1968: 46%
… in April 1968: 48%
… in August 1968: 53%
… in September 1968: 54%
… in January 1969: 52%
… in September 1969: 55%
… in January 1970: 52%
… in April 1970: 51%
… in May 1970: 56%
… in January 1971: 59%
… in May 1971: 50%
… in January 1973: 60%
… in January 1993: 68%
… in April 1995: 71%
… in November 2000: 68%

Estimated number of U.S. combat troops in Vietnam by the end of 1965: 200,000
Estimated number of U.S. combat troops in Vietnam by the end of 1966: 389,000
Estimated number of U.S. combat troops killed in Vietnam in 1966 alone: 6,000
Estimated number of U.S. combat troops wounded in Vietnam in 1966 alone: 30,000

Total number of American deaths reported in the Vietnam War: 58,193
… American deaths reported in North Vietnam during the war: 1,124
… American deaths reported in South Vietnam during the war: 55,629

The estimated number of Vietnamese deaths—military and civilian from both sides of the struggle—between 1965 and 1975: 1 million (However, some sources estimate 2 million; the Vietnamese government estimates 3.1 million war deaths.)

Year in which the highest number of American deaths were reported in Vietnam: 1968 (16,592 deaths reported)

The age at which a U.S. serviceman was most likely to die in the Vietnam War: 20