Newstalgia Thousand Yard Stare - 1966 in Review. the 1966 off-year elections. The escalating Vietnam War. Mass killings in Chicago and Austin Texas. Civil Rights. LBJ's trip to Asia. John Lennon and the "Jesus" quote. A strange year.
December 23, 2011

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And there was that little matter of The Beatles and Jesus Christ.


Continuing the yearly reviews, we're smack in the middle of 1966. And depending on how you look at it, it was either the tipping point where it all came unglued or we were on the verge of everything changing.

The 1966 mid-year elections and the Republicans were energized from their 1964 massacre. Governorships saw Republicans in office for the first time, including California and the beginning of what was to become The Reagan Years. Nelson Rockefeller took New York. George Romney kept Michigan. Edward Brooke, the first Black Senator and Republican was elected. Charles Percy became the first Republican Senator from Illinois.

All in contrast to the escalation of the war in Vietnam. Hanoi was being bombed, with civilians being reported among the casualties for the first time. LBJ went on a tour of Asia in order to drum up support of his Vietnam policy and came away with mass protests in Manila.

Domestically, violence was getting to be a familiar face around the country. Civil Rights demonstrations turned violent in Chicago and a sense of unease swept over the country in the wake of the goings on in 1965. It was also a year for mass murder, with 8 student nurses murdered in a dorm and 12 students killed and 40 wounded at the hands of a sniper perched on a clock tower at the University of Texas in Austin. Even politicians weren't immune with the murder of Senatorial candidate Charles Percy's daughter at the family home during his campaign.

The economy was heading into Inflation territory, but the Space program was making strides with The Gemini Program continuing and offering high points to the year.

And if all that weren't enough, The Beatles landed in the lap of controversy with John Lennon being misquoted in the press about being more popular than Jesus Christ touching off a firestorm among the unhinged. The innocent answer to a question about the current lack of faith in the world and the irony that a group like the Beatles would be more popular in the eyes of the younger generation than a religious figure got perceived as a boast rather than an indictment and piles of now-valuable Beatles albums went up in flames as a result.

And they didn't call the 60's Insane for nothing.

And here is the recap of that year by way of ABC Radio Program Voices In The Headlines.

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