21 Defining Moments Of 1966

A look back at an epic year that gave us Twister, Star Trek, The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and an escalating war in Vietnam. posted on

1. Star Trek debuts on NBC, the show recieves mixed reviews with Variety saying it “won’t work,” and calling it “an incredible and dreary mess of confusion and complexities.”

Other shows that premiered that year:

Batman (ABC)
The Monkees (NBC)
That Girl (ABC)
Family Affair (CBS)
Mission: Impossible (CBS)

2. Milton Bradley releases Twister.

The game became an overnight success after Eva Gabor played it with Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.

3. New York Times bestsellers:

Fiction:

Valley of the Dolls by Jaqueline Susann

Non-fiction:

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

4. 38th Academy Awards winners:

Best Picture: The Sound of Music
Best Actor: Lee Marvin (Cat Ballou)
Best Actress: Julie Christie (Darling)
Best Supporting Actress: Shelley Winters (A Patch of Blue)
Best Supporting Actor: Martin Balsam (A Thousand Clowns).

Also, The Academy Awards air in color for the first time, on ABC.

5. Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 Hits 1966:

Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles:

1. “Ballad of the Green Berets” - SSgt. Barry Sadler
2. “Cherish” - The Association
3. “(You’re My) Soul and Inspiration” - The Righteous Brothers
4. “Reach Out I’ll Be There” - The Four Tops
5. “96 Tears” - ? & the Mysterians
6. “Last Train to Clarksville” - The Monkees
7. “Monday, Monday” - The Mamas & the Papas
8. “You Can’t Hurry Love” - The Supremes
9. “Poor Side of Town” - Johnny Rivers
10. “California Dreamin’” - The Mamas & the Papas
11. “Summer in the City” - The Lovin’ Spoonful

6. Seminal albums released that year:

Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys
Revolver by the Beatles
Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan
Sounds of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel
Aftermath by The Rolling Stones

7. Top ten movies of the year:

1. The Bible: In the Beginning, starring Michael Parks, Richard Harris and Ava Gardner.
2. Hawaii, starring Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow and Richard Harris.
3. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.
4. The Sand Pebbles, starring Steve McQueen and Candice Bergen.
5. A Man For All Seasons, starring Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller and Robert Shaw.
6. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, starring Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef.
7. Lt. Robin Crusoe, U.S.N., starring Dick Van Dyke and Nancy Kwan.
8. The Russians are Coming, the Russians are Coming!, starring Alan Arkin and Eva Marie Saint
9. Grand Prix, starring James Garner, Eva Marie Saint and Toshiro Mifune
10. The Professionals , starring Burt Lancaster and Lee Marvin

8. John Lennon makes his controversial “More popular than Jesus,” remark.

In March, John is quoted in the London newspaper, The Evening Standard as saying that the band was now “more popular than Jesus.”

The quote became a source of controversy when the Beatles began their U.S. tour. In August, while the band is Chicago, John held a press conference to clarify his remarks, saying “I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it. I’m sorry I opened my mouth. I’m not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I was not knocking it. I was not saying we are greater or better.”

9. The Supreme Court of the United States delivers its ruling in the case Miranda v. Arizona and establishes the rule that the police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them.

10. Top 10 TV Shows:

1. Bonanza (NBC)
2. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
3. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
4. The Lucy Show (CBS)
5. The Jackie Gleason Show (CBS)
6. Green Acres (CBS)
7. Daktari (CBS)
8. Bewitched (ABC)
9. The Beverly Hillbillies (CBS)
10. Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C. (CBS)

11. TV shows that ended their run:

The Dick Van Dyke Show
The Flintstones
The Patty Duke Show
The Munsters
The Addams Family
The Donna Reed Show
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet

12. The Beatles play their last live commercial concert at Candlestick Park on August 29.

13. In the UK Twiggy is named “The Face of 1966.”

Other popular models that year include Veruschka and Jean Shrimpton.

14. The Chevy Camaro makes it’s debut:

The 1967 model first went on sale on September 29.

15. Sniper Charles Whitman kills 13 people and wounds 31 from atop the University of Texas at Austin Main Building tower.

16. The New York City transit strike brings the city to a stop.

The twelve-day strike began on New Year’s Day, effectively ending all service on the subway and buses in the city.

The strike ends with workers getting a wage increase from $3.18 to $4.14 an hour, an additional paid holiday, increased pension benefits, and other gains.

17. LSD is officially made illegal in the U.S., with restrictions that even forbid scientific research.

18. Walt Disney dies on December 15, from lung cancer.

19. President Lyndon Johnson states that the United States should stay in South Vietnam until Communist aggression there is ended.

20. On March 26, demonstrations are held across the United States against the Vietnam War.

21. Time Magazine’s Man of the Year: The Generation Twenty-Five and Under

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