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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.

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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)

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:

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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

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."


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)


14. The Chevy Camaro makes it's debut:

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The 1967 model first went on sale on September 29.

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.


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

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