The pivotal year that essentially ushered in the true 1960s is explored.




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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Narrator (voice)
Robert Cohen ...
Himself, historian
Hodding Carter III ...
Himself, journalist and publisher, Delta Democrat Times
Ed King ...
Himself, pastor
Stephanie Coontz ...
Herself, historian
Eric S. Perlstein ...
Himself, historian and journalist (as Rick Perlstein)
Himself, co-founder and publisher, Rolling Stone
John Bracey ...
Himself, historian
Jon Margolis ...
Himself, author of book 'The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964'
Dan T. Carter ...
Himself, historian
Robert A. Caro ...
Himself, author of 'The Years of Lyndon Johnson'
Mark Kurlansky ...
Himself, non-fiction author
Lee Edwards ...
Himself, historian
Richard Viguerie ...
Himself, conservative
Phyllis Schlafly ...
Herself, right-wing conservative antifeminist


From PBS - 1964 was the year the Beatles came to America, Cassius Clay became Muhammad Ali, and three civil rights workers were murdered in Mississippi. It was the year when Berkeley students rose up in protest, African Americans fought back against injustice in Harlem, and Barry Goldwater's conservative revolution took over the Republican Party. Based in part on The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964 by Jon Margolis, 1964 follows some of the most influential figures of the time -- Lyndon B. Johnson, Barry Goldwater, Betty Friedan -- but also brings out from the shadows the stories of ordinary Americans whose principled stands would set the country onto a new and different course. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

14 January 2014 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


At the beginning of this documentary we are told, via the audio, that it is "New Year's Eve 1963", but the videotape footage is from New Year's Eve 1964. The movie marquee in Times Square shows "My Fair Lady" with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, but the earliest release date for that film was October 21, 1964. So the videotape footage being shown is from New Year's Eve 1964 (leading into 1965), but the audio is from New Year's Eve 1963 (leading into 1964). See more »

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User Reviews

1964 and why this was such a crucial year for America.
26 January 2014 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

While 1964 was the year I was born, the reason I really watched this was because it was a show from "The American Experience"--one of the best television series of the last several decades. Their shows are of extremely high quality and always fascinating--and are well worth your time.

Among the many topics that were covered in this two-hour show were: the murder of three civil rights worker in Mississippi, the Goldwater campaign, the spread of the Vietnam war, the Civil Rights Act of 1964*, feminism and President Johnson and his Great Society. All of this was very interesting but what was sometimes interesting was what wasn't mentioned. So, while movies like "Send Me No Flowers" was mentioned, oddly, "Dr. Strangelove" was not. And, while the presidential campaign was mentioned, oddly, they never mentioned 'the ad'--the very famous ad with a little girl playing in the flowers who dies from a nuclear attack caused, apparently, by Goldwater! Still, I could understand some omissions, as it's impossible to do a perfect job in encapsulating an entire year in only tow hours! Very good.

*By the way, one mistake the show DID make was about the Civil Rights Act. They seemed to say that it was less popular among Republicans and they stood in the way of its adoption. While Goldwater didn't vote for it, Republicans clearly did--at about 80% in both the House and Senate while Democrats voted about 65% in favor of the bill. The retired history teacher in me thought I should point this out in the review.

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