An image of soldiers in the Vietnam War

Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1966

Pop culture has a significant impact on the human lives through the different types of major social influential factors such as usage of technology, changes in the showbiz and entertainment industry, television sector, latest events, news, and even the changes in the fashion of people. All these factors, when combined, define pop culture. Pop Culture in 1966 has some of the most unique and interesting events.

Find out more about the pop culture highlights of 1966.

Film

The film industry had major ups and downs in this year. In fact, the North American film industry went behind as an Indian film became the most earning film of the year in the world.

Hawaii

Hawaii is the most grossing film of the year 1966 and made it to the top of box office with a very short margin against The Bible: In the Beginning by 20th Century Fox and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Warner Bros. Hawaii was produced by United Artists/The Mirisch Corporation and earned a total of $15.6 on box office.

The story is based on the novel of the same name by James A Michener and revolves around the story of a student at Yale University and his bride who became Calvinist missionary in the Hawaiian Islands. The film director was George Roy Hill while leading roles were played by Max Von Sydow and Julie Andrews.

Death of Walt Disney

A sad event about the year 1966 is that the world lost a pioneer in entertainment, Walt Disney. Throughout his lifetime, he promoted the American Animation industry on a major scale and launched several films under his personal supervision which include Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Pinocchio, Fantasia (both 1940), Dumbo (1941), and Bambi.

Walt Disney is also the person having most Academy Awards as he won 22 Oscars from 50 nominations. He has also received other kinds of awards during his lifetime. Walt Disney is also credited for his efforts in developing Disneyland. His work in the film industry still carries a great importance. Even before dying, he was in the production of some of the famous films such as The Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh, and The Happiest Millionaire.

Famous creations of Walt Disney, Mickey Mouse, and Minnie Mouse

Acquisitions in the Film Industry

One of the most interesting events of the year was that there were acquisitions of the production companies. Although there was no direct impact on the viewers right away, the movie productions from the newly created firms were relatively different and improved in various ways following the acquisitions.

The second oldest studio in the entire United States and fifth in the world, Paramount Pictures, was acquired by Gulf and Western industries on October 19th, 1965.  Soon afterwards, in November, Seven Arts Productions acquired Warner Bros after which the firm was renamed as Warner Bros – Seven Arts. The deal was finalized at that time for $32 million.

Music

Another Amazing year for The Beatles

The band, The Beatles, was able to slightly improve its position in the list of biggest hit singles. IT got positions at 2nd, 3rd, and 5th for highest chart positions. In 1965, The Beatles had three of their songs that were very famous. In 1966, these three songs were “We Can Work It Out” / “Day Tripper”, “Yellow Submarine” / “Eleanor Rigby”, and “Paperback Writer” / “Rain.

The Beatles were quite famous in the year 1966 due to the fact that they were performing in different types of events such as at the NME’s poll winner’s ceremony in London. Moreover, the band was also the first one ever to perform at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo.

8th Annual Session of Grammy Awards

The 8th Annual session of Grammy Awards was held in the year 1966 to acknowledge the achievements of singers in 1965. It was held in Chicago, Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York. Roger Miller was the person who won 5 awards which were the greatest number of awards including Best Country and Western Vocal Performance, Male, and Best New Country & Western Artist.

The second position was shared by two singers, Herb Alpert, and Frank Sinatra, each of whom won 4 Grammy awards. The event was held on March 15, 1966.

Death of Bobby Fuller

One of the youngest and most shocking deaths of all times in the history of American music was the death of Bobby Fuller who died on July 18, 1966. He was an American rock singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Some of the best songs he sung included “Let Her Dance” and “I Fought the Law”

Although his songs got hit right away, he was found dead in his car outside his apartment. After an autopsy, it was found out that it could be a possible case of suicide since there were no bruise marks or any signs of beating. Bobby’s face was covered with petechial hemorrhages. Even today, Bobby Fuller’s death is an unsolved mystery.

Fuller performing in the same year in which he died, 1966

Technology

First docking in space

The year 1966 was just one step closer to outer space and closer to the moon. Under the Gemini program, NASA Launched the Gemini 8 spacecraft on March 16, 1966. It was the twelfth American crewed flight of all times. With the help of an Agena Target Vehicle in outer space, Gemini 8 was able to successfully connect itself with the docking station.

This was one of the major breakthroughs in space and astronomy as it clearly showed that living in outer space with the help of technologically advanced machinery is technically possible. This would further open more chances to go to the moon.

Nobel Prizes in Science

The year 1966 marks an importance for the fact that 4 different scientists got their Nobel Prize this year. This includes Alfred Kastler for his exceptional work in Physics, Robert S. Mullikan for his work in molecular orbital theory, Peyton Rous in the field of medicine for works in different types of viruses, and Charles Brenton Huggins for discovering via his research on a few hormones that were useful for tackling cancer within the human body.

Field Prizes in the field of Mathematics were given to Michael Atiyah, Paul Joseph Cohen, Alexander Grothendieck and Stephen Smale.

First Proposal for Optical Fiber Presented

Modern day internet connections are very fast and one of the main reasons for this is that they are based on a fiber optic connection. This dates back to the year 1966 when the first proposal for research in the Optical Fiber was presented in January by Charles K. Kao with George Hockham. Kao created a range of different types of techniques which could be effectively used to transmit digital data via fiber optic cables. This laid much of the groundwork needed for development of Fiber Optics which was continued after his death as well.

Sports

American Football

Different events and matches were held under the American Football which were played in 1966. The 32nd edition of Orange Bowl was played in Miami on the first day of the year. There were multiple losses by number 1 Michigan State and Arkansas in the Rose Bowl and Cotton Bowl respectively, the game was now more of a de-facto national championship game. Alabama were the winners of the Orange Bowl with a 39-28 score.

The professional American Football league was also held this year where Kansas City Chiefs won 31-7 over the Buffalo Bills. Two new teams were added in the American Football League which includes Atlanta Falcons and Miami Dolphins.

1966 World Cup Final FIFA

The FIFA World Cup 1966 was the eighth FIFA World Cup which was held in England between the 11th of July and 30th of July. It was a very interesting series of gameplay with the Final match being the most critical one. With a tough match between West Germany and England, England won the competition after which spectators stormed the pitch. Portugal finished on the third position while North Korea was on the fourth.

Almost 100,000 people attended the FIFA World Cup matches. 31 African countries boycotted the World Cup as they needed guaranteed placings in the finals.

Official Logo of the FIFA World Cup 1966

Fashion

Paper Dresses

1966 was a year where many new forms of fashion were introduced to the public. Paper Dresses was one of the famous ones which was introduced by Judy Brewer. A much more common outfit was now the pant shirt which was being worn by both women and men. Specifically, in the year 1966, the military look became extraordinarily popular as people went to have Army pockets in their dresses along with brass buttons, and trench coat treatments on the different types of sportswear.

Men in their youth went on a mod dressing by having a low slung and wide belted much fit to skin pants. Flashy printed ties were also worn at that time.

Television

Star Trek

The famous American show Star-trek debuted in 1966. The first series was known as “The Original Series” because there were many other as well. Star trek was created by Gene Roddenberry. The show revolves around a spaceship and crew which are set in the Milky Way Galaxy in the year 2260.

Much of the ideas in Star Trek are related to how the future would look like. Famous stars of the series include William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy.  Although, The Original Series was produced for just one year, but it got so popular that it was a whole franchise that emerged as eight television series.

William Shatner as Captain Kirk in Star Trek

News

Countries Get Independence

Major headlines of the year were made when three major countries gained independence but stayed as a part of the British Commonwealth. This includes Botswana, Lesotho, and Guyana. These countries were still controlled by the British government for a long period of time even after independence unless they turned in a much more stable position.

Chairman of Union of Burma Visits USA

General Ne Win, Chairman of the Revolutionary Council of the Union of Burma, came on a state visit to the USA between September 8th and September 10th. He held talks with President of the USA as well as the other senior US state representatives. Talks included a political aspect and view on the world issues as well as Burma and America’s relations. The general visited multiple places within the United States. Upon his arrival, he was welcomed with a 21-gun salute and was also handed the key to the city Washington D.C.

Dance

New Dances

Dances were becoming more popular in 1966. Limbo and Batusi were one of the most popular ones while the approach to much modern dances was being adopted. Land of 1000 Dances was a song that was released this year and became a famous sensation song for singing as well as dancing around.

Conclusion

With many of the important events and highlights of the pop culture of 1966 in the article above, it can be said that this was an interesting year. Despite the sad incidents such as the Vietnam War issue, death of Walt Disney, and Bobby Fuller, there were many positive incidents as well such as improvements to the NASA space program which ultimately helped them in having the step on to the moon. 1966 has been an amazing year for pop culture.

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