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Relive 1964 – From The Beatles to Vietnam - on PBS

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PBS American Experience 1964


Although it is mostly people in their sixties who recall let alone fondly remember “The Sixties,” the events set in motion in those turbulent times continue to reverberate in the culture, politics and lifestyles of modern-day Americans. In 1964, the latest offering on PBS’s American Experience, those who were there back then will have their sense of nostalgia both piqued and challenged, while everyone born since will discover just much of an impact what happened that year continues to have on their daily lives.

From The British Invasion to the war in Vietnam, 1964 the year (as well as 1964 the film) turned things not just upside down but sideways. The nation still grieved the loss of John F. Kennedy, gunned down the previous November by an assassin, and from civil rights to the war on poverty began to realize that Camelot was just a fairy tale (and a Broadway musical) and that things were not as rosy as the sitcoms and press presented them.

1964 is part of the American Experience series and will premiere on most PBS stations at 8 pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, January 14.

As director Stephen Ives shows in his documentary, 1964 was the year Americans – or at least some Americans – started to not only question but also to challenge just about everything – from music to politics to the role of women in society. There are a lot of talking heads in the two-hour film, from the founder of Rolling Stone magazine and a Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential biographer to a sportswriter and a Freedom Rider – and a lot more in between. There is also a lot of archival footage – and some great music, for what would any story set in let about the Sixties be without Martha Reeves, let alone Paul McCartney and his friends from Liverpool?.

1964 is part of the American Experience series and will premiere on most PBS stations (including Connecticut Public Television CPTV) at 8pm Eastern Time on Tuesday, January 14.

Mark G. McLaughlin is a Connecticut-based free lance journalist and game designer with over 30 years of experience as a ghost-writer, columnist, historian and game designer. An author whose first published book was Battles of the American Civil War, and whose games include the Mr. Lincoln’s War set, Mark continues to be enthralled by stories from the age of Lincoln. To view Mark's 16th published design, the American Civil War Naval strategy game Rebel Raiders on the High Seas, visit his publisher at
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