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CFPL Timeline - 1964

In 1964 the world stage was a scene of both highs and lows. The Beatles were taking North America by storm, while in South Africa Nelson Mandela was sent to prison, where he would remain for 26 years. Newsmaking events in southwestern Ontario, covered a wide range of subjects, but were dominated by a number of medical stories that also had both highs and lows.

Images from CFPL News 1964

National and International News Stories of 1964:

  • After much debate a design for a new Canadian flag is approved. The new flag consists of two colours, red and white and features a red maple leaf.

  • Canadian horse Northern Dancer, from E. P. Taylor’s Windfields Farm wins the Kentucky Derby. Northern Dancer would become the most successful sire of the 20th century.

  • Canada wins only a single gold and two bronze medals at Tokyo Summer Olympic Games.

  • In early 1964 the Beatles leave England for their first American tour. They have three songs in the top ten and are greeted by 3,000 fans at JFK International airport. The visit will include an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show.

  • Cassius Clay (who will later become known as Muhammad Ali) wins the world heavyweight boxing championship by defeating Sonny Liston in seven rounds at Miami Beach. He is 22 years old.

  • The United States passes the Civil Rights Act providing the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. It prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion, or national origin.

  • Although already serving a sentence, Nelson Mandela is brought to trial along with other African National Congress leaders, and charged with sabotage and attempting to violently overthrow the government. Known as the Rivonia Trial, the accused escape execution, but the judge sentences them to life in prison. Mandela is sent to Robben Island where he will stay for 26 years.

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Story Citations:

Film footage

This Was 1964 – Year End Show 1964 (excerpts)
black and white 16mm motion picture film, silent and sound
Reference Code: F 4396-2-1-11
Archives of Ontario


This Was 1964 – Year End Show 1964 (excerpts)
news script
Reference Code: F 4396-2-2
Archives of Ontario