The Year was 1966.

President Lyndon B Johnson (D) 1963-1969

Hippies and the Love-in. Miniskirts  and micro mini skirts and new technology moving in by leaps and bounds.

The English Channel begins a hovercraft service. A subway strike in NYC brings the city to its knees and a killing spree at the University of Texas leaves 31 injured and 17 dead ( one years later from injuries sustained ) when Charles Whitman opened fire.

The Harrier Jet is produced, we have bumped our involvement in Vietnam to more than 500 thousand men.

United States President – Lyndon Banes Johnson

The 1966 Sears Spring/Summer catalog featured 19-year old model, Cheryl Tiegs.

The US population was about 196,560,338 and our life expectancy in 1965 was about 70 years.

The murder rate was just 4.6 murders per 100,000  and had not risen a great deal in several years.

The Median Household Income was about 6900  dollars for the average worker. The average production line worker was making about 3.35 dollars an hour.

The minimum wage in 1966 was 1966 $1.25 per hour. That was about the same as making $9.69 per hour in 2018.

That brand new home is going to cost you about 23,000 dollars in 1966 and if you choose to rent, the rent will be about 118 dollars a month.

Groceries were beginning to rise in price to reflect the slightly higher inflation. Bacon was 69 cents a pound and eggs 60 cents for a dozen. A gallon of milk cost about $.99 and a loaf of bread was approximately 27 cents.

Postage – Sending a letter across the country would cost you  $.05 in postage.

Travel – A gallon of gas cost about 32 cents.

The Top News in 1966

In Wales, the Aberfan disaster was the catastrophic collapse of a colliery spoil tip at around 9:15 am on 21 October 1966. The tip had been created on a mountain slope above the Welsh village of Aberfan, near Merthyr Tydfil and overlaid a natural spring. A period of heavy rain led to a build-up of water within the tip which caused it to suddenly slide downhill as a slurry, killing 116 children and 28 adults as it engulfed the local junior school and other buildings.

Miranda Rights come into being after the Supreme Court overturns the conviction of a rapist ruling he had not been properly informed of his right to counsel and to not testify against himself.

NASA launched the Surveyor 1 space probe during May.

NASA’s final Gemini mission, Gemini 12, was launched during November. Gemini 12 carried Buzz Aldrin and James Lovell into space where they carried out several experiments during its four-day mission.

Race Riots in Atlanta and Black Power becomes a factor in American Politics.

Turkey sustains a major earthquake with nearly 3,000 dead and 10 thousand injured.

Transportation in 1966? Ford was still the company to beat with the Ford Fairlane, Galaxy and Mustang but they were seeing some serious competition from the Pontiac Bonneville and the Oldsmobile Toronado. The cost of a new Olds Toronado Deluxe was about $4,200.

1966 Oldsmobile Commercials

And while Folgers Coffee saved a marriage gave homemakers new ideas for the kitchen, Topper Toys gave little girls a head start on becoming Suzy Homemaker.

Products Introduced in 1966

Cool Whip
Crunch ‘n Munch
Quaker Instant Oatmeal
Scope (mouthwash)
Suzy Homemaker
Twister (game)

Twister became the party game and, oh, so much more.


1966 Music, Television and Movies

Music – The Top 5 Songs of 1966

Song rankings are based on information from The Billboard Hot 100 Chart Data

1. The Ballad Of The Green Berets – S/Sgt. Barry Sadler (RCA Victor)

Interview and performance on The Jimmy Dean Show, 1966

2. Cherish – The Association (Valiant)

3. (You’re My) Soul And Inspiration – Righteous Brothers (Verve)

4. Reach Out I’ll Be There – Four Tops (Motown)

5. 96 Tears – ? & The Mysterians (Cameo)

The top 5 TV shows in 1966

While NBC held the top spot in 1966 with Bonanza, CBS dominated television viewership with 4 out of the 5 highest rated shows.

1. Bonanza – NBC
Bonanza – A Christmas Story, featuring Wayne Newton as Andy Walker

Chevrolet took full advantage of Lorne Green and Bonanza with their 1966 sales film.

2. The Red Skelton Hour – CBS

3. The Andy Griffith Show – CBS

“Citizen’s Arrest”

4. The Lucy Show – CBS

5. The Jackie Gleason Show – CBS

And in 1966, we all beamed up with a brand new show called Star Trek

And now, the cone of silence…

Get Smart’s incredible lineup of guest stars

Top movies in 1966

1. The Bible: In the Beginning (20th Century Fox)

2. Hawaii (United Artists)

3. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Warner Bros.)

4. The Sand Pebbles (20th Century Fox)

5. A Man for All Seasons (Columbia)

6. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (United Artists)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – The Final Duel, 1966

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Movie Trailer

On the set of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

A behind the scenes look at The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Find Out More About the 1960s

1960 | 1961 | 1962 | 1963 | 1964 | 1965 | 1966 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969