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The Year 1966

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Best Picture: A Man for All Seasons.

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Best Record: Strangers in the Night, Frank Sinatra, Best Album: A Man and His Music, Frank Sinatra; Best Song: Michelle, John Lennon & Paul McCartney, songwriters.

  1 Jan

All U.S. cigarette packs have to carry "Caution Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."

  1 Jan

Simon & Garfunkel's Sounds of Silence reaches #1.

  8 Jan

Beatles' Rubber Soul album goes #1 and stays #1 for 6 weeks.

12 Jan

Batman with Adam West & Burt Ward premieres on ABC TV.

19 Jan

Indira Gandhi elected India's 3rd prime minister.

14 Feb

Wilt Chamberlain breaks NBA career scoring record at 20,884 points.

  4 Mar

John Lennon, says "We (Beatles) are more popular than Jesus."

18 Apr

Bill Russell became1st black coach in NBA history (Boston Celtics).

28 Apr

Boston beats LA, 4 games to 3, for 8th straight NBA championship.

  1 May

U.S. forces began firing into Cambodia.

  7 May

Mamas & Papas Monday Monday hits #1.

28 May Percy Sledge hit number one with his first -- and what turned out to be his biggest -- hit. When a Man Loves a Woman would stay at the top of the pop music charts for two weeks. It was the singer's only hit to make the top ten and was a million seller.

  8 Jun

NFL & AFL announce plans to become NFC & AFC in 1970.

11 Jun Janis Joplin made her first onstage appearance -- at the Avalon ballroom in San Francisco. She began her professional career at the age of 23 with Big Brother and The Holding Company. The group was a sensation at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. Piece of My Heart was the only hit to chart for the group in 1968. Big Brother and The Holding Company disbanded in 1972, though Joplin continued in a solo career with hits such as Down on Me and Me and Bobby McGee.   Janis 'Pearl' Joplin died of a heroin overdose in Hollywood in October 1970. The movie The Rose, starring Bette Midler, was inspired by the life of the rock star.

27 Jun

1st sci-fi soap opera, Dark Shadows, premiers.  Show became popular late-afternoon favorite for several seasons, then reappeared as a prime-time revival for a short, 2-month run in 1991.

29 Jun

Bombing of Hanoi area of North Vietnam began.

  1 Jul

Medicare, program to pay medical expenses of citizens over 65, began.

  2 Jul

Billie Jean King wins her 1st of 6 Wimbledon single titles.

  4 Jul

LBJ signs Freedom of Information Act.

23 Jul Frank Sinatra hit the top of the pop album chart with his Strangers in the Night. It was the first #1 Sinatra LP since 1960. The album's title song had made it to number one on the pop singles chart on July 2nd.
  1 Aug Charles Whiteman at the top of the University of Texas Tower Building, Austin, Texas, guns down 45 people; 14 killed.

29 Aug

Beatles last public concert, (Candlestick Park, San Francisco).

  6 Sep

Star Trek, starring William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy, premiers on NBC-TV.

  8 Sep

That Girl starring Marlo Thomas premiers on ABC-TV.

12 Sep

The Monkees premier on NBC-TV.

29 Oct

National Organization of Women (NOW) founded.

  8 Nov

Movie actor Ronald Reagan elected governor of California.

  8 Nov

Edward Brooke (R. Mass.) elected as 1st black U.S. senator in 85 years.

15 Dec

Walt Disney, animator, dies at 65.

31 Dec

Monkee's I'm a Believer hits #1 & stays there for 7 weeks.

31 Dec

385,300 U.S. troops stationed in South Vietnam, plus 60,000 offshore & 33,000 in Thailand.