Timeline: 1965

Jan 2  Martin Luther King Jr. begins a drive to register black voters in the US South.

Jan 3  A new chancellor is appointed for the University of California at Berkeley. It is announced that political activity will be allowed on campus. Students are to be allowed to hold rallies and speak from the steps of the administration building, Sproul Hall. 

Jan 4  In his State of the Union address,  President Johnson proclaims his Great Society. Also he announces plans to promote birth control abroad, using "our knowledge to help deal with the explosion in world population and the growing scarcity in world resources."

Jan 14  The prime ministers of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland meet for the first time in 43 years, a sign of improving relations.

Jan 16  A federal grand jury in Mississippi indicts 18 men for violating the civil rights of Schwerner, Goodman and Chaney, murdered in Mississippi in 1964. 

Jan 20  In Spain, Generalissimo Francisco Franco meets with Jews to discuss legitimizing their communities. 

Feb 6  A Viet Cong raid on a base in Pleiku, South Vietnam, kills 8 Americans. This is done by Vietnamese believingthat they are continuing a fight that began with French colonialism and that they are fighting murderous foreign intruders and a minority of Vietnamese who supported the French.

Feb 8  President Johnson orders more bombing in North Vietnam.

Feb 15  Canada acquires a new flag.

Feb 21 In New York, Malcolm X is assassinated in front of 400 people. His assassins will be described as members of Elijah Muhammad's Nation of Islam. 

Martin Luther King and President Johnson

Martin Luther King Jr. (President Johnson in the background)

Mar 7  Selma, Alabama, is a city of 29,500 people – 14,400 whites and 15,100 blacks. Its voting rolls are 99 percent white and 1 percent black. With clubs and tear gas, state troopers attack a march for voting rights led by Martin Luther King. It is broadcast on television.

Mar 8  In Vietnam, 3,500 US Marines arrive – the first ground force units from a foreign power since the war between the Vietnamese and the French. 

Mar 9  From California to Washington D.C., people demonstrate against the police action in Selma.  Michigan's Governor George Romney leads a protest parade of 10,000. Demonstrators block rush-hour traffic in downtown Chicago's Loop. In Selma a second attempt to march is stopped. Later, three of the marchers on their way from a restaurant to a black church pass through one of the poorer white neighborhoods. A white Unitarian-Universalist minister, James Reeb, is clubbed to the ground and goes into a coma during a delayed journey to a hospital in nearby Birmingham.   

Mar 9  In the National Review, Russell Kirk writes that if applied in South Africa, one-man/one-vote "would bring anarchy and the collapse of civilization." He describes whites as having "rescued South Africa", and "Bantu political domination would be domination by witch doctors (still numerous and powerful) and reckless demagogues."

Mar 11 James Reeb dies. President Johnson sends flowers and a jet plane to return Mrs. Reeb to Boston.  More demonstrations erupt across the country.

Mar 12  President Johnson instructs his aides to draft a voting rights bill.

Mar 13  In Selma, civil rights demonstrators, including ministers and nuns, try to break through a police blockade. In the White House President Johnson meets with and scolds Alabama's slightly contrite governor, George Wallace. "The Negro," says Johnson, "is going to win his right to participate in his own government." He tell Wallace: "Consider history's verdict. You ought to be thinking of where you will stand in 1995, not 1965."

Mar 14  In Selma, local lawmen arrest four men suspected of connection with Reeb's death. 

Mar 16  In Montgomery, Alabama, police attack 600 SNCC marchers.

Mar 17  President Johnson's voting rights proposal reaches Congress.

Mar 18  A federal judge rules that Martin Luther King and the SCLC have a right to march, as originally intended, from Selma to the state capitol, Montgomery, to petition state government. 

Mar 21  Martin Luther King leads 3,200 marchers from Selma to Montgomery.

Mar 21-23  Police in Casablanca, Morocco, attack students and workers campaigning against King Hassan II. The number killed is to be estimated at 1,500, according to the BBC more than thirty years later. 

Mar 24-25  At the University of Michigan the first teach-in is held against the US war in Vietnam.

Mar 25  In Alabama, Klansmen shoot to death Viola Liuzzo, of Michigan, as she is driving marchers from Montgomery back to Selma.

Mar 26  President Johnson appears on television and announces the arrest of four Klansmen suspects in Liuzzo's death.

Apr 7  In a speech at John Hopkins University, President Johnson says that we fight in Vietnam "to live in a world where every country can shape its own destiny." He describes "the first reality" in Vietnam as North Vietnam having "attacked the independent nation of South Vietnam."

Apr 28  Civil war has erupted between the followers of deposed President Juan Bosch and the military junta that ousted him. President Johnson sends 42,000 Marines to protect US citizens and prevent an alleged Communist takeover.  

May 12 West Germany and Israel establish diplomatic relations.

May 13  Several Arab nations break diplomatic ties with West Germany.

May 15  Professors from across the country stage a national teach-in in Washington DC. Television networks and major newspapers cover the event, and radio stations broadcast the proceedings to 122 campuses.

May 21-23  On the U.C. Berkeley campus, the Vietnam Day Committee runs an anti-war teach-in. Speakers include Dr. Benjamin Spock; socialist leader Norman Thomas; novelist Norman Mailer; the  journalist I.F. Stone and Professor Staughton Lynd of Yale. Bertrand Russell sends a taped message.

Jun 7 King Hassan II suspends Morocco's constitution and assumes all legislative and executive powers. He has sufficient backing from his military to accomplish this.

Jun 18  Nguyen Cao Ky takes power in South Vietnam as Prime Minister. Nguyen Van Thieu is the official chief of state. It's the 10th government in Saigon, South Vietnam, in 20 months. Much of Vietnam and the world sees the United States as the stable power ruling in Vietnam. The Johnson administration is looking forward to the regimes in Saigon beinf truly independent and Vietnamese, but the administration is already claiming it is, and it's fooling mostly Americans who want to believe their government.

Jun 19  In Algeria, President Ben Bella's old friend in the military, Houari Boumedienne, has grown disappointed with Ben Bella's dogmatism and authoritarianism. He leads a bloodless coup, ousting Ben Bella from power.

Jun 22  Japan and South Korea renew ties with a Treaty of Basic Relations, signed in Tokyo.

Jul 2   President Johnson announces that he has ordered an increase in US military forces in Vietnam to 125,000. To accomplish this, the monthly draft call is raised from 17,000 to 35,000.

Jul 30  President Johnson signs the Social Security Act into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

Aug 1  In Britain, advertising cigarettes on television is banned. 

Morley Safer

Morley Safer

Jonathan Daniels

Jonathan Daniels

Aug 5  In Vietnam, newsman Morley Safer covers US Marines setting afire Vietnamese homes in the village of Cam Ne. His story is broadcast on CBS Evening News. Johnson is angry and believes that Safer must be a Communist. He orders a security check, and, when learning that Safer is Canadian, he says, "Well, I knew he wasn't an American."

Aug 6  Chiang Kai-shek's plan to take back the mainland has been launched. Mainland forces sink two of his naval vessels assigned to transport troops on a recon mission. Two hundred of his troops are lost.

Aug 6  President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act into law.

Aug 9  Singapore separates from the Federation of Malaysia, becoming a sovereign nation. Lee Kuan Yew is its prime minister. 

Aug 11-17  In the community of Watts in Los Angeles a riot begins following a policeman pulling over a driver he suspects is intoxicated. Police send in squads to protect their fellow police, who act with ferocity. On the third day of the riots in Watts, 1,500 National Guardsmen arrive. The number is insufficient, so 13,000 more arrive. During the seven days of rioting, 34 people are killed, 1,100 people injured, 4,000 people arrested, and there is an estimated $100 million worth of damage. 

Aug 20  In Haneville, Alabama, an Episcopal seminarian, Jonathan Daniels, on his way with some teenage blacks to buy a soda at a store known to sell to blacks, is met at the door by a deputy sheriff with a shotgun who aims his gun and threatens to "blow their brains out." Daniels steps in front of the others and is shot to death. An all white jury will acquit the deputy of the charge against him: manslaughter.  

Sep 28  Fidel Castro announces that anyone can leave for the United States.

Oct 1 In Indonesia, Sukarno's military has fragmented into left-wing and right-wing camps, one camp close to Indonesia's Communist Party, the other anti-Communist. Acting on a report that a coup is to be launched against President Sukarno, a group of leftist soldiers stage a pre-emptive coup. They kill three anti-communist generals, and a fourth escapes. Sukarno has not been warned of the move to support him and feels endangered. 

Oct 6  Sukarno meets with his cabinet and issues a statement denouncing the coup. Alongside Sukarno and guaranteeing his safety is Major-General Suharto, Indonesia's future dictator. The head of Indonesia's Communist Party is flying in an army plane to various places, meeting with party leaders and instructing them to let the military settle things among themselves. He tells them that to avoid creating suspicion they should not organize demonstrations or go underground.

Oct 15  An anti-Communist Jakarta newspaper has accused Chinese intelligence agents of having plotted and financed the leftist coup. Ethnic Chinese in Indonesia are being attacked. More than 5,000 members of Moslem organizations demonstrate, shouting "Crush the Communists" and "Hang Aidit."

Oct 15  Anti-war marches take in various locations around the country. In Berkeley, a march intending to pass into Oakland to an army base leaves campus, fills Telegraph Avenue from curb to curb and stretches one mile from Ashby Avenue back to the campus. It is stopped at the Oakland border by a line of Oakland police.

Oct 16  In Berkeley a second march takes place. The Oakland police let members of a motorcycle gang, the Hell's Angels, through their line. The march leaders order the marchers to sit down. A Hell's Angel shouts "Go back to Russia you f***ng communists." One kicks a marcher. The Berkeley police club the Hell's Angels back to Oakland. They club and arrest the Hell's Angel leader, Sonny Barger. 

Oct 24  Muslim vigilante groups are massacring anyone believed to be a Communist. This includes people who belong to labor unions. President Sukarno complains that left-wing organizations are the "victims of false slander." He orders the army to "shoot to kill" to stop the massacres, but he is ignored.

Oct 29  In Paris, an internationally celebrated Moroccan leftist in exile, Mehdi Ben Barka, disappears, never to be seen again.

Oct 30  A counter-demonstration by supporters of President Johnson's war in Vietnam takes place in Washington DC. They are estimated at 25,000 and are led by five Congressional Medal of Honor recipients. Rather than entertain the possibility that the war is a mistake, they appear to be associating support for Johnson's war with patriotism and love of country.

Oct 31  The John Birch Society has an article published in the Palm Beach Post that asks, "What's Wrong with the Civil Rights Movement?" It claims that nothing is wrong except that "the American Negro" is better off than negroes elsewhere thanks to whites, and it claims that the Civil Rights Movement "has been deliberately and almost wholly created by the Communists, patiently building up to this present stage for more than forty years."

Nov 6  Cuba and the United States agree on an American airlift of 3,000 to 4,000 emigrants from Cuba to the United States each month.

Nov 11  Britain has declared that it will not grant independence for its colony of Southern Rhodesia until majority rule is created there. The majority of the people there are black. The leader of the white government there, Ian Smith, declares independence.

Nov 22  In Indonesia, vigilantes with enemy-lists continue invading villages across Indonesia. Ethnic Chinese continue to be associated with Communism and are targeted. The army has captured Aidit and he is executed. Soon the US ambassador to Indonesia, Andrew Gilchrist, will total the slaughter victims at 400,000. Sweden's ambassador will describe this as a "very serious under-estimate."

Nov 24 In a bloodless coup in the Republic of the Congo, Lieutenant-General Mobutu seizes power from Joseph Kasavubu and declares himself president.

Nov 26  Mobutu cancels elections set for next spring, saying he will rule as president for the coming five years.

Dec 17  The British government begins an oil embargo against Rhodesia. The United States joins the effort.

Dec 21  Soviet scientists condemn Trofim Lysenko, the Stalinist biologist, for pseudo science.

Dec 30  Ferdinand Marcos has won an election and takes office as President of the Philippines.

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