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§Of World Interest

The estimated World population was 3.346 billion people.



February 24 - Cuban revolutioniary, Che Guevara made what turned out to be his last public appearance on the international stage when he delivered a speech at an economic seminar on Afro-Asian solidarity. He specified the moral duty of the socialist countries, accusing them of tacit complicity with the exploiting Western countries. He proceeded to outline a number of measures which he said the communist-bloc countries must implement in order to accomplish the defeat of imperialism.


April 24 - Che Guevara, his second-in-command Victor Dreke, and 12 other Cuban expeditionaries arrived in the Congo and a contingent of approximately 100 Afro-Cubans joined them soon afterward. They collaborated for a time with guerrilla leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who had previously helped supporters of the overthrown Patrice Lumumba lead an unsuccessful revolt months earlier. As an admirer of the late Lumumba, Guevara declared that his "murder should be a lesson for all of us". Guevara, with limited knowledge of Swahili and the local languages, was assigned a teenage interpreter, Freddy Ilanga. Over the course of seven months Ilanga grew to "admire the hard-working Guevara", who "showed the same respect to black people as he did to whites". However, Guevara soon became disillusioned with the poor discipline of Kabila's troops and later dismissed him, stating "nothing leads me to believe he is the man of the hour".

As an additional obstacle, white South African mercenaries, led by Mike Hoare in concert with Cuban exiles and the CIA, worked with the Congo National Army to thwart Guevara's movements from his base camp which was located in the mountains near the village of Fizi on Lake Tanganyika in southeast Congo. They were able to monitor his communications and so pre-empted his attacks and interdicted his supply lines. Despite the fact that Guevara sought to conceal his presence in the Congo, the U.S. government was aware of his location and activities. The National Security Agency was intercepting all of his incoming and outgoing transmissions via equipment aboard the USNS Private Jose F. Valdez (T-AG-169), a floating listening post that continuously cruised the Indian Ocean off Dar es Salaam for that purpose.

November 20 - In ill health with dysentery, suffering from acute asthma and disheartened after seven months of frustration and inactivity, Guevara left the Congo with the Cuban survivors, six members of his 12-man column having died. At one point Guevara considered sending the wounded back to Cuba and fighting in Congo alone until his death, as a revolutionary example. After being urged by his comrades and pressed by two emissaries sent by Castro, at the last moment he reluctantly agreed to leave Africa. During that day and night, Guevara's forces quietly took down their basecamp, burned their huts, and destroyed or threw weapons into Lake Tanganyika that they could not take with them, before crossing the border into Tanazina during the night and traveling overland to Dar es Salaam. In speaking about his experience in the Congo months later, Guevara concluded that he left rather than fight to the death because: "The human element failed. There is no will to fight. The leaders are corrupt. In a word... there was nothing to do." Guevara also declared that "we can't liberate by ourselves a country that does not want to fight." A few weeks later, when writing the preface to the diary he kept during the Congo venture, he began: "This is the history of a failure."


February 18 - The Gambia becomes independent from the United Kingdom.



The Pennine Way, a National Trail, opened April 23rd. The trail runs 268 miles (463 km) from Edale, in the northern Derbyshire Peak District, north through the Yorkshire Dales and the Northumberland National Park, to end at Kirk Yetholm, just inside the Scottish border.

July 8 - Great train robber, Ronnie Biggs served 15 months before escaping from Wandsworth Prison by scaling the wall with a rope ladder.

He fled to Brussels by boat, then went to Paris with his wife and two sons, where he acquired new identity papers and underwent plastic surgery.


April 9 - The West German parliament extends the statute of limitations on Nazi war crimes.


January 14 - The Prime Ministers of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland meet for the first time in 43 years.


March 22 - Nicolae Ceauşescu becomes first secretary of the Romanian Communist Party.


January 26 - Anti-Hindi agitations break out in India because of which Hindi does not get "National Language" status and remains one of the 23 Official Languages of India.

§North America


February 15 - A new red and white maple leaf design is inaugurated as the flag of Canada, replacing the Union Flag and the Canadian Red Ensign.


March - Two weeks after his Algiers speech, Che Guevara dropped out of public life and then vanished altogether. His whereabouts were a great mystery in Cuba, as he was generally regarded as second in power to Castro himself. His disappearance was variously attributed to the failure of the industrialization scheme he had advocated while minister of industry, to pressure exerted on Castro by Soviet officials disapproving of Guevara's pro-Chinese Communist stance on the Sino-Soviet split, and to serious differences between Guevara and the pragmatic Castro regarding Cuba's economic development and ideological line. Pressed by international speculation regarding Guevara's fate.

June 16 - Che Guevara that the people would be informed when Guevara himself wished to let them know his whereabouts. Still, rumors spread both inside and outside Cuba.

October 3 - Castro publicly revealed an undated letter purportedly written to him by Guevara some months earlier; in it, Guevara reaffirmed his enduring solidarity with the Cuban Revolution but declared his intention to leave Cuba to fight for the revolutionary cause abroad. Additionally, he resigned from all his positions in the government and party, and renounced his honorary Cuban citizenship.

§United States

April 11 - The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: An estimated 51 tornadoes (47 confirmed) hit in 6 Midwestern states, killing between 256 to 271 people and injuring some 1,500 more.

April 14 - In Cold Blood killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, convicted of murdering 4 members of the Herbert Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, are executed by hanging at the Kansas State Penitentiary for Men in Lansing, Kansas.

April 21 - The NY World's Fair in Flushing Meadows, NY, reopens.

§U.S. Health

July - Immediately after The New York Herald Tribune ran a full page story on the link to sugar, the Sugar Research Foundation (SRF) approved “Project 226,” a literature review on cholesterol metabolism to be led by Hegsted and, among others, Fredrick Stare, another Harvard nutritionist with industry financial ties. Project 226 authors eventually received $6500, a considerable sum at this time.

§U.S. Law

March 29 - The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the Comstock laws that banned contraception in its decision in Griswold v. Connecticut.

§U.S. Civil Rights Movement

March 7 - Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama: Some 200 Alabama State Troopers attack 525 civil rights demonstrators.

March 9 - The second attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., stops at the bridge that was the site of Bloody Sunday, to hold a prayer service and return to Selma, in obedience to a court restraining order. White supremacists beat up white Unitarian Universalist minister James J. Reeb later that day in Selma.

March 11 - White Unitarian Universalist minister James J. Reeb, beaten by White supremacists in Selma, Alabama on March 9 following the second march from Selma, dies in a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.

March 16 - Police attack 600 SNCC marchers in Montgomery, Alabama.

March 17 - In Montgomery, Alabama, 1,600 civil rights marchers demonstrate at the Courthouse.

In response to the events of March 7 and 9 in Selma, Alabama, President Johnson sends a bill to Congress that forms the basis for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It will be passed by the Senate May 26, the House July 10, and signed into law by President Johnson Aug. 6.

March 18 - A U.S. federal judge rules that SCLC has the lawful right to march to Montgomery, Alabama to petition for 'redress of grievances'.

March 21 - Martin Luther King, Jr. leads 3,200 Civil rights activists in the third march from Selma, Alabama to the capitol in Montgomery.

March 25 - Martin Luther King, Jr. and 25,000 civil rights activists successfully end the 4-day march from Selma, Alabama, to the capitol in Montgomery. Four Klansmen shoot and kill Detroit homemaker Viola Liuzzo as she drives marchers back to Selma at night after the march.

§Vietnam War (Domestic)

March 24-March 25 - Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) organizes the first teach-in against the Vietnam War, with 2,500 participants, at the University of Michigan.

April 17 - The first SDS march against the Vietnam War draws 25,000 protestors to Washington, DC.

§U.S. Politics

January 4 - U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union Address.

January 20 - Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in for his own full term as U.S. President.

§U.S. Religion

As late as this year Jerry Falwell continued to denounce civil rights leaders, even though he has claimed to have changed his mind about segregation and racism in the early 1960s.

February 21 - Malcolm X was assassinated by three Black Muslims while he was speaking to an audience in Harlem, New York City.

March 9 - Three white Unitarian ministers participating in a civil rights demonstration on the streets of Selma, Alabama, were beaten by a mob. One, Rev. James J. Reeb, died later in a Birmingham, Alabama hospital.

June 14 - In an editorial that appeared in the bi-weekly journal "Christianity & Crisis," a statement signed by 16 prominent Protestant clergymen argued that American policies in Vietnam threatened "our chance to cooperate with the Soviet Union for peace in Asia."

§Southeast Asia


King Sihanouk broke off relations with Washington as U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War shifted into high gear.


February 7 - The U.S. begins the regular bombing of North Vietnamese towns and villages.

March 8 - 3,500 United States Marines arrive in South Vietnam, becoming the first American combat troops in Vietnam.

June 2 - The first contingent of Australian combat troops arrives in South Vietnam.


August 9 - the island city breaks away from Malaysia, becoming an independent nation.

§South Pacific


January 12 - Wanda Beach Murders: The bodies of two 15 year olds, Christine Sharrock and Marrine Schmidt, are found at Wanda Beach, Sydney.


January 19 - The unmanned Gemini 2 is launched on a suborbital test of various spacecraft systems.

February 20 - Ranger 8 crashes into the Moon, after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts.

March 18 - Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov, leaving his spacecraft Voskhod 2 for 12 minutes, becomes the first person to walk in space.

March 21 - Ranger program: NASA launches Ranger 9, which is the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes.

March 23 - Gemini 3: NASA launches the United States' first 2-person crew (Gus Grissom, John Young) into Earth orbit.

April 6 - The Early Bird communications satellite is launched. It becomes operational May 2 and is placed in commercial service in June.


January 24 - Winston Churchill died age 90, from a stroke he suffered on January 15. HIs funeral was held on January 30th.

February 21 - Malcolm X is assassinated on the first day of National Brotherhood Week, at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City, thought to be by Black Muslims.


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