First Papal Visit – Pope Paul VI in New York – October 4, 1965

October 4, 1965 marked the first papal visit to America. In fact it was the first time in more than 150 years that a Pope had even left Italy. Paul VI arrived at Kennedy Airport in New York on a Monday morning. Just after landing, the Pope spoke into microphones that were set up right next to the plane, and said “Greetings to you, America. The first pope to set foot upon your land blesses you with all his heart.”

From the airport, his motorcade took him through Harlem and Central Park before arriving at St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. He had lunch at the residence of New York’s Cardinal Francis Spellman. The Pope’s next stop was at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. There he rode the elevator to the 35th floor and met with President Lyndon Johnson. Then he traveled a few more blocks east to the UN, where he proclaimed to the delegates of 116 out 117 member nations (Albania was boycotting.) “No more war! Never again war! Peace, it is peace that must guide the destinies of peoples and of all mankind.” Jackie Kennedy was among the dignitaries who met the Pope at the UN.

This was the first October since 1959 when the Yankees were not in the World Series, so there was no problem booking Yankee Stadium where the Pope delivered mass before 100,000 shivering followers. And then, before the stroke of midnight, Paul VI, having returned to Kennedy Airport, was flying back to Rome.

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Immigration Act – October 3, 1965

No mention of Immigration Act in UPI's Top Stories of 1965

No mention of Immigration Act in UPI’s Top Stories of 1965 click to enlarge

UPI’s “1965 Year in Review” provides an well-executed, comprehensive review of that year’s major news events, except for one glaring omission. They fail to mention the Immigration Act, which President Lyndon Johnson signed at Liberty Island in New York (or New Jersey as some would argue) on October 3, 1965. Of course there were other huge stories that dominated the headlines that year, including the escalation of the War in Vietnam, the revolution in the Dominican Republic, that American marines put an end to; bloodless coups in Algeria and the Congo, a visit from Pope Paul VI, the March on Selma, riots in Watts, and the deaths of Adlai Stevenson and Winston Churchill.
But none of those historic events had as much enduring impact on as many lives as the Immigration Act. The Pew Research Center reports that the immigrant population in the United States was 9.6 million in 1965. That number swelled to 45 million in 2015.

Major newspapers gave little coverage to the Immigration Act of 1965

The day after it was signed, major newspapers gave little coverage to the Immigration Act of 1965

The 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act made significant changes to U.S. immigration policy by sweeping away a long-standing national origins quota system that favored immigrants from Europe and replacing it with one that emphasized family reunification and skilled immigrants. At the time, relatively few anticipated the size or demographic impact of the post-1965 immigration flow (Gjelten, 2015). In absolute numbers, the roughly 59 million immigrants who arrived in the U.S. between 1965 and 2015 exceed those who arrived in the great waves of European-dominated immigration during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Between 1840 and 1889, 14.3 million immigrants came to the U.S., and between 1890 and 1919, an additional 18.2 million arrived (see Table 1 for details). Read more Pew Research

Immigration Act 1965

Lyndon Johnson signs the Immigration Act 1965

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Brezhnev Consolidates Power – October 2, 1965

From the Chicago Tribune: Leonid Brezhnev, 58, Russia’s communist leader won higher status today in a Kremlin re-shuffle. The first secretary of the party added a prestige state post to his functions to become one of 16 members of the presidium of the supreme soviet [government.] The appointment, announced at the end of a two-day supreme soviet session in the Kremlin, was seen as a significant consolidation of his personal power. For the first time since he became Russia’s leader last October [1964], he can now talk on procedurally equal terms with top western leaders. Until now, his position was ambiguous; his only official position was that of Communist Party leader and could have caused embarrassment, for example at an east-west summit meeting. Nikita Khrushchev, Russia’s former party leader, also used the device of membership of the supreme soviet presidium to give him official status in east-west talks before he combined the party and state posts to become prime minister in 1958.

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Alabama All White Jury Acquits Civil Rights Killer – October 1, 1965

An all white jury acquitted Thomas Coleman of killing Jonathan Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian., The jury reached its decison on October 1, 1965. The trial took place in Hayneville, Alabama. Coleman also admitted to shooting Rev. Richard Morrisroe, a Roman Catholic priest who was severely injured. The incident took place as Daniels and Morriscroe were approaching Varner’s Grocery store, also in Hayneville. Witnesses testified that the priest had a gun, and that Daniels, had a knife.

Nobody was much surprised when an all-white jury found Mr. Coleman not guilty in the death of Jonathan Myrick Daniels, 26, an Episcopal seminarian from Keene, N.H. In the parlance of the times, Mr. Daniels was an outside agitator and to many of the white people of Lowndes County, where black people outnumbered white residents 4-to-1 and were kept in line by constant intimidation, that meant he was fair game, as was the Rev. Richard Morrisroe, a Roman Catholic priest who was hit in the back and severely wounded by a second blast from Mr. Coleman’s shotgun. Both men were white. Read more NY Times

“One thing he did was kiss that nigger gal”

Deputy Sheriff Joseph Jackson was a prosecution witness. The Chicago Defender reported that “When asked if he had seen Daniels do anything that might have attracted Coleman’s attention, he replied, ‘One thing he did was kiss that nigger gal.’ ‘On the cheek?’ he was asked. The deputy pointed to his mouth.”

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September 30 Movement, Indonesia – September 30, 1965

In the early morning hours of October 1, 1965, a group calling itself the September 30 Movement kidnapped and executed six generals of the Indonesian army, including its highest commander. The group claimed that it was attempting to preempt a coup, but it was quickly defeated as the senior surviving general, Haji Mohammad Suharto, drove the movement’s partisans out of Jakarta. Riding the crest of mass violence, Suharto blamed the Communist Party of Indonesia for masterminding the movement and used the emergency as a pretext for gradually eroding President Sukarno’s powers and installing himself as a ruler. Imprisoning and killing hundreds of thousands of alleged communists over the next year, Suharto remade the events of October 1, 1965 into the central event of modern Indonesian history and the cornerstone of his thirty-two-year dictatorship. Read more University of Wisconsin Pres

He is dead now, but his mad rhetoric still echoes in the mind for those who were there. Speech after speech, Sukarno’s cadence set the rhythm for our work and our lives in that long summer of 1965. We battened down the Embassy hatches and waited, straining to fathom his purpose and predict his next move. One after another, faster and faster, the PKI’s enemies were over-run; the domino theory was being tested before our eyes. “All of history,” Emerson once wrote, “stands in the long shadow of one man.” So too did Indonesia by September 30 of that year … until the last domino refused to fall. Read more The Central Intelligence Agency

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Introducing Benson & Hedges 100s – September 29, 1965

Philip Morris, Inc. introduced Benson & Hedges cigarettes on September 29, 1965. The New York Times reported that “the filtered cigarette is 100 millimeters in length, in contrast with 85 millimeters of most king-sized cigarettes.” The Times also reported that the new cigarettes would retail for 50 cents a pack.

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President of Brown, “OK to Give Co-eds The Pill” – September 28, 1965

Brown University Health Services Director, Dr. Roswell C. Johnson won the support of University President, Barnaby C. Keeney (These names are not made up), after it was reported that two unmarried co-eds had been given prescriptions for contraceptive pills – The Pill. The AP reported that Dr. Johnson said, “both women were mature people and already engaged [of course] and they both had been referred to me by clergy.”

Meanwhile, The Boston Globe interviewed authorities at several universities in Massachusetts (Brown is located in Providence, Rhode Island), and they all said that their schools would not provide birth control pills to unmarried female students.

The Globe quoted Dr. Dana L. Farnsworth, director of the Harvard health services. Dr. Farnsworth said, “supervision of contraceptive practices of unmarried students is not an appropriate function in a college health service.”

The Globe also quoted Dr. Samuel E. Leard, director of student health at Boston University. Leard was even more emphatic about his opposition to providing birth control to unmarried co-eds. He said, “Our policy is that we do not condone this thing at all. It’s morally wrong and here in Massachusetts it’s against the law.”

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