From ‘The Sound of Music’ to G.I. Joe: The Good Ol Days of 1965

by Atlanta Northcutt

Can we all agree 2020 was a struggle? Let’s reminisce on the year 1965 and find comfort in the hills continuing to be alive with the sound of music over 50 years later.

Saying some major events and changes happened in the ’60s is an understatement. However, as we look to the past it seems similar to the present in some ways.

Delving into 1965

The Vietnam War raged on, rock n’ roll music hit popular culture, the San Francisco Haight-Ashbury scene consisted of “hippies” and the use of psychedelics and Martin Luther King Jr. led peaceful protests to obtain the right to vote for African-American citizens.

Let’s remember both the positives, such as a gallon of gas costing 31 cents, as well as a few not so great moments. Massive changes took place across the world.

The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews, premieres. The movie became an instant hit and is still popular today as “Doe, a deer, a female deer” continues to ring in the heads of many. It ended up being one of the top-grossing films of the year. The movie has been featured on Broadway stages and is one of the best-known musicals.

The creation of one action figure is created in 1964 and hits peak popularity the following year. The G.I. Joe was first named as a doll to market to young boys upon Hasbro’s release. However, a bit of sexism comes to play as the company prohibits the usage of the word “doll” for such a manly figure.

Launching four figures to include the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Marines, the action figure became one of the company’s highest-selling toys, bringing over half of the profits. Due to G.I. Joe’s popularity, the creation of movies, cartoon series, and more launched the product into becoming a household name that many, many boys wanted. The toy continues to be relevant even now.

If you’re a lover of sports, you can thank ABC for paying $32 million for a four-year contract with the NCAA in order to broadcast football games on Saturday afternoons. $32 million may sound like a lot now. At the time, it was an unfathomable amount of money to dish out.

The Beginning of the Vietnam War

In 1965, the first US combat troops enter Vietnam. 190,000 American soldiers are on foreign soil by the end of the year. The war began the tumultuous and first real American protests. The effects continue on even now. People question the government, retaliating against the country’s leadership.

Thousands of young men were drafted to fight in the war that ended up lasting 19 years.

Racial Tensions Rise

The famous Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and more than 2,600 other individuals are arrested in Alabama while demonstrating peaceful protests. The march took place from Selma to Montgomery. He and the many others who followed him fought for African-Americans’ right to vote.

Riots take over Watts, near Los Angeles, California for six days, leaving 34 dead, over 1,000 injured, and nearly 4,000 arrested.

Effects of the Year 1965

Even 10 years later, 1975 was still reeling from the peace and love era, equality between races, and effects of the Vietnam War continued to wreak havoc for both veterans and those in opposition. The development of questioning politics and the government continued on well into the next decade and beyond.