Special Collections

1964 Interviews

The 1964 Interviews Collection is made up of 71 raw interviews from the American Experience documentary of the same name. The film, partly based on Jon Margolis' The Last Innocent Year: America in 1964, discusses 1964 as a year that defined American politics and culture for decades to come. 1964 begins with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November 1963, and discusses the major events of 1964, including the British Invasion, the publication of The Feminine Mystique, Muhammad Ali and Sonny Liston's boxing match, Freedom Summer and the Civil Rights Movement, and President Lyndon B. Johnson and Barry Goldwater's contentious presidential election. Interviews took place with activists, historians, authors, and journalists, including Hodding Carter III, a journalist who worked on Lyndon B. Johnson's presidential campaign; Stephanie Coontz, a historian; Dave Dennis, a Civil Rights activist who planned Freedom Summer with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE); Robert Lipsyte, a sportswriter; and Phyllis Schlafly, a conservative activist and author of A Choice Not an Echo. Subjects include music and the Beatles, feminism, civil rights, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Barry Goldwater, Muhammad Ali, boxing and sports, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), and the Harlem Riots.

The 1964 interviews were conducted in 2014 for the American Experience documentary of the same name, directed by Stephen Ives. In 2017, the WGBH Media Library and Archives digitized the 1964 interviews and in 2018 submitted them to the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.