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History of Motown

Motown's history is shown in relationship to world history. Click each year along the timeline to see how the two synched up.

Motown’s Artist Personal Development Department begins. Maurice King, Maxine Powell, and Cholly Atkins work with the artists.

The Beatles arrive at New York City’s JFK International Airport for the first U.S. tour and concert at Carnegie Hall. They receive a tumultuous reception from a throng of screaming fans, marking the first occurrence of “Beatlemania”.

The Miracles perform in London.

Temptations’ first Top 20 hit was “The Way You Do the Things You Do”, which was written and produced by Smokey Robinson & Bobby Rogers of the Miracles.

Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali) announces a boxing rematch with Sonny Liston after declaring, “I am the greatest!”

Malcolm X announces his withdrawal from Elijah Muhammad’s Nation of Islam.

Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey are elected president and vice president on the promise of achieving the “Great Society.”

Civil disturbances occur in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

The first Ford Mustang rolls off the assembly line at Ford Motor Company.

John George Kemeny & Thomas Eugene Kurtz run the first program written in BASIC (Beginners’ All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code), an easy to learn high level programming language which they have created. BASIC will eventually be included on many computers and game consoles.

Nelson Mandela and 7 others are sentenced to life imprisonment in South Africa and sent to the Robben Island prison.

President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

U.S. sends 5,000 more military advisers to South Vietnam, bringing the total number of U.S. forces in Vietnam to 21,000.

Shindig! premieres live on the ABC, featuring the top musical acts of the 1960’s.