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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 employs 125 people.

Motown launches its foreign label, Tamla-Motown, in London, England.

The Temptations tape “Ready, Steady, Go” television show in England.

Brenda Holloway performs with the Beatles on their North American Tour.

Temptations have #1 hit with “My Girl”, written by William “Smokey” Robinson and Ronald White of the Miracles.

Motown releases its first eight-track tapes.

Five Motown releases reach #1 on the top ten pop charts including “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops and “Stop In The Name of Love” by the Supremes.

James Brown records “Papa Got a Brand New Bag.”

First U.S. combat troops arrive in South Vietnam.

Malcolm X is assassinated on the first day of National Brotherhood Week, at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City, allegedly by Black Muslims.

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

U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.