“One Hundred Years of Solitude” is published

Year
1967
Month Day
May 05

On May 5, 1967, Gabriel Garcia Márquez’s Cien años de soledad, or One Hundred Years of Solitude, is first published. The book, often referred to as a defining work of Latin American literature, made Márquez a prime candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature, which he was awarded in 1982.

One Hundred Years of Solitude follows seven generations of the Buendía family, fictional founders of the fictional town of Macondo in Márquez’s native Colombia. The town and the family remain isolated from the outside world for much of the novel, but new technologies, political upheavals, and foreign businesses (the novel’s American Fruit Company is a clear reference to the real-life United Fruit Company) encroach upon them and shape the narrative.

Some events in the novel, such as the Thousand Days’ War, really happened, while others, such as the massacre of striking workers, were based on true moments in Colombian history. One of the novel’s defining features, however, is Marquez’s magical realism. Bizarre things happen frequently and are treated by the author and his characters as if they are completely ordinary. One of the Buendías goes mad and spends his final years tied to a tree by his family, another sires 17 illegitimate sons with inexplicably permanent Ash Wednesday crosses on their foreheads, and another ascends into the sky while folding laundry. Marquez’s tendency to treat these events as mundane is a hallmark of magical realism, a fantastical style of storytelling that was popular with the major Latin American authors of his generation.

The novel was an immediate and enduring success. Many critics saw the emergence of a distinctively Latin American style in Marquez’s fatalism and cyclical view of history. His work drew comparisons to that of William Faulkner and Vladimir Nabokov, while Chilean poet Pablo Neruda called it “the greatest revelation in the Spanish language since Don Quijote.” As he accepted his Nobel Prize, Marquez eloquently explained what magical realism meant to him: “I dare to think that it is this outsized reality, and not just its literary expression, that has deserved the attention of the Swedish Academy of Letters,” he said. “A reality not of paper, but one that lives within us … full of sorrow and beauty, of which this roving and nostalgic Colombian is but one cipher more.” 

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Packers beat Chiefs in first Super Bowl


Year
1967
Month Day
January 15

On January 15, 1967, the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL) smash the American Football League (AFL)’s Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10, in the first-ever AFL-NFL World Championship, later known as Super Bowl I, at Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Founded in 1960 as a rival to the NFL, the AFL was still finding its way in 1967, and the Packers had been heavily favored to win the game. As 60 million people tuned in to watch the action unfold on television, the Chiefs managed to keep it close for the first half, and by halftime Green Bay was ahead just 14-10. The Chiefs’ only touchdown came in the second quarter, on a seven-yard pass from quarterback Len Dawson to Curtis McClinton.

The Packers, however, proceeded to break the game wide open, after safety Willie Wood intercepted a Dawson pass and returned the ball 50 yards to set up a touchdown. Green Bay scored three more times in the second half, as Elijah Pitts ran in two touchdowns and backup end Max McGee–who came on the field after the starter Boyd Dowler was injured on the sixth play of the game–caught his second touchdown pass of the day. Prior to the game, McGee had made only four receptions all season; he made seven that night, for a total of 138 yards.

The Packers’ famed quarterback, Bryan Bartlett “Bart” Starr, completed 16 of 23 passes on the night. The score at game’s end stood at 35-10, and Starr was named Most Valuable Player. Asked to comment on the match-up after the game, Green Bay Coach Vince Lombardi expressed the common opinion that even the best of the AFL—the Chiefs—“doesn’t compare with the top NFL teams.”

Two years later, the AFL proved itself to doubters by winning its first championship, when Joe Namath led the New York Jets to an upset 16-7 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. In 1970, the AFL and NFL merged into one league, as the Colts, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to join the 10 AFL teams to form American Football Conference (AFC). Since then, the Super Bowl has been the annual meeting of the top teams in the AFC and the National Football Conference (NFC) for the championship of the NFL.

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“The Graduate” opens in New York


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Year
1967
Month Day
December 21

The film The Graduate opens at two theaters in New York: the Coronet on Third Avenue and the Lincoln Art Theater on Broadway. The film, based on a 1963 novel by Charles Webb, had a simple premise: As its screenwriter explained it, “this kid graduates college, has an affair with his parents’ best friend, and then falls in love with the friend’s daughter.” (It was, he added, “the best pitch I ever heard.”) In other words, The Graduate was an uneasy exploration of what it meant to be young and adrift at a time of extraordinary confusion and upheaval. Anne Bancroft and Dustin Hoffman starred. 

The film was a hit: The New Yorker called it “the biggest success in the history of movies,” while The Saturday Review said it was “not merely a success; it has become a phenomenon.” It earned $35 million in the first six months it was onscreen (by contrast, it cost just $3 million to make) and became the highest-grossing movie of 1968.

The movie also made a star out of Benjamin Braddock’s graduation present: a bright-red Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider. Alfa Romeo had been making racecars for decades—even Enzo Ferrari drove an Alfa before he began building his own racers—but had never sold very many in the United States. (American customers preferred larger cars, and when they did buy smaller sports cars they tended to buy them from British manufacturers like MG and Triumph.) But the 1967 Duetto Spider, a two-seat convertible roadster, was a real beauty: It had a sharp nose and a rounded, tapered rear end, glass-covered headlights, and what designers called a “classic scallop” running down the side. 

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Republic of Biafra proclaimed

Year
1967
Month Day
May 30

After suffering through years of suppression under Nigeria’s military government, the breakaway state of Biafra proclaims its independence from Nigeria.

In 1960, Nigeria gained independence from Britain. Six years later, the Muslim Hausas in northern Nigeria began massacring the Christian Igbos in the region, prompting tens of thousands of Igbos to flee to the east, where their people were the dominant ethnic group. The Igbos doubted that Nigeria’s oppressive military government would allow them to develop, or even survive, so on May 30, 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu and other non-Igbo representatives of the area established the Republic of Biafra, comprising several states of Nigeria.

After diplomatic efforts by Nigeria failed to reunite the country, war between Nigeria and Biafra broke out in July 1967. Ojukwu’s forces made some initial advances, but Nigeria’s superior military strength gradually reduced Biafran territory. The state lost its oil fields–its main source of revenue–and without the funds to import food, an estimated one million of its civilians died as a result of severe malnutrition. On January 11, 1970, Nigerian forces captured the provincial capital of Owerri, one of the last Biafran strongholds, and Ojukwu was forced to flee to the Ivory Coast. Four days later, Biafra surrendered to Nigeria.

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Detroit Riots of 1967 begin

Year
1967
Month Day
July 23

The 1967 Detroit Riots were among the bloodiest in American history. The strife occurred during a period of Detroit’s history when the once-affluent city was struggling economically, and race relations nationwide were at an all-time low.

The Detroit Police Department’s vice squad often raided illegal drinking establishments in the city’s poorer neighborhoods, and at 3:35 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 23, they moved against a club that was hosting a party for returning Vietnam War veterans. The early-morning police activity drew a crowd of onlookers, and the situation rapidly deteriorated.

Soon thousands of people had spilled out onto the street from nearby buildings, throwing rocks and bottles at the police, who quickly fled the scene. Looting began on 12th Street, where the club was located, and shops and businesses were ransacked.

By dawn, the first fire broke out, and soon much of the street was ablaze. By midmorning, every policeman and fireman in Detroit was called to duty. Back on 12th Street, officers struggled to control the crowd.

The rioting continued all week, and the U.S. Army and the National Guard were called in to quell the worst of the violence. By the time the bloodshed, burning and looting ended after five days, some 43 people were dead, many more seriously injured and nearly 1,400 buildings had been burned or ransacked. 

READ MORE: The Detroit Riots, from a Child’s Perspective

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Suharto takes full power in Indonesia


Year
1967
Month Day
February 22

On February 22, 1967, Indonesian President Sukarno surrenders all executive authority to military dictator General Haji Mohammad Suharto, remaining president in title only.

In 1965, Suharto, a senior army officer, narrowly saved Sukarno from a communist coup. In the aftermath, he moved to replace Sukarno and launched a purge of Indonesian communists that resulted in thousands of deaths. In 1967, he assumed full power and in 1968 was elected president. Reelected every five years until his forced resignation in 1998, Suharto stabilized his nation and oversaw significant economic progress. However, he was criticized for his repressive rule and for Indonesia’s 1975 invasion of East Timor, which left an estimated 100,000 Timorese dead from famine, disease, and warfare. Suharto died in 2008. 

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Thurgood Marshall appointed to Supreme Court

Year
1967
Month Day
June 13

President Lyndon B. Johnson appoints U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Thurgood Marshall to fill the seat of retiring Supreme Court Associate Justice Tom C. Clark. On August 30, after a heated debate, the Senate confirmed Marshall’s nomination by a vote of 69 to 11. Two days later, he was sworn in by Chief Justice Earl Warren, making him the first African American in history to sit on America’s highest court.

READ MORE: Black History Milestones

The great-grandson of slaves, Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1908. In 1933, after studying under the tutelage of civil liberties lawyer Charles H. Houston, he received his law degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C. In 1936, he joined the legal division of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), of which Houston was director, and two years later succeeded his mentor in the organization’s top legal post.

As the NAACP’s chief counsel from 1938 to 1961, he argued 32 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, successfully challenging racial segregation, most notably in public education. He won 29 of these cases, including a groundbreaking victory in 1954’s Brown v. Board of Education, in which the Supreme Court ruled that segregation violated the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and was thus illegal. The decision served as a great impetus for the African American civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and ultimately led to the abolishment of segregation in all public facilities and accommodations.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Marshall to the U.S. Court of Appeals, but his nomination was opposed by many Southern senators, and he was not confirmed until the next year. In June 1967, President Johnson nominated him to the Supreme Court, and in late August he was confirmed. During his 24 years on the high court, Associate Justice Marshall consistently challenged discrimination based on race or sex, opposed the death penalty, and supported the rights of criminal defendants. He also defended affirmative action and women’s right to reproductive freedom. As appointments by a largely Republican White House changed the politics of the Court, Marshall found his liberal opinions increasingly in the minority. He retired in 1991, and two years later passed away.

READ MORE: Thurgood Marshall: His Life and Legacy 

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The Doors score their first #1 hit with “Light My Fire”

Year
1967
Month Day
July 29

By the beginning of 1967, The Doors were well-established members of the Los Angeles music scene. As the house band at the Whiskey a Go Go on the Sunset Strip, they had built a large local following and strong industry buzz, and out on the road, they were fast becoming known as a band that might typically receive third billing, but could blow better-known groups like The Young Rascals and The Grateful Dead off the stage. It would have been poetic if their popular breakthrough had come via their now-classic debut single, “Break On Through,” but that record failed to make the national sales charts despite the efforts of Jim Morrison and his bandmates to fuel the song’s popularity by repeatedly calling in requests for it to local L.A. radio stations. It was the follow-up release from their debut album, The Doors, which would become their first bona fide smash. “Light My Fire,” which earned the top spot in the Billboard Hot 100 on July 29, 1967, transformed The Doors from cult favorites of the rock cognoscenti into international pop stars and avatars of the ’60s counterculture.

As “Light My Fire” climbed the charts in June and early July, The Doors were out on the East Coast, still plugging away as an opening act (e.g., for Simon and Garfunkel in Forest Hills, Queens) and as sometime-headliners (e.g., in a Greenwich, Connecticut, high-school auditorium). When the group topped the charts in late July, Jim Morrison celebrated by buying his now-famous skintight black-leather suit and beginning to hobnob with the likes of the iconic model/muse Nico at drug-fueled parties held by Andy Warhol.

Attempting to keep Morrison grounded were not only his fellow Doors Robby Krieger, Ray Manzarek and John Densmore as well as the professional manager they had hired in part to “babysit” him, but also his longtime girlfriend Pamela Courson, who is quoted in Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman’s Doors biography No One Here Gets Out Alive (1980) as greeting the sight of Jim Morrison preening in front of a mirror at home before a show in the summer of 1967 with, “Oh Jim, are you going to wear the same leather pants again? You never change your clothes. You’re beginning to smell, did you know that?”

In the end, of course, Morrison’s heavy drinking and drug use would lead to increasingly erratic behavior over the next four years and eventually take his life in July 1971. During that period, The Doors would follow up “Light My Fire” with a string of era-defining albums and songs, including “People Are Strange,” “Love Me Two Times” and “The End” in 1967; “Hello, I Love You” and “Touch Me” in 1968; and “L.A. Woman” and “Riders on the Storm” in 1971.

READ MORE: The 27 Club: Music Legends Who Died Too Young

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Six-Day War ends

Year
1967
Month Day
June 11

The Six-Day War between Israel and its Arab neighbors ends with a United Nations-brokered cease-fire. The outnumbered Israel Defense Forces achieved a swift and decisive victory in the brief war, rolling over the Arab coalition that threatened the Jewish state and more than doubling the amount of territory under Israel’s control. The greatest fruit of victory lay in seizing the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan; thousands of Jews wept while bent in prayer at the Second Temple’s Western Wall.

Increased tensions and skirmishes along Israel’s northern border with Syria were the immediate cause of the third Arab-Israeli war. In 1967, Syria intensified its bombardment of Israeli settlements across the border, and Israel struck back by shooting down six Syrian MiG fighters. After Syria alleged in May 1967 that Israel was massing troops along the border, Egypt mobilized its forces and demanded the withdrawal of the U.N. Emergency Force from the Israel-Egypt cease-fire lines of the 1956 conflict. The U.N. peacekeepers left on May 19, and three days later Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping. On May 30, Jordan signed a mutual-defense treaty with Egypt and Syria, and other Arab states, including Iraq, Kuwait, and Algeria, sent troop contingents to join the Arab coalition against Israel.

With every sign of a pan-Arab attack in the works, Israel’s government on June 4 authorized its armed forces to launch a surprise preemptive strike. On June 5, the Six-Day War began with an Israeli assault against Arab air power. In a brilliant attack, the Israeli air force caught the formidable Egyptian air force on the ground and largely destroyed the Arabs’ most powerful weapon. The Israeli air force then turned against the lesser air forces of Jordan, Syria, and Iraq, and by the end of the day had decisively won air superiority.

Beginning on June 5, Israel focused the main effort of its ground forces against Egypt’s Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula. In a lightning attack, the Israelis burst through the Egyptian lines and across the Sinai. The Egyptians fought resolutely but were outflanked by the Israelis and decimated in lethal air attacks. By June 8, the Egyptian forces were defeated, and Israel held the Gaza Strip and the Sinai to the Suez Canal.

Meanwhile, to the east of Israel, Jordan began shelling its Jewish neighbor on June 5, provoking a rapid and overwhelming response from Israeli forces. Israel overran the West Bank and on June 7 captured the Old City of East Jerusalem. The chief chaplain of the Israel Defense Forces blew a ram’s horn at the Western Wall to announce the reunification of East Jerusalem with the Israeli-administered western sector.

To the north, Israel bombarded Syria’s fortified Golan Heights for two days before launching a tank and infantry assault on June 9. After a day of fierce fighting, the Syrians began a retreat from the Golan Heights on June 10. On June 11, a U.N.-brokered cease-fire took effect throughout the three combat zones, and the Six-Day War was at an end. Israel had more than doubled its size in the six days of fighting.

The U.N. Security Council called for a withdrawal from all the occupied regions, but Israel declined, permanently annexing East Jerusalem and setting up military administrations in the occupied territories. Israel let it be known that Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai would be returned in exchange for Arab recognition of the right of Israel to exist and guarantees against future attack. Arab leaders, stinging from their defeat, met in August to discuss the future of the Middle East. They decided upon a policy of no peace, no negotiations, and no recognition of Israel, and made plans to zealously defend the rights of Palestinian Arabs in the occupied territories.

Egypt, however, would eventually negotiate and make peace with Israel, and in 1982 the Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in exchange for full diplomatic recognition of Israel. Egypt and Jordan later gave up their respective claims to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to the Palestinians, who beginning in the 1990s opened “land for peace” talks with Israel. The East Bank territory has since been returned to Jordan. In 2005, Israel left the Gaza Strip. Still, a permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement remains elusive.

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Six-Day War begins

Year
1967
Month Day
June 05

Israel responds to an ominous build-up of Arab forces along its borders by launching simultaneous attacks against Egypt and Syria. Jordan subsequently entered the fray, but the Arab coalition was no match for Israel’s proficient armed forces. In six days of fighting, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, the Golan Heights of Syria, and the West Bank and Arab sector of East Jerusalem, both previously under Jordanian rule. By the time the United Nations cease-fire took effect on June 11, Israel had more than doubled its size. The true fruits of victory came in claiming the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordan. Many wept while bent in prayer at the Western Wall of the Second Temple.

The U.N. Security Council called for a withdrawal from all the occupied regions, but Israel declined, permanently annexing East Jerusalem and setting up military administrations in the occupied territories. Israel let it be known that Gaza, the West Bank, the Golan Heights, and the Sinai would be returned in exchange for Arab recognition of the right of Israel to exist and guarantees against future attack. Arab leaders, stinging from their defeat, met in August to discuss the future of the Middle East. They decided upon a policy of no peace, no negotiations, and no recognition of Israel, and made plans to defend zealously the rights of Palestinian Arabs in the occupied territories.

Egypt, however, would eventually negotiate and make peace with Israel, and in 1982 the Sinai Peninsula was returned to Egypt in exchange for full diplomatic recognition of Israel. Egypt and Jordan later gave up their respective claims to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank to the Palestinians, who opened “land for peace” talks with Israel beginning in the 1990s. A permanent Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement remains elusive.

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