1965 in Photos

The Atlantic's Alan Taylor has 50 photos from 50 years ago.


The Atlantic‘s Alan Taylor has 50 photos from 50 years ago.

A half-century ago, the war in Vietnam was escalating, the space race was in full swing, the Rolling Stones were on a world tour, the bravery of those who marched to Selma led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act, and the St. Louis Arch was completed. The United States occupied the Dominican Republic, Malcolm X was assassinated, NASA’s Mariner 4 flew by Mars, race riots erupted in Watts, California, and Muhammad Ali defeated Sonny Liston. Let me take you 50 years into the past now, for a photographic look back at the year 1965.

While I’m several months shy of my 50th birthday, 1965 is the year of my birth. None of the photos, of course, are things that I remember contemporaneously but most are things that I’ve learned about in some detail subsequently. It’s amazing how much has changed over the last half century. And how little.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I have specific memories of the Arch going up (grew up in STL) and it’s completion, the Watts riots, and the civil rights marches tho they are all so conflated in my memory it is hard for me say I remember Selma. It is that way with most things. Do I remember them happening? Or do I remember learning about them in depth when I still could remember them happening?

  2. Dave Schuler says:


    My godfather designed the unique elevator that goes up one leg of the Arch and down the other and his company installed it. When it was on its official maiden voyage (it had been tested extensively) it broke down and he and the dignitaries who had been invited to participate had to clamber down the utility stairs.

  3. Electroman says:

    @Dave Schuler: I’ve been to the top of the arch many times. When I was a young pup I was stationed at Scott AFB, not too far from STL, for a few years and enjoyed visiting that place. The elevators are quite a feat of engineering, most of which is quite visible.