Medicare makes debut 50 years ago

Published 3:00 am Thursday, July 30, 2015

The year 1965 doesn’t seem that long ago to senior adults but, perhaps, a lifetime ago to the Y Generation.

But, for most all Americans, July 1965 is significant primarily because, on July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared War on Poverty and signed the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.

Other important happenings in July 1965 included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s address, “The American Dream” which was delivered at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on July 4.

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A day later, Maria Callas gave her last operatic performance as “Tosca” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.

On July 8, a bomb exploded in a rear lavatory aboard Canadian Pacific Air Lines Flight 21 in mid-air over British Columbia blowing the tail section off. The aircraft crashed, killing all 52 people on board.

Also on July 8, Jim Morrison ran into former UCLA classmate Ray Manzarek in Venice Beach, California. After hearing some of Morrison’s songs, Manzarek agreed to form “The Doors” with him.

On July 10, Two F-4C Phantom II fighter of the 45th Tactical Fighter Squadron shot down two MiG-17 fighters over Vietnam, scoring the U.S. Air Force’s first aerial victories of the Vietnam War.

The next day, a U.S. Air Force 551st Airborne Early warning and Control Wing FC-121H Warning Star crashed in the Atlantic Ocean off Nantucket, Mass., killing 16 of the 19-man crew.

On July 25, Bob Dylan elicited controversy among folk purist by “going electric” at the Newport Folk Festival.

On July 28, President Lyndon Johnson announced his order to increase the number of United States troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000 and to more than double the number of men drafted per month from 17,000 to 35,000.

J.K Rowling, British novelist, was born in Yate, Gloucestershire on July 31.

So, no matter to which generation Pike Countians belong, the month of July 1965 has significance, if not today, just down the path that leads to the Medicare roll, if there is such a roll on down the road.

A tag to the happenings in the month of July.

On July 29, 1981, the wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer took place at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London. The ceremony was a traditional Church of England wedding service. The marriage of Prince Charles and Lady Diana was widely billed as a “fairytale wedding” and the “wedding of the century.” It was watched by an estimated global TV audience of 750 million. The United Kingdom had a national holiday on that day to mark the wedding.

After all the fanfare, the fairytale had a tragic ending.