President: Lyndon B. Johnson (D-Texas)
Vice President: vacant (until January 20), Hubert Humphrey (D-Minnesota) (starting January 20)
Chief Justice: Earl Warren (California)
Speaker of the House of Representatives: John William McCormack (D-Massachusetts)
Senate Majority Leader: Mike Mansfield (D-Montana)
Congress: 88th (until January 3), 89th (starting January 3)
January 1 – The ship S.S. Catala is driven onto the beach in Ocean Shores, Washington, stranding her.
January 4 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union Address.
January 19 – The unmanned Gemini 2 is launched on a suborbital test of various spacecraft systems.
January 20 – Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in for his own full term as U.S. President. Hubert Humphrey becomes Vice President.
February 20 – Ranger 8 crashes into the Moon, after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo program astronauts.
February 21 – Malcolm X is assassinated in Manhattan.
February 22 – A new, revised, color production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella airs on CBS. Lesley Ann Warren makes her TV debut in the title role. The show becomes an annual tradition.
March 2 – The Sound of Music premieres at the Rivoli Theater in New York City.
March 7 – Bloody Sunday: Some 200 Alabama State Troopers clash with 525 civil rights demonstrators in Selma, Alabama. No one was killed in the clash.
March 8 – Vietnam War: Some 3,500 United States Marines arrive in South Vietnam, becoming the first American combat troops in Vietnam.
March 9 – The second attempt to march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, under the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr., stops at the bridge that was the site of Bloody Sunday, to hold a prayer service and return to Selma, in obedience to a court restraining order. White supremacists beat up white Unitarian Universalist minister James J. Reeb later that day in Selma.
March 11 – White Unitarian Universalist minister James J. Reeb, beaten by White supremacists in Selma, Alabama on March 9 following the second march from Selma, dies in a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.
March 16 – Police clash with 600 SNCC marchers in Montgomery, Alabama.
In Montgomery, Alabama, 1,600 civil rights marchers demonstrate at the Courthouse.
In response to the events of March 7 and 9 in Selma, Alabama, President Johnson sends a bill to Congress that forms the basis for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. It is passed by the Senate May 26, the House July 10, and signed into law by President Johnson August 6.
March 18 – A United States federal judge rules that SCLC has the lawful right to march to Montgomery, Alabama to petition for 'redress of grievances'.
March 19 – The wreck of the SS Georgiana, reputed to have been the most powerful Confederate cruiser ever built and owned by the real Rhett Butler, is discovered off the Isle of Palms, South Carolina, by teenage diver E. Lee Spence, exactly 102 years after she was sunk with a million dollar cargo while attempting to run past the Union blockade into Charleston.
Ranger program: NASA launches Ranger 9, which is the last in a series of unmanned lunar space probes.
Martin Luther King, Jr. leads 3,200 Civil rights activists in the third march from Selma, Alabama to the capitol in Montgomery.
March 23 – Gemini 3: NASA launches the United States' first 2-person crew (Gus Grissom, John Young) into Earth orbit.
March 25 – Martin Luther King, Jr. and 25,000 civil rights activists successfully end the 4-day march from Selma, Alabama, to the capitol in Montgomery.
March 30 – Funeral services are held for Detroit homemaker Viola Liuzzo, who was shot dead by 4 Klansmen as she drove marchers back to Selma at night after the civil rights march.
The Negro Family: The Case For National Action government report issued.
First African American Playboy Playmate, model Jennifer Jackson.
April 3 – The world's first space nuclear power reactor, SNAP-10A, is launched by the United States from Vandenberg AFB, California. The reactor operates for 43 days and remains in high earth orbit.
April 5 – At the 37th Academy Awards, My Fair Lady wins 8 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. Rex Harrison wins an Oscar for Best Actor. Mary Poppins takes home 5 Oscars. Julie Andrews wins an Academy Award for Best Actress, for her portrayal in the role. Sherman Brothers receives 2 Oscars including Best Song, "Chim Chim Cher-ee".
In Houston, Texas, the Harris County Domed Stadium (more commonly known as the Astrodome) opens.
The 100th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War is observed.
April 11 – The Palm Sunday tornado outbreak of 1965: An estimated 51 tornadoes (47 confirmed) hit in 6 Midwestern states, killing between 256 and 271 people and injuring some 1,500 more.
April 14 – In Cold Blood killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, convicted of murdering 4 members of the Herbert Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, are executed by hanging at the Kansas State Penitentiary for Men in Lansing, Kansas.
April 17 – The first SDS march against the Vietnam War draws 25,000 protestors to Washington, DC.
April 21 – The New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows reopens.
April 28 – U.S. troops are sent to the Dominican Republic by President Lyndon B. Johnson, "for the stated purpose of protecting U.S. citizens and preventing an alleged Communist takeover of the country", thus thwarting the possibility of "another Cuba".
May 5 – Forty men burn their draft cards at the University of California, Berkeley, and a coffin is marched to the Berkeley Draft Board.
May 21 – The largest teach-in to date begins at Berkeley, California, attended by 30,000.
May 22 – The first skateboard championship is held. In addition, several hundred Vietnam War protesters in Berkeley, CA, march to the Draft Board again to burn 19 more cards. Lyndon Johnson is hanged in effigy.
May 31 – Scottish racing driver Jim Clark wins the Indianapolis 500, and later wins the Formula One world driving championship in the same year.
June 1 – Florida International University is founded in Miami, Florida.
June 3 – Gemini 4: Astronaut Edward Higgins White makes the first U.S. space walk.
June 16 – A planned anti-war protest at The Pentagon becomes a teach-in, with demonstrators distributing 50,000 leaflets in and around the building.
June 25 – A U.S. Air Force Boeing C135-A bound for Okinawa crashes just after takeoff at MCAS El Toro in Orange County, California, killing all 85 on board.
Environmental Science Services Administration created (combining Coast & Geodetic Survey and Weather Bureau)
Weather Bureau part of Environmental Science Services Administration.
July 14 – U.S. spacecraft Mariner 4 flies by Mars, becoming the first spacecraft to return images from the Red Planet.
July 25 – Bob Dylan elicits controversy among folk purists by "going electric" at the Newport Folk Festival.
July 28 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson announces his order to increase the number of United States troops in South Vietnam from 75,000 to 125,000, and to double the number of men drafted per month from 17,000 to 35,000.
July 30 – War on Poverty: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Social Security Act of 1965 into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid.
August 6 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.
August 9 – An explosion at an Arkansas missile plant kills 53.
August 11 – The Watts Riots begin in Los Angeles, California.
August 13 – The rock group Jefferson Airplane debuts at the Matrix in San Francisco, California and begins to appear there regularly.
August 15 – The Beatles perform the first stadium concert in the history of rock, playing at Shea Stadium in New York City.
August 18 – Vietnam War – Operation Starlite: 5,500 United States Marines destroy a Viet Cong stronghold on the Van Tuong peninsula in Quang Ngai Province, in the first major American ground battle of the war. The Marines were tipped-off by a Viet Cong deserter who said that there was an attack planned against the U.S. base at Chu Lai.
August 20 – Jonathan Myrick Daniels, an Episcopal seminarian from Keene, New Hampshire, is murdered in Hayneville, Alabama while working in the American civil rights movement.
August 21 – Gemini 5 (Gordon Cooper, Pete Conrad) is launched on the first 1-week flight, as well as the first test of fuel cells for electrical power.
Rock musician Bob Dylan releases his influential album Highway 61 Revisited, featuring the song "Like a Rolling Stone."
Casey Stengel announces his retirement after 55 years in baseball.
September 7 – Vietnam War: In a follow-up to August's Operation Starlite, United States Marines and South Vietnamese forces initiate Operation Piranha on the Batangan Peninsula, 23 miles south of the Chu Lai Marine base.
Sandy Koufax pitches a perfect game in a baseball match against the Chicago Cubs. The opposing pitcher, Bob Hendley, allows only 1 run, which is unearned.
Hurricane Betsy roars ashore near New Orleans, Louisiana with winds of 145 MPH, causing 76 deaths and $1.42 billion in damage. The storm is the first hurricane to cause $1 billion in unadjusted damages, giving it the nickname "Billion Dollar Betsy". It is the last major hurricane to strike New Orleans until Hurricane Katrina 40 years later.
Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
September 18 – The first ever Mr. Olympia bodybuilding competition is held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City and is won by Larry Scott.
September 25 – The Tom & Jerry cartoon series makes its world broadcast premiere on CBS.
September 28 – Fidel Castro announces that anyone who wants to can emigrate to the United States.
October 3 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs an immigration bill which abolishes quotas based on national origin.
Pope Paul VI visits the United States. He appears for a Mass in Yankee Stadium and makes a speech at the United Nations.
The University of California, Irvine opens its doors.
October 7 – Seven Japanese fishing boats are sunk off Guam by super typhoon Carmen; 209 are killed.
October 9 – Yale University presents the Vinland map.
October 10 – The first group of Cuban refugees travels to the U.S.
October 15 – Vietnam War: The Catholic Worker Movement stages an anti-war protest in Manhattan. One draft card burner is arrested, the first under the new law.
October 16 – Anti-war protests draw 100,000 in 80 U.S. cities and around the world.
October 17 – The New York World's Fair at Flushing Meadows, New York, closes. Due to financial losses, some of the projected site park improvements fail to materialize.
October 26 – Police discover the body of Sylvia Likens in Indianapolis, Indiana.
October 28 – In St. Louis, Missouri, the 630-foot-tall parabolic steel Gateway Arch is completed.
October 29 – An 80-kiloton nuclear device is detonated at Amchitka Island, Alaska as part of the Vela Uniform program, code-named Project Long Shot.
Vietnam War: Near Da Nang, United States Marines repel an intense attack by Viet Cong forces, killing 56 guerrillas. Among the dead, a sketch of Marine positions is found on the body of a 13-year-old Vietnamese boy who sold drinks to the Marines the day before.
In Washington, DC, a pro-Vietnam War march draws 25,000.
Quaker Norman Morrison sets himself on fire outside The Pentagon to protest United States involvement in the Vietnam War.
Liberal Republican John Lindsay is elected mayor of New York City.
November 6 – Freedom Flights begin: Cuba and the United States formally agree to start an airlift for Cubans who want to go to the United States (by 1971 250,000 Cubans take advantage of this program).
United States Army 173rd Airborne Brigade, Operation Hump, War Zone D in Vietnam, were ambushed by over 1,200 Viet Cong (V.C.). 48 American soldiers lost their lives. Severely wounded and risking his own life, Specialist 6 (then Specialist 5) Lawrence Joel, a medic, was the first living black man since the Spanish–American War to receive the United States Medal of Honor for saving so many lives in the midst of battle that day.
American Airlines Flight 383 crashes on approach to Cincinnati, killing 58 of 62 people on board.
The soap opera Days of Our Lives debuts on NBC.
Northeast Blackout of 1965: Several U.S. states (Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and portions of New Jersey) and parts of Canada are hit by a series of blackouts lasting up to 13½ hours.
Vietnam War: In New York City, 22-year-old Catholic Worker Movement member Roger Allen LaPorte sets himself on fire in front of the United Nations building in protest of the war.
November 14 – Vietnam War – Battle of the Ia Drang: In the Ia Drang Valley of the Central Highlands in Vietnam, the first major engagement of the war between regular United States and North Vietnamese forces begins.
November 15 – U.S. racer Craig Breedlove sets a new land speed record of 600.601 mph.
November 22 – Man of La Mancha opens in a Greenwich Village theatre in New York and eventually becomes one of the greatest musical hits of all time, winning a Tony Award for its star, Richard Kiley.
Tens of thousands of Vietnam War protesters picket the White House, then march on the Washington Monument.
Vietnam War: The Pentagon tells U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson that if planned major sweep operations to neutralize Viet Cong forces during the next year are to succeed, the number of American troops in Vietnam will have to be increased from 120,000 to 400,000.
November 28 – Vietnam War: In response to U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson's call for "more flags" in Vietnam, Philippines President-elect Ferdinand Marcos announces he will send troops to help fight in South Vietnam.
December 9 – A Charlie Brown Christmas, the first Peanuts television special, debuts on CBS, quickly becoming an annual tradition.
December 15 – Gemini 6 and Gemini 7 perform the first controlled rendezvous in Earth orbit.
December 17 – The British government begins an oil embargo against Rhodesia; the United States joins the effort.
December 21 – A new, 1-hour German-American production of The Nutcracker, with an international cast that includes Edward Villella in the title role, makes its U.S. TV debut. It is repeated annually by CBS over the next 3 years, but after that, it is virtually forgotten.
Jenny and Sylvia Likens are left in the care of Indianapolis housewife Gertrude Baniszewski. Sylvia is found dead and mutilated 3 months later.
Tokyo officially becomes the largest city of the world, taking the lead from New York City.
Cold War (1945–1991)
Space Race (1957–1975)
Vietnam War, U.S. involvement (1962–1973)
January 4 – Rick Hearst, actor
January 31 – Peter Sagal, NPR host
February 4 – Jerome Brown, American football player (died 1992)
March 16 – Angela Taylor, athlete and collegiate coach
April 2 – Rodney King, convicted criminal and police brutality victim (died 2012)
Lisa Colagrossi, journalist (died 2015)
Janu Tornell, model, Miss Nevada USA 1989
June 2 – Jim Knipfel, journalist and author
July 7 – Sam Holbrook, baseball player and umpire
September 18 – Tim Scott, United States Senator from South Carolina since 2013.
October 10 – Chris Penn, actor (died 2006)
November 30 – Ben Stiller, actor, screenwriter, film director, producer, son of Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, brother of Amy Stiller and spouse of Christine Taylor
December 2 – Dan Gauthier, actor
February 21 – Malcolm X, African-American Muslim minister and human rights activist (born 1925)
July 14 – Adlai Stevenson II, politician (born 1900)
August 31 – E. E. "Doc" Smith, science-fiction writer (born 1890)
October 26 – Sylvia Likens, murder victim. (born 1949)
November 18 – Henry A. Wallace, 33rd Vice President of the United States from 1941 to 1945 (born 1888)
1965 in the United States Wikipedia
Events from the year 1965 in the United States.