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The Archivist: What happened 50 years ago is history for some, memories for others in Oklahoma

The Archivist: Oklahoma has more people under 50 than over. For those over 50, what they call memories are called history to those under 50.
By Mary Phillips, For The Oklahoman Modified: August 24, 2014 at 11:03 pm •  Published: August 25, 2014

Anyone 50 years old or older in Oklahoma is now in the minority, according to the latest U.S. Census data.

We are outnumbered by those 49 and younger.

Events that were a part of our lives are now taught as history.

Fifty years ago, on Tuesday, Aug. 25, 1964, the front page and much of The Oklahoman was filled with news about the Democratic National Convention taking place in Atlantic City, N.J.

The Democratic presidential candidate was settled. The question was who would be President Lyndon Johnson’s vice presidential running mate. News circulating among the delegates indicated Sen. Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota was the frontrunner.

Oklahoma’s own Carl Albert was a key player, helping to define the Democratic platform.

Allan Cromley, longtime Washington writer for The Oklahoman wrote:

“The document reflects the even-tempered nature of the platform committee chairman Rep. Carl Albert, as well as President Johnson’s apparent desires that the party not rock the boat in what seems like a winning year.”

Otis Sullivant, political writer, wrote about the Oklahoma delegation’s participation in the convention.

Veteran writer Katherine Hatch interviewed Oklahoma’s own Perle Mesta, who was hosting nightly parties for invitees to gather and talk politics in a house not far from the convention center.

Asked if she would like to be vice president, Mesta replied, “The country’s not ready for it yet.”

Another staff writer wrote about Carol Channing entertaining more than a thousand Democratic women by singing “Hello Lyndon,” putting new words to her trademark song “Hello Dolly.”

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