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.”
Page One also included stories about the weather (rain was expected) and news about the bribery investigation of state Supreme Court justices.
Other news of importance: the Beach Boys were scheduled to play at Springlake on the weekend, the movie “Godzilla vs. The Thing” was opening on Wednesday, and advance tickets for the State Fair of Oklahoma were on sale at Humpty Dumpty Stores for 59 cents (regular price, $1).
A full-page advertisement for TG&Y Family Centers’ Fall Fashion Event offered jackets for $3.97, capri sets for $3.86 and men and boys crew socks for 47 cents.
In sports, the Oklahoma City 89ers baseball team lost to Indianapolis, and high school football players were reporting for drills in full uniform.
Look magazine’s annual preview selected the University of Oklahoma as the No. 1 college football team.
“The magazine forecasts an unbeaten season for the Sooners, climaxed with a victory over North Carolina in the Sugar Bowl.”
History shows us Johnson and Humphrey won. The Sooners were not so lucky, losing three games, tying one and losing to Florida State in the Gator Bowl. Perle Mesta would return home to Oklahoma, where she died in 1975. Carol Channing premiered her show “Lorelei” at the Civic Center Music Hall in 1973 and had a street, Channing Drive, named for her.
And, oh yes, it did rain in Oklahoma 50 years ago.
If you would like to contact Mary Phillips about The Archivist, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.