It was 1964, the last year of the post-war baby boom, and Australia was riding high. Robert Menzies was Prime Minister. Donald Horn’s The Lucky Country hit the bookstores. And when the Beatles landed here on their very first Australian tour, the whole country felt that life just couldn’t get any better than this.
It was also the year the very first edition of The Australian was published; the year Australia’s 3rd commercial TV station ATV-0 was launched; and the year The Ramrods – the rock group managed by Paul Keating – produced a number one hit titled, ironically, She Lied.
Australia was top of the pops in the sporting arena that year too. Donald Campbell set the new land speed record of 429 miles per hour in his jet-propelled car, Bluebird, at Lake Eyre. Dawn Fraser won three gold and one silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics. And Bobby Simpson skippered the Australian team to victory in the Ashes.
No two doubts about it, life was non-stop excitement back in 1964. Every day something amazing and new seemed to be unfolding. Well, every day, that is, except one. April 10. A day filled with such mind-boggling tedium, it was set to go down in the annals of time as the dullest day in history.
The newspaper headlines on that day literally groaned with ennui. Here in Brisbane, people dozed off in their Weetbix reading about the opening of the Moonie-Brisbane oil pipeline. In Europe, readers yawned their way through a mundane lead story about an Iranian motor launch catching fire. And in the city that never sleeps, even the most lively of New Yorkers were bored to snores by the riveting announcement that an unremarkable baseball stadium in Upper Manhattan was about to be demolished.
What a day! It may have been the height of the Swinging Sixties, but the music scene managed to hit an all-time low on April 10, 1964, too, with Frank Sinatra recording his most forgettable single ever: Don’t be a Do-badder.
It’s hard to imagine a more dreary and uninteresting day than April 10, 1964. It even bombed out on the Celebrity Birthdays list. In fact, the only famous people recorded as being born on this day were Dutch tennis player Manon Bollegraf, American guitarist Felicia Collins, and Indian magician Gopinath Muthukad.
Just when it seemed the whole world would turn out the lights and go to bed early so they could finally get April 10, 1964, over and done with, baby Kevin Moreland arrived on the scene and saved the day from historical insignificance.
Happy 50th birthday Kev!
Deb Enright is a Senior Creative at BCM