Without a doubt, Cleveland sports fans are one of, if not the most dedicate sports fans in America. So what if the Cubs haven’t won a World Series since 1908? Michael Jordan and the Bulls can fill that void. Knicks haven’t hoisted a championship trophy since 1973, but titles still continue to pure into the Big Apple from other sports. Cleveland has not won a professional championship since 1964, when the Browns won the NFL Championship.
There’s been a lot of disappointment and heartbreak ever since. Unforgettable moments such as “the fumble,” “Red Right 88,” “the drive,” and game 7 of the 1997 World series. Even “the decision” was disappointing to watch for Clevelanders. But Cleveland fans still support their teams, (even when the owner moves it to Baltimore) through thick and thin. Here’s what America was like the last time Cleveland won a championship.
The film My Fair Lady was the Best Picture award winner and Mary Poppins was the highest grossing movie of the year. And who can forget about a Fistful of Dollars with Clint Eastwood? But by far the biggest thing that happened in America in 1964 with pop culture was the Beatles invasion.
1964 gave us two notable actors and a first lady. Chris Farley, Nicholas Cage and Michelle Obama were born the same year Cleveland sports last won a championship. If you’re familiar with wrestling then you might remember Stone Cold Steve Austin who was also born this year.
By far the biggest piece of legislation of the year, and maybe century, was the 1964 Civil Rights Act ending any type of inequality treatment based on sex, race, religion, or ethnicity. For his efforts in leading such a campaign, Martin Luther King was awarded the Nobel Peace Price. This was also the first year Washington DC residents were allowed to vote for president.
Lyndon Johnson was then re-elected president by defeating Barry Goldwater in a landslide and the Vietnam War still had 11 years remaining.
A gallon of gas cost about 30 cents, loaf of bread 21 cents, and milk was less than a dollar a gallon. Average annual unemployment was 5.7% and our national debt was $316.1 billion, about 16 trillion less than today.
America’s population in 1964 was about 191,000,000 and the world population was just over three billion. Since then America’s population has reached over 300,000,000 and the worlds population has doubled to over seven billion. It was this year that South African political leader Nelson Mandela was jailed for life on Robben Island. He would remain there for 18 long years.
There were no iPods or Facebook in 1964, but the world was still growing with technology. The first Ford Mustang was introduced and Sony gave us the first ever VCR home recorder. Asia had a big influence. Japan gave us the first high speed rail system and China exploded its first nuclear bomb. Driver-less trains were starting up in London as well.
The mayor of Cleveland was Ralph Locher and the population was well over 870,000. Now Cleveland’s population sits at less than 400,000. Huge population decreases have taken place similarly too other major Midwest cities like Chicago and Detroit.
So hang in there Cleveland, a professional championship will come eventually.