Wins award from the National Association of Travel Organizations for its cooperation in the Visit the USA Year proclaimed by President Eisenhower.

Outlines its five-year plan for safety to the President’s Committee for Traffic Safety.

About this time

An American U-2 spy plane is shot down over the Soviet Union. Belgium gives independence to Belgian Congo (Zaire). Cuba begins confiscation of $770 million of U.S. property.


Membership passes 7 million.

Adds locations of speed traps to detour and construction maps.

About this time

John F. Kennedy becomes president of the U.S. USSR puts the first man in orbit around the Earth. The Berlin Wall is erected to stop refugees from moving from East to West Berlin.


Publishes first world map and seven maps of European countries. AAA Travel Guide to the Mid-East and Orient supersedes Motoring in North Africa and the Mid-East. Its expanded coverage includes AAA inspected hotels, restaurants and attractions.

About this time

Lt. Col. John H. Glenn becomes the first American to orbit the Earth — three times in 4 hours, 55 minutes. The Cuban missile crisis begins and ends.


Membership reaches 8 million.

Adopts rating system for TourBook® guide accommodations listings, which would become the Diamond Rating System in 1976. The fall 1963-1964 Florida and Southeastern TourBook guides are the first to carry these ratings. A rating system had been discussed since the 1930s, and descriptive words had been used to impart valuable information to the reader; however, the 1963 books carried ratings in five specific categories: Outstanding, Excellent, Very Good, Good and Satisfactory.

About this time

The U.S. Supreme Court rules no locality may require recitation of the Lord’s Prayer or Bible verses in public schools. A civil rights rally is attended by 200,000 in Washington, D.C. President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.


Publishes West Indies travel guide presently known as the Caribbean TravelBook®, the New York World’s Fair booklet and its first Guide to European Restaurants.

Fights and defeats a proposal that would not allow motorists to deduct state gas taxes on federal income tax returns. This fight was not over, however, and in 1976 AAA again helped defeat this proposal.

About this time

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that congressional districts should be roughly equal in population. Warren Report is issued, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in assassinating President Kennedy.


Funds, through the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, research that began in 1964 to study approaches to combating the drunken driving problem. First a Friend, Then a Host is the first program implemented as a result of the study.

Wins a gold medal at International Film and TV festival in New York for the film The 60 Minute Circle about the Washington, D.C., beltway.

Publishes Teaching Driver and Traffic Safety Education, a textbook for college students.

Is represented by AAA President Paul R. Gingher on a new National Advisory Committee on Highway Beautification.

About this time

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and 2,600 others are arrested in Selma, Ala., during a three-day demonstration against voter registration rules. Malcolm X is shot to death at a Harlem rally. The Watts section of Los Angeles sees six days of riots; 34 die, more than 1,000 are injured and 4,000 are arrested.


Membership reaches 10 million.

Helps draft the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, setting safety standards for automobiles, tires and equipment. AAA also drafts the Highway Safety Act, specifying standards for motor vehicle inspection and registration; motorcycle safety; driver education; driver licensing; traffic courts; highway design, construction and maintenance; and traffic control devices.

Hosts the Congress & General Assembly of the Alliance Internationale de Tourism, an international organization of auto clubs. It is the first time in AIT’s 68-year history that a meeting is held in the U.S.

Develops programs for educational television.

Begins inspections of privately owned campgrounds.

About this time

The first successful implantation of an artificial heart in a human is performed.


Cooperates with the U.S. Department of Justice in development of National Auto Theft Campaign, a public education program to reduce car thefts.

Begins providing traveler’s checks in a national program with First National Citibank, and the checks bear the AAA imprint. This is the first instance of such an arrangement between a bank and a private organization.

Automobile Club of Michigan begins Bring ’Em Back Alive program aimed at making holidays safer. The program is adopted by other clubs and becomes a national initiative in 1968.

Auto Club of Missouri opens first automotive diagnostic center designed to troubleshoot car problems.

Announces ETV Driver Training Films, 30 half-hour programs produced by AAA and South Carolina ETV.

About this time

Three U.S. astronauts are killed in an Apollo spacecraft fire during a simulated launch. Thurgood Marshall is sworn in as the first black U.S. Supreme Court justice. The first successful human heart transplant is performed.


Initiates big trucks campaign and uses newspaper advertising to help defeat a bill that would have increased size and weight limits on trucks.

Publishes its first Citibook (New York City) and ski maps.

About this time

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is slain in Memphis, Tenn. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated. North Korea seizes U.S. Navy ship Pueblo and holds 83 sailors as spies.


Founds AAA Life Insurance Co.

Signs agreement with International Reservation Corp. for a nationwide computer reservation system linking a network of hotels, motels and car rental agencies.

Launches DWI Counterattack, a rehabilitation program for motorists convicted of driving while intoxicated.

About this time

Richard M. Nixon is inaugurated 37th president of the United States. Apollo 11 astronauts take man’s first walk on the moon.


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