Judith Jamison, Carmen de Lavallade, Glory Van Scott, and Cleo Quitman perform with American Ballet Theatre in Agnes de Mille’s The Four Marys

Choreographed  for the 25th Anniversary season of American Ballet Theatre, The Four Marys was a story of a young woman, her suitor, and her four servants: Mary Season, Mary Beaton, Mary Carmichael, and Mary Hamilton.

In The Four Marys, the mistress’ suitor falls in love with Mary Hamilton (de Lavallade), the loveliest of the maids, and their affair produces an illegitimate child. When the child is born she drowns it and is hanged for murder.

The production premiered in March 1965, had about six performances in New York, and a few in Chicago.

While working with American Ballet Theatre, Jamison and the other Black dancers had the opportunity to train with the likes of Fernand Nault, Leon Danielian (guest artist with Philadelphia Cotillions of Jamison’s youth), and William Dollar.


Dancing Spirit, Judith Jamison

Other Happenings in 1965

Ballet/Dance History

Mabel Hart, former member of the Negro Unit of Ballet Theatre, passes away.

American History

Feb 7: US begins regular bombing & strafing of North Vietnam.
Apr 13: The first US Senate Black page, Lawrence W. Bradford Jr., 16, is appointed by NY Senator Jacob Javits.
Jun 7: The Supreme Court of the United States decides on Griswold v. Connecticut, effectively legalizing the use of contraception by married couples.
Jul 27: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs a bill requiring cigarette makers to print health warnings on all cigarette packages about the effects of smoking.
Jun 28: The first US ground combat forces in Vietnam are authorized by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
Jul 30: LBJ signs Medicare bill, which goes into effect in 1966.
Aug 6: US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act, prohibiting voting discrimination against minorities.

World History

Jan 30: State funeral of Winston Churchill at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. This is the largest ever state funeral.
Feb 22: USSR launches Kosmos 57 into earth orbit (Voskhod Test).
Mar 22: Nicolae Ceausescu is elected General Secretary of the Romanian Communist Party.
Apr 8: India & Pakistan forces engage in a border fight.
Apr 23: Launch of first Soviet communications satellite.
Jul 11: Israeli Mapai-party nominates David Ben-Gurion.
Jul 26: Republic of Maldives gains independence from Britain (National Day).
Aug 12: Elizabeth Lane becomes first female British supreme court justice.
Oct 4: Pope Paul VI becomes first Pope to visit Western Hemisphere (UN).
Dec 1: South Africa’s government says children of white fathers are white.

Art & Sciences

Feb 8: Supremes release “Stop In the Name of Love.”
Mar 2: One of the most popular musical films of all time The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, is released (wins Best Picture 1966).
Mar 3: The Temptations’ “My Girl” reaches #1.
Mar 13: The Beatles’ “Eight Days a Week” reaches #1 & stays #1 for two weeks.
Apr 13: The seventh Grammy Awards: “The Girl From Ipanema,” The Beatles win. 
Apr 15: James Baldwin’s Amen Corner premieres in NYC.
Apr 28: Barbra Streisand stars on My Name is Barbra special on CBS.
Apr 28: Luciano Pavarotti makes his debut at La Scala, Milan in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La bohème with Mirella Freni.
Jun 15: Bob Dylan records “Like a Rolling Stone.”
Jul 7: Otis Redding records “Respect.”
Jul 30: Duke Ellington’s “The Golden Broom & the Green Apple” premieres.
Sept 13: Today Show‘s first completely color episode broadcasts. 
Sept 18: Get Smart premieres.
Nov 8: Days of Our Lives premieres on TV.
Nov 16: Walt Disney launches Epcot Center: Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

Human & Civil Rights

Jan 2: Martin Luther King Jr. begins a drive to register Black voters.
Feb 1: Martin Luther King Jr. & 700 demonstrators are arrested in Selma Ala.
Feb 21: Rights activist Malcolm X is shot dead by Nation of Islam followers at Audubon Ballroom in New York City.
Mar 20: Civil and women’s rights activist Dorothy Height has her first column published in the weekly African-American newspaper called the New York Amsterdam News.
Mar 21: Martin Luther King Jr. begins march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama.
Mar 25: Martin Luther King Jr. leads 25,000 to state capitol in Montgomery, Alabama.
May 30: Vivian Malone is the first Black person to graduate from University of Alabama.


Aug 20: Eddie Mathews & Hank Aaron (1954-65) pass Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig hitting 772 HRs while playing together on the same team.
Apr 9: The first game at Astrodome—Houston beats Yankees 2-1 in exhibition as Mickey Mantle hits first indoor home-run.
Apr 11: 29th Masters Golf Tournament—Jack Nicklaus wins, shooting a 271.
May 4: Willie Mays 512th HR breaks Mel Ott’s 511th NL record.
May 25: Muhammad Ali KOs Sonny Liston in 1 for heavyweight boxing title rematch.
Oct 3: Whitey Ford notches #232 to become Yankees’ most-winning pitcher.
Nov 22: Muhammad Ali TKOs Floyd Patterson in 12 for heavyweight boxing title.

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