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Lane Brown over at Vulture has compiled a useful, revelatory list of major events that happened in real life between Mad Men's Season 3 finale (Christmastime, 1963) and its Season 4 premiere (Thanksgiving, 1964). Brown, consulting Wikipedia's remarkably handy entry for an entire year, culled events that were likely to have affected the course of Mad Men and added to them some (mostly) clever guesses on how the show's characters reacted.
We've included some of Brown's more interesting insights below, but if you want more, you can check them out over here or rent Forrest Gump. Spoiler alert: those who've yet to reach the tenth grade (or eleventh graders who slept through US History II) may want to stop reading now.
February 9: The Beatles' appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show is seen by 73 million people. Unfortunately, Harry bought ads for jai alai to run on competing networks during the same time slot.
March 30: Jeopardy! debuts. A newly jobless Paul Kinsey is one of the show's first big winners. He blows his $250 haul on a giant bag of weed.
July 2: President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act into law, ending racial segregation. Betty makes an appalling comment to housekeeper Carla.
July 18: Race riots break out in Harlem. "Where's Harlem?" asks Trudy, to a round of laughter at a blackface sing-along.
November 3: Goldwater loses the presidential election to LBJ in a landslide. Roger, Bert, Don, and Lane vow never to speak of this again.