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The 1960s - HISTORY
By the 1960s, the post-war boom had flourished for over a decade and had begun to wane. Under conservative Eisenhower, the nation had grown, but only cautiously. When Kennedy swept into office, his energy and enthusiasm inspired Americans to take on challenges both foreign and domestic. Kennedy's goals were to stimulate the economy, reduce unemployment, support growth and democracy abroad and establish an important economic position on the international front. Later, Johnson added the goals of eradicating poverty, integrating women and minorities into the economy and winning the war in Vietnam. Environmental and consumer interests were increasingly taken into consideration.
As the nation strove to achieve these goals, the economy suffered from their negative effects. Large-scale government spending and the constraints of the international monetary system resulted in domestic inflation. As the government struggled to slow inflation and stabilize the economy, the Vietnam War and the War on Poverty raged on. One war was hopelessly lost, and the other was only partially won. Optimism disintegrated as the dollar lost stability and inflation took a firm hold.
By the end of the 1960s, the economy was very different from its state at the beginning of the decade. Growth was slowing, inflation was rising, and the dollar was in poor shape. Nevertheless, there were positive changes in the economy. The United States had obtained greater access to trade with foreign nations. Developments in computers contributed to the increasingly widespread use of computerized technology in business. Women and minorities were increasingly a part of important economic activities. Poverty had been seriously reduced. Legislation to protect consumers and the environment from unsafe business practices was established. The American economy had been thrust into the second half of the century, not fully capable of meeting its challenges, but willing to try.
In 1959 New York artist Allan Kaprow (1927–) began a trend for artistic presentations called happenings. Happenings invited visitors into a theatrical set in which they interacted with the art visitors might encounter sculpture, music, theatrical drama, and other artistic forms. Though happenings seemed spontaneous to visitors and were often unpredictable, they were in fact complicated, tightly coordinated events. Unlike regular exhibitions, at which visitors would just view completed pictures or sculpture, happenings enabled visitors to participate in art. Some of them were described as "living sculptures."
The term "happening" came from Kaprow's first event, called 18 Happenings in 6 Parts, held in 1959 at the Reuben Gallery in New York. For the event, Kaprow set up clear plastic walls to divide the gallery into three rooms. Using strictly choreographed movements, performers offered visitors tickets to the event, directed them to specified seats in particular rooms, and at designated times guided them to another room. In the rooms, visitors viewed a performer squeezing oranges, a person lighting matches, an artist painting, and a group of performers playing toy instruments, among other things. Kaprow's other happenings included Coca Cola, Shirley Cannonball? (1960), in which visitors watched an enormous cardboard boot kicking a ball in a gym to the beat of a fife and drum Words (1962), an event offering visitors the chance to rearrange words painted on cardboard on the wall of a gallery and Push and Pull: A Furniture Comedy for Hans Hofmann (1963), which offered visitors the opportunity to rearrange the furniture in two rooms. Other artists who created happenings included Robert Rauschenberg (1925–), Claes Oldenburg (1929–), and Jim Dine (1935–).
Most happenings occurred in art galleries. Some, however, were set out of doors, at artists' studios, in empty lots, or at train stations, among other places. The goal of happenings was to offer visitors the opportunity to question the distinction between types of art and its place in public life. Happenings peaked in popularity in the early 1960s. Although many of the happening artists returned to more traditional forms of artistic expression, their work gave rise to performance art. Performance art came to be a distinctive form of live artistic presentation that could include painting, dance, song, poetry, and other artistic expression. It was distinct from theater, as were happenings, because performance art did not include characters or plot. Both happenings and performance art were considered to be "pure" art because neither could be purchased or traded they could only be experienced.
changing times. Writers used absurd elements, black comedy, and personal memoirs in their literary experiments. Thomas Pynchon (1937–) experimented with the narrative form of the novel itself. In his novel V (1963), Pynchon presented a nonlinear story in which he used descriptive "snapshots" taken between 1898 and 1944 from the lives of the novel's many characters to create a multidimensional image of society. Authors Joseph Heller (1923–1999) and Kurt Vonnegut (1922–) depicted the horror and dehumanization of World War II through parody or black comedy, which treats with humor subjects that are not really funny. In his novel Catch-22 (1961), Heller used a satiric writing style and the character of Yossarian to criticize medicine, business, religion, government, and the military. In Slaughterhouse-Five (1966), Vonnegut used the absurd, or non-rational, to highlight the randomness of war his character Billy Pilgrim survives the dangers of World War II only to be captured by aliens and taken away in a flying saucer.
Along with experiments in style, literature opened to a wide range of topics. The variety of topics resulted in part from eased censorship rules and an increase in the number of minority and women writers. Tom Wolfe's (1931–) The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby (1965) shocked some and thrilled others with its use of once-censored language and depictions of the period's psychedelic lifestyles. Two Pulitzer Prize-winning novels of the decade depicted the experiences of ethnic and racial minorities. Shirley Ann Grau's (1929–) The Keepers of the House, which won the Pulitzer in 1965, portrayed the social and political struggles of a southern family with a background of interracial marriage and N. Scott Momaday's (1934–) House Made of Dawn, which won the Pulitzer in 1969, told the story of a young Native American man as he tries to reconcile the differences between white society and that of his ancestors. Women writers, including Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath, wrote powerful poems about the female experience.
In addition, the Black Arts Movement (BAM) of the mid-to late 1960s ushered in a host of works by African Americans among the most influential were LeRoi Jones (later called Imamu Amiri Baraka), Ed Bullins, Nikki Giovanni, Adrienne Kennedy, and Larry Neal. This movement combined the art of writing with the political purposes of the civil rights movement. Black artists used their literature and art to lift up and inspire other blacks. The works of many involved in the Black Arts Movement were a new foundation upon which blacks could build a society centered on their unique culture and heritage. Although the BAM dissolved by the 1970s, African Americans continued to produce valuable literary and artistic works throughout the twentieth century and into the 2000s.
Decades of Drug Use: Data From the '60s and '70s
The war on drugs has been raging for decades. There is no sign of victory, or even detente. Although they're swamped with anti-drug messages, kids keep taking illegal drugs, and the drugs are getting more dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 1999 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System found that almost half (47%) of all high school students had used marijuana at least once. Ten percent had tried a form of cocaine.
Since 1969, the first year Gallup asked about illegal drug use, Americans have grown increasingly more concerned about the effects of drugs on young people. For instance, in 1969, 48% of Americans told Gallup that drug use was a serious problem in their community. In 1986, a majority of Americans, 56%, said that the government spent "too little" money fighting drugs. By 1995, 31% said drug use was a "crisis" and an additional 63% said it was "a serious problem" for the nation as a whole.
Why haven't the decades of anti-drug messages solved this problem? The blame tends to be spread across a variety of factors -- unsuccessful government programs, underfunded law enforcement, irresponsible media content -- but part of the problem has certainly been the inefficacy of drug prevention programs. Examining how Americans' attitudes have shifted during the 30+-year history of the drug prevention movement can help us see what the nation has done wrong, and what the nation is starting to do right.
The 1960s brought us tie-dye, sit-ins and fears of large-scale drug use. Hippies smoked marijuana, kids in ghettos pushed heroin, and Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor, urged the world to try LSD. In popular imagination, the 1960s were the heyday of illegal drug use -- but historical data indicate they probably weren't. In fact, surveys show that drug abuse was comparably rare, as was accurate information about the effects of illegal drugs. In a 1969 Gallup poll, only 4% of American adults said they had tried marijuana. Thirty-four percent said they didn't know the effects of marijuana, but 43% thought it was used by many or some high school kids. In 1972, 60% of Americans thought that marijuana was physically addictive (research shows that it is generally not physically addictive because regular users rarely show physical withdrawal symptoms, but marijuana can be psychologically addictive).
Alana Anderson, a child custody officer, graduated from college in 1969. "My generation was told that marijuana caused acne, blindness, and sterility," she said. "It was a scare tactic rather than an education tactic."
Teens of Anderson's generation were as observant as they are now. They noticed the difference between parental warnings and actual fact. So, many of them stopped believing anti-drug messages in general. "Scare tactics are a big disaster," said Gary De Blasio, executive director of Corner House Counseling Center for Adolescents and Young Adults in Princeton, N.J., "They don't work, especially if you use them on kids who have used drugs."
The scare tactics of the 1960s gave way to the contradictory messages of the late '70s and early '80s. Drugs became glamorous, without becoming better understood. In fact, the 1981 book The Truth About Drugs -- The Body, Mind and You by Gene Chill and John Duff asserted that cocaine wasn't addictive. The ranks of those who had tried illegal drugs grew -- in 1973, 12% of respondents to a Gallup poll said they had tried marijuana. That number had doubled by 1977.
As drug use increased, many Americans began to see it as a problem. In 1978, 66% of Americans said marijuana was a serious problem in the high schools or middle school in their area, and 35% said the same of hard drugs.
While more Americans were willing to admit they tried marijuana, acceptance of it was still slow in coming. In 1978, 21% said they would welcome increased acceptance of marijuana, while 72% said they would not. That percentage who would welcome an increased acceptance decreased to 13% three years later, and was just 11% when last asked in 1991. In 1978, 83% of Americans said it was very important that high school graduates with no plans for college "know the health hazards of smoking, use of alcohol, marijuana and other drugs."
Part two of this series will examine the 1980s and 1990s, and the anti-drug message that works.
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Paying the price: As reported in the national news section, a House subcommittee had helped to expose a serious problem plaguing America’s poorer neighborhoods. Residents there, the investigations revealed, paid more for the same (or worse) groceries than people who lived in wealthy areas. “Making the arithmetic even more onerous is the fact that people in the slums spend up to 33% of their income on food v. 23% for all Americans,” the story noted. As the nation struggled to recover from the summer’s riots, the issue was front of mind &mdash but, 50 years later, it persists.
Black pride: This week’s TIME Essay looks at what it described as a “slow, subtle but steady shift” in the national mood among the African-American population, as the decade’s Black Power movement matured. The shift could be seen as a move toward a new center, in which nonviolent activists and their more militant brethren came together in a movement that emphasized pride, self-sufficiency and true equality &mdash even as the Black Power movement retained its radical reputation. “This kind of Negro is not antiwhite he is pro-black,” the story noted. “As one direct consequence of his attitude, America’s most visible minority is more visible than ever.”
At Dak To: From Vietnam came the report of U.S. troops taking possession of Hill 875 at Dak To. Over the course of three weeks, per TIME’s early count, the official body count came to 1,599 North Vietnamese troops, which was estimated to be as little as a third of the real cost of the battle on that side, and 150 U.S. paratroopers killed.
…and at home: As the war in Vietnam grew, so did the unprecedented role of television in communicating the facts of that war to the American public. “TV, in short, has brought a new and gripping dimension to war. Combat in living color is often wanting in perspective but rarely in impact,” TIME noted. The result, one sociologist theorized, would be a polarization of sentiment, as those who opposed the war saw evidence to support their belief that it was time to end the conflict, and those who supported it saw evidence of losses that ought not be in vain.
Optimism misplaced: Here in 1967, Congo’s president Joseph Mobutu was praised for having “laid at least the foundations for a more stable and efficient country.” When he died in 1997, having changed his name to Mobutu Sese Seko, he was assessed by TIME as a “strongman and kleptocrat” who ruled by “looting his resource-rich country, leaving it bankrupt and impoverished.”
Great vintage ad: An appropriate pick for a design-focused week: an Eames-chair-focused ad.
The 1960s saw a real flowering of popular music styles. Unlike the 1950s, in which the birth of rock and roll dominated the decade, jazz, pop, and folk music all gathered devoted listeners in the 1960s. Rock and roll continued to grow as a musical form, with a clear split between "hard," rebellious rock and lighter, "soft" rock—which sounded a lot like pop music.
Folk music was reborn in the 1960s thanks to several young performers who wanted to rescue the musical form from what they saw as its sad decline. Bob Dylan (1941–), Joan Baez (1941–), and the group Peter, Paul, and Mary adopted folk styles—simple musical arrangements played on acoustic instruments—but filled them with political commentary on contemporary issues. Their songs addressed the problems of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s and the Vietnam War (1954–75) and helped them gain huge audiences. As the decade wore on, folk merged into folk-rock as performers increasingly used electrified instruments and more sophisticated songwriting. Dylan and the group Simon and Garfunkel led the way in folk rock.
Rock and roll music in the 1960s was dominated by one group: the Beatles. Launched in Liverpool, England, this four-man group first appeared in the United States in 1964 on The Ed Sullivan Show. The popularity of the Beatles remained strong throughout the decade. Other British groups followed the Beatles, creating what became known as the British Invasion. The Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Who all soon had hits in the United States. In a strange twist, an American TV production company known as Screen Gems decided to copy the success of the Beatles by inventing a band of its own modeled on the boys from Liverpool. The Monkees consisted of four handsome actors, three of whom did not even know how to play their instruments. This did not keep them from having several number-one singles—with the music played by others.
Rock music soon split into several streams. Some bands produced lighter music with pleasing lyrics to sell to pop radio stations. Other bands pursued rock music as a form of protest or a form of artistic exploration. This more mature rock music used sophisticated recording techniques and exotic instruments. Two former soft rock bands led the way: the Beach Boys with Pet Sounds (1966) and the Beatles with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967). Other bands—notably those from San Francisco, California—pushed rock to have an even harder edge. The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin (1943–1970) helped create a form known as psychedelic rock. Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970) and others experimented with sounds known as acid rock. In addition, two music festivals revealed the highs and lows of the rock and roll subculture: Woodstock (1969) and Altamont (1969).
Some of the most popular music of the decade originated from Motown Records in Detroit, Michigan. Merging gospel, jazz, rhythm and blues (R&B), and rock and roll, Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr. (1929–) and his team of songwriters created the bands that had some of the biggest hits of the decade. Diana Ross (1944–) and the Supremes, Smokey Robinson (1940–) and the Miracles, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Marvin Gaye (1939–1984), and Stevie Wonder (1950–) all got their start at Motown.
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Fashion in 1961
Oval shaped shoulders and tapered hemlines were being replaced by straighter, wider shoulders, accompanied by a gentle inward curve at the midriff and a flare at the hem.
Many designers created “the look” by designing not just the dresses, but also the hats, shoes and even makeup of their mannequins.
Skirts had risen to the middle of the kneecaps, but by the end of 1961 only the very young continued to wear them short.
The hairdresser was of extreme importance in 1961. Beehive coiffures adorned by the likes of Princess Margaret, Jacqueline Kennedy and Brigette Bardot were imitated by women of all ages.
The bias cut gave a new fit to clothing, while keeping the comfortable softness women had to come to love. The bias skirt added grace and flare, while bias bodices molded the torso without feeling too tight.
The “little nothing” dress was called so for its simplicity. It was almost always sleeveless and slim, with low blousing or in a loose chemise shape recalling the flapper dresses of the 1920s.
The high rounded hat and the low, square-toed shoe were the accessories of choice. The simple pump of calf, alligator, crepe or satin was worn morning and night, and the women of high fashion wore heels of medium height, even with ball gowns.
The 1960s - HISTORY
One of the things that I would like to do is offer a bit of timeline history on the glorious decade of the sixties. It's funny how I can remember certain events and when I became aware of them. That distinct awareness deceives me into believing that I have a referential timeline as to when things were invented, or introduced. For example, I can recall being remotely aware of zip codes in the late sixties, when in fact they were introduced much earlier.
Here, history presents itself to our scrutinous eyes as we re-live world events that so makes up the chemistry and essence of our very Boomer being. The history is interesting, wierd, and fun. Most important however, is that we lived through it all, and were able to see some of the most significant, beautiful, tragic, and fascinating happenings of all time. These events, served up on a platter of memory, belong solely to us, the forever spawning "Generation X", the "Baby Boomers", the ambassadors of a new and exciting decade.
This timeline is intended to be a fun reminder of just what happened when we were young and rocking this great planet of ours. So, with that all said and done, shall we go back in time? Let's do.
The 60's Timeline: a brief overview of events
- Murderer/Writer Caryl Chessman is executed.
- Sprite is introduced by Coca-Cola.
- In Greensboro, North Carolina, four black students begin a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth's lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are allowed to stay at the counter. The event triggers many similar nonviolent protests throughout the Southern United States, and 6 months later the original 4 protesters are served lunch at the same counter.
- Joanne Woodward receives the first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- After a two-year stint, Elvis Presley returns from Germany.
- President Dwight Eisenhower signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.
- The Beatles begin a forty-eight night engagement at the Indra Club in Hamburg, West Germany.
- Cold War trivia: Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a table at a United Nations General Assembly meeting, protesting discussion of Soviet Union policy toward Eastern Europe.
- The Polaris missile is test-launched.
- "The Flintstones" who were often compared to "The Honeymooners" air on television.
- France tests its first A Bomb in the Sahara desert.
- President Kennedy advises all "prudent families" to have a bomb shelter.
- The DNA genetic code is broken.
- The IBM Selectric typewriter is introduced.
- The United States launches its first test of the Minuteman I intercontinental ballistic missile.
- Construction of the Berlin Wall begins, restricting movement between East Berlin and West Berlin and forming a clear boundary between West Germany and East Germany, Western Europe and Eastern Europe.
- The Vietnam War officially begins, as the first American helicopters arrive in Saigon along with 400 U.S. personnel.
- "Barbie" gets a boyfriend when the "Ken" doll is introduced.
- Russians send the first man into space.
- John F. Kennedy becomes the 35th President of the United States.
- President of the United States John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps.
- The longrunning soap opera General Hospital debuted on ABC.
- Baseball player Roger Maris of the New York Yankees hits his 61st home run in the last game of the season, against the Boston Red Sox, beating the 34-year-old record held by Babe Ruth.
- Adolf Eichmann is pronounced guilty of crimes against humanity by a panel of 3 Israeli judges.
- The Beatles' first record, "My Bonnie" with Tony Sheridan, is released by Polydor.
- Adolf Eichmann is hanged in Israel.
- The Rolling Stones make their debut at London's Marquee Club, Number 165 Oxford Street,
- John Lennon secretly marries Cynthia Powell.
- Dr. No, the first James Bond film, premiers in UK theaters.
- October 12 - The infamous Columbus Day Storm strikes the U. S. Pacific Northwest with wind
- gusts up to 170 mph (270 km/h) 46 dead, 11 billion board feet of timber is
- blown down, with $230 million U.S. in damages.
- October 14 - Cuban Missile Crisis begins: A U-2 flight over Cuba takes photos of Soviet
- nuclear weapons being installed. A stand-off then ensues the next day between the United
- States and the Soviet Union, threatening the world with nuclear war.
- October 22 - In a televised address, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces to the nation the existence of Soviet missiles in Cuba.
- October 28 - Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Union leader Nikita Khrushchev announces that he has ordered the removal of Soviet missile bases in Cuba.
- The term "Personal computer" is first mentioned by the media.
- The films "American Graffiti" and "Animal House" are set in 1962.
- American Broadcasting Company (ABC) begins color telecast for 3.5 hours a week.
- Diet Rite is the first sugar-free soda introduced.
- Pull tabs on cans are introduced.
- President Kennedy is assasinated. Stores and businesses shut down for the entire weekend and Monday, in tribute.
- Congress enacts "equal pay for equal work" legislature for women.
- Two thirds of the world's automobiles are in the United States.
- Film goddess Marilyn Monroe is found dead of an apparent overdose. It becomes the most controversial death on record.
- The Whisky a Go Go night club in Los Angeles, California, the first disco in the United States, is opened.
- A large cloud that some say resembles the face of Jesus is seen on Sunset Mountain, Arizona.
- In Camden, Tennessee, Country superstar Patsy Cline (Virginia Patterson Hensley) is killed in a plane crash along with fellow performers Hawkshaw Hawkins, Cowboy Copas and Cline's manager and pilot Randy Hughes while returning from a benefit performance in Kansas City, KS for country radio disc jockey "Cactus" Jack Call.
- Martin Luther King, Jr. issues his "Letter from Birmingham Jail".
- The Coca-Cola Company debuts its first diet drink, TaB cola.
- Dr. No, the first James Bond film, was shown in US theaters.
- In Saigon, Buddhist monk Thich Quong Doc commits self-immolation to protest the oppression of Buddhists by the Ngo Dinh Diem administration.
- ZIP Codes are introduced in the U.S.
- The first episode of the BBC television series Doctor Who is broadcast in the United Kingdom.
- I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There are released in the U.S., marking the beginning of full-scale Beatlemania.
- Ford Motors introduces the "Mustang".
- Studebaker-Packard introduce seat belts as standard equipment.
- Plans to build the New York World Trade Center are announced.
- The Beatles vault to the #1 spot on the U.S. singles charts for the first time, with "I Want to Hold Your Hand," forever changing the way rock-and-roll music sounds.The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, marking their first live performance on American television. Seen by an estimated 73 million viewers, the appearance becomes the catalyst for the mid-1960s "British Invasion" of American popular music.
- Malcolm X, suspended from the Nation of Islam, says in New York City that he is forming a black nationalist party.
- The Beatles hold the top 5 positions in the Billboard Top 40 singles in America, an unprecedented achievement. Due mostly to the explosive growth, fragmentation, and marketing of popular music since, this is certain to never happen again. The top songs in America as listed on April 4, in order, are: "Can't Buy Me Love," "Twist and Shout," "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," and "Please Please Me."
- From Russia With Love was shown in US theaters.
- Country singer Jim Reeves (40) is killed when his private plane crashes in thunderstorm near Nashville Tennessee.
- 3.5 billion dollars worth of vending machine sales.
- Medicare bill passes.
- 34 people die in Watts ghetto riot.
- 190,000 troops are in Vietnam.
- 32,000 people make 54-mile "freedom march" from Selma to Montgomery.
- Malcolm X is assassinated on the first day of National Brotherhood Week, at the Audubon Ballroom in New York City, allegedly by Black Muslims.
- In Cold Blood killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, convicted of murdering 4 members of the Herbert Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, are executed by hanging at the Kansas State
- Bob Dylan elicits controversy among folk purists by "going electric" at the Newport Folk Festival.
- Jefferson Airplane debuts at the Matrix in San Francisco, California and begins to appear there regularly.
- The Beatles performed the first stadium concert in the history of rock, playing at Shea Stadium in New York.
- At the Auschwitz trial in Frankfurt, 66 ex-SS personnel receive life sentences, 15 others smaller ones.
- Rock musician Bob Dylan releases his influential album Highway 61 Revisited, featuring the song "Like a Rolling Stone."
- The soap opera Days of our Lives debuts on NBC.
- A Charlie Brown Christmas, the first Peanuts television special, debuts on CBS.
- Taster's Choice freeze dried coffee is introduced.
- The fourth of four lost H Bombs is found off the Spanish coast.
- U.S. troop strength in Vietnam is 400,000. U.S. deaths: 6,358. Enemy deaths: 77,115.
- The first Acid Test is conducted at the Fillmore, San Francisco.
- The Beatles: In an interview published in The London Evening Standard, John Lennon comments, "We're more popular than Jesus now," eventually sparking a controversy in the United States.
- United States president Lyndon Johnson signs the 1966 Uniform Time Act act dealing with Daylight Saving Time.
- The Church of Satan is formed by Anton Szandor LaVey in San Francisco.
- The final new episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show airs.
- Bob Dylan breaks his neck and nearly dies in a motorcycle accident near Woodstock, New York. He isn't seen in public for over a year.
- The Beatles play their very last concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.
- Star Trek, the classic science fiction television series, debuts with its first episode, titled "The Man Trap."
- Grace Slick performs live for the first time with Jefferson Airplane.
- How the Grinch Stole Christmas, narrated by Boris Karloff, is shown for the first time on CBS. It will become an annual Christmas tradition, and the best-loved film ever based on a Dr. Seuss book.
- Rolling Stone Magazine is founded.
- Communist China announces the H Bomb.
- Dr. Christian Barnard performs the first heart transplant.
- Albert DeSalvo, the "Boston Strangler", is convicted of numerous crimes and sentenced to life in prison.
- Human Be-In takes place in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco event sets the stage for the Summer of Love.
- The Doors' first album is released.
- In Houston, Texas, boxer Muhammad Ali refuses military service.
- Jimmy Hoffa begins his 8-year sentence for attempting to bribe a jury.
- Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu are married in Las Vegas.
- The album Are You Experienced is released by The Jimi Hendrix Experience in the United Kingdom.
- Pink Floyd releases their debut album "The Piper at the Gates of Dawn."
- Jim Morrison and The Doors defy CBS censors on The Ed Sullivan Show, when Morrison sings the word "higher" from their #1 hit Light My Fire, despite having been asked not to.
- Love Is a Many Splendored Thing debuts on U.S. daytime television and is the first soap opera to deal with an interracial relationship. CBS censors find it too controversial and ask for it to be stopped, causing show creator Irna Phillips to quit.
- Walt Disney's full-length animated feature The Jungle Book, the last animated film personally supervised by Disney, is released and becomes an enormous box office and critical success. On a double bill with the film is the (now) much less well-known True-Life Adventure, Charlie the Lonesome Cougar.
- LSD declared an illegal by the United States government.
- Richard Nixon is elected President.
- The 1st class postage stamp raises to 6 cents.
- Robert Kennedy is assasinated in California. Sirhan Sirhan is apprehended on the spot.
- Johnny Cash records "Live at Folsom Prison".
- Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots erupt in major American cities for several days afterward.
- The musical Hair officially opens on Broadway.
- The soap opera One Life to Live premieres on ABC. The show featured Tommy Lee Jones and Lawrence Fishburne.
- Saddam Hussein becomes Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Council in Iraq after a coup d'état.
- The White Album is released by The Beatles.
- The film Oliver!, based on the hit London and Broadway musical, opens in the U.S. after being released first in England. It will go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.
- The Zodiac Killer is believed to have shot Betty Lou Jensen and David Faraday on Lake Herman Road, Benicia, San Francisco Bay, California.
- Neil Armstrong walks on the moon.
- 624 pairs of panty hose are produced.
- After 147 years, the last issue of The Saturday Evening Post is published.
- The Woodstock Music and Art Fair is held at Max Yasgur's 600-acre farm near Bethel, N.Y. August 15th- 18th. Thirty-two acts performed outdoors in front of 500,000 concert-goers
- At the Academy Awards ceremony for films released in 1968, a tie between Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand results in the 2 sharing the Best Actress Oscar Hepburn also becomes the only actress to win 3 Best Actress Oscars. The film version of Oliver! wins Best Picture.
- The film Easy Rider premieres.
- Project Apollo: The Eagle lands on the lunar surface. The world watches in awe as Neil Armstrong takes his historic first steps on the Moon and erects first flagpoles in outer space to fly the American flag
- Members of a cult led by Charles Manson murder Sharon Tate, (who was 8 months pregnant), and her friends Abigail Folger, Wojciech Frykowski, and Jay Sebring at Tate and husband Roman Polanski's home in Los Angeles, California. Steven Parent, leaving from a visit to the Polanskis' caretaker, is also killed. More than 100 stab wounds are found on the victims, except for Parent, who had been shot almost as soon as the Manson Family entered the property.
- The Manson Family kills Leno and Rosemary LaBianca, wealthy businesspeople who live in another section of Los Angeles.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus airs its first episode on the BBC.
- The pilot episode of The Brady Bunch, starring Robert Reed and Florence Henderson, airs on United States TV.
- Wal-Mart incorporates as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
- The Children's Television Workshop's educational television program Sesame Street is premiered in the United States.
- John Lennon returns his OBE to protest the British government's support of the U.S. war in Vietnam.
- The Manson family "hippie cult" is charged with the Tate-LaBianca murders.
- The Altamont Free Concert is held at the Altamont Speedway in northern California. Hosted by the Rolling Stones, it is an attempt at a "Woodstock West" and is best known for the uproar of violence that occurred. It is viewed by many as the "end of the sixties."
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The 1960s Education: Overview
A revolution in education took place in the United States during the 1960s. The federal government became increasingly education-oriented. Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson lobbied Congress for increased federal aid to education, leading to the creation of new programs. Their efforts displeased conservative politicians and community leaders, particularly those who opposed school integration and who believed that education policy was strictly a local issue. Education policy became a hotly debated topic during the decade for two primary reasons. First, it was closely related to one of the decade's prime social movements: the fight for equal rights for black Americans. One of the key issues related to that movement was the further desegregation of America's schools, as called for by the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas Supreme Court decision. Secondly, the government refused to offer funds to private and parochial schools this incited heated debate throughout the decade.
During the 1960s, students from grade school through university-level began studying old subjects in new ways. One of the offshoots of the civil rights movement was a change in the approach to teaching American history. Courses exploring the founding of the United States began emphasizing diversity. The struggles of black Americans for equality were added to course material, as were the experiences of Native Americans. Education theorists insisted that teachers be empowered to develop their students' minds and encourage their intellectual curiosity, rather than merely stressing learning by rote (a method of memorization). New scholastic disciplines also became available, from courses in social science, sociology, and theater arts to increasing numbers of foreign language classes. Meanwhile, bilingual education programs increased as immigrants began to insist on maintaining their native cultures and continuing to speak their native languages while simultaneously learning English.
Despite these changes, some scholars and theorists still voiced criticism of the manner in which Americans were educated. Formal schooling did little to encourage creativity or individuality, they noted. They charged that students were merely being prepared to enter the workforce and accept authority and mediocrity passively, rather than to think for themselves.
Beginning in mid-decade, young American males not only faced the draft, which was a system by which young men were called to mandatory service in the U.S. military, but also the escalation of the fighting in Vietnam. Many who might not otherwise have planned to attend college, or who might have put off continuing their education, enrolled in college straight out of high school, or applied to graduate school as soon as they achieved an undergraduate degree. As the war continued, it was fought more and more by the "under-classes": those who could not afford college tuition fees. One consequence was that military personnel, particularly the youngest members, were increasingly under-educated. To alleviate this problem, the military committed millions of dollars to fund education programs for its manpower.
Meanwhile, the struggle for civil rights and the growing unpopularity of the conflict in Vietnam led to increasing unrest and protest on university campuses. Student protests and demonstrations during the decade began with the 1964 "free speech" movement, on the campus of the University of California, Berkeley. Within a few years, thousands of students from universities large and small were actively demonstrating on campus. Their causes included the war in Vietnam, racism in American society, course content, and what they considered to be the inappropriate union between college administrators and the military-industrial complex. Often, student demonstrators were dispersed with firm police crowd-control methods.
As students petitioned and demonstrated to change the world, they also changed the rules and regulations on campuses. Student protests led to the demise of many long-standing campus regulations. Increasingly, women were no longer required to sign in and out of dormitories, or adhere to curfews. Male and female undergraduates were allowed to visit each other's dorm rooms. The formality of many college classrooms gave way to the informality of "rap sessions" and open discussion among students and teachers.