Why were the sixties a importance to our country’s history? The sixties were an exciting, revolutionary, turbulent time of great social and technological change: assassination, unforgettable fashion, new musical styles, Camelot, civil rights, women’s liberation, a controversial and decisive war in Vietnam, the anti-war protest to go along with the war, space exploration and the space race, peace marches, flower power, great TV and film and sexual freedom, and of course the great babyboomers. The sixties also showed Communism coming into the Western hemisphere and thus coming to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Movements towards the end to poverty, helping the environment, and the women’s rights all came to be in the sixties. Medical breakthroughs were important in the sixties. This essay explains the events and people of the sixties from 1960 to 1970. One thing in the sixties was the years of the American Camelot. In 1960 a president was elected by the slimmest measure of margin since 1884, “John Fitzgerald Kennedy is elected president by just over 100,000 votes”(Turbulent Years 23).
Some say that John’s father bought the election, but the truth is unknown. This election was the first election that was on radio and television. Kennedy and Nixon engaged in the first televised campaign debates. President Kennedy was the youngest man to become president and the youngest president to die in office. President Kennedy was also the first and only Roman Catholic President in history. During President Kennedy’s Presidency, he had to make many decisions about the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union. In the sixties the “Cold War” was heating up. Before President Kennedy came into office, a U-2 plane was shot down in the Soviet Union while spying on the Soviet Union, thus cutting all Diplomatic ties between the Soviet Union and the United States. Amongst other problems President Kennedy faced with the Soviet Union, no other was more serious than the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1960, Soviet Premier Khrushchev supplied Cuba with nuclear missiles that would put the eastern United States within range of nuclear missile attack. During the summer of 1962, U. S. spy planes flying over Cuba photographed Soviet-managed construction sites and spotted the first missile on October 14.
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Kennedy consulted with advisors for seven days , discussing the possible means of action. On October 22, Kennedy told the nation about the discovery of the missiles and demanded that the Soviet Union remove the missiles, he also declared the waters around Cuba a For several tense days, Soviet vessels en route to Cuba avoided the quarantine zone, while Khrushchev and Kennedy discussed the issue through diplomatic channels. Khrushchev, realizing his weak military position, sent a message to Kennedy in which he agreed to remove the missiles. The following day, before the United States could respond to the first note a second note was sent by Khrushchev to try and negotiate terms. Kennedy responded to the first message and an agreement was met for the Soviet missiles to be dismantled and removed from Cuba. In return Kennedy secretly promised not to invade Cuba and to remove older missiles from Turkey. These decisions were perhaps Kennedy’s greatest moment as president. Many feel that because of Kennedy’s aggression that perhaps Kennedy was also a strong supporter of civil rights. He was strongly against segregation. President Kennedy helped Dr. Martin Luther King with his fight for civil rights.
Many Black leaders had sided with Kennedy in the presidential race because Kennedy claimed to be a strong believer in civil rights. In the beginning President Kennedy ignored his claims for civil rights but in his later presidency he changed and began trying to pass laws against November 22, 1963, President and Mrs. Kennedy were in Dallas, Texas. As the motorcade approached an underpass, two shots were fired in rapid succession. One bullet passed through Kennedy’s neck, and the other bullet hit the president in the head. At 1:00PM, he was pronounced dead; he had never regained consciousness. Ninety minutes after Kennedy was fatally shot, Vice-president Johnson was sworn in as president on Air Force One. That afternoon, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with murder. “On November 24, a Dallas Man, Jack Ruby, shot and killed Oswald before there was a chance to put him on trial.” (www.thinkquest.com).
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John F. Kennedy was survived by his wife and his two children. Kennedy’s death was During the sixties, the Civil Rights Movement was in full force. With leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, the Civil Rights Movement grew to be one of the most important movement in the sixties. The movement was started in the fifties– and it hit it’s peek with Dr. Martin Luther King. Dr. Martin Luther King was a civil rights activist who sought and fought for civil rights without violence. He lead marches and spoke to millions of people. His most famous speech was titled “I have a Dream.” He lead sit-ins and marches as means of peaceful protests. He won awards like the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. Sadly his life came to an end by a bullet from his assen, James Earl Ray, on April 4, 1968.
Important events in the movement involved the many sit-ins, riots, and the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1968 passed. Starting in 1960 sit-ins began all around the south, the people were fighting for the end of segregation. Although most sit-ins were peaceful, they started to send out a very powerful message. In 1962, the Klu Klux Klan began to lash out and bombed four black churches in Georgia Towns. That same year, James Meridith, a black college student, enters the University of Mississippi as the first black person to enter the college after he was rejected three times because of the color of his skin. Rioting breaks out in Detroit killing people and injuring many in 1965. In 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in all public places and creates the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In 1968, congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968. The Black Panther Party is formed in 1966 by Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. Thurgood Marshall was the first black to be nominated for the Supreme Court in 1967. This movement proved to be a big The War on Poverty was also another movement important to the sixties. In March of 1964, President Johnson declares war on poverty. He signs an Economic Opportunity Act in August and appoints R. Sargent Shriver, to head the new Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).
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Johnson tried throughout his presidency to get people back on their feet economically and end the poverty in the United States. Another movement that started in the sixties, was the environmental movement. “It started in 1962 with the publishing of Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring.” (Holland 127).
Her book attacked the use of chemical pesticides. Her book caused such an uproar, “President Kennedy ordered the Science Advisory Committee to study the effects of pesticides.” (www.onlineethnics.org).
The pesticide that was causing such an uproar was called DDT which was later banned because it was proved to be very The Women’s Movement to flight in the sixties also. It also began by the publishing of a book. The book was The Feminie Mystique, by Betty Friedans. The book explained how women were being mistreated and what women can to do to be equal to men. “As the sixties unfolded, women began to meet together to compare experiences.” (Cayton 846).
In 1966, women formed the National Organization for Women. A movement was needed because of the unfairness and discrimination by sex in the work One of the most violent wars happened in the sixties. The United States lost more people in the Vietnam War than in any other war the United States ever participated in. Though the war started in the fifties, it did not hit home hard until the sixties. In 1961, the U.S. provided the first direct military support to South Vietnam, which included 36 army helicopters and air and ground crews, totaling nearly 400 men. The U.S. really got into the war when President Kennedy gave the signal on February 14, 1962 “to return fire if fired upon.” (Hooland 126).
... ANTI-WAR MOVEMENTS HOLD FOR ENDING AUSTRALIAN AND AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE VIETNAM WAR? Merchandised "like no other epoch in world history", the Sixties have ... "extremely fluid... inchoate mass of people in a shifting and largely leaderless coalition", the anti-war movements were led mainly by university students ...
In 1965, the U.S. began to bomb North Vietnam because of an alleged attack on U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin. In 1966, the war spread into Cambodia. The USSR and Red China supported North Vietnam giving the Viennese a slight advantage over the Americans. The Americans fought in the war because they were afraid of Communism and how fast it was spreading. It had already spread to the Western Hemisphere and the U.S. did not want another country to fall to Communism. Peace talks began in 1968 in Paris between the United States and North Vietnam. The late sixties began the end of Vietnam. The My Lai incident was a massacre of Vietnamese civilians by U.S. soldiers. On March 16, 1968, a unit of the U.S. army Americal division, led by Lt. William L. Calley, invaded the South Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai, an alleged Viet Cong stronghold. In the course of combat operations, unarmed civilians, including women and children, were shot to death. The death toll totaling 347 people. The incident remained unknown to the American public until the Autumn of 1969, when a series of letters by a former soldier to government officials forced the army to take action. Only one soldier was actually convicted of murder but that verdict was later overturned.
Along with every war comes an anti-war movement. Back at home, the Nation was divided: The Hawks and The Doves. The Hawks supported the war while the Doves did not support the war. The anti-Vietnam War movement was a domestic and international reaction in opposition to U.S. policy during the Vietnam War. During the four years following passage of the Tonkin Gulf resolution, which authorized U.S. military action in Southeast Asia, the American air war intensified and troop levels climbed to over 500,000. Opposition to the war grew as television and press coverage graphically showed the suffering of both civilians and conscripts. In 1965, demonstrations in New York City attracted 25,000 marchers; within two years, similar demonstrations drew several hundred thousand participants in Washington, DC, London, and other major capitals. Most of the demonstrations were peaceful, though acts of civil disobedience?intended to provoke arrest?were common. Much of the imputes for the antiwar protests came from college students. Objections to the military draft led some protesters to burn their draft cards and to refuse to obey induction notices. By 1967, the Students for a Democratic Society invoked the language of revolution in its denunciations of the war in Vietnam as an inevitable consequence of American imperialism.
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There was also a more moderate opposition to the war from clergy, elected politicians, and people such as Dr. Benjamin Spock. In 1968, President Johnson, who was challenged by two antiwar candidates within his own party for the presidential nomination, Senators Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy, chose not to run. The election of Richard Nixon in 1968 and his reduction of U.S. ground forces did little to dampen the antiwar movement. His decision to invade Cambodia in 1970 led to massive demonstrations on college campuses, most tragically at Kent State University. where four people were killed by members of the Ohio National Guard. The legacy and meaning of the massive protests against the Vietnam War are still being debated to this day. The anti-war protest brought the popular “flower power” trend. The new generation trusted no one over the age of thirty and did not like and rebelled against the country and the war. The young people of the 1960s became known as hippies. They wanted peace and tried everything from music to drugs to sit-ins to protests. Music was their biggest contribution to Music came alive in the sixties. The Beatles came alive along with Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and a lot of other music tycoons.
One of the most unforgettable concerts happen in the summer of 1969, Woodstock. It was a time when everyone came together from anti-war protesters to Vietnam vets; it was three days of freedom, music, drugs, and sex, Woodstock had everything. Woodstock even had two babies born and The sixties was filled with many medical break throughs. The birth control pill was put onto the market in 1960. Also in 1960, CPR is first demonstrated and used. In 1963, Thalidomide, a drug found to cause birth defects, is taken off the market. A year later silicone gel sacs are used in plastic surgery for breast implants. President Johnson made Medicare in 1965. People started to be warned of smoking hazards in 1966. In 1967, the first heart transplant was performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard in South Africa. Finally, in 1969, a vaccine becomes available in the United States for When people think of the sixties, one thing comes into mind, the space race. Although in 1961 the USSR got the first man into space, the United States was less than a month off getting Alan B. Shepard into space. On February 20, 1962 John Glenn was the first American to orbit the Earth. Sadly, the race tragedy also struck, 3 U.S.
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astronauts were killed in a fire during a launch drill in Cape Kennedy. At 10:56 P.M. on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human on the moon. It was Apollo 11 which had the crew of Edwin Aldrin, Michael Collins and Neil Armstrong. The United States won the great race to the Moon. The sixties were filled with so many memorable events. This decade saw the first Playboy Club, the invention of the first laser, the formation of the Peace Corps and the passage of the Immigration Act. The sixties also had extraordinary people. Some people in the sixties were: Robert F. Kennedy (President Kennedy?s brother, who was running for President but was killed by Sirhan Sirhan) Jacqueline Kennedy (President Kennedy?s widow, married Greek shipping businessman, Aristotle Onassis), and Charles Manson (who was convicted of the murder of actress Sharon Tate and six others).
Television also became very popular and shows such as The Flintstones, Wide World Of Sports, The Beverly Hillibillies, My Favorite Martian, Jeopardy, Day of Our Lives, Mission: Impossible, The Flying Nun, The Mod Squad, The Brady Bunch, and Sesame Street came to be in the sixties. New products such as canned Coca-Cola, Total cereal, Polaroid color film, the Trimline phone, Ford Mustang, Gatorade, Bac*os, Fresca soda, McDonald?s Big Mac, and Frosted Mini-Wheats all became popular in the In conclusion, the sixties was filled with so many events and important people that the sixties can not be explained in one or even a thousand words. The American Camelot, the Civil Rights Movement, some of the many movements, the Vietnam War and the anti-war, medical breakthroughs, the space race, and finally, the music and youth were all part of the sixties.
Some people called it the “decade of discontent” because of all the protests on the war and the civil rights movement. Others called it the decade of “peace, love, and harmony” because of the peace movement and the emergence of the “flower children.” To some, it was acid trips and mind expansion: “Far out, man.” But all of the baby boomers can not say that the sixties did not changed the whole century one way or another. So, the flowers did have some power in sixties.