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FACTS about this decade


									                                                   FACTS about this decade.
                               1960 - 1969
                                                          Population 177,830,000
The sixties were the age of youth, as                     Unemployment 3,852,000
70 million children from the post-war baby                National Debt 286.3 Billion
boom became teenagers and young adults. The               Average Salary $4,743
movement away from the conservative fifties               Teacher's Salary $5,174
continued and eventually resulted in                      Minimum Wage $1.00
revolutionary ways of thinking and real change            Life Expectancy: Males 66.6 years, Females 73.1
in the cultural fabric of American life. No                years
longer content to be images of the generation             Auto deaths 21.3 per 100,000
ahead of them, young people wanted change.                An estimated 850,000 "war baby" freshmen enter
The changes affected education, values,                    college; emergency living quarters are set up in
lifestyles, laws, and entertainment. Many of               dorm lounges, hotels and trailer camps.
the revolutionary ideas which began in the
sixties are continuing to evolve today.

                                                                  BOOKS & LITERATURE
                                                              Literature also reflected what was happening in
                                                              the political arenas and social issues of America
                                                              in the sixties. A book which described some of
                                                              the turmoil of race relations as they affected
                                                              people in America, Harper Lee's Pulitzer prize
                                                              winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird is a story
                                                              about a small southern town and social
                                                              distinctions between races. Writing about race
                                                              and gender, women of color like Gwendolyn
                                                              Brooks, Maya Angelou and Margaret Walker
                                                              Alexander helped create new insights on
                                                              feminism as it developed in America. Sylvia
                                                              Plath (The Bell Jar), and Mary McCarthy (The
                                                              Group) spoke of women in roles outside those of
the happy wife and mother of the fifties. Women like Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique , and
Gloria Steinem, led the way for many women. Disillusionment with the system was the theme of books like
Catch-22 and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.


During the sixties, college campuses became centers of debate and scenes of protest more than ever
before. Great numbers of young adults, baby boomers, reaching military draft age (selective service) and not
yet voting age (minimum voting age did not become 18 until 1971), caused a struggle which played out on
many campuses as the country became more involved in the Vietnam War.

In 1966, James S. Coleman commissioned by the government, published Equality of Educational Opportunity,
a landmark study that led the way to forced integration and busing in the 1970's.

Problems in secondary schools, discovered in the fifties, were being addressed in books such as James B. Conant's The
American High School Today. A return to the teaching of basic thinking skills was seen to be part of the solution. In
grade schools across the nation, phonetics made a come back as reading specialists try to fix what was wrong in
American education in the fifties.

Youth predominated the culture of the 1960's. The post World War II Baby
                      Boom had created 70 million teenagers for the sixties,
                      and these youth swayed the fashion, the fads and the
                      politics of the decade. California surfers took to
                      skateboards as a way to stay fit out of season, and by
                      1963, the fad had spread across the country. Barbie
                      dolls, introduced by Mattel in 1959, became a huge
                      success in the sixties, so much so that rival toy
                      manufacturer Hasbro came up with G. I. Joe, 12 inches tall and the first action figure
                      for boys. Another doll, the troll or Dammit doll (named for its creator, Thomas Dam)
                      was a good luck symbol for all ages. Slot cars overtook toy trains in popularity.

                         COSTUMES / FASHION

                         The 1960's began with crew cuts on men and bouffant hairstyles on women. Men's
                         casual shirts were often plaid and buttoned down the front, while knee-length dresses
                         were required wear for women in most public places. By mid-decade, miniskirts or
                         hot pants, often worn with go-go boots, were revealing legs, bodywear was revealing
                         curves, and women's hair was either very short or long and lanky. Men's hair
                         became longer and wider, with beards and moustaches. Men's wear had a
                         renaissance. Bright colors, double-breasted sports jackets, polyester pants suits with
                         Nehru jackets, and turtlenecks were in vogue. By the end of the decade, ties, when
                         worn, were up to 5" wide, patterned even when worn with stripes. Women wore
                         peasant skirts or granny dresses and chunky shoes. Unisex dressing was popular,
                         featuring bell bottomed jeans, love beads, and embellished t-shirts. Clothing was as
                         likely to be purchased at surplus stores as boutiques. Blacks of both genders wore
                         their hair in an afro.

                         HISTORIC EVENTS AND TECHNOLOGY

The Civil Rights movement made great changes in society in the 1960's. The movement began peacefully,
with Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael leading sit-ins and peaceful protests, joined by whites and
Jews. Malcolm X preached about Black Nationalism. After his assassination, the Black Panthers were formed
to continue his mission. In 1965, the Watts riots broke out in Los Angeles. The term "blacks" became socially
acceptable, replacing "Negroes." The number of Hispanic Americans tripled during the decade and became
recognized as an oppressed minority. Cesar Chavez organized Hispanics in the United Farm Workers
Association. American Indians, facing unemployment rates of 50% and a life expectancy only two-thirds that of
whites, began to assert themselves in the courts and in violent protests. The Presidential Commission of the
Status of Women (1963) presented disturbing facts about women's place in our society. Betty Friedan, Pauli
Murray and Gloria Steinem, (National Organization of Women) questioned the unequal treatment of women,
gave birth to Women's Lib, and disclosed the "glass ceiling." The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended to
include gender. The birth control pill became widely available and abortion for
cause was legalized in Colorado in 1967. In 1967, both abortion and artificial
insemination became legal in some states.

The Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 1962, that prayer in
the public schools was unconstitutional. As the 1960's progressed, many young
people turned from mainstream Protestant religions to mystic eastern religions such
as Transcendental Meditation (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) or Zen Buddhism. Respect
for authority declined among the youth, and crime rates soared to nine times the
rate of the 1950's. Marijuana use soared. Respected figures such as Timothy
Leary encouraged the use of LSD as a mind-opening drug. The hippie movement
endorsed drugs, rock music, mystic religions and sexual freedom. They opposed violence. The Woodstock
Festival at which 400,000 young people gathered in a spirit of love and sharing, represents the pinnacle of the
hippie movement. Many hippies moved to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, East Village in New York City, or
lived in communes.

When Fidel Castro, soon after overtaking Cuba, declared that he was a communist, the United States broke off
diplomatic relations. Castro seized American property. The CIA attacked Cuba in an ill-fated mission at the
Bay of Pigs. In 1962, a spy plane identified long range missiles in Cuba. President John F. Kennedy readied
troops to invade Cuba, and the Soviet Union prepared to fire at US cities if we made a move.

John F. Kennedy was young and charismatic, and his brief reign as president was often called Camelot. He
was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963. His Vice President, Lyndon B. Johnson became president,
and was reelected the following year. To prevent communist North Vietnam from overtaking South Vietnam,
the United States sent military advisors and then soldiers. It was largely a secret war until 1965, when massive
troop buildups were ordered to put an end to the conflict. The draft was accelerated and anti-war sentiment
grew in the US. College students organized anti-war protests, draft dodgers fled to Canada, and there were
reports of soldiers reflected the growing disrespect for authority, shooting their officers rather than follow
orders. Johnson, blamed by many for the war and the racial unrest in the country, did not run for reelection in
1968. John Kennedy's brother, Robert campaigned for the nomination for President and he, too was killed.
Malcolm X was assassinated in 1965 and Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968.

The Space Race, begun by the Soviets in 1957, was highlighted by Alan Shepard, the first American in space
in 1961. In 1963, John Glenn was the first American to orbit the earth. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, in
Apollo XI, were the first men to walk on the moon in 1969. The surgeon general determined that smoking was
a health hazard, and in 1965 required cigarette manufacturers to place warnings on all packages and in all
ads. The first clone of a vertebrate, a South African tree frog, was produced in 1967. Dr. Denton Cooley
implanted the first artificial heart in a human, and it kept the patient alive for three days until a human heart
could be transplanted.

People became more concerned with their health and their environment. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring
awakened the environmental movement and the Sierra Club gained a following. Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe
at any Speed, led to the consumer movement.

                                 Important Historic and Cultural Events
                                 1961 - Peace Corps created by Pres. Kennedy
                                 1963 - Martin Luther King delivers his I have a dream speech
                                 1963 - Pres. John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas
                                 1963 - Lyndon Johnson becomes President of the United States


                         In 1960, Elvis returned to the music scene from the US Army, joining the other white
                         male vocalists at the top of the charts; Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka, Jerry Lee
                         Lewis, Paul Anka, Del Shannon and Frankie Avalon. America, however, was ready
                         for a change. The Tamla Motown Record Company came on the scene, specializing
                         in black rhythm and blues, aided in the emergence of female groups such as Gladys
                         Knight and the Pips, Martha and the Vandellas, the Supremes, and Aretha Franklin,
                         as well as some black men, including Smoky Robinson, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix,
                         and the Temptations. Bob Dylan helped bring about a folk music revival, along with
                         Joan Baez and Peter, Paul & Mary. The Beach Boys began recording music that
                         appealed to high schoolers. The Beatles, from England, burst into popularity with
                         innovative rock music that appealed to all ages. The Righteous Brothers were a
                         popular white duo who used African American styling to create a distinctive sound.
There was a major change in popular music in the mid-1960's, caused in part by the drug scene. Acid Rock,
highly amplified and improvisational, and the more mellow psychedelic rock gained prominence. When the
Beatles turned to acid rock, their audience narrowed to the young. Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead
grew out of the counterculture in 1967. The musical phenomena of the decade was Woodstock, a three day
music festival that drew 400,000 hippies and featured peace, love, and happiness...and LSD. Folk music
contributed to the counterculture.

                         THEATER, FILM, RADIO, and TELEVISION
                         It was a great decade for musicals, including Camelot, Hello Dolly, Oliver, Man of La
                         Mancha, Hair, and Funny Girl. Even Off-Broadway was feeling the economic pinch,
                         leading to the advent of off-off-Broadway, where innovative shows and new writers
                         could get a start. Theater expanded outside New York City, and by 1966 for the first
                         time, more actors were employed outside New York City than in it. The most
                         prestigious playwright of the sixties is Edward Albee, who wrote Who's Afraid of
                         Virginia Woolf.

                        Musicals that proved popular on Broadway were made into movies, including Sound
                        of Music and My Fair Lady. After Marilyn Monroe died, Audrey Hepburn, star of My
                        Fair Lady and Wait until Dark, was the idol of young girls. Disney offered family
                        entertainment in 101 Dalmatians and Pinocchio. Movies became more political,
                        commenting on the arms race as in Dr. Strangelove. Sex became more explicit, and
                        occasionally nontraditional, as in Midnight Cowboy, Bob and Carol and Ted and
                        Alice, and The Graduate. Six James Bond Movies, including Dr. No, From Russia
With Love, and Goldfinger, combined sex and violence and were enormously popular. Previous taboos on sex,
violence and language, were ignored, resulting in the need for a new film code by the MPAA.

Radio continued to be the primary means of listening to music. The major development was a change from
primarily AM to FM. Radio was supplemented by American Bandstand, watched by teens from coast to
coast. They not only learned the latest music, but how to dance to it. When Chubby Checker introduced the
twist on the show in 1961, a new craze was born, and dancing became an individual activity. The Mashed
Potato, the Swim, the Watusi, the Monkey and the Jerk followed the Twist, mimicking their namesakes. Each
new dance often lasted for just a song or two before the next one came along. Eventually the names and
stylized mimicry ceased and the dancers just moved however they wanted. For those who preferred watching
the dancers, Go-go girls, on stages or in bird cages, danced above the crowd.

Television offered the second prime time cartoon show, the Flintstones , in 1960. It appealed to both children
and adults and set off a trend that included Alvin & the Chipmunks , the Jetsons , and Mr. Magoo. The Andy
Griffith Show was the epitome of prime time family television, and ran for most of the decade. The Beverly
Hillbillies heralded the rise of the sitcom. The supernatural and science fiction blended in many of the popular
shows, including Bewitched, The Addams Family, My Favorite Martian , I Dream of Jeannie, Star Trek, the
Outer Limits , and the Twilight Zone. In the late 60's, humor was revived in a show called Rowan and Martin's
Laugh In, where many regular performers and guests became part of a show biz classic.

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