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A2 1960s De Zwaan

Page history last edited by Hannah 10 years, 1 month ago



MYP Unit Question: How did culture, events and leadership shape and reflect post-WWII America?


   By: Zachary Rich, Blair Prince, Emile Lavergne, Sarah Koerber, Hannah Watts


Business & the Economy


The period in the 1960’s became the longest period of uninterrupted economic growth in the history of America. During this time the computer and housing industry came forth and overpowered the automobile industry by far. WWII allowed the country to further technology used in industrial production, and in turn increasing economic growth by far. Once John F. Kennedy became president, he made the economy one of his main priorities. He wanted economic growth to be at a rate of four to six percent per year, and reduce unemployment rates to only four percent. He did a variety of things to help stimulate the economy to achieve this goal: he raised minimum wage by 25 cents to $1.25, provided more social security benefits for a larger pool of workers, provided aid to the children of unemployed workers, and in 1962 provided a tax cut.




(Above would be an example of one of the first computer prototypes: much more box-like and different then the ones used today. However, computers opened a new door for industry in the 60's, and helped fuel Ameica's streak of economic prosperity.)


 By the time Lyndon B. Johnson became president, JFK had done a great deal in creating a stable economy for America. However, by the end of Johnson’s presidency in 1967, inflation rates had risen to 4.7% and it looked like it would become a problem for the next president, Richard M. Nixon.


Sarah Koerber


Women vs. Men 


Fashion did not change in the 1960’s until about halfway through the decade.

          In the mid 1960’s being up to date on fashion became very important to women, and it showed that they now invested more time and money into making themselves look good. Before the mid 1960’s, women’s fashion leaned toward its more feministic side, rather than the more outrageous and outgoing dress of the second half of the decade. Women would rarely wear pants, except when practicing sports. Rather they would wear dresses or skirts for all casual activity. They would often pair a hat and gloves with their outfit when going outside of the home.        

 The woman who changed the way women dressed in the 1960’s was first-wife of John F. Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy.  She made the women’s suit popular, and a more sophisticated way of working dress, known as business casual today, highly popular with women. Women were gaining more and more rights during this time period, and it seems as if women’s dress changed with their motivations. More and more women were motivated to work, as the fight towards equality for women remained. 


Believe it or not, mens fashion changed throughout this decade, just as women's fashion. Texture, cotton tunics, vibrant colors, stripes, and polka dots all became more incorporated with men's fashion. Clothing became a way one could express oneself, and the various colors/patterns that showed up during this decade express this. Cotton and Velvet were becoming popular fabric in the production of men's clothing, in the place of the all too common polyester. It was common to see men wearing turtlenecks under some sort of sweater during this time, as more of a casual, at home look. For dressing up, the FULL button down long sleeved shirt became a basic right. Blue jeans went from being popular within the working class, to everyday people, and were much worn as they are today: never to dress up. Mens clothing also became tighter to the skin and the collared shirt made its preview after being seen and produced in Italy.

-Hannah Watts

Film and Theater


During the 1960s film reflected greatly what was occurring during the era, like the shift in cultural values. Films and plays often reflected pop culture, such as rock n’ roll, fashion and fun- for example the Broadway Hair came out in 1967. Although it was not all fun and games when it came to film production, in 1963 the US film production lowered to only 121 releases, the lowest it’d been in 50 years, while in 1964 foreign films released reached it peak in production of 361. Film industries responded by inventing TV movies and first ever TV series, these became huge hits with viewers. To increase tourism the Hollywood Chamber of Congress created the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where they made bronze stars surrounded by a gold sidewalk to celebrate famous note worthy actors/actresses. The First star placed was Joanne Woodward on February 9 1960.  


     Probably the most successful time of movie productions was in 1966 when Gulf and Westerns Industries bought Paramount, and elected Robert Evans head of productions. Evans produced some of the most popular and noteworthy films during his time as head producer. Such as: Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story, The Godfather and China Town.


Blair Prince


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Some Popular Movies from the 60's:


  • Bonnie and Clyde


  • The Graduate


  • Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 




  • Mary Poppins




Food &  Drink

     In the 1960's the space frontier was very important in the pop culture and pillsbury made space food and then marketed it to the public in the form of space food sticks. This is where the modern energy bar comes from.

  There was a growing popularity of snacking and eating fast food which started in the 1950's and in this way, Doritos became popular during the 1960's. Other now popular food were invented in that time period too such as Slurpees, Pop Tarts, Bufallo wings, instant mashed potatoes and Life Cereal all contributing to the fast dining culture that was emerging.

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Day to Day Life


During the 1960's the world was changing and there were new things everywhere one turned. In the news there was the Civil Rights Movement andthe Women's Rights Movement. Kids played with Yo-Yo's and teenagers were dancing to Chubby Checker's "The Twist".



     Lamborghini was created in 1963 (pictured above is the first 350 GTV). Ford released the first version of the Mustang and Chevy released the Camaro as it's competition. Around the country people start to experiment more with hallucinogenic drugs. Couture emerges as trend setters and the culture of high fashion (such as Yves Saint Laurent) become important figures. Women started to wear their hair in a bob. In the more political aspect of the day to day life, sit ins and the assassination of President Kennedy are the main important topics. The 1960's were a period of cultural advances but it was also very violent, there was the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy and John F. Kennedy, the war in Vietnam (which was considered as a violation of civil rights and foreign policy by many), anti-war riots (which were often violent) and the beating of civil rights marchers. In the beginning of  the 1960's, tired from being told by society they had to act and dress a certain way, the youth became to start a counterculture movement. They started wearing jeans, shorts and t-shirts (tide die T-shorts were very popular) instead of formal clothes, they also revolted in the music they listened to, the art they made and what the did for fun and recreational drug use became popular. This movement is now known as the hippies and it really took off in the 1970s.



(An anti-war movement march during the Vietnam War.)


Print Culture


American literature became immensely popular in the 1960s, because the culture greatly supported individual thoughts, of youths in particular. Many young writers experienced fame during this era; such as Saul Bellow with Herzog, Trueman Capote with In Cold Blood, and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. with Slaughterhouse Five. Often writers during this time would write in opposition of what was socially occurring, like the war in Vietnam. A famous classic novel written by Harper Lee, sympathizes with African Americans plight during the sixties in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird. Set in the deep south, the novel follows a black male accused of the rape of a white girl; it reveals the discrepancies in the justice system during the 1960s.


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     Although not all pieces were serious and sad, young adult and children literatrues grew in popularity due to the increased funding of libraries, classics such as The Outsider by S. E Hinton and the Where The Wild Things Are  by Maurice Sendak; found their fame during the late sixties. 


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Magazines began to experience a downfall during the late sixties because more people looked to the tv for the news. The Saturday Evening Post one of the American magazines saw it's end in 1969. Although magazines did not die, in fact they were revitalized with The Rolling Stones created in 1967, which celebrated any and everything rock related. It is still vastly popular today. 

Comics were on a fast rise during the sixties, and the leader in the business, Marvel, released the Spider-Man in 1962. This comic became so vastly popular it was made into a movie in late 2002. 


Blair Prince


(An original edition of the Rolling Stones, a popular magazine that included articles mainly about musicians. It's still popular today!) 


Sports &  Games


In the 1960’s, many new amendments and amazing events occurred in the world of sports. There were six Olympic Games that occurred in the 1960’s. In 1960, the USA Olympic hockey team shocked the world by winning the gold medal. On September 9, 1965, Sandy Koufax pitched the 6th perfect game in MLB history. In 1967, Joe Namath became the first quarterback to throw for 4,000 in a single season. And in 1962, Wilt Chamberlin scored a record of 100 points in a single game for the Philadelphia Warriors.


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(Video for sports events in the 1960's)


Zachary Rich  



The 1960’s was a time for great music in America and around the world, for example: Elvis, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Temptations, The Who, and Ten Years after were all extremely popular musicians and music groups. It was also a time when the popular music festival, Woodstock, took place forty miles outside of New York City, in the small town of Woodstock. Over a million tickets were sold for this event, although it was announced as a disaster by the end, due to faulty planning.

Music fueled a variety of cultural movements during the 1960’s, one mainly being the hippie movement, which formed in the mid 60’s, basing itself around harmony with nature, usage of heavy drugs, communal living, and of course, the spirit of the music.


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Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones


Sarah Koerber 

"The Way We Lived"

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(IA Student created video)


Government & Politics


Although the 1960s was often associated with peace and love, on the contrary it was often considered a time of bitterness, anger and hate in regards to government and politics. The Assassination of great leaders such as President Kennedy in November 1963, and Martin Luther King in April 1968, immediately followed by Sen. Robert F. Kennedy; shocked the nation, and let the people know that the 60's was also a time of darkness. Although not all governing in the sixties were bad, at the beginning of the era, America was in their fourth recession since WWII, Kennedy established strong methods of saving/perserving the economy and ended up making it the strongest it had ever been since 1945. He increased Gross National Product (GNP), decreased inflation, and brought unemployment down to four percent (which is what economist consider full employment). After Kennedy's assassination President Johnson took no time after taking office to relax. Rather he passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, immediately followed by the Voting Rights Act in 1965, which he accomplished through his popular speech to Congress, asking for their vote; where he in his speech he repeated the famous Civil Rights motto "We shall overcome".


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Lydon B. Johnson, wanted to be most known for his accomplishments with civil rights, although his dream was crushed with the Vietnam war, which everyone, even Johnson's wisest advisors expected to be an easy win. At first the people regarded the Vietnam War with little to no interest, in fact the people pressured Johnson to start the war because the feared the spread of Communism. It wasn't until Johnson started bombing in February 1965, that people really started to object the war. Peace marches and public protest that involved sayings such as "Hell no we won't go" and "hey hey LBJ how many kids did you kill today?" were popular and heard very often for the rest of the war. 


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A lot of these protest often unfortunately turned into violence, probably the most upsetting protest event was directly out the Pentagon Office, where McNamara, less than fourty feet away, witnessed a young Quaker male, father of three, Norman Morrison, set himself on fire in protest of the war. In the afternoon of November 2, 1965, McNamara witnessed a young brave, yet obviously upset male, toss his young daughter into the arms of a woman near by, and drench himself in oil and slowly and painfully burn to death. This protest shock the whole nation, especially McNamara. 


President Johnson was crushed at his slow decline in popularity, and after his four years of presidency he, without hesitation, decided not to rerun in the up coming election, which resulted in the presidency of Nixon.


Blair Prince 




In the 1960’s there were many prominent leaders that took the initiative to do what they believed. The two major presidential figures were President John Fitzgerald Kennedy and his Vice-President, who took over when Kennedy was assassinated, Lyndon Baines Johnson. But presidential leaders were not the only ones that can take the credit for being leaders in the 1960’s. During this time, one of the main issues was civil rights. The leader of the civil rights movement was the one and only Dr. Martin Luther King… Jr. He was the father of the civil rights movement and used non-violent techniques that he observed from Gandhi in order to get his people equal rights.




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   (Leaders of the 1960's who made a big difference in America)

Zachary Rich




Can you imagine not being able to go to a school that is 1 mile from your house only because of your race, and being forced to walk many miles every day before and after school to another one just to be able to get an education? This was the circumstance of many black Americans in the 1960’s. Education in the 1960’s went through a major reform, and in the end made America a better nation, because it could provide an education for all who pursued one. During this time, many Black Americans went without an education just because of the segregation law that stated that black Americans could not attend school at an all white educational facility, yet the United States claimed to be a “land of the free”. The United States was not even close to this until the Brown vs. The Board of Education case, and the study called Equality of Educational Opportunity 1996 led the way to racial integration for schools and on busses that ended up making segregation illegal in all public schools. Previous to these acts, schooling for a Black American was nearly impossible and almost always improbable, while schooling for a White Americans was an expectation.



After the 1960’s and after having invested so much money into the victory of WWII, the cost of nearly everything in the United States rose, including the cost of a college education. Near the end of the 1960’s, the cost of a college education increased exponentially to years forward, the price eventually rising to today’s average of $30,367 for a four-year university, and the cost of a one semester class up to $2285. High school education was still funded by tax payer dollars, as it still is today. - Hannah Watts



Law &  Justice 


During the 1960s major changes took place in American attitudes toward and about the law. At the same time the law itself was consolidating a trend in the direction of individual rights that had begun twenty-five years before. During the 60’s, acts of nonviolent protest and civil disobedience produced crisis situations between activists and government authorities. Federal, state, and local governments, businesses, and communities often had to respond immediately to crisis situations which highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans. Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts such as the Greensboro sit-in (1960) and the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965). These were a way to enlarge the sphere and eventually ended up with the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which called for the end of Jim Crow laws and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that restored and protected the voting rights of African-Americans.

Zachary Rich

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The 1960’s were known not for the religion that stood out, but rather the lack thereof. Religion was rejected by many of the younger generation because there was no point in trying to conform to the norm. A phrase that is well known during the 60’s was, “Fight the Man, fight the power!” The “Man” and the “power” that this phrase is referring to are the government and the church. Due to the fact that people were trying to fight the power of the church in society, there were many things that occurred during this decade that were not expected to happen. The greatest and most famous upset of religion in politics was when the Catholic John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States. This was an upset because no Catholic had ever been elected to be president in the US. The main point is that religion in the 1960’s decreased dramatically because none of the younger generation wanted to conform to what society wanted them to.


Zachary Rich


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MYP Unit Question: How did culture, events and leadership shape and reflect post-WWII America?


     The leadership in the 1960’s helped shape the entire decade. The three major leaders were President John F. Kennedy, who started the presidential work on getting African-Americans their civil rights. This decade is known for its civil rights activism. The civil rights movement was lead by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and because of his tremendous effort, this decade and all those after became decades where African-Americans could vote and had equal rights as whites. After the assassination of JFK, President Lyndon B. Johnson used his influence to get the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts passed by saying that these were in honor of President JFK. However, the 60’s are famous because of the anti-war movement that occurred during this decade. The leadership influenced this because when LBJ sent America into the Vietnam War, the anti-war movement started because many people believed that this was not America’s war and that there was no reason for them to be there.

The culture had much to do with how America was shaped in this era. It was a new time for experimenting with everything from drugs to new ideas, as well as through music and through various movements that pressured the country into becoming free of war, especially since war had always been a glorified thing in the eyes of many of the previous generations. With the children from the WWII baby boom growing up, the 60’s presented a time for new ideals and renovations like the country had never seen before. One can clearly see this through the various art and literature movements, where artists and writers broke away from their traditional creative forms and became more expressive in their works. Not only that, but the Vietnam War tore the country in a way that could not be completely fixed; and this in turn effected the people’s respect for their country.

            Like previously stated, the Vietnam War was one of the major events and turning points of the decade. It triggered the hippie movement and a country torn in half by indecision and doubt in the leaders that had brought them so much hope before hand. Even today the nation remains torn about the decisions made about Vietnam.

However, the 60’s was also a great time for many events leading to equality for all. The Civil Rights Movement was in full swing, and by the end of the 60’s, segregation was something of the past for African-Americans.

 The country was leading toward a new future, with the need for freedom and equality for all. It was a time when the events lead Americans to break through previous social boundaries, and it seemed like the theme of this decade would be remembered as one of change. “Out with the old and in with the new”.




Zachary Rich and Sarah Koerber



Works Cited


"1960s: Print Culture." Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America. Ed. Sara

     Pendergast and Tom Pendergast. Vol. 4: 1960s-1970s. Detroit: UXL, 2002. 865-866. Gale Virtual Reference

     Library. Web. 8 June 2010.


"Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union.." The American Presidency Project. 2009. University

     of California. Web. 17 Jun. 2009 .


Bowling, Beatniks, and Bell-Bottoms: Pop Culture of 20th-Century America. Eds. Sara Pendergast and Tom

     Pendergast. Vol. 3: 1940s-1950s. Detroit: U*X*L, 2002. Print.


Cooke, Jacob E. "Washington, George." Presidents: A Reference History. Ed. Henry F. Graff. 3rd ed. Detroit:

     Charles Scribner's Sons, 2002. 1- 21. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Farmington Hills: Gale. Web. 30 Apr.



"Europe Divided on Familiar Lines To Two Speeches." Prescott Evening Courier 54(1948): 6. Print. 


"Government and Politics in the 1960s: Overview." DISCovering U.S. History. Gale Research, 1997. Reproduced in

     History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: Gale. <http://galenet.galegroup.com>.


McNamara, Robert S. "The mounting pressures of protest. (excerpt from 'In Retrospect')(Cover Story)." 

      Newsweek. v125. n16 (April 17, 1995): p47(1). Opposing Viewpoints.


Resource Center. Gale. 14 June 2010<http://find.galegroup.com>.


Pictures Works Cited 


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389 × 463 - 30k - jpg - crobaraff.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/jimi_he..
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640 × 338 - 26k - jpg - www.personal.psu.edu/mas53/artclass.jpg



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