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A3 1960s Hedges

Page history last edited by Ines Blondet 10 years, 3 months ago

Andrew Alexander~Ines Blondet~Rebecca Hamburger~Hannah Loeb~Veronica Walrad


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


Table of Contents 



Business & the Economy

By Ines Blondet 

     In the 1960s the economy was doing well, unemployment was down, movie industry was being productive, and the technology was being innovated constantly. It was a good time to be in cooperation with the United States and entrepreneurship was doing well too. During the 1960s, it was the longest period of economic growth for the United States. The people’s income rose from $8,540 to $10,770. Also the country’s living standards increased, but poverty was still a problem at the time and Lyndon Johnson focused to eliminate it. The big business dominated most of the domestic economy. The five largest industries held for five percent of all assets. Some of the firms that grew during this decade were General Motors (1965), Standard Oil of New Jersey (Exxon Today), and Ford. The big businesses also had investments all over the world. Corporations like Campbell’s and Heinz sold their foods throughout the world, Procter and Gamble sold their products everywhere and Coca-Cola expanded and became popular all over the world. 


            Standard Oil of New Jersey                                   Campbell                                        Ford Thunderbird 

  Like in the 1950s, America started to focus more on high-tech electronics and was moving away from industrial and manufacturing industries. The 1960s was the decade was workers were seen more behind desks instead of working in fields, working of assembly-line or making products with their hands. After the women’s rights movement, more women were seen in the workforce, but there was still discrimination between men and women. Some women took their jobs to add to the family’s income, but young women wanted the freedom of their own path in the job industry and therefore to pursue professional careers. The automobile boom of 1950s was still going on in the 1960s, but buyers were choosing small, less-expensive and more energy efficient cars. Many these cars were by foreign cars makers, but America soon caught up and did their own line of small cars in Detroit. Also in the 1960s, big business started to support many museums and arts organizations. This helped these corporations because they were unable to pay their fees only on ticket sales and admission fees. This resulted in a large field for publicity and advertisement for the big business.


The government’s position in the economy began to expand more and it made it more active in the economics’ choices. It helped the scientific research by giving billions of dollars, also by buying military equipment, building highways, and finally competing with the Soviet Union in space. The government also provided many people with new jobs. It also helped to shape the economy and businesses. And lastly, the government made improvements for the social-security and protection of the United States citizens.  



By Hannah Loeb

Education was struggling in the 1960's. Both World War II and the Korean War put the United States in unstable economic conditions, all the funding for schools were taken away and distributed to the military. From the lack of funding, schools were not able to have resources for reading, and teachers with well though out reading methods. Because of this only some of the children attending school could read. Many were not happy with this result and declared for change to happen. Myron Lieberman was one who believed that a dramatic change needed to be made for the power structure of education. Lieberman was an educational theorist who did not believe in changing the education philosophy but rather the educational system."He (Lieberman) argued that the main problem in the educational system was that everyone put his or her own interests first"(The Future of Public Education).Though he criticized the American educational system, he also helped improve it, with his job as president of the teacher's


Myron Lieberman and Jeanne S. Chall

Another significant figure was Jeanne S. Chall, she targeted the debate of learning to read. Because only some kids learned by the teaching methods, she decided that their needed to be some sort of change. Chall studied the readings chosen for the U.S schools and looked at the effectiveness and strategies that these readings had. Throughout her work she was able to discover that all students have different ways of learning to read. whether it's sounding out syllables or learning the alphabet. Chall was able to see this and helped improve education in America because of this.



By Ines Blondet

The fashion during the 1960s underwent a transition, from conservatism to excess, from social conformity to individuality.The Fashion icon at the time was the fist lady Jacqueline Kennedy. She wore simple tasteful clothes that were featured in many popular fashion magazines. Then a British designer started the "mod look". This look was miniskirts, brightly colored dresses, dark eye makeup, and wild blouses, stockings, and accessories. This was made popular internationally by the mod British model Twiggy. She replaced Jacqueline Kennedy, and she even had a barbie doll design in her likeness. One of the problem that she influenced was eating disorders because of her ninety-one-pound frame. Her look influenced the fashion industry in the 21st century, she was the essence of groovy Britishness.

  The "Mod" Look 

     The women's rights changed at that time, therefore there was more independence in women's fashion. Women were wearing pants and were braless for the first time. Men were also affected by the freedom of fashion. Men started to wear buzz cut and this became a common hairstyle. Also instead of going to the barbers, men would go to hair stylists to get their hair cut. In men fashion, ties grew wider and colors bolder also young men wore jeans and t-shirts were a more popular clothing in the teens.   

     The Hippies were also had the most distinctive features of the decade. The hippies were known as the most eye-catching, colorful and nonpolitical group of the couterculture. The hippies fashion was more appealling to the youth. The hippie fashion was anything that was cheap and easy to wear. The common hippie look was hipsters,bell-bottomed jeans, akle fringes, flower patches and peasant blouses. But there was also colorful T-shirts and skimpy halter-neck tops, the accessories and jewelry that they wore was long earrings, bandanas, and other head gear, scarves and bracelets and rings that had the peace symbol on them.

     Bell-Bottoms also became famous in the 1960s, these were pants that flare our at the cuffs. It was first part of the military uniform and then it was the symbol of opposition for war. It was also designed as part of a sailor's traditional clothing and part of the naval uniforms. After American youth rejected much commercial fashion and shopped light, they found the bell-bottoms. These pants became the symbol of flamboyant hippie counterculture. It was then redesigns by may clothing manufacturers as stylish bell-bottoms and there were nicknamed "elephant bells".


One of the largest sellers of beauty aids in the world started in the 1960s, Mary Kay Cosmetics. The company founder was Mary Kay Ash born in Texas, she always had to take care of her self as a child and a single mother of three. Her first job was  in the cosmetics world and she had a great skill at selling products which could have led to advancement in the job, but the supervisor job got taken by a man. After this misadventure, she decided to quit her job and build her own company that would have no discrimination of women. Therefore since 1964, Mary Kay Cosmetics continued to fulfill its founder's dream.

Lastly miniskirts were made popular in the 60s and they were introduced in  1965. There part of the sexual revolution happening at the time, it represented sexual openness and personal freedom. It was a movement away from society's restrictions. They were created by a French fashion designer Andre Courreges, he was tired of old-fashioned designs and prim-length skirts therefore he introduced a new kind of clothing that would bring youth, freedom, and originality to fashion. His models would start wearing simple A-line dresses that would end four inches above the knee. Then the flat-soled white boots completed the "mod" look. Some critics were horrified by this new look and others liked it a lot, and the miniskirts caught on quickly. Another designer Mary Quant shortened the skirts even further and changed the skirts to tight, body-hugging shape. Twiggy and other famous models made the new skirt a commercial success all around the world.  


Film and theater

By Ines Blondet 

By the 1960s, the movie industry was becoming less popular, because of the increase in popularity of the television. Therefore the death of studios began as movies were produced independently. The big movie studios did not withdraw and started making movies that were different and impossible for TV to do: big-budget movies. These had thousands of casts, distant locations and the biggest stars which were far more spectacular than on TV. One of them was Cleopatra (1963) which cost about $37 million. Then the big studios went out of market, but the numbers of films still increased because they were made by individual producers. This produced a great diversity of films. Some were cheaply made and for a limited audience, and others like the James Bond series were imported from abroad. The rise of individually produced movies produced movies about more controversial social issues. Some examples are Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) about a call girl heroine, The Carpetbaggers (1964) which included the first nudity of Hollywood, and Midnight Cowboy (1969). Other controversial movies of the 1960s are now known as classic American movies like The Graduate (1967) and the Easy Rider (1969) about two hippies that travel around the country.

In the 1960s, the most popular type of entertainment was the television. It was estimated that the 90 percent of the Americans’ homes had at least one television and up to 20 percent the years before. There were many televisions all around America but there were not much channels, only from 2 to 13. Many critics said that the shows and channels of the television were all junk. There fore the networks gave what the people want, westerns, family-based situation comedies, games shows, variety of shows and other entertainment. Some of the popular programs at the time were the talking horse, Mister Ed, the beautiful young witch in Bewitched, the friendly dolphin Flipper, and the seven castaways on the Gilligan’s Island. For the children and adults televisions offered the Flintstones in 1960 which then led to Alvin and the Chipmunks, the Jetsons, and Mr. Magoo.

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The Flintstones- The animated American television sitcom that went from1960-1966 on ABC.

The 1960s was a great decade for Broadway; many musicals were shown during that decade, such as Oliver,Camelot, Funny Girl and Hello Dolly. Many Broadways plays were adapted in film and some became some of the history’s best known films like West Side Story (1961). An amazing American theater produced several other plays that were made into films, including Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? By Edward Albee, one of the best playwrights of the sixties, The Odd Couple made into a television series and Hair that became the first rock-and-roll musical. Theaters started to expand out of New York City and by 1966, there were more actors that were employed outside of New York than in it. Other musicals popular in Broadway and made into movies were The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady. Audrey Hepburn who played in My Fair Lady became the idol for young girls after Marilyn Monroe died. Also Disney became the family entertainment with 101 Dalmatians, Pinocchio and Mary Poppins (1964).

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Hair-The landmark Broadway musical of the 1960s 


Food &  Drink 

By Andrew Alexander

The 1960s is often referred to as the decade of change and the food industry was no exception. The 1960s saw many new foods, drinks, and popular food chains invented. I made a short PowerPoint presentation that goes year by year showing what new food and drink products were made during that year. The people of the 1960’s were experiencing many political changes with the election of President John F. Kennedy, social changes through the Civil Rights movement and Dr. Martin Luther King, and they also saw the food industry changing as well. In the 1960’s the drink industry saw many changes, for example Gatorade, a sports drink used to help keep player hydrated during the game was invented. Also for the first time a diet pop had been invented, Diet Pepsi. Sprite and Fresca were also invented in the 1960’s; but perhaps the most exciting new drink invention was the can of Coca-Cola, because now people could take the pop with them without having to carry glass bottles. To go along with the changing and fast moving times fast food also helped to shape the culture of the United States. In 1962 Taco Bell was invented, in 1968 the already popular McDonalds added its most popular item the Big Mac, and in 1969 Wendy’s Restaurant was invented. These fast food places helped to reveal that the American culture was becoming increasing fast and people really did not have a lot of time to sit down and eat a solid meal anymore; However when they did have the chance to sit down and eat a meal they could have Dominos Pizza which was invented in 1965. The 1960’s also saw a huge jump in breakfast foods and snacks; in 1964 Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts were invented, in 1965 Apple Jacks were invented and in 1969 Frosted Mini Wheats were invented. The invention of the breakfast cereal allowed people to eat a fast and convenient breakfast. The 1960’s also saw the invention of Pringles, Campbell’s Soup and Spaghetti-O’s. The foods that were created in the 1960’s indicate that America was changing. They were trying new things and looking for ways to make their lives faster and more convenient.


The following powerpoint presentation goes year by year and shows the notable food, drink, and restaraunts that were invented during that year:

Print Culture 

     Print media dominated much of the culture of the 1960's, with many new publications, some of them still popular today, making their start in the 60's.  Among these new publications were the wildly successful magazines Rolling Stone and Cosmopolitan, along with countless less famous others, including Advocate, a magazine catering to the homosexual community, and Whole Earth Catalog, a catalog which instead of selling things, was simply a compilation of various snippets of information its creator felt should be shared with the world.

     Aside from magazines, the 1960's was a time in which the comic book industry flourished, with the introduction of Spider Man by Marvel Comics in 1962.  Co-created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Spider Man changed the face of superheroes  from the flawless and superhuman Superman to the relatable and humanly fragile Peter Parker, a hero ridden with the same anxieties and insecurities as his young audience, and, as was the case with many of Marvel's heroes at the time, who aged in real time along with his audience.  As well as being relatable in age and self-doubt, peter parker's superpower, one caused by a radioactive spider, illustrates that even in the sixties, paranoia about radioactivity and nuclear threats continued and was a commonly perceived threat.  Spider Man was not Marvel comic's only hit comic during the sixties, with its Fantastic Four series and even its freshly republicized Iron Man character.  Marvel comics was such a success in the sixties because in a decade that veered so drastically from the ultra-conformatism of its predecessor the fifties, it offered characters that instead of adhering to what society wanted them to be and sought for its citizens to be like, were like the people in the countercultures of the sixties, uncomfortable in the roles that society set out for them, and often unable to fulfill those roles without great personal sacrifice.

        As well as common entertainment, like comic books and magazines, the sixties saw the production of much literature that today is regarded as great, including books such as Slaughterhouse Five and In Cold Blood.  Although today the darker and more sinister of the sixties literature is prized, at the time many people preferred more light hearted reading over the more grim, literary choices, making the James Bond series a hit.  Many  of the less serious books of the sixties made their way to the big screen, as was the case with James Bond, and the adaptation of books to film became increasingly popular throught the decade.

     The sixties popularized books in ways other th making them into movies.  During the sixties there was an increase in the amount of Young Adult Literature written and produced, prompted by an increase in the public funding of libraries.


Sports &  Games

By Andrew Alexander

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     Before the 1960's baseball, America's national pastime, was the most popular sport. The 1960's saw many different World Series champions. In 1968 the Detroit Tigers won the World Series, However, during the 1960's that began to change. Different athletes, teamsm and events began to emerge and challenge baseball as the most popular sport. One of these sports was basketball through the National Basketball Association. The rise in the popularity of the NBA was partially due to the sucess of the Boston Celtics. Boston won nine out of the ten NBA championships awarded during the 60's and quickly became the most popular team in the league. The NBA also expanded its fan base by expanding the league. The NBA began to combine with ABA (American Basketball Association) so the NBA was able to place teams in large cities such as Chicago and Houston. Another sport that looked to improve its popularity was the National Football League (NFL). The NFL gained its poplularity through the Super Bowl, which was created in 1966. The Super Bowl at the time was played between the NFL and the AFL. The Super Bowl became popular during the third Super Bowl when the heavily favored Indinapolis Colts lost to Joe Namaths New York Jets. This made football become widely popular because it was on television and Joe Namath, possibly the most popular player at the time won the Super Bowl. Also college sports continued to inprove the importance of football in American culture by created many different bowl games for the teams to play in at the end of the season. These bowl games were placed throughout the country and attracted many fans.


However, the sucesses of the NBA, NFL, and MLB can not even begin to compare to the sucess of African-American, and minority athletes during the 1960's. One of the most popular and well-known athletes of the 1960's (and today) is Muhammad Ali (picture below). He was born with the name Cassius Clay however he changed his name many times in order to make political statements. He changed his name to Cassius X in support of Malcom X and later changed it to Muhammed Ali in support of the acceptance of the Muslin faith. He was well known not only for his name changing but also his sucess in boxing. He was an olympic boxer who won the support of many americans due to his sucess. He inspired others to live up to their dreams and to due what is right by standing up for others. He was an American icon not only for his sucess in sports but his sucess as a human being and for supporting his beliefs.

During the 1960s segregation and racism were very prominent. In 1968 Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated during this fight for civil rights. These two track athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos won gold and bronze medals in the 1968 summer olympics As a salute and to show respect to other African Americans they raised their fist, during the playing of the national anthem, wearing black socks, gloves, and necklaces to show the terrors that African Americans faced. The 1964 Olympic Games also put the United States in the spotlight again. At the time the U.S. was at the cold war with the Soviet Union during the Olympic Games so it was very important that the U.S. beat them in the medal count; however the United States lost in every medal count during the 1960 summer and winter olympics, and the 1964 olympics until finally in the summer olympics in 1968 in Mexico City did the United Stes finally beat the Soviet Union in the medal count 107-91. Also during the 1960s many African-American athletes began to participate and become successful in profesional sports; even though sometimes they were not well liked by the audience. Im the 1960's Jackie Robinson, the first African-American to play in the MLB, was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. This even marked a signifcant turning point in baseball history, it marked the acceptance of all races, and nationalities in baseball.


By Hannah Loeb

Throughout the 1960's The Beatles dominated the top of the billboards with their music and re embraced the genre of Rock and Roll for Americans. This four man group from Liverpool, England established world-wide fame when they appeared in America in 1964. Their soft rock songs, for example "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" were just as popular as their later heavy rock songs, such as "Revolution". They influenced many artists in the present today, contemporary artists like Justin Bieber and Train still use the common Rock progression of 1,6,4,5 that the Beatles used to populate their music in the 1960's.

The Beatles- "Her Majesty" (1969)

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Another genre popular in the 1960's was folk music. Bob Dylan as well as Peter, Paul and Mary were famous for their folk styles, often created using acoustic instruments, their songs created awareness of the Civil right protests in the 50's and also the Vietnam War in the 60's. A famous Peter, Paul and Mary song, "Where have all the Flowers Gone" (1961) concentrated on the issue of losing lost ones from the Vietnam War and with the lyrics of "...Where have all the soldiers gone? Gone to graveyards every one". It also addressed that the United States should not have gotten involved in the war with lyrics of "...When will they ever learn? when will they ever learn?"

"Where have all the Flowers Gone" redone in 1990 by The Kingston Trio

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Life in the 60s

By Rebecca Hamburger 

     With the Vietnam War escalating in the early 60s, the American life was very much political and purposeful. The baby-boomer generation was all about self-expression through the counter culture. Innumerable movements such as the sexual revolution were widespread and supported. 

“The Pill”. Web. 6 June 2010. <http://www.markmallett.com/blog/?p=562>. 

     The sexual revolutionconsisted of many different aspects, but was mainly concerned with gay liberation and the introduction of recreational sex. The gay liberation lasts still today, but was sparked by the Stonewall Rebellion of Greenwich Village, New York in 1969. Police raids of gay and homosexual bars was common during the decade. Finally in 1969, the homosexual community decided to take a stand by protesting the Stonewall Inn raid. The liberation consisted of an entire homosexual culture being born. Magazines focusing on homosexuality, such as Advocate, were published. On top of homosexual literature, the sexual revolution also found the introduction of sexually explicit entertainment of all forms. Never before was sex such an open topic in America. With sex being much less private and idolized, sex before marriage occurred on the grandest level yet. Because of the commercial production of birth control, young women were able to have many sexual partners and not worry of pregnancy occurring. The youth now had the opportunity to meet many sexual partners with the creation of singles bars. The tragedy of the sexual revolution is the widespread sexually transmitted disease being passed throughout the youth. 

     The sexual revolution was very much a part of the counter culture that was founded in the 1960s. This new culture was purely American and a combination of all the movements and ideas flooding America. The slang term for participants is hippies, short for hipsters. Their lives reflected their rejection of the war in Vietnam, materialism, and obeying authority. The lifestyle led by these hippies consisted of rampant drug use, open relationships, and communal living. LSD and marijuana were extremely popular during this era and was openly used just about everywhere. By having open relationships, the culture was able to reject their parents’ generation moral standards and therefore their authority. The radical hippies lived a life free of personal possession on a commune. A commune being a community where everyone works together and shares everyone's wealth. This reflects the acceptance of people of all races and religions in the hippie era. 

Woodstock Poster. Web. 6 June 2010. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Woodstock_poster.jpg>.


     The baby boomers that grew up in the 1960s are known as the "Woodstock Generation". The namesake lies in the Woodstock Music and Art Fair known as Three Days of Peace & Music. An estimated 400,000 people attended to enjoy popular music of artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. In reflection of the optimism of the era, no intended violence or injuries ensued despite the massive crowds. The goal of the festival was to emulate the west coast hippie lifestyle that originated in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, California. This was considered the Mecca for psychedelic music and the youth counterculture. Young adults from across the country flocked to Haight-Ashbury during the Summer of Love in 1967 where they got to experience the rebellion of tradition the counter culture was. 


Recruitment Poster. Web. 6 June 2010. <http                               Burning Draft Card. 2010. Web. 8 June 2010. 




     One last aspect of the counter culture life was viewing the war in Vietnam as abhorrent. With the war being televised, Americans were seeing the horrors of war that were never known to anyone but those involved before. In the massacre at My Lai where vexed U.S. troops lost control and killed many innocent Vietnamese women and children. America was on its final straw and now men eligible for draft were avoiding it at all costs. Some took the easier way out through college student dismissal, medical notes, and leaving the country, which is known as being a "draft dodger". Others, supported by the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) acted on behalf of their morals or religious beliefs, which is known as being a conscientious objector. 



Government & Politics

By Rebecca Hamburger

     The 1960s was full of issues both on the domestic front and abroad. Despite slavery ending an entire century earlier, African Americans across the country still fought for civil rights. On the foreign front, the Cold war was coming in full force from numerous sources. 

     Martin Luther King Jr is remembered for his peaceful protesting inspired by Ghandi. His followers were many, as were his opposers. He inspired non violent action in college students as they participated in lunch counter sit-ins beginning in 1960. In that year alone over 70,000 protesters sat in "white only" eateries to fight for their basic rights. The efforts of numerous groups such as the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and NAACP converged with this protest. MLK Jr continued his fight even after being put in jail with no restraint, reflecting his pacifistic ways. During his stay he wrote his famous address, "Letters from a Birmingham Jail". He addressed opposing views such as the economic strain that would come with direct action in bettering race relations, as well as instilling his desire for peace between races. His fight continued with the March on Washington a few months later in August of '63. An unexpected 200,000 came to demonstrate and here possibly one of the most well known and emulated speeches in America, "I Have A Dream". 

July 1967: Detroit Erupts.  2007. Web. 7 June 2010. <http://info.detnews.com/pix/photogalleries/newsgallery/07192007_67riot s/index.htm>. 

     On the other end of the civil rights spectrum, chaos ensued with the rising tensions between blacks and whites in urban areas. Major cities were filled with African Americans who were impoverished and unemployed, their patience had grown weak. Major race riots broke out in cities from coast to coast. One of the earliest riots took place in Harlem in '64. A CORE rally got out of hand and white business owners and civilians were targeted. This was considered “the first major outbreak of urban violence in a generation” (Benson 1281). Similar riots followed through the years. The Watts riot of ’67 in Los Angeles included mobs of similar damage, but this time even black’s stores were some of the seventy-five that burned. The mob had grown blind in outrage and California National Guard military control was required to calm it down. A third major riot occurred in Detroit in ’67. Again the National Guard was brought in, but they lost control and began shooting at the crowds. This sparked riots in other smaller cities near Detroit. There was over $45 million of damage and over 4,000 were arrested.

            The Detroit riot happened only a year after a radical black rights organization known as the Black Panther Party was established. They could be compared to a guerilla force as they were armed and self-defending. The angry and poor urban population turned to them for help. The party’s goal was a contrast to MLK’s because they wanted African Americans to tune in to their own cultural identity and separate themselves from the white population. The group’s existence escalated it to being the most severe domestic threat to national security. The FBI went undercover and tore the party apart form within to ensure national safety.

            Other, more mainstream, political parties rose up during the 60s as well. The Far Right represented a more republican view with their “militantly anticommunist”  (Baughman) opinions.  The followers were split into two categories: the Ultraconservatives and the Radical Rights. Both however had a general consensus emphasizing a moral society and opposing government influence on the economy. This party was generally more popular with the older generation as the hippies lived a very free and communal life. The liberal end had the party known as The New Left. The Students for a Democratic Society, on University of Michigan grounds, founded it in 1960. Its root was in the civil rights movement, but it also supported grassroots and antiwar movements.  

     During all of this domestic drama occurring, foreign affairs were also eventful and groundbreaking. The Cold War consisted of mostly of the space and nuclear races between the former Soviet Union and the U.S., but also the middle to end of the Vietnam War. 


National Mall 1967. 2010. Web. 8 June 2010. <http://historyscoop.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/images-of-the-vietnam-era/>.

     President John F. Kennedy escalated the war in Vietnam during his short presidency by stirring more U.S. money and troops into the conflict. Simultaneously, South Vietnam's ruler Diem was an extremely neglectful leader and with U.S. support the South Vietnamese people were able to assassinate him. However, U.S. troops numbers grew to 550,000 by 1968 with the creation of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in 1964. The government ignored the opposition at home that came from Washington, the public, and even the military itself. Finally in 1969 the Nixon Doctrine went into effect, tapering the war to its final end in 1973. 

     The U.S. was also dealing with international tensions with the former Soviet Union. America was desperate to lead the world in technology involving new frontiers and undeniable power, achievable through exploration in space as well as premier weapons technology. The two growing powers began what can be deemed as the missile race in which "by the end of the decade the U.S. and the Soviet Union had each stockpiled enough weapons to destroy one another-and the entire world- several times over" (Baughman). Both countries turned to spy satellites and technology to intrude on each others weapons tests. The doctrine known as MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction) acknowledged the fact that either one attacking the other would only lead to an equal and opposite reaction. The climax of this all was the Cuban Missile Crisis where the Soviets began storing missiles in Cuba, claiming to be protecting Cuba from U.S. imperialism. JFK officiated that the U.S. holds a no tolerance policy for any Soviet nuclear attacks as they would counter them instantly. Tensions continued to rise, until finally the Soviets agreed to remove the missiles as long as the U.S. would refrain from invading Cuba. 

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By Andrew Alexander


 The 1960’s were a time of change. The leaders of the 1960’s were nothing less than extraordinary and achieved things beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. There were many leaders of the 1960’s however a few stand out above all the rest; these leaders included John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Lyndon B. Johnson, and Malcolm X.


            The first and probably most notable leader of the 1960’s would by John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline. John F. Kennedy achieved many great things during a time when things were not always great.  Kennedy achieved many great things in his life and one of them was that he became the 35th President and the first Roman Catholic President. John F. Kennedy’s success as a president can be seen through his many accomplishments such as he is the only president to have won a  He was faced with many challenged as president and achieved them all. Events that occurred during his administration include the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement and early stages of the Vietnam War. Kennedy’s Inaugural address contains one of the most notable quotes in American history; “Ask not what your country can do for you-ask what you can do for your country." As President, Kennedy tried to fulfill his campaign pledge to get America moving again. He launched economic programs that set the country on its longest sustained expansion since World War II; before his death, he laid plans for a massive assault on persisting pockets of privation and poverty. Kennedy also set out to change the social structure of the nation; Kennedy took action in the cause for equal rights, calling for new civil rights legislation. Kennedy worked with many civil rights leaders to try and help America to return to its status as the first nation give all of its people the proper human rights. Kennedy gained support from many groups and people such as, Alliance for Progress and the Peace Corps. Kennedy also brought American idealism to the aid of developing nations. John F. Kennedy helped to shape American culture by helping to put down the fears of communism, he helped African-American people gain civil rights, he helped his nation become the first nation to put a man on the moon, he helped to end problems in Vietnam and Cuba. John F. Kennedy’s legacy can not only be seen in his presidency but also through his life in general. The American people loved his family and the way that they acted, they were sometimes seen as the ideal American family. Jacqueline Kennedy is remembered for reorganizing entertainment for White House Social events, seeking to restore several White House interiors, her taste in clothing worn during Kennedy's Presidency, her popularity among foreign dignitaries, and leading the country in mourning after her husband's assassination in 1963. Jacqueline and John F. Kennedy rank among the most popular first ladies and President respectively. John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 in Dallas, Texas.


            The other President of the 1960’s was Lyndon B. Johnson; who was sworn in only two hours and six minutes after the assassination of Kennedy. He served in all four federal elected offices of the United States: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President. Johnson was asked by John F. Kennedy to be his running mate for the 1960 presidential election. Johnson became President following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Johnson completed Kennedy's term and was elected President in his own right, winning by a large margin in the 1964 Presidential election. Johnson was greatly supported by the Democratic Party and, as President, was responsible for designing the "Great Society" legislation that included laws that upheld civil rights, Public Broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental protection, aid to education, and his "War on Poverty." Johnson also increased American involvement in the Vietnam War. As the war dragged on due to public opinion, Johnson's popularity as President steadily declined. After the 1966 mid-term Congressional elections, his re-election bid in the 1968 United States presidential election collapsed as a result of corruption within the Democratic Party related to opposition to the Vietnam War. He withdrew from the race due to growing opposition to his policy on the Vietnam War and his poor showing in the New Hampshire primary. Despite the failures of his foreign policy, Johnson is ranked favorably among some historians due to his domestic policies. Johnson is known for signing the civil rights act of 1964 and for being involved in the Vietnam War, which many were largely opposed to. He is also known for his dealings with civil rights, immigration and immigration.


     Another leader of the 1960’s would be Martin Luther King Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States, and he has become a human rights icon. Martin Luther King became a civil rights activist early in his career. King led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, where he served as the organizations first president. King's efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream" speech. From there Martin Luther King Jr. became one of the most well known- civil rights activists in America. In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other non-violent means. In 1968 when he was assassinated he had been focusing on ending poverty and the Vietnam War. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. Martin Luther King Jr. achieved many great things in his life and for this he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986. Martin Luther King Jr. was influence in American society through his fight for civil rights. He is known for his many peaceful demonstrations and speeches that he gave. He was influenced by Gandhi and tried to achieve his goal the same way the Gandhi did. He helped Americans to reach their full potential in the acceptance of others. King is seen as one of the most important non-president leaders because of the number of followers he had and the number of inspirational things that he did.


     Other leaders of the 1960s would include Malcolm X. who was an advocate for the religion of Islam. He traveled to many countries, such as Israel, France, United Kingdom, and the continent of Africa. In America he was a strong advocate for civil rights; however he believed that the focus should be more on human rights, never the less he still worked with Martin Luther King Jr. to try and African Americans gain civil rights.



Law &  Justice 

By Hannah Loeb

      It was during the 60's, when a new direction of law formed, individual rights. Many minorities, such as African-Americans were declaring their individual rights for being a U.S citizen, referring to America's guideline: the Declaration of independence, with the statement that 'All men are created equal"(Jefferson). They wanted to be treated with equality and to vote for their country. However in the 1960's African-Americans were largely excluded from voting. They were not treated with equality and after about 100 years since they were freed from slavery, many started to protest to gain their equal rights. In the mid of the 1960's this issue was finally put to an end, repairing the universal adult suffrage.

 Richard Hickock and Perry  Smith 

Richard Hickock and Perry Smith


Though despite this many were still treated based on their stereotype. In 1960 Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were known as the murderers of four members to a farm family in Kansas. Due to their appearance and record of crime they were proceeded guilty for the murder. Though there was not much evidence, their criminal appearances made the charge seem accurate to the people of court. However many Americans could see how morally wrong the decision was. 


Religion -Veronica

     During the 1960's, attendance to mainstream moderate Protestant churches, long the most widely attended churches in America, declined, and smaller more zealous forms of worship became more popular, weather it be hippie communes, exotic cults, or just more conservative forms of Protestantism saw increases in their numbers.  Although this process was and still is often viewed as a religious decline, what happened in the sixties was a decline in mainstream religion, and is more aptly called a revolution, as instead of leaving American religion where it was, as it would have had it truly been a decline, it lead religion in new directions and away from the mainstream rather than dropping it in the dirt in favor of Atheism.

Madalyn Murray O'Hair

     Madalyn Murray O' Hair was prominent Atheist activist of the 60's, and although there was no substantial Atheist population in the US at the time, she did manage to, in 1963, lodge a case that went to the Supreme Court, who decided that it is unconstitutional for prayer to be said in public school.  After that victory, she went on to attempt to get the phrase "In God We Trust" removed from US currency and "Under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance.   Although her activism brought about no visible jump in the number of Atheists in the US, it does seem to be an important step on the way to today from a time when declaring oneself an atheist would have been akin to declaring one's faith in polygamy.

     Another significant move away from religion in the 1960's was the God is Dead movement, composed of philosophers and theologians who felt that since recent advances in science allowed people to construct a clear and accurate understanding of the world without using the idea of God to explain things, people should revise their religions so as to accommodate old values and instill morals, but not teach of the traditional idea of god as a supernatural being. Americans on the whole reacted badly to this idea, as they saw it as an offense against their beliefs.  A popular bumper sticker of the time proclaimed that "My God is not dead.  I talked with Him this morning."

A 1965 copy of Time magazine

     As well as prominent movements away from religion as a whole, during the sixties, people began to see other's religions more in the light that they do today.  Different forms of Christianity and monotheism were not seen as such entirely different things as they had been anymore, and Jews and Catholics faced much less discrimination than they had previously, in part because of the assimilation of such groups, and in part because of recent political and historical events.  In the 1960's, when JFK became the United States' first Catholic president, people were at first apprehensive that he might lead the country in whatever way the pope decreed he do so, but when that proved not to be the case they became more accepting of Catholicism as a whole.  Catholicism also took steps toward modernizing itself during the sixties, including allowing priests to face their audience while preaching instead of having their backs turned and dropping the requirement that mass be given in Latin, steps which allowed it to become more mainstream and its followers less stigmatized.  Judaism, although it made no official leap towards the mainstream, did  experience the assimilation of its believers into the secular aspects of American culture, partially because the sympathy elicited by the still recent holocaust gave way for a sharp decrease in Antisemitism.



Negative Political Cartoon



Positive Political Cartoon




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

     The 1960s were a whole new classification of decade after World War II. Despite a decade between the war ending and the 60s beginning, the 50s was middle ground and the stark difference in American culture could be seen once the 60s came around. The 60s was the first decade to emphasize the importance of higher education for everyone, civil rights for blacks, women, homosexuals, anyone and everyone, and also brute force retaliation, from the masses, of government decisions. 
     No longer was the normal or accepted the goal for those experiencing the lifestyles of the 60s. From more trivial aspects of fashion to the significant aspects of political movements, protests, and music, the 60s embodied an era of change and acceptance. The free wheeling fashions of the hippies expressed the rebellion of the more conservative predeceasing generations. The music of the 1960s was even more significant as folk artists such as Bob Dylan and Peter, Paul, and Mary sang lyrics about the negativity of war. Bob Dylan’s song “The Times They Are-a Changin’” literally speaks of the effects of the numerous civil rights movements occurring.
The movements and protests occurring in the 1960s are innumerable and sometimes indistinguishable from one another. Major movements include African American civil rights movements, antiwar protests, the sexual revolution, and more. With an emphasis on television viewing with the new technologies of the era, the horrors of war were now public and the public was horrified. This sparked the antiwar movements of the youth and college students across the country. The sexual revolution was also a new topic as homosexuality was finally being addressed and no longer a poorly kept American secret. Blacks were also making new strides through sports with star athletes like boxer Muhammad Ali. 
     Although religion and business seem distant, they went through similar changes in the 1960s. Business became less industrial and more technology focused as the world was advancing exponentially. The U.S. was making strides in unknown directions rather than sticking with business that they were comfortable and confident in. Religion also had alterations as the Catholic Church began to loosen up on traditions to keep the greater importance of Christianity clear. Another aspect that proves America’s less conservative nature is the connection between JFK’s professional career and his exposes in tabloids. JFK was also the nation’s youngest president to date, conveying the power the youth had over the nation. The U.S. no w belonged to the baby boomers and their liberal ideals. 
     With the a World War over a decade behind its existence, the 1960s represent Americas transition from the conservative culture pre-WWII to the liberal and openly diverse culture that America is today.



Works Cited


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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. 4 June 2010.



King, Martin Luther, Jr. "'Letter from Birmingham Jail'." The King Center, Atlanta, GA. American      History Online. Facts On File, Inc. <http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.Asp?ItemID=WE52&iPin      =E12530&SingleRecord=True>. 1 June 2010.

Peter, Paul and Mary. "Where Have All The Flowers Gone.". Rhino Entertainment Co., 2005.

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     Reference Library. Web. 1 June 2010.


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UXL American Decades. Ed. Julie L. Carnagie, Rob Nagel, Sara Pendergast, and Tom Pendergast. Vol.      7:1960-1969. Detroit: UXL, 2003. 2 June 2010

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