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A history of american society in 1960s

Today, we tell about life in the United States during the nineteen sixties. For many Americans, the young president represented a spirit of hope for the nation. When Kennedy was murdered in nineteen sixty-three, many felt that their hopes died, too.

This was especially true of young people, and members and supporters of minority groups.

Download this story as a PDF A time of innocence and hope soon began to look like a time of anger and violence. More Americans protested to demand an end to the unfair treatment of black citizens.

American History: The 1960s, a Decade That Changed a Nation

Many more protested to demand an end to the war in Vietnam. And many protested to demand full equality for women. By the middle of the nineteen sixties, it had become almost impossible for President Lyndon Johnson to leave the White House without facing protesters against the war in Vietnam. In March of nineteen sixty-eight, Johnson announced that he would not seek another term in office. In addition to President Kennedy, two other influential Americans were murdered during the nineteen sixties.

He was campaigning to win his party's nomination for president. The two murders resulted in riots in cities across the country.

The unrest and violence affected many young Americans. The effect seemed especially bad because of the time in which they had grown up. By the middle nineteen fifties, most of their parents had jobs that paid well.

They expressed satisfaction with their lives. They taught their children what were called middle class values. These included a belief in God, hard work and service to their country.

Later, many young Americans began to question these beliefs.

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They felt that their parents' values were not enough to help them deal with the social and racial difficulties of the nineteen sixties. They rebelled by letting their hair grow long and by wearing unusual clothing.

Their dissatisfaction was strongly expressed in music. Rock and roll music had become very popular in America in the nineteen fifties. Some people, however, did not approve of it. They thought it was too sexual. These people disliked the rock and roll of the nineteen sixties even more.

They found the words especially unpleasant. The musicians themselves thought the words were extremely important. As singer and song writer Bob Dylan said, "There would be no music without the words. He wrote anti-war songs before the war in Vietnam became a violent issue in the United States.

  1. Klatch, A Generation Divided. NEXT The '60s Bell-bottoms and incense, long hair, free love and psychedelic rock—the 1960s are commonly reduced to a set of easy-to-replicate images, phrases, and styles.
  2. Crime and violence soared in the United States after 1960, and pollution threatened the environment. Inflation began to rise sharply again in the late 1970's.
  3. America's institutions were the targets of much of this cultural critique. In 1989, a trade agreement between the United States and Canada began reducing trade barriers between the two countries.
  4. Its sounds, styles, and slogans are the subject of high school spirit days and rally skits.

One was called "Blowin' in the Wind. The most popular group, however, was not American. It was British -- the Beatles -- four rock and roll musicians from Liverpool. Within five weeks, it was the biggest-selling record in the country. They spoke about drugs and sex, although not always openly. It meant to do whatever you wanted, without feeling guilty. Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock Folk singer Joan Baez sits at the corner of Haight and Ashbury streets in San Francisco in September 1967during the "Summer of Love" Five hundred thousand young Americans did their own thing at the Woodstock music festival in nineteen sixty-nine.

The 1960's

They gathered at a farm in New York state. Many young people called themselves hippies. Hippies believed there should be more love and personal freedom in America.

In nineteen sixty-seven, poet Allen Ginsberg helped lead a gathering of hippies in San Francisco. No one knows exactly how many people considered themselves hippies. But twenty thousand attended the gathering. Another leader of the event was Timothy Leary. Leary urged the crowd in San Francisco to "tune in and drop out.

An American Tradition

One drug that was used in the nineteen sixties was lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. LSD causes the brain to see strange, colorful images. It also can cause brain damage. And so, because of the automated and irrevocable decision-making process, which rules out human meddling, the Doomsday Machine is terrifying and simple to understand, and completely credible and convincing.

Many Americans refused to tune in and drop out in the nineteen-sixties. They took no part in the social revolution. Instead, they continued leading normal lives of work, family, and home. Others, the activists of American society, were busy fighting for peace, and racial and social justice. They wanted the same chances as men to get a good education and a good job. They also demanded equal pay for equal work.

The idea known as the feminine mystique was the traditional idea that women have only one part to play in society. They are to have children and stay at home to raise them.

In her book, Ms. Friedan urged women to establish professional lives of their own. In the early nineteen sixties, a committee was appointed to investigate the condition of women. It was led by Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • Tension was further reduced in 1988 when the Soviet Union began withdrawing from Afghanistan;
  • The United States and its coalition partners then quickly defeated Iraq;
  • The final chapter offers a curious coda to America in the Sixties;
  • Jerilyn Watson This was program 215;
  • The United States suffered international criticism for both policies;
  • Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

She was a former first lady. The committee's findings helped lead to new rules and laws. The nineteen sixty-four Civil Rights Act guaranteed equal treatment for all groups. After the law went into effect, however, many activists said it was not being enforced. The movement for women's equality was known as the women's liberation movement.

Activists were called "women's libbers. Later activists included women of all ages, women of color, rich and poor, educated and uneducated. They acted together to win recognition for the work done by all women in America. Jerilyn Watson This was program 215. For earlier programs, type "Making of a Nation" in quotation marks in the search box at the top of the page.