Important Quotes:
"The Negro baby born in America today, regardless of the section of the nation in which he is born, has about one-half as much chance of completing high school as a white baby born in the same place on the same day; one third as much chance of completing college; one third as much chance of becoming a professional man; twice as much chance of becoming unemployed; about one-seventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year; a life expectancy which is seven years shorter; and the prospects of earning only half as much." John F. Kennedy

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." Neil Armstrong

Civil Rights Act of 1964: ~made racial discrimination in public places (theaters, restaurants, etc.) illegal.
~all employers required to provide equal employment opportunities to every race

Voting Rights Act of 1965: ~removed states' rights to use their own voting bans
~every state had to let anyone vote regardless of color or sex

24th Amendment: ~ratified in 1964
~outlawed poll taxes, which had previously kept African Americans from voting, mostly in the South

Civil Rights Bill of 1968: ~included the Fair Housing Act, which forbid "discrimination on the basis of race in the renting and sale of houses and apartments."

1. American Identity

The 1960's were an important decade in American history, filled with strong opinions and important leaders.

3. Culture


a. A lot of the literature reflected the nations racial confusion. The most noted was Harper Lee’s, To Kill A Mockingbird, which won the Pulitzer award.

b. There were many more black women writing, not only about gender but also race. Among them are the famous Gwendolyn Brooks, Maya Angelou, and Margaret Walker Alexander.
Gwendolyn Brooks
Margaret Walker Alexander
Maya Angelou

c. A lot of the women’s writing pushed feminist ideals, portraying women working outside of the home. Among these authors were Sylvia Plath, Mary McCarthy, Betty Friedan, and Gloria Steinem.
Gloria Steinem

Sylvia Plath

d. Other famous literature from the era:
-Joseph Heller, Catch-22
-Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
-Laurence Peter, The Peter Principle
-Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are
-Marshall McLuhan, The Gutenberg Galaxy
-Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time
A Wrinkle In Time
Where The WIld Things Are


a. Collage campuses became areas of major protest as the nation became more involved in Vietnam. At the center of the debate was the fact that young en and women who weren’t of age to even vote yet (voting age wasn’t 18 yet) were being drafted to fight.
Collage Protests

b. A 1966 study by James S. Coleman, Equality of Educational Opportunity, paved the way for forced integration and bussing in the 1970’s.

c. To fix problems in schools, teachers returned to the basics, teaching thinking skills as a way to improve these problems.

d. 1968, Clear Creek School District, the first time a pregnant women was allowed to continue teaching.
First teacher allowed to teach wile being pregnant


a. Barbie was introduced by Mattel in 1959 and was extremely popular in the 60’s.

b. G. I. Joe was introduced by Hasbro as the first action doll for boys, partly because of the success of Barbie.
G. I. Joe

c. Skateboards

d. Slot cars replaced trains
Slot Cars


a. Women: In the beginning of the 60’s, bouffant hair styles were popular and women wore more conservative clothing, such as knee length dresses. By the mid 6o’s they were wearing more revealing, tighter clothes, like miniskirts or hot pants (often worn with go-go boots). By the end of the decade they were wearing peasant skirts and chunky shoes.

b. Men: In the beginning of the 60’s crew cuts were very popular. Later in the decade, it became longer and mustaches also became trendy. For clothing, men wore bright colors, sports jackets, polyester suits, Nehru jackets, turtle neck sweaters, very wide ties (up to five inches wide, and often times mixed patterns with stripes.

c. Unizex dressing also became very popular. This is categorized as “hippie” clothing. This includes bell bottom jeans, love beads, embellished T-shirts. Black men and women would also wear their hair in afros.


a. Elvis returned from the Army and again made chart topping hits while starring in a few movies. Other popular singers include: Bobby Darin, Neil Sedaka, Jerry Lee Lewis, Paul Anka, Del Shannon and Frankie Avalon.

b. The music scene changed more than once in the 60’s. The first time was to a more blues feel (with integrated folk), with more black and/or female performers like Gladys Knight and the Pips, Aretha Franklin, The Supremes, Martha and the Vnadellas. Popular male singers included Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, Smoky Robinson.
The Supremes

Gladys Knight and the Pips

c. Popular bands during this time included The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Righteous Brothers, and Peter, Paul and Mary.
The Beatles
The Beach Boys

d. Woodstock, a three day concert that drew 400,000 people, was inarguably the concert of the decade.
Woodstock Poster
Crowd at Woodstock

e. The second time the music scene drastically changed was partly due to the emergence of drug use. Psychedelic and acid rock became very popular. Groups like The Beatles, Jefferson Airplane, and The Grateful Dead all became popular at this time

f. the moog synthesizer, developed in 1960 by Robert Moog and Donald Buchla yet again changed the tone of music. Electroacoustic music became popular in composing, and artists were using computers to produce music.

The Media (TV, Radio, etc):

a. Broadway productions became very popular: Camelot, Hello Dolly, Oliver, Man of La Mencha, and Hair.

b. Musicals that were very popular were also made into movies: The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, which made Audrey Hepburn a star.

c. Movies combined sex and violence, ignoring previous taboos on such subjects, resulting in the need for a new film code by the MPAA.

d. Popular movies included: 007 movies (From Russia With Love, Goldfinger, Dr. No, etc…), The Graduate, 101 Dalmatians, an Pinocchio.

e. Radio was really the only way to listen to music at the time, and the only chief development was the switch from AM to FM. Individually dancing became very popular, as well as mimicry.

f. As for television, the Flintstones were probably the most popular cartoon at the time. Other cartoons included Alvin and the Chipmunks, The Jetsons, and Mr. Magoo.

g. Popular TV shows at the time include many that are still popular today or have been remade. These include: Bewitched, The Addams Family, My Favorite Martian, I Dream of Jeannie, Star Trek, The Outer Limits, and The Twilight Zone.


a. 1960 Olympic winter games, held in Squaw Valley: David and Carol Heiss were both gold winning figure skaters. The US Hockey tea also won the gold medal.

b. 1960 Olympic summer games, held in Rome: The highlight of these games was Mohammed Ali, who won gold in boxing. Many American Athletes won gold and set records in the process.

c. The 1964 winter Olympic games were held in Innsbruck, Austria, and the summer games were held in Tokyo.

d. In 1968 the games were held again, this time in Grenoble, France for the winter games where Peggy Flemming won gold as a figure skater, and Mexico City for the summer games, where the male track and field team set world records.

e. Arthur Ash became the first black man to win the US Tennis Championship.

f. Pitcher Sandy Kofax won the Cy Young award in baseball.


a. “Death of God.” There were many many religious controversies in the 1960’s. Mainly, though, there was a decline in religious observance.

b. Rise in conservative churches: churches were approving the use of contraceptives as well as saying that sex for reasons other than procreation was not a sin.

c. John F, Kennedy became the first Catholic President. Because of the controversy associated with his election due to his religion, he gives a speech advocating the separation of church and state.

d. Robert Bellah, in 1697, wrote “Civil Religion in America,” a paper that sparked much debate when it said that Americans fallow a “civil religion” where they embrace beliefs independent of their chosen religion

e. Religious views changed with culture. Divorce was no longer such a controversial issue and the notion of sex outside of marriage was starting to be tentatively accepted.


a. The biggest event during the ‘60s was the Vietnam War. 1962-JFK sent military advisors to help train the South Vietnamese army,

b. There was severe protest against the war all through the mid 60’s, but the war still went on, and with it the anit-war movement. While the war officially began in 1959, the majority of serious US involvement began in the early 60’s, and the deployment of combat units in 1965.

c. In 1968 the war peaked when the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong launched a massive campaign called the Tet Offensive, attacking nearly thirty U.S. targets and dozens of other cities in South Vietnam at once. Although the United States pushed back the offensive and won a tactical victory, American media coverage characterized the conflict as a defeat, and U.S. public support for the war plummeted.

d. My Lai Massacre- the mass murder of 347 to 504 civilian South Vietnam men, women, and children by US soldiers on March 16, 1968. Many of the victims were raped, beaten, or tortured, and many of the bodies found were mutilated. The event further brought more US protest against the war. Three of the soldiers who tried to aid the victims were denounced by the government and harassed, receiving hate mail and death threats. Of the 26 men that were originally charged for this crime, only one was convicted, William Calley, and he only ended up serving three years of his life sentence because he was later acquitted. The US cover up further decreased support for the war.
Victoms at My Li massacre
Child Killed at My li Massacre
Dead at My Li Masscare
William Calley, who ordered his men to fire at and kill every one in the village.

e. The Space Race-the race to space and the moon, between Russia and the United States dominated a portion of the 60’s, leading to the development of NASA in 1958. The US program was a lot more successful than the Russian program,mainly because of the problems that the Russians had with funding and their politics at the time. In 1969, Niel Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. Also, both the US and Russia had probes going to Veuns and Mars. The program also furthered the use of commercial satelites.

4. Economy

Average prices:
New home: $16,500
First class stamp: $0.04
Gallon of milk: $0.49
Gallon of Gas: $0.31

National Debt: $290.5 billion
Unemployment rate: 5.5%

6. Politics

Political leaders of the 1960's:
~Dwight D. Eisenhower-wanted to maintain a strong army

Photo of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Photo of Dwight D. Eisenhower

~John F. Kennedy- assassinated on November 22, 1963
- "Ask not what your country can do for you--ask what you can do for your country."
- proponent of civil rights/equality
~Lyndon B. Johnson- wanted a new civil rights bill and tax cuts
~Richard Nixon- strong environmental program
- new anti-crime laws

Photo of John F. Kennedy
Photo of John F. Kennedy

~Lyndon B. Johnson- wanted a new civil rights bill and tax cuts

Photo of Lyndon B. Johnson
Photo of Lyndon B. Johnson

~Richard Nixon- strong environmental program
- new anti-crime laws

Photo of Richard M. Nixon
Photo of Richard M. Nixon

Short Answer Question: Do you think that the culture of the 1960's negatively impacted the morals of the people at the time as seen by the decline of religious observation and the increased use of drugs?

Multiple Choice:
1) The 24th amendment:

a. outlawed poll taxes
b. was about prohibition
c. made laws about gun control
d. outlawed illicit drug use

2) Who was the first Catholic president?

a. Eisenhower
b. Johnson
c. Kennedy
d. Nixon

3. What year were women allowed to teach in school while being pregnant?

a. 1961
b. 1964
c. 1965
d. 1968

4. Psychedelic and acid rock became very popular due to what?

a. increase in public religious observence
b. increase in drug use
c. the radio switch from AMto FM
d. the invention of the moog synthesizer

5. Public support for the Vietnam War

a. was unanimous among the public
b. was moderate
c. was nearly nonexistant
d. was especially strong among collage age students