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From top left, clockwise: A US Navy plane flies over a Soviet cargo ship during the Cuban Missile Crisis ; Israeli tanks advancing on the Golan Heights during the Six-Day War ; Biafran child starving from the mass famine caused by the Nigerian Civil War ; A U.S. infantry patrol during the Vietnam War ; the Birth control pill is first introduced; the Prague Spring unfolds before the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia and was part of the Protests of 1968 ; China's Mao Zedong initiates the Great Leap Forward plan which fails and brings mass starvation in which 15 to 55 million people died by 1961, and in 1966, Mao starts the Cultural Revolution , which purged traditional Chinese practices and ideas; During the Year of Africa , in which 16 African countries gained independence from their European colonial rulers; Martin Luther King Jr. delivers his I Have a Dream speech; The Apollo 11 mission lands the first humans on the Moon; Damaged homes in Chile following the 9.4–9.6 Mw Valdivia earthquake ; John F. Kennedy is assassinated in 1963.

The 1960s (pronounced "nineteen-sixties", shortened to the "'60s" or the "Sixties") was a decade that began on January 1, 1960, and ended on December 31, 1969. [1]


While the achievements of humans being launched into space, orbiting Earth, and walking on the Moon extended exploration, the Sixties are known as the "countercultural decade" in the United States and other Western countries. There was a revolution in social norms, including clothing, music (such as the Altamont Free Concert), drugs, dress, sexuality, formalities, civil rights, precepts of military duty, and schooling. Others denounce the decade as one of irresponsible excess, flamboyance, the decay of social order, and the fall or relaxation of social taboos. A wide range of music emerged; from popular music inspired by and including the Beatles (in the United States known as the British Invasion), the folk music revival, to the poetic lyrics of Bob Dylan. In the United States the Sixties were also called the "cultural decade" while in the United Kingdom (especially London) it was called the Swinging Sixties.

The United States had four presidents that served during the decade; Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard Nixon. Eisenhower was near the end of his term and left office in January 1961, and Kennedy was assassinated [2] [3] in 1963. Kennedy had wanted Keynesian [4] and staunch anti-communist social reforms. These were passed under Johnson including civil rights for African Americans and healthcare for the elderly and the poor. Despite his large-scale Great Society programs, Johnson was increasingly disliked by the New Left at home and abroad. For some, May 1968 meant the end of traditional collective action and the beginning of a new era to be dominated mainly by the so-called new social movements. [5]

After the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro, the United States attempted to depose the new leader by training Cuban exiles and invading the island of Cuba. This led to Cuba to ally itself to the Soviet Union, a hostile enemy to the United States, resulting in an international crisis when Cuba hosted Soviet ballistic missiles similar to Turkey hosting American missiles, which brought the possibility of causing World War III. However, after negotiations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R, both agreed to withdraw their weapons averting potential nuclear warfare.

After U.S. President Kennedy's assassination, direct tensions between the superpower countries of the United States and the Soviet Union developed into a contest with proxy wars, insurgency funding, puppet governments and other overall influence mainly in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. This "Cold War" dominated the world's geopolitics during the decade. Construction of the Berlin Wall by East Germany began in 1961. Africa was in a period of radical political change as 32 countries gained independence from their European colonial rulers. The heavy-handed American role in the Vietnam War lead to an anti-Vietnam War movement with outraged student protestors around the globe culminating in the protests of 1968.

China saw the end of Mao's Great Leap Forward in 1962 that led to many Chinese to die from the deadliest famine in human history and the start of the Cultural Revolution from 1966 to 1976. Its stated goal was to preserve Chinese communism by purging remnants of capitalist and traditional elements from Chinese society, leading to the arrests of a many Chinese politicians, the killings of millions of civilians and ethnic minorities, and the destruction of many historical and cultural buildings, artifacts and materials all of which would last until the death of Mao Zedong.

By the end of the 1950s, post-war reconstructed Europe began an economic boom. World War II had closed up social classes with remnants of the old feudal gentry disappearing. A developing upper-working-class (a newly redefined middle-class) in Western Europe could afford a radio, television, refrigerator and motor vehicles. The Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries were improving quickly after rebuilding from WWII. Real GDP growth averaged 6% a year during the second half of the decade; overall, the worldwide economy prospered in the 1960s with expansion of the middle class and the increase of new domestic technology.

In the United Kingdom, the Labour Party gained power in 1964 with Harold Wilson as Prime Minister through most of the decade. [6] In France, the protests of 1968 led to President Charles de Gaulle temporarily fleeing the country. [7] Italy formed its first left-of-center government in March 1962 with Aldo Moro becoming Prime Minister in 1963. Soviet leaders during the decade were Nikita Khrushchev until 1964 and Leonid Brezhnev.

During the 1960s, the world population increased from 3.0 to 3.7 billion people. There were approximately 1.15 billion births and 500 million deaths.

Politics and wars


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The Vietnam War (1955–1975)
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The maximum territorial extent of countries in the world under Soviet influence, after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 and before the official Sino-Soviet split of 1961
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A child suffering the effects of severe hunger and malnutrition during the Nigerian blockade of Biafra 1967–1970.

Internal conflicts


Prominent coups d'état of the decade included:

Nuclear threats

Pictures of Soviet missile silos in Cuba, taken by United States spy planes on 1 November 1962. Cuban missiles.jpg
Pictures of Soviet missile silos in Cuba, taken by United States spy planes on 1 November 1962.

Decolonization and independence

Prominent political events

North America

United States
Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the March on Washington in 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mathew Ahmann in a crowd.) - NARA - 542015 - Restoration.jpg
Martin Luther King Jr. and others at the March on Washington in 1963
  • The Quiet Revolution in Quebec altered the province-city-state into a more secular society. The Jean Lesage Liberal government created a welfare state (État-Providence) and fomented the rise of active nationalism among Francophone French-speaking Quebecer Québécois.
  • On 15 February 1965, the new flag of Canada was adopted in Canada after a much-anticipated debate known as the Great Canadian flag debate.
  • In 1960, the Canadian Bill of Rights becomes law and suffrage (as well as the right for any Canadian citizen to vote) was finally adopted by John Diefenbaker's Progressive Conservative government. The new election act allowed First Nations people to vote for the first time.
  • The student and New Left protests in 1968 coincided with political upheavals in a number of other countries. Although these events often sprung from completely different causes, they were influenced by reports and images of what was happening in the United States and France. [18]
By the late 1960s, Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara's famous image had become a popular symbol of rebellion for the New Left Che Guevara - Guerrillero Heroico by Alberto Korda.jpg
By the late 1960s, Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara's famous image had become a popular symbol of rebellion for the New Left


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East German construction workers building the Berlin Wall, 20 November 1961


  • The Cultural Revolution (1966–1976) and the Sino-Soviet split (1961–1989)
    • 1966 marked the beginning of the Cultural Revolution that was launched by Mao Zedong and lasted until his death in 1976. The goal of the revolution was to preserve Chinese communism by purging Chinese society of its traditional and remaining capitalist elements. Though it failed to achieve its main objectives, the revolution marked the effective return of Mao to the center of power.
    • Following Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's removal from power in 1964, Sino-Soviet relations devolved into open hostility. The Chinese were deeply disturbed by the Soviet suppression of the Prague Spring in 1968 as the latter now claimed the right to intervene in any country it saw as deviating from the correct path of socialism. In March 1969, armed clashes took place along the Sino-Soviet border in the former Manchuria and this finally drove the Chinese to restore relations with the U.S. as Mao Zedong decided that the Soviet Union posed the bigger threat to China.
  • A literary and cultural movement started in Calcutta, Patna and other cities by a group of writers and painters who called themselves "Hungryalists", or members of the Hungry generation. The band of writers wanted to change virtually everything and were arrested with several cases filed against them on various charges; they ultimately won these cases. [23]
  • President Sukarno banned the Masyumi Party on 15 August 1960 and caused a tension the between government and Islamist groups. [24]
  • The Transition to the New Order (1965–1968)
    • In the early hours of 1 October 1965, a group of army officers launched an abortive coup d'état in Jakarta, assassinated six senior Indonesian Army generals and a junior army officer. They also seized Merdeka Square and proclaimed the establishment of the "Council of Revolution" through a radio broadcast later in the morning, with Lieutenant Colonel Untung Syamsuri as its leader.
    • On the same day, Major General Suharto successfully persuaded the soldiers on Merdeka Square to join forces with the Indonesian Army Strategic Reserve Command divisions and launched a counterattack on the movement, ending the coup attempt. Three days later, the bodies of seven army officers were found buried in an old well in Lubang Buaya and the bodies were recovered.
    • In the aftermath of the coup d'état attempt, the people blamed the attempt on the Communist Party of Indonesia, prompting a mass purge against leftists and communist sympathizers across the country. Around 500,000-1,000,000 casualties were massacred. The killings were mostly done by the locals with the help of the Army.
    • Soon, mass demonstrations and protests from the Indonesian Students' Action Front against President Sukarno's government occurred. President Sukarno was notorious for his friendly approach towards the leftists, particularly the Communist Party of Indonesia.
    • In the climax of the protests, President Sukarno signed the Supersemar on 11 March 1966, effectively transferring authority to Major General Suharto to restore order and ensure security in the country. On 12 March 1967, President Sukarno was stripped of his political power by the Provisional People's Consultative Assembly (MPRS) and Major General Suharto became acting president. Later, he became president formally on 27 March 1968. Sukarno lived under house arrest until his death in June 1970.
Japan and South Korea


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Gamal Abdel Nasser, African leader
  • On 1 September 1969, the Libyan monarchy was overthrown and a radical, revolutionary government headed by dictator Muammar Gaddafi took power.
  • On 1 October 1960, Nigeria gained its independence from Great Britain.

South America

  • In 1964, a successful coup against the democratically elected government of Brazilian president João Goulart initiated a military dictatorship that caused over 20 years of oppression.
  • The Argentine revolutionary Ernesto "Che" Guevara travelled to Africa and then Bolivia in his campaign to spread worldwide revolution. He was captured and executed in 1967 by the Bolivian army and afterwards became an iconic figure for leftists around the world.
  • Juan Velasco Alvarado took power by means of a coup in Peru in 1968.


The United States

During the 1960s the United States was in the postwar economic boom. The 1960s are remembered as a time period of rapid workforce growth (roughly 33% between February 1961 and December 1969), [25] tax cuts, low unemployment, [26] [27] rapid GDP growth, gains in productivity and generally low inflation. After the Recession of 1960–1961 the United States experienced sustained rapid economic growth which began in February 1961 and ended with the Recession of 1969–1970. It lasted a total of 106 months, which made it the longest recorded economic expansion in the history of the United States until the 1990s United States boom.

On January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy became the president of the United States. In his campaign, John F. Kennedy promised to "get America moving again." His goal was economic growth of 4–6% per year and unemployment below 4%.[ citation needed ]To do this, he proposed a wide range of policies which embraced Keynesian economics (which he is the first president to do so). Among these policies included a 7% tax credit for businesses that invest in new plants and equipment,[ citation needed ] Income tax cuts and an increase in the federal minimum wage.

Although, the 1960s were not perfect. The government routinely produced fiscal deficits (as a result of the tax cuts and increased expenditure embarked under Kennedy), with only one surplus during this time period (as opposed to the 1950s which produced 3). [28] Furthermore, by 1966 inflation began to climb, which is a general trend that continued into the 1970's. By the end of the decade under Nixon, the combined inflation and unemployment rate known as the misery index (economics) had exploded to nearly 10% with inflation at 6.2% and unemployment at 3.5% and by 1975 the misery index was almost 20%. [29] By the end of the decade, median family income had risen from $8,540 in 1963 to $10,770 by 1969. [30]

Assassinations and attempts

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Patrice Lumumba
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John F. Kennedy
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Martin Luther King, Jr.

Prominent assassinations, targeted killings, and assassination attempts include:

12 October 1960 Inejiro Asanuma, leader of the Japan Socialist Party, is stabbed to death by far-right ultranationalist Otoya Yamaguchi while speaking in a televised political debate in Tokyo. [31] [32]
17 January 1961 Patrice Lumumba, the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Maurice Mpolo, Minister of Youth and Sports; Joseph Okito, vice-president of the Senate, are assassinated by a Belgian and Congolese firing squad outside Lubumbashi. [33]
30 May 1961 Rafael Trujillo, Dictator of the Dominican Republic for 31 years, is assassinated in a plot led by members of his general staff. [34]
13 January 1963 Sylvanus Olympio, the Prime Minister of Togo, is killed during the 1963 Togolese coup d'état. His body is dumped in front of the U.S. embassy in Lomé. [35]
2 November 1963 Ngô Đình Diệm, 1st President of South Vietnam, along with his brother and chief political adviser Ngô Đình Nhu, is assassinated in a coup led by elements of the South Vietnamese Army. [36]
22 November 1963 John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, is shot to death while riding in a motorcade through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. His assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, would himself be murdered by Jack Ruby two days later. [37]
21 February 1965 Malcolm X, an American civil rights leader, is shot to death in Manhattan. The perpetrators of the killing is disputed. [38]
6 September 1966 Hendrik Verwoerd, Prime Minister of South Africa and architect of apartheid, was stabbed to death by a parliamentary messenger at the South African House of Assembly. [39]
9 October 1967 Che Guevara, an Argentine-Cuban Marxist revolutionary, is executed by the CIA and Bolivian army. [40]
4 April 1968 Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights leader, is shot to death in Memphis, Tennessee. [41]
5 June 1968 Robert F. Kennedy, former Attorney General and a leading 1968 Democratic presidential candidate, is shot to death in Los Angeles following a speech regarding his victory in California. [42]




Social and political movements

Counterculture and social revolution

In the second half of the decade, young people began to revolt against the conservative norms of the old time, as well as remove themselves from mainstream liberalism, in particular the high level of materialism which was so common during the era. This created a "counterculture" that sparked a social revolution throughout much of the Western world. It began in the United States as a reaction against the conservatism and social conformity of the 1950s, and the U.S. government's extensive military intervention in Vietnam. The youth involved in the popular social aspects of the movement became known as hippies. These groups created a movement toward liberation in society, including the sexual revolution, questioning authority and government, and demanding more freedoms and rights for women and minorities. The Underground Press, a widespread, eclectic collection of newspapers served as a unifying medium for the counterculture. The movement was also marked by the first widespread, socially accepted drug use (including LSD and marijuana) and psychedelic music.

Anti-war movement

A demonstrator offers a flower to military police guarding the Pentagon during the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam's 21 October 1967 March on the Pentagon Vietnamdem.jpg
A demonstrator offers a flower to military police guarding the Pentagon during the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam's 21 October 1967 March on the Pentagon

The war in Vietnam would eventually lead to a commitment of over half a million American troops, resulting in over 58,500 American deaths and producing a large-scale antiwar movement in the United States. As late as the end of 1965, few Americans protested the American involvement in Vietnam, but as the war dragged on and the body count continued to climb, civil unrest escalated. Students became a powerful and disruptive force and university campuses sparked a national debate over the war. As the movement's ideals spread beyond college campuses, doubts about the war also began to appear within the administration itself. A mass movement began rising in opposition to the Vietnam War, including the National Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam's 1967 march to the United Nations and its March on the Pentagon, the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests at which the slogan "The whole world is watching" became famous, and continuing in the massive Moratorium protests in 1969 as well as the movement of resistance to conscription ("the Draft") for the war.[ citation needed ]

The antiwar movement was initially based on the older 1950s Peace movement, heavily influenced by the American Communist Party, but by the mid-1960s it outgrew this and became a broad-based mass movement centered in universities and churches: one kind of protest was called a "sit-in". Other terms heard in the United States included "the Draft", "draft dodger", "conscientious objector", and "Vietnam vet". Voter age-limits were challenged by the phrase: "If you're old enough to die for your country, you're old enough to vote."

Civil rights movement

Leaders of the civil rights movement's 28 August 1963, March on Washington in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. (Leaders of the march posing in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln... - NARA - 542063 (cropped).jpg
Leaders of the civil rights movement's 28 August 1963, March on Washington in front of the statue of Abraham Lincoln

Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing into the late 1960s, African Americans in the United States organized a movement to end legalized racial discrimination and obtain voting rights. This article covers the phase of the movement between 1955 and 1968, particularly in the South. The emergence of the Black Power movement, which lasted roughly from 1966 to 1975, enlarged the aims of the civil rights movement to include racial dignity, economic and political self-sufficiency, and anti-imperialism.

The movement was characterized by major campaigns of civil resistance. Between 1955 and 1968, acts of civil disobedience and nonviolent protest produced crisis situations between activists and government authorities. Federal, state, and local governments, businesses, and communities often had to respond immediately to these situations that highlighted the inequities faced by African Americans. Forms of protest and/or civil disobedience included boycotts such as the successful Montgomery bus boycott (1955–1956) in Alabama, sit-ins such as the influential Greensboro sit-ins (1960) in North Carolina, marches such as the Selma to Montgomery marches (1965) in Alabama, and other nonviolent activities.

Noted legislative achievements during this phase of the civil rights movement were passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 [43] that banned discrimination based on "race, color, religion, or national origin" in employment practices and public accommodations, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that restored and protected voting rights, the Immigration and Nationality Services Act of 1965 that dramatically opened entry to the U.S. to immigrants other than traditional European groups, and the Fair Housing Act of 1968 that banned discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.

Hispanic and Chicano movement

Another large ethnic minority group, the Mexican-Americans, are among other Hispanics in the U.S. who fought to end racial discrimination and socioeconomic disparity. The largest Mexican-American populations were in the Southwestern United States, such as California with over 1 million Chicanos in Los Angeles alone, and Texas where Jim Crow laws included Mexican-Americans as "non-white" in some instances to be legally segregated.

Socially, the Chicano Movement addressed what it perceived to be negative ethnic stereotypes of Mexicans in mass media and the American consciousness. It did so through the creation of works of literary and visual art that validated Mexican-American ethnicity and culture. Chicanos fought to end social stigmas such as the usage of the Spanish language and advocated official bilingualism in federal and state governments.

The Chicano Movement also addressed discrimination in public and private institutions. Early in the twentieth century, Mexican Americans formed organizations to protect themselves from discrimination. One of those organizations, the League of United Latin American Citizens, was formed in 1929 and remains active today. [44]

The movement gained momentum after World War II when groups such as the American G.I. Forum, which was formed by returning Mexican American veterans, joined in the efforts by other civil rights organizations. [45]

Mexican-American civil-rights activists achieved several major legal victories including the 1947 Mendez v. Westminster U.S. Supreme Court ruling which declared that segregating children of "Mexican and Latin descent" was unconstitutional and the 1954 Hernandez v. Texas ruling which declared that Mexican Americans and other racial groups in the United States were entitled to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. [46] [47]

The most prominent civil-rights organization in the Mexican-American community, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), was founded in 1968. [48] Although modeled after the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, MALDEF has also taken on many of the functions of other organizations, including political advocacy and training of local leaders.

Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans in the U.S. mainland fought against racism, police brutality and socioeconomic problems affecting the three million Puerto Ricans residing in the 50 states. The main concentration of the population was in New York City.

In the 1960s and the following 1970s, Hispanic-American culture was on the rebound like ethnic music, foods, culture and identity both became popular and assimilated into the American mainstream. Spanish-language television networks, radio stations and newspapers increased in presence across the country, especially in U.S.–Mexican border towns and East Coast cities like New York City, and the growth of the Cuban American community in Miami, Florida.

The multitude of discrimination at this time represented an inhuman side to a society that in the 1960s was upheld as a world and industry leader. The issues of civil rights and warfare became major points of reflection of virtue and democracy, what once was viewed as traditional and inconsequential was now becoming the significance in the turning point of a culture. A document known as the Port Huron Statement exemplifies these two conditions perfectly in its first hand depiction, "while these and other problems either directly oppressed us or rankled our consciences and became our own subjective concerns, we began to see complicated and disturbing paradoxes in our surrounding America. The declaration "all men are created equal..." rang hollow before the facts of Negro life in the South and the big cities of the North. The proclaimed peaceful intentions of the United States contradicted its economic and military investments in the Cold War status quo." These intolerable issues became too visible to ignore therefore its repercussions were feared greatly, the realization that we as individuals take the responsibility for encounter and resolution in our lives issues was an emerging idealism of the 1960s.

Second-wave feminism

A second wave of feminism in the United States and around the world gained momentum in the early 1960s. While the first wave of the early 20th century was centered on gaining suffrage and overturning de jure inequalities, the second wave was focused on changing cultural and social norms and de facto inequalities associated with women. At the time, a woman's place was generally seen as being in the home, and they were excluded from many jobs and professions. In the U.S., a Presidential Commission on the Status of Women found discrimination against women in the workplace and every other aspect of life, a revelation which launched two decades of prominent women-centered legal reforms (i.e., the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title IX, etc.) which broke down the last remaining legal barriers to women's personal freedom and professional success.

Feminists took to the streets, marching and protesting, authoring books and debating to change social and political views that limited women. In 1963, with Betty Friedan's book, The Feminine Mystique , the role of women in society, and in public and private life was questioned. By 1966, the movement was beginning to grow in size and power as women's group spread across the country and Friedan, along with other feminists, founded the National Organization for Women. In 1968, "Women's Liberation" became a household term as, for the first time, the new women's movement eclipsed the civil rights movement when New York Radical Women, led by Robin Morgan, protested the annual Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The movement continued throughout the next decades. Gloria Steinem was a key feminist.

Gay rights movement

The United States, in the middle of a social revolution, led the world in LGBT rights in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Inspired by the civil-rights movement and the women's movement, early gay-rights pioneers had begun, by the 1960s, to build a movement. These groups were rather conservative in their practices, emphasizing that gay men and women are no different from those who are straight and deserve full equality. This philosophy would be dominant again after AIDS, but by the very end of the 1960s, the movement's goals would change and become more radical, demanding a right to be different, and encouraging gay pride.

The symbolic birth of the gay rights movement would not come until the decade had almost come to a close. Gays were not allowed by law to congregate. Gay establishments such as the Stonewall Inn in New York City were routinely raided by the police to arrest gay people. On a night in late June 1969, LGBT people resisted, for the first time, a police raid, and rebelled openly in the streets. This uprising called the Stonewall riots began a new period of the LGBT rights movement that in the next decade would cause dramatic change both inside the LGBT community and in the mainstream American culture.

New Left

The rapid rise of a "New Left" applied the class perspective of Marxism to postwar America but had little organizational connection with older Marxist organizations such as the Communist Party, and even went as far as to reject organized labor as the basis of a unified left-wing movement. Sympathetic to the ideology of C. Wright Mills, the New Left differed from the traditional left in its resistance to dogma and its emphasis on personal as well as societal change. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) became the organizational focus of the New Left and was the prime mover behind the opposition to the War in Vietnam. The 1960s left also consisted of ephemeral campus-based Trotskyist, Maoist and anarchist groups, some of which by the end of the 1960s had turned to militancy.


The 1960s was also associated with a large increase in crime and urban unrest of all types. Between 1960 and 1969 reported incidence of violent crime per 100,000 people in the United States nearly doubled and have yet to return to the levels of the early 1960s. [49] Large riots broke out in many cities like Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, New York City, Newark, New Jersey, Oakland, California and Washington, D.C. By the end of the decade, politicians like George Wallace and Richard Nixon campaigned on restoring law and order to a nation troubled with the new unrest.

Science and technology


Space exploration

On 21 December 1968, the Apollo 8 crew took a picture, for the first time in history, of the entire Earth As08-16-2593.jpg
On 21 December 1968, the Apollo 8 crew took a picture, for the first time in history, of the entire Earth
The Apollo 11 mission landed the first humans on the Moon in July 1969. Aldrin Apollo 11 original.jpg
The Apollo 11 mission landed the first humans on the Moon in July 1969.

The Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union dominated the 1960s. The Soviets sent the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into outer space during the Vostok 1 mission on 12 April 1961, and scored a host of other successes, but by the middle of the decade the U.S. was taking the lead. In May 1961, President Kennedy set the goal for the United States of landing a man on the Moon by the end of the 1960s.

In June 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space during the Vostok 6 mission. In 1965, Soviets launched the first probe to hit another planet of the Solar System (Venus), Venera 3, and the first probe to make a soft landing on and transmit from the surface of the Moon, Luna 9. In March 1966, the Soviet Union launched Luna 10, which became the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon, and in September 1968, Zond 5 flew the first terrestrial beings, including two tortoises, to circumnavigate the Moon.

The deaths of astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger B. Chaffee in the Apollo 1 fire on 27 January 1967, put a temporary hold on the U.S. space program, but afterward progress was steady, with the Apollo 8 crew (Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, William Anders) being the first crewed mission to orbit another celestial body (the Moon) during Christmas of 1968.

On 20 July 1969, the first humans landed on the Moon. The Apollo 11 mission, launched on 16 July 1969, carried mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, and Aldrin and Armstrong flew the Lunar Module Eagle to the lunar surface. Apollo 11 fulfilled President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the Moon by the end of the 1960s, which he had expressed during a speech given before a joint session of Congress on 25 May 1961: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

The Soviet program lost its sense of direction with the death of chief designer Sergey Korolyov in 1966. Political pressure, conflicts between different design bureaus, and engineering problems caused by an inadequate budget would doom the Soviet attempt to land men on the Moon. Shortly after the American Apollo 1 disaster, tragedy struck the Soviet program when cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was killed when the parachutes on his Soyuz 1 flight failed.

A succession of uncrewed American and Soviet probes traveled to the Moon, Venus, and Mars during the 1960s, and commercial satellites also came into use.

Other scientific developments

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The birth control pill was introduced in 1960.


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A 0 series Shinkansen high-speed rail set in Tokyo, May 1967

Shinkansen, the world's first high-speed rail service began in 1964.


As the 1960s began, American cars showed a rapid rejection of 1950s styling excess, and would remain relatively clean and boxy for the entire decade. The horsepower race reached its climax in the late 1960s, with muscle cars sold by most makes. The compact Ford Mustang, launched in 1964, was one of the decade's greatest successes. The "Big Three" American automakers enjoyed their highest ever sales and profitability in the 1960s, but the demise of Studebaker in 1966 left American Motors Corporation as the last significant independent. The decade would see the car market split into different size classes for the first time, and model lineups now included compact and mid-sized cars in addition to full-sized ones.

The popular modern hatchback, with front-wheel-drive and a two-box configuration, was born in 1965 with the introduction of the Renault 16, many of this car's design principles live on in its modern counterparts: a large rear opening incorporating the rear window, foldable rear seats to extend boot space. The Mini, released in 1959, had first popularised the front wheel drive two-box configuration, but technically was not a hatchback as it had a fold-down bootlid.

Japanese cars also began to gain acceptance in the Western market, and popular economy models such as the Toyota Corolla, Datsun 510, and the first popular Japanese sports car, the Datsun 240Z, were released in the mid- to late-1960s.

Electronics and communications

Examples of 1960s technology, including two rotary-dial telephones and a Kodak camera. 60s tech.jpg
Examples of 1960s technology, including two rotary-dial telephones and a Kodak camera.

Additional notable worldwide events

The counterculture movement dominated the second half of the 1960s, its most famous moments being the Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967, and the Woodstock Festival in upstate New York in 1969. Psychedelic drugs, especially LSD, were widely used medicinally, spiritually and recreationally throughout the late 1960s, and were popularized by Timothy Leary with his slogan "Turn on, tune in, drop out". Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters also played a part in the role of "turning heads on". Psychedelic influenced the music, artwork and films of the decade, and a number of prominent musicians died of drug overdoses (see 27 Club). There was a growing interest in Eastern religions and philosophy, and many attempts were made to found communes, which varied from supporting free love to religious puritanism.


The Miracles pictured in 1962. Known as Motown's "soul supergroup", The Miracles were one of the first commercially successful acts of the 1960s and propelled both Motown and its Tamla label to international fame. The Miracles (1962 Tamla publicity photo).jpg
The Miracles pictured in 1962. Known as Motown's "soul supergroup", The Miracles were one of the first commercially successful acts of the 1960s and propelled both Motown and its Tamla label to international fame.
The Beatles i Hotorgscity 1963.jpg
The arrival of the Beatles in the U.S. during 1964, and particularly their appearance on television's The Ed Sullivan Show , marked the beginning of the British Invasion in the history of music, in which a large number of rock and pop music acts from the United Kingdom gained enormous popularity in the U.S.
Joan Baez Bob Dylan crop.jpg
Bob Dylan was the face of the American folk music revival of the 1960s. In 1964, Dylan was shifting his focus to more abstract and introspective themes, and eventually would adapt the use of electric instrumentation, alienating many in the folk crowd.

"The 60s were a leap in human consciousness. Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Che Guevara, Mother Teresa, they led a revolution of conscience. The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix created revolution and evolution themes. The music was like Dalí, with many colors and revolutionary ways. The youth of today must go there to find themselves."

Carlos Santana [51]

The rock 'n' roll movement of the 1950s quickly came to an end in 1959 with the Day the Music Died (as explained in the song "American Pie"), the scandal of Jerry Lee Lewis' marriage to his 13-year-old cousin, and the induction of Elvis Presley into the United States Army. As the 1960s began, the major rock 'n' roll stars of the '50s such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard had dropped off the charts and popular music in the U.S. came to be dominated by girl groups, surf music, novelty pop songs, clean-cut teen idols, and Motown music. Another important change in music during the early 1960s was the American folk music revival which introduced Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, The Kingston Trio, Harry Belafonte, Odetta, Phil Ochs, and many other singer-songwriters to the public.

Girl groups and female singers, such as the Shirelles, Betty Everett, Little Eva, the Dixie Cups, the Ronettes, Martha and the Vandellas and the Supremes dominated the charts in the early 1960s. This style consisted typically of light pop themes about teenage romance and lifestyles, backed by vocal harmonies and a strong rhythm. Most girl groups were African-American, but white girl groups and singers, such as Lesley Gore, the Angels, and the Shangri-Las also emerged during this period.

Around the same time, record producer Phil Spector began producing girl groups and created a new kind of pop music production that came to be known as the Wall of Sound. This style emphasized higher budgets and more elaborate arrangements, and more melodramatic musical themes in place of a simple, light-hearted pop sound. Spector's innovations became integral to the growing sophistication of popular music from 1965 onward.

Also during the early 1960s, surf rock emerged, a rock subgenre that was centered in Southern California and based on beach and surfing themes, in addition to the usual songs about teenage romance and innocent fun. The Beach Boys quickly became the premier surf rock band and almost completely and single-handedly overshadowed the many lesser-known artists in the subgenre. Surf rock reached its peak in 1963–1965 before gradually being overtaken by bands influenced by the British Invasion and the counterculture movement.

The car song also emerged as a rock subgenre in the early 1960s, which focused on teenagers' fascination with car culture. The Beach Boys also dominated this subgenre, along with the duo Jan and Dean. Such notable songs include "Little Deuce Coupe", "409", and "Shut Down", all by the Beach Boys; Jan and Dean's "Little Old Lady from Pasadena" and "Drag City", Ronny and the Daytonas' "Little GTO", and many others. Like girl groups and surf rock, car songs also became overshadowed by the British Invasion and the counterculture movement.

The early 1960s also saw the golden age of another rock subgenre, the teen tragedy song, which focused on lost teen romance caused by sudden death, mainly in traffic accidents. Such songs included Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel", Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her", Jan and Dean's "Dead Man's Curve", the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack", and perhaps the subgenre's most popular, "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers.

In the early 1960s, Britain became a hotbed of rock 'n' roll activity during this time. In late 1963, the Beatles embarked on their first US tour and cult singer Dusty Springfield released her first solo single. A few months later, rock 'n' roll founding father Chuck Berry emerged from a 2+12-year prison stint and resumed recording and touring. The stage was set for the spectacular revival of rock music.

In the UK, the Beatles played raucous rock 'n' roll – as well as doo wop, girl-group songs, show tunes – and wore leather jackets. Their manager Brian Epstein encouraged the group to wear suits. Beatlemania abruptly exploded after the group's appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Late in 1965, the Beatles released the album Rubber Soul which marked the beginning of their transition to a sophisticated power pop group with elaborate studio arrangements and production, and a year after that, they gave up touring entirely to focus only on albums. A host of imitators followed the Beatles in the so-called British Invasion, including groups like the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Kinks who would become legends in their own right.

As the counterculture movement developed, artists began making new kinds of music influenced by the use of psychedelic drugs. Guitarist Jimi Hendrix emerged onto the scene in 1967 with a radically new approach to electric guitar that replaced Chuck Berry, previously seen as the gold standard of rock guitar. Rock artists began to take on serious themes and social commentary/protest instead of simplistic pop themes.

A major development in popular music during the mid-1960s was the movement away from singles and towards albums. Previously, popular music was based around the 45 single (or even earlier, the 78 single) and albums such as they existed were little more than a hit single or two backed with filler tracks, instrumentals, and covers. The development of the AOR (album-oriented rock) format was complicated and involved several concurrent events such as Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, the introduction by Bob Dylan of "serious" lyrics to rock music, and the Beatles' new studio-based approach. In any case, after 1965 the vinyl LP had definitively taken over as the primary format for all popular music styles.

Blues also continued to develop strongly during the '60s, but after 1965, it increasingly shifted to the young white rock audience and away from its traditional black audience, which moved on to other styles such as soul and funk.

Jazz music and pop standards during the first half of the 1960s was largely a continuation of 1950s styles, retaining its core audience of young, urban, college-educated whites. By 1967, the death of several important jazz figures such as John Coltrane and Nat King Cole precipitated a decline in the genre. The takeover of rock in the late 1960s largely spelled the end of jazz and standards as mainstream forms of music, after they had dominated much of the first half of the 20th century.

Country music gained popularity on the West Coast, due in large part to the Bakersfield sound, led by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard. Female country artists were also becoming more mainstream (in a genre dominated by men in previous decades), with such acts as Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, and Tammy Wynette.

Significant events in music in the 1960s

Simon and Garfunkel were a popular musical duo of the era Simon & Garfunkel 919-3036.jpg
Simon and Garfunkel were a popular musical duo of the era
The Jimi Hendrix Experience launched the mainstream career of Jimi Hendrix, one of the most influential electric guitarists in history Jimi Hendrix experience 1968.jpg
The Jimi Hendrix Experience launched the mainstream career of Jimi Hendrix, one of the most influential electric guitarists in history


Salah Zulfikar in The Cursed Palace (1962) SalahZulfikar1962.jpg
Salah Zulfikar in The Cursed Palace (1962)

The highest-grossing film of the decade was 20th Century Fox's The Sound of Music (1965). [54]

Some of Hollywood's most notable blockbuster films of the 1960s include:

The counterculture movement had a significant effect on cinema. Movies began to break social taboos such as sex and violence causing both controversy and fascination. They turned increasingly dramatic, unbalanced, and hectic as the cultural revolution was starting. This was the beginning of the New Hollywood era that dominated the next decade in theatres and revolutionized the film industry. Films of this time also focused on the changes happening in the world. Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider (1969) focused on the drug culture of the time. Movies also became more sexually explicit, such as Roger Vadim's Barbarella (1968), as the counterculture progressed.

In Europe, art cinema gained wider distribution and saw movements like la Nouvelle Vague (The French New Wave), which featured French filmmakers such as Roger Vadim, François Truffaut, Alain Resnais, and Jean-Luc Godard; the cinéma vérité documentary movement took place in Canada, France and the United States; Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman, Chilean filmmaker Alexandro Jodorowsky and Polish filmmakers Roman Polanski and Wojciech Jerzy Has produced original and offbeat masterpieces and the high-point of Italian filmmaking with Michelangelo Antonioni and Federico Fellini making some of their most known films during this period. Notable films from this period include: La Dolce Vita , 8+12 ; La Notte ; L'Eclisse , The Red Desert ; Blowup ; Fellini Satyricon ; Accattone ; The Gospel According to St. Matthew ; Theorem ; Winter Light ; The Silence ; Persona ; Shame ; A Passion ; Au Hasard Balthazar ; Mouchette ; Last Year at Marienbad ; Chronique d'un été ; Titicut Follies ; High School ; Salesman ; La jetée ; Warrendale; Knife in the Water ; Repulsion ; The Saragossa Manuscript ; El Topo ; A Hard Day's Night ; and the cinéma vérité Dont Look Back .

Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and James Coburn in John Sturges's The Magnificent Seven, 1960 The Magnificent Seven cast publicity photo.jpg
Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and James Coburn in John Sturges's The Magnificent Seven , 1960

In Japan, Chūshingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki a film version of the story of the forty-seven rōnin directed by Hiroshi Inagaki, was released in 1962; the legendary story was also remade as a television series in Japan. Academy Award-winning Japanese director Akira Kurosawa produced Yojimbo (1961) and Sanjuro (1962), which both starred Toshiro Mifune as a mysterious samurai swordsman for hire. Like his previous films both had a profound influence around the world. The Spaghetti Western genre was a direct outgrowth of the Kurosawa films. The influence of these films is most apparent in Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (1964) starring Clint Eastwood and Walter Hill's Last Man Standing (1996). Yojimbo was also the origin of the "Man with No Name" trend which included Sergio Leone's For a Few Dollars More , and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly both also starring Clint Eastwood, and arguably continued through his 1968 opus Once Upon a Time in the West , starring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, and Jason Robards. The Magnificent Seven a 1960 American western film directed by John Sturges was a remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film, Seven Samurai . Another popular figure in this genre was John Wayne, with films from the 60s such as The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), El Dorado (1966), True Grit (1969) and others.

The 1960s were also about experimentation. With the explosion of lightweight and affordable cameras, the underground avant-garde film movement thrived. The movement's notable figures include Canada's Michael Snow and Americans Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, and Jack Smith. Notable films in this genre include Dog Star Man , Scorpio Rising , Wavelength , Chelsea Girls , Blow Job , Vinyl , and Flaming Creatures .

Walt Disney, the founder of The Walt Disney Company, died on 15 December 1966 from a major tumor in his left lung. Alongside One Hundred and One Dalmatians , The Sword in the Stone and The Jungle Book (some of his most important blockbusters), animated feature films of the decade that are of notable status include Gay Purr-ee , Hey There, It's Yogi Bear! , The Man Called Flintstone , Mad Monster Party? , Yellow Submarine and A Boy Named Charlie Brown .

Significant events in the film industry in the 1960s


The most prominent TV series of the 1960s include Doctor Who , The Ed Sullivan Show , Coronation Street , Star Trek , Peyton Place , The Twilight Zone , The Outer Limits , The Andy Williams Show , The Dean Martin Show , The Wonderful World of Disney , Alfred Hitchcock Presents , The Beverly Hillbillies , Bonanza , Batman , McHale's Navy , Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In , The Dick Van Dyke Show , The Fugitive , The Tonight Show , Gunsmoke , The Andy Griffith Show , Gilligan's Island , Mission: Impossible , The Flintstones , The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet , Lassie , The Danny Thomas Show , The Lucy Show , My Three Sons , The Red Skelton Show , Bewitched , and I Dream of Jeannie . The Flintstones was a popular show, receiving 40 million views an episode with an average of 3 million views a day. Doctor Who is the longest-running science-fiction show of all time according to the Guinness World Records . Some programming (such as The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour ) became controversial by challenging the foundations of America's corporate and governmental controls, making fun of world leaders and questioning U.S. involvement in (as well as escalation of) the Vietnam War.


Significant fashion trends of the 1960s include:




There were six Olympic Games held during the decade. These were:

Association football

There were two FIFA World Cups during the decade:


The first wave of Major League Baseball expansion in 1961 included the formation of the Los Angeles Angels, the move to Minnesota to become the Minnesota Twins by the former Washington Senators and the formation of a new franchise called the Washington Senators. Major League Baseball sanctioned both the Houston Colt .45s and the New York Mets as new National League franchises in 1962.

In 1969, the American League expanded when the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Pilots, were admitted to the league prompting the expansion of the post-season (in the form of the League Championship Series) for the first time since the creation of the World Series. The Pilots stayed just one season in Seattle before moving and becoming the Milwaukee Brewers in 1970. The National League also added two teams in 1969, the Montreal Expos and San Diego Padres. By 1969, the New York Mets won the World Series in only the 8th year of the team's existence.


The NBA tournaments during the 1960s were dominated by the Boston Celtics, who won eight straight titles from 1959 to 1966 and added two more consecutive championships in 1968 and 1969, aided by such players as Bob Cousy, Bill Russell and John Havlicek. Other notable NBA players included Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, Jerry West and Oscar Robertson.

At the NCAA level, the UCLA Bruins also proved dominant. Coached by John Wooden, they were helped by Lew Alcindor and by Bill Walton to win championships and dominate the American college basketball landscape during the decade.

Disc sports (Frisbee)

Alternative sports, using the flying disc, began in the mid-sixties. As numbers of young people became alienated from social norms, they resisted and looked for alternatives. They would form what would become known as the counterculture. The forms of escape and resistance would manifest in many ways including social activism, alternative lifestyles, experimental living through foods, dress, music and alternative recreational activities, including that of throwing a Frisbee. [56] Starting with promotional efforts from Wham-O and Irwin Toy (Canada), a few tournaments and professionals using Frisbee show tours to perform at universities, fairs and sporting events, disc sports such as freestyle, double disc court, guts, disc ultimate and disc golf became this sports first events. [57] [58] Two sports, the team sport of disc ultimate and disc golf are very popular worldwide and are now being played semiprofessionally. [59] [60] The World Flying Disc Federation, Professional Disc Golf Association and the Freestyle Players Association are the official rules and sanctioning organizations for flying disc sports worldwide. Major League Ultimate (MLU) and the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL) are the first semi-professional ultimate leagues.


In motorsports, the Can-Am and Trans-Am series were both established in 1966. The Ford GT40 won outright in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Graham Hill edged out Jackie Stewart and Denny Hulme for the World Championship in Formula One.



Some activist leaders of the 1960s period include:

Actors and entertainers


Musicians and singers



Sports figures

Muhammad Ali, 1966 Muhammad Ali fights Brian London on August 6, 1966 (cropped).jpg
Muhammad Ali, 1966

See also


The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:

1960196119621963196419651966196719681969Timeline of 1960s counterculture

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Psychedelic rock</span> Genre of rock music

Psychedelic rock is a rock music genre that is inspired, influenced, or representative of psychedelic culture, which is centered on perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs. The music incorporated new electronic sound effects and recording techniques, extended instrumental solos, and improvisation. Many psychedelic groups differ in style, and the label is often applied spuriously.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hippie</span> Person associated with 1960-1975 counterculture

A hippie, also spelled hippy, especially in British English, is someone associated with the counterculture of the 1960s, originally a youth movement that began in the United States during or around 1964 and spread to different countries around the world. The word hippie came from hipster and was used to describe beatniks who moved into New York City's Greenwich Village, San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, and Chicago's Old Town community. The term hippie was used in print by San Francisco writer Michael Fallon, helping popularize use of the term in the media, although the tag was seen elsewhere earlier.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">British Invasion</span> Cultural phenomenon of the mid-1960s

The British Invasion was a cultural phenomenon of the mid-1960s, when rock and pop music acts from the United Kingdom and other aspects of British culture became popular in the United States with significant influence on the rising "counterculture" on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. UK pop and rock groups such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Kinks, the Zombies, Small Faces, the Dave Clark Five, The Spencer Davis Group, Herman's Hermits, the Hollies, the Animals, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Searchers, the Yardbirds, Them, and Manfred Mann, as well as solo singers such as Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Petula Clark, Tom Jones and Donovan, were at the forefront of the "invasion".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Counterculture</span> Subculture whose values and norms of behavior deviate from those of mainstream society

A counterculture is a culture whose values and norms of behavior differ substantially from those of mainstream society, sometimes diametrically opposed to mainstream cultural mores. A countercultural movement expresses the ethos and aspirations of a specific population during a well-defined era. When oppositional forces reach critical mass, countercultures can trigger dramatic cultural changes. Prominent examples of countercultures in the Western world include the Levellers (1645–1650), Bohemianism (1850–1910), the more fragmentary counterculture of the Beat Generation (1944–1964), and the globalized counterculture of the 1960s (1965–1973). Countercultures differ from subcultures.

This section of the timeline of United States history concerns events from 1950 to 1969.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the United States (1964–1980)</span>

The history of the United States from 1964 to 1980 includes the climax and end of the Civil Rights Movement; the escalation and ending of the Vietnam War; the drama of a generational revolt with its sexual freedoms and use of drugs; and the continuation of the Cold War, with its Space Race to put a man on the Moon. The economy was prosperous and expanding until the recession of 1969–70, then faltered under new foreign competition and the 1973 oil crisis. American society was polarized by the ultimately futile war and by antiwar and antidraft protests, as well as by the shocking Watergate affair, which revealed corruption and gross misconduct at the highest level of government. By 1980 and the seizure of the American Embassy in Iran, including a failed rescue attempt by U.S. armed forces, there was a growing sense of national malaise.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Swinging Sixties</span> Youth-driven cultural revolution centred in London in the 1960s

The Swinging Sixties was a youth-driven cultural revolution that took place in the United Kingdom during the mid-to-late 1960s, emphasising modernity and fun-loving hedonism, with Swinging London denoted as its centre. It saw a flourishing in art, music and fashion, and was symbolised by the city's "pop and fashion exports", such as the Beatles, as the multimedia leaders of the British Invasion of musical acts; the mod and psychedelic subcultures; Mary Quant's miniskirt designs; popular fashion models such as Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton; the iconic status of popular shopping areas such as London's King's Road, Kensington and Carnaby Street; the political activism of the anti-nuclear movement; and the sexual liberation movement.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Underground press</span> Publications produced without the official approval of a dominant group

The terms underground press or clandestine press refer to periodicals and publications that are produced without official approval, illegally or against the wishes of a dominant group. In specific recent Asian, American and Western European context, the term "underground press" has most frequently been employed to refer to the independently published and distributed underground papers associated with the counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s in India and Bangladesh in Asia, in the United States and Canada in North America, and the United Kingdom and other western nations. It can also refer to the newspapers produced independently in repressive regimes. In German occupied Europe, for example, a thriving underground press operated, usually in association with the Resistance. Other notable examples include the samizdat and bibuła, which operated in the Soviet Union and Poland respectively, during the Cold War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War</span> 1965–1973 anti-war movement

Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War began with demonstrations in 1965 against the escalating role of the United States in the Vietnam War and grew into a broad social movement over the ensuing several years. This movement informed and helped shape the vigorous and polarizing debate, primarily in the United States, during the second half of the 1960s and early 1970s on how to end the Vietnam War.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Protests of 1968</span> Worldwide escalation of social conflicts

The protests of 1968 comprised a worldwide escalation of social conflicts, which were predominantly characterized by the rise of left-wing politics, anti-war sentiment, civil rights urgency, youth counterculture within the silent and baby boomer generations, and popular rebellions against state militaries and bureaucracies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Counterculture of the 1960s</span> Anti-establishment cultural phenomenon

The counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon and political movement that developed in the Western world during the mid-20th century. It began in the early 1960s, and continued through the early 1970s. It is often synonymous with cultural liberalism and with the various social changes of the decade. The effects of the movement have been ongoing to the present day. The aggregate movement gained momentum as the civil rights movement in the United States had made significant progress, such as the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and with the intensification of the Vietnam War that same year, it became revolutionary to some. As the movement progressed, widespread social tensions also developed concerning other issues, and tended to flow along generational lines regarding respect for the individual, human sexuality, women's rights, traditional modes of authority, rights of people of color, end of racial segregation, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream. Many key movements related to these issues were born or advanced within the counterculture of the 1960s.

The hippie subculture began its development as a youth movement in the United States during the early 1960s and then developed around the world.

The 1960s Berkeley protests were a series of events at the University of California, Berkeley, and Berkeley, California. Many of these protests were a small part of the larger Free Speech Movement, which had national implications and constituted the onset of the counterculture of the 1960s. These protests were headed under the informal leadership of students Mario Savio, Jack Weinberg, Brian Turner, Bettina Aptheker, Steve Weissman, Art Goldberg, Jackie Goldberg, and others.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">1960s in music</span> Music-related events during the 1960s

This article includes an overview of the events and trends in popular music in the 1960s.

This is a timeline of artists, albums, and events in progressive rock and its subgenres. This article contains the timeline for the period 1960–1969.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Music history of the United States in the 1960s</span>

Popular music of the United States in the 1960s became innately tied up into causes, opposing certain ideas, influenced by the sexual revolution, feminism, Black Power and environmentalism. This trend took place in a tumultuous period of massive public, unrest in the United States which consisted of the Cold War, Vietnam War, and Civil Rights Movement.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Students for a Democratic Society</span> American student activist organization (1960–1974)

Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was a national student activist organization in the United States during the 1960s and was one of the principal representations of the New Left. Disdaining permanent leaders, hierarchical relationships and parliamentary procedure, the founders conceived of the organization as a broad exercise in "participatory democracy". From its launch in 1960 it grew rapidly in the course of the tumultuous decade with over 300 campus chapters and 30,000 supporters recorded nationwide by its last national convention in 1969. The organization splintered at that convention amidst rivalry between factions seeking to impose national leadership and direction, and disputing "revolutionary" positions on, among other issues, the Vietnam War and Black Power.

The New Left was a broad political movement that emerged from the counterculture of the 1960s and continued through the 1970s. It consisted of activists in the Western world who campaigned for a broad range of social issues such as feminism, gay rights, drug policy reforms and the rejection of traditional family values, social order, and gender roles. The New Left differs from the traditional left in that it tended to acknowledge the struggle for various forms of social justice, whereas previous movements prioritized explicitly economic goals. However, many have used the term "New Left" to describe an evolution, continuation, and revitalization of traditional leftist goals.

The following is a timeline of 1960s counterculture. Influential events and milestones years before and after the 1960s are included for context relevant to the subject period of the early 1960s through the mid-1970s.

The protest music that came out of the Vietnam War era was stimulated by the unfairness of the draft, the loss of American lives in Vietnam, and the unsupported expansion of war. The Vietnam War era (1955–1975) was a time of great controversy for the American public. Desperate to stop the spread of communism in South-East Asia, the United States joined the war effort. Although it was a civil war between Southern and Northern Vietnam, a larger war was taking place behind it. The Soviet Union, a communist country, was supporting North Vietnam, leading the United States to support Southern Vietnam in the hope that it adopts a democratic government. Many of the people in Southern Vietnam did not want America's assistance in the war, and many Americans did not want to be involved.


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Further reading