The examples and perspective in this article may not represent a worldwide view of the subject.(September 2022)
The 1960s (pronounced "nineteen-sixties", shortened to the "'60s" or the "Sixties") was a decade that began January 1, 1960 and ended December 31, 1969.
In the United States and other Western countries, the Sixties is noted for its counterculture. 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.
Organizations such as those present at May 1968, the German Red Army Faction, and the Japanese Zengakuren tested liberal democracy's ability to help people left out of society in the post-industrial age hybrid capitalist economies. In the United Kingdom, the Labour Party gained power in 1964 with Harold Wilson as Prime Minister through most of the decade.In France, the protests of 1968 led to President Charles de Gaulle temporarily fleeing the country. Italy formed its first left-of-center government in March 1962 with a coalition of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, and moderate Republicans. When Aldo Moro became Prime Minister in 1963, Socialists joined the ruling block too. Soviet leaders during the decade were Nikita Khrushchev until 1964 and Leonid Brezhnev. In Brazil, João Goulart became president after Jânio Quadros resigned.
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 assassinatedin 1963. Kennedy had wanted a Keynesian 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.
After President Kennedy's assassination, direct tensions between the superpower countries of US and 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. 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.
By the end of the 1950s, post-war reconstructed Europe and 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.
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.
Prominent coups d'état of the decade included:
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.(July 2018)
The decade began with a recession from 1960 to 1961, at that time unemployment was considered high at around 7%. 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%. To do this, he instituted a 7% tax credit for businesses that invest in new plants and equipment. By the end of the decade, median family income had risen from $8,540 in 1963 to $10,770 by 1969.
Although the first half of the decade had low inflation, by 1966 Kennedy's tax credit had reduced unemployment to 3.7% and inflation remained below 2%. With the economy booming Johnson began his "Great Society" which vastly expanded social programs. 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%.
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.|
|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.|
|30 May 1961||Rafael Trujillo, Dictator of the Dominican Republic for 31 years, is assassinated in a plot lead by members of his general staff.|
|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.|
|2 November 1963||Ngô Đình Diệm, President of South Vietnam, along with his brother and chief political adviser, Ngô Đình Nhu. Assassinated by Dương Hiếu Nghĩa and Nguyễn Văn Nhung in the back of an armoured personnel carrier.|
|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 alleged assailant, Lee Harvey Oswald would himself be murdered by Jack Ruby two days later.|
|21 February 1965||Malcolm X, an American civil rights leader, is shot to death in Manhattan. The perpetrators of the killing is disputed.|
|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.|
|9 October 1967||Che Guevara, an Argentine-Cuban Marxist revolutionary, is assassinated by the CIA and Bolivian army.|
|4 April 1968||Martin Luther King Jr., American civil rights leader, is shot to death Assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.|
|5 June 1968||Robert F. Kennedy, American Senator, former Attorney General and Democratic candidate for President, is shot to death in Los Angeles following a speech regarding his victory in California.|
In the second half of the decade, young people began to revolt against the conservative norms of the 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.
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, ending 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."
Beginning in the mid-1950s and continuing into the late 1960s, African-Americans in the United States aimed at outlawing racial discrimination against black Americans and voting rights to them. 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 a wide range of other nonviolent activities.
Noted legislative achievements during this phase of the civil rights movement were passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964,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.
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.
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.
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.
The most prominent civil-rights organization in the Mexican-American community, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), was founded in 1968.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.
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.
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.
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.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.
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 manned mission to orbit another celestial body (the Moon) during Christmas of 1968.
On 20 July 1969, Apollo 11, the first human spaceflight landed on the Moon. Launched on 16 July 1969, it carried mission Commander Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Michael Collins, and the Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin. 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.
A succession of unmanned American and Soviet probes traveled to the Moon, Venus, and Mars during the 1960s, and commercial satellites also came into use.
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.
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 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."
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+1⁄2-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 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.
The highest-grossing film of the decade was 20th Century Fox's The Sound of Music (1965).
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 gains wider distribution and sees movements like la Nouvelle Vague (The French New Wave) featuring French filmmakers such as Roger Vadim, François Truffaut, Alain Resnais, and Jean-Luc Godard; Cinéma vérité documentary movement 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+1⁄2 ; 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 cinema verite Dont Look Back .
In Japan, a film version of the story of the forty-seven ronin entitled Chushingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki 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 .
The 1960s were also about experimentation. With the explosion of lightweight and affordable cameras, the underground avant-garde film movement thrived. Canada's Michael Snow, Americans Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, and Jack Smith. Notable films in this genre are: Dog Star Man ; Scorpio Rising ; Wavelength ; Chelsea Girls ; Blow Job ; Vinyl ; Flaming Creatures .
Aside of Walt Disney's most important blockbusters One Hundred and One Dalmatians , Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book , Animated feature films which 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 .
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 , 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 favoured show, receiving 40 million views an episode with an average of 3 million views a day.[ citation needed ] 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 and escalation of the Vietnam War.
Walt Disney, the founder of the Walt Disney Co. died on 15 December 1966, from a major tumor in his left lung.
Significant fashion trends of the 1960s include:
There were six Olympic Games held during the decade. These were:
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.
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.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. Two sports, the team sport of disc ultimate and disc golf are very popular worldwide and are now being played semiprofessionally. 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:
The following articles contain brief timelines which list the most prominent events of the decade:
1960 • 1961 • 1962 • 1963 • 1964 • 1965 • 1966 • 1967 • 1968 • 1969 • Timeline of 1960s counterculture
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.
The Summer of Love was a social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting hippie fashions of dress and behavior, converged in San Francisco's neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury. More broadly, the Summer of Love encompassed the hippie music, hallucinogenic drugs, anti-war, and free-love scene throughout the West Coast of the United States, and as far away as New York City.
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 the mid-1960s 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, in 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.
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 and significant to the rising "counterculture" on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Pop and rock groups such as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Zombies, the Kinks, Small Faces, the Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits, the Hollies, the Animals, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Searchers, the Yardbirds, the Who and Them, as well as solo singers like Dusty Springfield, Cilla Black, Petula Clark, Tom Jones and Donovan, were at the forefront of the "invasion".
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), followed by the globalized counterculture of the 1960s (1964–1974).
The English rock band the Beatles are commonly regarded as the foremost and most influential band in popular music history. With a line-up comprising John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they sparked the "Beatlemania" phenomenon in 1963, gained international superstardom in 1964, and remained active until their break-up in 1970. Over the latter half of the decade, they were often viewed as orchestrators of society's developments. Their recognition concerns their effect on the era's youth and counterculture, British identity, popular music's evolution into an art form, and their unprecedented following.
This section of the Timeline of United States history concerns events from 1950 to 1969.
The history of the United States from 1964 through 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.
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 as its centre. It saw a flourishing in art, music and fashion, and was symbolised by the city's "pop and fashion exports". Among its key elements were the Beatles, as leaders of the British Invasion of musical acts; Mary Quant's miniskirt; popular fashion models such as Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton; the mod subculture; 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 sexual liberation.
Flower power was a slogan used during the late 1960s and early 1970s as a symbol of passive resistance and nonviolence. It is rooted in the opposition movement to the Vietnam War. The expression was coined by the American Beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1965 as a means to transform war protests into peaceful affirmative spectacles. Hippies embraced the symbolism by dressing in clothing with embroidered flowers and vibrant colors, wearing flowers in their hair, and distributing flowers to the public, becoming known as flower children. The term later became generalized as a modern reference to the hippie movement and so-called counterculture of drugs, psychedelic music, psychedelic art and social permissiveness.
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.
The counterculture of the 1960s was an anti-establishment cultural phenomenon that developed throughout much of the Western world in the 1960s and has been ongoing to the present day. The aggregate movement gained momentum as the civil rights movement in the United States continued to grow, and with the intensification of the Vietnam War, it would later become revolutionary to some. As the 1960s progressed, widespread social tensions also developed concerning other issues, and tended to flow along generational lines regarding human sexuality, women's rights, traditional modes of authority, rights of non-white people, 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.
Colombian Rock is rock music from Colombia. The most common styles of Colombian rock are based on Rock en Español, indie rock, as well as the traditional focus of hard rock Colombian bands.
The hippie subculture began its development as a youth movement in the United States during the early 1960s and then developed around the world.
This article includes an overview of the events and trends in popular music in the 1960s.
Music of the United Kingdom developed in the 1960s into one of the leading forms of popular music in the modern world. By the early 1960s the British had developed a viable national music industry and began to produce adapted forms of American music in Beat music and British blues which would be re-exported to America by bands such as The Beatles, The Animals and the Rolling Stones. This helped to make the dominant forms of popular music something of a shared Anglo-American creation, and led to the growing distinction between pop and rock music, which began to develop into diverse and creative subgenres that would characterise the form throughout the rest of the twentieth century.
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.
The New Left was a broad political movement mainly in the 1960s and 1970s consisting of activists in the Western world who campaigned for a broad range of social issues such as civil and political rights, environmentalism, feminism, gay rights, gender roles and drug policy reforms. Some see the New Left as an oppositional reaction to earlier Marxist and labor union movements for social justice that focused on dialectical materialism and social class, while others who used the term see the movement as a continuation and revitalization of traditional leftist goals.
The following is a chronological capsule history 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.
Keynesianism made its biggest breakthrough under John Kennedy, who, as Arthur Schlesinger reports in A Thousand Days, "was unquestionably the first Keynesian President."