| Have your parents
ever told you about the 1960's? If they have, was it boring, or about the least important
thing? (Not that anything boring happened in the 60's.) Well, don't worry, they're
not the only people who know about that time period. Even some of your fellow kids have
some good info on the 60's. Like Jessica and Amy, the writers of this totally awesome web
page!!! Your parents might have told you that the 60's were all about hippies ... well,
the 60's were more than just hippies, although they did play an important role during the
decade. There was also: Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech,
psychedelic music, Kennedy's assassination, the Vietnam War, and the first man to walk the
moon. So hold on to your chairs, 'cause you're about to go on a on a wild ride through
time to the 1960's!!!!
Timeline of the 1960's
- The first debate for a presidential election was televised. It was between Senator
John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Nikon seemed nervous, but Kennedy stood
tall. The debate on TV changed many people's minds about Kennedy.
- This year NASA sent up ECHO, the first communications satellite to be seen with the
- American "U2" spy plane shot down over the USSR.
- The Olympic Games were held in Rome and Wilma Rudolf won three gold medals.
- John F Kennedy moves into the White House. He gives his famous speech - "Ask
not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country."
- The soviets have sent the first man into space and the Americans need a man in space,
too. The event came on May 5, 1961. Alan Shepard was sent to space in the
"Freedom 7". On May 25, Kennedy wanted to have a man on the moon and back
before the decade was over.
- John Glenn became the first man to orbit the earth - 3 times. It was a five hour
- Rachel Carson, a scientist and writer, warned that our earth would die of pollution and
chemicals. Especially chemicals that were developed to kill bad insects. DDT
was a real bad chemical. It killed bad insects, along with good insects, along with
plants, along with animals. She wrote the book Silent Spring with a warning.
At least five states banned DDT.
- Martin Luther King Jr. made the speech, "I have a Dream" on August 28,
1963. More than 200,000 peaceful demonstrators came to Washington DC to demand equal
rights for Black and Whites. Part of the speech was - "I have a dream that my
four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the
color of their skin but by the content of their character
- President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22. Kennedy's
assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was never sent to trial. While being moved by police to
a different jail, a man named Jack Ruby shot Oswald. Who killed President Kennedy
nobody knows for sure.
- The Beatles, a British rock and roll band became VERY popular. The "Fab
Four", John, Paul, George, and Ringo, were played on radio stations all over the
world. They were seen on the "Ed Sullivan Show". They performed
concerts that were quickly sold out. All the frenzy over the group became known as
"Beatlemania", which was only the beginning.
- This was the first year the cigarette boxes had a warning printed on it "Smoking
can be hazardous to your health". It had not occurred to the US government to
give the warning that smoking lead to cancer and lung problems.
- The first Civil Rights bill was passed to stop racial discrimination.
- President Johnson ordered bombing raids on North Vietnam and Americans begin protesting
- The world's first roofed stadium was built, the Houston Astrodome.
- Walt Disney, the creator of Mickey Mouse and a Pioneer of animated films, died of cancer
on December 15, 1966, but his legend lives on.
- The first heart transplant was performed by Dr. Christiaan Barnard in Cape Town, South
- Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Two
months later, Robert Kennedy, John F. Kennedy's brother was assassinated, too. Both
were civil rights leaders.
- On November 5, 1968, Shirley Chisholm was elected America's first black woman to
- Nearly half a million people headed over to a 600 acre farm in New York for the
Woodstock Festival. Many top rock musicians were there. It lasted three days,
a weekend of music, love and peace.
- July 20, 1969, 4:18 p.m., one of the biggest events of history happened. Apollo 11
landed on the moon, astronauts aboard. Neil Armstrong's famous speech for the
historical steps "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
Dance and Music
The "Twist" was the most popular
dance back in the 60's. People thought it became so popular because it helped them let go
of the Cold War tension.
Pink Floyd was one of the first bands to play psychedelic
music. Long instrumental solos and weird electronic effects were a crazy part of the bands
The hot music types of the
The 1960s didn't
start out with colorful clothes. They were dully designed and looked better on older
people. Then little shops called boutiques opened selling cheap and colorful clothing for
younger people. During the decade, women started wearing mini skirts, leather boots and
fake eyelashes. Men wore Paisley shirts, velvet trousers and high collared Regency
jackets. Men also began to wear their hair long.
1960-1962 - At this time, there was
a carry over from the 50's, including the "bouffant" look. A
"bouffant" look is a dress where the top part is tight and the skirt of the
dress puffs out. The popular hairstyle was a beehive, where they tease their hair and
piled it high on their head. Another look during this time was the beatnik. The beat look
included black berets, black slacks (tight for women) and dark glasses. Women wore float
shoes while men wore sandals. Women wore dark eye makeup.
1963 - Cardin designed the Beatles
suits which became popular for men. The suit had a single breasted collarless jacket and
slim pants. Mary Quant started her own label, and is responsible for designing mini
skirts, colored tights, and wet look vinyl fashions.
1964 - Space age clothing starts to
become popular. Different materials were used such as discs of metal or plastic linked
together with wire. Leather is also used. Metallic or neon colors were involved.
1965 - Mini skirts become much
shorter. Op art becomes more popular. Optic trick using contrasting colors with black and
white to make a sort of optical illusion.
1966 - Psychedelic clothing is now
a hit. Colors (acid colors) are brighter and bolder. Men begin to dress
1967 - Ethnic fashions begins to
spread. The ethnic look is clothing picked up from other cultures. The Oriental look and
the African/Middle Eastern looks were both port of the ethnic fashion.
1968-1969 - Skirts
begin to lengthen out, along with hair. The "Hippie look" is now popular. The
women wore long floor length dresses and skirts called maxies. Men continued to grow their
hair longer. Hippies decorated everything, including painting their bodies.
Hot pants (extremely short shorts)
No hats or gloves for day wear
Space age fashions in vinyl and other synthetics
Bold, solid color contrasts from the Op Art and Pop Art movements, commonly
called Mod fashions
Preppy fashions for upper class youth: Madras plaids, oversize hairy sweaters,
painstakingly matched accessories
The Vietnam War
| The 1960's decade began, and so did the Vietnam War.
Debate between politicians began as well, almost as bad as the war itself. White House
records and transcripts show that the U.S. military leaders usually voted for the
use of nuclear bombs, while Dwight Eisenhower and John Kennedy wanted not to get into
those weapons. The Vietnam War did start in the 60's, but there had been
trouble in Vietnam before that.
Fighter Planes used by the U.S. in the war
Tunnel used by the U.S. troops to hide in during the war
The trouble started when the people of North Vietnam wanted to take
over South Vietnam. The South Vietnamese people didn't want that, so they tried to
fight back. Soon, the Americans pushed their way in the war. They thought that if South
Vietnam didn't want to be part of North Vietnam, they shouldn't be bossed around. America
began to fight for South Vietnam.
In 1961, President Kennedy sent a group of people to Vietnam to
report the conditions. A reporter known as the "December 1961 White Paper"
argued for more in military and economic aid. It also had an introduction of a large scale
American "advisers" to help stabilize the Diem regime and pound the NFL
(National Liberation Front.)
Things had gotten worse in 1968 for the Johnson
administration. In late January the DRV (or North Vietnam) and the NFL began to attack
some major cities in South Vietnam. The attacks were known as the Tet Offensive,
which was a way to fosre the Johnson administration to the bargaining table. The
Americans were getting war weary, as The Communists Party correctly decided, and that they
were not likely to succeed much longer in war. Many people thought that the Tet offensive
was a military defeat, it had produced the desired results. Lyndon Johnson was disgraced,
and announced he would not seek the Democratic Party's re-nomination for president, then
hinted he was going to the bargaining table to end the war.
Roger Maris hit homer number 61, setting a record that wasn't
broken until the September of 1998 by Mark McGwire.
Wlima Rudolph, a black American woman, received three
Olympic gold medals in fast running. As a child, she was very ill with pneumonia and
scarlet fever. She barely lived, and doctors said she probably would never be able to walk
again. But she never gave up hope, and was not only able to walk again, but able to outrun
everyone else in the Olympics to be rewarded with three gold medals.
In 1962, Jackie Robinson, the first black American to play in
major league baseball, was placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame for his talent.
The first Super Bowl was played in 1967, with the Green Bay
Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs; the Packers won.
- In 1961, physicist Theodore Maiman perfected the laser, now widely used in surgery,
holography, communications, and printing.
- Douglas Englehart of Stanford University developed the computer mouse along with a five
key "corded" keyboard in 1964.
- The first hand-held calculator was invented in 1967 by Texas Instruments, at a cost of
$2,500 a piece.
- The first cash dispensing machine is installed by First Philadelphia Bank in 1968.
As you now know, the 1960's was much more than boring
information about the least-important event, (remember there actually really was no boring
or least-important event) but crammed with peace, love, war, and excitement. This busy
decade was probably one of the most fun decades you'll ever learn about. All the fun and
excitement of this decade will surely put some fun and excitement in your life.
1960s Timeline by Jane Duden
Fashions of a Decade by Connikie Yvonne
Tmeline from Pottery to Computers