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RockEras - 1960s
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  • A decade of stark contrasts
    • Great hope and great turbulence
      1. John F. Kennedy elected president in 1960
        • Young and energetic
        • Passionate about grand ideas for America's future
        • Presented a model for American youth, giving them a new sense of cultural identity
      2. His assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, brought on a multitude of changes in attitude
        • Conspiracy theories
        • Suspicion of government, social, religious, and economic institutions
      3. General attitudes of youth culture became magnified
        • Youth culture presented itself more forcefully than ever
        • Social movements became more vigorous
        • More critical
        • More violent
  • America was divided by several major issues
    • The civil rights movement
      1. Rights for African Americans
        • Struggle began in 1619 when blacks were first brought to America
        • Landmark desegregation case in 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas
        • Movement gained momentum and organization during the 1960s
        • In 1960 four black students "sat-in" at a segregated lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina
        • Woolworth's (the sit-in occurred in one store) eventually integrated their lunch counters
        • This process of civil disobedience spread to other cities and states rapidly
      2. The "March on Washington"
        • August 28, 1963, 250,000 Americans—black and white—took part in a civil rights demonstration
        • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "1 Have a Dream" speech
        • He vocalized the civil rights movement's goals and spirit
      3. In March of 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act
      4. Racial tensions built and erupted in a serious of riots
        • Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1965
        • Newark and Detroit in 1967
        • King was assassinated in 1968, triggering many more riots
    • The Vietnam war
      1. American combat troops were sent to become involved in a civil war in Vietnam
      2. An antiwar movement began and gradually became more organized and intense
        • Americans questioned the need for involvement in that war
        • Students held demonstrations against the war
        • They burned draft cards
        • They escaped the draft by moving to Canada
      3. Demonstrations began to grow more violent in the late 1960s
        • Riots broke out during an antiwar demonstration in Chicago at the Democratic Convention
        • In 1970 four students were killed at Kent State University in Ohio
        • Two more were killed at Jackson State College in Mississippi
    • The Feminist movement began in 1963
      1. A best-selling book, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Freidan made claims about women's role in society
      2. The book stated that women were constrained by the traditional role of homemaker
      3. National Organization of Women (NOW) was founded in 1966
      4. Author Freidan was the first president of NOW
    • The environmental movement
      1. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring (1962) discussed the dangers resulting from use of pesticides such as DDT
      2. Ralph Nader's 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed
        • Accused automobile companies of placing profits and style ahead of safety
        • Launched the consumer protection movement
        • Nader became a consumer rights advocate and battled numerous industries
        • brought about changes in laws and people's attitudes toward large corporations
  • The entertainment industry went through revolutionary changes
    • The radio industry began in the 1960s with AM as the main source of popular music
    • By the end of the 1960s FM had evolved
      1. Originally FM was reserved for programming other than commercial popular music
        • Classical music
        • Jazz
        • Information
      2. In 1967 it shifted to music appropriate for the new youth movement: hippies
    • Television moved toward shows that made fun of 1950s-style "normalcy"
      1. More focus on situations that were either surreal or just plain fantasy
        • Beverly Hillbillies
        • My Favorite Martian
        • Bewitched
        • I Dream of Jeannie
      2. These shows were about the need to conceal one's nonconformist or "abnormal" traits
      3. The Beverly Hillbillies was an exception
        • The twist was that the hillbillies were put forth as the normal ones
        • The surrounding Beverly Hills characters were made out to be abnormal
      4. This was all done with gentle humor that was clearly not meant to offend anyone
    • The film industry presented new themes that resonated with the public's growing awareness of global situations
      1. James Bond movies began as being focused on the Cold War and spies
        • He was the hero and always foiled the Cold War enemies
        • The enemies progressively became more surreal in each new release
        • Bond had marvelous technological gadgets to aid him in his missions
        • The James Bond movies were optimistic about the West's role in global politics
      2. Stanley Kubrick's 1964 film Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
        • Parodies a best-selling suspense novel about fictitious accidental nuclear war
        • Social comment on the perceived madness of the Cold War arms buildup
      3. Kubrick's 1968 science fiction classic 2001: A Space Odyssey
        • Celebrated space travel one year before a man had landed on the moon
        • Raised questions as to how much mankind should rely on technology
  • America wins the race to the moon
    • July 20, 1969 Americans landed on the moon and safely returned to Earth
      1. This fulfilled President Kennedy's promise that America would work together to accomplish this feat
      2. It did not subdue the anger over the continually escalating war in Vietnam
      3. All of the other issues that divided America remained as well


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