The Sixties were a time of rebellion and non-conformity. The
counterculture began by the teenagers, called hippies, who hated the boring world
their baby-boomer parents created. Timothy Leary helped to begin this hatred of
sameness when he encouraged them to "Tune in, turn on, drop out." There was
also a strong feminist movement which occurred because of the new rebellion by
the women. This was lead by people like Gloria Steinem and Betty Friedan. The
Civil Rights movement was also in full swing. The blacks had had enough of the
hatred and ridiculous segregation rules. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the way,
but was murdered. The blacks finally won their rights and were finally given equal
rights to the whites, although it DID take a long time.
The music of the time reflected the social unrest of the youth. They
flocked to the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. Folk music became
popular and encouraged them to wear "flowers in their hair." Simon & Garfunkle
and the Mamas & the Papas led the way. Jimi Hendrix and the Doors were
leading the way in the rock scene. Their fierce lyrics and awesome music
captivates as many today as it did then. Bands like the Beatles and the Rolling
Stones were part of the huge British invasion that happened on the music scene
and swept the US like a wildfire. Women rockers also made a big impact such as
Janis Joplin and Joan Baez. Bands like Crosby, Stills, & Nash and Neil Young
talked about political issues, such as the shootings at Kent State.
Television was gaining in popularity. Kids shows like "Sesame Street" and
"Mister Roger’s Neighborhood" premiered as well as Hanna-Barbera’s cartoon, "The
Flintstones." Family shows, like "The Andy Griffith Show" were also popular. There
were also comedies like "Bewitched."
The movies were also greatly changing. One of the most famous movies,
Psycho, was from the Sixties. The most famous scene is probably the one where
the woman is in the shower and screams. Some of the famous musicals like West
Side Story and The Sound of Music were being made into movies for the world to
enjoy. Many actors and actresses that are famous today began their careers in
the Sixties. These include Elizabeth Taylor, Dustin Hoffman, Sean Connery, Jack
Lemmon, and Julie Andrews. The actress who spans many decades, Audrey Hepburn
was also still going strong during this time.
Art changed drastically in this decade. Andy Warhol changed the world with
his silk screen masterpieces of things from Campbell Soup cans to Marilyn Monroe.
There were many fads during this time. The hippie look: ironed hair, bell
bottoms, Birkenstocks, vests, bra burning, bandannas, was VERY popular. For the
more conservative girls, Jackie Kennedy was THE person to dress like. The most
famous model of the time was Twiggy, who’s name was VERY appropriate as she
really was just about the size of a twig.
The Sixties was a time of tragedy in politics. With the Vietnam War
raging, there was alot of social unrest which lead to the deaths of students
protesting at Kent State University. Earlier in the decade, there were many
assassinations including that of John Kennedy, his brother, Bobby, and Dr. King.
There brutal acts of violence left the nation distraught as they grew even more
pessimistic towards society.
All in all the Sixties were a decade that many talk about, but few who
were actually there remember. (There was a large amount of hallucinogenic drug
abuse due to Timothy Leary’s famous line.) They will, however, be remembered as
the crazy psychedelic times of Woodstock, hippies, rock and roll, and rebellion.