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In The News
The top events and news stories
Celebrities, Entertainment & Sports
Sports figures, newsmakers,
showbiz icons and
Young people were willing to fight for causes they believed in. These included civil rights, equality for women, preserving the environment and peace between nations.
In 1968, the modern women's liberation movement was born when approximately 100 women gathered to protest outside the Miss America Pageant.
Robert Altman Photography: the 60's
What Was Accomplished In The 60s
xxxx--by Abbie Hoffman
The Sixties Project: Political Posters & Buttons
Demonstrators Protest At Nixon's Inauguration
No More Miss America!
campus protests & rallies
Our universities are "circus tents or psychiatric centers for overpriveledged, underdisciplined, irresponsible children of well-to-do blase permissivists."
--Spiro Agnew, 1968
College students held anti-war rallies, formed student organizations and protested against outdated and unfair school policies. Above all, they fought for the right to assemble and speak their minds. At Berkeley, the 1964 Free Speech Movement was a turning point in their crusade for the right to join political causes.
Students For A Democratic Society was a nationwide student activist organization formed at the University of Michigan in 1960. By 1968, there were over 250 chapters at campuses across the country.
University Of Washington Protests
Berkeley Free Speech Movement
Free Speech Movement Archives
Student Protest In The 1960s
A Time To Question
Students For A Democratic Society
While students and hippies held peaceful demonstrations, radical groups like the Black Panthers and the Weather Underground used violence in their attempts to bring about social change.
Four Radical Groups
More than anything, students and young adults were opposed to America's participation in the Vietnam war. Anti-war rallies and demonstrations were held all across the country, especially on college campuses.
Burning draft cards
Rather than fight in a war they did not believe in, many men of military age either burned their draft cards or moved to Canada to evade the draft.
Say NO to war!
National Vietnam Moratorium Day
October 15, 1969 was National Vietnam Moratorium Day. All across the country, in the largest cities and the smallest towns, people gathered to hear speakers and to protest the war. 250,000 people attended a rally in Washington D.C. and many colleges cancelled classes.
The Moratorium sent a message that politicians couldn't ignore. Protesting the war was no longer something that only radical hippies did. Middle America had taken up the cause.
1969 Vietnam Moratorium Photos
Colleges Celebrate Vietnam Moratorium Day
1963: Kennedy assassination
For many people, the assassination of President Kennedy was a turning point. The "Camelot" years of the 1950s and early 1960s were over, and the turmoil of the late 1960s was just beginning.
According to the Warren Commission, Lee Harvey Oswald was the only assassin, and this has proved to be a very controversial finding. Two things are certain, however: everyone remembers where they were when they heard the news, and the photo of little John-John bravely saluting his father's coffin is probably one of the saddest images we'll see for a long time.
JFK Assassination Research Materials
Documents From The Warren Commission
the space race
That's one small step for man, one giant leap for Mankind.
--Apollo 11 puts a man on the moon!
In the space race, Russia was always a year ahead of the United States. They were the first to launch a man-made object (Sputnik, 1957) and a man (1961) into orbit.
America launched its own satellite in 1958, and Alan Shepherd became the first American in space when he piloted a 15-minute sub-orbital flight in 1961. Project Mercury sent the first American (John Glenn) into full orbit in 1962.
President Kennedy decided to focus heavily on the U.S. space program. He wanted the United States to be the first to achieve the ultimate goal...putting a man on the moon. This would be known as Project Apollo, and a target date of 1970 was established.
As we all know, we conquered the moon a year ahead of schedule!
Greatest Space Events Of The 60s
John Glenn 40th Anniversary
NASA Apollo 11
the Great Society
During the 1964 election campaign, the great society was President Johnson's idealistic vision for America. Sweeping reforms on all levels, from civil rights to a "war on poverty," would make the United States a great society, indeed.
President Johnson's "Great Society" Speech
The Great Society
the war in Vietnam
In the 1940s and 1950s, Vietnam was a French colony torn apart by the threat of communism. Ho Chi Minh's communist guerillas, known as the Viet Minh, were rapidly gaining power in the northern half. In the south, America provided aid to the French government in the form of military advisors.
By 1961, the French had been ousted, the Geneva Accords had divided the country into North and South Vietnam, and the Viet Minh had a new name: the Viet Cong ("Vietnamese communists"). There were approximately 700 American military advisors in South Vietnam, which was ruled by the oppressive and dictatorial regime of Ngo Dinh Diem.
1969 Vietnam Photos
Vietnam War Overview
Vietnam Nurses: Women Who Went To War
Women In Vietnam
Hell's Half Acre: The Combat Soldier In Vietnam
things heat up
In 1963, President Diem was overthrown and assassinated. The strength of the Viet Cong and the instability of the South Vietnam government caused the conflict to escalate.
There were no American combat troops present in Vietnam at this point, and the government assured us that none of our boys would die for "their war." However, the number of advisors in South Vietnam continued to increase. In 1964, there were 23,000 advisors training South Vietnamese soldiers and assisting them with their missions.
The turning point came in 1964, when an American warship, the USS Maddox, was fired on by the Viet Cong in the Gulf of Tonkin. President Johnson was given permission to stop this conflict "by any means neccessary." He responded by ordering the bombing of North Vietnam. 85 percent of all Americans approved of his actions.
America gets involved
In 1965, the first U.S. combat troops arrived in South Vietnam. 185,000 troops were present by the end of the year. We were officially in the war.
In 1966, the number of American troops in South Vietnam rose to 400,000. Unlike conventional wars, taking land was not a goal in Vietnam...killing the enemy was. Sadly, this resulted in many civilian deaths, and it was this fact that began to sway public opinion against the war and against the soldiers fighting in it.
My Lai massacre|
In 1968, as many as 500 South Vietnamese civilians were killed when a "search and destroy" mission went terribly wrong. The members of Charlie Company, led by Lt. William Calley, participated in the brutal slaying of the My Lai villagers, and the subsequent cover-up caused a scandal. At his trial, Calley was depicted as "a good boy turned into a murderer by the military." He was sentenced to life in prison, but this decision was overturned.
not going well
By 1969, the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam topped 600,000. The American death toll that year reached 34,000. The Viet Cong proved to be a formidable enemy: they transported supplies and men along the Ho Chi Minh Trail, disappeared effortlessly into the jungle foliage, and disregarded a holiday cease-fire when they launched the surprise Tet Offensive. Although casualties increased, very little progress was made on either side.
a light at the end of the tunnel
After taking office in 1969, President Nixon began to pull troops out of Vietnam. In Paris, Henry Kissinger met with Vietnamese leaders in an attempt to organize a peace agreement. The numbers were promising....by 1971, only 156,800 troops remained. By 1972, only 16,000 advisors were left. In 1973, a treaty was signed, the draft came to an end and the first POWs were released.
the fall of Saigon
Despite the treaty, fighting continued for two more years. The war officially ended when the Viet Cong invaded Saigon in 1975. The last remaining Americans and any South Vietnamese citizens who could board the helicopters were evacuated out of the city. It was all over, and communism had won.
The My Lai Trial|
Battle Hymn Of Lt. Calley
Vietnam Online: The My Lai Massacre
The My Lai Massacre
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