Time Capsule: The 1960s; The Rebellious Sixties and Man on the Moon
A decade of extremes, the 1960s saw triumphs and demonstrations. President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade was fulfilled. Young people questioned authority and rebelled against the status quo.
Civil rights activists won a victory when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. One of their most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in 1968.
To promote international friendship, President Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961. His assassination in 1963 stunned the nation. In 1965, U.S. ground troops were deployed to active combat in Vietnam.
Roger Maris hit 61 homers in one season, and the Green Bay Packers won the first two Super Bowls. The Beatles captivated the nation, and Star Trek debuted.
New Words: hippie, workaholic, scam, skateboard.
- Lasers can provide light in a narrow beam of high intensity and pure color. They were first operated in 1960 and revolutionized technologies from communications to surgery and led to everyday items like CD players.
- Independently invented by Jack Kilby and Robert Noyce, the integrated circuit was first available commercially in 1961. It led to smaller, inexpensive, mass-produced electronic circuits, revolutionizing the computer industry.
- Introduced by Mattel in March 1959, the Barbie doll caused a sensation by providing young girls a teenage fashion doll with a large and stylish wardrobe. By 1963, sales had reached 5 million dolls and 25 million fashions.
- Introduced in April 1964, the Mustang’s sporty styling, economic value, and long list of options appealed to men and women of all ages. Some 22,000 orders were taken the first day, and one million were produced in less than 24 months.
- Created by Gene Roddenberry, the Star Trek TV series debuted in 1966. Captain James T. Kirk, Mr. Spock, and the other members of the Starship Enterprise ultimately earned cult status that mushroomed into international popularity.
- From August 15 to 18, 1969, approximately 500,000 people gathered for the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. This festival of peace and music celebrated the best of the 1960s youth culture and came to symbolize a generation.
- The Vietnam War was the longest military conflict in U.S. history. The hostilities in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia claimed the lives of more than 58,000 Americans. Another 304,000 were wounded.