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Mexican-American civil-rights activists achieved several major legal victories including the Mendez v. Westminster U. Supreme Court ruling which declared that segregating children of "Mexican and Latin descent" was unconstitutional and the Hernandez v. Texas ruling which declared that Mexican Americans and other racial groups in the United States were entitled to equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U. Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans in the U. The main concentration of the population was in New York City. In the s and the following s, Hispanic-American culture was on the rebound like ethnic music, foods, culture and identity both became popular and assimilated into the American mainstream.

Spanish-language television networks, radio stations and newspapers increased in presence across the country, especially in U. The multitude of discrimination at this time represented an inhuman side to a society that in the s was upheld as a world and industry leader. The issues of civil rights and warfare became major points of reflection of virtue and democracy, what once was viewed as traditional and inconsequential was now becoming the significance in the turning point of a culture.

A document known as the Port Huron Statement exemplifies these two conditions perfectly in its first hand depiction, "while these and other problems either directly oppressed us or rankled our consciences and became our own subjective concerns, we began to see complicated and disturbing paradoxes in our surrounding America.

The declaration "all men are created equal The proclaimed peaceful intentions of the United States contradicted its economic and military investments in the Cold War status quo. A second wave of feminism in the United States and around the world gained momentum in the early s. While the first wave of the early 20th century was centered on gaining suffrage and overturning de jure inequalities, the second wave was focused on changing cultural and social norms and de facto inequalities associated with women.

At the time, a woman's place was generally seen as being in the home, and they were excluded from many jobs and professions.

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Top 10 books on 1960s America

In the U. Feminists took to the streets, marching and protesting, authoring books and debating to change social and political views that limited women. In , with Betty Friedan 's book, The Feminine Mystique , the role of women in society, and in public and private life was questioned. By , the movement was beginning to grow in size and power as women's group spread across the country and Friedan, along with other feminists, founded the National Organization for Women. In , " Women's Liberation " became a household term as, for the first time, the new women's movement eclipsed the civil rights movement when New York Radical Women , led by Robin Morgan , protested the annual Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The movement continued throughout the next decades. Gloria Steinem was a key feminist. The United States, in the middle of a social revolution, led the world in LGBT rights in the late s and early s. Inspired by the civil-rights movement and the women's movement, early gay-rights pioneers had begun, by the s, to build a movement. These groups were rather conservative in their practices, emphasizing that gay men and women are no different from those who are straight and deserve full equality.

This philosophy would be dominant again after AIDS , but by the very end of the s, the movement's goals would change and become more radical, demanding a right to be different, and encouraging gay pride. The symbolic birth of the gay rights movement would not come until the decade had almost come to a close.


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Gays were not allowed by law to congregate. Gay establishments such as the Stonewall Inn in New York City were routinely raided by the police to arrest gay people.

A Brief History Of The Hippies, The 1960s Movement That Changed America

On a night in late June , LGBT people resisted, for the first time, a police raid, and rebelled openly in the streets. This uprising called the Stonewall Riots began a new period of the LGBT rights movement that in the next decade would cause dramatic change both inside the LGBT community and in the mainstream American culture. The rapid rise of a " New Left " applied the class perspective of Marxism to postwar America, but had little organizational connection with older Marxist organizations such as the Communist Party , and even went as far as to reject organized labor as the basis of a unified left-wing movement.

Sympathetic to the ideology of C.

An American Tradition

Wright Mills , the New Left differed from the traditional left in its resistance to dogma and its emphasis on personal as well as societal change. The s left also consisted of ephemeral campus-based Trotskyist , Maoist and anarchist groups, some of which by the end of the s had turned to militancy. The s was also associated with a large increase in crime and urban unrest of all types. Between and reported incidences of violent crime per , people in the United States nearly doubled and have yet to return to the levels of the early s.

By the end of the decade, politicians like George Wallace and Richard Nixon campaigned on restoring law and order to a nation troubled with the new unrest. The Soviets sent the first man, Yuri Gagarin , into outer space during the Vostok 1 mission on 12 April and scored a host of other successes, but by the middle of the decade the U. In May , President Kennedy set for the U. In June , Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space during the Vostok 6 mission.

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In , Soviets launched the first probe to hit another planet of the Solar system Venus , Venera 3 , and the first probe to make a soft landing on and transmit from the surface of the Moon, Luna 9. In March , the Soviet Union launched Luna 10 , which became the first space probe to enter orbit around the Moon, and in September, , Zond 5 flew the first terrestrial beings, including two tortoises, to circumnavigate the Moon.

Chaffee in the Apollo 1 fire on 27 January put a temporary hold on the U. On 20 July , Apollo 11 , the first human spaceflight landed on the Moon. Apollo 11 fulfilled President John F.

The 60s: The Years That Changed America

Kennedy 's goal of reaching the Moon by the end of the s, which he had expressed during a speech given before a joint session of Congress on 25 May "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. The Soviet program lost its sense of direction with the death of chief designer Sergey Korolyov in Political pressure, conflicts between different design bureaus, and engineering problems caused by an inadequate budget would doom the Soviet attempt to land men on the Moon.

A succession of unmanned American and Soviet probes traveled to the Moon, Venus , and Mars during the s, and commercial satellites also came into use. As the s began, American cars showed a rapid rejection of s styling excess, and would remain relatively clean and boxy for the entire decade. The horsepower race reached its climax in the late s, with muscle cars sold by most makes.

The compact Ford Mustang , launched in , was one of the decade's greatest successes. The " Big Three " American automakers enjoyed their highest ever sales and profitability in the s, but the demise of Studebaker in left American Motors Corporation as the last significant independent. The decade would see the car market split into different size classes for the first time, and model lineups now included compact and mid-sized cars in addition to full-sized ones.

The popular modern hatchback, with front-wheel-drive and a two-box configuration, was born in with the introduction of the Renault 16 , many of this car's design principles live on in its modern counterparts: a large rear opening incorporating the rear window, foldable rear seats to extend boot space. The Mini , released in , had first popularised the front wheel drive two-box configuration, but technically was not a hatchback as it had a fold-down bootlid.

Japanese cars also began to gain acceptance in the Western market, and popular economy models such as the Toyota Corolla , Datsun , and the first popular Japanese sports car, the Datsun Z , were released in the mid- to lates. The counterculture movement dominated the second half of the s, its most famous moments being the Summer of Love in San Francisco in , and the Woodstock Festival in upstate New York in Psychedelic drugs , especially LSD , were widely used medicinally, spiritually and recreationally throughout the late s, and were popularized by Timothy Leary with his slogan " Turn on, tune in, drop out ".

Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters also played a part in the role of "turning heads on". Psychedelic influenced the music, artwork and films of the decade, and a number of prominent musicians died of drug overdoses see 27 Club. There was a growing interest in Eastern religions and philosophy, and many attempts were made to found communes, which varied from supporting free love to religious puritanism.

The rock-and-roll movement of the s quickly came to an end in as explained in the song American Pie , the revelation that Jerry Lee Lewis had married his 13 year old cousin, and the induction of Elvis Presley into the US Army. As the s began, the major rock-and-roll stars of the '50s such as Chuck Berry and Little Richard had dropped off the charts and popular music in the US came to be dominated by Motown girl groups and novelty pop songs.

Girl groups and female singers, such as the Shirelles , Betty Everett , Little Eva , the Dixie Cups , the Ronettes , and the Supremes dominated the charts in the early s. This style consisted typically of light pop themes about teenage romance, backed by vocal harmonies and a strong rhythm.

Women and Culture in the 1960s

Most girl groups were African-American , but white girl groups and singers, such as Lesley Gore , the Angels , and the Shangri-Las also emerged by Around the same time, record producer Phil Spector began producing girl groups and created a new kind of pop music production that came to be known as the Wall of Sound. This style emphasized higher budgets and more elaborate arrangements, and more melodramatic musical themes in place of a simple, light-hearted pop sound. Spector's innovations became integral to the growing sophistication of popular music from onward.

Also during the early '60s, surf rock emerged, a rock subgenre that was centered in Southern California and based on beach and surfing themes, in addition to the usual songs about teenage romance and innocent fun. The Beach Boys quickly became the premier surf rock band and almost completely and single-handedly overshadowed the many lesser artists in the genre.

Surf rock reached its peak in —65, then gradually gave way to bands influenced by the counterculture movement. The car song also emerged as a rock subgenre in the early 60s, which coupled with the surf rock subgenre. The early 60s also saw the golden age of another rock subgenre, the teen tragedy song , which focused on lost teen romance caused by sudden death, mainly in traffic accidents.

Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers' " Last Kiss. While rock 'n' roll had 'disappeared' from the US charts in the early '60s, it never died out in Europe and Britain in particular was a hotbed of rock-and-roll activity during this time. In late , the Beatles embarked on their first US tour.


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The stage was set for the spectacular revival of rock music. In the UK, the Beatles played raucous rock 'n' roll — as well as doo wop, girl-group songs, show tunes — and wore leather jackets. Their manager Brian Epstein encouraged the group to wear suits. Beatlemania abruptly exploded after the group's appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in Late in , the Beatles released the album Rubber Soul which marked the beginning of their transition to a sophisticated power pop group with elaborate studio arrangements and production, and a year after that, they gave up touring entirely to focus only on albums.

A host of imitators followed the Beatles in the so-called British Invasion, including groups like the Rolling Stones and the Kinks who would become legends in their own right.

The s: American Pop Culture History

As the counterculture movement developed, artists began making new kinds of music influenced by the use of psychedelic drugs. Guitarist Jimi Hendrix emerged onto the scene in with a radically new approach to electric guitar that replaced Chuck Berry, previously seen as the gold standard of rock guitar. A major development in popular music during the mids was the movement away from singles and towards albums.

Previously, popular music was based around the 45 single or even earlier, the 78 single and albums such as they existed were little more than a hit single or two backed with filler tracks, instrumentals, and covers. The development of the AOR album oriented rock format was complicated and involved several concurrent events such as Phil Spector's Wall of Sound, the introduction by Bob Dylan of "serious" lyrics to rock music, and the Beatles' new studio-based approach. In any case, after the vinyl LP had definitively taken over as the primary format for all popular music styles.

Blues also continued to develop strongly during the '60s, but after , it increasingly shifted to the young white rock audience and away from its traditional black audience, which moved on to other styles such as soul and funk. Jazz music during the first half of the '60s was largely a continuation of '50s styles, retaining its core audience of young, urban, college-educated whites.

By , the death of several important jazz figures such as John Coltrane and Nat King Cole precipitated a decline in the genre. The takeover of rock in the late '60s largely spelled the end of jazz as a mainstream form of music, after it had dominated much of the first half of the 20th century. Female country artists were also becoming more mainstream in a genre dominated by men in prior decades , with such acts as Patsy Cline , Loretta Lynn , and Tammy Wynette.

Some of Hollywood's most notable blockbuster films of the s include:. The counterculture movement had a significant effect on cinema. Movies began to break social taboos such as sex and violence causing both controversy and fascination. They turned increasingly dramatic, unbalanced, and hectic as the cultural revolution was starting. This was the beginning of the New Hollywood era that dominated the next decade in theatres and revolutionized the film industry.