The Sixties”, as they are known in both scholarship and popular culture, is a term used by historians, journalists, and other objective academics
in some cases nostalgically to describe the counterculture and revolution in social norms about clothing, music, drugs, dress, sexuality, formalities, schooling.
And in others pejoratively to denounce the decade as one of irresponsible excess, flamboyance, and decay of social order. The decade was also labeled the Swinging Sixties because of the fall or relaxation of social taboos especially relating to racism and sexism that occurred during this time.
Commentator Christopher Booker described this era as a classical Jungian nightmare cycle, where a rigid culture, unable to contain the demands for greater individual freedom, broke free of the social constraints of the previous age through extreme deviation from the norm. He charts the rise, success, fall/nightmare and explosion in the London scene of the 1960s. Several Western nations such as the United States, United Kingdom, France, and West Germany turned to the political left in the early and mid-1960s.
1960 – United States presidential election, 1960 – The very close campaign was the series of four Kennedy–Nixon debates; they were the first presidential debates held on television. Kennedy won a close election.
1963 – Civil rights becomes a central issue, as the Birmingham campaign and Birmingham riot lead to President Kennedy’s Civil Rights Address, Martin Luther King Jr.‘s “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington, and the
16th Street Baptist Church Bombing1963 – Kennedy was assassinated and replaced by Vice President Lyndon Johnson. The nation was in shock. For the next half-century, conspiracy theorists concocted numerous alternative explanations to the official report that a lone gunman killed Kennedy.
1964 – Johnson pressed for civil rights legislation. Civil Rights Act of 1964 signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. This landmark piece of legislation in the United States outlawed racial segregation in schools, public places, and employment. The first black riots erupt in major cities.
1964 – Johnson was reelected over Conservative spokesman Senator Barry Goldwater by wide landslide; Liberals gained full control of Congress.
1964 – Wilderness Act signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson on 3 September.
1965 – After the events of the Selma to Montgomery marches the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 was lobbied for, and then signed into law, by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Voting Rights Act outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had caused the widespread disenfranchisement of African-Americans in the United States.
(c) Can Stock Photo / enterlinedesign