1960s: A Nation Facing Challenges

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    A decade of Change

  • Jackie Robinson

    Jackie Robinson
    In 1947 the Brooklyn Dodgers took Jackie Robinson, an African American, on their Major Leauge Baseball team. This was the first team ever to do such a thing and put an African American on the roster. It was huge. Everyone was inspired and Robinson was very courageous.
  • France is Defeated

    France is Defeated
    The French soldiers made a last stand at Dion Bion Phu. Many of teh Vietminh troops surrounded French troops. The French were outnumbered and called the US for help but they did not want to get involved in another war so soon after the Korean War. The French forces surrendered on May 7, 1954.
  • Geneva Conference

    Geneva Conference
    After the French surrendered many representatives from all different cuontries gathered together. They called this gathering the Geneva Conference and the goal was to work out a peace agreement and arrange for Indochina's future. Geneva Accords were signed in July, 1954.
  • Montgomery Bus Boycott

    Montgomery Bus Boycott
    One day Rosa Parks, an African American woman, refused to give up her seat to a white rider. She was arrested. The response was for all African Americans to stay off the buses. The boycott hurt the bus system and a year later the court held that segregation on buses was unconstitutional.
  • Little Rock Crisis

    Little Rock Crisis
    Nine African American students wanted to join Little Rock's Central High School even though it was supposed to be an all white school. On September 4, 1957 the whites harassed the black students when they came for the first day of school. Guards prevented them from entering the school for nearly 3 weeks. On September 25, they could finally enter the school.
  • The Sit-In Movement

    The Sit-In Movement
    On February 1, 1960 4 college students began a sit-in after ordering coffee in a store and being denied service because of their race. Many were arrested and hurt but that did not stop the many people who joined in no the movement. They were generally successful at getting owners to change their policies. In May several states ended segregation at their lunch counters.
  • Kennedy Becomes President

    Kennedy Becomes President
    Kennedy was going against Richard Nixon in the elction of 1960. Fewer than 120,000 votes separated the 2 canidates. Kennedy's won by a 303-219 margin in the electoral college.
  • The Space Program

    The Space Program
    In April of 1961 the Soviet Union was ahead of the US as far as space. They launched the first human into space nearly a year before the US did. The Soviet thought this showed the superiority of Communism and in May of 1961 Kennedy proposed to Congress to restore America's world prestige. All of Kennedy's proposals creaded a space race in which the US would win.
  • Bay of Pigs Invasion

    Bay of Pigs Invasion
    Nobody knew for sure whether or not they should attack Cuba. The CIA assured Kennedy that it would be a success so they went for it and named this the Bay of Pigs invasion. It was a disaster. On April 15, 1961 the air strike failed to destroy Cuba's airforce. Cuba was very prepared as well because they were warned and the New York Times reported the plan a week prior to the attack.
  • Freedom Riders

    Freedom Riders
    Members of CORE sent Freedom Riders on abus trip through the South to stop at whites-only waiting rooms to try and use the facilities. At first there was only mild harassment and then they would get swarmed by a mob and get fire bombed and beat. The CORE had to sponsor Freedom Ride as disbanded.
  • The Vienna Conference

    The Vienna Conference
    In June of 1961 Kennedy invited Khrushchev to meet with him in Vienna, Australia. Kennedy's main goal was to ease tension with the Soviet Union. Instead, Khrushchev demanded the US and its allies recognize communist East Germany as an independent nation as wel as withdraw from West Berlin.
  • Voting-Rights Reform

    Voting-Rights Reform
    One change made was the way the legislative representation was determined. As cities grew their representation in state legistlatures did not. The Court said this situation denied urban voters equal protection of the law and said legislative districts must have equal population. It guaranteed each citizen's vote mattered: one person, one vote. This all happened between the years 1962 and 1964 when the Baker v Carr, Westberry v Sanders, and Reynolds v Sims court cases occurred.
  • 24th Amendment

    24th Amendment
    Congress passed the 24th Amendment in August of 1962. It banned states from taxing citizens to vote. It allowed more African Americans to vote since they were generally more poor than whites. The amendment increased hopes that change was on the way.
  • Kennedy's Assassination

    Kennedy's Assassination
    Kennedy flew to Texas in late 1963 to help the southern Democrats. On November 22, he was riding through Dallas to go deliver a speech. He was shot that day and died only a few hours later. The nation was shocked.
  • Johnson Becomes President

    Johnson Becomes President
    Johnson was originally Kennedy's Vice President and he was very unhappy with that. He became president when Kennedy was assassinated. Even though he wanted to be president, he said in his first speech as president, "All I have I would have given gladly not to be standing here today" and he truly meant it.
  • Tax Reduction Act

    Tax Reduction Act
    The Tax Reduction Act was enacted on February 6, 1964. The main goal was to cut income tax rates up to 30%. It also wanted to give the greatest cuts to the lower income Americans.
  • Crisis in Mississippi

    Crisis in Mississippi
    After a man went missing in Mississippi on June 21, 1964, 3 men, 1 college student and 2 CORE workers, went to inspect a church that had recently been bombed. They were arrested for speeding, let out, and never seen or heard from again. Their bodies were found in a dam and the FBI arrested 21 suspects. 7 were convicted.
  • Free Speech Movement

    Free Speech Movement
    The Free Speech Movement was part of the counterculture movement during teh 1960s that began by the events that happened in Berkely. People of this time wanted the right to say what they feel when they feel like it. Students continued to fight for it and used tactics of Civil disobedience to do so.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964

    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    When President Johnson took office after John F. Kennedy's assassination he supported the passage of a strung civil rights bill. He signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 on July 2 which banned discrimination in employment and in public accomodations.
  • Tonkin Gulf Resolution

    Tonkin Gulf Resolution
    Congress approved of the Tonking Gulf Resolution on August 7. It let the president take any necessary measures to rpel all armed attack against forces of the US. The president now had authority to expand war.
  • Rise of the Counterculture

    Rise of the Counterculture
    A group of teens and young adults that went against society made up the counterculture of the 1960s. They thought priorites were misplaced. They wanted their culture to be based on peace and love.
  • Affirmative Action Programs

    Affirmative Action Programs
    The government helped set them up for businesses and colleges. They gave preference to minorities and women in hiring and admissions. They also made up for the past discrimination against these groups of people.
  • Operation Rolling Thunder

    Operation Rolling Thunder
    This was a bombing over North Vietnam and it took place in the air. It's goal was to weaken the enemy's ability to fight. It did not succeed in doing so, howevr. Johnson broaded the air war out of frustration.
  • Vietcong Tunnels

    Vietcong Tunnels
    There were underground tunnels built in the 1940s that the Viecong used. They could hide there and live there. They would also store food and weapons. By 1965 they stretched from Saligon to the Cambodian border. This was a major advantage for them and a major disadvantage for the US.
  • Medicaid and Medicare

    Medicaid and Medicare
    In July 1965, Congress set up Medicaid and Medicare. Medicaid is a program that provides free health care for poor people. Medicare is a health pcare program for people over the age of 65. These programs helped ensure that illness will not destroy your savings.
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965

    Voting Rights Act of 1965
    This law was passed in Congress by large majorities. Many attended the signing on Auguts 6, 1965. it was one of the most important laws ever passed. Within 3 weeks almost 30,000 African Americans in Southern states registered to vote.
  • National Organization for Women

    National Organization for Women
    The National Organization for Women, NOW, was formed by a group of feminists in the 1960s. It is a women's rights organization that fought to end gender discrimination everywhere. It also wanted to end violence against women and achieve abortion rights. Betty Friedan was the first president of NOW.
  • The Black Panthers

    The Black Panthers
    Many African Americans were interested in Black Power and in October of 1966 2 young activists found a group called the Black Panther Party. They were against non-violence and called for violent revolution. They carried guns and monitored African American neighborhoods.
  • Mexican American Youth Organization

    Mexican American Youth Organization
    A group of college students formed the Mexican American Youth Organization, MAYO, in 1967. They wanted to achieve economic independence for Mexican Americans, to gain local control over the education of Hispanic children, and to achieve power for Latinos through the creation of a third political party. They helped organize a protest at a high school in Crystal City. The success their helped inspire students in other Texas schools. After many boycotts, students gained the reforms they wanted.
  • Different Opinions

    Different Opinions
    Johnson was criticized by those known as doves and hawks. Doves are people who opposed the war and hawks are people who supported the war's goals but disapproved of the government's handling of it.
  • Summer of Love

    Summer of Love
    Summer of Love was the height of the hippie movement in the summer of 1967 in San Francisco. The generation proclaimed the dawning of a bright new age. Hippies professed peace and love although the country was at war in Vietnam
  • Poor People's Campaign

    Poor People's Campaign
    This was an expansion of the Civil Rights Movement that tried to raise awareness about poverty among people of all races. It turned out being a disaster. the campaign's organizers sent them home after bad weather and reporters being harassed.
  • American Indian Movement

    American Indian Movement
    The American Indian Movement, AIM, was founded in 1968. AIM called for renewal of traditional cultures, economic independence, and better education. AIM took action on the Pine Ridge Reservation in Wounded Knee in February of 1973. They seized Wonded Knee and federal agents arrived to get them out. AIM and US marshals faced off for nearly 2.5 months. 2 AIM activists were killed and 1 US marshal injured. The governemnt considered AIM's grievances but broke their promise when the siege ended.
  • The Chicano Movement

    The Chicano Movement
    The Chicano Movement was a start to the Movement for Latino Rights. In the late 1960s Mexican Americans wanted to embrace a similar culture as the Black Power did. They called themselves the Chicanos.
  • Tet Offensive

    Tet Offensive
    The Tet Offensive started when the Vietcong assaulted the US Embassy. It is a series of attacks throughout South Vietnam. The main attacks began on January 30, 1968.
  • Kerner Commission

    Kerner Commission
    There was so much violence erupting in large cities and poor neighborhoods. Many were injured and killed. After a 6-week riot in Detroit that had caused 43 death and thousands injured, President Johnson appointed in the Kerner Commission to study causes of the rioting taking place. It's reports blamed poverty and discrimination.
  • Assassination of King

    Assassination of King
    King led a march to city hall on March 28. he stayed in memphis to give a speech on April 3. On April 4, James Earl Ray shot and killed King as he stood on his balcony with a high powered rifle. As a result of angry African Americans, many were arrested, injured and killed.
  • Civil Rights Act of 1968

    Civil Rights Act of 1968
    Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 a week after Martin Luther King Jr's death. It can be called the Fair Housing Act as well. It banned discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.
  • Election of 1968: The Canidates

    Election of 1968: The Canidates
    The election of 1968 was a 3-way race between Nixon, Wallace and Humphrey. Nixon was a republican, Humphrey democratic and Wallace independent. Humphrey, Johnson's VP, entered the race when Johnson withdrew from the campaign. He defended the administration's war policies. Nixon told his voters that war must be ended but he kept it a secret as to how he wanted to do so, which made people skeptical. And Wallace was nominated by the American Independent Party and was against war protestors.
  • Election Results

    Election Results
    The results of the popular election in November of 1968 were very close between the 3 canidates. Out of 73 million votes only 510,000 of them separated Nixon and Humphrey. Nearly 10 million voted for Wallace. Nixon's margin of victory was wider in the electoral college. Nixon with 301, Humphrey with 191, and Wallace with 46.
  • La Raza Unida Party

    La Raza Unida Party
    Gutierrez, one of the founders of MAYO, formed La Raza Party, RUP. It campaigned for bilingual education, improved public services, education for children of migrant workers, and an end to job discrimination. They were elected to offices in several Texas cities in 1970. They expanded to other parts of the SW. However, disagreements among RUP leades caused the party to fall apart in the late 1970s.
  • Campus Violence

    Campus Violence
    On May 2 antiwar demonstrators set firet to the campus ROTC building. On May 4, students gathered on campus for an antiwar rally. When troops told them to leave they retaliated and soldiers began firing into the crowd. 4 students were killed and 9 others injured. A similar incident occured at Jackson State College 9 days later. 2 died and 9 wounded. Many went on strike nationwide and it forced hundreds of colleges and universities to shut down temporarily.
  • The 26th Amendment

    The 26th Amendment
    On March 23, 1971, the 26th Amendment was passed. It lowered the voting age from 21 to 18. Senator George McGovern of South Dakota hoped it would boost his election chances since many of his supporters were young people.
  • Equal Rights Amendment

    Equal Rights Amendment
    The Equal Rights Amendment, ERA, was campaiged for passage by the NOW. This amendment promised equal treatment for men and women in all places, not just employment. It needed to be ratified by at least 38 states in order to be passed which seemed to be a problem. Many states saw the amendment as a threat to traditional family life. ERA failed to become a law when it was 3 states short of ratification.
  • War Powers Act

    War Powers Act
    Congress passed the War Powers Act in 1973 in hope to prevent another Vietnam. It reaffirms Congress's constitutional right to declare war. It sets a 60 day limit on the presidential commitment of US troops to foreign conflicts without a specific authorization by Congress or declaration of war.