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     The 1960"s brought tremendous change. Culturally, things began percolating during the previous decade only to explode during the Vietnam War. At the same time, technical innovations changed how people lived while music changed how people thought. All the while, the Cold War continued to wage. Here are some of the most memorable events of the sixties:

The TV debate: Nixon v. Kennedy (1960):

     Dwight Eisenhower became the first presidential candidate to successfully use the television medium to campaign. John Kennedy perfected it. The Kennedy Campaign knew how to use the medium to full effect while his opponent did not. During their first televised debate, Kennedy looked rested, tanned, and wore makeup. Vice-President Nixon refused the makeup and had was just recovering from an illness which made him look pasty. Additionally, Nixon wore a five o’clock shadow which accentuated his features and made him appear devious.
Radio listeners believed Nixon won the debate. However, those that watched it on television threw the contest to Kennedy. In the first presidential debate of the television era, style beat substance.

The Berlin Wall (1961):

    Millions of people escaped the Eastern Bloc through Berlin. By 1961, the Soviets and East Germans had enough. In order to prevent further escape, and to keep the professional classes trapped, they built a wall. The Berlin Wall became a symbol of communist oppression and a propaganda tool for the west. At the same time, it lessened tensions between the two Cold War foes. At one point before the wall, the two sides pointed tanks at each other in the streets of Berlin. Following its construction, John Kennedy visited the wall and let the Berliners know the free world stood with them. Behind the scenes, he expressed relief that the wall relieved some tension.

Cuban Missile Crisis (1962):

     In October 1962, the United States caught the Soviet Union building nuclear installations on Cuba. President Kennedy ordered a blockade. The world stood on the precipice of annihilation. Meanwhile, Robert Kennedy worked behind the scenes to secure a peaceful end of the crisis. In the end, Kennedy cut a deal with the Soviets. The U.S. pulled its offensive, and outdated, missiles out of Turkey while the Soviets would pull out of Cuba. However, the Soviets could not disclose the deal. As a result, Khrushchev looked weak and eventually was overthrown. Castro seethed at the betrayal. He planned to use nuclear weapons on an American landing force. His chief lieutenant, Che Guevara wanted to use them on the American mainland. (For more: http://www.examiner.com/x-24794-American-History-Examiner~y2010m1d27-Che-Guevara).

March on Washington (1963):

     The Civil Rights Movement culminated with the March on Washington in August, 1963. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech to 250,000 people. Following the march, the Civil Rights Movement continued on and grew increasingly radical as its members tired of the violence.

JFK Assassination (1963):

     In November 1963, John Kennedy made a campaign swing through Texas. On November 22, 1963, he visited Dallas and was assassinated.

     The national tragedy ushered in twenty years of shocks to America. The assassination continues to elicit controversy. (For more: http://www.examiner.com/x-24794-American-History-Examiner~y2009m11d27-The-Kennedy-Assassination ).

Bloody Sunday (1965):

     Lyndon Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964. Afterward, the Civil Rights Movement began to lobby for a voting rights act. In 1965, they marched in Selma, Alabama. The movement planned to march from Selma to Montgomery. The marchers encountered massive resistance. On Sunday March 7, 1965, John Lewis led protesters over the Pettus Bridge. Armed state troopers awaited. A wall of nightsticks, tear gas, and mounted troopers pummeled the marchers. Seventeen people went to the hospital with injuries. The following Tuesday, Martin Luther King led a second march. A federal judge ordered an injunction. King compromised and led a march to the bridge and then returned. He followed the letter of the law, but angered many in his movement.
     That evening, a white minister was beaten for supporting the protesters. The hospital in Selma refused to admit him for medical treatment. He later died. In the end, LBJ passed a Voting Rights Act. In 1966, the Democrats experienced a thrashing at the polls. Meanwhile, the Civil Rights Movement grew more radical.

The Tet Offensive (1968):

     The Johnson Administration promised the United States was winning the Vietnam War. On January 31, 1968, the enemy launched a massive offensive. They attacked every major city in South Vietnam and focused on command and control centers. The offensive appeared on American television. That is what the communist commanders wanted. They hoped to influence American public opinion to get them to abandon the war. That part of the plan worked. Militarily, it was a disaster for North Vietnam. They were thoroughly defeated. However, Americans did not know this. They only saw blood on the television and felt the administration lied to them. America could not win the war now because of this credibility gap and because Americans did not understand war.

Assassinations (1968):

     On April 4, 1968, an assassin murdered Martin Luther King Jr. King predicted his death on more than one occasion. The night before, he gave his last address during a violent thunderstorm.
     The “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address evoked a comparison with Moses who saw the promised land and passed away before reaching it. King died the next day. Violence followed King’s assassination. In Indianapolis, Robert Kennedy called for calm and reminded people that he lost a brother to an assassin.
     Indianapolis remained calm while the nation burned. Two months later, Robert Kennedy died. On June 5, Sirhan Sirhan shot Kennedy three times for supporting Israel. Kennedy had just won the California primary. The celebration became a wake. His brother Ted delivered a touching eulogy reminding people that “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.”

The Democratic National Convention (1968):

 
     Protesters filled the streets of Chicago for the convention. Chicago’s Mayor Daley ran the city with an iron fist. He authorized the use of force. The police clashed with protesters. The disorder appeared on television across the world.

     An investigation called it a “police riot.” Although the police used excessive force, the protesters were more than willing to engage in violence and use weapons as well. Violence even spread to the convention floor. Newsman Dan Rather was beat up by a protester. The violence contrasted dramatically to the Republican Convention. To the average voter, Richard Nixon represented law and order while the Democrats brought chaos.

Moon Landing (1969):

On July 20, 1969, man landed on the moon.

The event represented the apex of human technological development.

Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first two to walk on the lunar surface while Michael Collins orbited the moon.

Several moon landings followed.

Since 1972, no one has returned.

The world has lost nearly 40 years dawdling over the space program.

Hats off and thanks to the http://www.examiner.com/article/top-10-historical-moments-of-the-1960s website
for most of the text information above and the photos were colleted from several different websites.
 
 
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