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Throughout the 1960s’ and 70’s, segregation was always an issue. Acts of discrimination were beginning to inspire other African Americans to speak out in their situation in the division of the races. In 1960, in Greensboro North Carolina, four black students began a sit-in at a segregated at a Woolworth’s lunch counter. Although they are refused service, they are permitted to stay. This event sparks many other non-violent protests. Protests were drawing the attention of the current president, Dwight Eisenhower. President Eisenhower eventually signs the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into a law. In the picture on the right, Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) is seen waving out to the crowds of people who gathered to see him make his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. MLK was a peaceful protesting leader who maintained a strong opinion towards equal rights for all, but unlike others, he was known for his serene and effective protests. One of Martin Luther King Jr’s most prominent protests was the March on Washington, which took place on August 28, 1963. The March on Washington was aimed more towards African Americans who wanted jobs and freedom no different than whites. It also questioned the political and social injustices that African Americans still faced even after 100 years of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. MLK spoke out to the 250,000 people who attended and said his most famous speech, the “I Have a Dream” speech. In his speech, MLK asserted that he had a dream that one day blacks would have the same privileges as whites. In being an activist, he inspired the thousands of people that were present at the Pentagon and many more. However, MLK was not the only activist there trying to influence others. A smaller number of people marched on Washington for gay rights and women’s rights. Many people were beginning to find the courage to stand up against what was wrong, and segregation was obviously inequitable and disturbing. Political Relations and AdvancementsPolitics in the 1960’s and 70’s were emanating throughout the world.  Individuals were being acknowledged for their actions, good and bad. John F. Kennedy was elected the 35th president of the United States in 1960. When JFK was elected president, in his inaugural speech, he said that he was setting foot on a new frontier and he wanted the people to be actively involved in working in this new technological era. JFK had was filling everyone with optimism. The picture on the left shows JFK making his inaugural speech which would give hope to millions that day. JFK was most known for his accomplishments in the area of public affairs. He wanted peace within the countries and stopped the escalating tensions of the Cold War, in Cuba, Vietnam and he also provided federal support for the Civil Rights Movement. One of Kennedy’s most well know actions was the Cuban Missile Crisis. Kennedy found out that the Soviet Union was planning on sending missiles to Cuba, Kennedy reacted fast and blockaded the island, protecting it until the Soviet Union vowed to take back the missiles. The Soviet Union eventually took back the missiles and Kennedy was noticed in his acts of courage. The Cuban Missile Crisis would eventually link chains in leading to the Vietnam War.  John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22nd, 1963. His presidential reign came to an end when he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas while riding in an unprotected car with the hood open. JFK’s assassination went down in history and left the nation buried in the unwanted feeling of fear in what to do now that the anticipation of JFK was gone. JFK’s brother, Robert F. Kennedy, was a man who was always working alongside his brother. RFK worked against organized crime and was one of the most prominent people who managed and prompted the Civil Rights Movement and made sure it was one of JFK’s priorities while he was serving his presidential term. The Vietnam WarThe Vietnam War began in 1954, but the US did not advance into the war until 10 years later, 1964. The name “Vietnam War” is the more commonly used name for the Second Indochina War. The US got involved because they did not want another country aiming towards communism. The US took sides with the Southern Vietnamese who ended up losing the war to the Northern Vietnamese. Throughout the war, there are many marches in the US to end the war as soon as possible. The picture on the right shows protesters marching to end the Vietnam War. The truth is that the US’ military won the war but the politicians lost it. The Communists in Northern Vietnam ended up signing a peace treaty ending the war. There were many protests throughout the Vietnam War that included monks burning themselves in protest.Space Race “She packed my bags last night pre-flight Zero hour nine AM, And I’m gonna be as high as a kite by then, I miss the earth so much I miss my wife It’s lonely out in space, On such a timeless flight, And I think it’s gonna be a long long time, ‘Till touch down brings me round again to find, I’m not the man they think I am at home, Oh no no no I’m a rocket man, Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone” – Elton John 1972There were various events that made the headlines in the 1960’s and 70’s. Including the Space Race, Kent State Shooting, The British Invasion, Woodstock, medical advancements, new inventions and more. The Space Race took place throughout the 1960’s. JFK made a vow in a speech on May 25, 1961, saying that he wanted to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. President John F. Kennedy stated the following:”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. No single space project…will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important…and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish” Russia (The Soviet Union) and the US have always had a competitive atmosphere around each other. Russia had already sent the first man to space but the US wanted to surpass that. Resulting from JFK’s speech, the US created NASA which stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration. There were three missions that would inaugurate from NASA. The first is Project Mercury, the first man sent into space by the US, which was in the early 60’s. This project was also the first project that had a man orbit the earth. Project Gemini, which is the second mission, took place in the mid 60’s. Gemini means twins, which means two, so two men were sent to space in a space capsule. They practiced docking spaceships together which would be very important for the next project. The third mission was Project Apollo which is the more well-known project of the three. It occurred in the late 60’s which sent three men into space. The biggest Rocket ever built was the Saturn V which took Neil Armstrong to the moon on July 20th, 1969. So, in the bigger picture, we had achieved much more than Russia during the Space Race. Violence and Crime The outpour of violence tamed a new civilization in America. People were finding new ways to harm those around them and themselves.  More gangs were forming and specific areas were beginning to get a reputation for the conduct in their neighborhood. The wrong people were getting their hands on guns and weapons and using them in the wrong way. People were only thinking about money and would do anything to get their hands on it. The Kent State Shootings started out as a protest against the Vietnam War at Kent State University. Students were throwing rocks and bottles at windows and police officers allowing them to loot stores. Eventually, the soldiers and officers that were standing their grounds pulled the trigger on the protesters, wounding nine and killing four. This helped convince people that the protesters were not just random people who were drug addicts, hippies, teenagers or the jobless and needy; they were middle-class, educated people who had a right in their protests. The shooting at Kent State only intensified protests. More people began protesting and some colleges and universities had to cancel classes for almost the remainder of the year. Technological Inventions and Advancements Technology in the 1960’s and 70’s was bursting through the roof. New advancements in the category of technology were being performed. In 1971, floppy discs were invented by David Noble. The picture on the right gives a general idea of what the floppy disc looks like.The floppy disc was used to store data inside a computer. This was a notable invention because once computers were made and people were typing important information on them and downloading pictures, they needed somewhere where they could be ensured that their work would be saved.  Technology would only move up from there. Other technological advancements were made like email, cell phones, ATM’s,and digital cameras. ATM’s were a huge advancement because now people could remove money from their bank accounts from the click of a button. Entertainment Entertainment in the 1960’s and 70’s was varied in many different forms. The 60’s were hardcore rock’n’ roll and as the 70’s rolled in, disco was heating up. Music genres were changing, and many new televised shows were being created. People had more money to go out to concerts,  and sporting events. There were many remarkable entertainers and ways of finding entertainment. Many historical events led to some of the exciting and unusual new songs of the 60’s and 70’s. Events like Woodstock, the British Invasion, and shows like. The Brady Bunch was a hit that had people going crazy. The picture below is Jimi Hendrix, who is known for performing “The Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock. There were songs for just about everybody. From radicals to preppies, there was entertainment for everyone. Woodstock Woodstock was a music festival that was held in Bethel, New York. The festival attracted over 400,000 people who were interested in coming together for good entertainment. Some of the many top entertainers who performed were Jefferson Airplane, The Who, The Grateful Dead, Sly and the Family Stone, Jimi Hendrix and many more. More young people attended Woodstock than expected. Woodstock lasted about three days long of people performing and was also looked at as a group gathering at the start of the new decade. Along with the numerous amount of performers, there were also many activities that people could do at their leisure including bowling, surfing, sailing, and touch football. Woodstock was mostly known for expressing peace, love and rock’n’ roll in the age where everyone could be themselves. Music “You say you want a revolution , Well, you know, We all want to change the world, You tell me that it’s evolution, Well you know, We all want to change the world”    -The Beatles 1968 The British Invasion was started by The Beatles, a well known band from the United Kingdom. The Beatles made one of their first appearances in America on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. Other bands like The Rolling Stones, the Yardbirds, the Kinks and many more were tied in with the British Invasion. The US was beginning to get an aspect of what British Culture was like. Out of the many bands involved, The Beatles had the heaviest impact on America during the British Invasion. The British Invasion was most known for the spilling in of new entertainers and new entertainment from the UK. Rock and roll was the music that everyone wanted to listen to and disco was the music that everyone wanted to dance to. Both types of music were popular and demanding but disco did not find its origin until the mid seventies. When disco became more popular, it was the easiest way to get up on the charts. Donna Summer, scored when she chose to sing and write disco, which helped lead her to her well known career. Television TV shows were beginning to take a widespread. With all of the uprising politics, key coverage was being broadcasted on to news channels. Channels were beginning to expand and people were beginning to take more interest in the shows that were being streamed. Popular shows from the 60s and 70s were the Brady Bunch, the Flintstones, and Pink Panther. Favorite shows like those was what caught the attention of people. This helped lead to the era of modern technology, because of the demand of TV’s and films were high. Pink PantherEnvironment “Hey farmer farmer,Put away that DDT,Give me spots on my apples,But leave me the birds and the bees,Please! Don’t it always seem to go,That you don’t know what you’ve got,Till it’s gone,They paved paradise,And put up a parking lot”Joni Mitchell 1970The environment in the 1960’s and 70’s was well polluted. In the category of environment, there were two different types of people. Those who had serious jobs and had huge factories and power plants which were letting out substantial amounts of pollution everyday, and people who were considered as radicals and had no jobs and really took in the scenery of the polluted environment. An example of the earth becoming polluted is the fact that the government was dumping all of the garbage out to sea. The problem was, people were not thinking about this long term. All of the garbage that was being dumped out to sea was harming sea life and was eventually floating back onto the land, where public beaches would display litter blanketing the sand. Many people promoted social events and started groups that helped clean up the beaches but in the beginning, the government was not lending a hand. There were many protests against all of the polluting of the environment and on April 22nd, 1970, the first Earth Day was created by Senator Gaylord Nelson to help the earth in clean up pollution. Along with this, many Public Service Announcements (PSA) were being brought to attention. The Crying Indian was a well known PSA that showed an Indian, one of the first people to live in America, crying over the amount of litter that was in store for the future. New inventions also had an effect on the pollution in the environment. Railroads, and new machinery were polluting the environment. Cities were becoming major industries busy tending to the demands of people. People were beginning to take notice in what the earth, their home, was becoming. Earth Day was becoming a more celebrated holiday for helping the earth and people were and still are going out of reach every April 22nd to preserve earth’s natural resources. The 1960’s and 70’s were decades of innovation and change. The 60’s and 70’s will be times remembered for events that would go down in history. Along with the changing times were the changing people. People were saying, “What about me”, and realizing that they were their own person. This created different people like hippies, preppies, politicians and other individuals. The way people acted shaped and molded what the interests of people would be. We reached many achievements that were set in the 60’s and 70’s such as the space race, technological advancements and new inventions. We fulfilled the goals that the U.S. made as a country and we were inspired by the people who stood out to us simply by their actions and words. The quote President John F. Kennedy said, “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country,” would go on to raise the hopes and dreams of fellow Americans that decade and for many more. Alone, we may be individuals, but together, we represent, and are no less than the United States of America.

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