The 1960s

The Sixties
The Sixties | Source

Living Through the Sixties

I've been looking through my hubs and reviewing the titles and it looks to me like I've been stuck in the 1950s. I actually lived through the 60s as well - was married during the 60s. The 60s was an interesting decade. Some have called it 'the Sixties' and referred to it as a 'cultural decade'. It surely had a lot of upheaval as post war babies started to grow up and feel their oats!

The Sixties was a time when college students and young adults sought to make changes in the world, to 'clean it up' if you will. Changes in politics and changes in society were about to unfold along with the Sixties. This was a decade that saw college protests all over the country, the Civil Rights Movement started by Martin Luther King, Woodstock, Women's Lib, and so very much more!

What Happened in the Sixties?

I started high school in 1961 so I was and wasn't aware of a lot of what was going on in the world. Our Social Studies teacher required us to read one article from the newspaper every night and discuss it in school the next day. I hate to admit it, but that was probably the extent of my interest in world news. John F. Kennedy took his oath of office as President in January of 1961 and soon established the Peace Corps, Charles deGaulle was President of France, a 37 pound chimpanzee was sent into space, the Bay of Pigs Invasion began in Cuba, a Freedom Riders bus was bombed in Alabama, there were race riots in the south, Roger Maris hit his 61st home run, and East Germany erected the Berlin Wall.

I'm not saying that's all I knew but those are some of the highlights I remember. Some, but not all. Doing some research I found that the average price of a house was $12,500 and the price of gas was 27 cents a gallon!

Lee Harvey Oswald's arrest.
Lee Harvey Oswald's arrest. | Source

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

I have to go back to JFK for a moment. Even as a high school student I was enamored of John F. Kennedy. He was young, he was good looking, he had a pretty, personable wife, all things that attracted high school students everywhere. We followed him more socially than politically. His assassination totally shocked the world, even the world of young high school students. It was one of those moments you remember for life. I was working backstage at school when our principal, a Father Campbell, came to tell us we had to stop the show as he had to announce the death of John Kennedy. Shocked silence fell over the auditorium filled with over 500 students. The silence lasted only a short time and was followed by students crying. We were dismissed from school and allowed to go home. Every bus we took was filled with people crying. People were walking on the street crying. It was a terribly sad day for everyone.

Whether people liked John Kennedy or not, the shock of such a horrible thing happening to our President united everyone for a short time. Everyone stayed glued to their TV and as a result wound up witnessing the shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald by Jack Ruby. Oswald, believed to be the shooter of John Kennedy, was being led through the basement of the Dallas Police Headquarters when Jack Ruby stepped up and shot him in the abdomen sending further shock waves through an already shocked and saddened country. So many ironies prevailed from November 22 at 12:30 p.m. (President Kennedy's assassination). Oswald was arrested in a Texas theater where he had gone to hide, when Oswald was shot he was taken to the Parkland Memorial Hospital - the same hospital where John Kennedy had died, Ruby said he killed Oswald to save Mrs. Kennedy from having to come back for a trial!

On a lighter note, some of you may remember Vaughn Meader. He was an impersonator who became famous by impersonating the First Family -- John Kennedy, Jackie Kennedy and even the children. Over one million copies of his humorous record album were sold but just as fast as his star rose, it crashed, with the death of John Kennedy.

Every decade has it's love songs and so did the Sixties;

Cherish
My Guy
Love is All Around
When Man Loves a Woman
Game of Love
So Much in Love
The Look of Love
The Glory of Love
You Really Got Me

Music in the Sixties

Of course there was more to the Sixties. Dance crazes 'hit the scene' including dances like The Swim, The Mashed Potatoes, and The Locomotion. These dances were part of the music scene. As in any decade there were tons of songs, lots of 1960s music hits. Need I even mention the Beatles? What about Bob Dylan, or my personal favorites Simon and Garfunkel?

Elvis, Neil Sedaka, Frankie Avalon, Del Shannon and other stars from the Fifties carried over into the Sixties but the Sixties was ready for a change. It was a psychedelic era with songs like "White Rabbit" from Jefferson Airplane. There was Jimi Hendrix and The Doors. Music was all over the place. Protest music, songs protesting the War in Viet Nam, songs like Reflections of...(the way life used to be), Blowin in the Wind, This Land is Your Land, Ballad of the Green Berets, Daddy's Home....Joan Baez, Peter Paul & Mary, the Beatles, the Righteous Brothers...WoW, what a mix. The 1960s music hits truly ran the gamut.

Typical Sixties outfit and hairdo
Typical Sixties outfit and hairdo | Source

Styles, Fashion, Hairdos of the Sixties

What about styles and fashions in the Sixties? Women's fashions went from mini skirts with white patent leather boots to Madras plaid with loafers. Pants were long, short and in between - Bermuda shorts, peddle pushers, even culottes. Jackie Kennedy's hats, including the pillbox, were all the rage. Her style and grace influenced many women in the Sixties.

As Hippies appeared on the scene they brought their own fashions with them. College students were buying their clothes in Army/Navy stores and wanted natural fabrics. Headbands and lots of fringe, on shirts, vests, and coats. Hip hugger bell bottoms especially if they had fringe on the bottom! Granny glasses, tie dye tee shirts and Peace symbols everywhere.

Oh, and don't forget hairdos! Women's hairdos matched their clothing tastes. The bouffant - totally teased. There was the neatly coiffed flip or a nice french twist to go with the conservative clothing. Hippie? Long, flowing, unrestrained hair. The Afro came into it's own for both women and men. Let's not forget the Beatles mop top! In between was just a curly do...everyone owned rollers and lots and lots of hairspray.

College Bound
College Bound | Source
1965 High School Graduation
1965 High School Graduation | Source

Richard Chamberlain, Dr. Kildare and Raymond Massey, Dr. Gillespie

Source

Television in the Sixties

TV was still only black and white and where I lived we had all of seven channels! The main ones of course were 2 - CBS, 4 - NBC, and 7 - ABC. A popular TV show you most likely have heard of was Batman. Though it was based on the DC Comics, the artsy angles used in filming and the ludicrous crime fighting of Batman and the Boy Wonder soon made it a cult favorite.

Of course there were doctor shows...Dr. Kildare (Richard Chamberlain) and Ben Casey (the brooding Vince Edwards). Westerns ruled the day or should I say night? Bonanza, Cheyenne, Death Valley Days, Gunsmoke, to name a few.

Comedy is always around and in the Sixties we had Hogan's Heroes, Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C., I Dream of Jeannie and no one can forget the infamous Laugh-In. Something entirely different than any comedy show that went before. Laugh-In was loosely based on vaudeville or burlesque with it's rapid fire humor and political and sexual innuendos. Sayings like "Here come the judge" and "Sock It To Me" have lived on long after Laugh-In. Some of it's stars also went on to become real Hollywood stars including a young Goldie Hawn, Ruth Buzzi, Arte Johnson, Lily Tomlin, Richard Dawson, and announcer Gary Owens. Guest starts were never a problem and ranged from Sammy Davis, Jr. to Lucille Ball.

The Graduate

Movies in the Sixties

I didn't mention movies..like Psycho, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, Bonnie & Clyde, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Dr. Zhivago, Dr. Strangelove, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, The Graduate, Mary Poppins, The Guns of Navarone, The Pink Panther, Planet of the Apes ...the sixties was a great time for movies!

To attract TV viewers back to the movies the Multiplex theaters were born. Expensive epic films were on the decline. Who could forget "Night of the Living Dead"? A cheaply made independent film that turned out to be a cult movie that was remade in 1990 but the 1990 version never had a chance.

No hub or article about the Sixties would be complete without at least a mention of Women's Lib and Bra Burning! The Women's Lib Movement of the Sixties was actually the second wave of the movement started by Betty Friedan's book "The Feminine Mystique". Cultural and political inequality were at the heart of the matter. There were constant mentions of male supremacy and more freedom for women.

“A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.” Gloria Steinem

"The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes."
- Bella Abzug

I hope you enjoyed this trip through the Sixties in an nutshell. Yes, I know I left out this or that but I simply couldn't put everything in here. However, you can always add to this hub in the Comments section!

Copyright Tillsontitan - All Rights Reserved

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Comments 39 comments

Ronnie 4 years ago

As Bob Hope used to sing, "Thanks for the Memories"

Great Hub


sandrabusby profile image

sandrabusby 4 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

I was so busy changing diapers during the sixties, I hardly remember anything. Your hub is a great reminder. Thanks for SHARING.


kevins blog52 profile image

kevins blog52 4 years ago from southern Indiana

Thanks tillsontitan, That brought back some memories,Those were the days and I'm glad I was a part of it. Voted up and awesome.


diogenes profile image

diogenes 4 years ago from UK and Mexico

Was that your graduation pic? I wish my time ship (and other things!) were still working.

Very informative hub..though, of course, all this was before my time (I wish).

The "cleaning up" of the world also began in the 50's with the Aldermaston marches and the Committee of 500 against the bomb. That's where the ubiquitous circle and triffid peace sign came from.

Of course, you don't remember much about the 50's cummon now!

The 60's were wonderful times...our youth, of course and all as new as shiny pennies.

Wish we could do it all (nearly) again.

Bob


Hubert Williams 4 years ago

And Wanted: Dead or Alive with a very young Steve McQeen. Thanks for this trip. It was fun.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Sandrabusby, glad I could jog your memory!

Kevin, as was said in a Tale of Two Cities, it was the best of times, it was the worst of times...but I think more best compared to today!

Yes, Bob, that was my graduation picture. I couldn't find another to 'legally' use. I do remember the fifties but it's more hazy than the sixties ;0 Do overs aren't as much fun.

That was a great show too Hubert! Glad you enjoyed.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Tillie....The '60's. What a fabulous era. I reminisce so often....definitely when '60's music fills the air. Honestly, I will always believe this was the best generation ever.

They were times of our youth and friends and freedom. All things now considered "old-fashioned," in terms of attitude, education and lifestyle. Obviously, the '60's are appreciated today or there would not be such a rash of "retro" style and fashions.....music and even furnishings.

To think we threw out all that PRICELESS stuff! I had a blue mohair couch and chair with mahogany arms...in perfect condition that I gave away! Now, if you find one, they're $700 and up!

You really tugged my heartstrings with this hub, Tillie. I see you wore the identical "velvet drape" and strand of pearls we ALL wore for our Senior pictures! (Catholic High School....oh yeah) Here's to Danny & the Jrs....Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello!! My sis and I danced everyday to American Bandstand!! UP & AWESOME......


mary615 profile image

mary615 4 years ago from Florida

Oh, I loved this Hub. I was pretty busy having babies, but I remember it well. You did a great job with this. I voted it UP, etc.etc.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

Great hub! Where I grew up, we were running a decade behind the West. All 60s movies, music and fashion was still considered big in the 70s:-)

My personal association with the 60s is that I was born in that decade. Two rock bands that I like the most (Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple) had their beginnings in the 60s. My favorite Hollywood actor Clint Eastwood gave some great non-Hollywood movies in the 60s. The orientation movie of my Alma Mater (Columbia University) shows student protests from the 60s. That was the best ever scene with students behind our steel doors throwing stones at police and police firing tear gas shells at them.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas

Another great hub for reminiscing! Of course I was only born around that time or a short time before, so I wouldn't remember . . . but I really enjoyed the trip down your memory lane. Voting you UP! Always enjoy your hubs.


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Oh yes I loved this one; and an up up and away without a doubt.

Eddy.


Ardie profile image

Ardie 4 years ago from Neverland

I totally should have gotten to live during the 60's! What a bummer that all I got were the 80's...I feel very ripped off. I am going to have a talk with someone about this. Im not sure just who yet - but I'll let you know how it goes. And by the way - your graduation pic? Gorgeous!!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Effer, so glad you enjoyed. For me, I guess it was because I was a teenager and just had so many wonderful memories. You're right about the 'stuff' we could be making money selling that stuff! Oh well, guess we weren't meant to be entrepreneurs. Yes, my Catholic High School graduation picture of course.

Thanks Mary. I had two babies during the sixties too but like you said it was still a great time. I enjoyed your comment.

Sunhail, we sometimes forget how life can be in other countries and what memories others will have.

Thanks Aufait. I wouldn't say I live in the past ;) but I do enjoy reminiscing as you can see.

Thanks Eddy!

Yes Ardie, my graduation pic. As Effer pointed out in Catholic H.S. back then we all had to wear the 'black drape'. Thanks for the compliment. My kids loved the 80s and there was stuff to love then too. However, let me know how your talk goes ;)


missolive profile image

missolive 4 years ago from Texas

You have lived through and witnessed some very interesting times. The 60's have always been an intriguing era for me. My daughter is very fascinated by it as well. I was born right after you graduated from high school. My childhood years where in the late 60's and early 70's. High School and college were during the 80's. Interesting times as well.

Reruns from the 60's are probably still my fav.

I enjoyed this hub very much and I especially liked the various comments too. Thanks for sharing. Great High School pic! :)


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Thanks missolive. I enjoy your hubs so much it is a thrill to me to have you enjoy mine! Seventies and eighties could be two more hubs....you never know :)


moonlake profile image

moonlake 4 years ago from America

I remember the 60's. I still listen to 60's music. My granddaughter and I use to listen to the 60's music in the car. I had her often when she was little so she heard that music all the time. When she got married last year that was the music she had at her wedding. I said to her mother that I didn't know she was going to have 60's music. My sweet daughter-in-law said "Well, were do you think she got that from?"

Oh well, it was fun getting her addicted to that music. Her new husband just rolls his eyes.

Really enjoyed your hub.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

What a fantastic tribute to you! You must've made quite an impression on your granddaughter.


Suhail and my dog profile image

Suhail and my dog 4 years ago from Mississauga, ON

moonlake just reminded me that as my two children born in 1990s have moved to listening to the music brand of my era (hard rock of the 80s), I have moved into listening to music of the 60s hahaha.

Yardbirds - Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Paige all started from there.

And then there were Eric Burden and The Animals and who can forget The Monkees.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Funny Sunhail, as we age we learn to broaden our musical tastes and experiences.


genesuncut profile image

genesuncut 4 years ago

Have you read my poem about the 1960s called Boom,Boom,Boom? on my hub.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

I'll check it out genesuncut


Neil Sperling profile image

Neil Sperling 4 years ago from Port Dover Ontario Canada

Groovy hub. I remember the 70's as you do the sixties... the times they are a changin'.

Well done - Cool!

Peace Sista


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

And peace to you bro, glad you enjoyed!


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a great look back; you and I are about the same age and I remember a great deal about that wonderful time. Heartache for sure but still exciting and a wonder to behold. Thanks for the memories my friend; very well-written hub.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Glad you enjoyed Billy. Yes, a lot happened in the sixties and so very much to remember!


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

Oh those 60s were definitely a defining moment for many of us. There was Country Joe and the Fish..."And it's one, two, three what are we fightin for don't ask me I don't give a damn, next stop is Vietnam." Or the song referencing the deaths of unarmed students at Kent State at the hands of the National Guard..."Four dead in Ohio." I was in Mr. Madden's Social Study class when the announcement of JFK's death came over the intercom. From faculty to bus drivers to students there was not a dry eye as we were all ushered home. For three days we were glued to the TV watching Walter Cronkite. Our country lost some of its innocence during this horrific time. Bell bottom pants, hip huger pants, love beads and mohair sweaters adorned many of us. I remember how angry my dad got at me when I took his brand new Mustang to school and to impress the girls we plastered the entire car with daisy flower decals. I was a hero among my peers for only about 2 hours and then spent the next 2 days with rubbing compound trying to remove the marks caused by the decals. Man, what a stupid thing to do. Thanks for the memories.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

You've really added some good points and memories to my hub in your comment. I was on stage in high school when the principal came and said, "I have to go onstage and make an announcement. The President has been shot." It was like a kick in the gut, if you'll pardon the expression. I too witnessed everyone crying as I rode three buses home.

I can't believe you put daisy flower decals on your father's car. You're luck to be alive ;)

Seems we share memories...must be our age.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

tiisontitan, this was a great trip. As I do not live in America, I was not aware of all these happenings but am aware of some major things like President Kennedy's assassination, the beatles heydays, Elvis Presley coming into films, watched some of these excellent hollywood movies that you mention.

Voted up and interesting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York Author

Its always nice to be able to 'introduce' someone to our culture first hand. Glad you enjoyed not only the hub but the movies mentioned!


PaisleeGal profile image

PaisleeGal 3 years ago from Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Good trip! And it was not drug induced!! Being a child of the 60's I could relate to everything in your hub plus much more. I was a senior in HS in 67-68.

I remember most vividly JFK and MLK assassinations. When the announcement came about JFK is was in chemistry class. The teachers were summoned and when soon after they returned to the classroom you could hear people all over the building sobbing.

Also have too many memories of upper classmen not coming home from VietNam.

I was also witness to first integration in my southern school.

All in all it was good to part of so many things that have had an impact on our society today.

Thanks for the good hub!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

So many things we share PaisleeGal from the sixties...no matter where we were in the country we still have so many things in common. So glad you stopped by and enjoyed my hub.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Mary,

I really enjoyed reading this hub about the 60s and it brought back a lot of good memories. Yes, I definitely remember the day Kennedy was shot. I was a student on the campus of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and had just come back to the dining hall at my dorm for lunch when the news was announced that the President was shot dead. All of us were shocked and on the following Monday a lot of us assembled on campus for a memorial. I also remember the hippies and visiting Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco in 1967. Great hub. Voted up and sharing with followers. Also Pinning and Tweeting.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 3 years ago from New York Author

Anyone alive at the time, remembers exactly what they were doing when they heard Kennedy had been shot. Such a sad event. The sixties will never be replicated for sure. Thank you so much for the votes and all the shares, I really appreciate that.


Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Your hub brought back some great memories for me, especially the TV shows and the music from the 60's. I was in grade school when JFK was shot and I remember coming home from school and watching the news intently. I also watched the funeral on TV and felt so sad that he was gone.

Great hub and I very much enjoyed reading this.


write-with-coffee profile image

write-with-coffee 2 years ago from Bangalore

If only I had been alive during the sixties. I often wish I could travel back in time. Stories such as these give me material for daydreams :) I love watching the spaghetti westerns and newer 60's themed movies like "Hairspray" and "The Help." And of course the music of the decade was amazing. This was a very interesting hub to read!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Susan, anyone alive, no matter how old, when Kennedy was shot remembers where they were and what they were doing. This doesn't define the sixties but it certainly played a huge role. Glad you enjoyed.

Write-with-coffee it was a fun time. There were problems and hard times but being a teenager/young adult in the sixties, I remember lots of good times. Thanks for stopping by.


David Stone1 profile image

David Stone1 2 years ago from New York City

You tried to cover a lot in this ambitious article. The Sixties started with Kennedy optimism and an eagerness for change, but by the time they were done, the divisions were extreme. Violence and power struggles had rattled our internal connections.

As you point out here, even with all the historical moments, most of them negative, that we recall, the ordinary went on too. We had teenage crushes and went to ball games and pancake breakfasts.

It took some guts to try to get it all together in a single article. I appreciated some of the reminders.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

2nd. time around for this fabulous piece of work, Tillie Mary Tillie! And I still feel as I always have: I WANT THE '60'S BACK!!!! RIGHT NOW!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 2 years ago from New York Author

Its not uncommon David to remember our past with rose colored glasses. There were terrible things going on around us but we do remember. I'm glad you enjoyed my little foray into the past.

Effer Paula Effer, we belong in the sixties. We're transplants but we will go on, and on, and God willing, on! Thanks for coming back here.

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