Love-War-Rock and Roll-Boycotts-Protests-Freedom at Last. Societal Shift of the Sixties. The Sixties Began in the Fifties. The American society was on the edge of upheaval. The War on Poverty was replaced in the nation’s attention by a war in Vietnam.
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Love-War-Rock and Roll-Boycotts-Protests-Freedom at Last
Societal Shift of the Sixties
The American society was on the edge of upheaval.
The War on Poverty was replaced in the nation’s attention by a war in Vietnam.
A President, a minister, and an Attorney General were assassinated.
A generation questioned the values of the previous one.
In 1960, nearly half of Americans were younger than 18.
They created a culture even they began not to understand as they were consumed by rebellion.
By the end of the Summer of 1969 and Woodstock, the peace-and-love generation lay in disillusionment.
January 20, 1961, John F. Kennedy became President of the United States. He began legislation to fight poverty and inequality.
Kennedy’s assassination on November 22, 1963, brought VP Lyndon Johnson to the White House.
The Vietnam War was really a sequel to the hostilities between the French who ruled Indochina after WWII and the Communist Viet Minh (1945-1954).
Pres. Dwight Eisenhower sent U.S. economic aid to S. Vietnam in 1954.
In 1961, Pres. John Kennedy pledged support to preserve independence of S. Vietnam.
N. Vietnamese torpedo boats were reported to have attacked two U.S. destroyers. Military involvement increased and bombing of targets in N. Vietnam began. The initial attack on the destroyers later came into question.
From February 1965 to 1973, S.Vietnamese forces focused on fighting Vietcong guerrillas. U.S. forces fought the N.Vietnamese.
The Tet Offensive was series of attacks by the N. Vietnamese in S. Vietnam on more than 100 urban targets. Vietcong forces were driven back and lost 85,000 of its best troops. But it had a devastating psychological effect. The American public began to see this war as unwinnable.
U.S. military strength peaked at 541,000 in 1969. By March 1973, all U.S. fighting forces had been withdrawn. On April 30, 1974, Saigon was captured by N. Vietnam, and
S. Vietnam surrendered.
The Vietnam War was a turning point in modern warfare because of guerrilla combatants and use of helicopters in difficult terrain. It was called a “people’s” war because it was difficult to tell the fighters from the noncombatants.
2 million Vietnamese were killed, 3 million were wounded, hundreds of thousands of children were orphaned, and 12 million Indochinese became refugees.
American casualties numbered 57, 685.
153,303 were wounded.
587 U.S. military and civilian prisoners of war were finally released. Approximately 2,500 are still unaccounted.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks refused to give her seat to a white passenger on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus. She was arrested for defying a segregation law.
In February 1960, four black students sat at a whites only lunch counter and refused to leave when they were refused service.
Four little girls were killed when a bomb exploded at the 16th Avenue Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.
Six Principles of Nonviolence
1.Nonviolence is not passive but does require courage.
2. Nonviolence seeks reconciliation, not defeat of an adversary.
3.Nonviolent action is directed at eliminating evil, not destroying an evil-doer.
4. A willingness to accept suffering for the cause, if necessary, but never to inflict it.
5. A rejection of hatred . . .as well as refusal to commit physical violence.
6. Faith that justice can prevail.
Dr. King delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963 to over 200,000 civil rights workers.
The Civil Rights Amendment was passed in 1964.
King awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
On April 4,1968, Dr. King was assassinated in Memphis, TN.
The decade of peace and love ended without much of either.
By 1969, the war in Vietnam seemed unwinnable bringing to a close a very divisive, unpopular war.
Assassinations had claimed Pres. John Kennedy, his brother Bobby Kennedy, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The decade began with Bob Dylan; Joan Baez; and Peter, Paul, and Mary singing idealistic anthems of community.
Motown sounds spoke of oppression and empowerment.
By the end of the decade, flower power had faded to disillusionment.
It was a decade of change: liberation, equality, polarization, and resentment.