Too Much in Too Few YearsA Tour of the 1960s
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Senator John F. Kennedy Announced his Candidacy for the Presidency

January 2, 1960: In Washington, D.C., Democratic Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

Above: Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts

JFK's Announcement, January 2, 1960

Transcript: JFK's January 2, 1960 Announcement

Sit-ins and Civil Rights

February 1, 1960: At a Greensboro, North Carolina Woolworth's segregated lunch counter, four Black college students from North Carolina A&T College seated themselves and awaited service. They were not served, but they had sparked a new dimension in the Civil Rights Movement by creating a new form of protest that came to be known as a sit-in.

Above: The Greensboro Woolworth's lunch counter, preserved; The four North Carolina A&T College students who conducted a sit-in, an effort to receive service at a heretofore segregated lunch counter

Above: The Greensboro Record, February 2, 1960, covering the Sit-in the prior day

NPR: The Woolworth Sit-Ins of February 1, 1960

The F. W. Woolworth Building, Greensboro, North Carolina

France and Nuclear Weaponry

February 13, 1960: France exploded an atomic bomb

In the desert of French Algeria, France exploded a nuclear bomb called the Gerboise Bleue. In doing so, France became the fourth member of the so-called Nuclear Club, joining the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain.

Above: The blast from Gerboise Bleue is shown above.

Heroico Guerrillero and the Cult of Che Guevara

March 5, 1960: During a funeral service for those lost on the French ship La Coubre (a vessel that had exploded in Havana's harbor), Cuban photographer Alberto Korda snapped a picture of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, the Argentine Marxist Revolutionary who had played a pivotal military role in Fidel Castro's Cuban Revolution victory.

Korda's photograph, particularly the cropped version, became known as Guerrillero Heroico, i.e. Heroic Guerrilla.

In time, Guerrillero Heroico became an iconic image, and one of the most widely published, adapted, and recognized images of the 20th century. By the end of the sixties, had evolved into a symbol well beyond its initial role--that being an icon of the Cuban Revolution. Heroico Guerrillero had become, in many ways, a generalized and broad-ranging symbol rebellion, revolution, and protest--whether Marxist or not.

Even in the early 21st century the iconic image has retained its popularity, though undoubtedly, a broad-based understanding of Che Guevara's place in history probably has not grown with it.

In fact, the ultimate irony of Guerrillero Heroico is that it became a merchandising brand, fuel for entrepreneurial capitalistic sales items. It was likely lost on most that Che Guevara was decidedly opposed to capitalism.

Furthering the irony of the existence of a Che Guevara "brand" is that the Guerrillero Heroico image became so ubiquitous and familiar (though often misunderstood) that it eventually sparked an added layer of branding, this time satirization of Che's iconic image.

By the 2000s, the internet had an assortment of products available with the Guerrillero Heroico image equipped with snarky captions like "I don't know why I'm wearing this Che Guevara T-Shirt." One T-Shirt available online even had an image of Che wearing a Che T-Shirt.

Above: Che Guevara, Guerrillero Heroico by Alberto Korda; The un-cropped version of Guerrillero Heroico

Guerrillero Heroico in American Pop Culture:

Above: Three examples of Guerrillero Heroico in popular culture

The U.S. Census of 1960

April 1, 1960: The U.S. Census Bureau conducted the 1960 Census. Per the Census, the population of the United States of America was 179,323,175 in 1960, a population increase of 18.5% since 1950.

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Much of the dramatic increase in the American population from 1950 to 1960 came as a result of the post-WWII Baby Boom, that is, a significant increase in births. The Baby Boom began after WWII ended in 1945. During the postwar period, the American economy grew rapidly and American couples began having children during at increased rates during these years of prosperity. The resulting generation born from 1946 to circa 1964 became known as the Baby Boomers. The oldest Baby Boomers began reaching adulthood in the mid-1960s. In 2008, the oldest Baby Boomers began reaching eligibility (62-65 years of age) for Social Security retirement benefits.

The Founding of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)

April 15-17, 1960: At Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, civil rights activists founded the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee.

Martin Luther King's SCLC provided an $800 grant to fund the start-up of the organization that would become SNCC. Veteran civil rights activist Ella Baker was a central figure in the founding of SNCC.

Above: Ella Baker, 1903-1986

The Founding of SNCC A Primer on the Founding of SNCC Biography: Ella Baker

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The U-2 Spy Plane Incident

May 1, 1960: While flying over Soviet airspace, American pilot Francis Gary Powers and his high altitude U-2 spy plane was shot down by a Soviet surface-to-air missile.

Francis Gary Powers survived, was captured by the Soviets, and later put on trial by Soviet authorities. The U-2 Spy Plane Incident became a major embarrassment for the Eisenhower Administration during a presidential election year.

Powers was convicted by the Soviets, but in 1962 was released in an exchange for someone imprisoned by the United States.

Above: A U-2 Spy Plane, undated photo; Francis Gary Powers, U-2 Pilot

The Pill Starts a Social, Cultural, and Demographic Revolution

May 9, 1960: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved, for the first time, a Birth Control Pill.

Above: A bottle of Enovid, the first birth control pill

The Power of "The Pill" PBS: Timeline of "The Pill," 1951-1990

Planned Parenthood Statement Regarding the 50th Anniversary of the Approval of "The Pill"

1996 Article on the Relationship Between Birth Control, Abortion, and the Rise in Out of Wedlock Births

Condensed version of the above article

"'The pill' is a miraculous tablet that contains as little as one thirty-thousandth of an ounce of chemical. It costs 11¢ to manufacture; a month's supply now sells for $2.00 retail. It is little more trouble to take on schedule than a daily vitamin. Yet in a mere six years it has changed and liberated the sex and family life of a large and still growing segment of the U.S. population: eventually, it promises to do the same for much of the world."

---Time, April 7, 1967 issue

To Kill a Mockingbird, The Boston-Austin Ticket, and The Democratic Intra-Party Civil War

July 11, 1960: In a noteworthy coincidence, Harper Lee's iconic Deep South novel, To Kill a Mockingbird was published the same day that the national Democratic Party began its national convention in Los Angeles, California.

Harper Lee's novel challenged the legal and cultural underpinnings of Jim Crow Segregation in her native South. Harper Lee grew up in Monroeville, Alabama. She attended the University of Alabama. Her one and only novel received great critical acclaim and eventually won the Pulitzer Prize.

To Kill a Mockingbird was later adapted into a movie starring Gregory Peck, a role that one him great acclaim and an Academy Award (an Oscar).

The significance of the coinciding debut of the novel with the start of the 1960 Democratic Convention is found in born out in the ideological juncture taken by the Democratic Party during the Kennedy-Johnson Presidential Era (January 1961 to January 1969).

With the advent of Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency (1933-1945), the national Democratic Party had undoubtedly evolved in a significantly liberal direction on matters of economics. On matters of civil rights and race relations, however, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party still competed with Southern Segregationists for intra-party influence.

For example, the iconic liberal Eleanor Roosevelt, the former First Lady, and FDR's widow, called for civil rights reform well beyond what her husband had ever publicly called for.

In the summer of 1960, the Democratic Party was still a party containing both liberal civil rights advocates like Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, and conservative segregationists like Senator J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina.

Thus the war for the soul of the Democratic Party thus continued as the 1960 Democratic National Convention was first convened, a day that coincided with the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Days later, as the Democratic Party completed its quadrennial convention, it had nominated Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts as its presidential nominee, and Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas as its vice presidential nominee, the so-called Boston-Austin Ticket.

Neither Kennedy nor Johnson were thought of as staunch liberals on matters of civil rights. Both had reputations of being Cold Warriors on defense policy, and moderates on domestic issues. But upon each attaining the Oval Office (JFK in 1961 and LBJ in 1963), the nominees from the 1960 Democratic National Convention each took actions that squarely placed the national Democratic Party on the side of civil rights and liberalism.

When the Kennedy-Johnson Era ended in January 1969, the liberal wing of the Democratic Party had triumphed over theDemocratic Party's conservative southern wing. But not coincidentally, southern conservatism migrated into theRepublican Party of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan as massive numbers of southern whites switched their national party loyalties from Democratic to Republican.

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Above: Book cover of To Kill a Mockingbird; Author Harper Lee of Monroeville, Alabama

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Above: Senator Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas and Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts at the Democratic National Convention Los Angeles, California on July 11, 1960

The 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, California: The Boston-Austin Ticket

July 11-15, 1960: The Democratic Party held its 1960 National Convention in Los Angeles, California. The Democrats nominated Senator John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Massachusetts as its presidential candidate and Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson of Texas as its vice presidential candidate.

Both Kennedy and Johnson sought the 1960 Democratic presidential nomination, but JFK was able to secure the nomination with a first-ballot victory at the Los Angeles convention.

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Above: Successive Time covers: JFK and the Kennedy Family for the week of July 11, 1960, and LBJ for the week of July 18, 1960.

In a controversial move, Kennedy offered Lyndon Johnson the vice presidential slot on the national ticket. In a surprise to many, LBJ accepted Kennedy's offer. The so-called Boston-Austin Ticket was born.

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Above: A Kennedy-Johnson Campaign Sign; Convention rally for JFK, Life cover

The 1960 Democratic Party Platform

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1960 Republican National Convention

July 25-28, 1960: In Chicago, Illinois, the Republican Party held its national convention, and nominated incumbent Vice President Richard M. Nixon as its 1960 presidential nominee. The convention chose Henry Cabot Lodge as its vice presidential nominee.

Above: Vice President Richard M. Nixon accepting the 1960 Republican Presidential Nomination; A Nixon-Lodge campaign button

Frank Sinatra, The Rat Pack, and Civil Rights

August 10, 1960: The Rat Pack's movie, Ocean's Eleven, debuted.

The Rat Pack was an ensemble of entertainers formed around the singer Frank Sinatra. In the late 50s and early 60s, Sinatra and his entourage epitomized Show-biz glamour and fun. Rat Pack member Peter Lawford was the brother-in-law of Senator John F. Kennedy, the future president. In fact, JFK himself enjoyed socializing with the Sinatra entourage.
By 1960, Rat Pack members were Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin (singer/actor), Sammy Davis, Jr. (singer, actor, dancer), Peter Lawford (actor), and Joey Bishop (comedian). Of particular significance was the presence of Sammy Davis, Jr., an African-American entertainer. Frank Sinatra inclusion of Davis signaled a growing acceptance of Black celebrities as the social equals of whites.
By the standards of the 21st century, Sammy Davis's Rat Pack membership might seem to be of minor consequence. But in the late 1950s and early 1960s---years of an emerging Civil Rights Movement--Sammy Davis Jr.'s high-profile celebrity status placed him at the forefront of a changing American cultural landscape.

The image above left is an Ocean's Eleven movie poster. The center image of of the Rat Pack in front of the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. The photo above right is an iconic shot of Dean Martin (left), Sammy Davis, Jr. (center), and Frank Sinatra (right).

Above: The Rat Pack (From left to right): Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis, Jr., Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, and Dean Martin

1960 Presidential Election: Kennedy and Nixon Debate on Television

September 26, 1960: The first televised presidential debate, Kennedy (Democrat) versus Nixon (Republican).

The Kennedy-Nixon debates integrated television into the fabric of presidential campaigns as never before. During the first debate, while both candidates did reasonably well in terms of their actual statements (especially among radio listeners), Kennedy came across more positively on television. During the first debate Republican Richard Nixon (the incumbent Vice President) was visibly sweating and appeared to need a shave. Senator John F. Kennedy (the Democratic nominee for President) appeared healthier and more relaxed. As such, JFK was perceived by many as having won.

Above: Kennedy and Nixon in debate

World Champions: The Pittsburgh Pirates Win Game 7 of the Word Series

October 13, 1960: The Pittsburgh Pirates won the 1960 World Series by defeating the New York Yankees, 4 games to 3.

In Game 7, Pittsburgh's Bill Mazeroski hit a walk-off home run in the 9th inning to give the Pirates the win.

Above: Bill Mazeroski's walk-off home run that sealed the 1960 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Above: Yankees Manager Casey Stengel who managed New York from 1949 to 1960

ESPN: Game 7 of the 1960 World Series

1960 World Series: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. New York Yankees

John F. Kennedy's Telephone Call to Coretta King

October 26, 1960: JFK called Coretta King, MLK's wife, to express his concern about Dr. King's imprisonment in a Georgia penitentiary.

The Boston-Austin Ticket in Amarillo, Texas

November 3, 1960: Senators Kennedy and Johnson campaigned in Amarillo, Texas less than a week before Election Day. In perhaps the most memorable moments of the campaign appearance, Lyndon Johnson became enraged at the engine noise from nearby planes, noise that made it difficult to hear JFK speak.

The photo below captures LBJ's more extroverted rural Texas style, as contrasted to JFK's more restrained New England manner. Perhaps no other photo better depicts the difference in personality between Kennedy and Johnson.

Different though they were, Kennedy needed to carry Texas, and there is little doubt that LBJ's presence on the ticket helped him do so.

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Above: At a joint campaign appearance in Amarillo, Texas, LBJ--angry because of the noise from nearby airplanes--yells at the pilots to turn off the engines so that JFK could speak to an assembled crowd. Kennedy, in turn, tries to calm his running mate.

JFK's November 3, 1960 remarks in Amarillo, Texas

Culture War: LBJ and Lady Bird harassed in Dallas, Texas

November 4, 1960:

Above: Senator Lyndon B. Johnson and wife Lady Bird running a gauntlet of protesters at a Dallas hotel; Republican Congressman Bruce Alger leading an aggressive protest against Senator and Mrs. Johnson

The Mink Coat Riot in Dallas, Texas

Dallas Morning News: 2013 Interview with Bruce Alger, the GOP Congressman in the Mink Coat Riot

1960 Presidential Election

November 8, 1960: Senator John F. Kennedy (Democrat) won the Presidential Election of 1960.

Above: Democrat John F. Kennedy, at left, and Republican Richard M. Nixon, at right

Above: The 1960 presidential electoral map; Life cover on JFK's victory

Time's 1960 Men of the Year: U.S. Scientists



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President Eisenhower Breaks Off American Diplomatic Relations with Cuba

January 3, 1961:

Above: President Dwight D. Eisenhower U.S.-Cuba Relations

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President Eisenhower Warns of the Dangers of the Military-Industrial Complex

January 17, 1961: In a televised farewell address, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warns the American people of the dangers of the excessive influence of the "military-industrial complex."

Above: Ike delivers his televised farewell address to the American people, and in doing so, delivers his now-famous warning about the "military-industrial complex"

The Presidency of John F. Kennedy, 1961-1963

January 20, 1961: John F. Kennedy became President of the United States

John F. Kennedy (Democrat), 35th American President.
Years in Office: 1961-1963
Above: John F. Kennedy; Time cover showing JFK's inauguration on January 20, 1961.

November 1960: John F. Kennedy (Democrat) was elected President of the United States. JFK served as president from January 20, 1961 until his assassination in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.

The Space Race: The Soviet Union Put the First Human Being into Space

April 12, 1961: The Soviet Union launched Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin into space and into orbit around the earth. Gagarin's spacecraft was named Vostok 1. Like Sputnik in 1957, this triumph of the Soviet Union motivated the United States to upgrade its space program. In particular, the Soviet triumph ultimately served to motivate President John F. Kennedy to call for an upgrade of American space efforts, specifically a project to send men to the moon and back.

Above: Images of Yuri Gagarin

Above: Diagram of Vostok 1; Yuri Gagarin in military uniform

The Bay of Pigs Fiasco

April 17, 1961: The failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs.

Above: Map of Cuba

In the early months of his administration, President Kennedy backed a CIA plan to have Anti-Castro Cuban exiles invade Cuba and overthrow Castro's Pro-Soviet government. The plan was ill-conceived, failed miserably, and became an embarrassment for President Kennedy.

Castro's forces captured much of the invasion force. Fidel Castro remained in power through the end of the 20th century and into the first decade of the 21st. His brother, Raul Castro, succeeded Fidel as head of state, and remains in power as of 2012.

The Freedom Ride Starts

May 4, 1961: The Freedom Ride began in Washington, DC.

Above: CORE Freedom Ride button; SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) button

Above: Members of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) in Washington, DC, prior to the Freedom Ride; One of the buses loaded with Freedom Riders

Freedom Rides of 1961 Begin

Mercury 3: Alan Shepard Aboard Freedom 7 Inaugurates U.S. Manned Space Flight

May 5, 1961: American astronaut Alan Shepard entered space in a suborbital flight aboard Freedom 7 as a part of NASA's Mercury Project.Shepard's flight did not achieve orbit as the Soviet Union's Yuri Gagarin did. But with Alan Shepard, the United States had achieved manned space flight. The space race against the Soviet Union had entered a new phase.

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Above: American astronaut Alan Shepard; Freedom 7 during launch; Patch for the Mercury 3 mission

List of the Project Mercury Manned Space Flights Mercury Missions Patches

Above: The Seven Men Chosen in 1959 to be Project Mercury Astronauts; Alan Shepard on the cover of Time

The Freedom Ride in Anniston, Alabama and Birmingham, Alabama

May 14, 1961: Freedom riders were assaulted in both Anniston and Birmingham (more detail later)

Above: One of the Freedom Ride buses was a Greyhound Bus that was stopped near Anniston, Alabama by a mob. The bus was burned.

Above: A white mob (Ku Klux Klan members) assault Freedom Riders at the Birmingham, Alabama Trailways Bus Terminal

The Freedom Ride in Montgomery, Alabama

May 20, 1961: Freedom Riders were assaulted in Montgomery, Alabama.

Above: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg recover after being assaulted and beaten by a white mob at a Montgomery, Alabama bus terminal

Segregationist Mob Attacks a Civil Rights Rally

May 21, 1961: A mob of white segregationists threatened, a Civil Rights rally being held at a Black Baptist church in Montgomery, a church in which the Rev. Ralph Abernathy was pastor. At the rally was MLK.

more detail later

JFK's Call for an American Manned Mission to the Moon

May 25, 1961: President John F. Kennedy called for the U.S. to send a man to the moon.

President John F. Kennedy, in a speech to Congress, announced his administration's goal to send an astronaut to the moon, and return him safely to the earth before the end of the 1960s. JFK's decision to go to the moon was a decisive moment in the Space Race, and an important moment in the history of human exploration. Kennedy would not live to see his plan fulfilled, but indeed, in the summer of 1969, two American astronauts did walk on the surface of the moon, a definitive milestone in human history.

Above: President John F. Kennedy speaking to Congress. Seated behind JFK's right shoulder is Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, a man who, as a U.S. Senator from Texas, played a key role in the creation of NASA. Seated behind JFK's left shoulder is Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, a Congressman from Texas. Sam Rayburn died in just a few months later, in November 1961.

Text of JFK's Speech to Congress, May 25, 1961

"First, 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 in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space; and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate lunar space craft. We propose to develop alternate liquid and solid fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is superior. We propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations--explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon--if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there."

---President John F. Kennedy, Speech to Congress, May 25, 1961

Mercury 4 Sub-Orbital Space Flight: Gus Grissom and Liberty Bell 7

July 21, 1961: NASA's Gus Grissom became America's second astronaut to enter space, a feat accomplished aboard Liberty Bell 7.

Above: Astronaut Gus Grissom next to the Liberty Bell Mercury Space Capsule; Mercury 4 patch

Gus Grissom Mercury 4 Gus Grissom's Mission Aboard Liberty Bell 7

Future United States President Barack Hussein Obama Born in Honolulu, Hawaii

August 4, 1961: In Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Hussein Obama (the future 44th President of the United States) was born to Stanley Ann Dunham Obama and Barack Obama, Sr.

Obama's parents divorced after a short marriage.

Above: Barack Obama being held by his mother, Ann Dunham Obama; Barack Obama, Sr., the father of the future President of the United States

Above: Barack Obama's birth certificate

Vostok 2

August 6-7, 1961:

BBC: Article on Vostok 2

The Berlin Wall

August 13, 1961: In the eastern sector of Berlin, Soviet-dominated East Germany began constructing a concrete wall to seal off East Berlin (Communist) from West Berlin (Free), thus surrounding the western sector. The Berlin Wall became a symbol of the Cold War. The Berlin Wall stood for 28 years, until torn down during the collapse of Soviet power.

Above: Map of Walled-in West Berlin, East German Soldiers, Construction of the Berlin Wall

The New York Yankees Win the 1961 World Series

October 9, 1961: The New York Yankees defeated the Cincinnati Reds in Game 5 of the World Series, thus winning the series, 4 games to 1.

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Above: 1961 World Series Program; Newspaper headline announcing the Yankee win in Game 5

1961 World Series: Yankees vs. Reds

Alabama's Bear Bryant Wins an AP and UPI National Championship

Fall 1961: Alabama goes undefeated and wins the AP Poll National Championship

Above: Bear Bryant, Alabama's head coach, being carried by his victorious team

Time's 1961 Man of the Year: President John F. Kennedy



Mercury 6: Astronaut John Glenn Circumnavigates Planet Earth

February 20, 1962: American Astronaut John Glenn orbited the earth.

American astronaut John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. He did so aboard Friendship 7 as a part of NASA's Mercury Project.
Above: American astronaut John Glenn; the launch of Friendship 7; Patch for Mercury 6

A Kennedy Appointee to the U.S. Supreme Court

April 16, 1962: A Kennedy appointee, Byron "Whizzer" White joined the United States Supreme Court as an Associate Justice. White served for 31 years, retiring in 1993. He was replaced by Clinton appointee Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Above: Byron White

Marilyn Monroe Wishing JFK a "Happy Birthday"

May 19, 1962: In a public event, Hollywood beauty Marilyn Monroe serenaded President John F. Kennedy with a flirty version of Happy Birthday, in honor of his impending 45th birthday.

The event ultimately became known as Happy Birthday, Mr. President.

Always possessing a quick sense of humor, JFK responded that he had never been wished a happy birthday in such a "wholesome way."

Monroe's birthday wishes to JFK proved to be her last public performance. She died of a prescription pill overdose on August 5, 1962 at the age of 36.

Above: Marilyn Monroe wishing President Kennedy a happy birthday

The consummate sex symbol of the late 1950s and early 1960s, Marilyn Monroe also embodied the cultural excesses of the period. Monroe came of age in a Hollywood that was both glamorous and full of substance abuse.

Monroe also proved unlucky in her romantic life, experiencing a series of failed marriages. Though definitive proof has not materialized, it is widely believed that she and John F. Kennedy did have an affair. Some have argued that Marilyn Monroe and Bobby Kennedy were also romantically involved.

Above: Marilyn Monroe, undated photo

Mercury 7: Scott Carpenter Aboard Aurora 7

May 24, 1962:

Above: Scott Carpenter in his Mercury Spacesuit; Mercury 7 patch

Mercury 7 Scott Carpenter, 1925-2013 Article on Scott Carpenter

The Rise of the New Left

June 15, 1962: In Port Huron, Michigan, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) completed and issued the Port Huron Statement, a manifesto indicting American society and politics, and calling for Participatory Democracy. In many respects, the Port Huron Statement both signaled and helped launch the rise of the New Left, a new left-of-center style of politics moving well beyond the conventional American liberalism that arose during the New Deal and WWII years.

Above Port Huron Statement; Tom Hayden, the principal author of the Port Huron Statement

Above: The leadership of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in 1963

Article on SDS's Port Huron Statement The Text of the Port Huron Statement

Algeria Becomes Independent From France

July 1-3, 1962: Algeria

The Arrest and Imprisonment of Anti-Apartheid Activist Nelson Mandela

August 5, 1962: Nelson Mandela (born 1918), a member of the militant wing of the African National Congress, was arrested by the white supremacist Apartheid (segregationist) government of South Africa. In October, Mandela was given a five year sentence.

In 1964, Mandela was given a life sentence for his complicity in activities related to an attempted overthrow of the government. During the trial that resulted in his life sentence, Mandela gave testimony explaining his willingness to be involved in violent political activities. His address gained him international fame, but he remained in prison for the next quarter-century.

Nelson Mandela

This is the struggle of the African people, inspired by their own suffering and experience. It is a struggle for the right to live. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society, in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunity. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and achieve. But, if needs be, my Lord, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.

— Nelson Mandela speaking at the dock of the court, June 1964

Nelson Mandela would spend over 27 years in prison. But in February 1990 the South African government, under great political pressure, released Mandela. Four years later, in 1994, Mandela was elected President of South Africa. He would serve for five years.

JFK's Speech at Rice University

September 12, 1962:

Above: President John F. Kennedy at Rice University, September 12, 1962

Transcript of JFK's Speech at Rice University, September 12, 1962

"There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency."

---President John F. Kennedy, Speech at Rice University, Houston, Texas, September 12, 1962

The Jetsons

September 23, 1962:

Above: Title Screen of The Jetsons

The Beverly Hillbillies

September 26, 1962:


The Rise of the Environmental Movement

September 27, 1962: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring was published. Silent Spring was a groundbreaking book in which Rachel Carson, a biologist, argued that pesticides were doing great damage to both animals and humans.

Above: Rachel Carson in 1940; A copy of Silent Spring

The Desegregation of Ole Miss and the Civil War within the Democratic Party

September 29, 1962: During the halftime of an Ole Miss-Kentucky football game in Jackson, Mississippi, Governor Ross Barnett (Dixiecrat-Democrat) made a quick speech before a roaring crowd, and spoke 15 words that signaled resistance to any efforts to desegregate Ole Miss.

"I love Mississippi! I love her people! Our customs. I love and respect our heritage." ---MIssissippi Governor Ross Barnett, September 29, 1962.

Above: A September 1962 Sports Illustrated cover featuring Ole Miss; Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett waving a Confederate battle flag

During June 1962, a federal appeals court ruled that James Meredith, an African American, had the right to enroll at the University of Mississippi, a heretofore all-white and segregated public university.

The John F. Kennedy Administration sought to enforce the court order, and provided protection for James Meredith with federal Marshals. U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy spearheaded the Kennedy Administration's efforts on Civil Rights enforcement.

The impending integration of Ole Miss deepened and furthered the culture war and civil war within the Democratic Party. Ross Barnett represented the Dixiecrat (socially conservative) Southern wing of the Democratic Party. President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy increasingly embodied the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Ole Miss, to an extent, was also a showdown between two wings of the same political party.

Attorney General Robert Kennedy (pictured above) increasingly became a hated figure in the Deep South, due to his efforts on behalf of Civil Rights activists.

The Desegregation of Ole Miss and the Civil War within the Democratic Party

September 30, 1962: At the University of Mississippi, prospective African American student James Meredith was brought onto campus by federal agents. That night, segregationists rioted on campus. Two people were killed, and dozens were injured.

Above: Rioting at Ole Miss

The Desegregation of Ole Miss and the Civil War within the Democratic Party

October 1, 1962: James Meredith, under federal protection provided by the Kennedy Administration, became the first African American to enroll and attend the University of Mississippi. In the wake of Meredith's integration of Ole Miss, segregationists continued to riot.

Above: The Birmingham News announces the integration of Ole Miss; Meredith is escorted by federal agents on the Ole Miss campus

Mercury 8: Walter Schirra Aboard Sigma 7

October 3, 1962:

Above: Astronaut Wally Schirra being removed from the Sigma 7 Mercury capsule; Mercury 8 patch

Mercury 8 More Information on Mercury 9, Wally Schirra, and Sigma 7 Sigma 7

Vatican II: The Catholic Church and Modernity

October 11, 1962 to December 8, 1965: Under the commission of Pope John XXIII, the Second Vatican Council opened in October 1962. After sessions in calendar years 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965, so-called Vatican II closed in December 1965. at the close of Vatican II, Pope Paul VI was the reigning pontiff.

Above: Pope John XXIII participates in the opening ceremonies of the Second Vatican Council on October 11, 1962

While retaining the core theological positions of the traditional Catholic Church, Vatican II encouraged the Catholic Church to become more engaging to the outside world. To some extent, Vatican II was perceived by many as an attempt by the Church to reconcile itself to the modern world. The Council, in short, was strongly criticized by many Catholic traditionalists.

The Legacy of Vatican II

President John F. Kennedy Signed the Trade Expansion Act of 1962 into Law

October 11, 1962 President Kennedy, October 11, 1962

The Cuban Missile Crisis

October 14, 1962: U.S. intelligence forces, using U2 spy planes, photographed Soviet nuclear missile sites in Cuba.

Above: An October 14, 1962 American reconnaissance photo taken above Cuba. The photo shows the construction of Soviet nuclear-capable missile launch sites

The discovery of Soviet nuclear-capable missiles in Cuba precipitated a foreign policy crisis between the United States and the Soviet Union, with Cuba being a Soviet ally.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was also a showdown between John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev, the respective leaders of the United States and Soviet Union. It triggered intense back-channel diplomacy between the Cold War rivals.

JFK Library: Cuban Missile Crisis Cuban Missile Crisis Timeline

The New York Yankees Win the 1962 World Series

October 16, 1962: In a World Series that went seven games, the New York Yankees defeated the San Francisco Giants in the final game, thus taking the word championship.

Above: The 1962 World Series programs, New York and San Francisco

1962 World Series: New York Yankees vs. San Francisco Giants

The Cuban Missile Crisis

October 22, 1962: President John F. Kennedy, in a televised Oval Office address, announced to the American public and the world that the Soviets had installed nuclear missile sites in Cuba. He also announced a blockade of Cuba, a measure to prohibit the Soviets from continuing their development of the nuclear sites in Cuba.

Above: JFK makes the Cuban Missile Crisis publicly known; newspaper coverage of the JFK speech

  • "It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union...To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba, from whatever nation or port, will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. This quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We are not at this time, however, denying the necessities of life as the Soviets attempted to do in their Berlin blockade of 1948."---President John F. Kennedy, October 22, 1962

The Cuban Missile Crisis

October 24, 1962: The declared U.S. quarantine/blockade of Cuba suggested initial signs of success when Soviet supply ships turned back towards Cuba. The ships that turned away were, in fact, quite far from the quarantine line established by the U.S.

The Cuban Missile Crisis still was very much a dangerous and on-going event.

Above: A U.S. reconnaissance photo showing a Cuban-bound Soviet freighter turning back towards the Soviet Union

The Cuban Missile Crisis, October 24, 1962 The "Eyeball-to-Eyeball' Myth

The Cuban Missile Crisis

October 25, 1962: At an emergency session of the Security Council of the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, the American Ambassador to the United Nations, confronted the Soviet Union with the photographic evidence that Soviet missiles were in Cuba.

The Soviets did not definitively answer Adlai Stevenson. The performance of the failed 1952 and 1956 Democratic Presidential Nominee was considered to be excellent, and in the realm of world opinion, the Soviet Union had suffered a defeat. The Kennedy Administration was thus able to continue forth in the Cuban Missile Crisis with enhanced moral authority.

Above: Adlai Stevenson confronts the Soviet Union in an emergency meeting of the Security Council of the United Nations; Adlai Stevenson

The Cuban Missile Crisis

October 27, 1962: In an action that could have precipitated war between the United States and the Soviet Union, a Soviet surface-to-air missile shot down an American U2 spy plane over Cuba. The U.S. pilot, Major Rudolf Anderson, was killed. The Cuban Missile Crisis, already a tense situation, had escalated to another level.

Above: Major Rudolf Anderson, the American U-2 pilot killed over Cuba when hit by a Soviet surface-to-air missile; Part of the wreckage of Rudolf Anderson's U-2 spy plane

In the wake of the shooting down of the American U-2 spy plane, JFK decided not to retaliate. He continued to negotiate instead. JFK was not convinced that Khrushchev had authorized the hostile fire against the American U-2. JFK's decision to continue with negotiations bore great fruit.

Cuban Missile Crisis: October 27, 1962 The U-2 Shot down over Cuba, October 27, 1962

The Cuban Missile Crisis

October 28, 1962: Soviet Head of State Nikita Khrushchev announced on Radio Moscow his agreement to dismantle and withdraw Soviet missiles from Cuba.

The United States agreed not to invade Cuba.

Above: Nikita Khrushchev on the cover of Time, dated November 1962

"The Soviet government, in addition to previously issued instructions on the cessation of further work at the building sites for the weapons, has issued a new order on the dismantling of the weapons which you describe as 'offensive' and their crating and return to the Soviet Union."
---Nikita Khrushchev, on Radio Moscow, October 28, 1962

Above: President Kennedy and Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy confer during the Cuban Missile Crisis

"I consider my letter to you of October twenty-seventh and your reply of today as firm undertakings on the part of both our governments which should be promptly carried out... The US will make a statement in the framework of the Security Council in reference to Cuba as follows: it will declare that the United States of America will respect the inviolability of Cuban borders, its sovereignty, that it take the pledge not to interfere in internal affairs, not to intrude themselves and not to permit our territory to be used as a bridgehead for the invasion of Cuba, and will restrain those who would plan to carry an aggression against Cuba, either from US territory or from the territory of other countries neighboring to Cuba."

---President John F. Kennedy, in response to Khrushchev's statement about withdrawing Soviet missiles from Cuba, October 28, 1962

The Kennedy Administration, in a secret agreement with Khrushchev, promised to remove American Jupiter missiles from Turkey (an American ally bordering Soviet Territory) in the coming months. Kennedy insisted on keeping that part of the agreement in secret.

In short, both Kennedy and Khrushchev cleverly used back-channel diplomacy to find a way out of the crisis, and many of the twists and turns of the Cuban Missile Crisis have NOT been described in this chronology.

It is also significant, that in the United States, President Kennedy ultimately rejected some of the advice of his military advisers, advice that called for military action against the missile sites in Cuba. Khrushchev, in turn, received advice from Fidel Castro calling for a nuclear strike against the United States.

The United States and the Soviet Union, however, did come to the edge of war, a potential war that could have killed millions.

Above: Washington Post headline on October 29, 1962

The 1962 Midterm Elections and the Rise of Ted Kennedy, George Wallace, and George Romney

November 6, 1962: In the Congressional midterm elections, the Democratic Party increased its majority in the U.S. Senate, and suffered only mild losses in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Democrats probably benefited from the public's perception of President Kennedy's handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Above: Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, George C. Wallace of Alabama, and George Romney of Michigan

The 1962 midterms propelled three figures into prominent offices, and from those respective elected positions, each would obtain national prominence and influence. Moreover, each represented important aspects of American political sentiments in the 1960s and subsequent years.

The first was Edward "Teddy" Kennedy (the youngest brother of President John F. Kennedy who was elected U.S. Senator representing Massachusetts. In time, Teddy Kennedy became one of the liberal lions of the U.S. Senate, and after the deaths of both John and Robert Kennedy, the bearer of the Kennedy torch. He served in the U.S. Senate until his death in 2009.

The second was George C. Wallace who was elected as the Governor of Alabama. A Southern Democrat who ran as an arch-segregationist, Wallace quickly became one of the most prominent practitioners of massive resistance against the Civil Rights Movement. Wallace also quickly came into conflict with the Kennedy Administration, and later the Lyndon Administration. As the civil war within the Democratic Party heated up between its liberal and conservative wings, Wallace stood at the forefront of the opposition to the liberal wing.

The third was George Romney who was elected as the Governor of Michigan. A former auto executive, Romney became a prominent representative of the relatively liberal wing of the Republican Party. Like the Democratic Party, the Republicans fought something of an intra-party civil war during the 1960s. Like the Democrats, the Republicans in the 1960s possessed both liberal and conservative wings, and in 1964, Romney refused to endorse Barry Goldwater, the conservative Republican presidential nominee. Fifty years to the date after he was elected Governor of Michigan, George Romney's son Mitt Romney(the Republican presidential election) lost the 2012 Presidential Election to President Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee.

Another Setback for Richard M. Nixon

November 6, 1962: In an attempted political comeback, former Vice President Richard M. Nixon lost his bid to become the Governor of California. He lost to Democrat Pat Brown.


Upon conceding the election to Brown, Nixon sarcastically commented to reporters during a press conference, "You won't have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore." It appeared that Nixon's political career was over. It was not. In time, Nixon began staging another comeback, but it would not be consummated until 1968.

To Kill A Mockingbird, The Film

December 25, 1962: The film To Kill a Mockingbird debuted in American movie theaters.

Above: Theatrical release poster for To Kill A Mockingbird

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Time's 1962 Man of the Year: Pope John XXIII



Civil War in the Democratic Party: The Rise of George C. Wallace of Alabama

January 14, 1963: Segregationist Democrat, George C. Wallace, became Governor of Alabama and accelerated the civil war within the Democratic Party.

George C. Wallace, during his inaugural address, called for "Segregation now, Segregation tomorrow, and Segregation forever."

Above: Governor George C. Wallace of Alabama; Logo of the Alabama Democratic Party, 1904-1966

"Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebearers before us done, time and again down through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom-loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that ever trod the earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . segregation now . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever."
-----Governor George C. Wallace, Inaugural Address, January 14, 1963

Wallace's stance on segregation placed him on a collision course with the Kennedy Administration. In essence, 1963 would constitute a key year in the internal struggle within the Democratic Party between its conservative and liberal wings. The socially conservative wing of the Democratic Party became increasingly concentrated in the South, particularly in its defense of so-called southern way of life.

Socially conservative Democrats like Strom Thurmond, James Eastland, and George Wallace fought against the liberal wing of the Democratic Party to maintain segregation. The first showdown George Wallace and the Kennedys would occur over the integration of the University of Alabama in June.

Governor George C. Wallace NPR: 50th Anniversary of Wallace's "Segregation Forever" Speech

The Rise of the Women's Movement

February 19, 1963: Feminist manifesto, The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan, is published

Above: Betty Friedan, author of The Feminine Mystique; cover of The Feminine Mystique

The Feminine Mystique, 50 Years of Influence

President Kennedy and Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley Dedicated Chicago O'Hare International Airport

March 23, 1963:



The Attempted Assassination of Right-Wing Activist General Edwin A. Walker

April 10, 1963: In Dallas, Texas, a gunman fired a shot at General Edwin A. Walker, a rabid right-wing anti-communist activist. Walker was in his Dallas home when someone shot through the window. Later investigations revealed that the aspiring assassin was Lee Harvey Oswald, a pro-Castro former U.S. Marine who had recently defected to the Soviet Union--but had returned to the United States.

Oswald's attempt failed. The bullet missed the former U.S. Army general.

Above: General Edwin A. Walker; Lee Harvey Oswald posing with his rifle in 1963

The Birmingham Campaign: The Arrest of Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 12, 1963: As the Birmingham Campaign geared up, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested on the charges of parading without a permit.

Above: Mugshot of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham, Alabama

Above: New York Times headline on April 13, 1963; Birmingham News headline on April 13, 1963

Timeline of events in the Birmingham Campaign

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter From Birmingham Jail

April 16, 1963: From a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his Letter From Birmingham Jail,a letter addressed to fellow clergymen in which he explained why it was imperative to call now for the end of racial segregation.

MLK, Jail Cell, April 1963.jpg
Above: Martin Luther King, Jr. in a Birmingham jail cell, April 1963

"Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro. Something within has reminded him of his birthright of freedom, and something without has reminded him that it can be gained."---Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter From Birmingham Jail

"We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor, it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct-action campaign that was 'well timed' in view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word 'wait!' It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.' We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that 'justice too long delayed is justice denied. '"

---Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter From Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963

The Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama

May 2, 1963:

The Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama

Summary of the Children's Crusade

Bull Connor's Fire Hoses and Police Dogs in Birmingham, Alabama

May 3, 1963:


Above: Birmingham Police Commissioner Bull Connor; New York Times headlines on May 4, 1963. Note how the term "negro" was used instead "black" or "African-American," terms which eventually replaced "negro;" Logo of the Alabama Democratic Party, 1904-1966

New York Times: "Dogs and Hoses Repulse Negroes in Birmingham"

Above: Statue of protester, policeman, and dog in commemoration of the 1963 civil rights protests, Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama, April 22, 2016 (Photo by Mark Leavins)

The Continuation of the Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Alabama

May 4, 1963:

Above: Black children in Birmingham, Alabama being hauled off to jail on May 4, 1963

Mercury 9: Gordon Cooper Aboard Faith 7

May 15-16, 1963:

Above: Astronaut Gordon Cooper entering the Faith 7 capsule; Mercury 9 patch

Mercury 9 Faith 7

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The Death of Pope John XXIII

June 3, 1963:

Above: Pope John XXIII

The Equal Pay Act of 1963

June 10, 1963: President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963 into law. The Equal Pay Act banned different levels of pay for men and women doing the same job.

Above: JFK signing the Equal Pay Act of 1963

The Integration of the University of Alabama and the Civil War within the Democratic Party

June 11, 1963: George Wallace tried to stop integration at the Schoolhouse Door, Foster Auditorium, University of Alabama. Upon being confronted by federal officials with a court order, Wallace made a speech, and then stepped aside. The federal officials then escorted three African American prospective students into Foster Auditorium. The University of Alabama was subsequently integrated.

Above: Alabama Governor George C. Wallace temporarily blocking the entrance of Foster Auditorium, a building on the campus of the University of Alabama. Governor Wallace was flanked by Alabama State Troopers; Logo for the Alabama Democratic Party, 1904-1966

"We are a God-fearing people – not government-fearing people. We practice today the free heritage bequeathed to us by the Founding Fathers.

I stand here today, as Governor of this sovereign State, and refuse to willingly submit to illegal usurpation of power by the Central Government. I claim today for all the people of the State of Alabama those rights reserved to them under the Constitution of the United States. Among those powers so reserved and claimed is the right of state authority in the operation of the public schools, colleges and Universities. My action does not constitute disobedience to legislative and constitutional provisions. It is not defiance – for defiance sake, but for the purpose of raising basic and fundamental constitutional questions. My action is raising a call for strict adherence to the Constitution of the United States as it was written – for a cessation of usurpation and abuses. My action seeks to avoid having state sovereignty sacrificed on the altar of political expediency.

Further, as the Governor of the State of Alabama, I hold the supreme executive power of this State, and it is my duty to see that the laws are faithfully executed. The illegal and unwarranted actions of the Central Government on this day, contrary to the laws, customs and traditions of this State is calculated to disturb the peace.

I stand before you here today in place of thousands of other Alabamians whose presence would have confronted you had I been derelict and neglected to fulfill the responsibilities of my office. It is the right of every citizen, however humble he may be, through his chosen officials of representative government to stand courageously against whatever he believes to be the exercise of power beyond the Constitutional rights conferred upon our Federal Government. It is this right which I assert for the people of Alabama by my presence here today."

----Governor George C. Wallace, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, June 11, 1963 Anniversary of Wallace's "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door"

The Civil Rights Movement: A Call for the End of Segregation

June 11, 1963: Democratic President John F. Kennedy called for the end of racial segregation.

Hours after George C. Wallace's Stand in the Schoolhouse Door at the University of Alabama, President John F. Kennedy, in a televised address to the American people, called for an end to racial segregation and the passage of a comprehensive civil rights law. In doing so, President Kennedy became the first sitting U.S. president to endorse full civil rights for African-Americans. He would not live to see the Civil Rights Bill of 1963 become law in the summer of 1964.

Above: President John F. Kennedy addressing the nation about civil rights

"The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated. If an American, because his skin is dark, cannot eat lunch in a restaurant open to the public, if he cannot send his children to the best public school available, if he cannot vote for the public officials who represent him, if, in short, he cannot enjoy the full and free life which all of us want, then who among us would be content to have the color of his skin changed and stand in his place? Who among us would then be content with the counsels of patience and delay?

One hundred years of delay have passed since President Lincoln freed the slaves, yet their heirs, their grandsons, are not fully free. They are not yet freed from the bonds of injustice. They are not yet freed from social and economic oppression. And this Nation, for all its hopes and all its boasts, will not be fully free until all its citizens are free.

We preach freedom around the world, and we mean it, and we cherish our freedom here at home, but are we to say to the world, and much more importantly, to each other that this is a land of the free except for the Negroes; that we have no second-class citizens except Negroes; that we have no class or cast system, no ghettoes, no master race except with respect to Negroes?

Now the time has come for this Nation to fulfill its promise. The events in Birmingham and elsewhere have so increased the cries for equality that no city or State or legislative body can prudently choose to ignore them. "

----President John F. Kennedy, Televised Speech to the Nation, June 11, 1963

JFK's Civil Rights Speech, June 11, 1963

The Assassination of Medgar Evers

June 12, 1963: The Assassination of NAACP Leader and Civil Rights Activist Medgar Evers

Pictured above left is Medgar Evers. Above right is Byron De La Beckwith, the Segregationist who murdered Evers.

In the early hours of June 12, 1963--just hours after President Kennedy made his nationally-televised speech calling for the end of racial segregation and the passage of a civil rights law--a Klansman named Byron De La Beckwith shot and killed Medgar Evers, one of Mississippi's most prominent African-American civil rights activists. Evers was in his driveway at his Jackson, Mississippi home when Beckwith shot and killed Evers. After avoiding conviction for thirty years, De La Beckwith was finally convicted for the murder in 1994.

Vostok 6: The First Woman in Space

June 16-19, 1963:

Above: Vostok 6 Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova The First Woman in Space Valentina Tereshkova

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The Reign of Pope Paul VI Begins

June 21, 1963:

Above: Pope Paul VI

Pro-Castro Activist Lee Harvey Oswald Arrested in New Orleans, Louisiana

August 9, 1963: In New Orleans, Louisiana, Lee Harvey Oswald--a pro-Castro pro-Cuba activist--was arrested after being involved in a fight. The fight stemmed from Oswald's efforts to distribute pro-Castro leaflets in New Orleans.

Above: Mugshot of Lee Harvey Oswald, dated August 9, 1963

The March on Washington and MLK's I Have a Dream Speech

August 28, 1963: At the March on Washington, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered an address that came to be known as the I Have a Dream speech. In essence, the speech was a call for racial equality, human brotherhood, and social integration. King's speech is considered by many to be a signature work in American rhetoric.

400martin_luther_king_jr.jpgMLK, 28 August 1963, I Have a Dream.jpg
Above: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Lincoln Memorial overlooking the Mall; King making his speech

American civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. In this speech MLK made called for the end of racial segregation and the establishment of racial equality for all Americans, regardless of color.

March on Washington Button, 28 August 1963.jpg

The Bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

September 15, 1963: On a Sunday morning in mid-September 1963, white supremacists bombed the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, an act of racist domestic terrorism in which four African-American girls were murdered in the explosion.

The explosion that came from a bomb planted by the Ku Klux Klan, a racist white supremacist segregationist organization.

Above: The four little girls killed in the bombing; The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama

The bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church horrified much of the United States and the world. In many respects, the murder of the four little girls in Alabama had the opposite effect from what the Klansmen intended.

The murder of these four young African-American girls occurred a little over two months prior to the assassination of President Kennedy. Months after becoming becoming president, Lyndon Johnson began to push for the passage of President Kennedy's civil rights bill. In the summer of 1964, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

Above: Sixteenth Street Baptist Church seen from Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham, Alabama, April 22, 2016 (Photo by Mark Leavins)

The Los Angeles Dodgers Win the 1963 World Series

October 6, 1963:

Above: 1963 World Series Program, Dodgers vs. Yankees

1963 World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. New York Yankees

The Assassination of South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem

November 2, 1963:

Above: April 1955 issue of Time featuring Ngo Dinh Diem on the cover; 1961 Time cover featuring Diem; South Vietnam President Ngo Dinh Diem

The JFK Assassination

November 22, 1963: In Dallas, Texas, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by a Lee Harvey Oswald, a lone gunman.

Oswald, firing a bolt-action rifle from an upper floor of the Texas School Book Depository Building, hit Kennedy twice, one being a fatal head shot.

Above: JFK, Jackie Kennedy, and Texas Governor John Connnally in the open-top Presidential limousine; A frame from the the Zapruder Film showing JFK being it by the first shot.

In November 1963, President Kennedy, First Lady Jackie Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon Johnson and Mrs. Johnson made a political trip to Texas. In Dallas, on Friday afternoon, November 22nd, President Kennedy and Mrs. Kennedy traveled in a large motorcade in an uncovered limousine. Texas Governor John Connally and his wife rode with the first couple.

At Dealey Plaza, yards from the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building, three shots rang out, with two of them hitting the president. Governor Connally was hit by one of the same bullets that hit President Kennedy. In the photo above right, the moment is captured in which President Kennedy and Governor Connally were hit by the same bullet. The third shot hit President Kennedy in the head, and he died a short time later at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Governor Connally survived his wounds.

Despite decades of conspiracy theories, the most sound evidence indicates that the shooter was Lee Harvey Oswald, a troubled man in his twenties who worked in the Texas Schoolbook Depository Building. While trying to escape, Oswald also shot a Dallas police officer. Shortly after, Dallas law enforcement captured and arrested Oswald.

Two days later, a Dallas nightclub owner named Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald as Oswald was being transferred to another jail. Ruby's actions have inspired many a conspiracy theory, but the preponderance of evidence indicates that Oswald was acting alone when he shot JFK, and moreover, Jack Ruby was acting alone when he shot Oswald.

In the wake of the Kennedy assassination, President Lyndon Johnson assembled a high-profile group, led by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren to investigate the assassination. The Warren Commission concluded that Oswald acted alone, as did Jack Ruby.

Above: Snapshot of Lee Harvey Oswald with his rifle in 1963; Oswald Mugshot, August 9, 1963; Oswald Mugshot, November 23, 1963

The JFK Assassination

November 22, 1963: Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) became President of the United States in the wake of John F. Kennedy's murder in Dallas, Texas.

Above: In this iconic photo, LBJ takes the oath of office aboard Air Force One at Love Field in Dallas, Texas. Jackie Kennedy, JFK's widow, stands to the left of LBJ. Lady Bird Johnson, the new First Lady, stands near LBJ's right arm and upright hand.

The Presidency of Lyndon B. Johnson

November 22, 1963: Lyndon Baines Johnson became President of the United States.

Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat), 36th American President
Dates in Office: November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969

Above: President Lyndon Baines Johnson

The JFK Assassination

November 24, 1963: Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot and killed Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Above: Lee Harvey Oswald being shot by Jack Ruby

Oswald died not long after. Ruby was later convicted of murdering Oswald, and served the rest of his life in prison. Ruby said that he killed Oswald in order to spare Mrs. Kennedy the burden of a future Oswald trial.

The JFK Assassination

November 25 , 1963: In a state funeral, John F. Kennedy was laid to rest.

Above: John F. Kennedy, Jr. salutes his father's coffin as it passes in the funeral procession

On Monday, November 25, 1963---three days after the assassination--John F. Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

JFK was survived by his wife Jackie and his two children, Caroline and John. In 1994, Jackie died of cancer. In 1999 John F. Kennedy, Jr. tragically died, along with his wife, in a plane crash, a plane that Kennedy himself was piloting.

As of 2013, Caroline remains the only surviving member of the former first family.

President Lyndon B. Johnson Addresses Congress

November 27, 1963: Before a joint session of Congress, President Lyndon B. Johnson, vowed to continue the policies of John F. Kennedy.

Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson addressing Congress in the wake of the JFK assassination

Above: Time and Life and their respective covers on Lyndon Johnson's succession to the presidency

LBJ before Congress, 27 November 1963

The Beatles Release I Want To Hold Your Hand

November 29, 1963: In Great Britain, I Want to Hold Your Hand, a record by The Beatles, was released.

Above: Record cover of I Want to Hold Your Hand by The Beatles

"Oh yeah, I'll tell you something,
I think you'll understand.
When i'll say that something
I want to hold your hand,
I want to hold your hand,
I want to hold your hand.

Oh please, say to me
You'll let me be your man
And please, say to me
You'll let me hold your hand.
Now let me hold your hand,
I want to hold your hand."

---I Want to Hold Your Hand, The Beatles

Auburn Defeats Alabama in a Still-Segregated Iron Bowl

November 30, 1963: Eight days after the assassination of President Kennedy, in a college football game, Auburn defeated Alabama, 10 to 8. The State of Alabama had played a central role in American domestic politics in 1963, particularly in matters of the civil rights struggle.

From the inauguration of George Wallace to the Birmingham Protests, to the desegregation of the University of Alabama, to the murderous bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Alabama was the central 1963 venue for both pro-civil rights activism and anti-civil rights massive resistance.

It is worth noting that, by the end of November 1963, civil rights activism and federal intervention had rendered a measure of desegregation in the Heart of Dixie. But in terms of major college football in the State of Alabama, both Alabama and Auburn still fielded all-white football teams in 1963, and each would continue to do so for the rest of the 1960s.

The 1963 Iron Bowl (the nickname for the Auburn-Alabama game) featured three outstanding players, those being Auburn running back Tucker Frederickson, quarterback Jimmy Sidle, and Alabama quarterback Joe Namath.

Above: Auburn Football Head Coach Ralph "Shug" Jordan with AU players Tucker Frederickson and Jimmy Sidle; Alabama quarterback Joe Namath and Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant

The Clean Air Act of 1963

December 17, 1963: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Clean Air Act of 1963 into law.

Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson

LBJ and the Clean Air Act of 1963

Time's 1963 Man of the Year: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.



President Lyndon B. Johnson Declares War on Poverty

January 8, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson delivered the State of the Union Address, a speech before a joint session of Congress in which, among other things, he called for a "war on poverty" in the United States.

Above: LBJ delivers the State of the Union Address on January 8, 1964

LBJ's State of the Union Speech, January 8, 2014

"This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America. I urge this Congress and all Americans to join with me in that effort.

It will not be a short or easy struggle, no single weapon or strategy will suffice, but we shall not rest until that war is won. The richest Nation on earth can afford to win it. We cannot afford to lose it."

---President Lyndon B. Johnson, January 8, 1964

Bob Dylan's Times They are a Changin'

January 13, 1964: Folk singer Bob Dylan's Times They are a Changin album was released.

Dylan's signature song of the same name signaled the growth of a growing socio-political consciousness among American musicians and artists. Rock and Roll, in short, would increasingly accompany the tumultuous social and political movements of the 1960s.

Above: Album cover to Bob Dylan's Times They are a Changin'

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside and it is ragin’
It’ll soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

---Lyrics from Times They are a Changin' by Bob Dylan

Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove

January 29, 1964: Dr. Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick's dark comedy film about the Cold War and the potential for a nuclear holocaust, debuted in movie theaters.

Above: Movie Poster for Dr. Strangelove; Major Kong (played by Slim Pickens) rides an American nuclear bomb to its target

Above: Peter Sellers played three character. They were: Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove

Above: Slim Pickens (wearing cowboy hat) as Major Kong; George C. Scott as General Buck Turgidson

Above: The War Room and The Big Board

The Beatles Come to America

February 7, 1964: The Beatles arrived in the United States


Above: The Beatles (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr)

AP Stories on the Arrival of the Beatles in the United States

The Beatles Appear on the Ed Sullivan Show

February 9, 1964: Before a television audience estimated at 73,000,000, the Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show

Above: The Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show, February 9, 1964

The Beatles and the Ed Sullivan Show

The Beatles Cross Paths with Boxer Cassius Clay (Soon-to-be Muhammad Ali) in Miami, Florida

February 18, 1964

Above: Boxer Cassius Clay goofs around with (L-R) Paul McCarty, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison in Miami, Florida

Challenger Cassius Clay Defeats Champion Sonny Liston to Take the Heavyweight Boxing Title

February 25, 1964

Above: Cassius Clay celebrating his victory over heavyweight boxing champion Sonny Liston in Miami, Florida, February 25, 1964; Announcement of the Sonny Liston versus Cassius Clay fight scheduled for February 25, 1964

Heavyweight Boxing Champion Cassius Clay Announces his Change of Name

March 6, 1964

LBJ's Great Society Speech at the University of Michigan

May 22, 1964:

Washington Post: The Great Society Speech at 50

Freedom Summer in Mississippi

June 21, 1964: Civil Rights activists were murdered near Philadelphia, Mississippi by members of the Ku Klux Klan


The Civil Rights Act of 1964

July 2, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act outlawed racial discrimination in public businesses and institutions. In August 1965, LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act ensuring that African-Americans could vote throughout the United States.

Above: Martin Luther King, Jr. stands behind President Johnson as LBJ signs the bill into law; Undated picture of Republican Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen (at left) and Democratic Senator Hubert H. Humphrey (smiling at right), two key senators that secured the passage of the Civil Rights Bill through the Senate.

In 1948, then Minneapolis, Minnesota Mayor Humbert Humphrey had challenged the Democratic Party to abandon states' rights in favor of human rights and civil rights. Roughly 15 years later, Humphrey's dream came to fruition as a coalition of Non-Southern Democratic and Non-Southern Republican senators overcame a Southern Democratic filibuster (a parliamentary move to stall the vote on a piece of legislation) designed to block the bill in the Senate. Both Senators Humphrey and Dirksen managed the bill through the Senate.

In the House of Representatives, because of House rules, the Civil Rights Bill did not face a filibuster, and the bill easily passed, largely with votes from Democrats and Republicans from outside the South.

Later, after signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law, President Lyndon Johnson (Democrat) expressed a fear that the South would completely flip its political allegiance to the Republican Party for a generation.

LBJ feared a potential Southern white backlash against the Democratic Party (most of the votes for the bill came from Democratic Party members in the House and Senate) as the Democratic Party became increasingly identified as a pro-civil rights party.

President Johnson's fears were well-grounded. From 1964 through 2008, Democratic presidential candidates rarely did well (1976 was an exception to the rule) in the southern states of the former Confederacy. In 1964, 1968, and 1972, in presidential elections, white Southern voters abandoned the Democratic Party in dramatic waves. In many respects, the Southern white abandonment of the Democratic Party was a continuation of the 1948 Dixiecrat Revolt, a revolt born or reaction against Hubert Humphrey and his call for the Democratic Party to embrace civil rights for African-Americans.

Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson, the president from segregationist Texas who signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law

The LBJ Legacy, 50 Years Later

The Beatles Star in A Hard Day's Night

July 6, 1964:

Above: Movie poster for A Hard Day's Night

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The 1964 Republican Convention Begins in San Francisco, California

July 13, 1964:

The Harlem Riots of 1964: Police Officer Thomas Gilligan Shot and Killed James Powell, a Black High School Student

July 16, 1964:

New York Times: 50th Anniversary of the Harlem Riots of 1964

"On the morning of July 16, 1964, an off-duty white police officer, Lt. Thomas Gilligan, shot and killed a black student, James Powell, outside an apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Hundreds of his classmates took to the streets in protest.

That evening, Senator Barry M. Goldwater of Arizona received the Republican presidential nomination in San Francisco, and, in his acceptance speech, introduced the potent issue of law and order to a national audience.

These two events were unrelated and on separate ends of a continent, but they were two sides to the same story: the Republican revival of the late 1960s, which promoted a law-and-order politics that led directly to the penal crisis that has devastated black communities nationwide."

---New York Times, July 15, 2014

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The 1964 Republican Convention: Goldwater Receives and Accepts the Nomination

July 16, 1964: Senator Barry Goldwater received the Republican nomination as its presidential candidate for the 1964 election.


The Harlem Riots of 1964:

July 18, 1964:

New York Times: 50th Anniversary of the Harlem Riots of 1964

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The Vietnam War

August 1964: The Gulf of Tonkin Incident and the Escalation of American involvement in Vietnam.

Vietnam: The American Quagmire, 1964-1975.

Above: American troops in Vietnam

In 1964, LBJ intensified America's role in the war between Communist North Vietnam and Pro-American South Vietnam. For the rest of the Johnson presidency, the U.S. became more deeply involved in fighting Communist forces in Vietnam. In many sectors of American society, the war became very unpopular, and anti-war protests were common by 1967 and 1968.

Fannie Lou Hamer and the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party

August 22, 1964: Fannie Lou Hamer, shortly before the start of the 1964 Democratic Convention, argued before the Credentials Committee of the Democratic Party that the delegates from the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party should be seated in the convention.

Above: Fannie Lou Hamer on August 22, 1964

Fannie Lou Hamer and the MFDP

The 1964 Democratic Convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey

August 24-27, 1964: The Democratic Party held its national convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, nominating Lyndon B. Johnson as its presidential nominee, and Hubert Humphrey as its vice presidential nominee.

Above: President Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey at the 1964 Democratic Convention; Robert F. Kennedy addressing the 1964 Democratic National Covention

Above: The Johnson-Humphrey ticket

Conservatism and the Civil Rights Movement

September 16, 1964: Senator J. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina switched his party membership from Democratic to Republican.

A segregationist and 1948 Dixiecrat presidential candidate, Strom Thurmond embodied the white southern defection away from the Democratic Party. With his party switch to the Republicans, Strom Thurmond threw his support to Barry Goldwater for president.

Goldwater, who voted against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, proved to be quite popular in the Deep South during the 1964 presidential election. In the November 1964 Presidential Election, Goldwater only won 6 states. One was his home state of Arizona. The other five Goldwater wins came in the Deep South states of South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana---all states where racial segregation was deeply rooted.

In the photo above, Strom Thurmond speaks with a Barry Goldwater image in the background.

Jonathan Chait; The Conservative Fantasy History of Civil Rights

The New Republic: How the GOP Became the Party of White People

David Frum's review of Strom Thurmond's America The Two Major Parties and Civil Rights

American Television

September 26, 1964: The debut of Gilligan's Island


The Fall of Nikita Khrushchev and the Rise of Leonid Brezhnev

October 14, 1964: After 11 years in power, Nikita Khrushchev was forced out of power and into retirement. Leonid Brezhnev replaced Khrushchev as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, and thus as head of state. Brezhnev would remain in power until his death on November 10, 1982.

Above: Portrait and photograph of Leonid Brezhnev, First Secretary (later re-named General Secretary) of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and head of state, 1964-1982.

The St. Louis Cardinals Win the 1964 World Series

October 15, 1964:

Above: 1964 World Series Programs, Cardinals and Yankees

1964 World Series: St. Louis Cardinals vs. New York Yankees

The Cold War and a Second Communist Nuclear Power

October 16, 1964: The People's Republic of China successfully explodes a nuclear bomb during a test

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Ronald Reagan Makes a Speech on Behalf of Barry Goldwater

October 27, 1964:

The Daily Beast: Reagan Makes a Pivotal Speech

1964 Presidential Election: LBJ Wins a Landslide

Above: A 1964 Johnson campaign poster

November 3, 1964: President Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) won the Presidential Election of 1964 in a landslide.

Above: Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson at left, and at right, Republican Barry Goldwater

Above: The 1964 presidential electoral map

President Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat) won the Presidential Election of 1964. Having ascended to the presidency upon the death of John F. Kennedy, LBJ was elected president in his own right with a landslide victory over Republican Barry Goldwater. LBJ served as president from November 22, 1963 to January 20, 1969.

Above: Johnson and Humphey, in celebratory poses at LBJ's ranch, on the cover of Life; LBJ on he cover of Time

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Above: Photos taken in March 2013 of LBJ's ranch 40 years after the death of the 36th President of the United States. During his senate career and during his presidency, the Stonewall, Texas ranch served as a seat of power for LBJ, a place where he often brought those whom he wished to persuade politically.

Sam Cooke's A Change is Gonna Come is Released

December 22, 1964:

Time's 1964 Man of the Year: President Lyndon B. Johnson



President Lyndon B. Johnson Delivered his State of the Union Address

January 4, 1965:

Text of LBJ's State of the Union Address, January 4, 1965

"We were never meant to be an oasis of liberty and abundance in a worldwide desert of disappointed dreams. Our Nation was created to help strike away the chains of ignorance and misery and tyranny wherever they keep man less than God means him to be.

We are moving toward that destiny, never more rapidly than we have moved in the last 4 years.

In this period we have built a military power strong enough to meet any threat and destroy any adversary. And that superiority will continue to grow so long as this office is mine--and you sit on Capitol Hill.

In this period no new nation has become Communist, and the unity of the Communist empire has begun to crumble.

In this period we have resolved in friendship our disputes with our neighbors of the hemisphere, and joined in an Alliance for Progress toward economic growth and political democracy.

In this period we have taken more steps toward peace--including the test ban treaty--than at any time since the cold war began.

In this period we have relentlessly pursued our advances toward the conquest of space.

Most important of all, in this period, the United States has reemerged into the fullness of its self-confidence and purpose. No longer are we called upon to get America moving. We are moving. No longer do we doubt our strength or resolution. We are strong and we have proven our resolve.

No longer can anyone wonder whether we are in the grip of historical decay. We know that history is ours to make. And if there is great danger, there is now also the excitement of great expectations."

---President Lyndon B. Johnson, State of the Union Address, January 4, 1965

The Beginning of Lyndon B. Johnson's Full Term

Jan 20, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States for a full four-year term.

Above: Lyndon B. Johnson taking the Presidential Oath of Office from Chief Justice Earl Warren, January 20, 1965. Also in the photo are Lady Bird Johnson (the First Lady) and Hubert Humphrey.

As 1964 drew to a close, Time Magazine named President Lyndon B. Johnson as Man of the Year. But even as significant as LBJ was in 1964, one might say that 1965 was the Year of LBJ. During 1965 LBJ signed at least five landmark pierces of legislation into law, building on the legislative stature he had already achieved in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In the wake of his landslide victory over Republican Barry Goldwater, President Lyndon Johnson, in 1965, led the passage and enactment of a series of landmark legislation, those being the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Medicare Act of 1965, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the Immigration Act of 1965, and the Higher Education Act of 1965.

LBJ stood astride 1965 as a political colossus, and the prior-mentioned laws still stand in 2013. In many respects, in terms of American domestic legislation, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt (architect of the New Deal) and Lyndon Johnson (architect of The Great Society) remain the two most powerful men in the United States decades after their respective deaths.

Malcolm X, 1925-1965

February 21, 1965: In New York City, multiple gunmen assassinated Malcolm X, an advocate of Black rights and Black identity. At least one of the assassins was a member of the Nation of Islam.

Malcolm X, a convert to Islam, had been an high-ranking member of the Nation of Islam, a sectarian African-American Muslim organization founded by Black Muslim Elijah Muhammed. During most of his Nation of Islam years, Malcolm X advocated Black supremacy and separatism. Due to conflicts with the leadership, Malcolm left the Nation of Islam in 1964. Moreover, during a pilgrimage of Mecca--a holy city in Saudi Arabia--Malcolm X was moved by the diversity that he saw in worldwide Islam.

In short, Malcolm X discarded Black supremacy and embraced a more conventional integrationist viewpoint, though he did advocate Black self-determination and self-defense .

Above: Malcolm X

The Vietnam War

March 2, 1965: In Operation Rolling Thunder, the American bombing campaign of North Vietnam began. It lasted until November 2, 1968.

Above: American bombers release their payloads of bombs

Above: North Vietnamese surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles

Bloody Sunday: The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama

March 7, 1965: Bloody Sunday, the Selma to Montgomery Civil Rights March and the Edmund Pettus Bridge




Above: Edmund Pettus Bridge spanning the Alabama River, Selma, Alabama, April 22, 2016 (Photo by Mark Leavins)

U.S. Combat Troops Enter South Vietnam

March 8, 1965:

Above: U.S. troops land in South Vietnam near Da Nang; Subsequent cover of Life (July 2, 1965 issue) reporting on the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam

Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues

March 8, 1965: Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues (a single) was released.

Above: Record cover of Bob Dylan's iconic single Subterranean Homesick Blues

"Better stay away from those
That carry around a fire hose
Keep a clean nose
Watch the plain clothes
You don’t need a weatherman
To know which way the wind blows"

---Lyrics from Subterranean Homesick Blues by Bob Dylan

Reverend James Reeb Assaulted in Selma, Leading to Death

March 9, 1965:


LBJ and the Call for Voting Rights

March 15, 1965: Before a joint session of Congress, President Lyndon B. Johnson called for voting rights for all, and declared--citing the civil rights anthem-- that "we shall overcome."

Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson addressing Congress on behalf of the proposed Voting Rights Bill.

The Space Race: Soviet Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov Made the First Spacewalk

March 18, 1965: Emerging from the Soviet space capsule Voskhod 2, Soviet Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov became the first human being to leave a space vehicle and conduct a so-called spacewalk.

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Above: Soviet Cosmonaut Alexey Leonov makes the first-ever human spacewalk

The Selma to Montgomery, Alabama March for Voting Rights

March 21, 1965 to March 25, 1965: Completion of the Selma to Montgomery March


Gemini III

March 23, 1965:

Gemini III Gemini

The Selma-to-Montgomery March: Arrival at the State Capitol Building

March 25, 1965

The Selma-to-Montgomery March: The Murder of Viola Liuzzo

March 25, 1965:


Space Age Architecture: The Houston Astrodome Became an Operational Sports Venue

April 9, 1965: With President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird in attendance, the Houston Astros hosted the New York Yankees in the inaugural event for the Houston Astrodome, a first-of-its-kind domed indoor sports arena large enough to serve as a venue for both Major League Baseball, plus college and professional football. The Opening of the Houston Astrodome, April 9, 1965

Texas State Historical Association: The Astrodome

"The first event in the Astrodome was held on April 9, 1965, when the Houston Astros played the New York Yankees in exhibition baseball. The first football game was played in the Astrodome on September 11, 1965, when Tulsa University defeated the University of Houston by a score of 14–0. Professional football established itself in the Astrodome when the Houston Oilers began playing all of their home games there after a preseason exhibition game with the Washington Redskins on August 1, 1968." ---Texas State Historical Association

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act

April 11, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson, at the Junction School in Stonewall, Texas, signed the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act into law.

LBJ attended the Junction School during his first year of schooling, and during the signing ceremony, was seated next to his teacher. The Junction School still stands and is located near the entrance to the LBJ Ranch in Stonewall, Texas.

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President Johnson, during the signing ceremony, is pictured above with one of his teachers; A March 2013 window view from the interior of the Junction School in Stonewall, Texas, site of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 signing ceremony. The view from the Junction School window looks towards the nearby LBJ Ranch.

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Above: LBJ Exhibit in Johnson City, Texas commemorating the signing of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act; The interior of the Junction School, a school that LBJ attended as a child; LBJ

Muhammad Ali Knocks Out Sonny Liston to Remain Boxing's Heavyweight Champion

May 25, 1965:


Gemini 4: U.S. Astronaut Ed White Conducts a Spacewalk

June 3, 1965: During the Gemini 4 mission, U.S. Astronaut Ed White left the confines of the Gemini capsule and conducted a spacewalk, the first for the United States. The Gemini 4 voyage lasted until June 7, 1965.

Above: U.S. Astronaut Ed White conducting a spacewalk on June 3, 1965 during the Gemini 4 mission

Photos of Ed White's Spacewalk Gemini 4 First U.S. Spacewalk

The Rolling Stones

June 6, 1965: The Rolling Stones single, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction was released.

The initial members of The Rolling Stones, a British band, were vocalist and song writer Mick Jagger, guitarist and song writer Keith Richards, guitarist Brian Jones, bassist Bill Wyman, and drummer Charlie Watts.

Above: Record cover for The Rolling Stones single, (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction

"When I'm drivin' in my car
And a man comes on the radio
He's telling me more and more
About some useless information
Supposed to fire my imagination
I can't get no, oh no no no
Hey hey hey, that's what I say

I can't get no satisfaction
I can't get no satisfaction
'Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can't get no, I can't get no"

---(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones

Satisfaction released, June 6, 1965

Birth Control and the Right to Privacy

June 7, 1965: The United States Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that married couples enjoyed a right to privacy, and therefore can purchase and use birth control.

Associate Justice William O. Douglas, an appointee of Franklin Roosevelt, wrote the majority opinion in Griswold. In this opinion, Douglas argued that a marital right of privacy existed via a penumbra of personal liberties via several constitutional provisions acting in concert.

The Griswold decision paved the way for the legalization of abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973. In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded on Griswold and ruled that a broader range of sexual privacy exists for adults in general.

Above: Associate Justice William O. Douglas

Premiere of I Spy on NBC

June 15, 1965:

Above: Title card for I Spy

IMDb: I Spy, 1965-1968

Motown Hit Record: The Release of Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

June 23, 1965:

Above: Record cover for The Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles

The Beatles Star in Help!

July 29, 1965:


Above: Movie Poster for Help!, a film starring The Beatles, i.e. Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and John Lennon

LBJ And the Birth of Medicare

July 30,1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed legislation creating Medicare, a federal healthcare program for senior citizens.

Above: With former President Harry Truman sitting to his left, President Johnson signs Medicare into law

Above: LBJ on the August 6, 1965 issue of Time

The Civil Rights Movement: The Voting Rights Act of 1965

August 6, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law.

Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson during the signing ceremony of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; LBJ

The Watts Riots

August 11-17, 1965:

Above: Life coverage of the Watts Riots; Los Angeles Police officers subdue a suspect during the Watts Riots

Above: Time coverage of the Los Angeles (Watts) Riots; Burning buildings during the Watts Riots

New York Times: The 1965 Watts Riots

The Start of the Delano Grapes Strike

September 8, 1965 Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers

The Immigration Act of 1965

October 3, 1965: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Immigration Act of 1965, a law that eliminated discrimination against immigrants based on country of origin.
Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Immigration Act of 1965 (not the presence of Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy at the signing ceremony); LBJ speaking in proximity to the Statue of Liberty

The Impact of the Immigration Act of 1965

The Los Angeles Dodgers Win the 1965 World Series

October 14, 1965:

Above: Souvenir Program of the 1965 World Series

1965 World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Minnesota Twins

The Higher Education Act of 1965

November 8, 1965: President Lyndon Johnson signed the Higher Education Act of 1965 into law.

Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Higher Education Act of 1965 into law; LBJ

The Great Northeast Blackout of 1965

November 9, 1965:

Above: Time cover regarding the Northeast Blackout

The Great Northeast Blackout

The Beatles

December 3, 1965: The ground-breaking Beatles album, Rubber Soul, is released

Above: Album cover to Rubber Soul by the Beatles

Premiere of Doctor Zhivago

December 22, 1965:

Above: Movie poster for Dr. Zhivago

Dr. Zhivago, the Film

Time's 1965 Man of the Year: General William Westmoreland



The Death of Sergei Korolev, Chief Designer in the Soviet Space Program

January 14, 1966:

Above: Sergei Korolev

The Guardian: The Importance of Sergei Korolev

The Democratic Party's Civil War: Alabama Democrats Dropped "White Supremacy" from its State Party Logo

January 22, 1966

Above: Logo of the Alabama Democratic Party, 1904-1966

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The Space Race: Luna 9, a Soviet Unmanned Landing on the Moon

January 31, 1966 to February 6, 1966: On the last day of January, the Soviet Union launched Luna 9, an unmanned vehicle, into space and towards the moon. On February 3, 1966, Luna 9 made a first-ever successful soft landing on the surface of the moon. Shortly thereafter, Luna 9 made and transmitted several photos from the moon's surface, a first in human history.

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Above: Luna 9 photo from the surface of the Moon; The Luna 9

Luna 9

19th Nervous Breakdown by The Rolling Stones

February 4, 1966: The single 19th Nervous Breakdown by The Rolling Stones was released.

Above: Record cover for 19th Nervous Breakdown by The Rolling Stones

Rolling Stones: 19th Nervous Breakdown

You're the kind of person
You meet at certain dismal dull affairs.
Center of a crowd, talking much too loud
Running up and down the stairs.
Well, it seems to me that you have seen too much in too few years.
And though you've tried you just can't hide
Your eyes are edged with tears.
You better stop
Look around
Here it comes, here it comes, here it comes, here it comes
Here comes your nineteenth nervous breakdown.

-----19th Nervous Breakdown, The Rolling Stones

The Honolulu Conference

February 8, 1966: In a show of unity between the United States and South Vietnam, President Johnson and high ranking members of the South Vietnamese government issued the The Declaration of Honolulu, a statement of unified war aims. Among the war aims was a Great Society style goal of transforming South Vietnam's economy.

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Above: Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara (foreground) and LBJ (seated in background, holding coffee cup) talk with high-ranking South Vietnamese officials.

The Declaration of Honolulu

American Culture War: John Lennon's Remarks about Jesus Christ

March 4, 1966: Controversial remarks by Beatles member John Lennon were published in a British newspaper in which Lennon commented that Christianity was on the decline, and that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus."

In the summer of 1966, Lennon's remarks became publicized in the United State, prompting a conservative reaction against John Lennon and the rest of the Beatles.

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Above: The Beatles, c. 1966

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Above: American protests in the wake of John Lennon's comments about Christianity and Jesus

John Lennon's Controversial Comments about Jesus

The Space Race: Gemini VIII, the First Space Docking

March 16-17, 1966: Gemini 8 was a manned U.S. space mission in which the manned space capsule docked in orbit with Agena, an unmanned American vehicle. Shortly after docking Gemini 8 and Agena began to lose stability. Gemini 8 ultimately began to spin out of control. Astronaut Neil Armstrong was successful, however, in regaining control of the spacecraft. After regaining stability, Gemini 8 made an expedited emergency return to earth. The Gemini 8 mission proved that two separate orbiting vehicles could successfully dock in space. And while the mission was cut short, disaster was averted.

Neil Armstrong later attained a signature moment in all of human history when, during the July 1969 Apollo 11 mission, he became the first human being to walk on the moon. Dave Scott, in turn, was a part of the Apollo 15 mission to the moon, and became the 7th person to walk upon another world.

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Above: Gemini 8 crew: Dave Scott and Neil Armstrong; The launch of Gemini 8

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Above: Gemini 8 in the vicinity of the Agena vehicle; Gemini 8 on the verge of docking with the Agena vehicle

Gemini VIII

NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament: Texas Western Defeats Kentucky to Win the National Title

March 19, 1966 Texas Western Knocks off Kentucky in NCAA Finals

ESPN: The Significance of Texas Western's Triumph over Kentucky

"For the first time that night, on the edge of the Mason-Dixon Line, a major American sports championship would be contested by one team that was all-white and another whose starters were entirely black.

'What a piece of history. If basketball ever took a turn, that was it,' said Nolan Richardson, the Arkansas coach who played for Haskins at Texas Western.

Texas Western, an independent from remote El Paso, was little known outside the Southwest despite its 27-1 record and its No.3 ranking. Their 72-65 victory that night over No.1 Kentucky, coached by the legendary Adolph Rupp, stunned college basketball and upset conventional wisdom.

In 1966, American cultural and sporting mythology insisted at least one white starter was necessary for success. Black athletes, prevailing wisdom implied, needed the steadying hand of a white teammate. Otherwise, games would dissolve into chaos.", November 19, 2003

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Conservative writer William F. Buckley launches Firing Line

April 4, 1966: William F. Buckley, founder of the conservative opinion magazine, National Review, launched Firing Line, a television show in which Buckley and a guest would discuss and debate a topic, usually a high-minded subject of some controversy.

Above: William F. Buckley and Guest on Firing Line

Season 1 Firing Line Episodes

The Women's Movement: First Woman Runs the Boston Marathon

April 19, 1966: Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, finish the 26.2 mile
course in 3 hours, 21 minutes, and 40 seconds.

Gibb was not officially entered and sanctioned in the race. Officially, women were not allowed to participate in the Boston Marathon. But Bobbi Gibb entered the race, heavily clad and somewhat disguising her gender. Later in the race, however, Gibb shed some of the layers of her clothing and ran openly as a woman. Along the way, fellow runners and spectators cheered her on.

Above: A newspaper headline acknowledging Gibb's marathon run; Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb in 1966

The New Republic: The Boston Marathon and the Struggle for Equal Rights

Alabama Primary: Lurleen Wallace Won The Democratic Nomination for Governor as the Lowndes County Freedom Organization Fielded Candidates

May 3, 1966

Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones

May 7, 1966: The rock single Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones was released.

Above: Record cover for the single Paint It Black

"I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facing up when your whole world is black"

---Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones

Mao's Cultural Revolution

May 16, 1966: Mao Zedong launches the Cultural Revolution in China


The Space Race: Surveyor 1, an American Unmanned Landing on the Moon

June 2, 1966: An American unmanned space probe, Surveyor I, landed successfully on the moon's surface, and like the Soviet probe Luna 9, began making photos and transmitting them back to earth.

Above: An image taken by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter of Surveyor 1 on the Moon's surface; Model of Surveyor Surveyor I

The Space Race: Gemini IX-A

June 3-6, 1966: Gemini 9A

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Above: Gemini 9A Astronauts Thomas Stafford and Gene Cernan; Launch of the Augmented Target Docking Adapter; Launch of Gemini 9A

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Above: The Augmented Target Docking Adapter, dubbed the "Angry Alligator"

Memphis, Tennessee: James Meredith Began the March Against Fear

June 5, 1966:

James Meredith and the March Against Fear

June 6, 1966: While leading the Memphis, Tennessee to Jackson, Mississippi March Against Fear, James Meredith (the first African-American student at Ole Miss) was shot by a sniper. The primary focus of the march was to encourage Mississippi Blacks to register to vote, an action make much more viable in Mississippi in the wake of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Meredith survived his wounds and later rejoined the march.

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Above: James Meredith suffering a gunshot wound from a sniper

The Shooting of James Meredith

Miranda v. Arizona and the right against self-incrimination

June 13, 1966: In a case involving the rights of those accused of a crime, the U.S. Supreme Court decided, in a 5 to 4 decision, law enforcement has a burden to reveal the rights possessed by someone who has been arrested.

Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote the majority opinion for the court. The famous Miranda Warning stemmed from this case and decision.

Above: Chief Justice Earl Warren

Stokely Carmichael and the Rise of the Black Power Movement

June 16, 1966: In Greenwood, Mississippi, during the March Against Fear, civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael voiced an increased frustration with white recalcitrance by calling for "Black Power," thus signaling a move away fromintegrationist approach as advocated by Martin Luther King, Jr., and signaling a move towards radicalism.

Stokely Carmichael, Greenwood, MS, Black Power.jpg
Above: Stokely Carmichael speaking in Greenwood, Mississippi

The March Against Fear: Completion of the March at the State Capitol Building, Jackson, Mississippi

June 26, 1966:

Women's Movement: The Founding of NOW

June 30, 1966: Betty Friedan and others founded the National Organization for Women (NOW), an advocacy group for women's rights.

Above: A NOW Organizing Meeting in October 1966

The Founding of NOW in 1966

Mother's Little Helper by The Rolling Stones

July 2, 1966: The Rolling Stones single, Mother's Little Helper, was released.

Above: The record cover to The Rolling Stones single, Mother's Little Helper

"What a drag it is getting old
'Kids are different today,'
I hear ev'ry mother say
Mother needs something today to calm her down
And though she's not really ill
There's a little yellow pill
She goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day

'Things are different today,'
I hear ev'ry mother say
Cooking fresh food for a husband's just a drag
So she buys an instant cake and she burns her frozen steak
And goes running for the shelter of a mother's little helper
And two help her on her way, get her through her busy day"

----Mother's Little Helper, The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones: Mother's Little Helper

The Space Race: Gemini 10

July 18-21, 1966: Gemini 10

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Above: Gemini 10 Astronauts John W. Young and Michael Collins; Gemini 10 Agena Target Vehicle

Gemini 10

England Wins the 1966 World Cup

July 30, 1966: England won the 1966 World Cup.


Massacre at the University of Texas

August 1, 1966: Charles Whitman, a former U.S. Marine and then-student at the University of Texas in Austin, used an on-campus high-rise building as a shooting perch. From the tower, Whitman shot people at random. All total, during the day, Whitman murdered over a dozen people. It was one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

Above: The Tower at the University of Texas in Austin; Mass Murderer Charles Whitman on the cover of Time

The Beatles

August 5, 1966: The Beatles album Revolver was released.

Beatles, Revolver, 5 August 1966.jpg
Above: Album cover of Revolver, by The Beatles

The Opening of Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada

August 5, 1966:
Above: The Opening of Caesars Palace, August 5, 1966

"Caesars’ opening night, on August 5, 1966, made national news, with singer Andy Williams headlining."

The Last Concert of the Beatles

August 29, 1966: At Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, The Beatles performed live before a concert audience for the last time. As a band, however, The Beatles remained together until 1970, producing such iconic albums as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road.

Beatles Concert Ticket, 29 August 1966.jpg
Above: Ticket to the Beatles concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California

Death of Birth Control Advocate Margaret Sanger

September 6, 1966:

Above: Margaret Sanger in 1957

New York Times: Margaret Sanger Obituary

American Television and Science Fiction

September 8, 1966: On NBC, the science fiction TV series, Star Trek debuted. The original series of Star Trek ran for 3 seasons and ended in 1969.

But the cultural impact of Star Trek was deep, and the series lived on in syndication.

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Above: Star Trek characters Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk; The Starship Enterprise

The Space Race: Gemini 11

September 12-15, 1966: Gemini 11

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Above: Gemini 11 Astronauts Richard Gordon and Pete Conrad; The launch of Gemini 11

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Above: Gemini 11 and Agena tethered together

Penn State Head Football Coach Joe Paterno Wins First Game

September 17, 1966:

Above: Program for the September 17, 1966 football game between Penn State and Maryland

The Baltimore Orioles Win the 1966 World Series

October 9, 1966:

Above: Brooks Robinson and teammates of the Baltimore Orioles celebrate their victory; 1966 World Series programs, Orioles and Dodgers

1966 World Series: Baltimore Orioles vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Rise of the Black Panthers

October 15, 1966: The Black Panther Party was born in Oakland, California

Above left is the logo of the Black Panther Party. Above center are the six founders of the party. Above right are two armed Black Panthers.

The Creation of the U.S. Department of Transportation

October 16, 1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the legislation creating the U.S. Department of Transportation, legislation designed to coordinate and regulate the burgeoning and multi-faceted American modes of transportation.

Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson

LBJ Visited American Troops in South Vietnam

October 26, 1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson, during a series of visits to Asian nations, arrived in Cam Ranh Bay in South Vietnam, and spoke to American troops at a military base.

Above: Life cover, LBJ in Vietnam

LBJ's remarks in South Vietnam

Stokely Carmichael and the Black Power Movement

October 29, 1966: On the campus of the University of California-Berkeley, civil rights activist Stokely Carmichael spoke to an audience of several thousand. In this address, Carmichael articulated his view of Black Power.

Stokely Carmichael, Berkeley, 29 October 1966.jpg
Above: Stokely Carmichael speaking on the campus of the University of California-Berkeley

Stokely Carmichael's Speech at Cal-Berkeley

Above: Undated Black Power button

The 1966 Midterm Elections

November 8, 1966: Though the Democratic Party was able to retain control of both the House and Senate in the U.S. Congress, the Democrats did lose a large number of House seats, plus a few in the Senate. The Democrats, in turn, would continue to control the House of Representatives when Congress re-convened in early 1967, albeit with a tighter margin than in recent years.

Above: Time featuring victorious Republicans during the 1966 Midterm Elections

The Democratic Party had had majorities in both Congressional chambers since January 1955, majorities initially won in the 1954 Congressional elections. The Congressional Democrats would continue their domination until 1980 when the Republicans (during the Republican Ronald Reagan presidential landslide) won the U.S. Senate. The Republican Senate majority took over in January 1981. In the House of Representatives, the Democrats maintained majorities until losing the 1994 midterms. In January 1995, a Republican majority took over the House. The Republicans also regained the Senate as a result of the 1994 midterms.

The Civil Rights Movement and Alabama Politics

November 8, 1966: Lurleen Wallace (George Wallace's wife) elected Governor of Alabama

For the first time since Reconstruction, thanks to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, African-American voters widely participate in a statewide general election in Alabama. In another 1966 Alabama milestone, the voters elected Lurleen B. Wallace as the first female Governor of Alabama.

Above: Portrait of Governor Lurleen Wallace; Wallace campaign car tag

Ronald Reagan Elected Governor of California

November 8, 1966: In what proved to be a pivotal moment in the ideological development of the Republican Party, former actor Ronald Reagan defeated Governor Pat Brown in the 1966 California Gubernatorial Election. In doing so, Reagan succeeded in doing what Nixon had failed to do four years prior. Interestingly, both Nixon (1968) and Reagan (1980) would eventually win the White House, and be re-elected four years later with landslide margins, each winning 49 states.


In time, Reagan would largely replace Goldwater as the champion of the Republican right. Nixon, in the meantime, would begin making his own inroads into the American conservative political culture.

The Space Race: Gemini 12

November 11-15, 1966: American manned space mission, Gemini 12 successfully completed a series of in-orbit maneuvers before returning safely to the earth.
In particular, Astronauts Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin and Jim Lovell successfully docked the Gemini 12 space capsule to an unmanned Agena orbiting vehicle. They also tethered the Gemini 12 capsule to Agena. Buzz Aldrin conducted three spacewalks on this mission.

Gemini crewmen Jim Lovell and Buzz Aldrin would both go on continued fame and historical significance. Jim Lovell was a crew member on Apollo 8, the first manned mission to circumnavigate the moon. He also was a member of Apollo 13, the ill-fated Apollo mission that had to abandon its moon landing and make an emergency return to earth, a return that orbited the moon and made it safely back to earth. Buzz Aldrin was a crew member on Apollo 11, the manned mission in which men landed on and walked upon the surface of the moon. Aldrin, in turn, became the second man to set foot upon another world.

Gemini 12 successfully completed the Gemini Program. The Apollo program was next in line for the American effort to send men to the moon.

Gemini 12, Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell, Crew.jpgGemini 12, Agena tethered.jpgGemini-XII-Patch.png
Above: Gemini 12 crewmen Buzz Aldrin and Jim Lovell; Agena tethered to Gemini 12; Patch for Gemini 12

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Above: Buzz Aldrin Spacewalk

Above: Gemini XII view of Agena

Gemini XII

The Space Race: Luna 13

December 24, 1966: The Soviet unmanned lunar vehicle Luna 13 made a successful landing on the surface of the moon, and in short order, began transmitting photographs of the lunar landscape back to earth.

Luna 13 Vehicle.gif
Above: Model of the Luna 13

Luna 13

Time's 1966 Man of the Year: Twenty-Five and Under



The Dawn of the Hippies: The Human Be-In---A Gathering of the Tribes

January 14, 1967: At Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California, thousands congregated for The Human Be-In, A Gathering of the Tribes, a music and cultural event that signaled the dawn of the Hippie Movement.

Above: Poster for The Human Be-In, A Gathering of the Tribes; The crowd at the Human Be-In

Above: Beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg dancing; Timothy Leary (University of Alabama graduate), advocate of psychedelic drug usage, particularly LSD

"Turn on, tune in, drop out." ----Timothy Leary, January 14, 1967, The Human Be-In, San Francisco, California

PBS: The Year of the Hippie

The Human Be-In, January 14, 1967 New York Times Obituary: Timothy Leary

Super Bowl I: The Green Bay Packers of the NFL Defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the AFL, 35 to 10

January 15, 1967: For the first time, the champions of the National Football League played the champions of the American Football League, in Los Angeles, California, in a game that was later dubbed the Super Bowl. The NFL champions were the Green Bay Packers, and their opponents were the AFL champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Green Bay Packers were coached by Vince Lombardi. The Kansas City Chiefs were led by Hank Stram.

The Green Bay Packers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs, 35 to 10 in Super Bowl I. The game was nationally televised by two networks. Super Bowls II, III, and IV were played respectively after the 1967, 1968, and 1969 regular seasons. In 1970, the AFL was merged into the older National Football League (The NFL). Under the new arrangement, the champions of the National Football Conference and the American Football Conference played annually in the Super Bowl, a game usually played in January or early February. In time, the Super Bowl became the biggest event in American sports.

Above: Green Bay quarterback Bart Starr

The State of Alabama, and particularly the University of Alabama football program, provided important players at the quarterback position in the first three Super Bowls. Former Alabama quarterback Bart Starr started in Super Bowls I and II, winning both. Joe Namath, a former Alabama quarterback, guided the AFL's New York Jets to a victory in Super Bowl III.

Above: Green Bay Packers Head Coach Vince Lombardi

Tragedy in the U.S. Space Program: Three Astronauts Killed in Apollo I

January 27, 1967:

Above: Time cover memorializing the three U.S. astronauts killed in the Apollo 1 test

NASA: Apollo 1

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The Death of Henry Lucy, the Founder of Time, Life, and Other National Publications

February 28, 1967:

Above: Henry Luce on the cover of the March 10, 1967 issue of Time, the magazine he co-founded

New York Times: Henry Luce Obituary

"A man of missionary zeal and limitless curiosity, Henry Robinson Luce deeply influenced American journalism between 1923, when he and the late Briton Hadden founded Time The Weekly Newsmagazine, and 1964, when he retired as head of one of the world's largest and richest publishing empires.

Mr. Luce created the modern news magazine, fostered the development of group journalism, restyled pictorial reporting, encouraged a crisp and adjective-studded style of writing and initiated the concept of covering business as a continuing magazine story.

In the process, the tall, lean man with heavy eyebrows grew to be one of the nation's wealthiest men, rose to a position of vast and pervasive economic, political and social influence and helped shape the reading habits, political attitudes and cultural tastes of millions."

---New York Times, March 1, 1967

Martin Luther King Denounces the Vietnam War

April 4, 1967: At Riverside Church in New York City, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. voiced his opposition to the American involvement in the Vietnam War.

MLK, Riverside Church Speech, 4 April 1967.jpg
Above: Martin Luther King, Jr. denounces the American involvement in the Vietnam War.

The Women's Movement: Kathrine Switzer runs the Boston Marathon

April 19, 1967: Despite Roberta "Bobbi" Gibb's successful completion of the 1966, Boston Marathon, women were still not allowed to register officially in the race. Kathrine Switzer, however, registered as "K.V. Switzer" and registered to run in the race. She was granted the number 261.

While running, a race official named Jock Semple tried to remove Switzer from the race course by force. Switzer's boyfriend, however, knocked Semple away, and Switzer continued the race. She finished the 26.2 mile race.

The pictures of Switzer's ordeal with the race official garnered great publicity, and became a seminal moment in the development of women's athletics, particularly in re-adjusting the American public's sense of what women can do.

For the record, Jock Semple later reversed his position about women's participation in the Boston Marathon, and he helped oversee the expansion of the race to include women. Semple and Switzer, moreover, reconciled. Jock Semple died in 1988.

Above: Katherine Switzer being confronted by Jock Semple in the 1967 Boston Marathon

Dave Zirin: 2013 Article on the Boston Marathon

An Anthem for the Summer of Love

May 13, 1967: San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair), a single by Scott McKenzie, was released.

San Francisco became something of a hippie anthem in the so-called Summer of Love in 1967.

Above: Scott McKenzie; Street signs (undated photo) for the Haight-Ashbury District in San Francisco, the epicenter of San Francisco Hippie and counterculture life

The Anthem of the Summer of Love

The Beatles Produce a Masterpiece

June 1, 1967: The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was released


Above: Iconic Album Cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Above: Ringo Starr, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison

The Six Days' War

June 5, 1967 to June 10, 1967: The Six Days' War


Loving v. Virginia and the Freedom to Marry

June 12, 1967: In a unanimous decision, the United States Supreme Court, in Loving v. Virginia, declared Virginia's ban on interracial marriages to be unconstitutional.

Mildred and Richard Loving,  Virginia interracial couple, 1967.jpgMildred and Richard Loving, Embracing, 1967.jpg
Above: Mildred and Richard Loving, the Virginia interracial couple at the center of the Loving v. Virginia decision

Time Magazine article on Loving v. Virginia

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California Governor Ronald Reagan Signs Abortion Rights Bill Into Law

June 14, 1967:

The Monterey International Pop Festival

June 16-18, 1967:

The Dawn of the Summer of Love

June 21, 1967: In San Francisco, California, so-called Hippies celebrated the summer solstice, thus initiating a "Summer of Love."

Above: Hippies in celebration of the summer solstice at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, California; Time cover focusing on Hippie culture

Vanity Fair: The Summer of Love

Above: Dancing Hippies, unspecified date in 1967

"Whatever their meaning and wherever they may be headed, the hippies have emerged on the U.S. scene in about 18 months as a wholly new subculture, a bizarre permutation of the middle-class American ethos from which it evolved. Hippies preach altruism and mysticism, honesty, joy and nonviolence. They find an almost childish fascination in beads, blossoms and bells, blinding strobe lights and ear-shattering music, exotic clothing and erotic slogans. Their professed aim is nothing less than the subversion of Western society by 'flower power' and force of example.

Although that sounds like a pipe-dream, it conveys the unreality that permeates hippiedom, a cult whose mystique derives essentially from the influence of hallucinogenic drugs."

---Time, July 7, 1967 issue

Release of Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit

June 24, 1967: Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit was released as a single. Perhaps as much as any one record, White Rabbit exemplifies psychedelic sound and lyrics.


White Rabbit

"One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Alice, when she's ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call
To call Alice, when she was just small

When the men on the chessboard get up
And tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low
Go ask Alice, I think she'll know

When logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead
And the white knight is talking backwards
And the red queen's off with her head
Remember what the dormouse said
Feed your head,
Feed your head"

------White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane

All You Need is Love

June 25, 1967:

Above: Paul McCartney and John Lennon perform All You Need is Love

Newark, New Jersey Riots

July 12-17, 1967:

Above: National Guardsmen in Newark, New Jersey, July 14, 1967

Above: Debris on a Newark, New Jersey street

NPR: The July 1967 Newark Riots

New York Times: Newark Riots

Detroit Riots of 1967

July 23-28, 1967:

Above: Troops in the streets of Detroit; A riot-damaged Detroit neighborhood

Above: Looted store in Detroit; Time coverage of the Detroit Riots The Detroit, Michigan Riots of July 1967

The Death Dr. Gregory Pincus, One of the Key Creators of "The Pill"

August 22, 1967:

Above: Dr. Gregory Pincus, 1903-1967; April 1967 issue of Time featuring the phenomenon of "The Pill"

New York Times: Dr. Gregory Pincus Obituary

A Lyndon Johnson Appointment to the United States Supreme Court

October 2, 1967: After being nominated by President Lyndon B. Johnson, after being confirmed by the United States Senate, Thurgood Marshall became an Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court.

Thurgood Marshall was the first African American to serve on the United States Supreme Court. He became a significant liberal voice on the high court, and continued to serve until retiring in 1991.

Above: Thurgood Marshall in 1967

The Death of Che Guevara

October 9, 1967: Ernesto "Che" Guevara, while trying to develop a Marxist revolution in Bolivia, was captured and executed by Bolivian authorities. The Bolivian military conducted its operation against Che Guevara with the assistance of the American CIA.

Above: Che Guevara in an adaptation of the iconic Korda photograph; Che Guevara in captivity in Bolivia

Above: The body of Che Guevara after his execution

The St. Louis Cardinals Win the 1967 World Series

October 12, 1967:

Above: St. Louis players Lou Brock, Julian Javier and Bob Gibson celebrate their triumph over the Red Sox; 1967 World Series Programs, Cardinals and Red Sox

1967 World Series: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Boston Red Sox

Anti-War Protests and the Growing Opposition to U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War

October 21, 1967: Approximately 35,000 protesters against the Vietnam War voiced their opposition at the Pentagon, the headquarters of the U.S. military establishment.

Above: Protesters and Soldiers at the Pentagon; Time coverage of the anti-war protests in October 1967

50th Anniversary of the Russian Revolution

November 7, 1967:

Above: Cover of November 10, 1967 issue of Time

November 7, 1917: Bolsheviks Take Power

"Though the state was supposed to fade away in time, Russia has become the world's biggest bureaucratic nightmare; the state is omnipresent and oppressive, frustrating its citizens and slowing economic progress. Instead of a classless society devoted to the interests of the workers, Communism has spawned a new privileged caste of party members and bureaucrats whose style of life includes villas, limousines, maids and even special shops in which they can buy scarce Western luxuries. In Russia to day, the worker and peasant are still where they always were: at the bottom. When it comes to the economy, the regime is desperately struggling to free itself from the uncompromising bonds of its own doctrine."

---Time, November 10, 1967 issue

Apollo 4: The First Unmanned Flight of a Saturn V Rocket

November 9, 1967:

Above: Photo of Earth taken during unmanned Apollo 4 flight

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner

December 12, 1967: Guess Who's Coming To Dinner, a film about interracial romance and interracial marriage, was released in American movie theaters.

Above: Movie Poster for Guess Who's Coming To Dinner; Katharine Houghton and Sidney Poitier

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

And Here's to You, Mrs. Robinson: The Premiere of The Graduate

December 21, 1967: The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katherine Ross, was released. Doubts about the American Dream, middle class suburban life, and angst about the future were examined in poignant and humorous fashion.

Songs by Simon and Garfunkel (Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel) provide much of the score for the film.
Above: Movie poster of The Graduate

In many respects the film's main character, Benjamin Braddock (played by Dustin Hoffman) captures the doubts and emotional ambivalence felt by many Baby Boomers, in the mid and late 1960s, towards bourgeois life and social convention.

Like many Boomers of the post-WWII generation, Benjamin had been raised in material affluence. As the story commences, he has just graduated from college. He receives a 1966 Alfa Romeo sports car, a luxury he seemingly in which he only finds mild satisfaction. In short, he just really does not know what he wants to do with his life. Only late in the movie does he find the motivation to run away with Elaine Robinson, the daughter of his significantly older mistress (played by Anne Bancroft).

It is worth mentioning that, in terms of the Baby Boomer demographics, the fictional Benjamin Braddock (soon-to-be 21 in the movie) would have been born around 1946, the year considered by many as the dawn of the Baby Boom era.

Stuntman Evel Knievel Jumps the Fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada

December 31, 1967:

Above: Photos of Evel Knievel aboard a motorcycle jumping the fountains at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada, December 31, 1967

Time's 1967 Man of the Year: President Lyndon B. Johnson



Alexander Dubcek and the Dawn of the Prague Spring

January 5, 1968: In Czechoslovakia, reform-minded Alexander Dubcek was elected First Secretary of the Communist Party. The election of Dubcek was a pivotal moment in the rise of the so-called Prague Spring, a period of relative liberalization in which the Soviet-aligned regime moved in a less authoritarian direction.

Above: Alexander Dubcek in 1968; April 1968 issue of Time featuring Alexander Dubcek on the cover

The Rise of Alexander Dubcek and the Prague Spring

Super Bowl II: The Green Bay Packers of the NFL Defeated the Oakland Raiders of the AFL

January 14, 1968:

Above: Green Bay defender smothers the Oakland quarterback; A Victorious Vince Lombardi is carried off the field

Counterculture Goes Mainstream: The Debut of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In

January 22, 1968:

Above: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In; Dan Rowan and Dick Martin

Above: Goldie Hawn; A Laugh-In paperback; Goldie Hawn and Ruth Buzzi in a comedy sketch

Vietnam War: Start of the Tet Offensive

January 30, 1968: North Vietnam and the Vietcong launch the Tet Offensive, an initiative that failed militarily but helped to convince many Americans that the Vietnam war was un-winnable. The Tet Offensive, at least in its initial phase, lasted into February 1968.

Above: Map of South Vietnam showing areas under attack during the Tet Offensive; Time cover featuring North Vietnam's General Giap

Vietnam War: The Execution of Nguyen Van Lem Captured on Film

February 1, 1968:


George Wallace of Alabama Announces a Third Party Presidential Candidacy

February 8, 1968:

Above: Former Alabama Governor George C. Wallace announced his third party candidacy for President; Wallace 1968 campaign button

Timeline of 1968 Election

Political Earthquake in the Democratic Party: Eugene McCarthy Runs Strong Against LBJ in the 1968 New Hampshire Primary

March 12, 1968:

Above: Time coverage of the rise of Eugene McCarthy; U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy, Democrat from Minnesota

RFK Enters the 1968 Presidential Election

March 16, 1968: Senator Robert F. "Bobby" Kennedy announced that he would seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States.

In doing so RFK challenged Lyndon Johnson, the incumbent president, for the party's nomination. RFK, the former U.S. Attorney General and younger brother of the late John F. Kennedy, challenged LBJ over the Vietnam War. Though he was an early supporter of the U.S. effort in Vietnam--and had even contributed to its escalation--RFK had changed his mind by 1968.

Above: U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York

Timeline of 1968 Election

LBJ Withdraws from the 1968 Election

March 31, 1968: President Lyndon B. Johnson, during a live television address, announces to the American people that he will not seek re-election for another presidential term. LBJ served out the remainder of his elected term, a term that ended on January 20, 1969.

Above: LBJ announces that he will not seek re-election in 1968; Time cover capturing LBJ's sorrow

Timeline of the 1968 Election

The Premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey

April 2, 1968:

Above: Movie poster for 2001: A Space Odyssey

The Release of Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends

April 3, 1968:

Above: Album cover for Simon & Garfunkel's Bookends, a work that was released the day prior to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King's Last Speech

April 3, 1968: At a rally in Memphis, Tennessee, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made a speech in which he noted that, as a people, African-Americans would make it to the "Promised Land." Noting that he might not make it with them, King metaphorically claimed that he had been to the top of the mountain, and had looked over into the Promised Land.

King had less than 24 hours to live, and would never see his 40th birthday. The next day, in the late afternoon, a white supremacist with a hunting rifle gunned him down.

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Above: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gives what proves to be the final public speech of his life.

The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 4,1968: Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. James Earl Ray, a career criminal and white supremacist, used a rifle and fired from a nearby boarding house, shooting Dr. King as a stood outside his motel room. The shot hit King in the chin and neck. He died quickly.

James Earl Ray initially escaped and fled the country. But authorities found evidence linking Ray to the crime, and in June 1968, he was arrested in Great Britain.

martin-luther-king-assasination-1.jpgMLK 1929-1968 , Life Magazine Cover, 12 April 1968 .jpg
Above: Moments after the shot, MLK is on his back, dead or dying. Members of his entourage point towards a possible location from where the shot came; Cover of Life memorializing MLK in the April 12, 1968 issue.

Above: FBI Most Wanted document featuring mugshot photos of James Earl Ray, the man who assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr.

RFK's Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

April 4, 1968: While campaigning in Indianapolis, Indiana, Senator Robert F. Kennedy announced to crowd that Dr. Martin Luther King had been shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee. RFK proceeded to urge the public for peace and calm. He further called for racial healing in the United States.

Robert Kennedy would live only another two months, falling victim--like JFK and King--to a gun-wielding assassin.


The Daily Beast: RFK's Finest Hour NPR: Bobby Kennedy's Announcement of the Death of MLK

"What we need in the United States is not division; what we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness, but is love and wisdom, and compassion toward one another, and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.

So I ask you tonight to return home, to say a prayer for the family of Martin Luther King, yeah that's true, but more importantly to say a prayer for our own country, which all of us love - a prayer for understanding and that compassion of which I spoke. We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past. And we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world."

----Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Indianapolis, Indiana, responding to the news of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Fair Housing Act of 1968

April 11, 1968: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed The Fair Housing Act of 1968 (a part of a larger civil rights bill) into law.

Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Fair Housing Act of 1968; LBJ

The Death of Alabama Governor Lurleen Wallace

May 7, 1968: After a prolonged battle against cancer, Governor Lurleen B. Wallace died.

Above: Alabama Governor Lurleen B. Wallace

The Assassination of RFK

June 5-6, 1968: Senator Robert F. Kennedy, shortly after celebrating his victory in the California Democratic Primary, was shot in the head at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. He died the next day, June 6, 1968.

Above: Robert F. Kennedy (1925-1968); RFK suffering from gunshot wounds on a kitchen floor in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California

Above: Bobby Kennedy as portrayed by Time just days before his assassination; RFK as memorialized by Time in the days after his death.

Above: Mugshot of Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Senator Robert F. Kennedy

The Funeral of Senator Robert F. Kennedy

June 8, 1968:

Above: Ethel Kennedy (RFK's widow) and Senator Ted Kennedy (RFK's sole surviving brother); Senator Kennedy eulogizing RFK

Ted Kennedy's Tribute to RFK

"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.

Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.

As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:

'Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not.'"

---Senator Edward "Ted" Kennedy, Brother of Robert F. Kennedy, June 8, 1968

Premiere of The Green Berets, Starring John Wayne

July 4, 1968: The Green Berets, starring John Wayne premiered in the United States. A film in which John Wayne played a significant role in the production of the film beyond just acting, the film possessed a decidedly supportive perspective of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam conflict.

Above: Movie poster for The Green Berets

Critique of "The Green Berets," a Film Staunchly Supportive of American Involvement in the Vietnam War

The Catholic Church and its Prohibition Against Contraceptive Birth Control

July 25, 1968: Pope Paul VI issued Humanae Vitae, a Papal Encyclical re-affirming the traditional Catholic teachings against contraception (i.e. most forms of birth control) and abortion. In short, Pope Paul VI re-affirmed Catholic prohibitions against artificial contraception and abortion.

Humanae Vitae ignited a firestorm of controversy throughout the Catholic world, despite the fact that Paul VI had largely re-issued a statement of what the Church had traditionally taught for years on matters of birth control and abortion.


Above: A November 1968 cover of Time, an issue that explored the Catholic controversy over contraceptive birth control

Humanae Vitae 40 Years Later: Humanae Vitae Vindicated?

1968 Republican Convention in Miami

August 5-8, 1968: Meeting in Miami, Florida, the Republican Party nominated Richard M. Nixon as its presidential nominee for the 1968 election. They chose Spiro Agnew of Maryland as its vice presidential nominee.

Above: Time cover showing the Nixon-Agnew Republican Ticket; Life cover with the 1968 GOP ticket

Soviet and Warsaw Pact Forces Invade Czechoslovakia

August 20-21, 1968: Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces invaded Czechoslovakia in order to suppress the political and social liberalization that had occurred during the period known as the Prague Spring. The Soviets were successful in restoring hardline rule. But the Soviet crackdown also demonstrated that the revolutionary fervor associated with Marxist-Leninism had significantly declined in a Communist bloc nation.

Above: A crowd in Prague climbs on Soviet military vehicles; Time cover regarding the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia

Soviet Invasion of Czechoslovakia NPR: The Prague Spring and its Legacy

1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago

August 26-29, 1968: The Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.


To a degree, the 1968 National Convention of the Democratic Party embodied the unravelling of the Franklin D. Roosevelt electoral coalition.

Above: The Humphrey-Muskie 1968 Democratic Ticket

Street Fighting Man by The Rolling Stones

August 31, 1968: In the United States, The Rolling Stones single, Street Fighting Man was released.

Above: Record cover for The Rolling Stones single, Street Fighting Man

"Hey! Said my name is called disturbance
I'll shout and scream, I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants
Well, what can a poor boy do
Except to sing for a rock 'n' roll band
'Cause in sleepy London town
There's no place for a street fighting man"

-----Street Fighting Man, The Rolling Stones

Culture War: Feminist Protest Against the 1968 Miss America Pageant

September 7, 1968: In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Feminist activists protested the Miss America Pageant, denouncing it as sexist and racist.

Above: Feminists protesting the 1968 Miss America Pageant; Button with Women's Liberation symbol (undated)

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Sock it to me: Richard Nixon Appears on Laugh-In

September 16, 1968:

Above: On NBC's Laugh-In, not-too-hip Republican presidential nominee Richard M. Nixon delivers the show's signature line, "Sock it to me!"

George Wallace Chooses General Curtis LeMay as his vice presidential running mate

October 3, 1968:

Above: Wallace-LeMay campaign button; Wallace and LeMay caricatured on the cover of Time

The Detroit Tigers Win the 1968 World Series

October 10, 1968:

Above: 1968 World Series Program in Detroit; St. Louis Cardinals program

1968 World Series: Detroit Tigers vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Apollo 7: Manned Test Flight of a Saturn V Rocket

October 11-22, 1968:

Tommie Smith and John Carlos Bring Black Protest to the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City

October 16, 1968: At the Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, two American medalists in a track and field event, made the Black Power Salute in solidarity with the Black Freedom Movement in the United States.

Both Smith and Carlos hailed from San Jose State University in California.

Above: Two American Olympic medalists, Tommie Smith (right fist raised) and John Carlos (left fist raised), make the Black Power Salute

Smithsonian: Tommie Smith and John Carlos

The Gun Control Act of 1968

October 22, 1968: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Gun Control Act of 1968 into law.

Above: A June 1968 cover of Time; President Lyndon B. Johnson

LBJ Remarks about the Gun Control Act of 1968

George Wallace spoke at Madison Square Garden in New York City

October 24, 1968: Third party presidential candidate George C. Wallace conducted a campaign rally at Madison Square Garden, and spoke before a large audience.

Above: George C. Wallace

Article from The Village Voice on the Wallace Rally of October 24, 1968

"About 13,000 of the folks showed up at Madison Square Garden last Thursday evening to stomp, hoot, and holler for the man who holds the key to their hearts. And the Garden was a perfect setting. On other nights below in the dressing rooms young fighters' legs have grown old and aging pugs' stomachs have turned sour with fear when it was their time to walk through the dark chilled tunnel that leads to the main arena. And fear was what this evening was all about. Fear that was so diverse it came in legions. Black fear, hair fear, press card fear, busing fear, guideline fear, and endless other fears that make up the litany of right in America today. And the little man behind his bullet proof podium epitomized their anxieties."

---Joe Flaherty, The Village Voice, October 31, 1968

Release of Marvin Gaye's I Heard it Through the Grapevine

October 30, 1968:


1968 Presidential Election

November 5, 1968: Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon won the Presidential Election of 1968.

Above: From left to right, Republican Richard M. Nixon, Democrat Hubert H. Humphrey, and American Independent George C. Wallace

Above: The 1968 presidential electoral map; President-Elect Richard M. Nixon

Beggars Banquet, The Rolling Stones

December 6, 1968: Beggars Banquet, an album by The Rolling Stones, was released.

Above: Original album cover of Beggars Banquet

"I stuck around at St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a-time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, ah yeah

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
I shouted out,
'Who killed the Kennedys?'
When after all
It was you and me"

---Sympathy For The Devil, a signature song from Beggars Banquet

Apollo 8: Liberalism's Final Triumph in the Kennedy-Johnson Era (1961-1969)

December 21, 1968: Apollo 8 launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida en route to orbit around the moon.

Above: Time cover illustrating the American-Soviet Moon Race; The launch of Apollo 8

Apollo 8 and the First Human Circumnavigation of the Moon

December 24, 1968: In Apollo 8, human beings, for the first time, orbited around the moon.

Above: Earthrise, an Iconic Photo taken of the Earth with the Moon in the foreground. Photo taken during Apollo 8, Dec 24, 1968.

Apollo 8 was the first manned circumnavigation of the moon. The three American astronauts who made the journey achieved a landmark moment in human history.

Never before had human beings left the gravitational dominance of earth, entered into deep space, and orbited another world. Apollo 8 did those things, and a few months later (July 1969), human beings would walk on the surface of the moon.

Above: New York Times Christmas 1968 headlines; The Apollo 8 insignia

CBS News: How "Earthrise" Changed the World

The Return of Apollo 8

December 27, 1968: Apollo 8 returned safely to the earth.

Above: The Apollo 8 crew safely aboard USS Yorktown; The Apollo 8 command module being hauled aboard the Yorktown

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Above: President Lyndon B. Johnson and the Apollo 8 Astronauts days after the return of the crew

Time's 1968 Men of the Year: Anders, Borman, and Lovell (The Apollo 8 Astronauts)



Super Bowl III: The New York Jets of the AFL Defeated the Baltimore Colts of the NFL

January 12, 1969: In Super Bowl III, former Alabama quarterback Joe Namath and the New York Jets stunned the world by beating the Baltimore Colts in the Super Bowl.

Above: Joe Namath in action during Super Bowl III; Joe Namath leaving the field after the Super Bowl

Namath's Super Bowl triumph had ramifications far beyond the fortunes of the New York Jets. In defeating the heavily-favored Colts, the Jets proved the viability of the upstart American Football League. In 1970, the National Football League and the AFL merged into a larger and more powerful NFL. In the wake of Namath and the Jet's upset of the Colts, the Super Bowl has grown to become the biggest sporting event in the United States.

The Presidency of Richard M. Nixon

January 20, 1969: Richard M. Nixon became President of the United States

Richard M. Nixon (Republican), 37th American President.
Years in Office: 1969-1974
Above: President Richard M. Nixon; Nixon Library photo of Richard M. Nixon taking the presidential oath of office, January 20, 1969

January 20, 1969: Richard Nixon (Republican) became President of the United States. He won the 1968 Presidential Election. In 1972, he won re-election in a landslide. He served only part of his second term due to the Watergate scandal.

The Sino-Soviet Split: Border War Between the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union

March 2, 1969: The Sino-Soviet Border War Began, March 2, 1969

John and Yoko's Bed-In for Peace

March 25, 1969: In a politically-charged honeymoon, Beatle John Lennon and his new wife Yoko Ono staged an in-bed protest against the Vietnam War. The event was dubbed a Bed-In. The Bed-in was held at the Amsterdam Hilton in The Netherlands. On March 31, 1969, the Bed-in ended.

John and Yoko's Bed-in was a media sensation later immortalized in the Beatles song, The Ballad of John and Yoko.

Above: John Lennon and Yoko Ono having a Bed-In at the Amsterdam Hilton; Record cover for The Ballad of John and Yoko, a single released by The Beatles on May 30, 1969

"Drove from Paris to the Amsterdam Hilton
Talking in our beds for a week
The newspapers said, 'Say what you doing in bed?'
I said, 'We're only trying to get us some peace

Christ you know it ain't easy
You know how hard it can be
The way things are going
They're going to crucify me"

------------- The Ballad of John and Yoko by The Beatles

The Death of Dwight D. Eisenhower

March 28, 1969: Former President Dwight D. Eisenhower died at Walter Reed Hospital win Washington, D.C.

Above: Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1890-1969

The Death of Eisenhower

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The Battle of Hamburger Hill

May 10-20, 1969:

Above: The top of Hamburger Hill, after the battle

Apollo X Launched

May 18, 1969:


Smithsonian: Apollo X Apollo X, May 18, 1969 to May 26, 1969

The Debut of Midnight Cowboy

May 25, 1969: Midnight Cowboy, a film starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, debuted in movie theaters. Midnight Cowboy went on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Above: Poster for Midnight Cowboy

Apollo X Splashdown

May 26, 1969:


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Hillary Rodham's Commencement Speech at Wellesley College

May 31, 1969:

Above: Hillary Rodham--future First Lady, U.S. Senator, and U.S. Secretary of State---Wellesley College Class of 1969

Above: Hillary Rodham high school portrait; Rodham c. 1967

Hillary Rodham's Commencement Speech Encyclopedia of Arkansas: Hillary Rodham Clinton, b. 1947 A Witness to Hillary Rodham's Speech Transcript of Hillary Rodham's Commencement Speech

"The question about possible and impossible was one that we brought with us to Wellesley four years ago. We arrived not yet knowing what was not possible. Consequently, we expected a lot. Our attitudes are easily understood having grown up, having come to consciousness in the first five years of this decade -- years dominated by men with dreams, men in the civil rights movement, the Peace Corps, the space program -- so we arrived at Wellesley and we found, as all of us have found, that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn't a discouraging gap and it didn't turn us into cynical, bitter old women at the age of 18. It just inspired us to do something about that gap. What we did is often difficult for some people to understand."

---Hillary Rodham, Wellesley College Commencement Speech, May 31, 1969

Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court

June 23, 1969: After being appointed by President Richard M. Nixon, and after being confirmed by the United States Senate, Warren E. Burger became the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He continued to serve as Chief Justice until 1986.

Above: Chief Justice Warren E. Burger

The Stonewall Riots

June 28-29, 1969: In the Greenwich Village area of New York City, patrons at the Stonewall Inn (a gay bar) clashed with law enforcement during a police raid. The protests continued into the next day. Some commentators view the so-called Stonewall Riots as the milestone moment that launched the gay rights movement.

Above: The Stonewall Inn, Greenwich Village, New York City

The Death of a Rolling Stone: Brian Jones

July 3, 1969:

Above: Brian Jones, 1942-1969

Richard Nixon's Anti-Drug Message to Congress

July 14, 1969: In a special message to Congress, President Richard M. Nixon announced initiatives to combat the increase of illegal drug use and trafficking.

Above: President Richard M. Nixon (1970 photo)

Richard Nixon's Anti-Drug Message to Congress, July 14, 1969

NPR: Timeline of America's War on Drugs

The Premiere of Easy Rider, an iconic movie of 60s counterculture

July 14, 1969: Easy Rider, the iconic film capturing some of the counterculture mood of the 1960s, debuted.

Above: Film poster for Easy Rider, starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Jack Nicholson


The Launch of Apollo 11

July 16, 1969: The crew of Apollo 11, aboard a Saturn V rocket, blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center en route to the moon. Four days later, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first human beings to land upon and walk upon another world.

Above: Apollo 11: climbs from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida en route to earth's orbit, and then the moon; At right is a portrait of the Apollo 11 crew. Neil Armstrong is at left, Michael Collins at center, and Buzz Aldrin at right.

The Chappaquiddick Scandal

July 18-19, 1969: Senator Edward "Teddy" Kennedy of Massachusetts, the youngest brother of the John and Robert Kennedy, while driving on Chappaquiddick Island after a party, lost control of his car on a small bridge and crashed in the water below. In the car with him was Mary Jo Kopechne, a young woman and former staffer to Robert F. Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy was able to escape from the car. Tragically, Mary Jo Kopechne drowned in Ted Kennedy's submerged car. The accident occurred on the 18th. Kopechne's body was recovered on the 19th.

Senator Kennedy's conduct came under quick scrutiny by both the press and law enforcement. Eventually, Kennedy admitted to leaving the scene of the accident, apologized for his conduct, and pled guilty to charges of similar fashion.

Prior to Chappaquiddick, Teddy Kennedy was considered to be a potential presidential candidate in 1972 and/or 1976. In both of those elections, he opted not to run. In 1980, though, he unsuccessfully challenged President Jimmy Carter for the Democratic nomination. That proved to be Teddy Kennedy's only presidential run.

Kennedy did, however, remain in his U.S. Senate seat, repeatedly winning re-election, and serving in the Senate until his death on August 25, 2009.

During his years as a U.S. Senator (1962-2009), Edward M. Kennedy became a champion of liberal causes, and a frequent force in the shaping of congressional legislation.

But the Chappaquiddick scandal played an important role in making Teddy Kennedy a lightning rod of controversy. For years, Kennedy's enemies seemingly never tired of making reference to Chappaquiddick.

In the 2008 election cycle, in an act of some political gravity, Kennedy gave an early endorsement of Senator Barack Obama's presidential candidacy at a point when Obama was considered an underdog for the Democratic nomination. Kennedy was later diagnosed with brain cancer, but did live to see Obama both elected and inaugurated as President.

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Above: Mary Jo Kopechne; Senator Edward M. Kennedy; Ted Kennedy's car being recovered at Chappaquiddick

Above: Time coverage of Chappaquiddick

Apollo 11: Man Walks on the Moon

July 20, 1969: In a signature moment in human history, NASA Astronaut Neil Armstrong departed the Eagle lunar landing vehicle and walked on the surface of the Moon. Shortly after, Buzz Aldrin became the second man to walk on another world.

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Above: American Lunar Module descent of Apollo 11; Buzz Aldrin walks on the Moon.

American astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on the moon. Buzz Aldrin became the second, minutes after Armstrong made his "giant leap for mankind." Buzz Aldrin is pictured on the right. From July 1969 until December 1972, astronauts from Apollo 11, Apollo 12, Apollo 14, Apollo 15, Apollo 16, and Apollo 17 landed and walked on moon. As of 2012, no one has done so again.

The Counterculture's Apogee: Woodstock

August 15-18, 1969: In upstate New York, thousand gathered for what came to be known as Woodstock, a music festival that signaled an apogee of Hippie countercultural influence. For three days or so, the Woodstock event was a confluence of music, drugs, self-expression, and sex. As much as any single event of 1969, Woodstock seemed to embody and personify the countercultural tide that had been building since the mid-60s, if not before.

Perhaps Woodstock was also the event when Hippie counterculture crested.


Hurricane Camille Devastates the Mississippi Gulf Coast

August 17, 1969:

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Ronald Reagan and the Rise of No-Fault Divorce

September 4, 1969: Governor Ronald Reagan (Republican) of California signed into law no-fault divorce legislation.