While the threat of a nuclear war has scared a lot of people since the second world war, it wasn’t until the early 1960’s that concern for a nuclear fallout as a result of possible war that people started to think about fallout shelters. These are shelters that aim to protect families and other people from imminent danger in case of a nuclear war. They are usually built underground and with thick walls that can protect those inside from radiation in the event of a nuclear blast. The bunker can also hold items and rations that will allow people to survive in case a nuclear war do happen.
Such concerns were at its height during the presidency of John Kennedy at the beginning of the 60’s. there were situations such as the building of the Berlin Wall as well as the Bay of Pigs incident in Cuba that made people increasingly scared of an imminent threat of a nuclear war with other countries like the USSR. People started to build up nuclear fallout shelters in their backyard to prepare for such incidents. This continued until the mid 1960’s with the tension between the US and the USSR wasn’t simmering down. The uncertainties let to paranoia that in turn led to the popularity of the nuclear fallout shelters.
But then by the mid-60’s, arms control talks between nuclear superpowers were conducted, which released some of the tension. It further eased when the limited nuclear test ban proceeded. People heaved a sigh of relief that by the end of the 60’s, the nuclear fallout shelters began to lose appeal as people had hope for peace in the world.
Just as the 1960’s arrived, the Space Race have already begun between two superpowers of the world, the USA and the Soviet Union. It was a competition between to rivals for future supremacy in space. It was only after the war that the capability for space flight has become possible. Technology advances in rocket science has allowed the creation of rockets capable of reaching outer space. Both the USA and the Soviet Union engaged in a silent competition on who will be the first nation to usher the rest of the world into the space age. And it seems that the Soviet Union was able to get that distinction.
The space race actually started at around the time in August of 1955 when the US declared its intention of launching an artificial satellite into space. The Soviet Union announced shortly after that it will be doing the same. The Soviets was able to beat the Americans in launching the very first artificial satellite into space. In 1957, the Soviets successfully sent the very first artificial satellite, the Sputnik I, into space and orbit the Earth for the first time. With the launch of the Sputnik I into space, the race for space supremacy has began.
The Soviets were on a roll after sending out the first artificial satellite into space. But they moved on to do something even more impressive- sending the first human into space. In April of 1961, the Soviets were successful in launching the first human, Yuri Gagarin, into space. With two firsts under their belt, the Soviets were really on a roll.
But despite that, the Americans were keen on doing something that their fellow superpower from the East has not yet done. Plans on making a manned space flight to the moon was encouraged by then US President Kennedy in order to overtake the Soviet Union’s dominance in space. With renewed focus on being the first country to send a manned spacecraft to land on the moon, the Americans took advantage of technology advances in order to further improve on piloted spaceflight. The Gemini missions helped the Americans prepare for the eventual plan to land the first human on the moon. It was during the Apollo missions that prepared the Americans for the trip to land astronauts on the moon. It took the Apollo 11 mission on July 21, 1969 for the Americans to successfully land the first humans on the moon. Astronaut Neil Armstrong was credited as the first to set foot on the moon surface. This allowed the US to win the race to the moon. Several other manned trips to the lunar surface was made until 1972. Surprisingly, not a single manned lunar landing was made ever since.
It is safe to say that the 1960’s can be considered as one of the tumultuous decades ever. Aside from the rapid growth and progress as a result of the post-war boom, it was also the decade where this boom slowly waned. There were also several historical events that introduced many changes in US society. The 1960’s Civil Rights Movement was one of them.
The civil rights movement in the 60’s focused on the struggles of African Americans against discrimination and acceptance in US society as citizens of the land as provided for in the US constitution. The movement was seeking an end to racial segregation, which was still in effect in many US states, notably in the South. The movement started around 1957 but it was during the 60’s that the movement grew with increasing activity.
The movement was characterized by several major campaigns of resistance in order to help encourage dialogue and discussions regarding the bourgeoning African American civil rights. Several instances of civil disobedience and nonviolent protests resulted in several crisis situations that prompted parties from both sides to engage in dialogue and talk about the issues surrounding the plight of African Americans. Starting from the desegregation of schools, the movement slowly went on to take more serious issues regarding race such as voting, citizenship, and integration into the modern US society. The movement was asserting itself a lot that the decade eventually led to the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and that of 1968. The movement started to weaken around 1968 when internal alliances within the movement started to fray due to groups starting to focus on different objectives rather than working together for the common good. But the movement did achieve many important milestones during this period that has eventually allowed African American citizens to enjoy the same freedom and rights as white Americans.
Although some from the younger generations may mistake it for something involving war, the British Invasion of the 60’s is anything but that. It did not involve the military or the conquest of countries in the name of the British crown. It is better known as the time when British bands and other pop acts took the US public by storm and became part of the American musical consciousness during the mid-60’s.
During the late 1950’s the rebellious image and flavor of US rock and roll and blues music reached UK shores and captured the imagination of the British youth. Many British bands tried to emulate and also combine the American musical styles with British music. Although the initial attempts failed, the process gradually evolved until this combined brand of musical style began to top the music charts.
On the other side of the pond, US youths are growing tired of the pop acts that pervade during that time. Many were slowly opening up to the music coming from the UK, starting in the early 1960’s. But it wasn’t until The Beatles visited the US that the invasion started.
The early 60’s launched the careers of the phenomenal UK band The Beatles. When it was formed in 1960 by John Lennon together with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr. By 1962, the band had become the most popular pop act in the UK. Their popularity spread in 1963 when US media outlets began to report about the pop craze that is taking UK by storm. Soon enough, Beatlemania was taking over the airwaves. American teens were trying to get hold of Beatle albums, which were not yet made available in the US.
Other British Bands Followed
The high demand eventually caught the attention of other British acts and were soon also heading to the US as part of the invasion. British bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Dave Clark Five and the Yardbirds soon became known in the US music scene. There was a time in 1965 at the height of the British invasion that the weekly Top 10 was dominated by British acts. This dominance went on until 1967 when the invasion somehow slowly waned in favor of a worldwide rock music style that has begun to get some traction.