The 60’s has its share of progress that has affected the lives of people today. Advancements in the field of science and medicine have led to many lives saved and enjoying longer, healthier lives. Here are just some of them.
The decade has shown different advances in the field of medicine. There were advances in vascular surgery, the methods in operating on veins, arteries and most especially the heart. There was also a advances in neurosurgery which involves better the development of techniques in brain and spinal cord operations. Medical science also improved in the field of organ transplants during the 60’s. It was during this decade that the first heart transplant was successfully done. The development of roller pump by Michael DeBakery in the 60’s has made open heart surgery possible. And also, certain advancements in chemotherapy also led to better and more effective ways in fighting cancer.
There are also notable discoveries in the 60’s that has helped contribute to a better way of life today. It was during the 60’s that scientists discover that Thalidomide, the common drug used to treat morning sickness in pregnant women, also caused birth defects in women who use them. Studies is smoking during the 60’s revealed that the habit increased the risk of developing lung and stomach cancer. Scientists were also able to develop anti-virus vaccines that led to better treatments of viral infections among many people.
Every decade is known to have its own distinctive identity. It can come from different sources. One of them is through fashion. Each decade of fashion usually comes with its own distinctive flavor. There are certain trends that took off and became popular with the rest of the world. Here are some of them that came out quite fittingly in the 1960’s.
Tie Dye Shirts
Those psychedelic colored t-shirts with round swirls for designs became popular during the 60’s. the concept behind it is that dye will only penetrate loose fabric. This is a simple yet interesting way to create designs with fabrics. This process has been known as the tie dye and has been an ancient art craft of dyeing. The hippies of the 60’s simply revived the craft and it took off and became a part of the 60’s trend.
With the civil rights movement focusing on African Americans during the 60’s, the Afro look also became the hairdo of choice. It became a popular and trendy look for many people during this decade. Even the girls chose the Afro as it became popular and was not just limited to the boys.
Bellbottoms also became a popular style during the 60’s. The pants with the wide-legged bottom became a fashion statement during this decade when celebrities like Elvis Presley, Sonny and Cher wore it. Soon the hippie crowd followed on the trend and it became a fashion fixture even until the next decade, the 1970’s.
When it comes to automobiles, nothing defines the 1960’s more than the Ford Mustang. An icon in design, the Ford Mustang is one of those automobiles that people can recognize when they see it. The car was first introduced into the market in 1964. It was the first automobile that introduced a new pony car class in the market, which characterized the new affordable and highly-stylized compact cars with that sporty look.
The initial design for the Ford Mustang was chosen from a design competition held within the different departments of Ford. Eventually, the winning design came from the team of Lincoln-Mercury design studio. Development of the car only took two years from design to introduction into the market, considered as fast for a new car model. In order to do that as well as cut developmental costs, Ford used some of the Mustang’s components from existing car models such as the Falcon and the Fairlane.
At the time it was introduced, the Ford Mustang became quite in demand based on its sleek design and affordable pricing. Although the first Mustang model was designed as a compact car, its popularity soon led to design improvements that made it bigger and better in terms of performance. For the class if cars it introduced, the Ford Mustang brought in other car manufacturers to design and build their own version of the pony car. But nothing did better in the 1960’s than the Ford Mustang. It eventually became somewhat of a symbol to signify cars during the 1960’s.
If ever there was anything that can define the 60’s, it was all about the struggle to become free, equal, and one. People were yearning to be as one in the face of problems, discrimination, war, and self-serving politics. They have longed for peace and solidarity. And if ever there was one thing that enabled the people to become free and at peace during those troubled times of the 60’s, it came at the conclusion of the wild decade. It was during the Woodstock music festival.
The Woodstock music festival happened from August 15 to 17, 1969. Despite its name, which was after the festival’s original venue, it relocated into a dairy farm in the town of Bethel, when the local residents shot down the idea of the festival in their area.
The Woodstock music festival was organized initially as a profit-making venture. But due to the influx of attendees that numbered around 400,000 along with a series of mishaps and venue changes, it was eventually made into a free concert. The organizers were not able to cope up with such a large crowd. The music festival lasted four days with different singers and bands brought in to play. Among the most notable included Creedence Clearwater Revival, Janis Joplin, The Who, The Grateful Dead, and Jimi Hendrix, among many others.
The Woodstock music festival was significant in that it became a defining moment in the history of rock and roll and the emergence of the hippie counterculture. It was also noted for being a relatively peaceful and harmonious music festival despite its huge attendance of around 400,000 people and all the possibilities of accidents, disasters, looting, riots and a catastrophe waiting to happen. In the end there was social harmony with the attendees meeting together just to enjoy the experience and the music.
The 60’s was really an exciting period. It was a time that helped define the world as we know it today. Different things have happened during this decade that has influenced the way people lived today. For some younger people today, it may be a forgotten decade that they no longer know about. But there are certain images and icons that persist even today that were part of this decade. One of them in the universal peace symbol.
While many people can still identify the universal peace symbol quite well today, not a lot may know about its history. What they know is that it became a symbol of the peace movement that came out during the 60’s. But only a few know about its origins.
The peace symbol that became popular during the 60’s was the logo for the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament or CND, a UK movement that was founded sometime in 1957. Its objective was for a unilateral nuclear disarmament in order to avoid countries going into a possible nuclear war. It was at a time when different nations were starting to harness the power of nuclear energy and the stockpiling nuclear weapons for defense, notably by Russia and USA. This activity has placed the world always in a constant concern of an impending nuclear war that can happen at any time. The movement aimed to avoid this by initially urging the English government to ban nuclear weapons.
The CND adopted the popular symbol for their movement in 1958. It was designed by Gerald Herbert Holtom, who was then a member of the Direct Action Committee against Nuclear War which supported the CND. The symbol was based on the naval code of semaphore positions, which stand for the letters “N” and “D” for “Nuclear Disarmament”. The symbol was first used during the initial marches done in opposition to the production of nuclear armaments in the UK in 1958.
Eventually, the CND’s logo was embraced by other peace movements who were against the war in Vietnam during the 60’s. Since the logo was not copyrighted, it became popular as an international peace symbol that is used even today.
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.