Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 7 years ago

What were the personalities of Americans in the 1960's?

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  • 7 years ago
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    The sixties were the age of youth, as 70 million children from the post-war baby boom became teenagers and young adults. The movement away from the conservative fifties continued and eventually resulted in revolutionary ways of thinking and real change in the cultural fabric of American life. No longer content to be images of the generation ahead of them, young people wanted change. The changes affected education, values, lifestyles, laws, and entertainment. Many of the revolutionary ideas which began in the sixties are continuing to evolve today.

    The Civil Rights movement made great changes in society in the 1960's. The movement began peacefully, with Martin Luther King and Stokely Carmichael leading sit-ins and peaceful protests, joined by whites, particularly Jews. Malcolm X preached about Black Nationalism. After his assassination, the Black Panthers were formed to continue his mission. In 1965, the Watts riots broke out in Los Angeles. The term "blacks" became socially acceptable, replacing "Negroes."

    The number of Hispanic Americans tripled during the decade and became recognized as an oppressed minority. Cesar Chavez organized Hispanics in the United Farm Workers Association. American Indians, facing unemployment rates of 50% and a life expectancy only two-thirds that of whites, began to assert themselves in the courts and in violent protests.

    The Presidential Commission of the Status of Women (1963) presented disturbing facts about women's place in our society. Betty Friedan, Pauli Murray and Gloria Steinem, (National Organization for Women) questioned the unequal treatment of women, gave birth to Women's Lib, and disclosed the "glass ceiling." The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was amended to include gender. The birth control pill became widely available and abortion for cause was legalized in Colorado in 1967. In 1967, both abortion and artificial insemination became legal in some states.

    The Supreme Court decided in Engel v. Vitale, 370 U.S. 421, 1962, that prayer in the public schools was unconstitutional. As the 1960's progressed, many young people turned from mainstream Protestant religions to mystic eastern religions such as Transcendental Meditation (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi) or Zen Buddhism. Respect for authority declined among the youth, and crime rates soared to nine times the rate of the 1950's. Marijuana use soared. Well known Harvard psychologist Timothy Leary encouraged the use of LSD as a mind-opening drug. The hippie movement endorsed drugs, rock music, mystic religions and sexual freedom. They opposed violence. The Woodstock Festival at which 400,000 young people gathered in a spirit of love and sharing, represents the pinnacle of the hippie movement. Many hippies moved to Haight Ashbury in San Francisco, East Village in New York City, or lived in communes.

    People became more concerned with their health and their environment. Rachel Carson's Silent Spring awakened the environmental movement and the Sierra Club gained a following. Ralph Nader's book, Unsafe at any Speed, led to the consumer movement.

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  • 7 years ago

    I agree with one of the Answerers--Americans are American! Different personalities, as we are individualists and free thinkers! I was in my early 30's then, and remember the excitement of Black peoples' emergence from repression! It was an exciting time for all Americans! The 60's were an exciting time of new awareness and breaking away from old prejudices!

    Source(s): Memory of an 83 yr. old woman.
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