the sixties1



Why were the sixties a importance to our country\'s history? The
sixties were an exciting, revolutionary, turbulent time of great social and
technological change: assassination, unforgettable fashion, new musical
styles, Camelot, civil rights, women\'s liberation, a controversial and decisive
war in Vietnam, the anti-war protest to go along with the war, space
exploration and the space race, peace marches, flower power, great TV and
film and sexual freedom, and of course the great babyboomers. The sixties
also showed Communism coming into the Western hemisphere and thus
coming to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Movements towards the end to poverty,
helping the environment, and the women\'s rights all came to be in the
sixties. Medical breakthroughs were important in the sixties. This essay
explains the events and people of the sixties from 1960 to 1970.
One thing in the sixties was the years of the American Camelot. In
1960 a president was elected by the slimmest measure of margin since 1884,
"John Fitzgerald Kennedy is elected president by just over 100,000
votes"(Turbulent Years 23). Some say that John\'s father bought the election,
but the truth is unknown. This election was the first election that was on
radio and television. Kennedy and Nixon engaged in the first televised
campaign debates. President Kennedy was the youngest man to become
president and the youngest president to die in office. President Kennedy
was also the first and only Roman Catholic President in history.
During President Kennedy\'s Presidency, he had to make many
decisions about the relationship between the United States and the Soviet
Union. In the sixties the "Cold War" was heating up. Before President
Kennedy came into office, a U-2 plane was shot down in the Soviet Union
while spying on the Soviet Union, thus cutting all Diplomatic ties between
the Soviet Union and the United States. Amongst other problems President
Kennedy faced with the Soviet Union, no other was more serious than the
Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1960, Soviet Premier Khrushchev supplied Cuba with
nuclear missiles that would put the eastern United States within range of
nuclear missile attack. During the summer of 1962, U. S. spy planes flying
over Cuba photographed Soviet-managed construction sites and spotted the
first missile on October 14. Kennedy consulted with advisors for seven days ,
discussing the possible means of action. On October 22, Kennedy told the
nation about the discovery of the missiles and demanded that the Soviet
Union remove the missiles, he also declared the waters around Cuba a
quarantine zone.
For several tense days, Soviet vessels en route to Cuba avoided the
quarantine zone, while Khrushchev and Kennedy discussed the issue through
diplomatic channels. Khrushchev, realizing his weak military position, sent a
message to Kennedy in which he agreed to remove the missiles. The
following day, before the United States could respond to the first note a
second note was sent by Khrushchev to try and negotiate terms. Kennedy
responded to the first message and an agreement was met for the Soviet
missiles to be dismantled and removed from Cuba. In return Kennedy
secretly promised not to invade Cuba and to remove older missiles from
Turkey. These decisions were perhaps Kennedy\'s greatest moment as
president. Many feel that because of Kennedy\'s aggression that perhaps
WWIII or a Nuclear war was avoided.
Kennedy was also a strong supporter of civil rights. He was strongly
against segregation. President Kennedy helped Dr. Martin Luther King with
his fight for civil rights. Many Black leaders had sided with Kennedy in the
presidential race because Kennedy claimed to be a strong believer in civil
rights. In the beginning President Kennedy ignored his claims for civil rights
but in his later presidency he changed and began trying to pass laws against
segregation.
November 22, 1963, President and Mrs. Kennedy were in Dallas, Texas.
As the motorcade approached an underpass, two shots were fired in rapid
succession. One bullet passed through Kennedy\'s neck, and the other bullet
hit the president in the head. At 1:00PM, he was pronounced dead; he had
never regained consciousness. Ninety minutes after Kennedy was fatally
shot, Vice-president Johnson was sworn in as president on Air Force One.
That afternoon, Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested and charged with murder.
"On November 24, a Dallas Man, Jack Ruby, shot and killed Oswald before
there was a chance to put him on trial." (www.thinkquest.com). John F.
Kennedy was survived by his wife and his two children. Kennedy\'s death was
the fall of the American Camelot.
During the sixties, the Civil Rights Movement was in full force. With
leaders like Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, the Civil Rights Movement
grew to be one of the most important movement