The 1960s

1960s AKA The Sixties

The 1960s were one of the most creative periods in modern man’s history. Whether it was due to experimentation with drugs or anger over the Vietnam War, the 1960s were an overwhelming decade.

The Assassinations of JFK and MLK shocked the US. The Beatles came across the pond and changed music forever.

Although there were several tragic setbacks, civil rights made an amazing amount of progress, eventually culminating in the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, which made it illegal to discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Sex, love and rock & roll was a way of life. It was a way to cope with the frustration the public was feeling over politics and the U.S. government.

Protesters were everywhere — it was certainly a time of great social unrest. But through it all, some of the best art ever created by man was created in the 1960s and we wouldn’t trade it for the world. Or world peace… Maybe.

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1960s News Headlines

  • Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man to travel to space.
  • Harper Lee wrote the all-time great book To Kill A Mockingbird, published in 1960.
  • In 1961, Roger Maris breaks Babe Ruth’s single season home run record by clubbing 61 home runs for the New York Yankees.
  • In 1961, Joseph Heller published the world-renowned book titled Catch-22.
  • John F. Kennedy said, “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”
  • In 1962, Wal-Mart opened its first store.
  • John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth in 1962.
  • John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 in Dallas.
  • On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the powerful speech now commonly known as: “I have a dream.”
  • In 1963, Lamborghini was founded by Ferrico Lamb.
  • 1964 witnessed the debut of the Ford Mustang, which would eventually become Ford’s flagship muscle car.
  • The Civil Rights Act, signed into law in 1964, outlawed discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
  • On February 4, 1964, the Beatles captivated the nation on the Ed Sullivan show.
  • On January 11, 1964, the surgeon general reported that smoking causes lung cancer in men.
  • Peter Sellers played the character Dr. Strangelove in the 1964 classic film by the same name.
  • Julie Andrews won an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1964 for her portrayal of Mary Poppins.
  • On January 15, 1967, the Super Bowl was played for the first time.
  • At the 1968 Olympics, Bob Beamon broke the world long-jump record by an astounding 21 inches.
  • All-time great boxer Cassius Clay changes his name to Muhammad Ali.
  • In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon.
  • 1960s Statistics & Facts in the U.S.


    U.S. Population: 177,830,000
    – Urban/rural: 125/54
    – Farm: 8.7%
    Life Expectancy: Male (66.6), Female (73.1)
    Births per 1,000: 23.7
    Marriages per 1,000: 8.5
    Divorces per 1,000: 2.2
    Deaths per 1,000: 9.5
    Deaths per 100,000:
    – Heart: 522
    – Cancer: 149
    – Tuberculosis: 6
    – Car accidents: 21.3


    Unemployed: 3,852,000
    GNP: $503.7 billion
    Federal budget: $92.3 billion
    National debt: $286.3 billion
    Union membership: 17.5 million
    Strikes: 3,333
    Prime rate: 3.9%
    Car sales: 6,674,200
    Average salary: $4,743


    Homicides per 100,000: 4.7
    Suicides per 100,000: 10.6
    Labor force male/female ratio: 49/23
    Social welfare: $52.3 billion
    Public education: $15.6 billion
    College Degrees
    – Bachelors: Male (253,000), Female (157,000)
    – Doctorates: Male (8,801), Female (1,028)
    – Movies (weekly): 40 million
    – Baseball (annually): 20.3 million


    Consumer Price Index (if 1967 = 100): 88.7
    Eggs: 58 cents per dozen
    Milk: 26 cents per quart
    Bread: 20 cents per loaf
    Butter: 75 cents per pound
    Bacon: 66 cents per pound
    Round steak: $1.06 per pound
    Oranges: 75 cents per dozen
    Coffee: 75 cents per pound

    In-Depth 1960s Profiles

    Fashion in the 1960s

    Fashion in the 1960s »

    Early 1960s fashion was more conservative. Late 1960s clothes were the exact opposite. Greaser, mod or hippie? Year-by-year timeline with over 50 pics.
    1967 Shelby Cobra

    Cars in the 1960s »

    1960s cars could be the most stylish cars ever built, but power was even more important. Learn about the history of 1960s cars and browse over 150 pics.
    To Kill A Mockingbird

    Movies in the 1960s »

    We have so much stuff to post, it is going to take quite some time. Movies in the 1960s were great. My favorite was probably To Kill A Mockingbird.

    TV Shows in the 1960s »

    There were a number of TV casualties in 1964, including "The Judy Garland Show." Forty percent of the TV shows in prime time were new.

    Toys in the 1960s »

    The 1960s were a golden era in toy history. In this article, which includes 100+ pics, we review some of the more (and less) popular 1960s toys.
    1960s Music | Mick Jagger

    Music in the 1960s »

    As far as music goes, the 1960s was the most creative and influential era in modern history. Sometimes it seemed no one could write a bad song.
    Vince Lombardi

    Sports in the 1960s »

    Sports in the 1960s were ruled by just a few. UCLA owned the NCAA. The Boston Celtics won 9 titles. The Yankees dynasty finally crumbled. Ali became king.

    Unique 1960s Pictures

    Play the 1960s Trivia Game

    Play the 1960s Trivia Game


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    Last modified: Sep 09, 2015 | Written by Paul Phipps