This section of FYRS explores the years between 1960 and 1970, primarily in the USA. Fifty years ago, during this decade of changing politics, cultural upheavals, wars and assassinations, civil rights and civil wrongs, America was reinventing itself, and the effects still shape our current traditions in transition.
Potential research topics include the Kennedys, King, Johnson, and Nixon; the Vietnam War and the War-Resistors; redefining “race” amid racial tensions; the Beatles, the Stones, and the Jefferson Airplane; Dylan, Baez, and the Smothers Brothers; the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis; the Great Society and the John Birch Society; The Greatest Story Ever Told and Jesus Christ Superstar; pot, LSD, and the Counterculture Lifestyle; Woodstock and Altamont; Hippies and Yippies; free love and drugs for sale; bra-burning, draft-card burning, and burning cities; the Space Race as Winning the World for Democracy or Communism; and many more.
We’ll read a comprehensive overview as well as selected speeches and essays to put events in a historical and cultural context. We’ll also look at some of the important films, art work, and music events of the period to explore the people and their problems, their joys and frustrations, hopes and anxieties. Throughout we will consider how the realities of the Sixties continue to influence current political differences and alliances, social and cultural concerns, religious beliefs and scientific revelations, and our country’s sense of itself in the larger community of nations.