The Sixties

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Hubert Humphrey once stated, “When we say, ‘One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all,’ we are talking about all people. We either ought to believe it or quit saying it” (Hakim 111). During the 1960’s, a great number of people did, in fact, begin to believe it. These years were a time of great change for America. The country was literally redefined as people from all walks of life fought to uphold their standards on what they believed a true democracy is made of; equal rights for all races, freedom of speech, and the right to stay out of wars in which they felt they didn’t belong. The music of the era did a lot of defining and upholding as well; in fact, it was a driving force, or at the very least a strongly supporting force, in many of the movements that took place. However, it is to be expected that in attempting to change a nation one will inevitably face opposition. The Vietnamese weren’t the only ones involved in a civil war those years; in America, one could easily find brother turning against brother, or more commonly, parent against child, as each side fought to defend their views. The 1960’s were a major turning point in the history of the U.S, and when it was all over, the American way of life would never be the same. Almost seventy years before the sixties even began, segregation was legalized. As long as both races had “equal” facilities, it was entirely legal to divide them (Hakim 64-65). In 1955, however, an elderly black woman by the name of Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. She was arrested. Parks later proved to be the true catalyst of the anti-segregation movement. When news of the arrest reached the black population, action was taken immediately. A massive bus boycott was organized, during which time no one of color could be found on a bus in the Montgomery area. Finally, in 1956, a law was passed proclaiming that any form of segregation was illegal and immoral (Hakim 69-71). Unfortunately, not everyone was eager to embrace this change. Many whites felt that if they were forced to share, they would rather go without. Across the country, public recreational facilities were locked up rather than integrated. In Birmingham, Alabama in 1962, for example, sixty-eight parks, thirty-eight playgrounds, six pools, and four gold courses were closed to the public (Hakim 97). Congress had finally granted... ... middle of paper ... ...f a decade finally rose as a unit to change the fate of our country for the better. No one could better state the feelings of the country as a whole than did Mario Pavio when he declared, “I’m tired of reading history. I want to make it” (Norton 938). Bibliography Works Cited Archer, Jules. The Incredible Sixties: The Stormy Years That Changed America. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Publishers, 1986. Benson, Kathleen and James Haskins. The 60’s Reader. New York, New York: Viking Kestral, 1988. “Bob Dylan.” [http://www.rollingstone.com/sections/artists/text/bio.asp?afl=strBioType =BIO&lookupstring=317.] Emmens, Carol A. An Album of the Sixties. New York: Franklin Watts, 1981. Gitlin, Todd. “Reading McNamara: Vietnam and Kent State.” Peace and Change. April 1996: 12. Hakim, Joy. A History of US: All the People: 1945-1999. Book 10. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Joplin, Laura. “Biography.” [http://www.officialjanis.com/html/bio.html]. ©1999 Fantality Corporation. Norton, Mary Beth, et. al. A People and a Nation. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1998. Sann, Paul. The Angry Decade: The Sixties: A Pictorial History. New York: Crown Publishers, 1979.
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