This essay The 1960?s has a total of 1394 words and 13 pages.
The 1960?s was a decade that forever changed the culture and society of America. The 1960?s were widely known as the decade of peace
and love, not because the world had become a utopia but, in my opinion,
because of the heavy use of the popular hallucinogenic drugs by the
American youth. In reality minorities were struggling to gain freedom
from segregation and thousands of American soldiers and Vietnamese
civilians were being killed in the highly disputed war in Vietnam.
On February 20, 1960 four black college freshmen from the Negro
Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, North Carolina quietly
walked into a restaurant and sat down at the lunch counter. They were
protesting the Jim Crow custom that blacks could be served while
standing up but not while they were sitting at the lunch counter. The
students quietly sat there politely asking for service until closing time.
The next morning they showed up again accompanied by twenty five fellow
students. By the next week their sit down had been repeated in fourteen
cities in five deep south states. In the weeks to follow many new
protests arose. After a black woman was beaten with a baseball bat in
Montgomery, Alabama, 1,000 blacks silently marched into the first capital
of the Confederate states to sing and pray. Six hundred students from two
colleges walked through the streets of Orangeburg, South Carolina with
placards that exhibited phrases like ?We Want Liberty? and ?Segregation
is Dead.? By late June some kind of public place in over one hundred and
fifty different cities across America had been desegregated.
John F. Kennedy was never able to gain enough support to pass a civil
rights bill during his short time in office, but Lyndon Johnson drawing on
the Kennedy legacy and the support of the nation succeeded in passing the
bill. The bill passed 71 to 19, four more votes than required.
By early 1965 a new black leader had arose, whose name was
Malcolm X. His gospel was hatred and his motto was; ?If ballots won?t
work, bullets will.? Malcolm X was a former pimp, cocaine addict, and
thief. He started a militant, all black group called the Black Panthers. On
a bright Sunday in a ballroom in Manhattan in full view of 400 blacks
Malcolm was murdered. Three men casually walked down the aisle; and
from eight feet opened fire with sawed-off double barreled shotguns.
Malcolm was killed by a pair of point blank range shots to the chest.
On March 12, 1965, U.S. Highway 80 was blocked by sixty state
troopers who stood in a wall three deep 400 yards past the Edmund Pettus
Bridge, which crosses the Alabama river. When black marchers came
within 100 yards the troopers were ordered to put on their gas masks. At
twenty five yards the marchers stopped. Seconds later the command
?troopers forward? was barked. The troopers moved in a solid wall
pushing back the front marchers. At 75 yards the troopers were joined by
posse men and deputies with tear gas canisters, in seconds the road was
swirling with clouds of smoke. The mounted men brought out bull whips
and began beating the marchers. Never in history had the American public
responded with such fury. Over 15,000 thousand people marched in five
different cities across the country.
On Sunday, March 21, 1965 a crowd of 3,400 marchers lead by two
Nobel Peace Prize winners, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Bunche,
departed from Selma on their four day march to Montgomery. They were
accompanied by 2,900 military police, U.S. Marshals, and FBI agents. The
goal of the march was to serve the governor with a petition protesting
voter discrimination. When the crowd reached the capital the governor
reneged and blandly told them ?the capitol is closed today.?
By August of 1965 riots began to erupt in Los Angeles. At the end
of one week there were 27 dead, almost 600 injured, 1,700 arrested, and
over $100 million dollars worth of property damage. The riots were
finally stopped when 5,000 national guardsmen were called in from around
the country. No one actually knows what started the riots, but some
blame it on the heat wave that was hitting Los Angels and others blame it
on the irritation of the urban blacks because of their isolation and
By the end of 1966 the federal government was getting
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Topics Related to The 1960?s
African-American Civil Rights Movement, Counterculture of the 1960s, Martin Luther King Jr., Community organizing, Selma, Alabama, Watts riots, Riot, Detroit riot, kennedy legacy, vietnamese civilians, college freshmen, confederate states, orangeburg south carolina, hallucinogenic drugs, south states, war in vietnam, greensboro north carolina, baseball bat, jim crow, culture and society, lyndon johnson, rough draft, montgomery alabama, fellow students, placards, closing time, deep south, american soldiers
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