Timeline of Events
- Dolores Huerta and César Chávez form the United Farm Workers of America (UFW), an agricultural workers labor union.
- January 4, 1960
- The United Steel Workers agree on a settlement to end the longest steel strike in U.S. history. The strike had started in July 1959.
- February 1, 1960
- Four black students request service at a whites-only lunch counter at a Woolworth's store in Greensboro, North Carolina. They politely begin a "sit-in" to protest not being served. Their nonviolent protest sparks a new form of civil rights protest that quickly spreads throughout the American South.
- May 1960
- The oral contraceptive pill, known as "the pill," is approved for distribution throughout the United States.
- May 6, 1960
- The Civil Rights Act of 1960 is approved to protect black voting rights. However, the law's loopholes make it very difficult for blacks to register or to vote.
- May 10, 1960
- Nashville, Tennessee, becomes the first large city to desegregate public places.
- May 13, 1960...
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Words to Know
- A person who campaigns vigorously for or against a political, social, or economic issue.
- True to one's spirit or character. In the 1960s, the idea of being authentic was important to many young people because they considered the behavior of their parents to be inauthentic or something that compromised their own values.
- black nationalism:
- An ideology held among militant groups of American blacks that called for the formation of self-governing black communities that were separate from those of whites.
- Black Power:
- A movement among American blacks to gain economic and political rights and improve their social condition.
- civil rights:
- The legal, political, and human rights guaranteed by the U.S. constitution and various legislative acts, including the right to vote, the right to equal protection under the law, to right to equal use of public facilities, and the right to freedom of speech.
- Cold War:
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Research and Activity Ideas
The following ideas and projects are intended to offer suggestions for complementing your classroom work on understanding various aspects of the 1960s in America:
- The 1960s Outside America:
- You know that the 1960s were a turbulent, exciting decade in the United States, but did you know that similar disruptions shook some of the other major countries around the world? In the summer of 1968, student walkouts and union strikes paralyzed much of France, especially the capital city of Paris. That same year, an uprising against communist rule in Czechoslovakia led to an invasion of that country by troops sponsored by the Soviet Union. Research the events that happened in France, Czechoslovakia, or some other country and compare and contrast them with events in the United States.
- A Decade of Movements:
- The 1960s is often seen as a decade of movements. The civil rights movement, the antiwar movement, the student movement, the Native American rights movement, the gay liberation movement, and the women's movement all achieved important gains during the decade. Using what you know or what you can learn about these movements, construct a project that analyzes the relationships between two or more movements. You might consider whether the movements share common underlying themes or ideas,...
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Where to Learn More
Altman, Linda Jacobs. The American Civil Rights Movement: The African-American Struggle for Equality. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow, 2004.
Anderson, David L. The Columbia Guide to the Vietnam War. New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.
Archer, Jules. The Incredible Sixties: The Stormy Years that Changed America. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986.
Austin, Joe, and Michael Nevin Willard. Generations of Youth: Youth Cultures and History in Twentieth-Century America. New York: New York University Press, 1998.
Bloom, Alexander, and Wini Breines, eds. "Takin' It to the Streets": A Sixties Reader. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
Breuer, William B. Race to the Moon: America's Duel with the Soviets. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 1993.
Burner, David. Making Peace with the 1960s. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996.
Cantwell, Robert. When We Were Good: The Folk Revival. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996.
Collier, Christopher, and James Lincoln Collier. The Changing Face of American Society: 1945-2000. New York: Benchmark,...
(The entire section is 1008 words.)