67 Vintage Photos of Life in America during the 1960s

The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, 326 Indian reservations, and some minor possessions. At nearly 3.8 million square miles (9.8 million square kilometers), it is the world’s third- or fourth-largest country by geographic area. The United States shares significant land borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south as well as limited maritime borders with the Bahamas, Cuba, and Russia. With a population of more than 331 million people, it is the third-most populous country in the world. The national capital is Washington, D.C., and the most populous city and financial center is New York City.

Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago, and European colonization began in the 16th century. The United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Disputes with Great Britain over taxation and political representation led to the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), which established the nation’s independence. In the late 18th century, the U.S. began expanding across North America, gradually obtaining new territories, sometimes through war, frequently displacing Native Americans, and admitting new states; by 1848, the United States spanned the continent. Slavery was legal in the southern United States until the second half of the 19th century, when the American Civil War led to its abolition. The Spanish–American War and World War I established the U.S. as a world power, and the aftermath of World War II left the United States and the Soviet Union as the world’s two superpowers. During the Cold War, both sides fought in the Korean and Vietnam Wars but avoided direct military conflict. They competed in the Space Race, culminating in the 1969 spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. The Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991 ended the Cold War, leaving the United States as the world’s sole superpower.

The United States is a federal presidential-constitutional republic with three separate branches of government, including a bicameral legislature. It is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, NATO, and other international organizations. It is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Considered a melting pot of cultures and ethnicities, its population has been profoundly shaped by centuries of immigration. The United States ranks high in international measures of economic freedom, quality of life, education, and human rights; it has low levels of perceived corruption. However, it has been criticized for inequality related to race, wealth, and income; use of capital punishment; high incarceration rates; and lack of universal health care.

The United States is a highly developed country, and its economy accounts for approximately a quarter of global GDP and is the world’s largest by GDP at market exchange rates. By value, the United States is the world’s largest importer and second-largest exporter of goods. Although its population is only 4.2% of the world’s total, it holds over 30% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share held by any country. Making up more than a third of global military spending, it is the foremost military power in the world and a leading political, cultural, and scientific force. (Wikipedia)

Cattaraugus, NY, 1962
Entrance to Sunken Gardens, St. Petersburg, Florida, 1965
Stowe, Vermont, 1961
Henry’s 15 Cent Hamburgers, Niagara Falls, N.Y., 1963
1961 Ford With Camper, Daytona Beach, Fl., 1962
Thunderbird Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada, 1965
Atlantic City, N.J., 1961
Clearwater Spring, Maryland, 1961
New York City, early 1960s
Atlantic City Boardwalk, N.J., 1963

Lexington, Mass., 1961
Paducah, Kentucky, 1962
Reno, Nevada, 1960
Las Vegas, Nevada, 1965
Williamsburg, Virginia, 1961
New York City, 1962
Akron, Ohio, 1961
Athens, Wisconsin, 1962
Sandusky, Ohio, 1961
Long Beach Calif., 1961
Fargo, North Dakota, 1961
Claremont, N.H., 1960s
Inlet, New York, 1967
Stowe, Vermont, 1966
Pumpkin Center, Oklahoma, 1963
Reno, Nevada, 1961
Springs, Maryland, 1961
Clear Spring, Maryland, 1961
Miami, Florida, 1961
Grand Haven, Michigan, 1964
Chicago, Illinois, 1962
Wildwood, N.J., 1967
Boston, Mass., 1967
Boston, Mass., 1965
Las Vegas, Nevada, 1960
Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1960
Lake George, N.Y., 1964
New York City, 1961
Las Vegas, Nevada, 1965
Las Vegas, Nevada, 1965
Las Vegas, Nevada, 1965
Las Vegas, Nevada, 1965
Provincetown, Mass., 1962
Provincetown, Mass., 1962
Miami, Florida, 1961
Chicago, Illinois, 1963
San Francisco, Calif., 1962
Sandy’s Drive In, Phoenix, Arizona, 1966
Detroit, Michigan, 1961
Franklin, North Carolina, 1965
Kenton, Kentucky, 1961
Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1960
Cortland, N.Y., 1960
Kenton, Kentucky, 1961
New York City, 1964
Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1960
Decatur, Alabama, 1966
Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1960
Florence, Kentucky, 1962
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1961
Minute Man Gas Station Sign, U.S.A., 1968
Peterborough, N.H., 1966
Stowe, Vermont, 1965
Camas, WA., 1966
Bradysville, Ohio, 1967

(Photos © Dave Gelinas)

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