50 Amazing Vintage Photos From the 1960s Volume 11

The 1960s (pronounced “nineteen-sixties”, shortened to the “’60s” or the “Sixties” ) was a decade that began on January 1, 1960, and ended on December 31, 1969.

The “cultural decade” of the 1960s is more loosely defined than the actual decade. It begins around 1963–1964 with the John F. Kennedy assassination, the Beatles’ arrival in the United States and their meeting with Bob Dylan, and ends around 1969–1970 with the Altamont Free Concert, the Beatles’ breakup and the Kent State shootings, or with the withdrawal of troops from Vietnam and the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon in 1974.

The term “the Sixties” is used by historians, journalists, and other academics in scholarship and popular culture to denote the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends around the globe during this era. Some use the term to describe the decade’s counterculture and revolution in social norms about clothing, music, drugs, dress, sexuality, formalities, and schooling; others use it to denounce the decade as one of irresponsible excess, flamboyance, and decay of social order. The decade was also labeled the Swinging Sixties because of the fall or relaxation of social taboos that occurred during this time, but also because of the emergence of a wide range of music; from the Beatles-inspired British Invasion and the folk music revival, to the poetic lyrics of Bob Dylan. Norms of all kinds were broken down, especially in regards to civil rights and precepts of military duty.

By the end of the 1950s, war-ravaged Europe had largely finished reconstruction and began a tremendous economic boom. World War II had brought about a huge leveling of social classes in which the remnants of the old feudal gentry disappeared. There was a major expansion of the middle class in western European countries and by the 1960s, many working-class people in Western Europe could afford a radio, television, refrigerator, and motor vehicle. Meanwhile, the East such as the Soviet Union and other Warsaw Pact countries were improving quickly after rebuilding from WWII. Real GDP growth averaged 6% a year during the second half of the decade. Thus, the overall worldwide economic trend in the 1960s was one of prosperity, expansion of the middle class, and the proliferation of new domestic technology.

The confrontation between the US and the Soviet Union dominated geopolitics during the ’60s, with the struggle expanding into developing nations in Latin America, Africa, and Asia as the Soviet Union moved from being a regional to a truly global superpower and began vying for influence in the developing world. After President Kennedy’s assassination, direct tensions between the US and Soviet Union cooled and the superpower confrontation moved into a contest for control of the Third World, a battle characterized by proxy wars, funding of insurgencies, and puppet governments.

In response to nonviolent direct action campaigns from groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), U.S. President John F. Kennedy, a Keynesian[8] and staunch anti-communist, pushed for social reforms. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963 was a shock. Liberal reforms were finally passed under Lyndon B. Johnson including civil rights for African Americans and healthcare for the elderly and the poor. Despite his large-scale Great Society programs, Johnson was increasingly reviled by the New Left at home and abroad. The heavy-handed American role in the Vietnam War outraged student protestors around the globe. The assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. while working with underpaid Tennessee garbage collectors and the anti-Vietnam War movement, and the police response towards protesters of the 1968 Democratic National Convention, defined politics of violence in the United States.

In Western Europe and Japan, organizations such as those present at May 1968, the Red Army Faction, and the Zengakuren tested liberal democracy’s ability to satisfy its marginalized or alienated citizenry amidst post-industrial age hybrid capitalist economies. In Britain, the Labour Party gained power in 1964.[9] In France, the protests of 1968 led to President Charles de Gaulle temporarily fleeing the country.[10] For some, May 1968 meant the end of traditional collective action and the beginning of a new era to be dominated mainly by the so-called new social movements.[11] Italy formed its first left-of-center government in March 1962 with a coalition of Christian Democrats, Social Democrats, and moderate Republicans. When Aldo Moro became Prime Minister in 1963, Socialists joined the ruling block too. In Brazil, João Goulart became president after Jânio Quadros resigned. In Africa the 1960s was a period of radical political change as 32 countries gained independence from their European colonial rulers. (Wikipedia)

The Beach Boys relax at a hotel while on their European Tour in the Netherlands, 1969.
Madison Square Garden under construction in 1966.
A young child takes a closer look at a giant whale shark washed up on Botany Bay, 1965
Wilt Chamberlain running track, 1960
Johnny Cash performs for the prisoners at Folsom Prison in 1968.
A. J. Foyt, Aldo Andretti and Bobby Unser at the 1969 Indy 500 front row.
Janis Joplin, 1968.
Steve McQueen and a 1966 427 Stingray.
Alfred Hitchcock channels his inner Ringo Starr in 1964.
Looking stylish at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969.
These two little girls were more engrossed with the air vent grate than the modern art on the walls of the San Francisco Museum of Art in 1963.
Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees and Scottish singer Lulu after their wedding ceremony at St James’s Church in 1969.
Estelline Pike demonstrates her sword swallowing technique to some young boys at “Ward Hall’s World of Wonders Sideshow” in 1961.
Protesting to keep mini skirts in London, 1966.
The Dirty Mac was a band with Eric Clapton, John Lennon, Mitch Mitchell and Keith Richards, 1968
The Apollo 11 astronauts see their wives for the first time after returning from the Moon in 1969.
A dog decides to join the game at the 1962 World Cup finals in Chile.
The Beatles jam backstage with Fats Domino while on tour in New Orleans, 1964.
Anthony Quinn and Anna Karina, 1967.
George Lincoln Rockwell flanked by members of the American Nazi Party at Black Muslim meeting,1961.
Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara at the March 5, 1960 funeral for the victims of the La Coubre explosion.
The First American In Space
Rear Admiral Alan Bartlett “Al” Shepard Jr. right before takeoff in May 1961.
Shepard became the first American, and the second person ever, to travel into space. He was also the first to manually control a spacecraft.
On October 30, 1961, the Soviet military successfully tested Tsar Bomba, the most powerful weapon ever created. Its blast was five miles in diameter with a yield of 50 megatons — 25 times more powerful than all the munitions used in World War II (including the two atomic bombs dropped by the U.S.) put together.
Pictured: Kennedy (right), Monroe, and Kennedy’s brother Robert backstage just after Monroe’s singing of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President”. This is one of the few pictures of Monroe and Kennedy together.
The Beatles arrive in America for the first time, landing at New York’s newly christened John F. Kennedy International Airport on February 7, 1964.
On March 26, 1964, the decade’s two most prominent civil rights leaders shared their only meeting.
As Martin Luther King Jr. (left) was leaving a news conference, Malcolm X (right) stepped out of the crowd, extended his hand, and smiled.
“Well, Malcolm, good to see you,” King said.
“Good to see you,” X replied.
Sporting some of the decade’s most distinctive fashions, flight attendants became emblematic of the era and symbols of modern womanhood.
Many saw flight attendants as evocative of a new “kind” of woman, one who traveled the globe and free from the gender-specific duties that had kept women at home in previous decades.
A U.S. helicopter pilot runs from his aircraft after Vietnamese forces shoot it down in early 1965.
Muhammad Ali knocks out Sonny Liston after a one-minute-long championship match in Lewiston, Maine on May 25, 1965.
Ed White floats just outside the Gemini 4 capsule hatch on June 3, 1965. This made White the first American to ever perform a spacewalk, which lasted 23 minutes for White.
On April 4, 1968 the civil rights movement took a devastating hit with the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. at the hands of James Earl Ray (pictured).
A female Viet Cong soldier fires an anti-tank missile during a fight in the southern Cuu Long delta during the Tet Offensive.
TV made Vietnam the first war where civilians at home saw the realities of the conflict — and they had something to say about it.
Pictured: American forces interrogate a Viet Cong prisoner near Thuong. 1968
Bobbi Gibb, the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon in 1966.
Rolling Stones guitarist Brian Jones at his home in England in the spring of 1969.
Porpoises leap inside a man-made lagoon in Oahu, Hawaii, 1966.
People picnic on the rocky heights that overlook Harpers Ferry in Maryland, 1962.
Seated villagers wave arms as they enact a play in front of a temple in Bali, Indonesia, 1969.
A woodman notches a felled tree’s trunk for sectioning in Western Australia, 1962.
Men blast granite to build tunnels for a hydroelectric project in Australia, 1963.
Surfers overpopulate the waves off of Bondi Beach in Australia, 1963.
Princess Grace Kelly in Monaco, 1962.
Young lovers embrace beside the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, 1960.
Personifying evil, a costumed mapico dancer in Mozambique hides from spectators, 1964.
Visitors of diverse nationalities crowd a casino roulette table in Swaziland, 1969.
Welts, scars of beauty, pattern the entire back of a Nuba woman in Sudan, 1966.
Sunbathers run for cover from a summer rain shower in Rio de Janiero, September 1962.
President and Mrs. Johnson and Vice President Humphrey watch Apollo 11 lift off at Cape Canaveral, July 1969.
Geysers of sand explode as geologists probe for oil-bearing land in Saudi Arabia, January 1966.

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