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1960 - 1969

Clashes was the shocking norm for this decade: U.S. troops sent to Vietnam, Cuban Missile Crisis, JFK assassinated, Mandela sent to prison, Black Panthers formed.
  1. Vietnam War

1960 - 1969 Timeline
A year-by-year chronology of the 1960s.

Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol was one of the most important artists of pop art, which became extremely popular in the second half of the twentieth century. Though he is best remembered for his paintings of Campbell's soup cans, he also created hundreds of other works including commerical advertisements and films.

Australian Prime Minister Disappears
After going for a swim at Cheviot Beach near Melbourne, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared on December 17, 1967. While the most likely scenario is that he drowned in the rough sea, conspiracy theories abound regarding the cause of his disappearance.

The Beatles
The Beatles shaped not only music but also an entire generation. People mimicked all that they did, including haircuts, clothing, and outlook. Learn more about John, Paul, George, and Ringo and how they came to be The Beatles.

Berlin Wall Built
Just past midnight during the night of August 12-13, 1961, East German soldiers and construction workers headed to the border of West and East Berlin. While most Berliners were sleeping, the workers quickly constructed a barrier made of concrete posts and barbed wire along the border.

Betty Friedan Publishes The Feminine Mystique
In 1963, Betty Friedan's book, The Feminine Mystique, challenged the 1950s image of the happy, suburban housewife.

Charles Manson
Convicted serial killer Charles Manson has become an icon of evil. In the late 1960s, Manson founded a hippie, cult group known as "the Family" whom he manipulated into brutally killing others on his behalf.

First Heart Transplant
On December 3, 1967, South African surgeon Christiaan Barnard conducted the first heart transplant on 53-year-old Lewis Washkansky.

First Man on the Moon
On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the very first man to walk on the moon. Learn more about the amazing Apollo 11 mission that sent the first man to the moon.

Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated
At 6:01 p.m. on April 4, 1968, a shot rang out. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who had been standing on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN, now lay sprawled on the balcony's floor. What happened that evening?

Muhammad Ali Becomes World Heavyweight Champion
On February 25, 1964, Muhammad Ali, then still known as Cassius Clay, fought Charles Sonny Liston for the world heavyweight title in Miami, Florida.

My Lai Massacre
On March 16, 1968, U.S. soldiers from Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, Americal Division, led by Lt. William Calley, entered the Vietnamese village of My Lai and massacred somewhere between 347 and 504 civilians, including women, children, and the elderly.

President John F. Kennedy's Assassination
On November 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was riding in a convertible limousine during a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, when he was shot and killed by assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. Two days later, Oswald was assassinated by Jack Ruby. Find out more about both Kennedy's and Oswald's assassinations.

President John F. Kennedy's Man on the Moon Speech
On May 25, 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy stood in front of a joint session of Congress and stated that the United States should set as a goal the 'landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth' by the end of the decade.

Robert Kennedy Assassination
Just after midnight on June 5, 1968, Palestinian-born Sirhan Sirhan shot presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Find out what happened that night.

Ted Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick Accident
On the night of July 18-19, 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy left a party and was driving his car when it flew off of an old wooden bridge and into Poucha Pond. Although Kennedy managed to escape from the submerged car, his passenger did not. Learn more about the car accident on Chappaquiddick and how it killed a young woman and ruined Kennedy's dreams...

Tet Offensive
On January 30, 1968, the Communist North Vietnamese troops and the Viet Cong staged a major offensive against the cities and towns of South Vietnam. The Tet Offensive, as this became known, was a major turning point in the Vietnam War.

The Twist
The Twist, a dance done by swiveling the hips, became a worldwide dance craze in the early 1960s. Find out who invented it, who made it popular, and how to do it.

U.S. Sends Troops to Vietnam
On March 8, 1965, 3,500 U.S. Marines land near Da Nang in South Vietnam; they are the first U.S. troops arrive in Vietnam.

Who Was the First Man in Space?
Find out who was the first man in space. Hint: He was not American.

The Woodstock Festival of 1969
From August 15-18, 1969, 500,000 young people from across the United States converged on Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. They were there to listen to the best rock 'n roll of the time at the Woodstock Festival of 1969.

Eichmann Trial
After being found and captured in Argentina, Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, known as the architect of the Final Solution, was put on trial in Israel in 1961. Eichmann was found guilty and sentenced to death. At midnight between May 31 and June 1, 1962, Eichmann was executed by hanging. Learn more about the capture of Eichmann and the Eichmann Trial.

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