Important Historic and Cultural Events of the 1960’s and Early 1970’s 1960

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Important Historic and Cultural Events of the 1960’s and Early 1970’s

  • The first laser device is developed by U.S. scientists.

  • Student for a Democratic Society (SDS) is established by student activists.

  • The Soviet Union destroys an airborne U.S. spy plane.

  • The Kennedy and Nixon debate appears as the first presidential debate on TV.


  • A Russian, Yuri Gagarin becomes the first man in space.

  • President John F. Kennedy establishes the U.S. Peace Corps.

  • The Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba (backed by America) fails.

  • Freedom Riders challenge segregation on interstate buses.


  • U.S. astronaut John Glenn orbits the earth in a spacecraft.

  • The Cuban missile crisis occurs.

  • James Meredith becomes the first African American student to attend the University of Mississippi, a highly segregated southern school.

  • President Kennedy issues the order that protects federal employees' right to organize and bargain collectively, but not to strike.


  • A civil rights march on Washington D.C. takes place.—250,000 attend

  • A treaty is signed banning nuclear testing.

  • November 22-President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

  • Betty Friedan writes The Feminine Mystique inspiring a new generation of women activists

  • Vietnamese and Americans stage a coup in Vietnam.

  • Martin Luther King delivers his “I have a dream speech”

  • Lyndon Johnson becomes President of the United States


  • The Beatles gain international fame as a rock band.

  • Congress ratifies the Civil Rights Act.

  • Three civil rights activists are killed in Mississippi.


  • Congress establishes Medicaid, Medicare, and passes the Voting Rights Act.

  • Black leader Malcolm X is assassinated in New York.

  • President Lyndon Johnson quickly increases the number of troops in Vietnam.

  • Race riots occur in Watts, Los Angeles.

  • Cesar Chavez organizes farm workers.


  • A B-52 bomber from the U.S. crashes near the coast of Spain with four unarmed Hydrogen Bombs as its cargo.

  • The National Organization for Women is founded. This Organization sparks women's movements for women's rights.

  • The Black Panther party is founded.


  • Antiwar protesters march on the Pentagon in protest.

  • Three Apollo astronauts are killed in a fire on the launch pad.

  • Martin Luther King leads an anti Vietnam protest in New York.


  • The American Indian Movement (AIM) is founded by activists.

  • The Kerner Commission publishes its own report on civil disobedience.

  • Riots break out at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

  • Robert Kennedy and Martin and Martin Luther King Jr. are assassinated.


  • The U.S. becomes the first nation to land astronauts on the moon

  • Woodstock, a three day music festival drew 400,000


  • A federal jury found "the Chicago 7" antiwar activists innocent of conspiring to incite riots during the Democratic National Convention

  • The Environmental Protection Agency is set up

  • U.S. forces invade Cambodia.

  • Rebellious rock stars Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix die of drug overdoses.

  • Four Kent State University students were killed in a Vietnam War protest by the National Guard.

  • The U.S. starts to withdraw troops from Vietnam.

  • First "Earth Day" celebrated as environmental movement launched


  • The 26th Amendment lowering the voting age to 18 in all elections was ratified.

  • President Nixon imposes a freeze on prices and wages.

  • Huge anti-war march in Washington, D.C.


  • A break-in at the Democratic headquarters sets off the Watergate Scandal.

  • The Equal Rights Amendment is passed by Congress, touching off an unsuccessful ratification battle across the United States.

  • The full-scale bombing of North Vietnam after Paris peace negotiations failed.

  • Republican agents burglarize Democratic headquarters at Watergate

  • Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT I) signed by U.S. & Soviets.

  • Nineteen killed in terrorist siege at Munich Olympic Games


  • The Senate begins to investigate the Watergate affair.

  • The Vietnam War peace pacts were signed in Paris.

  • The end of the military draft was announced.

  • An energy crisis occurs.

  • Henry Kissinger wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Native Americans stage a protest at Wounded Knee, South Dakota.

  • The last of the American forces finally leave Vietnam.

  • On Gerald Ford, congressman from Michigan, becomes the first Vice President appointed under the 25th Amendment.

  • Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizes abortion

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