Happiness, sadness, fear, scandal, rockets, drugs, brutality, corruption, rights, technology, war, life, and death. These are just some of the things that kept coming about and evolving during the sixties and seventies. New problems arose, and old problems were fixed. Technology revolutionized the way people lived. The sixties and seventies displayed great change, and      helped evolve our world to be like the way it is today. People were given new challenges, and many fought for rights. Countries fought to see who was better, who could be the “first” at something. Different groups were always up in arms about something, and influential people from this time, like John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King Jr., always tried to help people achieve their goals. This was the time where everyone woke up and started saying “What about me?” These three words also sparked a revolution in music. Songs about everything from spaceflight to women’s rights surfaced, and each song related to different people in different ways. Music no longer was listened to just for pleasure. Music was truly a necessity for all. Songs were used to display opinions, and songs were written to protest war and unfair laws. Although it was a tough time for many, the actions of those people transformed our country to make it as fair and advanced as it is today.The sixties and seventies was a time of new possibilities and new technology. Due to all of the new advancements, people’s attentions were drawn to space. What was later known as the Space Race was almost a competition. It was between the United States and the Soviet Union, resulting from tensions from the Cold War. Soon after the first artificial satellite (Sputnik 1), was sent into orbit from the Soviets, everyone wanted to see someone from their home country be the first man on the moon. President Eisenhower then commissioned the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Soon after, in 1961, a Russian named Yuri Gagarin (on right) was the first man sent into space, and the USSR had beaten the US again by just a few weeks. Later that year, on May 5, the first American was sent into space, Alan Shepard. Although he did not make it into orbit, this was a big accomplishment for our country (although some people did not feel the same way).Later that May, President John F. Kennedy made the famous claim that we would put a man on the moon before the decade is over. Sadly, he did not live to see it, but he was right. In February, 1962, the US finally sent a man into orbit, and luckily, Nasa’s budget had increased by almost 500%. Plans were made, and Project Apollo was put into place. Several different versions of the Apollo spacecraft were designed, but the US faced heavy setbacks after 3 people were killed during a failed launch simulation. During this time, the USSR was advancing rather quickly, even though they had lost their chief engineer of the whole Soviet Space Program, Sergey Korolyov. After a lot of testing and careful examination, in December of ’68, the US sent off the first manned ship to orbit the moon, the Apollo 8. NASA now knew we were ready to try for the moon landing. Just over a half of a year later, the world’s most famous spacecraft, the Apollo 11, left Earth to embark on what some said was an impossible mission. Just a month before the first Lunar Landing mission, a song was released called “Space Oddity”, by David Bowie, and it is about a failed space mission. This song encompassess the feelings of most of the citizens of the US:You’ve really made the gradeAnd the papers want to know whose shirts you wear……..Tell my wife I love her very much she knowsGround Control to Major TomYour circuit’s dead, there’s something wrongCan you hear me, Major Tom?Can you “Here am I floating ’round my tin canFar above the moonPlanet Earth is blueAnd there’s nothing I can do” The first couple lines of this song show that everyone already admires the brave souls on the spacecraft, and want to be like them. The next part of the song expresses people’s fear if men were sent away into space, the definite tragedies that would follow. The fear was for nothing, though. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to ever step foot on the moon, and commemorated this moment by saying “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” This great fight was between two world powers, and not just about the moon, it was more about democracy versus communism. And democracy prevailed. During the years of this fight, the Soviets were viewed by Americans as villians, due to their constant push to overcome us and prove their worth as a communist power.Politics Throughout this time of hippies and miniskirts, there were things bigger than just one person’s needs. From the eye of an average citizen, he saw the little guy fighting for himself, but many things happened that were on a more global scale.Domestic Politics The 60’s were kicked off with the election of a new president. John Fitzgerald Kennedy beat out Richard Nixon by almost 85 electoral votes. He promised to keep the US in front of the Soviets in the Space Race and the Cold War. Everyone seemed to love this charismatic young man and his intelligent and fashionable wife. Kennedy was also liked for his very wise, powerful, and uplifting quotes. And although he was a democrat, he shared opinions with people from every political party.Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.-John F. Kennedy As I previously said, everyone seemed to love JFK, but some people hated him with every bone in their body. In the fall of ’63, Kennedy and his advisors started planning for his re-election campaign. He had not yet announced his campaign but it was obvious he would run again, and most expected him to win. But everything changed one Friday afternoon, November 22. Kennedy was traveling to nine states in under a week to give speeches and meet civilians. When he was driving through Dallas, TX, in his motorcade, gunshots rang out. Kennedy was hit in the neck, but since he was wearing a back brace, only his head slumped over, allowing him to be hit again. Governor John Connally was also struck in the chest but would survive. Kennedy was taken to a hospital but declared dead later that day. The man who shot him was ironically shot to death later while switching prisons. This terrible assassination changed this country more than what one man could know, for better and for worse. About five years later, after a terrible year of protest and violence, especially the assassination of both Martin Luther King Jr. and presidential candidate hopeful Robert F. Kennedy, Chicago held the 1968 Democratic National Convention. The convention itself was problem enough with fistfights breaking out over opinions on the Cold War. The bigger issue was the Vietnam War protest happening right outside. Thousands upon thousands of people gathered in the streets of Chicago to show their stance about the Vietnam War. For hours, people fought the police in the streets.(youtube) The protest started in a park but people soon went deep in the city so the cops might use less tear gas on them, which is terrible that people knew that that would happen. Most protests started peacefully and people would sing songs. One of the most popular protest songs of the time was “Blowin in the Wind” by Bob Dylan. It talks mostly about the ignorance of man, who never turn around to face the true issues that they know are there. How many times must the cannonballs flyBefore they’re forever banned?…… How many times can a man turn his headAnd pretend that he just doesn’t see?This protest was later known as “The battle of Michigan Avenue” and it started a change of the people. More and more spoke against the war, saying it was going nowhere and too many were dying for nothingForeign Politics One of the most important situations happening around this time, was the cold war. Although it was not a war at all, more of a tension felt by all, and mostly carried on the backs of our presidents. Many quarrel over the exact start date of the cold war, but most say it began in 1947, after the Truman Doctrine, which pledged aid to anyone being overcome by the expansion of the Soviet Union. It ended after the fall of the Soviet Union, in 1991. But in between, it was a dreadful standoff between the two world superpowers, the US and the USSR. We faced great problems starting on October 14th, 1962, in the midst of the cold war, after a U-2 spy plane over Cuba captured photographs of medium range ballistic missiles being assembled for installment. The next day we stood locked in a standoff during one of the most intense times of the cold war. Kennedy called together a group of advisors also known as the executive committee (ExCom). For almost two weeks, ExCom and Pres. Kennedy contemplated their options, without starting a nuclear war. They knew that the presence of missiles was unacceptable, but at first nothing further was decided because everyone wanted to deal with it in different ways. Kennedy refused to turn to violence and start the war, so he decided to blockade Cuba with naval ships to prevent more missiles from entering Cuba. Soviet ships came and everyone thought a great battle would commence, but the ships backed off. Cuba did, however, shoot down an American reconnaissance plane and kill an Air Force pilot. This brought everyone to their tipping point and invasion forces were placed in Florida, which was only ninety miles

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