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10 of the Things That Defined the 1960s

The 1960s were a long time ago, but I remember them well! Comparing this decade to modern-day life is like chalk and cheese. The following are 10 of the things that defined this incredibly culturally-important decade, which would go on to shape life for the next half-century that followed: 

 
1. Beatlemania Sweeps America and the World  
10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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The Beatles, who were together between 1960 and 1970, were one of the biggest bands ever to grace the airwaves. One of their iconic moments was landing in America for the first time, in February 1964. The band was greeted by hordes of screaming girls, a testament to their popularity stateside.

 

2. Twiggy Defines the Decade’s Look

10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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Twiggy is a British model whose androgynous look, wide eyes and pixie haircut made her famous during the 1960s. She graced the cover of Vogue, became a poster girl for swinging sixties London and is also considered to be one of the first-ever international supermodels.

 

3. John F. Kennedy is Assassinated

10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of the most beloved Presidents in the history of US Presidency. He was traveling in a Presidential motorcade in Dallas, Texas on November 22nd, 1963 when Lee Harvey Oswald fired two bullets at him, fatally wounding him. The incident shocked the world.

 

4. 500,000 People Turn Up for Woodstock

10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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The 1969 Woodstock Festival is one of the most significant musical events in history, because it marked the point at which half a million members of America’s burgeoning counter-culture collectively rejected the values of their parents’ generation and announced themselves to the world.

 

5. The Mini Takes Over The World

10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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The ingeniously-designed “big small car”, the brainchild of Alec Issigonis, is one of the most revered cars in the history of motoring. While it actually went on sale in 1959, it rose to prominence during the 1960s, when many celebrities purchased them and the model appeared in various short films. It was probably the world’s first “classless” car – enjoyed by the elite and average people alike.

 

6. Martin Luther Kings Says He Has a Dream

10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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Martin Luther King was one of the most iconic civil rights leaders ever to live, leading the March on Washington on August 8th, 1963, to demand equal rights for the African American community and other ethnically-diverse communities. The march culminated in his “I Have a Dream” speech, which he gave in front of the 250,000 people that joined him on the march.

 
7. Cassius Clay Beats Sonny Liston
10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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Cassius Clay, more well-known as Muhammad Ali, rose to international prominence after his shocking defeat of reigning heavyweight boxing world champion, Sonny Liston. Clay’s outspoken views on a number of issues, together with his fierce reputation in the ring, made him one of the most well-recognized boxers in the world.

8. The Cuban Missile Crisis

10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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The world teetered on the brink of nuclear war in October 1962 after the United States discovered that the Soviet Union was setting up nuclear missile sites on the island of Cuba. With the island being less than 100 miles away from the coast of Florida, there was scope for the Soviets to destroy much of the United States in a nuclear attack. The fact that war didn’t break out in the tense, 13-day stand-off is one of history’s greatest testaments to diplomacy.

 

9. Man Sets Foot on the Moon 

10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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It was American astronaut Neil Armstrong who immortalized the phrase “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind”when he set foot on the lunar surface on July 20th, 1969, making him the first man in history to walk on the moon. It’s unbelievable to think that the last of the lunar Apollo missions took place some 43 years ago.

 

10. Andy Warhol’s Pop Art

10 Things That Defined the 1960s

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New York-based artist, Andy Warhol, is credited with kicking off the pop art genre. In his art, he depicted celebrities of the day, together with iconic American objects – think Coca-Cola bottles and Campbell’s Soup cans. The only surviving portrait he painted of screen siren Marilyn Monroe is believed to have been sold to a collector for $80 million.

 
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Related Topics: history, important, nostalgia, culture, 60s
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