Political Movements

There were many political movements during the sixties. This was a time of turmoil for many events in history. One of the biggest movements was the civil rights movement. During the first half of the 1960’s there were many people killed. Civil rights leaders were assassinated, black churches were bombed, and there was a lot of police brutality. Many of the schools in the south were segregated and activists were trying to get the schools to let black students attend the white schools. In one case in the south, they sent a few black students into an all white school to see what would happen and a riot broke out. In some places in the south, there was still segregation on busses and at water fountains. In 1963, Martin Luther King JR. made his I Have a Dream speech. In 1964, a civil rights act was signed, but that did not cure all of the problems that were going on in the United States. Today, there is still struggle over civil rights in the south today.

Women also tried to change their place in history during the sixties. During this time, feminism arose. Women were mainly seen as having a place only in the kitchen and taking care of their family. They were also seen to be helpless in matters of motor vehicles. Women were not given an opportunity to do jobs like fixing cars if something broke. During this time, not very many women were in the workforce either, because women were looked down upon if they worked outside of the house. In 1963, the legal pay act was introduced giving women the opportunity to earn equal pay for a job that a man could also do. Before this time, men would be paid more for doing the same job that a woman would do. In 1968, the National Organization for Women was founded and during this time, women burned their bras in a sign of liberation.

The black power movement also was born in the 1960’s. This movement served to give black people racial pride and to be able to nurture interests, as well as get credit for the previous work and inventions that they had created. One of the groups that emerged from this movement was the Black Panthers. One primary leader in the black power movement was Malcolm X.

Another movement that was very prevalent in the 1960’s was the peace movement or the anti-war movement. This movement happened in the late sixties, and produced the famous pictures of police or “pigs” with daisies in the muzzle of their guns. This movement took place in 1969 and was in protest of the Vietnam War. People would organize a sit ins at public buildings to protest the war. During the sit ins people would sit in front of a building and refuse to leave. There were also protests of the draft. The people that emerged from this movement were called hippies, because they stood for peace. Hippies were known to flash the peace sign when leaving and often times indulged in drugs and lived in groups called communes. After 1969, this movement ended and the world was changed again.