What was it really like in the 60's?

Discussion in 'General Conversation' started by dreamcatcher, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    I'm starting this thread as a spinoff from a conversation I had this past weekend. We were discussing many of the topics that are approached here from time to time when it comes to how our country is on the verge of total chaos regarding all the things that we "allow" to happen. One thought that came up was that the baton was dropped when we exited the days of Ozzie and Harriet in the 50's and transitioned to the decade of free love in the 60's as an act of rebillion from the previous decade. Is it fair to blame our country's current condition when it comes to work ethic, moral ambiguity, and such on this extremely volatile decade? I would like to see this time period through the eyes of those who lived it, not read about it. I was born in the 60's, but I am not a child of that era. That distinction would go to someone who would be around 60 right about now, so if you respond I realize you will automatically be dated. LOL. What was it really like in the 60's?

  2. Bobpaul

    Bobpaul New Member

    Supply NC
    Ok so I'm dated. Yup, 60 this summer.

    I spent my 18th, 19th and 20th birthday in the army in Germany, 63' through 66'.

    Drugs were just hitting the streets when I left and were rampant when I got out and through out the 70's.

    All but a very few of my friends were still alive when I returned. Drug over doses continued to kill them. The Vietnam war got a few also.

    Being from Cleveland Ohio, the killings of the students at Kent State university, by the national guard, hit pretty close to home. The Cleveland browns used to train preseason there. "3 Dead in Ohio".

    In 68' My brother-in -law was busted for possesion and sales of heroin, on his 21st birthday. Otherwise he would be dead today. He got a sentence of more than 10 yrs, but was released after 3.

    I also got Married that yr. I was making somewhere around 3.50 per hr, and my wife didn't need to work to help pay the bills. Rent was 150.00 a month.

    Today the government is run by the people of the 60's. Any wonder why it's in the shape it is.

  3. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Bobpaul, thanks for responding sir. I was starting to wonder if anybody wanted to talk about that era.:cool:

    I do like your signature line of "What goes around comes around" because it does give some perspective on what's happening today. The illusion it seems is that people matured from their younger years and became "responsible" in reference to the people who are running our government today. What's even more interesting is the reverance that we as people seem to adopt towards the same as if the solution to our problems today rest in their hands solely.

    I'm also glad that you mentioned the drugs hitting the street. I'm sure that epidemic intensified during that era, which tied into all the other free for all activity going on, but I was surprised to learn that drugs is another one of those "what goes around comes around" deals that dates prior to 1914. Drugs like morphine, cocaine, heroin and others were actually LEGAL until they were banned in 1914, which set the chains in motion in establishing the underground network that is commonly referred to as the "streets." It was actually fashionable for people in so-called high society to partake in these forbidden fruits. Once second class citizens got access to the product it was no longer "cool"(a phrase that wasn't used then of course LOL)so the government took a stand. Of course, depending on who you talk to today the blame is put on the "hippie from the 60's" because everyone from the past is dead. That is my only defense of the 60's regarding the drug trade. Still that doesn't excuse everything that was going on.

    What interest me is that in light of everything some good morals and values were able to be absorbed by the next generation, which let's me know that everyone wasn't into "free love." How did that whole movement come about, was it at the proportions that are advertised, and what was the impact that you see on our society today? Anybody from the 60's can feel free to answer. By the way thanks for sharing...

  4. Deltalover

    Deltalover New Member

    Tracy Calif
    And in many cases, we did, for the better! Somethings not! There was tremendous resistance to some things, that many would or should be, ashame of today!

    President Kennedy Inaugurated
    Peace Corps Founded
    Bay of Pigs Invasion
    Kennedy Kruschev Summit
    Berlin Crisis

    First American in Space
    Steel Prices Rolled Back
    US Commitment of Vietnam deepens
    Prayer Unconstitutional in Schools
    Environmental Movement Launched
    First Black at University of Mississippi
    Cuban Missile Crisis

    Feminine Mystque
    Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
    March on Washington
    University of Alabama Integrated
    Medgar Evers slain
    Kennedy Visits Berlin
    President Kennedy Assassinated

    Beatles in America
    Civil Rights Act of 1964
    American troop Intervene in Dominican Republic
    Tonkin Gulf Resolution
    Warren Commission Report
    Dr King Receives Nobel Prize
    1964 Election

    War on Poverty Launched
    Violence in Selma
    Voting Rights Act of 65
    Riots in Watts
    Immigration Act of 1965

    Miranda Decision
    National Organization of Women Founded

    Large Scale War Protest Held
    Johnson Meets Kosygin

    Tet Offensive in Vietnam
    McCarthy Wins 40% of new Hampshire Vote
    Johnson Will Not Run of Reelection
    Martin Luther King Assassinated
    Robert Kennedy Killed
    Violence Mars Democratic Convention
    Nixon Wins Election

    Landing on the Moon

    Invasion of Cambodia

    Richard Nixon Resigns
  5. screen

    screen New Member

    Sterling, Illinois
    Abrupt change in my opinion was what the 60's were all about!
    Born in 48' and graduating high school in 67' the mid 60's were the remembering years - don't we all remember our high school days?
    I don't think any generation saw as much change then what was the period 62-72! 1968 was the high point! With the early 60's more like the 50's which was a slow change from what our parents had realized! 64-67 moved to a fast pace of change and not in just drugs but in everything, music, trends, love, expectations, education and the war -
    1968 was the year with the most change, war on the war, the move to stronger drugs, and a move to make a statement that people were not going to follow in line but make a statement and be heard!
    Most historians talk of the drugs and free love of the period but there were to many world changing events and trends to pin it down to those two things!

    One word, not drugs or freelove describes the problems that we have here today! DISCIPLINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    We don't discipline ourselves to discipline others!
  6. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    We were sure we would change the world. Like many after war I chose love and peace, well some chose love and peace without the war part. It surprises me how many young people today don't know some of us didn't have a choice. I explained the draft to a 20 year old and he didn't believe me, he said our country wouldn't do that and that it was against the law. I said to him he better wake up because war is a choice and our country likes making it. A little off the subject here but you can see we didn't change anything.
    By the way, now that I think of it, what happen to peace and love? If we practiced peace and love would 9-1-1 have happened?

    AS always I have more questions than answers. The folks on this board really make me think. Thanks for that.

  7. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    I've never been a normal, typical, run-of-the-mill anything, so my view may be skewed just a bit. I graduated from high school in 1960. Despite attending an extremely violent jr. high, and a rough high school, I didn't know, or even know of, a single person who did any kind of drugs, including smoking pot. The racism I was exposed to was social rather than violent. I still run across just about as many rabidly anti-blacks now as I did back in the 50s and 60s. But then, we had lived next to blacks for a while back in 1950. Most of the whites, and blacks, that I knew weren't actively racist one way or the other, either for or against. Rather, it was, "It's a shame, but that's just the way things are." Later, after we had moved into a house, we'd occasionally hire a black co-worker of my uncle to do some work around the house. At mealtime, he ate the same food as we did, but got fed on the back porch, rather than eating at the table with the rest of us. I never thought anything about it at the time. It was 'normal'; socially unacceptable for both parties. While we might have been shunned by our neighbors for such a thing, if it were learned that the black man ate at a white man's table, it was quite likely that he would have been beaten; perhaps severely; perhaps fatally. I did see some riots in 1959 or 1960, but the closest I came to them was when I had to go to a camera store while one was going on a couple of blocks away. Many of the kids I knew were a member of one gang or another; I joined a gang in the third grade for protection, but since it didn't cover the jr. high I went to, I wasn't a member any more; didn't join any other gangs. I graduated from college in 1964, and again, didn't know a single person who used drugs of any kind. But then, I went to a small college best known for teaching engineering, and located 100 miles from the nearest town with two sit-down theatres (Nashville; Chattanooga and Knoxville were each 120 miles away.) An anti-military protest group parading from Knoxville to Nashville looked on a map, saw that they were passing a college, and decided it would be a great place to pick up more supporters. They spent the night in the high school gym under armed guard in protective custody. Good thing, too, cause if they hadn't some of those fools might have died for their cause. As it was, all they got were some minor cuts, bumps, and bruises. Now, I can't say what the climate would have been a few years later, but in the early 60s, both the college and town populations were fiercely patriotic. I signed up for the Air Force, and was sworn in in early 1965 and stayed till 1975. During the last half of the 60s, girls were friendlier, and I knew of several of them who smoked pot occasionally. Actually, there were probably quite a few more that did, but I didn't know about it. But while it wasn't unusual to hear negative things about the war in conversations, I don't remember seeing any active public protests. During the last half of the 60s, I was stationed in Arkansas, but I spent some time going to Air Force schools in Texas and California; and in 1969 I was transferred to Montana, and drove there from Arkansas.
    Here's my personal feelings on why the change in moral and social viewpoints. First of all, you have a large bunch of babies born right after WWII. This group provides a tremendous focus of peer pressure. Second, they grew up under the threat of immediate and horrible death. I was several years older, but I definitely remember 'duck and cover', practicing jumping into gutters or ditches, or hiding under our desks, because that 'bad old bomb' might drop at any moment. When you come of age feeling that your life could easily end at any moment, indeed, having grown up with that feeling, you may very possibly feel that there's no point to conforming to social mores. You may even feel that the old social mores are responsible for the threats to your life, and actively rebel against them. Naturally, the parents and other responsible adults are concerned and want answers. Not just answers about why it happened, but answers to, "How do we fix this?" Those aren't so easy to come by. Unfortunately, one of the 'fixes' has been to 'dumb down' education to the least capable student. No, don't tell me different. I went back to college and got a second degree 25 years after my first. The first was from Tennessee Tech; the second was from Arkansas Tech. So we're talking about two colleges just about as similar as it's possible to be. Not only did I have to know less to make a score of 90, but the second time around, a 90 was an 'A'; the first time, anything below a 94 would have meant a lower grade. How does this hurt? Time was, a high school diploma meant that you had certain skills, and perhaps more importantly, meant that you were capable of learning some additional skills necessary for the job you recently applied for. Now, it doesn't even mean you know how to read and write. Possible because the teacher doesn't know how to properly read and write...because of inadequate levels of classes. Course content and grading practices need to be set up and followed regardless of race, creed, or place of national origin; or mental or physical ability. I'm sorry, but it's a fact of life that some people will just never make it as a rocket scientist. Yes, they certainly deserve an education, but we should recognize that everyone has limits, and that reaching those limits may take longer for some to achieve than others. "Be all you can be" doesn't just apply to the Army; it applies to all of us. But when you pass that point, when you go past your limits, you fail. I'll never be a musician. If the greatest school of music gave me their highest degree, I'd still not be a musician; and if I used that degree to get into a great orchestra, I'd fail. And I'd cause the orchestra to fail. Why? Because I was GIVEN a degree...I didn't earn it by demonstrating that I deserved it.

    Enough already. Anybody want to buy a soapbox...cheap?
  8. DeerHunter01

    DeerHunter01 Active Member


    I deleted your posts for you sir.

  9. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Thanks Jerry for that extensive personal revelation, and Phillip for those chronological events. It always helps to see it through the eyes of the ones who lived it...I do have some questions of course, but I will get back to you later on those. For once, I can just keep my trap closed and take it all in...Your insight is much appreciated sirs...
  10. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    Just remember, that's history. Fifty or sixty years ago. Whole different time, whole different world. Whether it was good or bad, we can't change it.
  11. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    IMO, Fishman, yeah, 9/11 would still have happened. Preaching God's love and peace is sometimes the surest way to violence. If you don't believe that, look at the violence between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland. Look at the Inquisition. And that's just talking about Christians. When you get to people of God with beliefs further apart than that, you get 'ethnic cleansing' and other such atrocities...like the Crusades. What's the answer? Man, if I were smart enough to answer that, I'd have people like Bill Gates emptying my wastebaskets.
  12. Netmanjack

    Netmanjack New Member

    Far out man! But the sixty's weren't exactly like they have been portrayed to be. The sixty's were just a starting point for the seventy's! People were awakened in the sixty's to different attitudes yes, but most didn't put them in to practice. It was still just as hard to get into Peggy Sues pants as it was in the fifty's lol. I was at Haight and Ashberry. You had to go to San Fransisco because there wasn't one any where else. We found out how to peacefully disagree with the so called establishment, with sit-ins and protests, protests, protests. I belive these attitudes came from the fifty's because of the forty's when every body just jumped out of landing crafts and got mowed down on the beaches of Normandy. People were getting tired of just blindly following our government and started to open their eyes! You and your parents couldn't help but think of that, when they started the lottery, and I don't mean for money.
    If you are looking for the affects of sex,drugs and rock and roll, you need to look to the seventy's. If the sixty's were the seed then the seventy's were the fruit.
    I have to say the morality of the American People as a whole, hasn't changed. I don't think it ever will. A God fearing home in Kansas will remain that way no matter what is happing in LA. It all gets blown up in the news and it always has.
    The sixty's are romanticized in movies an on TV and its fun to look back on "The Day", but it seems every body wants yesterday to be the blame for their problems of today. People need to learn how to live now, not in the past. If you don't like something get off your butt and do something about it. When I was seventeen I carried signs, passed petitions and joined planned gatherings, trying to get the voting age lowered to eighteen. Their were boys dieing in Nam that couldn't even vote.
    If you get anything from the sixty's at all, understand that it gave birth to higher moral values. We wanted to live better, and freer, with equality for all. Thats what the sixty's were about. :rock-big:peace
  13. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Wouldn't we all. ROTFLOL.
  14. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Nice post Jack. Real nice. I am disappointed to know that Peggy Sue wasn't as vulnerable as she was made out to be.:mad: ;)

    I noticed you mentioned Kansas as God fearing and how basic morals haven't changed. It's a good thing that you used Kansas as your blueprint(rural Kansas that is), because I believe the basic moral code has shifted in most areas for the worse. Middle America has a uniqueness about it that's a little different.

    I don't know if you can blame 1960, anymore than you can blame 1860, or 1760. LOL. That would be too minimalistic to attribute everything that's happening today to a decade in history. What a decade though, as all of you are so adept at pointing out.

    Jerry, I realize that you can't change the past, but you can learn not to relive it...
  15. gardengrz

    gardengrz New Member

    well, if your into it, the 60s on into early 70s was a big time for hot rods and muscle cars.thats what i remember the most.
  16. Cyclops01

    Cyclops01 New Member

    Eden, NC.
    What was it really like in the 60's? In my mind's eye, it was like a three ring dog and pony circus with a world class freek show on every corner.

    I was eleven or twelve years old when the "civil disobedience", the "Hippy movement", was getting into full swing. I can remember looking around in wide eyed disbelief while trying to understand what the motivation was behind it all.

    Looking back, I guess I would pin point the catalyst as frustration, born from a government that was too slow (or indifferent) to correct the wrongs in civil rights, but too quick to thrust the country into yet another major war and too stupid to recognize the public was getting wise to their crap. That being, you are only as free as we allow you to be.

    World War II ended in the mid 40's. Almost immediately we were engaging in the Cold War. Then it was into the quagmire of Korea and, with no time to catch a breath, we were off into the grandfather of all quagmires... Vietnam. There was little or no time taken to work on the serious problems right here.

    On the one hand, there was a large segment of society standing up, demanding their rightful recognition through civil rights. On the other, another segment that was fed up with being sent off to foreign lands to fight and die for someone elses problems. Add to that the pressures from what was now a "very hot" cold war. I think this all came together and brought about the birth of the "me generation".

    I see it as having been no different than the rebelious antics (but on a huge scale) of a disgruntled child, in a lot of ways. All the big "no no's" being used to draw some attention from mom, dad and big brother... long hair, outlandish clothing, out in the open "free love" and equally open use of drugs. And of course, the mostly self destructive violence. All in the name of personal freedoms.

    I believe that some of the causes were right, it was the approach that left a whole lot to be desired. And I believe I see a trickle down effect from that generation... it's OK to be a self centered freek, even if it doesn't benefit anyone else but yourself.

    Not that I was any kind of deep thinker back in those days, I do recall having some ideas that, if all of these folks combind forces and set common priorities then acted in a mature, more responsible manner, there could have been some real changes. Plus, the current generation may have had a better chance of turning out a lot more human.

    I have no personal doubts. The 60's was a down turn, the beginning to a very possible bad ending.

  17. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    Mike, if I didn't know any better I would say that statement sounds a whole lot like, dare I say it...the 21st century?:0a5:

    What goes around comes around....

    That was some great perspective Mike as usual...
  18. FishMan

    FishMan New Member

    jerry I agree, I have said for a long time now that there will be no peace on earth as long as we have religion telling people how to live. I think public religion should be against the law. It is a private matter. I am a believer in the big guy and I also am certin he is very upset at all the churches if for no other reason, all the wealth they hord. They hold enough wealth to solve the problems of the disavantaged. I am sure I opened a can of worms here but I don't mean to. I am not mad at anyone and don't disrepect anyone for what they think. Religion is the cause of almost all war. Now what does that say about us. I am ashamed of us at times.

  19. dreamcatcher

    dreamcatcher New Member

    The term "free love" is just another one of those phrases that let's you know there's nothing in this world that's free, even if you get a bad case of rabbit fever...
  20. jtrew

    jtrew New Member

    Little Rock, AR
    Victor, you're right about the past, and we can also look back at our past, say, That's not who I want to be any more," and change, hopefully for the better.