1960s Decade Project

By: Ahmed Ghuznavi,Dominique Hernandez

Major Events

1960The first debate for a presidential election was televised. It was between Senator John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon. Nixon seemed nervous, but Kennedy stood tall. The debate on TV changed many people's minds about Kennedy. This year NASA sent up ECHO, the first communications satellite to be seen with the naked eye. American "U2" spy plane shot down over the USSR.The Olympic Games were held .1961John F Kennedy moves into the White House. He gives his famous speech - "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for yourcountry." The soviets have sent the first man into space and the Americans need a man in space, too. The event came on May 5, 1961. Alan Shepard was sent to space in the "Freedom 7". On May 25,Kennedy wanted to have a man on the moon and back before the decade was over. 1962John Glenn became the first man to orbit the earth - 3 times. It was a five hour flight.1963Martin Luther King Jr. made the speech, "I have a Dream" on August 28, 1963. More than 200,000 peaceful demonstrators came to Washington DC to demand equal rights for Black and Whites. Part of the speech was - "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…" President Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22. Kennedy's assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was never sent to trial. While being moved by police to a different jail, a man named Jack Ruby shot Oswald. Who killed President Kennedy nobody knows for sure. 1964TheBeatles, a British rock and roll band became VERY popular.1965President Johnson ordered bombing raids on North Vietnam and Americans begin protesting the war.


The 1960s had its share of thrilling athletic events, fiercely contested rivalries, dominant teams, and inspiring sports heroes. The Green Bay Packers, the Boston Celtics, and the New York Yankees dominated professional football, basketball, and baseball, respectively. Yet the decade also saw upstart teams such as baseball's New York Mets and football's New York Jets produce dramatic championship seasons. Longstanding records were shattered in major league baseball, as Roger Maris hit sixty-one home runs in 1961, and Maury Wills stole 104 bases in 1962. College football and basketball remained tremendously popular sports. In 1968 alone, three football teams—the University of Texas, Ohio State University, and Penn State University—all compiled undefeated records. In college basketball, coach John Wooden's University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Bruins were kings of the court, winning ten national championships between 1964 and 1975. Athletes and teams in many other sports pushed the boundaries of their field, thrilling fans with their prowess.

Obviously, there are great stories to be told about sports in the 1960s. Yet it was not the athletic contests themselvesthat defined the changing nature of sports in the 1960s, but rather the way that developments in sports reflected the pressing societal issues of the era, from Cold War politics to civil rights to the widespread commercialization of culture.