Humanities Information

The Sixties

A decade that stands out above the rest of our world's history as a time of revolutionary changes from all over the globe - changes that even effected outer space. There was unprecedented levels of sexual freedom celebrated among the world's youth, and teenagers around the world revolted against the generations before them. Radio brought the people completely new sounds in music, with the chart toppers fighting over the number one spots each week. The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, among others, released one hit after another throughout the sixties.

Stardom the likes that no one had ever experienced before surrounded The Beatles, both in the UK and in the United States. Jimi Hendrix played guitar like no one had ever heard it played previously, and remains one of the world's favorite guitar players of all time. There were presidential assassinations, as well as deaths of famous people who were killed for standing up for their beliefs and leading others to make changes; Martin Luther King, JR and Malcolm X.

The sixties were a time of innovation, new products and services were developed, and discoveries of technological advances led to the first man to walk on the moon, and placing a satellite in orbit.

In the UK, Parliament made abortion legal in 1967, as a result of the changing ideals of sex and love. Fashion and clothing styles changed, skirts became shorter, jeans became tighter, and women's clothing in particular just became much more revealing than it had ever been socially acceptable previously. Mini-skirts were the norm, and models like "Twiggy" reinforced in the young people's eyes that thin was in. Young ladies around the globe began starving themselves to try and fit the image, leading to eating disorders and image issues that women are still dealing with to this day.

The sixties were also the time of the infamous "WOODSTOCK", an outdoor concert held in upstate New York. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in a vacant field to hear some of the most popular musicians and bands on a handmade stage. There was rain, there was mud, there were landslides and total chaos as no one expected that many people to show up.

Amazingly, there was no money made at the event, as tickets were never actually sold and people just swarmed the makeshift gates to get into the concert area. Musicians were brought in with helicopters, and took the stage to give what was undoubtedly their most memorable performances of all time. Most of the people couldn't even hear the music, they were located so far away from the stage- but the experience of the weekend was beyond anything anyone had ever known. There have been attempts to recreate the wonder of Woodstock, but there will never be another event like it- our current world would require far more security to keep people safe, and even with the 450,000 individuals who spent the weekend in Woodstock, less than 4 were killed - you can be sure that the numbers would certainly be higher if such an event was to take place in our current times.

Phil Edwards is a freelance writer and co-author of and


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