1960 Establishment Essay Research Paper

1960 Establishment Essay, Research Paper

The Establishment in the 1960’s

The nineteen sixties were times of great change. Many people went from

moderates to radicals because of the environment around them. That environment

was called the establishment. It included all of the events going on in the nineteen

sixties. Some of the main events taking place were the Vietnam War, the

government, the Democratic National Convention and the culture (*). Many

protested things that they did not believe in or thought was wrong (*). There were

many things that made the radical’s different from the moderates. They were the

music they listened to and the clothes they wore. Most obviously was the way

they acted.

In the summer of 1967, society and rock and roll were going through some

major changes. People who listened to rock and roll wore flowers in their hair and

on their clothes. They “Grooved to tunes” by The Grateful Dead, Cream,

Jefferson Airplane, and many others (*). Radical was the name given to these

diverse cultural icons of the sixty?s revolution. These radicals were associated

with the many of the youth parties who shared their views with the country. The

music that the radicals listened too greatly affected the way the acted. It was the

mellow tune and the moving lyrics that inspired this generation of teenagers. They

stood up for what they believed in from listening to the rock and roll, which is

now, classified as classic rock. The people who didn?t listen to the new rock and

roll, listened to classical and jazz music. They thought the radicals who listened to

rock and roll were rebels. Large get together?s were common in the sixties. At

these ?be ins,? as they were called, people ate, drank, and listened to music (*).

The greatest musical get-together that had the most influencing effect on

the people of the sixties was Woodstock ?69. This was the largest rock concert

ever and was held in Bethel, New York. It was three days long, beginning on

August 15 and ending on August 17 in 1969. The Woodstock Ventures was the

newly founded company organizing the three-day festival. The Town of Wallkill

was the anticipated site for the music festival, but city officials and residents

protested it. Laws were made to make sure that Woodstock was not to be held in

Wallkill. The laws were passed, so the Woodstock Ventures team had to search

for a new site. They ended up finding a 600-acre cow pasture suitable for a three-

day concert in the town of Bethel, New York. The city and state officials said they

had everything planned for and prepared before the concert. But when it came

around to the opening day, they knew what they hadn?t planned for, a crowd of

more than 500,000 people. The concert started at exactly 5:07 P.M. on August

15, 1969 (*). Around midnight on the first day, it started to rain. In as little as

three hours, five inches of rain fell. This caused the field to flood, and making

everyone and everything a big mud puddle. Through the three days there were

two deaths, but also two births. Both of the deaths were by accident. At the end

of the final day, people began to slowly make their way out of the once was grass

field. That barren field now has a monument remembering those three days of

music. It attracts visitors from all over the country, who want to see where the

biggest party of all time was once held (*).

Dress in the nineteen sixties showed what kind of attitude you possessed

and the views you obtained. There were two dominant groups of dress in the

sixties. One was the radical and hippie attire. It consisted of older, more ragged

looking outfits. They usually wore headbands or bandanas on their heads.

Sometimes they would wear tie-dye or multicolor mixed shirts. The pants that

most of this teenage generation would don were usually aged and battered, which

sometimes beared holes in them. The types of shoes that they wore depended on

the individual. Some wore tall boots, short boots, and sandals. The most popular

shoes were the original Converse All-Stars (*). Most people just wore whatever

they could find, and didn?t care what they looked like (*). The second dominant

group of dress was the older, non-teenage generation. The men usually wore

clean, newly pressed clothes. Some men wore suits all of the time. Men mostly

wore black shiny dress shoes. The women wore clean, new clothes unlike the

teenager?s of the time.

People of the sixties were very judgmental when it came to clothes people

wore. When someone saw a hippie for the first time, they automatically thought

that they were rebels who didn?t want a government (*). The older, moderate

people looked down upon these hippies because they expressed themselves

through their clothes (*). The radical?s attitude toward the older, ?non-hippie?

generation was that they didn?t know how to stand up for what they believe in (*).

The government of the nineteen sixties had an enormous impact on the way

people acted. Some agreed with the government, and some didn?t. Some of the

people even tried to change the way it worked. The presidents played a large role

in the action taken by the government.

Lyndon Baines Johnson became the thirty-sixth president after the

assassination of John F. Kennedy in November 1963. A skilled promoter of

liberal domestic legislation, he was also a dedicate believer in the use of military

force to help achieve the country’s foreign policy objectives. His increase of

American involvement in the Vietnam War decreased his popular standing and led

to his decision not to run for reelection for presidency in 1968. Johnson?s attitude

toward the Vietnam War was apparent. He believed in strong military action.

Johnson had increased the number of U.S. military forces there from 16,000 at the

time of Kennedy’s assassination to nearly 25,000 a year later. Later Johnson began

to increase the United States involvement in the Vietnam. Johnson began the rapid

deepening of U.S. involvement in Vietnam; as early as February 1965, U.S. planes

began to bomb North Vietnam. American troop strength in Vietnam increased to

more than 180,000 by the end of the year and to 500,000 by 1968. Johnson did

not have the same views as some of the radicals. He wanted to keep the United

States in the Vietnam War, while the radicals did not.

Richard Nixon was the thirty-seventh president after Lyndon Johnson.

Nixon didn?t believe in the Vietnam War as highly as Johnson. In 1973, after four

years of war in Vietnam, the administration managed to arrange a cease-fire that

would last long enough to allow U.S. departure from Vietnam. Nixon had very

different views then the radicals. He thought that all of the protestors were rebels

who should have action taken against them. Even though he ordered the departure

of all United States troops from Vietnam, he still believed in the war.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy became the 35th president of the United States in

1961 at the age of 43. He was the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic

ever elected to the presidency. In 1963 Kennedy was thinking ahead to the

presidential campaign of 1964. In order to develop peace between clashing

committees of the Democratic party in Texas, he traveled there in November 1963.

While driving in a motorcade through Dallas on November 22, he was shot in the

head and died within an hour. Newly sworn in president Johnson appointed the

Warren Commission to investigate the assassination. It concluded that the killer,

acting alone, was 24-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald. No motive was established.

People believed over the years that Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy (*).

Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to the fight for full citizenship

rights of the poor, disadvantaged, and racially oppressed in the United States.

King flew to Memphis, Tennessee to assist striking sanitation workers. There, on

April 4, 1968, King was Shot and killed. The violent death of King brought an

immediate reaction of rioting in black ghettos around the country. Although one

man, James Earl Ray, was convicted of King’s murder people suspected that he

was payed by conspirators (*).

Robert Francis Kennedy was the younger brother of U.S. President John F.

Kennedy. He was a U.S. attorney general and a U.S. senator during his lifetime.

After President Lyndon B. Johnson failed to choose Kennedy as his 1964 running

mate, he resigned and won a U.S. Senate seat from New York. He focused on the

needs of poor minorities and became a sharp critic of the Vietnam War. In March

1968, Kennedy announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential

nomination. On the night of June 4, 1968 Kennedy was celebrating his victory in

the California primary. On that night, Kennedy was fatally shot. Kennedy did not

die instantly, instead, he died two days later, on June 6, 1968. His assassin was an

immigrant from Jordan named Sirhan B. Sirhan was arrested at the scene and later

convicted of first degree murder(*).

The Democratic National Convention of 1968 was planned to be a peaceful

convention of democrat views and ideas. Antiwar activists also planned for it to

be a peaceful, six day festival protesting the Vietnam War. There were no plans of

violence in the six days. When the Chicago mayor at the time, Richard Daley,

heard of the protestors coming to the convention, he ordered 7,500 U.S. Army

troops and 6,000 National Guardsmen to back up his 12,000 police officers. It

was held from August 26-29, 1968. Riots began to form so the law enforcement

took action. The media captured most all of the riots on camera and broadcasted

them live on television. Daley was even caught on camera shouting obscenities at

Senator Abraham Ribicoff, who accused the police of ?Gestapo tactics? (*).

The Vietnam War was a crucial factor in the protesting and rioting in the

nineteen sixties. The war took place from the mid nineteen fifties until 1975. The

two sides fighting were North Vietnam versus South Vietnam aided by the United

States. In 1975, North Vietnam took the victory over South Vietnam and the U.S.

This was a great shock to American self confidence. Opposition to the war grew

with increased U.S. involvement. College students, members of a traditional

pacifist religious groups, longtime peace activists, and citizens of all ages opposed

the conflict. Some were motivated by fear of being drafted. Others out of

commitment, and some just joined the crowd just to follow. Although the antiwar

movement was frequently associated with the young, support for the war was

actually highest in the age group 20-29. The movement probably played a role in

convincing Lyndon Johnson not to run for reelection in 1968, and an even larger

role in the victory of Richard Nixon over the Democrat Hubert Humphrey. The

war changed America?s society.

The Civil Rights Movement changed the way people live today. In 1964,

Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Law of race and sexual discrimination.

If this didn?t take place, people today wouldn?t be able to get jobs because of the

sex and race. Johnson then signed yet another Civil Rights Law that would affect

people today if it didn?t come about. It was a law on voting rights. Many people

protested to make these right come about in the nineteen sixties. Contributions

were made by Martin Luther King, Jr. and all of the activists of the sixties. If these

laws were not passed then people today wouldn?t be able to take an active part in

the government or get the jobs they wanted.



Raskin, Jonah. ?Abbie Hoffman.? 1998: 1-2. On-line. Internet. 6 Feb.

2001. Available: http://www.go.grolier.com

Phinney, David. ?Rewind: 1968.? 1998: 1-5. On-line. Internet. 5 Feb.

2001. Available:


Mailer, Norman. The Best of Abbie Hoffman. New York: Four Walls

Eight Windows, 1989.

Korcz, Keith. ?Myths and Facts About the 1960’s.? 1-4. On-line.

Internet. 4 Feb. 2001. Available:


Jackson, Leslie. The Sixties. London: Phaidon Press Limited, 1998

Drake, Nicholas. The Sixties: A Decade in Vogue. New York: Prentice

Hall Press, 1983


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