Currently it seems that a great deal is being made about the 60s sure it was a decade that changed the world and all of it happened 50 years ago, but we didn’t see the same intensity last decade with the 50s. All in all the 60s were a time of great change in America and multiple scholars have many different ranges for the dates of the 60s, from a single decade 60-70 to the more complicated 58-68 or the even more confusing 63-78 and the earliest ending 1963.
Were the 60s that groundbreaking? Sure, but they haven’t really made such an impact as the 40s did. We constantly see new movies about World War II coming out and hardly see anything about the changes in the 60s. The Sixties have long fascinated people with the counter cultural movements that were established and all the peace marches and organizations that were formed.
The Kennedy Assassination is a major event that shook America to the core and change the way we see ourselves. Just look at what the President rides in today, it is basically a tank and Kennedy was riding in a convertible with the roof down. Then there were the assassination of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr, and Robert Kennedy during the decade as well. Some people consider this a time when America lost it’s innocence. It was that one turning moment in an individuals lifetime that happens about every 20 or so year. (Depression/Pearl Harbor/JFK Assassination/something in the 80s?/War on Terror?) these are things that define a generation. Over on Art of Manilness they have a nice write up about the different generations. It is worth the time to read it.
The 60s will continue to have an influence on society today as so many people have been drawn to the music of the 60s and the popularity of show like Mad Men the fashion has peaked people interest as well. Will there be similar things done in the next decade with the 70s that is anyone’s guess although if America is still around in a dozen years I am sure there will be a big celebration for the 250th anniversary of Independence. Sure the 60s were a cool decade but if we spent less time yearning for the past we might come up with great ideas for the future.