Friday, May 4, 2007

Kennedy (1960)

John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States. He was later assassinated.

Chubby Checker (1960)

Singer Chubby Checker came out with the song The Twist, which started a national dance sensation. Soon, not only teens but also adults where doing the twist. The dance was responsible for popularizing "fast dancing" or rock-and-roll among adults. Chubby Checker's name was a spin-off of the name of the popular rock singer Fats Domino.

Psycho (1960)

Psycho was a thriller movie directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The most memorable scene is when the main woman character is stabbed to death while taking a shower.

Belgians in the Congo (1960)

The Belgians government in the Congo was overthrown.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Hemingway (1961-89)

Famous author Ernest Hemingway committed suicide.

Eichmann (1961-89)

Former Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann was arrested in Argentina and brought to Israel, where he was convicted of war crimes and executed.

Stranger in a Strange Land (1961-89)

Stranger in a Strange Land was an award-winning fictional book by Robert A. Heinlein about Valentine Michael Smith, who was born during the first manned mission to Mars and was the only survivor. He is raised by Martians, and when he arrived on Earth he had no knowledge of anything about the planet or its cultures. In fact, he had never even seen a woman. But he was the legal heir to an enormous financial empire. He then explored human morality and the meanings of love and founded his own church, preaching free love. Many young rebels of the 1960s selected Stranger as their counterculture bible.

Dylan (1961-89)

Singer Bob Dylan led the folk music craze.

Berlin (1961-89)

The Soviets erected the Berlin Wall, dividing the city into the Russian-controlled part and the area controlled by the U.S., British and French.

Bay of Pigs Invasion (1961-89)

A secret mission led by the CIA with trained Cuban rebels, failed horribly. Outdated maps landed the strike force in the middle of a Cuban base. President Kennedy was greatly criticized for the failure of the mission.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962-89)

The movie Lawrence of Arabia starring Peter O'Toole won the Academy Awards.

British Beatlemania (1962-89)

British rock group the Beatles took over the music scene, with numerous hit records on the Top-40 charts.

Ole Miss (1962-89)

University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) admitted its first black or African-American student, James Meridith, with U.S. Marshals enforcing the rules to integrate the school.

John Glenn (1962-89)

John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth in 1962. He had previously been a U.S. Marine test pilot, but in 1959 he was assigned to NASA as one of the original group of Mercury astronauts. After he piloted the first American manned orbital mission aboard the Friendship 7 spacecraft, he was considered and American hero and given a ticker tape parade. He later become a U.S. Senator.

Liston beats Patterson (1962-89)

Boxer Sonny Liston easily defeated Heavyweight Champion Floyd Patterson to gain the title. Liston was a large, mean-looking boxer who struck fear in the hearts of his opponents. He was finally defeated by Cassius Clay, who after the fight changed his name to Muhammad Ali

Pope Paul (1963-89)

Pope Paul VI was pope—or leader—of the Catholic Church from 1963 to 1978. He followed Pope John and completed the implementation of of the goals of the Second Vatican Council. He became the first pope to visit six continents, but he also known to be an indecisive leader. His views were important to the world's Catholics.

Malcolm X (1963-89)

Malcolm X came into the news when he preached separation of the races as part of the Black Muslim teachings. His real name was Malcolm Little, and he was the son of a lay Baptist minister. His family had been harassed by white-supremacists a number of times. Apparently, three of Malcolm's uncles and his father were killed by white men. After his mother was institutionalized as insane, Malcolm grew up in foster homes. He was discouraged in school from wanting to be a lawyer, because his white teacher said it wasn't a realistic goal for black people. He quit school and drifted through menial jobs, until he was arrested for burglary and sent to prison for 10 years. There Little became a voracious reader and soon converted to the Islam religion. After leaving prison, he worked for the Nation of Islam—also called the Black Muslims in the popular press. He dropped his "slave name" and changed his name to Malcolm X. A compelling public speaker, Malcolm X gained publicity for the Nation of Islam and their concepts that whites were "devils" and that separatism was the best for his people. In 1963, he commented that he was not sad that President Kennedy was assassinated. This brought outrage from most of the white public. But he also started to separate from the Nation of Islam and its radical views. He moved toward orthodox Islam and started to champion economic and social equality for blacks. This brought about respectability among all races, but then members of the Nation of Islam made death threats to Malcolm X for separating from their movement. Then in February 1965, he was assassinated. Three members for the Nation of Islam were arrested and convicted of the murder.

British politician sex (1963=89)

A sex scandal rocked British Parliament. Secretary of State for War John Profumo was highly respected and married, but after it was discovered that he had a several week affair with a showgirl named Christine Keeler, he was forced to resign. Not only did he lie to the House of Commons about the affair, but is was also found out that Keeler had also had a relationship with a senior naval attaché at the Soviet Embassy in London.

JFK blown away (1963-89)

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas in 1963. Kennedy was riding in an open-top automobile in a presidential motorcade when Lee Harvey Oswald shot him through the head with a sniper rifle from a sixth floor window of a nearby building. Oswald was arrested eighty minutes later after killing a Dallas police officer. He was captured hiding in a movie theatre. He claimed he was innocent of killing Kennedy and was being set up as a pasty. Later, it was found that he confessed his guilt to his brother, who visited him in jail. Oswald was killed two days later as he was being transported to the Dallas Country Jail. Nightclub owner Jack Ruby shot Oswald in front of police officers and a national television news audience.

Birth Control (1964-89)

Birth Control became an issue with the advent of the birth control pill. Later, abortion was legalized.

Ho Chi Minh (1964-89)

Ho Chi-Minh was the leader of the Communist North Vietnamese, who first fought the French and then the Americans.

Richard Nixon back again 1964-89)

After losing the election for President to John F. Kennedy in 1960 and then losing his bid to be Governor of California in 1962, former Vice President Richard Nixon fought back to regain prominence in national politics. One interesting thing he did was to be a guest on the popular television comedy show Laugh-In. Nixon repeated the show's running gag-line, "Sock it to me" a number of times. It gave the impression that he was not such a dour person after all. Nixon was elected President in 1968.

Moon shot (1984-69)

The United States landed the first man on the moon.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Woodstock (1984-89)

A farmer in the Woodstock area of New York state donated his land for a rock concert. Surprisingly, 600,000 rock fans showed up, making it the biggest rock concert ever held.

Punk Rock (1964-89)

Punk rock hits the music scene with such groups as the Sex Pistols, who would spit at the audience.

Begin (1964-89)

Begin was Prime Minister of Israel.

Reagan (1964-89)

Former movie actor Ronald Reagan became President of the United States. He was a Republican.

Terror on the airlines (1964-89)

Numerous airline hijackings were in the news.

Palestine (1984-89)

Palestinians protested unfair treatment by the Israelis.

Ayatollah's in Iran (1964-89)

The Shah of Iran—who was supported by the United States—was overthrown and Ayatollah Khomeini took over the country. Hostages were taken at the US embassy in Tehran and finally released 444 days later.

Russians in Afghanistan (1964-89)

The Soviet Union entered Afghanistan to "protect" Communist interests in the country. Rebels were supported by the United States, and finally after a long, costly war, the Soviets were forced to withdraw from the country. Ironically, the Afghan rebels later used the arms supplied by the U.S. to fight the Americans.

Wheel of Fortune (1964-89)

The Wheel of Fortune TV gane show became a favorite.

Sally Ride (1864-89)

Sally Ride became the first American woman in space as a member of the Space Shuttle crew in 1983. Valentina Tereshkova of the Soviet Union was the very first woman in space in 1963, orbiting the Earth 48 times.

Heavy metal suicide (1964-89)

Lawsuits were made against heavy metal groups of Ozzy Osbourne and Judas Priest claiming that their lyrics encouraged and caused the suicides. Reference:
Note that another viewpoint is that Billy Joel had two topics here: Heavy Metal, where heavy metal rock comes on the music scene, and Suicide, where the suicide rate among young people seemed to be rising.

Homeless Vets (1964-89)

Many veterans of the Vietnam conflict became homeless. A major problem with them was drug addiction or alcoholism.

Foreign debts ((1964-89)

Foreign debts were causing an increase in inflation, as well as a burden on American taxpayers.

AIDS (1964-89)

AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) disease started to spread throughout the world. People came together and made committees and organizations to fight AIDS.

Bernie Goetz (1964-89)

Bernie Goetz was a New Yorker who was concerned about crime in the city. After he got on a subway in the afternoon, four African-American youths approached Goetz and demanded $5 from him. He pulled out a gun and shot all four. Then he shot one of the youths again, as he lay on the floor, severing the spinal cord and paralyzing him.
Goetz escaped but later turned himself in. Many N.Y. citizens deemed him a hero. The case brought about the debate as to whether people have the right to take the law into their own hands. Goetz was convicted only of illegal possession of firearms and sentenced to 8 months in prison. Afterwards, the youth he paralyzed sued and won a $43 million judgment.

Crack (1964-89)

A potent form of the highly addictive drug cocaine called "crack" or "rock" had been rapidly spreading in the United States, especially in troubled neighborhoods.

Hypodermics on the shore (1964-89)

News reports showed how hundreds of carelessly discarded hypodermic needles had washed up on the New Jersey shoreline.

China's under martial law (1964-89)

In June 1989, thousands of protesters marched in Tiananmen Square in Bejing, China. Many were killed and China went under martial law until order was restored.

Rock and Roller Cola Wars (1964-89)

Pepsi and Coke battle for supremacy in the marketplace. Each hired musicians to promote their drink. Coke hired Paula Abdul, while Pepsi had Michael Jackson. They then started to try to outdo each other by getting other musicians and celebrities to help promote their drinks.