The 60's Essay

1605 words - 6 pages

The 60's From the protests of the war to the music called rock and roll, the 60's changed America. Without a warning, America was thrown into the most controversial era in history, with a war on the way and integration beginning; life as they knew was about to change. With murder, blood, and love in the near future, America began a new journey to understanding.The first shock to hit the country was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. On November 22, 1963 America stopped to mourn the death of the beloved president. People around the country were crushed, and in most cases, they remember exactly what they were doing and where they were, when they heard the news of his death. His death touched the hearts of everyone in the country and for a moment the tragedy brought us together.Lee Harvey Oswald, the alleged assassin, was caught shortly after Kennedy died. Never making it to trial to be found guilty, on his way to a new jail, in the eyes of the entire country, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby. Jack Ruby was also never found guilty of the murder of Oswald, he died of cancer shortly before being tried or convicted of murder.Integration was a subject that divided our country, some wanted it and some were against it. One person who never gave up and fought till the end for what he believed was right, was Martin Luther King Jr. King was a very strong speaker and in 1963 over two thousand people listened to King tell them his dream. The listeners covered the ground form the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument; the speech "I Have A Dream" touched not only the people there, but also the country. Kings dream came to an end in1968 when he was shot and killed during a speech in Memphis Tennessee, by 40 year-old ex-convict, James Earl Ray. Although King was killed we have tried to finish his dream; we look up to him and what he fought for. King was not the only person fighting for integration; the south had become a battlefield in the eyes of the country. Outbreaks of violence between peaceful civil rights protesters and State troopers, interrupted daily shows on television. In response to these events a radical "Black Power" movement emerged. Malcolm X, a charismatic preacher, herald it arrival. Malcolm X preached the opposite of King, he believed that the nonviolent approach to political change was unworkable. Although he did not call for violent confrontation, he did endorse self-defense. Like others his beliefs were cut short when political enemies murdered him in 1965. Not only was the country fighting a political war at home, the Vietnam war soon became a war across the seas, that everyone was touched by. There were many opinions about the war; some protested it while others embraced it. Soon they all found out what they were up against, a war that no one would win. Hippies, or Flower children, thought that all war and fighting was wrong, they were passive, but firm in what they believed....

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