The Sixties: The Times They Are a-Changin'

The Great American Drama:
Music Rocks!

Talkin' Bout My Generation

By the late 1960s, rock music had generated amazing diversity, re-invention, and inspiration. The Sixties welcomed it all: from folk rock to sunny harmonics to gospel-inspired soul, gritty protests, jazzy tempos, American bluegrass, rhythm and blues, Indian melodic arrangements, psychedelic improvisations, marathon instrumentations, acid rock and back again to romantic ballads. The Detroit sound of Motown struck a dominant chord, as did powerful urban blues, and ethnic pride.

The Darkside of the Moon

Once focused on love and devotion, rock music also shifted gears to include songs about inner awareness, brotherhood, sex, drug experiences, and revolution. The raw expression of heavy rock bands, psychedelic and acid rock took the country on musical trips they would never forget. Concerts at Monterey and in San Francisco forecast the coming of the massive and legendary Woodstock Festival in New York in 1969.


Photograph of The Sixties exhibit.

Youth: Our Time Has Come

Young is IN

By the late 1960s, the explosion of youth culture and popular entertainment dominated our national life. The prevailing sense that "anything goes" prompted young people to grow their hair long and cut their skirts short. Even middle-aged Americans grasped at teenage affectations. Men grew sideburns and mustaches; swapped suits and ties for turtlenecks and Nehru jackets. Women donned Mod mini skirts and high boots; peppered conversations with hip phrases like "go with the flow." Some children thought their parents were GROOVY, others were embarrassed to the MAX!

Unconventional Icons

All aspects of design and the arts reflected youthful trends. Fashion deflated hour-glass figures in favor of the boyish look personified by British model Twiggy. (Weight Watchers also arrived on the American scene.) Favorite movies featured a disillusioned college boy in "The Graduate" and a computer named HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey." Sleek Ford Mustangs, eye-popping Op Art, and lava lamps lit up the scene.



Photograph of The Sixties exhibit.
Tales of Camelot
The Cold War Warms Up
Racing To The Moon
Civil Rights On The March
Teen Angels
The Swinging Sixties
Sun 'n' Surf Meets London Turf
The Awakening of America
Camelot Finale
Something's Happenin' Here
Vietnam : A Young Man's Hell
Black Power
Rat Race Refugees
Talkin' 'Bout My Generation
Establishment Up Against the Ivied Wall
The Nixon Era Begins
To the Moon
The Legacy
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