Portal:1960s

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The 1960s Portal

Top, L-R: 2 U.S. soldiers crawl on the ground during the Vietnam War; The Beatles who were part of the British Invasion that changed music in the United States and around the world. Centre, L-R: John F. Kennedy is assassinated in 1963, after serving as President for three years; Martin Luther King Jr. makes his famous I Have a Dream speech to a crowd of over a million; millions participate in the Woodstock Festival of 1969. Bottom, L-R: China's Mao Zedong initiates the Great Leap Forward plan; the Stonewall Inn, site of major demonstrations for gay and lesbian rights; for the first time in history, a human being sets foot on the Moon, during the Cold War-era Space Race, July 1969.

The 1960s (pronounced "nineteen-sixties") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on 1 January 1960, and ended on 31 December 1969. The term "1960s" also refers to an era more often called the Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends around the globe. This "cultural decade" is more loosely defined than the actual decade, beginning around 1963 with the Kennedy assassination and ending around 1974 with the Watergate scandal.

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A souvenir sheet commemorating the 1977 Soviet Constitution, Brezhnev is depicted in the middle
The history of the Soviet Union from 1964 to 1982, referred to as the Brezhnev Era, covers the period of Leonid Brezhnev's rule of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). This period began with high economic growth and soaring prosperity, but ended with a much weaker Soviet Union facing social, political, and economic stagnation. The average annual income stagnated, because needed economic reforms were never fully carried out. Nikita Khrushchev was ousted as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), as well as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, on 14 October 1964 due to his failed reforms and disregard for Party and Government institutions. The collective leadership first set out to stabilise the Soviet Union and calm Soviet society, a task which they were able to accomplish. In addition, they attempted to speed up economic growth, which had slowed considerably during Khrushchev's last years as ruler. The stabilisation policy brought about after Khrushchev's removal established a ruling gerontocracy, and political corruption became a normal phenomenon.

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Christine Keeler on After Dark.JPG
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Christine Keeler, best known for her involvement in the Profumo Affair, which lead to the resignation of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan.

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King in 1964
Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, humanitarian, and leader in the civil rights movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience. King has become a national icon in the history of American progressivism. A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, in 1962, and organized nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama, that attracted national attention following television news coverage of the brutal police response. King also helped to organize the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities.

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