1960s Timeline
Timeline Description: The 1960s was a time of longer hair, shorter skirts, and new kinds of music. But it was also a time of tensions between world powers, races, and generations. These tensions only seemed to increase as the decade came to a close.

Date Event
February 24 1960 The first submarine to circle the world (February 24 - May 10, 1960).

The U.S.S. Triton circles the globe underwater. The nuclear sub completes the journey in 84 days.
September 1960 First televised presidential debate.

For the first time in history, the nation watches two presidential candidates debate on television. Republican Richard Nixon and Democrat John F. Kennedy meet in Chicago and debate live. Radio listeners think Nixon won, while television viewers choose Kennedy.
January 1961 John F. Kennedy becomes president.

On January 20th, John Fitzgerald Kennedy becomes the 35th President of the United States. At age 43, he is not only the youngest president, but also the first Roman Catholic to be sworn into office.
August 1961 Berlin gets a new wall.

In order to stop refugees from leaving communist East Germany and heading for freedom, the East Germans start building a huge wall in Berlin to separate themselves from the West German side. The wall, over 100 miles long, stays up until November of 1989.
October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

Spy photographs taken over Cuba show Soviet missile sites already built. With only a distance of about 91 miles from Cuba to the U.S., President Kennedy issues a blockade to keep cargo ships out of Cuba. The Soviets eventually back down and Kennedy removes the blockade.
August 28, 1963 Marching on Washington.

Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and over 200,000 supporters march to Washington, D.C. in support of civil rights for blacks. As he stands in front of the Lincoln Memorial, he gives his famous "I have a dream..." speech.
November 22, 1963 President Kennedy is assassinated.

While traveling in a convertible motorcade in Dallas, Texas, President Kennedy is shot and killed. Vice President Lyndon Johnson is sworn in as the 36th President of the United States as he flies back to Washington, D.C.
February 1964 The Beatles appear on Ed Sullivan.

An estimated 70 million American viewers watch the Beatles on their first live television appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. Their song, "I Want to Hold Your Hand," has already hit number one on the music charts.
July 3, 1964 President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The president signs into law the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it illegal to discriminate against African Americans and women in the workplace and other arenas.
1965 U.S. plunges into the Vietnam War.

President Johnson starts sending U.S. troops to Vietnam to help keep the communist North Vietnamese from invading South Vietnam. This very unpopular war will last until 1975.
1965 Flower Power (Mid-1960s).

During the 1960s the younger generation starts protesting because they don't like how the older generation is doing things. Long hair, peace marches, peace signs, and flower power are the new fads for the youth. Many popular songs of the day are about peace.
December 15, 1966 Walt Disney dies.

The creator of Mickey Mouse and Disneyland dies in Los Angeles on December 15 at the age of 65.
June 5, 1967 The Six Day War (June 5 - June 10,1967).

Egypt, Syria, and Jordan attack Israel with the hopes of destroying it. However, the Israeli air force destroys 400 Egyptian planes and takes control of the entire city of Jerusalem. The war lasts only six days.
1968 Violence spreads.

On April 4th, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. is shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots break out in many cities in protest. On June 5th, presidential candidate Senator Robert Kennedy is shot and dies the next day.
July 1969 "One small step..."

Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the moon. His famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," is heard live as millions of viewers watch from earth. Although the 1960s was a time of turmoil and unrest, it ended with a bit of hope as a new frontier, outer space, was conquered.