Skip to Main Content

Memory Kits: 1960s

Memory kits are for people with dementia, memory loss, or cognitive impairment. They are intended to stimulate conversation or reminiscence with a person with cognitive issues

Events & Icons of the 1960s

John F. Kennedy Elected President

'The 1960 United States presidential election was the 44th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on Tuesday, November 8, 1960. In a closely contested election, Democratic United States Senator John F. Kennedy defeated the incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican Party nominee. This was the first election in which fifty states participated, and the last in which the District of Columbia did not, marking the first participation of Alaska and Hawaii. This made it the only presidential election where the threshold for victory was 269 electoral votes. It was also the first election in which an incumbent president was ineligible to run for a third term because of the term limits established by the 22nd Amendment. This is the most recent election in which three of the four major party nominees for President and Vice-President were eventually elected President of the United States. Kennedy won the election, but was assassinated and succeeded by Johnson in 1963, who won re-election in 1964. Then, Nixon won the 1968 election to succeed Johnson who decided not to run for re-election that year. Of the four candidates, only Vice Presidential nominee Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. failed to succeed to the presidency. The election saw the first time that a candidate won the presidency while carrying fewer states than the other candidate, something that would not occur again until 1976. '; accessed October 11, 2022.; accessed October 11, 2022.

First Man in Space (Yuri Gagarin)

On April 12, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, made history at the age of 27 by completing a single orbit of Earth in approximately 108 minutes. After more than 50 years, Gagarin’s journey is still regarded as a key moment in space history that paved the way for all future space endeavors that followed.; accessed October 12, 2022.

Cuban Missile Crisis

The Cuban Missile Crisis is the closest the world has ever come to nuclear apocalypse. An ever-escalating arms race had led to the deployment of Soviet missiles in Cuba, which were now prepped and ready to fire on Washington, New York, and almost the entire Eastern Seaboard. The defining event of the Cold War, it would see the world’s leading superpowers fight in a dangerous battle for nuclear superiority just 90 miles from the American coast. For 13 days in October 1962, American President John F. Kennedy and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev would engage in a battle of wills, where one wrong move could lead to global destruction. Time was ticking, and neither side knew how events were about to unfold.; accessed October 12, 2022.

JFK Assassination

Assassination of John F. Kennedy, mortal shooting of John F. Kennedy, the 35th president of the United States, as he rode in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas, on November 22, 1963. His accused killer was Lee Harvey Oswald, a former U.S. Marine who had embraced Marxism and defected for a time to the Soviet Union. Oswald never stood trial for murder, because, while being transferred after having been taken into custody, he was shot and killed by Jack Ruby, a distraught Dallas nightclub owner.

Almost from the beginning, the killing of the popular young president was thought by many Americans to have been the result of a conspiracy rather than the act of an individual, despite findings to the contrary by the Warren Commission (1964), which was established by Kennedy’s successor, U.S. Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson, to investigate the assassination. The incident remained the subject of widespread speculation.; accessed on October 12, 2022.; accessed on October 12, 2022.

Vietnam War

The Vietnam War began in good faith, by good people with good intentions. But a combination of American overconfidence, Cold War tensions and imperialist tendencies the Americans had previously fought so hard against, made the war in Vietnam one of America’s darkest pages in its short but dense history. By the end of the war, more than 58,000 Americans would die, as too would 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers. Over 1 million North Vietnamese soldiers and Viet Cong guerillas would also perish as well as over 2 million civilians’ from both the north and the south, and thousands more from Laos and Cambodia.

The Vietnam War brought everything into question. The rationalization of destroying villages in order to save them. America’s morality in the face of My Lai. The meaning of free-fire zones, shooting anything that moved as soldiers placed a cheapness on the lives of civilians. The falsification of body counts to increase kill death ratios. The unimportance of battle as men charged up hills because their generals told them too and after losing one platoon or two platoons they marched away to leave the hill for the enemy. Pride allowed the most unimportant battles to be blown into extravaganzas because America couldn't lose, and she couldn't retreat and because it didn't matter how many lives were lost to prove that point.; accessed October 12, 2022.

Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination

Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., mortal shooting of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., the most prominent leader of the American civil rights movement, on April 4, 1968, as he stood on the second floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, where he had come to lead a march by striking sanitation workers. In response to King’s death, more than 100 American inner cities exploded in rioting, looting, and violence. James Earl Ray, a career small-time criminal who became the object of a more than two-month manhunt before he was captured in England, pled guilty to the shooting and received a 99-year prison sentence. He quickly recanted his plea and spent the rest of his life claiming that he had been framed by a conspiracy that was really responsible for King’s assassination.; accessed on October 12, 2022.; accessed on October 12, 2022.

Sidney Poitier


Sidney Poitier  (February 20, 1927 – January 6, 2022) was a Bahamian and American actor, film director, and diplomat. In 1964, he was the first black actor and first Bahamian to win the Academy Award for Best Actor.[2] He received two competitive Golden Globe Awards, a competitive British Academy of Film and Television Arts award (BAFTA), and a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album. Poitier was one of the last major stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema.

Poitier's family lived in the Bahamas, then still a Crown colony, but he was born unexpectedly in Miami, Florida, while they were visiting, which automatically granted him U.S. citizenship. He grew up in the Bahamas, but moved to Miami at age 15, and to New York City when he was 16. He joined the American Negro Theatre, landing his breakthrough film role as a high school student in the film Blackboard Jungle (1955). In 1958, Poitier starred with Tony Curtis as chained-together escaped convicts in The Defiant Ones, which received nine Academy Award nominations; both actors received nominations for Best Actor, with Poitier's being the first for a Black actor. They both also had Best Actor nominations for the BAFTAs, with Poitier winning. Additionally Poitier won the Silver Bear for Best Actor for his performance in the film. In 1964, he won the Academy Award and the Golden Globe for Best Actor[3][note 1] for Lilies of the Field (1963), playing a handyman helping a group of German-speaking nuns build a chapel.[4]

Poitier also received acclaim for Porgy and Bess (1959), A Raisin in the Sun (1961), and A Patch of Blue (1965), because of his strong roles as epic African American male characters. He continued to break ground in three successful 1967 films which dealt with issues of race and race relations: To Sir, with Love; Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, and In the Heat of the Night, the latter of which won the Academy Award for Best Picture for that year.; accessed December 7, 2022.

The Civil Rights Movement

John Green teaches about a time of relative tumult in the United States, the 1960s. America was changing rapidly in the 1960s, and rights movements were at the forefront of those changes. Civil Rights were dominant, but the 60s also saw growth in the Women's Movement, the LGBT Rights Movement, the Latino Rights Movement, and the American Indian Movement. Also, Americans began to pay a bit more attention to the environment. All this change happened against the backdrop of the Cold War and the Rise of Conservatism. It was just wild. John will teach you about sit-ins, Freedom Rides, The March on Washington, MLK, JFK, LBJ, and NOW. Man, that is a lot of initialisms. And one acronym. Hey teachers and students - Check out CommonLit's free collection of reading passages and curriculum resources to learn more about the events of this episode. Civil Rights stayed strong throughout the 1960s, beginning with the peaceful sit-in movement in 1960 in the South: The Civil Rights Movement reached a high point when Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his 1963 “I Have a Dream” Speech at the March on Washington: After President Kennedy's assassination, President Johnson decided to promote Civil Rights as part of his Great Society program: After Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in 1968, the growing black power movement gained even more popularity: Learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in these episodes of Crash Course Black American History: The Montgomery Bus Boycott (35): Martin Luther King, Jr. (36): Student Civil Rights Activism (37): Malcolm X and the Rise of Black Power (38): The Black Panther Party (39):; accessed on October 12, 2022.

Alan Shepard First American in Space

On May 5, 1961, Mercury astronaut Alan B. Shepard, Jr. made history, becoming the first American in space with a 15-minute suborbital flight in his Freedom 7 caspsule.; accessed on October 12, 2022.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" Speech

I Have a Dream" is a public speech that was delivered by American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on August 28, 1963, in which he called for civil and economic rights and an end to racism in the United States. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech was a defining moment of the civil rights movement and among the most iconic speeches in American history. Under the applicable copyright laws, the speech will remain under copyright in the United States until 70 years after King's death, through 2038.; accessed October 24, 2022.


So The Beatles are like, a really big deal right? But Why? Any music buff will tell you that they're one of if not THE most important band of all time but rarely do we get definitive reasons why. So let's go through the different things the Beatles did throughout their career to have them get put on such a high pedestal or maybe even why they're overrated. We'll look at the Achievements made by them, the Musical Innovations they provided, the Quality of their music and skill as musicians, and finally their Cultural Impact. What's your favorite Beatles song or album? Do you think they're overrated? Why? Think they're underrated? Also why? Songs looked at in this video: The Beatles- Day Tripper, Tomorrow Never Knows, Norwegian Wood, Rain, Within You Without You, Paperback Writer, Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields Forever. Enjoy my video? Feel free to subscribe! My channel is devoted to helping other people as well as myself find new music and new ways to appreciate music. If you have suggestions for something I should listen to then leave a comment or send me an email!; accessed October 12, 2022.

The Great Society

The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964–65. The term was first coined during a 1964 commencement address by President Lyndon B. Johnson at Ohio University[1] and came to represent his domestic agenda.[2] The main goal was the total elimination of poverty and racial injustice.

New major spending programs that addressed education, medical care, urban problems, rural poverty, and transportation were launched during this period. The program and its initiatives were subsequently promoted by him and fellow Democrats in Congress in the 1960s and years following. The Great Society in scope and sweep resembled the New Deal domestic agenda of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Some Great Society proposals were stalled initiatives from John F. Kennedy's New Frontier.[3] Johnson's success depended on his skills of persuasion, coupled with the Democratic landslide victory in the 1964 elections that brought in many new liberals to Congress, making the House of Representatives in 1965 the most liberal House since 1938.[4][3] In the 88th Congress it was estimated that there were 56 liberals and 44 conservatives in the Senate, and 224 liberals and 211 conservatives in the House. In the 89th Congress it was estimated that there were 59 liberals and 41 conservatives in the Senate, and 267 liberals and 168 conservatives in the House.[5]

Anti-war Democrats complained that spending on the Vietnam War choked off the Great Society. While some of the programs have been eliminated or had their funding reduced, many of them, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Older Americans Act and federal education funding, continue to the present. The Great Society's programs expanded under the administrations of Republican Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.[6]; accessed on October 12, 2022.; accessed on October 12, 2022.

First Men on the Moon

Original Mission Video as aired in July 1969 depicting the Apollo 11 astronauts conducting several tasks during extravehicular activity (EVA) operations on the surface of the moon. The EVA lasted approximately 2.5 hours with all scientific activities being completed satisfactorily. The Apollo 11 (EVA) began at 10:39:33 p.m. EDT on July 20, 1969 when Astronaut Neil Armstrong emerged from the spacecraft first. While descending, he released the Modularized Equipment Stowage Assembly on the Lunar Module's descent stage. A camera on this module provided live television coverage of man's first step on the Moon. On this, their one and only EVA, the astronauts had a great deal to do in a short time. During this first visit to the Moon, the astronauts remained within about 100 meters of the lunar module, collected about 47 pounds of samples, and deployed four experiments. After spending approximately 2 hours and 31 minutes on the surface, the astronauts ended the EVA at 1:11:13 a.m. EDT on July 21.; accessed on October 12, 2022.

Woodstock Music Festival

Even now -- maybe especially now -- Woodstock has deep, lasting meaning. Its mix of music, culture and idealism resonates across the years. It gave youth a voice. It changed the music business. It energized activists. From stadium shows to social-justice movements, its legacy is strong: half a century later. Follow the inside story of the event and the history that continues! Woodstock: 3 Days That Changed Everything gets inside this familiar story to shed new light on an iconic event. It's like Netflix for history... Sign up to History Hit, the world's best history documentary service and get 50% off using the code 'TIMELINE' You can find more from us on: This channel is part of the History Hit Network. Any queries, please contact; accessed October 12, 2022.