Timeline: 1960s


1960s graphic

President Eisenhower delivers his farewell speech, Jan. 17, 1961: “We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.”

Thumbs UpEleanor Roosevelt heads the President's Commission on the Status of Women.

Thumbs Up Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps. March 1, 1961.

Thumbs UpIn reaction to the Thalidomide drug tragedy, Congress requires extensive testing before a drug can be sold in the U.S.

Silent Spring, published in 1962, sounds the alarm about harmful pesticides and launches environmental movement.

Thumbs UpEqual Pay Act of 1963 makes it illegal to pay a woman less than a man receives for the same work.

Thumbs UpAug. 28, 1963: Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivers “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Nearly half a million people attend.

Thumbs Up1963. Betty Friedan publishes 'The Feminine Mystique.'

Thumbs Up Wilderness Act of 1964 protects 9 million acres of public land from development.

Thumbs UpCIVIL RIGHTS ACT, signed on July 2, 1964, outlaws discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is established to investigate complaints and impose penalties.

Thumbs Down Aug. 7, 1964. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution increases U.S. troops presence in Vietnam.

Anti-war sentiment grows. Students for a Democratic Society and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee lead a march in Washington D.C. with about 25,000 protestors.

Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965: In Selma, 600 civil rights marchers are attacked by police. Two weeks later, 3,200 marchers set out from Selma; by the time they arrive in Montgomery, they are 25,000 strong.

Thumbs UpIn 1965, President Johnson signs National Voting Rights Act, and initiates the Great Society reforms to eliminate poverty and racial injustice.

Thumbs UpMedicare and Medicaid become law.

Thumbs UpConsumers win Fair Packaging and Labeling laws.

May 5, 1965: 40 students hold first public burning of a draft card.

June 1966: Sierra Club publishes full-page newspaper ads opposing a planned dam that would flood the Grand Canyon. Two years later, plans for the dam die.

The National Organization for Women founded June 30, 1966.

Thumbs DownNumber of U.S. troops in Indochina peaks at over 500,000.

1967: Anti-war demonstrations throughout the country.

Thumbs UpNational Environmental Policy Act of 1969 adopted. EPA and Clean Air Act follow in 1970.

Thumbs UpMartin Luther King Jr. wins Nobel Peace Prize.