Little Rock Nine- Mistreated ..


Little rock was a school in Arkansas.

On Monday, September 23, 1957, the nine students set off for the high school. They were the only nine black students attending a all-white school. Knowing that there would be a lot of violence towards them they always use to stay near the rear of the entrance. Racial white mobs were always close together just to beat up these nine black students. In fear of getting hurt these black students will always run towards the back entrance of the school. However to keep peace and safety President Elisenhower sent a 101 airborne division to protect these nine students. Each student was guided and had their own patrol officer with them at all times.  Yet, somehow this did not stop the white students from hurting these nine African American students in the school. They stabbed one of the students, and also sprayed acid into another student’s eye.  In defense some of the, black students would try to protect and stand up for themselves.  One of the students was suspended because she called a white student “white-trash”. It is clearly stated that whites were being in favor here in the school, where as the blacks were being treated unfair.


Becoming “Green”

Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring"

One thing in chapter 25 that really stood out to me was the section about the expoansion of the idea of Environmentalism. Today, it seems very normal that we would consider the impact that our actions have on the planet – but as we probably already knew, it was’nt always a thought that was on the top of all of our minds.

At the end of chapter 24, while concluding his discussion on the 1950s and leading in to a discussion about the 1960s, Foner mentions briefly some of the the reasons that protecting the environment suddenly started to become such a major area of concern. He mentions how the emmissions from the growing number of cars on the road, along with the “improvement” of more efficient gasoline and other widely used products were all severely polluting the air and tearing a hole in the Earth’s ozone layer.

In 1962 a book entitled “Silent Spring” was written by a marine biologist by the name of Rachel Carson. This book vividly illustrated the effects of a particular chemical known as “DDT”, which was used to keep away insects and was killing birds and other animals as well as making humans sick. “Silent Spring” effectively launched the modern day environmentalist movement.

-C. Salama


Student’s Against Vietnam

During the 1960’s there was an increasing rise of students in America going to college. With that, students became more focused in other areas of society such as politics. They created the “New Left” which they wanted to make America a true democracy. They questioned and compared the drastic differences between American ideals and America’s reality. As a result, they became actively involved and protested against the Vietnam War.

The Vietnam War started in the 1950’s in which America feared Vietnam would fall into the domino effect and fall into communism. Vietnam was separated between the communistic North and  democratic South. Although America slowly regretted entering into this war, Johnson and Kennedy feared they would not be forgiven for “losing” Vietnam. This led to students strongly protesting against the war and demanding a recall of U.S. involvement on the war.  Ultimately, U.S. lost the war in Vietnam.


Problem with No Name: Solution NOW

The video above is about Betty Friedan who led the second wave of Women’s liberation in the 1960s. Gaining huge popularity with her book The Feminine Mystique in 1963, she later goes on to become one of the founders of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1966. Although many of the movements only date back to the day of the Women’s Strike for Equality on August 26, 1970, and forward, the resulting success is commenced from the progress of all the women’s effort before this.

Women’s liberation rooted back to the 1950s because the ideology of subordination of male dominance derived from the social change of increasing women in the work force. The advanced developments of new appliances during that time, such as washers and vacuum cleaners, lessen the work for women, which in turn, created more time for them to work. The gender roles of the 1950s differ greatly from the past comparing to their grandmothers and mothers before her; women were now paid working women as well as full-time housewife.


Post War Economy: 1950-1960

Many Americans feared that the end of World War II and the subsequent drop in military spending might bring back the hard times of the Great Depression. But instead, pent-up consumer demand fueled exceptionally strong economic growth in the post war period. The automobile industry successfully converted back to producing cars, and new industries such as aviation and electronics grew by leaps and bounds. A housing boom, stimulated in part by easily affordable mortgages for returning members of the military, added to the expansion. The nation’s gross national product rose from about $200,000 million in 1940 to $300,000 million in 1950 and to more than $500,000 million in 1960. At the same time, the jump in postwar births, known as the “baby boom,” increased the number of consumers. More and more Americans joined the middle class.


Violent Outbreak of the 60s

Injustice and racial equality still existed in the sixties. Many political activism and social changes were made before this time, but America was not free of prejudice (some argue that it still isn’t  today) . The violent outbreak of The Watts in 1965 shown the frustration of racial change during the sixties in Los Angeles. This event marked an uprising violence of black ghettos in the nation. An estimated 50,000 people took part in  attacking police and fireman and burning buildings. 15,000 police were involved to restore order, 900 were injured, 35 people dead, and $30 million worth of property were damaged.  Violence also outbreak in Harlem and Detroit causing some theorists to say that the country was in danger of being torn apart by racial antagonism.


Spring 1963


The climax of the modern civil rights movement occurred in Birmingham. The city’s violent response to the spring 1963 demonstrations against white supremacy forced the federal government to intervene on behalf of race reform.The public outcry provoked President John F. Kennedy to propose civil rights legislation that became the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The act opened America’s social, economic, and political system to African Americans demonstrators Attackedand other minorities, including women, the handicapped, and gays and lesbians. The legislation addressed the principal goal of the movement of gaining access to the system as consumers but also set in motion strategies to gain equality through affirmative action policies.

Birmingham was a major centre of civil rights activities and the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church was an organisational centre for the movement. In particular, youths used the church as a centre to help plan out strategies to get more black high school children involved in the civil rights cause. In the Spring of 1963, stores in downtown Birmingham had been desegregated and just days before the bombing, schools in Birmingham had been ordered by a federal court to integrate – nearly ten years after Brown v Topeka. Many Klansmen would not accept this decision nor the successes the civil rights cause seemed to be making.

The chief of police in the city, Bull Connor, was very anti-civil rights and had ordered that police dogs and fire hoses be used on civil rights demonstrators in May 1963.

Birmingham was also a stronghold of the KKK. The influence of the KKK was such that children’s books that showed black and white rabbits together were banned from sale in book shops in the city. Segregation was the norm in the city. Violence against the black community in Birmingham was not unusual but the deliberate bombing of a church took that violence to a new level.



On politically important event in the 1960’s was the attempt to “remove” Fidel Castro from power in Cuba.  The Bay of Pigs invasion was a covert mission launched by the US government in April of 1961 under the Kennedy administration.  Its purpose was to insert 1400 CIA trained Cuban operatives into southern Cuba into a location known as the Bay of Pigs.  They would then make their way northward to Castro’s capitol in Havana. The operatives’ mission was to carry out the program nicknamed “Operation PLUTO”. OP PLUTO called for the replacement of the Castro regime, with one that was more focused on the true interests of the Cuban people; and one that is more acceptable to the US.  It was also paramount that it did not appear that the US had any involvement in this issue.  The method of removal covered all bases including assassination.  This was just the beginning of the troubles that the US had with Cuba under JFK, later to come was the infamous Cuban Missile Crisis.  It was a time of tension and fear, with the realization that the US could be the target of Nuclear Weapons, and with Cuba being only 90 miles south of Florida, the missiles could reach every location in the continental US.



Freedom and Equality for the Least-Advantaged

Soon after assuming office in 1963, Johnson resurrected the phrase “freedom from want”, all but forgotten during the 1950s. Recognizing that black poverty was fundamentally different from the white one, since its roots lay in “past injustice and present prejudice”, he wanted to redefine the relationship between freedom and equality. He insisted that “we seek not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result”. The powers of the national government were mobilized to address the needs of the least-advantaged Americans, especially those, like blacks, largely excluded from the New Deal entitlements, such as Social Security. Coupled with the decade’s high rate of economic growth, the War on Poverty succeeded in reducing the incidence of poverty from 22% to 13% of American families during the 1960s.


Practice What You Preach !

Martin Luther King wrote Letter from Birmingham Jail April 1963 while serving a nine day prison term. This letter is very famous. Martin Luther King is originally from Atlanta but in the letter he explained “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and thats why he was in Birmingham conducting many non violent protests. Birmingham was one of the most segregated cities in the south. I title this post “Practice What you Preach” because in his letter Martin Luther King critized many clergymen for being afraid to support him and help fight for equality. A lot of white moderates and clergymen criticized what Martin was doing and they thought that he was being too extreme. They thought  that the blacks just needed to be patient and eventually there will be equality. Martin disagreed with them in his letter he stated “Oppressed people cannot remain oppressed forever. The yearning for freedom eventually manifests itself, and that is what has happened to the American Negro.” Blacks were tired of waiting; they were ready to fight and the younger generation also more aggressive than before.

During the 1960’s we see a lot more school aged kids fighting for equality. It can be assumed that the rise of protesting by students has roots in the 195o’s era change. I think that many were inspired by the Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954. According to Foner, in May of 1963 when King made a bold decision to send young black school children to protest was a huge triumph for the Civil Rights Movement. Schoolchildren were beaten up by nightsticks and dogs, and sprayed by high pressure fire hoses and this caused a revulsion not only throughout Birmingham or the United States but around the world !





The Femine Mystique

Even though woman had the right to vote, it did little to increase political and economic freedom for women. According to Foner, Women were still treated as subordinates to men in the early 1960s, where their rights were second class compared to men and job opportunities limited to low wage clerical positions. Foner asserts that Betty Friedan’s book “The Feminine Mystique” published in 1963 revived the feminine consciousness and exposed the third class treatment women received. She even compared the Suburban home to a “comfortable concentration camp.”

I think the feminist movement of the 60’s had its root in the 1950’s since it was an Era when the Nation took a break from War and was able to concentrate on domestic issues. The economic prosperity of the 1950’s and technological innovation lended women more time to create woman’s groups and think about dealing with their rights. I have also posted pictures of Protests by 20,000 women on August 9, 1956 which eventually became known as National Women’s Day. Even though they were not protesting for women’s rights, it showed how organized women were and their willingness to fight for rights.






The closet door breaks open…

As the world was experiencing movements that included women’s rights, civil rights, and more, one group of people were unaware that they were permitted a voice. Hiding in the background for fear of ridicule the gay community wasn’t developed into such. But as the other movements were gaining momentum the Gay community found solace in the Mattachine Society. The society sought to dissolve the presumed boundaries between gay peoples and “average Americans.” Without the societies work, and the defensive position that gay people were put into following McCarthyism, the gay movement wouldn’t have been able to grab hold.

The video above goes to tell the story of the Stonewall Bar incident where after police raided an actively homosexual bar, instead of fleeing, the people began to fight back physically and soon politically with the coming of marches and parades.



The Brown Berets

The Brown Berets is a Chicano nationalist activist group of young Mexican Americans that emerged during the Chicano Movement. The Chicano Movement is a Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. It stated in 1965, it was a cultural as well as a political movement, helping to construct new, transnational cultural identities and fueling a renaissance in politically charged visual, literary, and performance art. One of the first organizations that gave strength to the movement was the United Farm Workers organization(UFW), formed in 1962.


The Black Movement

Black riot in the 1960s

In the 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement concerning African Americans continued to grow. This is a battle that blacks in America had been fighting for years, and while there was some advancement through various legislation, there was still great unrest in the black community. Violent outbreaks began in black ghettos; these conflicts involved angry blacks and mostly white police. They first broke out in Harlem in 1964 and began happening in various ghettos such as Los Angeles and Detroit. This violence was so widespread that many citizens feared a racial civil war would come out of it. While government recognized the riots and outbreaks, there were no outright proposals for any kind of change.

Montgomery Bus Boycott

The unrest that caused this violence spurred from the rampant legal segregation that had existed. During the 1950s, many began to fight it, no longer able to deny its injustice. However, it was in the 1960s that opposition began to turn so violent and recurrent.


The Anti-war movement

The War in Vietnam and the Cold War foreign policy eventually brought the Anti-war movement in the U.S. in 1960s. More than half a million American troops were sent to Vietnam and about 60,000 were dead when U.S. exited the war. Since more and more Americans, specially the young, against to be sent to fight in a foreign country, the anti-war movement was getting strong.  The leader of SDS(Students for a Democartic Society) openly chanlleged the idea of  Cold War thinking and linked Vietnam to a critique of American interventions in Guatemala and Iran. “Martin Luther King Jr. condemned the administration’s Vietnam policy as an unconscionable  use of violence” declared Foner.

Below is the speech of Martin Luther King Jr. “Why I am opposed to the war in Vietnam”


At least we are moving, trying to Integrate

There have been many events after the signing of the emancipation proclamation that freed slaves that moved the country towards equality for slaves.   It was a slow process, but after world war 2 and during the 1950’s the civil right movement moved with great force.  This movement finally took off in the 1960’s and became a full fledge movement.  There was a need to get blacks out of poverty, many feeling that it was one of the ways that freedom can be acquired, alone with equality.  The fights for better education, access to public accommodations, and voting that evolved in the 50’s allowed blacks to start fighting for better economic issues pushing for more government action.

Black Power movement at the Chicago Freedom Movement Rally, Soldier Field (Freedom Sunday)



Cuban missiles Crisis

At 1962 there was a biggest crisis between the two superpowers. In October American spy planes found out that the Soviet Union installed missiles in Cuba with nuclear weapons because U.S. installed missies on Turkey. The Cuban missiles were capable of reaching the United States which caused a great atmosphere of fear that the nuclear weapons would directly attack U.S., so it became the most difficulty for the Kennedy administration. President Kennedy rejected to attack Cuba instead of to block Cuba and demand that Soviet Union remove missiles from Cube. However, Kennedy started to negotiate with the Soviet Union’s premier Nikita Khrushchev. After thirteen days both of them agreed to withdraw missiles on Cuba and Turkey, also Kennedy promised that would not invade Cuba. Kennedy foreign police successfully ease the most dangerous crisis between the two superpowers in the cold war.


The bill of rights for the disadvantaged

Civil and economic rights movement

With only a few victories in the civil rights movement, African Americans began their journey to fix economic problems in the black community. With nearly twice as many African Americans unemployed as whites, and the average black family income slightly over half the white norm, Leaders like MLK attempted to solve economic hardships. King had proposed the Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged, which was aimed at poverty in the country. King had argued it was time for the government to step in to do something special for black people after they had suffered hundreds of years of hardship. This bill later became associated with affirmative action which calls for the consideration of race, color, religion and gender in the field of employment to give an equal opportunity to underrepresented groups. In 1966, MLK started the Chicago Freedom Movement to end further discrimination in employment, mortgages accessibility, public homes and low income housing. King had used previous methods to lead the movement but eventually failed because of the heavy opposition from white home owners.


The Great Society

Great Society was opening up opportunities for people and improving the quality of life for all. This program helps people in many ways. Such as “provide health services to the poor and elderly in the new Medicaid and Medicare programs and poured federal   funds into education and urban development”.(Foner:927). Also it cutting personal and corporate income taxes, originally proposed by Kennedy. The purpose of the tax cut was to stimulate the economy by placing more money in the hands of investors and consumers.

“War on poverty” was created a new government office to administer the problem established by the act. These included Head start, an early childhood education program. It was job training for youths, legal services and provides scholarship for poor college students. And VISTA which was a domestic peace corps of volunteers performing services in dressed areas.


Feminism: Women and the Kitcen


The Kitchen Debate by Nixon and Khrushchev in 1959 has embraced many American ideologies at that time, and the role of women in the kitchen is one of them. In the 1950s, it was widely conceived that women ought to spend most of her time in the kitchen and doing various house works. Although Vice President Nixon did not explicit stated it, he has implied that the electronic appliances were so great that they are the equivalent of a woman. The Kitchen Debate further emphasized the fact that most American men at that time regarded their spouses as mere appliances in the kitchen instead of human beings. I believe that the underlying theme in the Kitchen Debate has a certain degree of influence on Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique, a publication that has awakened the public feminist consciousness.

With the influence from The Feminine Mystique, American women have realized that, by tradition, they have been enslaved in the kitchen. In addition, they were more conscious of the unequal treatments they faced in work forces. With this new consciousness in their minds, they have pushed for more reforms in civil rights movements. In response to the changes in public opinions, the government has passed various gender equality laws, such as the Equal Pay Act in 1963, which prohibited different wage standards base on genders, and The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which eliminated discrimination by both gender and race.