The sixties exploded onto the consciousness of America more than any other decade. This time became a turning point in our history as authority was questioned and openly defied. Along the way, much of what happened was far from heroic. Murder, hatred and anarchy seemed the norm at times as the mass media descended upon a culture that was at war as much with its identity as it was with the foreign powers abroad.

Political Upheaval


Civil Unrest




In that chaos were moments of near perfection, where legions of people from all backgrounds and social classes stopped for a brief time, breathing in the sights and sounds of all that we could be as a country. But too often, these moments were shattered as the culture bowed under the weight of itself.

For the first time, minorities stood firm against an American justice and political system that seemed bent on maintaining its authoritarian role. Out of this fight, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped onto the center stage of American life in a way that no two black men would ever again.

Politics became local again as students from around the country marched alongside civil rights workers from the south. Whether it be the Vietnam War or college presidents, these middle-class white students fresh from the suburbs - when exposed to the harsh realities of the world - refused to buckle under a system that they had never questioned before.

As the media documented the events that unfolded before the watchful eyes of a nation, the counter-culture revolution, spurred by the likes of Bob Dylan and the Beat writers, set out to create new cultural rules to live by. No longer were drugs, sex and rock-n-roll taboo subjects. Alone and free for the first time, kids who pursued Jack Kerouac "On the Road" banded together at the end of the trail in Haight-Ashbury, forming a group of merry men and women bent on fighting, loving and carousing.

King and Malcolm X didn't see the end of the decade. Medgar Evars was murdered as well. JFK and RFK were gunned down in front of the nation. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix overdosed and faded away. With every gain came a loss, and eventually the crestfallen dreams of an utopia never reached became a cross too heavy to bear. But the warriors from that time can take solace, knowing that their battles forever changed the world we live in today. What follows on these pages is a look at the people who led the nation through this time.

Political Upheaval    Civil Unrest     Counter-Culture