The Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was the first item found in the time capsule. It was an extended struggle between the autonomist forces endeavoring to unite Vietnam under the communist regime and the United States. The unification was meant to end the communism epoch in the country (Simon, 2009). The leaders of the United States of America were so much interested in the war that the public denied to support them. The war began after the French regime had pulled out of Vietnam, where the U.S. helped the South Vietnamese government carry out elections without the participation of the whole nation in the same. Nevertheless, Ngo Dihn Diem, the elected leader, led South Vietnam to an awful state and was removed through a coup, which was supported by the United States. During the Diem’s rule, he alienated several South Vietnamese, which headed communist sympathizers in establishing a National Liberation Front (NLF). The organization was meant to use guerrilla warfare against the South Vietnamese. During the war, the U.S sent extra advisors to South Vietnam. It resulted into the North Vietnamese firing directly upon two U.S ships in international waters. As a result, resolutions followed, which suggested that the president had the mandate to spiral the U.S participation in Vietnam. It led to sending ground troops to the country in March 1965.
The sending of the troops was meant to reinforce the South Vietnam defense forces, until they would take over the reign. The fighting conditions resembled those of the jungle war, under which it was difficult to know the enemy. The Vietnamese used underground tunnels, set up booby traps, as well as attacked from ambushes. The war resulted in the U.S. soldiers being discouraged, suffering from low morale, as well as using drugs.
The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
The assassination was another item found in the time capsule of the 1960s. The civil rights leader Martin Luther King was shot by a sniper on April 4, 1968. It happened while he was “on the balcony of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee” (David, 1986). The thirty-caliber rifle bullet entered his right cheek, through his neck, and finally the shoulder blade. These events happened at six o’clock in the evening, after which King was taken to a nearby hospital, though he was pronounced dead at seven o’clock (David, 1986). Martin Luther’s death led to a wave of violence, whereby several blacks took to the streets and organized riots. The FBI investigated the crime, though they presumed that the blacks were partially responsible for it. After the investigation, ex-convict James Earl Ray was arrested for the murder, though several people, including some, who had relationships with King, believed that he was blameless.
Martin Luther advocated for several civil rights of people. Due to this, he became a famous person and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. For instance, he initiated a long tenure as a spokesperson of the nonviolent protest in the civil rights movement.
The Assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1963
One of the five items was the next event. John Kennedy was the thirty-fifth president of the U.S., “assassinated on November 22, 1963” (David, 1986). The tragic event happened in Dallas, Texas. He had political frictions with the Democratic Party belonging to liberals. Kennedy was forty-six years old and was regarded as the youngest president killed in the history of U.S. Lee Harvey Oswald was charged with the murder, though he denied it. Later, the Warren Commission was formed to investigate the death, which judged that Oswald was a lone assassin. However, most people in the U.S believed that there was a conspiracy to assassinate the president. Though the latter was married, his wife suffered a miscarriage and stillbirth. It led to the fact that their infant children born after these incidents died.
The 1960s marked a great move in the world of music. The period saw the formation and evolution of rock. Popular singers and songwriters wrote and performed their own works. One of the popular rock American singers of the time was Elvis Presley. He is referred to as the “King of Rock and Roll” nowadays. Elvis had a versatile voice and sang songs belonging to many genres, including pop ballads, gospel, as well as blues. He also won fourteen competitive Grammy awards at the age of 36.
The Latin Americans and Jamaicans were also not left behind in the evolution of music. For instance, such genres as bossa nova, cha-cha-cha, ska, as well as calypso became very popular. Asia was also influenced by the music events of the 1960s and the rise of western famous music groups, such as The Beatles, coming into the picture. More so, in South America, the salsagenre also grew popular towards the end of the decade. The British psychedelic culture also emerged in the mid 1960s, which attempted to replicate and enhance the mind-altering experiences of hallucinogenic drugs. This movement attracted non-western cultures, such as Indian music ragas, as well as sitars. Studio effects, long instrumental passages, and surreal lyrics also characterized this movement.
One of the disasters of the 1960s was Hurricane Betsy, which was the first stifling one in the Atlantic Basin and caused damage estimated one billion dollars. It developed in the east of the Windward Islands in the area of disturbed weather. It led to the formation of a tropical depression. Hurricane Betsy damaged many cities in the Bahamas, where the tides were 2.3 feet below mean low water (Sugg, 2000). More so, a man died aboard his ship, and the overall damage totaled fourteen million USD. Hurricane Betsy approached the east coast of Florida on September 7, 1965, and resulted into several damages too. It also affected the Gulf of Mexico, where a shell oil platform located off the mouth of the Mississippi river was never seen again. This oilrig called Maverick was owned by George H.W. Bush’s Zapata Corporation.
Space Exploration, Science and Technology
The space race between the U.S. and the Soviet Union augmented in the 1960s. For example, the latter sent the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space during the Vostok 1 mission. The U.S. had also taken the lead by the mid-sixties with the then President John Kennedy setting the goal of a manned spacecraft landing on the Moon by the end of the decade (David, 2004). In 1966, the Soviet Union launched Luna 10, which later was the initial space probe to go to the moon’s orbit. In 1968, Apollo 8 became the first manned mission to the Moon’s orbit. It led to Apollo 11, the first human spaceflight aimed to land on the Earth’s natural satellite on July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, a command module pilot, and a lunar module pilot, Buzz Aldrin participated in the mission.
Commercial satellites also came into use in the 1960s, as well as subsequent visits to the Moon, Venus and Mars. Other scientific innovations of the time included the release of female birth-control contraceptive pills in the United States of America. It followed the successful heart transplantation operation by Professor Christiaan Barnard in South Africa.
Technological advancements were also witnessed in the 1960s with the launching of compact Ford Mustang in 1964. The American big three automakers became a great success and enjoyed the highest sales. It led to compact, mid-sized and full-sized cars manufacturing. There was also an improvement in electronics and communications, when the first transatlantic satellite broadcast through the Telstar satellite was done. At that period, the first computer video game called Spacewar was created. Touch-tone telephones, as well as the first video recorder were invented by the Nottingham Electronic Valve Company in 1963. In 1967, the first automatic teller machine was launched in the Barclays bank in London. Additionally, the BASIC programming language was created in 1964. The PAL and SECAMbroadcast color television systems were formalized in public in Europe.
The Importance of the Events in Defining the Era of the 1960s
The 1960s events played significant roles in the human existence, as well as contemporary society. For instance, it was marked by the counterculture exposition of diverse societies in the world. Experienced in the U.S., the counterculture ideology was seen as the defying of conventional social norms. The youth following its ideas rejected racial segregation, and while their parents stopped supporting the U.S. government in the Vietnam War, the former did the opposite. The cross-cultural linkage also led to the formation of new ideas among people. For instance, the spread of the western culture to Asia led to the appreciation of western norms worldwide. The civil rights movement changed the lives of several Americans forever. For instance, led by Martin Luther King, Jr., it disclosed customary practices of how people were treated. These included the separation of schools into those for black and white children. As a result of the civil rights movement, the blacks could be treated in the same manner as the whites in the U.S.. The ideas of sitting at the back of public buses and refusing black women to service in most restaurants currently do not exist. More so, employment ads, which at the time were divided into “Negro” and “White”, also disappeared. It steered a sturdy and peaceful American society, where racism had ended.
The 1960’s assassinations led to strengthening leaders’ security. It was due to the murder of famous U.S. president John Kennedy, as well as civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Their deaths were a big loss for U.S. citizens. The Warren Commission, as well as the FBI became steady in their work and played a major role in sentencing culprits. Enhanced security was deployed in the presidential palace, as well as Martin Luther’s home, to prevent future attacks.
The music of the 1960s also had its significance for people. For instance, rock and psychedelic music helped to alter the hallucinogenic effects of drugs. The former educated people on the then lifestyle and advocated for the equal treatment of all human races. For instance, the bands of the time, including the Beatles, also preached peace across nations in the areas they performed their songs. The 1960s also laid the basis for modern music.
As far as the disaster in the 1960s is concerned, it led to the government involvement in giving food aids to the affected people. It was an immediate remedy that had to be adopted, otherwise citizens could die. President Johnson took personal control over the damage caused by Hurricane Betsy and was determined to help the greater majority of suffering American citizens.
Space exploration, science and technology were also significant in the 1960s. For instance, with the innovation of birth control pills, the population all over the world could be controlled. It made possible to reduce the poverty rate and enable several women to decide on the appropriate time to start families. The space flight to the Moon, Mars and Venus also exposed the world to the existence of alternative life forms on other planets. For instance, the Apollo 11 mission argued that there was the possibility to live on the Moon. Space exploration and scientific innovations made the U.S. and the Soviet Union famous all over the world. Satellites and computer programming programs were major developments in the field of communication. There was a major shift to a worldwide linkage through broadcasting systems, as well as the creation of new jobs among several people to work in the industries. These included the automobile industry with the manufacturing of new cars. It also led to the growth of the economy and national prosperity. Revenues generated from all technological industries were steered towards national development.
In conclusion, the events of the 1960s played one major role of laying the foundation for the contemporary world to improve and acted as a reference point to draw good examples and follow them, while ignoring bad ones. For instance, the civil rights movements have made black Americans’ lives important today in the U.S. More so, the overall world of technology has improved, taking root in the 1960s. The popular people’s culture has been accorded with much respect in this era. It is a crucial point in people’s history that cannot be ignored.