Events in the 60s and leading up to them that "periodize the 60s"
-1956: Virtual disappearance of the American Communist Party
-Assassination of President Kennedy
-General trend towards decolonization:
-1957: Independence of Ghana
United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopts a resolution condemning South Africa for human rights abuses. The resolution urges the Secretary-General of the United Nations to contact the government of South Africa to condemn their human rights practices and also organizes an ad hoc committee to investigate the abuses. The United Nations Commission on Human Rights declares March 21 International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
The National Health Service Act in Britain enables local authorities to provide family planning service and the contraceptive pill. (Note: this law has been emended/changed- so the provisions are no longer there- but it does exist.)
6: Svetlana Alliluyeva, the youngest child and only daughter of Joseph Stalin see also, goes to the U.S. embassy in New Delhi to petition for political asylum. Upon her arrival in the U.S. in April, she gives a press conference denouncing her father's regime and the Soviet government. Her intention to publish her autobiographical Twenty Letters To A Friend on the fiftieth anniversary of the Soviet revolution causes an uproar in the USSR.
28: At his induction into the U.S. Armed Forces in Houston, Muhammad Ali refused four times to step forward at the call of his name, despite the fact that an officer warned him he was committing a felony punishable by five years in prison and a fine of $10,000. That day the New York State Athletic Commission suspended his boxing license and stripped him of his title. Other boxing commissions followed suit. NPR
Australians approved a referendum to amend the constitution to allow the federal government to make laws regarding Aboriginal Australians and to include them in the national census to determine electoral representation. The referendum became law in August. Aboriginal Australians had been formally granted the right to vote in 1962.
5: Arab forces attack Israel in Six Day War(lasting from June 5 1967-June 10 1967). In retaliation, Israel takes Sinai, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights, West Bank and East Jerusalem/The Old City with US support. The PLO takes leadership of the Palestinian struggle against Israel.
June 16-18: The Monterey International Pops Festival occurred. Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, The Who, and Jimi Hendrix all performed. The rock festival inducted untold thousands into the counterculture.
June 30: President Johnson issued an executive order placing 19 year olds at the top of the draft lift. This decision guaranteed that baby boomer would bear the major burden of fighting the war in Vietnam.
9: Che Guevara, the Argentine-born Marxist revolutionary, guerrilla leader and aide to Castro, is murdered in Bolivia.
World's first heart transplant operation carried out in South Africa.
'Dialects of Liberation' conference at the Roundhouse, London, brings together international figures from the revolutionary Left.
The Arts lab is set up in Drury Lane, London (See http://www.studycollection.co.uk/auralhistory/part4.htm)
Artists placement Group (APG) is founded by John Latham in the UK, with the aim of placing artists in industrial manufacturing situations. Tate Museum Archives
27: The Abortion Act passed in the UK, allowing women to terminate pregnancies on medical or psychological grounds.
5: Prague Spring (beginning w/Alexander Dubcek's rise to power on January 5)
30: Tet Offensive (launched January 30th, ctd. until September 23)
- The Tet Offensive (1/31/1968) - More than 80,000 Vietcong attacked 136 cities across Southern Vietnam, forcing the Americans to accept that the US was not making progress in the war. (Some Video Here| http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-1040370051523878916]
Five men, including Dr. Benjamin Spock, the author and pediatrician, and the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., chaplain of Yale University, are indicted on charges of conspiring to counsel young men to violate the draft laws.
8: Police fire on student demonstrators, killing three students and shooting 27 in the Orangeburg Massacre.
8: Alabama's Governor George C. Wallace announced that he would run for president as the candidate of the newly formed American Independent Party.
6-18: 1968 Winter Olympics are held in Grenoble, France. The IOC allows East and West Germany to enter as separate teams, for the first time.
Late February--The Beatles make a very productive trip to India to study meditation with the Maharishi, writing 48 songs in 8 weeks. They are joined at the site by Mia Farrow, among others. A 24 year old, recently dumped by his girlfriend, also joins the group, intending to study meditation as a way to mend his broken heart. He later writes a book about the experience.
February-March -- The United States' first statewide teachers' strike begins in Florida.
16: Hundreds (estimated 347-504) of unarmed South Vietnamese civilians are killed by American soldiers in what becomes known as the My Lai Massacre. This event was initially covered up by the Army, and the story is not broken to the public until November, 1969.
31: President Johnson announces that he will be not be running for reelection. This occurs a couple of weeks after he is nearly defeated in the New Hampshire primary by Senator McCarthy, and Robert Kennedy announce that he will be running for President (both of these men opposed the Vietnam War).
Anti-Vietnam war protests in the USA are followed by student uprisings in Europe. In London, a protest in Trafalgar square moves on to the US Embassy in Grovesnor Square
In Poland, the government's new anti-Semitic and anti-democratic campaign led to an outbreak of student demonstrations in Warsaw. Protesters were brutalized by the police and by militia groups. As a result, a large number of students and professors were expelled from the university, while some were drafted into the army. Most professors of Jewish descent were forced to emigrate.
10: 1968 Academy Awards are held after a two-day postponement owing to the assassination of Dr. King.
23-30: Students at Columbia protest the university's association with the Institute for Defense Analysis (a Department of Defense think-tank) and implicit support of the Vietnam War, and the planned construction of a gym that was seen as discriminatory towards local residents in Harlem. Student protesters take over and occupy several buildings on campus, shutting down the university until they are forcibly removed by the NYPD. Wikipedia (Note: Primary documents are available for this all over the web. For Example Here or here or here. That's right. Someone has images of the buttons on the web. If someone was really into this- this deserves developing.)
Student uprisings in Paris all month. See May 1968 and [Guy Debord].Inspired by the protests in Paris, students at the [Hornsey school of art|http://www.1968andallthat.net/node/82] to turn a 'teach-in' on art education into an occupation of college buildings
[Ronan Point|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronan_Point] tower block, made of pre-fabricated slabs, collapses in East End of London
Japan: 10,000 Nihon University students demonstrate in front of the administration building in order to protest the expenditure of 3400million yen from university funds. The board of directors would not publicly account for these lost finances.
3: [Andy Warhol|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Warhol} is shot in New York by Valerie Solanas.
6: Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a strong supporter of civil rights, assassinated after winning California primary.
The Venice Biennale is closed after demonstrations.
30: Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical Humanae Vitae (which he dubbed as a circular letter and not a dogma) in which he took a strong stand against oral contraceptives.
2: Mexico witnesses the Tlatelolco Massacre on the eve of their hosting the Summer Olympics
Tommie Smith and John Carlos carry out Black Power Salute at Mexico City Olympic Games
In London, Enoch Powell makes the [['Rivers of Blood'|http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/11/06/do0607.xml&page=1] speech| http://www.natfront.com/powell.html\] }in protest at the numbers of immigrants coming to Britain. He is subsequently sacked from his government post for inciting racial prejudice
The Theatre Act ends censorship of plays in the UK
[SPACE (Space Provision Artistic Cultural and Educational) Studio| http://www.spacestudios.org.uk/\] established by London-based artists [Peter Sedgley|http://www.petersedgley.com/], [Bridget Riley|http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bridget_Riley] and Peter Townsend (as in the Who?) to provide affordable artists' studios.