The USA 1960-1980

Events & issues during the presidencies of Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford & Carter.

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1960 Presidential Election Documents
1960 Presidential Election Documents
From the American Presidency Project site, virtually every uttering of either candidate during election year.
Kennedy/Nixon TV Debate in Chicago (September 26, 1960)
Kennedy/Nixon TV Debate in Chicago (September 26, 1960)
Text & Video. The first ever TV debate between presidential candiddates and the first of four between the clean-cut senator from Massachusetts and the sitting Vice-President. Is this a victory of style over substance?
Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Speech (January 17th, 1961)
Dwight Eisenhower, Farewell Speech (January 17th, 1961)
Sometimes referred to as the 'Military-Industrial Complex Speech' this fascinating speech was delivered just before Eisenhower left office. Exactly what were Eisenhower's concerns?
JFK, Inaugural Address (January 20, 1961)
JFK, Inaugural Address (January 20, 1961)
Text & video - while inaugural speeches are often soft on policy detail - given their formal function - they do offer an insight into the tone and aspirations of the presidency to come. How does Kennedy's speech set out his agenda? Did he live up to it?
JFK White House Diary
JFK White House Diary
The Kennedy Library's digitised version of President Kennedy's appointments diary, also has links to scanned documents and news events.
SDS, "Port Huron Statement" excerpts (June 15th 1962)
SDS, "Port Huron Statement" excerpts (June 15th 1962)
Extracts from a key document in the history of the New Left. Famed for it's call for a renergised 'participatory democracy' how does this document reflect the impact of the Civil Rights Movement? Equally how - and why - does it differ from the agenda of SDS in 1969?
SDS document archive
SDS document archive
Students for a Democratic Society proved to be an organisation both typical of the New Left and reflective of its development. These pdfs provide an insight into how SDS moved from calls for reform, to radicalism and then on to calls for revolution in the space of a decade. How do the documents help explain that path?
Michael Harrington, The Other America - extract (1962)
Michael Harrington, The Other America - extract (1962)
Bizarre punctuation aside, this extract gives an example of Harrington's book which engaged both New Left activists and the White House in understanding the presence of the 'invisible poor'.
Lyndon B. Johnson - Presidential Recordings 1963-1969
Lyndon B. Johnson - Presidential Recordings 1963-1969
Between 1963 and 1969 Lyndon B. Johnson secretly recorded roughly 800 hours of conversations. The collection primarily consists of telephone recordings that Johnson made during his time in office - covering a range of domestic and foreign policy issues. In 1968, Johnson began recording meeting conversations. The Miller Center has posted many of these without an index. This site is good for browsing. If you wish to hunt for specific, there is an inde heldonline at the Johnson library.
Free Speech Movement Digital Archives
Free Speech Movement Digital Archives
The University of California Berkeley's own range of resources detailing the 1964 stand-off between students and the university over the meaning of higher education and the right to engage in political campaigning on campus.
The Free Speech Movement Archives
The Free Speech Movement Archives
Website containing texts, galleries & documents on the 1964 Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley.
American Experience: Lyndon Johnson
American Experience: Lyndon Johnson
4-hour PBS documentary charting the life and career of Lyndon Johnson. The accompanying web page is also stuffed with further film clips and documents.
Lyndon Johnson, Remarks at the University of Michigan (May 22nd, 1964)
Lyndon Johnson, Remarks at the University of Michigan (May 22nd, 1964)
Text & Audio. Here, Johnson set out his vision for the 'Great Society' - the guiding framework for his domestic agenda.
Ronald Reagan, "A Time For Choosing" speech (October 27th, 1964)
Ronald Reagan, "A Time For Choosing" speech (October 27th, 1964)
Text & video. This was the speech that marked Ronald Reagan's arrival in American politics and, along with the ideas of Barry Goldwater, marked out a new path for American conservatism. How did Reagan critique the state of America at a time when many perceived the nation was at its most affluent and powerful?
Iron Man: The Cold War Years
Iron Man: The Cold War Years
How have comics reflected the wider political culture of the period in which they were produced? A good place to begin addressing that question is a consideration of Marvel Comics' Iron Man. This site gives a plot breakdown of a number of comics starring Iron Man which featured a Cold War plot line.
Ramparts July 1966 - Delano Special
Ramparts July 1966 - Delano Special
Ramparts was a magazine of the New Left. This edition features reports, interviews and essays regarding the Delano grape strike - a key moment in the foundation of the United Farmworkers of America - the interracial labor union that effectively deployed non-violent tactics to transform an employment struggle into a moral crusade. How do these articles reflect the wider trends of the period?
American Experience: 1968
American Experience: 1968
Part 1 of 4 of a PBS documentary regarding the crisis that unfolded in August 1968 at the Democratic National Convention. Why was their chaos in the convention and a 'police riot' in the streets? Pts 2-4 also on YouTube.
NYU: 1968 Revisted
NYU: 1968 Revisted
New York University's archival collection of images and documents detailing the university's role in the countercultural movement of the 1960s. Contains a timeline, photos, reports from the university newspaper and other material. A great example of how the campus became a battleground during the cultural and political conflicts of the 1960s & 70s.
George Wallace in Madison Square Garden, NYT (Oct. 25th 1968)
George Wallace in Madison Square Garden, NYT (Oct. 25th 1968)
Times report detailing Wallace's campaign stop in front of 16,000 supporters - and some opponents - in New York City.
George Wallace, presidential campaign leaflet (1968)
George Wallace, presidential campaign leaflet (1968)
The relative success of George Wallace's 3rd party campaign in 1968 mattered because his appeal was not restricted to the South. Why would this agenda appeal to what Peter Shrag identified as 'the forgotten American'?