Rock and Roll Living: 1961-1979

he 1960s and 1970s were neither the dawn of a hippie age of Aquarius nor the beginning of the downfall of society. America changed, but America had always been changing.

The youth counterculture hippie movement often associated with the 1960s lasted from the arrival of the Beatles in 1963 until the departure of Richard Nixon in 1974. Actually, the hippies never really left; they just settled down with mortgages and kids, much like their GI fathers and flapper grandmothers had done.

The 1960s and 1970s pushed social changes into the lives of everyone — changes that had been on the way for a century. These social updates included expansion of the role of women, more-equal treatment for African Americans and other minorities, and social freedom in dress and behavior. America got more choices and managed to roll over the rocky ground of Vietnam, assassinations, demonstrations, Woodstock, riots, peace, love, and Watergate. What a trip!


Although the AP test doesn't cover current events, questions from several decades ago are common.


John F. Kennedy (1960) was only 43 years old when he was sworn in as the youngest elected president in American history. To add to the movie-star freshness of his administration, he appointed his 35-year-old brother, Bobby, as attorney general and surrounded himself with a cabinet of the best and brightest advisers. This strategy was quite a change from the grandfatherly President Eisenhower.

Kennedy was handsome and eloquent; at his inauguration, he uttered still-famous lines like "Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country" and "Whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you."

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