The 1960s are remembered as a time of tumult and change. However, to be accurate, most of that occurred in the late 1960s and spilled over well into the early 1970s. The first part of the 1960s was a relatively sedate time, culturally ... though the seeds of change were already being sown with the election of a young, vital and progressive president, John F. Kennedy, whose brief tenure in office was known as "Camelot."
Elsewhere in the 1960s, London was the hotbed of the colorful and artistic "Mod" culture. Russia, then part of the Soviet Union, took an early lead in what was known as the "Space Race." (Spoiler for Russia fans: It didn't last). In California, Stanford and UCLA were making the first server-to-server connections, laying the groundwork for what would later become the internet. Naturally, these cutting-edge computer scientists began to use this early connection to discuss the popular '60s TV show, "Star Trek," and so was born -- or at least foreshadowed -- the chat rooms and forums we've all come to know and love. (Sort of).
Whether you remember the 1960s from having lived through them, or you're a young fan of the era who regrets being "born too late," (sigh), we've got a quiz for you. Test your knowledge of all things groovy now!
These were commonly called "TV dinners" back in the day, because they were handy to eat right in front of the television. Nowadays, of course, people eat all sorts of meals in front of the TV, even ones made from scratch. (Some people would say this is really not an improvement in our lives).
Phones of the 1950s and '60s were called "rotary dial" phones. It's possible that a Gen-Zer would just stare at one in perplexity and need to be told how to use it, just like people did with the first phones in the 1920s.
Hey, you could smoke just about ANYWHERE in the 1960s. We'd joke that the only place you couldn't was a Nicotine Anonymous meeting, but NA wasn't founded until 1982!
You don't hear this term much nowadays. The old "five-and-dime" tradition still goes on, though, in today's dollar stores.
Some people forget that "Star Trek" wasn't initially a success; it struggled in the ratings. Today, though, the concept has become its own fictional universe, with TV shows, films and an alternate timeline.
Johnny Carson was an icon of American television. He helmed the "Tonight Show" from 1962 to 1992.
Three scientists shared the Nobel Prize in 1956 for their work on the transistor, a key device in electronics. Before long, every cool kid was walking around with a personal transistor radio.
To say that Fidel Castro led Cuba "through the 1960s" is an understatement. His rule (it's probably safe to call it that) began in the 1950s and lasted until the last 2000s, when his brother Raul succeeded him.
Fun fact: Correction fluid ("Liquid Paper" is a brand name) was invented by a Texas secretary. It seems that necessity really is the mother of invention!
Kennedy was elected in 1961 and shot to death in 1963. The news rocked the world, but especially the U.S.
"The Brady Bunch" is the first major TV show to portray this. However, some people point to a short-lived, and much less watched, comedy called "Mary Kay and Johnny," which broke this ground even earlier.
For most of the 1960s, the Soviet Union was definitively winning the "space race." This trend started in the 1950s with the USSR's launch of the unmanned Sputnik.
Continuing the theme of "Americans weren't the first to do everything," it was Dr. Christiaan Barnard, a South African, who pioneered transplantation. His patient lived for 18 days after the surgery.
In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Michael Collins piloted the lunar module while they explored the surface. Alan Shepard was part of the later Apollo 14 lunar mission.
The beloved "Saturday Night Live" premiered in 1975. "Today" and "The Tonight Show" ran throughout the 1960s and are still going strong, while "My Three Sons" bowed in 1972.
"Bay of Pigs" has become synonymous with disastrous failure. President Kennedy authorized the overthrow attempt.
This was commemorated by the book, "Thirteen Days in May." The crisis, which involved the Soviets moving missiles onto Cuban soil within striking distance of the U.S., had the world on the brink of nuclear war.
The microwave didn't really gain popularity until the 1970s. It was first seen as a way to make complicated meals, like Thanksgiving dinner, in a fraction of the time. In truth, it gave rise to a number of convenience foods, but did not supplant the traditional oven for real baking and cooking.
Mary Quant was a British designer in the vanguard of the Mod fashion movement. She popularized the miniskirt and hot pants, for which heterosexual men everywhere remember her with gratitude.
Many inventions don't become popular in the same year or decade in which they are created. (See also: the microwave oven). The computer mouse, invented in 1964 by Douglas Engelbart, is one such item.
These three 1960s musicians all died at the age of 27. However, none died in the 1960s. Hendrix and Joplin died in 1970, while Morrison died in 1971.
This was one of "Twilight Zone's" better-known and beloved episodes. Shatner portrayed a man on an airplane, who is the only one who can see a grotesque creature on the wing. The episode aired in 1963.
Hey, the 2010s didn't invent the skinny jean, or trouser. They had these in the 1960s, and frankly, we think the name "drainpipe" sounds a little cooler!
Day specialized in nice-girl roles in clean movies. This played well in the 1950s and early '60s, but not in the liberated late 1960s.
The Haight-Ashbury district was a magnet for young people in the late 1960s, especially during the "Summer of Love." Today, it's largely an expensive residential area, like most San Francisco neighborhoods.
"Cool Hand Luke" is about a prisoner in the Deep South who refuses to be broken by the system. Paul Newman played the title character. It's a prison warden, though, who speaks the famous line.
Andrews stepped into the shoes of Maria von Trapp, whose life story was first told as a musical play. "The Sound of Music" is about the von Trapp family singers and their flight from Nazi-dominated Austria in the run-up to World War II.
The first Mustangs were called the "1964 1/2" Mustangs, because they rolled out late in the year. This wasn't typical -- usually, the first units of a new model year are released late in the previous year.
1968 was a traumatic year for America. African-Americans lost one of their most important leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Then the late president John F. Kennedy's younger brother, Robert, always called "Bobby," was also shot to death.
Humphrey almost spent his life working as a pharmacist; his father was one, and wanted to give Hubert a partnership in the store. But when Humphrey attested to being physically ill with unhappiness, his father gave him his blessing to go back to school and study political science.
Woodstock was held on a dairy farm in upstate New York. It's now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Buffalo Springfield was a Canadian-American band. Their famous song begins "There's something happenin' here," and was subtitled "Stop, Hey, What's That Sound," so radio listeners would recognize it.
Frank Zappa was more than just a musician. He was a filmmaker and a countercultural figure. Fun fact: Zappa also famously named two of his children "Moon Unit" and "Dweezil."
Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967. The idea of "a rolling stone gathers no moss" clearly was an important one in the culture of that time.
Station wagons with wood paneling on the sides were an iconic 1960s things. Surfers in California and Hawaii have taken these old-fashioned rides to heart.