Historical Narrative

 

            The 1960's and 1970's decades were a time of change in the way the government handled social and military welfares. During these two decades, there was a discontent with the government. Many people started protests against segregation and the Vietnam War. Not only was there discontent with the government, but there were also social changes going on at this time.

 


Race Relations

            In 1875, the Civil Rights Act of 1875 outlawed segregation. However, in the year 1883, an all-white Supreme Court ruled that the act was unconstitutional. This meant that segregation was active in the United States at the time. In 1896, the Plessy v. Ferguson case was when Plessy, an African American, tried to sit in a all-white railroad carriage car. He was then arrested for violating the law. He was later found guilty and Plessy took the case to the Supreme Court. The court decided that the “separate but equal” clause, did not violate the fourteenth amendment.

            Many states throughout the nation, and mostly in the South, started to enforce the Jim Crow laws. These laws were trying to keep races separate from one another. Some examples of these laws being enforced were: separate schools, railroad coaches, waiting rooms, and public restrooms. The races would be separated by signs such as “Colored Water”, “No Blacks Allowed”, and “Whites Only”. Segregation still continued into the 20th Century. Many African Americans would try to escape the cruelties from the South and move to the North.  The North then realized that there was a lot of racial prejudice and segregation in the South. The Supreme Court case of 1954, called Brown v. Board of Education Topeka declared that “separate but equal” was unconstitutional to the fourteenth amendment. Which gaurantees your rights.

            Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka was a case trying the Board of Education. The reason it was being tried, was because it did not allow an eight year old African American child a attend an all-white school. The school was only about four blocks away from her house. She was forced to go to an all-black school which was twenty-one blocks away. The school was too far for her to go to everyday. The Supreme Court ruled that segregation in schools was unconstitutional and it violated the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause.

 


Vietnam War

            The Vietnam War began around the 1950’s. France was trying to seize control over Vietnam, after World War II. The main reason why the United States got involved in the war, was to stop communism. The U.S. provided economic and military support to France. Vietnam forced France out, and the United States took a more direct approach into stopping Communism. Over the course of the administration of Eisenhower and Kennedy, the United States provided more economic and military aid to South Vietnam. 

            Before the assassination of President Kennedy, he declared that he had a plan to withdraw U.S. troops from South Vietnam. He stated that, “In the final analysis, it’s their war.” Today, it is unknown if President Kennedy would have withdrawn troops or not. However, we do know that President Johnson increased the numbers of forces in Vietnam, which lead to have America’s longest war.

            On August 2, 1964, the U.S.S. Maddox was shot by a torpedo by a North Vietnamese patrol boat. Even though the patrol boat missed their target, the U.S.S. Maddox fired back causing damages on the boat. On August 4, the U.S.S. Maddox was in another situation with another boat, off the North Vietnamese coast. President Johnson's reaction to the attacks was to launch bombs on North Vietnam. He asked Congress for powers to launch the attacks, and Congress accepted the request.

            They also passed the Tonkin Gulf Resolution on August 7, 1964. It was unknown to Congress and the people of the United States. They all did not known that President Johnson was lending secret raids to North Vietnam. As for the response to the Vietcong, President Johnson launched “Operation Rolling Thunder” and by June, 50,000 U.S. soldiers were battling in Vietcong.

            The drafting process was established during WWII. What this did, was make all males register at their local draft boards
once they had turned 18 years old. They were all screened and would be excluded if they had any medical conditions. If in the event of war, men from ages 18 to 26 would be called to go to war to help serve their country.

            By the summer of 1969, the newly elected President Nixon, declared that he would withdraw troops from Vietnam. By August 25,000, the troops returned to the United States. Within the next three years, the number of troops dropped from 500,000 to 25,000.

 


Art

            Art in the sixties was defined to be more modern. Many different popular artists came out during this period of time. Some examples of the artists were: Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol. Marcel Duchamp's art contribution was
abstract art.Andy Warhol contributed pop art, which is still used today. Andy Warhol would take every day items, such as soup cans, and turn them into art. His most iconic piece of work, was the Campbell's soup can paintings. They were traditional soup cans painted on a canvas. He would also paint other things such as Coco Cola bottles. His most famous celebrity was his painting of Marilyn Monroe. He mainly used a silkscreen technique to do this. Many new, and interesting people and art movements came out of these two decades.

 

 

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