“Most began in the sixties and seventies, as

“Most of my memories of the Sixties are ones of optimism, high spirits, and confidence.”- Mary QuantThe sixties and seventies were two very significant and eventful decades. From the space race to the great strides made in science and medicine to the Vietnam War to the Election of President John F. Kennedy (JFK), the sixties were a time to remember. It was a time when the people were self-centered and started to ask the question “What about me?” The seventies contained remarkable events such as the Beatles breaking up, the oil crisis, and President Richard Nixon resigning. People often expressed their thoughts and opinions about what was happening in the world through song. This became a popular trend and many songs were written about women’s rights, civil rights, the Vietnam War, and the Space Race. “I am Woman,” “Space Oddity,” and “Eve of Destruction” are just a few examples of very popular songs in the 60s and 70s. The present-day environmental movement began in the sixties and seventies, as well as the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the British Invasion. Overall, the sixties and seventies helped shape our world today. The Space Race It was a competitive race to outer space between the United States and the Soviet Union. Beginning in 1957 when the Soviet Union launched the satellite, Sputnik, America’s interest sparked and the United States immediately began their program. Because the U.S. did not want to fall behind, President Dwight D. Eisenhower initiated Project Mercury, a new space program. Seven men were selected to be apart of this program, including Scott Carpenter, Leroy Gordon Cooper, John Glenn Jr., Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald “Deke” Slayton. The goals of the project were to orbit a manned spacecraft around Earth, investigate the ability of astronauts to function in space and return astronauts and spacecraft safely. In 1961, a man from the Soviet Union named Yuri Gagarin became the first man to orbit the Earth. President John F. Kennedy decided he needed to lift America’s spirits by setting a new goal to send someone to the moon and back. He proclaimed “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” Over the next five years, he would ask for about 8 billion dollars for the space race program. Many were skeptical and suspected the ability of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to satisfy the president’s timeline, however, within a year, Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom became the first Americans to travel to space. On February 20, 1962, aboard the Friendship 7, John Glenn Jr. became the first American to orbit the Earth. Glenn launched from Cape Canaveral, circled the Earth three times, and landed safely in the Atlantic Ocean. This successful event helped inspire the large army of people working to reach the moon. With the help of many people, such as engineers, test pilots, factory workers, machinists, and more, each mission to orbit the Earth lasted longer than the last. As space exploration continued to expand in the 1960s, the United States was on a mission to the moon. Project Gemini was the second NASA spaceflight program. It’s goals were to perfect the maneuvers of a spacecraft and conduct further tests on the effect of space travel. The Apollo Program, following Project Gemini, Project Apollo’s was the fifth manned mission of NASA’s Apollo program. It’s objective was to safely land humans on the moon and assure their return to Earth. Apollo 11 was launched by a Saturn V rocket from Kennedy Space Center in Merritt Island, Florida on July 6th. It was on July 29, 1969, when the Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, fulfilled President Kennedy’s dream. At approximately 8:18 pm, Neil Armstrong, and Buzz Aldrin became the first two individuals to ever land on the moon, and six hours later, Neil Armstrong became the first to step on the lunar surface. Upon landing on the moon, Armstrong said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” This one-liner would become one of history’s most famous quotes. What Armstrong meant by this was, physically, this was an ordinary step, but for mankind, it was an extraordinary accomplishment in space exploration. Armstrong spent a total of about two and a half hours outside of the spacecraft, and Aldrin slightly less.     Neil Armstrong on the MoonTogether, they collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material for return to Earth. Michael Collins, the third member of the mission, piloted the command spacecraft alone in lunar orbit until Armstrong and Aldrin returned to it for the trip back to Earth.(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwZb2mqId0A) During the sixties, tremendous strides were made in space exploration and science. The Apollo 11 mission was one of success, triumph, and as Neil Armstrong said “a huge leap forward for mankind.” “Space Oddity,” written and recorded by David Bowie, was released on July 11, 1969. It was a song about a fictional astronaut, Major Tom, who cuts off communication with Earth and floats into space. Bowie wrote the song after watching the movie “A Space Odyssey.” The song quickly became popular, as it still is today:This is Ground Control to Major TomYou’ve really made the gradeAnd the papers want to know whose shirts you wearNow it’s time to leave the capsule if you dare”This is Major Tom to Ground ControlI’m stepping through the doorAnd I’m floating in a most peculiar wayAnd the stars look very different todayFor hereAm I sitting in a tin canFar above the worldPlanet Earth is blueAnd there’s nothing I can doEnvironment During 1960’s, many substantial environmental catastrophes influenced the public’s consciousness. Many began to think about the natural habitat in which they lived, worked, and played in. Environmentalists began to take action as a movement based on the cleanup and control of human pollution broke out. This marked the beginning of modern environmentalism and created values that had the potential to restructure society and lifestyles. The publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring took place in the sixties. Silent Springs was an environmental science book about the unfavorable effects on the environment.


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