History: Apollo 11 and Martin Luther King Essay

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The Scintillating Sixties

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Rayne Krevetski
Mrs. Cameron / Mr. Glennon
English / History
June 6th, 2012

Within the years of the sixties, people, events, and social aspects have changed the course of history. The sixties was a very exciting decade in the United States that changed the aspects of life and sciences. People like Martin Luther King Jr., the peaceful sixties counterculture movement, and famous events like the competition of the Space Race have all changed history in the United States by promoting civil rights, equality for different cultures, and advances in science and exploration. Entering the 1960s, a new culture appeared and quickly gained popularity. This culture was known as the counterculture, the flower children, or hippies. They followed no strict aspects of life, opposed violence, and tolerated drugs. They encouraged other non-Protestant religions, sexual freedom, and supported the rock genre of music. In 1962, a Supreme Court case called Engel vs. Vitale ruled school prayer as unconstitutional, thus in the favor of the counterculture and their religions, such as Transcontinental Meditation and Zen Buddhism (Goodwin and Bradley, 2012.) The apex of the hippie movement is considered to be the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, or Woodstock Festival. It was a music festival that was held for three days at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in the town of Bethel in 1969. The original site that the festival was to be held at was Wallkill, but the citizens of Wallkill did not want a bunch of drugged hippies wreaking havoc on their town, so they backed out. In a panic, hippies involved in the festival wanted refunds because the uncertainty of the festival discouraged them. Stores refused to sell any more tickets to the festival, and bands booked for the festival also started turning them down, as the negotiations had become shaky. In mid-July, Max Yasgur offered up his 600-acre farm to the founders of the festival, a miracle, as there was only a month and a half before the date of the festival. Amazingly, the original estimation of 50,000 guests jumped quickly to 200,000 – but, when people who didn’t have tickets to come to the festival began showing up anyways, the owners of the festival decided to make the festival free to admission. The supposed guest list jumped again to a whopping 500,000 people. When the festival came around, over half a million people were in attendance. Despite the constant rain, people at the Woodstock Festival had a great, yet muddy, time. The four organizers of the festival managed to get over one million dollars in debt, and a grand total of seventy lawsuits. The lawsuits were settled and luckily, because a group of people had filmed the Woodstock Festival, made the million dollars back from the profit of the Woodstock film. With tensions between the US and Soviet Russia also turning into an event, the War of Words turned into a competition; a competition to get into space. With the modern technology of the sixties, nuclear bombs could be transported quickly around earth and dropped, able to begin or end a war suddenly and without a warning. But, if we have powerful enough equipment to launch a rocket into space, could we put a man into orbit, (or farther?) The Soviet Union already had a head start before us, having already launched a satellite into space to orbit the earth. Now, with an idea and an army of willing scientists, President John F. Kennedy decided to publicly announce our goals in a speech. “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth. No single space project...will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important...and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish.” (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, 2012) Kennedy decided, unlike the Soviets, to publicize…