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  1. T.N.Korgan
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    T.N.Korgan New Member

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    The 1960's

    Discussion in 'Research' started by T.N.Korgan, Jun 17, 2011.

    I'm currently plotting out a story that takes place in small town USA in the 1960's, preferably around 1965 so it's not too generalized in the story. Obviously I won't have alot of the electronics we have today. And from the prelimenary research I've done, I know it was when the beatles were promient, draft was in effect and the sexual and drug revolution where beginning. Because it's a small town, the latter has not influenced it yet. I know one of my characters may have a draft letter to contend with. In the end though how mportant any of these will be is debatable. It's a paranormal story with a new vampire version I'm toying with(no sparkles here). I mostly just need to set a time because there will be a big time jump in the sequal to this book.
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    You don't seem to ask a question? If you're asking when the draft began for Vietnam it would seem to be '64.
     
  3. T.N.Korgan
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    T.N.Korgan New Member

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    Sorry. I'm asking for any information or links/sites that could help me understand the decade. Or also ideas how to incorperate the decade into the story. I'm used to writing moderen.
     
  4. Ellipse
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    Ellipse Contributing Member Contributor

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    Research everything from technology to history to pop culture during that time period. Google it. Go to your local library and read up on books about the 1960s.

    For the depth of knowledge you say you need listing one, two, or even three sites won't be enough. You will have to just dig in and find everything you can about that period from every source you can find.
     
  5. Spring Gem
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    Spring Gem Member

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    You really do need to do some general research into the time period. Google 1965 and read the Wikipedia articles to get you started.

    I was 15 in 1965. I lived in a small rural Oklahoma town of less than 500 although the school district covered a large rural area--at least three quarters of the school students lived outside the town limits. Some things I remember: transistor radios; tv with only 4 channels and no remote; the Kennedy assassination was still very fresh in my memory; civil rights, Vietnam, and the hippie movement were in the nightly news; watching Ed Sullivan and other variety shows; 4-H, FHA/FFA--Future Homemakers/Farmers of America and basketball were the major extra curricula activities in my school; don't dismiss drugs and sex as part of a small town--two or three of the kids in my class were experimenting with drugs before we graduated in 1968 and a couple of the girls were pregnant.

    You need to consider the size and location of your small town. A small town with a bigger population located near a large city and/or in another part of the country would have a different feel than the town I lived in.

    Since you are writing about vampires, check out Dark Shadows which started in 1966. Hope this helps.
     
  6. T.N.Korgan
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    T.N.Korgan New Member

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    Thank you. I appericiate the help. :)
     
  7. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    For people who didn't live it, the 60s may seem like a single time period, but there were at least two distinct parts, and maybe more, depending on how finely you want to tune it. '60-62 was really an extension of the 1950s. '67-69 was much like the early 1970s.1965 is right in the middle of the transition.

    By 1965, the Bay of Pigs disaster had already occurred, and so had the Cuban missile crisis. Having come that close to nuclear war shaped the policy of limited war in Vietnam, a fact that many Americans did not grasp at the time (the theory was that the two superpowers must never be allowed to fight each other directly, or else nuclear war would result). Lyndon Johnson's escalation of the Vietnam conflict had already occurred, but the effects of fighting a limited war had not been seen across the nation, and so anti-war sentiment, although building, had not yet reached the mainstream. By 1968, it was a very different matter.

    It's important to understand that because there was never a declaration of war in Vietnam, there was no sense of national purpose in fighting it. And there certainly was never a national consensus approving the fighting of a limited war. It was the limited war concept that frustrated so many of those who thought that by supporting the war they were supporting an effort at victory, and those frustrations were ultimately taken out on those who opposed the war.

    1965 also saw the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, which removed obstacles to African Americans participating in the polity, as well as the launching of Johnson's "Great Society" programs. In the short term, these were polarizing events that exacerbated racial tensions. It was not unusual for anti-war activists and civil rights activists to join forces (and in fact Martin Luther King was a strong opponent of the war).

    Because anti-war sentiment was strongest among those of college age (the age at which one could be drafted was 19), drug culture and loose sexual mores became part of the mix - a tool of rebellion on the one hand and an excuse for marginalizing on the other. The mix resulted in tensions that split families, sometimes permanently.

    It is also important to remember that 1965 was 20 years after the end of World War II. The US was at the peak of its postwar power and still flush with postwar posterity. As a result, the postwar generation may have been the most spoiled generation in the country's history. It is ironic that they were derided most stridently for this by the very generation that spoiled them. But their tendency to act like spoiled children is reflected even in the society we see today - the country has massive structural problems that have been common knowledge for at least two decades, now, yet it does nothing to address them (disclaimer: not looking to spark a debate here on what should be done, just noting the problem for the purpose of understanding the generation in question).

    If you keep this in mind, I think it will help focus your research. Good luck.
     
  8. Lothgar
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    Lothgar Contributing Member

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    Off the top of my head, for the 1960s:

    1960s in general:

    The Cold War (Look up "Cold War", "NATO vs USSR", "Nuclear War", "World War III", "Fallout Shelters", "Duck and Cover", "Civil Defense", "Reds under the Bed")

    Rock & Roll (Look up "Beatles", "British Invasion", "Elvis")

    Technology:

    Most televisions were still black and white, color was new and expensive, no sets had remotes, 1960s TVs had "clicker" knobs that clicked with each increment changing the channel (VHF was channel 2-12, UHF was channel 13-72...no satellite, no cable, no DVDs, no VCRs, old folks still rambled on about the "good old days" where they gathered as a family to listen to the radio "That TV is a fad, radio will last for ever".

    No mp3s, no CDs, no Ipods, tape recorders were mostly the old 1950s era reel to reel tapes, with the introduction of the new, state-of-the-art 8 track tapes. Cassette tapes didn't start showing up until the end of the decade. Vinyl LP albums were very popular in the 1960s, along with the record players to play them.

    Telephones were attached to walls by cords and pay phones were in glass booths. Most phones were rotary dials, with the new push button dialing being introduced late in the 60s.

    The world was analog, nothing digital existed yet. Computers were big enough to fill up a room and ran off of punch cards (cardboard cards with a series of holes punched into them to give commands to the computers, in a forerunner to the what is currently recognized as any real programming language).

    Stuff "Made in Japan" was considered cheap junk at this time, because Japan had not fully recovered from the second world war and evolved into the economic power house it would later become.

    Cars had "Tail Fins"...why...I don't really know, but they were considered fashionable at the time.

    Back handing obnoxious kids was still considered "discipline", instead of "child abuse"

    A typical kids allowance in the 1960s was $0.50 a week (Comic books cost $0.12, Candy bars cost $0.15 and soda pop cost $0.10, came in a glass bottle that you had to pay a deposit on and could return to redeem your deposit (plastic drink bottles didn't come along until the late 70s).

    Cartoons were Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Heckle and Jeckle, Woodie Woodpecker and the Flintstones. Anime was nowhere to be seen.

    Arcades at the time featured pinball machines, fortune telling machines and novelty carnival games, since computer video games had yet to be invented.

    Counter Culture movement (Look up "Hippies", "Hippie Commune", "Woodstock", "Drugs and Counterculture", "Charles Manson", "Peace Symbol", "Make Love not War")

    The Vietnam War (Look up "Vietnam War", "Southeast Asia", "Indochina", "Ho Chi Minh", "Viet Cong", "ARVN (Army Republic of Vietnam)", "General Westmoreland", "Anti War Protest", "The Draft", "Draft Dodgers", "Kent State", "My Lai Massacre", "Lieutenant Calley", "Jane Fonda", "Green Berets", "Tet Offensive", "Khe Sanh", "Hanoi Bombing", "Hanoi Hilton", "LRRP (Pronounced LURP, stands for Long Range Recon Patrol", "Ho Chi Minh Trail", "Agent Orange", "Montagnard", "Air America"

    Television and Movies (Pop culture):

    TV: Mission Impossible (1966), The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961) The Addams Family (1964), The Munsters (1964), Hawaii Five-O (1968), Lost in Space (1965), The Twilight Zone (1959-1964), BATMAN (1966), Route 66 (1960-1964), The Outer Limits (1963), Green Acres (1965), The Original STAR TREK (1966), American Bandstand (1950s -1970s), The Ed Sullivan Show (1948-1971), The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour (1967), The Carol Burnett Show (1967), American Icon Walter Cronkite anchored the CBS Evening News through the 1960s

    Movies: The Longest Day (1962), Doctor No (1962), From Russia with Love (1963), Thunderball (1964), Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), In Like Flint (1967), The Great Escape (1963), The Dirty Dozen (1967), The Green Berets (1968), True Grit (1969)



    SOME KEY POINTS OF THE 1960s:

    1962 Cuban Missile Crisis (Look up "Cuban Missile Crisis", "Soviet Nukes in Cuba", "US Navel Blockade of Cuba")

    1963 US President JFK assassinated in Dallas Texas (Look up "JFK Assassination", "Warren Commission", "Zapruder film", "Lee Harvey Oswald", "Jack Ruby")

    1964 Beatlemania (A British rock & roll revolution in the music industry, look up "Beatles", "Beatlemania", "British Invasion")

    1964 Civil Rights Movement booms with Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a Dream Speech". King wins the Nobel Peace Prize the following year. (Look up "Civil Rights Movement", "MLK", "Martin Luther King", "I have a Dream").

    1965 Ford Mustang takes the auto market by storm, becoming an American Icon.

    1968 Vietnam Tet Offensive (Largest major offensive of the Vietnam war, look up "Tet", "Tet Offensive", "Vietnam war")

    1969 American Astronauts land on the moon for the first time in history (Look up "moon shot", "Lunar Landing", "NASA", "Apollo 11", "Neil Armstrong", "Buzz Aldrin")



    I'd suggest watching the 1960s movies and tv shows to gain an insight on the fashion of the 60s, the hair styles, the language ("Groovy" and "Way Out"), download some news footage off the internet (if you can find it archived) and see what was the concern for the folks of that era.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  9. James Scarborough
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    James Scarborough Member

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    I graduated high school in 1965, living in a small beach community near St Petersburg, Florida. A couple of weeks after graduation I left home on a six month road trip, travelling throughout the eastern and midwestern US in a 2-seat Sunbeam Alpine sportscar before returning to Florida entering college in January 1966.

    I have vivid memories of small town America during this time period and would be happy to fact check your work once you reach the stage where it would be helpful. Also, if you've never read Steinbeck's book Travels With Charlie, you may want to do so. It is an account of his travels around the country in 1960 "rediscovering" small town America and its people. It's good reading and will help you. Not much changed in the culture of small town America during first half of the 60's. The Vietnam War hadn't really had much of an impact on American society yet. We were on the verge of great social and cultural change, some of which was already occuring but not yet a major influence on most people's lives.
     
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  10. Trilby
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    Trilby Contributing Member Contributor

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    Don't think I can add much to what has already been said, apart from here in the UK the feminist movement was gaining ground:

    Talk of 'burn your bra' 'free love' 'You don't need a marriage certificate' But for the average 'Joe Bloggs' that's all it was talk.

    It was availability of the contraception Pill, that really changed the habits off the masses.
     
  11. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Do you have a source that tells you that small towns were influenced later, or are you assuming it? If you don't have a source, I'd recommend researching - I don't know one way or another, but it's not always reliable to assume that small towns are more innocent, or slower to pick up new ideas. What part of the country is the town in? Is it in an agricultural area? Is it a college town? How small is small? Is it liberal or conservative? What's the majority religious belief, or is there a majority? All of these may make a difference.

    Also, what does the sexual revolution mean? Before the revolution, was everyone either celibate or faithful to their legally married spouse? I don't think that's how it was, so what, exactly, changed?

    What does the drug revolution mean? Was everyone drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes, without ever touching or having heard of any other intoxicating substances?

    I realize that you'd probably like answers rather than more questions. But I was _born_ in 1965, so I have no answers. :) I guess I'm just advising you - and you may not need this advice; I just can't tell either way from your post - to try to get a deep understanding of any 1960s "local color" that you use, rather than risking assumptions.

    ChickenFreak
     
  12. T.N.Korgan
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    T.N.Korgan New Member

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    Do you have a source that tells you that small towns were influenced later, or are you assuming it? If you don't have a source, I'd recommend researching - I don't know one way or another, but it's not always reliable to assume that small towns are more innocent, or slower to pick up new ideas. What part of the country is the town in? Is it in an agricultural area? Is it a college town? How small is small? Is it liberal or conservative? What's the majority religious belief, or is there a majority? All of these may make a difference.
    *
    I'm baseing the town on the one I'm from, so I was able to gather information from my grandfather.*
    *
    Also, what does the sexual revolution mean? Before the revolution, was everyone either celibate or faithful to their legally married spouse? I don't think that's how it was, so what, exactly, changed?

    It was a time when people were becoming more open about their sexuality.*

    What does the drug revolution mean? Was everyone drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes, without ever touching or having heard of any other intoxicating substances?*

    It was a time of experimentation. A lot of man-made drugs such as LSD were made in this time frame. Because drug usuage was getting out of control they began to create and enforce laws to relegate.*
    *
    I realize that you'd probably like answers rather than more questions. But I was _born_ in 1965, so I have no answers. :) I guess I'm just advising you - and you may not need this advice; I just can't tell either way from your post - to try to get a deep understanding of any 1960s "local color" that you use, rather than risking assumptions.

    I apperciate everything tossed my way. It makes me think.*
     
  13. tom7taylor
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    tom7taylor New Member

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    Hello, How have you been finding your research into the 1960s?

    Coincidentally, I am researching into the 1950s America but I am hoping to make a digital model/scene of 1950s America. I was hoping there was a pre-existing creative piece/story for a game or film that I could use to base my model on.

    Any Ideas?

    Thank you
     

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