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Top Ten Tragic Events During the '60s

Bill is a freelance writer. Bill is an author. Bill is a human. What "expertise" he may have has been gained from experience.

The top ten most tragic and terrible events of the '60s

The top ten most tragic and terrible events of the '60s

What Are Some Bad Things That Happened in the '60s?

I have written often of the '60s—that strange, exciting, turbulent decade in our history in which I came of age. When the decade began, I was a naïve twelve-year-old without a care in the world. When the decade ended, naivety was in my rear-view mirror, and my eyes were permanently pried open by the realities of the modern world.

It began on an incredible note of promise—a young, vibrant president urging citizens to contribute to the world, to make a difference, to summon up the courage inside each of us and help humanity reach its potential. It ended in a dazed state of bewilderment, cringing each day as new horrors were delivered to our doorstep.

There was no hiding from the Sixties. It simply was not possible to pull the covers over our heads and find protection. Every single concept of normalcy was stomped on and tossed aside, and for those of us who lived through it, we will forever be branded by the events of those ten years. For better or for worse, it was what it was—a rollercoaster ride that ran the entire spectrum of emotions.

Let us now turn our attention to ten events during the Sixties that served as a sobering reminder that for every light that shines, there is a darkness and that no matter how far mankind has come since our cave-dwelling days, we are still capable of returning to that darkness. The events that follow are in chronological order for the simple reason that when discussing tragedy, it seems callous to give a ranking order. How does one distinguish the most tragic?

I also left out the construction of the Berlin Wall, the beginning of the Vietnam War, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. A purely subjective decision on the part of this writer as the word “tragic” did not seem to apply to those events.

Let us now turn our attention to the dark side of the ’60s.

The start of a decade of turmoil

The start of a decade of turmoil

1. June 11, 1963 – The Self-Immolation of Thích Quảng Đức

Thích Quảng Đức, a Buddhist monk in South Vietnam, disgusted by the continual persecution of Buddhists by the Catholic-dominated government of that country, took to the streets of Saigon and established a new standard of horror.

Calmly sitting down in a busy street, he doused himself with fuel and burned himself to death. This writer will never forget the photograph of the fully-engulfed monk and the look of serenity on this face as he died. It was then that my previous concept of sacrifice was quickly adjusted and my awareness of religious persecution was born. It is one thing to read about atrocities in a textbook; it is quite another to see the result of that persecution in living color.

2. November 22, 1963 – The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy

Is there anyone who does not know what happened on that day in Dallas, Texas? I can tell you what happened to me that day. Mr. Jahner, my sophomore English teacher, came into our classroom and announced that the president had just been assassinated and my first thought was that it wasn’t possible. It could not happen in the United States! Those kinds of things happened elsewhere in the world but not here! Someone has made a mistake!

It was no mistake and in that act of hatred, the hopes and dreams of an entire nation seemed to disappear. It was as if we had taken a ferocious body punch and the air just exploded out of our lungs. There was no knockout but there was definitely a mandatory eight-count as our legs wobbled and our heads tried to clear.

3. June 21, 1964 – Murders of Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner (Freedom Summer Murders)

Philadelphia, Mississippi, was the site of an act so vile as to leave most Americans stunned. Racism, which had silently infested the fabric of our country for centuries, finally was given a face and a voice as three anti-racism activists were lynched outside that sleepy Southern town.

We all knew, of course, that racism existed in the United States. We had only to walk down our own streets, north or south, east or west, to hear racial statements being made. It was by no means limited to the South in 1964, but it was relegated to the closet of American consciousness until those lynchings were made public. As a nation, we could no longer pretend that it did not exist or hope that it would not be “a problem.” With the advent of television, the nightly news would no longer allow us to hide from the truth.

4. August 11–15, 1965 – Watts Riots

Four days of rioting the likes of which we hadn’t seen in quite some time occurred in the Watts section of Los Angeles. Blacks took to the streets in protest of racism and poor living conditions, and when the rioting had ended, 34 were dead. What more could happen?

It turned out to only be the beginning of turmoil in the streets of the United States. By this time, our collective virginity as a nation was lost, never to be regained. All thoughts of returning to the old days were gone as what was once considered the unthinkable was happening with a regularity that left many battle-scarred without ever leaving their living rooms.

5. July 12–17, 1967 – 1967 Newark Riots

Racial riots again captured our attention, this time in Newark, New Jersey. When the fires had been extinguished and the pain and suffering had been tallied, 26 had lost their lives. However, this was just the undercard of the main event that would happen six days later.

top-ten-tragic-events-of-the-sixties

6. July 23, 1967 – 1967 Detroit Riot

Detroit, in many ways, was the perfect setting for the riots that occurred this day, leaving 40 dead and thousands injured. With a heavy Black population and a disproportionate income base that clearly reflected economic inequality, it was only a matter of time before this ugliness happened.

The summer of 1967 felt like the entire nation was burning out of control. Countless demonstrations were held, many of them violent, and the conflagration that was Detroit was mirrored in dozens of other cities not only in the United States but around the world. On practically any night of that long, hot summer, our senses were pushed to overload by racial violence and scenes of horror from Vietnam.

7. March 16, 1968 – The Mỹ Lai Massacre

In a little village called Mỹ Lai in South Vietnam, we discovered the true horror of warfare. Between 350–500 villagers, men, women, and children, were massacred and mutilated by United States soldiers led by Second Lieutenant William Calley.

As the days and weeks marched on and the facts became known, it became painfully clear that principles we once held to be the bedrock of our society were no longer, replaced by the realization that war is not always the good guys versus the bad guys, that oftentimes the distinction between good and evil is so blurred as to be non-existent.

8. April 4, 1968 – Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The King is dead! Martin Luther King, Jr., a voice of reason amidst a cacophony of hatred, was assassinated. For many of us, and this is in itself sad to say, the murder of Dr. King was not a shock. It was almost expected because our lives had reached a point where the unspeakable was the norm.

Yes, the man who had a dream had died. All that remained to be seen was whether the dream itself would die as well, or would there be another voice of reason that would rise up and carry the banner of equality and peaceful protest.

Robert Kennedy spoke in tribute of King, calling on Americans to find common ground, lay down weapons, and refrain from striking out in grief and anger.

The riots and deadly protests continued.

9. June 5, 1968 – Assassination of Robert F. Kennedy

My passion for politics died in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on June 5, 1968. The assassination of Robert F. Kennedy seemed to be the final straw. Where once there had been one last chance to get it right, there now remained a very bleak outlook on the future, and hope was seemingly lost.

The shining knights had all been slain and in their place stood hatred and mistrust guided by the desire to strike down anyone who dared to speak of peace and humanness. I wept that night, as did millions of others around the world. Looking back, I’m not sure if I wept for Kennedy’s death or if I wept for the complete loss of hope that his death signified.

10. August 8–9, 1969 – Manson Family Murders

Perhaps the worst of the worst happened on a hot summer night in August in Southern California. It did not happen because of racial inequality, nor did it happen because of our ongoing conflict in Southeast Asia. In the quiet of that night, and the night to follow, a seemingly peaceful neighborhood was visited by pure evil in the person of Charles Manson and his followers.

When the bloodshed had ended, when the final letters of madness had been carved into human flesh, we were all left with a complete emptiness of spirit. I know of no other way to describe it. Human nature had sunk to depths we could not comprehend.

This rebel became a teacher; still trying to make a difference

This rebel became a teacher; still trying to make a difference

I can remember each of the aforementioned acts as if they happened yesterday, rather remarkable considering that four decades have passed. The Sixties held such promise only to see each and every promise crushed. It was a fun decade, and it was frightening. It was a hopeful decade, and it was despairing.

Looking back, I realize that I loved those ten years. Looking back, I realize that I hated those ten years.

In the final analysis, it was simply life and all that it entails. We are, after all, only human, and as such, we all have the capacity for incredible good, and yet, time and time again, we fall short of our higher calling.

So it was during the Sixties; human beings being human!

2012 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

Comments

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on September 28, 2018:

Ruby, the easiest site you use is WordPress...go check them out.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 06, 2016:

Thanks for sharing that, Mona! Perhaps I will write about other generations. I hadn't thought of it until you mentioned it.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 06, 2016:

I understand that feeling, because i went to a Catholic school in SF and a classmate was always asking for prayers for her brother in Viet Nam and also friends had male friends facing the draft at age 18. I also remember the real fear that everyone in school had during the missiles of October. I hope you have also written about succeeding generations. I will look for them. History is best written by those who were there.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 06, 2016:

Mona, thank you for reaching back to read one of my oldies. Those were interesting times, to say the least. I clearly remember never being bored, and always feeling a bit unsettled, like "what horrible thing is going to happen today?" Sort of like the suicide bombers of today.

Mona Sabalones Gonzalez from Philippines on July 06, 2016:

Dear Mr. Bill, I remember those events so clearly. The monk was featured in Time Magazine, and my sisters and I were so shocked that such a thing could happen and couldn't understand why. My mother was a fan of the Kennedys, and my sister said it was the first time a President in the White House had a beautiful wife. All the riots you mention, looking back, it's just shocking to think that these things could happen. I spent my HS in the US, and was there when Martin Luther King died and Bobby Kennedy. And of course, the Manson killings were hard to understand. The murders seemed to be so meaningless. Your decision to write these in the sequence it occurred carries so many feelings I'd forgotten from those years, sad memories, the intensity of my American classmates with every event, and an entirely new and clearer perspective of that decade. I loved your videos as well, especially the "Eve of Destruction" which brings us past the sixties and closer to the present. One day someone will save this article and share it with her grandchildren, so that they will have a perspective of how things were, as written by one who was there. Thank you very much.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on January 18, 2013:

Brian, I remember clearly the murder of Hampton and on, those rights did not apply to African Americans. I suspect in certain parts of the nation there are still laws that do not apply.

Thank you my friend!

Brian Leekley from Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA on January 18, 2013:

Up, Useful, Interesting, and shared with followers and on social networking sites. Yes, those were hard, life-changing experiences. I was at orientation for Mississippi Summer Project when word came of the murders of Goodman, Schwerner, and Chaney. And a number of others in the 60s and the 50s and since were killed for taking a stance for integration and civil rights.

The police murder of Fred Hampton in Chicago in 1969 showed that the right to bear arms for self defense, to say no to arbitrary racist police brutality and discrimination, and to want a community managed police force did (does?) not apply to African Americans.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on July 30, 2012:

pramod, you are so right my friend; events like these should not be forgotten.

Thank you!

pramodgokhale from Pune( India) on July 30, 2012:

It is important to remember events of the sixties.I was a school boy and John Kennedy's assassination shocked us because we have affection to Kennedy .

He helped India during China war.Then Vietnamese monk burned himself daylight as a protest.I witnessed these events though little knowledge about politics.

Thank you for recollections.

pramod

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 15, 2012:

Levertis, it was a tough time for sure. Thank you for stopping by.

Levertis Steele from Southern Clime on June 15, 2012:

The 60's was a dark decade for a child, especially. The lessons were cruel.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 14, 2012:

Thank you Dale! I would imagine those events will be with us forever.

Dale Hyde from Tropical Paradise on Planet X on June 14, 2012:

Very informative hub. It certainly opened up the door to memories that I had not thought about in quite some time. I was but a child during the early sixties and a young teen by the late sixties. I do recall all of these events that you have listed here, however. Thanks again for a well done hub. Voted up, interesting and useful.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 08, 2012:

Thank you Theresa! I wanted to put forth something so that others could see that it was not just a random event here and there but a non-ending series of events that left us drained and broken. I appreciate you and your words. I could have added twenty more similar events but time and space would not allow.

Theresa Ast from Atlanta, Georgia on June 08, 2012:

This is an extremely important Hub. You have done an extremely good job of addressing the decade of the sixties. I knew it was a tumultuous decade (I was six in 1960), but the impact when seeing all these events one after another is overwhelming. Thank you for this hub. Theresa

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 08, 2012:

Vespa, you are very welcome and thank you for stopping by. It was, at the very least, an incredibly fascinating ten years.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 08, 2012:

This is a fascinating summary of the most tragic events of the 60's. As I read it, I couldn't help but marvel at so many events happening in succession. Everyone I've asked who can remember the Kennedy assassination can recall the exact place and time when they heard it announced...it was quite a shock to everyone. Thank you! Voted up and shared.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 06, 2012:

Jlava, thank you once more. They were years that molded me and left me with everlasting impressions of life and what is important in life.

Jennifer Vasconcelos from Cyberspace and My Own World on June 06, 2012:

Although I did not live though these events, I have come to learn about them just the same. You have retold them as only you could, from your unique POV and experience.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 06, 2012:

Graham, you have asked a question to which I have no answer. What's it all about? I do not know my friend! When you figure it out please, let me know.

Thank you as always!

Graham Lee from Lancashire. England. on June 06, 2012:

Hi Billy. I remember all of these incidents and like you I particularly remember the monk burning himself to death. The Manson murders were also memorable for their horror. What's it all about?

Graham.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 05, 2012:

Weestro, I agree...the distance traveled at times seems to be quite short.

Pete Fanning from Virginia on June 05, 2012:

Great hub billybuc...sometimes it seems we've come so far and other times not at all. Voted up!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 04, 2012:

Austin, I think I'm coming to terms with that concept. I may not like it but there isn't a whole lot I can do about it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 04, 2012:

Thank you Tammy! The site of the monk will be with me always. I can't imagine that kind of commitment to a cause.

Thank you my friend; you are deeply appreciated and I hope this finds you well.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on June 04, 2012:

OMG, Tammy is referring to us as the "older generations" LOL!

She's right though, I have to learn to think of myself that way now that I am recently retired. Oh, the ravages of time :-)

Tammy from North Carolina on June 04, 2012:

Shucks, Lord de Cross beat me here. In all seriousness, this is an eye opening hub to someone who wasn't born until the 70's. I didn't know about the monk who burned himself in protest and I took a class on the change that occurred in the 60's. This hub really helps me understand older generations and their mindsets. Tragic and eye opening. Well done.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 03, 2012:

Austin, I agree with you. That assassination sucked the hope right out of an entire generation.

Thank you for your great comment.

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on June 03, 2012:

I was only a child in the 60's, but these events made me grow up fast and I remember each of them. These things shaped me in ways that were tragic, yet they made me a stronger and wiser person. The worst for me was the assassination of JFK. I felt as if the world had ended.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 03, 2012:

Hey Kelly! Interesting for sure and never boring. It seemed that every day brought something new and fascinating into our lives. Unlike, I might add, today. Thanks buddy, for always being so faithful.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on June 03, 2012:

Hi Bill - this 60's were interesting times weren't they? I wasn't born yet but my parents told me all about those things. I also enjoy history a great deal so I have read about some that stuff in the past. It just never gets boring!

That decade changed the world in so many ways - fascinating stuff!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 03, 2012:

Sweetie, I would have a hard time arguing with you on that point. The only difference is today is a more subtle series of distressing occurrences. Great point and thank you for reading.

SweetiePie from Southern California, USA on June 02, 2012:

As bad as Vietnam was in the 60's, I almost feel today things are worse with ongoing conflict where it seems there is no end.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

Mhatter....LOl...I guess it depends on which high school, huh? Thank you for stopping by and the follow.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

Sha, I do know that and thank you!

Martin Kloess from San Francisco on June 02, 2012:

Awesome piece! it may not compare with your examples but... i graduated from high school.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 02, 2012:

My pleasure, my friend. You know I'm your number one fan! :-)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

Great summary Sha! I love the way you put it and you are right about the music. I have not heard anything that compares to it in the last forty years.

As always, wishing you well and thank you my dear friend.

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on June 02, 2012:

Another great post, Bill! Somber as the 60's were, you put it so succintly when you stated, "Looking back I realize that I loved those ten years. Looking back I realize that I hated those ten years."

Your choice of song is so appropos.

The 60's were turbulent years, without a doubt. But they were also years of discovery and speaking out. The music of the 60's was, and still is, phenominal. We spoke. We listened. And we still found a reason to dance.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

Just meatballs; someone else can have the noodles. :) Have fun in the sun and best of luck staying out of trouble.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on June 02, 2012:

Good morning! :) It's sunny and beautiful here today. Trying to figure out what kinda trouble I wanna get into today. :) So, yer having spagetti for lunch today? :) hehehe

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

TT, good morning and I hope life is great in eastern Montana! Just doing my thing, Sis, just doing my thing. Tossing noodles up on the ceiling and seeing if they stick! :) Thanks, you, for being you!

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on June 02, 2012:

Who's the rockstar now, big bro?! :) Way to go!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

Lisa, the monk photo is one that will forever be branded into my mind and heart. I have always been amazed and in awe at how calm he was, as if his mind was in one place and his burning body in another. How do you do that?

Thank you for visiting my dear friend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

Leslie, I'm not sure I will ever give up hope but I can say without hesitation I am not encouraged by what I see today. Thank you my friend; you have always struck me as someone I would love to know much better and I regret that we will probably never meet in person.

Lisa from Tennessee on June 02, 2012:

Scary times. Sad times. The monk photo has given me nightmares since I was little. Thanks so much for writing this and keeping history alive!

Karen Silverman on June 02, 2012:

O, Billy - memories! The sixties played a large part in my life as well - and i understand the love/hate relationship. The difference between then and now - in my humble opinion - is that then there was still hope and unity. Hope of a future..hope of change..hope of instigating change..unity for the betterment the nation..today - hope seems to be, well - hopeless..

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

Gypsy, I never really had nightmares but I did have countless sad moments where it all seemed to be too much to comprehend. Thank you my friend and enjoy your weekend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 02, 2012:

Snowdrops, I'm always happy to see you stop by. Thank you my dear and have a wonderful weekend.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on June 02, 2012:

Voted up and awesome. Some of these events have long reaching shadows especially the assassinations of J.F.K and later Robert and of course Martin Luther King. Was saved from too many nightmares because during the '60s I was but a child. It was years later when stories still circulated about Manson that I got some real nightmares. Thanks for this informative and interesting hub and passing it on.

snowdrops from The Second Star to the Right on June 02, 2012:

Great hub! So many have changed since that time. Im so glad you've shared it with us.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Very true Vellur! Thanks for visiting again!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on June 01, 2012:

Thanks for sharing. When we sit and think back we feel differently than we did when experiencing the events. Great write.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Tom, did I get the date wrong on MLK? Darn it! Thanks for pointing that out in a gentle manner. :)

I appreciate your kind words. I doubt anyone who lived during those times will ever forget...at least I hope they don't.

Take care my friend; you are appreciated.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Well, LadyLyell, good morning to you and thank you for starting your day with me. :) They were interesting times to say the least. I'm glad I was alive then to give me perspective for the last forty years.

As always, thank you and enjoy your day!

LadyLyell from George, South Africa on June 01, 2012:

I was in my early teens in those years but remember the events you have recorded. I well remember my mother believing that the end of the world was ending as world events worsened but here we are in 2012 and such tragic happenings are still taking place.

Sad memories but they were the good old days in many ways too.

This was my wake up read, Thanks!

Tom Koecke from Tacoma, Washington on June 01, 2012:

I remember coming home from kindergarten, and hearing that President Kennedy was shot. At five, I did not understand the significance, of course. All I knew was that the adults were all upset and regular TV programming was interrupted.

As the decade moved on, I was more aware of things happening. I remember Lt. Calley's trial more than I remember the massacre itself, but I definitely remember the "body counts" that were announced on the news.

I recall being at a friend's house when the news of MLK interrupted the show we were watching (BTW, the date was 4/4/68), and being on vacation when RFK was gunned down leaving America with the choice between Nixon and Humphrey and a tumultuous Democratic convention in Chicago.

It had to be difficult to narrow down some of the choices, though others were obvious. Then the '60s were over, but the tumult continued.

Excellent job, my friend. It seems that is a common statement, though, because normal for you is excellence.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Jama, that's exactly it...the flame died that day. All of that hope, all of that excitement...gone!

I'm still looking for it outside of my personal life. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Dexter, thank you for a great comment. I have no experience with which to relate to you regarding growing up black during that time. It was for sure the beginning of change but there are times I wonder who much change has really happened in the last forty years.

I don't think any of us will ever be able to forget those assassinations. And that's as it should be.

Peace to you my friend,

bill

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on June 01, 2012:

Bill, I don't remember the exact words used, but by the time we were done, the fellow understood quite well that 22 Nov 1963 was the day the Flame of Infinite Possibility went out for an entire generation. I don't think the assassinations of RFK and MLK had quite the same impact, happening as they did in the midst of a "daily diet" of Horrors of the Sixties.

Dexter Yarbrough from United States on June 01, 2012:

Hi Billybuc! The 60's were memorable, tragic, fun and enlightening. I was born at the midpoint of the decade but I remember when Dr. King was slain. We lived in a mostly white neighborhood and I remember some white boys busting out one of our windows. As a three year old, I didn't know what was going on but I could sense the nervousness of my parents. Funny thing is, I remember a black police officer coming to investigate the matter!

Thanks for sharing this hub. I found the video of Thich Quang Duc. Chilling indeed. The Kennedy assassinations still bother me to this very day. And Manson - that guy is still scary.

Thanks for the history lesson and reminder of this pivotal time period.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Ruby, thank you for the praise. I hope you are right that we have learned...I'm skeptical but I hope you are right.

Thank you my friend; have a wonderful weekend.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

I would have loved to have heard that dressing down that you all gave that young man, Jama! It would have been worth the price of admission. It was a horrible time for most of us and I wish there was a way to convey the shock and sadness that overcame our nation.

Thank you for a great comment and for....being my friend.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 01, 2012:

How horrible, the 60's. I remember the day so vividly when President Kennedy was murdered. I felt shame for our country. The way the Black people were treated is unforgiveable. I hope we've learned to love and share. Your hub is remarkable but brings sadness...

Joanna McKenna from Central Oklahoma on June 01, 2012:

I happened to be out of school the day JFK was assassinated. My parents and I were coming home from a cousin's funeral when the news came on the radio that Kennedy had been shot. I don't remember crying that day - shock, I guess - tears that wouldn't come until one day at work a quarter of a century later when a twenty-something made a remark that JFK's death "was no big deal". Not only was I surprised at how quickly the tears welled up, but that the co-workers of my generation in the room were weeping, too, as we gave that young man a very thorough lesson in why his death WAS a "big deal".

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Thank you Kelley! You are so loyal in your following and I respect you greatly. Have a wonderful weekend!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Thank you Lamb....your opinion means a great deal to me. Blessings always!

kelleyward on June 01, 2012:

Hi Bill, this hubs shows the detail you put into writing on this piece of history. I remember hearing about the Tulsa Race riots when I worked for Langston University. This was another horrible event that seems to have faded to the background. Thanks for sharing this! Voted up and useful! Kelley

Lori Colbo from United States on June 01, 2012:

Very well written billy. It was a crazy and frightening time in history. They just shouldn't have happened.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Awww, shucks, TT...now I'm blushing. I hate it when you do that to me. :)

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on June 01, 2012:

I can not imagine anything you write as ever being bland and drab! I wish younger generations would listen to the stories the older generations tell instead of thinking they know everything. But then, maybe the lesson wouldn't be taken to heart without firsthand experience. If only we had a little of that genetic memory found in some animals. :) (Tis good to be appreciated by one truly as gifted as you) *big cheesy grin*

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Thanks TT! I only know one way to write and that is with a human face. I have tried to do otherwise but it always turns out bland and drab and that just won't do. I appreciate you greatly as I'm sure you know. I agree, lessons learned have not been remembered and now the painful process of learning once again must happen.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on June 01, 2012:

I remember, very well, my parents talking about all the events of the 60s (I was born in 68) and how it affected them. It's sad to see that some of the lessons our country learned during this turbulent decade are having to be relearned, maybe not with such severity, but enough to wound the heart and soul. Well done on capturing the events and tone of such scary times and I especially liked your personal recollection, giving it a human face. Voting up and more. :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Rahul, you are very right! There was great change during that decade, in nations and many individuals. I am lucky to have lived through it and learned during the process.

Thank you my young and wise friend.

Jessee R from Gurgaon, India on June 01, 2012:

I have read about the sixties... the time when most of the world came off age!

For me all these events are some of those which changed the course of America and the world!

Great hub Sir!

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Thank you Dianna! This was an easy write for me and I'm glad you enjoyed it. Not a very happy subject, eh?

Dianna Mendez on June 01, 2012:

There certainly was a lot going on during this decade. I remember I was in school when Kennedy was shot. We were all numb! I still see occasional documentary on this event, especially on who really shot him. Enjoyed the hub. Another great example of your work.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Chris, you are very kind for saying what you said. The video was something new that we are going to do several times a week...it's the teacher in me, I can't shake it! :) Thank you for a great comment and have a wonderful weekend my friend.

Chris Merritt from Pendleton, Indiana on June 01, 2012:

Bill,

Excellent HUB!

It kind or refreshes the famous lines: "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times"

I was born in 60, so, I was very young when many of these horrible incidents occurred, but I was old enough to have felt the sting in many of them...and even as I learned about them in more detail a few years later...they have all stuck in my soul. They helped define some of my character today. They were indeed both good and bad times.

Also, I applaud you for your "Moment with Bill"....you hit it out of the park my friend!

Although, I have pretty much lived my life the last few years with that philosophy, we all still need to be reminded of it.....Live life to its fullest....love as much as possible....and to make life enjoyable.

Excellent, I have left this hub ..... humble.

Thanks for doing what you do!

Chris

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Michele, the early 70's were not a happy time either...thanks for pointing that out. It took this country a long time to recover from that ten-fifteen year period in history. Thank you for your comment.

Michele Travis from U.S.A. Ohio on June 01, 2012:

I was born in 1964, so I don't remember the '60s but I do remember the '70s. When our troops to Vietnam,and when they came home, they were treated horribly. That is something terrible. This hub, is very good. Thank you for sharing it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Suhail, you are most kind! Thank you very much and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Spy, I need to remember that the years have marched on and the number of people who know about these events is diminishing. Thank you my YOUNG friend for visiting.

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on June 01, 2012:

I am sure most of the readers know about these tragic events, it is narrating those from your personal side that made a big difference to me. It is informative, as well as a touching piece of writing.

Voted up!

Life Under Construction from Neverland on June 01, 2012:

Thanks too sir. never knew these tragic events that happened years ago..my mother was born in the sixties too :)

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Mark, it is good to hear from you. I hope your life is progressing and you are headed for a solution. Thank you my friend; I always appreciate your comments.

Curiad on June 01, 2012:

This is a stark look at the inhumanity of man. It is well written and unfortunately, a part of our history. Well done sharing this Bill.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

Spy, you are first this morning. Thank you so much for stopping by; your following means a great deal to me.

Bill Holland (author) from Olympia, WA on June 01, 2012:

LOL....yes, Lord, you beat Tammy! It was actually hard to whittle the list down to ten events; it seemed there was an overload of tragedy that decade. Thank you as always for stopping by.

Joseph De Cross from New York on June 01, 2012:

Great summary Billy. As you stated, some tragic events were left out. Still wondering 'who' killed Marilyn Monroe on August 5, 1962. History is there to be read and learn from, but weems that we will never learn. Thanks for taking us back in memory lane....Ops! Did I beat Tammy?

LORD

Life Under Construction from Neverland on June 01, 2012:

Oh, Thank you for sharing these sir. voted up and all.

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