Mira Silverwood

26 Things You’ll Only Remember If You Lived Through The 1960s

The 1960s was a truly iconic decade, filled with cultural change, musical debuts, and youth-driven fashion. While there were civil rights struggles and political upheaval, the ’60s was a great time to be alive. These are 26 things only someone who lived through the 1960s will recall. 

Beatles Mania

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The 1960s was full of musical blessings, from the emergence of Bowie to the Kinks, but none were as famous as The Beatles. Since the start of the ’60s, The Beatles cultivated a fan base more akin to fanaticism, creating a movement known as Beatlesmania

Watching Mankind Walk On The Moon

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We all know the phrase “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind,” but only one generation had the privilege of living through this event. The grainy image of Neil Armstrong conquering the moon no doubt sticks in the minds of ’60s children and adults alike. 

Mods Vs Rockers

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Youth sub-cultures dominated much of the 1960s, but the Mod vs Rockers battle was the most explosive. Many who lived through the ’60s remember the 1964 media coverage of leather-clad rockers taking on the clean-cut mods. 

Luther’s Iconic “I Have a Dream” Speech

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On August 28th, 1963, Martin Luther delivered an iconic speech that would change the direction of the Civil Rights Movement. Anyone alive during the ’60s will remember witnessing the greatest speech of the 20th century. 

Lava Lamps

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While invented in 1948, lava lamps wouldn’t develop home decor notoriety until the 1960s. Those who grew up in this era will no doubt remember the mesmerizing waxy color show. 

Sea Monkeys

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Were you really a kid in the ’60s if you didn’t own a tank of Sea Monkeys? Marketed as a “bowl full of happiness,” these instant pets weren’t monkeys by any means, but rather underwhelming brine shrimp.


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While brief, this festival is believed to be one of the greatest rock-n-roll moments of all time. Over 500,000 people attended this event to see legends such as Jimmy Hendrix and Jannis Joplin up close, while also protesting for peace and love. 

Rainbow Tie-Dye

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Born in the late 1960s, tie-dye quickly gained popularity among those looking to defy the clothing choices of their parents. Extravagant, colorful, and psychedelic, this trend was soon seen all over TV in various swirly prints. 

Flower Power

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This movement was created in response to the seemingly endless violence of the Vietnam War. With the catchphrase “make love, not war,” Flower Power activists wanted to transform anti-war protests into peaceful, healing spaces. 

The Vietnam War

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One of the longest wars in history, the conflict in Vietnam spanned decades, with the ’60s bearing witness to worrying escalations. This was a harrowing time for everyone involved, creating profound social, economic, and moral damage. 

The Assassination of JFK

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The assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963 sent shockwaves through the entire world and changed American politics. This tragic event not only dominated the news, but it provided a catalyst for change in the raging Civil Rights Movement. 


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The food that dominated the 1960s was as colorful and varied as the fashion of the time. One dish that will stick in the mind of any ’60s dweller is fondue, namely cheese or chocolate (but never together). 


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Dubbed “flavor crystals”, this powdered drink aimed to simulate the experience of drinking fresh orange juice, without any of the nutritional value. Nevertheless, Tang had a place in homes of the early 1960s, especially due to rumors that it was an astronaut’s drink of choice.

TV Dinners

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From creamy vanilla pudding to roast chicken, TV Dinners offered packaged, stress-free meal prep for the housewife of the 1960s. Those who lived through the ’60s can probably close their eyes and remember tucking into their favourite TV dinner tray while watching Dark Shadows. 

Dark Shadows

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Kids from the ’90s might cite Buffy The Vampire Slayer as the first successful gothic show, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Dark Shadows ran from 1966 to 1971, providing viewers with a blend of gothic, horror, and fantasy elements. 

Go Go Boots

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The ’60s were all about getting your groove on, but a night of dancing would be incomplete without a pair of trusted Go Go boots. These striking white boots were all the rage among young women of the ’60s, and have made various comebacks since their release. 

The Twist Dance

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Armed with their trusty go-go boots, ’60s partiers would start swiveling their hips in an iconic dance move known as the twist. This rock and roll-inspired motion became a worldwide phenomenon after it was adopted by fashionistas. 

Hippie Communes

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Communal living was another popular phenomenon of the 1960s, with shared houses becoming the norm among hippies and free thinkers. Like-minded individuals came together to rebel against the norm and create a countercultural movement. 

The First Barbie Dolls

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Barbie was officially introduced to the world in 1959 but gained popularity in the ’60s, becoming the staple toy of girls across America. She was originally modeled on the timeless beauty of Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, with signature golden waves and heavy eyeliner. 

The Cold War

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The Cold War is another turbulent event of the 1960s that sticks in the mind of anyone who lived through it. Military tension between the US and the Soviet Union created an atmosphere of unease throughout the ’60s, with ever-present propaganda and news coverage. 

The Cuban Missile Crisis 

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The last major event of the Cold War brought the world to a standstill in 1962. Those old enough to absorb current affairs will remember the 13-day standoff between Russia and the US in Cuba, and how the entire planet feared war once again. 

2001: A Space Odyssey 

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Stanley Kubrick’s2001: A Space Odyssey” had a notable impact on culture in the 1960s, as well as being a great sci-fi film. Despite hundreds of audience walkouts at its premiere, it became 1968’s biggest box office hit for its commentary on space exploration and technology. 

Sesame Street Is Born

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This beloved educational show debuted in 1969 and became an instant hit among children in the US. Though still alive and well today, not many people can say they remember seeing Elmo or the Cookie Monster in their original form. 

Bean Bag Chairs

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Many people have a love-hate relationship with home decor trends from the ’60s. One that has stood the test of time, however, is bean bag chairs. Everyone owned one of these from 1969 onwards, in at least 4 different colors. 


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Originally named “The Pretzel Game”, Twister was released to the public in 1966 and has been a staple of parties ever since. Anyone hosting a gathering with friends in the ’60s would have presented this game much to the joy of their guests. 

The Mini Skirt

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An iconic symbol of rebellion, the mini skirt took the US by storm in the 1960s, becoming one of the longest-lasting fashion trends to date. In defiance of conservatism, young women everywhere began hitching up their skirt hems, much to the disappointment of older generations. 

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