As the conservative decade of the 1950s closed, the United States began its long slide into a bloody and protracted war in far-off Vietnam. The strict rules and norms that dictated public behavior — from dress to family to politics — would prove to be a “fragile crust” that was shattered by war in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Skeptical media coverage reflected the discontent of Americans, who had soured on the war over its surging death toll and drain on the economy. Adding fuel to the fire: the fight for civil rights.
Compiled by Travis Tritten/Stars and Stripes