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CULTURAL REVOLUTION

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.

 



 


 



As the war rages abroad, counterculture rocks America

In 1959, “Leave It to Beaver” was in its second season on TV, the first Barbie dolls hit store shelves and Elvis Presley was on the music charts. Americans returning from World War II and the Korean War had built up a comfortable middle class and moved into the suburbs. That same year, North Vietnamese communist forces began building the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Southeast Asia. The strict rules and norms that dictated public behavior the decade before — from dress to family to politics — would prove to be a “fragile crust” that was shattered by war in the 60’s and 70’s.



TIMELINE | Cultural changes throughout the war [Back to top]


Compiled by Travis Tritten/Stars and Stripes