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Showing posts from April 19, 2020

10. THE SIXTIES

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A DECADE OF TURBULENCE
The decade opened positively, with high prospects for the future...at least it seemed so for the American white middle class.  That was all I knew.  For us, it promised to be a sunny time.

President John Kennedy's inaugural speech in January 1961 set the tone.  It began with the declaration, "...the torch has been passed to a new generation," and it concluded with "ask not what your country can do for you---ask what you can do for your country."   Now, it appeared, young people could, and would, make a difference.  The Peace Corps came into being.  Involvement and commitment was the spirit of the time.

It seemed to be a call to action for the young.

But on October 22, 1962 clouds were gathering.  Kennedy announced that a Russian ship carrying missiles capable of striking the United States was headed for Cuba.  The American government declared a high seas blockade around Cuba to keep that ship from reaching its destination.  This was tantamo…