Our joint archives contain thousands of items from the 1960s, some familiar, some you will have completely forgotten. Our writers were either there at the time (in the main) or have specialised in the history of the period.
The 1960s was an exciting, terrifying, fast-moving, unbelievable, boring, delightful, dangerous time. The Cold War continually threatened to get ‘hot’, with nuclear weapons and the fate of Berlin much talked about. The shortages of the 1940s and 1950s were being forgotten and full stomachs and plenty of choice were becoming the norm – although not for everybody. Women began to break out of the gilded cages men had put them in, gay men had their lives partially decriminalised. Abortion and The Pill liberated women from the tyranny of uncontrollable pregnancies. The death penalty was abolished.
The staid and bookish Prime Minister Harold Macmillan gave way to the dull and boring Alec Douglas-Home who was soon displaced by the young and daring Harold Wilson. He brought with him the White Heat of technology, the National Giro and the Open University.
Pop music arrived, boosted by four young gentlemen from Liverpool and “pirate” radio stations anchored 3 miles off the coast of the UK. Television gained an exciting, upmarket, part-time third channel and overtook radio as the medium of choice. The film industry started to lose its way as cinema audiences stayed home to watch their own flicking screens.
For middle-class children, it was a time of wonder and joy, playing out until dark in largely traffic-free streets. For working-class children, life was far harder and their poverty and homelessness began to worry what we later be called ‘the chattering classes’. For upper-class children, life went on much as it always had, from nannies to public school to university into government.
my1960s.com revels in these memories, good and bad, scary and serene. We hope you enjoy this journey through time.