Archive for the ‘1960s: Protest, Equality and the Vietnam War’ Category

Essential Questions: What do equal rights mean for different groups? How do people challenge and use power?


Monday: Look at how Latino Americans are still fighting for civil rights. Watch this clip, The Struggle in the Fields, to see what issues Latino Americans were facing in the late 1960s-1970s. What does Chicano mean?

Music- Barry McGuire performs On the Eve of Destruction

Homework- Finish the video and continue taking notes to be handed in on Wednesday

Tuesday: LMC Paper Day! We’ll meet in the LMC to start researching some topics for your Using History project. Start thinking of ideas!

Wednesday: Continue thinking about the Chicano movement. We’ll watch  Taking Back the Schools (to about 35:00 or so..). While watching, think about the video we watched on Monday and think about these questions:

  1. What were the harms and the injustices Chicano’s felt?
  2. What methods and motivations did the groups use to correct the injustices?
  3. What were the remedies sought? What demands were made?
  4. Who were the players and what did they each believe? Who supported the movement? Who did not?

Thursday: Vietnam introduction. We’ll look at Vietnam’s history to find out how the US got involved there at all. Here’s a copy of the power point we used in class if you need a reference! You can also check these pages in your textbook (768-776)

Friday: How does Vietnam affect us today? Look at the Gulf of Tonkin ResolutionWar Powers Resolution and the Iraq War Resolution to see how presidential war powers were impacted by the events in Vietnam.


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Essential Unit Questions: 

  1. What role does the Supreme Court play in a democratic society?
  2. How do US policies/actions impact the environment, media and cultures around the world?
  3. What causes presidential powers to expand and contract?
  4. What do equal rights mean for different groups?
  5. How do people challenge and use power?



Music– I am Woman by Helen Reddy released in May 1972.

What do you already know about this period (1964-1980)? Where are there tensions economically, socially, politically? Think about how this period sees many different clashes and those tensions resolve themselves. We will review Johnson’s Great Society, look at our new essential questions, spend some time looking at the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy. 

Wednesday: Continue our theme of tensions by looking at some issues faced by gay and lesbian groups. What were the challenges they faced and how did they protest? Watch a video the Stonewall uprising and take notes on the events you see.

Thursday and Friday: What words or images come to mind when you hear the word “feminist?” We’ll look closely at the second wave of feminism in the 1970s. We will watch The Makers from PBS to learn about the issues at stake for feminists, what their goals were, their challenges, and their legacy today.

What issues might women face today? Check out these articles on the “glass ceiling” and promotions for women and learn more about Venus Williams’ fight to get equal prize money at Wimbledon in 2005!





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Essential Question: In what ways have the courts and legislatures been used to gain rights and reduce social inequality?


Music- Here is one of the most famous presidential campaign ads in US history.

In Class:

In Class:


1. Johnson runs for re-election in 1964. What did the electoral map look like?

Listen to Lyndon Baines Johnson’s Great Society speech (~16 minutes) delivered at the University of Michigan in May, 1964. (Full-text here.) Be sure you have the three areas that he felt needed to be addressed in the Great Society. What specific problems does he see? How does he plan to resolve them? List of his actions and other details.

2. Review notes from book on what Johnson accomplishes during his term and what specific challenges he faced. Read Obama’s Great Society and be prepared for a scored discussion on it and Johnson’s Great Society speech.

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Essential Questions: What kinds of methods of protest are used by groups and individuals during the Civil Rights Movement?  How does the government intervene in citizen’s lives? How have the courts become involved in the Civil Rights Movement?


Tuesday: How did students take a leading role in the Civil Rights Movement?

1. Wrap up our discussion of Emmett Till. Read this article on Trayvon Martin, what connections can be made between the 2 cases?

2. Read this speech by Gandhi. What themes do you see? How do they relate to the Civil Rights Movement?

3. Talk about the Greensboro Four. Watch this video to see what happened to these four students in NC.  How did they spark protests across the south?

Wednesday and Thursday:  What is the reaction of different government groups to the Freedom Riders? (executive branch, local gov’t, police etc…?) What constitutes non-violent action?

1. John F. Kennedy is sworn in in January, 1961. Read his inaugural address. What was his policy on enforcing civil rights? How did he win the election? How did he reconcile the competing claims of “Freedom Now!” with “Segregation Forever?”

2. Only 4 months after he is sworn in, JFK is confronted with the Freedom Riders who were determined to confront segregation in interstate busing. The US Supreme Court had ruled in December 1960 (Boynton v. Virginia) that all bus stations and terminals serving interstate travelers should be integrated. The Freedom Riders were to test that ruling.

  • PBS American Experience: Freedom Riders. We watched all of this first part  and through 20:00 of this second part. Complete this viewing guide while watching. (PBS streams this film in its entirety here.)
  • What are your reactions or questions to the documentary? What role does the government play in enforcing civil rights? What are the methods and motivations for protest? How do individuals take on injustice?

Friday: What are the impacts of social protests?

1. Review lecture notes on King’s involvement in the Montgomery bus boycott.

2. Discuss the Birmingham Campaign to desegregate downtown Birmingham through the use of boycotts and other direct non-violent methods. (African Americans made up 40% of the population in Birmingham.)

2.  What tactics should be used in protest? (King’s television interview)

HOMEWORK: Finish the Birmingham article and turn it in on Monday

Related Links:

March on Washington, August, 1963

African American Civil Rights Era timeline (1950s-1960s)

Dr. King’s Righteous Fury (April 15, 2013)

Reparations in Birmingham? Civil RIghts Justice on the Cheap

Trayvon Martin Related Links:

Stand your ground stats from the Tampa Bay Times and  PBS

Here’s an analysis of that data from NPR

Check out this article on Marissa Alexander, another Stand Your Ground case that I mentioned in class.

A collection of articles from the Orlando Sentinel, LA Times, and NY Times.  And here’s some articles on the media coverage itself from the Washington Post and USA Today.

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Essential Unit Question: What is the proper role of government in shaping American society?

MondayHow did the court’s decision in Brown impact US society at the time? How does it impact us today?

Brown v. Board of Education presentations, what did you learn about the Brown case and its relevance today?

music monday-  and  (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!)

Tuesday: ACT day

Wednesday: How is federal vs. state authority challenged in Little Rock?

The Little Rock 9: What happened in Little Rock? Watch these clips to see what happened to the first 9 African American students to attend Central High School in Little Rock

ThursdayWhat methods of protest are used during the Civil Rights movement? Are they successful?

Alabama Bus Boycotts

FridayWhat are Kennedy and Nixon’s views on the role of the Federal government?

Kennedy/Nixon debates and the 1960 presidential election

1. The rise of Richard Nixon to national prominence through the Eisenhower campaign as his VP. (Let’s look at the electoral college numbers from these elections.)Nixon was accused of having a secret fund of contributions from citizens helping him live an extravagant lifestyle. What was his response? How do politicians respond to accusations today?

2. Watch segment from the Kennedy-Nixon debate. What can you derive from their performances? How would you characterize Nixon? Kennedy? What do they offer about their views of government? How does it compare to today’s debates? How important are they?

3. Read Time article on how that night changed the election.

4. How have ads influence campaigns? We’ll look at the early commercials used during presidential campaigns.

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Tuesday: UNIT 2 TEST!

Wednesday: Civil Rights Intro. We will look at our new essential questions and think about the role the government, courts, and individuals play in this social movement.

  1. In what ways did the new strategies and goals of the civil rights movement affect social transformation?

  2. How do people challenge and use power?

  3. What is the proper role of gov’t in shaping American society?

  4. When will reform work and when is revolution required?

  5. What’s the best method for success: integration or segregation?

Thursday: Look at Jackie Robinson, Isaac Woodard, and an intro to Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Z1StPzACpcQ/UPwF03OA4wI/AAAAAAAACr8/jUnVfBG-C7w/s1600/segregation_map2.jpeg

How do the electoral maps from these elections compare with this map of segregated schools?

Friday: Look more in depth at Brown v. Board of Education. We’ll split into groups to see how the road to Brown got started, and what it meant after the case, and still means today.


1. Pre-Brown. Cases, laws and events leading up to the decision.

2. The Brown v. Board of Education decision itself

3. Post-Brown/Little Rock Central High School

4. Current Implications: Madison in the 1980s and school segregation issues today

Create a presentation between 10-12 minutes that gives the class substantive content from each of your group’s documents. This will be presented to the class on Thursday.

  • Share information from each document in your packet
  • There should be enough content that viewers can take notes on your performance.
  • You should offer a brief context as to where your group fits into the broader picture of Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Related articles

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Watch: Race: The Power of an Illusion. 

Here is an excerpt from the documentary: The House we Live In. Here is the complete transcript for it. It’s also available from our school library.

Take copious notes on this documentary. You’ll need to use this as a case study for your exam regarding the role of government in the provision of social/economic services and the role and efficacy of the Courts.


Music Monday: Lollipop by the Chordettes and Five Satins “In the Still of the Night

1. Discuss The House we Live in.

2. Are cities segregated and if so, what has contributed to making them that way?

3. The Other America by Michael Harrington


Finish reading the Michael Harrington excerpt AND read pp. 516-517 of the textbook to see how they describe it.

Related Resources

Alone in Public Housing with a Spare Bedroom (nytimes.com)

Better Housing News Flash

Scholars Return to a Culture of Poverty

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