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The Lansdowne Public Library, 3rd Thursday @ 7:30 PM

Presented by: Michael Sheehan and Neil Ronk

This program meets at the library and online.

If you have any questions, please ask!

History Forum is back!

Lansdowne History Forum 


The Rise of the Counterculture 

This year we will focus on the tumultuous 1960s, a decade that saw the rise of a counterculture, a movement that rejected our parents’ Cold War politics, policies and values and sharply divided the nation largely along generational lines. It was an age of great hope, fueled by the longest and largest economic boom in modern history, that encouraged us to make war on racial and gender discrimination and poverty. But it was also an age of great tragedy and despair as witnessed bt the quagmire in Vietnam, a series of political assassinations and the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal. 

Sept. 15 The Rise of the Counterculture 

A generational rejection of our parents’ Cold War politics, policies and 

values that would be defined by Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll, the youth Movement and civil rights and war protests. 

Oct. 20 1968 

The darkest year of the 1960s, marked by political assassinations, the 

Democratic Convention in Chicago, George Wallace’s segregationist presidential campaign, Nixon’s southern strategy and the trial of the Chicago Seven. 

Nov. 17 Vietnam - The Homefront 

Vietnam, the first televised war, tore the nation apart, especially along 

generational lines and saw the rise of radical groups like the SDS and the Weathermen, violence on college campuses and the emergence of a powerful peace movement. 

Jan. 19 The Civil Rights Movement 

Race in America is a very complex and difficult part of our history. In the 1960s, under the leadership of men like Martin luther king and Malcolm X, both of whom would be assassinated in this decade, and groups like the Freedom Riders and the Black Panthers etc. the question of race and civil rights would come to dominate our television screens and the American consciousness. It would culminate in the march on Washington and the passage of the voting rights act. 

Feb. 16 The Watts Riots 

In stark contrast to Martin Luther King’s nonviolent approach, racial violence erupted in Watts and most of the big cities across America. During what came to be called “Long Hot Summers” American cities were literally ablaze.

Mar. 16 Johnson’s Great Society 

Alongside the war in Vietnam, President Lyndon Johnson conducted his war on poverty, the largest government operation to relieve the suffering and hunger of the poor since the Great Depression. 

Apr. 20 Arab-Israeli Conflict 

This seemingly insoluble conflict has been a part of my life since childhood and it is no closer to resolution today. We will examine the origins of the conflict and its place in cold war politics, but our central focus will be on the Six Day War and its legacies. 

May 18 The Arms Race and the Road to Detente 

The world was made ever more dangerous by the amassing of enormous stockpiles of ever more powerful nuclear weapons systems and these fears were elevated as the arms race threatened to extend into outer space. After the Cuban Missile Crisis, the two world superpowers finally moved in the direction of peaceful co-existence. 

Jun. 15 Nixon and Watergate 

We will examine Nixon’s career as the ultimate cold war politician, his 

political campaigns, the rise of the imperial presidency and the Watergate Scandal that led to his resignation

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