American Women Through Time
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1960 Diane Nash plays a key role in the Nashville sit-ins.
Diane Nash and the Sit-Ins [Teachers' Domain] includes a biographical profile of Nash and a video clip of an interview with Nash.
Access note: although access is free, registration is required.

1960 John Kennedy is elected President.
Eleanor Roosevelt, John Kennedy, and the Election of 1960, a mini-edition from the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers project, includes letters to and from Roosevelt, excerpts from her "My Day" newspaper column, and audio from three JFK campaign advertisements.

1960 The drug company G.D. Searle receives FDA approval to sell "the pill."
See American Experience: The Pill [PBS] for a program transcript, timeline, interviews with women, and much more.

1960 Ruby Bridges becomes the first African American child to integrate a Southern elementary school. In A Class of One [PBS}, Ruby Bridges Hall recalls her first day at the school in New Orleans. Hall is interviewed by Charlayne Hunter-Gault, whose role in the integration of a Southern university is noted in the next entry.

1961 Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes enter the University of Georgia with police escort after a ruling by the Federal court in Athens, Georgia. University of Georgia Integration [National Archives, Southeast Region] includes primary documents and a photograph of Hunter and Holmes as they walked to University of Georgia Registrar's Office.
The Civil Rights Digital Library offers a television newsfilm clip of Hunter and Holmes arriving on the campus.
Relevant books include Hunter-Gault's autobiography, In My Place, Calvin Trillin's An Education in Georgia: Charlayne Hunter, Hamilton Holmes, and the Integration of the University of Georgia, and Robert Pratt's We Shall Not Be Moved: The Desegregation of the University of Georgia.

1961 Freedom Riders test a recent Supreme Court decision prohibiting segregation on interstate buses.
Freedom Riders and the Albany Movement In Music of Social Change. Atlanta: Emory University, [2005].
Joan Browning was among the SNCC workers who were jailed in Albany, Georgia for demonstrating at bus and train stations. This site features letters and notes that Browning wrote on papers towels and tissue while in jail.

1961 Jane Jacobs publishes The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
Urban Visionary Jane Jacobs Dies [National Public Radio]. This segment discusses how Jacobs' ideas transformed field of urban planning.

1961 Ackmann, Martha. 'The Mercury 13': Training U.S. Women for Space [Audio; 8 min., 19 sec.]
Listen to the NPR interview with Martha Ackmann, author of The Mercury 13: The Untold Story of 13 American Women and the Dream of Space Flight.

1961 Peace Corps is established.
Oral History Digital Collection [Youngstown State University] includes interviews with two women who were Peace Corps volunteers in the 1960s. Select "Peace Corps" from the list of headings.
Talking History [25 May 2000] includes the segment, "A History of the Peace Corps. Eileen Dugan interviews Elizabeth Cobbs-Hoffman, author of All You Need is Love: The Peace Corp and the Spirit of the 1960s (Harvard University Press, 1998).

1961 President John F. Kennedy establishes the President's Commission on the Status of Women.
From the Archives: Vice-President Lyndon Baines Johnson Addresses the President's Commission on the Status of Women (1962) [Talking History, 27 January 2005]

1961 Women Strike for Peace is founded.
The Triptych digital collection includes over 100 images of Women Strike for Peace buttons from the Swarthmore College Peace Collection.

1962 Constance Baker Motley successfully argues in Meredith v. Fair that James Meredith should be admitted to the University of Mississippi.
Constance Baker Motley [Teachers' Domain; registration required] includes a transcript of an interview in which Motley describes the Meredith case in detail.

1962 Dolores Huerta plays a major role in the formation of the National Farm Workers Association.
Dolores Huerta: For Our Children [Pacifica Radio Archives; time: 59 min.]
The Farmworker Movement: 1962-1993 [Si Se Puede Press, 2005] includes photos of Huerta (Online Gallery Search) and numerous essays by women and men who volunteered in the farmworker movement.
The Unsung of Civil Rights [National Public Radio; 8 min, 39 sec] offers a brief report on Huerta.

1962 Rachel Carson's Silent Spring is published.
Limited preview of Silent Spring: 40th Anniversary Edition is available from Google Book Search.
Listen to the Talking History interview [15 April 1999] with Linda Lear, author of Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature

1963 Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique is published.
Daniel Horowitz discusses his book, Betty Friedan and the Making of The Feminine Mystique, in a Talking History interview [9 December 1999].

1963 Bombing at a Birmingham church kills four African-American girls.
Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing [Birmingham Public Library] includes photographs, newspaper clippings, and a bibliography.
Listen to National Public Radio's segment, 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing: Forty Years Later, Birmingham Still Struggles with Violent Past.

1963 The Equal Pay Act requires equal pay for men and women performing the same job duties.
The American Presidency Project includes Kennedy's Remarks Upon Signing the Equal Pay Act.

1963 Julia Child's public television program The French Chef began on Boston's WGBH.
See Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian, and the Archive of American Television interview with Child that is available on Google Video.

1963 Katharine Graham becomes president of the Washington Post.
Katharine Graham: A Life Remembered [National Public Radio]
Katharine Graham Remembered [Washington Post]

1963 March on Washington
In They Were There: Dorothy Height [Tavis Smiley Show; time: 8 min.], Height recalls her role in planning the event, the experience of being close to Martin Luther King during his historic speech, and the meeting of National Council of Negro Women the day after the march.
Janus Adams recalls the experience of attending the March as a little girl in Commentary: Remembering the Speech [Tavis Smiley Show, August 27, 2003; time: 3 min., 54 sec.].
Another relevant program: 1963 March on Washington: 'Medgar Evers Ballad' Ten Leaders and a Tribute to Women [WGBH Forum]

1963 Vivian J. Malone and James A. Hood become the first African-Americans to sustain enrollment at the University of Alabama.
Vivian Malone Jones is on the panel that discusses Integrating the University of Alabama [WGBH Forum].

1964 Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in public accommodations and in employment.

1964 Fannie Lou Hamer appears before the credentials committee of the 1964 Democratic National Convention. She relates the difficulties that she faced in registering to vote in Mississippi.
Listen to Hamer's Testimony Before the Credentials Committee, Democratic National Convention, part of Say It Plain: A Century of Great African American Speeches from American Radio Works.
The Civil Rights in Mississippi Digital Archive includes an audio enhanced transcript of an oral history interview with Hamer. Kay Mills, author of This Little Light of Mine: The Life of Fannie Lou Hamer, discusses Hamer's life with Brian Lamb in a Booknotes Interview.

1964 Free Speech Movement at Berkeley
The Online Archive of California includes hundreds of images that document the free speech movement. Many of these photos include images of women (e.g., Joan Baez, Bettina Aptheker).
Aptheker recalls the period in an interview (Bancroft Library) from 2001.

1964 Freedom Summer
Blewen, John. Oh Freedom Over Me [online]. Saint Paul, MN: Minnesota Public Radio, 2000 [cited 18 June 2002]. Available from: Listen to this engaging program about Freedom Summer. Topics include activist strategies, freedom songs, and Fannie Lou Hamer. The site also includes transcripts of selected interviews and a slideshow of photographs.

1965 In Griswold v. Connecticut, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Connecticut's ban on the distribution of contraceptive devices or information is a violation of married couples' right to privacy.
Listen to oral arguments from OYEZ.

1965 Photojournalist Dickey Chapelle is killed while covering the Vietnam War.
See Vietnam War Photographs by Dickey Chapelle [Wisconsin Historical Society].
Overseas Press Club: Dickey Chapelle, 1964 [audio; 46 min.]
Chapelle received the Award for Gallantry in News Coverage from the Overseas Press Club in 1964.

1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march for civil rights.
Activists Mark 40th Anniversary of Selma March [National Public Radio; 8 min., 19 sec.] includes an interview with march organizer and participant Ameila Boynton.

1965 A Visual Journey: Photographs by Lisa Law 1965-1971

1965 Voting Rights Act
America's Historical Documents: The Voting Rights Act

1966 The first African American women students enter Virginia Tech.
Black Women at Virginia Tech Oral History Project [Virginia Tech University Libraries]

1966 The National Organization for Women is established.
Part III of The Feminist Chronicles, 1953-1993 includes the text of numerous early NOW documents.
Women - Dare We Not Discriminate?, a Harvard Law School Forum (18 February 1966), includes speakers Betty Friedan, Mary I. Bunting, and Pauli Murray.

1967 Diane Arbus' Identical Twins photograph.
Listen to Diane Arbus' Identical Twins, part of National Public Radio's "Present at the Creation" series.

1967 In Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court rules that Virginia's miscegenation statute is unconstitutional.
The online journal History Now provides an overview of the case.

1968 The Building Stewardesses Construction Guides at the WTC, 1968-1971 (Lost & Found Sound, National Public Radio; 21 minutes).

1968 The "Catonsville Nine" protest against the Vietnam War by burning several hundred draft records that they had taken from the Selective Service Offices in Catonsville, Maryland. Marjorie Melville and Mary Moylan are among the participants.
Fire and Faith: The Catonsville Nine File [Enoch Pratt Public Library] provides profiles of the participants, an audio file of an interview with draft board employee who witnessed the event, and footage of the group as they burn the draft records and recite the Lord's Prayer in unison.

1968 Diahann Carroll becomes the first African American to star in a television situation comedy. She plays a widowed nurse in Julia.
The Encyclopedia of Television provides a good overview of Julia.
The Archive of American Television interview with Carroll is available on Google Video.

1968 The Jeannette Rankin Brigade marches on Washington, D.C. to protest the Vietnam War.
Rankin relates how the Jeannette Rankin Brigade was formed in a oral history interview (Suffragists Oral History Project, Regional Oral History Office, Bancroft Library).

1969 Founding of the Chicago Women's Liberation Union (CWLU).
Learn more about the Chicago Women's Liberation Union Herstory Project.

1969 President Richard Nixon creates the Task Force on Women's Rights and Responsibilities to recruit and train women for upper-level governmental positions.
A Few Good Women: Advancing the Cause for Women in the U.S. Government, 1969-1974 [online]. University Park: University Libraries, The Pennsylvania State University, 2003- [cited 11 March 2005]. Available from:

1969 Roxcy Bolton successfully challenges "men only" sections in restaurants.
Roxcy Bolton, Pioneer Feminist [Florida Memory Project] includes an overview of Bolton's work for women's rights, pro and con letters about the "men only" lunch sections, photographs of Bolton, and lesson plans for grades 7-9.

1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City mark the starting point of the modern gay rights movement.
Listen to the documentary Remembering Stonewall from Sound Portraits (23:03 min.).
See the online exhibit, Stonewall and Beyond: Lesbian and Gay Culture, from Columbia University Libraries.


Advertising offers 6,000 print advertisments published from 1940 to the present. Search by year or browse by decade.

Advice Literature

Peterson, Kelsy. The Glory of Woman: Prescriptive Literature in the Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture [online]. Durham, NC: Sallie Bingham Center for Women's History and Culture, Duke University, 2003 [cited 21 November 2005]. Available from:
Researchers can browse this extensive, annotated bibliography by date.

Historic Films / Television News

The Florida Memory Project [State Library and Archives of Florida] offers several historic films from the 1960s, including "The Road to Beauty" and "Florida Cinderella."

Television News of the Civil Rights Era, 1950-1970 [online]. Charlottesville, Va.: University of Virginia, Virginia Center for Digital History, 2005- .

Oral History Collections

The Whole World Was Watching: An Oral History of 1968 [online]. Providence, RI: Scholarly Technology Group, Brown University, [1998- ]. Available from: Most of the interviewees at least touch upon civil rights. Naomi Craig, an African American, discusses race relations and the assassination of Martin Luther King.

Public Opinion

See the Public Opinion section for citations to print and electronic sources.

Historical Statistics

Historical Census Browser
Researchers can examine state and county topics for individual census years and over time, as well as generate maps of selected data.

Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1975.
Also available online in two parts: Part 1 and Part II.

Statistical Abstract of the United States [online]. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1879- .
A valuable online tool for locating historical statistics for a given year.

Explore Further

America: History & Life [online]. Santa Barbara, CA : ABC-Clio, Inc., 1998- .
This database offers a simple option for limiting a search for articles and other sources to a specific time period.

Linden-Ward, Blanche, and Carol Hurd Green. Changing the Future: American Women in the 1960s. New York: Twayne, 1992.

Sigerman, Harriet, ed. The Columbia Documentary History of American Women Since 1941. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003.

The Sixties [online]. Otto G. Richter Library, University of Miami, 2004. Available from:
Includes a section on Gender Issues.

American Women Through Time

Ken Middleton
Middle Tennessee State Univ. Library
Murfreesboro, TN 37132