Jump started the modern women's movement during the 1960s by writing a book called The Feminine Mystique. Freidan's book examined why some American women were not satisfied with being housewives.
Freidan and others organized the National Organization of Women. This group pushed government for women's rights. Today NOW works hard to keep abortion legal (and for other causes).
Began publishing MS. (a magazine that covered regular issues plus women's rights).
Feminist protestors never actually engaged in bra burning. They did hold a famous protest against the Miss America contest in 1968 where they paraded pigs wearing bikinis and gathered round a huge trash can where they threw their bras and other "instruments of oppression." Going braless did become popular for some people.
GRISWOLD V. CONNECTICUT (1965)
"Right to marital privacy" was established. It was no longer legal for states to outlaw contraception (before this case, Connecticut had an "obscenity law" prohibiting married women from getting contraceptives from their doctors).
The oral contraceptive ("The Pill") became widely used for the first time in the 1960s. Personal behavior changed. TV and motion pictures began to explore sexual relationships and issues like abortion for the first time (that's one reason Hollywood came up with its rating system).
ERA (proposed in 1972)
NOW and others fought to add an Equal Rights Amendment to the US Constitution. The ERA almost passed (it was ratified by 35 of the necessary 38 states). Conservative advocates, especially Phyllis Shalfly who once said that, "the ERA would lead to women being drafted by the military and to public unisex bathrooms."
TITLE IX (1972)
Federal law which requires all schools and colleges to provide females equality in all aspects of the education process. Title IX has especially impacted sports. 1 in 27 women participated in any kind of interscholastic athletic activity in high school and 98% of college scholarships went to male athletes before Title IX was adopted.
BILLIE JEAN KING V. BOBBY RIGGS (1973)
Feminists cheered when female tennis superstar King defeated loudmouth tennis pro Riggs in three straight sets (Riggs had publicly claimed King had no chance at winning because she was a female).
Tend to favor government programs to fix social problems. Being liberal is the opposite of laissez-faire policy. Generally speaking, the Democratic Party is Liberal today (ever since FDR's New Deal increased the size of government with programs like Social Security). Social liberals also tend to support things like environmental protection, abortion rights, affirmative action, legalizing marijuana, etc.
Tend to favor limited government and laissez-faire polices. Conservatives care about social problems but believe that the government only messes things up when it tries to fix social problems. As Ronald Reagan said after getting elected President in 1980, "Government is the problem, not the solution." Generally Republicans today. Social conservatives tend to be opposed to abortion, favor gun ownership rights, and oppose drugs and hippies.
"LEFT WING/RIGHT WING
" Conservatives (generally Republicans) are called "Right" and Liberals (generally Democrats) are called "Left."
JOHNSON'S "GREAT SOCIETY" PROGRAM
LB Johnson was a Liberal Democrat. Johnson's Great Society program expanded government by providing the elderly with Medicare and disadvantaged youth with Medicaid. His "War on Poverty" also greatly expanded the welfare system. The Great Society was the second largest expansion of government policy in US History (only 2nd to FDR's New Deal).
The Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren ruled in many cases that supported very liberal causes. Several court decisions angered conservatives because they seemed to unfairly restrict police powers while unnecessarily protecting the rights of accused criminals (Gideon v. Wainwright - free lawyers for the accused; Miranda v. Arizona - you have the right to remain silent...; Mapp v. Ohio - police couldn't prosecute if they collect evidence without a search warrant). Warren also angered religious conservatives with Engle v. Vital (declared mandatory school prayer unconstitutional) and Abbington Township v. Schemp (declared voluntary prayer to be unconstitutional). Conservatives were made even angrier in 1973 when the Supreme Court (now led by a new Chief Justice Warren Burger- I won't ask about Burger's name on your test) ruled that abortion was legal in the Roe v. Wade case. These rulings and the Brown case (desegregated schools) placed American society on a very new and liberal path.
The babies of the 1950s post-WWII baby boom became teenagers and young adults in the 1960s. They grew up in a much more liberal world. Many participated in the Civil Rights, Women's Rights, and anti-War movements of the time period. Some also experimented with drugs and "free love." The hippies and counterculture of the youth shocked Conservatives and older Americans.
Many historians feel that this was the most important year in US History since WWII ended. Huge antiwar riots rocked the nation (especially when police beat the ever livin' dickens out of protesters during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago) . New of the My Lai massacre in Vietnam shocked the nation. The public turned against the Vietnam war after learning about My Lai and the Tet Offensive. President Johnson announced on national TV that he wouldn't run for re-election (he knew his popularity was too low because people were tired of the Vietnam War). Race riots erupted after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The nation also mourned the assassination of Robert Kennedy, an antiwar and pro-civil rights candidate who was on his way to becoming nominated for president.
Many Americans were tired of all of the protesting and chaos of the 1960s. Conservative voters who Republican Richard Nixon win the election of 1968 were called the "Silent Majority" because Nixon commented in a campaign speech that not all Americans were marching and protesting in the streets and that the "vast majority of Americans are silent, law abiding, non-shouting citizens."
Nixon promised to end the Vietnam War when he ran for president in 1968 (he promised "peace with honor"). Vietnamization was a policy to build-up South Vietnam's military to take over the fighting so American troops could be brought home (this is what we're now doing in Iraq and Afghanistan). Many Americans got angry with how long this process took.
KENT STATE PROTESTS (1971)
College campuses erupted in huge protests when the public learned that Nixon had widened the Vietnam War by authorizing US attacks into Cambodia (a neighbor of Vietnam). 4 unarmed student protestors were shot and killed at Kent State University by National Guard soldiers.
"PEACE IS AT HAND"
Nixon's Secretary of State (Henry Kissinger) announced that a plan to end US involvement in Vietnam's war had been reached. This announcement came right before Nixon's re-election in 1972.
US troops finally left Vietnam.
WAR POWERS ACT
The public and Congress were angered that Nixon took so long to leave Vietnam (this probably also had a lot to do with why people fought so vigorously to remove Nixon from power during the Watergate Scandal). Congress passed, over Nixon's veto, this law to force future presidents to ask for congressional permission to send troops into to combat. The president is still in charge of the military, but for only the first 90 days of fighting.
Nixon's foreign policy. An idea developed by his Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Basically this means being realistic about international affairs (being realistic means dealing with foreign powers while considering power and strategic issues... not whether of not you like or agree with another nation's political system or way of life... it's okay to deal with evil dictators like Mao if America gets what it wants). Nixon and Kissinger used Realpolitik to negotiate with China and the Soviet Union.
NIXON & CHINA (1972)
Nixon was Eisenhower's Vice President in the 1950s and second in command when the Korean War was brought to an end (he gave a lot of speeches speaking against communism and "Red [communist] China" also during the McCarthy Red Scare). As President, Nixon took a softer stance toward China. He started politely calling Mao's government by its name: the People's Republic of China. He also made a surprise visit to China and personally ate lunch with Mao (perhaps the most deadly dictator in all of World History). Nixon's decision to open negotiations with China (negotiations had been cut off ever since the Chinese after the communist won control in 1949) was based on Realpolitik. Nixon recognized that China would become a huge power in the 21st Century. He figured it was better to make friends with the emerging giant power than to remain at odds with China. Many historians agree.
SALT I (1972)
Nixon also knew that warming relations with China would pressure the Soviet Union to negotiate treaties to reduce Cold War tension (he used Realpolitik to "play China" to get at the Soviets). The Soviets agreed to SALT I, a treaty where the US and Soviet Union agreed to stop making new nuclear weapons for 5 years. This was the first ever real break in the nuclear arms race. Both sides also agreed to build only 2 ABM facilities (nti-ballistic missiles sites... bases where we launch missiles to shoot down the other side's missiles... this becomes important later when we discuss Reagan's SDI or "Star Wars" program).
Détente = easing of tensions. The Cold War appeared to be warming, thawing, or ending! First Détente was in the 1950s when Ike and Khrushchev replaced Truman and Stalin (it came to an end as a result of the U-2 Incident). Nixon resurrected Détente with his SALT I agreement. Later treaties (SALT II, INF, etc.) did end the Cold War.
TERRORIST ATTACKS AT THE MUNICH OLYMPICS (1972)
Arab terrorists with links to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) participated in a hostage deal involving Israeli athletes. The Palestinians were protesting against Israel. They were mad that Israel was created after WWII from land that once belonged to Palestinians (I was a British colony called Palestine). Negotiations broke down and a firefight erupted. 11 Israeli athletes were killed.
YOM KIPPUR WAR (1973)
Egypt and Syria attacked Israel. Egypt and Syria (Israel's neighbors) with the PLO and wanted to destroy Israel so the Palestinians could get their land back. This was the last of several major Arab-Israeli Wars (we hope).
Nixon and Ford's Secretary of Defense Henry Kissinger had to make many trips between Israel, Egypt and Syria to restore peace. He traveled or "shuttled" quickly from one nation to the next to end the conflict.
OPEC OIL EMBARGO
Arab members of the powerful Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries punished the US for supporting Israel during the Yom Kippur War. They voted to stop selling the US oil and this sent gas prices through the roof. Rising gas prices killed the economy through most of the 1970s.