| Essay | The Protest Marches In 1960 History Essay (2022)

Protest Marches in 1960's Civil Rights Movement as A Nonviolent Tactic. "We will show around the world that it is a lie that rulers have said 'black people are satisfied with the present situation'" ("Electronic Journal," 2007, para. 3). This is the part of what Martin Luther King, Jr. said to explain how his nonviolent tactics work for acquiring civil rights of African Americans. In fact, nonviolent tactics contributed to several progresses of the civil rights movement, though it unfortunately shifted to violent ways later. In earlier civil rights movements, utilizing media, protest marches had big impact on the progresses of 1960's civil rights movements, and the marches was conducted as one of the most effective nonviolent tactics, which influenced later movements.

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First of all, there are several features of protest marches. A protest march is a parade in which people proceed from one location to another while they hold a placard that shows their argument or objection about an issue or sing some symbolic songs. The aim of a protest march is to attract the attention of people and society and then to make them recognize and accept their argument about the issue. Eventually, the government has pressure from the citizens to make serious considerations and to take action about the issue with legal and direct effects. The government of a democratic society, especially America, strongly has pressure from the majority voice of consensus by citizens since, in a democratic society, citizens have sovereignty, and the government is represented by citizens, which brings up the government's responsibility for the voice of its citizens. Also, protest marches are usually considered more successful if more people participate, since the more people participate, the more they can attract the attentions of society.

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To attract the attention, the leaders of civil rights movements in earlier 1960's, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., utilized media well especially for protest marches. The aim of the marches includes to get the public attention, to make them clearly recognize the discrimination of black people, and to induce them to oppose it, which would encourage the government to take actions. In America, the culture of TV had grown up and spread to the public since color television was introduced in 1953 ("A TIMELINE OF TELEVISION BROADCASTING," 2009). However, in 1960's, two innovations in television technology that dramatically changed broadcast news-videotape and live satellite transmission-accelerated to get public into the culture of television (Kurlansky, 2005). Especially, live satellite transmission, which makes television broadcast live, had bigger impacts than before on the public who watched it. In this trend, television became an indispensable part of a strategy to attract the attention of society in 1960's civil rights movement with the question of how to get a television cameraman concerned for leaders of the movement (Kurlansky, 2005). The Student Nonviolent Coordination Committee's Mary King said, "The skillful use of the news media for public education is the modern equivalent of the 'pen,' and the pen is still mightier than the sword" (Kurlansky, 2005, p.40). Next, the following are significant protest marches in earlier 1960's civil rights movement that, utilizing media, successfully gave the public an impact and result causing the government to take actions.

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The 1963 March on Washington-which is the largest civil rights demonstration in American History-was successful with a great impact from media. The march had the goals that include demands for passage of The Civil Rights Act, integration of schools and the enactment of a fair employment practices bill prohibiting job discrimination. Also, the leaders of this march had to care for many unprecedented logistical problems, including moving thousands of people into Washington and out in one day, feeding them, walking with nearly 1,500 organizations and making sure that the march was a peaceful one (Wexler, 1999). In fact, on Wednesday, August 28, 1963, more than 250,000 protesters rallied at the Lincoln Memorial on Washington (Martin & Sullivan, 2000). They represented a coalition of civil rights workers, church groups, and labor leaders; not only black but white as well (Wexler, 1999). However, the significance is that this protest march was broadcast around America on live TV. "A.B.C. was the first network to begin live coverage of the march itself at 11:16A.M. […]. At 11:30A.M. C.B.S. and N.B.C. made pickups as scheduled" (Adams, 1963, para.4). According to the New York Times published on the next day of this march, the A.C. Nielsen Company said that between 9:30A.M. and 3:00 P.M., there was a 46% higher audience than in the same period the previous week (Adams, 1963). With the big impact of media on the public, this protest march helped transform the civil rights struggle from a southern to a national movement and placed it at the center of American politics, ending up with the congressional passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Furthermore, in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March as well, media was utilized well as a strategy attracting the attention of the public. Even after the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964, there remains another significant goal of the civil rights movement, which was to increase the number of black people registered to vote in the South. At that time, in Selma, Alabama, only 2.5% of eligible black people were registered voters. To bring national attention to police brutality and voter registration efforts in Alabama, King and local civil rights leaders decided to lead a march from Selma to the state capital, Montgomery. On March 7, 1965, the march started. However, when marchers attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge, they were met by approximately one hundred state troopers and police, ordered by the Governor to stop the march. Then, despite of no marchers' resistance, the police injured dozens of marchers. This incident, Bloody Sunday, was broadcast later that evening on national television (Singleton, 1999). As the source of utilizing media, King told photographers that they do not need to help protest marchers but "your role is to photograph what is happening to us" (Kurlansky, 2005, p.39). The sight of Bloody Sunday encouraged hundreds of Americans to flock to Selma, eager to participate in a second march. Then, eventually, on March 15, President Johnson federalized eighteen hundred members of the Alabama National Guard to protect 3,200 marchers as they left Selma on March 21. By the time the long walk ended four days later, 25,000 people had participated. In this way, this march brought national attention to the plight of black people in the South, ending up with the passage of Voting Rights Acts of 1965 (Singleton, 1999).

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Later in the 1960's, non-violent tactics, including protest marches, gradually transformed into a protest against the Vietnam War. A large number of the protests against the war were conducted on universities and at college campuses by students attending these institutions. Especially the protest in Columbia University on 1968 was heated up, whose students were really motivated to be engaged in the national discussion about the war in Vietnam. On April 23, 1968, about 150 students and community members marched to the construction site and tore down a section of fencing. Then, they moved on to Hamilton Hall, taking over the building and taking as hostage Columbia's acting dean (Adler, 2008). They eventually won their goals of stopping the building of a gym on public land in Morningside Park and severing ties with a Pentagon institute doing research for the Vietnam War (Kifner, 2008).

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Some people and organizations such as SNCC abandoned nonviolent tactics, including peaceful protest marches, and ironically shifted to violent tactics after the assassination of King and in later civil rights movements (Kurlansky, 2005). However, the nonviolent tactics that were initiated by King, achieved big progress of dismissing segregation-prohibiting segregation under the law-and the tactics prove that nonviolence has significant power to change society; violence could not have done those achievements. Especially the two historical marches, The 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March, contributed to the progress of 1960's civil rights movements with great influence from media, and impacted later movements.

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What were the protest movements of the 1960s? ›

Protests in the 1960s. These movements include the civil rights movement, the student movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement, the women's movement, the gay rights movement, and the environmental movement.

Why did students protest in the 1960s? ›

Opposed to U.S. political leadership and dissatisfied with American culture, student activists held demonstrations across the state and experimented with lifestyle changes in the hope of effecting fundamental change in American life.

What was one major social protest movement in the 1960s? ›

The 1960s were one of the most tumultuous and divisive decades in world history, marked by the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War and antiwar protests, political assassinations and the emerging "generation gap."

What were some major protest of the civil rights movement? ›

The Montgomery bus boycott, sparked by activist Rosa Parks, was an important catalyst for the civil rights movement. Other important protests and demonstrations included the Greensboro sit-in and the Freedom Rides.

What inspired the protest movement of the 1960's? ›

The growth of the New Left and student radicalism began in the early 1960s and reached its height during 1968. This new political movement sprouted protests on college campuses from the East Coast to the West Coast on issues including the Vietnam War, free speech, the environment, and racism.

What major events happened in 1960? ›

What happened in 1960 Major News Stories include US Enters Vietnam War, The IRA starts it's fight against the British, John F Kennedy wins presidential Election , Chubby Chequer and The twist start a new dance craze, Soviet missile shoots down the US U2 spy plane, Aluminum Cans used for the first time, The US announces ...

What were the student movements of the 1960s? ›

Students for a Democratic Society was the most recognized aspect of the New Left. These students engaged in campaigns, such as the Economic Research and Action Project (ERAP), the Free Speech Movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement.

What role did students play in the protest movements of the 1960s quizlet? ›

What role did students play in the protest movements of the 1960s? A new generation of thinking and ideoly. Students were concerned about the US involvement in Vietnam and Cambodia. Also, about the destruction of their freedom caused by their schools.

Why was the 1960s so important? ›

The 1960s ushered in more than the civil rights movement, Vietnam War and civil unrest in the cities. Many young, people had to deal with the war and the lack of interest in what their parents had taught them and a kind of malaise about their values and life in general.

What were the 1960s called? ›

In the United States the Sixties were also called the "cultural decade" while in the United Kingdom (especially London) it was called the Swinging Sixties.

What was happening in the 1960s civil rights movement? ›

The civil rights movement was an empowering yet precarious time for Black Americans. The efforts of civil rights activists and countless protesters of all races brought about legislation to end segregation, Black voter suppression and discriminatory employment and housing practices.

What social movements happened in the 1960s? ›

The 1960s saw the emergence of social movements around civil rights, opposition to the Vietnam War, feminism, Mexican American activism, and environmentalism, as well as the first stirrings of gay rights.

What was the 1960s peace movement? ›

The anti-Vietnam War peace movement began during the 1960s in the United States, opposing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Some within the movement advocated a unilateral withdrawal of American forces from South Vietnam.

What was the focus of the anti war protest movement of the 1960s? ›

The Antiwar Movement's agenda revolved around promoting pacifism and demanding an end to military intervention in Vietnam. SDS members refused to be drafted into the military and opposed the idea of military induction. The military draft resulted in mandatory enrollment in the American Army.

What were 3 political events in the 1960s with dates? ›

  • Nov 8, 1960. JFK Wins Presidency. ...
  • Jan 20, 1961. Kennedy's Inaugural Address. ...
  • Mar 1, 1961. Peace Corps. ...
  • May 1, 1961. Federal Protection for Freedom Riders. ...
  • May 5, 1961. Minimum Wage Hike. ...
  • May 25, 1961. Kennedy Proposes Moon Program. ...
  • Jun 30, 1961. JFK Appoints Segregationist Judge. ...
  • Dec 19, 1962. The Other America Published.

What was 1960 life like? ›

Growing Up in the 60s

The 60s were defiantly far from perfect, but it was the perfect time to be an adventurous kid. Family life in the 60s was linked to freedom, so parents were more permissive, and family time was less of a priority. Teens could hang loose, and there were few helicopter parents.

Why do students protest so much? ›

Student activism or campus activism is work by students to cause political, environmental, economic, or social change. Although often focused on schools, curriculum, and educational funding, student groups have influenced greater political events.

How were the protest techniques used by student protesters? ›

How were the protest techniques used by student protesters similar and different from those of the civil rights movement? Both movements used their power to fight against segregation and could make it possible to assure that black people would go to workplaces and public facilities and would not be discriminated.

What was the impact of student protests on war policy? ›

Student groups held protests and demonstrations, burned draft cards, and chanted slogans like “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” Massive US spending on the war effort contributed to skyrocketing deficits and deteriorating economic conditions at home, which turned more segments of the American public, ...

What were the major events in the civil rights movement of the early 1960s quizlet? ›

Terms in this set (38)
  • Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) ...
  • Freedom Rides. ...
  • March on Washington. ...
  • Bay of Pigs. ...
  • Berlin Wall. ...
  • Cuban Missile Crisis. ...
  • Civil Rights Act of 1964. ...
  • Voting Rights Act of 1965.

How did the civil rights movement gain ground in the 1960s? ›

The Movement Gains Ground

Through victories in the courts and the success of sit-ins and other nonviolent protests, African Americans slowly began to win their battle for civil rights.

How did the civil rights movement gain ground in the 1960s quizlet? ›

How did the civil rights movement gain ground in the 1960's? gained ground in the 1960's with sit-ins, Freedom Rides and other nonviolent protests received press attention, which caused americans to favor the movement. Martin Luther King Jr. led the movement in a nonviolent strategy.

What were the values of the 1960s? ›

Native American rights, black rights, gay rights and women's rights took center stage. The “mainstream” culture may have feared the radical voices demanding rapid societal change, but values throughout society began to change as the counterculture ensured everyone heard about the plight of overlooked groups.

What is the most important legacy of the 1960s? ›

Sadly, one of the legacies of the 1960s was an increase in the acceptance of violence. By any measure, the 1960s were violent years: one president (John F. Kennedy), one presidential candidate (Robert Kennedy), and two prominent civil rights leaders (Martin Luther King Jr.

Which movement had the greatest impact during the 1960s and 1970s? ›

Recognizable movements during the period included the anti-Vietnam War campaign, the civil rights movement, women's liberation, the student movement, and last, but not least, the counterculture. These waves of protest sparked landmark changes throughout the nation.

How is life different now from the 1960s? ›

Men And Women Are Sharing More Of The Workload

Today, men work an average of 35 hours a week outside the home and spend nine hours a week on housework. The opposite is true for women. Women spend less time on housework than they did in the '60s and they put in more hours working outside the home.

Why was the 60s the best decade? ›

How a third of us would rather be living in the Swinging 60s: Decade is voted best in history because it was 'age of change for the better' It is still seen as a carefree time of innovation, peace, fashion and great music. So it is no surprise that the Sixties has been chosen as the best decade in history.

What is the meaning of 1960? ›

Definitions of 1960s. the decade from 1960 to 1969. synonyms: sixties. type of: decade, decennary, decennium. a period of 10 years.

What was the civil rights movement essay? ›

The Civil Rights Movement was a time dedicated to activism for equal rights and treatment of African- Americans in the United States. During this period, many people rallied for social, legal and political changes to prohibit discrimination and end segregation.

What are 3 causes of the civil rights movement? ›

The civil rights movement is a legacy of more than 400 years of American history in which slavery, racism, white supremacy, and discrimination were central to the social, economic, and political development of the United States.

In what way was 1963 a turning point in the civil rights movement? ›

In what way was 1963 a turning point in the civil rights movement? The movement gained national support after violence occurred in Birmingham. Which was a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?

What was the impact of the civil rights movement? ›

One of the greatest achievements of the civil rights movement, the Civil Rights Act led to greater social and economic mobility for African-Americans across the nation and banned racial discrimination, providing greater access to resources for women, religious minorities, African-Americans and low-income families.

What was the 1960s peace movement? ›

The anti-Vietnam War peace movement began during the 1960s in the United States, opposing U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Some within the movement advocated a unilateral withdrawal of American forces from South Vietnam.

What social movements happened in the 1960s? ›

The 1960s saw the emergence of social movements around civil rights, opposition to the Vietnam War, feminism, Mexican American activism, and environmentalism, as well as the first stirrings of gay rights.

What are the 4 types of social movements? ›

Four major stages in the life cycle of a social movement include emergence, coalescence, institutionalization or bureaucratization, and decline. Social movements may have political, cultural, and biographical consequences.

What were most of the anti-war protests of the 1960s about? ›

The 60s generation went on to rally behind women's and African Americans' rights, as well as the opposition to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. This movement left a legacy of youth activism that would impact college campuses across the world.

Who protested the Vietnam War in the 1960's? ›

Early protests

Early organized opposition was led by American Quakers in the 1950s, and by November 1960 eleven hundred Quakers undertook a silent protest vigil -- the group "ringed the Pentagon for parts of two days". Protests bringing attention to "the draft" began on May 5, 1965.

What was the major war in the 1960s when did it end? ›

The White House is pressured to negotiate for peace. The War officially ends in 1973. The U.S. maintains a presence in the South until Saigon falls to the communists in April 1975. Vietnam is formally reunified July 2, 1976.

Why is peace movement important? ›

The peace movement was a social movement that sought to end wars, minimize violence, and ultimately achieve world peace. Non-violent resistance, pacifism, demonstrations, boycotts, ethical consumerism, and supporting anti-war candidates were some of the tactics the peace movement employed to achieve their goals.

Why were the 1960s an important time? ›

The 1960s ushered in more than the civil rights movement, Vietnam War and civil unrest in the cities. Many young, people had to deal with the war and the lack of interest in what their parents had taught them and a kind of malaise about their values and life in general.

How can natural disasters produce social and cultural change quizlet? ›

How can natural disasters produce social and cultural change? Natural disasters such as droughts, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and tidal waves can also produce social and cultural change. These disasters can destroy whole communities. Afterward, people often take precautions for the future.

What is the importance of social movements? ›

True social movements for good have the power to generate awareness that produces tangible results, helping the general population live longer, more productive, happier lives.

How do social movements impact society? ›

The enduring impacts of social movements are often cultural. Movements change the way we live and work. They make some behaviors socially inappropriate and others newly appealing. They create new collective actors, alter lines of social cleavage, and transform what counts as expertise.


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