United States and American History: Early 1960

About the history of the United States in 1960, population and immigration, first retirement villages, crime rates double, Japan and America sign a treaty, Civil Rights sit-ins.


--U.S. population--179,323,175. In the 1960s, 3,321,677 persons immigrated to the U.S.

--Entrepreneur Del Webb opened Sun City, a 30,000-acre town for people over 52 outside Phoenix, and sold 272 homes the 1st weekend. By 1970 there were dozens of such "retirement villages" across the country.

--The crime rate more than doubled in the '60s, from 1,126 major felonies per 100,000 people in 1960 to 2,747 per 100,000 in 1969 (violent crime up 126%, property crime up 146%). Local, State, and Federal expenditures for police increased even faster, from $2.03 billion in 1960 to $5.08 billion in 1969. The cost of the whole criminal justice system went up from $3.349 billion in 1960 to $8.571 billion in 1969, or from under $19 to over $42 per person.

--Following a press investigation, a House subcommittee reported that 207 disk jockeys in 42 cities had received over $260,000 in payments ("payola") to play records on the air. A New York grand jury indicted 11 disk jockeys for commercial bribery, including David Freed, the self-proclaimed inventor of the term "rock 'n' roll," after 23 record companies admitted payments. In August, Congress passed legislation setting high fines for those involved with payola and fixing quiz shows.

Jan. 15 The U.S. and Japan signed a mutual cooperation and security treaty in Washington with provisions for U.S. defense of Japan, U.S. military bases in Japan, and "economic collaboration." Leftist opposition to the treaty in Japan was so vocal that the Japanese Government had to ask President Eisenhower to cancel his trip there in June after Ike's press secretary, surrounded by 6,000 demonstrators, had to be rescued from his car by helicopter. The treaty was ratified by the Japanese Diet and U.S. Senate, June 22 and 23.

Feb. 1 Black students sat down at the Charlotte, N.C., Woolworth's lunch counter in protest to the "local custom" of serving blacks only if they stood. In response, 8 lunch counters in Charlotte closed. This began the "sit-in" movement which spread to 15 cities in 5 Southern States by the end of the month. The campaign was marked by fights between blacks and whites in many areas, $1 cups of coffee, 1,000 blacks arrested by mid-March, black students and faculty expelled from black colleges, and finally on March 21, the 1st integration of lunch counters in San Antonio, Tex. While the "sit-ins" began spontaneously, on April 8 the Student Non-violent Co-ordinating Committee (SNCC) was established to guide antisegregation efforts. A nationwide boycott of Woolworth & Kress Co. protested company policy of letting local managers decide whom to serve. By August 1, lunch counters had integrated in 15 cities, and on October 17, 4 national chain stores capitulated and announced the integration of 150 stores in 11?? cities.

In September 1961, the Southern Regional Council reported that the sit-in movement had involved 70,000 participants in 100 cities in 20 States, resulted in 3,600 arrests, 187 students plus 58 faculty expelled from colleges, and succeeded in integrating one or more eating facilities in 108 cities.

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