The 1960s was a decade that began on January 1, 1960 and ended on December 31, 1969. The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe. This "cultural decade" is more loosely defined than the actual decade, beginning around 1963 and ending around 1974.
"The Sixties", as they are known in both scholarship and popular culture, is a term used by historians, journalists, and other objective academics; in some cases nostalgically to describe the counterculture and revolution in social norms about clothing, music, drugs, dress, formalities and schooling. Conservatives denounce the decade as one of irresponsible excess and flamboyance, and decay of social order. The decade was also labeled the Swinging Sixties because of the fall or relaxation of social taboos especially relating to racism and sexism that occurred during this time.
Some commentators have seen in this era a classical Jungian nightmare cycle, where a rigid culture, unable to contain the demands for greater individual freedom, broke free of the social constraints of the previous age through extreme deviation from the norm. Christopher Booker charts the rise, success, fall/nightmare and explosion in the London scene of the 1960s. However, this alone does not explain the mass nature of the phenomenon.
John Winston Ono Lennon, MBE (born John Winston Lennon; 9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician and singer-songwriter who achieved worldwide fame as a founding member of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon had a rebellious nature and acerbic wit. At the age of 16, he formed a skiffle group which would evolve into The Beatles in 1960. With bandmate Paul McCartney, he established the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership, which provided the bulk of the Beatles' catalogue until the band dissolved at the end of the decade. Lennon then embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine. He became controversial through his work as a peace activist; his iconic songs, "Give Peace a Chance" and "Imagine", were adopted as anthems of the anti-war movement. In 1971, with his wife and muse Yoko Ono, he moved to New York City, where his criticism of the Vietnam War resulted in a lengthy attempt by Richard Nixon's administration to deport him. He took a sabbatical from the music business in 1975 to devote time to his family, re-emerging in 1980 with a new album, Double Fantasy, but was murdered on 8 December, three weeks after its release.
What really distinguishes this generation in all countries from earlier generations... is its determination to act, its joy in action, the assurance of being able to change things by one's own efforts.