These 1960s Photos Are A Real Blast From The Past
A lot of the photos on this list are from the 1960s. That decade we saw the beginning of the Civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, Woodstock, and John F. Kennedy’s assassination. We saw innovations in fashion, makeup, home decor, and advertising. Luckily, we have photographs to remind us of how it all went down.
Keep reading to take a trip down memory lane. Check out how different the world was wayback then.
Glamorous Flight Attendants
Little girls dreamed about growing up to be flight attendants, or stewardesses as they called them, back in the ’60s. These women would wear fancy uniforms, attend to high-class patrons, and fly from country to country.
The ’60s were considered the “Golden Age of the Stewardess.”Nowadays, being a flight attendant is still a well-respected job, but it’s lost some of its magic and glamor. Maybe that’s for the best, though. These women weren’t always treated that well.
Circa 1960, a group of surfer perform surfing maneuvers in Hawaii. In the 1960s, surfing didn’t have the reputation that it does today. While surfing had been around in the 1930s and 40s, it wasn’t until the late 1950s and early 60s that it really began to grow in popularity.
Surfers then had a hippie-esque vibe to them which led to them getting labeled as “beach bums.” Music by the Beach Boys, the Surfaris, as well as movies, helped to popularize the culture and lifestyle.
Shopping In Bikinis
These young women are 16-year-old Sue Bennett and 17-year-old Joy Calig who lived in the northern Los Angeles suburb of San Fernando Valley in 1965. Being so close to the coast, Malibu was but a short drive away – depending on traffic, of course, which may not have been that bad back in the day.
In Southern California, it’s pretty much summer all year long which is why a trip to Malibu is never out of the question. Some recall that back then, shopping at the supermarket was way cooler in a bikini.
Taking A Break
Remember Ali MacGraw? The actress and model was an icon of the ’60s who charmed her way into our memories on Goodbye, Columbus. She actually won the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer for her role in that film as Brenda Patimkin.
In 1966 she graced the cover of Mademoiselle magazine and we imagine she didn’t have the slightest inkling back then of how prolific her career would turn out to be. The cherubic 27-year-old in this photo would later win the Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Actress for her role as Jenny in 1970’s Love Story.
Maureen McCormick and Patrick Swayze
If you quickly scrolled by this photograph, you might not realize that two of the biggest stars of the ’60s and ’70s are in it. On the far left looking stunning in a fitted red outfit with matching knee highs is Maureen McCormick. McCormick has been in show business for nearly half a century but will always be known as Marcia Brady of The Brady Bunch.
The handsome gentleman second from the right is none other than Patrick Swayze. With his good looks and acting skills, Swayze was one of the most popular actors of his time. Iconic films like Dirty Dancing and The Outside solidified him as a Hollywood legend.
The Beatles Came To America
The Beatles rose to fame in the UK, but once Beatlemania hit, they decided. to take their show on the road. In this photo, which was taken in 1964, shows Paul, John, George, and Ringo getting swarmed by female fans getting out of the water in Miami, Florida.
Beatlemania lasted from about 1963 until the band dissolved in 1970. No other musical group before or since has ever experienced a fan reaction quite like this.
Colorized Version Of John Wayne On The Set Of The Alamo
In 1960, John Wayne stands with his daughter on the set of the Western film The Alamo. John Wayne or “The Duke” was an American actor and filmmaker who was a major box-office draw for over 30 years in Hollywood.
John Wayne established himself as the model of the American Frontier with 83 of his films being Westerns. In those films, he would play cowboys, cavalrymen, or the gunslinging antihero that we have grown to love.
Time To Fly
This photo snapped in 1959, features a Swedish stewardess named Birgitta Lindman and a showgirl. Lindman is taking a good look at the showgirl’s costume because news had just come up that stewardesses’ uniforms were about to get shorter.
Just a year prior, Birgitta Lindman had shot to fame after appearing on the cover of Life magazine. She had competed to be the cover girl for the issue, beating out 53 other hopeful young ladies.
Laughing During Rehearsal
Here is Mary Tyler Moore and Dick Van Dyke during rehearsals for The Dick Van Dyke Show. They are on the show’s set in Los Angeles in this photo from December 2, 1963.
The Dick Van Dyke show was one of the most successful sitcoms of the 1960s. It lasted for five seasons from 1961 to 1966 on CBS. The show focused on comedy writer Rob Petrie, played by Van Dyke, and his life both at home and at work. Over its run, the show earned 15 Emmy Awards.
Raquel Welch On The Dick Cavett Show
Comedy writer and author Dick Cavett led The Dick Cavett Show from 1968 through 1974. The memorable late-night talk show featured Cavett as he interviewed a laundry list of eclectic guests from Katharine Hepburn and Lucille Ball to David Bowie and Orson Welles.
In the summer of 1970, Cavett had one of the most interesting episodes ever, featuring Raquel Welch and Janis Joplin. Welch was talking about a controversial sex-change comedy she worked
Tony Curtis Polishes Things Up
Here is Tony Curtis taking the time to polish up his vintage Rolls Royce in this photo from 1961. By then he had become a Hollywood star known for his work in Sweet Smell of Success and Some Like It Hot.
Over the course of his career, he acted in over 100 films across numerous genres. The year before this photo was taken, Cutis took on one of his most iconic roles yet and that was Antonious in Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus. At that time he was married to Janet Leigh and they had daughters Kelly and Jamie Lee.
The Beach Boys Recording A Song
The soundtrack of the ’60s wouldn’t be complete without the harmonies of The Beach Boys. Nothing made us long for the West Coast more than their classic “California Sound.” They crooned their way onto the airwaves and into our hearts with classic throwbacks like Pet Sounds.
In our view, we have Al Jardine and Brian Wilson and the rest of the gang recording that very album at LA’s Western Recorders studios during the spring of 1966. Do you think they had any idea of how iconic that album would turn out to be?
How Gilligan’s Island Ruined Tina Louise’s Career
Tina Louise started out her career as a child actor. She was born in New York City and she landed her first acting gig when she was just two years old. She spent her teen years appearing in small plays and musicals until she landed her big break in the film God’s Little Acre.
She then went on to star in a whole bunch of popular movies and the wildly successful television series, Gilligan’s Island. Louise maintains the Gilligan’s Island ruined her career. She hasn’t appeared in any of the reunions and she doesn’t associate with her former castmates.
Brigitte Bardot And A Beach Ball
Brigitte Bardot was one of the biggest celebrities on the ‘50s and ‘60s. More than a celebrity, Bardot was an icon, leaving a lasting impression on generations to come. Born in 1934, Bardot broke into acting at a young age, eventually starring in the likes of And God Created Woman, Contempt, and A Very Private Affair.
In this photo, snapped in the early ’60s, Bardot was vacationing in the French Riviera. Now in her 80s, she is still seen as one of the most iconic faces of cinema.
Going To Woodstock
Here, a man smiles in his Ford Mustang in Bethel, New York, on his way to the Woodstock Music Festival. Woodstock was a festival held during the summer of 1969. More than 400,000 people gathered on a dairy farm in southern New York between August 15th to the 18th.
A total of 32 acts performed including Joan Baez, The Grateful Dead, Santana, Jimi Hendrix, and more. The festival has been described as one of the most pivotal events in music history.
The Monkees Go For A Cruise
This is The Monkees on set for a portrait at Sunset Gower Studios in Los Angeles in 1966. From left to right, we have Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith, Peter Tork
Their TV series dominated a good two years of the late ’60s. We enjoyed watching the show about four young men on their ques to become a famous rock ‘n roll band. In some respects, they’ve succeeded – even though it was for a television show. We all remember “Daydream Believer” and “Last Train to Clarksville.”
Stop In The Name Of Love
“Stop In The Name Of Love” was one of The Supremes’ most popular tunes back in the ’60s. Here they are rehearsing on the set of the television show Hullabaloo on May 11, 1965 in New York City.
Hullabaloo host Frankie Avvalon is singing along with Mary Wilson, Florence Ballard, and Diana Ross as they rehearse their performance. The lovely ladies from Detroit, Michigan went on to become the most commercially successful Motown acts in America. With 12 number one singles on the Billboard Hot 11, they are perhaps the most successful American vocal group to date.
Kirk Douglas In Costume
Still in his costume from his film Spartacus, Kirk Douglas mails off his ballot for the Academy Awards in 1960. Kirk Douglas was a huge film star during the 1950s and the 60s. During his acting career, he earned three Academy Award nominations, an Oscar Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Kirk Douglas’ film Spartacus went on to win four Academy Awards, and at the time was the most successful Universal Studio’s film in history.
John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson
It’s not too often that you see two U.S. Presidents coming together to solve a national crisis, but navigating the Cuban Missile Crisis required some serious leadership. The 13-day confirmation between the U.S. and the Soviet Union last from October 16, 1962, to October 28th.
In this photo, you can see John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson sitting together during a briefing about the issues surrounding the major now-historical event. They look to be very deep in thought.
Celebrating That Giant Leap
On August 13, 1969, New York City held a parade welcoming the astronauts who were on the Apollo 11 Moon Mission. Commander Neil A. Armstrong, command module pilot Michael Collins, and lunar module pilot Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. are sitting in the lead car, waving to a mass of fans.
These guys embarked on the first manned lunar landing that took place on July 20, 1969. This parade thrown in their honor was the biggest parade in New York City history at the time. In the words of Neil Armstrong, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
A Break From Breakfast
Here is Audrey Hepburn taking a break from that infamous pose she does in photos shot for Breakfast at Tiffany’s. They shot the film on location in New York City back in 1961.
Hepburn played Holly Golightly a New York City socialite who seems to charm everyone that comes in her path. The role is probably the most iconic role that Audrey Hepburn has taken on and she has thus become an icon to a generation that grew up during these simpler times. There was a point in most girls’ lives when they tried to imitate the same level of class.
Vietnam Soldiers Return
The look on this girl’s face says it all. The Vietnam War officially started on November 1, 1955. The war lasted throughout the remainder of the ‘50s and stretched the whole decade from 1960 through 1969.
Although the war wouldn’t officially end until April 30, 1975, there were glimpses of happiness before that. In this touching photo, air force pilot Lt. Col. Robert Stirm was released as POW and reunited with his family. He hadn’t seen them in six years.
The First ‘Blonde Bombshell’
It was model and actress Robyn Hilton who was first referred to as a blonde bombshell back in the ’60s. She earned that moniker when she appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
She started out her career as a weathergirl in Twin Falls Eventually she moved onto bigger and better things. She appeared in Playboy and the Mel Brooks classic, Blazing Saddles. We certainly see how Carson came up with the term. She’s absolutely stunning.
Alfred Hitchcock At The Drums
Seeing director Alfred Hitchcock behind a set of drums and holding two large bones as drumsticks shouldn’t be all that surprising for anybody who is a fan of his work. Over his six-decade career, he directed 53 feature films and earned the title of “The Master Of Suspense.”
One description of his film style reads, “A Hitchcock film is an organism, with the whole implied in every detail and every detail related to the whole.” In 1960, he came out with his film Psycho, which is considered to be one of the greatest horror films of all time.
The Whisky A Go Go
Located at 8901 Sunset Boulevard on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, the Whisky A Go Go is an iconic nightclub that opened up in 1964. The club is known for being an early venue for bands that later became mega-successful such as Iggy and the Stooges, the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, and more.
In 2006, the club was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The location in Hollywood also led to the development of similar establishments in the area such as The Roxy Theatre and the Rainbow Bar and Grill.
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland On Death Row
Many might not recognize Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, but you should remember her face and remember her story. Mulholland is an activist and Freedom Rider who fought for civil rights throughout the 1960s and beyond.
Mulholland put aside her friends, family, and education to contribute to the causes she believed in. She participated in her first sit-in in 1960 and was subsequently arrested. This arrest was one of many, including a two-month stint on death row in Parchman Penitentiary. She was released and now, in her 70s, still fights for equal rights today.
A Blast From The Past
These girls are waiting for their parents to finish fastening their bikes to the top of their car. Growing up in Missouri, their family bonded by taking biking trips around the lush landscapes of The Show-Me State! There was no better way to enjoy the springtime back then.
Some of our dearest memories are the trips we’d take with our family growing up. Whether it was a yearly tradition or it was just something new for you all to experience, you really cherish these times – even though back then you might have acted otherwise.
The End Of The School Day
In this photo, you can see children preparing to board a yellow school bus at the end of a school day. This photo was taken in the 1960’s and in it, you can clearly see how students dressed every day for school.
Back in the ’60s, most children took the bus to school. Today, it’s less common. Many kids still take the bus but more students walk to school or are driven by their parents.
Duck And Cover Drills During School
You know you grew up in the ’60s if you remember having to do “duck and cover” drills during grade school. These students at a Brooklyn middle school are doing exactly that in this photo from 1962.
These drills were meant to prepare us in the event of a nuclear attack, which everyone was worried about in the aftermath of World War II. Thankfully, no one ever really had to use these methods, except during the drills. Bert the turtle was the guy who helped train us as children for the duck and cover drills.
It Was A Hot Day…
This picture has actually become quite famous. This British guard just couldn’t keep it together when Queen Elizabeth II came riding by in 1970. It could have been the heat that did him in, or maybe he was just so overwhelmed to be in Her Majesty’s presence.
Believe it or not, members of the British military even have rules on how one must faint. To avoid fainting, guards are instructed to keep their knees slightly bent to avoid poor blood circulation, which can cause you to pass out.
Joyce DeWitt, Debby Boone, and Maren Jensen
In this photograph, Three’s Company actress Joyce DeWitt smiles alongside Debby Boone and Maren Jensen, who were competing on behalf of ABC in the Battle of the Network Stars in 1978. The series, which aired on ABC, also featured stars from competing networks CBS and NBC.
From bowling and cycling to kayaking and volleyball, viewers got to watch the stars compete against each other in a variety of sports events. Along with these three actresses, other notable faces included Robin Williams and Billy Crystal. The gorgeous Lynda Carter was there too!
Starsky & Hutch
Starsky & Hutch premiered in April 1975 and became an immediate hit. The action television series follows Starsky and Hutch, two Southern California police detectives, as they roam about the streets in Bay City.
Lynda Carter was at the height of her career during this time when she appeared in a two-episode special for the series called “The Las Vegas Strangler.” Carter played a woman named Vicky in the episode who helps the men as they search for a serial killer who has strangled a string of chorus girls.
Jungle Pam Tears Up The Track
“Jungle Jim” Liberman was the definition of showmanship in the seventies. He was known for his antics on the track, like speeding backward at 100 miles per hour. He had fans near and far, including Pam Hardy.
Pam was so inspired by Jungle Jim that she eventually became the flamboyant showman’s assistant, earning herself the nickname “Jungle Pam.” It was hard to not be distracted by the tall, buxom brunette, who, like Jim, became known for her antics too.
Jungle Pam’s Antics
Jungle Pam knew how to have fun on the track, but this didn’t mean she wasn’t an effective assistant to Jungle Jim. When Jim would frequently do over-the-top burnouts and other stunts, she was always there to help prep his car and guide him back to the path.
Old videos of Jungle Pam show her signature audacious moves. When she would guild Jim back onto the track, she would use outrageous contortions and gyrations…all while looking beautiful!
Jamie Lee Curtis In Perfect
Most millennials knowJamie Lee Curtis for her role in Freaky Friday and, of course, those Activia commercials. But back in the ‘70s and ‘80s, Curtis starred in a slew of roles — both successful and not.
In 1985, she and John Travolta teamed up to lead the film Perfect, which was based on a series of Rolling Stone articles that chronicled the popularity of L.A. fitness clubs amongst singles. Curtis played Jessie Wilson a workout instructor known for donning era-appropriate leotards like this one. The film was a flop, receiving just a 19 percent on Rotten Tomatoes and earning itself a handful of Golden Raspberry Awards.
A Picnic On The Freeway
This image was taken on November 4, 1973 in the Netherlands. The photographer captured a large group of people having a picnic on a deserted highway. The highway was deserted thanks to “car-free Sunday” — a product of the great oil crisis.
During this time, the price of oil had risen from $3 to over $12 in most countries. The embargo caused a crisis, which had numerous short and long-term effect on both the global economy and politics.
The Battle of the Network Stars
In this photo, you can see Lynda Carter and her teammates in the minutes following a swimming event that was part of The Battle of the Network Stars. The show premiered in 1976 and ran through 1988 and was revived by ABC in 2017.
Lynda Carter was best known for playing Wonder Woman on ABC. She and her ABC co-stars competed against stars from CBS and NBC in a series of events. ABC ended up winning the battle.
Linda Ronstadt And Her Many Grammys
With 11 Grammy Awards under her belt, Linda Ronstadt is one of the greatest musicians of the last century. She started her music career in the 1960s but it wasn’t until the next decade that she became known as the “First Lady of Rock.”
Ronstadt has released 30 albums throughout her career, including Hasten Down the Wind, featured above. The album, which was released in 1976, became Ronstadt’s third straight million-selling hit — making her the first female in history to do so.
Charles Bronson and Jill Ireland
This photo of American actor Charles Bronson and his wife, English actress Jill Ireland, was snapped in 1971 as the stylish duo walked the streets of Santa Monica, Calfornia. They say you shouldn’t mix business with pleasure, but this famous couple didn’t seem to care. They starred in a whopping 15 films together. Ireland even joked, “I’m in so many Charles Bronson films because no other actress will work with him.”
The pair were married in 1968 and were together until Ireland passed away from breast cancer in 1990.
Dorothy Count Broke Barriers
Dorothy Count made history when she became the first African American to join an all-white school in 1957. The year prior, 40 black students applied to transfer to white schools after the passing of the Pearsall Plan in North Carolina.
She started on September 4, 1957, when she was just 15 years old, and paved the way for students of color to enroll in the following years into the early sixties. Counts faced a significant amount of harassment after the leader of the White Citizens Council urged white students to “keep her out” and “spit on her.” Her father pulled her from the school shortly after, fearing for her safety. In 2008, the school issued her an honorary diploma.
Martin Luther King Jr. Removing A Burnt Cross From His Lawn
It takes a special kind of individual to look unphased by a burning cross left in his yard — but Martin Luther King Jr. was no ordinary man. Dr. King was no stranger to violence due to his role as a civil rights leader. Throughout his life, he received numerous death threats. His home was even bombed in 1956.
On a spring day in 1963, he found a burning cross in his front yard. Knowing the world was watching, he didn’t show fear. Instead, he
We’re jumping ahead to the early 1980s now with this picture of Heather Locklear in her prime. We were first introduced to this stunning actress on the hit Dynasty soap opera. She played Sammy Jo Carrington on that show from 1981 to 1989. She went on to star in Melrose Place and earned four consecutive Golden Globe noms for Best Actress in a Television Series Drama.
Unfortunately, Locklear’s career came to a halt at the end of the ’80s. She starred in a few more unsuccessful movies before pretty much disappearing. In 2018, the star was hospitalized for psychiatric evaluation after threatening suicide.
Roller Coaster Safety
It’s hard to imagine something so inhumane happening today, but this was the reality just decades ago. Here, a prison is being used to test the safety of a roller coaster before it opens to the public.
Although little is known about this inmate in particular, it is believed that he was on death row and waiting to be executed. Can you imagine how you would feel if this was you? Frightening, to say the least.
Professional boxer Muhammad Ali reads the newspaper reporting about his fight in the 1960s. Ali was a professional boxer, philanthropist, and has been credited as one of the most celebrated sports icons of the 20th century.
He was one of the leading heavyweight boxers of the 20th century and is the only three-time lineal heavyweight champion ever. As inspirational as he was, Ali was also known to be provocative and was even known to be involved in spoken word poetry to express his activism about events during that time.
Smoking In The Park
Here, a young California hippie relaxes in the grass at the Human-Be-In gathering in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park in July 1967. The hippie subculture’s core beliefs were based around nature, music, art, community living, and open-mindedness.
This lifestyle usually led to extensive recreational drug use which also gave the movement a negative reputation to the rest of society. The hippie subculture is known for anti-war protests, Woodstock, and developments in music and art throughout the 1960s. San Francisco, California was one of the biggest hubs for young hippies, and their effects can still be seen today.
Watching TV With The Boys
These young men are students in a college fraternity in 1960. They’re hanging out and doing what most frat boys did back then: just relaxing with a couple brews and watching television.
They might have been watching The Ed Sullivan Show, Perry Mason, or The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Who knows, really? Maybe they were actually fans of Gilligan’s Island, The Brady Bunch, or Bewitched. We’re not here to judge their television preferences. We’re sure these guys loved seeing Maureen McCormick or maybe even Elizabeth Montgomery on TV.
A Day At The Beach
This is what you’d usually see on an average summer day at Newport Beach, California in 1965. Everyone back then loved gathering up their friends and heading out to the beach where they spent a majority of their time getting their tan on.
A Future Scream Queen
Can you guess who this is? It’s none other than actress Jamie Lee Curtis! This photo was taken in Los Angeles in 1966 when the future actress was just seven years old.
Curtis is the daughter of actress Janet Leigh and actor Tony Curtis, who unfortunately divorced in 1962 when Jamie was just three years old. This was taken over ten years before Curtis would make her film debut as a scream queen in 1978’s Halloween. In this photo she probably couldn’t have imagined that she would go on to star in so many horror movies.
Here is a photo of people in line for a balloon at the Central Park Zoo in 1968. Do you remember when they used to have guys blow up a fresh balloon right before your eyes? Back then, the balloons weren’t complicated either. They were just simple solid-colored spheres of joy that we all loved carrying around for a day.
The best part about these simple objects of joy were that they didn’t cost more than a few cents! So much has changed since then and you probably won’t find the same value anywhere.
A Splash Of Relief
These kids are ecstatic that the neighborhood fire hydrant is spewing water! Out in the streets of Harlem, it could get pretty hot in the summers, especially during July. Nothing brought more joy in those sweltering times than when we got to play in the fire hydrants!
This photo was taken back in 1966. That year the weather reached at record 104 degrees and it was not something that we could handle easily – especially in such an urban space. Playing in front of those fire hydrants are some of the happiest summer memories.