“It was the age of selfishness. It was the age of self-indulgence. It was the age of anti-authority. It was an age in which people did all kinds of wrong things.”
- Ed Meese
U.S. Attorney General
Reagan Administration

“It was absolutely exhilarating. It was the greatest time to be alive ever, for sure.”
- Charles Kaiser
Author and Historian


It was a time when a generation rebelled and lost its innocence. From the Vietnam War to the struggle for racial equality to the birth of a counter-culture explosion, the 1960s was a decade of change, experimentation and hope that transformed an entire nation. THE SIXTIES: THE YEARS THAT SHAPED A GENERATION traces the events of one of the most turbulent and influential periods of political and cultural change in the 20th century and the powerful impact forced on an entire generation. There is disagreement even today over the failures and accomplishments that were born from the 1960s, but one thing is certain there has never been a time quite like it. THE SIXTIES: THE YEARS THAT SHAPED A GENERATION highlights the tumultuous and exhilarating moments of a decade that continues to have a profound impact on our society today from American foreign policy to the birth of the environmental and gay rights and women's liberation movements.

The 2-hour documentary features revealing interviews with prominent figures of the era including, Judge Robert Bork, Patrick Buchanan, Rev. William Sloane Coffin, Peter Coyote, Walter Cronkite, Daniel Ellsberg, Carlos Fuentes, Arlo Guthrie, Tom Hayden, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Henry Kissinger, Norman Mailer, Robert McNamara, Ed Meese, and Bobby Seale.

Funding for THE SIXTIES was provided by PBS Viewers and PBS.

Film Production Credits

Writer/Director/Producers  |  David Davis and Stephen Talbot
Additional Writing  |  Sharon Wood
Narrator  |  Paul Herlinger
Editors  |  Bruce Barrow
Wendy Morgan
Brett Wood
Photographers  |  Greg Bond
Greg Larsen
Wendy Morgan
Audio  |  Randy Layton
Lori Gómez
Gene Koon
Executive Producer  |  David Davis
Executive in Charge of Production  |  Jack Galmiche

When to Watch

Check local listings »

Purchase This Program

To buy your own VHS or DVD copy of THE SIXTIES, call 1-800-PLAYPBS (1-800-752-9727) or go to www.shop.pbs.org


The companion Web site to the series is designed to give viewers an overview of the pivotal events and people in the Sixties. For access to expanded content about the decade, we included links to related sites available elsewhere on PBS.org which explore particular topics in more depth.

Web Site Production Credits

OPB Interactive develops companion Web sites for PBS programming, as well as enhanced-TV prototypes, books, and promotional and educational/outreach campaigns.

Executive Producer  |  Marion Rice, Ed.D.
Editor/Associate Producer  |  Margot Chase
Web Producer  |  John Kin
Writer  |  Ally Wright
Content Advisor  |  Todd Gitlin, Ph.D.
Classroom Content  |  Tobi Kibel Piatek
Graphic Design/Flash Developer  |  Kirsten Blair
Web Developer  |  Adam Payne

Site Information

Links to other Internet sites are provided as a convenience and do not constitute endorsement of material, organizations, products or services.

Use Restrictions

All content in the program and Web site for THE SIXTIES is protected by copyright, except as allowed by Fair Use for educational and research purposes. It is the responsibility of the user to determine whether any additional copyright restrictions apply to images incorporated in this site.