Generic term for the era that actually started in 1964 and petered out by 1975, characterized by short skirts, political unrest in America, France, Czechoslovakia, and other places, rock music, and recreational usage of drugs, including LSD, pot, and lots of alcohol.

The Sixties in Australia were really the seventies. As for the actual sixties, in Australia, a couple of important things happened:

1966: The pounds-shilling-pence (Imperial) system was replaced by dollars and cents; and

1967: Aboriginal Australians were given the vote for the first time; Prime Minister Harold Holt disappears after going swimming, spawning a colloquial phrase "To do a Harold Holt" (both rhyming slang for "to do the bolt" and an evocative reminder of his departure) and the Harold Holt memorial swimming pool in Sydney, an ironic and gruesome namimg.

Of course, several other things happened, not least the conscription of many young boys who had been born in the post-WWII years into another pointless war, but these two points, at least, symbolised the drawing away from 'Mother England' and the White Australia Policy that had governed us culturally for so long.

The Vietnam War, the Rock Music, the Race Riots, the Drugs, and the Space Race amde the news and the history books, but for most of us it was just living. Going to school, going to a basketball game with friends, trying to get a date and all that. There was a spirit of excitement and change that pervaded the society in a way no other decade has seen. The generation gap was a big deal. Our parents were products of the depression and WW II and although maybe tolerant could never be part of the changes happening. It was a great time to be alive, but then isn't any time.

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