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Washington in the 60s

The people. The protests. The progress. Join WETA TV 26 as we examine the people and events of the dramatic decade that changed our city ... forever. The one-hour documentary looks at the political, social and cultural events that shaped the history of the Washington area.

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Preview: Washington in the '60s

Share Your Memories

Were you at the Washington Coliseum for the Beatles concert in 1964? Did you hear Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963? Did you wear a mini-skirt? How about bell bottoms?! Share your memories of life in the DC area in the 1960s.

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Washington in the '60s Slideshow

This dramatic time in area history is brought to life through the memories of notable Washingtonians such as Ben Bradlee, Marion Barry, Patrick Buchanan, Maury Povich and Chuck Brown. Iconic music, archival stills and footage coupled with fascinating insights from those who experienced and shaped the events of the time transport viewers back to a period when the Nation's Capital was transformed from a sleepy Southern town to the bustling world class metropolis we know today.

  • Washington Senators: Jim Lemon, Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew, Roy Sievers. 1959 (Photo credit: Phil Wood)
    Washington Senators: Jim Lemon, Bob Allison, Harmon Killebrew, Roy Sievers. 1959 (Photo credit: Phil Wood)
  • African American protesters at Glen Echo Park (Photo credit: Hyman Bookbinder)
    African American protesters at Glen Echo Park (Photo credit: Hyman Bookbinder)
  • Aerial view of DC stadium construction (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library)
    Aerial view of DC stadium construction (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library)
  • Mobile Lounge in front of construction of tower at Dulles Airport (Photo credit: Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority)
    Mobile Lounge in front of construction of tower at Dulles Airport (Photo credit: Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority)
  • John & Jacqueline Kennedy (Photo credit: Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston)
    John & Jacqueline Kennedy (Photo credit: Cecil Stoughton, White House, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston)
  • President and Mrs. Kennedy at National Theatre, 25 September 1962 (Photo credit: Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.)
    President and Mrs. Kennedy at National Theatre, 25 September 1962 (Photo credit: Abbie Rowe, National Park Service, in the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.)
  • Rev. Walter Fauntroy (Photo credit: Rebecca Kingsley)
    Rev. Walter Fauntroy (Photo credit: Rebecca Kingsley)
  • Civil rights protestors (Photo credit: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress)
    Civil rights protestors (Photo credit: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress)
  • Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial. The photograph shows two men in the foreground reading a newspaper with the headline: "They're Pouring In From All Over." (Photo credit: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress)
    Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C. at the Lincoln Memorial. The photograph shows two men in the foreground reading a newspaper with the headline: "They're Pouring In From All Over." (Photo credit: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress)
  • Crowds on the Mall in Washington, D.C., during the March on Washington, August 28,1963 (Photo credit: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress)
    Crowds on the Mall in Washington, D.C., during the March on Washington, August 28,1963 (Photo credit: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress)
  • Local DJ Carroll James with the Beatles in Washington. (Photo credit: George McCloskey)
    Local DJ Carroll James with the Beatles in Washington. (Photo credit: George McCloskey)
  • Capital Beltway opening, August 1964 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    Capital Beltway opening, August 1964 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • A car drives onto the exit to the Capital Beltway towards I-495 Bethesda (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    A car drives onto the exit to the Capital Beltway towards I-495 Bethesda (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • Opening of Rally for DC Home Rule (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    Opening of Rally for DC Home Rule (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • Marion Barry at Free DC rally - 8/26/66 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    Marion Barry at Free DC rally - 8/26/66 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • Woodward and Lothrop department store (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    Woodward and Lothrop department store (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • Local DJ Petey Greene, Anti-Poverty Post - March 4, 1967 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    Local DJ Petey Greene, Anti-Poverty Post - March 4, 1967 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • A two-time Emmy Award-winner, Ralph (Petey) Greene overcame drug addiction and a prison sentence for armed robbery to become one of Washington, D.C.'s most prominent media personalities. LTR: Petey; David Foote; Ronald Smith; Robert Armstead; Ronald Sinclair; and David Wellington. March 19, 1967 (Photo credit: © Bettmann/CORBIS)
    A two-time Emmy Award-winner, Ralph (Petey) Greene overcame drug addiction and a prison sentence for armed robbery to become one of Washington, D.C.'s most prominent media personalities. LTR: Petey; David Foote; Ronald Smith; Robert Armstead; Ronald Sinclair; and David Wellington. March 19, 1967 (Photo credit: © Bettmann/CORBIS)
  • Rufus (Catfish) Mayfield (pointing) and other Youth Pride Inc. members. (Photo credit: Associated Press)
    Rufus (Catfish) Mayfield (pointing) and other Youth Pride Inc. members. (Photo credit: Associated Press)
  • Julius Hobson at car with megaphones (Aug. 19, 1967). (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    Julius Hobson at car with megaphones (Aug. 19, 1967). (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • Mayor Walter E. Washington with President Lyndon B. Johnson, 9/6/1967 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    Mayor Walter E. Washington with President Lyndon B. Johnson, 9/6/1967 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • Vietnam protestors (Photo credit: LBJ Library photo by Frank Wolfe)
    Vietnam protestors (Photo credit: LBJ Library photo by Frank Wolfe)
  • Women exit the Arena Stage theater. (Photo credit: Arena Stage historical documents, Collection #C0017, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.)
    Women exit the Arena Stage theater. (Photo credit: Arena Stage historical documents, Collection #C0017, Special Collections and Archives, George Mason University.)
  • 1968 riots (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library)
    1968 riots (Photo credit: Courtesy of the Washingtoniana Division, DC Public Library)
  • DC riots, 1968 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
    DC riots, 1968 (Photo credit: Star Collection, DC Public Library; © Washington Post)
  • James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander in "The Great White Hope" (Photo credit: Arena Stage Press Office)
    James Earl Jones and Jane Alexander in "The Great White Hope" (Photo credit: Arena Stage Press Office)

WETA Extra: Joy Boys

WETA takes a look back to the 1960s when "Joy Boys" Ed Walker and Willard Scott ruled Washington's airwaves.

Featured Songs

The following songs are featured in the show Washington in the '60s.

Discussion Guide

The discussion guide contains questions designed to be used with the bonus clips below in both informal and formal educational settings.

Download guide →

Awards

Washington in the '60s was honored by the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS-NCCB) with two EMMY Awards:

Documentary – Historical: Simon Epstein, WETA Producer and Jacqueline Todt, WETA Executive Producer

Audio – Post Production: Antonio Pacheco, WETA Audio Engineer