The BEST Episodes of The Sixties
Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!
Last Updated: Apr 8, 2021
The space race, the cold war, "free love," civil rights and more: The decade of the 1960s shaped our history -- and changed the world. In collaboration with Tom Hanks, Gary Goetzman and Mark Herzog, CNN explores perhaps the most transformative decade of the modern era in a 10-part documentary series and brings new insights into how those events shaped today.
#1 - The Assassination of President Kennedy
Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired Jun 12, 2014
A documentary examining the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on Nov. 22, 1963. Included: a look at the conclusions drawn from the Warren Report; and eyewitness testimony. Remarks by: historians Robert Dallek and Robert Caro; journalists Robert MacNeil and Dan Rather; and Alexandra Zapruder, whose grandfather captured the assassination on film.
#2 - The British Invasion
Season 1 - Episode 6 - Aired Jul 10, 2014
Clips of performances by British bands of the 1960s, including Manfred Mann, the Animals, Peter and Gordon, Joe Cocker, Traffic, Procol Harum, the Troggs, the Kinks, the Yardbirds, the Hollies, and Gerry and the Pacemakers. Host: Casey Kasem.
#3 - Sex, Drugs, and Rock 'n’ Roll
Season 1 - Episode 10 - Aired Aug 14, 2014
American culture changed fundamentally from the beginning to the end of the 1960s as the tastes, morals, and politics of the Baby Boomer generation came to define America. Jann Wenner, Grace Slick, David Wild, Leonard Steinhorn, Tom Wolfe, Douglas Brinkley, Tom Hanks, and more describe how beatniks, Haight-Ashbury, Andy Warhol, Timothy Leary, hippies, and Hell’s Angels became counter-cultural touchstones that still resonate today.
#4 - The Space Race
Season 1 - Episode 7 - Aired Jul 24, 2014
Astronaut and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Mike Massimino and Dave Scott, and Walter Issacson, Douglas Brinkley, Tom Wolfe, Andy Chaikin, and Tom Hanks describe the greatest adventure story of all time. The “giant leap” pushed the boundaries of exploration to an unprecedented frontier, inspiring inventions and imaginations around the world for generations.
#5 - 1968
Season 1 - Episode 8 - Aired Jul 31, 2014
Tom Hayden, Gloria Steinem, Lance Morrow, Evan Thomas, Dan Rather, Morley Safer, Tim Naftali, and Mark Kurlansky discuss how one of the most dramatic years in American history was punctuated by a Soviet incursion into Czechoslovakia, devastating assassinations, turning points in the wars in Southeast Asia, a decisive and televised end to the Johnson Administration, violence at the Democratic National Convention, and the election of President Nixon.
#6 - Television Comes of Age
Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired May 29, 2014
Americans gathered around “the tube,” to be informed and entertained by the news, The Twilight Zone, The Fugitive, I Dream of Jeannie, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, and more. Tom Hanks, Sally Field, Dick and Tom Smothers, Carol Burnett, Dick Cavett, Diahann Carroll, Carl Reiner, Vince Gilligan, Petula Clark and others describe how the ground-breaking, rule-breaking, norm-bending dramas, historical events, and sitcoms reflected and influenced who we were.
#7 - The Times, They Are a-Changin’
Season 1 - Episode 9 - Aired Aug 7, 2014
Gloria Steinem, Robert Kennedy, Jr., former U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, Cecile Richards, Marlo Thomas, Douglas Brinkley, and Gail Collins discuss how feminism, civil rights, environmentalism, conservatism, and the gay rights movements were fueled by deep yearnings for freedom by a generation unwilling to wait.
#8 - The World on the Brink
Season 1 - Episode 2 - Aired Jun 5, 2014
The heady days of Camelot were clouded by the political and military tensions between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. Marvin Kalb, Richard Reeves, Robert Dallek, Sergei Khrushchev and more explain how close the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis brought us all to World War III – and how two nuclear superpowers moved from near confrontation to the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.
#9 - A Long March to Freedom
Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Jun 26, 2014
Selma, Birmingham, and the March on Washington are reexamined by eyewitnesses to history. Diane Nash, U.S. Rep. John Lewis, U.S. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rev. C.T. Vivian, Bob Moses, Diane McWhorter, Taylor Branch, David Garrow, and Isabel Wilkerson give critical context to the lunch counter sit-ins, Freedom Rides, Freedom Summer, integration, and the Children’s Crusade for the moral mission of the Civil Rights Movement.
#10 - The War in Vietnam
Season 1 - Episode 4 - Aired Jun 19, 2014
From just several hundred advisors at the start of the decade, to more than 550,000 American troops by the end of it, the escalation of the war in Vietnam – and the fighting and the dying – brought social and political polarization back home. It was also televised – and, the more Americans saw of the war, the more unpopular the conflict became. Tim O’Brien, Frederik Logeval, Karl Marlantes, Neil Sheehan, Andrew Bacevich, George Herring, Tom Hayden, and Philip Caputo discuss the Gulf of Tonkin, and LBJ, for this most complex of American stories.