The decade of the 1960s is being examined in a series of lectures sponsored by Lander University’s Office of Continuing Education and the university’s American Democracy Project.
According to coordinator Shelley Grund, the series, titled “The 60s-The Times They Were A-Changin,’” will look at a variety of topics exploring events in what was an extraordinary period of American history. The lectures, which are free and open to the public, will be held on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in Room 150 of Lander’s Science Building.
On Feb. 7, Dr. Danny McKenzie, professor of education at Lander, will present “The Alphabet Soup Science Curricula,” focusing on K-12 science education and how it was changed to ensure that the U.S. would have an expanding pool of young scientists, mathematicians and engineers to keep pace with space age technology.
The lecturer on Feb. 14 will be State Sen. Floyd Nicholson, of Greenwood, who will discuss how the civil rights movement of the 1960s affected him. He will also describe when, as a freshman at South Carolina State University, he personally witnessed what became known as the Orangeburg Massacre at the university
The 1968 Tet Offensive in Vietnam will be the subject on Feb. 21 when Dr. Jean Paquette, professor emeritus of history at Lander, explores what is considered the turning point of the Vietnam War and how the widespread attacks by North Vietnamese forces changed American perceptions of the war.
The final lecture, on Feb. 28, is titled “1968-The Year that Rocked the Nation.” Dr. Kevin Witherspoon, associate professor of history at Lander, will discuss how the peace, love and joy of 1967’s “Summer of Love” morphed into the protest and frustration of 1968’s “Days of Rage.” The transition followed the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Sen. Robert Kennedy; violence at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; the embarrassment caused by the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, and other events.
While each lecture is free, tickets are required for admission and may be obtained by calling the Continuing Education office at 864-388-8426.