It may sound mundane, but another way to commemorate the music of the decade—and explore its evolution—is through museum exhibits. The thing about documenting music history is that it requires more than just plaques and heavy text. One of the most engaging examples is the Jimi Hendrix exhibit at the Experience Music Project in Seattle, which includes a sound-effects interactive and rare film footage. There's also a collection of Hendrix's guitars (including shards of the one he destroyed at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967). Another point of interest: The museum was designed by Frank Gehry. In Detroit, the birthplace of Motown Records—also known as Hitsville, U.S.A.—beckons visitors with a museum that invites visitors to clap and sing in an echo chamber that creates reverb sound and other effects that make the "Motown Sound" unique.
Memphis is not only home to the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, which chronicles the rise of soul music, it's also a major landmark of the civil rights movement. Partially located in the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King Jr., was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museum features captivating photography and life-size exhibits that include a segregated lunch counter and the burned shell of a Greyhound bus used in the Freedom Rides. Revisit another dark chapter of the Sixties at Dealey Plaza's Sixth Floor Museum in Dallas, which houses more than 35,000 items related to the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy. Looking for a more uplifting way to relive Sixties history? Mark the 40th anniversary of man's first walk on the moon at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where a new exhibit features spacesuits and other gear used by the moonwalkers.