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Was it really a simpler time? Your '60s family photos, revealed

By Henry Hanks and Katie Hawkins-Gaar, CNN
updated 4:03 PM EDT, Fri June 6, 2014
<a href='http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1120078'>Lauri Williams</a>, bottom row, second from right, shared this photo of her family when she was 3 years old in Channelview, Texas. The photo, taken on Easter in 1968, is somewhat bittersweet; it was the next-to-last family photo taken before her parents divorced. Lauri Williams, bottom row, second from right, shared this photo of her family when she was 3 years old in Channelview, Texas. The photo, taken on Easter in 1968, is somewhat bittersweet; it was the next-to-last family photo taken before her parents divorced.
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Family photos from the 1960s say a lot about the style and events of the time
  • Fifty years ago, families were larger -- and their photos show it
  • Matching outfits, especially among children, were more popular

Experience "The Sixties" on CNN on Thursdays at 9p ET/PT. Discover your '60s personality by taking the CNN Sixties quiz.

(CNN) -- The good ole days: When life was more innocent, families were happier and children behaved better. Or maybe not.

Oh, how things have changed, and haven't really.

After sifting through dozens of 1960s family portraits that CNN readers shared, here's what we deduced about the decade and how we lived. Send in your own photos and observations here, and tell us if you agree.

1. Families were larger.

Kathi Cordsen grew up with five siblings, Lauri Williams was one of eight adopted children and David Gregory was the oldest of 14. In 1960, the average family had 3.67 children, compared to 3.12 in 2013.

"There were four Catholic families of 10 or more children within two blocks," said Gregory, who lived in Canton, Illinois. "My mother's three siblings (all living in Canton) had 27 children total, so the 41 of us never lacked for cousin playmates."

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2. But that doesn't mean they were happier.

We tend to romanticize the past. But the hilarious 1967 photo of a grumpy teenage Debra Harris next to her "equally perky" parents reminds us that all '60s families weren't as cheerful as the Ozzie and Harriet clan.

3. Matching outfits were popular.

From the Butler brothers' identical cowboy getups, and the Jones sisters' matching dresses and pigtails, we wouldn't mind if this adorable trend made a comeback.

4. Kids' clothes were dressier.

Just look at the kneesocks and Mary Janes! Is it weird that the children in these photos have better wardrobes than adults today?

5. Nerdy family photos have always existed.

And we're hoping they always will. In this priceless 1967 snap, Craig Reigelhaupt is the little guy in the horn-rimmed glasses and tiny red bow tie.

6. They were hipper than they knew.

Forget Instagram, these photos are the real deal, with their sepia tones and square format. Chris Brown's family photo is a perfect example.

Do you have a favorite car from the '60s? Share a photo of your favorite and your memories here!

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