Culture Studies Section Meeting II
“Avoid all needle drugs, the only dope worth shooting is Richard Nixon” – Abbie Hoffman
From the time that "hippie" became a common term applied to a recognizable but mysterious phenomenon, the question of the political behavior of hippies became significant. The general snap conclusion was quite upsetting to most student activists. "Hippie," to them, meant "drop-out," from political behavior as well as everything else. Many, especially in the East, saw the frustrations of anti-war activity driving young activists into the nirvana of acid hippyism, whence no man returneth to the picket line.
It is true that many "stone hippies" exhibit no recognizable political behavior - other than their lifestyle itself. The migration from activism into "the hippie thing" is steady and well-defined. But the conclusion that hippies are a-political in general is not true. We have lost touch, testing political activeness with the litmus of old vocabularies. Future histories of this change will say, for example, that the first (and so far the only) significant community organizing done in our white middle class has been the handiwork of the hippies.
(From "Break Through at Berkeley: The Anatomy of a New Political style" by Michael Rossman, Center Magazine May 1968)
LSD, which was virtually unknown to American society in the early sixties and still legal until 1966, gained widespread recognition as a result of the very public exploits of so-called acid gurus, Timothy Leary and Ken Kesey. By the mid-sixties, seemingly overnight, marijuana and LSD use was common across the country, especially among the young.
The Art and Music World
The Beatles, the Stones, Dali, Dylan, Lou Reed, Nico, Ginsburg, Warhol, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Motown, British Invasion, Garage Rock, Surf, the list goes on…
Integration of Little Rock, Rosa Parks, the Freedom Riders
In the mid to late 1960s, subtle shifts began occurring in the Civil Rights Movement. Younger blacks became disenchanted with the pace of change that came from nonviolent methods espoused by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. More radical, militant forms of protest gained favor, and riots began to break out in major cities. This change split the movement and drove away some sympathetic whites. After King's assassination in 1968, which sparked more riots, the movement became one of independent groups rather than a unified effort.
The ARPA net, precursor of the Internet, is founded in 1969 as a Department of Defense project. The numbered series of Requests for Comments (RFC) documents begins in order to document the standards and practices of this network, and continues to this day
"Finally, if we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny, the dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks should have made clear to us all, as did the Sputnik in 1957, the impact of this adventure on the minds of men everywhere.... "
President John F. Kennedy, 1961
Feminism and Gay Rights (late 60s)
June 27, 1969, the police in New York City raided a Greenwich Village gay bar, the Stonewall Inn. Contrary to expectations, the patrons fought back, provoking three nights of rioting in the area accompanied by the appearance of “gay power” slogans on the buildings. Almost overnight, a massive grassroots gay liberations movement was born. Owing much to the radical protest of blacks, women, and college students in the 1960s, gays challenged all forms of hostility and punishment meted out by society. Choosing to “come out of the closet” and publicly proclaim their identity, they ushered in a social change movement that has grown substantially