The Sixties: The Times They Are a-Changin'

1968
In Search of Alternate Realities

Rat Race Refugees

Dropouts from conventional society sought a new counterculture, a complete change from middle-class materialism. Peasant skirts, worn-out jeans, love beads and peace symbols marked the uniform of hippie culture. Psychedelic music, drugs, art, free love and politics broke open an already growing generation gap. Communes and group farms drew young city dwellers back to the land. Others turned introspective, embracing the tenets of mystic Eastern religions and transcendental meditation.

Photograph of The Sixties exhibit.

Rat Race Refugees

Dropouts from conventional society sought a new counterculture, a complete change from middle-class materialism. Peasant skirts, worn-out jeans, love beads and peace symbols marked the uniform of hippie culture. Psychedelic music, drugs, art, free love and politics broke open an already growing generation gap. Communes and group farms drew young city dwellers back to the land. Others turned introspective, embracing the tenets of mystic Eastern religions and transcendental meditation.

Far Out Man!

New heights of the hippie life were reached during 1967's "Summer of Love" in San Francisco 's Haight-Asbury district, a haven for rock festivals, nonconformists, and drug experimentation. Hallucinogenic visions from unpredictable chemicals grew in popularity, to the horror of parents, police, legislators, and scientists. In 1969, the pinnacle of counterculture music and social expression did not light up sunny California , but rain-soaked New York state. Woodstock Festival welcomed 500,000 enthusiasts to a 600 acre farm. Peace reigned and a muddy paradise was found.at least for three days.

 

A Masterful Politician Becomes President

Landmark Legislation for America

President Lyndon Baines Johnson persuaded Congressmen to pass landmark civil rights legislation, plus 55 additional social programs. Johnson urged Americans "to build a Great Society, a place where the meaning of man's life matches the marvels of man's labor." Sweeping reforms solidified equal rights legislation, education and housing programs, Medicare and Medicaid, Job Corps, VISTA , and federal grants for the arts and the environment. Lady Bird Johnson promoted Head Start and the beautification of our roadways and national forests.

Photograph of The Sixties exhibit.

Vietnam's Long Shadow Engulfs Johnson

In 1964 after the North Vietnamese attacked U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin*, Congress granted Johnson far-reaching powers to escalate the conflict into a war, through air strikes and a massive buildup of American troops . Within three years, however, the numbers of soldiers sent to Vietnam rose even higher, as did the numbers of caskets being sent home. As the war deteriorated and many progressive programs fell short of their intended goals, Johnson's "Great Society" reached a stalemate.

*The facts of the Gulf of Tonkin Incident were later deemed to be suspiciously exaggerated,
and ultimately condemned by Congress and the nation.

1963
1968

Tales of Camelot
The Cold War Warms Up
Racing To The Moon
Civil Rights On The March
Teen Angels
The Swinging Sixties
Sun 'n' Surf Meets London Turf
The Awakening of America
Camelot Finale

Something's Happenin' Here
Vietnam : A Young Man's Hell
Black Power
Rat Race Refugees
Talkin' 'Bout My Generation
Establishment Up Against the Ivied Wall
The Nixon Era Begins
To the Moon
The Legacy

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