Hippy Movement


Hippy Movement

Through out history the world has seen some generations that have made an impact more than all of its predecessors. The decade from1960

to 1970 was definitely one of those eras. The people didn't follow the

teachings of its elders, but rejected them for an alternative culture

which was their very own(Harris 14). Made up of the younger population

of the time this new culture was such a radical society that they were

given their own name which is still used today. They came to be called

the Hippies. The Hippie movement started in San Francisco, California

and spread across the United States, through Canada, and into parts of

Europe (World Book). But it had its greatest influence in America.

During the 1960's a radical group called the Hippies shocked America

with their alternative lifestyle and radical beliefs. Hippies came from many different places and had many different

backgrounds. All Hippies were young, from the ages of 15 to 25

(Worldbook). They left their families and did it for many different

reasons. Some rejected their parents' ideas, some just wanted to get

away, and others simply were outcasts, who could only fit in with the

Hippie population. "Under 25 became a magical age, and young people all

over the world were united by this bond" (Harris 15). This bond was of

Non-conformity and it was the "Creed of the Young" (Harris 15). Most

Hippies came from wealthy middle class families. Some people said that

they were spoiled and wasting their lives away. But to Hippies

themselves this was a way of life and no one was going to get in the

way of their dreams and ambitions.

Hippies flocked to a certain area of San Francisco on the corner

of Haight Street and Ashbury Street, where the world got their first

view of this unique group. This place came to be known as the Haight

Ashbury District. There were tours of the district and it was said that

the tour "was the only foreign tour within the continental limits of

the United States" (Stern 147). The Hippies were so different that the

conservative middle class could not relate to them and saw them as

aliens. The Haight Ashbury district lies in the very center of San

Francisco. In the years of 1965 and 1966 the Hippies took over the

Haight Ashbury district(Cavan 49). There they lived and spread their

psychedelic theme through out the whole area. In the Haight Ashbury

district there were two parks that that all Hippies knew well. The most

famous of the two was the Golden Gate Park(Cavan 43). The single most

important event that put the Hippies on the map was held at the Golden

Gate Park. It was called the Trips Festival. The Trips Festival was a

week long festival designed to celebrate the LSD experience(Stern 148).

Besides this festival dozens of other events took place at Golden Gate

Park, some of which were free concerts by The Grateful Dead and

Jefferson Airplane and Anti-War rallies held by Hippie political

leaders. The other park is called the Buena Vista park and is known for

housing hippies at night and for socializing during the day.

As the 1960's progressed, the youth in America united. "In 1969

400,000 young people materialized for three dizzying days to listen to

rock and blues music, to wear funny clothing or no clothes at all, to

talk, sing, dance, clap hands, to drink beer or smoke pot and make

love-but mostly to marvel again and again that they were all there

together" (This Fabulous Century 64). This festival was held in a small

town in up-state New York and came to be called Woodstock, after the

town it was held in. Also in Greenwich Village, New York Hippies had a

place. The Village on every Sunday was known to have hordes of singers

with banjos and drums celebrating their youth together(Stern 103).

One of the basic foundations of the Hippie movement was the

flagrant use of illegal drugs. There were many drugs that the Hippies

used but none was more used then marijuana. From 1960 to 1970 the

number of Americans who had tried marijuana had increased from a few

hundred thousand to 8,000,000. The majority of