Summary | Bob Dylan | Betty Friedan
Non-Mainstream Heroes
The 1960s: Times They Are A' Changin'
August 1960

Timothy Leary tries psilocybin mushrooms for first time

Apr 1961 Bob Dylan headlines his first show
1963 Betty Friedan publishes The Feminine Mystique
July 1963

The Newport Folk Festival

July 1964 Ken Kesey and Merry Pranksters take first Magic bus trip
July 1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco
Sept 1965 "Hippie" coined by San Francisco writer, Michael Fallon
July 1967 Summer of Love in San Francisco
July 1969 Stonewall riots
August 1969 Woodstock
Dec 1969 Altamont concert; one fan killed in riots


What created the phenomenon that spurred Altamont, Woodstock, Haight-Ashbury, the Grateful Dead and the Summer of Love will probably never be completely understood. There was an almost magic quality that brought together kids from all over the country. Following the Beat writers and folk singers, students began to question authority and rebel, many times with a specific purpose like ending the war in Vietnam, but some times without much reason.

Colleges were filling up with students at an especially high rate during this time. But graduation no longer meant a stable job and a nice home. The threat of the war hung like a dark cloud over the lives of Americans.

Still, the economy was performing well, still high on the post World War II boom. New technologies were beginning to saturate the market and for the firs ttime, mass media and commercial selling were spurred on by disposable income in the suburbs.

As the decade wore on, there became a sense of angst in the air. From the war to civil rights to the outright abandonment of authority, youth set out to find a new path to tread upon.

There were drugs to lead the way. Psychedelics were unleashed on the population. Marijuana became the drug of choice for rallies and protests across the nation. Heroin made its emerged as well. For the first time since Prohibition ended, people were openly enjoying and engaging in drugs.

This was a time of freedom, marked with large gatherings and concerts. In a time of revolution and sadness, the counter-culture looked into the future in hopes of finding a place where the madness could end.

    How many roads must a man walk down before you can call him a man? Yes and how many seas must a white dove sail before she sleeps in the sand? Yes and how many times must the cannonballs fly before they're forever banned? The answer my friend is blowing in the wind. The answer is blowing in the wind.

    Come mothers and fathers throughout the land, And don't criticize what you don't understand. Your sons and your daughters are beyond your command. Your old road is rapidly agin'. Please get out of the new one if you can't lend a hand, For the times they are a-changin'

    You thought they were all kiddin' you. You used to laugh about Everybody that was hangin' out, But now you don't talk so loud, Now you don't seem so proud, About havin' to be scroungin' your next meal. How does it feel? How does it feel To be on your own. With no direction home. A complete unknown. Like a rollin' stone.
  • Bob Dylan (1941-)

    Born Robert Allen Zimmerman, Bob Dylan became the voice of a generation. A coffeehouse singer-songwriter, Dylan's mark would be to blur the lines of folk and rock music.

    After playing in relative obscurity, Dylan released his second album "Freewheelin' Bob Dylan" in 1963 which contained the hit "Blowin' in the Wind," a song that immediately captured the hearts and spirits of the Vietnam War protestors. His next venture, "Times They Are A-Changin'", established him as the premiere protest singer of the sixties.

    But in 1965, Dylan became more than just a folk singer. At the Newport Folk Festival, he plugged in his guitar and amidst a mixture of stunned silence and rousting chortles, Dylan forever transformed rock-n-roll. Over the next year, his music would bring blues into his fusion rock as his popularity rebounded from the Newport hit and skyrocketed.

    In 1966, he was nearly killed in a motorcycle accident, causing him to drop completely out of the music and cultural scene for two years. When he resurfaced, he had again changed his tune. Now sporting a soulful country sound, Dylan released Nashville Skyline, an album that included a duet with legend Johnny Cash.

    Although now out of the political arena, Dylan's music continued to speak to an expanding generation of Americans who c ame of age during the most tumultuous time in our nation's history. Through his music and his words, a nation was able to express the pain, grief, anger and joy that oftentimes appeared to have no outlet.

  • "A girl should not expect special privileges because of her sex but neither should she adjust to prejudice and discrimination."

  • "The problem that has no name -- which is simply the fact that American women are kept from growing to their full human capacities -- is taking a far greater toll on the physical and mental health of our country than any known disease."

  • "Each suburban wife struggled with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries, matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with her children, chauffered Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay beside her husband at night -- she was afraid to ask even of herself the silent question -- 'Is this all?'"

  • "If divorce has increased by one thousand percent, don't blame the women's movement. Blame the obsolete sex roles on which our marriages were based."

  • "It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself."
  • Betty Friedan (1921-)  (return to top)

    Considered to be the preeminent feminist of her generation, Betty Friedan was brave enough to take her gender role and squash it to bits. In 1963, Friedan jump-started the women's movement by publishing The Feminine Mystique . In her book, Friedan refuted the notion that women find fulfillment only through childbearing and homemaking.

    She went on to form the National Organization for Women in 1966 and served as its president until 1970. The same year, she organized a nationwide Women's Strike For Equality. Friedan also helped organize the National Women's Political Caucus in 1970. Both events helped further the women's liberation movement.

    A later book, The Second Stage (1981), evaluated the progress of feminism. She argued that feminists need to reclaim the family and bring more men into the movement by addressing child care, parental leave and flexible work schedules.

    Her most recent book, The Fountain of Age , (1993) is an affirmation of the vitality of old age. Friedan has remained true to her beliefs, continuing to challenge stereotypes along the way.

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