Counterculture of the 1960s
The counterculture of the 1960s was a cultural phenomenon that developed first in the United States and United Kingdom and spread throughout much of the Western world between the early 1960s and the early 1970s. The movement gained momentum during the U.S. government's extensive military intervention in Vietnam. As the 1960s progressed, widespread tensions developed in US society that tended to flow along generational lines regarding the war in Vietnam, race relations, human sexuality, women's rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream. New cultural forms emerged, including the pop music of the British band the Beatles and the concurrent rise of hippie culture, which led to the rapid evolution of a youth subculture that emphasized change and experimentation. In addition to the Beatles, many songwriters, singers and musical groups from the United Kingdom and the US came to impact the counterculture movement.
The Cold War between communist states and capitalist states involved espionage on a global scale, along with political and military interference in the internal affairs of less powerful nations. Poor outcomes from some of these activities set the stage for disillusionment with, and distrust of, post-war governments. Examples included harsh Soviet Union responses to popular anti-communist uprisings, such as the 1956 Hungarian Revolution and Czechoslovakia's Prague Spring in 1968, and the botched U.S. Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba in 1961. In the U.S., President Dwight D. Eisenhower's initial deception over the nature of the 1960 U-2 incident resulted in the government being caught in a blatant lie at the highest levels, and created a backdrop for a growing distrust of authority among many who came of age during the period. The Partial Test Ban Treaty divided the establishment within the U.S along political and military lines. Internal political disagreements concerning treaty obligations in Southeast Asia (SEATO), especially in Vietnam, and debate as to how other communist insurgencies should be challenged, also created a rift of dissent within the establishment. The Cuban Missile Crisis brought the nation, and the world, to the brink of nuclear war in October, 1962. The assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in November, 1963, and the attendant conspiracy theories concerning the event, led to further diminished trust in government, especially among young people.
Several factors distinguished the counterculture of the 1960s from the authority-opposition movements of previous eras. The post-war "baby boom" constituted an unprecedented number of young, affluent, and potentially disaffected people as prospective participants in a rethinking of the direction of the US and other democratic societies. Widespread use of marijuana and psychoactive drugs contributed to this reevaluation, and a confluence of events and issues served as an intellectual catalyst for exceptionally rapid change during the era.
In the western world, the ongoing criminal legal status of the recreational drug industry was instrumental in the formation of an anti-establishment social dynamic by those coming of age during the counterculture era. The explosion of marijuana use during the era, in large part by students on fast-expanding college campuses, created an attendant need for increasing numbers of people to conduct their personal affairs in secret in the procurement and use of banned substances. The pharmaceutically-false classification of marijuana as a narcotic, and the attachment of often outrageous criminal penalties for its use, drove the simple act of smoking marijuana, and experimentation with substances in general, deep underground. Many began to live largely clandestine lives only because of their choice to use certain substances, and their fear of retribution from their own governments. In a recapitulation of the US alcohol prohibition disaster, otherwise law-abiding citizens in democracies worldwide became nominal criminals as a result of their private behavior. Meanwhile, older citizens with political influence directed law enforcement officials to fight drug wars against a generation of young people whose values and motives were often misunderstood. The increasingly-sophisticated underground drug trade grew to provide haven for the concurrently growing network of anti-war and other activists also operating in fear of government reprisal.
Other sociological issues fueled the growth of the larger counterculture movement. One was an influential nonviolent movement in the United States seeking to resolve Constitutional civil rights illegalities, especially regarding general racial segregation, the lack of voting rights among Southern blacks, and the existing segregation in the purchasing of homes or rental housing in the North. On college and university campuses, student activists fought for the right to exercise their basic Constitutional rights, especially freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. Many counterculture activists became newly aware of the ongoing plight of the poor, and community organizers fought for the funding of anti-poverty programs, particularly within inner city areas in the United States.
Environmentalism grew from a greater understanding of the ongoing damage caused by industrialization, resultant pollution, and the misguided use of chemicals such as pesticides in well-meaning efforts to improve the quality of life for the rapidly growing population. Authors such as Rachel Carson played key roles in developing a new awareness among the world's population of the fragility of planet earth, despite resistance from elements of the establishment in many countries.
The need to address minority rights of women, gays, the handicapped, and many other neglected constituencies within the larger population came to the forefront as an increasing number of primarily younger people broke free from the constraints of 1950s orthodoxy in a desire to create a more inclusive and tolerant social landscape.
The availability of new and more effective forms of birth control was a key underpinning of the sexual revolution. The notion of "recreational sex" without the threat of unwanted pregnancy radically changed the social dynamic and permitted both women and men much greater freedom in the selection of sexual lifestyles outside the confines of traditional marriage. With this change in attitude, by the 1990s the ratio of children born out of wedlock rose from 5% to 25% for Whites and from 25% to 66% for African-Americans.
For those born after World War II, the role of television as a source of entertainment and information, as well as the associated massive expansion of consumerism afforded by post-war affluence and encouraged by TV advertising, were key components in youthful disillusionment and the formulation of new social behaviours. In the US, nearly real time TV news coverage of the civil rights era's Birmingham Campaign, the "Bloody Sunday" event of the Selma to Montgomery marches, and largely unedited news footage from Vietnam brought the bloody reality of armed conflict into living rooms for the first time.
The breakdown of enforcement of the US Hays Code concerning censorship in motion picture production, the use of new forms of artistic expression in European and Asian cinema, and the advent of modern production values heralded a new era of art-house, pornographic, and US mainstream film production, distribution, and exhibition. The end of censorship resulted in a complete reformation of the western film industry. With new-found artistic freedom, a generation of exceptionally talented "New Wave" film makers working across all genres brought realistic depictions of previously prohibited subject matter to neighborhood theater screens for the first time, even as Hollywood film studios were still considered a part of the establishment by some elements of the counterculture.
By the later 1960s, previously under-regarded FM radio replaced AM radio as the focal point for the ongoing explosion of Rock and Roll music, and became the nexus of youth-oriented news and advertising for the counterculture generation.
Communes, collectives, and intentional communities regained popularity during this era. Early communities, such as the Hog Farm in the United States and Findhorn in Europe were established as straightforward agrarian attempts to return to the land and live free of interference from outside influences. As the era progressed, many people established and populated new communities in response to not only disillusionment with standard community forms, but also dissatisfaction with certain elements of the counterculture itself. Some of these self-sustaining communities have been credited with the birth and propagation of the international Green Movement.
The emergence of an interest in expanded spiritual consciousness, yoga, occult practices and increased human potential helped to shift views on organized religion during the era. In 1957, 69% of US residents polled by Gallup said religion was increasing in influence. By the late 1960s, polls indicated less than 20% still held that belief.
The "Generation Gap," or the inevitable perceived divide in worldview between the old and young, was perhaps never greater than during the counterculture era. A large measure of the generational chasm of the 1960s and early 1970s was born of rapidly evolving fashion and hairstyle trends that were readily adopted by the young, but often misunderstood and ridiculed by the old. These included the wearing of very long hair by men, the wearing of natural or "Afro" hairstyles by Blacks, the donning of revealing clothing by women in public, and the mainstreaming of the psychedelic clothing and regalia of the short-lived hippie culture. Ultimately, practical and comfortable casual apparel, namely updated forms of T-shirts (often tie-dyed, or emblazoned with political or advertising statements), and Levi Strauss-branded blue denim jeans became the enduring uniform of the generation. The fashion dominance of the counterculture effectively ended with the rise of the Disco and Punk Rock eras in the later 1970s, even as the global popularity of T-shirts and Levis has continued to grow.
The often violent confrontations between college students (and other activists) and law enforcement officials became one of the hallmarks of the era. Many younger people began to show deep distrust of police, and terms such as "fuzz" and "pig" as derogatory euphemisms for police reappeared, and became key words within the counterculture lexicon. The distrust of police was based not only on fear of police brutality during political protests, but also on generalized police corruption - especially police manufacture of false evidence, and outright entrapment, in drug cases. The social tension between the counterculture and law enforcement reached the breaking point in many notable cases: the Columbia University protests of 1968 in New York City, the 1968 Democratic National Convention protests in Chicago, the arrest and imprisonment of John Sinclair in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and the Kent State shootings at Kent State University in Ohio.
The Vietnam War, and the protracted national divide between supporters and opponents of the war, were arguably the most important factors contributing to the rise of the larger counterculture movement. The widely-accepted assertion that anti-war opinion was predominantly held only among the young is a myth, but enormous war protests consisting of thousands of mostly younger people in every major US city effectively united millions against the war, and against the war policy that prevailed under five congresses and during two presidential administrations. The era essentially commenced in earnest with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It ended with the termination of U.S. combat military involvement in the communist insurgencies of Southeast Asia and the end of the military draft in 1973, and ultimately with the resignation of disgraced President Richard M. Nixon in August, 1974.
Many key movements were born of, or were advanced within, the counterculture of the 1960s. Each movement is relevant to the larger era. The most important stand alone, irrespective of the larger counterculture.
In Europe 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
The counterculture movement took hold in Western Europe, with London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome and West Berlin rivaling San Francisco and New York as counterculture centers. One manifestation of this was the French general strike that took place in Paris in May 1968, which nearly toppled the French government. Another was the German Student Movement of the 1960s.
In Central Europe, young people adopted the song "San Francisco" as an anthem for freedom, and it was widely played during Czechoslovakia's 1968 "Prague Spring", a premature attempt to break away from Soviet repression. In reaction to Israel's Six-Day War, the Kremlin decided to force Jewish minorities in all Soviet-dominated states to emigrate. This resulted in riots in Warsaw, Poland and several other major cities.
As the newly emergent youth class began to criticize the established social order, new theories about cultural and personal identity began to spread, and traditional non-Western ideas - particularly with regard to religion, social organization and spiritual enlightenment - were more frequently embraced.
In Mexico 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
In Mexico, rock music was tied into the youth revolt of the 1960s. Mexico City, as well as northern cities such as Monterrey, Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Juárez, and Tijuana, were exposed to US music. Many Mexican rock stars became involved in the counterculture. The three-day Festival Rock y Ruedas de Avándaro, held in 1971, was organized in the valley of Avándaro near the city of Toluca, a town neighboring Mexico City, and became known as "The Mexican Woodstock". Nudity, drug use, and the presence of the US flag scandalized conservative Mexican society to such an extent that the government clamped down on rock and roll performances for the rest of the decade. The festival, marketed as proof of Mexico's modernization, was never expected to attract the masses it did, and the government had to evacuate stranded attendees en masse at the end. This occurred during the era of President Luis Echeverría, an extremely repressive era in Mexican history. Anything that could possibly be connected to the counterculture or student protests was prohibited from being broadcast on public airwaves, with the government fearing a repeat of the student protests of 1968. Few bands survived the prohibition; though the ones that did, like Three Souls in My Mind (now El Tri), remained popular due in part to their adoption of Spanish for their lyrics, but mostly as a result of a dedicated underground following. While Mexican rock groups were eventually able to perform publicly by the mid-1980s, the ban prohibiting tours of Mexico by foreign acts lasted until 1991.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
Civil Rights Movement 
The US Civil Rights Movement, a key element of the larger Counterculture movement, involved the use of applied nonviolence to assure that equal rights guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution would apply to all citizens. Many states illegally denied many of these rights to African-Americans, and this was successfully addressed in the early and mid-1960s in several major nonviolent movements.
Free Speech Movement 
Much of the 1960s counterculture originated on college campuses. The 1964 Free Speech Movement at the University of California, Berkeley, which had its roots in the Civil Rights Movement of the US South, was one early example. At Berkeley a group of students began to identify themselves as having interests as a class that were at odds with the interests and practices of the University and its corporate sponsors. Other rebellious young people, who were not students, also contributed to the Free Speech Movement.
New Left 
The New Left is a term used in different countries to describe left-wing movements that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s. They differed from earlier leftist movements that had been more oriented towards labour activism, and instead adopted social activism. The U.S. "New Left" is associated with college campus mass protests and radical leftist movements. The British "New Left" was an intellectually driven movement which attempted to correct the perceived errors of "Old Left" parties in the post-World War II period. The movements began to wind down in the 1970s, when activists either committed themselves to party projects, developed social justice organizations, moved into identity politics or alternative lifestyles, or became politically inactive.
Anti-war movement 
In Trafalgar Square, London in 1958, in an act of civil disobedience, 60,000-100,000 protesters made up of students and pacifists converged in what was to become the "ban the Bomb" demonstrations.
Opposition to the Vietnam War began in 1964 on United States college campuses. Student activism became a dominant theme among the baby boomers, growing to include many other demographic groups. Exemptions and deferments for the middle and upper classes resulted in the induction of a disproportionate number of poor, working-class, and minority registrants. Countercultural books such as MacBird by Barbara Garson and much of the counterculture music encouraged a spirit of non-conformism and anti-establishmentarianism. By 1968, the year after a large march National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam|to the United Nations in New York City and a large protest at the Pentagon were undertaken, a majority of people in the country opposed the war.
The role of women as full-time homemakers in industrial society was challenged in 1963, when US feminist Betty Friedan published The Feminine Mystique, giving momentum to the women's movement and influencing what many called Second-wave feminism. Other activists, such as Gloria Steinem and Angela Davis, either organized, influenced, or educated many of a younger generation of women to endorse and expand feminist thought. Feminism gained further currency within the protest movements of the late 1960s, as women in movements such as Students for a Democratic Society rebelled against the "support" role they had been consigned to within the then-male-led New Left, as well as against manifestations and statements of sexism within some radical groups. The 1970 pamphlet Women and Their Bodies, soon expanded into the 1971 book Our Bodies, Ourselves, was particularly influential in bringing about the new feminist consciousness.
The 1960s counterculture embraced a back-to-the-land ethic, and communes of the era often relocated to the country from cities. Influential books of the 1960s included Rachel Carson's Silent Spring and Paul Ehrlich's The Population Bomb. Counterculture environmentalists were quick to grasp the implications of Ehrlich's writings on overpopulation, the Hubbert "peak oil" prediction, and more general concerns over pollution, litter, the environmental effects of the Vietnam War, automobile-dependent lifestyles, and nuclear energy. More broadly they saw that the dilemmas of energy and resource allocation would have implications for geo-politics, lifestyle, environment, and other dimensions of modern life. The "back to nature" theme was already prevalent in the counterculture by the time of the 1969 Woodstock festival, while the first Earth Day in 1970 was significant in bringing environmental concerns to the forefront of youth culture. At the start of the 1970s, counterculture-oriented publications like the Whole Earth Catalog and The Mother Earth News were popular, out of which emerged a back to the land movement. The 1960s and early 1970s counterculture were early adopters of practices such as recycling and organic farming long before they became mainstream. The counterculture interest in ecology progressed well into the 1970s: particularly influential were New Left eco-anarchist Murray Bookchin, Jerry Mander's criticism of the effects of television on society, Ernest Callenbach's novel Ecotopia, Edward Abbey's fiction and non-fiction writings, and E.F. Schumacher's economics book Small is Beautiful.
Gay liberation movement 
The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations against a police raid that took place in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of New York City. This is frequently cited as the first instance in US history when people in the gay community fought back against a government-sponsored system that persecuted sexual minorities, and became the defining event that marked the start of the Gay rights movement in the United States and around the world.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
After the January 14, 1967 Human Be-In in San Francisco organized by artist Michael Bowen, the media's attention on the counterculture was fully activated. In 1967 Scott McKenzie's rendition of the song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)" brought as many as 100,000 young people from all over the world to celebrate San Francisco's "Summer of Love."
While the song had originally been written by John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas to promote the June 1967 Monterey Pop Festival, it became an instant hit worldwide (#4 in the United States, #1 in Europe) and quickly transcended its original purpose.
San Francisco's flower children, also called "hippies" by local newspaper columnist Herb Caen, adopted new styles of dress, experimented with psychedelic drugs, lived communally and developed a vibrant music scene. When people returned home from "The Summer of Love" these styles and behaviors spread quickly from San Francisco and Berkeley to many U.S. and Canadian cities and European capitals. Some hippies formed communes to live as far outside of the established system as possible. This aspect of the counterculture rejected active political engagement with the mainstream and, following the dictate of Timothy Leary to "Turn on, tune in, drop out", hoped to change society by dropping out of it. Looking back on his own life (as a Harvard professor) prior to 1960, Leary interpreted it to have been that of "an anonymous institutional employee who drove to work each morning in a long line of commuter cars and drove home each night and drank martinis .... like several million middle-class, liberal, intellectual robots."
As members of the hippie movement grew older and moderated their lives and their views, and especially after US involvement in the Vietnam War ended in the mid-1970s, the counterculture was largely absorbed by the mainstream, leaving a lasting impact on philosophy, morality, music, art, alternative health and diet, lifestyle and fashion.
Marijuana, LSD, and other recreational drugs 
During the 1960s, this second group of casual LSD users evolved and expanded into a subculture that extolled the mystical and religious symbolism often engendered by the drug's powerful effects, and advocated its use as a method of raising consciousness. The personalities associated with the subculture, gurus such as Dr. Timothy Leary and psychedelic rock musicians such as the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jefferson Airplane and the Beatles soon attracted a great deal of publicity, generating further interest in LSD.
The popularization of LSD outside of the medical world was hastened when individuals such as Ken Kesey participated in drug trials and liked what they saw. Tom Wolfe wrote a widely read account of these early days of LSD's entrance into the non-academic world in his book The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test, which documented the cross-country, acid-fueled voyage of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters on the psychedelic bus "Furthur" and the Pranksters' later 'Acid Test' LSD parties.
In 1965, Sandoz laboratories stopped its still legal shipments of LSD to the United States for research and psychiatric use, after a request from the U.S. government concerned about its use.
Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters 
Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters helped shape the developing character of the 1960s counterculture when they embarked on a cross-country voyage during the summer of 1964 in a psychedelic school bus named "Further." Beginning in 1959, Kesey had volunteered as a research subject for medical trials financed by the CIA's MK ULTRA project. These trials tested the effects of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and other psychedelic drugs. After the medical trials, Kesey continued experimenting on his own, and involved many close friends; collectively they became known as "The Merry Pranksters." The Pranksters visited Harvard LSD proponent Timothy Leary at his Millbrook, New York retreat, and experimentation with LSD and other psychedelic drugs, primarily as a means for internal reflection and personal growth, became a constant during the Prankster trip.
The Pranksters created a direct link between the 1950s Beat Generation and the 1960s psychedelic scene; the bus was driven by Beat icon Neal Cassady, Beat poet Allen Ginsberg was on board for a time, and they dropped in on Cassady's friend, Beat author Jack Kerouac - though Kerouac declined to participate in the Prankster scene. After the Pranksters returned to California, they popularized the use of LSD at so-called "Acid Tests", which initially were held at Kesey's home in La Honda, California, and then at many other West Coast venues.
Other psychedelics 
Experimentation with LSD, Peyote, psilocybin mushrooms, MDA, marijuana, and other psychedelic drugs became a major component of 1960s counterculture, influencing philosophy, art, music and styles of dress. Jim DeRogatis wrote that peyote, a small cactus containing the psychedelic alkaloid mescaline, was widely available in Austin, Texas, a countercultural hub, as early as 1961.
Sexual revolution 
Beginning in San Francisco in the mid-1960s, a new culture of "free love" arose, with millions of young people embracing the hippie ethos and preaching the power of love and the beauty of sex as a natural part of ordinary life. By the start of the 1970s it was acceptable for colleges to allow co-educational housing where male and female students mingled freely. This aspect of the counterculture continues to impact modern society.
Alternative media 
Underground newspapers sprang up in most cities and college towns, serving to define and communicate the range of phenomena that defined the counterculture: radical political opposition to "The Establishment", colorful experimental (and often explicitly drug-influenced) approaches to art, music and cinema, and uninhibited indulgence in sex and drugs as a symbol of freedom. The papers also often included comic strips, from which the underground comix were an outgrowth.
Avant-garde art and anti-art 
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
The Situationist International was a restricted group of international revolutionaries founded in 1957, and which had its peak in its influence on the unprecedented general wildcat strikes of May 1968 in France. With their ideas rooted in Marxism and the 20th-century European artistic avant-gardes, they advocated experiences of life being alternative to those admitted by the capitalist order, for the fulfillment of human primitive desires and the pursuing of a superior passional quality. For this purpose they suggested and experimented with the construction of situations, namely the setting up of environments favorable for the fulfillment of such desires. Using methods drawn from the arts, they developed a series of experimental fields of study for the construction of such situations, like unitary urbanism and psychogeography. They fought against the main obstacle on the fulfillment of such superior passional living, identified by them in advanced capitalism. Their theoretical work peaked on the highly influential book The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord. Debord argued in 1967 that spectacular features like mass media and advertising have a central role in an advanced capitalist society, which is to show a fake reality in order to mask the real capitalist degradation of human life.
Fluxus - a name taken from a Latin word meaning "to flow" - is an international network of artists, composers and designers noted for blending different artistic media and disciplines in the 1960s. They have been active in Neo-Dada noise music, visual art, literature, urban planning, architecture, and design. Fluxus is often described as intermedia, a term coined by Fluxus artist Dick Higgins in a famous 1966 essay. Fluxus encouraged a "do-it-yourself" aesthetic, and valued simplicity over complexity. Like Dada before it, Fluxus included a strong current of anti-commercialism and an anti-art sensibility, disparaging the conventional market-driven art world in favor of an artist-centered creative practice. As Fluxus artist Robert Filliou wrote, however, Fluxus differed from Dada in its richer set of aspirations, and the positive social and communitarian aspirations of Fluxus far outweighed the anti-art tendency that also marked the group.
In the 1960s, the Dada-influenced art group Black Mask declared that revolutionary art should be "an integral part of life, as in primitive society, and not an appendage to wealth." Black Mask disrupted cultural events in New York by giving made up flyers of art events to the homeless with the lure of free drinks. After, the Motherfuckers grew out of a combination of Black Mask and another group called Angry Arts. Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers (often referred to as simply "the Motherfuckers", or UAW/MF) was an anarchist affinity group based in New York City. This "street gang with analysis" was famous for its Lower East Side direct action and is said to have inspired members of the Weather Underground and the Hippies.
During the early 1960s, Britain's new wave of musicians gained popularity and fame in the United States. Artists such as the Beatles paved the way for their compatriots to enter the U.S. market. The Beatles themselves were influenced by many artists, among them US singer/songwriter Bob Dylan, who was a lyrical inspiration as well as their introduction to marijuana. Dylan's early career as a protest singer had been inspired by artists like Pete Seeger and his hero Woody Guthrie. Other folksingers, like Joan Baez and Peter, Paul and Mary, took the songs of the era to new audiences and public recognition.
The music of the 1960s moved towards an electric, psychedelic version of rock, thanks largely to Bob Dylan's decision to play an electric guitar at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. The newly popularized electric sound of rock was then built upon and molded into psychedelic rock by artists like The 13th Floor Elevators and British bands Pink Floyd and the Beatles. The Beach Boys' 1966 album Pet Sounds also paved the way for later hippie acts, with Brian Wilson's writing interpreted as a "plea for love and understanding." Pet Sounds served as a major source of inspiration for other contemporary acts, most notably directly inspiring the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The single Good Vibrations soared to number one globally, completely changing the perception of what a record could be. It was during this period that the highly anticipated album Smile was to be released. However, the project collapsed and The Beach Boys released a downgraded version called Smiley Smile, which failed to make a big commercial impact but was also highly influential, most notably on The Who's Pete Townshend.
The Beatles went on to become the most prominent commercial exponents of the "psychedelic revolution" (e.g., Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour) in the late 1960s. Meanwhile in the United States, bands that exemplified the counterculture were becoming huge commercial and mainstream successes. These included The Mamas & the Papas (If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears), Big Brother and the Holding Company (Cheap Thrills), Jimi Hendrix (Are You Experienced?), Jefferson Airplane (Surrealistic Pillow), The Doors and Sly and the Family Stone (Stand!). Bands and other musicians, such as The Grateful Dead, Phil Ochs, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Melanie, Frank Zappa, Santana, and the Blues Project were considered key to the counterculture movement.
While the hippie scene was born in California, an edgier scene emerged in New York City that put more emphasis on avant-garde and art music. Bands such as The Velvet Underground came out of this underground music scene, which was predominantly centered at Andy Warhol's legendary Factory. The Velvet Underground supplied the music for the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, a series of multimedia events staged by Warhol and his collaborators in 1966 and 1967. The Velvet Underground's lyrics were considered risqué for the era, since they discussed sexual fetishism, transgender identities, and the use of drugs associated with Warhol's Factory and its superstars.
Detroit's MC5 also came out of the underground rock music scene of the late 1960s. They introduced a more aggressive evolution of garage rock which was often fused with sociopolitical and countercultural lyrics of the era, such as in the song "Motor City Is Burning" (a John Lee Hooker cover adapting the story of the Detroit Race Riot of 1943 to the Detroit riot of 1967). MC5 had ties to radical leftist organizations such as "Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers" and John Sinclair's White Panther Party, and MC5 performed a lengthy set before the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, where an infamous riot subsequently broke out between police and students protesting the Vietnam War and the recent assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. MC5, The Stooges and the aforementioned Velvet Underground, are now seen as an influence on the protopunk sound that would lead to punk rock and heavy metal music in the late 1970s.
Another hotbed of the 1960s counterculture was Austin, Texas, with two of the era's legendary music venues-the Vulcan Gas Company and the Armadillo World Headquarters-and musical talent like Janis Joplin, the 13th Floor Elevators, Shiva's Headband, the Conqueroo, and, later, Stevie Ray Vaughan. Austin was also home to a large New Left activist movement, one of the earliest underground papers, The Rag, and cutting edge graphic artists like Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers creator Gilbert Shelton, underground comix pioneer Jack Jackson (Jaxon), and surrealist armadillo artist Jim Franklin.
The 1960s was also an era of rock festivals, which played an important role in spreading the counterculture across the US. The Monterey Pop Festival, which launched Jimi Hendrix' career in the US, was one of the first of these festivals. Britain's 1968-1970 Isle of Wight Festivals drew big names such as The Who, The Doors, Joni Mitchell, Hendrix, Dylan, and others. The 1969 Woodstock Festival in New York state became a symbol of the hippie movement, although the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival drew a larger crowd. However, many felt the era came to an abrupt end with the infamous Altamont Free Concert held by The Rolling Stones in which heavy-handed security from the Hells Angels resulted in the stabbing of an audience member as the show descended into chaos.
As the psychedelic revolution progressed, lyrics grew more complex, (such as Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit"). Long-playing albums enabled artists to make more in-depth statements than could be made in just a single song (such as the Mothers of Invention's satirical Freak Out!). Even the rules governing single songs were stretched, and singles lasting longer than three minutes emerged, such as Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone," Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant," and Iron Butterfly's 17-minute long "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.".
The 1960s saw the protest song gain a sense of political self-importance, with Phil Ochs's "I Ain't Marching Anymore" and Country Joe and the Fish's "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die-Rag" among the many anti-war anthems that were important to the era.
The Counterculture Revolution was affected by cinema. Films like Bonnie and Clyde struck a chord with the youth as "the alienation of the young in the 1960s was comparable to the director's image of the 1930s". Films of this time also focused on the changes happening in the world. Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider (1969) focused on the counterculture of the time. Medium Cool portrayed the 1968 Democratic Convention alongside the 1968 Chicago police riots which has led to it being labeled as "a fusion of cinema-vérité and political radicalism". One film-studio attempt to cash in on the hippie trend was 1968's Psych-Out, which is in contrast to the film version of Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant which some say portrayed the generation as "doomed". The music of the era was represented by films such as 1970s Woodstock, a documentary of the music festival.
In France the New Wave was a blanket term coined by critics for a group of French filmmakers of the late 1950s and 1960s, influenced by Italian Neorealism and classical Hollywood cinema. Although never a formally organized movement, the New Wave filmmakers were linked by their self-conscious rejection of classical cinematic form and their spirit of youthful iconoclasm and is an example of European art cinema. Many also engaged in their work with the social and political upheavals of the era, making their radical experiments with editing, visual style and narrative part of a general break with the conservative paradigm.
||This section needs additional citations for verification. (April 2012)|
In his 1986 essay "From Satori to Silicon Valley", cultural historian Theodore Roszak pointed out that Apple Computer emerged from within the West Coast counterculture. Roszak outlines the Apple computer's development, and the evolution of 'the two Steves' (Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, the Apple's developers) into businessmen. Like them, many early computing and networking pioneers - after discovering LSD and roaming the campuses of UC Berkeley, Stanford, and MIT in the late 1960s and early 1970s - would emerge from this caste of social "misfits" to shape the modern world.
The legacy of the Counterculture is still actively contested in debates that are sometimes framed, in the U.S., in terms of a "culture war". Jay Walljasper, a commentator and the editor of Utne Reader - though not himself from the so-called '60s Generation - has written: "From the great gyrations of the counterculture would come a movement dedicated to the greening of the US. While many once-ardent advocates of radical ideas now live in the suburbs and vote Republican, others have held fast to the dream of creating a new kind of US society and they've been joined by fresh streams of younger idealists."[this quote needs a citation] In the UK, commentator Peter Hitchens identifies the Counterculture as one of the contributing factors to what he sees as the current malaise in British politics.
Key figures 
The following people are well known for their involvement in 1960s era counterculture. Some are key incidental or contextual figures, such as Beat Generation figures who also participated directly in the later counterculture era (see also: Inspirations and influences of the New Left, Key figures of the New Left). Although many of the people listed below were civil rights activists, those figures whose primary notability was within the realm of the civil rights movement are not listed here (see: List of civil rights leaders).
- Saul Alinsky (author, activist)
- Bill Ayers (activist, professor)
- Joan Baez (musician, activist)
- Sonny Barger (Hell's Angel)
- Walter Bowart (newspaper publisher)
- Stewart Brand (environmentalist, author)
- Lenny Bruce (comedian, social critic)
- George Carlin (comedian, social critic)
- Rachel Carson (author, environmentalist)
- Neal Cassady (literary inspiration)
- Cheech & Chong (comedians, social critics)
- Peter Coyote (Digger, actor)
- David Dellinger (pacifist, activist)
- Angela Davis (communist, activist)
- Rennie Davis (activist, community organizer)
- Bob Dylan (musician)
- Daniel Ellsburg (whistleblower)
- Betty Friedan (feminist, author)
- Jane Fonda (actress, activist)
- Jerry Garcia (musician)
- Stephen Gaskin (author, activist, hippie)
- Allen Ginsburg (beat poet, activist)
- Dick Gregory (comedian, social critic, author, activist)
- Paul Goodman (sociologist, poet, pacifist)
- Wavy Gravy (hippie, activist)
- Hugh Hefner (publisher)
- Alan Haber (activist)
- Tom Hayden (activist, politician)
- Abbie Hoffman (Yippie, author)
- Jack Kerouac (author)
- Ken Kesey (author, Merry Prankster)
- Paul Krassner (author)
- William Kunstler (attorney, activist)
- Timothy Leary (professor, LSD advocate)
- John Lennon and Yoko Ono (musicians, artists, activists)
- Eugene McCarthy (anti-war politician)
- Michael McClure (poet)
- Madalyn Murray O'Hair (atheist, activist)
- Ralph Nader (consumer advocate, author)
- Richard Pryor (comedian, social critic)
- Jerry Rubin (Yippie, activist)
- Mark Rudd (activist)
- Mario Savio (free speech/student rights activist)
- John Searle (professor, free speech advocate)
- Pete Seeger (musician, activist)
- John Sinclair (poet, activist)
- Gary Snyder (poet, writer, environmentalist)
- Smothers Brothers (musicians, TV performers, activists)
- Owsley Stanley (drug culture chemist)
- Gloria Steinem (feminist, publisher)
- Hunter S. Thompson (journalist, author)
- Andy Warhol (artist)
Chronology of events and milestones 
- Dr. Albert Hofmann identifies, synthesizes, and tests LSD in his Sandoz laboratory in Basel, Switzerland
- July 16: The first atomic bomb is successfully detonated by civilian scientists and engineers under the direction of the United States Army near Alamagordo, New Mexico.
- August 6 & 9. The U.S. drops atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. World War II in the Pacific ends soon after, and much of the world is divided into an Eastern Bloc and a Western Bloc, setting the stage for the Cold War and eventual massive nuclear weapons build-ups by the US, the USSR, and their respective allies.
- Hollywood writers, directors, and performers become subject to "blacklisting" by the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee.
- Jack Kerouac first uses the term Beat Generation in reference to the nascent intellectual culture that would ultimately give way to the so-called counterculture.
- August 29: The USSR detonates its first atomic bomb with essential aid of atomic spies from the U.S., Great Britain, and Canada. The Cold War has commenced in earnest.
- The first U.S. military advisors arrive in South Vietnam.
- April 13: Project MKULTRA, the CIA's mind control research program which grew to include testing LSD on both volunteer and unsuspecting subjects into the 1960s, commences.
- June 19: Julius & Ethel Rosenberg are executed at Sing Sing Prison, NY, after conviction on espionage charges for their role in the communist spy ring which gave the USSR the atomic bomb and thereby initiated the nuclear arms race.
- December: Marilyn Monroe centerfold: the first issue of Playboy Magazine appears. Publisher Hugh Hefner becomes an early player in the coming Sexual Revolution.
- April 27: The Geneva Accords grant flawed independence to French Indochina, establishing Vietnam as a unified, independent nation in name only. The U.S. is not a signatory to the treaty. The French are officially out of Southeast Asia, leaving a people, and a raging civil war, behind.
- February: The Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO) is formally activated, nominally obligating the U.S. to intervene in case of military conflagration in the region.
- August: The FBI's COINTELPRO domestic counterintelligence program commences. It is initially directed against stateside communist activities.
- British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond coins the word psychedelic from the Greek psyche "mind" and delos "manifest", intended as an alternative to "hallucinogenic" in LSD parlance.
- November 15: Albert Schweitzer, Coretta Scott King, and Benjamin Spock post an ad in the New York Times calling for an end to the nuclear arms race. SANE is later formed.
- February 17: The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is inaugurated in London, introducing the "Peace symbol" from the letters CnD.
- April 2: Herb Caen of the San Francisco Chronicle coins the term beatnik to refer to afficionadoes of the Beat Generation.
- SANE claims 25,000 members, including many celebrities, in 130 chapters.
- The New Left SLATE student political party is formed at the University of California-Berkeley.
- Eisenhower is the first U.S. President to ask a joint session of Congress to pass the long-debated Equal Rights Amendment.
- September 29: Beatnik goes TV: The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis debuts, featuring Bob Denver as "beat" character Maynard G. Krebs.
- Appearance of comedy record How to Speak Hip, laying down the lingo for a generation.
- Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) hold their first meeting as an independent organization in Ann Arbor, MI.
- A "beatnik" community in Cornwall, UK (including a young Wizz Jones) noted for wearing their hair past their shoulders is interviewed by Alan Whicker for BBC TV.
- Professor Timothy Leary begins experimenting with hallucinogens at Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
- February 1: First of the Greensboro sit-ins sparks a wave of sit-in protests against segregation at lunch counter restaurants across the South.
- March 26: Governor Buford Ellington of Tennessee orders an investigation into a CBS news crew for filming a Nashville sit-in.
- May: SANE holds an anti-arms race rally at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY. 20,000 attend.
- May: NASA & President Dwight D. Eisenhower deceive the US public concerning the U-2 Incident.
- May 13: Police using firehoses force students out of a HUAC meeting in San Francisco.
- November 8: John F. Kennedy is elected 35th President of the U.S., defeating Vice President Richard. M. Nixon in the closest election in U.S. history to date.
- December: The U.S. Food & Drug Administration approves the use of the first reliable form of birth control: a 99%-effective pill. The Sexual Revolution begins.
- January 17: President Eisenhower gives his farewell address to the nation, and uses much of his time to warn of the undue influence of the "Military Industrial Complex."
- March 1: The Peace Corps is created by President Kennedy.
- March 28: President Kennedy cancels the USAF B-70 Bomber program in the first significant rollback of the nuclear arms race.
- April 17: A CIA-led invasion force intent on the overthrow of Fidel Castro lands at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba. Anti-Castro Cuban expatriates and CIA mercenaries are overtaken and captured by Cuban forces after President Kennedy denies U.S. air support at the last minute.
- May 4: First Freedom riders - civil rights activists who traveled on public buses and trains across the south to challenge segregated seating.
- November 14: US military "advisors" in Vietnam increased from 1000 to 16,000.
- January 18: US military begins spraying herbicides onto the Vietnamese jungle.
- February 4: US helicopters assist the South Vietnamese army in the capture of Hung My.
- February 26: Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister warns the UN that the US could be getting "bogged down" in Vietnam.
- March 9: US confirms it is flying missions in Vietnam.
- March 16: US Defense Secretary Robert McNamara reveals that US troops in Vietnam have engaged in ground combat.
- March 19: Bob Dylan's first album Bob Dylan is released. It reaches #13 in the U.K., but does not chart on the Billboard 200 in the U.S.
- March 31: Cesar Chavez begins organizing migrant farm workers in California.
- June 15: The SDS completes the Port Huron Statement.
- July-August: Dr. King's Albany Movement civil rights protest against segregation is active in Albany, GA.
- September 27: Rachel Carson's Silent Spring is published.
- October 5: the Beatles release the single "Love Me Do" in the UK, propelling them to instant fame in that country.
- October: The Cuban Missile Crisis brings the world to the brink of nuclear war after the USSR attempts to station nuclear missiles in Cuba, thereby directly threatening the U.S.
- Seven Days in May, a novel depicting a foiled military coup in the U.S., is published. The story would hit movie screens in 1964.
- Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique is published. The modern feminist movement is born.
- April: Chandler Laughlin organizes a Native American Church peyote ceremony; precursor to The Red Dog Experience.
- April-May: Birmingham Campaign: Teen and pre-teen Civil Rights activists trained by James Bevel are attacked by police in Birmingham, Alabama. Similar events occur at various locations all across the deep south throughout the spring and summer.
- May: The first organized Vietnam War protests occur in England and Australia.
- June 12: NAACP Field Secretary Medgar Evers is assassinated in Jackson, MS.
- June 17: The U.S. Supreme Court rules public school-sponsored Bible reading unconstitutional.
- July 26-28: The Newport Folk Festival features Bob Dylan, and fellow protest singers Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, and Phil Ochs.
- August 28: Martin Luther King, Jr. first gives his landmark "I Have a Dream" speech before a rally of 200,000 on the Mall in Washington, DC.
- September 24: The U.S. Senate ratifies The Partial Test Ban Treaty as signed by the U.S. & the Soviet Union, ending atmospheric nuclear weapons testing by the superpowers.
- September 26: The U.S. Senate debates a report that folk music is being infiltrated by Communism. Two Senators speak and conclude it is All-American, dismissing the report.
- October 27: 225,000 students in Chicago schools boycott classes in protest of segregation.
- November 2: South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem is assassinated in Saigon.
- November 22: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas, TX. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson is sworn in as 36th President of the U.S.
- November 24: Suspected JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald is himself murdered by Jack Ruby under lax police security in Dallas, thereby creating doubt amongst many, and opening the door to myriad conspiracy theories concerning the Kennedy Assassination and the veracity of later government findings.
- January: The Holy Modal Rounders' version of "Hesitation Blues" marks the first reference to the term psychedelic in music.
- January 8: President Johnson's State of the Union Address features a declaration of "war on poverty".
- January 27: Defense Secretary Robert McNamara states that there are now 15,000 US troops in South Vietnam, and that most will be withdrawn by the end of 1965.
- February 1: The Beatles achieve their first hit #1 on Billboard with "I Want to Hold Your Hand".
- February 7: The Beatles make their first U.S. visit and appear on The Ed Sullivan Show. The telecast is seen by over 73 million, the largest TV audience to date in the U.S.
- February 21-24: Students at Maryland State College protesting a segregated restaurant are fought by police.
- February 25-26: Tens of thousands of school students in Boston and Chicago skip classes in protest of segregation.
- March 16: 25% of school students in New York City strike to protest segregation.
- April 20: 86% of black students in Cleveland boycott classes to protest segregation.
- May: Appearance of the Faire Free Press (later the Los Angeles Free Press), earliest of many "underground" U.S. newspapers of the counterculture era.
- May 7: President Johnson first refers to "the Great Society" in a speech in Athens, OH.
- May 12: The first public draft-card burning is reported in New York City.
- June 14: Ken Kesey and the drug-drenched Merry Pranksters depart California in the repurposed school bus "Further" en route to the 1964 World's Fair in Queens, NY.
- July 2: The Civil Rights Act is signed by President Johnson. Racial segregation in public places and race-based employment discrimination are now banned under federal law.
- July 18-21: Rioting in New York City; one killed.
- July 24-26: Rioting in Rochester, NY; four killed.
- July: The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopts radio non-duplication rules: FM must broadcast original content, not simply simulcasts of AM sister stations.
- August: Smaller riots in New Jersey and Philadelphia.
- August 2: War Dance: the spurious Gulf of Tonkin Incidents off the coast of Vietnam lead to the nearly-unanimous passage of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution by the U.S. Congress on August 7, giving the president unprecedented broad authority to engage in full "conventional" military escalation in Southeast Asia without a formal declaration of war.
- October 1: The Free Speech Movement begins with a student sit-in at the University of California-Berkeley.
- October 14: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wins the Nobel Peace Prize.
- November 3: Sitting President Lyndon B. Johnson is elected President of the U.S. in his own right, defeating Republican Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater in a landslide.
- November 4: Comedian Lenny Bruce is convicted on obscenity charges in New York City.
- December 2: In a famous speech during a sit-in, Berkeley student Mario Savio tells supporters of the Free Speech Movement to "put your bodies upon the gears".
- February 8: Aerial bombings of North Vietnam by the U.S. commence.
- February 9-15: Thousands demonstrate against the US attack on North Vietnam at the US Embassies in Moscow, Budapest, Jakarta, and Sofia.
- February 21: Malcolm X is assassinated in New York City.
- March 6: Regular U.S. troops engage in combat in Vietnam for the first time.
- March 7-25: SCLC stages the watershed Selma to Montgomery marches.
- March 24-25: The first major "Teach-in" is held by the SDS in Ann Arbor, MI. 3000 attend.
- March 27: Beatles John Lennon and George Harrison are given LSD without their knowledge by their UK dentist at a dinner party.
- March 30: Owsley Stanley begins manufacturing "White Lightning" LSD in large quantities for sale as a recreational drug.
- April: U.S. combat troops in Vietnam total 25,000.
- April 17: The first major anti-Vietnam War rally in the U.S. is organized by the SDS in Washington, DC. 25,000 attend. Joan Baez, Judy Collins, and Phil Ochs perform.
- May 17: Hunter S. Thompson's article The Motorcycle Gangs: Losers and Outsiders appears in The Nation. A book soon follows.
- May: Draft card burnings take place at University of California, Berkeley, a coffin is marched to the Berkeley draft board, and President Johnson is hanged in effigy. Jerry Rubin forms the Vietnam Day Committee with Abbie Hoffman and others during these events.
- June-August: Red Dog Experience comes into full flower at Virginia City, Nevada's Red Dog Saloon - full-fledged "hippie" identity takes shape.
- June 11: Alan Ginsberg reads at the International Poetry Incarnation in London, considered the birth of the UK Underground.
- June 11: The Beatles are awarded as Members of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) by the Queen for their contributions to British commerce.
- July 25: Bob Dylan "goes electric" and is booed at the Newport Folk Festival.
- July 30: Medicare is signed into law in the U.S. Senior citizens now have a healthcare safety net.
- August 6: The Voting Rights Act is signed into law in the U.S. Poll taxes, and other local schemes to prevent voting by blacks are now banned under federal law.
- August 11: 6 days of massive race riots erupt in the Watts section of Los Angeles: 35 dead, 1000 buildings damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile, smaller riots occur in Chicago.
- August 31: The ban on the burning of draft cards is signed into law in the U.S.
- September 5: The word Hippie is used in print by San Francisco writer Michael Fallon, helping popularise use of the term in the media.
- September 25: Debut of The Beatles Saturday morning cartoon series.
- September 25: Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" becomes the first protest song to hit #1 in the charts, while drawing heavy criticism and being banned by many stations.
- September: Clarion call California Dreamin' is first released by The Mamas and the Papas.
- October: The Yardbirds featuring Jeff Beck release the B-side Still I'm Sad. Psychedelic music first makes the charts.
- October 15-16: Vietnam War protests in cities across U.S. draw 100,000.
- October 16: "A Tribute to Dr. Strange": 1,000 original San Francisco "hippies" first party en masse at Longshoreman's Hall. Owsley's "White Lightning" acid is available to all.
- November 2: Quaker leader Norman Morrison self-immolates at the Pentagon to protest the war.
- November 9: Catholic activist Roger Allen LaPorte self-immolates at the UN building in New York City.
- November 20: 8000 antiwar protesters march from Berkeley to Oakland in CA.
- November 27: Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters hold the first "Acid Test" at Soquel, CA.
- November 27: Up to 35,000 antiwar protesters march on the White House.
- December 3: The Beatles' Rubber Soul is released in the U.K. with a visually distorted image of the group on the cover.
- December 25: Timothy Leary is arrested for drug possession at the Mexican border.
- December: The Pretty Things release Get the Picture? The album includes a song entitled L.S.D.
- The East Village Other begins publication in New York City.
- Early commune Drop City is founded in Colorado.
- Resurgence magazine first published in UK. Contributors have included E.F. Schumacher, Ivan Illich, R. D. Laing and The Dalai Lama.
- January 21-23: Family Dog "Trips Festival" attended by 10,000 in San Francisco.
- March 11: Timothy Leary is sentenced to 30 years on his 1965 border drug offense.
- March 14: The Byrd's Eight Miles High is released. The psychedelic 12-string-guitar anthem is briefly banned on radio due to perceived drug-culture subject matter.
- March 16: Twelve Australians burn their draft cards at a Sydney rally against Australia's participation in Vietnam.
- March 25-27: Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations take place in many cities across the US and around the world.
- April 5: US Food and Drug Administration warns about the danger of LSD in a letter to 2000 universities.
- April 7: Sandoz, the sole legitimate manufacturer of pharmaceutical-grade LSD, stops supplying the drug to researchers.
- April 17: Timothy Leary is arrested for possession of marijuana.
- May 7: Psychedelic bellwether "Paint it Black" is released by the Rolling Stones.
- May 12: Students take over administration building at the University of Chicago to protest the draft.
- May 15: 10,000 antiwar protesters picket the White House.
- May 18: 10,000 students rally against draft at University of Wisconsin.
- May 30: John Lennon's "Rain" is released as the B-side of Paul McCartney's hit single Paperback Writer.
- June 4: The New York Times publishes a petition to end the Vietnam War, with 6400 signatures including many prominent scholars and clergy.
- June 27: Psychedelic concept album Freak Out! is released by Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention
- June 30: The National Organization of Women (NOW) is founded in Washington, DC.
- July: Beatle backlash: U.S. Bible Belt DJs incite thousands to burn Beatle records after the viral spread of John Lennon's misunderstood "we're more popular than Jesus" comment.
- July: Donovan's Sunshine Superman contains the first open reference to LSD "tripping" in a chart-topping song.
- July-September: Riots break out throughout the summer in several US cities, with deaths in Chicago and Cleveland (July), Waukegan IL and Benton Harbour MI (August), and damage in many other cities.
- August 3: Lenny Bruce is found dead at age 40 from a morphine overdose in Los Angeles.
- August 5: Revolver is released by the Beatles, and includes John Lennon's groundbreaking psychedelic track "Tomorrow Never Knows".
- September 12: US TV's response to the Beatles The Monkees debuts on NBC.
- September 19: Timothy Leary begins his "Turn on, tune in, drop out" crusade in New York City, founding the LSD religion "League for Spiritual Discovery.
- October 6: LSD is banned in the U.S. The events surrounding the ban are portrayed on U.S. TV the following Jan. 12 in the debut episode of the police drama Dragnet '67.
- October 6: Love Pageant Rally protest held in San Francisco.
- October 10: The Beach Boys release Brian Wilson's psychedelic tour de force Good Vibrations.
- October 15: The Black Panther Party is established in Oakland, CA.
- December 8: MGM releases the British film Blow-Up without approval of the movie ratings group MPAA, signalling the beginning of the end of enforcement of the Hays Code.
- January: The "Human Be-In" is held in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. 20,000 attend.
- February: Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane is released with images of hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms visible on the album cover.
- February: Quagmire: Noam Chomsky's anti-Vietnam essay The Responsibility of Intellectuals is published in the The New York Review of Books.
- February 5: The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour debuts on CBS and soon pushes the boundaries of acceptable TV content to the limit.
- February 13: The Beatles issue Lennon's Strawberry Fields Forever as B-side to Paul's hit Penny Lane. "Cranberry sauce" is heard after the song fades-out. Or is it "I buried Paul"?
- February 22: MacBird! opens in New York. It compares Johnson to Macbeth, who caused the death of his predecessor. The play runs for 386 performances through March, 1968.
- March 26: 10,000 attend the New York City "Be-In" in Central Park.
- March 31: Life Magazine publishes an editorial opining that "the hour of the hippie... is coming."
- April 4: Dr. King calls on young men to register as conscientious objectors in opposition to the war.
- April 7: The cover of Time Magazine features the birth control pill.
- April 8-10: Race riots break out in Nashville.
- April 15: An estimated 400,000 protest the escalating Vietnam War in NYC, marching from Central Park to UN Headquarters. Demonstrators also march in San Francisco.
- April 28: Boxing Champ Muhammad Ali refuses induction into the U.S. Army in Houston, Texas, on the grounds that he is a conscientious objector to the war in Vietnam.
- May 2: Armed Black Panthers led by Bobby Seale enter the California State Assembly, protesting a bill to outlaw open carry of loaded firearms. Seale and five others are arrested.
- May 5: Mr. Natural, the soon to be ubiquitous underground comix counterculture icon, makes his first appearance in the premiere issue of Yarrowstalks.
- May 10: Rolling Stone Brian Jones is arrested for drug possession. He is later fined, given probation, and ordered to see a counselor.
- May 11: Police fire on student protesters at Jackson State College, MS, killing one.
- May 16: Student confrontation with police at Texas Southern University; one killed.
- May 20-21: The Spring Mobilization Conference is held in Washington, D.C. 700 anti-war activists gather to discuss the April 15 protests, and to plan future demonstrations.
- June: The "Summer of Love" in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco and recognition of the Hippie movement. Runaways inundate; TV crews visit; Gray Line sells bus tours.
- June: Vietnam Veterans Against the War is formed.
- June 1: the Beatles' Sgt Pepper is released and is widely recognised as the high water mark of the brief psychedelic music era.
- June-July: Deaths, property damage, injuries, and arrests follow U.S. race riots in Tampa, Rochester, Brooklyn, Chicago, and Grand Rapids.
- June 16-18: The Monterey Pop Festival in California draws 200,000 and is the first large extended festival of the rock era. Jimi Hendrix returns from UK and makes U.S. "debut."
- June 20: Muhammad Ali is found guilty of draft evasion. The US Supreme Court eventually hears Ali's legal appeal.
- June 30: US military forces in Vietnam total 448,000.
- July 7: The cover of Time features hippies.
- July 12-17: Rioting in Newark, NJ with 24 deaths.
- July 23-27: The worst riots of the century to date erupt in Detroit, MI: 43 deaths, 467 injuries, over 7,200 arrests, and the burning of over 2,000 buildings to the ground.
- July 30-August 3: Four are killed in Milwaukee rioting.
- August 22: Look Magazine runs a cover story on "The Hippies".
- September: "Guerrilla theater" group The Diggers stages the "Death of Hippie" in San Francisco.
- October 9: Che Guevara is executed in Bolivia.
- October 17: Anti-war demonstrators stage a sit-in at the U.S. Army Induction Center in Oakland, CA. They are charged with sedition.
- October 17: The rock musical Hair, featuring controversial full frontal nudity, premieres off-Broadway in New York City. The play becomes a Broadway smash in 1968.
- October 19: Thousands of students clash with police at Brooklyn College in New York after two military recruiters appear on campus. Students strike the following day.
- October 20-21: 70,000 protest war in Washington, DC: Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman and others attempt, but fail to levitate the Pentagon.
- October 27: "Baltimore Four": Catholic priest Philip Berrigan and a Protestant minister are jalied after pouring blood on draft files in the SSS office, protesting bloodshed in Vietnam.
- October 28: Black Panther leader Huey Newton is captured by Oakland police; one person killed in the shootout.
- November 9: The first issue Rolling Stone Magazine features a photo of John Lennon from the film How I Won The War.
- November 20: Police using teargas charge a large student demonstration against recruiters for Dow Chemical (napalm manufacturer) at San Jose State College.
- November 24: The Beatles release John Lennon's psychedelic coda, I Am the Walrus. The album Magical Mystery Tour arrives November 27.
- December 4-8: Antiwar groups all across the US attempt to shut down draft board centers; Dr. Benjamin Spock and poet Allen Ginsburg are among the 585 arrested.
- December 22: Owsley Stanley is found in possession of 350,000 doses of LSD and 1,500 doses of STP, arrested, and sentenced to 3 years.
- December 31: The term "Yippie" is coined by Jerry Rubin, Abbie Hoffman, Dick Gregory, Paul Krassner and others. The Youth International Party is formed the following month.
- December: The Moody Blues' masterpiece Days of Future Passed, featuring psychedelic themes and the London Festival Orchestra, is released.
- December: U.S. troops in Vietnam total 486,000. U.S. war dead total 15,000.
- Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is published.
- January: Owsley-inspired breakthrough Heavy Metal band Blue Cheer release Vincebus Eruptum, including a hit version of Summertime Blues.
- January 31: The Tet Offensive is launched by the NVA and Vietcong. Western forces are victorious on the battlefield, but not in the press.
- February 1: WABX-FM in Detroit changes format. Music playlists are now chosen by local DJs, not record companies. The Progressive Rock format soon spreads nationwide.
- February 3: Psychedelic pop hit "Green Tambourine" by the Lemon Pipers reaches Billboard's #1, and spawning the bubblegum pop industry.
- February 8: Police fire on and kill 3 blacks protesting segregation at a South Carolina bowling alley, in what is known as the Orangeburg massacre.
- February 15: The Beatles begin to arrive in Rishikesh, India, for Transcendental Meditation training with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, amid widespread publicity.
- February 27: CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite (the "most trusted man in America") publicly expresses personal doubts regarding the possibility of military victory in Vietnam.
- February 29: Kerner Report: The Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders is released after seven months of investigation into urban rioting.
- March 16: My Lai Massacre in Vietnam. Apparent wanton rape and murder of innocents by US GIs creates enormous new antiwar outcry when news leaks in 1969.
- March 17: London police stop 10,000 anti-war marchers from storming the U.S. Embassy.
- March 18: Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a long-time supporter of U.S. policy in Vietnam, speaks out against the war for the first time, and announces his candidacy for President.
- March 21: 3,000 "Yippies" take over Grand Central Station in New York City, staging a "Yip-In" ultimately resulting in 61 arrests.
- Spring: Appearance of "Nanny Goat" by Larry Marshall, widely credited as the first genuine reggae song. The new sound quickly takes off in Jamaica, the UK and the US by the end of the year, with reggae hits even by US and British performers: Johnny Nash's "Hold Me Tight" in October, and the Beatles' "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" in November.
- March 31: President Johnson addresses the US public about Vietnam on TV, and shocks the nation with his closing remark that he will not seek a second term as President.
- March-May: Columbia University protests, New York, NY. Up Against the Wall Motherfuckers becomes a protest slogan at this time, as well as the name of a radical activist group.
- April: The U.S. Department of Defense begins calling-up reservists for duty in Vietnam.
- April: The U.S. Bureau of Narcotics (from Treasury) and Bureau of Drug Abuse Control (from the Food and Drug Administration) merge, substantially ramping-up anti-drug efforts.
- April 4: Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, TN. James Earl Ray is soon arrested for the murder. The King family later expresses complete doubt as to Ray's guilt. Violence erupts in cities across the US, with federal troops or national guard sent to Washington (Apr. 5), Chicago and Baltimore (Apr. 6).
- April 5: A Yippie plot to disrupt the upcoming August Democratic Convention in Chicago is published in Time.
- April 14: The Easter Sunday "Love-In" is held in Malibu Canyon, CA
- April 27: Antiwar protesters march in several US cities including 87,000 in Central Park, NYC.
- May: The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers first appear in The Rag, an Austin TX underground paper.
- May 2: Student protests erupt in France, which spread, escalate and lead to a general strike and widespread unrest during May and June, bringing the country to a virtual standstill.
- May 10: The Paris Peace Talks commence in France. The war in Southeast Asia is the subject of the negotiations.
- May 12: Dr. King's Poor People's Campaign establishes "Resurrection City", a shanty town on the National Mall in Washington D.C., with around 5,000 protesters.
- May 17: Catonsville Nine: Catholic priests opposed to the war destroy draft records in a Maryland draft office.
- May 24-27: Three killed in Louisburg, Ky. rioting.
- June 3: Andy Warhol is shot and wounded by Valerie Solanas.
- June 5: Senator Robert Kennedy, winner of the California primary, and presumed presidential front-runner, is assassinated in Los Angeles. RFK dies June 6.
- June 19: "Solidarity Day" protest at Resurrection City draws 55,000 participants.
- June 24: Remnants of "Resurrection City", with only about 300 protesters still remaining, razed by riot police.
- July 17: The Beatles' psychedelic animated film Yellow Submarine is released in the UK; November 13 in the US.
- July 28-30: U.Cal. Berkeley campus shut down by protests.
- August 25-29: The Democratic National Convention is held in Chicago. The proceedings are overshadowed by massive anti-Administration protests from the Yippies and flagrant police brutality. On the third night, police indiscriminately attack protesters and bystanders, including journalists such as Mike Wallace, Dan Rather and Hugh Hefner; this marks a turning point for the media resulting in less sympathetic depictions of the old establishment.
- August 31: First Isle of Wight Festival featuring Jefferson Airplane, Arthur Brown, The Move, Tyrannosaurus Rex and The Pretty Things.
- September 7: At the Miss America protest, feminists demonstrate against what they call "The Degrading Mindless-Boob-Girlie Symbol", filling a "freedom trash can" with items including mops, pots and pans, Cosmopolitan and Playboy magazines, false eyelashes, high-heeled shoes, curlers, hairspray, makeup, girdles, corsets, and bras.
- September 28: 10,000 in Chicago protest on one month anniversary of convention violence.
- Fall: Stewart Brand begins publication of The Whole Earth Catalog
- October 27: 50,000 march in London against the Vietnam war.
- November 1: Johnson orders halt to aerial bombing of North Vietnam
- November 5: Richard M. Nixon defeats Senator Hubert Humphrey in a close race to become the 37th President of the United States.
- November 6: Students demanding minority studies courses strike at San Francisco State College, where demonstrations and clashes occur through December.
- November 22: The Beatles' White Album is released. The band's hair is very long, and the musical content is not psychedelic. Sales are phenomenal.
- December 24: Earthrise, a photograph of the Earth, is taken from Moon orbit. "The most influential environmental photograph ever taken."
- January 8-18: Students at Brandeis University take over Ford and Sydeman Halls, demanding creation of an Afro-American Dept., which is approved by the University on April 24.
- January 12: 5,000 students protesting discrimination in London clash with police.
- January 29: Sir George Williams Computer Riot in Montreal is the largest student campus occupation in Canadian history.
- January 30-February 15: Administration building of University of Chicago taken over by around 400 student protesters in a "sit-in".
- February 13: National Guard with teargas and riot sticks crush a pro-black demonstration at University of Wisconsin
- February 16: After 3 days of clashes between police and Duke University students, the school agrees to establish a Black Studies program.
- March 22: President Nixon condemns trend of campus takeovers and violence.
- March 25 - 31: Following their wedding at Gibraltar, John Lennon & Yoko Ono hold a "Bed-In" peace event in Amsterdam.
- April: U.S. troop strength in Vietnam peaks at 543,000.
- April 3-4: National Guard called into Chicago, and Memphis placed on curfew on anniversary of Dr. King's assassination.
- April 9: 300 students "sit-in" at offices of Harvard protesting the ROTC. 400 police restore order April 10. The college makes ROTC extracurricular April 19.
- April 19: Armed black students take over Willard Straight Hall at Cornell. The University accedes to their demands the following day, promising an Afro-American studies program.
- April 25-28: Activist students takeover Merrill House at Colgate University demanding Afro-American studies programs.
- May 7: Students at Howard University occupy 8 buildings. They are cleared by U.S. Marshals May 9.
- May 8: City College of New York closes following a 14-day long student takeover demanding minority studies; riots among students break out when CCNY tries to reopen.
- May 9-11: 3000 college students flock to the "Zip to Zap" event in rural North Dakota, degenerating into a riot dispersed by the National Guard.
- May 15: Bloody Thursday: Alameda County Sheriffs sent in by governor Ronald Reagan to eject flower children from People's Park in Berkeley, CA open fire with buckshot-loaded shotguns, mortally wounding student James Rector, permanently blinding carpenter Alan Blanchard, and inflicting lesser wounds on hundreds of other Berkeley residents.
- May 21-25: 1969 Greensboro uprising: student protesters battle police for five days on campus of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; one student killed May 22. National Guard assault the campus using teargas, even dropping it by helicopter.
- May 26-June 2: Celebrities gather as John & Yoko conduct their second Bed-In in Montreal, where the anti-war anthem "Give Peace a Chance" is recorded live.
- June 18: SDS convenes in Chicago; they oust the Progressive Labour faction June 28, which sets up its own rival convention.
- June 28: The Stonewall Riots in New York City are the first major gay-rights uprisings in the U.S.
- July 3: Brian Jones, founder of the Rolling Stones, dies "by misadventure" in his swimming pool in East Sussex, UK, under mysterious circumstances at age 27.
- July 14: The low-budget film Easy Rider is released and becomes a de facto cultural landmark. The film's success helps open doors for independent film makers of the 1970s.
- July 15: Cover story on LOOK: "How Hippies Raise their Children."
- July 18: The cover of LIFE Magazine features "hippie communes."
- July 20: Apollo 11 lands. Humans walk on the moon. A tablet with the inscription "We Came in Peace for All Mankind" is left on the lunar surface.
- August 9-10: Cult members acting under direction of Charles Manson embark on a 2-day killing spree in California, shocking the nation.
- August 15-17: The 3-Day Woodstock festival is attended by an estimated total of 300,000-500,000 people, and becomes the watershed music event in counterculture history.
- August 19: Immediately following Woodstock, David Crosby, Stephen Stills, Joni Mitchell and Jefferson Airplane appear on the Dick Cavett Show. The latter's use of the slogan "Up against the wall, motherfuckers!" in the lyrics for "We Can Be Together" slips past the censors and is played on national television.
- August 30-31: Second Isle of Wight Festival attracts 150,000 people to see acts including Bob Dylan and The Band, The Who, Free, Joe Cocker and The Moody Blues
- September: First U.S. issue of Penthouse Magazine is published by Robert Guccione.
- September 1-2: Race rioting in Hartford, CT and Camden, NJ.
- September 6: First broadcast of H.R. Pufnstuf.
- September 24: The Chicago Eight trial commences. Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, et al., face charges including conspiracy to incite riots at the 1968 DNC Convention. They become the Chicago Seven November 5 after defendant Bobby Seale is bound, gagged, and severed from the proceedings.
- October 8-10: Elements of the Weather Underground and SDS stage the Days of Rage in Chicago.
- October 15: Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam: massive anti-war demonstrations across the U.S. and world.
- November 13: Vice President Agnew publicly criticizes the three mainstream television networks for their lack of favorable coverage.
- November 15: Moratorium redux: over 500,000 march in Washington, DC. It is the largest anti-war demonstration in U.S. history.
- November 20: Native American protesters begin the Occupation of Alcatraz; occupation continues 19 months until June 11, 1971.
- December: Total U.S. casualties (dead & seriously wounded) in Vietnam total 100,000.
- December 1: The first draft lottery in the U.S. since World War II is held in New York City. Later statistical analysis indicates the lottery method was flawed.
- December 6: Altamont: the Rolling Stones organize and headline at a free concert attended by 300,000. It ends in chaos and violent death at a speedway near Livermore, CA.
- December 27-31: Flint War Council, Michigan. SDS is abolished, the Weatherman break off, and one of the most significant seditious revolts since the US Civil War emerges.
- Wavy Gravy's Hog Farm Hippie commune is established near Llano, NM.
- Friends of the Earth is founded in the US. It becomes an international network in 1971.
- President Nixon establishes the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The agency is activated in December, 1970.
- January 1: Voting age in Britain lowered from 21 to 18.
- February: Weather Underground bombings and arsons in U.S. states of NY, CA, WA, MD, & MI.
- February 18: Chicago 7 verdicts are handed down: 2 are exonerated, 5 are soon sentenced for "crossing state lines with intent to incite a riot".
- February 23-26: Students riot at University of California-Santa Barbara.
- February 25-28: Students riot, occupy campus buildings etc. at SUNY Buffalo.
- March 6: Greenwich Village townhouse explosion: 3 members of the Weathermen are killed while assembling a bomb in NY.
- March 26: The documentary film Woodstock is released.
- April 1: Jerry Rubin guest appears the Phil Donahue Show and lambastes him for his conservative appearance.
- April 1: Phil Spector remixes the Beatles' "The Long and Winding Road" with a symphony orchestra without their knowledge or consent. Composer Paul McCartney is reportedly furious.
- April 7: California Governor Ronald Reagan on college campus student unrest: "If it takes a blood bath, let's get it over with."
- April 10: Paul McCartney, when promoting his first solo album, announces that the Beatles have disbanded.
- April 15: 100,000 gather on Boston Common to protest Vietnam War; about 500 radicals attempt to seize microphone, disrupting meeting.
- April 22: The first Earth Day is held.
- April 30: President Nixon reveals secret U.S. military operations in Cambodia.
- May 1-3: 13,000 people take part in peaceful demonstrations at Yale University in support of defendants in the New Haven Black Panther trials.
- May 4: At a college protest against Nixon's spread of war to Cambodia, the Kent State Shootings leave 4 dead in Ohio.
- May 5: The International Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty takes effect.
- May 6: Student Strike of 1970: Many colleges across the US shut down in protest of the war and Kent State events.
- May 8: "Hard Hat Riot": Construction workers confront anti-war demonstrators, Wall St., New York City. They march again May 11, and on May 20, 100,000 construction workers and longshoremen demonstrate at New York City Hall for the war.
- May 9: 100,000 attend an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C.; President Nixon personally meets 30 protesting college students camping at the Lincoln Memorial at 4:15 am and chats with them.
- May 14: Jackson State killings: Police kill two and injure 11 during violent student demonstrations at Jackson State College, MS. This is two days after six African-American men were shot in the back and killed for violating curfew in Augusta by the Georgia National Guard.
- May 19: Student riot at Fresno State University.
- May 21: 5,000 National Guard troops occupy Ohio State University following violence.
- June 11: Daniel Berrigan is arrested by the FBI for kidnapping/bombing conspiracy.
- June 13: Nixon appoints the President's Commission on Campus Unrest; its report issued in September finds a direct correlation between the unrest and the level of US military involvement in Indochina.
- June 15: The U.S. Supreme Court confirms conscientious objector protection on moral grounds.
- June 22: The U.S. voting age is lowered to 18. This is soon challenged and overturned in the Supreme Court, leading to the swift adoption of the 26th Amendment on June 1, 1971 guaranteeing suffrage at 18.
- June 27-28: Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, UK, featuring Hot Tuna, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and many more.
- August 6: Riot police evacuate Disneyland in Anaheim, CA after a few hundred Yippies stage a protest.
- August 17: Communist activist Angela Davis appears on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list after a firearm purchased in her name is linked to a murder plot involving a judge.
- August 24: The Sterling Hall Bombing by antiwar activists kills physics researcher Robert Fassnacht. 4 others are severely injured, and millions in damage stun Madison.
- August 26-31: Third Isle of Wight Festival, attended by an estimated 600,000 - 700,000 people, featured over fifty acts including The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, The Doors, Ten Years After, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Joni Mitchell, Free, Leonard Cohen and Jethro Tull. There were no further Isle of Wight Festivals until the revival in 2002.
- August 29-30: Rioting and violence erupts at Chicano Moratorium anti-war rally in Los Angeles; reporter Rubén Salazar is killed by a teargas shell.
- September 12: Timothy Leary escapes prison with help from the Weather Underground, and joins Eldridge Cleaver in Algiers.
- September 16: London: Apolitical hard rock act Led Zeppelin end the Beatles' 8-year run as Melody Maker's world #1 group of the year.
- September 18: Musician Jimi Hendrix dies from complications of a probable drug overdose at age 27 in London.
- September 19: 'Pilton Pop, Blues & Folk Festival', the first ever Glastonbury Festival, features Tyrannosaurus Rex and is attended by 1,500 people.
- October: Keith Stroup founds NORML in Washington DC, a group working to end marijuana prohibition.
- October 4: Singer Janis Joplin dies as the result of a probable heroin overdose at age 27 in Los Angeles.
- October 13: Political activist Angela Davis is arrested on kidnapping, murder, and conspiracy charges.
- October 26: Doonesbury debuts as a U.S. nationally syndicated comic strip, recognizing the counterculture (and continuing to chronicle current events well into the 21st century).
- October 29: Nixon is pelted with eggs by an unfriendly crowd of 2000 after giving a speech in San Jose, CA.
- November 7: Jerry Rubin appears live on The David Frost Show and tries to pass a joint to Frost, the signal for Yippies in the audience to invade the stage and protest.
- December 6: The Maysles Brother's Altamont documentary Gimme Shelter is released.
- December 21: Elvis Presley arrives unannounced at the White House and meets with President Nixon. Elvis and Nixon reportedly discuss patriotism, hippies, and the war on drugs.
- December: Paul McCartney sues to dissolve the Beatles.
- January 16: Highly influential and long-running U.S. TV smash All in the Family debuts with Rob Reiner as Michael Stivic, the counterculture's answer to bigot Archie Bunker.
- January 31: Police fire on a peace march in Los Angeles, killing one.
- February 4: A military induction center in Oakland, CA is bombed.
- February 4-8: Rioting in Wilmington, NC leaves 2 dead.
- February 13: An induction center in Atlanta, GA is bombed.
- March 1: The US Capitol building is bombed by war protesters; no injuries, but extensive damage results.
- March 5: The FCC says that it can penalize radio stations for playing music that seems to glorify or promote illegal drug usage.
- March 11: Rioting at University of Puerto Rico leaves 3 dead.
- April 23: Vietnam veterans protest against the war at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, throw their medals on the steps, and testify to US war crimes.
- April 24: 500,000 protesters rally at US Capitol to petition for an end to the war; 200,000 rally against the war in San Francisco.
- May 3: Over 12,000 anti-war protesters are arrested on the third day of the 1971 May Day Protests in Washington, DC.
- May 10: Attorney General John N. Mitchell compares the antiwar protesters to Nazis, and on May 13, calls them Communists.
- May 17: The play Godspell opens in New York, depicting Jesus and his disciples in a contemporary, countercultural milieu.
- May 31: US military personnel in London petition at US Embassy against the Vietnam War.
- June 13: The New York Times publishes the first excerpt of The Pentagon Papers, leaked military documents detailing US intervention in Indochina since 1945. This is stopped by Federal Court injunction on June 15.
- June 18: The Washington Post publishes excerpts from the Pentagon Papers, halted by court order the following day.
- June 20-24 : 'Glastonbury Fayre', the second Glastonbury Festival, features David Bowie, Traffic, Fairport Convention, and the first incarnation of the "Pyramid Stage".
- June 22: The Boston Globe publishes Pentagon Papers excerpts; this is halted by injunction on the 23rd and the newspapers are impounded.
- June 28: Muhammad Ali's conviction for draft resistance is unanimously overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, DC.
- June 28: Nixon releases all 47 volumes of Pentagon Papers to Congress.
- June 30: Supreme Court rules 6-3 that newspapers have a right to publish the Pentagon Papers. The Times and Post resume publication the following day.
- July 3: Jim Morrison, founding member of The Doors, dies of a probable heroin overdose at age 27 in Paris.
- August 18: Attorney General Mitchell announces there will be no Federal investigation of the 1970 Kent State shootings.
- August: Cheech & Chong's eponymous first album is released.
- September 15: Greenpeace is founded in Vancouver, BC.
- October 8: Three FBI informants reveal on PBS that they were paid to infiltrate antiwar groups and instigate them to commit violent acts which could be prosecuted.
- October 19-23: Rioting in Memphis leaves one dead.
- October 29: Guitar phenomenon Duane Allman of the Allman Brothers Band is killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon, GA at age 24.
- November 10: Berkeley, CA City Council votes to provide sanctuary to all military deserters.
- November: Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson's drug-drenched indictment of 1960s counterculture, is published in Rolling Stone in 2 parts.
- December 10: John Lennon and others perform at the John Sinclair Freedom Rally at Crisler Arena, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- December 26-28: 15 Vietnam veterans occupy the Statue of Liberty to protest the war.
- December 28: Anti-war veterans attempt takeover of Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. 80 are arrested.
- December: Feminism comes of age: Gloria Steinhem's Ms. Magazine is first published as an insert in New York Magazine. The first standalone issue arrives the following month.
- Stephen Gaskin establishes "The Farm" hippie commune in Tennessee.
- Saul Alinski's Rules for Radicals is published.
- Abbie Hoffman's Steal This Book is published.
- The Anarchist Cookbook is published.
- March: Nixon administration begins deportation proceedings against John Lennon, on the pretext of his 1968 marijuana charge in London.
- March 22: The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, appointed by Nixon, finds "little danger" in pot, recommending abolition of all criminal penalties for possession.
- April 16: Facing heavy ground losses, US forces resume the bombardment of Northern Vietnam.
- April 17-18: Students at University of Maryland protesting the bombardment battle with police and National Guard are sent in.
- April 22: Large antiwar marches in New York, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.
- May 2: FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover dies at 77 after nearly 50 years as the top U.S. law enforcement official.
- May 19: Weather Underground bomb at the Pentagon causes damage but no injuries.
- May 21-22: 15,000 demonstrate in Washington against the war.
- June 4: Angela Davis is acquitted on all counts in her weapons trial.
- June 12: John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band releases the politically charged double album Some Time in New York City.
- June 17: The Watergate burglars are arrested in Washington, DC.
- July 28: Actress Jane Fonda visits North Vietnam. Her return incites outrage when she insists that POWs held captive have not been tortured or brainwashed by the communists.
- November 2-8: About 500 protesters from the American Indian Movement take over the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Washington.
- November 7: Republican Richard Nixon is re-elected in a landslide over progressive democrat Senator George McGovern.
- November 16: Police kill 2 students during campus rioting at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- November 21: A Federal Appeals Court overturns the conviction of the "Chicago 7" members.
- December 18-29: U.S. Operation Linebacker II becomes most intensive bombing campaign of the war.
- January 1: Bangladeshis burn down the US Information Service in Dacca while protesting the bombing of North Vietnam.
- January 2: Nixon administration resumes the indiscriminate and heavy bombing of North Vietnam, after a 36 hour New Year's truce.
- January 4: Forty neutral member nations of the UN formally protest the US bombing campaign.
- January 5: Canada's Parliament votes unanimously to condemn US bombing actions and calls for them to cease.
- January 10: Antiwar demonstrators attack US consulate in Lyons, France; and burn down the library of America House in Frankfurt, West Germany.
- January 15:Antiwar protesters occupy US consulate in Amsterdam.
- January 15: Nixon suspends the bombing, citing progress in the Peace talks with Hanoi. In fact, West German Chancellor Willy Brandt has warned him that US relations with Western Europe would deteriorate if the bombing is not halted quickly.
- January 22: Former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson dies at his Texas ranch.
- January 22: The U.S. Supreme Court rules on Roe v. Wade, effectively legalizing abortion.
- January 28: U.S. combat military involvement in Vietnam ends with a ceasefire, and commencement of withdrawal as called for under the Paris Peace Accords.
- February 27-May 8: Wounded Knee incident: Native American activists occupy the town of Wounded Knee, SD; 2 protesters and 1 US Marshal are killed during a lengthy standoff.
- March: The first military draftees who are not subsequently called to service are selected, unceremoniously ending the Vietnam era of conscription in the U.S.
- March 29: Last US combat troops leave Vietnam as US POWs have been released.
- May 17: The Senate Watergate Committee begins televised hearings on the ever-growing Watergate scandal implicating the President for gross abuses of power.
- July 1: The Drug Enforcement Administration supplants the BNDD.
- July 28: Summer Jam at Watkins Glen, NY draws 600,000 to see the Grateful Dead, the Band, and the Allman Brothers - the largest such gathering in the US since Woodstock.
- August 15: All US military involvement in Indochina conflict officially ends under the Case-Church Amendment.
- October 10: Vice President Spiro Agnew resigns. Nixon names Gerald Ford to replace Agnew on October 12.
- October 23: Congress begins to consider articles of impeachment against President Nixon.
- November 17: Nixon tells a press conference, "I am not a crook".
- January 3: A Federal judge dismisses charges against 12 members of the Weathermen involved in the October 1969 "Days of Rage".
- February 5: Patty Hearst is kidnapped by extremist group Symbionese Liberation Army and joins them, possibly after becoming a victim of Stockholm Syndrome.
- March-April: Short-lived fad of "streaking" is at it height in the US.
- April 20: Disco music, following the success of "Love Train" a year earlier, again hits number one on the Billboard charts with "TSOP", a clear sign that the post-"sixties counterculture" era is now at hand. The punk rock subculture also traces its genesis to around this time, with groups like Television playing the CBGB club in NYC.
- May 17: Six SLA members are killed fighting police in Los Angeles.
- Summer: First issue of High Times is published.
- August 8: Facing imminent impeachment, Richard M Nixon resigns as President of the United States. VP Gerald R Ford is sworn in 9 August and declares "our long national nightmare is over.†"
- September-December: Police repeatedly quell unrest as desegregation comes to Boston high schools.
- September 8: President Ford fully pardons former president Nixon.
- December 13: President Ford invites ex-Beatle George Harrison to luncheon at the White House.
- December 21: The New York Times reports that the CIA illegally spied on 10,000 antiwar dissidents under Nixon's presidency.
- January 1: John Mitchell and three other Watergate conspirators are found guilty; and sentenced to prison Feb. 21.
- January 8-9: Renewed clashes among students and with police at South Boston High School. Intermittent racial violence continues in the Boston area through 1975; the rest of the nation is now relatively calm, except for Detroit in July.
- January 29: Weather Underground bomb at the US State Department, none injured.
- April 30: The last remaining U.S. military and intelligence personnel escape Saigon, as South Vietnam is invaded by communist forces in direct violation of the "peace" accords.
- July 28-39: Rioting in Detroit; one person killed.
- September 5 & 22: President Ford survives assassination attempts by two women in one month.
- September 18: Patty Hearst is arrested by the FBI.
- Hirsch, E.D. (1993). The Dictionary of Cultural Literacy. Houghton Mifflin. ISBN 978-0-395-65597-9. p 419. "Members of a cultural protest that began in the U.S. in the 1960s and affected Europe before fading in the 1970s...fundamentally a cultural rather than a political protest."
- "Rockin' At the Red Dog: The Dawn of Psychedelic Rock," Mary Works Covington, 2005.
- Anderson, Terry H. (1995). The Movement and the Sixties. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-510457-8.
- "The Cold War Museum - Museum Features". Coldwar.org. 1960-05-01. Retrieved 2009-07-11.[dead link]
- "Port Huron Statement of the Students for a Democratic Society, 1962". Coursesa.matrix.msu.edu. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "Washington Bulletin on NRO". Nationalreview.com. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- John Pike. "Nuclear Weapons - Iraq Special Weapons". Globalsecurity.org. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The '70s. New York, New York: Basic Books. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-465-04195-4
- "Avalon Project - The U-2 Incident 1960". Avalon.law.yale.edu. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "Page 1: 1963-77 Limits on Nuclear Testing and the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons: CTBTO Preparatory Commission". Ctbto.org. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Friday, August 30, 1963 (1963-08-30). "Of Treaties & Togas". TIME. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "1967 Executive Sessions of the [[Senate Foreign Relations Committee]]". Fas.org. Retrieved 2009-07-11. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- George F. Kennan, American Diplomacy, 1900-1950, Charles R. Walgreen Foundation Lectures, Mentor Books, New York, 1951, pp. 82-89
- "American Experience | [[Lee Harvey Oswald|Oswald]]'s Ghost". PBS. 1963-11-22. Retrieved 2009-07-11. Wikilink embedded in URL title (help)
- "Baby Boom population - U.S. Census Bureau - USA and by state". Boomerslife.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- "National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) Series". Icpsr.umich.edu. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- Elizabeth Stephens. "Free Speech Movement Chronology". Bancroft.berkeley.edu. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- "A Brief History of CO". Nfg.org. Retrieved 2009-07-11.[dead link]
- "The Historical Development of Community Organizing". Trincoll.edu. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- "U.S. Technology and Environment Historiography". H-net.org. Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Skrentny, John (2002). The Minority Rights Revolution. Cambridge: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2002. ISBN 978-0-674-00899-1
- "American Experience | The Pill". Pbs.org. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- "Determinants of Planned and Unplanned Childbearing among Unmarried Women in the United States" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-07-11.
- Sterling, Christopher & Keith, Michael (2008). Sounds of Change: A History of FM Broadcasting in America. UNC Press. ISBN 978-0-8078-3215-8
- "Support for Vietnam War". Seanet.com. 2002-11-21. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- "Generations Divide Over Military Action in Iraq - Pew Research Center for the People & the Press". People-press.org. 2002-10-17. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- Anderson, Terry H. The movement and the sixties. New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.
- "Free Speech Movement Archives Home Page - events from 1964 and beyond". FSM-A. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- "Why I'm back to ban the bomb". BBC News. 2004-04-11.
- "1960: Thousands protest against H-bomb". BBC News. 1960-04-18.
- Gallup, Alec; Frank Newport. The Gallup Poll: Public Opinion 2005. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 315–318. ISBN 978-0-7425-5258-6.
- Martin A. Lee, Acid Dreams The CIA, LSD, and the Sixties Rebellion, Grove Press 1985, Pgs. 157-163 ISBN 978-0-394-62081-7
- Friday, April 22, 1966 (1966-04-22). "Drugs: The Dangers of LSD". TIME. Retrieved 2010-04-20.
- J. DeRogatis, Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock (Milwaukie, MI: Hal Leonard, 2003), ISBN 0-634-05548-8, p. 71.
- Hinderer, Eve. Ben Morea: art and anarchism
- Stewart Home. "The Assault on Culture: Utopian currents from Lettrisme to Class War". Introduction to the Lithuanian edition. (Ist edition Aporia Press and Unpopular Books, London 1988.) ISBN 978-0-948518-88-1. "In the sixties Black Mask disrupted reified cultural events in New York by making up flyers giving the dates, times and location of art events and giving these out to the homeless with the lure of the free drink that was on offer to the bourgeoisie rather than the lumpen proletariat; I reused the ruse just as effectively in London in the 1990s to disrupt literary events."
- Carlos Santana: I'm Immortal interview by Punto Digital, October 13, 2010
- R. Shuker, 1998, p. 34
- P. Brown and S. Gaines, 1984, p. 134
- J. Cott, 2007, p. 376
- P. Dogget, 2007, p. 25
- A. J. Matusow, 1984, p. 295
- H. Sounes, 2002, p. 218
- M. C. Strong, 1997, p. 276
- Shuker, 1998, p. 234
- J. Derogatis, 1996, p. 19
- Posted November 01, 2003 12:00 AM (2003-11-01). "1) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
- M. C. Strong, 2002
- Shuker, 1998, p. 72
- B. Longhurst, 1995, p. 108
- Derogatis, 1996, p. 44
- Dogget, 2007, p. 117
- D. Snowman, 1978, p. 155
- Shuker, 1998, p. 237
- J. DeRogatis, Turn On Your Mind: Four Decades of Great Psychedelic Rock (Milwaukie, MI: Hal Leonard, 2003), ISBN 0-634-05548-8.
- Mankin, Bill (March 4, 2012). "We Can All Join In: How Rock Festivals Helped Change America". Like the Dew: A Journal of Southern Culture and Politics. Retrieved March 19, 2012.
- Derogatis, 1996, p. 95
- Sounes, 2002, p. 296
- Dogget, 2007, p. 58
- Matusow, 1986, p. 305
- Matusow, 1986, p. 297
- Strong, 1997, p. 317
- M. A. Jackson and J. E. O'Connor, 1980, P237
- P. Biskind, 1999, P74
- J. Pym, 2002, P741
- J. Pym, 2002, P932
- J. Hoberman, 2003, P237
- P. Biskind, 1999, P150
- "From Satori to Silicon Valley" - Roszak, Stanford
- Hitchens, Peter (2009). The Broken Compass: How British Politics Lost its Way. Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. ISBN 978-1-84706-405-9. - see conclusion, 'The Broken Compass'
- E .F. Schumacher: His Life and Thought by Barbara Wood. Harper & Row, 1984. ISBN 0-06-015356-3, (p.348-349).
- "TIME Magazine Cover: The Pill". Time.com. April 7, 1967. Retrieved 2010-03-20.
- Edward W. Knappman, ed. South Vietnam: Volume 7, US-Communist Confrontation in Southeast Asia 1972-1973. p. 226.
- Carson, Rachel (1962). Silent Spring. Fawcett Crest. ISBN 978-0-449-20079-7.
- Jackson, Rebecca. "The 1960s: A Bibliography". Iowa State University Library.
- Lemke-Santangelo, Gretchen (2009). Daughters of Aquarius: Women of the Sixties Counterculture. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 978-0700616336.
- Reich, Charles A. (1995) . The Greening of America (25th anniversary ed.). Three Rivers Press. ISBN 978-0-517-88636-6.
- Roszak, Theodore (1968). The Making of a Counter Culture. University of California.
- Counterculture Wiki
- Island Foundation
- John Hoyland, Power to the People, The Guardian, 15 March 2008