August, 1969

August, 1969, was a very unique month in history. It featured two major social movements of the era: the Civil Rights Movement and the peace movement. The Civil Rights Movement had reached its climax the year before with the assassination of Martin Luther King. Things were taking a violent turn for those involved, and it became a much more intense struggle. The peace movement was also well underway, as the Vietnam War had been going for several years, and had much opposition. 1969 increased the intesity of this movement also, and both struggles looked like they would not end. Through these two movements of the time, the divergence of the American people begins, and this separation still lives on today. ~*~ Herb-at-Woodstock.jpgJimi-Hendrix-Woodstock.jpg Woodstock: Woodstock was one of the most popular phenomena of 1969. With an attendance of 500,000 it was easily one of the largest music festivals in history. Many of the era's popular music artists played, including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, Santana, Grateful Dead, and many more. The festival a center for illicit drug use, another popular phenomena of the 1960s. Watch Jimi Hendrix's historic set at Woodstock here:

external image pot-leaf-big.jpg Illicit Drugs: Illegal drugs gained a following during the 1960s. Marijuana and LSD were among the most popular. Many followers of the anti-war movement used these popular drugs. Easy-Rider-Poster-C10047651.jpg007_FVBC2_BUTCH_CASSIDY~Butch-Cassidy-and-the-Sundance-Kid-Posters.jpg Movies:

The most popular movies of 1969, and August, 1969, included "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," "Midnight Cowboy," "Easy Rider," "The Wild Bunch," and "On Her Majesty's Secret Service." "Easy Rider," in particular, was very popular, winning ten awards and was nominated twelve other times. The general theme for the most popular movies during this time was action. Easy Rider had a gross profit worldwide of $60 million, an astounding amount for that time. TV796.jpg1969-sillystring.gif Toys: Silly String, a toy that still holds its popularity today, was released in August of 1969. The non-toxic substance was an immediate hit with kids. Other popular toys included Hot Wheels, a toy that has always been popular, and Blue Peter Jigsaw Puzzles.
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Cars: During 1969, American-made cars, including the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro (seen above), were very popular. During the month of August, 1969 alone, 200,395 American cars were delivered to be sold. Another very popular, and fashionable, car of the time was the Mini Cooper.
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Technology: While 1969 was mostly a time of social advancement, very little occurred technologically. However, the first ATM (automatic teller machine) opened in August, 1969. This new device helped to satisfy America's growing want for instant satisfaction.024667.jpgrolling_stone.jpg Books and Magazines: Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five (also known as The Children's Crusade) was the most popular book of the year. Common themes in the book were time travel and war, and a general feeling of action and science fiction. These themes were visible in other popular books, movies, and TV shows. Rolling Stone was the most popular magazine of the year. Beginning as a one page flier in 1967, by 1969 it had gained a following and a lot more substance to the issues. Capturing popular music of the time, the Rolling Stone was easily popular among all pop music fans. Take a look at an interview with the author of the best-selling Slughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut:
black_panther.jpggary_snyder.jpg Social Movements: 1969 was a year of multiple social movement occurring simultaneously. There was the struggle between those who supported the Viet Nam War, and those who supported peace (who were often called "hippies"). There was also a racial struggle, as the Civil Rights Movement was coming to a climax. This struggle was punctuated by groups such as the Black Panther Party, and white supremacist groups like the Ku Klux Klan. Several other movements occured, including the environmentalist simplist movement, lead by Gary Snyder. To read more on the social progression of 1969, click here.


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TV: The Clangers were by far the most popular TV program in 1969. The show followed a family of outter-space creatures who came to earth and lived in garbage cans. It had the highest ratings of any other show being broadcasted that year. Catch an episode of the Clangers here:

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Sports: 1969 did not bring about many changes in the sports world. The same sports (baseball, basketball, etc) remained popular. The big event of August, 1969 in the sports world was the World Series. The New York Mets won against the Baltimore Orioles, four games to one.the_beatles3.jpgSimon_And_Garfunkel-Sounds_Of_Silence_Live-Front.jpgMusic: August of 1969 was a big part of music. Many of bands were booming at this time do to the peace movement. Many such bands are The Beatles,Simon and Garfunkel, Grateful Dead, and the Jimi Hendrix Experince. musical rebellion 1969
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Fashion: 1969, like the rest of the 60s, had an earthy feel to its fashion. Biba, a fashion line by Barbara Hulanicki (one dress from the line pictured above), followed this theme. Love beads, bracelets with colorful beads on string, were also very popular. =