HISTORY OF THE SUMMER OF LOVE — 1967: DRUGS
When I was a Resident Assistant at U.C. Berkeley in the early ’70s, a local police officer I knew gave me a tour down nearby Telegraph Avenue. He told me:
“All the major drug deals on the West Coast go down within a two block stretch of Telegraph Avenue. The street people and drug dealers are what’s left of the Flower Children.”
All this was within blocks of the nearby University of California campus. To say that drugs were rampant at Berkeley is an understatement: as an R.A., I was called upon to take students who were too high on marijuana or LSD down to the Student Health Center. My saddest duty was checking out the room of a student who had committed suicide. On his wall were comic-strip blotters of LSD.
Berkeley, the counterpart foci of Haight-Ashbury, on the ellipse of the San Francisco Bay, reflected the tone and mood of the Summer of Love. In this third article on this period from over 50 years ago, I discuss the topic of drugs in “sex, drugs, and rock & roll.”
Berkeley was the West Coast hub of drugs, as Boston was the East Coast hub. Drugs were shipped into Vallejo, a port town 30 minutes north of Berkeley, and drug trades were made on Telegraph Avenue. Michael Crichton popularized the Berkeley drug trade in his 1970 novel — written under the pseudonym Michael Douglas and his 19-year-old brother Douglas — called Dealing: Or the Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues.
“Make love, not war”
and the call for “free love” represented a cultural shift in mores in 1967. Even The Beatles sang “All You Need Is Love.” If the ’60s was the time of the “sexual revolution,” the natural question is: who won? There were both winners and losers.
In our first article on the Summer of Love, we talked about the general environment of 1967. In this article, we’ll discuss the role of sex, as in “sex, drugs, and rock & roll.”
The Baby Boom
More babies were born in the western world between 1946 and 1964 than during any previous period in recorded history, at least until the subsequent “Millennial Generation.” In the U.S., this post-war “bloom” of children was called the Baby Boom Generation.
It represented a relatively prosperous generation of children born to a middle class with more access to education and entertainment than any generation before it. In 1966, Time magazine declared that the “Generation 25 and Under” would be its “Persons of the Year.”
How did this come about? (more…)
The Summer of Love was fifty-five years ago, the Summer of 1967, with its epicenter in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. It was a summer of sex, drugs, and rock & roll. Both San Francisco and Liverpool celebrated 30-year anniversaries in 1997. While not limited to San Francisco — New York and London were involved — no other city but San Francisco attracted almost 100,000 young people who converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood near San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. This mood was captured at the time by the hit single by Scott McKenzie, “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair),” with its lyric:
“For those who come to San Francisco
Be sure to wear some flowers in your hair
If you come to San Francisco
Summertime will be a love-in there”
It was a special time, just one Summer. Ironically, the song was written by John Phillips of The Mamas & The Papas to promote the June 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival.
In the following year, both Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. would be assassinated. Woodstock was still two years away. But at the time, there had never been anything quite like it. I recall my father driving me through Haight-Ashbury around that time, saying,
“Look at that!”
with carnival-like amusement, baffled by the hippiesque clothes and long hair.
By the end of 1967, many of the hippies and San Franciscan musicians from the Summer of Love had moved on. In its wake were street people, drug addiction, and panhandling. But let’s look at that one brief shining moment in history.
Solstice comes from the Latin word solstitium, meaning “Sun, standing-still.” The Summer Solstice occurs on June 21 at 09:14 UTC, Coordinated Universal Time, Zulu Time, or roughly Greenwich Mean Time. Greenwich, England, is the prime meridian — the zero point for longitude lines.
Why is UTC the abbreviation for Coordinated Universal Time? The acronym came about as a compromise between English and French speakers: Coordinated Universal Time would normally be abbreviated as CUT, and the French name, Temps Universel Coordonné, would be TUC.
Summer Time and the Summer Solstice
This is also known as the Northern Solstice because the Sun is positioned directly above the Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere.
- This time of year is known as Midsummer, though the official Midsummer Day is actually celebrated on June 24, thanks to differences between the Julian and Gregorian calendars.
- Christian festivals are held during this time of year related to the Birth of St. John the Baptist. In Bolivia and Peru, it’s called the Festival of San Juan.
HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH: and the Emancipation Proclamation
June Nineteenth, or Juneteenth, marks the celebration of the emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas in 1865. While the annual celebration started in Texas the following year in 1866 — and became an official Texas state holiday there in 1980 — this formerly obscure holiday is now observed across the United States and around the world.
Last year, Congress and the President made it an official federal holiday. It is celebrated with church-centered celebrations, parades, fairs, backyard parties, games, contests, and cookouts.
Origin of Juneteenth
Originally it began in Galveston, Texas, to mark the arrival of U.S. Army Major General Gordon Granger, along with 20,000 Union Army troops, who arrived two months after the end of the American Civil War to read General Order Number 3, which announced that “all slaves are free.” It read:
The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.
HISTORY OF FATHERS DAY: the Beginning
[NOTE: I wrote a more extended and serious version of this article for CBS.com several years ago. It has been published on their network of sites for major cities around the country. You can find that article here.]
Origin of Fathers Day
The celebration of Father’s Day goes back all the way to the beginning, actually to the Garden of Eden when Abel gave his father Adam a razor while his brother Cain gave his father a snake-skin tie. This was the beginning of Cain’s downward slide.
Scholars have debated for ages why Mother’s Day seems to be more honored than Father’s Day. A parallel has been drawn between this phenomenon and the difference in popularity between the Irish patron saint and the Italian patron saint.
HISTORY OF THE NATURAL: A Father Returns
A classic movie with a timeless topic comes to mind in celebration of Father’s Day. The 1984 film The Natural asks the question:
Can you return?
If the movie Field of Dreams was epic, then The Natural was mythic, as I’ll explain below.
The Natural: The Story
But first, how does a middle-aged baseball player named Roy Hobbs, seemingly missing for almost two decades, return to the game? He had been taught to play baseball by his father, and he had shown promise when he was a teenager, 16 years ago. He shows up in 1939 with a custom-made bat cut from a lightning-struck tree. He appears unannounced to a last-place major league baseball team, the New York Knights.
This is a movie that even non-sports fans fall in love with, an authentic slice of Americana. It is crafted so that it will choke you up and make you want to stand up and cheer at the end. The climactic pyrotechnics of the ending brings goosebumps. It’s a story about the power of faith and hope, the victory of good over evil, the consequences of right and wrong, and the reuniting of father and son. (more…)
HISTORY OF FIELD OF DREAMS: A Father’s Day Treat
One of my all-time favorite movies is not an action movie, a science fiction movie, a comic book blockbuster, or a fantasy film. It’s a baseball movie. Or is it?
Is it a movie about Berkeley, Iowa, Fenway Park, or America? It’s all of them, and more.
For every man who has unresolved issues with his father, this is the movie to watch. I dare you to make it to the ending without needing Kleenex.
Uniqueness of Field of Dreams
What other movie has these?
- Four, count ’em, four crescendoes!
- Ray Liotta in one of his earliest film performances, including swearing? (OK, he does that in lots of his subsequent movies.)
- Burt Lancaster as Doc Archibald “Moonlight” Graham in his final film performance at 74.
- James Earl Jones delivering show-stopping speeches as Terence Mann with his Darth Vader voice.
Ray, people will come Ray. They’ll come to Iowa for reasons they can’t even fathom. They’ll turn up your driveway not knowing for sure why they’re doing it. They’ll arrive at your door as innocent as children, longing for the past. Of course, we won’t mind if you look around, you’ll say. It’s only $20 per person. They’ll pass over the money without even thinking about it: for it is money they have and peace they lack.
And they’ll walk out to the bleachers; sit in shirtsleeves on a perfect afternoon. They’ll find they have reserved seats somewhere along one of the baselines, where they sat when they were children and cheered their heroes. And they’ll watch the game and it’ll be as if they dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they’ll have to brush them away from their faces… People will come Ray.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come. –Terrence Mann
History of Explo ’72: The Apex of the Jesus Movement, 50 Years Ago
Fifty years ago, Explo ’72 was held in Dallas, Texas, from June 12 to June 17, 1972. It was the most conspicuous event of the Jesus Movement, at least in the media. Sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ, it was initially called the “International Student Congress on Evangelism,” but it was billed as Explo ’72 and became the largest youth evangelism training conference in church history.
What was the historical and cultural context in which this event developed, where did it go, and how was I involved?
HISTORY OF FLAG DAY
June 14 is the day the United States celebrates Flag Day. While it may not be as widely celebrated as other American holidays, it is one of the oldest. It was resolved by the Second Continental Congress in 1777, even before the conclusion of the American War of Independence, the Revolutionary War.
In 1885, BJ Cigrand, a Wisconsin schoolteacher, initiated a “Flag Birthday” for his students on June 14. His continual promotion of this “Flag Day” inspired New York kindergarten teacher George Balch in 1889 to have similar observances for his students. The State Board of Education for New York followed suit. The Betsy Ross House in Philadelphia had a Flag Day in 1891, and the following year so did the New York Society of the Sons of the Revolution. Other state organizations in New York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois followed suit.
HISTORY OF D-DAY
Why has D-Day captured the imagination of American consciousness for over three-quarters of a century?
Seventy-eight years ago, on June 6, 1944, the Allies launched an offensive on the Normandy coast of France to liberate continental Europe from the Nazi German occupation. On Twitter, the hashtag is #DDay78
D-Day was the largest invasion by sea in all of history, literally turning the tide. It was the beginning of the end of the War. General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces, sent the troops out that day:
“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle.”
Progress of D-Day Campaign
Within two months, the 77-day Normandy campaign led to the liberation of France and, in less than a year, to the defeat of the Nazi forces and the end of World War II in Europe. Between these two events, my father visited Paris while his US Army division was moving through France toward the Battle of the Bulge and the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp in Germany.
HISTORY OF PENTECOST
The Feast of Pentecost is taken from the Greek word πεντηκόστη which means “the 50th,” referring to the fiftieth day after Passover and Easter. This would coincide with the harvest festival Shavuot the “Feast of Weeks in the Jewish calendar.”
In the Christian calendar, Passover played a part in several visits Jesus made to Jerusalem; but most famously, it marked the coming of the Holy Spirit, as “tongues like as of fire” upon the Disciples of Jesus along with the sound of rushing wind, as told in the New Testament Book of Acts Chapter 2.
Pentecost in Church History
This marked the beginning of the work of the Church following the Resurrection of Jesus. As the New Testament tells us that Jesus remained with his Disciples for 40 days following his Resurrection before his Ascension into heaven (celebrated last Sunday), this would mark ten days following the Ascension of Jesus. This event was associated with the Disciples speaking in other languages.
Many visitors to Jerusalem, who were likely there at the time for the Feast of Passover, were curious about the meaning of the flames, wind, and foreign tongues — some familiar to them. The Apostle Peter gave his first sermon, and the Church in Jerusalem grew in size from 120 believers to 3,000.