Hippies and the Revolution of a Culture

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Hippies and the Revolution of a Culture

"Tune In, Turn On, and Drop Out" was the motto of the hippie movement, a significant countercultural phenomenon in the 1960s and early 1970s that grew partially out of young America's growing disillusionment with U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Hippies were mainly white teenagers and young adults who shared a hatred and distrust towards traditional middle-class values and authority. They rejected political and social orthodoxies but embraced aspects of Eastern religions, particularly Buddhism. Many hippies also saw hallucinogenic drugs, such as marijuana and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), as the key to escaping the ties of society and expanding their individual consciousness. The immediate precursor to the hippies was the so-called Beat Generation of the late 1950s, including the poet Allen Ginsberg, who became a hippie hero. But where the coolly intellectual, black-clad beats tended to keep a low profile and stay out of politics, the hippies were known as much for their political outspokenness as for their long hair and colorful psychedelic clothing. Their opposition to the Vietnam War became one of the most significant aspects of the growing antiwar movement throughout the latter half of the 1960s.

To express their protests, and to "turn on" others, the hippies used art, street theater and particularly music. Folk music and psychedelic rock-the Beatles album Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was a prime example-were both crucial aspects of hippie culture. This culture reached its peak in the summer of 1967, when a concert in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park kicked off the start of the so-called "Summer of Love." The event introduced the music and aesthetic of the hippies to a wider audience and inspired thousands of young people around the country to head to San Francisco, some wearing flowers in their hair, a reference to Scott McKenzie's version of the John Phillips song "San Francisco," a ubiquitous

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