Counterculture In 60s, many adopted values that ran against the mainstream culture. – Counterculture. – Valued youth, spontaneous behavior, individuality. – Promoted peace, love, and freedom. – Casual, free attitudes toward sex & drugs. – Very different tastes in clothes & music. – Didn’t understand older generations, older generations didn’t understand them AT ALL. – Led to generation gap. Lack of communication & understanding between generations.
Baby Boom generation was so large, they changed US culture. – Music, clothing producers rushed to meet their demands. – Colleges changed courses & rules to please them. – Politicians pandered to them for votes. Styles changed dramatically in counterculture. – Men & women wore long, loose hair; men grew beards, mustaches. – Adopted clothes from “working classes”, native groups around the world. – Painted cars & bodies in bright designs.
Art influenced by counterculture. – Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Pop Art, Op Art. Attitudes on sex led to sexual revolution. – Sex not tied to marriage, families; cohabitation. – Communal living-EVERYTHING shared. – Homosexuality acceptable. – Led to more discussion on sex in mainstream US. Drugs widely accepted, used in counterculture. – Marijuana popular. Timothy Leary advocated use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD).
LSD caused severe hallucinations, “trips”. – LSD seen as a way to “broaden the mind”, learn secrets of the universe. In reality, drug use killed LOTS of people in 1960s. – Countless hippies, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix. Hippies really liked rock music, folk music. 1964-”British Invasion”-Beatles, Rolling Stones first toured USA. Music was a unifying factor for hippies.
August 1969-Woodstock Art & Music Fair. – Held in pasture in Bethel, New York; 400,000 came. – Producers expected maybe 100-150,000; shortages of water, toilets, food, hot & rainy. – Big name music acts. – Sex & drugs done openly. No run-ins with police, peaceful. Older generations often disgusted with hippie behavior, especially at Woodstock. – Many, even younger mainstream Americans, hated open sexuality, drug use. – Saw hippies as childish, refusing to grow up.
December 1969-rolling Stones played concert at Altamont Speedway in CA. – 300,000 attended. – Hired Hell’s Angels for security. – Beat a black man to death when he moved toward stage with a gun. – Seen as the “end of the 60s”. Most hippies came from upper- and middle- class families. – In mid to late 70s, most hippies “got a haircut and got a real job.”
Environmental Movement Began in 1962 with Rachel Carson’s book Silent Spring. – Naturalist; predicted that spraying pesticides like DDT would kill all insects, would lead to death of all birds & wildlife, would kill people. Carson’s book caused outcry against DDT; led to US banning DDT. – Other chemicals & pesticides came under more strict regulations. Silent Spring is now believed to have led to death of millions in Africa, South America. – US would not give $$ to countries using DDT. – DDT very effective at killing mosquitoes, which spread malaria, yellow fever. – DDT had very little actual effect on environment.
1950s & early 1960s saw widespread development of nuclear power plants. – Safe, little air pollution; water discharged into nearby rivers was hot, raising water temps, sometimes killing fish & plants. 1960’s protests against nuclear weapons, power plants. – Led gov’t to create Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to oversee safety regulations in power plants. Environmental organizations began growing across USA. April 22, 1970-first Earth Day organized. – To raise awareness of environmental issues.
Gov’t responded to concerns. 1970-Nixon created Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to monitor air, water pollution. – Gave them power to enforce regulations with fines, lawsuits. 1970-Congress passed Clean Air Act. – Controlled emissions in cars, factories. – Led to scrubbers in smokestacks, catalytic converters in cars. 1972-Congress passed Clean Water Act. – Regulated discharge of industrial, municipal wastewater. – Built better sewage-treatment plants.
Consumer Movement Begun by Ralph Nader. Wrote Unsafe at Any Speed, about car industry. – Claimed many cars had tendency to roll over, burn in crashes, no safety devices. – Claimed auto industry knew, didn’t care. Led to Congress passing National Traffic & Motor Vehicle Safety Act. – Set highway speed limit at 55, mandated seatbelts. Also investigated meatpacking, baby food, etc. Led to better consumer oversight of production of goods (safer, cleaner, etc).