TIME OUT OF MIND: A TIMELINE OF THE COUNTERCULTURE -
This is my own copy, updated, of my counterculture timeline that
I donated to be put on the WELL gopher from about 1993 to 2005.
This was the first sixties timeline on the web, and was created because
in 1993 I could not find any other. Bravo to all that have come after.
May a million flowers bloom.
Last major update Oct 2005 - Feb 2006.
Mayan Sacred Calendar correspondences added August 2008.
~ Judith Goldsmith
A BABY BOOMER'S CHRONOLOGY OF MODERN TIMES;
A HIPPIE HISTORY OF THE SIXTIES
Beginnings to 1693: Feudalism and the Inquisition
The first Democracies: 1694-1829
Democracy Adjusted: 1830-1879
The Progressive Period: 1880 to 1913
The Early War Years: 1914 to 1932
The Later War Years 1933--1953
Civil Rights Battles 1954-1959
The Early Sixties: Folk Music and Idealism
The Early Sixties: British Rock and
The Free Speech Movement 1964-1965
The Early Sixties: Hippies in the Haight
and Vietnam War Protests 1965-1966
The High Sixties: Something's Happening Here
1966 - 1967
The High Sixties: Magical Mystery Tour
1967 - 1968
High Sixties: Spaceship Earth
1968 - 1969
The High Sixties: Moratorium and The Strike 1969 - 1971
The Late Sixties: Keepin' on Truckin'
as the US's False Prosperity Dissolves
The Seventies: The Watergate Investigation Years 1972-1974
The Seventies: Keep on Keepin' On
The Seventies: Punks and Anti-Nuclear
as the Economy Declines 1977-1979
The Seventies: Global Marketplace and Deindustrialization 1979 - 1981
The Eighties: Nuclear Freeze and
US a Debtor Nation 1982 - 1984
The Eighties: End to Apartheid in South Africa & Iran-Contra 1985 - 1987
The Eighties: End of the Cold War
1987 - 1991
The Nineties: End of Time 1992-2011
2012 on: You write this page
| NEW (July 2007): Los Angeles LA Fine Arts Squad
murals - a memorial
SOME FAVORITE WRITING ABOUT THE 1960s
BOOKS AND MOVIES ABOUT COUNTERCULTURE
Pages linked to the Timeline
A NOTE TO STUDENTS: IT IS UNWISE TO USE ANY DATES IN THESE TIMELINES
IN ANY OTHER MATERIAL WITHOUT COROBORATING THEM THROUGH OTHER SOURCES;
ATLASES AND DATEBOOKS AND OTHER OFFICIAL SOURCES HAVE FACT-CHECKERS
EMPLOYED TO DO THIS; I HAVE ONLY ME, AND WHAT I HAVE TIME FOR.
THESE TIMELINES ARE NOT "DOCUMENTS OF RECORD" AND CERTAINLY
HAVE INCORRECT INFORMATION, AND DUPLICATING THAT INFORMATION
WITHOUT CHECKING IS JUST SPREADING POSSIBLE MIS-INFORMATION MORE WIDELY.
Students: if studying cultures and societies interests you,
you might consider a sociology degree, such as offered here.
these pages, you will find a work-in-progress which is a timeline of significant
events for baby boomers, bohemians, beatnicks, and hippies, focusing especially
on the sixties. "Significant" so far means it was significant to me, when
I was a sixties hippie, and my hippie friends. I started putting together
this timeline because I was trying to write about the sixties, and I had
to remind myself of what happened when. Then I kept going on into the seventies
and eighties, following the reverberations from the sixties, which I believe
are still happening. Then I got interested in how things started and went
back and read about the history of Bohemia, and all those dates are now
included. My reading of all this led to some delightful insights on how
themes echo through the ages.
When I was in high school in the 1960s, no one would talk about World War I and World War II and the years that led up to them and between them, and what followed. I eagerly read what it said in my tenth grade history book, because we completely skipped over it in class. I wondered why we didn't get taught about it. Was it too controversial or too unpleasant? But how were we supposed to know how things had come to be the way they were in our own lifetimes? Then I realized that those older than me did not think of these times as history because they themselves had lived through them.
It's sad how little the counterculture knows of its own history. Saul Landau bemoans the fact that, while in Europe students learn the history of recent struggles from those who lived through them, in the U.S. every new freshman college class, for instance, has no idea how recently the liberties it enjoys - co-ed living, free speech, and to be politically active, etc. - were won, and what it took to accomplish this.
The timeline has gaps, and details I have not yet fully checked out. I'm sure it has all kinds of personal biases, including being biased much more to the U.S. and to the white middle-class than it should be. (Note: the terms "negro" and "Indian" have been used until the date when substitutes for these terms were proposed.)
I hereby copyright this work, in case I ever find a publisher for it. But you may download it, copy it, and GIVE it to friends, as long as no money is ever exchanged for it. Like Bruce Sterling says, you don't own it, it's just passing through you.
NOTES ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE COUNTERCULTURE TIMELINE:
The generational notings in this timeline explore the possibility that generational changes follow major events that change attitudes (i.e. those born after the French revolution never experienced the situation that led to that revolution, but instead were born into a more hopeful time, with possibilities only dreamed of by their elders, and so had quite different attitudes about the possibilities of life) and how members of that new generation act as they enter their twenties, usually the first time they could have, indeed were called upon, to be actively engaged in their times. More information on "Generations" theory: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Generations_(book)
At the age of eighty, in 1823, the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration [of Independence], Jefferson wrote to Adams: "The generation which commences a revolution can rarely complete it. Habituated from their infancy to passive submission of body and mind to their kings and priests, they are not qualified, when called on, to think and provide for themselves and their experience, their ignorance and bigotry make them instruments often . . . to defeat their own . . . purposes." - Michael Ventura: Shadow Dancing in the U.S.A. (1985)
I am always delighted every time a young person shakes their head in disbelief about how poorly previous generations treated the earth. It has become a given that the earth must be cared for, something that could never have been different. I spent ten years heavily involved in environmental politics, and we won. Now it's just working out the details, as awesome as that task might be. And not a moment too soon.
Michael Ventura on the Sixties (Shadow Dancing in the U.S.A., 1985):
You tend to forget just how much raw energy was loose in the air then, and you don't quite believe your own memory: that sometimes, then, for weeks on end, we actually thought (1) that we were living in the Promised Land, the New Age, the Other World, (2) that it was everything we had ever imagined it could be, and (3) that everyone was going to join us in its promise as soon as they saw how good it was. There was, hovering over everything, a possibility larger than the tedious makeshift that had been called "daily life." Simply to be alive then, to be part of the demographic bulge called the war babies, meant that somewhere people more or less your age, people who might conceivably welcome you in their effort, whom you might even run into on the street (which often happened!), were trying whatever fool idea, passionate thought or cosmic vision they thought themselves capable of. You yourself could be doing nothing about such things for the moment, and maybe you never had and never would, yet through some alchemy of the time somehow you were part of their hope and they were part of yours.
The Sioux once sent young warriors to the mountains alone, and they were not to come back until they'd dreamed their names. They were protected by the instruction they'd received in how to survive and in how to interpret dreams. We had mostly had instruction in how to be like everyone else, only more successful, and in how dreams were not important. So when, as an entire generation, we made everywhere we went a mountain on which we were trying to dream our names - we were messy, out of hand, easily distracted, out of our depth, full of shit, half-assed, and in deep trouble. But all that sound and all that fury, all that silliness and all those trips imprinted on everyone who was there and on everyone who came after the notion that humankind has far more dimensions than had been admitted for a very long time. It is a simple and utterly disruptive notion. Some people have been trying to live it out and a lot of people have been trying to forget it ever since. Because once you admit it - once you