"The people didn't follow the teachings of its elders, but
rejected them for an alternative culture which was their very own. Made up of the younger population of the time this
new culture was such a radical society that they were given their own name which is still used today. They came to be
called the Hippies. The Hippie movement started in San Francisco, California and spread across the United States,
through Canada, and into parts of Europe. But it had its greatest influence in America. During the 1960's a radical group
called the Hippies shocked America with their alternative lifestyle and radical beliefs. Hippies came from many different
places and had many different backgrounds. All Hippies were young, from the ages of 15 to 25. They left their families
and did it for many different reasons. Some rejected their parents' ideas, some just wanted to get away, and others
simply were outcasts, who could only fit in with the Hippie population. Most Hippies came from wealthy middle class
families. Some people said that they were spoiled and wasting their lives away. But to Hippies themselves this was a
way of life and no one was going to get in the way of their dreams and ambitions."
"The Hippies were so different that the
conservative middle class could not relate to them and saw them as aliens."
"The single most important event
that put the Hippies on the map was held at the Golden Gate Park. It was called the Trips Festival. The Trips Festival was
a week long festival designed to celebrate the LSD experience. Besides this festival dozens of other events took place at
Golden Gate Park, some of which were free concerts by The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane and Anti-War rallies
held by Hippie political leaders. The other park is called the Buena Vista park and is known for housing hippies at night
and for socializing during the day."
"In 1969 400,000 young
people materialized for three dizzying days to listen to rock and blues music, to wear funny clothing or no clothes at all, to
talk, sing, dance, clap hands, to drink beer or smoke pot and make love-but mostly to marvel again and again that they
were all there together. This festival was held in a small town in up-state New York and came to be called Woodstock,
after the town it was held in. Also in Greenwich Village, New York Hippies had a place. The Village on every Sunday
was known to have hordes of singers with banjos and drums celebrating their youth together. One of the basic
foundations of the Hippie movement was the flagrant use of illegal drugs. There were many drugs that the Hippies used
but none was more used then marijuana. From 1960 to 1970 the number of Americans who had tried marijuana had
increased from a few hundred thousand to 8,000,000. The majority of these new users were from 12 years old to college
seniors. To some Hippies, drugs and music were the most important aspects of their lives. Another drug that was
prevalent in the Hippie population was LSD. Some Hippies thought that LSD “put you in touch with your surroundings”.
But that was not what always the case. On occasion a hippie would take bad LSD and would experience a "bad trip" or
would "freak out". When someone took bad LSD, freak out is exactly what they would do and sometimes they never
came back. Bad LSD was so common that even at Woodstock people were having bad trips and freaking out. Even with
this bad LSD everywhere people still used it, they went as far as to make a religion out of it."
"Hippies were notorious for
there out of the ordinary music. Many Hippies were actually musicians themselves. Hippies used music as a way to get
their thoughts and ideas out. One of the most influential musicians of the time was Bob Dylan. The lyrics of the song "Like
Rolling Stone" express the thoughts of many Hippies. They say: How does it feel How does it feel To be without a home
Like a complete unknown Like a rolling stone?” These lyrics expressed Dylan's personal thoughts to what was happening
to him. He did feel "like a rolling stone" and so did his peers. His simple but meaningful lyrics are what made him so
popular and successful. Many Hippies considered Dylan as a spokesman for their beliefs. Drugs were also themes in
many bands songs. Jimmy Hendrix's "Purple Haze" is about marijuana. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," is a Beatles
song about LSD. The Grateful Dead also took part in the fad with their song "Casey Jones," with lyrics such as "High on
Cocaine" and "You better watch your Speed." Besides their music and drugs Hippies did some out of the ordinary things
that were as shocking as their day-glo clothing."
"While the adults of the time were conservative, hard working, and caring mainly about money, the
Hippies didn't care about any of that. They were party animals. Many didn't work unless it was completely necessary,
they never went to church nor did they care for saving their virginity until after they were married. They were anything but
conservative and their families rejected them for it. Hippies easy going attitudes and fun and games lifestyles were put
away when the topic of politics came up. Indubitably the instigator for their existence, politics played a huge role in their
lives. Having strongest feelings for the Vietnam War and for the Civil Rights Movement, the Hippies made their beliefs
known to the world. They did this in many ways including musical shows, pacifist folk songs, and through peaceful sit-ins.
But none of their actions were more seen and heard of then their protests and rallies. The Hippies were aware that the
war was being lost and that thousands of American soldiers were dying. They took it upon themselves the make their
beliefs heard. They put together a protest larger then the ever before. Once organized not just Hippies came, but students,
intellectuals, radicals, and citizens of all classes took part in it. This protest was held in Washington DC in the heart of the
United States. 250,000 protesters gathered for one common goal. They wanted their troops to come back home and for
United States involvement in the war to be ended. Through the years of the Vietnam War hundreds of anti-war rallies
were held. By the decades end protests seemed to have done some good. Sixty five percent of all Americans had similar
views as the hippies. They wanted their troops back and that's what they got in the 1969 when the President gave the
word to bring them back home. Hippies had other feelings about racism and persecution. They took part in the civil rights
movement, just as they did in the for the Vietnam troops. When President Kennedy tried to pass his Civil Rights policies
and they never went through, the Hippies were more aggravated Eventually some Hippies tried to make their own
colonies where there was no racism and persecution. There were Hippie communes all over the United States. Some
communes believed that they were "fighting against the white man's perverted society of pollution ,war, and greed”. These
communes didn't get very popular and failed after a few years. Hippies still fought for racial equality. Finally when the
1960's were over new laws were put into action helping racial equality which would not have happened without the
"During the 1960's a radical group called the hippies shocked America with their alternative lifestyle and radical
beliefs. They were young people who enjoyed life to its fullest. They used illegal drugs and listened to rock and roll music.
With their alternative beliefs and practices they stunned America's conservative middle class. Concerned chiefly protesting
the Vietnam War and with civil rights they made a huge impact on the America and the world. Even today the effects of
the Hippie movement is still felt. They made huge advantages and set examples for the youth of today and years to come."