1969: A Look Back

in Culture

They say if you can remember the sixties, you weren’t there. Still, it’s hard to imagine that anyone living in 1960s America could ever forget 1969, especially with all the reminders a half-century later. This year, the golden anniversary of the moon landing is commemorated with an Apollo 11-themed butter sculpture at the Ohio State Fair and a limited-edition Budweiser that’s brewed by a female U.S. Air Force Captain from a 1969 recipe.

The 50th anniversary of the Manson murders, meanwhile, is being revisited with an exhibit of Charles Manson’s artworks, and while there won’t be a 50th anniversary concert at Woodstock, the festival is officially the namesake of a fully-licensed brand of cannabis, thanks to the ruling of a judge. Those aren’t the only watershed moments of 1969, though. By all accounts, the year was full of them.

The world of politics and government affairs was full of groundbreaking events. Richard Nixon was inaugurated as president, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower died, and Golda Meir became the first female prime minister of Israel.

During the height of the Vietnam War, the public staged heated and frequent demonstrations, with Berkeley community members establishing the “People’s Park,” Native American activists occupying Alcatraz, and the riots at Stonewall serving as a catalyst for the gay rights movement in America.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Harvard students took over the university’s administration building, resulting in nearly 200 arrests; the Weatherman first organized as a branch of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); members of the Black Panther party became government targets; and hundreds of thousands of protestors marched against the Vietnam War in demonstrations across the country.

Wikimedia CommonsMajor milestones mitigated serious disasters, however. It’s true that an inordinate amount of planes were either hijacked or crashed, a …

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Author: Tanja M. Laden / High Times

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