By Larry Ellis
The 1960s were a turbulent time, bombarded with unforgettable images, larger than life personalities and world changing events. The younger generation began to challenge their parents’ values and question authority in every aspect of life. It was Youth rebellion whether it was in the form of free love, hippie communes, experimenting with drugs, civil rights protests, or self-expression – a cultural revolution. Television and media were everywhere and brought an increased awareness of local and world events, which this decade was filled with the moon landing, March on Washington, Woodstock, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the Vietnam War.
The 60s were the Age of Aquarius and we were growing up, testing the boundaries, hoping and fearing that our actions would change the world. Self- expression made statements about who we were and many memorable styles emerged: long hair on men and women, bell-bottomed jeans and sandals or mini-skirts, wet look coats and knee-high vinyl boots.
People and events in the news in the 60s that I remember including: Brigitte Bardot, French actress and sex symbol; Jimi Hendrix, American guitar player who explored new ways of using the electric guitar; “Hair” the Musical; Woodstock, where the world watched “three days of peace and music”…. always wished I had been there. There was the horror movie “Rosemary’s Baby” with Mia Farrow that terrified audiences everywhere; Charles Manson horrified us with the pure evil of his insanity. On a happier note, the Barbie Doll was marketed and disturbed; there was the flying disc, the Frisbee, a toy that became a competitive game, still is! Anyone remember Pippi Longstocking, the Swedish, freckled, red head and pig-tailed girl, an expert at stretching the truth and always getting into trouble? I save perhaps the best ’til last – The Beatles – the Fab Four that travelled to the United Sates in 1964 and made an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show – they became an instant sensation; Beatlemania was born! It is such a great feeling to look back and remember the fabulous 60s!