Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Delightful Discoveries - The 1960s:Dawning of the Age of Aquarius 09.08.10

The Psychedelic 60s, the Decade of Development, The Swinging Sixties, The Age of Aquarius..."Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country","Make Love, Not War", "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out," "Helter Skelter"... The decade that began with Camelot and ended with the fulfillment of a nation's dream to put a man on the moon despite the counter culture movement, was also the most turbulent decade in modern history, shaking our nation's very roots at every level. A time of intellectual and social expansion, young Americans were beginning to question the meaning of life in a big way. Grab a drink, because there is SO much to cover in the 60's!

Society was changing rapidly during this decade resulting in sweeping changes in every sector of life. The civil rights movement, under the leadership of such famous leaders as Martin Luther King Jr and Malcolm X, continued its work towards desegregation. In 1965, President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, providing equal rights for all citizens, regardless of race, creed, or gender. The role of women in society also changed drastically over the course of the decade thanks to a resurgence in the Feminist Movement (aka Women's Lib) . The introduction of the birth control pill in 1960 offered women a choice between motherhood and career, as well as the freedom to enjoy their sexuality without the fear of unwanted pregnancy. Abortion (with cause) became legal in several states. As some draft dodgers burned their draft cards in response to the Vietnam war draft, women burned their bras (only figuratively though - the news reports simply reflected what would prove to be an urban legend), and experimentation with the mind-expanding effects of drugs like LSD and marijuana led to widespread recreational drug use of these drugs as well as heroin, "uppers" like speed, and "downers" like quaaludes.

During the 60's, the nation would express shock and dismay as we would see the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, his brother Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, and Malcolm X. One of the most chilling mass murders in the history of the country would also make headlines as Charles Manson, along with his "family" would murder 27 people in an attempt to incite what he felt was imminent helter skelter - a racial uprising of youth against the establishment.

Pop culture underwent myriad changes during this period as well. The "British Invasion" had a profound impact on music in the US, with the Dave Clark Five leading the invasion in 1964, to be followed and eclipsed by such famous British acts as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Chad and Jeremy, Herman's Hermits, and Petula Clark, among others. Rock music defined American culture in the 60's, with its songs depicting social unrest, the growing drug scene, free love, and youth's general disillusionment with the "establishment. " Hair, the first rock opera, debuted off-Broadway in 1967, gave America a decidedly unique view of the new counterculture with its use of drugs, profanity, nudity, interracial cast, and audience participation. Over the weekend of August 15 to August 18, 1969, 32 acts (including Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Arlo Guthrie, and Joan Baez) would perform in front of 500,000 concert goers on a 600-acre dairy farm in Bethel, New York. Woodstock, as this "hippie-fest" would come to be known, with its theme of "sex, drugs, and rock and roll" would be considered one of the most pivotal points in popular music history.

On TV, we were treated to a variety of lifestyles - from the small town life of Sheriff Andy Taylor on The Andy Griffith Show, to space-age meets middle east magic in I Dream of Jeannie, to the Robinson Crusoe-like adventures of the Skipper and Gilligan and their band of castaways on Gilligan's Island. Anyone could become rich - just ask Granny and Jed Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies; and space, the final frontier, would be explored by Captain James Tiberius Kirk along with his not completely human crew on Star Trek. Rowan and Martin introduced us to a delighfully ditzy young blonde -Goldie Hawn- as well as a new way of looking at humor (and scantily clad women) in society on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In. Tom Jones followed Elvis Presley's cue, by thrilling women with his on stage gyrations and Welsh charisma, and {ZAP! POW! SMASH!!} suave Bruce Wayne, with his young sidekick, Dick Grayson donned their superhero costumes to save humanity from the likes of Mr Freeze, the Joker, and Catwoman on Batman.

On the big screen, Hollywood offered us an amazing gamut of themes: 1964 gave America an ironically humorous way of relating to the Cold War in the dark comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb; Romance mixed with the rise of the Third Reich in The Sound of Music in 1965; a relaxation of social mores was explored when Anne Bancroft seduced a young Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate in 1967; and in 1968, to the strains of Strauss' Blue Danube, Dr David Bowman and HAL reached for the stars and the origins of life in 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Science and technology were also moving ahead at full speed. Astronaut Alan Shepard Jr would be the first American into space, as the 3rd Project Mercury mission would send him into orbit on May 5, 1961. Eight years later, on July 16, 1969, Astronaut Neil Armstrong would answer America's dream by being the first human to step on the moon - "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." In the field of medicine, the first human heart transplant was achieved, and the first artificial heart was implanted in a human being. In 1967, the first clone of a vertebrate - an African tree frog - was successfully produced. The Surgeon General declared smoking to be hazardous to our health, and acetaminophen became an alternative to aspirin. Permanent press fabric allows women to put away their ironing boards, and soft contact lenses allow more people to put away their eyeglasses. Optical discs (like those used for CDs and DVDs); computer mouses, and the first video game console were all invented, but would not become part of day to day life for quite a while. Bell Labs received the first patent for a LASER, and the ARPANET, a precursor to today's Internet, was born.

Betty Friedan expounded the need for women to have their own identities in The Feminine Mystique, while Rachel Carson helped to launch the environmental movement with Silent Spring. Ralph Nader advocated consumer safety through his books like Unsafe at Any Speed, and Jacqueline Susann took on the subject of addiction to prescription drugs in Valley of the Dolls. Masters and Johnson made their studies of human sexuality public in Human Sexual Response, and Joseph Heller attacked bureaucracy in Catch-22. Literature became a medium for social enlightenment and reform.

Peter Max and Andy Warhol introduced America to a new form of pop art, while fashion designers took advantage of social change to introduce go-go fashions, unisex clothes and other trendy styles inspired by the hippie movement, ethnic fashions, and the psychedelic drug scene.

I think I could have probably devoted an entire week to the 60's, but hopefully you've gotten a sense of the dramatic era that it was. Needless to say, I had one heck of a time trying to narrow down items to share with you here, especially since I received so many great nominations!!! Here are my final choices - Enjoy!

Jack and Jackie brought youth and style to the White House - and in the early 60's they were the epitome of the fashion designs that defined those days.

Gorgeous Adele Claire Gold Lame Pillbox from carmenandginger
SO MOD Vintage 1960s B and L RAY BAN Round Jackie O Sunglasses from PinkyAGoGo
GORGEOUS VINTAGE 1960s 2 Piece Dress and Jacket from TaxiDancer **
Vintage 1960s SINATRA SWANK Mad Men Era Rat Pack Tuxedo 38 from fabgabs

With the death of a president, came the death of our innocence - and fashion designers pushed the limits of propriety to reflect the rebellion of youth against conservative norms...from miniskirts and go-go boots to the folksy relaxed look of the hippie movement, and young people from across the country flocked to areas like Haight-Ashbury and events like Woodstock to seek out peace and love - and express their individuality and counterculture.

Vintage summer pants metalic zipper floral print 1960s from 42stvintage
Vintage 60s Mod Ultimate Flower Power GoGo Dress from MajikHorse
Vintage 60s Persimmon Mini Dress from VintageDevotion
Bright Yellow Flowers A Go Go - 1960s Shift Dress from yesterdazed
1960s Original Playboy Bunny Vintage Groovy Custom Made Jumpsuit from VivaLaVintageShoppe
Vintage Psychedelic Butterfly Wing Maxi Lounger from bigfishlilpond
Vintage 60s Mod Black Circle Link Belt from OpheliaVintage
Vintage 60s Mod MARASHINO CHERRIES Tall Patent GoGo Boots from retrothreadz
vintage 60s white GO GO tall knee high boots from RustBeltThreads
Big Square Sunglasses - French from yesterdazed
Vintage Wooden Peace Necklace from LLGVintage
Vintage 60's MONGOLIAN LAMB Ethnic EMBROIDERED Hippie Vest ML from DollyrockerVintage
1960's nehru-style Lilly Dache light brown shirt from jobella
MOD rock star beatle boots from thevintagevoice
Vintage 60s RUSSIAN folk style men pumpkin orange BOHO shirt from BetaPorHomme
Remembering Woodstock...... 1969 Vintage Suede Fringe Jacket from BBBDesigns
Vintage DASHIKI TUNIC Mini Dress Heart Ethnic S M L OS hippie poet from themadmod
Vintage Mexican PONCHO One Size Fits All from evascloset
PEACE OUT 60's Round Musician Hippie SUNGLASSES Charcoal from Starstruckladies
1960's leather (suede) hippie hat from jobella

You might remember the fashions, but do you remember items around the house or that were tucked away in those boxes in the attic that you found last summer? Perhaps these will jog your memory!

1964 The Beatles Magazine from DaysGoneBye
VIntage 60s black dial phone from sydg
Vintage 60s TEEN CUISINE Book Illustrated by Peter Max from nickandnessies
Vintage Seth Thomas Wall Clock Starburst from That70sShoppe
Peter Max bathing suit swimsuit from welovelucite **
60s Mid Century Modern PETER MAX Pop Art LOVE MARTINI TRAY from welovelucite **
Vintage 1963 Barbie Skipper Doll Redhead Box Outfits from vintagenowandthen

What an amazing time it was - I can honestly say that, having lived through the 60s, no other decade since then leaves me with the memories and sense of nostalgia that the 60s does. In many ways it shaped not only who I became in life, but it shaped the world. Tomorrow, I'll be looking at the 70's, a decade that continued the anti-establishment feel of the 60s, and took America toward even more changes. As always, if you have anything you'd like to have featured in any of my blog features, send them to me by clicking here for the submission form to e-mail the link to the page of the shop where I can see your items or your favorites from another shop.

Hope your day is groovy and far out!

**designates an undiscovered/underdiscovered shop!


Almost Precious said...

Thank you for the nostalgic road trip down memory lane via the 60's highway...hmm maybe it was more like route 66?

Candles by Nature said...

Wow what a great synopsis of such an amazing decade! I never knew that women burning their bras in the '60s was only an urban legend...that's definitely one of those tidbits I'll be sure to keep in mind!

Cindy @ Chalk it Up! said...

Wow, what a great post! A wealth of information and wonderful 60's inspired pix!

mysticwynd said...

I have to admit, I'm really enjoying doing this little trips down memory lane! Glad you're all enjoying the posts as well :)


Linnet said...

Wow Karen, what a lot of work you put into this great historical perspective of the turbulent 60's, together with some great photos! Thanks so much for including my Skipper Doll too!

Keep up the great blogging!


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