The Vietnam War was a long, costly and divisive conflict that pitted the communist government of North Vietnam against South Vietnam and its principal ally, the United States. The conflict was intensified by the ongoing Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. More than 3 million people (including over 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War, and more than half of the dead were Vietnamese civilians. Opposition to the war in the United States bitterly divided Americans, even after President Richard Nixon ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces in 1973. Communist forces ended the war by seizing control of South Vietnam in 1975, and the country was unified as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam the following year.
In March 1965, Johnson made the decision—with solid support from the American public—to send U.S. combat forces into battle in Vietnam. By June, 82,000 combat troops were stationed in Vietnam, and military leaders were calling for 175,000 more by the end of 1965 to shore up the struggling South Vietnamese army.
is an American television sitcom set in a German prisoner of war (POW) camp during World War II. It ran for 168 episodes from September 17, 1965 to April 4, 1971 on the CBS network. Bob Crane starred as Colonel Robert E. Hogan, coordinating an international crew of Allied prisoners running a Special Operations group from the camp. Werner Klemperer played Colonel Wilhelm Klink, the incompetent commandant of the camp, and John Banner played the bungling sergeant-of-the-guard, Sergeant Hans Schultz.
Voting Rights Act
Is a landmark piece of federal legislation in the United States that prohibits racial discrimination in voting. It was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson during the height of the Civil Rights Movement on August 6, 1965, and Congress later amended the Act five times to expand its protections. Designed to enforce the voting rights guaranteed by the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution, the Act secured voting rights for racial minorities throughout the country, especially in the South. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the Act is considered to be the most effective piece of federal civil rights legislation ever enacted in the country.
Simon and Garfunkel
An American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the best-selling music groups of the 1960s and became counterculture icons of the decade’s social revolution, alongside artists such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and Bob Dylan. Their biggest hits—including “The Sound of Silence” (1964), “Mrs. Robinson” (1968), “The Boxer” (1969), and “Bridge over Troubled Water” (1970)—reached number one on singles charts worldwide.
Their often rocky relationship led to artistic disagreements, which resulted in their breakup in 1970. Their final studio record, Bridge over Troubled Water (released in January of that year), was their most successful, becoming one of the world’s best-selling albums. Since their split in 1970 they have reunited several times, most famously in 1981 for “The Concert in Central Park”, which attracted more than 500,000 people, the seventh-largest concert attendance in history.
The duo met in elementary school in Queens, New York, in 1953, where they learned to harmonize together and began writing original material. By 1957, under the name Tom & Jerry, the teenagers had their first minor success with “Hey Schoolgirl”, a song imitating their idols The Everly Brothers. Afterwards, the duo went their separate ways, with Simon making unsuccessful solo records. In 1963, aware of a growing public interest in folk music, they regrouped and were signed to Columbia Records as Simon & Garfunkel. Their début, Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M., sold poorly, and they once again disbanded; Simon returned to a solo career, this time in England. In June 1965, their song “The Sound of Silence” was overdubbed, adding electric guitar and a drumkit to the original 1964 recording. This later version became a major U.S. AM radio hit in 1965, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
They reunited, releasing their second studio album Sounds of Silence and touring colleges nationwide. On their third release, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966), the duo assumed more creative control. Their music was featured in the 1967 film The Graduate, giving them further exposure. Bookends (1968), their next album, topped the Billboard 200 chart and included the number-one single “Mrs. Robinson” from the film.
After their 1970 breakup following the release of Bridge over Troubled Water, they both continued recording, Simon releasing a number of highly acclaimed albums, including 1986’s Graceland. Garfunkel also briefly pursued an acting career, with leading roles in two Mike Nichols films, Catch-22 and Carnal Knowledge, and in Nicolas Roeg’s 1980 Bad Timing, as well as releasing some solo hits such as “All I Know”.
Simon & Garfunkel won 10 Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and their Bridge over Troubled Water album was nominated at the 1977 Brit Awards for Best International Album. It is ranked at number 51 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Richie Unterberger described them as “the most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s” and one of the most popular artists from the decade in general.
was a slogan used during the late 1960s and early 1970s as a symbol of passive resistance and non-violence ideology. It is rooted in the opposition movement to the Vietnam War.
The expression was coined by the American beat poet Allen Ginsberg in 1965 as a means to transform war protests into peaceful affirmative spectacles.
Hippies embraced the symbolism by dressing in clothing with embroidered flowers and vibrant colors, wearing flowers in their hair, and distributing flowers to the public, becoming known as flower children.
The term later became generalized as a modern reference to the hippie movement and the so-called counterculture of drugs, psychedelic music, psychedelic art and social permissiveness.
Timothy Leary (1920-1996)
An American psychologist and writer known for advocating the exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs under controlled conditions. Leary conducted experiments under the Harvard Psilocybin Project during American legality of LSD and psilocybin, resulting in the Concord Prison Experiment and the Marsh Chapel Experiment.
Leary’s colleague, Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), was fired from Harvard University on May 27, 1963 for giving psilocybin to an undergraduate student. Leary was planning to leave Harvard when his teaching contract expired in June, the following month. He was fired, for “failure to keep classroom appointments”, with his pay docked on April 30. National illumination as to the effects of psychedelics did not occur until after the Harvard scandal.
Leary believed that LSD showed potential for therapeutic use in psychiatry. He used LSD himself and developed a philosophy of mind expansion and personal truth through LSD. He popularized catchphrases that promoted his philosophy, such as “turn on, tune in, drop out”, “set and setting”, and “think for yourself and question authority”. He also wrote and spoke frequently about transhumanist concepts involving space migration, intelligence increase, and life extension (SMI²LE), and developed the eight-circuit model of consciousness in his book Exo-Psychology (1977). He gave lectures, occasionally billing himself as a “performing philosopher”.
During the 1960s and 1970s, he was arrested often enough to see the inside of 36 different prisons worldwide. President Richard Nixon once described Leary as “the most dangerous man in America”.
NOW (National Organization for Women)
is an American feminist organization founded in 1966. The organization consists of 550 chapters in all 50 U.S. states and in Washington, D.C.
is a 1960s American live action television series, based on the DC comic book character of the same name. It stars Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward as Robin – two crime-fighting heroes who defend Gotham City from a variety of arch villains. It is known for its camp style, upbeat theme music, and its intentionally humorous, simplistic morality (aimed at its largely teenage audience). This included championing the importance of using seat belts, doing homework, eating vegetables, and drinking milk. It was described by executive producer William Dozier as the only situation comedy on the air without a laugh track. 120 episodes aired on the ABC network for three seasons from January 12, 1966, to March 14, 1968, twice weekly for the first two and weekly for the third.
Roy Orbison (1936-1988)
An American singer-songwriter known for his distinctive, impassioned voice, complex song structures, and dark emotional ballads. The combination led many critics to describe his music as operatic, nicknaming him “the Caruso of Rock” and “the Big O”. While most male rock-and-roll performers in the 1950s and 1960s projected a defiant masculinity, many of Orbison’s songs instead conveyed vulnerability. His voice ranged from baritone to tenor, and music scholars have suggested that he had a three- or four-octave range. During performances, he was known for standing still and solitary, and for wearing black clothes, to match his dyed jet black hair and dark sunglasses, which lent an air of mystery to his persona.
Born in Texas, Orbison began singing in a rockabilly and country-and-western band in high school. He was signed by Sam Phillips, of Sun Records, in 1956, but his greatest success came with Monument Records. From 1960 to 1966, twenty-two of his singles reached the Billboard Top 40, and he wrote or co-wrote almost all that rose to the Top 10, including “Only the Lonely” (1960), “Running Scared” (1961), “Crying” (1961), “In Dreams” (1963), and “Oh, Pretty Woman” (1964). Soon afterward, Orbison was struck by a number of personal tragedies while his record sales declined. In the 1980s, he experienced a resurgence in popularity through the success of several cover versions of his songs, and in 1988, co-founded the Traveling Wilburys, a rock supergroup with George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and Jeff Lynne. He died of a heart attack later that year, at the age of 52. One month later, his song “You Got It” (1989), co-written with Lynne and Petty, was released as a solo single and became his first to break the U.S. Top 10 in twenty-five years.
His honors include inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in the same year, and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1989.
An American media franchise based on the science fiction television series created by Gene Roddenberry. The first television series, simply called Star Trek and now referred to as “The Original Series“, debuted in 1966 and aired for three seasons on the television network NBC.
It followed the interstellar adventures of Captain James T. Kirk (William Shatner) and his crew aboard the starship USS Enterprise, a space exploration vessel, built by the United Federation of Planets in the twenty-third century.
The Star Trek canon of the franchise includes The Original Series, an animated series, five spin-off television series, the film franchise, and further adaptations in several media.
are an American rock and pop band originally active between 1965 and 1971, with subsequent reunion albums and tours in the decades that followed. They were formed in Los Angeles in 1965 by Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider for the American television series The Monkees, which aired from 1966 to 1968. The musical acting quartet was composed of Americans Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork and British stage and television actor and singer Davy Jones. The band’s music was initially supervised by producer Don Kirshner, backed by the songwriting duo of Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart.
For the first few months of their initial five-year career as “the Monkees”, the four actor-musicians were allowed only limited roles in the recording studio. This was due in part to the amount of time required to film the television series. Nonetheless, Nesmith did compose and produce some songs from the beginning, and Peter Tork contributed limited guitar work on the sessions produced by Nesmith. They eventually fought for and earned the right to collectively supervise all musical output under the band’s name. The sitcom was canceled in 1968, but the band continued to record music through 1971. The Monkees have sold more than 75 million records worldwide and had international hits, including “Last Train to Clarksville”, “Pleasant Valley Sunday”, “Daydream Believer”, and “I’m a Believer”.
are an English rock band that formed in 1964. Their classic line-up consisted of lead singer Roger Daltrey, guitarist and singer Pete Townshend, bass guitarist John Entwistle, and drummer Keith Moon. They are considered one of the most influential rock bands of the 20th century, selling over 100 million records worldwide and holding a reputation for their live shows and studio work.
The Who developed from an earlier group, the Detours, and established themselves as part of the pop art and mod movements, featuring auto-destructive art by destroying guitars and drums on stage. Their first single as the Who, “I Can’t Explain”, reached the UK top ten, followed by a string of singles including “My Generation”, “Substitute” and “Happy Jack”. In 1967, they performed at the Monterey Pop Festival and released the US top ten single “I Can See for Miles”, while touring extensively. The group’s fourth album, 1969’s rock opera Tommy, included the single “Pinball Wizard” and was a critical and commercial success. Live appearances at Woodstock and the Isle of Wight Festival, along with the live album Live at Leeds, cemented their reputation as a respected rock act. With their success came increased pressure on lead songwriter and visionary Townshend, and the follow-up to Tommy, Lifehouse, was abandoned. Songs from the project made up 1971’s Who’s Next, which included the hit “Won’t Get Fooled Again”. The group released the album Quadrophenia in 1973 as a celebration of their mod roots, and oversaw the film adaptation of Tommy in 1975. They continued to tour to large audiences before semi-retiring from live performances at the end of 1976. The release of Who Are You in 1978 was overshadowed by the death of Moon shortly after.
Summer of Love
A social phenomenon that occurred during the summer of 1967, when as many as 100,000 people, mostly young people sporting hippie fashions of dress and behavior, converged in San Francisco’s neighborhood of Haight-Ashbury. Although hippies also gathered in many other places in the U.S., Canada and Europe, San Francisco was at that time the most publicized location for hippie subculture.
Hippies, sometimes called flower children, were an eclectic group. Many were suspicious of the government, rejected consumerist values, and generally opposed the Vietnam War. A few were interested in politics; others were concerned more with art (music, painting, poetry in particular) or spiritual and meditative practices.
was a rock band based in San Francisco, California, who pioneered psychedelic rock. Formed in 1965, the group defined the San Francisco Sound and was the first from the Bay Area to achieve international commercial success. They were headliners at the three most famous American rock festivals of the 1960s—Monterey (1967), Woodstock (1969) and Altamont (1969)—and the first Isle of Wight Festival (1968) in England. Their 1967 break-out album Surrealistic Pillow ranks on the short list of the most significant recordings of the “Summer of Love”. Two songs from that album, “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit”, are among Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Songs of All Time.”
The “classic” lineup of Jefferson Airplane, from October 1966 to February 1970, was Marty Balin (vocals), Paul Kantner (guitar, vocals), Grace Slick (vocals), Jorma Kaukonen (lead guitar, vocals), Jack Casady (bass), and Spencer Dryden (drums). Marty Balin left the band in 1971. After 1972, Jefferson Airplane effectively split into two groups. Kaukonen and Casady moved on full time to their own band, Hot Tuna. Slick, Kantner, and the remaining members of Jefferson Airplane recruited new members and regrouped as Jefferson Starship in 1974, with Marty Balin eventually joining them. Jefferson Airplane was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and was presented with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016.
The Mamas and The Papas
were an American folk rock vocal group that recorded and performed from 1965 to 1968, and were a defining force in the music scene of the Counterculture of the 1960s. The band reunited briefly in 1971 to record the album People Like Us but did not perform outside their recording studio at that time. The group was composed of John Phillips, Denny Doherty, Cass Elliot, and Michelle Phillips née Gilliam. Their sound was based on vocal harmonies arranged by John Phillips, the songwriter, musician, and leader of the group who adapted folk to the new beat style of the early sixties.
They released a total of five studio albums and seventeen singles over a four-year period, six of which made the Billboard top ten, and have sold close to 40 million records worldwide. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 for their contributions to the music industry
May 1 1967
Elvis Presley and Priscilla Beaulieu were married in a brief civil ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.
Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970)
An American rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter. Although his mainstream career spanned only four years, he is widely regarded as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music, and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame describes him as “arguably the greatest instrumentalist in the history of rock music”.
Born in Seattle, Washington, Hendrix began playing guitar at the age of 15. In 1961, he enlisted in the U.S. Army and trained as a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne Division; he was granted an honorable discharge the following year. Soon afterward, he moved to Clarksville, Tennessee, and began playing gigs on the Chitlin’ Circuit, earning a place in the Isley Brothers’ backing band and later with Little Richard, with whom he continued to work through mid-1965. He then played with Curtis Knight and the Squires before moving to England in late 1966 after being discovered by Linda Keith, who in turn interested bassist Chas Chandler of the Animals in becoming his first manager. Within months, Hendrix had earned three UK top ten hits with the Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Hey Joe”, “Purple Haze”, and “The Wind Cries Mary”. He achieved fame in the U.S. after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and in 1968 his third and final studio album, Electric Ladyland, reached number one in the U.S.; it was Hendrix’s most commercially successful release and his first and only number one album. The world’s highest-paid performer, he headlined the Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Isle of Wight Festival in 1970, before his accidental death from barbiturate-related asphyxia on September 18, 1970, at the age of 27.
Hendrix was inspired musically by American rock and roll and electric blues. He favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, and was instrumental in utilizing the previously undesirable sounds caused by guitar amplifier feedback. He helped to popularize the use of a wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock, and was the first artist to use stereophonic phasing effects in music recordings. Holly George-Warren of Rolling Stone commented: “Hendrix pioneered the use of the instrument as an electronic sound source. Players before him had experimented with feedback and distortion, but Hendrix turned those effects and others into a controlled, fluid vocabulary every bit as personal as the blues with which he began.
The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
An American comedy and variety show television series hosted by the Smothers Brothers and initially airing on CBS from 1967 to 1969.
The series was a major success, especially considering it was scheduled against the major NBC television series, Bonanza, with content that appealed to contemporary youth viewership with daring political satire humor and major music acts such as Buffalo Springfield, Pete Seeger, Cream, and The Who. Despite this success, continual conflicts with network executives over content led to the show being abruptly pulled from the schedule in violation of the Smothers’ contract in 1969.
The Beatles: Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
is the eighth studio album by English rock band the Beatles. Released on 26 May 1967 in the United Kingdom and 2 June 1967 in the United States, it was an immediate commercial and critical success, spending 27 weeks at the top of the UK albums chart and 15 weeks at number one in the US. On release, the album was lauded by the vast majority of critics for its innovations in music production, songwriting and graphic design, for bridging a cultural divide between popular music and high art, and for providing a musical representation of its generation and the contemporary counterculture. It won four Grammy Awards in 1968, including Album of the Year, the first rock LP to receive this honour.
In August 1966, the Beatles permanently retired from touring and began a three-month holiday from recording. During a return flight to London in November, Paul McCartney had an idea for a song involving an Edwardian era military band that would eventually form the impetus of the Sgt. Pepper concept. Sessions for the album began on 24 November in Abbey Road Studio Two with two compositions inspired by their youth, “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane”, but after pressure from EMI, the songs were released as a double A-side single and were not included on the album.
In February 1967, after recording the title track “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, McCartney suggested that the Beatles should release an entire album that would represent a performance by the fictional Sgt. Pepper band. This alter ego group would give them the freedom to experiment musically. During the recording sessions, the band furthered the technological progression they had made with their 1966 album Revolver. Knowing they would not have to perform the tracks live, they adopted an experimental approach to composition and recording on songs such as “With a Little Help from My Friends”, “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “A Day in the Life”. Producer George Martin and engineer Geoff Emerick’s innovative recording of the album included the liberal application of sound shaping signal processing and the use of a 40-piece orchestra performing aleatoric crescendos. Recording was completed on 21 April 1967. The cover, depicting the Beatles posing in front of a tableau of celebrities and historical figures, was designed by the British pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth.
Sgt. Pepper is regarded by musicologists as an early concept album that advanced the use of extended form in popular music while continuing the artistic maturation seen on the Beatles’ preceding releases. It has been described as one of the first art rock LPs, aiding the development of progressive rock, and credited with marking the beginning of the album era. An important work of British psychedelia, the album incorporates a range of stylistic influences, including vaudeville, circus, music hall, avant-garde, and Western and Indian classical music. In 2003, the Library of Congress placed Sgt. Pepper in the National Recording Registry, honouring the work as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.
An American biweekly magazine that focuses on popular culture. It was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner, who is still the magazine’s publisher, and the music critic Ralph J. Gleason. I
t was first known for its musical coverage and for political reporting by Hunter S. Thompson. In the 1990s, the magazine shifted focus to a younger readership interested in youth-oriented television shows, film actors, and popular music. In recent years, it has resumed its traditional mix of content.