The Summer of Love
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play the soundtrack of Summer of 1967
The Summer of Love refers to the summer of 1967, when an
unprecedented gathering of as many as 100,000 young people converged on the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood of San
Francisco, creating a phenomenon of cultural and political rebellion. While hippies also gathered in New York,
Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, and across Europe, San Francisco was the epicenter of the hippie revolution, a
melting pot of music, psychedelic drugs, sexual freedom, creative expression, and politics. The Summer of Love
became a defining moment of the 1960s, as the hippie counterculture movement came into public
Runaway Kathy Aydelotte age 16. Many news accounts did not give her correct name due to her age.
Exclusively here at The 60s Official Site we have her real name. Married now she is Kathy Castro
and also admits still being somewhat of a hippie but "more responsible." Thanks Kathy for this now
famous photo from the past and the story behind it.
During the Summer of Love, as many as 100,000 young people from
around the world flocked to San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, Berkeley and other San Francisco Bay Area
cities to join in a popularized version of the hippie experience. Free food, free drugs and free love were
available in Golden Gate Park, a Free Clinic (whose work continues today) was established for medical treatment,
and a Free Store gave away basic necessities to anyone who needed them.
The Summer of Love in 1967 also presented a recognition of great
music during that summer. Although I don't consider myself a hippie, I did have friends who considered themselves a
hippy. This period of time although many from the 60s generation did not recognize or support it, needs to be
recognized here on this site because it was a part of the 60s generation history.
The ever-increasing numbers of youth making a pilgrimage to the
Haight-Ashbury district alarmed the San Francisco authorities, whose public stance was that they would keep the
hippies away. However Adam Kneeman, a long-time resident of the Haight-Ashbury, recalls that the police did little
to help, leaving the organization of the hordes of newcomers to the overwhelmed residents.
College and high-school students began streaming into the Haight
during the spring break of 1967. City government leaders, determined to stop the influx of young people once
schools let out for summer, unwittingly brought additional attention to the scene. An ongoing series of articles in
local papers alerted national media to the hippies' growing momentum. That spring, Haight community leaders
responded by forming the Council of the Summer of Love, giving the word-of-mouth event an official-sounding
The mainstream media's coverage of hippie life in the
Haight-Ashbury drew the attention of youth from all over America. Hunter S. Thompson labeled the district
"Hashbury" in the New York Times Magazine, and the activities in the area were reported almost daily.
The movement was also fed by the counterculture's own media,
particularly The San Francisco Oracle, whose pass-around readership topped a half-million at its peak that
The media's fascination with the "counterculture" continued with
the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967, where approximately 30,000 people gathered for the first day of the music
festival, with the number swelling to 60,000 on the final day. The song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)"
written by John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas and sung by Scott McKenzie was initially designed to promote
the Monterey Pop Festival.
"If you're going to San Francisco,be sure to wear some
flowers in your hair...If you're going to San Francisco,
Summertime will be a love-in there"
Francisco" became an instant hit (#4 in the U. S., #1 in the UK) and
quickly transcended its original purpose by popularizing an idealized image of San Francisco. In addition, media
coverage of the Monterey Pop Festival facilitated the Summer of Love, since large numbers of fledging hippies
headed to San Francisco to hear their favorite bands, among them Jefferson
Airplane, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Otis Redding, The Byrds, the Grateful Dead, The Who, and Big Brother and the
Holding Company with Janis Joplin.
When the newly recruited Flower Children returned home, they
brought new ideas, ideals, behaviors, and styles of fashion to most major cities in the U.S., Canada, Britain,
Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.
On October 6, 1967, those remaining in the Haight staged a mock
funeral, "The Death of the Hippie" ceremony, to signal the end of the played-out scene.