1969: The year everything changed

Stop, and read through this partial list of 1969 happenings on the cover, then proceed.

It has often been said, “If you can remember the 60’s, you weren’t there.”  This very turbulent transition from the post World War 11 generation to the generation of rebellion and freedom was, according to author Rob Kirkpatrick and others, culminated in just 12 months of absolute chaos.

I don’t remember much about the chaos.  In the first half of 1969 I was living under the shelter of a conservative Southwest Kansas farm of my ancestral Quaker heritage in small-town America.  The second half I was living within the protection of a rather legalistic Quaker Bible College.  Our version of “campus unrest” was to successfully protest assigned seating in chapel!

I remember a few stories highlighted within the book.  My Sr. Prom date, since I didn’t dance, was to the opening night of “True Grit” with John Wayne and Glen Campbell.  I loved CCR on the radio but was more into Donovan.  (he wasn’t mention in the book)  I didn’t see Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid until 1974 and have never seen Hair or Oh Calcutta. (good)  I was very into the Apollo 11 mission landing on the moon, but only knew of Woodstock as something one carload of my classmates traveled to.  While I loved motorcycles, an Easy Rider viewing was delayed until 1986!  Like I said, sheltered.

Kirkpatrick follows the year by seasons, therefore some of the stories have a beginning in one section and the outcome in another.  This is a crazy-busy book and you go away from each reading session with “I want more!”

While it’s true the terrible 1968 assassinations of  Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy stand as monumental markers of change in the American Culture, the sheer volume of important events truly make 1969 a turning point in American History.

As for rebellion, I surely wish I had the 1969 AMC AMX two-seat hot-rod car I ordered without my parents permission during the week I turned 18.  Thankfully, the dealership had a waiting list wanting it when it arrived.

#My little corner of the 60’s.

LK

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