The '60s at 50


Saturday, April 22, 1967: Birth of the Big Mac

The Big Mac -- advertised as a hamburger "made with 2 freshly ground patties, tangy melted cheese, crisp lettuce, pickle and our own Special Sauce" -- is added to the menu at the McDonald's in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, thanks to Jim Delligatti (the franchise owner who created it) and Esther Glickstein (the corporate secretary who named it). Following the Big Mac's success locally, the parent company would make it available nationwide starting in 1968. (The famous "twoallbeefpattiesspecialsaucelettucecheesepicklesonionsonasesameseedbun" ad campaign would follow in early 1975.)
-- Above: advertisement in The Morning Herald, Uniontown, April 21, 1967
-- Below: advertisement in The Morning Herald, September 28

* "A Meal Disguised as a Sandwich: The Big Mac" (Pennsylvania Center for the Book, 2009): @
* "McDonald's: Behind the Arches" (John F. Love, 1995): @
* "Golden Arch Angel" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 1993): @
* "Michael James Delligatti, Creator of the Big Mac, Dies at 98" (New York Times, 2016): @
* "Woman Who Named Big Mac Finally Recognized" (Associated Press, 1985): @
* Big Mac Museum (North Huntingdon, Pennsylvania): @ (website) and @ ( 


Saturday, April 15, 1967: Spring Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam

Tens of thousands of people march in anti-war rallies in New York and San Francisco. The rallies themselves were evidence of Americans' ever-increasing disenchantment with the Vietnam War, while an instance of flag burning in New York's Central Park (pictured above) was a pivotal event in leading to a 1968 flag desecration law. 
     -- Photo by New York Daily News

Vietnam protests
* Summary ( @
* Summary ("The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War," edited by Spencer C. Tucker, 2011): @
* San Francisco summary, photos (Harvey Richards Media Archive): @
* Pamphlet (NYU Archives Collection): @
* Various documents (The Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change): @

Flag burning
* "Flag-burning overview" (First Amendment Center): @
* "State flag-protection laws" (First Amendment Center): @
* "Timeline of Flag Desecration Issues" ( @
* "The Flag Bulletin; Two Centuries of Burning Flags, A Few Years of Blowing Smoke" (New York Times, 1995): @
* Text of flag desecration law (July 5, 1968): @
* "Congress Passes Flag Protection Act" (Today in Civil Liberties History): @
* "Flag Burning: Moral Panic and the Criminalization of Protest" (Michael Welch, 2000): @
* "Flag Burning and Free Speech: The case of Texas v. Johnson" (Robert Justin Goldstein, 2000): @
* "Flag Protection: A Brief History of Recent Supreme Court Decisions and Proposed Constitutional Amendment" (Congressional Research Service, 2001): @
* "Inside the Supreme Court's flag burning decision" (National Constitution Center): @ 


Tuesday, April 11, 1967: Robert Kennedy's tour of the Mississippi Delta

CLEVELAND, Mississippi -- Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., trekking through poverty pockets in rural Mississippi, said Tuesday the United States spends $3 billion annually caring for its dogs and "we could do more for children." Standing at the rear of a weather-beaten, wooden frame house near this community in the cotton-growing Delta, the senator said: "We spend about $3 billion each year on dogs. You'd think we could do more for children. I think that it is our responsibility as American citizens." Negroes in this area are increasingly being idled by the replacement of hand labor with mechanized farm equipment. ... Sen. Joseph Clark, D-Pa, said the money spent to fight poverty was inadequate but more money in itself won't solve the problem. It will take more skills and community interest to help poor people, he said. His subcommittee has been looking into War on Poverty programs for two days in Mississippi.

CLARKSDALE, Mississippi -- A Senate subcommittee, carrying volumes of testimony and memories of hungry children, returned to Washington today (April 12) after a look at poverty conditions among Negroes in the Mississippi Delta. "We need a reawakening of the social conscience of America," said Sen. Joseph S. Clark, D-Pa., chairman of the subcommittee on employment, manpower and poverty. Both Clark and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y., spent a long day driving through the low-lying cotton country with stops at several ramshackle Negro homes and anti-poverty centers, interviewing dozens of Negro families. The tour, which ended here late Tuesday, came on the heels of a hearing in Jackson at which several witnesses told of widespread hunger and unemployment among Negro farm workers displaced by mechanization and reduced cotton acreage.

-- News accounts from Associated Press
-- Top photo from Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights; other photos by Jim Lucas: @ 

* "Clark and Kennedy Visit the Poor in Mississippi" (New York Times, April 12, 1967): @
* Excerpt from "Robert Kennedy and His Times" (Arthur Schlesinger, 1978): @
* "Bobby Kennedy in Mississippi" (Photos, The Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Mississippi, 2016): @
* "Robert Kennedy's Transformation Ran Through Mississippi" (Clarion-Ledger, 2016): @
* "Bobby Kennedy chose to see problems first hand" (Bill Minor, 2008): @
* "Mississippi docs helped fight 'war on poverty' " (Minor, 2016): @
* "With RFK in the Delta," (John Carr, 2002): @
* "Delta Ephipany: RFK in Mississippi" (Ellen Meacham, 2017): @
* Interview with Marian Wright Edelman (1988): @
* Interview with Peter Edelman (1974): @
* "Poverty" entry from Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights: @


Friday, April 7, 1967: KMPX

Tom Donahue takes over the 8 p.m.-to-midnight shift at FM radio station KMPX in San Francisco, extending the station's embrace of what came to be known variously as underground radio, progressive radio or free-form radio -- in other words, music beyond the bounds of top 40. (In February, Larry Miller had brought the anything-goes format to KMPX with his midnight-to-6 a.m. program.)
     -- Tom Donahue, left, at KMPX in 1967; photo by Michael Ochs

* "A Brief History of 106.9 FM in San Francisco" (Bay Area Radio Museum): @
* "FM 107 KMPX, San Francisco: Tom Donahue" (includes sound clip from May 1967; Bay Area Radio Museum): @
* Larry Miller handbill (Bay Area Radio Museum): @
* KMPX staff, 1968 (photo by Baron Wolman): @
* Donahue biography ("Encyclopedia of Radio," edited by Christopher H. Sterling, 2004): @
* Donahue biography (Rock and Roll Hall of Fame): @
* "One More Page in the Book of Love: Tom Donahue, 1928-1975" (Greil Marcus, 1975): @
* "Birth of Community Rock Radio: A Brief History of KMPX and KSAN-FM" (FoundSF): @
* KMPX entry from (site devoted to KSAN; includes sound clips): @
* "KMPX San Francisco Radio Workers Strike 1968" (Global Nonviolent Action Database): @
* "Free-Form Revolutionaries of Top 40 Radio / How Donahue, Syracuse Rocked the Bay Area Airwaves" (, 1998): @
* "Rock Stations Giving Albums the Air Play" (Billboard, July 22, 1967): @
* "KMPX's Tom Donahue Programs Music with a Wide Open View" (Billboard, December 30, 1967): @
* "The Underground Radio Turn-On" (Look magazine, June 24, 1969; from New York Radio Archive; scroll down for page images): @
* "FM Underground Radio: Love for Sale" (Rolling Stone, April 1970): @
* "Hip Capitalism" (Susan Krieger, 1979): @ 
* "The Republic of Rock" (Michael J. Kramer, 2013): @


Tuesday, April 4, 1967: 'Beyond Vietnam'

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. makes his most public and comprehensive statement against the Vietnam War. Addressing a crowd of 3,000 people in New York City’s Riverside Church, King delivers a speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam.” King points out that the war effort is “taking the young black men who have been crippled by our society and sending them 13,000 miles away to guarantee liberties in Southeast Asia which they had not found in southwest Georgia and East Harlem.” Although some activists and newspapers supported King’s statement, most responded with criticism. King’s civil rights colleagues began to disassociate themselves from his radical stance, and the NAACP issued a statement against merging the civil rights movement and peace movement. 
     -- From "A Time To Break Silence: The Essential Works of Martin Luther King Jr. for Students" (The Martin Luther King Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University): @

* Text and audio (American Rhetoric): @
* Text and audio (King Research and Education Institute): @
* Summary (King Research and Education Institute): @
* "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (et al.) speak on the war in Vietnam" (booklet, 1967): @
* "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" (King speech, April 30, 1967; typed speech from The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Atlanta, Georgia): @
* "King's FBI File -- Riverside Church Speech on Vietnam" (American RadioWorks): @ 
* "When Martin Luther King Came Out Against Vietnam" (The New York Times, 2017): @
* "Martin Luther King's Searing Antiwar Speech, Fifty Years Later" (The New Yorker, 2017): @


Friday, March 31, 1967: Jimi Hendrix sets guitar on fire

During a show at London's Finsbury Park Astoria, Jimi Hendrix puts a match to his lighter-fluid-soaked guitar, a stunt that would be more famously repeated (and photographed) at the Monterey International Pop Music Festival in June.
     -- Image, news account from Associated Press

* Summary from @
* Excerpt from "Jimi Hendrix Gear: The Guitars, Amps & Effects That Revolutionized Rock 'n' Roll" (Michael Heatley, 2009): @
* Excerpt from "The Words and Music of Jimi Hendrix" (David Moscowitz, 2010): @
* "Jimi Hendrix's PR Reveals Truth About First Guitar Burning" (Uncut, 2008): @
* "The Day Jimi Hendrix Set His Guitar on Fire for the First Time" (Ultimate Classic Rock, 2015): @
* Tour program ( @ 


Thursday, March 30, 1967: Photo shoot for 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'

The image on the album cover is composed of a collage of celebrities. There are 88 figures, including the band members themselves. Pop artist Peter Blake and his wife Jann Haworth conceived and constructed the set, including all the life-size cutouts of historical figures. The set was photographed, with the Beatles standing in the centre, by Michael Cooper. Copyright was a problem as Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, had to locate each person in order to get permission to use their image in this context.
-- From Victoria and Albert Museum, London: @

* "Making The Cover for Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" ( @
* "Cover shoot for Sgt. Pepper" (The Beatles Bible): @
* "Sgt. Pepper Cover" (The Beatles Website): @
* "Behind the Cover of Sgt. Pepper" (Entertainment Weekly): @
* "The Sgt. Pepper's Album Cover: Faces in the Crowd" (Performing Songwriter): @
* Summary from @
* More about Peter Blake ("The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four," Kenneth Womack, 2014: @ 


Friday, January 27, 1967: Apollo 1

A flash fire occurred in command module 012 during a launch pad test of the Apollo/Saturn space vehicle being prepared for the first piloted flight, the AS-204 mission. Three astronauts, Lt. Col. Virgil I. Grissom, a veteran of Mercury and Gemini missions; Lt. Col. Edward H. White, the astronaut who had performed the first United States extravehicular activity during the Gemini program; and Roger B. Chaffee, an astronaut preparing for his space flight, died.
     -- Summary, photo by NASA: @

* "Report of Apollo 2014 Review Board" (NASA, April 1967): @
* "Apollo 204 Accident" (report of the Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences, U.S. Senate, January 1968): @
* "3 Apollo Astronauts Die In Fire; Grissom, White, Chaffee Caught in Capsule During A Test on Pad" (New York Times): @
* "Three Apollo Spacemen Die As Blaze Sweeps Moonship" (Associated Press): @
* Life magazine, February 3, 1967: @
* Life, February 10: @
* "Apollo 1: The Fatal Fire" ( @
* "Apollo 1: The Fire That Shocked NASA" (Scientific American): @
* Summary (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum): @
* "Space Tragedy: Astronauts Die in Apollo Fire" (Universal Newsreel): @
* ABC News report: @ 


January 1967: 'The Peter Principle'

"The Peter Principle" first appeared as an article in Esquire magazine in January 1967; two years later, Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull turned the material into a best-selling book.

The most memorable tenet -- "in a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence" -- was supplemented by Peter's Corollary ("in time, every post tends to be occupied by an employee who is incompetent to carry out its duties") and, lastly, "Work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence."

* Esquire, January 1967 (online subscription required): @
* "The Peter Principle: Why Things Always Go Wrong" (1969 book): @
* "How the Peter Principle Works" ( @
* Peter obituary (New York Times, January 1990): @
* "Laurence Peter" (The Economist, January 2009): @
* "Lawrence J. Peter & Raymond Hull" (Literary Landmarks, Vancouver Public Libary; includes links to short biographies of Peter and Hull): @
* "Overcoming the Peter Principle" (Andrea Ovans, Harvard Business Review, December 2014): @ 


Saturday, January 14, 1967: 'Human Be-In'

SAN FRANCISCO -- Anybody who was nobody was there.
     And if there were any anybodys, nobody knew.
     It was the city's biggest social event of the season but it failed to make the society pages.
     It was a happening.
     It took place Saturday at the polo field in Golden Gate Park. They were all there -- the hippy denizens of the Haight-Asbury District and outlying regions, the activists from Berkeley, the Hells Angles, students, beatniks, toddlers. Thirteen thousand of them under a sunny sky.
     And about 2,000 spectators, some of them bemused, some completely dumbfounded. The police also sent a delegation, mainly to ticket dozens of illegally parked cars.
     Word of the event began circulating earlier this month in the Haight-Asbury, home for many of the city's far-out types. It was billed as a "human Be-In" and a "Gathering of the Tribes," a get-together for political activists and hippies. The public was also invited and asked to bring "costumes, blankets, bells, flags, symbols, drums, beads, feathers and flowers."
     -- Story by United Press International
     -- Photo by Ted Streshinsky

* "Reliving the Human Be-In 50 Years Later" (San Francisco Chronicle, January 2017): @
* Summary from California Historical Society: @
* Description from Peter Coyote: @
* "Human Be-In in San Francisco 1967" (The Allen Ginsberg Project, July 2011): @
* "The Human Be-In" (Helen Perry, 1970): @
* "The Beginning is the Human Be-In" (Berkeley Barb, January 6, 1967): @
* "What Happened at the Hippening" (Berkeley Barb, January 20, 1967): @
* Footage: @ and @
* Photos by Larry Kennan: @
* Poster (Oakland Museum of California): @ 


Thursday, January 12, 1967: Cryogenics

Phoenix, Arizona -- The body of an elderly California professor who died of cancer will arrive here this week for storage in a steel capsule at 220 degrees below zero centigrade for an experiment in bringing persons back from the dead, it was learned today.
     Identity of the professor was not disclosed, but the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner said friends reported he was Dr. James Bedford, 73, of Glendale, who died last Thursday.
     The Cryonics Society of California is conducting the experiment. When a cure for cancer is found, the body of the professor will be thawed and an attempt made to revive him, the experimenters said.
     -- United Press International, January 19, 1967. Full story: @
     -- Photo: Robert F. Nelson, left, president of the Cryonics Society of California, and physician-biophysicist Dr. Dante Branol demonstrate the cryogenic freezing process in 1967. Photo by J.R. Eyerman.

* "The cold way to new life" (Life magazine, January 27, 1967): @
* "The First Suspension" (Alcor Life Extension Foundation, 1991): @
* "Inside the Immortality Business" (Josh Dean, 2013): @
* "Freezing People Is (Not) Easy: My Adventures in Cryonics" (Bob Nelson, 2014): @
* "Into the Deep Freeze: What Kind of Person Chooses to Get Cryonically Preserved?" (California magazine, 2015): @
* "50 years frozen: The world's first cryonically preserved human's disturbing journey to immortality" (Quartz, 2017): @
* "Cool dude James Bedford has been cryonically frozen for 50 years" (CNET, 2017): @
* Cryonics Institute: @
* Earlier post on "The Prospect of Immortality" (1964): @


Sunday, November 20, 1966: Women's right to vote in Switzerland

     Switzerland, the last civilized country to withhold the vote from its women, will continue to do so, its male voters decided Sunday. A total of 201,145 male voters in Zurich County (Canton) voted in a referendum considered crucial for the cause of women's rights in Switzerland.
     They rejected a constitutional amendment giving the county's women equal voting rights, 93,372 in favor and 107,773 opposed. The farm vote turned the tide since the Zurich results showed 46,374 yes votes to 37,602 nos.
     Supporters of female suffrage throughout Switzerland had hoped the Canton of Zurich, the Alpine Republic's most populous and economically important, would approve the amendment and pave the way for a similar vote eventually on the federal level.
     Most political groups with the exception of the Farmer's Party had appealed for a "yes" vote, but the conservatism of rural areas and industrial regions turned the tide against female suffrage.

-- Story by United Press International
-- Photo by Swiss Broadcasting Service: @. Caption: "In 1966 women in Basel gave Helvetia, the embodiment of Switzerland, a placard saying "I cannot vote"
-- Note: Women would not get the right to vote until February 7, 1971: @

* "Women's Place at Polls? Swiss Men Answer 'No' " (New York Times): @
* "Switzerland's Long Way to Women's Right To Vote" (History of Switzerland): @
* "Swiss Suffragettes were still fighting for the right to vote in 1971" (The Independent, 2015): @
* "Women and the Vote: A World History" (Jad Adams, 2014): @ 


Tuesday, November 8, 1966: U.S. elections

Alabama: Lurleen Wallace
     A triumphant Lurleen Wallace reigned unchallenged as Alabama's first woman governor-elect today while her husband took a fresh look at the 1968 presidential campaign. A landslide of straight-ticket Democratic votes touched off by Gov. George Wallace's previously proven popularity swept his wife into office as his successor and crushed the strongest Republican threat in Alabama in almost a century. -- Associated Press: @
* Summary (Encyclopedia of Alabama): @
* Summary (Alabama Department of Archives and History): @

Alabama: Jim Clark
     Wilson Baker, a veteran law enforcement officer who disagreed with the mass arrest of Negroes in Selma during the Civil Rights struggle in 1965, has finally won his race for sheriff. Baker defeated the present sheriff, James G. Clark, in Tuesday's election despite a write-in campaign which brought Clark thousands of votes. -- Associated Press: @

Alabama: Lowndes County Freedom Organization
     White incumbents in Lowndes County turned back the challenge of seven "black power candidates yesterday. ... Interest was centered on Hayneville and Lowndes County, where Stokely Carmichael first launched his "black power" drive under the emblem of the "black panther." -- Associated Press
*  Image from "The Story of the Development of an Independent Political Movement on the County Level" (Jack Minnis, 1967): @

Alabama: Lucius Amerson
     Lucius D. Amerson, a barrel-chested, soft-spoken, determined young man, was elected sheriff of Macon County this week. When he takes office in January, Amerson, a Democrat, will be Alabama's first Negro sheriff in the 20th century. -- The Southern Courier: @
* CBS News report, 1966: @
* "A New Look in Southern Sheriffs" (Ebony, May 1967): @
* "Sheriff Made History Simply by Doing His Job" (Washington Post, August 2008): @

California: Ronald Reagan
     Political newcomer Ronald Reagan today won California's governorship in a landslide that made him a national GOP political force. But he promptly denied even "favorite son" presidential hopes in 1968. -- United Press International: @
* Results ( @
* "The Making Of A Governor" (KRON documentary, 1966): @
* "Reagan's 1966 Gubernatorial Campaign Turns 50: California, Conservatism, and Donald Trump" (Ryan Reft, KCET, 2016): @

Georgia: Lester Maddox
     Republican Howard H. (Bo) Callaway held a slim and uncertain lead over Democrat Lester Maddox in the Georgia governor's race as the probability mounted that neither conservative candidate will gain a required majority. The combination of a strong write-in vote for moderate Ellis Arnall, an expected late rural surge for segregationist Maddox and even the few uncounted absentee ballots apparently will throw the election into the legislature and probably the courts. -- Associated Press: @
     Note: Per state law, the election went to the General Assembly, which selected Maddox as governor on January 10, 1967. -- Digital Library of Georgia: @ 
* "Gubernatorial Election of 1966" (New Georgia Encyclopedia): @
* "1966 Election for Governor of Georgia" (Our Georgia History): @

Maryland: Spiro Agnew
     Republican Spiro T. Agnew was elected Tuesday to be governor of Maryland -- surmounting a three to one Democratic majority and the power of a slogan ("Your home is your castle; protect it") that appealed to the white backlash element. -- Associated Press: @
* Biography (U.S. Senate): @

Massachusetts: Edward Brooke
     Republican Edward W. Brooke, a Negro, was elected to the U.S. Senate Tuesday. The victory, he said, "gave the world the answer that we've been waiting for." Brooke, who becomes the first Negro senator since Reconstruction, predicted throughout his campaign that there would be no white backlash. And Massachusetts voters -- 98 percent white -- made good his word, giving Brooke a solid majority giving Brooke a solid majority over Democratic former Gov. Endicott Peabody. -- United Press International: @
* Biography (U.S. House of Representatives): @

Tennessee: Howard Baker
     Howard Baker Jr., a political novice from Knoxville, soundly thrashed veteran Gov. Frank Clement to become Tennessee's first elected Republican senator. Baker built an irresistable lead as he rolled from the hills of East Tennessee, a traditional GOP stronghold, and coasted to the banks of the Mississippi to hand Clement his second defeat in a political career which spanned 14 years and three terms as governor. -- United Press International
* Biography (University of Tennessee): @

Texas: George Bush
     Houston oilman George Bush and Pampa rancher Bob Price won Congressional seats Tuesday to put Texas Republicans in the best shape since the 1964 "Lyndon Landslide," despite a sweep by Democrats of the state's other 23 seats. Bush, considered by some more liberal than his Democratic opponent, narrowly defeated the former Harris County district attorney, Frank Briscoe. Briscoe conceded, attributing the results "in part to a great wave of anti-Administration feeling." -- United Press International
* Biography (White House): @ 


October 1966: Founding of Black Panther Party for Self-Defense

The Black Panther Party was created October 15, 1966, in Oakland, California, by Merritt Junior College students Huey P. Newton (right in undated photo above) and Bobby Seale. The BPP offered a revolutionary alternative to traditional civil rights tactics, strategies, and goals, inspired by the revolutionary nationalist theory of Malcolm X, the BPP spiritual and intellectual father. Newton and Seal intended to extend his legacy to its next logical step -- revolution.
     -- From "Encyclopedia of African American History" (2010): @

Saturday, October 15
* Platform text (The Sixties Project, University of Virginia): @
     -- Note: The book "Black Against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party" (Joshua Bloom and Waldo E. Martin Jr., 2013) calls into question this date: @

Saturday, October 29
     BERKELEY, Calif. (UPI) -- "Black power" advocate Stokely Carmichael bitterly condemned America as a racist nation Saturday before a cheering throng of 12,000 on the University of California campus.
     He scorned the United States' role in Viet Nam and urged the white students and young Negroes in the audience to say "hell no" to their draft boards.
     Carmichael flew here to participate in the all-day campus "black power" meeting after defying his own draft board in New York to take him into the Army. The crowd in the outdoor Greek theater were mostly white students, but there were many Negroes, some from off-campus.

* Text/audio of Carmichael speech (American Rhetoric): @
* "Stokely Carmichael, 'Black Power' " (Kalen M.A. Churcher, Niagra University, 2009): @

* Chronology and audio/video (UC Berkeley Library): @
* Summary from @
* Summary from Amistad Digital Resource: @
* "On the Ideology of the Black Panther Party" (Eldridge Cleaver): @
* "In Defense of 'Black Power' " (David Danzig, Commentary magazine, September 1, 1966): @
* Negro Digest (October 1966): @
* Negro Digest (November 1966): @
* Negro Digest (December 1966): @
* Website of Bobby Seale: @
* Related publications (Michigan State University): @
* More resources ( @
* More resources (Freedom Archives): @
* More resources (SNCC Legacy Project): @
* Earlier post on Lowndes County Freedom Organization (December 1965): @ 

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