Few places in the country felt the impact of the radical 1960s more than California. In fact, it’s arguable that the peace and free love movements began right here, probably on the campus of the infamous and indomitable University of California at Berkeley. Certainly Berkeley helped to shape and grow the culture of hippies, peaceniks, and radical politics. The college campus was the home of the Black Panthers, anti-Vietnam War sit-ins, and numerous protests for all sorts of liberal causes.
If Berkeley was the de facto home of 1960s political movements, then San Francisco was the base of its social and cultural phenomena. Free concerts in Golden Gate Park and the growing fame of the hippie community taking over an area called Haight-Ashbury drew teenagers from across the country. Many found themselves living on Haight Street for months, experiementing with the most popular mind-altering chemicals of the era.
The music scene became the stuff of legend and song (sorry). The Grateful Dead—one of the most famous and longest lasting of the 1960s rock bands—hailed from the Bay Area.
© Liz Hamill Scott from Moon California, 2nd Edition