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The Death of the Hippie

Hippies were a dying breed in 1972, those peace-loving, longhaired boys and braless, braided-hair girls so in the know, so hip — “hippies” they became known in the early 1960s, a term popularized by San Francisco journalist Michael Fallon in writing about a local coffeehouse called the Blue Unicorn, where “the new generation of beatniks … Continue reading

The Women’s Movement

Gloria Steinem declared 1971 the “Year of Women’s Liberation.”  And even though a year later, in 1972, the Supreme Court would rule unconstitutional separate hiring practices for men and women, there was still no consensus among observers or advocates as to what the women’s movement was all about – were they liberationists or feminists? Yet … Continue reading

The Death of Soul Music

In 1972, with Marvin Gaye’s release of the landmark anthem “What’s Going On?”, soul music died. For a decade soul music had shared the top of the American charts with the Beatles and the Stones — The Beach Boys were deluged by the tidal wave of British acts crossing the Atlantic, while Elvis was sinking … Continue reading

The New York Times Reviews Elvis at Madison Square Garden, NYC, June 9, 1972

Presley Draws 2 Generations of Fans by Grace Lichtenstein New York Times Saturday, June 10, 1972 In mink and in denim, in bleached blond bouffant and in shoulder-length shags, the fans of 37-year-old Elvis Presley flocked to Madison Square Garden last night to see the first live concert ever given in New York by the … Continue reading

The Robert Plant Look

Long, long hair for the boys was a rock-and-roll thing in 1972 – picture Robert Plant from Led Zeppelin or Roger Daltrey from The Who.  On stage it was perhaps alluring, but on Main Street of the early 1970s long hairs were looked on as the dregs of the community, the derelicts of the town, … Continue reading

The American Shopping Mall

In July 1972 Queen Elizabeth II officially opened the Runcorn Shopping Center, the first “American-style” shopping center built in the United Kingdom.  Today known as Halton Lea, it is what 1970s consumers in the United States called a “mall”  — a fully enclosed, weather-controlled wonder of commerce.  But the truly first American-style shopping center appeared … Continue reading

DDT and Root Beer

In 1972, the pesticide DDT was banned by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency due to its link to cancer – notably breast in women and testicular in men – although some bemoaned the decision, hailing DDT as a “miracle chemical” that was eradicating the world of malaria-bearing mosquitoes.  The State of Maryland (and nearly every … Continue reading

From a Summer of Love to a Winter of Discontent

The summer of love in America was long over.  It was a time of waning optimism.   A time of national doubt.  About the power of M1s and napalm to stop encroaching communism in Southeast Asia.  About the power of communal living to either change or block out the world’s ills.  A time of burning draft … Continue reading

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