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Haight and Masonic, April 2, 1967. View East on Haight. Crowd of Hippies marching in street for unknown event. OpenSFHistory / wnp27.6069

The Haight Ashbury neighborhood is the birthplace of 60s counterculture. The summer of 1967, also known as the “Summer of Love” attracted over 100,000 bohemians and flower children from all over the country along with the Berkeley radicals. They embraced free love, rock music, drugs, and social activism. The period was intense but short-lived, lasting less than a year, but the impact of the hippie movement still lives on today.

Young people expressed their disillusionment with the materialistic mainstream American culture and authority, joining political rallies for civil rights and anti-war protests. Unlike today’s "blissed out" stereotypes, the hippies in the 60s challenged the status quo by organizing political and social marches and establishing communes with organic farming. Not surprisingly, their use of drugs in pursuit of alternate consciousness did not help gain support for their movement with the mainstream America.

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Haight near Shrader circa 1967. Hippies near Rae's In-B-Tween Tavern. OpenSFHistory / wnp28.1267

The De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park hosted a colorful exhibition in 2017 for the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love: “The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll."

A subtle yet direct product from the era is the universal recycling logo designed by Gary Anderson in 1970. The “revolving graphic” is influenced by the spirit of the 1960s, which references the cosmos symbol from the eastern cultures.

References/further reading

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/jun/03/san-francisco-summer-of-love-50th-anniversary-hippy-movement

  2. https://deyoung.famsf.org/summer-love-art-fashion-and-rock-roll

  3. https://goingplacesfarandnear.com/tag/summer-of-love/

  4. https://alumni.berkeley.edu/california-magazine/spring-2015-dropouts-and-drop-ins/myth-dropout-turn-tune-drop-out-never-really

  5. https://www.npr.org/2017/10/04/555139348/50-years-after-the-summer-of-love-hippie-counterculture-is-relegated-to-kitsch

  6. https://www.history.com/news/vietnam-war-hippies-counter-culture

  7. https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/jun/03/san-francisco-summer-of-love-50th-anniversary-hippy-movement

  8. https://www.businessinsider.com/gary-anderson-the-man-who-created-the-recycling-logo-2012-7

  9. https://medium.com/fgd1-the-archive/recycling-symbol-1947-gary-anderson-f873715d9042

Learn more

Below: Haight near Ashbury circa 1967. Hippie musician playing horn with video cameraman filming him and crowd watching.

OpenSFHistory / wnp27.5954

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