Academics, the very people who claim they want “progress” “going forward,” frequently want to turn back the clock a half century or so. “Without hope—the fervent, animating kind—the 60s would have had no fuel to feed the engines of change,” Paul Kane wrote in The Chronicle Review on March 7, 2014. “To have seen our causes as hopeless would have drained them of force.”
“No civil-rights movement, no antiwar protests, no feminism, no gay and lesbian rights, no counterculture and commune movement, no Woodstock, no environmentalism. Whatever we might think of that period now, we believed then in what we were doing, and that our actions could make a difference.” Kane is a professor of English and environmental studies at Vassar.
- “Two people died at Woodstock – one man from a heroin overdose and a teenager in a sleeping bag who was killed when a tractor ran over him. The driver was never traced;”
- “Eight women suffered miscarriages, while there are varying reports of babies born;”
- “Though the festival mood was anti-war, ironically the festival would most likely have turned to tragedy without the U.S. Army, who airlifted in food, medical teams and performers. The hippy crowd was told: ‘They are with us man, they are not against us. Forty five doctors or more are here without pay because they dig what this is into;’”
- “For the weekend of the festival it had become the third largest city in New York State. But due to lack of basic amenities, Governor Nelson Rockefeller declared it a disaster area. The health department documented 5,162 medical cases, including 797 instances of drug abuse. But Time magazine called it ‘The greatest peaceful event in history;’”
- “While most acts reveled in having appeared there, sitar player Ravi Shankar found it a ‘terrifying experience’ and said the crowd in the mud reminded him of the water buffaloes at home in India;” and
- “Actor and country singer Roy Rogers—billed as King of the Cowboys for his western movies—was asked to close the show, singing his trademark song, Happy Trails to You. But Rogers’ manager vetoed it, and years later Rogers admitted: ‘I would have been booed off stage by all those goddam hippies.’