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Course Expectations: sixties-expect



Excerpt from Hunter S Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas recollecting his time in San Fran in the mid/late 60’s

answer the following:

  1. What does HST take away from the SF scene?
  2. What do you think he thinks “the wave” is?

CBS Early Show retrospective of the 60’s

answer the following:

3. What are the dominant themes they choose to focus on, and what perspectives do the creators and narrators of this clip perhaps expect the viewer to walk away with?

4. Why do you think the creators of this clip chose the events they did as the 10 “defining moments” of the 60’s?

5. How might you re-order the 10 ten events?  Which might you drop / add from the list based on your views of the most defining moment of the era?  Any from the early 70’s that you think should bump some of the ten they chose?


  1. HSF took all of the energy and unity that was in San Fran and put it into his book. The energy of those who were free of social norms and were high and free.The unity of all of the people trying to be different.

    The wave could be the energy that was there in San Francisco that created a desire in the young people to create and be a part of the counterculture.

    They focus on change within the society, for example the emergence of a counterculture. They also focus on the fight for rights for women and African Americans, as well as focusing on the moon landing. To me, it seemed they wanted us to think that the 60’s were a year of relative positive change, as they barely touched on the violence and war.

    They were all events that further divided the country (civil rights, counterculture etc). They were the events that made the 60’s such a contentious and influential decade.

    I think that landing on the moon is important, but I do not agree with it being so high on the list. It made the American future seem bright, but did not last long. I think that the Tet offensive should be high on the list, as it marked a turning point in the social perspective of the war and LBJ deciding not to run. I also think that Nixon’s Presidential win should have been on the list, as it was a turning point in the south’s voting patterns and the war/anti-war protests.

  2. 1. He says that it was “special” to be there. He says how it was like a culmination of the energy of a generation. Everyone high, and carefree. Feeling like they were doing the “right” thing. Like they were changing the times and the ways of people.
    2. The wave is the unstoppable force of change.
    3. US relations with other countries, Music, Kennedy’s Death, Civil Rights movements, the sexual revolution, the Vietnam war, MLK (I have a dream speech, and death), Drugs, and Apollo 11. It seemed very nostalgic– not to me, but to the reporters. And it seemed like they were trying to portray how the country was changing– and that it was for the better, even if there were terrible things like multiple leaders’ assassinations, and the vietnam war.
    4. When you think of the sixties, you think of, JFK, MLK, Hippies and drugs, Music, Vietnam (and the US’s issues with other countries), Civil rights movements, and The man on the moon, they covered all of these main points with events that stick out in each category.
    5. 1. Civil Rights act of 1964
    2- MLK’s I have a dream speech
    3- Assassination of JFK
    4- DNC (riots)
    5- Woodstock Festival
    6- “The Pill”
    7- Tet offensive
    8- Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    9- Sputnik
    10- Apollo 11

  3. 1. He says SF was a very special place to be in in the late/mid 60s. Says he was “alive” in that time. Calls it the energy of the entire generation. He remembers that wherever he went, there were people as high and wild as he was in SF, and a sense of righteousness and winning among them.
    2. He thinks the wave symbolizes the culture of the time, and the universal feeling that hippies in SF felt in the 60s. The height of the wave was during this time, when thousands came and embraced the movement.
    3. The broadcast mostly talks about the major events of the sixties, the ones that made the news, like JFK’s assassination, the women’s movement, Apollo 11, and the Vietnam War, as well as the things that changed the lives of Americans, like the Pill. The major theme is change – they talk about how America changed in the decade and how it affected everyday Americans. I think people were expected to walk away feeling that the decade really shaped America.
    4. I think the creators of the clip chose the events based on how Americans remember the sixties. Obviously, JFK’s assassination would be #1 because every American alive at the time knows where they were when it happened. They also choose happier events like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Apollo 11.
    5. My top 10:

    10. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    9. The Pill
    8. Cuban Missle Crisis
    7. Apollo 11
    6. RFK Assassination
    5. DNC 1968
    4. The March on Washington/I Have a Dream speech
    3. Watergate
    2. Tet Offensive
    1. JFK Assassination

  4. 1)It was near chaos, and San Francisco showed the peak of the hippie movements of the 60s. It seems like a time lost in a haze. They were pushed in this psychedelic wave of easy riding and were just there. Every one – notably the young people – were just lost.
    2) The wave is the hippie movement and the American leftist movements of the 60s. It rose higher and higher throughout the decade, as the country went further and further left on the political spectrum. Like a wave, as soon as it got far enough, the movements rolled back as the American people pulled away.
    3) They focus on the Cold War and Kennedy’s death at first. They show the increase on liberal protests and activities, with feminist movements, civil rights, and cultural change. They don’t seem to totally connect the 60s to now. It’s more nostalgic than anything, not looking at how it relates to the world today. It’s portrayed as a distant time in which much happened: “If you can remember anything about the 60s, you weren’t really there”.
    4) Obviously, all these moments were chosen because they either caused/were the beginning of great change in the 60s or signified such change. For example, JFKs assassination was essentially the start of the “lost” United States that existed in the 60s, and eventually led to many other changes in the nation. Essentially, a loss of innocence – similarly seen in the Tet Offensive, when many americans gave up on the war and the assassinations of Civil Rights Leaders, causing many to give up on the system or grow frustrated with the state of the United States.
    The gulf of tonkin resolution led to an increased involvement in Vietnam, which kept the US in an unpopular war, leading to more antiwar movements.
    Woodstock, the 1968, Civil Rights Act 1964, and the FDA approving the pill are both representative of the changing america. Woodstock was more about the growing generation gap with its music, free love and drugs. The Civil Rights of 1964 showed the increased in general liberalism before America turned back. The pill showed a shift towards liberalism the country made early in the 60s, and the DNC in 68 showed the turning point away from liberalism at the end of the decade.
    The cuban missile crisis and apollo 11 are both signifying the rare moments of unity the nation experienced throughout the 60s.
    5) My list would look something like this
    1) JFK’s assassination
    2) The Tet Offensive
    3) DNC 1968
    4) March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
    5) MLK’s Assassination
    6) Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    7) The Cuban Missile Crisis
    8) The FDA Approves the Pill
    9) Apollo 11
    10) The Beatles 1st Appearance on Ed Sullivan 1964
    As for the 70s, Watergate (Nixon’s resignation) and the Earth Day movement could probably place on the list.

  5. #1
    He seemed to describe it as a universal sense of togetherness
    Energy sharing
    Almost like they all the individuals seemed to be one big “counterculture Being”
    “the Wave”- the culmination of all the cultural beings around him the new generation had all the momentum and were unstoppable.

    They really chose to focus on the generation gap
    Showed lots of new music
    Showed young adults having fun in america
    Just touched upon Vietnam
    They wanted to the viewer to walk away thinking it was a fun time of change
    This is seen because they talk about all the friendly hippies but not about the violent protests
    Also, when they talk about the Civil Rights movement the only really talk about MLK because he wis the only one that stayed non-violent
    They chose these events because each event covers a specific topic
    Eg. DNC + Woodstock represent larger idea of the generation gap
    For the most part I think they hit it head on because they covered almost every major topic in the sixties. However I would change a couple…
    Death of civil rights leaders would be replaced with the march on washington since that is such an iconic event
    Swap the positions of civil rights act (#2) with the DNC riot (#6) because one of of the biggest underlying themes of the sixties is the generation gap and that exemplifies it.
    There is no event from the early seventies that I can think of that should be on this list.

  6. 1. He thinks it was an incredible time to be alive and can’t help but love the expolotion of youth counter culture even if he doesn’t have an simple obvious take away.

    2. He describes “the wave” as the high that comes after taking drugs and says that the entire decade felt like one log trip, especially looking back after because of how much American popular culture was changing.

    3. It was very much trying to appeal to an odious that remembered the 60’s. The editing was very choppy and chaotic which was very characteristic of the decades. I mostly focused on the pop culture side of the 60’s, the kind of things a normal viewer that was alive in the 60’s would remember. The focused on the liberal social change and wanted to viewer to remember the chaotic feel of everything back then.

    4. They primarily chose those events because they are the most eye caching for some looking at a history book. While the other clip was for people that remember the 60’s this one was for people that were born after and only hear the facts. They picked the events that were the most famous and have the best reception today.

    5. I would have included Kennedys election and Nixons election because they had were much more defining than Woodstack or the Moon landing even if those are more famous.

  7. 1. It was a very special and unique thing to experience for him. He believed it to be very meaningful and of historical significance.
    2. “The wave” is the growing counterculture that first emerges during the 1960s
    3. The themes that were focused included music, counterculture, and the civil rights movement. Issues such as the Cold War and the Vietnam war were briefly touched on. The creators and narrators of this clip might expect viewers to come away with a positive image on the 1960s
    4. I believe that they had the goal of choosing events that impacted and changed the course of the decade and that had a lasting effect on the country.
    5. I would likely drop Woodstock from the list because it did not have a Substantial impact on the country. An event I might add to the list would be Kent State because it’s aftermath showed just how conservative the country was with the majority of Americans viewing the students at fault for what happened. I also might add the election of Richard Nixon to the list because this also showed the shift from liberalism to conservatism that took place during the 1960s. I believe that the Democratic National Convention should be ranked higher because it showed how deeply divided the Democratic Party was. I believe that the Watts riots should also have been aded because they showed the growing anger and resentment amongst minorities in the inner cities.

  8. What does HST take away from the SF scene?
    HST feels that he is glad that he was part of the 1960s in SF. He is glad to have experienced what it was to be in such a crazy event in history. They felt that they could change the world, and that living in a time like that made it easy.

    What do you think he thinks “the wave” is?
    The wave if the influence that young people had during the 1960’s. Their pure ability to influence other people and get them to agree with their ideas was like a wave, crashing over the United States and sweeping everything with it.

    What are the dominant themes they choose to focus on, and what perspectives do the creators and narrators of this clip perhaps expect the viewer to walk away with?
    The video focuses on pop culture, music and trends, with a few aspects of the cold war, Vietnam, and both women’s and civil rights. The personal perspective that the narrators show is perhaps in an attempt to make the events more relatable to the viewer, rather than a look back into the past. By adding a person that has experienced the events, you get a first hand reaction and a more captivating recollection of events, rather than a history of the 1960’s.

    Why do you think the creators of this clip chose the events they did as the 10 “defining moments” of the 60’s?
    Many of the events that they had chosen raised a lot of controversy. They touch on aspects of bothe the cold war and the Vietnam war, civil rights and the loss of its leaders, and the the Rock and Roll of the time. Each event caused some sort of distress within the community.They also touch on Apollo 8, of which set a precedent for space travel.

    How might you re-order the 10 ten events? Which might you drop / add from the list based on your views of the most defining moment of the era? Any from the early 70’s that you think should bump some of the ten they chose?
    I belioeve that the events they chose were important, and very well represent the 1960’s. I believe that the inclusion of Woodstock, as we had not touched upon it as much as many individual artists within the decade, should be replaced by someone like Elvis Presley or the Beatles. I think that the assassinations of both MLK and JFk should have been placed higher in the list. Both events were devastating, perhaps more devastating than many of the other events in the 1960’s. With this, the assassination of RFk should also be added, as it was also a crucial death at the time.

  9. 1) What does HST take away from the SF scene?
    * Madness any direction or time
    * Universal feeling that what they were doing was right
    * People where “high and wild” everywhere

    2) What do you think he thinks “the wave” is?
    * I think he thinks “the wave” is change brought on by the younger generation

    3) What are the dominant themes they choose to focus on, and what perspectives do the creators and narrators of this clip perhaps expect the viewer to walk away with?
    * Themes: Foreign Policy, music, the moon landing
    * They focus more on the positive moments in the 60’s, not the violent protests or the war in Vietnam. Leading the viewer to walk away thinking the 60’s were a time of relatively peaceful change

    4)Why do you think the creators of this clip chose the events they did as the 10 “defining moments” of the 60’s?
    * They represent both positive and negative changes that took place in the 60’s.

    5) How might you re-order the 10 ten events? Which might you drop / add from the list based on your views of the most defining moment of the era? Any from the early 70’s that you think should bump some of the ten they chose?
    10. Gulf of Tonkin Resolution
    9. JFK’s Assassination
    8. Apollo 11 lands on the moon
    7. The Tet Offensive
    6. DNC
    5. Counter Culture Movement
    4. Watergate Scandal (leading to Nixon’s resignation)
    3. Civil Rights Act of 1964
    2. Last troops being removed from Vietnam
    1. Violent police action at multiple peaceful protests

  10. 1 and 2: That he was part of something great in SF, and he is describing the change in generations and the change in the world. The younger generation thought that the old people were evil. The wave is the wave of culture and stuff that only young kids experienced, the optimism that you could change the world.
    3: They focused on the profound change in society and all the great things that were happening, as well as the bad things. Sort of a mix of the things you now think of when you think 60s and the civil rights movement mixed with hippy and young culture. The most controversial stuff was the stuff they focused on.
    4 and 5: They chose things that people now identify as important even though they may not have been as amazing then as they are to some people are. They focused a ton on liberal events at the time because those changes were the ones that affected stuff later.
    I guess I would reorder the Cold War stuff to a bit of the front, and the concert thing I had never heard of so it might not be as important, would be removed. Things that I associate the 60s with vs what actually mattered the most are different things. Vietnam war was most important I think, with civil rights taking up a second. The change in economy and average people’s lives in this new lifestyle is a pretty important change that defines the 60s, blue collar to white collar, city to suburbs, etc. some of the more liberal things in the 60s took no part in ordinary lives.

  11. 1. He thought of San Francisco in the 60s as a large part of the era which would be an important part of history.
    2. The wave is the large change in the direction America was headed towards that happened in the 60s.
    3. The main themes were the pop culture, the Vietnam war, the civil rights movement, and the politics. It’s purpose was to capture the good and bad aspects of the 60s and bring out the contrast.
    4. They chose these events because they were all turning points.
    5. I would definitely put MLK and Malcolm X’s assassination higher and move the pill and the moon landing lower. To me it seems like the 60s were more about the social and political issues and the civil rights movement seems like a big and important part of it. I would probably add things about the woman’s liberation movement but I don’t know what I would bump.

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