Flashback To Woodstock

Forty years ago a few rich kids hatched a nutty idea that became an event that rocked the nation, then morphed into a movement whose legacy lives on. This summer the young Museum at Bethel Woods in rural New York commemorates the anniversary of that idea, the zeitgeist that spawned it, and the phenomena that flowed from it—all of it evoked in one word: Woodstock. Read more »

First Blood In Vietnam

A magazine reporter covered the first American deaths in Vietnam, unaware that the soon-to-explode war would mark America’s awakening to maturity

On the evening of July 8, 1959, six of the eight American advisers stationed at a camp serving as the headquarters of a South Vietnamese army division 20 miles northeast of Saigon had settled down after supper in their mess to watch a movie, The Tattered Dress, starring Jeanne Crain. One of them had switched on the lights to change a reel when it happened. Guerrillas poked their weapons through the windows and raked the room with automatic fire—killing Maj. Dale R. Buis, M. Sgt. Chester M.Read more »

The Cost Of Living

What we spent to get through 1964

The Home

Three-bedroom ranch house in Parsippany, New Jersey: $23,000
Three-bedroom, two-bath house in Crystal Lake, Illinois: $20,900
Four-bedroom, two-bath house in South Bend, Indiana: $16,000
“Penthouse view” in doorman building on East Sixty-ninth Street, Manhattan: $245 per month
Furnished apartment with heated pool “convenient 10 minutes to Long Beach or Los Angeles,” two bedrooms: $120 per month
GE washing machine: $169
GE dryer: $99.95
Read more »

1964 The Year At A Glance

January 11 Surgeon General Luther L. Terry releases his report on cigarette smoking.

January 16 Hello, Dolly! opens at the St. James Theater in New York City.

January 23 The Twenty-fourth Amendment, abolishing the poll tax, becomes part of the U.S. Constitution.

February 7 The Beatles arrive at JFK Airport. Read more »

1964 - The Year The Sixties Began

Viewing a transformation that still affects all of us—through the prism of a single year

It has been called the “burned-over decade,” a “dream and a nightmare,” the “definitive end of the Dark Ages, and the beginning of a more hopeful and democratic period” in American history. It’s been celebrated in movies like Forrest Gump and memorialized by television shows like “The Wonder Years,” “American Dreams,” and “China Beach.” Read more »

Fly Me To The Moon

Reflections on the Rat Pack
Everybody knows what they did. This is what they meant.

 

On January 19, 1961, at a gala in Washington’s National Armory on the eve of his Inauguration, President-elect John Kennedy made a remarkable gesture. He rose to tell the crowd, “We’re all indebted to a great fnettes—Frank Sinatra.” Read more »