external image peace-sign-0685.jpg

The Counterculture refers to a cultural movement that mainly developed in the United States and spread throughout much of the western coast through the 1960's.The 1960's was a time when young people questioned America's materialism and culture, which they have always done in history. Seeking a better world, some used music, politics, and alternative lifestyles to create what came to be known as the “Counterculture.” Peace, love, drugs, harmony, music, mysticism, and religions influenced this new culture.

Young men and women had the willingness to challenge authority, greater social tolexternal image woodstock-nation.jpgerance, the sense that politics is personal, environmental awareness, attitudes about gender roles, and gay marriage. This was a time when youth didn't follow the teachings of their elders, but rejected those teachings for an alternative culture, which was their very own. This young generation believed in alternative lifestyle and radical beliefs. This generation believed in peace and happiness; violence wasn’t in their vocabulary. young generation sought to improve the economic and political lives of minorities, the elderly, and the rural poor. These and other ideas brought and united this generation together. Together they worked for a better society and the idea of counter culture embodied there thoughts. The 1960s was a time were counterculture and idealism could flourish.

Student Activism

Student Activism is work done by students to effect political, environmental, economic, or social external image picketers.jpgchange. It has often focused on making changes in schools, such as increasing student influence over curriculum or improving educational funding. In some settings, student groups have had a major role in broader political events. In the 1960's you get to see for the first time, students protesting and standing up for what they think is right.
In the 1960's young people and college students believed they could make a difference in their society and government. They believed that America was a democratic society that could be reformed and made a better, freer, more just, and productive society. During the 1960’s many protests took place on college campuses going against the Vietnam War, civil rights, personal freedom, ect. Examples of these protests are kent State​, The Port Huron statements of the student’s movement, and in Chicago 1968 where the police riots took place.

external image kent-state-national-guard-ohio.jpg

The young men and women believed in
reshaping themselves in a way that challenged the values of their parents. The 1960s saw student activists gaining increased political prominence. One highlight of this period was Students for a Democratic society (SDS) launched in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a student-led organization that focused on schools as a social agent that simultaneously oppresses and potentially uplifts society. Another successful group was Ann Arbor Youth Liberation, which featured students calling for an end to state-led educa
tion. Also notable was the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which fought against racism and for integration of public schools across the US.

The 1960's was aexternal image Kent2.gif decade in which students discovered the possibilities of their involvement in politics through the form of protests. Colleges were a great location for the origination of these groups, as nearly half of the college age students were in fact attending college. Students were given hope by Kennedy's New Fr
ontier that they could actually accomplish something by standing up for what they believed in. Since they lived in a time in which there were many social issues that could be protested, students managed to find an issue that they felt strongly about and joined the cause. Three of these groups that were the most popular advocated democracy, free speech, and removal of troops from Vietnam.
external image Woodstock_music_festival_poster.jpg


  • Major three day event. August 15th - 18th, three days of peace, love, happiness, protests, and reform.

Woodstock, like only a handful of historical events, has become part of the Cultural Revolution. Woodstock is known today as the greatest rock concert of all time, but it is also known as the biggest fight towards personal freedom, political pacifism, and social optimism.

Fun Facts
  • a bottle of water at Woodstock coast 40 cents.
  • 56 musicians preformed at Woodstock
  • 2 deaths
  • 1 marriage
  • 1 baby born

Layman, Richard. American Decades. Detroit, MI; Gale Research Inc, 1995.
Morthland, John. "Rock Festivals," Rolling Stone Press, The Rolling Stone Illustrated History of Rock and Roll. Ed. Jim Miller. (1980)

Ward, Ed. Rock of the Ages. Rolling Stones Press, New York, New York, Summit Books, 1978

Counterculture. “St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. 5 vols. St. James Press, 2000. Reproduced in History Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI.