What else was happening when Woodstock was going on?

What else was going on in the nation and around the world when hippies, flower power and the Age of Aquarius were being celebrated at the musical festival held on Max Yasgur’s farm in upper New York state in August of 1969?

Now that the dust seems to have settled from the events and commentary marking the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, here at CNS we thought we’d delve into the CNS archives and see what the news service was reporting on during that week, both nationally and internationally.

From an index of stories we had during the time Woodstook took place were these headlines: “Marijuana-tobacco controversy causes hostilities in generation gap”; “Catholics, Protestants riot in Londerry”; “British-Irish confrontation looms amid strife”; “Are people praying less, pope asks”; “36 arrested during Mass at Pentagon”; “Pope in Geneva helped ecumenism, Protestant leader says.”

On the 25th anniversary of Woodstock, we had coverage by our New York stringer at the time on an event sponsored by the New York Archdiocese dubbed “Godstock,” which drew thousands of Catholic young people to listen to music, give statements of Christian witness and just celebrate their faith.

5 Responses

  1. For this babyboomer Woodstock merely represents a generation’s desire to prolong adolescence. The music wasn’t that good, the drugs and sex were to become a profitable habit, and religion would be replaced by magical thinking and astrology. Here in the Archdiocese of Detroit, a subculture taking root in the priesthood would culminate in 2002′s revelations published in the Detroit Free Press that were news only to Protestants and those Catholics in denial. For conflict and moral quandries, I do not have to reach across the Atlantic to Catholics and Protestants who chose violence over civic engagement. As for the peace movement — it was easier than confronting an evil within the Church. In the year of our Lord 2009, it’s time to move beyond the shabby romanticism of the late sixites. The fashion isn’t the Faith — it never was and never will be.

  2. I believe that the seeds of violence and ambivelance toward abortion today were sown in the so-called “peace” lovers of the hippie generation. It wasn’t about peace; it was about “me.” If you’re constantly focused inward, others have no value.

    I don’t understand this whole elevation of Woodstock as something fantastic. The few people with whom I have spoken who claim to have been there describe fairly depressing conditions.

  3. As a yound adult I found the idea of Woodstock was appealing to many of my peers; the reality was far less attractive. Most responsible adults (and my mature peers) found the actions and aftermath reprehensible at best. My children ridicule the faulty idealism but now have to live in a culture which promotes promiscuity, personal dominance, and rebellion against all authority. Let the anniversary pass and hope it rests in the dustbin of bad experiences.

  4. I do not regret the past. It was pretty exciting to hear about but I was raising children, earning a living to feed and clothe them and teaching 4 year olds to love and respect God and their fellow students. I didn’t have time to dwell on it long. The idealism may have been faulty but the spirit was joyous. Feeling that we could make a difference was heady!

  5. I am 46. I was a little girl during the Woodstock Weekend. I just remember thinking (then) even at my young age, that something wasn’t quite right with that chaotic moment in time; and I still get a little bit sick to my stomach when I see a young person
    dressed “earthy” in hippie attire. — My son is 18 and he believes the hippie era started the erosion of our society. He resents it too. – I absolutely agree with him. What a sad, sad time. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy rock, but I wish the sex and drugs would have been absent from the tunes. — The late 60′s such an irresponsible generation.

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