A Brief History Of The Hippies, The 1960s Movement That Changed America

Published April 4, 2013
Updated June 28, 2018

More History Of The Hippies And The 1960s Counterculture Revolution

To give physical meaning to one poet’s vision, hippies cloaked themselves in floral fabrics and would dole flowers out to both the public and soldiers alike.

Through this, they became known as flower children, singing and smiling activists who used props to turn anti-war rallies into guerrilla street theatre across the States. The most famous demonstrations were carried out by the Bread and Puppet Theatre Company, whose members crafted elaborate costumes for the rallies.

Pentagon March

Source: Flickr

Perhaps one of the most poignant moments of the movement was on October 21st, 1967. 100,000 hippies, liberals and others marched peacefully on the Pentagon in an attempt to levitate it.

They were met with a human barricade of 2,500 soldiers surrounding the Pentagon. And soon enough, violence erupted when the more radical protestors clashed with US Marshals. The protest lasted for almost three days before order was restored.

To further promote their pacifist cause, some in the hippie movement placed flowers in the barrels of the soldiers’ guns while others made daisy chains. Clearly, the recent words of activist Abbie Hoffman remained in their consciousness. In a May Workshop in Nonviolence magazine, he wrote: “The cry of ‘Flower Power’ echoes through the land. We shall not wilt. Let a thousand flowers bloom.”

Pictures Of The Hippie Movement

Source: Google

But by the mid-1970s, the hippie movement began to slow. After all, the United States was out of Vietnam, civil rights had at least formally been adopted in federal legislation, and, well, the yuppies had arrived. Young urban professionals who wanted to make a career for themselves began to occupy more national attention and thus the social libertarianism of the hippies took on a more symbolic role.

More Videos About The Hippie Movement


If you enjoyed this history of Hippies, be sure to see All That Is Interesting’s posts on the most iconic photos of the 1960s and life on hippie communes. Finally, check out some of the most incredible Woodstock photos that will transport you back to 1969.

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