Welcome to Kent State University's Songs of the Sixties Page

Site last updated 03/05/2008

Photo collage of pop culture and history from the 1960s.

     
     

Students protesting the Vietnam War.

Kent State University (Stark Campus) would like to thank Dr. Brenda Smith, Jason Piatt, and Thomas Carli for all of their hard work to create this Website to be used as supplemental instruction for studying the 1960s in this country.  The site was designed by Thomas Carli and contains sound clips as well as lyrics from many of the protest songs at the time, pictures, and history from the decade of revolution, social change, and turbulence in this country.  The Website will help to put much of the history during the 1960s in the United States into perspective.  
     
     
Protest Songs of the Sixties

(Click the song title to navigate to the lyrics and sound clip)

     

 

   

"I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die-Rag"

Country Joe McDonald and The Fish

"Masters Of War"

Bob Dylan

"Eve Of Destruction"

Barry McGuire

     
     
     

"Universal Soldier"

Buffy Sainte-Marie

"It Better End Soon"

Chicago

" The Times They Are A Changin' "

Bob Dylan

     
     
     

"Draft Dodger Rag"

Phil Ochs

"Where Have All The Flowers Gone"

Kingston Trio

"Blowin' In The Wind"

Peter, Paul and Mary

     
     
     

"Get Together"

The Youngbloods

"People Got To Be Free"

The Rascals

"Turn, Turn, Turn"

The Byrds

     
     
     

"Put A Little Love In Your Heart"

Jackie DeShannon

"Woodstock"

Crosby, Stills, and Nash

"Signs"

Five Man Electrical Band

     
     
     

"Revolution"

The Beatles


"Dialogue (Parts 1 and 2)"

Chicago

 

"Give Peace A Chance"

John Lennon

     
     
     
     
   

Country Joe performing at Woodstock with his acoustic guitar.

"I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die-Rag"

Country Joe McDonald and The Fish

1965

 

Congress passes Medicare, as well as a small provision of the bill: Medicaid.

"Bloody Sunday": a group of civil rights protestors in Selma, Alabama are attacked by state troopers and deputies as they march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

Passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

LBJ sends a few thousand Marines to Vietnam with new orders: they can conduct combat missions with AVRN to search and destroy the enemy.

Peace organizations, professors, and students begin to question American policy regarding the war.

     

 

Well, Come On All Of You, Big Strong Men,
Uncle Sam Needs Your Help Again.
He's Got Himself In A Terrible Jam
Way Down Yonder In Vietnam
So Put Down Your Books And Pick Up A Gun,
We're Gonna Have A Whole Lotta Fun.

And It's One, Two, Three,
What Are We Fighting For ?
Don't Ask Me, I Don't Give A Damn,
Next Stop Is Vietnam;
And It's Five, Six, Seven,
Open Up The Pearly Gates,
Well There Ain't No Time To Wonder Why,
Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die.

Come On Wall Street, Don't Be Slow,
Why Man, This Is War Au-Go-Go
There's Plenty Good Money To Be Made
By Supplying The Army With The Tools Of Its Trade,
But Just Hope And Pray That If They Drop The Bomb,
They Drop It On The Viet Cong.

And It's One, Two, Three,
What Are We Fighting For ?
Don't Ask Me, I Don't Give A Damn,
Next Stop Is Vietnam.
And It's Five, Six, Seven,
Open Up The Pearly Gates,
Well There Ain't No Time To Wonder Why
Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die.

Well, Come On Generals, Let's Move Fast;
Your Big Chance Has Come At Last.
Now You Can Go Out And Get Those Reds
'Cause The Only Good Commie Is The One That's Dead
And You Know That Peace Can Only Be Won
When We've Blown 'Em All To Kingdom Come.

And It's One, Two, Three,
What Are We Fighting For ?
Don't Ask Me, I Don't Give A Damn,
Next Stop Is Vietnam;
And It's Five, Six, Seven,
Open Up The Pearly Gates,
Well There Ain't No Time To Wonder Why
Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die.

Come On Mothers Throughout The Land,
Pack Your Boys Off To Vietnam.
Come On Fathers, And Don't Hesitate
To Send Your Sons Off Before It's Too Late.
And You Can Be The First Ones On Your Block
To Have Your Boy Come Home In A Box.

And It's One, Two, Three
What Are We Fighting For ?
Don't Ask Me, I Don't Give A Damn,
Next Stop Is Vietnam.
And It's Five, Six, Seven,
Open Up The Pearly Gates,
Well There Ain't No Time To Wonder Why,
Whoopee! We're All Gonna Die.

 

Woman crying behind one of the fallen victims of the Kent State shootings involving the Ohio National Guard.

 

People assisting another fallen victim of the Kent State shootings involving the Ohio National Guard.

 

Diverse group of people protesting the war.  One of the protesters is holding a sign that states "Send Marines to Alabama NOT Vietnam."

     
Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

Vivid painting of Bob Dylan.

"Masters Of War"

Bob Dylan

1963

George C. Wallace becomes governor of Alabama.  In his inaugural speech, he defiantly proclaims "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever!"

Black student Harvey Gantt enters Clemson University in South Carolina, the last U.S. state to hold out against racial integration.

Battle of Ap Bac: Vietcong units defeat South Vietnamese Army (ARVN) in battle of Ap Bac.

President John F. Kennedy Assassinated in Dallas: Kennedy's death meant that problem of how to proceed in Vietnam fell squarely into the lap of his vice president, Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ).

April--Martin Luther King, Jr., Ralph Abernathy, Fred Shuttlesworth and others are arrested in a Birmingham protest for "parading without a permit".

May--Thousands of African Americans, many of them children, are arrested while protesting segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. Sheriff Eugene "Bull" Connor later unleashes fire hoses and police dogs on the demonstrators.

     

 

       Come you masters of war
         You that build all the guns
         You that build the death planes
         You that build the big bombs
         You that hide behind walls
         You that hide behind desks
         I just want you to know
         I can see through your masks

         You that never done nothin'
         But build to destroy
         You play with my world
         Like it's your little toy
         You put a gun in my hand
         And you hide from my eyes
         And you turn and run farther
         When the fast bullets fly

         Like Judas of old
         You lie and deceive
         A world war can be won
         You want me to believe
         But I see through your eyes
         And I see through your brain
         Like I see through the water
         That runs down my drain

         You fasten the triggers
         For the others to fire
         Then you set back and watch
         When the death count gets higher
         You hide in your mansion
         As young people's blood
         Flows out of their bodies
         And is buried in the mud

         You've thrown the worst fear
         That can ever be hurled
         Fear to bring children
         Into the world
         For threatening my baby
         Unborn and unnamed
         You ain't worth the blood
         That runs in your veins

         How much do I know
         To talk out of turn
         You might say that I'm young
         You might say I'm unlearned
         But there's one thing I know
         Though I'm younger than you
         Even Jesus would never
         Forgive what you do

         Let me ask you one question
         Is your money that good
         Will it buy you forgiveness
         Do you think that it could
         I think you will find
         When your death takes its toll
         All the money you made
         Will never buy back your soul

         And I hope that you die
         And your death'll come soon
         I will follow your casket
         In the pale afternoon
         And I'll watch while you're lowered
         Down to your deathbed
         And I'll stand o'er your grave
         'Til I'm sure that you're dead

Vietnam War protester holding a sign demanding peace now.

 

American soldiers in Indochina during the Vietnam War.

 

Bob Dylan preparing to kick a tire that is rolling down the sidewalk.

     
   Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

Barry McGuire's album cover featuring the title "Eve of Destruction."

"Eve Of Destruction"

Barry McGuire

1965

April--20,000 people arrive in Washington to protest the war.  The present Congress with a petition: "The problems of America cry out for attention, and our entanglement in South Vietnam postpones the confrontation of these issues...We call on you to end, not extend, the war in Vietnam."

College campuses begin to hold separate protests of the war.

July--LBJ announces an increase in the number of U.S. troops in Vietnam to 125,000.  He doesn't admit that he has already authorized a higher escalation to 200,000 and that he has given the field Commander, General William Westmoreland, permission to conduct independent combat missions against the enemy--clearing the way for the U.S. Army to replace AVRN as the primary combat organization and thus Americanizing the war.

Water Quality Act of 1965 is passed.

Title II of the Clean Air Act of 1963 is passed, mandating pollution control devices on all automobiles.

The first Endangered Species Act is passed.

Head Start (pre-school program for needy children) is implemented.

     
          

      The eastern world, it is exploding
        Violence flariní, bullets loadiní
        Youíre old enough to kill, but not for votiní
        You donít believe in war, but whatís that gun youíre totiní
        And even the Jordan River has bodies floatiní

        But you tell me
        Over and over and over again, my friend
        Ah, you donít believe
        Weíre on the eve
        of destruction.

        Donít you understand what Iím tryiní to say
        Canít you feel the fears Iím feeliní today?
        If the button is pushed, thereís no runniní away
        Thereíll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
        [Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy]

        And you tell me
        Over and over and over again, my friend
        Ah, you donít believe
        Weíre on the eve
        of destruction.

        Yeah, my bloodís so mad feels like coagulatiní
        Iím sitting here just contemplatiní
        I canít twist  the truth, it knows no regulation.
        Handful of senators donít pass legislation
        And marches alone canít bring integration
        When human respect is disintegratiní
        This whole crazy world is just too frustratiní

        And you tell me
        Over and over and over again, my friend
        Ah, you donít believe
        Weíre on the eve
        of destruction.

        Think of all the hate there is in Red China
        Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
        You may leave here for 4 days in space
        But when you return, itís the same old place
        The poundiní of the drums, the pride and disgrace
        You can bury your dead, but donít leave a trace
        Hate your next-door neighbor, but donít forget to say grace
        AndÖ tell me over and over and over and over again, my friend
        You donít believe
        Weíre on the eve
        Of destruction
        Mm, no no, you donít believe
        Weíre on the eve
        of destruction. 

 

 

 

Vietnam War protester gesturing a hug with arms wide open to a line of National Guardsmen.

 

 

 

Men and women protesting school segregation.

 

     
  Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

"Universal Soldier"

Buffy Sainte-Marie

1964

January: LBJ declares his "unconditional war on poverty."

Congress passes the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964.

The administration establishes Upward Bound and work-study for low-income families who want to send their children to college.

Implementation of Volunteers in Service to American (VISTA)

LBJ proposes the Food Stamp Act.

Congress passes the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Wilderness Act.

     
       

      He's five feet two and he's six feet four
        He fights with missiles and with spears
        He's all of 31 and he's only 17
        He's been a soldier for a thousand years

        He's a Catholic, a Hindu, an atheist, a Jain,
        a Buddhist and a Baptist and a Jew
        and he knows he shouldn't kill
        and he knows he always will
        kill you for me my friend and me for you

        And he's fighting for Canada,
        he's fighting for France,
        he's fighting for the USA,
        and he's fighting for the Russians
        and he's fighting for Japan,
        and he thinks we'll put an end to war this way

        And he's fighting for Democracy
        and fighting for the Reds
        He says it's for the peace of all
        He's the one who must decide
        who's to live and who's to die
        and he never sees the writing on the walls

        But without him how would Hitler have
        condemned him at Dachau
        Without him Caesar would have stood alone
        He's the one who gives his body
        as a weapon to a war
        and without him all this killing can't go on

        He's the universal soldier and he
        really is to blame
        His orders come from far away no more
        They come from him, and you, and me
        and brothers can't you see
        this is not the way we put an end to war.

 

American soldier walking down a path with explosions going on in the background during the Vietnam War.

     

Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

The music group "Chicago" posing in a field.

"It Better End Soon"

Chicago

1969

Nixon begins secret bombing of Cambodia: In an effort to destroy Communist supply routes and base camps in Cambodia, President Nixon gives the go-ahead to "Operation Breakfast."  The covert bombing of Cambodia, conducted without the knowledge of Congress or the American public, will continue for fourteen months.

Policy of "Vietnamization" announced: Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird describes a policy of "Vietnamization" when discussing a diminishing role for the U.S. Military in Vietnam.  The objective of the policy is to shift the burden of defeating the Communists onto the South Vietnamese Army and away from the United States.

Ho Chi Minh dies at the age of 79.

     
 

      Can't Stand It No More
        The People Dying
        Crying For Help For So Many Years
        But Nobody Hears
        Better End Soon My Friend
        It Better End Soon My Friend Can't Take It No More
        The People Hating
        Hurting Their Brothers
        They Don't Understand
        They Can't Understand
        Better End Soon My Friend
        It Better End Soon

        Hey, Everybody
        Won't You Just Look Around
        Can't Anybody See
        Just What's Going Down
        Can't You Take The Time
        Just To Feel
        Just To Feel What Is Real
        If You Do
        Then You'll See That We Got A Raw Deal
        They're Killing Everybody
        They're Killing Me And You
        They're Killing Everybody
        I Wish It Weren't True
        They Say We Got To Make War
        Or The Economy Will Fall
        But If We Don't Stop
        We Won't Be Around No More
        They're Ruining This World
        For You And Me
        The Big Heads Of State
        Won't Let Us Be Free
        They Made The Rules Once
        But It Didn't Work Out
        Now We Must Try Again
        Before They Kill Us Off
        No More Dying!
        No More Killing
        No More Dying
        No More Fighting
        We Don't Want To Die
        No, We Don't Want To Die
        Please Let's Change It All
        Please Let's Make It All
        Good For The Present
        And Better For The Future
        Let's Just Love One Another
        Let's Show Peace For Each Other
        We Can Make It Happen
        Let's Just Make It Happen
        We Can Change This World
        Please Let's Change This World
        Please Let's Make It Happen For Our Children
        For Our Women
        Change The World
        Please Make It Happen
        Come On
        Come On
        Please
        Come On
        It's Up To Me
        It's Up To You
        So Let's Do It Now
        Yeah
        Do It Now

        Can't Stand It No More
        The People Cheating
        Burning Each Other
        They Know It Ain't Right
        How Can It Be Right
        Better End Soon My Friend
       
It Better End Soon My Friend
 

Prominent African American leaders: W. E. B. DuBois, Malcolm X, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Rosa Parks.

 

"Chicago"; the band's signature symbol.

 

Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.

     

Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

Photograph of Bob Dylan.

"The Times They Are A Changin' "

Bob Dylan

1964

The Government establishes the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

"Freedom Summer": One thousand white northern students join the northern and southern blacks to go to Mississippi and help register black citizen to vote.

The first baby boomers arrive on college campuses for the fall semester.

Youthful activism is becoming a mainstay of the decade.

The Vietnam War heats up.

Presidential Election: Lyndon Baines Johnson defeats Barry Goldwater and begins serving his first "elected" term in office.

     
       

       Come gather 'round people
        Wherever you roam
        And admit that the waters
        Around you have grown
        And accept it that soon
        You'll be drenched to the bone.
        If your time to you
        Is worth savin'
        Then you better start swimmin'
        Or you'll sink like a stone
        For the times they are a-changin'.

        Come writers and critics
        Who prophesize with your pen
        And keep your eyes wide
        The chance won't come again
        And don't speak too soon
        For the wheel's still in spin
        And there's no tellin' who
        That it's namin'.
        For the loser now
        Will be later to win
        For the times they are a-changin'.

        Come senators, congressmen
        Please heed the call
        Don't stand in the doorway
        Don't block up the hall
        For he that gets hurt
        Will be he who has stalled
        There's a battle outside
        And it is ragin'.
        It'll soon shake your windows
        And rattle your walls
        For the times they are a-changin'.

        Come mothers and fathers
        Throughout the land
        And don't criticize
        What you can't understand
        Your sons and your daughters
        Are beyond your command
        Your old road is
        Rapidly agin'.
        Please get out of the new one
        If you can't lend your hand
        For the times they are a-changin'.

        The line it is drawn
        The curse it is cast
        The slow one now
        Will later be fast
        As the present now
        Will later be past
        The order is
        Rapidly fadin'.
        And the first one now
        Will later be last
        For the times they are a-changin'.

 

Illustration of a soldier with helicopters flying in the background.

 

 

Bob Dylan performing live on stage.

     

Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

Phil Ochs performing live standing by a microphone with his acoustic guitar held to his face.

"Draft Dodger Rag"

Phil Ochs

1965

National Endowment for the Humanities and the Arts is implemented.

LBJ signs a bill establishing the Public Broadcasting System (PBS), and that eventually leads to National Public Radio (NPR).

LBJ signs consumer protection legislation (Truth in Lending, seatbelts, and automobile safety devices).

August--LBJ calls civil rights leaders together and signs the Voting Rights Act.

     
 

      Oh, I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town
        I believe in God and Senator Dodd and a-keepin' old Castro down
        And when it came my time to serve I knew "better dead than red"
        But when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said:

        Sarge, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
        And I always carry a purse
        I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
        Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
        Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
        And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant

        I've got a dislocated disc and a wracked up back
        I'm allergic to flowers and bugs
        And when the bombshell hits, I get epileptic fits
        And I'm addicted to a thousand drugs
        I got the weakness woes, I can't touch my toes
        I can hardly reach my knees
        And if the enemy came close to me
        I'd probably start to sneeze

        I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
        And I always carry a purse
        I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
        Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
        Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
        And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant

        Ooh, I hate Chou En Lai, and I hope he dies,
        One thing you gotta see
        That someone's gotta go over there
        And that someone isn't me
        So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell!
        Kill me a thousand or so
        And if you ever get a war without blood and gore
        I'll be the first to go

        Yes, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
        And I always carry a purse
        I got eyes like a bat, and my feet are flat, and my asthma's getting worse
        Yes, think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old invalid aunt
        Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a-goin' to school
        And I'm working in a DEE-fense plant

 

Man burning his draft card at a demonstration protesting the Vietnam War.

     

Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

Kingston Trio performing live on stage.

"Where Have All The Flowers Gone"

Kingston Trio

1962

U.S. Military employs Agent Orange: U.S. Air Force begins using Agent Orange, a defoliant that came in orange metal containers to expose roads and trails used by Vietcong forces.

Diem Palace bombed in coup attempt.

Mansfield voices doubt on Vietnam Policy: Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield reports back to JFK from Saigon his opinion that Diem had wasted the two billion dollars America had spent there.

     
 

      Where have all the flowers gone
        Long time passing
        Where have all the flowers gone
        Long time ago
        Where have all the flowers gone
        Young girls have picked them, every one
        Oh, when will they ever learn
        Oh, when will they ever learn

        Where have all the young girls gone
        Long time passing
        Where have all the young girls gone
        Long time ago
        Where have all the young girls gone
        Gone for husbands, every one
        Oh, when will they ever learn
        Oh, when will they ever learn

        Where have all the husbands gone
        Long time passing
        Where have all the husbands gone
        Long time ago
        Where have all the husbands gone
        Gone for soldiers, every one
        Oh, when will they ever learn
        Oh, when will they ever learn

        Where have all the soldiers gone
        Long time passing
        Where have all the soldiers gone
        Long time ago
        Where have all the soldiers gone
        Gone to graveyards, every one
        Oh, when will they ever learn
        Oh, when will they ever learn

        Where have all the graveyards gone
        Long time passing
        Where have all the graveyards gone
        Long time ago
        Where have all the graveyards gone
        Gone to flowers, every one
        Oh, when will they ever learn
        Oh, when will they ever learn

        Where have all the flowers gone
        Long time passing
        Where have all the flowers gone
        Long time ago
        Where have all the flowers gone
        Young girls have picked them, every one
        Oh, when will they ever learn
        Oh, when will they ever learn

 

A yellow flower resting on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington D.C.

     

Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

Peter, Paul and Mary performing live on stage.

"Blowin' In The Wind"

Peter, Paul and Mary

1963

Buddhists protest against Diem: Tension between Buddhists and the Diem government are further strained as Diem, a Catholic, removes Buddhists from several key government positions and replaces them with Catholics.  Buddhist monks protest Diem's intolerance for other religions and the measures he takes to silence them.  In a show of protest, Buddhist monks start setting themselves on fire in public places.

Diem overthrown, murdered: With tacit approval of the United States, operatives within the South Vietnamese military overthrow Diem.  He and his brother Nhu are shot and killed in the aftermath.

     
 

      How many roads must a man walk down
        Before they call him a man?
        How many seas must a white dove sail
        Before she sleeps in the sand?
        How many times must the cannon balls fly
        Before they're forever banned?

        The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
        The answer is blowin' in the wind.

        How many years must a mountain exist
        Before it is washed to the sea?
        How many years can some people exist
        Before they're allowed to be free?
        How many times can a man turn his head
        And pretend that he just doesn't see?

        The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
        The answer is blowin' in the wind.

        How many times must a man look up
        Before he can see the sky?
        How many ears must one man have
        Before he can hear people cry?
        How many deaths will it take till he knows
        That too many people have died?

        The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind
        The answer is blowin' in the wind.
        The answer is blowin' in the wind.

 

Members of Chicano Civil Rights Movement protesting for peace.

     

Click here to hear sound clip

Click here to return to list of protest songs

 

     
     
   

Album cover from the band "The Youngbloods."

"Get Together"

The Youngbloods

1967

Banker replaces Cabot Lodge as South Vietnam Ambassador

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaks out against war: Calling the U.S. "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world," Martin Luther King Jr. publicly speaks out against U.S. policy in Vietnam.  King later encourages draft evasion and suggests a merger between antiwar and civil rights groups.

Dow recruiters driven from Wisconsin campus: University of Wisconsin students demand that corporate recruiters for Dow Chemical, producers of napalm, not be allowed on campus.

McNamara calls bombing ineffective: Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, appearing before a Senate subcommittee, testifies that U.S. bombing raids against North Vietnam have not achieved their objectives.  McNamara maintains that movement of supplies to South Vietnam has not been reduced, and neither the economy nor the morale of the North Vietnamese has been broken.

     
 

      Love is but a song to sing
        Fear's the way we die
        You can make the mountains ring
        Or make the angels cry
        Though the bird is on the wing
        And you may not know why
        Come on people now
        Smile on your brother
        Everybody get together
        Try to love one another right now
        Some may come and some may go
        We shall surely pass
        When the one that left us here
        Returns for us at last
        We are but a moment's sunlight
        Fading in the grass
        Come on people now
        Smile on your brother
        Everybody get together
        Try to love one another right now
        Come on people now
        Smile on your brother
        Everybody get together
        Try to love one another right now
        Come on people now
        Smile on your brother
        Everybody get together
        Try to love one another right now
        If you hear the song I sing
        You will understand
        You hold the key to love and fear
        All in your trembling hand
        Just one key unlocks them both
        It's there at you command
        Come on people now
        Smile on your brother
        Everybody get together
        Try to love one another right now
        Come on people now
        Smile on your brother
        Everybody get together
        Try to love one another right now
        Right now
        Come on people now
        Smile on your brother
        Everybody get together
        Try to love one another right now
        Right now right now

 

Vietnam War protester holding a sign that reads "Peace in Vietnam."

 

 

Unforgettable photo from the funeral of President John F. Kennedy.

     

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Photo of musicians "The Rascals."

"People Got To Be Free"

The Rascals

1968

Sihanouk allows pursuit of Vietcong into Cambodia.

General William Westmoreland requests 206,000 more troops.

My Lai Massacre: On March 16th, the angry and frustrated men of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade, American Division entered the village of My Lai.  "This is what you've been waiting for--search and destroy--and you've got it." said their superior officers.  A Short time later the killing began.  When news of the atrocities surfaced, it sent shockwaves through the U.S. political establishment, the military's chain of command, and an already divided American public.

April--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

June--Robert Kennedy assassinated in Los Angeles, California.

     
 

      All the world over, so easy to see
        People everywhere just wanna be free
        Listen, please listen, that's the way it should be
        Peace in the valley, people got to be free

        You should see what a lovely, lovely world this'd be
        Everyone learns to live together
        Seems to me such an easy, easy thing should be
        Why can't you and me learn to love one another

        All the world over, so easy to see
        People everywhere just wanna be free (wanna be free)
        I can't understand it, so simple to me (it is)
        People everywhere just got to be free

        If there's a man who is down and needs a helping hand
        All it takes is you to understand and to pull him through
        Seems to me we got to solve it individually
        And I'll do unto you what you do to me

        There'll be shoutin' from the mountains on out to sea (out to sea)
        No two ways about it, people have to be free (they got to be free)
        Ask me my opinion, my opinion will be (ah-ha)
        It's a natural situation for a man to be free

        Oh, what a feelin's just come over me
        It's enough to move a mountain, make a blind man see
        Everybody's dancin' [unintelligible]
        Peace in the valley, now they want to be free

        See that train over there
        Now that's the train of freedom
        It's about to arrive any minute, now
        You know, it's been long, long overdue
        Look out 'cause it's comin' right on through

 

Beautiful painting of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

     

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Photo of the band "The Byrds."

"Turn, Turn, Turn"

The Byrds

1965

Malcolm X rises to prominence from 1963-1965.  In February, he is assassinated by members of the Nation of Islam.

Protest of the Vietnam War escalates.

First Draft Card burning.

International Day of Protest (October 15-16).

August--Watts riot.

Americans begin to ask themselves the following questions: (1) Was the war in Vietnam in the national interest, and did fighting on the other side of the world have anything to do with American security?  (2) Was this undeclared war legal, and was the way the nation raised an army--the draft--fair?

     
       

       A time to be born, a time to die
        A time to plant, a time to reap
        A time to kill, a time to heal
        A time to laugh, a time to weep

        To everything - turn, turn, turn
        There is a season - turn, turn, turn
        And a time for every purpose under heaven

        A time to build up, a time to break down
        A time to dance, a time to mourn
        A time to cast away stones
        A time to gather stones together

        To everything - turn, turn, turn
        There is a season - turn, turn, turn
        And a time for every purpose under heaven

        A time of war, a time of peace
        A time of love, a time of hate
        A time you may embrace
        A time to refrain from embracing

        To everything - turn, turn, turn
        There is a season - turn, turn, turn
        And a time for every purpose under heaven

        A time to gain, a time to lose
        A time to rend, a time to sew
        A time to love, a time to hate
        A time of peace, I swear it's not too late!

 

Vietnam War protester with a painted face and wearing a white sheet symbolizing a ghost and the casualties of the war.

     

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Photo of musician Jackie DeShannon.

"Put A Little Love In Your Heart"

Jackie DeShannon

1969

News of My Lai Massacre reaches the United States: Through the reporting of journalist Seymour Hersh, Americans read for the first time of the atrocities committed by Lt. William Calley and his troops in the village of My Lai.  At the time the reports were made public, the Army had already charged Calley with the crime of murder.

Massive anti-war demonstration in Washington D.C.

     
 

      Think of your fellow man
        Lend him a helping hand
        Put a little love in your heart
        You see it's getting late
        Oh, please don't hesitate
        Put a little love in your heart

        And the world will be a better place
        And the world will be a better place
        For you and me
        You just wait and see

        Another day goes by
        Still the children cry
        Put a little love in your heart
        If you want the world to know
        We won't let hatred grow
        Put a little love in your heart

        And the world (and the world) will be a better place
        All the world (all the world) will be a better place
        For you (for you)
        And me (and me)
        You just wait (just wait)
        And see, wait and see

        Take a good look around
        And if you're looking down
        Put a little love in your heart
        I hope when you decide
        Kindness will be your guide
        Put a little love in your heart

        And the world (and the world) will be a better place
        And the world (and the world) will be a better place
        For you (for you)
        And me (and me)
        You just wait (just wait)
        And see

        People, now put a little love in your heart
        Each and every day
        Put a little love in your heart
        There's no other way
        Put a little love in your heart
        It's up to you
        Put a little love in your heart
        C'mon and

       
Put a little love in your heart
 

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speaking at a church.

 

 

Large crowd of Vietnam War protester holding a large, red peace sign.

 

 

     

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Photo of Crosby, Stills, and Nash performing live on stage.

"Woodstock"

Crosby, Stills, and Nash

1970

Sihanouk ousted in Cambodia: Prince Sihanouk's attempt to maintain Cambodia's neutrality while war waged in neighboring Vietnam forced him to strike opportunistic alliances with China, and then the United States.  Such vacillating weakened his government, leading to a coup orchestrated by his defense minister, Lon Nol.

Kent State Shootings: National Guardsmen open fire on a crowd of student antiwar protesters at Ohio's Kent State University, resulting in the death of four students and the wounding of eight others.  President Nixon publicly deplores the actions of the Guardsmen, but cautions: "...when dissent turns to violence it invites tragedy."  Several of the protesters had been hurling rocks and empty tear gas canisters at the guardsmen.

     
 

      Well, I came upon a child of God
        He was walking along the road
        And I asked him, Tell where are you going?
        This he told me

        Said, I'm going down to Yasgur's Farm,
        Gonna join in a rock and roll band.
        Got to get back to the land and set my soul free.

        We are stardust, we are golden,
        We are billion year old carbon,
        And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

        Well, then can I roam beside you?
        I have come to lose the smog,
        And I feel myself a cog in somethin' turning.
        And maybe it's the time of year,
        Yes and maybe it's the time of man.
        And I don't know who I am,
        But life is for learning.

        We are stardust, we are golden,
        We are billion year old carbon,
        And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

        We are stardust, we are golden,
        We are billion year old carbon,
        And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

        By the time we got to Woodstock,
        We were half a million strong
        And everywhere was a song and a celebration.
        And I dreamed I saw the bomber death planes
        Riding shotgun in the sky,
        Turning into butterflies
        Above our nation.

        We are stardust, we are golden,
        We are caught in the devils bargain,
        And we got to get ourselves back to the garden.

 

Psychedelic picture of three men doing the "Om" chant.

     

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Photo of band "Five Man Electrical Band."

"Signs"

Five Man Electrical Band

1970

Kissinger and Le Duc begin secret talks.

Number of U.S. troops falls to 280,000.

My Lai Massacre: The United States Army charges fourteen officers with suppressing information about the incident.

May--In Washington D.C., 100,000 people demonstrate against the Vietnam War.

June--President Richard Nixon signs a measure lowering the voting age in the United States to eighteen.

     
 

     And the sign said long haired freaky people need not apply
      So I tucked my hair up under my hat and I went in to ask him why
      He said you look like a fine upstanding young man, I think you'll do
      So I took off my hat I said imagine that, huh, me working for you

      woah!

      Sign Sign everywhere a sign
      Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
      Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

      And the sign said anybody caught trespassing would be shot on sight
      So I jumped on the fence and yelled at the house, Hey! what gives you the right
      To put up a fence to keep me out or to keep mother nature in
      If God was here, he'd tell you to your face, man you're some kinda sinner

      Sign Sign everywhere a sign
      Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
      Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign Bridge:

      Now, hey you Mister! can't you read, you got to have a shirt and tie to get a seat
      You can't even watch, no you can't eat, you ain't suppose to be here
      Sign said you got to have a membership card to get inside Uh!

      And the sign said everybody welcome, come in, kneel down and pray
      But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all,
      I didn't have a penny to pay, so I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign
      I said thank you Lord for thinking about me, I'm alive and doing fine

      Sign Sign everywhere a sign
      Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
      Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

      Sign Sign everywhere a sign
      Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
      Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign

 

Breathtaking picture of shadowy birds flying with the Sun setting in the background.

     

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Pop Art quadrant painting of The Beatles.

The Beatles

"Revolution"

1968

Vietnam War: Battle of Khe Sanh begins - One of the most publicized and controversial battles of the war begins, ending on April 8.

Vietnam War: The Tet Offensive begins, as Viet Cong forces launch a series of surprise attacks across South Vietnam.

Vietnam War: A Viet Cong officer is executed by Nguyen Ngoc Loan, a South Vietnamese National Police Chief. The event is photographed by Eddie Adams. The photo makes headlines around the world, eventually winning the 1969 Pulitzer Prize, and sways U.S. public opinion against the war.

     

 

      You say you want a revolution
      Well, you know
      We all want to change the world
      You tell me that it's evolution
      Well, you know
      We all want to change the world
      But when you talk about destruction
      Don't you know that you can count me out
      Don't you know it's gonna be all right
      all right, all right

      You say you got a real solution
      Well, you know
      We'd all love to see the plan
      You ask me for a contribution
      Well, you know
      We're doing what we can
      But when you want money
      for people with minds that hate
      All I can tell is brother you have to wait
      Don't you know it's gonna be all right
      all right, all right
      Ah

      ah, ah, ah, ah, ah...

      You say you'll change the constitution
      Well, you know
      We all want to change your head
      You tell me it's the institution
      Well, you know
      You better free you mind instead
      But if you go carrying pictures of chairman Mao
      You ain't going to make it with anyone anyhow
      Don't you know it's gonna be all right
      all right, all right
      all right, all right, all right
      all right, all right, all right
 

 

Eddie Adams's Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of General Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing Nguyễn Văn Lťm, a Viet Cong officer.

     

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Symbol for the band "Chicago."

"Dialogue (Parts 1 and 2)"

Chicago

1972

President Nixon cuts troop levels by 70,000: Responding to charges by Democratic presidential candidates that he is not moving fast enough to end U.S. involvement in Vietnam, President Nixon orders troop strength reduced by 70,000.

Secret peace talks revealed.

B-52s bomb Hanoi and Haiphong: In an attempt to force North Vietnam to make concessions in the ongoing peace talks, the Nixon administration orders heavy bombing of supply dumps and petroleum storage sites in and around Hanoi and Haiphong.  The administration makes it clear to the North Vietnamese that no section of Vietnam is off-limits to bombing raids.

Break-in at Watergate Hotel.

President Nixon wins reelection. 

     
 

      Part I

        Terry
        Are you optimistic
        'bout the way things are going?

        Peter
        No, I never ever think of it at all

        Terry
        Don't you ever worry
        When you see what's going down?

        Peter
        No, I try to mind my business,
        that is, no business at all

        Terry
        When it's time to function
        as a feeling human being, will your
        Bachelor of Arts help you get by?

        Peter
        I hope to study further,
        a few more years or so. I also hope
        to keep a steady high

        Terry
        Will you try to change
        things, use the power that you have,
        the power of a million new ideas?

        Peter
        What is this power you
        speak of and this need for things to
        change? I always thought
        that everything was fine

        Terry
        Don't you feel repression just
        closing in around?

        Peter
        No, the campus here is very, very free

        Terry
        Does it make you angry
        the way war is dragging on?

        Peter
        Well, I hope the President
        knows what he's into, I don't know

        Terry
        Don't you ever see the starvation
        in the city where you live, all the
        needless hunger all the
        needless pain?

        Peter
        I haven't been there lately,
        the country is so fine, but my
        neighbors don't seem hungry 'cause
        they haven't got the time

        Terry
        Thank you for the talk,
        you know you really eased my mind
        I was troubled by the shapes
        of things to come.

        Peter
        Well, if you had my
        outlook your feelings would be
        numb, you'd always think
        that everything was fine

        Part II

        Group
        We can make it happen
        We can change the world now
        We can save the children
        We can make it better
        We can make it happen
        We can save the children
        We can make it happen

 

Civil Rights protester being restrained by three police officers.

 

Photo of two wounded American soldiers in Vietnam.

 

Unforgettable photo of monk who set himself on fire to protest the Diem government in South Vietnam.

 

Group of Vietnam War protesters, one man is holding the American flag and a sign that reads "The right to dissent is democracy."

     

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Infamous photo of John Lennon wearing a sleeveless shirt that says "New York City."

John Lennon

"Give Peace A Chance"

1969

January 20 - Lyndon Baines Johnson leaves office as Richard Milhous Nixon is sworn in as the 37th President of the United States of America.

In Memphis, Tennessee, James Earl Ray pleads guilty to assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. (he later retracts his guilty plea).

The Battle of Dong Ap Bia, also known as Hamburger Hill, begins during the Vietnam War.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono conduct their Bed-In at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal, Quebec.

August 15-18 - The Woodstock Festival is held in upstate New York, featuring some of the top rock musicians of the era.

Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the "silent majority" to join him in solidarity with the Vietnam War effort, and to support his policies. Vice President Spiro T. Agnew denounces the President's critics as "an effete corps of impudent snobs" and "nattering nabobs of negativism."

     
 

        Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
        Bagism, Shagism, Dragism, Madism, Ragism, Tagism
        This-ism, that-ism, ism ism ism
        All we are saying is give peace a chance
        All we are saying is give peace a chance
        (C'mon)

        Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
        Minister, Sinister, Banisters and Canisters,
        Bishops, Fishops, Rabbis, and Pop Eyes, Bye bye, Bye byes
        All we are saying is give peace a chance
        All we are saying is give peace a chance
        (Let me tell you now)

        Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
        Revolution, Evolution, Masturbation, Flagellation, Regulation,
        Integrations, mediations, United Nations, congratulations
        All we are saying is give peace a chance
        All we are saying is give peace a chance

        Ev'rybody's talkin' 'bout
        John and Yoko, Timmy Leary, Rosemary,
        Tommy Smothers, Bobby Dylan, Tommy Cooper,
        Derek Taylor, Norman Mailer, Alan Ginsberg, Hare Krishna
        Hare Hare Krishna

        All we are saying is give peace a chance
        All we are saying is give peace a chance
        (Repeat 'til the tape runs out)
 

Vietnam War protest by U.S. veterans; also known as GIs for Peace.

 

     

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Oil painting of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. painted by Thomas Carli.

 
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