In 1968 the Hippies became part of the fabric of America, despite the recent illegalization of LSD. But it was also a period of increased tensions between the people and the ruling class in America:
In April, MLK was assassinated. In June, Robert Kennedy was murdered. In October, the Black Athletics of America took a stand at the Olympics, raising their fists in the manner the Black Panthers had popularized in the preceding years. In November, the 1st interracial kiss was shown on television. In December, the space race in full effect, Apollo landed on The Moon.
By 1968, hippie movement was the mainstream, especially for youths and “Baby Boomers.” As people aspired to emulate the hardcore movements of the older beatnik-influenced folks now living in tribalistic communes, but with no overt connections to them, the people formed their own tribes.
The Yippies, for example. came to national attention during their celebration of the 1968 spring equinox, when some 3,000 of them took over Grand Central Station in New York – eventually resulting in 61 arrests. The Yippies leader, Abbie Hoffman, was arrested and tried for conspiracy and inciting to riot as a result of his role in protests that led to violent confrontations with police during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, along with Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, Lee Weiner, and Bobby Seale. The group was known collectively as the “Chicago Eight.”
Hoffman continued his activism into the 1970s, and remains an icon of the anti-war movement and the counterculture era, eventually becoming notorious for his anarchistic theatrics, such as trying to levitate the Pentagon at the October 1967 (yup that was him), authoring a book called “STEAL THIS BOOK,” and starting High Times Magazine.
The year 1968 also saw the development of two new, but dissimilar, genres of music that each exerted some influence on, and were influenced by, the hippie movements: Heavy metal and reggae (and, I’m guessing, the first wook was conceived…).