50 Years Ago

Hey, remember 50 years ago?  You may remember, you may have read about it, or you may be delightfully unaware of what happened in 1967.  I was there, and unlike some survivors of the late 1960s, I wasn’t chemically impaired, so I remember a lot of it.

Thanks to the internet, we can all take a look back.

Guess who released their first record albums in 1967?  Nobody special; just The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, and The Grateful Dead.  They were all destined for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Less notable, but with the best name, the Electric Prunes also released their first album, featuring a great song called, “I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night.”  Very psychedelic. 

Little Billy Gates enrolled in the Lakeside School in Seattle at age 13.  It’s still there, and in fact a friend of mine worked there a few years ago.  He’s thrown a few dollars their way.

Ronald Reagan became governor of California in 1967, starting the transition from actor to politician.

Another famous American, Muhammad Ali, refused induction into the Army as a conscientious objector.  

It was also the year of racially charged riots in Detroit, and a protest in Washington D.C. by 100,000 anti-war activists.

Speaking of race, President Johnson successfully nominated Thurgood Marshall as the first black Supreme Court justice.

The Six-Day War between Israel and several Arab nations happened in 1967.  Who knew a war could take less than a week?

And, sadly, the Apollo One spacecraft caught fire, and three astronauts were killed.

South African Dr. Christiaan Barnard completed the first human to human heart transplant.  The recipient didn’t survive for very long, but his work was groundbreaking for today’s successful transplants.

Happily, the Green Bay Packers beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the very first Super Bowl.

The Beatles released the iconic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts’ Club Band” in 1967.  Back then the song “When I’m Sixty-Four” seemed unrelatable.  This month it becomes all too relatable to me.

Actually, things may not be so different now.  There may not be the same wave of great music, but there is good music.  And, we have civil and un-civil protests, medical breakthroughs, wars, racial tension, and a non-politician loudly in office.

Fifty years ago seems like forever, but looking backwards too much gives us stiff necks.  So, we move forward, “With a Little Help From Our Friends.”



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