37th President of America, Richard Nixon, with singer Elvis Presley

Pop Culture in Review for the Year 1969

Pop culture refers and it comprises different events, episodes, happenings in the society of a country. Pop culture not only caters to the social aspects or beliefs of a country, but it also streams its film industry, music, important discoveries or inventions in the technological field and sports events. 1969 is regarded as a significant year of the American pop culture.

This year was marked as a prominent year with respect to the political and technological happenings. One of the major events took place in the political field and another in space technology.

Film

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was an American Western film released in 1969. The story revolves around Wild West criminals who are running from the US force after conducting multiple train robberies. The film was directed by George Roy Hill, produced by John Foreman under the Campanile Productions, written by William Goldman.

The leading actors of the film were Paul Newman, who played the character of Robert LeRoy Parker as Butch Cassidy, and the character of his partner Harry Longabaugh as Sundance Kid was played by Robert Redford. The music composer of the film was Burt Bacharach. The film had a gross income of $102.3 million at the box office with a budget of $6 million and was awarded for its best cinematography.

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

“Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice” an American film of comedy drama genre was released in 1969. The screenplay of the film was written by Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker who was also the producer of the film. It featured Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliot Gould, and Dyan Cannon as the main actors. The composer of the film was Quincy Jones.

Cinematography was done by Charles Lang. The film got nominated for the Academy Award four times. It also got nominated once for Gould and Canon. The budget of the film consisted of $2 million and it had a gross income of $31.9 million on box office.

Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy was a film released in 1969 based on the novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It was a buddy drama film written by Waldo Salt and directed by John Schlesinger. Stars of the movie include Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman. The film is set in New York City and revolves around the story of two hustlers one of which is a naive prostitute and the other is an ailing con man.

The film was so good that it won three awards at the 42nd Academy Awards despite being an X-rated film. It has become the 43rd of 100 America’s greatest films.

Television

Sesame Street

Sesame Street was an American educational children’s television program that was launched on November 10, 1969. Live action, sketch comedy, animation and a segment of puppet show were shown in this program. This program was launched by Sesame Workshop. The series was produced and introduced by Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrissett.

The program was well-praised and liked for depicting communication through images and Jim’s Henson’s Muppets and it showed short films of the comedy genre and showcased the country’s culture. The series had optimistic plus negative reviews. The head writers of the show were Jon Stone, John Moss, Norman Stiles, Lou Berger, Tony DeSena, Judy Freudberg, Belinda, Joey Mazzarino and Ken Scarborough. The theme music was composed by Joe Raposo, Jon Stone and Bruce Hart. There was a total of 50 seasons and 4561 episodes.

The Brady Bunch

The Brady Bunch was an American sitcom series that broadcasted on ABC from 1969 till 1974. This story of the series revolves around a widower named Mike Brady who is an architect by profession and has three sons named Greg, Peter, and Bobby. He gets married to Carol Martin who is a mother of three daughters named Marcia, Jan, and Cindy.  The series consisted of almost five seasons and 117 episodes.

This series was developed by Sherwood Schwartz. The music composer of the film was Frank De Vol.  The main actors of the series were Robert Reed, Florence Henderson, Ann B. Davis, Maureen McCormick, Christopher Knight, and Mike Lookinland.

Eve Plumb, an actress of The Brady Bunch

Music

Magic Sam

Magic Sam, originally named as Samuel Gene Maghett, born on February 14, 1937, was an American Chicago blues musician.  His birthplace was Grenada County, Mississippi. He trained himself for playing blues by learning the records of Muddy Waters and Little Water. When he turned nineteen, he moved to Chicago to pursue his career as a blues musician.

He got immense fame as soon as he signed a contract with Cobra Records. In 1957 people started to recognize him as a renowned “bluesman”with the launch of his first song named “All Your Love”. He was praised and appreciated for his exceptionally amazing skills of tremolo guitar playing.  On December 1, 1969, he died of heart attack at the age of thirty-two.

Woodstock

Woodstock a big music festival that took place in 1969 on the dairy farm of Max Yasgur located in Bethel, New York, that is forty miles away from southwest of Woodstock. This music festival prolonged from August 15 to August 18. The basic purpose of the festival was to highlight “Peace & Music”.

Eventually, the festival was named as the Woodstock Rock Festival. Around 400,000 people came to get entertained in this music festival. This festival is well recognized in music history for conducting a movement of counterculture generation. The bits and pieces of the festival were covered in a documentary film released in 1970.

Technology

Apollo program

The 1969 year was a landmark in the history of space and technology when the first human stepped on the moon under the Apollo program also referred as Project Apollo. It was the third human spaceflight scheme developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

This event was first planned to take place under the government of Dwight D. Eisenhower, but later it was handed over to the administration of John F. Kennedy.  Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first astronauts who accomplished the Apollo 11 mission by landing on the moonon the Apollo Lunar Module (LM) and Michael Collins stayed in lunar orbit in the command and service module (CSM). All these three astronauts successfully and safely step backed to earth on July 24.

Buzz Aldrin on moon, as photographed by Neil Armstrong

ARPANET

The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was a technological advancement made in the field of computer sciences developed in 1969. This project was developed by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) located in the United States. It consisted of a system of grouping data a method used in telecommunication networks. It is the pioneer to execute the Transmission Protocol and the Internet Protocol suite. The project was introduced by J.C.R Licklider, Bob Taylor for the purpose of connecting far away computers.

Sports

1969 U.S. Open (golf)

The U.S. 69th Open championship took place in Cypress Creek Course of Champion Gold Club located in Houston, Texas in 1969 from June 12 to 15. The PGA title was won by Orville Moody who was a retired U.S Army officer.  He competed and defeated Deane Beman, Bob Rosburg and Al Geiberger.

1969 Texas vs. Arkansas football game

The 1969 Texas vs. Arkansas was also titled as “Game of the Country” was a match between Texas No.1 and Arkansas No.2. It was a college football match held on December 6 at Razorback Stadium located in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The national championship was won by both Texas and Arkansas in different matches. The championship was marked as the “Game of the Century” in 1969.

Fashion

Free Style Clothing

In 1969 free style clothing such as trend of mix and match was in. The youngsters followed Hippy fashion. Different types of trends started to emerge such fringed suede, jackets, kaftans, psychedelic pants, and hemp. For mainly female shorts were introduced in the similar year. For men’s fashion, white flannel, big lapels, heavily pleated, deep-cuffed, and corduroy pants were very in.

News

United Airlines Plane Crash

On January 18th, United Airlines Flight 266 crashed shortly after it took off from Los Angeles. It was a flight carrying 38 people on board who were on their way to Denver, Colorado. It crashed in the Pacific Ocean about 11 miles from the Los Angeles International Airport. Rescuers said that an explosion occurred on the plane Boeing 727. Since the aircraft was a commercial passenger jet, there were no life rafts and life jackets for the passenger. There were no survivors of the plane crash.

Boeing 727 Model - The plane that crashed

Richard M. Nixon inaugurated as the 37th President of America

Richard M. Nixon took the oath as the 37th president of America on January 20, 1969. He served till 1974. He was a member of Republican Party and before being elected as the president of the state, he was positioned as the vice president from 1953 till 1961. He was well known for his position as a representative and senator of California. In 1973, Nixon contributed to terminating the participation of the United States in the Vietnam War.

The president visited China in the exact year and accomplished to develop political and diplomatic relations with the state. He died after suffering from a stroke in 1994 at the age of 81.

Stonewall riots

The Stonewall riots, Stonewall uprising and Stonewall rebellion all of these terms are known for a rebellious movement that was conducted by the members of the gay community in retaliation of the police attack and encounter that held in early hours of the day on June 28, 1969. This riot happened at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village nearby Manhattan, New York City.

The gay and lesbian community in bars, village, and nearby areas of Stonewall stood as a united force to fought back and rebelled against the police force. This riot became successful in voicing gay rights and became the basis of the gay liberation movement and the current day movement for LGBT rights in the United States.

Incident of Chappaquiddick

Ted Kennedy who was the youngest brother of John Kennedy and an American politician and a lawyer got into a controversy on July 18, 1969. He was driving a car and he unintentionally drove it off a bridge on Massachusetts’ Chappaquiddick Island, which resulted in the killing of his mate Mary Jo Kopechne.

He was objected to not informing about the whole event that happened and for this he was suspended for two months. He later felt regretful of not informing on time about the accident.

Dance

Ailey Begins its Inaugural Season in Manhattan

In 1969, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater moved to Brooklyn Academy of Music. Alvin Ailey and developed a school to train dance forms. The first season of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater was introduced in Manhattan at the Billy Rose Theater.

Conclusion

Pop culture is a prerequisite element of a society. With time things and tradition changes, evolves, and takes the shape of the present form. Pop culture is basically the identity and the characteristic of a society that reflects its beliefs, ideas, and tradition. Truly, the pop culture of 1960 was an interesting one.

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