'an on BwadWlfwm
1968 to 1972.
Hair became a mnning
gag in the Beatles' first film,
A Hard Day's Night
(1964).And it was hair thattriggered the redneck violence against the hippie heroes in
Easy Rider (1969).
Theyounger, postwar generation, known asbaby boomers, had been raisedaccording tothe new permissiveness advocated by Dr.Benjamin Spock, whose
Baby and Child Care
had originally been published in1946.Indeed, Spockhimself subsequently took responsibility forhis" children" and became aspokespersonfor the antiwar movement in the 1960s.According to Vice President SpiroAgnew, the "problem children" ofthe 1960swere the fault ofDr.Spock, whosebook, according to Agnew, "threw discipline out the window." The productsof this revolution in childrearing grew up to challenge the repressive codesestablished by their more conservative elders, who had been brought up inthe hard times of the Great Depression. The children of parents who foughtthe good and just war against Hitler and fascism in the 1940squestioned theAmerican ideology that had involved the nation on what was apparently thewrong side ofaseemingly unjust war in Southeast Asia. And they looked withsuspicion on the appeals topatriotism that were used to defend that war.The 1960sbegan not with violent confrontation but with the orderly transfer of power from one generation to another.In 1961,43-year-old John F.Kennedy, a
liberal Democrat from Massachusetts, was sworn in as president ofthe UnitedStates, replacing 70-year-old Republican Dwight David Eisenhower.As theyoungest president in American history, Kennedy brought the energy andintensity ofyouth to his program for aNew Frontier in American political life.In his inaugural address, Kennedy noted that "the torch has been passed toa new generation of Americans" and called for a new activism, appealing toAmericans to "ask not what your country can do for you" but "what you cando for your country."With Kennedy, a new emphasis on sophistication, style, and wit enterednational politics.Jackand hiswifeJackiebecame theideal couple, and Kennedy'sadmirers likened his administration toKingArthur's mythical court ofCamelot,casting him as both Arthur and Lancelot and Jackie as Queen Guenevere.The White House became their castle, and Washington was transformedinto a utopian kingdom full of dreams about the creation of an ideal once-and-future world. Justprior toKennedy's inauguration, inDecember 1960,AlanJ. Lerner and Frederick Loewe's musical,
had opened on Broadway.And Kennedy's New Frontier naturally evoked Camelot, aworld governed byacts ofchivalry, trust, passionate idealism, and romance.