Summer of change

1969 was a monumental year, especially during the summer months

This week marks the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong’s becoming the first man to set foot on the moon—one of many history-changing moments that took place in 1969. In January of this year editor/author Rob Kirkpatrick commemorated those moments with his book 1969: The Year Everything Changed. The book was released in part in response to the amount of attention the two previous years had received—1967 with its notorious Summer of Love tag, and tumultuous 1968 (MLK and RFK assassinations, Vietnam War escalation, war protests, etc.), the so-called “year the dream died.” The year was especially packed in the summer months (back when Bryan Adams was playing guitar till his fingers bled). Here’s a sampling:

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June 18-20 Extremist radical-left group the The Weathermen (later the Weather Underground) splits from Students for a Democratic Society. June 28 Stonewall riots begin in New York’s Greenwich Village sparking the gay-rights movement. July 8 First U.S. troop withdrawl from Vietnam. July 14 The film Easy Rider is released in the U.S. July 20 Apollo 11 landing—man walks on the moon. July 25-Aug. 10 Manson family murder spree in California. Aug. 16-18 Woodstock Music & Art Fair, otherwise known as the Woodstock Festival, takes place in Bethel, N.Y. Sept. 2 First automatic teller machine (ATM) in the U.S. installed in Rockville Centre, N.Y Sept. 8 Rod Laver wins the U.S. Tennis Open, completing the only sweep of the four major championships in the open era. Sept. 20 John Lennon quits The Beatles.