Gallery: Celebrating California’s Counterculture

The theme of California Archives Month 2017 is, “Celebrating California’s Counterculture.” Counterculture movements including the Beat Generation literary movement and the hippie subculture had roots in California and affected the nation. This gallery represents some of the transformative events of the 1960s through 1970s that took place in California, including but not limited to war protests, civil rights movements, and the “Summer of Love.” Archives, libraries, historical societies, museums and other repositories from around the state contributed images to this gallery below.

(The images displayed on this website may be protected under U.S. copyright law and are the property of the respective institutions that contributed them and/or the creators of the images. If you are interested in obtaining a reproduction of any of  these images, displaying any of these images on another website, or otherwise publishing any of these images, then please contact the contributing institution for more information about permission to use the images. The contributing institutions are credited below each image.)

Free Speech Movement at Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley Campus, December 3, 1964. Frank Stork Photographer. Sacramento Bee Collection. Courtesy of the Center for Sacramento History.

Free Speech Movement at Sproul Hall, UC Berkeley Campus, December 3, 1964. Frank Stork Photographer. Sacramento Bee Collection. Courtesy of the Center for Sacramento History.

Community activist Hazel Mitchell handing out Save Bodega Head fliers in front of the PG&E Bodega Bay Atomic Park exhibit at the Sonoma County Fair, Santa Rosa, Calif., July 17, 1964. Mitchell spearheaded the campaign to derail PG&E’s effort to put a hole in Bodega Head and erect a nuclear power plant. Courtesy of the Sonoma County Library.

Young Christian Workers demonstrating outside the first San Francisco meeting of the White Citizens Council, a southern organization opposing integration, 1964. Organizations such as the Young Christian Workers and the Catholic Interracial Council were active in the civil rights movement in San Francisco throughout the 1960s. Image from the November 5, 1964 issue of, “The Monitor.” Courtesy of Archives of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

A group of mothers pushing strollers lead a Vietnam War protest as they walk down Oak Street on the way to the Federal building, San Francisco, 1965. “The San Francisco News-Call Bulletin,” photograph by Bob Jones. Courtesy of the San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library.

Mary’s Day sing-a-long at Immaculate Heart College, Los Angeles, 1966. Mary’s Day was an annual tradition at Immaculate Heart College. In 1961 artist and professor, Corita Kent was asked to help organize the event with the assistance of the art department. Under Corita’s direction, what was once a somber ceremony transformed into a celebration, including art, music, and performance. Corita and her students also introduced themes that focused on contemporary social issues like hunger, poverty, and war. Mary’s Day attracted nationwide attention in 1966 when CBS filmed the event for the program, “Look Up And Live.” Courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.

“Yellow Submarine,” serigraph, 1967. Corita Kent, also known as Sister Mary Corita, was an artist with an innovative approach to design and education. By the 1960s, her vibrant serigraphs were drawing international acclaim. Corita’s work reflected her concerns about poverty, racism, and war, and her messages of peace and social justice continue to resonate with audiences today. Courtesy of the Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles.

Star atlas from Lubienietz, Stanislao de. Theatri cometici…Amsterdam: Cuyperum, 1667. An early work on the constellations by astronomer and historian Lubienietz who was part of the Western European “radical” Reformation in the early fifteenth century. Courtesy of the Sutro Library.

Couples dancing amongst crowd at love-in held at Griffith Park, Los Angeles, Calif., 1967. Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive (Collection 1429). Courtesy of UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library. UCLA.

Juaneño Indians carrying placards at demonstration over land rights in San Juan Capistrano, Calif., 1967. Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive (Collection 1429). Courtesy of UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library. UCLA.

Archdiocesan Commission on Social Justice demonstrating outside a Safeway store on 31st and Noriega Streets in San Francisco’s Sunset district as part of International Grape Boycott Day, 1969. The boycott was part of a larger organized effort to improve the working conditions of farm laborers in California. The Commission on Social Justice was a strong supporter of the United Farm Workers led by Cesar Chavez. Image from the May 15, 1969 issue of, “The Monitor.” Courtesy of Archives of the Archdiocese of San Francisco.

UCSF health workers marching to protest the Vietnam War and invasion of Cambodia, May 1970. Suellen Bilow Photo. Courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, University of California, San Francisco Library.

¡Viva la Huelga! Silkscreen print in support of the United Farmworkers, circa 1970, artist unknown. Rupert and Madison Garcia Collection. Courtesy of the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives, Special Research Collections Dept., University of California, Santa Barbara Library.

Peace Now, poster printed by Architecture students at UC Berkeley during the Vietnam War, circa 1970. The entire first floor of Wurster Hall was converted into a screen printing operation. Image 16-091-024, Department of Architecture Collection. Courtesy of Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

Get Out of S.E. Asia Now! Kamakzi Design Group poster printed by Architecture students at UC Berkeley during the Vietnam War, circa 1970. The entire first floor of Wurster Hall was converted into a screen printing operation. Image 16-091-005, Department of Architecture Collection. Courtesy of Environmental Design Archives, University of California, Berkeley.

L.U.V. (Let Us Vote), 1972. Courtesy of University Archives, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library.

L.U.V. (Let Us Vote), 1972. Courtesy of University Archives, Holt-Atherton Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library.

Community Memory (the first public computer-based bulletin board) terminal at Leopold’s Records, Berkeley, California, circa 1974. Community Memory tried to democratize technology. Anyone could use this terminal, connected to a mainframe timeshared computer, for posting messages. That was a radical idea when computers were seen by the counterculture as tools of government and corporate power. Community Memory Records (Catalog 102703229). Courtesy of the Computer History Museum.

Anti-war protest silkscreen print, “Ideological Coverup,” by Bruce Kaiper, 1974. Courtesy of the Special Research Collections Dept., University of California, Santa Barbara Library.