27 thoughts on “On the Edge of Revolution… UC Berkeley in the 60s

  1. Young people should be at the forefront of movements to make things better. But having seen things as they were in the 60s, I often think “if today’s young could only see how much worse things – e.g., the environment, working conditions, racism – were back then and how far we have come.

    • I truly agree with you on the latter, Ray. I’m not sure that most adults perceive how far we have come. On the other hand, when we look at issues like global warming, it’s obvious that we have a ways to go. 🙂 Thanks. –Curt

  2. Thanks for this. Having been in a US university from 1966–1970, I especially identified with your comment—’I struggled to understand what was happening and where I fit in’.

  3. A very interesting inside look at Berkeley during some very tumultuous years. I will look forward to the next segment! In our own times of social challenges, I found this line very relatable – “I struggled to understand what was happening and where I fit in.” I always want to help, but sometimes it all seems so beyond any control that I don’t even know where to begin!

    • Thanks. MB. I share your love of history. The 60s were one of those periods when history was being made. Many of the issues we have been struggling with over the past 60 years were put in the spotlight: Student rights were only a small part. Equality for women, blacks, hispanics, Native Americans, gays, etc, the environmental movement, and the Vietnam War to name some… The birth of the modern day left and the modern day right was underway. Berkeley, in many ways, was a harbinger of things to come— a microcosm.
      Even at 78, I continue to debate with myself over whether I am doing enough and what else I could be doing. 🙂 –Curt

  4. Those years were for protesting against the Vietnam war. It was the beginning of actions for the female emancipation in Australia, which were bewildering to my newly married girl from Finland who felt that women in Finland did not need freeing at all, they were free already.
    I don’t know how far this movement has evolved seeing today that our male politicians and their staff are bogged down in endless allegations of sexual harassing females inside Parliament. One male politician was caught texting lewd messages while a health bill was being passed, and at another time was soliciting a woman to have sex inside parliament. Cleaners routinely are being asked to clean up after ministers’ couches, desks and offices were used for late night partying and sex.

    • We have a major scandal going on now, Gerard. One of Trump’s strongest supporters in Congress. They may get him on sex trafficking.
      I think that politics, like Hollywood, is conducive to sexual misbehavior. –Curt

  5. Those computer cards! Guess some wouldn’t get it. “do not fold, spindle or mutilate.” We used that line with people, too…not that anyone listened. Still progress has been made. Change come slowly, but it happens….except it currently seems so much was taken for granted and misplaced and the wheel will have to be reinvented again.

      • That’s certainly true. I think one of my greatest disappointments with today’s Berkeley (and other places in this country) is that the easy-going acceptance of differences seems a world away.

      • I think that the issues are real and demand solutions, Linda. Sadly, exploiting divisiveness is a way to gain power and expand ratings. Cable TV and social media have enabled tribalism and increased intolerance instead of bringing people together. All too often, open, back and forth discussions turn into screaming matches. –Curt

  6. Oh I love this picture Curt and can’t wait to send it to my almost graduate in Bus School at Berkely. Then and now. What a meca for change and you were right there as the class dorm President. Such cutting edge times that spun change which we need to continue unfortunately! Ugly Man Contest and how to fit in.. now wonder it was a struggle!
    Can’t wait for the next one! 💖💖

  7. Really fascinating to read about this from someone in the thick of it. It feels as if nothing has changed. This sentence struck me: “The ugliness of McCarthyism was still alive and well in America. Its half-truths, outright lies and accusations had created a deep paranoia and distrust within American Society.” You just need to replace McCarthyism with Trumpism 😦
    I look forward to the next post.
    Alison

  8. I enjoyed reading this Curt. I also was thinking about the parallel to our modern times, it seems impossible NOT to see the connections. But like you say, pendulums swing back and forth in history. In any case, how lucky you were to have experienced that particular slice of time at Berkeley.

  9. Although I was a collegiate in the 60s, I wasn’t involved in any movements that I know of. Your front row seat and your current assessment of what was going on are fascinating. After watching what happened during the Trump years, I might have been more interested and aware of the protests and the opposition.

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