The Summer of ’69

By | Jul 22, 2009

When thinking back 40 years to the Summer of ’69, a year also made famous in the Bryan Adams songs, one will see that there are many things to look back on during this summer besides the Moon Landings.

In baseball 1969 was the first year that the leagues expanded to 12 ball clubs each and divided the leagues in to an East and West division. The Baltimore Orioles won 109 games and won their division by 19 games. Even after this they still had to play a 3 out of 5 series against the Western division Twins, winning the first American League Divisional Series in three games. In mid-August the Chicago Cubs had a commanding lead over the New York Mets, but a late season burst by the Mets and a swoon by the Cubs left the Mets, who had never finished above 9th in their 8 years in a 10 team league, winning 100 games and the division. After winning three against the Atlanta Braves they played the Orioles in the World Series finishing their amazing season by winning the series in five games after losing the opener.

Strange things were happening around Lake Worth, located near Fort Worth, Texas. On July 10, 1969 three couples went to Fort Worth Police and told a story of a large hairy creature leaping out of the darkness and landed on one of the parked cars. Throughout the summer there were numerous reports seeing this creature, could it have been a Bigfoot. Reportedly foot prints were found that were 8 inches wide and 16 inches long. By the end of 1969 the reports were dying down leaving some to wonder what happened to the Lake Worth Monster.

The middle of August could well be called the weekend of Peace, Love and Rock and Roll. The Woodstock Music and Arts Fair began on August 15, 1969 and ran throughout the weekend ending on the morning of August 18th. 186,000 tickets were sold for the concert, but when more showed up than expected, it became a free concert drawing over 1/2 million young men and women to listen to some of the best Rock and Roll acts of the 1960s including Janis Joplin, The Who, Jefferson Airplane, Richie Havens, who opened the concert, and Jimi Hendrix, who closed the concert in the early daylight hours of Monday morning.

1969 also had the concert that could be considered just the opposite of Woodstock and that was the Altamont Free Concert held on Saturday, December 6, 1969, in Northern California. This concert was headlined by the Rolling Stones and included a number of acts that played at Woodstock. The concert was marred by considerable violence.

Two nights August 8 and 9, 1969 rocked Los Angeles. On the night of the August 8th at the rental home of Roman Polanski and his pregnant wife Sharon Tate a group of deranged hippies gruesomely killed Steven Parent, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, Abigail Folger, Sharon Tate and Sharon Tate’s unborn child. Polanski was in England. The next night the some of these same people went to the home of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca and did the same. These hippies were the followers of Charles Manson.


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