Claymont High School on the Eve of the “Summer of Love”, 1967

It’s 1967. The Vietnam War is raging. By the end of the year, approximately 474,000 U.S. soldiers are in Vietnam. President Johnson announces his plan for a lottery for conscription into the military. “The Draft” leads to virulent anti-war protests by the end of the year. In San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park approximately 30,000 take part in a “be-in.” Among the participants are Allen Ginsberg, credited with creating the term “flower power,” and Timothy Leary, fired Harvard professor and LSD guru, who calls on people to “Turn on, Tune in and Drop out.”

As summer approaches, The Monterey International Pop Festival opens in California and attracts over 200,000 people. Featured are Janis Joplin, the Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, the Who, Otis Redding and many others. Scott McKenzie’s wildly popular song “San Francisco” is on the radio. It inspires tens of thousands of America’s youth to head toward the City By The Bay “with flowers in their hair” for what will be called the “Summer of Love.” The film Bonnie & Clyde is in theaters. Thurgood Marshall becomes the first African American Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Boxing champion Muhammad Ali refuses induction into the Army and is stripped of his boxing title.

On the world stage, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq join a pact to prevent Israel’s access to the Red Sea.  Syria and Egypt attack Israel but Israel prevails and gains control of Jerusalem. Students in West Germany rise in protest against a visit from the Shah of Iran.

The U.S., Soviet Union and Britain sign an Outer Space Treaty. The treaty prohibits the use of outer space, the moon or other celestial bodies as a military base or for any purpose not peaceful.  China, under Chairman Mao, sends troops to enslave the sovereign country of Tibet.  In Bolivia, Che Guevara and fellow guerrillas fail to win over rural farmers. Guevara and three comrades are captured and executed.

Source: World History Timeline

Below are random scenes from the “Clay Tablet” Yearbook of Claymont, Delaware in 1967. Claymont is in the northeast corner of Delaware. We see the typical fashions and the buoyant spirit of American’s youth in the year 1967.

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