Friday, May 24, 2013

Flower Power. October 1967...

Flower Power. Or, if you like,
The Power Of The Flower.
It was a gutsy thing to do that the young man, said to be eighteen year old George Edgerly Harris, did on that day, October 21st 1967.
Part of a crowd heading to the Pentagon, marching for peace and an end to the war in Vietnam, he calmly stood with a bunch of carnations and ignoring the guns pointing at him, placed the flower stems in the dumfounded soldier's rifle barrels.
On the same day others proffered flowers to the armed military police who were baffled as to how they should respond.
Billy Boston was working for the now defunct Washington Post and took the photograph of the young George Harris. The photo became known as Flower Power and was nominated for The Pulitzer Prize.
It was an amazing time to be alive.
Some of us still are...

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  1. No wonder the late 60s are such a popular destination for time travelers.

  2. Dang I missed out on all the fun. I was married with kids by then.

  3. Sad to imagine that half of young people from our generation grew up to be conservatives and supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a myriad of other social evils promulgated by Ronald Reagan and the supporters of the culture wars worldwide that he started.

    What the hell happened to all that bliss that we generated in the Summer of Love???

    1. Fear got to them my friend, and greed.
      Forgetfulness got to them too...

  4. Gorgeous post, Keith. Makes me feel all gooey inside and so glad to have had this lifetime.

  5. Wonderful post Kieth, with great selection of evocative photos. As Mr. Sharkey commented I once too wondered where all these free-thinking , compassionate and socially aware individuals went but like you , one could only ever come to the conclusion that it was fear and greed and the fact that it was also ever only a minority that really felt these convictions and lived them. I am sure those that survived and really believed in the core of their values and convictions are still with us ~ doing much they same now that they did then ~ but rather like a small ragged tribe trying to swim upstream against the mainstream consumer driven mindset. I am so grateful to have been part of those days ~ Thanks for a lovely reminder of what idealism fueled and heady days they were, if ever so brief .

  6. The young man putting the flowers into the soldier's rifle barrels is most definitely NOT George Edgerly Harris. His name is Richard Rusk. I worked with Rich in Nome, Alaska in the 1980s, I recognize him, and he even wore the same sweater, although it was definitely a "work" sweater by then. Also Rich said that the photo was indeed of him, but his name was not publicized, because his father, Dean Rusk, was the US Secretary of State at the time.

    Milton Litchard
    Seattle, WA
    milton.litchard at gmail dot com

  7. Milton Litchard is correct. Richard Rusk, the son of Secretary of State Dean Rusk, is the young man in this photo. Richard was a friend of my parents and of my brother Jack in Nome back in the 70's and he identified himself as the person in this photo.