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1969 vs 2019 I was born in '74, but I have often wished I was alive for the Moon Landing. I'm reading "Helter Skelter" on the Manson murders from August '69 (and in anticipation of "Once Upon a Time...In Hollywood" ). Our family home was built in '69-'70, although we didn't move in until '85.

So for those of you who were alive in '69, was it a crazier time then or now? What was the zeitgeist like then versus now? What was your life like then versus now? How is society the same or different?

By greyeyed1237
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Perhaps the most unimaginable thing about 1969 for young people today is that there were no computers, no internet. Our lives were 99% real life. The only screens were television(6-8 channels?)...

In reading "Helter Skelter", I found it amusing that Charles Manson applied for a credit card while in jail. He included his actual name, the jail's address, religion as his occupation, etc. (he basically did not lie at all on the application). Apparently they did have some kind of computerized screening for credit applications, but his particular application was seen by a human person--and they recognized his name. His application was denied. lol If it were today, the computers would probably automatically send him 10 cards.

@greyeyed123 ...oh, there were computers...but they were 100% mainframe and used in large businesses and governments. Calculators were the closest that normal people had to computers.

@seattlepanda I remember saving my allowance to get a calculator watch in '82-'83. Then on the first day of school, I lost it at recess because my wrists were tiny, lol. Third grade sucked.


It was just as divided, but it was the Vietnam War causing the divisiveness. The zeitgeist was similar to now because of that division. This is when the publics distrust in the government really exploded. I was in the Army so my life sucked. The society was very much different as the rights of women, the gay community, and minorities, specifically Black people, were finally coming to the forefront of our consciousness.

Sticks48 Level 9 July 12, 2019

In 1969, children were still "free-ranging" kids. Pot was cheap. Acid was cheap. Beer was cheap. Gasoline was cheap. One could have a pretty good night on the town with five, or ten bucks. There were 'dime stores' back then (in lieu of the 'dollar stores' of today). Guns were cheap, and easier to buy. Most American, and Canadian households owned at least a few. The music was better. There were fewer cops (unlike today, where you practically trip over them).There was no police state. The girls were prettier (short skirts, no tattoos or 'whale tails'smile009.gif. Jobs were more plentiful. Cars were cheaper. So were motorcycles. News of horrendous events weren't broadcast 24/7 like today, thus encouraging copycat horrendous deeds.People minded their own business. There were fewer rats and snitches.There were no ccv cameras everywhere. People actually subscribed to, and read newspapers. The War sucked. So did the Draft. But, other than that, 1969 was a pretty good year.

davknight Level 7 July 12, 2019

I was 15...everyone was glued to the tv...we even had people over that did not have a tv...our living room was crowded with people sitting on the floor watching a black and white tv...I was living in New York so it was in the afternoon, close to dinner time...nobody wanted to stop to eat...I remember feeling proud of our country for beating the Russians to the dad had just come back from being shot down in Vietnam so that was wonderful to have him back safe...

The Manson murders were so horrible that my parents wouldn't let us watch anything except to tell us that it was a cult...scared me into not wanting to be stolen to be in a cult...

The race riots just hit our town in NY with my younger sister being attacked and beaten up for being in the wrong place at the right father got stationed to the Canal Zone so I spent the rest of my teen years in paradise.

thinktwice Level 8 July 12, 2019

FYI, if you haven't seen HBO's "From the Earth to the Moon" miniseries from 1998, it is being rereleased on HBO Go, Now, and On-Demand on July 15th with remastered special effects (and remastered for HD).

It was one of those really great things that got lost in the mix in the transition from Standard Definition to HD. I think there was a DVD set out at one point, but no blu ray (a blu ray release of the remastered version is being released July 16--something I've been looking for since blu ray became the standard).


Good question (for those of us capable of answering it).. I was a kid, so a different perspective. Vietnam was raging … and that alone tore apart the nation. As much as we ‘see’ a divide at the moment, ‘back then,’ that divide was costing lives..

In the PNW of the USA, I remember resources being plentiful, everyone hand watering their lawns on summer evenings while conversing with neighbors. Cheap fuel, so many a pleasure ride with our windows down on summer evenings..

Religion reigned, but Madalyn Murray O’Hair had cleared prayer from US public schools, so I never had to experience that. The US was still using religion to fight those ‘godless communists,’ though. We’d still have to ‘recite the prayer of allegiance,’ as the god graffiti was now printed & stamped on our currency.

Rest of the world was still recovering from WW2, thus the US basically produced the latest and best quality products. Had our chance to go metric ... Republicans in Congress did their thing we didn’t. ‘Esperanto’ was being played with as ‘a world language,’ which never caught on.

Population was increasing, women still expected to birth children and clean house. Public Schools were not allowed to teach ‘the theory of contanental drift,’ and I think ‘evolution’ was also on the forbidden list..

The Space Race was spectacular, though! And as the US made our successes, and failures public, the USSR hid their failures and touted their dwindling success. We won smile009.gif

Varn Level 8 July 12, 2019

FYI, the HBO miniseries on the space race is being rereleased July 15, and on blu ray July 16. More info in comment above.


Very different, not crazier, but very different.

Bobby9 Level 8 July 12, 2019

I remember being bored as I was forced to watch the moon landing - didn't find it interesting and even then was asking why we spent so much to get to an inhospitable rock when so many on the planet were starving.
I think the mid sixties to 68 were a time of high expectation - the world was going to become a better place, love and peace would reign, - look how that turned out. I think the Sharon Tate murders were the beginning of the end

Bored? Man.. I’d have my dad wake me at 4 am so we could watch ‘the walks’ live. And Walter Cronkite was sooo good with his illuminating commentary of the day! ..I’d even built a model of the Saturn 5 smile001.gif

@Varn The HBO miniseries "From the Earth to the Moon" is being rereleased on July 15-16. More info in my comment above.

I haven't seen the movie yet, but my guess from the trailers is that Quentin Tarantino uses the Tate murders in the movie as a turning point between an earlier, more innocent past, and a darker future. The final trailer is one of the best trailers I've ever seen. Hoping the movie lives up to it.


No idea, I was 2!

Amisja Level 8 July 12, 2019

I was born in 1960. I recall when MLK was assassinated, the funeral on tv. The moon landing was like a surreal event. My dad took Polaroids of the tv; he still has them.
There was a sense of wonder, of growth, hope; despite the war and Nixon, that times were improving overall.

I think it's that flavor of optimism and wonder about the future that feels lost to me today (although I had it from birth through the '90s; after 9/11, and W. Bush, it waned, and then it seemed Obama had to spend all his time turning the economy around and doing something with healthcare--a big, bold vision of the future was on hold; now it seems we're trying to go backwards). My sense is also that the US wasn't as anti-intellectual, anti-education as it is today. Our love affair with cars seems to be over (I do miss drive-ins).

@greyeyed123 I agree. Times were optimistic, and after 9/11, it all changed drastically.

@CarolinaGirl60 I have a hard time even imagining what the next "big things" will be. I have no doubt at some point computer power and gene therapy will combine in ways that would seem miraculous to us today, allowing us to cure and modify ourselves.

Other than that, solar and wind power are being poo-pooed daily. Mars missions, even if we eventually do them, seem quaint or pointless to many. What's left? The iphone 154?

Even pop culture is fractured into a million shows and movies, so there isn't even a common experience among entertainment to feed into the zeitgeist. (Most of our visions of the future come from the past--Star Trek, Star Wars, etc. Even children seem to be digging the '80s nostalgia in "Stranger Things" and "Ready Player One," etc., and all the Marvel movies are drawing from comics of years gone by.


I was 5 yrs old. I remember sitting by my dad watching the moon landing on his black & white 13" tv. Summers were spent chasing June bugs, playing with beagle puppies (my dad raised/trained hunting dogs) & working in the garden. Walter Cronkite was the voice of boredom to my 5 year old self.

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