Let us take you back to the ’60s with this collection of rare and memorable pictures. See the past of your favorite places and people, immerse in the not so lost history and experience the path we all took to get where we are now. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride through time and space!
The world of tomorrow… today at Disneyland in ’66
A magical world, full of galaxies to be conquered, rocket ships to be explored, where the future is coming to life today and everything is possible. That’s how Tomorrowland, Disney’s view of the future looked like in 1986. Walt Disney and his crew thought that Americans would be traveling in high-speed mass transit vehicles, and everyone will be watching their favorite shows in 3D in a couple of years. The park meant to be “the factual and scientific exposition of things to come,” a crossover between fun and education. When dedicating Tomorrowland to the future, he was talking about the fact that the new area of the park will be a glance into a world of unbelievable ideas, a testament to mankind’s achievements, a step into the future, to show where we are heading to.
Parents hold their babies over the Berlin Wall so their grandparents can say hello
The Berlin Wall didn’t magically appear overnight. It was a painstakingly long process to raise it from barbed wire between West and East Germany to an actual concrete wall separating family members, friends, and colleagues. Yet straight from the start, everyone had to stay on their side. And if the grandparents happen to be on the other side of the wall, the only chance to see their grandkids was to get the parents to lift them high. At this stage words were still travelling relatively freely.
fans go mental for The Beatles in Seattle on Aug 21, 1964
One would be hard-pressed to find a tv recording of The Beatles in America, where the screams and shouts of the fans are not the first and last thing they hear. They had an overwhelming effect on their fans, mainly young women, who couldn’t keep it together as soon as they caught a glimpse of them. On August 21, 1964 they played in front of more than fourteen thousand fans at the Seattle Centre Coliseum. Their first gig in Washington state was so packed with screaming fans, who were trying to get to the stage during the concert to touch their beloved singers, that the band had to wait an extra hour after the performance, and leave in the back of an Ambulance car, to make sure they get out safely. Thousands of fans were left disappointed, but it was the wisest choice for everyone.
A high school teacher in Denver, Colorado, 1969
Yes, she is a teacher, not a model! Her fashionable outfit, her stylish har and reassuring smile made this teacher one of the advocates of the transformation of the education system of the era. While at the beginning of the ’60s going to school meant quiet, regulated, proper learning, the educators were already working on to be more inclusive to bilingual students and help those who moved into school after desegregation. Teachers like her made this tough decade a bit more enjoyable and paved the way to a freeer education model we all benefit from nowadays.
in the market for a fallout shelter in 1961
Do you need a fallout shelter? Are you worried about the Russians nuking the hell out of this beautiful world, reducing it to a wasteland of toxic chemicals and unbreathable air? Are you still living in the ’60s? In that era, it was a status symbol, not just a legitim hobby. Not all bunkers were the same. While all of them had a storage place for food and water, waste disposal facilities and most had air-cleaning devices, some also provided more luxury for a family and their friends. That $550 seems like a steal today for a concrete bunker of any kind, but back in those days, it was a small fortune. People were still buying them, and clever businessman made a ton of money on selling fear, or preparedness, whichever way we look at it.
Cars lining Malibu Beach on a summer day
If this picture feels like being taken from an old movie then please rethink. This was the reality in the 1960s. Cars lining up near the sea, beautiful weather, people chatting, car radios blaring the Beach Boys, and families are preparing for a barbeque or going for a nice swim. Those who couldn’t let go of the beauty of Malibu Beach chose jobs to stay near the water and enjoy an endless summer. They became lifeguards, bartenders, or surf instructors. The beach was a lifestyle itself, which didn’t let anyone go once they lived it.
soldier in Vietnam catches up on the articles in 1967
Although everyone in America was routing for the soldiers in Vietnam, Playboy was the magazine who went out of its way more than anyone, to make sure the troops are feeling the warmth of their home country. Owned by Hugh Hefner, a seasoned veteran who saw his fair share of fighting in World War II, Playboy delivered refreshing, true, honest articles about politics, news and events in America right to the frontlines. And there were the playmates of course. The magazine’s reader’s letter section was full of messages from soldiers, which helped Americans understand what is happening in Vietnam.
Colors like this only existed in the ‘burbs
There is nothing more American than loading up the car with camping gear for the weekend. Before the minivans, there were station wagons in the 1960s for this specific purpose. You could pile up all the kids, the neighbors, the food, the drink, and even some toys for the long road. The whole family could enjoy the space and comfort these cars gave. Candy apple red cars, pastel-colored houses, perfectly mowed lawns were all derived from this kind of lifestyle in the US.
That’s what New York City looked like in the 60s
The city that never sleeps never stands still either. New York City had numerous phases, changing its landscape from decade to decade. In the 1970s and ’80s, it was a dystopian wasteland, nowadays its the playground of the super-wealthy, but in the 1960s it was still coming off of the Art Deco high. Everything still resembled the New York of the past, a slowly evolving organism shaped by the people. And these people loved the subway. These entrances looked like a gateway to another universe, not just a dirty tunnel to an underground train.
Beating the heat with a fire hydrant
The heat of the summer sun makes the city unbearable. The walls, the asphalt, the cars all radiating the heat and there is nowhere to run. In the 1960s it was very hard to find a house or an apartment with an air conditioning unit. The best technology the inner-city kids could have found was a box fan, which didn’t really make any difference. Without proper public pools these kids had to figure out a way to keep cool. So what did they do? They cracked open a fire hydrant! The water wasn’t just cold, but fun as it sprinkled all over the street. There are hefty fines for this nowadays, but we can clearly understand where they came from.
a pre-prom photo from 1961
If you carefully look at this photo, it gives you unprecedentet access to the 60s. The TV, the couch, the pictures, and the lamp all represent a long-forgotten era. While proms are still exciting for the youngsters, the fact that everything is blue in the house, which seems to perfectly match the girl’s prom dress gives you a clue of how these people lived. Let’s hope the couple had a night to remember as they look so excited! Especially the girl. The guy seems rather scared.
Drinking Japanese Coca-Cola in strange glasses, 1966
Coca-Cola arrived at the Japanese market in the early 1910s, but World War II made this widely sold product very scarce. The deliveries stopped and people couldn’t enjoy the unique beverage any more until 1945, when the US soldiers started ordering it by the pallet. As a result of their thirst, six bottling plants were established between 1946 and ’52. The plants were located between Sapporo and Kokura, but the Japanese citizens still had to wait to buy some. Five years later, a deal was signed to enable locals to purchase bottles. By the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games, the celebrated soda was on sale with guide maps printed on the labels to show people where they can buy one more of the world’s most popular sugary drink.
Women getting touch-ups in a vintage salon
The hairstyling of the 1950s and 1960s was truly unique, and looking back maybe somewhat entertaining as well. Big hair and high maintenance looks were going out of fashion by the end of the ’60s, allowing women to be beautiful with an easier style, yet most of the women frequently spent hours in the hair salon. These places weren’t just helping them look great, but turned into a local meeting point, where getting the local news and gossip was part of the service. Ladies popped in for just getting a quick touch up, or to get their hair combed while listening to anything newsworthy.
Boys just want to have fun, especially with UFOs
Since the 1940s, when Kenneth Arnold saw a group of flying saucers over Mount Rainer, the American public has been fascinated by the UFOs. Within 20 years, all teenage boys wanted is to meet with one of them, or build a disc shaped ship, that resembles the things they read bout in comic books like Weird Terror and The Beyond. In the above picture, one of these imaginary spaceships came to life, with the help of some clever, homemade engineering. We are still not sure about the authenticity given the bike handle on top, but other than that, it seems pretty close to the real thing. If only it could fly.
The way back was the best place to be on a road trip
Have you ever wondered how kids survived before the seatbelt was the first thing they touched when they sat in the car? They did. We are still here. Back in the ’60s, sitting in the back of the station wagon on the long drive home was actually more entertaining than in the front. Kids had plenty of space, they could play games, sleep, read, or even chase each other if the car was long enough. As long as they were relatively quiet and didn’t try to open the windows, they had a smooth ride. Something we can’t experience anymore. Maybe it’s for the best.
Brigitte Bardot waiting to film a scene in 1963
Brigitte Bardot looks so relaxed, so easy on this shot. It is clear that she doesn’t want anyone around her, just enjoying her me-time during the making of the Le Mépris. Of course, we do understand her mindset, as according to reporting around the film the press didn’t go easy on her, interrupting the film making without consideration just to get a shot of the French beauty. The film isn’t Godart’s masterpiece, but it is a small wonder by itself, that the movie was finished, given the stress he was under at the time.
A tale of men and their ladders at NASA in 1961
It is almost unbelievable nowadays, that well before computers were able to compute highly complex equations in a matter of seconds, all that math was done by very smart people. Entire teams were working on a problem at a time which would take a layman two seconds to Google today. It was even more prominent at NASA, where the teams were tasked to bring someone to the Moon and back, using mainly pen and paper, or chalk and blackboard in this case. Working together was so engraved in the culture, that they used the same albeit fairly big blackboard to link their knowledge in one big canvas. We hope the cleaning crew didn’t destroy a good day’s work by accident.
the Abilene, Texas track team in 1967
Aerodynamics weren’t applied correctly back in those days at the running track, as the picture suggests. Although looking good wasn’t a basic requirement for these ladies, they wanted to make sure that their talent won’t be compromised by some flinging hair. Although we are not sports scientists here, the added weight and hight might have slow them down a bit. Yet the determination on the first ladies’ face shows how serious the race was. She seems to be ready to win, no matter how her hair looks at the end.
Flower power is in full bloom with this family
Family photos are either very choreographed or purely happy. This one seems to be the latter. It shows no matter where you came from, where you are going, as long as you are with your family, nothing can go wrong. We can just imagine how much fun they had traveling all around the country in their flowery van with their cute dog and the kids. Back in those days, without the internet, without smartphones, without social media, people were actually happy to spend time together, and meet face to face. Those smiles are a great reflection of this.
Pretty in pink, a beauty poses in Seattle, 1967
Seattle was one of the towns which went through its own evolution in 1960s. The city wasn’t about fishing and importing-exporting any more. Shop owners and entrepreneurs were filling in the space left by the 1962 World’s Fair when most pop up places picked up its stakes and left town. New and exciting opportunities transformed the cityscape. In 1965 Ted Griffin’s Seattle Public Aquarium was opened, and the city wasn’t the same anymore.
Route 66 along Albuquerque, 1969
Everyone is familiar with these famous lines in the USA: “get your kicks on Route 66.” Traveling between Illinois and California in the ’60s meant taking route 66, a long stretch of asphalt linking east coast to the west coast. It was so popular in fact, that people nicknamed “America’ s Highway”. The road was cutting through different landscapes, from small towns to big cities, from plain deserts to riversides. Businesses realized the potential, and a full industry was built around serving drivers and their passengers with stores, petrol stations, motels and ad hoc tourist attractions. It represented the American Dream, to go anywhere, be anyone, whenever you want.
A portable hairdryer in use
Technology started to creep in all kinds of industries in the ’60s to make life easier and more convenient. The world of beauty products, especially the world of hair wasn’t an exception either. The new, portable, easy to use hairdryer made it quick and easy to get ready for that party in a heartbeat or two. This model called the Lady Sunbeam was one of the most popular ones, letting the ladies just throw on the headpiece over their wet hair, and let the low, medium or high blow of air do the rest. No more queuing in the hair saloon, spending hours in the chair. The modern woman could use her time in a more efficient way.
Views from a swinging London pub
The pub scene has been part of the culture in England for as long as people have been able to go out and socialize while having a drink. Of course, there is close to zero chance to find any other country without a bar across the globe, but pubs were a different breed all together in the United Kingdom. Throughout the 1960s, young people were popping in for a bite to eat and a pint to drink during their lunch while chatting away and having a laugh. This picture was taken during the daytime, about a group of people, doing just that.
Barefoot biking in the late 60s was a great way to lose a toe
The ’60s was all about looks, feeling cool, living the life to the fullest with no regrets or remorse. Getting on a bike and riding across the country without a helmet or even some shoes was part of this world view. Well, of course until a sharp turn or a sudden stop changed the structure of the foot a bit. From that point on, the unlucky ones had to redefine their freedom of movement. Still, with all that in mind, a plethora of people chose to take the risk, as there is nothing like the wind pouring through your toes! No matter if you only have 9. Or less.
Grabbing a soda from the corner store
If you were a kid in the ’60s, you surely remember how much a dollar meant at the time. You could have gone to the corner store and get a Coca-Cola for you and your friends, and still have some change left for your piggy bank. There was nothing more enjoyable on a hot summer day than cracking a glass bottle of dark sweetness open, hear that hissing sound before the beverage (made with real sugar back than, not with chemicals) hits your lips and cools you down. That gave you all that energy to run around all evening, yet still eat your dinner before your mum asks where that dollar went.
The Beatles superfan in 1968
If we could pick one group to represent the ’60s it would be The Beatles. They ruled the decade, with their music and appearance they drove their fans into a craziness which was known as Beatlemania. Their fans didn’t just buy their records and put it on the shelf after a couple of days. They were collecting anything related to them, pictures, posters, news articles, and everything remotely connected to the band and they could lay their hands on. These superfans also sent in things to the group. One of the fan favourites was Ringo, who received 2,761 rings on the post by the end of 1960, along with a plethora of other items. They were half-gods for some, a true obsession for the fans.
Stunning photo of civil rights protest in Washington DC in 1963
250,000 people came together at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, with one common goal in mind, to protest for civil rights and desegregation. Famous speakers took the stage, such as NAACP president Roy Wilkins, as well as civil rights veteran Daisy Lee Bates and actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. This was the day when one of the most well-known speeches in the world made the crowd shiver. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech still resonates to this day. The phrase wasn’t even in the original script he wrote himself the day before. He left his notes on the podium, looked up, and spoke from his heart. His words still ring true today.
Three young women showing off their miniskirts in London
The 1960s brought a plethora of new and exciting changes to the world. Obviously fashion was also affected by these new waves. Clothes became the center of self-expression for everyday people. Miniskirts became an everyday item, for example, showing more than ever before. Girls loved the minimized hemline and guys loved what that hemline did for their view. It became a political symbol, a statement, a way to express your own style, your freedom, the fact that you dare to be yourself, and no one can stop you.
The lucky bird working quality control at EMI before the release of “Rubber Soul”
Quality control sounds like a boring, repetitive job. Yet, even in that industry, you can be extremely lucky and catch a position no one else has. Imagine going in to work every day, and your day to day job is to enjoy listening to not yet released, brand new music over and over again! Especially if it is The Beatles you have to listen to! Surely, the job posting for this role was secretive, and the hardest part of your task is not to tell everyone about what the next hit son will be. But in the mornings, you can still sing those songs in the shower if nobody is around.
Kids at an Illinois drive-in, 1960
Back in those days, the Saturday nights in almost every American small town were all about the drive-ins. The place to be to meet with everyone who mattered. It didn’t really matter what was on, the crowd made the difference, not the movie. Jim Kopp of the Drive-in Theatre Associations explained that these places were catering for all kinds of audiences, offering flexibility over the indoor theaters with the simple fact that people can just sit in their car and do whatever they like.
People of all ages felt the beat at Woodstock
There was so much which could have gone wrong at Woodstock. The whole festival could have ended up in massive chaos, but with the devoted work of the organizers, the National Guard, and the attendees, it turned into three days of love, peace, and music. In what other era or in what world would thousands of people enjoy a festival like that, and wouldn’t worry about kids? Those hippie parents who were crucial to the event brought their kids and let them enjoy the music the same way as they did. Only at Woodstock.
Street vendor in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, California in 1967
While the Vietnam war was raging thousands of miles away, San Francisco lived its Haight Ashbyre ear in the Summer of Love in 1967. A line of events in the ’50s and early ’60s led the middle class out of the area and into the suburb, creating extremely affordable housing circumstances for everyone else. Hippies moved in, bringing their own world view and turning the place into the Mecca of Free Love. People were happy, and stoned on the streets, and if you were to look for some psychedelic experience, all you had to do is walk two minutes on the street and ask one of the hippies around for some guidance. It wasn’t a long phase in the grand scheme of things, but it was very special one.
A cool cat reading on top of his car, 1962
There’s cool, and then there’s sitting on top of a Chevy while you read cool. We all know appearances are not everything, but in the era of miniskirts, hippy movements and The Beatles, appearances did matter. It isn’t just the clothes, or the hat, buy its the whole scenario of this guy casually reading on his Chevy. It represents something new, something fairly unique, something that speaks about the person and the era, without words. The car is a big part of the feeling, but wouldn’t mean as much by itself. You really need to embrace the magic of this composition, to understand how it felt to live in the ’60s.
Remember getting dressed up for Christmas?
Most people don’t remember how it felt to get ready, tidy up the house and pull your best clothes to dress up for a Christmas dinner with family and friends. Nowadays it is “just” a holiday, We are all looking forward to it, we all love it, but we don’t put the effort in it anymore. This old picture from the 1960s embodies every part of what made those years so Christmasy. It’s not just the tree, but the fake snow on the tree. It’s not just the presents, but the perfectly choreographed bows on top of the boxes. It’s not just the smiling girl, but the pretty dress and the shoes. Sometimes we all miss a bit of that. So make the effort this Chrismas, instead of scrolling through social media for something nice to post!
Teenyboppers get down on the dance floor
Music was a defining part of the 1960s. Every artist created something new, exciting and memorable. But it wasn’t all just about the music, but the way the crowd moved to that music! Surely you have heard about the twist craze, but do you remember the Mashed Potato, the jerk, or the Watusi? Most musicians would have loved to get a dance named after their song, and some succeeded. These dances than went around from party to party, until everyone knew the steps. People were learning in groups, or by themselves, and performing those moves at every occasion they could have.
Big hair don’t care
Big hair was to die for in the ’60s. with the help of a ton of hairsprays, curlers and backcombing, girls were able to get their hair so high it looked like some magic trick. It took women a considerable amount of time to get those head sculptures to the level they wanted, just to ruin all that at the end of the day with the pillow. Celebrities of the era were also in on the game, stars such as Priscilla Presley and Elke Somme Big wore their hair as high as they possibly could. These bouffants and teased outs and flipped up dos were everywhere, from public places, bars and restaurants, to private backyard barbeques and birthday parties.
Trick Or Treat, it’s the best night of the year
There was nothing better than Halloween night to dress up, put on a scary makeup and get those buckets full of unhealthy sweets. It wasn’t just about scaring people and eating an unholy amount of chocolate though. People could express their inner deamon, their worst nightmares or their dark side, without any judgment. This was particurally true in the ’60s when this night marked the start of the holiday season. From that night on, the families were preparing for a cool trip or planning their Christmas dinner.
You’re living your best life
Science came a long way, and in the 1960s it became more and more mainstream for kids with the help of science-related toys and equipment. Boys in the ‘60s had everything they want at their fingertips. Kids were able to dig deep into chemistry, or discover a new world with the microscope. For some handy work, they were able to build models of Godzilla or King Kong. This kid in the picture couldn’t complain at all! He had his own lab, with the microscope, while his shelves are full of models and toys. Not everyone was this lucky, but he wasn’t too well off either. These things weren’t way too expensive in the ’60s. You just had to have the interest.
A young hippie dancing at the Venice Beach, California Rock Festival, 1968
Dennis Stock managed to capture one of the greatest photos of rock and roll. According to NPR, the photo wasn’t a setup, it was taken when the lady in white dress jumped in from of the camera on stage. It would have been hard to choreograph something that reflects the feeling of jamming with thousands of people so vividly. This unexpected moment made the photo all that special and honest. No limelight, no models, just pure happiness.
father with his kids in Harlem in 1963
Harlem was a well known, and scary place for everyone not from there. The 1960s in Harlem saw the rebirth of the place, as people were flocking to live elsewhere with better public safety, better schools, and improved housing. Those who stayed did their best with what they had to preserve their neighborhood and create a vibrant community. Those who left mainly went to Bronx, Queens or Long Island. Harlem always had a bad reputation, but it looked different from the inside. It was just another part of the city, where people were getting by.
Chicago meter maid writes a ticket
The sixties opened up new possibilities for women as well. For example, 1966 was the very first year that women were allowed to serve as members of the Chicago Police’s parking patrol unit. This exciting opportunity paved the way for future policewomen all over the country. While the lady on the picture looks authoritative and strict, her non-regulation bouffant hair also shows that maybe she wasn’t that keen on adhering to all rules and regulations. There is no way that hair was standard practice for the police.
The coolest couple of the 1960s
Everyone has friends like these two in the picture. You know, the ones who are just cool by default. Those who don’t care about the world, and up for anything. Everything on this picture, from the smoke to the champagne and the snack, every bit of it feels authentic. These are the kind of people most youngsters choose to hang out with.
Dairy Queen, Austin 1963
Dairy Queens have become a highly popular restaurant-chain in the ’60s. Although they have started in Illinois, Texas is the state with the most Dairy Queens. It was a cross over between fast-food and home-cooked meals, reaching a different kind of customer than the rest. The restaurants itself had a certain vibe, attracting every age group. It also made them a perfect spot to meet, to chat and to mingle with like-minded people.
A vintage bathroom selfie
Nowadays shooting a selfie is as effortless as getting the smartphone out of our pocket. We don’t need skill, time, or commitment to do one. Just a click on the touchscreen and we are done. Not in the ’60s. Selfies like the above were time-consuming, required proper equipment and a little bit of training. Cameras of that time were only able to focus for up to three feet. And photographers at that time were also outliers with a huge knowledge about their equipment and the process itself.
A Lunch Bar saddles up to the observation towers at 1964 Worlds’ Fair in New York
The 1964 World’s Fair in New York City told a story of “Peace Through Understanding” with its 650 acres of displays, exhibits, and visions for the future. It was an amazing site to visit, giving everyone something to see, something to get inspiration from. There were numerous places to grab a bite during the event, but none of them was as grandiose as the Brass Rail with its huge balloons tethered to the ceiling.
Two passers-by kissing under the Arc De Triomphe, 1960
World War II left everything in ruins, not just the war fronts. France had to work on its own losses caused by the war, which resulted in a never seen before reconstruction both spiritually and physically. It wasn’t just the buildings that got damaged, and it seemed that the rebuilding would take a lot longer than expected. Yet the most romantic city in the world kept attracting tourists, to find their love here. Given the number of people visiting the Eiffel Tower, or the Arc De Triomphe, it was statistically quite possible to find someone with a good match.
Hollywood and Vine, 1963
One of the cities, more specifically part of the city, came an incredibly long way since the 1960s. Of course, we are talking about Hollywood, which was so different at that time. It wasn’t just cleaner, but everything was more laid back. People weren’t as obsessed with money and fame, with getting everything right there, right now, they just wanted to live their lives, go to the beach for the afternoon or watch a movie in the evening. With all that, Hollywood and Vine have always been very busy, and finding a parking place even back then was close to impossible.
Everyone in costume, ready to go out for some candy
While it was almost 60 years ago, the buzz of Halloween haven’t changed. What do changed though is the costumes of the holiday. Back then it was hard or expensive to find fancy, tailor-made costumes. Kids were mainly wearing what they have found in the house, a couple of ad hoc black robes or some weird masks. The lucky ones might have gone for a cartoon or movie character, but most just got on with their parent’s lazy, old dresses. The feeling was the same, and the amount of candy wasn’t strictly correlated with what they had on. Although none of the kids in the picture have anything special on, but the furniture, the colors of the room and the hairstyle of the little ones can’t hide the era they are from.
Boys goofing around on the playground
Growing up in the ’60s had its own magic. Summers were hot and free, parents were more relaxed and that had an effect on the kids as well. Playgrounds were safe, if not well equipped, and nobody thought twice about hopping on a bike to go up and down on the street. Kids were entertained by amazing comic books, cool movies and astonishing models to build if the weather wasn’t suitable for some outdoor play. We don’t know what these kids were goofing about on the picture, but we can be sure they had a great time.
A stylish trio hanging out in Rome
Looking at the photo above, the first thing comes to our mind is “gangesters” or “spies”. Yet these guys might be just enjoying their newly find existentialism after the war. Countries all around Europe were rebuilding their buildings and society after the war, and people were rediscovering themselves through black clothes and black sunglasses. Smoking wasn’t proven to be that bad at that time, which made people enjoy as much as they could from that deadly habit. If only youngsters of our time would dress sharp like this. Maybe they can learn something from these guys.