Chartered Financial Consultant


SEPT 2019 COMMENTARY: 1969 – What a Year!

Nineteen Sixty Nine was a memorable year for me. I celebrated my twenty first birthday on the last day of Woodstock.  No, I wasn’t at the festival.  The mud on my bare feet was actually Hermosa Beach sand.

One day in early September of 1969 I was looking out the second story window of my new Westwood apartment and saw this cute hippy chick (can I still say that word?).  Stacey Person had waist-length brown hair and she was moving into the apartment directly below ours.  Ten weeks later, on November 23, we stayed up all night talking.  Bella Dreizler and I are still hanging out together fifty years later,


1969 was also an amazing news-year.  For those who weren’t born yet or were there and don’t remember, below is an edited chronology.

This wonderful information is from

My thanks to Algis Ratnikas who noted on his site: “You may copy parts and individual pieces for whatever personal use you desire.”*





Jan 20, Richard Nixon in his first inaugural address proclaimed that Americans “cannot learn from one another until we stop shouting at one another.”

Jan 27, Transamerica Corp announced its wish to build a 1,000-foot tower in San Francisco. Work on the 48-floor Pyramid began in December, 1969. The 853-foot tower was completed in 1972.

Jan 29, An undersea oil well off Santa Barbara, Ca., suffered a blowout and over the next 11 days released some 200,000 gallons of oil that spread over 800 square miles of ocean and soiled 35 miles of coastline. Some 3,500 birds were killed as well as some 100 elephant seals and sea lions on San Miguel Island.

Feb 8, The last edition of Saturday Evening Post was published.

Feb 20, A full blown riot erupted on the Berkeley campus of the Univ. of California between striking students and police.

Mar 11, Levi started to sell bell-bottomed jeans.

Mar 18, President Richard M. Nixon authorized Operation Menu, the ‘secret’ bombing of Cambodia.

Mar 20, The Chicago 8 were indicted in aftermath of Chicago Democratic convention.
This is worth a read:
Mar 20, John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar.

Apr 15, North Korea shot down a US airplane above the Sea of Japan. All 31 men aboard the plane were believed dead.

May 10, The Battle of Hamburger Hill began and lasted to May 20. In Vietnam US military strength peaked in this year with 550,000 men. Identified on American battle maps as Hill 937 the battle for Hamburger Hill, actually Ap Bia Mountain, which cost Americans 46 killed and 400 wounded, was one of the most significant battles of the Vietnam War as it spelled the end of major American ground combat operations. The ground gained in the battle was soon abandoned to the North Vietnamese Army, which lost some 633 soldiers killed in the fight. The American losses at Hamburger Hill, though not the most in one single action of the war, set off a firestorm of protest in the US.

May 11, The Monty Python comedy troupe formed.

May 15, Univ. of California officials fenced People’s Park and planned to build dormitories. This prompted some 3,000 protesters to try to seize it back. Gov. Reagan placed Berkeley under martial law and dispatched tear gas-spraying helicopters and riot police who shot and killed one man.

May 25, “Midnight Cowboy” was released with an X rating.

May 31, John Lennon and Yoko Ono recorded “Give Peace a Chance” during their “Bed-In” at the Queen Elizabeth’s Hotel in Montreal.

Jun 3, Last episode of Star Trek aired on NBC.

Jun 11, Soviet and Chinese troops clashed on Sinkiang border.

June 14, “Easy Rider” released.

June 18 US Congress enacted strict auto emission laws.

Jun 22, Judy Garland (47), film actress and star of “The Wizard of Oz,” died.

Jun 28, In the early hours 8 police officers raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

Jul 3, Brian Jones (27), founder of the Rolling Stones (1962), was found dead.

Jul 7, The first U.S. troops to withdraw from South Vietnam left Saigon.

Jul 17, An FBI memo titled “New Left and Extremist Movements” revealed Gov. Reagan’s plans for the destruction of disruptive elements on California college campuses through “psychological warfare” and other methods.

Jul 18, A car driven by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (1932-2009), D-Mass., plunged off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island near Martha’s Vineyard. His passenger, 28-year-old Mary Jo Kopechne, died. Kennedy did not report the accident until it was discovered 9 hours later.

Jul 20, Astronaut Neil Armstrong took his legendary “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” He and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin made the first successful landing of a manned vehicle on the moon’s Sea of Tranquility when they touched down in Apollo 11.

Aug 8, Actress Sharon Tate (26) and four other people were brutally murdered in her Beverly Hills home; cult leader Charles Manson and a group of his disciples were later convicted of the crime. The best writing on the Manson murders was by Joan Didion in “The White Album.”

Aug 15, The Woodstock Music and Art Fair opened in upstate New York. 400,000 young people gathered at Max Yasgur’s dairy farm in the Bethel hamlet of White Lake, N.Y. for the Woodstock music festival. Wavy Gravy (Hugh Romney) and companions from the Hog Farm Commune handled security and ran a free kitchen and “bad trips tent.” The performers included Joan Baez; Crosby, Stills and Nash; Creedence Clearwater; the Grateful Dead; Jimi Hendrix; the Jefferson Airplane; Janis Joplin; Canned Heat and Ravi Shankar. The 1st group to perform was the band Sweetwater with lead singer Nansi Nevins.

Aug 16 Robert Redford bought 6000 acres in Utah’s Provo Canyon with the idea of establishing a community devoted to art and nature.

Aug 18, Bob Dreizler celebrated his 21st birthday.

Aug 18, Two concert goers died at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in Bethel, New York, one from an overdose of heroin, the other from a burst appendix. The Woodstock Music and Art Fair ended in Sullivan County, NY, with a mid-morning set performed by Jimi Hendrix.

Aug 20, Arlo Guthrie released “Alice’s Restaurant.”

Sept?? Friends of the Earth, an international network of environmental organizations, was formed.
Sep 2, The first Internet message was a packet switch delivered to UCLA from BBN Corp. (Bolt Beranek and Newman).

Sep 2, North Vietnamese president Ho Chi Minh died.

Sep 22, Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants became the first baseball player since Babe Ruth to hit 600 home runs.

Oct 13, Pres. Nixon ordered a worldwide “secret” nuclear alert to scare the Soviets into forcing concessions from North Vietnam. Nixon called that tactic a “madman strategy,” and it did not work.

Oct 19, US Vice President Spiro Agnew referred to anti-Vietnam War protesters as “an effete corps of impudent snobs.”

Oct 21, Jack Kerouac (47), Beat Generation chronicler, died of alcoholism in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Oct 29, The US Supreme Court ordered immediate desegregation, superseding the previous “with all deliberate speed” ruling.

Nov 9, A group of American Indians occupied Alcatraz Island. The occupation lasted 19 months.

Nov 12, Free-lance reporter Seymour Hersh first broke the story of the Mar 16, 1968, massacre at My Lai.

Nov 15, A quarter of a million protesters staged a peaceful demonstration in Washington, D.C., against the Vietnam War.

Nov 23, Bob Dreizler and Stacey Person (AKA Bella Dreizler) started “hanging out together.” They married three years later in 1972 with a hippie wedding in their Sacramento living room.

Nov 26, Lottery for Selective Service draftees bill was signed by President Nixon.

Nov 28, The Rolling Stones, English rock band, released its “Let It Bleed” album.

Dec 1, The U.S. government held its first draft lottery since World War II in 1942. Bob’s number was 141.  Seeing that number still gives him the willies.

Dec 6, The Rolling Stones staged a rock concert at the Altamount Speedway in Livermore, Ca. for some 300,000 fans. The Stones hired the Hells Angels for security. Fans were beaten and one person, Meredith Hunter, was stamped and stabbed to death by a Hell’s Angel during the show.

Dec 17, An estimated 50 million TV viewers watched singer Tiny Tim marry his fiancée, Miss Vicky, on NBC’s “Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson.

Dec?? A US recession began. It lasted to November 1970.


*All pages, their “open content,” and associated intellectual property rights are copyright protected by Algis Ratnikas as of 1998. Historic facts can not be copyrighted, but an interpretation or specific collection or presentation can be subject to copyright protection. You may copy parts and individual pieces for whatever personal use you desire. However, commercial use of the material in large form, including restructure in a database, is strictly prohibited without a specific licensing agreement arranged beforehand. I cannot guarantee the validity of any material as the data has been gathered from a wide variety of sources that I believe are reliable, but not guaranteed. Sources for most all items listed are identified in each entry by code, which is in turn identified in the references file.

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Algis Ratnikas:



These are the opinions of Bob Dreizler and not necessarily those of Cambridge or any other organization, are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed or acted upon as individualized investment advice.

Bob Dreizler

Bob Dreizler