5 LSD and Other Psychedelics
Did You Know That… The Central Intelligence Agency introduced America to LSD. The Central Intelligence Agency attempted to use LSD and other drugs to brainwash people. The Native American church in the United States has been given special permission by the federal government to use peyote and mescaline in religious ceremonies. Hallucinogenics such as LSD are neither physically or mentally addictive. Alice in Wonderland is the result of a psilocybin drug trip. People raised in the 40s and 50s were deferred gratification oriented while their children were instant gratification oriented. LSD is the most potent mind-altering drug known to man. Hallucinogenics are abused by a relatively small segment of the drug population. The hippies were the prime movers in the Counter Culture Revolution. For some individuals, hallucinogenics can cause horrifying, nightmare experiences called “bad trips.” Timothy Leary, the father of the Counter Culture Movement, began a religion called the “League of Spiritual Discovery” and used LSD as the sacrament. Ecstasy is frequently used at “raves” or all night dance parties to increase sensory stimulation in the pleasure of touching. Marijuana is classified as a hallucinogenic. Nitrous oxide is a hallucinogenic used by dentists as an anesthetic during the extraction of teeth. Marinol, an FDA approved THC (the active ingredient in marijuana), is used medically to treat glaucoma. The use of marijuana can produce a phenomenon called “the munchies” in which the user develops a temporary veracious appetite.
The Search for the Manchurian Candidate ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
In 1943, on the outskirts of Basel, Switzerland a chemist named Dr. Albert Hoffman was examining derivatives of ergot, a fungus that attacks rye, when all of a sudden, he knocked a beaker over, spilling some of the solution onto his pants. After a few minutes, a wave of dizziness swept over him. At that moment, he noticed that the beakers on his lab table were jumping up and down. He noticed that the molecules were moving in diverse directions. CRITICAL POINT: LSD was first synthesized by the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in the Sandoz (now Novartis) laboratories in 1938. However, it wasn‟t until 1943 that Hofmann realized what he really had. Then, all hell broke loose. He looked at the walls and they started breathing…wwwwwwwoo… fffffffffffooooo…wwwwwwoo…ffffffffooo. He started hearing colors and seeing noises. Needless to say, he realized that something bizarre was happening to him. He stopped working, got on his little bicycle and
peddled home. When he got home, he lay down and closed his eyes, but the kaleidoscope of colors and sounds continued to haunt him. With the external world shut out, his mind raced nearly out of control. He experienced what he would later describe as “an uninterrupted stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity and vividness…accompanied by an intense array of colors and sounds.” After a few hours, the visions subsided. The following day, Hoffman realizing that he had discovered something special, went back to his lab and tried to isolate the solution that he had spilled on his pants. He speculated that he had absorbed some ergot derivative through his skin. To test his theory, he spent three days making up a fresh batch of d-lysergic acid diethylamide. That‟s right LSD! When he had the solution ready, he cautiously consumed 250 micrograms, which is less than 1/100,000 of an ounce. He planned to take more of the drug gradually throughout the day in an attempt to obtain the results he experienced three days earlier. Since no known drug had any effect on the human body in such infinitesimal amounts, Hoffman had no way of knowing that he had already taken several times what today is considered an ordinary dose. About 40 minutes later, Hoffman was off on the first self-induced “trip” of modern times. The walls started breathing…wwwwwwoo… fffffffffffooooo…wwwwoo…ffffffffooo. Colors started vocalizing and noises became discernible. The next thing he knew he was back on his bicycle peddling home to sleep it off. Hoffman was terrified by the experience. He feared that he was going crazy. He actually envisioned that he was out of his body and that he was dead. Worse yet, he didn‟t know where to go and was totally unaware if the experience would ever end. He thought that the drug had taken him into a limbo of death from which he would never return. Of course, since Hoffman was the first one who ever used LSD, he had no way of knowing that he never would return from his “trip.” Even though he had quickly recovered from his accidental trip three days earlier, he had no idea how much LSD caused that experience or whether the dose he had taken intentionally was more than his body could handle. Also, consider the fact that he thought he was already dead and that his mind kept veering off into unknown dimensions and you can see why his “trip” was…well, horrific. The following morning, he was up at the crack of dawn feeling like his same old self. He realized that what he discovered was an extremely powerful mind altering drug. He went back to his lab and recorded the formula. For six more years, he experimented with the drug. He eventually published the formula in a research journal. Now, fast forward to 1959, Richard Condon released a book entitled The Manchurian Candidate. Within less than a month, the book became a bestseller. The story line was about a joint Soviet Chinese plot to brainwash American
soldiers. The chronicle was about five American soldiers who had been captured by the Koreans. The soldiers were sent to a special intelligence center in Manchuria, which was being used as an institute to brainwash people. At Manchuria, the soldiers were molded into brainwashed assassins who had dual personalities. For instance, typically they appeared normal, but as soon as they were shown the Queen of Spades in a deck of cards, their personalities would revert to a cold calculated killer who took strict orders from the Koreans. Once the soldiers were brainwashed, they were sent back to the United States. Obviously, the soldiers were being interviewed by American intelligence, but they all appeared normal, so they were released. After the soldiers were released into the civilian population, a Korean undercover agent would visit them, show them the Queen of Spades and give them orders to assassinate certain political leaders. After the brainwashed soldiers assassinated the leaders, they would then revert back to their normal selves… not knowing that they had killed anyone. CRITICAL POINT: The Central Intelligence Agency introduced America to LSD. The Central Intelligence Agency attempted to use LSD and other drugs to brainwash people. Do you remember when Sirhand Sirhand assassinated Robert Kennedy? He shot Kennedy right in front of a couple hundred people and he was filmed shooting him. Not only that, but he was apprehended immediately after he shot Kennedy with the gun still in his hand. When they took him to jail, he not only said he didn‟t shoot Kennedy, but he also said that he wasn‟t even there. This was similar to how the characters in The Manchurian Candidate were conditioned…the soldiers were conditioned to assassinate political leaders, but after they carried out the assassination, they would not be aware that they did it. If you have seen the movie The Telethon Man, you probably know what I am talking about. Actually, The Telethon Man was a takeoff of The Manchurian Candidate. Well, the book The Manchurian Candidate scared the hell out of everyone in America because a lot of Americans believed that the Koreans really could create a brainwashed assassin. The funny thing was the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had already been attempting to create a true Manchurian candidate for more than a decade before the book came out and they were using American citizens as well as prisoners to investigate their brainwashing methods. One of the first mind control programs was called BLUEBIRD. Initially under this program, unwitting subjects were given such drugs as Sodium Amytal, seconal, thorizen, compazen and even heroin. Actually, they used all sorts of drugs in their attempt to control human behavior. Later on, they tried to use psychological techniques such as hypnosis, psychic driving and subliminal persuasion.
CRITICAL POINT: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had already been attempting to create a true Manchurian candidate using American citizens as well as prisoners to investigate their brainwashing methods. None of these things were successful in creating a true Manchurian candidate, but they were successful in really messing up a lot of people. For instance, one American, a black soldier named James Thornwell, who was accused of stealing classified information, was put to sleep for over 80 days. Every time he started waking up, they would inject him with drugs to put him back to sleep. When they finally let him wake up, they used a technique called “psychic driving” in which they bombarded him with threatening affirmations. Then, when Thornwell was reacting to the drugs under extremely stressful conditions, his captors threatened to extend the state indefinitely, even to a permanent condition of insanity. He later sued the American government and won over eight million dollars, becoming the only person to ever win a judgment against the country‟s executive branch. I saw Thornwell on television right after he won that case. The guy was so messed up he couldn‟t even put a sentence together. Worse yet, he died shortly after without even getting a chance to enjoy the money he was awarded. CRITICAL POINT: Project MKULTRA, or MK-ULTRA, was the code name for a covert, illegal CIA human research program, run by the Office of Scientific Intelligence. This official U.S. government program began in the early 1950s, continuing at least through the late 1960s, and it used United States and Canadian citizens as its test subjects. The published evidence indicates that Project MKULTRA involved the surreptitious use of many types of drugs, as well as other methods, to manipulate individual mental states and to alter brain function.
∞ DRUGS in Perspective ∞ __________________________________________________________________
Acid: Slang name for LSD a powerful hallucinogenic drug that alters your perception of the outside world. Sitter: Someone who sits with a person who is experiencing withdrawal from a drug, usually LSD. Synthetic hallucinogen: An artificial, chemically produced drug or substance that produces hallucinations. Mike: A microgram, usually of LSD; it equals one millionth of a gram. Flashback: A reoccurrence of a drug trip associated with earlier use of Hallucinogenics. Hallucinogens: Also known as „psychedelic‟ drugs or drugs that distort the perception of matter.
Psychedelic: Used to describe, or relating to or caused by, drugs Anyway, like I said, nothing that generate hallucinations. seemed to work in their quest to create a brainwashed assassin. Even though the CIA Psychedelic drugs: Drugs that generate hallucinations. had researched just about every mindPsychedelic effect: Effect related to drugs that generate altering drug in the exploration of hallucinations. controlling human behavior, they were not Natural hallucinogens: Hallucinogenic drugs derived from natural aware that the greatest mind-altering drug sources, such as plant. (LSD) even existed. Even though Hoffman Kiddy Dope: MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Pills had published his work on LSD, it took the that look innocent…like Flintstone vitamins or sugar pills. Kiddy CIA almost a decade before they Dope is also known as ecstasy, XTC, Versace, the hug drug, and the love pill. discovered the existence of the drug. It just goes to show you how many people read research. Actually, they never did learn about LSD from the research Hoffman published. The way they found out about the drug was really by accident. In 1949, a famous Vietnam doctor named Otto Kauders traveled to the United States in search of research funds. He gave a conference at Boston Psychopathic Hospital, a pioneer mental health institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School. At the conference, he talked about a new experimental mind-altering drug called Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) that could distort the perception of time, colors and noise and could create vivid hallucinations in anyone who ingested it. The institute was so intrigued by Kauders‟s presentation that they contacted Sandoz, the huge
Swiss pharmaceutical firm where Hoffman worked. Sandoz officials agreed to supply the institute with as much of the drug as they wanted for research purposes. CRITICAL POINT: Robert Hyde was the first American to trip on LSD. Robert Hyde was the first American to trip on LSD. Hyde, who was ∞ DRUGS in Perspective ∞ __________________________________________________________________ one of the top psychiatric researchers in the country at the time, was asked to Acid: Slang name for LSD a powerful hallucinogenic drug that investigate the drug‟s effects on human alters your perception of the outside world. subjects. Hyde, being a pretty good guy, Sitter: Someone who sits with a person who is experiencing said that he would not give the drug to any withdrawal from a drug, usually LSD. of his subjects without first trying the drug Synthetic hallucinogen: An artificial, chemically produced drug himself. Of course, when he took the drug, or substance that produces hallucinations. he freaked out. He was convinced that the Mike: A microgram, usually of LSD; it equals one millionth of a drug could be used to help psychotic gram. patients. Consequently, for better or worse, Flashback: A reoccurrence of a drug trip associated with earlier LSD had been introduced to America and use of Hallucinogenics. researchers would study it in search of Hallucinogens: Also known as „psychedelic‟ drugs or drugs that knowledge that would benefit all of distort the perception of matter. mankind. That was the idea. Naturally, it didn‟t work out that way. It wasn‟t long Psychedelic: Used to describe, or relating to or caused by, drugs that generate hallucinations. before the CIA learned that the institute was using this powerful mind-altering drug Psychedelic drugs: Drugs that generate hallucinations. that could “model psychosis.” The more Psychedelic effect: Effect related to drugs that generate they heard about it, the more they were hallucinations. convinced that LSD could be used to break Natural hallucinogens: Hallucinogenic drugs derived from natural the will of enemy agents, unlock the secrets sources, such as plant. of trained spies and otherwise manipulate Kiddy Dope: MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Pills human behavior. As a result, LSD was now that look innocent…like Flintstone vitamins or sugar pills. Kiddy on the verge of being used for two basic Dope is also known as ecstasy, XTC, Versace, the hug drug, and purposes…helping people and controlling the love pill. them. Academic researchers at Boston Psychopathic Hospital and Harvard University started studying the drug to find ways to benefit mankind while the CIA started studying it to learn if it could be used as a mind control method. Obviously, the CIA did not want the academic researchers to know that they wanted to investigate LSD as a drug to brainwash people. Therefore, they took the drug and went to sunny California. When they got there, they went about building a number of “safe houses.” Safe houses are homes that are generally used to hide people who are in the protective witness program. For instance, if someone were going to testify, say against the Mafia, the government would hide the individual in a safe house until after they testified. However, the safe houses that the CIA built were a little different. They had hidden passageways, hidden microphones and two way mirrors in each room so that people inside the safe houses could be observed without knowing it. CRITICAL POINT: The Deputy Director of the CIA revealed that over thirty universities and institutions were involved in an "extensive testing and experimentation" program which included covert drug tests on unwitting citizens "at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreign." Several of these tests involved the administration of LSD to "unwitting subjects in social situations." At least one death resulted from these activities. The Agency itself acknowledged that these tests made little scientific sense. The agents doing the monitoring were not qualified scientific observers.
Once they had the houses constructed, they used CIA agents disguised as drug users to lure drug addicts into the house. Once they had the addict inside the safe house, they slipped them LSD. This was rather easy to do because LSD is colorless, odorless and tasteless, meaning that you could put it into someone‟s water and the person would never know. After they gave the addicts the LSD, CIA agents would sit behind the two way mirrors and film the addicts. It didn‟t take the CIA long to realize that this strategy wasn‟t going to work for the simple reason that they couldn‟t determine the exact effect that LSD was having on their subjects. In other words, they didn‟t know if the subjects‟ behaviors were directly related to the LSD they gave them, if it were the drugs they had taken before they got into the safe house or if it were a combination of the two. Thus, they decided to use individuals who didn‟t use drugs. Of course, these subjects had to be unaware as to why they were being brought into the safe house. The question is, “How in the hell did they get these guys into the safe house?” That was easy. They got prostitutes to bring them in. Once the prostitutes had the subjects inside the safe house, they would put LSD in their drinks and make love to them. CIA agents filmed all the action from behind the two way mirrors. As the story goes, the CIA learned nothing about LSD, but they learned a lot about sex. At that time, few people knew anything about sexual deviant behaviors such as uriaphilia, copraphilia, masochism, sodomy and sadism. The CIA learned all about these behaviors first hand. They also noticed that the prostitutes would many times take their clients right to the point of climax, stop and refuse to start having sex again, unless the clients paid them more money. More times than not, the clients would fork over more money. It was this type of behavior that indicated to the CIA that sex could be a powerful weapon. Consequently, they started using sex in a lot of their sting operations with government officials. They would get beautiful women to entice political leaders into having sex with them. The CIA would document these encounters and use the information to literally blackmail the officials. Anyway, after about four years of this hoopla, the CIA realized that if they were ever going to learn enough about LSD to use it in controlling human behavior, they would have to research it scientifically with experimental and control groups. You know…like the research they were doing at Harvard. Well, to Harvard they went and once there, they petitioned a young psychology professor named Timothy Leary to research a number of psychedelic drugs including psilocybin and LSD. Of course, they didn‟t tell Leary that they wanted to see if the drug could be used to brainwash people. Instead, they told him that they thought the drugs could enhance intelligence and creativity. Like Robert Hyde, Leary said that he would not give the drug to any of his subjects without first trying it himself. Within five hours after he ingested it…“The revelation had come…The veil had been lifted…The prophetic call… God had spoken.” CRITICAL POINT: Timothy Leary gave LSD its fame after being kicked out from Harvard University for using students and other volunteers to study the effects of LSD on the brain. He later
became an advocate of the drug, promoting its “mind expanding qualities.” In short, Leary thought the stuff was better than the string bikini. He totally freaked out. He actually thought he had a transcendence to God. As a result, he could not wait to start experimenting with the drug. He set up a number of research designs with control and experimental groups. Almost immediately, the subjects in the experimental groups started exhibiting significant increases in intelligence, aptitude and creativity. CRITICAL POINT: During the late 1960‟s and early 1970‟s, the drug culture adopted LSD as the “psychedelic” drug of choice. The infatuation with LSD lasted for a number of years until considerable negative publicity emerged on “bad trips” -- psychotic psychological traumas associated with the LSD high -- and “flashbacks”, uncontrollable recurring experiences. As a result of these revelations and effective drug law enforcement efforts, LSD dramatically decreased in popularity in the mid-seventies. In fact, every study that Leary put together climaxed with the experimental subjects doing significantly better than the control group subjects. Leary concluded that the psychedelic drugs could indeed expand an individual‟s mental capacity. Actually, he thought these drugs could transcend a person‟s genetic mental parameters beyond what is normally expected. He honestly thought that he had found the magic elixir that could change modest minds into super intellects. With that in mind, he started giving it to his students in class. When they began performing better, he started giving it to other students on campus. All of Harvard would have been tripping if it wasn‟t for the fact that the president of the school threatened to dismiss Leary if he didn‟t stop sending the school‟s student body on daily trips. CRITICAL POINT: Timothy Leary, the father of the Counter Culture Movement, began a religion called the “League of Spiritual Discovery” and used LSD as the sacrament. That didn‟t stop him. Remember, I said when he first ingested the drug… “The revelation had come…The veil had been lifted…The prophetic call. God had spoken.” Well, he couldn‟t give it up.…he was too far gone. He quit his job at Harvard, bought a large school bus, painted it psychedelic colors, put a lab inside, mounted a camera on top and went West. When he reached California, he passed out drugs from the bus filmed the people while they were tripping. It was the beginning of…hold on to that thought. Now, we have to flashback all the way to 1930.
Life in the Thirties ________________________________________________________ ____
What was it like in 1930? I know you weren‟t born yet, but I was thinking that maybe someone might have tricked you into reading a history book during your academic career. Okay, so you are not fooled that easily…no one can trick you. Right! Well, it was right after the Great Depression and a lot of people were really struggling financially. The bottom of the economy had fallen out and inflation was sky high. A lot of
people had lost every penny they had. It was a really a trying time for Americans…well, white Americans anyway. White people were jumping off buildings and hanging themselves. Black people were standing around asking, “What the hell is going on?” Why? Because although slavery had ended almost 70 years before, black people still didn‟t have much of anything due to racism and discrimination. Therefore, black people didn‟t lose anything in the Great Depression. CRITICAL POINT: The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s. It was the longest, most widespread, and deepest depression of the 20th century, and is used in the 21st century as an example of how far the world's economy can decline They say that if you were white and you lived during the Great Depression, it would affect your life until the day you died. I know that was true of my father. He was a little boy when the Great Depression hit and there wasn‟t a day in his life that he didn‟t talk about it. He always thought the bottom of the economy was going to fall out again. As a result, we never bought anything on credit. He functioned on what is called deferred gratification. He would put off his gratification until he could afford it. For instance, he only purchased what we could afford with cash. He bought everything with cash: our clothes, our cars, even our house. This is certainly not how our generation functions. We are totally into instant gratification. I am definitely a product of that type of thinking. I want everything NOW…actually, I want everything yesterday. I purchase everything on credit: my clothes, my car, my house…heck, I even buy my gas with credit. There is no waiting for me. In truth, I have this machine over at my bank…it‟s called Benny. I go over there, press a few buttons and presto, money falls out. It was years before I realized they were taking that money out of my account. I thought it was for free. I also have this little box at my house called a microwave. I press a few buttons on that little baby, and within five minutes, I have a seven course meal. If I am too lazy to do that, I will drive over to one of those fast food places like McDonald‟s and have them serve me up a seven course meal in two minutes. In fact, did you ever see someone who had to wait more than two minutes at McDonald‟s…they throw a fit? You will hear them say, “What the hell are they doing, killing the cow?”
CRITICAL POINT: The Great Depression had devastating effects in virtually every country, rich and poor. Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, and international trade plunged by a half to two-thirds. Unemployment in the United States rose to 25% and in some countries rose as high as 33%. Cities all around the world were hit hard, especially those dependent on heavy industry. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as crop prices fell by approximately 60 percent. Facing plummeting demand with few alternate sources of jobs, areas dependent on primary sector industries such as cash cropping, mining and logging suffered the most. That‟s the way our generation is though. We want everything NOW. You know, if my dad got a headache, he would never take an aspirin. Me, if I think I am going to get a headache, I will run to the medicine cabinet and woof down a hand full of painkillers. As far as other drugs go…sure…if I am bored, lonely, sad or depressed even for a few minutes, I will use them. Even if I am happy and content, I will use drugs to get happier and more content. For the men who lived in the thirties…that wouldn‟t even be a consideration. They would gut through any type of misery they had and they would make their own fun, not fabricate it with drugs. CRITICAL POINT: Faced with this disaster, families split up or migrated from their homes in search of work. "Hoovervilles" (named after President Hoover…as an insult), shanty towns constructed of packing crates, abandoned cars and other cast off scraps sprung up across the Nation. My dad‟s work ethic was a lot different from the people of our generation. His entire life was making sure ends met and that his family would be taken care of. Consequently, making money was one of his most important goals in life. He would do anything for money and he did. He would work 12 and 14 hour workdays and if his boss asked him to work overtime, he would jump for joy. Time and a half…that was like trumpets from heaven. If my boss asked me to work overtime, I want to know if he has brain damage or something. Work overtime…hell no! Life is too short to waste it on working and all my friends will tell you the same thing. Not my dad though, he loved work because work meant more money and more money meant more security. Naturally, he was also very frugal. That is a nice word for what today‟s generation calls cheap. In actual fact, my father was so frugal it was said that he would squeeze a nickel until the buffalo grunted. That is basically how most men in the thirties were…hard working, frugal and dedicated to their families. The women of the thirties were also of a different breed. The old cliché barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen typified their behavior. They were hard working, family oriented and very God fearing women. Like the men, they worked hard and watched their pennies, but more than anything their families were their purpose for living. At that time, the family structure was nuclear and they stayed that way even after their children were raised. If one of the kids married, he would probably move right next door…at worse down to the end of the block. They certainly wouldn‟t relocate to some foreign country like Texas or Florida. (You realize that was a joke…Texas is not a foreign country, Florida is.) They would stay right there with their parents and siblings. Today, the families are extended families. When someone grows up today, you don‟t know where the heck he or she will end up.
CRITICAL POINT: During the Great Depression, women made up 25% of the work force, but their jobs were more unstable, temporary or seasonal then men, and the unemployment rate was much greater. There was also a decided bias and cultural view that "women didn't work" and in fact many who were employed full time often called themselves "homemakers." Neither men in the workforce, the unions, nor any branch of government were ready to accept the reality of working women, and this bias caused females intense hardship during the Great Depression. Of course, today the world is smaller with jet travel and telecommunications. In the thirties, they didn‟t even have phones…well, kind- of sort of phones. You had to basically crank the things up. If you ever watched The Andy Griffith Show with Barnie and Andy, you probably have an idea of what I am talking about. Plane travel was prehistoric to say the least, as was road travel. There wasn‟t even any television until 1934. The screens were only about six inches wide and they would only have five or six programs during the entire day. Hell! Today we have 5 million channels running twenty four seven. Can you believe no MTV? How did these poor suckers survive? They didn‟t even have real radios. They had crystal radios. You would have to hold them to your ear to hear anything. My father told me that they would stand on a corner and one guy would listen to the radio and narrate to everyone else what was being broadcast. CRITICAL POINT: The people of the depression gained a new outlook on life and many survivors still hold those same virtues today. They deny the self indulgence and immediate gratification that come from material things. Instead they focus on relationship -- with their family, with others, and most importantly, with God. They realize that good can come from bad and meaning can come from tragedy.
Not only were the families close, but so were the neighbors. They all watched out for each other. Today, we don‟t even know our neighbors and we live right next door to them. Isn‟t that strange? Times have really changed. When my father was a youngster, he grew up near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Isn‟t that a beautiful name for a city? It literally means the City of Brotherly Love. He said it was a magnificent place in which to grow up. Everyone there was so loving and caring. When he was a little boy, they would leave their back door open in case their neighbors needed anything and they would do the same for my dad‟s family. If they needed
something, they would just go over to their neighbor‟s and borrow it and later that day they would bring it back and the neighbors would do the same. For example, some mornings while my dad‟s family was sleeping, the neighbors would come in and borrow eggs or sugar …whatever they needed. Then, later on they would come back and say, “Here are the eggs we borrowed this morning. Thanks!” Everybody watched out for each other. Today, if you leave your door open in Philadelphia, the neighbors will come in and take your eggs, your sugar, your microwave, your stereo and anything else that is not nailed down. And believe me… they‟re not bringing any of that stuff back. Like I said, things have changed. Also, because of the financial situation in the thirties, education was not a high priority for most people. The reason for this was because the children had to quit school to help around the house or the farm in order to make ends meet. The average person at the time had a sixth grade education. A lot of people had absolutely no education. In short, education was basically for the elite. CRITICAL POINT: The Great Depression tested the fabric of American life as it had been seldom tested before or has since. It caused Americans to doubt their abilities and their values. It caused them to despair. But they weathered the test, and as a Nation, emerged stronger than ever, and we are all better today for their strength and their courage. What was a high priority was religion. People were honest and God fearing. Going to church was really the number one social activity. This will interest you. Cosmopolitan magazine would do a survey every decade in which they asked their readers what they looked for in the opposite sex. The number one thing that women looked for in a man in the thirties was religion…they wanted a God fearing man. He could have looked like bean dip, but if he were God fearing, he was desirable. When Cosmopolitan replicated that study in the new millennium, do you know what the number one thing that women looked for in a man? It was…a nice bootie. Boy! How things changed! Well, that is the way it was in the thirties…people were religious, honest, hard working, uneducated, financially insecure and caring. Things changed drastically just ten years later. Let‟s take a look at the forties. CRITICAL POINT: Life during the Great Depression – Lessons Learned First-hand recollections of life during the Great Depression must not be disregarded. Those
“children‟s” voices now plead with us to recognize the symptoms of an economic CRASH and to react in time. Credit mentality instead of paying cash. “Don’t spend money you don’t already have in your pocket.” Rich grew richer at the expense of others. “Don’t pay someone else to provide something that you can learn to do or to make yourself.” Abandonment of traditional values and frugality. “Never buy anything you can use – only what you can’t live without.” Self-Indulgence and self-gratification by immediate acquisition of possessions. “Don’t buy anything until you have twice the purchase amount.” High Expectations by gambling in the stock market. “It’s doesn’t matter how much money you can make, but how much money you can save!” “Then he [Jesus] said to them, „Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man‟s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions‟” (Luke 12:15)).
Life in the Forties ____________________________________________________________
What do you think was the big thing that happened in the forties that changed the way people lived and acted? I will give you a hint. Archie Bunker is always talking about it. If you said WW II, you get a red star. As you are probably aware, Hitler and his German forces were going through Europe like a hot knife through butter when America got involved in the war. What you might not be aware of is that Hitler was very close to conquering the entire world. If he had just taken his time, there would have been a good chance that we all would be walking around today hailing Hitler. CRITICAL POINT: The 1940's were dominated by World War II. European artists and intellectuals fled to the United States from Hitler and the Holocaust, bringing new ideas created in disillusionment. War production pulled us out of the Great Depression. Women were needed to replace men who had gone off to war, and so the first great exodus of women from the home to the workplace began. At the time, Americans were very aware of that fact. Consequently, everyone rallied around the war effort. Men literally ran to enlist in the armed forces and women left their homes for the first time to work in factories to support the war effort. There was tremendous nationalism at the time. Hitler had to be defeated and he was. Even though the Germans had greater technology, we literally kicked their ass. After the war, the soldiers came home to ticker tape parades and well wishers. They were the heroes of the day…not someone who could slam dunk a basketball or hit a home run. The soldiers were the American heroes. Once home, after not seeing their wives for almost four years, they did the down and dirty…that‟s right… they knocked their brains out. That was the being of the Baby Boom. There were kids all over the place.
CRITICAL POINT: During the war, the number of working women went from 12 million to 18.6 million. Roughly half of all women in America were employed outside the home, and that number did not count the women who were working longer hours on farms. With millions of men and women in the military, labor was short both on the farm and in the cities. Many rural women took jobs in the war factories. Those who stayed drove tractors and trucks and their list of daily chores grew. Something else was different too. Many of the women who went to work to support the war effort stayed in the workforce. They apparently liked getting out of the house and enjoyed the extra money that they could make working. Interestingly, women were paid considerably less than men were paid even if they did the same exact job as a man did. At the time, this was accepted as being equitable because men were considered superior to women. As a matter of fact, the primary purpose of women at that time was to please their men. They didn‟t have their own goals per se…their goals were to help their men achieve their goals. If there were anything positive about the war, it was that it significantly strengthened the economy. There were more jobs available for both men and women and there was a lot more money available for doing those jobs. Best yet, inflation was down and there was an economic build up. The United States became a major player in world trade and commerce. Money was starting to flow freely. People were spending money at a record pace. Advancements in telecommunications, aircraft, automobiles and industrial technology increased significantly. CRITICAL POINT: Advancements in telecommunications, aircraft, automobiles and industrial technology increased significantly in the late forties. There was also a boom in education. There was also a boom in education. Schools sprang up all over the country and education became available to almost everyone. The curriculum in education, however, was significantly altered from the three basic R‟s…reading, writing and arithmetic…as they were called. Shortly after the war was over, two researchers named Cross and Webber conducted a study to determine the fitness level of American and European children. The results of their investigation revealed that European children were in significantly better shape than American children were. In fact, they found that less than 10% of American children could even touch their toes from a standing position. These findings caused a major alert. It was feared that if America had to go back to war in the future, we would be easily defeated because the wars at that time were basically conventional warfare… hand to hand combat…and our soldiers would be in terrible shape. Therefore, there was a big push in America to enhance the fitness level of all Americans. That‟s right; it was the first big fitness boom.
The President‟s Council of Physical Fitness was formed in order to motivate children to get in shape and stay in shape. Schools and factories were actually required to have fitness breaks. Every hour on the hour everyone in schools and factories would stop what they were doing and exercise for ten minutes. Education was geared primarily towards the physical. In reality, if you were a physical education teacher in the forties, you were all that, plus a bag of chips. The forties, which started off with fear and uncertainty, ended up with America on the threshold of becoming a world power. Life was good and its goodness led right into the fifties. CRITICAL POINT: FACTS about this decade. Population 132,122,000 Unemployed in 1940 - 8,120,000 National Debt $43 Billion Average Salary $1,299. Teacher's salary $1,441 Minimum Wage $.43 per hour 55% of U.S. homes have indoor plumbing Antarctica is discovered to be a continent Life expectancy 68.2 female, 60.8 male Auto deaths 34,500 Supreme Court decides blacks do have a right to vote World War II changed the order of world power; the United States and the USSR become super powers Cold War begins.
Life in the Fifties ___________________________________________________________
The fifties were the golden years of America. They were the happy days…you know, with Richie, Joanie and Fonzie. The kids in the fifties had everything…money, cars, radios, televisions and unlimited educational opportunities. It was definitely the happy days…if you were white, that is. Even though blacks had been freed from slavery nine decades before, they still didn‟t have anything. CRITICAL POINT: For many Americans, the wars and the depression were a distant memory and the country was feeling good about itself. Most Americans trusted the government and believed in politicians. Society was experiencing growth, economically and socially, and new ideas of prosperity and success for families and the country as a whole were taking shape. White parents who were raised in the thirties and early forties strove to obtain the possessions they never had in the depressed days and vowed that their children would have the best of everything. They also pledged that their children would never experience hunger, worry or fear the way they had.
They kept their promise too…in spades. That is why most of us today are spoiled as hell. The kids of this era were born with a silver spoon in their mouths….hell; I was born with a gold one in my mouth. The youth at that time never wanted for anything and they never had to work for anything. Their parents would work double shifts if necessary to give their kids the opportunities they never had. CRITICAL POINT: The fifties were classified as the happy days. The youth at that time never wanted for anything and they never had to work for anything. They became entrenched into this “I me” generation. Everyone was worried about himself and what he could get out of life. Their common adage was, “What‟s in it for me?” or “What can you do for me?” Unlike their parents who gave them everything, they became selfish and self-centered. The kids of this time knew greater security and freedom than any generation of the past had ever experienced or known. Perhaps, out of this very freedom and security grew self-indulgence for material things and a disregard for the welfare of others. Obviously, they were missing something when it came to the basic concept of being human. They stopped reaching out and caring anymore. They had forgotten that they were their brother‟s keeper. They became entrenched into this “I me” generation. Everyone was worried about himself and what he could get out of life. Their common adage was, “What‟s in it for me?” or “What can you do for me?” Unlike their parents who gave them everything, they became selfish and self-centered. Of course, this created a lot of friction and factionalism in the family structure. Parents were thinking, “We spoiled our kids rotten,” and the kids were thinking, “My parents need to chill out for a second.” CRITICAL POINT: Segregation and racism was still part of life and although there were some major changes to erase both like in 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled segregation in public schools were unconstitutional, there were still problems forcing blacks to take drastic measures for equality and inclusion like in 1955, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a public bus. Well, the happy days of the fifties took a major hit in 1957. The Russians sent up Sputnik, an unmanned telecommunications satellite. WOW! That literally scared the hell out of every American with a brain cell. This was the birth of “star wars.” It was reasoned that the next world war would not be a conventional war, but rather a war fought in space. Worse yet, the Russians who liked America about as much as the Boston Red Sox like the New York Yankees…well, maybe they didn‟t hate us that much…was a leg up on us in the star wars frontier. The fear was that Russians would get to the moon and control the world from outer space. Okay! Knowing what we know now, such a scenario doesn‟t sound plausible, but at that time, that‟s what a lot of Americans thought. Actually, it must have scared someone in the government too. Within days after the Russians sent Sputnik up, President John F. Kennedy was on
the tube addressing the American public. He stood there in front of God and everyone and said, “We will beat Russia to the moon!” He was dead serious, too. All of a sudden, education in America went from emphasizing the physical and started accentuating engineering, science and cybernetics. As you know, Kennedy kept his promise and within less than a half decade, we had men walking on the moon. It was a vulgar display of American power and technology…a great way to lead into the sixties.
Life in the Sixties ___________________________________________________________
If the fifties were the happy days, the sixties were the violent days. First of all, there was the Vietnam War. It was a war that really wasn‟t a war. Why we ever got involved in that mess only God knows…and a bunch of dummies who were sitting on Capital Hill. The country was totally divided over this war from the start. Perhaps no other single event, the Civil War withstanding, in our country‟s history caused more fractionalism than the Vietnam War. Some of the men who were drafted to fight in the war burned their draft cards and ran off to Canada. Others just flat out refused to go to Nam and went to jail instead. Still, others went AWOL. CRITICAL POINT: Although, times were changing, major changes didn‟t take place until the 1960‟s, which saw a shift in morals, attitudes, family life, race relations, and overall feelings about the government. To many, this is why the 1950‟s are seen as the best time, when families and morals were intact and times were much simpler and enjoyable. When the men who fought in World War I and World War II found out about all of this, they really freaked out. They wanted to go out and find these little bastards and kick their asses. The veterans felt that these draft dodgers were committing treason. The veterans reasoned that they had sacrificed their lives to ensure the safety of the country. Now, the very men who they had protected were abandoning the country. Of course, the men who refused to fight saw it differently. They felt that the country was wrong for going into Vietnam. They further stated that they had nothing against the people of Vietnam and they weren‟t going to go and kill someone that never did anything to them. Naturally, this type of thinking just served to infuriate the veterans of the World Wars. The veterans‟ way of thinking was that it didn‟t matter whether the country‟s policy was right or wrong if the country said, “You go…you go.” If that wasn‟t enough to divide the country, racial unrest finally surfaced. Blacks stood up and said, “What the hell is all of this about? We were freed over a hundred years ago and we still don‟t have the rights and freedoms of other Americans. We are not going to stand for it any longer.” This went over real big with the Archie Bunkers of America. The next thing you knew there were racial riots in Watts and Berkley. Then, four college students who were protesting the racial inequality of blacks were shot and killed by National Guardsmen at Kent University. After, there were the murders in Mississippi, the Emit Till killing and George Wallace standing at the front door of Alabama University refusing to let blacks enter the school. A real racial mess!
CRITICAL POINT: In 1966, James S. Coleman commissioned by the government, published Equality of Educational Opportunity, a landmark study that led the way to forced integration and bussing in the 1970s.
Nothing though, and I mean nothing, scared the hell out of Americans like the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. If Sputnik scared them, Kennedy‟s assassination terrified them. People say that if you were alive when Kennedy was shot, you know to this very day exactly what you were doing at the very moment you heard the news. I know that is true for me. I was at football practice when our coach called us together and gave us the news. We thought the world was coming to an end. A lot of Americans who weren‟t teenagers also felt the same way. It scared the hell out of everyone. An American President getting shot…that was beyond comprehension. Americans were supposed to be untouchables…and the President of the United States…well, he was invincible, so the country thought. If that wasn‟t bad enough, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was later assassinated and so was Kennedy‟s brother Senator Robert Kennedy. All three men championed black rights…all three men died within five years. To add insult to injury, women stood up and said, “Hey! What about us?! Blacks aren‟t the only ones being discriminated against. We do the same job as white and black men and we get paid less…what is all that about?” The next thing you knew they were marching and burning their bras in protest. CRITICAL POINT: During the sixties, college campuses became centers of debate and scenes of protest more than ever before. Great numbers of young adults, baby boomers, reaching military draft age and not yet voting age (minimum voting age did not become 18 until 1971), caused a struggle which played out on many campuses as the country became more involved the timeline in the Vietnam War. After that, all of a sudden, white middle class kids stood up and said, “We are sick and tired of all this violence, all this hatred and racial unrest.” They grew their hair long, wore tunics and funny beads. They went to the West for peace and free love. I am sure most of them went for the free love. This was the beginning of the counterculture…a culture against the culture. And guess who was leading them in his psychedelic bus loaded with speed and hallucinogenics. If you said, “Timothy Leary,” you get another one of those red stars. Leary was the father of the counterculture and the drugs of choice were LSD, speed and an assortment of other hallucinogenic. Let‟s take a look. CRITICAL POINT: FACTS about this decade. Population 177,830,000 Unemployment 3,852,000
National Debt 286.3 Billion Average Salary $4,743 Teacher's Salary $5,174 Minimum Wage $1.00 Life Expectancy: Males 66.6 years, Females 73.1 years Auto deaths 21.3 per 100,000 An estimated 850,000 "war baby" freshmen enter college; emergency living quarters are set up in dorm lounges, hotels and trailer camps.