A Reader Compares Woodstock (1969) With DC's "Human Kindness" Day (1975)
June 04, 2014, 08:02 PM
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From: An Anonymous 60s Survivor [Email him]

I just read Paul Kersey's November 11, 2011 essay, "Halloween in Georgetown: Africa in Our Midst?"

I am also old enough to remember the hippy movement. I grew up in the Washington, DC area.

Beginning in the spring of 1967 and for several years thereafter Georgetown was a gathering place for white hippies. These were not squeaky clean in their appearance or sexual mores, but they were safe to be around.

Many of these hippies were teenage runaways who had been abused at home. Somehow that did not turn them into violent street criminals. Some asked for spare change, but they took "No" for an answer.

In August of 1969 400,000 young white people gathered at Woodstock in New York for what became an iconic and free music festival. There were no fights. No one was killed. The small number of blacks present were safer than they would have been at a gathering of an equal number of blacks.

In May 10, 1975 125,000 predominantly black young people gathered on the Washington Monument grounds in Washington, DC for a free concert of black musicians. There were about 500 robberies, and 600 injuries. 150 people had to be treated at hospitals.

James Fulford writes: I hadn’t heard of the 1975 concert, but when I Googled it, I was amused to find it was called Human Kindness Day.