1968 August 17

Aspen, Colorado, Hippies Charge Police Harassment


Members of the Aspen, Colorado, hippie community on this day accused the police of harassment, which included telling people to “get out of town,” trumped up criminal charges, excessive 90-day jail sentences, and illegal searches and seizures. A police “crackdown” on hippies began a month earlier when 87 residents presented a petition to the city council demanding action against them. One restaurant owner, evidently not hip to changing times, placed a sign in his widow saying “No Beatniks Allowed.”

The cultural revolution of the 1960s brought many civil liberties clashes over hair length (December 21, 1970), dress codes (January 8, 1969), and the free speech rights of students (February 24, 1969).

Learn more: Tom Hayden, The Long Sixties: 1960 to Barack Obama (2009)

Learn more about the Sixties and the counterculture: Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage (1987)

And more: Terry Anderson, The Sixties (1999)

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