The Summer of Love is a phrase given to the summer of 1967 to try to describe the feeling of being in San Francisco that summer, when the so-called "hippie movement" came to full fruition. (It is taken as an article of faith by some hippies that the word 'hippie' itself was invented to "cash in" on the movement.) (Some people mistakenly believe the Summer of Love was in 1969, perhaps because that was the year of Woodstock.)
The actual beginning of this "Summer" can be attributed to the Human Be-In that took place in Golden Gate Park on January 14 of that year. Jerry Rubin, Timothy Leary, Allen Ginsberg, and Jefferson Airplane all participated in the event, a celebration of hippie culture and values.
John Phillips of The Mamas and the Papas took twenty minutes to write the following lyrics for the song San Francisco:
If you're going to San Francisco,
be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
If you come to San Francisco,
Summertime will be a love-in there.
The song was designed originally to promote the upcoming Monterey Pop Festival, in June. Scott McKenzie's cover of the song was released in May 1967 .
Later that summer, thousands of young people from around the nation flocked to the Haight-Ashbury district of the city to join in a popularized version of the hippie experience.
The phrase "Summer of Love" (or, more accurately, the "Second Summer of Love") is sometimes used (particularly in the UK) to refer to the summer of 1989 and the rise of Acid House music and rave culture.
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