Jimi Hendrix asks in his song Purple Haze, "Am I happy or in misery?" This theme broadly defined the political and social unrest throughout the nation in 1969. The baby boomers in the late 1960's adopted a "hippie" culture which personified the music of the time and the concept of "sex, drugs, and rock and roll." This disposition helped to alleviate the pressures inflicted by the war culture embraced on America's home front.
Each era in American history has factors that distinctively define the attitudes and emotions of that particular period. In August 1969, thousands of young adults gathered in White Lake, NY, for what would come to be known as "Woodstock." Gene Ira Katz asserted, "The woefully understaffed and poorly planned extravaganza may be remembered as the most successful fiasco in the history of entertainment" ("14850 Magazine" 7).
The Woodstock Festival of Music and Art was advertised as "3 days of peace and music" and soon enough underground radio personalities were publicizing this as a "free concert" ("14850 Magazine" 7). The white dove, illustrating the overwhelming emergence of peace in home front affairs, as well as international affairs and the guitar, representing free expression for what many Americans longed for, were symbols that came to represent Woodstock. .
The white dove's symbolism reflects the thoughts of those who participated in the extravagant festival of Woodstock. Signifying peace, the dove was posted on many flyers and advertisements to promote this unforgettable event. The hippies and many other Americans were fighting for equal rights and an integrated society. The realization that our society was separate and not equal was captivating the minds of the young activists. In 1969, African Americans were still not being treated equal and there was still very strong hate among Americans. Along with African Americans, many other minority groups were not receiving the equality that they deserved.