Photographs That Capture What Life Was Like In The ’60s
By Sarah Norman | December 29, 2023
Drinking Japanese Coca-Cola in strange glasses, 1966
As the first decade of the groovy era, the 1960s were a time full of radical change, great music, and amazing fashions. The same decade that gave us Woodstock also gave birth to Beatlemania, touch tone telephones, and the miniskirt… it was a seriously innovative time.
The '60s were a decade where people felt free. They could hop on Route 66 and drive to the ocean, or just barbecue with their neighbors because the suburbs were a place where everyone knew your name. Whether you were a hippie, a mod, or something in between, the '60s offered the freedom to be who you wanted to be. These photos are far out, and they'll have you wishing you could go back to one of the most neato decades of the 20th century. Let's rock and roll.
The American public has been fascinated about flying saucers since the late 1940s when Kenneth Arnold saw a group of them flying over Mount Rainer, by the 1960s teenage boys were catching UFO fever after reading about aliens zooming around in disc shaped ships that resembled the things they read about in comic books like Weird Terror and The Beyond. These guys look like they’ve got quite the engineering talent, and while it seems like this UFO is more of an Unidentified Riding Object, notice the bicycle handles that the boy’s holding onto? Do you think we've got a chance of taking a ride?
Boys just want to have fun, especially with UFOs
Coca-Cola had been imported into Japan as early as the 1910s, but at the onset of World War II all of that sugary goodness came to an end. The well dried up and wasn’t tapped again until 1945 when U.S. soldiers started ordering it by the truckload. Between 1946 and 1952, six bottling plants were established between Sapporo in the north and Kokura in the south, but even then Japanese citizens weren’t able to purchase bottles. It wasn’t until 1957 that a deal was struck that allowed Coca-Cola to be served to local consumers. By the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games the soda was on sale with guide maps printed to show people exactly where they could get the world’s favorite soda.
This couple met at Woodstock and they've been together ever since
Ever since meeting on the traffic congested road to Woodstock Judy and Jerry Griffin have been inseparable. Judy told People Magazine that after her car broke down on the way to the music festival she thought she’d miss it. But when a car slowed down to help her it was one of the most important moments of her life. She said:
Jerry and his friends pulled up. I stuck my head in and I saw that there was a woman in the car. I’d never hitchhiked before, but I figured, ‘Well, since there was a woman, it was fairly safe, and I probably should just get in the car.’
The Woodstock music festival was a life changing event for so many people, but for this happy couple it was truly the beginning of a beautiful journey.
Parents hold their babies over the Berlin Wall so their grandparents can say hello
Imagine a world full of rocket ships and galaxies waiting to be explored, where the future was folding out in real time and nothing was impossible. That was Tomorrowland, Disney’s optimistic look at the far away future of 1986, a time when regular people would take rockets to the moon on a regular basis and the Atomic Age never ended. Walt Disney and his designers believed that soon Americans would be zipping around the country on mass transit, and watching 3D movies in the round. At the time of its design, Tomorrowland was meant to be “the factual and scientific exposition of things to come,” as Disney wanted his theme park to be both fun and educational. When dedicating Tomorrowland he said that the new area of the park would be a:
vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying man’s achievements … a step into the future, with predictions of constructive things to come. Tomorrow offers new frontiers in science, adventure and ideals: the Atomic Age … the challenges of outer space … and the hope for a peaceful and unified world.
The world of tomorrow... today at Disneyland, 1966
The Berlin Wall separated family members regardless of age, but the wall didn’t go up all at once. At first it was just first fences of barbed wire between West and East Germany, but anyone who was trapped on the wrong side of the country had to stay there. Over the weeks and months that followed the sentries placed bricks along the wall to make the structure all that more imposing, but that doesn’t mean that families were deterred from trying to see each other. It’s clear from this family showing off their children to the grandparents that they weren’t going to let the Berlin Wall keep them down.
A young fan goes bananas for The Beatles in Seattle on Aug 21, 1964
Cue up any live recording of The Beatles from their brief forays into America and the first thing you’ll hear are the screams. There was something chemical that the group did to their fans, especially the young women who couldn’t help but twist and shout whenever the group took the stage. On August 21, 1964, The Beatles stepped in front of 14,300 fans at the Seattle Center Coliseum, it was the first time they played in Washington state and their welcome was uproarious. During the show hundreds of teenage girls rushed the stage to try and grab ahold of their favorite Beatle, and things got so out of hand that after they finished their set the band had to wait an hour before leaving the venue in the back of Ambulance to keep from being beset by their loving public.
A high school teacher in Denver, Colorado, 1969
This is one seriously groovy teacher; from the pattern of her dress, to her belt and her girl group styled hair she’s seriously got it all going on. Going to school in the 1960s was simple and humble, it meant learning the “three Rs,” and doing your best to stay out of trouble. In this groovy decade the education system underwent major reforms to be more inclusive to bilingual students and those who were moved into school after desegregation. It was a tough decade but the educators of the ‘60s helped start a whole new era of enlightenment.
This lovely family's in the market for a fallout shelter, 1961
Worried about the Reds launching a nuclear strike and turning the world into a wasteland inhabitable only by small bugs and those who are strangely immune? Then you need a fallout shelter. In the ‘60s everyone may not have owned a bunker where they could hide out for until the atomic dust settled but it was definitely a status symbol to have one. Not all bunkers were made the same, but they all had places to store food, dispose of waste, and of course, have some family time. When you think about it, $550 isn’t bad for a concrete bunker, especially if it’s nice and roomy. How would you feel about staying underground with your family for years at a time? Does that sound tubular or absolutely not chill?
Cars lining Malibu Beach on a summer day
This picture really feels like a portal to another time. Can’t you hear the white noise of the ocean waves as they crash along the beach, the Beach Boys spilling out of car radios as they park along makeshift spots, and the sound of friends and families having a blast? In the ‘60s, Malibu Beach was filled with beachcombers, surfers, and bikini babes who wanted to worship the sun and take in the waves. Many people who moved to the area just for the beach worked jobs that allowed them to stay near the water; they were lifeguards, bartenders, or even surfing instructors. Back then, the beach was a lifestyle that you couldn’t just put down.
A soldier in Vietnam takes a break to catch up on the articles, 1967
More so than any other magazine of the era, Playboy went out of its way to make sure the troops knew how much they appreciated their struggle in Vietnam. Owned by Hugh Hefner, an Army veteran who served during World War II, Playboy reported on the politics of the era, and provided the kind of straight talk that soldiers fighting in Vietnam were looking for. And of, course, there were the playmates. The letters section of Playboys from the ‘60s are full of messages from soldiers that gave normal Americans a look at what was really going on during the Vietnam War.
Colors like this only existed in the 'burbs
Is there anything like loading up the car for a trip to the lake on a summer’s weekend? Before the advent of the minivan, the ‘60s gave us station wagons that were the go to car for piling up the whole family for a long drive. You can fit as many kids as you want in one of these behemoths and still have space for snacks, a cooler, and even a couple of inner-tubes if you want to float around and waste away the day. This kind of lifestyle brought along the picturesque views of pastel painted houses, perfect lawns, and candy apple red cars.
That's what New York City looked like in the 60s?
New York City is an ever changing landscape that’s never the same from decade to decade. In the ‘70s and ‘80s it was a dystopian wasteland, today its a playground for the super wealthy, but in the ‘60s New York was still coming off of the Art Deco high, the city was growing and changing but not too fast. Everything still resembled New York of the past, so much so that it has a kind of amusement park look to it, doesn’t it? The subway tunnels are the most magnificent thing about old New York, they don’t just look like they’re taking you to a train, but to another world completely.
Beating the heat with a fire hydrant
Summer time in the city, when the heat rises from the asphalt and and there’s nowhere to hide from the pervasive choke of the sun. In the ‘60s it was hard to find an apartment or a home with an air conditioner. At best they were likely to have a box fan, but when the city heats up to 100 degrees that’s not going to do anyone any good. With a lack of public pools for inner city youth the best bet was to pop open a fire hydrant and let the water spray you until you were properly cooled. This is still something that people do today, and even though it’s frowned upon it definitely looks fun.
Say cheese... a pre-prom photo from 1961
There’s so much to love about this photo from 1961, from the decor of the home to this girl’s gorgeous dress. She looks so excited to go to prom, a night of doing The Twist and slow dancing with your best fella. Take note of the TV, the couch, and even the walls - they’re all blue. It looks as if everything in this house was designed around the bright, fairy tale colors of her dress. In fact, they’re almost bright enough to make you forget how unexcited her date looks. We shouldn’t be too harsh, maybe he was doing the Watusi on the inside.
Women getting touch ups in a vintage salon
During the transition from the ‘50s to the ‘60s big hair and bouffants were the hairdos of the day, but even as those hairstyles went out of fashion became more casual and easy to maintain women still frequented hair salons. Not only were salons the best place for someone to get their hair set for a big day, but they were the place to hear local gossip and just get away from the house for a little while. People popped in for “drive-bys,” otherwise known as just getting a quick touch up, and people were showing up to get their hair combed at least twice a week.
The way back was the best place to be on a road trip
Before there were seatbelt laws that were more strict that your fourth grade teacher kids were pretty much left to their own devices when it came to long drives and road trips. In the right kind of vehicle, usually a station wagon, kids sat in the way back (or the way, way back if the car was super long) and kept themselves busy while their dad drove the family to the lake or down Route 66. As long as you were quiet it was a pretty cushy ride. You could read comics, sleep, or even play a board game if you didn’t mind the pieces going all over the place. Talk about something that we could never do today.
Brigitte Bardot waiting to film a scene in 1963
There’s something that’s just so cool about Brigitte Bardot. Is the the way she looks like she doesn't want to talk to anyone? Or is it because she has the vibe that she's going to pull a knife on you at any moment? This behind the scenes shot from Le Mépris was taken on what must have been a light day for the actress. According to reporting around the film at the time she was was constantly being hounded by the press who were happy to interrupt filming in order to get a shot of this French beauty. The film isn't Godart's best, but with the stress he was under at the time it's a wonder that he finished the film at all.
A tale of men and their ladders at NASA in 1961
Before computers were available to perform complicated calculations at the push of a button, entire teams had to put their heads together to solve extremely complicated problems, and that goes doubly for the folks at NASA. Bolstered by a plan to send a man to the moon, researchers worked around the clock to figure out exactly how they were going to get someone from Earth all the way up to space and back. Keep in mind that this just shows one blackboard in a facility that was full of these things. Who’s job was it to copy these information? What happened if something was accidentally erased? These guys weren't just geniuses, they had nerves of steel.
The higher the hair the faster the runner, the Abilene, Texas track team, 1967
The crunch of the track beneath your shoes, the smell of fresh cut grass on the breeze, the taste of hairspray as the sweat glides down your face? Running track, or taking part in any athletic pursuit isn’t something that requires the athlete to look like a model. This photo showing Abilene’s 1967 track team is amazing for so many reasons. Obviously the hair, it’s so perfect that it’s a shame that it’s going to be ruined by a sprint, but also the look of determination on the first runner’s face. She doesn’t just look like she’s ready to run a race, she’s ready to win it.
Flower power is in full bloom with this groovy family
Is there anything better than seeing a family posing together, happy and smiling? This photo just goes to show that no matter what kind of lifestyle someone prescribes to that family always comes first. Imagine the adventures this cute hippie family must of have had while the traveled the country in their painted bus with their shaggy dogs; maybe they were an actual Partridge Family. It was easier to just get up and go back in the ‘60s. People weren’t tethered to their phones, and the news cycle only lasted as long as the nightly news. People had more time for their family, and they had more time to smile.
Pretty in pink, a beauty poses in Seattle, 1967
In the 1960s Seattle was in the middle of its own kind of evolution. No longer was the city’s economy simply built around the fishing, importing, and exporting that happened at the wharf, but there was a dramatic shift to shop owners opening cafes and curio shops that dotted the piers by 1965. Much of this new business was brought in after the 1962 World’s Fair picked up its stakes and left town. There were suddenly spaces that needed to be filled, and young people who were ready to go out. By the end of 1965 Ted Griffin’s Seattle Public Aquarium was up and running on the bay, and the city hasn’t looked back since.
Someone's had a long day at work
There isn’t anyone who grew up in the ‘60s who didn’t experience their first sip of beer with the help of a loved one. This kind of thing wouldn’t fly today, but in that grooviest of decade people weren’t as worried in keeping up with appearances or the neighbors thinking that they were condemning their children to a life of alcoholism with one sip of beer. The photo really does sum up the relaxed attitude of the ‘60s that may have not been everyone's cup of tea, but didn't hurt anyone. Wouldn’t it be cool if we could get back to that kind of thinking?
Route 66 along Albuquerque, 1969
As the song says, “get your kicks on Route 66.” In the 1960s travelers from both coasts took the iconic road on many a cross country trip between California and Illinois, which earned it the name “America's Highway.” In its heyday, Route 66 snaked through so many small towns that it created its own kind of industry built up of motels, convenience stores, and tourist traps all dedicated to serving the people who were just passing through. As a living piece of Americana, Route 66 represented modern manifest destiny, and showed Americans from across the country that they could get and go wherever they pleased, from small town to the big city.
A student takes care of business with a portable hair dryer
In the 1960s technology started popping up that made life much more convenient, and there were leaps and bounds in the world of beauty products. This kind of dryer made getting ready to go out a breeze. It’s hard to find the time to get your hair done professionally, especially when you’ve got to study. Enter the portable hair dryer. The Lady Sunbeam was one of the most popular models because it was so simple to use. All you had to do was place the bonnet over your wet hair, set it to low, medium, or high and get that beauty store look without having to leave your dorm room.
Views from a swinging London pub
The pub scene has been a thing in England for as long as people have been crowding around a bar and telling stories while they drink. There may be bars in other countries, but pubs are an entirely different animal and there are many different kinds. Throughout the ‘60s there were arty and posh pubs where young people could get decent food and a good pint of lager while turning a look for the hipsters of the day. This shot shows a group of friends drinking a pint during the day, likely before a night of clubbing, which honestly sounds pretty good.
Barefoot biking in the late 60s was a great way to lose a toe
As cool as this barefoot biker looks - and he looks very cool - has no one told him about the dangers of biking barefoot? Not to sound like a worried mother hen or anything but this guy needs to put on some shoes. Admittedly that would go against the spirit of everything he’s trying to do. The ‘60s were all about living your life to the fullest, no matter if that meant going to the lake on the weekends with your family, or riding through the back country on a motorcycle without any shoes. It’s clear that this guy is the epitome of cool, and there’s no way he’s going to let something like the loss of a minor appendage keep him from running down a dream.
Grabbing a soda from the corner store
Do you remember how far a dollar could take you in the 1960s? You could get s soda for you and all of your friends down at the corner store for a dollar and still have change left over. And those were the days when there was real sugar in sodas, not the nasty stuff that manufacturers use today. Was there any better treat on a hot summer’s day than cracking open an ice cold soda and guzzling it down before riding your bike home for dinner? Did you ruin your appetite? Or was the soda just an appetizer to the main course?
What do you think, does she like The Beatles? A superfan in 1968
If there’s any group that parallels the ‘60s it’s The Beatles. They grew along with the grooviest decade and inspired their fans into piques of fit that could only be known as Beatlemania. Fans didn’t just buy the band’s records, they cut out pictures of the group and their favorite members of the group. Aside from collecting bits and bobbles relating to the band, they sent in things to the group, especially Ringo who received ring after ring after ring. Supposedly by the end of ‘60s he had 2,761 rings. The whole band was a true obsession for their fans, and Beatlemania still lives to this day.
Stunning photo of a civil rights protest in Washington DC, 1963
On August 28, 1963, 250,000 people made their way to the Lincoln Memorial where they protested for civil rights and desegregation before listening to speeches by NAACP president Roy Wilkins, as well as civil rights veteran Daisy Lee Bates and actors Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee. The march culminated with Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, a phrase that wasn’t even in his planned remarks for that day. Leaving his notes behind he said the words that still ring true today:
…We will be able to speed up that day when all God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!’
Three young women showing off their miniskirts in groovy London
When it comes to ‘60s fashion one of the coolest looks that ever came out of the decade was that of the Mod. Thanks to fashion designer Mary Quaint, the miniskirt became a fashion must have. Girls loves the minimized hemline and guys loved what that hemline did for their view. Wearing a miniskirt in the ‘60s was a way of letting people that you did what you wanted with your body and no one could tell you otherwise. It was a piece of clothing for the youth of the world, and throughout the ‘60s it was both a political statement and a way of showing that you had style. When these skirts first hit the streets of London they turned heads and made a mark on history.
The lucky bird working quality control at EMI before the release of "Rubber Soul"
Sure, this wasn’t an experience that many people had in the ‘60s but can you imagine how excited you’d be if it was your job to listen to the newest Beatles record over and over to make sure everything sounded correct? How hard would it have been to not tell everyone what you were doing at work? And talk about ear worms, it would have been impossible to get “Day Tripper” out of your head - at least until it was time to do a QC check on the new Keith Locke & The Quests record. It would be really interesting to take a look at the notes from these sessions. How do you even let someone know that your Beatles record sounds weird? Oh to be a fly on the wall.
Kids at an Illinois drive-in, 1960
The small town drive-in on Saturday nights was the one place where you could expect to see everyone you knew. No matter if the theater was showing a creature feature or something a little more classy, it was the place to be. Jim Kopp of the United Drive-in Theatre Owners Association explained that drive-in theaters were a way for friends and families to go out together regardless of what their ages, shapes, or sizes. He said:
They offered family entertainment. People could sit in their cars, they could bring their babies... Drive-ins offered more flexibility than indoor theaters.
People of all ages got groovy at Woodstock
The Woodstock music festival could have fallen apart completely and devolved into chaos, but through the work of its organizers, the National Guard, and its attendees, the festival turned into three days of peace, love, and music. Only in the ‘60s could thousands of people walk the grounds of a freaked out and fun music festival and not have to worry about their children. The music was so groovy that these cool hippie kids could dance and get blissed out and have fun just like their parents. What a story this kid must have, can you imagine their “How’d you spend your summer vacation” essay?
A street vendor in Haight Ashbury, San Francisco, California in 1967
The wasn’t a further place from the napalm fires of Vietnam than the Haight Ashbury era of San Francisco during the Summer of Love in 1967. A confluence of events in the 1950s and the early ‘60s led to the middle class ditching the Haight for the suburbs, turning most of the area into cheap housing. The beatniks and the hippies moved in, turning the whole place into the Mecca of free love. Bands like the Grateful Dead proliferated the area and someone looking to have a psychedelic experience need not look further than helpful hippies hanging on the street. It was a short-lived time of pure peace in San Francisco, but boy was it grooving.
A cool cat reading on top of his car, 1962
There’s cool, and then there’s sitting on top of a Chevy while you read cool. This guy fully embodies that part of the ‘60s were mod and beatnik fashion blended into a stylish, jazzy look that still looks hip today. It was important to look good in the ‘60s, while there were still holdovers from the greaser era and plenty of hippies walking the streets, no one was ever docked cool points for looking sharp. What do you think he was reading? A pulpy detective novel or something by Salinger? He definitely looks like he prefers Raymond Chandler, but appearances can be deceiving.
Remember getting dressed up for Christmas?
Christmas in the ‘60s was such a picturesque time, it’s hard not to want to bring back the era of dressing up for friends and family come time for the holidays. Everything about this photo brings back memories of Christmas past, from the tree covered in fake snow, to the truly amazing design on this woman’s white sweater; they’re all tokens from a glorious time that’s long gone. Maybe this year we can all try to make our holidays a little more groovy, let’s dress up, do our hair, and figure out where to get that gorgeous fake snow.
Big hair don't care
Big hair was the name of the game in 1960s. With the help of curlers, back combing, and lots of hairspray gals were able to get their hair as high as possible. It women forever to get their hair into place in the morning, which made it all the more disappointing when they had to go to bed. It wasn’t just regular gals putting their hair as high as possible, but stars like Pricilla Presley and Elke Somme also had hair that reached to the heavens. These bouffants and teased out and flipped up dos were a must have for anyone going out in the ‘60s regardless of whether they were going to the movies or a barbecue.
Trick Or Treat, it's the best night of the year
Whether you’re a dyed in the wool Halloween-head or you just like dressing up and eating candy, there’s nothing better than Halloween night. Not only is it the one night a year when people get to be exactly who they want to be, but it’s the beginning of the holiday season, and in the 1960s this was particularly special. Families started planning their next few months, whether that meant planning recipes or figuring out which set of parents to visit for Christmas. But on October 31 who cares about visiting family? It’s all about dressing up like a ghoul or a goblin and getting some of those cavity creating goodies.
TFW you're living your best life
Boys in the ‘60s had everything they could want at their fingertips. It was an amazing era for kids interested in working with their hands and exploring everything from chemistry to building models of Godzilla and King Kong. Whoever this boy is he definitely has everything a kid could want to while away the time - a chemistry set, sheet music, and what looks like tiny models on his desk. As cool as this kid’s room is, there’s no way that he could ever complain about being bored. Did you have anything that this kid has? What was your favorite thing to play with?
A father walks his kids through the streets of Harlem, 1963
The 1960s in Harlem were a time of rebirth for the burrow that saw a mass exodus from its streets by families who were looking for a safer place to raise their family, better schools, and improved housing. Families split for the Bronx, Queens, and even Long Island, but the people who stayed worked to make sure their neighborhood remained vibrant and friendly even when the rest of the world thought they were unkind. The families who stuck around Harlem in the ‘60s couldn’t afford to move, but they did the best they could with what they had and they were all the stronger for it.
A Chicago meter maid writes a ticket and looks cool doing it
1966 was the first year that women were allowed to serve as members of the Chicago Police’s parking patrol unit, and as exciting as that is it must have been a real pain to walk around in heels all day while handing out tickets. Even though it’s a thankless job this meter maid makes it look very cool, especially with her non-regulation bouffant hair (there’s no way that was allowed on the force). As cool as this meter maid looks, there’s no way that she’d be lenient with a bad parker or someone who didn’t know how to properly feed their meter. If you were in Chicago in the ‘60s hopefully you were able to steer clear of this parking siren.
The coolest couple of the 1960s
No matter the place or the era there’s always going to be that one hop couple in your friend group that just seems like everything they do is blessed by the beatific gods of cool. This backsear duo is absolutely rocking a style that mixes preppy cool with a beatnik/island look that has that whole “I don’t care even though I care” thing going on. These look like the kind of people that you could hang out with on a boat or at a divey tiki bar, these two are the kind of people who are down for anything.
Dairy Queen, Austin 1963
Dairy Queens has spread far and wide across this great nation, and even though they got their start in Illinois, Texas is the state with the most Dairy Queen restaurants. There’s something homey about these eateries that are somewhere between fast food and a home cooked meal. Whether you prefer to have a burger or jam on an impossibly cold Blizzard in the middle of the summer, there’s something inherently enjoyable about Dairy Queen’s food at the cellular level. In the ‘60s DQ’s were the perfect place to grab a quick bite with friends, or take the family for a meal.
A vintage bathroom selfie
The 1960s, when selfies were a time consuming process and the only app where you could post them was a appropriate refrigerator door (or an apphoto album if you really want to stretch the laws of spelling). The camera, which looks like a Rolleiflex but probably isn’t a Rolleiflex, is a medium format, post war camera that’s perfect for shooting cool little portraits like this. They really only focus up to about three feet, which is why most of the portraits shot with them look like this, but that restriction is what makes them so cool. The shots from these cameras weren’t just a hip thing, they helped define a generation.
A Lunch Bar saddles up to the observation towers at 1964 Worlds' Fair in New York
The 1964 World's Fair in New York City told a story of "Peace Through Understanding” with its 650 acres of displays, exhibits, and visions for the future. It was a gorgeous sight to behold and gave everyone something to aspire to for the rest of the decade. Throughout the fair an onlooker could grab some food from one of the many “lunch bars” placed throughout. Anyone looking for a great view while while they chowed down on lunch could hang at this Brass Rail lunch bar next to the observation towers at the New York State pavilion with its mass of balloons tethered to the top.
Two passers by kissing under the Arc De Triomphe, 1960
Following the end of World War II, France entered a rebuilding phase that saw reconstruction occurring both physically and spiritually in the most romantic country in the world. Paris especially became a place where people of all nations flocked to in order to find love under the beatific lights of Europe’s hazy paradise. Ex-pats and locals alike could expect to meet someone new on a trip to Paris, whether it was just with a fleeting look or an intense weekend tryst, there was nowhere else that embodied those feelings of ardor that come with catching feelings for the first time.
Hollywood and Vine, 1963
Hollywood in the 1960s so incredibly different than what it looks like today. Not only was it cleaner, but things were more laid back. People weren’t as obsessed with getting where they needed to be as fast as possible, they just wanted to go to the beach, go to the movies, and maybe catch a look at a celebrity while they had dinner at the Brown Derby. Even though Los Angeles has undergone tumultuous changes in the following decades, Hollywood and Vine has always busy, and even in the ‘60s must have been impossible to find a parking place.
Everyone in costume, ready to go out for some candy
Halloween costumes in the 1960s were fairly simple. If they weren’t costumes of cartoon characters that came straight out of the box they were simple pieces of clothing like this. Anyone who was out trick or treating in the groovy era remembers their parents tossing them a black robe or an oddly colored mask and calling it a day. While none of the costumes in this picture are the most exciting thing in the world, that doesn’t really matter, these kids probably had the time of their lives - or at the very least they got so sugar high that it didn’t matter what their costumes were.
Boys goofing around on the playground
Was there any better time to be a boy than the 1960s? There were amazing comic books, movies, and models to play with. Boys roamed the streets of the suburbs on their bikes with cards in their spokes and traded inside jokes, the summer days felt like they lasted forever, and school was just another place to horse around. Who knows what these goofs are doing, probably something that they don’t even remember. While we may not know these boys, we all now boys like them - a little daft, a lot of fun, and always having a good time.
A stylish trio hanging out in Rome
There’s something about these guys hanging out in Rome that screams “spy,” or maybe “small time gangster,” but maybe we’ve just been watching too many Truffaut movies. Across post-war Europe countries were rebuilding and trying to find their own identities, many young people who’d witnessed the horrors of war firsthand were getting into existentialism, which means wearing a lot of black and drinking a lot of black coffee. That doesn’t mean that these fine fresh fellows were discussing Sartre in this photo, maybe they just liked to look sharp no matter the occasion. Young people today can definitely take a note from these happening guys.
Two girls, one Honda
Even though we mostly think of crazy bikers and rock n rollers as the kind of people who rode motorcycles in the ‘60s, they weren’t the only people bopping around on a pair of two wheels. Even though they seem scary at first, it’s clear that this pair of twins knows the freedom of letting the road open up in front of you while the wind screams through your hair. While everyone thinks of Harleys as the motorcycles to have, Hondas from the ‘60s are some of the most aesthetically pleasing bikes that have ever hit the road. They’re not jut road ready, but they’re small and comfortable, there’s no bloat to these babies - they’re perfect for a couple of hog wild old timers.
A trio of young roller skaters enjoy some sodas and a laugh
No matter the era, every young person goes through a fascination with roller skating, but the 1960s was a particularly great decade for this past time. Not only were people innovating the art of skating, but all of this innovation created spaces for more skating to occur which means that youngsters like these had places to go and have fun while getting in some exercise. And if you're keeping tabs none of these skates have front bumpers, so they were definitely tearing through their footwear. While skating has always come in and out of fashion, it seems like it enjoyed particular heights in the ‘60s before transitioning to the roller disco of the ’70s.