Woodstock generation looks back, from varied vantage points

In this Aug. 17, 1969 file photo, workers carry medical supplies that arrived by helicopter on the grounds of the Woodstock Music and Art Festival in Bethel, N.Y. Helicopters were pressed into service when some 300,000 person attending the festival blocked all roads. Despite scores of drug arrests, thousands of medical problems and two deaths, one from a heroin overdose and another when a teen was run over, there were no reports of violence. (AP File Photo)

It was the weekend that shaped the image of a "Woodstock Generation," and that image would echo, appeal and provoke for generations to come

NEW YORK — It was the weekend that shaped the image of a "Woodstock Generation." And that image would echo, appeal and provoke for generations to come.

To many who went or wished they did, the pivotal festival of "peace and music" 50 years ago remains an inspiring moment of counterculture community and youthful freethinking.

Some other Americans saw Woodstock as an outrageous display of indulgence and insouciance in a time of war. And some didn't look to Woodstock to celebrate their own sense of music and identity.

University of Kansas American history professor David Farber notes "there was no one baby boomer generation," and no one approach to what Woodstock meant.

But he says it became an "aspirational vision of what countercultural youth thought they could achieve" in the U.S.


Associated Press writer Michael Hill contributed from Albany, New York.

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