The Missouri Historic Costume and Textile Collection was officially established 50 years ago in 1967. With this exhibit we examine the clothing that was worn during that complicated and often difficult year. This is an exhibit of fashion, but in 1967 fashion was intricately connected to, and often directly symbolized, events of the time.
The exhibition is divided into sections that represent specific historic events and/or social and cultural influences of 1967. An increased number of teenagers, resulting from the post WW II baby boom, contributed to changes in music, fashion and lifestyles throughout the 1960s. Some styles, including increasingly short skirts and “Mod” fashions began a year or two earlier. The influence of space travel on fashion began in the early 1960s and continued into 1967, referenced in silhouettes, accessories and the use of plastic and vinyl materials. The fashion in this exhibit is intended to display examples of dress worn by young people, by the counter culture, and by social activists in 1967.
In January, the first “Human Be-In” was held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park and generated national attention to the emerging Haight-Ashbury scene. The name was a play on the idea of sit-ins of the civil rights movement and teach-ins, some of which were directed in protest of the Vietnam War. The events in San Francisco popularized the hippie movement and psychedelic art and music, and led to what was called the Summer of Love, the first multi-day rock concert – the Monterey Pop Festival – in June. Distinctive dress styles set the San Francisco counterculture apart from mainstream America, and included leatherwork, tie-dye, crochet and denim. The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band was also released in the summer of 1967. As a band, their tremendous cultural influence could now be seen through their interest in Indian music and dress, including the Nehru jacket.
Social and cultural activism also marked the year. In July 1967, rebellions broke out in predominantly African American communities in Detroit and Newark. Although the Black Pride movement began in 1966, these rebellions reshaped both Newark and Detroit, and marked an early point for an era of African-American political empowerment. Soon, African American students began to celebrate African American culture boldly, visually and publicly. Some of this was expressed in dress, through expressions of pride in African heritage, including the Afro hairstyle. One garment initially embraced by the black pride movement was the dashiki. Its popularity then crossed over to the white counterculture movement. Another civil rights related event was the June 1967 landmark civil rights case Loving v. Virginia, in which the United States Supreme Court invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.
The Vietnam War is one of the most controversial conflicts in United States military history. The U.S. continued to escalate its military presence in Vietnam throughout 1967, and by the end of the year there were nearly 500,000 American combat troops stationed there. Television brought the war into people’s living rooms with daily reports of casualties. Small demonstrations against the war began in 1965, mostly on college campuses. On October 21, 1967, one of the largest anti-war demonstrations took place when 100,000 protesters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. The same year, the anti-war movement gained support when civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. went public with his opposition to the war. He condemned both the diversion of federal funds from domestic programs and the disproportionate number of African-American casualties in the war.
These and other events of the year are included in the timeline below. Click on small garment images to view additional information.
The Doors Release Their Debut Album
Featured on The Doors debut album, the seminal rock classic Light My Fire reaches #1 on U.S. music charts on August 5th, Listen to the full length album track synchronized to The Doors’ September 17th live television performance on the Ed Sullivan Show, along with additional footage from a music video of the song.
Golden Gate Park Be-In, Polo Fields, San Francisco
A prelude to San Francisco’s Summer of Love, the Human Be-In at Golden Gate Park draws 20,000-30,000 people. The Be-In focuses on the key ideas of the 1960s counterculture: personal empowerment, cultural and political decentralization, communal living, ecological awareness and a higher consciousness. Artist Michael Bowen coined the phrase “be-in” by playfully combining humanist values with the scores of sit-ins that had been reforming colleges and university practices starting in the early 1960s. Speakers include Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Timothy Lear and others while the Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Jefferson Airplane play to the crowd. See the full Golden Gate Park Be-In program. The Human Be-In will be a preview of what is to come at gatherings later that summer.
Amazon acquires AudibleYSL Premieres an African Collection for Spring/Summer 1967
French designer Yves Saint Laurent introduces an African collection inspired by ethnic motifs and becomes one of the first couture designers to feature African and Asian runway models. Similar ethnic motifs appear in mainstream and counterculture dress of the period.
A logical continuation of his African collection of 1967, Saint Laurent will introduce his groundbreaking safari jacket in 1968. More like a tunic than a jacket, variations include trench coats, dresses, jumpsuits and lacing, this garment is worn by both men and women.
SPACE RACE: Treaty on Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, Including the Moon and other Celestial Bodies
Signed by the United States, the United Kingdom and the Russian Federation, the Outer Space Treaty provides the basic framework on international space law. View the document in its entirety as provided by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs.
The space race of the 1960s encourages a crop of young designers with an appreciation for everything outer space. Designers such as André Courréges, Paco Rabanne, and Pierre Cardin design garments that revolve around the idea of exploration – of pushing boundaries further than ever through materials and silhouettes. Metallic fabrics, helmets, visors, jumpsuits and body armor (chainmail) are all employed as part of the modern, or “mod” aesthetic. Courréges creates a “Moon Girl Collection” using vinyl miniskirts, helmets, and a new mid-calf length style of shiny white boot which will become known as the go-go boot. Disposable cellulose is used to create paper dresses, a short-lived fashion novelty of the decade.
“The clothes that I prefer are those I invent for a life that doesn’t exist yet – the world of tomorrow.” – Pierre Cardin, 1965
Op and Pop Fashions (1960s)
Within the 1960s aesthetic exist two art movements reflected in fashions of the period. Optical art is an abstract art form using optical illusions. “Op Art,” coined by TIME Magazine in 1964, uses minimal abstract shapes and colors, often black and white, manipulated to give the viewer the impression of movement, hidden images, flashing and vibrating patterns, or distention and warping. Black, white and other contrasting areas of color feature prominently in styles of the 1960s.
Popular art, or “Pop” art is revitalized from the 1950s as an artistic reaction to abstract art and design, with often satirical and ironic use of images from popular culture such as comic strips, magazine advertisements, and supermarket products in art such as Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup paintings. Some designers take inspiration from sources of contemporary art and graphics like Yves Saint Laurent’s use of artist Mondrian’s color block painting. The simple shift dress lends itself perfectly as a canvas on which to display these and other bold, two-dimensional artworks. This popular style appeals to the burgeoning youth fashion market.
The Rolling Stones Release “Between the Buttons”
The Rolling Stones release Between the Lines which contains the songs Ruby Tuesday and Let’s Spend the Night Together, both of which become number-one hits in the U.S.
Period images of the band depict members in a variety of historic, military, Indian and Afghan styles of dress, all fashion elements of the dandy, a men’s look which first appeared on London’s King’s Road and Carnaby Street. Intellectual bohemians combined elements of yesteryear with androgynous styles made famous by rock stars looking to push the boundaries of what was deemed gender acceptable and would become known as the “Peacock Revolution.” See the Rolling Stones in dandy fashions during a live performance of Ruby Tuesday.
Buffalo Springfield Releases “For What It’s Worth”
The American rock band Buffalo Springfield released an album with the single For What It’s Worth, a song that became an anthem of later protests. See Beatles-style mop top hair cuts, mutton chops, and Western fashions in Buffalo Springfield’s live 1967 performance. As part of the civil rights and counter culture movements of the late 1960s, Native American dress elements are frequently appropriated in the forms of fringed leather jackets and vests, beaded shirts and jewelry. Musical artist Cher wears stylized versions reflecting her Native American ancestry. With the passage of the Indian Civil Rights Act in 1968, American Indians will be guaranteed – at least on paper – more civil rights. The American Indian Movement (AIM) also forms during the late 1960s which will become one of the primary advocacy organizations for American Indian rights during the 1970s.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Delivers His “Beyond Vietnam” Speech at Riverside Church, New York City
For the first time Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. publically speaks against the Vietnam War in his “Beyond Vietnam-Time to Break Silence” speech at the Riverside Church. The civil rights leader protests the moral and economic costs of the war in Vietnam, particularly President Lyndon Johnson’s proposal to significantly increase the nation’s military budget by slashing programs for the poor. The speech draws over 3,000 people to Riverside and captures the nation’s attention. Eleven days after this speech, King will march with Dr. Benjamin Spock and others at a major peace demonstration in Central Park, New York before marching to the United Nations where speeches are given by several leaders including King.
Kathrine V. Switzer Runs the Boston Marathon
Kathrine Switzer enters the Boston Marathon using her initials K.V. so officials are unaware of her gender thus making her the first woman to officially enter the all-male traditional race. Despite increasing activism for the women’s movement, the Amateur Athletic Association did not sanction female participation in long distance running. Race official Jock Semple enters the field in an attempt to pull Switzer out of the competition, grabbing for her bib and yelling: “Get the hell out of my race…!” Other male runners attempt to protect her. Women will officially be allowed to run the Boston Marathon in 1972. Read The Girl Who Started it All to learn more about this moment that changed a sport.
Muhammad Ali Refuses Military Service
Refusing to be inducted into the armed forces as part of the nation’s draft, heavyweight world boxing champion Muhammad Ali will be convicted of a felony for refusal to be drafted and stripped of his boxing license and World Boxing Assn. title. Prior to his announcement, Ali states, “If I go into Vietnam… if I thought that would benefit the 19 million blacks in this country, I’d go and you wouldn’t even have to tell me. But it’s not my war, and it’s against my religion to go to war, so I ain’t going…” – Jerry Izenberg, Newark Star-Ledger. Other top African American athletes including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Lew Alcindor), Walter Beach, Bobby Mitchell, Sid Williams, Willie Davis and John Wooten support Ali’s refusal to fight. American baseball legend Jackie Robinson wrote to President Lyndon Johnson on April 18th to “encourage a firmer stand as… the gap between black and white Americans gets wider.” Read his letter to the President in its entirety.
Armed Black Panther Party Members Invade Sacramento State Capitol, California
Two dozen armed members of the Black Panther Party (BPP) enter the state capital building in protest of a bill introduced by legislator Don Mulford that would repeal the law permitting citizens to carry loaded weapons in public places so long as the weapons were openly displayed. BPP leaders adopt a uniform of blue shirt, black pants, black leather jacket and black beret.
For six months an alliance exists between the Black Panther Party and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). By 1967, the SNCC begins focusing on black power and protesting against the Vietnam War. Fifth chairman of the SNCC, H. Rap Brown, is noted for his proclamation “violence is as American as cherry pie.” Pictured opposite are members of the Black Panthers and Brown Berets, a Mexican American civil rights group, standing outside the Alameda County Courthouse, California, in 1968. Learn more about the Brown Berets in the month of June.
The Jimi Hendrix Experience Releases Their Debut Album “Are You Experienced?”
After a trip to ‘swinging’ London in 1966, Jimi Hendrix returns to the U.S. in August of that year wearing technicolor military jackets, pink feather boas, ruffled satin shirts, fringed scarves, and traditional dress from India, Morocco and China. The band releases their debut album Are You Experienced on May 12. Groundbreaking on multiple levels, the album introduces the world to Hendrix who will become a legend in the history of rock music.
Scott McKenzie Releases San Francisco
Hippies organize outdoor music festivals across the United States as a way to both embrace an alternative lifestyle and protest against war and oppression. Music and fashions worn by artists serve as an integral part of the counterculture movement. Created to promote the Monterey International Pop Music Festival, San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) is considered an unofficial anthem of the counterculture movement of the 1960s. Listen as Scott McKenzie performs San Francisco at the Monterey Pop Music Festival in Monterey, California, in June of 1967.
The Beatles Release Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Nicknamed “the soundtrack of the Summer of Love,” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band includes Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds and With a Little Help From My Friends. The album will spend 15 weeks at number one in the U.S. and is lauded by the vast majority of critics for providing a musical representation of its generation for innovations in music production. Watch the Beatles’ June 25th debut of All You Need is Love on Our World, the world’s first live, international, satellite television production viewed by over 400 million people world wide. The event will be recalled by Ringo Starr in the future John Lennon Anthology, “… and it was for love. It was for love and bloody peace. I even get excited now when I realize that’s what it was for: peace and love, people putting flowers in guns.” Image from the beatles.com.
For this album, Beatles members are influenced by travels to India and Kenya as seen in their new look which signals a change fueled by counterculture ideals and eastern spirituality. Their new signature style reflects fashions that are popular with the dandy set –a mix of Edwardian, Regency, ethnic, military and psychedelic styles, along with long, shag haircuts, mustaches and mutton chop side burns.
Summer of Love (June 1 – July 31)
“A new concept of celebrations beneath the human underground must emerge, become conscious, and be shared, so a revolution can be formed with a renaissance of compassion, awareness, and love, and the revelation of unity for all mankind.”
This announcement was made in Haight-Ashbury’s hippie newspaper the San Francisco Oracle in the spring of 1967 as young people from all over America, mostly high school and college students, flocked to the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood in San Francisco, California. Music festivals, poetry readings, speeches, and theatre helped spread a counter-culture message of anti-war and anti-oppression. Other summer events in California, such as the Fantasy Fair, Magic Mountain Music Festival and Monterey Pop Music Festival helped form the 1967 “Summer of Love.” Pictured opposite is the band Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis Joplin after their successful performances at the Monterey Pop Music Festival in June 1967. Members help define the look expected of would-be hippies, bohemians and flower children heading to San Francisco to participate in the Summer of Love: long hair and clothing that is both hand-made and multi-cultural.
Summer of Social Activism (June 1 – July 1)
Over the summer months of 1967, 159 race riots erupt across the United States, including Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Cincinnati, Detroit, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Newark, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. The size and scope of the civil disobedience shakes the nation. Detroit’s 12th Street Riot in July is was one of the deadliest and most costly riots in U.S. history; see photographer Lee Balterman’s TIME photographs of the riots. Learn more about the Newark race riots in a July 2017 New York Times article by Arica Coleman. Many African Americans express solidarity through the use of traditional African forms of dress including Nigerian dashikis and embroidered skull caps.
Tierra Amarilla Courthouse Armed Raid
In a dispute over land rights regarding the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which had ended the Mexican American War, Chicano rights activist Reies Lopez Tijerina leads an armed raid on the Tierra Amarilla County Courthouse in New Mexico on June 5th, 1967.
Mexican American leaders borrow from both the African American civil rights movement and Black Power mobilizations like the Black Panthers to facilitate social change. In 1967 youth leaders dedicated to education reform and community service form the Young Chicanos for Community Action. Shortly thereafter, the group identifies as the militant organization known as the Brown Berets when founding member David Sanchez takes a page from the Black Panther Party and dons a brown beret and military style khaki jacket and pants. The group also participates with the Community Service Organization where members meet political activists and union leaders Reies Tijerina and Cesar Chavez. As a form of cultural identity and solidarity, Mexican Americans and those who identify with the civil rights movements of the period also don sarape blankets in the forms of wraps and vests.
Loving v Virginia Supreme Court Decision
Under Virginia’s 300-year-old anti-miscegenation laws, any marriage between white and non-white persons was automatically void –including from states from where interracial marriage was legal. Marrying in Washington, D.C. in June 1958, Richard and Mildred Loving return to their home in Central Point, Virginia where they were charged with unlawful cohabitation and jailed.
Inspired by the civil rights movement, Mildred Loving wrote to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy for help and was referred to the ACLU, which represented them in the case Loving v. Virginia (1967). In a landmark civil rights decision the court ruled that state bans on interracial marriage were unconstitutional.
Colonel Ruby Stauber Serves in Vietnam
This cotton non-issue military uniform belonged to Colonel Ruby Rose Stauber who, in her 31 years of military service, commanded a WAC unit in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, and was one of the first women to be Editor-in-Chief of the Military Review, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College’s professional journal. Assigned overseas in Vietnam in 1966-67 Colonel Stauber serves in the Office of Information at the Headquarters of the U.S. Military Assistance Command at a time when few women are being sent to Vietnam unless as volunteers. After her return from Vietnam in 1968, Colonel Stauber will earn a Masters degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri.
Musical group The Jackson 5 Wins the Apollo Theatre Amateur Talent Competition, Harlem, New York City
In July 1967 the Jackson 5 record the song “Big Boy” for One-derful! Records. At 8 years of age, Michael Jackson sings all lead vocals. Hear the never-before released recording in a 2014 post by Damien Shields. The group goes on to win the Apollo Theatre Talent Competition in August.
A legendary musical venue known as the center of African American artistry, the Apollo showcases musical acts which help break down barriers between musical styles, and also between groups of people separated by the social norms of the times.
Thurgood Marshall is Confirmed as First African American Justice of US Supreme Court
Denied admission to the University of Maryland Law School because he was African American, Thurgood Marshall completed his law degree at Howard University and went on to have a distinguished career as a civil rights attorney. He successfully argued the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, dismantling the “separate but equal” statute supporting racial segregation in public institutions. In 1967 he becomes the first African American Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
“I wish I could say that racism and prejudice were only distant memories. We must dissent from the indifference. We must dissent from the apathy. We must dissent from the fear, the hatred, the mistrust… We must dissent because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better.” Thurgood Marshall, 1990
Operation Swift Begins in South Vietnam
Over a period of five days, 114 Americans are killed as the United States Marines 5th Regiment engage the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong in the Que Son Valley of South Vietnam. The U.S. continues to escalate its military presence in Vietnam throughout 1967 and by the end of the year there are nearly 500,000 American combat troops stationed there. Television brought the war into people’s living rooms with daily reports of casualties. Small demonstrations against the war began in 1965, mostly on college campuses. Pictured above are riflemen from the Charlie Company of the 1st Battalion, 36th Infantry Brigade training at Grafenwoehr Training area in 1967 as part of Exercise REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany.) The Vietnam War will become one of the most controversial conflicts in United States military history.
Walter Edward Washington Appointed First and Only Mayor-Commissioner of Washington, D.C.
African American Walter Edward Washington began with a career in public housing in Washington, D.C. and New York City before being appointed Mayor-Commissioner of Washington, D.C. by President Lyndon Johnson. He is the last mayor of Washington to be appointed by the President.
Gladys Knight and the Pips Release “I Heard It Through the Grapevine”
Motown music was a force of both social and cultural change during the 1960s. Aretha Franklin has multiple number one hits this year, including Respect. Other number one hits of the year include Soul Man by Sam and Dave and I Heard It Through the Grapevine by Gladys Knight & the Pips.
Washington, D.C. War Protest
An estimated 50,000 to 100,000 people arrive in Washington on October 20th to protest the Vietnam War. Organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, protestors gather the next morning near the Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool on the National Mall. Some continue their march on the 21st to the Pentagon, where they are met with resistance from U.S. Deputy Marshals.
Carl B. Stokes Is Elected as Mayor of Cleveland, Ohio
Carl B. Stokes (1927-1996) becomes the first African American mayor of a major U.S. city when he defeats Seth Taft, grandson of former President William H. Taft in one of the most dramatic mayoral races in Cleveland history. Remembered for his vision and motivation, Mayor Stokes will initiate Cleveland: Now!, a public and private funding program aimed at revitalizing Cleveland neighborhoods. He will be reelected in 1969. Watch the 1967 victory speech provided by Huntley Film Archives.
NASA Launches Saturn V Rocket
Testing the entire Manned Space Flight Network System, the three-stage Saturn V rocket carries a payload of an Apollo Command and Service Module (CSM) into Earth orbit. The mission was designed to test all aspects of the Saturn V launch vehicle and also returned pictures of Earth. The unmanned Appolo4 also transmitted in the groundbreaking Unified S-band (USB) which enabled command, telemetry, voice and television to be transmitted and received on a single link. Learn more about the Apollo program and history of NASA during the 1960s. Read how preservationists today seek to guard artifacts from this first space race as exploration by private lunar companies looms nearer.
The period’s space race results in numerous television series and films which help popularize modern, futuristic styles of dress for both men and women. Bright, bold color combinations are used and women’s styles often reflect the fashionable dropped waistline of the period.
The Beatles Release Magical Mystery Tour Album in US
Featuring the soundtrack to the film of the same name, Magical Mystery Tour becomes a number one Grammy-nominated album in the U.S. in 1968. Writing in Saturday Review, Mike Jahn hails the album as the band’s best album yet and describes it as “distinguished by its description of the Beatles’ acquired Hindu philosophy and its subsequent application to everyday life.” The influence of Hindu philosophy is evident in the band’s frequent use of collarless Indian kurdta shirts, caftans and sandals. Also evident in their dress are the year’s popular bright colors and paisley and floral prints, as well as a variety of African influences. Watch the Beatles video for Strawberry Fields Forever.
Fashion Designer Rudy Gernreich and Model Peggy Moffitt Appear on the Cover of TIME Magazine
After a trip to swinging London in early 1967, photographer William Claxton and his wife, model Peggy Moffitt, create an award-winning film using the fashion designs from avant-garde designer Rudy Gernreich’s fall collection. Often considered to be the first fashion video, the film features Peggy Moffitt and others styling Gernreich’s futuristic designs utilizing plastics, geometric shapes and bold colors. Moffitt also wears the cropped “Peggy Moffitt” hairstyle created for her by hairstylist Vidal Sassoon. Watch the fashion video Basic Black. Gernreich and Moffitt appear on the cover of the December 1st issue of TIME Magazine.
As part of the colorful modern aesthetic of the period, fashion designers such as Gernreich and Emilio Pucci create a variety of bold, geometric prints in a kaleidoscope of colors. Known as the “Prince of Prints,” Pucci is renowned for his pioneering use of signature psychedelic patterns and for pushing the boundaries of fabric technology.
The Rolling Stones Release “Their Satanic Majesties Request” Album
The Rolling Stones’ first self-produced album, Their Satanic Majesties Request, includes the song “She’s a Rainbow” which reaches No. 2 in the U.S. The band experiments with a psychedelic sound, incorporating unconventional instruments such as the Mellotron and theremin, as well as African rhythms and sound effects like short wave radio static. Band members appear frequently in historic and ethnic dress elements like the Filipino barong, an embroidered formal shirt often made of piña cloth hand-loomed from pineapple leaf fibers.
Perry Wallace Becomes First African American to Play Basketball in Southeastern Conference (SEC) (December 2)
Perry Wallace becomes the first African-American varsity athlete to play basketball under an athletic scholarship in the Southeastern Conference as a member of the Vanderbilt University Commodores basketball team. Wallace also becomes the first African American athlete to complete four years at an SEC school, graduating with a degree in Engineering in 1970. Learn more about Wallace’s 2015 biography Strong Inside: Perry Wallace and the Collision of race and Sports in the South by Andrew Maraniss.
University of Missouri Men’s Basketball Competes in Big 8 Holiday Tournament
Pictured above are the starting five players for the 1967 University of Missouri basketball team as part of the Big 8 Conference. As shown in this image, the MU athletes are wearing Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes. In 1923 American basketball player Charles “Chuck Taylor” joined a basketball team sponsored by the Converse Company called The Converse All Stars. Taylor sold the All Star cotton, non-skid shoes at high school basketball clinics across the country. The shoe’s enhanced flexibility and support quickly make it popular with both professional and aspiring athletes.