Project Firebird

Flashback to 1969

What was life like in 1969?

What made that year special?


Cost of Living





A gallon of gasoline cost



A loaf of bread cost



A gallon milk cost



A dozen eggs cost



A pound of sugar cost



Postage stamp (per ounce)



A new car cost approximately



A new house cost approximately



The Dow Jones Average on Dec 31



Minimum wage

$1.60 per hour

$5.15 per hour

Average annual income (per person)



Population of the United States







The War in Vietnam

Richard Nixon is inaugurated president of the United States (January 20) and announces the beginning of troop withdrawal from Vietnam (July 8). He bans the use of chemical and biological weapons.

Boris Karloff dies. (February 2)

Yasser Arafat becomes President of the PLO. (February 7)

Last edition of the Saturday Evening Post. (February 8)

The maiden flights of the Boeing 747 (February 9).

In France the world's fastest commercial airplane, the Concord, made its maiden voyage. (March 2)

James Earl Ray pleads guilty to killing Martin Luther King, Jr. (March 10)

Paul McCartney (Beatles) marries Linda Eastman in London. (March 12)

Golda Meir becomes Israeli Prime Minister. (March 17)

Chicago 8 indicted on March 19. Trial begins on September 24.

Dwight Eisenhower (34th President of the US) dies. (March 28)

Midnight Cowboy wins the Best Picture Oscar, the first and only time an X-rated movie received the honor. (March)

Sirhan Sirhan convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy. (April 17)

French President Charles de Gaulle resigns from office (April 28) after his proposal for regional reform is rejected by voters. He dies the next year. President Georges Pompidou continues de Gaulle's policies but ends French opposition to Britain's presence in the Common Market.

The Queen Elizabeth II's maiden voyage. (May 2)

Construction begins on Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. (May 27)

Tobacco advertising banned on Canadian radio and television. (June 1)

Judy Garland died on June 22

The Stonewall riot in New York City marked the beginning of the gay rights movement. (June 27-28)

Prince Charles of Great Britain becomes Prince of Wales. (July 1)

Senator Edward Kennedy accidentally drove his car off a bridge in Chappaquiddick, NY. His passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne, drowned in the mishap, and Kennedy's political future was clouded with controversy. (July 18)

Neil Armstrong Lands on the Moon. Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin piloted their lunar module, Eagle, to land on the moon. The world watched in awe as Armstrong left the craft and took "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." (July 20)

The Manson Murders shocked the nation in the Summer of '69. (August 9)

Woodstock Music Festival reigns for four days in August in the Catskill Mountains. More than half a million people gather in the small, upstate New York town of Bethel (near Woodstock, N.Y.). It is four days of rain, sex and rock 'n' roll. Recreational drugs are quite widespread. Performers include Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joan Baez, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jefferson Airplane and Sly and the Family Stone. (August 15-18)

Rocky Marciano (boxer) dies. (August 31)

Arpanet, the birth of the internet, connected the first universities in the United States. Researchers at four US campuses created the first hosts of the ARPANET, connecting Stanford Research Institute, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah. (First connection on September 2)

Ho Chi Minh (North Vietnamese president) dies. (September 3)

Somali president Abdi Rashid Ali Shermarke is assassinated (October 15) and the government is seized by General Muhammad Siad Barre, who dissolves the legislature and establishes himself as a dictator.

Jack Kerouac (author) dies. (October 21)

Supreme Court orders end to all school desegregation "at once". (October 29)

Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) begin between the United States and the U.S.S.R., as President Nixon tries to control the nuclear arms race and promote a policy of détente. (November)

Sesame Street, created by the Children's Television Workshop, debuts on public television and begins to change attitudes about children's learning capabilities. (November 10)

Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. (father of JFK) dies. (November 18)

A Rolling Stones fan is killed at the group's Altamont California concert by members of Hell's Angels. Three others died at the Altamont concert. Two people were run over in their sleeping bags as they lay sleeping. One unidentified person drowned. (December 6)

Tiny Tim marries Miss Vicky on The Tonight Show. (December 17)

Great Britain abolishes the death penalty. (December 18)






"And When I Die," Blood, Sweat & Tears
"Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In," The Fifth Dimension
"Bad Moon Rising," Creedence Clearwater Revival
"Blowin' in the Wind," Bob Dylan
"The Boxer," Simon & Garfunkel
"Bridge Over Troubled Waters," Simon and Garfunkle
"Come Together," The Beatles
"Crimson and Clover," Tommy James And the Shondels
"Dark Star," Grateful Dead
"Day is Done," Peter, Paul & Mary
"Dizzy," Tommy Roe
"Don't Cry Daddy," Elvis Presley
"Don't Let Me Down," The Beatles
"Down On The Corner," Creedence Clearwater Revival
"Easy to Be Hard," Three Dog Night
"Everyday People," Sly and the Family Stone
"Get Back," The Beatles
"Get Together," The Youngbloods
"Give Peace a Chance," John Lennon & the Plastic Ono Band
"Green River," Creedence Clearwater Revival
"Heartbreaker," Led Zeppelin
"Holly Holy," Neil Diamond
"Honky Tonk Women," The Rolling Stones
"I Can't Get Next to You," The Temptations
"I Heard it Through the Grapevine," Marvin Gaye
"I Want You Back," The Jackson 5
"I'm Free," The Who
"In the Ghetto," Elvis Presley
"In the Year 2525 (Exordium & Terminus)," Zager & Evans
"Laughing," The Guess Who
"Lay Lady Lay," Bob Dylan
"Leaving on a Jet Plane," Peter, Paul & Mary
"Marrakesh Express," Crosby, Stills & Nash
"Memories," Elvis Presley
"My Way," Frank Sinatra
"One," Three Dog Night
"Pinball Wizard," The Who
"Polk Salad Annie," Tony Joe White
"Put a Little Love in Your Heart," Jackie DeShannon
"Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town," Kenny Rogers and the First Edition
"Something," The Beatles
"Son of a Preacher Man," Dusty Springfield
"Spinning Wheel," Blood, Sweat and Tears
"Stand by Your Man," Tammy Wynette
"Sugar Sugar," The Archies
"Sweet Caroline," Neil Diamond
"The Ballad of John and Yoko," The Beatles
"Theme from 'Midnight Cowboy'," Ferrante & Teicher
"These Eyes," The Guess Who
"This Girl's In Love With You," Dionne Warwick
"Touch Me," The Doors
"Try A Little Tenderness," Three Dog Night
"Undun," Guess Who
"Whipping Post," The Allman Brothers Band
"Whole Lotta Love," Led Zeppelin
"Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yesterday," Stevie Wonder
"You've Made Me So Very Happy," Blood Sweat and Tears
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," Dionne Warwick




True Grit

John Wayne, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper

1969 Academy Award - Best Actor

John Wayne



Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katherine Ross

1969 Academy Awards

(1) Story and Screenplay on material not previously published or produced; (2) Cinematography; (3) Song ("Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head"); (4) Original Score for a Motion Picture

Midnight Cowboy

Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight

1969 Academy Awards

(1) Best Picture; (2) Director; (3) Screenplay from another medium

Hello, Dolly!

Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau

1969 Academy Award

(1) Art Direction; (2) Sound; (3) Score of a Musical


Cactus Flower

Walter Matthau, Goldie Hawn

1969 Academy Award - Actress in a Supporting Role

Goldie Hawn


Easy Rider

Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson


TV Shows


I Dream of Jeannie

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

Hogan's Heroes

Brady Bunch

Gomer Pyle U.S.M.C.

Green Acres

Star Trek

The Beverly Hillbillies

Get Smart

Mission Impossible



Flip Wilson

The Bill Cosby Show

The Dean Martin Show

Marcus Welby, M.D.




"The Godfather" by Mario Puzo

published June 1969



"Bears and Wheels" by Stan and Jan Berenstain

published September 1969



"The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship" by Arthur Ransome and Uri Shulevitz

1969 Caldecott Medal Winner



"House Made of Dawn" by N. Scott Momaday

1969 Pulitzer Prize Winner - Fiction




"The Armies Of The Night" by Norman Mailer

1969 Pulitzer Prize Winner - General Non-Fiction
1969 National Book Award - Arts and Letters




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Back to the Beginning


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©Carl Matthews 1998,2003