My mother often talked about people who were famous when she was young during the 1920s and ‘30s. They were mostly names that I didn’t know or care about. Now, my memories are heavily composed of trendy people from the ‘60s and ‘70s whom the young and middle-aged of today might not know or care about.
The following is necessarily a personal list that reflects my age, nationality, and interests, yet everyone on it should be known to every American of the era who kept abreast of current events. Some were so famous that a person would have needed to live in a cave to avoid them, but my goal wasn't simply to list famous people but to give preference to large forgotten people who contributed to the unique zeitgeist of the era.
Give yourself two points (100 being a perfect score) for each person about whom you can name at least one thing that they were famous for. It might be a catch-phrase, or something they did, or something that was done to them, but try to be specific. Hint: two people were famous under more than one name, and several were famous before and/or after the era.
Leo Buscaglia, Angela Davis, Patty Hearst, Tiny Tim, Lenny Bruce, Steve Allen, Gloria Steinem, Madalyn Murray O’Hair, Alan Watts, Benjamin Spock, Rod McKuen, Alan Ginsberg, Sharon Tate, Wavy Gravy, Marabel Morgan, Sam Sheppard, Larry Flynt, Martha Mitchell, Sidney Poitier, Ross Barnett, Dick Martin, Huey P. Newton, Rachel Carson, David Brinkley, Betty Friedan, Abbie Hoffman, David Crosby, Art Linkletter, Cassius Clay, Jimmy Hoffa, Charles Whitman, Joseph Fletcher, Walter Lantz, Sirhan Sirhan, Richard Alpert, James Pike, Robert Crumb, Ed Sullivan, Tom Smothers, Flip Wilson, Truman Capote, Eugene McCarthy, Dick Gregory, Billie Jean King, Linus Pauling, Jane Fonda, Anton LaVey, Milton Friedman, Tommy Chong, Daniel Ellsberg, and for extra credit, Euell Gibbons and Julian Bond.
Larry Flynt photo © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com