New Age Dawning
August 18, 1970
1970 HFP, Volume 2 Number 16
As the long, hot summer of 1970 dragged on, the news reflected the mood of the nation. A music festival in rural Connecticut was cancelled but 30,000 fans showed up anyway. The voting age was lowered to 18. Opposition to the Vietnam war was gaining momentum nationwide. More than 270 anti-draft demonstrations had taken place in the first eight months of 1970 alone, and prosecutions for draft evasion had increased tenfold in the five years since the escalation of the war began in 1965. The messages were clear: music yes, voting yes, draft no, war no. On the third Tuesday in August, the HFP went to press to add our own message: Jesus yes.
Dale Yancy's front page cartoon, pictured at right, caricatured astrology, fortune tellers and other "new age" magic that many in 1970 were experimenting with as an escape from the ugly news of campus violence (including the still painfully recent Kent State massacre) and war. Yancy's title parodied the then-popular notion of the Age of Aquarius, calling it the Age of Applesauce.
On August 6, a contingent of "Yippies" (members of the Youth International Party, a countercultural free speech and anti-war party) invaded Disneyland, raising a Viet Cong flag on Tom Sawyer's Island and filling the then-popular Innerspace ride with marijuana smoke. What news coverage at the time did not report was that a large group of Jesus People had swarmed into Disneyland at the same time, seizing the moment to share Jesus with Yippies, Disney security, and finally even the Anaheim police. The HFP published an entire page of seven photos of young Jesus freaks boldly taking their message into the heart of the Yippie-inspired chaos at the Magic Kingdom.
Letters were finding their way to Box 1949 in Hollywood from all over. A young serviceman named Mike wrote to ask if there was a Jesus rap session or other gathering near his base in Oceanside, CA. Another young person named Will wrote to say he had stopped attending his church after the pastor preached against long hair, and asked if he was being selfish for refusing to "fit the Christian mold." One letter ended, "you people are really really beautiful to put out such a good paper, and God loves you so much."
The Wall listed free concerts, coffeehouses, teach-ins and other events up and down the West Coast and in Hawaii. One group was planning a Jesus music concert under a huge tent in the parking lot of Del Amo Mall; another group was producing a film about the Movement. A weekend Jesus club and "crash pad" for servicemen was starting in downtown Los Angeles. News was pouring in from every direction, and we tried to find space in our eight small pages to print it all.
Larry Norman's album "Upon this Rock" had been out for not quite a year, and our back page poster by Dale Yancy, also pictured at right, was based on Norman's haunting lyric that you can't hitchhike your way to Heaven. (He's right, by the way. You can't.)
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