On this day 50 years ago, the words “Summer of Love” first appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle carrying the term into the “mainstream media” in San Francisco and around the country (“Good Hippies’ Summer Plans” was the headline for the article on page 3 of the paper).
The article focused on a press conference held the previous day by a group of young people calling themselves the “Council for the Summer of Love” to help plan for the thousands of young people that were arriving in San Francisco each day during the spring of 1967. The image above is from the press release (the first time the words Summer of Love had appeared in print) announcing the event. It noted:
The Haight Ashbury Community Invites You to a Press Conference to present the unified positive forces actively involved in the community.
The Council was led by The Family Dog, The Straight Theatre, The Diggers, The San Francisco Oracle and about twenty-five individuals. The council was created, in part, because thousands of young people were flooding into San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and city officials were of little assistance. Thus, it was up the young people themselves to address the influx of people, organizing shelter, food, and health care for the city’s new residents.
As a 30th anniversary celebration noted, “We may not have accomplished all that we set out to do, but the situation would have been much worse without us. We sowed the seeds of a compassionate idealism which still lives in the hearts of many of our own and subsequent generations.”
The Summer of Love was officially on…and it had a name.