Logo Click BACK to return to Basecamp
Lost Teachers
Search Info
White beveled edge

Meet Stephen

Stephen Archive



Listen to the Revolution


Sure, the documentary footage of Woodstock is the closest Stephen can come to actually being there, but shouldn't he be out trekking?
In August 1969, in Bethel, New York over 450,000 young Americans set up camp for three days on the green fields of Max Yasgur's farm. Residents of Bethel sat on street corners and watched the endless line of cars enter into their sleepy little town. "How many more will come?" and "Will they really pull it off?" were some of the questions town residents asked themselves.

Young people from all over were converging on Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York to celebrate '3 Days of Peace and Music' at the Woodstock Music Festival. Hundreds of famous musicians played on stage as event-goers camped out, shared food, and lived peacefully. For three days, they braved the rain, played in the mud, and skinny-dipped. All the while, something powerful was beginning.

From the Woodstock stage came the sounds and rhythms of change
Music has always been an important form of communication. It has the power to change people's ideas. Michael Lang knew he was capturing the energy the moment he organized the three day festival that is remembered today as Woodstock. He understood something new was going on, All across America there were important things happening.. There was the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights movement, and the possibility of nuclear war. These things were often mentioned in singers songs. Lang was able to help these musicians reach a larger audience with their message. This message had never been heard before by such a large group.

At Woodstock people created a space for themselves to express their ideas of peace, love, and unity. For a period of three days, it was as if they had created a nation of people and music. So many people came to Wookstock, it took everyone by surprise. Unexpected crowds of people overwhelmed gas stations and food supplies. Traffic jams were backed up for as far as 12 miles outside of Bethel and actually forced the New York State Thruway to be shut down. By the second day of the festival, Max Yasgur's farm was declared a disaster area and emergency supplies had to be flown in.

By its second day, the greatest love fest in US history was declared a disaster area
Despite the overwhelming crowds, the rain, and the lack of food, Woodstock goers held onto their ideals of peace, community, and unity. They were listening to the messages of their music. By being such a large group, they were taken seriously. Soon people had to hear what they were saying, and this helped change the direction of the country. Their unity had helped them be recognized. At the time they may not have understood the impact of the events taking place. They were just helping to change the world and having fun doing it.


Please email me at: stephen@ustrek.org


Links to Other Dispatches

Neda - Pulling a refrigerator full of cheese from a cow!