As the 1960s drew to a close, mainstream America realized that the rebellious youth counterculture was not going to go away quietly. Meeting the problem head on as the authorities had in Kent State resulted in violent deaths and even more protests. This trend broke, possibly for the first time, at McIver Park in Portland, Oregon during the first ever state-sponsored rock concert. To make the concert, called ‘Vortex One,’ possible, Governor of Oregon Tom McCall, and The Family commune joined forces to create a peaceful alternative to possible violent opposition of the American Legion National Convention. The concert, however, did much more than was intended. Politically it led to the re-election of McCall and the perpetuation of Northwest issue driven politics. Perhaps more importantly though, it provided the ideal setting for humble learning and peaceful conversations between the right and left cultural ideologies. Vortex marked the beginning of the right’s cautious acceptance – or at least tolerance – of this counterculture, and the counterculture’s gradual re-assimilation into mainstream society.
Level of Honors
Van Marter-Sanders, Kathryn J., "Peace, Politics, and Vortex: The Cultural and Political Consequences of Oregon's Only State Sponsored Rock Concert" (2012). Lawrence University Honors Projects. 17.