This looks like an interesting book which has quite a lot of information on San Francisco in the 1960s and 1970s. Check it out!
by David Talbot, UTNE Reader: http://www.utne.com
San Francisco was the cradle of the ‘60s, but also
its coffin, giving rise to Charles Manson and his Family, the bloody
Altamont rock festival, the freakish terrorism of the Symbionese
Liberation Army, the shocking Zodiac and Zebra murder sprees, the Jim
Jones cult and the biggest mass suicide in American history, the
assassinations of Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk, a
wave of anti-gay violence, fiery riots, and a terrifying sexual
Few cities have endured so many calamities in such a short
span. And yet San Francisco not only rose from this decade of wreckage,
but gave birth in the process to a set of social values that have become
the keystones of liberal America. Season of the Witch
(Free Press, 2012) by David Talbot tells the gripping story of San
Francisco history between 1967 and 1982. The following excerpt is from
the book’s introduction.
San Francisco was built on a dare. The city was tossed up
overnight on the shimmying, heaving, mischievous crust of the Pacific
rim. A gold rush city of fortune seekers, gamblers, desperadoes and the
flesh-peddling circus that caters to such men, San Francisco defied the
laws of nature.
It was a wide-open town, its thighs splayed wantonly for
every vice damned in the Bible and more than a few that were left out.
San Francisco was the Last Chance Saloon for outcasts from every corner
of the globe. If the earth didn’t swallow them first, hell soon enough
Great cities have usually been founded by wealthy burghers
and craftsmen - their spires and monuments a testament to the holiness of
the work ethic. But San Francisco high society was a devil’s dinner
party, a rogue’s crew of robber barons, saloon keepers, and shrewd
When the town’s painted ladies went to the theater, gentlemen
would rise until they were seated. By 1866, there were thirty-one
saloons for every place of worship.
After the great earthquake
struck in 1906, a wandering Pentecostal preacher who found himself among
San Francisco’s smoking ruins inevitably declared the disaster God’s
vengeance on Sodom.
In the emotional aftershocks of the catastrophe, the
Holy Roller’s hellfire preaching attracted a flock of dazed souls. But
the size of his congregation was dwarfed by the crowds that thronged the
last theater left standing in the city, where San Franciscans lustily
cheered their beloved burlesques.
San Francisco’s Barbary Coast
district - with its black-stocking bars, live sex shows, and opium
dens - rose again from the earthquake’s ashes. And well into the new
century - long before Las Vegas assured tourists that it knew how to keep
their secrets - San Francisco aggressively marketed its libertine image.
During the Prohibition era, the local board of supervisors passed
legislation forbidding San Francisco police from enforcing the dry law.
Drag queen shows were written up in the tourist guides alongside the
ferryboat rides and Fisherman’s Wharf dining spots.