Flower Power (1967)

October 21st, 1967

What happened?

In the picture on the right, on October 21st, 1967, there is a young blonde-haired man named George Harris putting flowers (Hibiscus, a flower) in the barrel of a National Guardsman during a march to the Pentagon. Bernie Boston took this picture and knew right away it was a good one. It was during the "Flower Power" movement where hippies of the 60s searched for peace anywhere and everywhere. Hippie's also tended to be classed free-spirits, non-nonconformists, and flower children.

Why is it important?

For me, this picture says 'peace' or 'non-violence', which is what George Harris was going for when he put the flowers in the barrel. My reasoning for this is that a flower in the 60s was for the hippies to show peace. By putting the flower in the gun barrel it shows an act of non-violence. You can't shoot a bullet when there's something in the way, maybe it's easier for a flower but it still symbolizes this idea of peace.

More Flower Power

Bernie Boston won the Pulitzer Prize

What does this do for U.S. History?

In my opinion, this sheds a good light on America and humanity in general. It shows that we are non-violent and peaceful. This picture is worth 1000 words. It's indescribable and incredible. It shows how America has those few genuine people who care about everyone's well being and shows sympathy. I wish I knew George Harrison at the time to see who he really was and his thoughts while putting the flowers into the barrel.

What would I ask the photographer?

I'd want to know what he thought Mr. Harrison was thinking. I also want to know how he felt about the picture he had just taken. If he felt proud at all. And what did the National Guardsmen do with the flowers? Did they keep them in the barrel of their guns or did they take them out? I'd also want to ask George what he was thinking, like said in the previous paragraph.

Sources

The Washington Post...http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/23/AR2008012303713.html

How Stuff Works...http://people.howstuffworks.com/flower-power.htm

Camera Heritage Museum...http://cameraheritagemuseum.com/phoboston.html