In the summer of 1967 nearly 100,000 people made their way to San Francisco, converging in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood during what became known in the popular press as the “Summer of Love.” In retrospect, the events marked more a death knell than a climax, as those at the epicenter well knew. The Diggers, a local radical collective and street theater troupe, staged a funeral service on 6 October 1967 at Buena Vista Park in which participants carried and then set afire a coffin symbolizing the demise of the “hippie,” a figure they contended had been conjured by the mass media and commercialized to the point of losing any...

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