The Times: Pop Culture in 1969

June 7th, 2019

What was on the big screen, the small screen, and in print

Midnight Cowboy
Midnight Cowboy


As the ’60s came to a close, peace, love and grooviness played out alongside the anger of protests, the anxiety of fights for rights and the angst of free love and recreational drugs. Popular culture reflected both ends of the spectrum.

“Virginia Is For Lovers” debuts

The now-historic “Virginia Is For Lovers” marketing campaign was launched in 1969 by the Virginia State Travel Service (now the Virginia Tourism Corporation) and the Martin & Woltz creative team (which became the Martin Agency).

The first ad using the slogan appeared in Modern Bride, depicting the first marriage in the Virginia colony, at Jamestown in 1608. Subsequent ads portrayed the state’s other draws: as a destination for lovers of beaches and mountains, and later for lovers of food, music, wineries, breweries, distilleries and more.

PBS is formed and Sesame Street debuts.

Popular films, from dark to light, hit the theaters.

  • Midnight Cowboy
  • Easy Rider
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Alice’s Restaurant
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • True Grit
  • Paint Your Wagon
  • Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
  • Funny Girl
  • The Love Bug
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang


Classic books debut and memorable authors continue to make their mark.The Love Machine, Jacqueline Susann


Portnoy’s Complaint, by Philip Roth

The Love Machine, by Jacqueline Susann

The Godfather, by Mario Puzo

The Poseidon Adventure, by Paul Gallico

The French Lieutenant’s Woman, by John Fowles

The Poetry of Robert Frost

The Edible Woman, by Margaret Atwood

The Lonely Man, by Louis L’Amour


What to Expect When You’re Expecting, by Heidi Murkoff

The Romantic Manifesto, by Ayn Rand

The Peter Principle, by Laurence J. Peter

On Death and Dying, by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Run Baby Run, by Nicky Cruz


The Very Hungry Caterpillar, by Eric Carle

Bears on Wheels, by Stan and Jan Berenstain

The Complete Adventures of Curious George, by Margret Rey

Richard Scarry’s Best Storybook Ever! By Richard Scarry

Best Friends for Frances, by Russell Hoban

Tree House Mystery (The Boxcar Children #14), by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Invisible Intruder (Nancy Drew #46), by Carolyn Keene

My Darling, My Hamburger, by Paul Zindel

Sounder, by William H. Armstrong

Top TV shows, feel-good entertainment – all of which we watched in real time!

  • Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In
  • Gunsmoke
  • Bonanza
  • Mayberry R.F.D
  • Family Affair
  • The Red Skelton Hour
  • Marcus Welby, M.D.
  • Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color
  • The Carol Burnett Show
  • The Mod Squad

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