Little Bits of History

Yasgur’s Farm

Posted in History by patriciahysell on August 15, 2010

Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock

August 15, 1969: Max Yasgur opens his dairy farm to be the site of “An Aquarian Exposition” billed as “3 Days of Peace and Music.” Woodstock Music and Art Festival was a three day event that attracted more than 500,000 people for what turned out to be a four day event, lasting from August 15-18.

It is called “Woodstock” because that is where the event was originally scheduled. However, local opposition caused a change of venue. Max Yasgur was generous enough to allow the use of his 600 acre diary farm. It rained during the weekend party. There was a lack of sanitary facilities since only 200,000 were expected. Attendees shared food, drinks, and drugs. There were two deaths at the event, one heroin overdose and one person run over by a tractor. There were said to be two births, but these are unconfirmed.

Many of the big stars of the day played at the event including The Who, who had an altercation on stage with Abbie Hoffman and Jimi Hendrix who entertained the crowds with an alternative version of The Star Spangled Banner, his brilliant guitar playing in evidence. The Who did not take the stage until 4 AM and as Pete Townsend, the lead vocal, started the chorus of See Me, Feel Me – the sun began to rise. The two songs are said to be some of the best of any rock concert performances ever played – even though neither artist thought so at the time.

On January 7, 1970, Max Yasgur was sued by his neighbor for damages to his property which was slightly disrupted. Yasgur’s farm was destroyed. The event planners eventually paid Yasgur $50,000 for damages. He died of a heart attack in 1971, two years after Woodstock. Rolling Stone Magazine ran a full page obituary.

“Well, I came upon a child of God / He was walking along the road / And I asked him, ‘Tell where are you going?’ / This he told me / Said, ‘I’m going down to Yasgur’s Farm, / Gonna join in a rock and roll band.'” – Joni Mitchell

“Good morning, children of the 80s. This is your Woodstock, and it’s long overdue.” – Joan Baez

“This is not the real Woodstock. They messed up. They messed up the whole name of Woodstock.” – Mike Long

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” – Jimi Hendrix

Also on this day, in 1935 Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed in a plane crash in Alaska.
Bonus Link: In 1995, Shannon Faulkner
arrived at the Citadel in Charleston, SC.

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