The Age of Aquarius in Chester County

Produced by Karen Smyles

The Chester County Historical Society (CCHS) inspires, informs, and builds community identity by preserving and sharing the remarkable story of Chester County and its people. As the official county history museum, history education center, and historical repository of Chester County, Pennsylvania, the Society aims to preserve and share the county’s remarkable history in powerful and relevant ways. THE SIXTIES! The Age of Aquarius in Chester County, now through August 27th, 2016, does just that.

This exciting and informative exhibition highlights local experiences of all aspects of life in the 60’s, starting with the 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision and ending in 1975 with the end of the Vietnam War. Installations include fashion, civil rights, women’s rights, music, and technology.

Friday Arts sat down with Ellen Endslow, Director of Collections to discuss how this exhibit came to be and how strong community interest propelled the exhibit forward by doing oral histories and lending just about everything you can imagine.

We talked with Susan Seel who grew up in Chester County and still lives there, who shared her excitement at being able to loan personal items to the exhibit. Susan also recounts memories of the Vietnam War and what it was like for families experiencing the lottery.

Reverend Anderson Porter, was a pastor in West Chester in 1960 and played an active role in civil rights protests, including the 1963 March on Washington. He shares what it was like living there at a time when segregation was very much a part of life.

Friday Arts also experiences the lighter aspects of life in the 60’s with a visit by Beth Lennon, also known as Mod Betty, creator of Retro Roadmap website. Betty gives us a historical perspective on a few of the more fun objects of the era.

Retro Roadmap

Produced and edited by Kelsey Styles

Retro Roadmap is a website created by Beth Lennon to document vintage places still in existence across the United States. In this video, she talks to Friday Arts intern, Kelsey Styles about how Retro Roadmap came about and what makes the 60’s aesthetic so interesting.

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