One great hippy contribution to America and the world, that I missed in an earlier blog about hippy contributions: mainstreaming the disability community that had previously been locked in dark back rooms.
The history is straightforward. Ed Roberts, a wonderful close friend of mine, founded the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley in the late 1960s on the energy, optimism and encouragement of the hippy movement. The Center became the Centers and by the time Jerry Brown became Governor of California in 1974 Ed was appointed Director of the Department of Rehabilitation. Ed had already started the World Institute on Disability (a client of mine) and was the world leader in every aspect of the disability movement.
Ed changed the disability budget of California from 80% for the blind/deaf to 80% for the wheelchair disabled and he did it with the support of the blind/deaf clientele. National patterns followed California.
I have written a biographical comment on Ed, and now I want to add that it was the hippy milieu that provided Ed the support, often the staff and protesters that brought disability to the front row place it has held in America since the late 1970s.