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Seattle City Council concludes on January 31, 1968, that legal means don't exist to curb hippies.

HistoryLink.org Essay 1363 : Printer-Friendly Format

On January 31, 1968, a Seattle City Council meeting concludes that legal means do not exist to curb hippies in the University District.

The problem came to the attention of the City Council's Public Safety Committee when Mildred Johnson of 1404 NE 42nd Street asked for support against the "long-haired, dirty necked men" who were loitering in front of her apartment building and disrupting residents. She complained: "our neighborhood is becoming just like skid road" (Seattle P-I).

Councilman Floyd Miller asked the Chief of Police, Frank Ramon, whether the Council could do anything to control the problem, such as passing an ordinance. Ramon explained to the Council, and to the public, the difficulty in patrolling the area at all times, as well as the fact that loitering hippies always become model citizens as soon as a police car is spotted. "Simply stated," he said, "we can't arrest a person just for standing on the sidewalk" (Seattle P-I).

In lieu of City Council action, the Chief suggested that local merchants help to limit the disorderly conduct in the area by closing down some of the establishments in which the hippies congregate.

Sources:
Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle, (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 251; Mike Conant, "Hippies Can't be Curbed," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, February 1, 1968, p. 6.


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Police arrest a "street person" on the Ave, University District, Seattle, 1969
Photo by Alan Lande, Courtesy Helix


 
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