Peace Sign

The Sixties at Fifty

Turbulence and Transformation,
The San Ramon Valley in the 1960's
January 26 - June 2, 2019
Peace Sign

The 1960’s brought us the war in Vietnam. It also brought us JFK, LBJ, landing on the moon and much more. Issues such as civil rights, the environment, worker’s rights and women's rights were beginning to move to the forefront of American’s minds.  The San Ramon Valley was not immune to these changes.  See how these and other events effected the Valley.

This once quiet idyllic farming community saw its population grow from 12,702 in 1960 to 28,090 in 1970. The Meese Ranch which we now know as Greenbrook became the first Planned Unit Development or PUD.  This growth impacted schools in the valley. It drove the creation of the San Ramon Valley Unified School district, a tumultuous undertaking for the valley. John Baldwin School would open during this period. The transformation from farming to suburbia was well underway.

Transportation was changing as old Highway 21 was to be replaced in 1966 with 680, a new freeway connecting the valley with the greater bay area.  The San Ramon Valley would never be the same.

Landing on the Moon, bell bottoms, leisure suits, The Summer of Love, and much much more are all part of the The Sixties at Fifty.

Come and learn about these and many other events that helped shape what the San Ramon Valley is today. There will be special evening and 4th Saturday programs.

Articles

"Happiness is a Freeway to the San Ramon Valley"

This headline appeared in the Contra Costa Times in December 1964: “Happiness Is a Freeway to the San Ramon Valley.” Reporter Donald Brand wrote, “it’s a time for great joy and jubilation (because) one of the Bay Area’s worst continuing traffic jams is over.” The new freeway from Walnut Creek to Danville had just opened.

To read more, click here.

Danville680-425-300x152
Double "D" Days

On Sept. 24, 1966, “Double D Days” celebrated the freeway linkage between Danville and Dublin. Historian Wilson Close headed the DD Freeway Celebration, which included an antique car parade with pioneer descendants Matilda Hartz Elliott, Friederiche Jackson and Leo Norris in the first car. Other dignitaries included Congressman Jerry Waldie, State Sen. George Miller and County Supervisor James Moriarity.

To read more, click here.

Brass Door Before the Freeway
Brass Door Before the Freeway
Prospective New Cities in the San Ramon Valley
Were on the ballot in 1964 and 1967

It was no coincidence that the first serious efforts at cityhood in the South County occurred in the fifties.  The population of the Valley tripled between 1950 and 1960 (4,630 to 12,702) and brought new people ready to change the status quo. To read more, click here.

 

Alamo-Danville Proposed Boundary, 1964
Alamo-Danville Proposed Boundary, 1964
Schools in Tumult During the 1960s

America’s turbulent 1960s were reflected in the San Ramon Valley as well, especially in events and challenges surrounding schools. The Valley’s population doubled during that decade and young families needed school classrooms. To read more, click here.

Neil Armstrong School in a house 1969
Neil Armstrong School in a house 1969