Yippie General

The Youth International Party was founded in 1967 by Abbie and Anita Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, Nancy Kurshan and Paul Krassner and included many other activists. Part of the social activist scene of the 1960s, the Yippies incorporated theatrical elements into their protests and represented a more radical youth-oriented movement. One of their most famous political pranks happened in August of 1967 when Hoffman and Krassner gained access to the New York Stock Exchange and threw hundreds of $1 bills from the visitors balcony onto the floor. Consequently, the Stock Exchange shut down and a glass barrier was installed in the visitors gallery. Perhaps even more famous was the arrest and subsequent trial of Yippie leaders Hoffman and Rubin following the 1968 Democratic National Convention when Chicago police raided the Yippie "Festival of Life." This project will chronicle "pranks" and Yippie demonstrations throughout New York City from 1967 through the Chicago trial in 1969 and 1970. While the Yippie Party developed chapters nationwide and in other countries, this project will focus on the early work done in New York as well as chronicle the Yippie publications Yipster Times and The Realist which were both published in the city. Although somewhat disregarded by the Left for its theatrical antics, the Yippie Party and its members understood how to effectively use the media to draw attention to larger issues. Understanding that the Yippie Party is an important element in the history of youth activism during this time period, this project will highlight its early days and ideally present an accurate account of its history while maintaining some of the theatrical spirit so crucial to the party itself.

The selection for this project will come from primary documents, oral histories, as well as personal papers from former Yippie members. The project faces challenges in that Yippie information is not stored in a comprehensive collection, but is scattered in multiple 'Social Protest' collections on the East and West Coast. Due to this, the project may focus heavily on the Yippie publications published in New York City since they are most readily available.

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