Archives Find of the Month, September: Complaint about hippies, 1970

Home » Archives Find of the Month, September: Complaint about hippies, 1970

hippies-clipIn September 1970, Mayor Wes Uhlman received the following letter from an anonymous writer. The original was written in all caps with copious underlining.

‘Seattle Mayor.

Dear Sir:

Seattle got so bad with hippies, I just had to get out of that city. I couldn’t take it. That Pike Place Market is a rat’s nest of hippies and Pike Street is like a Skid-Road with hippies. All the stores cater to hippies with hippie clothes in their windows. Even with hippie store clerks in some stores on 3rd Avenue. They all write their hippie friends to “come to Seattle and get on welfare. They’ll feed us in Seattle. If they don’t hire us they’ll feed us good. Bring your free loving gals, we can all live in the public market. The cops don’t bother us here, they love us.

The mayor and police are on our side, no fuss, no bother. We block the side-walks and sell our dirty papers on 3rd and Pike and 4th and Pine and all over Seattle. We have taken over the lower level of the Pike Place Market, it’s ours. Let your hair and whiskers get longer and clothes dirtier, so they won’t hire you – but they’ll feed you free on welfare.”

“Of course we’ve got to keep in good with the mayor and cops to live this life of Riley. Don’t go up to Vancouver, B.C. The mayor and city council up there are getting wise to us and running us out of town, but not Seattle, they love us here.” Your hippie pal.’

(Folder “Anonymous 1970,” Wesley Uhlman Subject Files (Record Series 5287-02)

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