As news of the bus crash spread, phone calls from all over the country began pouring in to the small office, adjacent the print shop in Kingston, that had become the defacto head office of the Woodstock Nation. It was only then that the parties involved began to understand that they were a part of something much larger than they had ever realized.
Creating and distributing the money was just the first step, just the tip of an iceberg that had grown much larger over the months since its first inception. Even though The Man and the Media had portrayed the Hippie Movement as superficial and nothing of substance, a lot had been going on behind the scenes. For years there had been back channel communications going on between people in banking, business, industry, academia, economics, in the media and even the military. Many people in ALL walks of life were not happy with the direction the whole country was being dragged. Some people knew that America’s future, even the future of the entire world, was in advanced technology. Silicon Valley was just starting up and The Man wanted to weaponize the new technology to create endless wars for profit and continue the stranglehold of fear that had been purposely created on the planet. Those who ascribed to Hippie ideals, many of them in business suits, wanted to use the new technology for peace. This would eliminate poverty, hunger, scarcity, and diminish crime. Once people all over the world had free access to the necessities of life without servitude and debt, there would be a whole new renaissance. Education would be free. Educated people are less likely to be tricked into going to war. So instead of being forced into killing to increase the The Man’s profits, people could positively contribute to society. War would be obsolete as fear of deprivation and starvation were replaced with abundance for everyone. A world of fear would be transformed into a world of peace, love, and understanding. Replacing the currency of fear, The Man’s money, with money from the Woodstock Nation would bring about a whole new, more prosperous, positive reality for ALL the people on the planet. THAT was the Dream and Earth Day, April 22nd, 1974, was the trigger.
High profile people, national celebrities, and leaders in business and industry were standing by, ready to give their endorsement on national TV once the announcement was made and simultaneous distribution of Woodstock Nation currency began on both coasts. But the announcement never came and the endorsements didn’t happen because the currency of the Woodstock Nation, the currency of hope and change, never arrived in San Francisco; for the bright, shining new future has just been derailed somewhere in rural Nebraska.
Realizing The Man was now in possession of half of its money and possibly knew the location of the rest, the Woodstock Nation had to react quickly. Protecting the remaining money was considered the top priority and it was decided to remove it from the Tinker Street bank in Woodstock to a secret location until the situation could be fully accessed and a back up plan formulated.
Earth day came and went. Other events got the world’s attention and history marched on. Eventually, the Woodstock Nation was forced to understand about windows in time; windows when just the right message, or just the right person can create a movement that will change the world. The opportunity was there. The mood in the country was right. Americans were waking up and people were tired of the war. Big corporations had taken over the government. Nixon had just taken America’s money off the gold standard so it no longer had any real backing. The assassinations of the Kennedy’s and Martin Luther King pointed to a perverse corruption that ran deeper than anyone ever dared to admit. America was reeling without any solid moral compass and its people needed something to follow that made sense. Suddenly, those “crazy” counter culture ideas didn’t seem so crazy afterall. In fact, to many they actually made a LOT of sense. The time for change was ripe.
When the bus carrying the new currency west, to San Francisco and a new beginning crashed, the forward momentum to a better reality was suddenly halted. At the time it could have had its greatest impact and done the most good, The Woodstock Nation missed the opportunity and its window in time had closed.
The hidden money was never recovered. Some speculated that those who knew of its location were subsequently drafted into the Army, sent to Vietnam, and never returned.
For years the only images of the currency of the Woodstock Nation were black and white police photographs of the money discovered in the bus crash which was ultimately destroyed in their incinerators.
Eventually, the story about the audacious Hippies who were about to save the World was largely forgotten, even by those involved who had “moved on with their lives.”
This account would never have been written had it not been for an accidental discovery, in 2011, of the original printing plates used to create the currency back in 1974. New sample proofs of the original currency were printed and scanned, resulting in the digitized images on this website. An investigation led to one of the last remaining principals who had actually participated, and was willing share an account of this amazing story.
In the hearts and minds of millions of people around the World, the Dream still exits. The original Counter Culture ideas of renewable resources, sustainable technologies, social justice, spiritual awareness, and environmental responsibility were important then, and may be even more important now. It would seem only by putting these ideas into practice can things finally be made “right” in the World. Clean air to breathe, pure water to drink, nutritious unprocessed food to eat, adequate shelter, a modicum of comfort, a good education, and economic opportunities are the birthright of every person living on a planet designed to nurture and encourage life, health, energy, creativity, and love to grow and to thrive.
It is time to focus again on the ideals of the Woodstock Nation. Indeed, the opportunity is here. The mood in the country is right. Americans are waking up and people are tired of endless war. Big corporations have taken over the government and the banksters are printing money, out of thin air and backed by nothing. So the window is again open. Now is time for the new renaissance, for freely educated people to positively contribute to a society with abundance for everyone. It is time to transform the world into one of peace, love, and understanding and bring about a whole new, more prosperous, positive reality for ALL the people on the planet. Now is time to live the Dream and to build the WOODSTOCK NATION!
To be continued . . .