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June 9, 2024

San Francisco in the Late 1970s Through Fascinating Color Photos

San Francisco in the 1970s was a global hub of culture. It was known worldwide for hippies and radicals. The city was heavily affected by drugs, prostitution and crime. Outcasts and the socially marginalized were attracted by a greater tolerance and acceptance of diverse cultures in the city. It grew as one of world’s biggest centers for the LGBT community and LGBT rights.

The rock music known as the San Francisco Sound was performed live and recorded by San Francisco-based rock groups of the mid-1960s to early 1970s. It was associated with the counterculture community in the city at the time.

San Francisco was the cradle of the pornography industry in the United States in the 1970s, and led to a dramatic growth of strip clubs, adult movie theaters, “peep show” booths, and sex shops downtown, as well as to the creation of the first feminist advocacy groups for sex workers.

Many skyscrapers were built in the city during this period. The city is also associated with West Coast jazz and was one of the major centers of jazz fusion which took off in the 1970s. Many American detective/crime television series were shot in San Francisco in the 1970s and the city became well known as a backdrop to police films such as Dirty Harry (1971).

These fascinating color photos were found by Thomas Hawk that captured street scenes of San Francisco in January 1979.


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