Bay State Banner
April 29, 1967
Happy Be-In-At Park
An estimated 6,000 people gathered for a "human-be in" last Saturday at the Franklin Park Zoo. The Be In was sponsored by United Illuminating Inc, of Roxbury.
United Illuminating is a group of 50 artists, writers, film-makers and musicians who own several houses bordering the monument on Fort Hill, Roxbury.
"You could smile at anyone and you knew he would smile back," said Eben Given, a founder of United Illuminating. "Young people must have a way to come together without any procedure to follow, without any plan. Whenever you have a very tight society such as ours, you will have this reaction to it. Young people need to feel loose. That is why so many came, all looking different but having the same face.
"That is why there will be many more be-ins and why people come from all over to join and live in the community we are establishing."
A number of performing groups appeared at the Be-In. A mime troupe of 8 in white face did a number of dances. Between dances they retreated to cardboard boxes painted in "day-glo" and assumed lotus positions.
A down-home bluegrass group played square dance music, and people did informal steps to their tunes.
Several Hindi monks using finger cymbals executed dances singing "Hare Krishna" (Praise to Krishna).
A number of guitarists led groups in folk and gospel songs and songs of protest.
Many participants brought things to give away - balloons, flowers, medallions, food, bracelets, cards inscribed - "Love" - in various languages.
Someone brought grass seed and sprinkled it over grassless areas.
Numerous policemen were assigned to cover the event, but there were no incidents. After the event, participants picked up all the refuse and left the fields clean.
"There was no feeling of suspicion, and no dogma," said Lewis Crampton, Fort Ave. Crampton and Phil Gregory, a novelist and member of United Illuminating made arrangements for the event.
"Everyone was doing their own thing," said Crampton, "and no one was being put down for what they were doing."