This Instagram Account Shares Pictures From The 1970s, Shows Why It Was An Era Like No Other
The 1970s are often associated with Vietnam and Watergate, but there was also plenty of glamor between the wild fashion, TV stars like Farrah Fawcett, and the disco era.
So to get a better image of the decade, let's take a look at the aptly-titled Instagram account, 70s Archives. It shares photos that show not only how people looked in the period, but also what they were passionate about and how they spent their days.
After all, nothing paints a better picture of a place in time than those who inhabit it.
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Robin Williams As The First Male Cheerleader For The Denver Broncos, 1979
“The Right Man For The Job May Be A Woman” - Ruth Gordon Schnapp, The First Woman To Be Licensed As A Structural Engineer In California, Late 1970s
In some ways, the 1970s was a continuation of the 1960s: marginalized people continued their fight for equality, and many Americans joined the protest against the ongoing war in Vietnam.
However, the decade was at the same time a repudiation of the 1960s: there was a mobilization to defend political conservatism and traditional family roles, and the behavior of President Richard Nixon undermined many people's faith in the good intentions of the federal government.
By the end of the decade, these divisions and disappointments had set a tone for public life that many would argue still remains with us today.
Tim Curry As Dr. Frank-N-Furter In The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
Many Americans, particularly working class and middle class whites, responded to the turbulence of the late 1960s along with its urban riots and counterculture by embracing a new kind of conservative populism.
Sick and tired of what they interpreted as spoiled hippies and whining protestors, and an interfering government that, in their eyes, coddled poor people and black people at taxpayer expense, these individuals formed what political strategists called a "silent majority."
Freddie Mercury Of Queen In 1977. Photographed By Neal Preston
Cher In A Photoshoot For Her 1974 Album “Dark Lady” (By Richard Avedon)
This silent majority swept President Richard Nixon into office in 1968, and almost immediately, Nixon began to dismantle the welfare state that had fostered such resentment.
He abolished as many parts of President Lyndon B. Johnson's War on Poverty as he could, and made a show of his resistance to mandatory school desegregation plans such as busing.
However, some of Nixon’s domestic policies sound remarkably liberal even today.
For example, he proposed a Family Assistance Plan that would have guaranteed every American family an income of $1,600 a year (about $10,000 in today's money), and he urged Congress to pass a Comprehensive Health Insurance Plan that would have guaranteed affordable health care to all Americans.
In general, though, Nixon’s policies favored the interests of the middle class people who felt slighted by the Great Society of the 1960s.
Jamie Lee Curtis Recreating The Iconic Shower Scene From The Movie “Psycho” (1960) That Starred Her Mother, Janet Leigh
Freddie Mercury Of Queen Wearing A Crown Backstage At Slane Castle, Ireland, 1986 (Photographed By Denis O’regan)
Lisa & Louise Burns, Aka The Grady Twins From The Shining (1980), Posing In Their Costumes Outside The Wardrobe Department On Set
As the 1970s carried on, some of these people helped shape a new political movement known as the 'New Right.'
This movement, rooted in the suburban Sun Belt, celebrated the free market and lamented the decline of "traditional" social values and roles, resisting what they saw as government meddling.
For instance, they fought against high taxes, environmental regulations, highway speed limits, national park policies in the West (the so-called “Sagebrush Rebellion”), and affirmative action and school desegregation plans.
Behind The Scenes From “Jaws” (1975)
Helen Mirren, 1970s
A Wedding Party In Harlem, New York City, 1983 (By Thomas Hoepker)
But during the 1970s, many Americans continued to fight for expanded social and political rights. In 1972, after years of feminist campaigns, Congress approved the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the Constitution, which says: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."
At first, it seemed that the Amendment would pass easily as 22 of the necessary 38 states ratified it right away. The remaining states seemed close behind, however, the ERA alarmed many conservative activists, who feared that it would undermine traditional gender roles. So these activists mobilized against the Amendment and managed to defeat it—in 1977, Indiana became the 35th–and last–state to ratify the ERA.
Such disappointments encouraged many activists to turn away from politics. They began to build feminist communities and organizations of their own: art galleries and bookstores, consciousness-raising groups, daycare and women’s health collectives (such as the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, which published “Our Bodies, Ourselves” in 1973), and abortion clinics.
New York City, 1975 (By Joel Meyerowitz)
Paul, Mary, & Heather Mccartney In Scotland, 1970 (Photographed By Linda Mccartney)
Fashion in the 1970s was a reflection of social life, and focused heavily on individuality. In fact, it was so varied and experimental that Vogue famously proclaimed, "There are no rules in the fashion game now."
From flares and bell sleeves to shearling coats and miniskirts, the era gave birth to an eclectic style that also helped the rise of disco.
Robin Williams, 1977
Liza Minnelli And Carrie Fisher At Studio 54 In New York (1970s)
Anjelica Huston Modeling At Halston's Fall Ready-To-Wear Collection In 1972
David Bowie And Elizabeth Taylor In 1975 (By Terry O’neill)
Jamie Lee Curtis At Home With Her Mother, Janet Leigh, In 1978
“A Day Without Lesbians Is Like A Day Without Sunshine.” Gay Freedom Day Parade, San Francisco, 1979
Billie Perkins, Jodie Foster, & Robert De Niro On The Set Of Taxi Driver In 1975
Elton John Posing After Having A Star Dedicated To Him On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame, 1975 (By Jeff Robbins)
Bill Clinton & Hillary Rodham At Yale Law School In New Haven, Ct In 1971
A Woman At A Rolling Stones Concert In Hyde Park, London, 1969 (Photo By Ian Harris)
Dolly Parton Performing At Wbap's Country Gold Anniversary Event In Texas, 1974
Olivia Newton-John & John Travolta At The Grease Premiere Party, 1978 (By Brad Elterman)
Woman Covering Her Husband’s Eyes At Sight Of Young Woman Taking Off Her Top On The Beach In France, 1974
“Women Enjoy The Benefits Of A Heated Whirlpool In Saint Petersburg, Florida, 1973.” (Photographed By Jonathan Blair For National Geographic)
VW Beetles On A New York Port Authority Parking Lot, 1973 (Photo By Jp Laffont)
Audrey Hepburn At Her Rented Beach House In Tuscany, 1972 (Luca Dotti)
The Crowd At A LED Zeppelin Concert In Oakland, California, 1977 (By Kevin C. Goff)
Some Of Andy Warhol’s Polaroid Pictures From The 70s 80s
Pink Floyd's “Wish You Were Here” Album Cover Outtakes, 1975
Note: this post originally had 100 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.