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In Greenwich Village in the early 1960s, New York City, young counterculture advocates were named hips because they were considered "in the know" or "cool", as opposed to being square.

In the April 27, 1961 issue of The Village Voice, "An open letter to JFK & Fidel Castro", Norman Mailer utilizes the term hippies, in questioning JFK's behavior.

Between 18, a German youth movement arose as a countercultural reaction to the organized social and cultural clubs that centered around German folk music.Known as Der Wandervogel ("wandering bird"), the hippie movement opposed the formality of traditional German clubs, instead emphasizing amateur music and singing, creative dress, and communal outings involving hiking and camping.championed sexual liberation, were often vegetarian and eco-friendly, promoted the use of psychedelic drugs which they believed expanded one's consciousness, and created intentional communities or communes.They used alternative arts, street theatre, folk music, and psychedelic rock as a part of their lifestyle and as a way of expressing their feelings, their protests and their vision of the world and life.The term hippie first found popularity in San Francisco by Herb Caen, a journalist for the San Francisco Chronicle.

The origins of the terms hip and hep are uncertain.

Even the counterculture of the Ancient Greeks, espoused by philosophers like Diogenes of Sinope and the Cynics were also early forms of hippie culture.

The first signs of modern "proto-hippies" emerged in fin de si├Ęcle Europe.

Hippies opposed political and social orthodoxy, choosing a gentle and nondoctrinaire ideology that favored peace, love and personal freedom, Escapin' through the lily fields I came across an empty space It trembled and exploded Left a bus stop in its place The bus came by and I got on That's when it all began There was cowboy Neal At the wheel Of a bus to never-ever land During the late 1950s and early 1960s, novelist Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters lived communally in California.

Members included Beat Generation hero Neal Cassady, Ken Babbs, Carolyn Adams (aka Mountain Girl/Carolyn Garcia), Stewart Brand, Del Close, Paul Foster, George Walker, Sandy Lehmann-Haupt and others.

By 1965, hippies had become an established social group in the U.