With Spring Break approaching, I found a NBC news special from 1962 quite interesting (see below for link). College spring break party trips were a pretty new phenomenon at the time. Daytona Beach had invited the students, though not without some controversy (some felt the students had insufficient “moral training” to be trusted). Care was taken to keep the immorality in check. For instance, rooms were rented to groups of 4 or even 6 to discourage the privacy necessary for falling into various temptations.
My favorite line was this description of the students. “Our crew, after spending two weeks with them, found that they drank prodigious amounts of beer and danced the twist interminably day and night.” And while the students speak of rebellion and anti-conformity, they also express real fear about the world they are inheriting.
Anchor Chet Huntley draws this sensible conclusion. “I think it is dangerous to generalize too broadly about these children of ours. I would suspect however that they are neither as wicked as we fear nor as good as we might wish. I think it may also be said that this is not the happy breed we were. We may have been the last of them. Depressions, wars, the cold war, and the nuclear age may have been sufficiently powerful forces to alter attitudes if not genes. … … If the world were a happier place, it would be their oyster.”