Vanished: What became of Connie Smith?
Connie Smith vanished from her summer camp on the morning of Wednesday July 16, 1952, a warm day, 80 degrees. The East Coast was in the grip of a heat wave that delivered thick, humid air.
Established in 1928 by the YMCA, Camp Sloane is an 85 acre camp that sits along the shore of Lake Wononpakook (Long Pond) is in Lakeville Connecticut, a section of the town of Salisbury, in leafy and wealthy far northwestern portion of the state.
Connie had been at the camp for three weeks with another month to go. She was 10 years old. She was a slight girl, only 5'0" tall and 85 lbs. She had comically long arms and flat feet. And she was nearsighted, so nearsighted that even when she wore glasses she had to hold book close to her blue eyes to be able to see the words. She had developed early and as a result looked several years older than her age.
But all reports she was a pleasant, happy, and well- adjusted girl with a penchant for coloring books and comics. She was well travelled largely because she was born to wealth and privilege. She was the granddaughter of former Wyoming governor, Nels H. Smith. Aside from a summer home in Mexico, there was the family ranch in Sundance, Wyo. The Smith’s had also once owned the infamous Ranch A, in Crook County Wyoming, a 410 acre vacation retreat for publishing mogul Moses Annenberg.
The family had interests in ranching, trout production, meat packing, executive conference center operation, and mineral investments. As a result Connie was widely travelled, well-spoken and could converse on a variety of subjects other kids her age couldn’t. But what she liked to talk about most were horses. It was her favorite subject developed by a life on the ranch. She loved animals. She had been at the camp for three weeks with another month to go.
At approximately 7:50 AM, and for some unknown reason, as the other campers were headed toward breakfast, Connie walked up the half mile of winding dirt road to the stone pillars that mark the camp entrance and took a right on Indian Mountain Road.
She was wearing a bright red windbreaker, on a warm, muggy day. Under the jacket she wore dark navy blue shorts with plaid cuffs, tan leather shoes and a red-hair-ribbon which would have helped keep her hair/bangs from blowing into her face. Her shoes were tan. She was carrying her black-pocketbook.
August Epp, (Below) the camp's caretaker, told police that he and another man were driving near the camps entrance at about 8:15 in the morning when he saw Connie turn right on Indian Mountain Road picking daisies. He said he didn't stop her because he thought she was old enough to be a camp counselor. "I saw this girl come out of the gate and head north towards Lakeville. I think she stopped to pick some flowers, then continued. I didn't think it was one of the camp girls. She was so tall I thought it was a counselor that's why I did not pay much attention to her."
She had walked from the camp entrance on Indian Mountain Road to Route 44, called Millerton Road locally. She followed Indian Mountain Road past Deep Lake Farm toward the Lakeville section of Salisbury.
Mr. and Mrs. E Hobbs Horstman were out for an early morning walk when they passed Connie about a quarter of a mile north of the gate. "We didn't speak," they said.
A few minutes later Alice Walsh, who lived in the area, saw a girl she described as 5-foot and about a 100-pound girl, crying while she walked. She gave her directions to Lakeville.
Further along the road, Connie knocked on the door of Mrs. William Walsh and asked "Could you tell me the way to Lakeville?"
Mrs. Walsh told her "Continue on up the hill and turn right on route 44," To which Connie asked "Do you mean straight up the hill?"
"That's right, straight up the hill."
Mrs. Walsh later said the child looked as though she had been crying. At her last glance of the girl a couple of minutes later, Mrs. Walsh saw Connie walking up the hill. "To think I might have stopped her. If only I had said something, but then others saw her, and nobody did anything about it."
Why was she crying? Was it over something that happened in the camp? Had something happened to her between the time she left the camp and came across Alice Walsh?
Two maids were sitting in front of the servant’s cottage adjoining the Frederick L. Cadman house at 50 Indian Mountain Rd watched Connie walk up the driveway toward them and ask for directions to Lakeville. They told her and she walked away.
Several miles later Mrs. Frank E. Barnett was driving from Millerton on Route 44 and just before turning into Belgo Road and said she saw the little girl walking east on the north side of Route 44. Barnet said the girl was looking for a ride.
Connie was last seen on Millerton and Belgo Road. She was less than a half mile from the village center. Reports to the police were that she was last by Mr. and Mrs. John Brun standing on the right side (South side) of the road. She had tried to hitchhike a ride from them at the Route 44-Belgo Road intersection.
If the reports are correct Connie had walked two and half miles from the camp in 45 minutes. When the couple left her she was walking along towards Lakeville.
At about 8:45, the time Connie was last seen, her seven tent mates returned from to their tent from breakfast.
The girls reported her absence to Carol Baker, their group leader. She, in turn, called Camp Director E. P. Roberts, who had the entire camp area searched. By 11:30 a.m. it was obvious Connie had left the camp.
When state police were finally called in, at about 11:30, about three hours after the little girl was last seen, investigators looked at the possibility that Connie had been molested by a camp counselor or someone who worked at the camp. At that point, Epp, the grounds keeper came under very close scrutiny.
The speculation was that the camps very experienced director, (He had been with the YMCA since 1918) Ernest Roberts held back because he didn’t want to bring bad publicity to the camp. Or perhaps he just panicked and for good cause.
On July 14, 1940, an 11 year old boy died at the camp after he contacted septicemia. The boy’s father, US Army Colonel and note author John T. Winterich of Ossing New York, sued Ernest Roberts for the death of his son. The case was eventually dismissed but an investigation by the state showed that the camp doctor wasn’t registered with to practice medicine and that camp director Ernest Roberts knew the facts and covered them up. The doctor, a man named Fry, and Roberts were both arrested and eventually found guilty and fined.
All indications are that the state police quickly reached the conclusion that Connie was not just another lost child. State police Barracks across the state were alerted to the case. Local jeep owners were recruited to cover the woods and rough terrain. Bloodhounds were brought in and the Connecticut Wing of the Civil Air Patrol and Air Force planes from Westover Field, Mass. twenty planes in all, conducted sky to ground searches for 20 hours. A dozen troopers assigned to the Canaan barracks and a dozen more local volunteers combed the area around the camp.
One of the first thing State Police did was to look around a nearby gypsy encampment. Police were so convinced that the gypsies, who were known to kidnap children that they hid in the forest for several days to see if Connie was being held against her will inside the camp but it went nowhere.
Still a gypsy angle hung over the case. A report came from Cooperstown N.Y. that a child resembling Connie had passes through town with a band of gypsies and a gas station operator in Mabbetsville, New York saw her with another band of gypsies. But both tips turned up nothing.
Hundreds of dead end leads that swamped the police over the next twelve months. Decades after the disappearance Connie’s father met with a “Gypsy King” in California and asked him if they still kidnapped children. The response was, “Not anymore.”
Police tested scat in the forest, thinking maybe Connie had been eaten by wild animals. Acting on a tip that Connie had been killed and was buried in a shallow grave, Trooper dug around local cemeteries plunging rods through the ground.
Truck drivers were stopped and questioned. Carnival workers in Lakeville were questioned and so were men from Arkansas who camped along Route 22 and hired out as barn painters.
No one in the village center of Lakeville had seen her. She had not gone into one of the towns stores or seen on the streets. "We couldn't have missed her if she came into town," said one shopkeeper. "She just never reached her."
There were no buses from the area and no cabs had ordered in the general vicinity for months.
Police looked at every possible set of circumstances. The road where she was last seen was busy and people tended to speed on it. Perhaps she’d been stuck and killed by a car and the driver hid the body. That had happened before. But a checked of several miles of roadway showed no trace of blood or an accident.
It was also possible that she had wandered off the road to beautiful Wononskopomuc Lake, one of the deepest waters in the state. Perhaps she had drowned. But no one on the lake recalled seeing her, she was an above average swimmer and a body has never been found.
Had one of her newly divorced parent taken her? Both parents were called in and would arrive in Lakeville within a days’ time. Considering the parents wealth, perhaps she had been kidnapped, (A nation both parents considered kidnapping a possible motive) but no ransom demands ever arrived.
One of the few possibility left was the strongest possibility, Connie got a ride on Route 44, perhaps with a child’s notion to make her way down to Greenwich or back home to Wyoming. Perhaps, a lunatic had picked her up by chance sometimes after 8:45 and probably killed her.
The next question was motive, what was Connie’s motive in leaving the camp? Why did she leave without telling anyone and why so early? Was she escaping or at least protesting the rough treatment from her tent-mates? Had she been assaulted by one of the camp employees and was headed into town to phone the police?
The days before her disappearance ranged between the mundane and plausibly traumatic. She has just celebrated her 10th birthday on July 11 and on Sunday, July 13, Connie's mother and grandmother visited her and deposited $5 to her camp account at the camp. (The children were not allowed to have cash but could charge purchases or small cash advances against their accounts.)
Her mother related afterwards that Connie was excited about a Square Dance at the Camp the next Friday, July 18, and a horse show scheduled for Saturday, July 19, and asked if she could stay at the camp longer than originally planned. However her mother had already arranged for them to return to Wyoming and said no, something that Connie, according to her mother took in stride.
Reportedly one of the counselors recalled “She seemed homesick after her mother left"
On the morning she disappeared, just before breakfast, Connie had some sort altercation with either one of her tent mates or a group of girls and her tent mate that resulted in Connie getting punched or kicked in the nose hard enough to draw blood. The camp said that the night before she left the camp that Connie had got a bloody nose when a tent mate climbing down from the bunk above her accidentally kicked her in the face, bloodied her nose and broke her glasses.
Aside from the bloody nose and broken eyeglasses, police learned that she had bruised her hip badly enough to require an overnight icepack. Camp personnel said that the little girl tripped and fallen off the elevated tent boards.
It was Connie's second injury within 24 hours.
On the morning she disappeared, Connie was said to have mentioned to someone, probably another girl at the camp, that instead of heading up to breakfast she was going to the medical tent to return the ice pack, but she never did, the pack was found on her bunk inside her tent.
In the meantime the hunt continued. State police searched the woods on horseback. Both of Connie’s parents scoffed at the notion that their daughter could become lost in the woods. They had taken time to teach her to walk downhill and find and follow a fence or a road.
A psychic horse from Virginia named Lady Wonder was brought in. Two years before, Lady Wonder had inexplicably helped find the body of a missing child with a crude typewriter she touched with her hooves to answer questions. However in Connie’s case Lady Wonder was a letdown and produced nothing.
They checked reservoirs and lakes and waded through swap land. Connie’s mother wrote to known hunters in the area and begged them to join the search and look in old wells and deserted buildings. The Connecticut Trail Riders Association gathered for a big weekend ride through wooded countryside. Connie’s body has never been found nor has a piece of cloth from her clothes ever been recovered. All of the known criminal suspects from miles around were hauled in for questioning. The Police had a long list of suspects that included the camp cook, deliverymen, August Epp the caretaker, two farm hands who had been out late the night before Connie disappeared.
Connie’s father, Peter Smith, arrived in Lakeville late Friday, two days after Connie disappeared. To the amazement of the locals he was dressed in a business suit, cowboy boots and a 10-gallon hat. He could take out three doves with three shots, a craft he continued up until the year he died at age 97 and standing six foot seven inches tall he was a man who made an impression.
Peter Smith and Helen Jensen, the daughter of Swedish immigrants, were married at her parents’ home in Greenwich, Connecticut, on October 23, 1937. They had two children, Nels Jensen, born in 1939 and Constance (Connie) Christine born in 1942. The couple divorced in 1949.
Helen Smith, who lived in a separate home on the massive Smith ranch, had custody of Connie and she brought her east to spend the summer with her Mother in Greenwich, Connecticut. It was Helen who decided to send Connie to Camp Sloane.
Peter Smith began to coordinate his own search for his daughter. He rented horses and led riders through the thick woods, he rented planes, rode in them and circled the search areas for hours and handed out missing person flyers. When a misguided tip came in that Connie's might be headed for the home of relatives in Chicago, he booked a private plane and went to the Windy City searched there for her.
He appeared on the nationwide The Art Linkletter Show asking for help in finding his daughter and then spent several days passing out poster to all the schools in the LA area. He said “In this case all roads lead to California” but never explained the statement. Years later it was revealed that a group of itinerant orchard workers who had spent the summer in New England were trailed to Los Angeles and that Smith had taken several trips to try an interview someone who had worked at the camp.
The search for Connie developed into the most extensive missing person search of the decade for Connecticut. More than 11,000 circulars were printed and posted in gas stations, post offices, restaurants and schools throughout the country. Connie's dental was printed in the Journal of the American Dental Association.
However the search waned during the late summer that year and resumed when the foliage was gone, still led by Connie’s father. The case was kept somewhat alive by Georges Joseph Christian Simenon (February 1903 – September 4 1989) a prolific Belgian writer who published nearly 500 novels and numerous short works most that revolved around the creator of the fictional detective Jules Maigret.
Simenon lived in a massive farmhouse at Shadow Rock Farm (Below) at 27 Cleaveland Road which is about three miles north of the spot Connie was last seen. He penned a quick novel called La Mort de Belle ("The Death of Belle") based vaguely on Connie’s disappearance (if only because the novel takes place in Lakeville. The premise is that while attending a university near Geneva, a young American, Belle, stays at the home of Professor Stephane Blanchon and his frigid wife.
Stephane becomes the principal suspect when Belle is found murdered in the Blanchon home. At the inquest it is revealed that although Belle dated often and was quite promiscuous, she had secretly been in love with Stephane.
The news shocks Stephane into the realization that because of the brittle relationship with his wife, he has permitted his life to become aimless and listless.
As circumstantial evidence against him mounts, he shakes off his former passiveness and has a brief affair. Obsessed by the death of Belle and all he has missed in life, he kills the woman--ironically, he commits this murder at the very moment the police get a confession from Belle's killer.
The French turned the novel into a 1962 film called The Passion of Slow Fire.
A reward of $3,000 was offered for any tips and $1,000 for her body. The tips poured in, all of them were followed up and all of them went nowhere. A woman upstate New York said she saw Connie riding a horse in front of her house; a New York construction worker said he shared his lunch with Connie and a lady from Great Barrington, Mass, swore she spotted Connie at the annual Fall fair. A runaway Indian girl in Texas was mistakenly identified as Connie. Another reported seeing her in Cooperstown New York.
Tips came in that said Connie was living in Canada and at a hotel in Cincinnati. She was also reported to be living in Alabama. Witnesses said they saw her on a bus in Albany, N.Y., and Randolph, Vt.
Then an itinerant Ohio jewelry salesman named Frederick W. Pope claimed he and a companion picked Connie up in Connecticut, drove her across country and once in Arizona his companion strangled Connie during an argument about directions.
Pope said that several hours later he killed the companion with an iron bar while the two were changing a tire. Pope it turned out made up the story as a means to get back into a psychiatric hospital.
In August of 1954 a newspaper photo taken at a Bronx New York Beach showed a little girl that looked very much like Connie. Police tracked down the lead and found the girl in photo. It wasn’t Connie.
In 1955 western Connecticut was shattered by a massive flood. Ten days after the flood hit, while the state was trying to recover from massive damages in its wake, at 1:00 Am a state trooper took a collect call from a man who identified himself as William Dugan who said he was calling from Canada. He told the trooper that he had worked for a circus in Hartford 13 years before and that he wanted to confess to a crime.
The trooper agreed to meet Dugan in Canada the next day. But hundreds of emergencies created by the flood forced the trooper to turn the meeting over to Canadian police. The Canadian police never called back and Dugan and his phone call fell by the wayside. However the trooper did phone Dugan's ex-wife and she said Dugan was actually was with the US Army stationed in Japan, not Canada.
Some 33 years later, in 1988, the trooper who took the call read a news story about the state of Pennsylvania charging a former carnival worker, William Henry Redmond, then 66, with the 1954 murder of a 10-year-old girl. Redman was a former Ferris wheel operator with the Penn-Premier Show carnival.
The trooper recalled the call from the man calling himself Dugan who said he had worked in the circus and phoned the Pennsylvania state police to urge them to press Redmond to find out if he was the man who pretended to be Dugan.
It was plausible since the Pennsylvania police had evidence that Redmond had lived in Canada at some point but police were never able to determine whether Redmond was in Connecticut in the 1950s or if there was a carnival in the Lakeville area around the time of Connie's disappearance.
While in a prison hospital awaiting charges, Redmond allegedly told a fellow inmate that while police had him for one murder but that three others remained undiscovered. Redmond was later questioned about Connie and submitted to a lie detector test, which he passed.
On May 14, 1957, eight-year-old Brenda Doucette was found dead, stabbed 22 times with a screwdriver and strangled with a man's sweater. Police arrested 38-year-old George Davies, a paroled sex offender who confessed to the crime. And to the murder of 16-year-old Gaetane Boivin on May 9 of that year.
At first Davies denied any role in Connie’s disappearance but while on death row for the Doucette and Boivin murders, he changed his story, said he killed Connie and took police on a pointless, expensive and time consuming excavation of two places he said he buried her body. The searches turned up nothing and on September 20, 1959, murderer George Davies, a half hour before being executed, said that he had lied about killing Connie.
Also in 1959 police were led to a local deliveryman who had told his wife that even if the Connie’s body was found that there would be nothing left it and that Connie had tried calling her father the night before she vanished. (Actually Connie’s father had never received a call from his daughter that night)
When police interviewed the man he admitted that his newspaper delivery route took him by Camp Sloane around the time Connie was last seen and that he finished his route around 8 a.m. Connie disappeared sometime after 8:45. He was given a lie detector test and passed.
However, in 1958, a young girl’s remains were found near Williams, Arizona and Police were never able to identify her.
In 1962, a letter received by the Connecticut State Police claimed that the dead girl was Connie Smith. A comparison of the Arizona child’s teeth with Connie’s dental records was inconclusive and forensic tests were unable to definitively link the two. In 2004, the Connecticut State Police collected DNA from the Smith family, hoping to match it to the dead girls DNA but by then the girl’s grave couldn’t be located.
As late as 1988, DNA tests were given to women who came forward and said they were Connie Smith but there was never a match.
In July of 2010, 58 years after Connie disappeared, some children found human bones in a river in Great Barrington Mass. The police checked the DNA to Connie’s family member but there was no match.
Eventually the investigation died off although it still remains an open case for the Connecticut State Police.
Connie's mother, Helen, died of a heart attack in 1962. She was 47 years old. She never fully believed her daughter was dead, only missing. Helen and Pete Smith always believed that Connie was suffering from Amnesia and that one day she would eventually turn up unharmed.
Connie father Pete was almost completely absorbed by his daughter’s disappearance. He returned to Lakeville until deep into the 1980s hoping against all hope to find a fresh clue in the case.
In a 1984 interview, Smith said he imagined his daughter in the face of every woman he passed who would be about her age. He never gave up the hope that "something would turn up"
He eventually remarried and died peacefully at his winter home at Kino Nuevo, Sonora, Mexico with his son Nels at his side on February 22, 2012 at age 97. His obituary began “Pete Smith left for his next hunt at 4:35 p.m. Feb. 22, 2012.”
Connie Smith has not been seen or heard of since, nor have any of her possessions been found.
Woodstock was a music festival, billed as "An Aquarian Exposition: 3 Days of Peace & Music". It was held at Max Yasgur's 600-acre dairy farm near the hamlet of White Lake in the town of Bethel, New York, from August 15 to August 18, 1969. Bethel, in Sullivan County, is 43 miles southwest of the town of Woodstock, New York, in adjoining Ulster County. During the sometimes rainy weekend, thirty-two acts performed outdoors in front of 500,000 concert-goers. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most pivotal moments in popular music history.
Woodstock was initiated through the efforts of Michael Lang, John Roberts, Joel Rosenman, and Artie Kornfeld. It was Roberts and Rosenman who had the finances. Lang had experience as a promoter and had already organized the largest festival on the East Coast at the time, the Miami Pop Festival, which had an estimated 100,000 people attend the two day event. They placed the following advertisement in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal under the name of Challenge International, Ltd.: "Young men with unlimited capital looking for interesting, legitimate investment opportunities and business propositions".
Lang and Kornfeld noticed the ad, and the four men got together originally to discuss a retreat-like recording studio in Woodstock, but the idea evolved into an outdoor music and arts festival, although even that was initially envisioned on a smaller scale, perhaps featuring some of the big name artists who lived in the Woodstock area (such as Bob Dylan and The Band). There were differences in approach among the four: Roberts was disciplined, and knew what was needed in order for the venture to succeed, while the laid-back Lang saw Woodstock as a new, relaxed way of bringing business people together. There were further doubts over the venture, as Roberts wondered whether to consolidate his losses and pull the plug, or to continue pumping his own finances into the project.
In April 1969, newly-minted superstars Credence Clearwater Revival were the first act to sign a contract for the event, agreeing to play for $10,000. The promoters had experienced difficulty landing big-name groups prior to the Bay Area swamp rockers committing to play. Credence drummer Doug Clifford later commented "Once Credence signed, everyone else jumped in line and all the other big acts came on." Given their 3:00 a.m. start time and non-inclusion (at Credence frontman John Fogerty's insistence) in the Woodstock film, Credence members have expressed bitterness over their experiences at the famed festival.
Woodstock was designed as a profit-making venture, aptly titled "Woodstock Ventures". It famously became a "free concert" only after it became obvious that the event was drawing hundreds of thousands more people than the organizers had prepared for. Tickets for the event cost $18 in advance and $24 at the gate for all three days. Ticket sales were limited to record stores in the greater New York City area, or by mail via a post office box at the Radio City Station Post Office located in Midtown Manhattan. Around 186,000 tickets were sold beforehand and organizers anticipated approximately 200,000 festival-goers would turn up.
The concert was originally scheduled to take place in the 300-acre Mills Industrial Park in the town of Wallkill, New York, which Woodstock Ventures had leased for $10,000 in the Spring of 1969. Town officials were assured that no more than 50,000 would attend. Town residents immediately opposed the project. In early July the Town Board passed a law requiring a permit for any gathering over 5,000 people. On July 15, 1969, the Wallkill Zoning Board of Appeals officially banned the concert on the basis that the planned portable toilets would not meet town code. Reports about the ban, however, turned out to be a publicity bonanza for the festival.
According to Elliot Tiber in his 2007 book Taking Woodstock, Tiber offered to host the event on his 15 acres motel grounds, and had a permit for such an event. He claims to have introduced the promoters to dairy farmer Max Yasgur. Lang, however, disputes Tiber's account, and says that Tiber introduced him to a real estate salesman, who drove him to Yasgur's farm without Tiber. Sam Yasgur, Max's son, agrees with Lang's account. Yasgur's land formed a natural bowl sloping down to Filippini Pond on the land's north side. The stage would be set at the bottom of the hill with Filippini Pond forming a backdrop. The pond would become a popular skinny dipping destination. The organizers once again told Bethel authorities they expected no more than 50,000 people.
Despite resident opposition and signs proclaiming, "Buy No Milk. Stop Max's Hippy Music Festival", Bethel Town Attorney Frederick W. V. Schadt and building inspector Donald Clark approved the permits, but the Bethel Town Board refused to issue them formally. Clark was ordered to post stop work orders.
The late change in venue did not give the festival organizers enough time to prepare. At a meeting three days before the event organizers felt they had two choices. One option was to improve the fencing and security which might have resulted in violence, the other involved putting all their resources into completing the stage which would cause Woodstock Ventures to take a financial hit. The crowd which was arriving in greater numbers and earlier than anticipated made the decision for them. The fence was cut the night before the concert.
The influx of attendees to the rural concert site in Bethel created a massive traffic jam. Fearing chaos as thousands began descending on the community, Bethel did not enforce its codes. Eventually, announcements on radio stations as far away as WNEW-FM in Manhattan and descriptions of the traffic jams on television news programs discouraged people from setting off to the festival. Arlo Guthrie made an announcement that was included in the film saying that the New York State Thruway was closed. The director of the Woodstock museum discussed below said this never occurred. To add to the problems and difficulty in dealing with the large crowds, recent rains had caused muddy roads and fields. The facilities were not equipped to provide sanitation or first aid for the number of people attending; hundreds of thousands found themselves in a struggle against bad weather, food shortages, and poor sanitation.
On the morning of Sunday, August 17, New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller called festival organizer John Roberts and told him he was thinking of ordering 10,000 New York State National Guard troops to the festival. Roberts was successful in persuading Rockefeller not to do this. Sullivan County declared a state of emergency.
Although the festival was remarkably peaceful given the number of people and the conditions involved, there were three recorded fatalities: one from what was believed to be a heroin overdose and another caused in an accident when a tractor ran over an attendee sleeping in a nearby hayfield. There also were two births recorded at the event (one in a car caught in traffic and another in a hospital after an airlift by helicopter) and four miscarriages.
Yet, in tune with the idealistic hopes of the 1960s, Woodstock satisfied most attendees. There was a sense of social harmony, the quality of music, and the overwhelming mass of people, many sporting bohemian dress, behavior, and attitudes.
After the concert, Max Yasgur, who owned the site of the event, saw it as a victory of peace and love. He spoke of how nearly half a million people filled with possibilities of disaster, riot, looting, and catastrophe spent the three days with music and peace on their minds. He states that "if we join them, we can turn those adversities that are the problems of America today into a hope for a brighter and more peaceful future..."
Performers and Schedule of Events
Friday, August 15
The concert officially began at 5:08 p.m.
Richie Havens sang the following songs
High Flyin' Bird
I Can't Make It Anymore
With A Little Help w/ me
Strawberry Fields Forever
I Had A Woman
Swami Satchidananda - gave the invocation for the festival
Country Joe McDonald
Country Joe McDonald (Without his band, The Fish)
I Find Myself Missing You
Rockin All Around The World
Flyin' High All Over the World
Seen A Rocket flyin
The "Fish" Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag
How Have You Been
Rainbows Over Your Blues
I Had A Dream
For Pete's Sake
Why Oh Why
Incredible String Band
If I Were A Carpenter
Raga Puriya-Dhanashri/Gat In Sawarital
Tabla Solo In Jhaptal
Raga Manj Kmahaj
Dhun In Kaharwa Tal
Birthday of The Sun
Coming Into Los Angeles
Walking Down The Line
Oh Happy Day
The Last Thing On My Mind
I Shall Be Released
Sweet Sir Galahad
Drug Store Truck Driving Man
(I Live) One Day at a Time
Sweet Sunny South
Warm and Tender Love
Swing Low Sweet Chariot
We Shall Overcome
Saturday, August 16
Concert opened at 12:15 pm
They Live the Life
Waitin' For You
Keef Hartley Band
Believe In You
Rock Me Baby
Just To Cry
Sinnin' For You
You Just Don't Care
A Change Is Gonna Come/Leaving This Town
Going Up The Country
Let's Work Together
Blood of the Sun
Who Am I But You And The Sun
Beside The Sea
For Yasgur's Farm
You and Me
Theme For An Imaginary Western
Waiting To Take You Away
Dreams of Milk and Honey
Blue Suede Shoes
Raise Your Hand
As Good As You've Been To This World
To Love Somebody
Try (Just A Little Bit Harder)
Can't Turn you Loose
Work Me Lord
Piece of My Heart
Ball and Chain
Sly & the Family Stone (Took the stage at 1:30 am)
Sing A Simple Song
You Can Make It If You Try
Dance To The Music
I Want To Take You Higher
Dark Star/High Time
Turn On Your Love Light
Creedence Clearwater Revival
Born on the Bayou
Ninety-Nine and a Half (Won't Do)
Bad Moon Rising
I Put A Spell On You
Night Time is the Right Time
Keep On Chooglin'
The Who (Took the stage at 3 AM)
Heaven and Hell
I Can't Explain
It's a Boy
Eyesight to the Blind
Tommy Can You Hear Me?
There's a Doctor
Go to the Mirror
Smash the Mirror
Tommy's Holiday Camp
We're Not Gonna Take It
See Me, Feel Me
Shakin' All Over
Jefferson Airplane (Took the stage at 8 a.m.)
Somebody To Love
The Other Side of This Life
Plastic Fantastic Lover
Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon
Eskimo Blue Day
Uncle Sam's Blues
Sunday, August 17 to Monday, August 18
Some Things Goin' On
Let's Go Get Stoned
I Shall Be Released
With a Little Help from My Friends
A storm disrupted the events for several hours.
Country Joe and the Fish (Took the stage around 6 p.m.)
Rock and Soul Music
Thing Called Love
The "Fish" Cheer/I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-To-Die Rag
Ten Years After
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl
I Can't Keep From Crying Sometimes
I May Be Wrong, But I Won't Be Wrong Always
Hear Me Calling
I'm Going Home
Tears of Rage
We Can Talk
Don't You Tell Henry
Don't Do It
Ain't No More Cane
Long Black Veil
This Wheel's On Fire
I Shall Be Released
Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever
Blood, Sweat and Tears (Took the stage around midnight)
More and More
I Love You Baby More Than You Ever Know
I Stand Accused
Something Coming On
Johnny Winter and his brother Edgar Winter
Mama, Talk to Your Daughter
To Tell the Truth
Johnny B. Goode
Six Feet In the Ground
Leland Mississippi Blues/Rock Me Baby
I Can't Stand It (With Edgar Winter)
Tobacco Road (With Edgar Winter)
Mean Town Blues
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (Took the stage around 3 a.m.)
Suite: Judy Blue Eyes
4 + 20
You Don't Have To Cry
Long Time Gone
Sea of Madness
Find the Cost of Freedom
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Everything's Gonna Be Alright
Born Under A Bad Sign
Na Na Theme
(Who Wrote) The Book of Love
Duke of Earl
At the Hop
Na Na Theme
Jimi Hendrix, who insisted on being the final performer at the festival, did not take the stage until nine o'clock on Monday morning. He was supposed to begin at midnight, the day before. By the time he took the stage, the crowd of over 400,000 had dwindled to about 80,000 or less. His set lasted two hours -- the longest of his career -- and featured 17 songs.
Message to Love
Hear My Train A Comin'
Spanish Castle Magic
Jam Back At The House
Voodoo Child (Slight Return)/Stepping Stone
Star Spangled Banner
Cancelled appearances at Woodstock
The Jeff Beck Group was scheduled to perform at Woodstock, but broke up a week before the concert began.
Iron Butterfly was stuck at an airport and didn’t make it.
Neil Young joined Crosby, Stills & Nash, but refused to be filmed.
Joni Mitchell was booked to perform but her agent decided that it was more important that she appear on "The Dick Cavett Show"
Canadian band Lighthouse was scheduled to play but backed out, concerned that the concert would harm their image.
Refused Invitations to play
John Lennon offered to play with his Plastic Ono Band. The promoters wanted him AND the Beatles and turned his offer.
The Doors were considered as a potential performing band, but cancelled at the last moment. Lead singer Jim Morrison disliked performing in large outdoor venues.
Led Zeppelin but their manager refused the offer.
Jethro Tull backed out because they didn’t think anyone would attend a concert so far upstate.
The Moody Blues declined to perform so did Tommy James and the Shondells Lead singer Tommy James stated later, "We could have just kicked ourselves. We were in Hawaii, and my secretary called and said, 'Yeah, listen, there's this pig farmer in upstate New York that wants you to play in his field.' That's how it was put to me. So we passed, and we realized what we'd missed a couple of days later."
The Byrds refused an offer to play, so did Paul Revere & the Raiders, (above) Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and Bob Dylan had to pull out because his son was ill.
John Sebastian was enlisted to perform when several of the acts were late in arriving.
Richie Havens's song "Freedom" was improvised. He was called back for so many encores that he ran out of songs to sing, so he started singing "Freedom." The song includes lyrics from the Negro spiritual, "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child."
Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young took a helicopter when, less than 25 feet off the ground, the tail rotor failed and it began to spin causing the copter to almost crash.
The original idea was to have Roy Rogers close the festival by singing "Happy Trails."
The character named "Woodstock" from Peanuts was named for the festival
R&B Top Hits of the Sixties
Georgia on My Mind by Ray Charles (#1 Billboard Chart)
Save the Last Dance for Me by The Drifters (#1 Billboard Chart)
Chain Gang by Sam Cooke (#2 Billboard Chart)
Handyman by Jimmy Jones (#2 Billboard Chart)
Walking to New Orleans by Fats Domino (#6 Billboard Chart)
Finger Poppin' Time by Hank Ballard (#7 Billboard Chart)
You Got What It Takes by Marv Johnson (#10 Billboard Chart)
Wonderful World by Sam Cooke (#12 Billboard Chart)
Talk that Talk by Jackie Wilson (#34 Billboard Chart)
Fannie Mae by Buster Brown (#38 Billboard Chart)
Tonight's the Night by The Shirelles (#39 Billboard Chart)
Hit the Road Jack by Ray Charles (#1 Billboard Chart)
Will You Love Me Tomorrow by The Shirelles (#1 Billboard Chart)
Please Mr. Postman by The Marvelettes (#1 Billboard Chart)
Shop Around by The Miracles (#2 Billboard Chart)
Daddy's Home by Shep & The Limeliters (#2 Billboard Chart)
My True Story by The Jive Five (#3 Billboard Chart)
Stand by Me by Ben E. King (#4 Billboard Chart)
But I Do by Clarence "Frogman" Henry (#4 Billboard Chart)
Pretty Little Angel Eyes by Curtis Lee (#7 Billboard Chart)
You Can Have Her by Roy Hamilton (#12 Billboard Chart)
A Little Bit of Soap by The Jarmels (#12 Billboard Chart)
I Count the Tears by The Drifters (#17 Billboard Chart)
Cupid by Sam Cooke (#17 Billboard Chart)
Some Kind of Wonderful by The Drifters (#32 Billboard Chart)
I Can't Stop Loving You by Ray Charles (#1 Billboard Chart)
Do You Love Me by The Contours (#3 Billboard Chart)
Green Onions by Booker T & The MGs (#3 Billboard Chart)
I Know (You Don't Love Me No More) by Barbara George (#3 Billboard Chart)
Lover Please by Clyde McPhatter (#7 Billboard Chart)
What's Your Name by Don and Juan (#7 Billboard Chart)
Baby Its You by The Shirelles (#8 Billboard Chart)
Twistin' The Night Away by Sam Cooke (#9 Billboard Chart)
Unchain My Heart by Ray Charles (#9 Billboard Chart)
Don't Play That Song (You Lied) by Ben E. King (#11 Billboard Chart)
Bring It On Home to Me by Sam Cooke (#13 Billboard Chart)
A Wonderful Dream by The Majors (#22 Billboard Chart)
Cry to Me by Solomon Burke (#44 Billboard Chart)
Fingertips by Stevie Wonder (#1 Billboard Chart)
He's So Fine by The Chiffons (#1 Billboard Chart)
So Much in Love by The Tymes (#1 Billboard Chart)
Hello Stranger by Barbara Lewis (#3 Billboard Chart)
South Street by The Orlons (#3 Billboard Chart)
Heat Wave by Martha & The Vandellas (Above) (#4 Billboard Chart)
Cry Baby by Garnett Mimms & The Enchanters (#4 Billboard Chart)
Foolish Little Girl by The Shirelles (#4 Billboard Chart)
One Fine Day by The Chiffons (#5 Billboard Chart)
Pride and Joy by Marvin Gaye (#10 Billboard Chart)
I (Who Have Nothing) by Ben E. King (#29 Billboard Chart)
Baby Love by The Supremes (#1 Billboard Chart)
Dancing in the Street by Martha & The Vandellas (#2 Billboard Chart)
Under the Boardwalk by The Drifters (#4 Billboard Chart)
Let It Be Me by Betty Everett and Jerry Butler (#5 Billboard Chart)
Goin' Out of My Head by Little Anthony & The Imperials (#6 Billboard Chart)
I Wanna Love Him So Bad by The Jelly Beans (#9 Billboard Chart)
What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am) by The Tams (#9 Billboard Chart)
Baby I Need Your Loving by The Four Tops (#11 Billboard Chart)
Every Little Bit Hurts by Brenda Holloway (#13 Billboard Chart)
Without the One You Love by The Four Tops (#43 Billboard Chart)
I Can't Help Myself by The Four Tops (#1 Billboard Chart)
Stop! In the Name of Love by The Supremes (#1 Billboard Chart)
My Girl by The Temptations (#1 Billboard Chart)
I Got You (I Feel Good) by James Brown (#3 Billboard Chart)
Rescue Me by Fontella Bass (#4 Billboard Chart)
Yes I'm Ready by Barbara Mason (#5 Billboard Chart)
Nowhere to Run by Martha & The Vandellas (#8 Billboard Chart)
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me by Mel Carter (#8 Billboard Chart)
The Boy From New York City by The Ad Libs (#8 Billboard Chart)
I'll Be Doggone by Marvin Gaye (#8 Billboard Chart)
Hurt So Bad by Little Anthony & The Imperials (#10 Billboard Chart)
Baby I'm Yours by Barbara Lewis (#11 Billboard Chart)
Make Me Your Baby by Barbara Lewis (#11 Billboard Chart)
The Tracks of My Tears by The Miracles (#16 Billboard Chart)
In the Midnight Hour by Wilson Pickett (#21 Billboard Chart)
You Can't Hurry Love by The Supremes (#1 Billboard Chart)
Reach Out I'll Be There by The Four Tops (#1 Billboard Chart)
When a Man Loves a Woman by Percy Sledge (#1 Billboard Chart)
I'm Your Puppet by James & Bobby Purify (#6 Billboard Chart)
What Becomes of the Brokenhearted by Jimmy Ruffin (#7 Billboard Chart)
It's a Man's Man's Man's World by James Brown (#8 Billboard Chart)
Sweet Talkin' Guy by The Chiffons (#10 Billboard Chart)
This Old Heart of Mine by the Isley Brothers (#12 Billboard Chart)
Love is a Hurtin' Thing by Lou Rawls (#13 Billboard Chart)
634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.) by Wilson Pickett (#13 Billboard Chart)
Ain't Too Proud to Beg by The Temptations (#13 Billboard Chart)
Warm and Tender Love by Percy Sledge (#17 Billboard Chart)
How Sweet It Is by Jr. Walker & the All Stars) (#18 Billboard Chart)
It Tears Me Up by Percy Sledge (#20 Billboard Chart)
Mustang Sally by Wilson Pickett (#23 Billboard Chart)
Respect by Aretha Franklin (#1 Billboard Chart)
Soul Man by Sam & Dave (#2 Billboard Chart)
I Was Made to Love Her by Stevie Wonder (#2 Billboard Chart)
Reflections by Diana Ross & The Supremes (#2 Billboard Chart)
Tell It Like It Is by Aaron Neville (#2 Billboard Chart)
Sweet Soul Music by Arthur Conley (#2 Billboard Chart)
I Second that Emotion by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (#4 Billboard Chart)
Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson (Above) (#6 Billboard Chart)
Apple, Peaches and Pumpkin Pie by Jay & The Techniques (#6 Billboard Chart)
A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin (#8 Billboard Chart)
Gimme Little Sign by Brenton Wood (#9 Billboard Chart)
Ain't No Mountain by Marvin Gaye/ Tammi Terrell (#19 Billboard Chart)
Shake a Tail Feather by James & Bobby Purify (#25 Billboard Chart)
Try a Little Tenderness by Otis Redding (#25 Billboard Chart)
I Heard it through the Grapevine by Marvin Gaye (#1 Billboard Chart)
(Sittin' On) The Dock of the Baby by Otis Redding (#1 Billboard Chart)
Chain of Fools by Aretha Franklin (#2 Billboard Chart)
I Wish it Would Rain by The Temptations (#4 Billboard Chart)
La La Means I Love You by The Delfonics (Above) (#4 Billboard Chart)
Girl Watcher by The O'Kaysions (#5 Billboard Chart)
Slip Away by Clarence Carter (#6 Billboard Chart)
Think by Aretha Franklin (#7 Billboard Chart)
Cowboys to Girls by The Intruders (#6 Billboard Chart)
I Thank You by Sam & Dave (#9 Billboard Chart)
Build My Whole World by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (#10 Billboard Chart)
Take Time to Know Her by Percy Sledge (#11 Billboard Chart)
Walk Away Renee by The Four Tops (#14 Billboard Chart)
Someday We'll Be Together by Diana Ross & The Supremes (#1 Billboard Chart)
I'm Gonna Make You Love Me by Supremes & Temptations (#2 Billboard Chart)
It's Your Thing by The Isley Brothers (#2 Billboard Chart)
Only The Strong Survive by Jerry Butler (#4 Billboard Chart)
What Does It Take by Jr. Walker & The All Stars (Above) (#4 Billboard Chart)
Baby, Baby Don't Cry by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles (#8 Billboard Chart)
Backfield in Motion by Mel & Tim (#10 Billboard Chart)