Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The Revolutionary 60s: Museum exhibit recreates decade of change across America

Exhibits coordinator Mary Thackston started to volunteer
at the Plymouth Historical Museum in 2005. 
Behind her is the Apollo 11 part of the local exhibit.
Julie Brown - Staff Writer

From baseball cards to a blue 1965 Mustang convertible, the current exhibit on the 1960s at the Plymouth Historical Museum offers plenty of learning and fun.
Mary Thackston, exhibits coordinator, is pleased with the many items members have loaned the museum, at 155 S. Main St. in downtown Plymouth.
“It was just interesting to look back on everything, and so much happened,” said Plymouth Township resident Thackston. “So many things happened. You have some newspapers of the times. The music was great, the best music.”

Front and center by the gift shop is a display on the summer of 1969 Apollo 11 mission. Nearby are magazines and photos of the time, as well as model cars from the 1960s.
“I was 10 in 1960,” she recalls, not knowing much history until President John Kennedy was killed in Texas.
“And we have people playing bridge and smoking. These were the so-called normal people,” she added of displayed mannequins by the front of the building.
“We're showing the generation gap here,” Thackston said of mannequins of a hippie daughter and her mother “not too happy with her lifestyle. As you can tell it's 'Oh please, mother' from the daughter's expression.”
This Mustang convertible is part of the exhibit.
The Ilitch Foundation has loaned several items to the Plymouth museum in honor of the 1968 World Series, including a hat worn by Dick McAuliffe, tickets and programs. A member has loaned confetti thrown from a J.L. Hudson store window that year, and an extensive collection of baseball cards from a member appeals to many visitors.
The museum is open from 1-4 p.m. Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with a website of Call (734) 455-8940 for more information.
At the museum train station representation, a lifelike mannequin much like Willie Nelson but in hippie garb awaits a train. The Vietnam conflict is represented with foreign flags, uniforms, photos and a red “My Brother Is There” ball cap.
“You can't have the 1960s without the Beatles,” said Thackston, who recalls her dad being apprehensive about the group when she was a girl. There are photos and posters, with one photo showing fighter Muhammad Ali meeting the Beatles.
An Evans 100 Interceptor bicycle, made in Plymouth, is displayed near the Mustang. Toys and women's clothes of the era are shown, with the parlor on the museum Main Street focused on the Kennedy family.
“It's moving to look at,” said Thackston, especially of those who were in service in Vietnam. She was among Americans who visited Montreal, Canada, for Expo '67 with a French class trip.
Those who visited the Grande Ballroom for music may recall Jimi Hendrix and Big Brother Holding Co., as Thackston does. The Woodstock concert is represented, along with national and local politics.
Of the candy boxes shown now and a 1950s exhibit last year, she says “I kind of liked the '50s candy better.”
Comics including Superman and Superman's Pal Jimmy Olsen are shown, as well as Mad magazine, still in publication. Bikinis and paper clothes of the era are shown in the dressmaker's window.
TV shows including “The Flintstones” and more are listed on one exhibit sign. The Revolutionary '60s will continue at the Plymouth Historical Museum through Nov. 6.