Sunday, November 15, 1964: 'Don't trust anyone over 30'

Jack Weinberg, whose arrest on October 1 helped ignite the Free Speech Movement at the University of California Berkeley, is quoted in a San Francisco Chronicle article written by James Benet:

"We have a saying in the movement that you can't trust anyone over 30."

The quote was reprinted by Chronicle columnist Ralph J. Gleason and soon became a slogan of the counterculture. (It was often shortened to "Don't trust anyone over 30.")

In 1970, Weinberg told The Washington Post: "I was being interviewed by this guy, and he was, or seemed to be, saying something that was bothering me. He was probing into the question of weren't there outside adults manipulating us. There was the implication of a 'Communist conspiracy.' That was infuriating, so I said the thing about not trusting anyone over 30 as a kind of taunt. I was trying to tell him there weren't any graybeards manipulating us." (Link to article: @)

Note: While I have not seen the original article in print or online, the source and date comes from Ralph Keyes' book "I Love It When You Talk Retro" (2009). Keyes also writes in "Nice Guys Finish Seventh" (1992): "Twenty-six years later, now long past 30 himself, Weinberg told me that those words just occurred to him on the spot. He thought they were original to him. Calling them a "movement saying" was his way of trying to give the motto more zing. ... Weinberg's generational redlining touched a nerve among over-thirties. It confirmed their worst fears about how they were perceived by their children. When student activists realized how much this motto bugged their elders, many began to chant 'Don't trust anyone over thirty' in earnest. Before long this became the defining slogan of an era when surly youths were seen as rudely elbowing their parents aside. In Weinberg's words, 'The phrase just resonated.' "

     -- Photo of Jack Weinberg by Harvey Richards

* As mentioned in "We Shall Overcome" (Ramparts magazine, April 1965): @
* "Boom! Talking About the Sixties" (Tom Brokaw, 2007, interview with Weinberg begins on page 591): @
* "What Happened at Berkeley" (Saturday Review magazine, January 16, 1965): @
* "Free Speech Movement Press Bibliography" (btstack.com): @ 

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