Important events concerning Timothy Leary:
Compiled by Colin Pringle
Oct, 22, 1920: Birth date of Leary, about 6 months older than
1938: LSD-25 first synthesized by Albert Hoffman at Sandoz
Labs, Bazel Switzerland and tested on animals.
April 16, 1943: Second synthesis of LSD leads to accident and
Hoffman experiences its psychedelic effect.
April 19, 1943: To further investigate the effects of LSD, Hoffman
ingests 250 micrograms (gamma), a fairly strong dose. 1949: LSD
research starts in the United States.
1954: Huxley's book The
Doors of Perception published.
1955: R. Gorden Wasson discovers psilocybin mushrooms in Mexico
and tries them.
1957: Wasson mushroom article appears in Life magazine
(May 13). Kerouac's On the Road published, putting the Beat Generation
in the lime light (Sept). Sputnik launched by the Russians (Oct.)
1958: Hoffman isolates psilocybin from the mushrooms, Alan Watts
takes LSD for the first time.
1959: Novelist Ken Kesey (Menlo Park Hollister study at the
V.A. hospital) and poet Allen Ginsberg (Mental Research Institute at Stanford
University, Gregory Bateson study, mid-May) take LSD for the first time.
1960: Leary tries psilocybin mushrooms in Mexico, lands a job
at Harvard, and starts psilocybin research project.
1961: Leary gives psilocybin to all the important members of
the Beat Generation and asks them to write a report of their experiences.
1962: Leary takes LSD for the first time.
1963: Leary predicted that within 10 years, over a million people
would have tried LSD. Harvard gives Leary and Alpert the boot. Sandoz patent
runs out on LSD. Aldous Huxley died same day Kennedy shot, last request
is for an injection of LSD (Nov 22).
1964: Ken Kesey and his Pranksters take to the road in the first
Hippie school bus (although none of them had long hair or even beards at
the time) and shoot first acid movie. Leary, Alpert and Metzner publish
Psychedelic Experience: A manual based on the Tibetan Book of the Dead.
1965: Leary busted for marijuana at the Mexico border. Kesey
busted for grass. First article on the Hippies appears (Sept 6). The Pranksters
hold their first acid tests. Sandoz stops production of LSD, but Owsley
takes over production.
1966: LIFE estimated that over a million people had taken
LSD (seven years sooner then Leary had predicted). Watts acid test causes
major freak-outs when people drink electric kool-Aid they had no idea was
dosed with LSD. (Feb 12). LSD horror stories flood the news media. LSD
becomes illegal in California (Oct 6).
1967: Author experiences Summer of Love in San Francisco. Hippie
and Haight-Ashbury become household words.
1968: Leary Publishes High Priest and The Politics
of Ecstasy. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (by Tom Wolfe) is
published. LBJ forced out of running for a second term (Mar 31). Neal Cassady
died (Feb 4).
1969: Leary's case goes to the Supreme Court, which rules Anslinger's
marijuana tax act unconstitutional. First moon landing (July). Woodstock
festival (Aug 15-17). Jack Kerouac died (Oct 21). Author takes LSD for
the first time (Dec 14).
1970: Leary sentenced to 10 years on marijuana charge (Jan).
Leary escapes and fleas to Europe (Sept).
1971: It was estimated that over 5 million Americans had used
LSD (five times Leary's prediction).
1973: Leary captured and sent back to prison.
1974: Nixon forced out of office, reducing Leary's legal problems.
1976: Leary finally released from prison.
1983: Leary publishes Flashbacks: An Autobiography and
his first computer program, Mind Mirror. Albert Hoffman publishes
My Problem Child.
1990: Leary speaks at Highline Community College and here's
May 31, 1996: Leary died.
Copyright © 1995, 1996, Colin Pringle