Black text on an illustration of a person with very long curly hair and holding a yellow flower on a light blue background
©BEST SEAL CORP NY, NY 10013 1971
The quote, "Today is the first day of the rest of your life" originated in the San Francisco countercultural movement of the late 1960s. The quote is often attributed to Charles Dederich, the founder of Synanon, a drug recovery program turned religious movement. Dederich's use of the phrase, however, only dates as far back as 1968, the same year in which Abbie Hoffman used it in his book, Revolution for the Hell of It.
Hoffman, in turn, borrowed the phrase from a San Francisco activist group called The Diggers, from whom he also borrowed many of his philosophical teachings. As early as 1967, The Diggers published fliers bearing the quote. One eyewitness recalls the group's leader using the phrase in a speech. Some scholars claim that The Diggers, in turn, borrowed the phrase from the beat poet Gregory Corso.
Cryer, M. (2010). Common phrases: And the amazing stories behind them. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/
Gitlin, T. (1993). The sixties: Years of hope, days of rage. New York, NY: Bantam. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/
Shapiro, F. R. (Ed.). (2006). The Yale book of quotations. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Retrieved from https://books.google.com/
Weller, S. (2012, July). LSD, ecstasy, and a blast of utopianism: How 1967's "summer of love" all began. Vanity Fair. Retrieved from https://www.vanityfair.com/