AGENDA FOR TODAY • QUICK WRITE: Tell me everything you know about anti-war protests; specifically what happened during the Vietnam war on the home front? • Lecture on home front protests • Protest poster project • Discussion of Posters
ANTI-WAR PROTESTS IN THE UNITED STATES • Started in 1964 when U.S. involvement in Vietnam really started to take shape. • Involved many different groups throughout the entire United States. • Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
Major reasons behind protests • Draft System • Moral arguments against U.S. involvement • Domino Theory? • Expansion of War into Cambodia
Draft System • Any young man that was 18 or older was subject to go to war. Towards the beginning of the war, if a young man was in college, they were able to defer military service until after graduation; leaving lower, working class and African Americans subject to go to war. • Led to protests and many people burning their draft cards.
Burning of Draft Cards • First burning of a draft card took place in 1965 and many more followed suit over the years; seen as a symbol of protest. • A law was passed in 1965 to punish anyone who “knowingly destroys or mutilates” his draft card. • Violations included prison time so many didn’t show up when they were called or fled to Canada or other countries.
Moral arguments against U.S. involvement • First time a war was broadcast on the nightly news • Any glorification of war was a myth now as the American public was subject to graphic images of casualties. • There was no clear sign of victory, so the images only strengthened the protests.
Domino Theory? • Many supporters of the war argued that Communism would spread to Vietnam with China and Russia in the same region. • But military critics of the war pointed out that the war was political and that the military mission lacked any clear idea of how to achieve its objectives. • South Vietnamese government was pretty corrupt so many Americans objected to supporting their government.
Expansion of War into Cambodia • In 1970, Nixon proposed that the military was to go into Cambodia and destroy all Viet cong bases there. • The expansion of the war was met with great disapproval of the American public which staged more protests.
Hawks v. Doves • Up until 1968, 68% of Americans favored continuing the war as opposed to 32% who wanted to end it. • Things changed in 1968….why??? • Hawks: Those who insisted the U.S. stay and fight. • Doves: Those who wanted the U.S. to withdraw.
Washington D.C. • Many protests occurred here but there were two major ones. • 1965- first major protest organized by SDS “March on Washington” drew more than 20,000. • 1967- Lincoln Memorial Rally drew tens of thousands of protestors.
Kent State • The war had appeared to be winding down, so when talk of invading Cambodia occurred, students and Americans across the country were enraged more than ever. • Campuses across the country participated in “a nation-wide student strike”.
Kent State • College campus in Ohio that on May 1st-4th 1970 completely changed U.S. history. • A small demonstration was planned on May 1st with 500 students where they planned for a bigger one to protest the expansion of the war into Cambodia for May 4th. • Upon hearing the plans for a large demonstration the mayor met with Kent City officials and a representative of the Ohio National Guard.
Kent State • Following the meeting, the mayor called the governor of Ohio and requested a unit of the National Guard be sent to the college and they moved in around 10pm that night.
Kent State • On May 4th, a protest was scheduled at noon. • University officials attempted to ban the gathering, handing out papers that the event was cancelled. • Despite those efforts, 2,000 people gathered on the commons. • National guard was brought in to disperse the students but the crowd refused so the guard used tear gas. • Tear gas didn’t work with high winds and the students began to throw rocks and other objects back at the guardsmen.
Kent State • The guardsmen began to advance on the group of students with bayonets lowered. • One member of the guard began to fire upon the students and others joined in. • Result was 4 students were killed and 9 others injured.
Sterling Hall Bombing • Occurred on the University of Wisconsin- Madison campus on August 4th, 1970. • A group of 4 students, called the “New Year’s gang” bombed this hall as a protest of the university’s research connections with the U.S. military. • Resulted in a death of a university physics researcher and injured four others.
Sterling Hall Bombing • Bomb was intended to destroy the Army Mathematics Research Center. • None of the people killed or injured by the bomb were involved or employed by the center.
Protest Poster Project • Create a poster that could have been used during a Vietnam War-era protest. • Feel free to use any slogans you may have seen throughout the presentation or make one up based on the information you know about the war. • Can be a pro-war (Hawk) or an anti-war (Dove) poster. • Be prepared to share yours with the class and tells us why you picked the slogan or drew the pictures you did.
Common slogans/chants used in protests: • Here are some of the common slogans/chants used to get you started with your project: • "One, two, three, four! We don't want your f***ing war!" "Draft Beer, not boys", "Hell no, we won't go", "Make love, not war" "Eighteen today, dead tomorrow” “Hey, hey, LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?" are examples of anti-war slogans. • "Love our country", "America, love it or leave it" and "No glory like old glory" are examples of pro-war slogans