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A Trip Thru The Sixties

Discover what went down back in the 1960s that shaped our world today!
Students protested, police rioted, women liberated, sex freed, blacks empowered, and war continued as usual…

A Trip Through the Sixties – Women’s Liberation and Feminism


Women’s Liberation and Feminism

“Women are an oppressed class. Our oppression is total, affecting every facet of our lives. We are exploited as sex objects, breeders, domestic servants, and cheap labor. We are considered inferior beings, whose only purpose is to enhance men’s lives. Our humanity is denied. Our prescribed behavior is enforced by the threat of physical violence.” Redstockings (Bitch) Manifesto (1969)The late 1960s were a time of change, when social and political issues took center stage and nearly everyone had a cause to champion. One movement that forever altered the balance of power in America was Women’s Liberation.

Rosie the Riveter symbolized Female strength and independence

“A liberated woman is one who has sex before marriage and a job after.”

– Gloria SteinemDuring WWII, women were found in factories, helping the war effort while establishing their own financial independence. When men came back from the war, the women lost their jobs and went back to being homemakers and mothers. Yet that freedom they experienced during the war left many of them wondering why they should be stuck at home when they could work as well as a man.

The emotional, sexual, and psychological stereotyping of females begins when the doctor says, It’s a girl.
– Shirley ChisholmThen in the 1960s, as the baby boom waned, women entered the workforce in droves. What they found there was disheartening. They discovered that in the male dominated capitalist society, they were treated second class. They were discriminated against in hiring, as men were usually taken first. They were passed over for promotions, and when they did land a man’s job, they were paid only a fraction of what men were paid for the same work.

The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes.
– Bella Abzug

Seeking long overdue social, political and economic equality, women protested for such things as equal rights, equal pay, maternity leave, childcare, etc. Those who started this movement were quickly labeled “feminists”, and much of the media tried to stereotype these women as radical lesbians and kooks.

In my heart, I think a woman has two choices: Either she’s a feminist or a masochist”

– Gloria Steinem

But they got organized and groups like NOW, the National Organization of Women, grew quickly and became a big lobby for women’s rights in Congress, and the sponsor of the ERA, Equal Rights Amendment (which still hasn’t been ratified). The Women’s Liberation movement embraced many causes from equal rights to abortion, from legalizing contraceptives to freedom from sexual harassment.

Some of us are becoming the men we wanted to marry.
– Gloria Steinem

The timing was perfect. Everyone seemed to be protesting something, either the Vietnam War, student rights, Gay rights, so Women’s Liberation was another popular cause among many. Even women who didn’t consider themselves “feminists” were actively engaged in the fight for womens’ rights.

I wish someone would have told me that, just because I’m a girl, I don’t have to get married.
– Marlo Thomas

Other factors also contributed to the timing. Women were suddenly freed to work as their baby boomer children were now in school. The Pill and other contraceptive devices, liberated women to have sex without worrying about babies. The fashions of the 60s revealed much more of women’s sexuality than ever before. Miniskirts, see-thru blouses and freedom from bras ironically turned women into sex symbols at the same time they demanded to be seen as more than that.

Ban the Bra Protest at Miss America Pageant 1968
Scratch most feminists and underneath there is a woman who longs to be a sex object. The difference is that is not all she wants to be.
– Betty Rollin

In fact, female protesters at a Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, threw away their bras, which led to the media calling it a “bra burning”, which never really happened, yet seemed to encapsulate the prevailing mindset.

“You’ve come a long way, baby”
– Cigarette commercial (Virginia Slims)

As a result of the Women’s Liberation movement, women no longer felt so oppressed by the male-dominated society, and learned that they were equals and had the power to change society perhaps even more than other groups. Women no longer felt imprisoned at home, and could consider careers their mothers and grandmothers could only dream about.

Men are not the enemy, but the fellow victims. The real enemy is women’s denigration of themselves.
– Betty Friedan

They were now free to enter transient sexual relationships without being labeled whores, without the fear of getting pregnant, and without the social stigma that non-traditional relationships attract in America’s Puritan society.

[Feminism is] a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.
– Pat Robertson

Of course Women’s Lib spawned a backlash from conservatives who saw it as undermining the “family values” they cherished. The bible thumpers came out in force to stop the movement, preaching damnation to those preaching equality in America.

We’ve begun to raise daughters more like sons… but few have the courage to raise our sons more like our daughters.

– Gloria Steinem

Men began questioning their own dominance and sexual identity. Were men also a victim of sex role stereotyping? Could men be more sensitive, nuturing, in touch with their feminine side? Could they be homemakers and raise children while women went to work? These were some important social issues raised by Women’s Liberation, and led to a more open and flexible attitude towards sexual roles in American society.

Women’s Liberation Protest, London
But Women’s Liberation didn’t stop there! It spread around the world as feminist protests and liberation movements occurred in major cities everywhere. Today most women take for granted the gains garnered by the Women’s Liberation movement, but for many oppressed women around the world, their day has yet to arrive…

More about Women’s Liberation
Underground Woman! (1970)
Why Women Aren’t Liberated Yet (1969)
Women’s Lib Organizations (1970)

Free Woman by Heather Dean (1966)

Redstockings (Bitch) Manifesto (1969)
Understanding Orgasm (1968)
What is Women’s Liberation? (1970)

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A Trip Through the Sixties – The Sexual Revolution

 The Sexual Revolution

When you coordinate and liberate and release the sexuality and the minds of youth, and can twist it and change it toward a different goal and direction, via rock ‘n roll, via fucking in the streets, via dope, via action, direct action … then you can maybe push this country and we can rewrite the whole structure, based on the kind of energy released by rock ‘n roll.
– Ed Sanders

The concept of Free Love as expressed by hippies, didn’t just appear overnight. It’s a philosophy with roots deep in human consciousness. It just needs a little encouragement to surface. And that encouragement appeared in the 1960s in the form of new knowledge about human sexuality, the pill, psychedelic drugs, and a counter-culture which rejected the conservative ways and embraced individual freedom.

The only unnatural sexual act is that which you cannot perform.

– Alfred Kinsey
A new awareness of human sexuality began to spread among Americans starting with the Kinsey Report in 1948. It was a nine year study of human sexuality which opened everyone’s minds to the diversity of sexual behavior. One question in the survey asked whether the person was gay, bi or straight. The results indicating that up to 10% of the entire population is gay, was astonishing at the time. That one stat suddenly put homosexuality into a whole new light for many people. Another stat from the study that blew people away was the fact that nearly everyone masturbates. At last it seems, social science shed new light on sexuality, a once mystifying and taboo subject.

Then in the late ’50s, Masters & Johnson did a series of clinical studies of Human Sexual Response in laboratory settings that explored our physiological functions in every fascinating detail. Their report likewise became a best-seller and people everywhere were now discussing such once forbidden topics as vaginal orgasms and pre-come.

Don’t you want somebody to love?
Don’t you need somebody to love?
Wouldn’t you love somebody to love?
You better find somebody to love.
– Jefferson Airplane

These two studies set the backdrop for a new generation to explore their sexuality in a free and uninhibited way. Beat poets and writers like Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs wrote popular books that embraced sensuality and sexual experimentation as an essential ingredient to living life to its fullest. Rock ‘n Roll music likewise began to express the adolescent yearnings and forbidden desires that were previously repressed.

Yet it took America with its conservative, Puritan roots awhile to catch on to this new awareness and freedom as we were programmed at an early age to regard sex and marriage as a sacred pair, not to be separated. But the baby boomers, raised with the more liberal philosophy taught in Dr. Benjamin Spock’s Baby and Child Care (a phenomenal best seller), were allowed more freedom to explore sex, even as children. Suddenly it was considered normal for children to experiment with sex (with other children of course).

The ’60s are gone, dope will never be as cheap, sex never as free, and the rock and roll never as great.
– Abbie Hoffman

So the whole generation growing up in the 1960s, developed a radically different attitude toward sex than their parents. Drugs like marijuana, alcohol, LSD and cocaine loosened inhibitions and sex became just another turn-on. Gay men and women started coming out of the closet in the cities.

If it feels good…do it!
– unknown

Communal living situations fostered short-lived relationships, and much sexual experimentation. Groups like the Sexual Freedom League popped up, advertising their ongoing orgiastic events. Even the taboo against sex in public was forgotten. In parks, at festivals, in fact almost any hippie gathering was often the occasion for newly formed couples to get it on, often in public view. Free love meant you could love anyone, anywhere, anytime, without guilt.

But the biggest single event to liberate women from their designated roles as housewife and mother, was the contraceptive pill. This along with the popularization of other forms of birth control, like the IUD and spermicidal creams, allowed women to have sex, without concern about unintended consquences.

Around 1965, fashion went crazy, with a slew of new styles that emphasized women’s sexuality. The mini-skirt took the world by storm, revealing leg, thigh and sometimes more. Plunging necklines, see-thru tops and the rejection of the bra, gave men much more to drool over. Women at last had the power to manifest their latent femininity and sexuality.

Twiggy, set the fashion world on its head by making an icon out of a thin, boyish stick of a girl. Her sexual ambiguity and slim figure revolutionized the way women are portrayed in the media, and the way they look at themselves, and is still an essential part of the fashion scene today.

But not all women saw themselves as sex toys and many refused to let the sexual revolution just turn them into whores…

Sexual Revolution Links

Sex, Love & Hippies
Hippie Fashions & Lifestyles
Love & Sex Forum
Understanding Orgasm (1968)


More to come! 😉

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A Trip Through the Sixties – The Student Rights Movement

The Student Rights Movement

The most exciting things going on in America today are movements to change America…The futures and careers for which American students now prepare are for the most part intellectual and moral wastelands. This chrome-plated consumers paradise would have us grow up to be well-behaved children.
– Mario Savio (Free Speech Movement organizer, 1964)


Students aided the Civil Rights Movement (1960)

An outgrowth of the Civil Rights Movement, the Student Rights movement began when students who had participated in the Civil Rights marches brought that same activism right back to the college campuses. As the students became more organized, they formed the SDS, Students for A Democratic Society. In the Port Huron Statement (1962), the SDS set out an ambitious agenda for American students to change society. The SDS led teach-ins at schools from coast to coast and soon thousands of students were joining this new movement for expanded human rights.

At UC Berkeley in 1964 students were prohibited from political activities on campus property. Shocked that they couldn’t exercise their freedom of speech on their own campus, the students held rallies on the steps of the Administration building (Sproul Hall) and sit-ins inside demanding their rights. This was the start of the Free Speech Movement.

Many students were beaten, arrested, and some are suspended including Mario Savio, a leader of the movement and one of the more outspoken student protesters. Eventually the Berkeley faculty members came up with a proposal to restore free speech and the University Chancellor was replaced. As students around the country encountered similar restrictions, they started to demand their Universities and colleges be more responsive to their needs.

Students take over admin building, Columbia University

Students demanded more freedom to be politically active, to change the established curriculum (like adding minority studies) and to have accountability by the administration for its actions in the greater community. All over the USA, students whose requests were initially scoffed at, suddenly were taking over administration buildings, holding sit-ins and issuing long lists of demands. Radical student newspapers popped up encouraging even more students to get involved in the issues of the day.

Campus newspapers mobilized students

The student movement mobilized young people like never before. Their protests on campuses and in the streets were often met with excessive police brutality. In one notorious scenario, students and residents of Berkeley, California turned a dusty campus parking lot into a People’s Park, liberating it and fixing it up for the use of the community. In response, the governor, Ronald Reagan called in the National Guard who fenced off, and guarded the park. When the people took to the streets to protest this action, they were met with a hail of bullets that killed and injured many students and citizens.

If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with!
– Gov. Ronald Reagan

Face off over People’s Park, Berkeley, 1969

There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you’re free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!
– Mario Savio

Isla Vista bank, 1970

As the Vietnam war got into gear, students were being denied deferments and drafted. So the students widened their agenda to include the Vietnam war, anti-ROTC actions, anti-capitalist actions. A more radical offshoot of the SDS, the Weathermen, decided to fight back against the system with an orchestrated bombing campaign against corporate targets across America.

Revolution was in the air, and some groups were getting ready for it…


Related Articles

Disruption of the New Left, an FBI Counterintelligence Program (1968)
People’s Park: Just the Beginning by John Simon (1969)
Reagan & FBI – Conspiracy to Silence Dissent in America
Two, Three, Many Columbias by Tom Hayden

Isla Vista Student Riots (1970)
Let Us Shape the Future (1965)
People’s Park: Just the Beginning by John Simon (1969)
People’s Park Leaflets (1969)
SDS – Port Huron Statement (1962)
SDS Anti-War Speech (1965)

Student Spring Offensive On! (1969)

University of Illinois Becomes A Battlefield Scene (1970)

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A Trip Through the Sixties – The Anti-War Movement

The Anti-War Movement

We bled inside each other’s wounds
we had caught the same disease
we all sang the songs of peace.
Melanie – Lay Down

Protesters in D.C.

The Vietnam war divided the country into hawks and doves. Thousands of young men fled to Canada rather than allow themselves to be drafted and sent to Vietnam. Those who remained took to the streets to protest in ever growing numbers.

Massive Protest at the Pentagon

What is the use of physicians like myself trying to help parents to bring up children healthy and happy, to have them killed in such numbers for a cause that is ignoble?
-Dr. Benjamin Spock, pediatrician, author, antiwar activist

Student places flowers in soldier’s rifle

Protesters used many non-violent tactics to get their message across. These included teach-ins which explained what was going on in Vietnam, marches which drew as many as 500,000 people at one time, draft card burnings which indicated non-cooperation with the war machine, protests at induction centers where attempts were made to stop people from signing up for the war. They even went so far as to surround the Pentagon!

Vietnam War Veterans Protested Too!

Soon returning veterans who had experienced the horror of the war first hand, joined the ranks of the protesters, adding to their credibility and influence. Some even threw their medals into the Potomac river in protest.

Student lies dead after National Guard attacked protesters

The Establishment… has led us into the stupidest and cruelest war in all history. That war is a moral and political disaster — a terrible cancer eating away at the soul of our nation.
– Senator George McGovern

Protesters were met with police, National Guard, military police and even the army. It wasn’t always peaceful. Many, many non-violent protestors were greeted with force and brutality. On May 4th, 1970, four students were shot dead by National Guard troops during an anti-war protest at Kent State University. This galvanized the student community even further, leading many to protest who hadn’t before.

North Vietnam cannot defeat or humiliate the United States. Only Americans can do that.
– President Nixon

The Vietnam War finally ended thanks to the prolonged struggle of the Vietnamese people to free their homeland from imperialist invaders and the long fight on the streets of America to change the political agenda from war to peace. It proved that we CAN make a difference and stop American militarism/imperialism. Power to the People!

The Anti-War protests were just part of several movements that simultaneously sought to change society and enhance freedom and individual rights….

Questions for further study
Why did the US get involved in Vietnam?
Was the Vietnam war justified?
How effective were the protests against the war?
Who won the war?


Vietnam Links

What is the May 2nd Movement? (1965)

SNCC Position Paper: On Vietnam
A Veteran Speaks Against the War (1971)
GIs United Against the War in Vietnam
Vietnam Veterans Against the War (1971)
A Leaflet from The East Coast Conspiracy to Save Lives

Draft Board and Dow Chemical Raids (1969)

A New Call to Resist Illegitimate Authority (1969)

SDS: Let Us Shape the Future (1965)

Just What Are They Teaching About the Vietnam War?

Genocide by Jean-Paul Sartre
SDS Anti-War Speech (1965)

The Vietnam Moratorium by Jeremy Brecher (1969)
To My Black Brothers In Vietnam (1970)

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A Trip Through the Sixties – The Black Power Movement

Black Power


Malcolm X

You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
– Malcolm X

Many black people felt the
civil rights movement was achieving the economic, social and political liberation
of the race. Some of them, more radical, were disgusted with the slow pace
of reform, and felt the need to speed things up and force the issue directly.
Among these outspoken black people was Malcolm X, a black muslim who demanded
not just equality, but advocated a black revolution as a response to the
oppression and inequality black people experienced. Malcolm X looked at
the history of black people in America and pointed out how they were still
suffering from slave mentality on the part of both the white establishment,
and their own thinking.

Say it loud, I’m Black and I’m proud
– James Brown

Around this time, black students on college campuses were demanding classes
that focused on black history and minority studies, rather than the standard
white version of history. Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
chairman, Stokely Charmichael, used the term Black Power to create an awareness
among blacks of their human rights and ability to change their own circumstances
without reliance on the white power structure for improving the lot of black


Eldridge Cleaver & Stokely Carmichael

The struggle of our people for freedom has progressed to the form where all of us must take a stand either for or against the freedom of our people You are either with Your People or against them. You are either part of the solutionor part of the problem.
– Eldridge Cleaver

Eldridge Cleaver’s landmark bestselling book, Soul on Ice, broke new literary
ground by airing Black people’s grievances against white society, and pointing
out that black anger was rooted in hundreds of years of psychological oppression
by whites. Cleaver went on to become the Minister of Information for the
Black Panther Party.

Black is beautiful


American Athletes give Black Power salute at Olympics

We have two evils to fight, capitalism and racism. We must destroy both racism and capitalism.
– Huey P. Newton

The Black Panther Party was founded by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale and
embraced the teachings of Malcolm X. The Black Panthers set out to change
the way black people were being treated in America. First they wanted to
protect blacks from police harrassment and brutality. To this end, they advocated
arming black people with weapons and using them when necessary to defend
oneself. When you realize that most of the leaders of the Black Panthers
were former US military men, many of whom served in Vietnam, you know they
weren’t bluffing.



No matter how much money you make in the black community, when you go into the white world you are still a nigger, you are still a nigger, you are still a nigger.
– Stokely Carmichael

The second thing the Panthers wanted to achieve was economic and political
equality for black people. To achieve this they felt it necessary to reject
the existing system and set about creating an independent self-supporting
political and economic system. Black Panthers setup many new community
services including feeding the poor, teaching young children black history
and black pride and free medical services.


Black Panthers at Capitol

We have dedicated our lives, our blood, to the freedom and liberation of our people, and nothing, no force can stop us from achieving our goal. If it is necessary to destroy the United States of America, then let us destroy it with a smile on our faces.
– Eldridge Cleaver

But most significantly, the Black Panthers preached revolution, and if
an armed struggle was needed, they were ready. The Panthers were perhaps
the most credible threat to the existing American society in that they were
well organized, highly motivated, very well armed and trained. And given
the state of civil rights in the country in the late 60s, the time was right.

A Wall Street Journal sampling of opinion among black citizens in four metropolitan areas across the nation (SF, NY, Cleveland and Chicago) indicates a clear majority of blacks strongly support both the goals and methods of the Black Panthers.
– Wall St. Journal

But their leaders became targets for the police, and a number of busts
and shootouts resulted in the Panther leadership either being killed or
incarcerated. Yet the Panthers managed to inspire many black people to become
more active in their communities and to fight the system. Likewise the
threat they represented to the white status quo and to black conservatives,
was a shot across America’s bow, forcing it to change course in dealing with
minority rights.

Yet black people weren’t the only ones feeling the oppression of systematic discrimination and inequality in America…

More About Black Power
The Black Revolution: – Speech by Malcolm X (1963)
Black Panther Party Platform and Program (1966)
Black Power & Urban Politics by Albert Cleage (1968)
Interview with Huey P. Newton (1968)
Black Panther Gets 30 Years for One Joint (1968)

To My Black Brothers In Vietnam (1970)
The Black Panther Programs

The Basis of Black Power (SNCC)

Newsreel Films – More Black Panther Photos

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A Trip Through the Sixties – How It All Began

How It All Began

January, 1961 saw the inauguaration
of a new president, John F. Kennedy. The youngest president ever,
he brought a vibrant energy into the White House, and claimed to represent
a new generation of Americans. His enthusiasm was contagious and his
famous inaugural speech ended with ask not what your country can do for
you, ask what you can do for your country. It was a rallying cry for young
people to participate in the world’s greatest democracy and together create
a new vision of our future.Kennedy spoke of a New Frontier.
By March 1st Kennedy brought into being the Peace Corps, an organization
where young people could help other less fortunate countries realize their
dreams. Despite problems getting his domestic programs through Congress,
Kennedy was immensely popular in the U.S. and abroad. It was a time of
great ambition and optimism in America. He even promised us
the moon!
Jackie Kennedy stands with son John Jr. and Robert Kennedy
at JFK’s funeral.
But before JFK could lead us to a world of peace and prosperity for all,
he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. The bullets that ripped through

JFK that day in Dallas, also struck each of us. They pierced our
illusions allowing the dirty reality of life in America to invade our consciousness.
Whether you were a child sent home from school that day, or a middle aged
mourner, the assassination undermined our faith in the elusive American Dream.But for many Americans, life has always been a series of broken promises and shattered dreams….
Kennedy Inauguration Speech (Real Audio)

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A Trip Through the Sixties – The Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement

Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.


Black protesters getting the
high pressure hose in Birmingham, Alabama 1963

For the 15 percent of Americans who were black, living in an American version of Apartheid meant being treated as an inferior species of humanity. Despite the prosperous economic times, black people were being denied the same economic opportunities that whites had. Add to that descrimination in education, housing, and social inequality it’s no wonder tempers were beginning to boil. Civil Rights Acts were passed in 1960, 1964, 1965, and 1968, but blacks were still along way from achieving any sort of equality. In August 1963 200,000 people marched to Washington D.C. demanding Civil Rights. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. addressed the crowd with his I have a dream… speech, where he saw an equal and united America.


White Students march for Civil
Rights in Washington D.C. 1960

With new integration laws behind them, blacks sought admission to the same schools as whites. Many white southerners considered segregation their right and refused to admit black students to their schools. The prejudiced southern whites turned to violence, and with the help of the KKK threatened and intimidated blacks. This escalated and in 1964, three civil rights workers, one black and two white were murdered in Mississippi by members of the KKK.

It is purposeless to tell Negroes they should not be enraged when they should be. Indeed, they will be mentally healthier if they do not suppress rage, but vent it constructively and use its energy peacefully but forcefully to cripple the operations of an oppressive society. Civil disobedience can utilize the militance wasted in riots to seize clothes or groceries many do not even want. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. and wife
Coretta lead march into Montgomery, Alabama 1965

The Rev. King and his followers used tactics of non-violence in response to the white violence around them. These tactics included speeches, sit-ins, marches, and confronting those who would harm them, face to face. These methods were pioneered by Mahatma Gandhi, with great success in the quest to oust the imperialistic English from India. King’s use of non-violence to achieve socialgoals in the face of hostility set a precedent for future American protest movements.

Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tenneessee.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Coretta King and daughter at MLK’s funeral

But for many Americans, non-violence was not an option, not when you’re ordered to kill.

More about Civil Rights


Life Magazine’s portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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A Trip Through the Sixties – The Vietnam War

The Vietnam War

We should declare war on North Vietnam. . . .We could pave the whole country and put parking strips on it, and still be home by Christmas.

– Ronald Reagan, 1965

The Vietnam War was something that affected everyone in America. If you didn’t get drafted, you knew someone who did, who probably got sent to ‘Nam. Over two million Americans were involved in the war and many, almost 60,000, didn’t return alive.

Tell the Vietnamese they’ve got to draw in their horns or we’re going to bomb them back into the Stone Age.
– Gen. Curtis LeMay, May 1964

The war started when we sent over advisors to help the South Vietnamese military fight the VietCong who were communist. In 1965 this escalated to sending in ground troops, and before you know it thousands of G.I.s were getting orders to go to Southeast Asia. Although it seemed at first our involvement would be limited, the boys at the Pentagon had other plans and soon we were involved in an intractable war we could not win.

US dropped Napalm on Vietnamese Children
The draft is white people sending black people to fight yellow people to protect the country they stole from the red people.
– The musical ‘Hair’

The U.S. was in no way threatened by the North Vietnamese. They didn’t send terrorists to America. They just wanted to reunify their country, under communism of course. The U.S. countered with the domino theory which stated that if we let one more nation fall to communism, the rest of Asia would follow. They pointed out how the Soviets had occupied one eastern European country after another.

This military action (Congress never declared war) was not limited to Vietnam. Operations took place in Laos and Cambodia (many of them covert), and Thailand supported huge military bases and served as R&R central for the GIs.

Street Justice
The US tried to use its vast military superiority to destroy the Viet Cong who used guerilla tactics, blending into the jungle, with few established bases. The US tried carpet bombing the jungle, when that didn’t work they dropped napalm on the Vietnamese countryside and people. On the ground, atrocities were committed by US forces including the massacre of a whole village, killing women and children.

The imperialistic or capitalistic system occupies areas. It occupies Vietnam now. They occupy them by sending soldiers there, by sending policeman there. The policemen or soldiers are only a gun in the establishments hand. They make the racist secure in his racism. The gun in the establishment’s hand makes the establishment secure in its exploitation.
– Huey P. Newton

Buddhist Monk Immolates Self In War Protest
Meanwhile back in the States, support for this undeclared war waned as the black bags containing the bodies of young Americans started to pile up…

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