Anti-Vietnam War demonstrators run up against military police as they attempt to penetrate security lines at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21, 1967.
“The Vietnam War is the only American conflict remembered as much for the opposition it sparked at home as for its battlefield victories and losses. Just two weeks after Marines landed at Da Nang in March 1965, crossing a new threshold of American military commitment in Vietnam, the University of Michigan held a ‘teach-in’ for 3,500 students and faculty disturbed by the intervention. The next decade would experience an intensifying drumbeat of protests that were by turns intimate and gargantuan, educative and rowdy, radical and mainstream, and local and global in scale. The October 1967 March on the Pentagon — immortalized in ‘The Armies of the Night,’ Norman Mailer’s ‘non-fiction novel’ — was at that point the largest antiwar rally ever staged. Coordinated by a coalition of antiwar groups known as the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (‘the Mobe’), it brought between 70,000 and 100,000 protesters to Washington to pressure President Johnson to end the war. One key organizer, Jerry Rubin, who with Abbie Hoffman would soon launch the mischievous Yippie party, helped give the event its countercultural cast. He announced beforehand a stunt by the poet Allen Ginsberg and others to ‘levitate’ the Pentagon — provoking curiosity, mockery and (as intended) headlines. … Recently, The Times asked more than 20 eyewitnesses — protesters, organizers, soldiers and reporters — to help tell the story of the march. — David Greenberg”
NY Times (Video)
W – Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam