VIETNAM ON THE HOME FRONT; FIGHTING THE WAR AT HOME
How did the US get involved in Vietnam? Check out Vietnam- The Path to War, written historically insightfully by yours truly.

"From the assassinations of MLK and Robert Kennedy to the protests at the Olympic Games and the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, events in 1968 set the stage for cultural, political, and economic change over the next generation."(From ABC CLIO:"year 1968." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 31 May 2010. http://www.americanhistory.abc-clio.com.)
What spun the US into tummultuous anxiety during the turning point year of 1968? Check out our notes from class, 1968 Notes.


The Democratic convention in 1968 was an example of division and opposition to the war in the US.
The Chicago Eight Protest
The Chicago Eight Protest

The Chicago Eight Protest

Summary of the Chicago Eight from ABC-CLIO: Demonstrators protest the trial of the Chicago Seven (also known as the Chicago Eight). The Chicago Seven, antiwar activists arrested for protests during the Democratic National Convention held in Chicago in 1968, drew attention to their cause during a lengthy and often bizarre trial.

THE ROOTS OF OPPOSITION

After the televised Tet Offensive, the people of the US began to realize that an end to the war, a "light at the end of the tunnel" was not in sight. Suspicion that the government was not telling the whole truth aroused. As a result, opposition erupted throughout various societies and age groups. Teach-ins at college campuses and meetings at churches spread the anti-war message to the public. They protested that the war was wrong; why were defending a corrupt dictatorship? The unmitigated containment policy was losing support and the "happy days" of the fifties began to fade.

"antiwar movement." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 31 May 2010. http://www.americanhistory.abc-clio.com.
"Fighting the War at Home, 1954-1975 (Overview)." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 31 May 2010. http://www.americanhistory.abc-clio.com.


KENT STATE UNIVERSITY SHOOTINGS

On May 4, 1970, four people died and nine were left wounded as student protesters and the Ohio National Guard clashed. It was the pinnacle of anti-war sentiment and opposition amongst students. What happened? In reaction of Nixon's announcement to enter Cambodia, several colleges joined together to go on strike. A large rally was planned and carried out on the campus. The national guard, upon small hills, attempterd to seperate the crowd. The police suddenly began to fire at the crowd of students and within 13 seconds, four were dead. In the short term it caused more demonstration against the war and what happened at the university. It ended up to mark the loss in momentum of protests on campus. THis also shocked Americans-America was fighting with itself at the same time it was fighting with VIetnam.

The Shootings ar Kent State University
The Shootings ar Kent State University

The Shootings ar Kent State University


"Kent State University shootings." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 31 May 2010. http://www.americanhistory.abc-clio.com.


THE MEDIA AND ANTI WAR SENTIMENT

Themedia played a huge rule in opposition to the war in Vietnam. It was known as "the living room war" as millions of Americans watched it play out on their very own telivision screens. The clear, blunt, unfiltered depicition of the war came as a message to Americans that something hasd to be done. in November of 1969, a national "mobilization" of 200,000 Americans marched on washington. When Nixon anounced on television in 1970 that he would send troops in Cambodia, he let the US now that US involvement was not soon going to end. Demonstrations skyrocketed and protesters were outraged.

Also, protesters were filmed and broadcast across the nation. The media focused on hippies, and the unkempt hair and disheveld appearance could have defrayed support of Americans, but oppposition grew. "Little old ladies in tennis shoes" joined "hippies and peaceniks" in protest.


Veterans even began to protest the war, returning their medals and publicly voicing thier opinion.
Veterans even began to protest the war, returning their medals and publicly voicing thier opinion.

Veterans even began to protest the war, returning their medals and publicly voicing thier opinion.

"Fighting the War at Home, 1954-1975 (Overview)." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2010. Web. 1 June 2010. <http://www.americanhistory.abc-clio.com>.

WHO, HOW, AND WHY DID PEOPLE PROTEST?
Reasons for protesting
  • - Some people felt that the Vietnam War was not necessary and that U.S. efforts to save South Vietnam from communism was unlikely and not worth the lives of so many.
    -Some, like Martin Luther King Jr. opposed Vietnam on a moral basis. King and other protested Vietnam because they though the United States was just there "to occupy it as an American colony" and believed that the U.S government was the greatest provider of violence in the world. People, like King, were also upset that the Vietnam War took funding and resources from social welfare programs and argued that as long as the war was going on, the poor would never get the aid they need.
    -SV government is corrupt.
    -Draft is unfair; unfair because rich would go to college and poor would have to fight. the lottery system of draft also unfair.
    -Veterans opposed the war
    -cost $$$ and lives
    -first war seen in living room
    -Not our war-its a vietnamese civil war, the Vietnamese should be fighting it
    -Tet-is the gov. lying?
    -chemical warfarre-immoral, unjust
    -some are just pacifist and oppose war
    -US troops questioned morality

    -Tet Offensive- It was televised nationally and people wondered if the government was telling the truth. U.S. citizens were appauled by the brutality of the offensive—it was now clear that the war would not soon be over. Thus, the Tet Offensive is one of the most paradoxical of history's decisive battles.
Methods of Protest
  • Marches- sometimes on televisision to increase awareness, did not show marchers in a good light.
  • protest mong soldiers- some refused to fight, desertion, and fragging officers (form of homicide named from the use of fragmentation hand grenades which left no fingerprints)
  • Teach-ins- they combined protest with education and sometimes treated as like a party like atmosphere. first teach-in was in April 1965.

Groups who protested
  • College students or SDS- After Cambodia invasion announcement many college students erupted in oppposition
  • Returning Veterans- Returning veterans began to speak out against the war and returned their medals. Many were continuing on opposition that they had held while serving in Vietnam
  • The Yippies- theu used outlandish behavior and street theater tactics to focus media attention. Yippies thought the government was abusing its power.
  • hippies-they opposed al war in general, and supported a love-everyone mentality.