1967 October 21

100,000 March on Pentagon Against Vietnam War


Beginning at the Lincoln Memorial, more than 100,000 anti-Vietnam War protesters marched to the Pentagon in the largest anti-Vietnam war protest in the nation’s capital up until that time. The events were the subject of writer Norman Mailer’s book, Armies of the Night, which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. The march was also the occasion for the attempt to “levitate” the Pentagon by the radical group the Yippies (see the separate entry on this day).

The Vietnam War created a number of civil liberties crises. They include (1) the lack of a Congressional Declaration of War as required by the Constitution (June 3, 1970); (2) threats to freedom of the press in the Pentagon Papers case (June 30, 1971); (3) spying on the anti-war movement by the CIA (August 15, 1967); (4) threats to freedom of expression, for example high school student protests (February 24, 1969); censorship of television programs (February 25, 1968); and directly and indirectly some of the events that led to the Watergate Scandal (May 9, 1969; January 27, 1972).

Read the Pulitzer Prize-winning account: Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History (1968)

View newsreels of the March on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjvsSIK82Pk

Learn about the anti-Vietnam War movement: Michael Foley, Confronting the War Machine: Draft Resistance During the Vietnam War (2003)

Learn more about the anti-Vietnam War movement: Thomas Powers, The War at Home: Vietnam and the American People, 1964–1968 (1973)

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