1969 November 15

Second Anti-Vietnam War Moratorium: Massive Protests


The second Moratorium March to End the Vietnam War on this day was even larger than the first, which occurred on October 15, 1969, indicating that opposition to the Vietnam War and President Richard Nixon’s policies in continuing it had continued to grow. In Washington, D.C., more than 500,000 people marched; the San Francisco march drew 200,000. Smaller marches occurred across the country.

The first important march against the Vietnam War occurred in Washington, D.C. on April 17, 1965. An even larger march, made famous by the famed writer Norman Mailer in his book, Armies of the Night, occurred on October 21, 1967.

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).

Watch newsreel footage of the October Moratorium: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUMh-R4hCDg

Watch President Nixon’s response to the first Moratorium: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5J-AcZBn10

Learn more about the anti-Vietnam War movement: N. L. Zaroulis and Gerald Sullivan, Who Spoke Up? American Protest Against the War in Vietnam, 1963–1975 (1984)

Learn more at the archive of the anti-war movement in the Pacific Northwest: http://depts.washington.edu/antiwar/vietnam_student.shtml

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