Days of decision – 1965 1967

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Information about Days of decision – 1965 1967

Published on October 30, 2016

Author: LucyBHoffman


1. DAYS OF DECISION – 1965 - 1967 A “Decade of Tumult and Change” HIS 220 – 001 – American Studies Lucy Beam Hoffman - Instructor


3. WATTS RIOT  White policeman stops a young black  Arrested for speeding and intoxication  “We’ve got no rights at all! It’s just like Selma!”  Riot – rocks, bottles, angry mob attacking white drivers, burning cars  National Guard is called  15,000 Troops called – some killed and injured “by mistake”  6 days – 4,000 arrested, 1,000 injured, 34 dead.  Marked the “dividing line” of the 60’s

4. WHITE BACKLASH  Conservatives – “whatever force is necessary”  States rights vs. Federal rights  LBJ sent officials – seeking reason for riots  White belief that AF AM had better opportunities – after Brown, whites still drew school districts.  Between 1950 – 1965 – Segregation rose in 15 large northern cities.  Watts – Black unemployment 30%  40% of nonwhites below the poverty line  Few blacks could escape the ghetto  Suburbs for whites, rundown districts for “coloreds”  Key to American success – hard work – had little meaning.  No political clout.  Again, riots blamed on “communist agitation.”  Chief of police referred to blacks as “monkeys” and “the criminal element.”  Police almost totally white.  Referred to billy clubs as “nigger knockers.” • Roger Wilkins – culture of the ghetto – “the poor people, the voiceless people, the invisible people.” • LBJ – Model Cities Act – urban renewal; Open Cities Act – to end segregation. First – ineffective, 2nd – debated for years in Congress. • Whites saw this as social programs helping minorities.

5. LBJ LIBERALISM FADES - INTERNATIONAL DAYS OF PROTEST  International Days of Protest (October 1965)  An invitation from the Berkeley Vietnam Day Committee to the faculty of the University of Michigan, as well as a schedule of events.  The International Days of Protests, an idea for protests from the University of California-Berkeley, set the stage for draft protests to occur across the United States and the University of Michigan. Students began to take a more radical stance following the teach-in. Throughout May, there were several events where students at Berkeley participated in the burning of draft cards.  Students marched to the Local Draft Board to present a black coffin to the staff to protest the United States Invasion of the Dominican Republic.  The largest teach-in at Berkeley on May 21-23, 1965, concluded with students marching to the Draft Board once again to “hang” Lyndon Johnson, as well as participate in the burning of more draft cards.  In an event leading up to the International Days of Protest, by the Berkeley Vietnam Day Committee, several hundred students attempted to stop trains carrying Armed Forces troops. The students received an outcry from faculty, as well as the government, with Ronald Reagan, saying “the manner in which these people protest is tantamount to treason."

6. THE IA DRANG VALLEY  NVA and Vietcong attempt to divide S. Vietnam in half  Westmoreland sends in troops – outnumbered 7 to 1 (We Were Soldiers Once, and We Were Young).  2,000 – 3,000 enemies dead, 240 Americans dead  NVA shifts back to guerilla warfare – no direct warfare until 1/68 – TET offensive  Westmoreland cabled LBJ – way to win was more troops. “Policy of attrition”  S. Vietnam – WHAM – Win Hearts and Minds Building irrigation canals,  375,000 more troops  Ia drang – Resounding success! Rallied the American people.  65% approval of LBJ.

7. TOP 10 BATTLES OF THE VIETNAM WAR  1. Battle of Ấp Bắc - 2 January 1963  2. Battle of Pleiku - February 6, 1965  3. Battle of Van Tuong - 18 August 1965  4. Battle of Ia Drang - November 14 to 18, 1965  5. Battle of Khe Sanh - 21 January 1968  6. Tet Offensive - 30 January – 3/28/1968  7. Battle of Hamburger Hill – 5/10 – 5/20, 1969  8. Easter Offensive - 30 March 1972  9. Battle of Xuân Lộc – 4/9 – 4/20, 1975  10. The Fall of Saigon – 4/29/75  War officially ended on 4/30/75

8. • First Autumn of war – 75% of 20 somethings favored the war. • Lined up to donate blood for casualties in Vietnam. • Who were the later dissidents? Communists who favored the victory of the Vietcong. • Truth? No one person was ever in control of anti-war protests. • Most citizens believed protestors to beatniks, subversives, commies • John Wayne soldiers would win. • Johnson continued string of lies to American people. • Once compared Vietnam to the Alamo. • 1966 – US sank deeper into VN quagmire.


10. LBJ QUOTES  “Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.”  “I once told Nixon that the Presidency is like being a jackass caught in a hail storm. You've got to just stand there and take it.”  “If one morning I walked on top of the water across the Potomac River, the headline that afternoon would read: 'President Can't Swim.‘”  “You might say that Lyndon Johnson is a cross between a Baptist preacher and a cowboy.”  “[T]he vote is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men.”

11. BLACK POWER! • James Meredith – “Walk against fear” – June, 1966 – 225 miles • Encouraged AF AM’s to take advantage of Voting Rights Act. • Major civil rights workers refused to take part. • 10 miles into walk – shot by a white man (100 pellets – legs, back, head) • Major activists continue the walk – new leadership. • “Walk” marks emergence of black power. • Disillusionment with white liberals, moderate black civil rights workers, resentful of Johnson administration • Tired of violence, beatings, turning the other cheek. Sammy Younge – shot in the head in AL for demanding to use a white restroom.

12. MALCOLM X  Believed Christianity hypocritical  Became leader of Black Muslims in Harlem  Believed blacks had no future in America – the American Nightmare  UN should create separate black states.  MLK was a modern day Uncle Tom.  Same style as early Americans.  Bold black man demanding self-determination and self-defense.  Time Magazine: “a spiritual desperado…a demagogue who titillated slum Negroes and frightened whites.”  1964 – became famous in Africa – Pan Africa Movement.  On February 21, 1965, one week after his home was firebombed, Malcolm X was shot to death by Nation of Islam members while speaking at a rally of his organization in New York City.

13. BLACK IS BEAUTIFUL  Young Activists arrive in Memphis – Civil Rights movement in disarray  Older Leaders want another “Selma,” younger want a Black march.  Want Deacons for Defense for protection – older leaders refuse and leave.  King received warmly, but mood had changed – “I’m not for that nonviolence stuff anymore.”  Song changes from “We Shall Overcome,” to “We Shall Overrun”  Carmichael – arrested 27 times – no more!  Willkins (NAACP) – new creed is dangerous and will cause more black deaths.  A reverse KKK  Violence escalates.  Chant changes from “Freedom Now!” to “Black Power!”  Muhammad Ali refuses to register for the draft – stripped of heavy- weight crown. https://ww com/watch ?v=9bJA6 W9CqvE Stokely Carmichael

14. RIOTS, REBELLION AND RESPONSES – SUMMER RIOTS OF 1966  Years of discrimination, frustration with white police  Ghetto riots – Cleveland, Dayton, Milwaukee, San Francisco  75% of whites felt civil rights was being harmed by black power  Chicago – attempt to desegregate neighborhoods met with vicious violence.  MLK attacked during march with bottles and rocks.  “I have never seen such hate, not in Mississippi or Alabama as I see here in Chicago.”  Blacks planned march through Cicero – Suicidal  Only 200 blacks accompanied by 700 police and 3,000 National Guardsman  40 arrests, a dozen injuries  LBJ responds with EEOC and hiring AF AM’s –  Thousands of job discrimination complaints received.  Most from women – ignored. Focus on AF AM’s.

15. “DE-SEXING THE JOB MARKET”  “Federal officials wrestling with the problem of enforcing the ban on discrimination in employment for reasons of sex, under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, may find it would have been better if Congress had just abolished sex itself.”  Above not allowed to recommend policy – “Fighting mad”  NOW formed. LBJ began to listen.  End “Stag government.”  Amended 1965 executive order – Federal contractors now must hire “without discrimination because of ‘race, color, religion, sex or national origin.”  Backlash from white men.  Continued movement away from liberalism. Betty Frieden Pauli Murray Mary Eastwood

16. MY COUNTRY – RIGHT OR WRONG?  Unhappiness about money being spent on the war when we had so many pressing needs at home.  Carmichael – White/Black/Yellow/Red Quote  Draft unfair – minorities didn’t go to college  Draft boards manned by whites  Deferments for fathers, some hardship cases, and college students  Till summer of ’68 – graduate school, teaching assistants, public school teachers  Service jobs – Lockheed, Dow (largest manufacturer of napalm), Honeywell  Living outside the country  30,000 male graduates from Harvard, Princeton, MIT – 20 died in Vietnam while ghetto Newark lost 11.  Low skills – went into the infantry  Higher percentage of whites in rear positions.

17. BLACKS OPPOSED TO VIETNAM WAR  King – “the Great Society has been shot down on the battlefields of Vietnam.”  More student protesters emerge in ’67.  Questions – should those conducting the war hold job interviews on campus? Should male students have to go to Reserve Officer Training Corps?  Univ of Chicago revealed grades to Selective Service  2-S – deferred, 1-A – ready for military induction.  For the first time in its history, SDS went up directly against a university administration in open confrontation. “SDS had successfully taken over the administration building of a major university, it had taken direct action without any punishment, and it had publicized its cause.”  Univ of Wisconsin – police called in during a protest against Dow – riot gear, tear gas, and billy clubs.

18. INCREASED PROTEST AGAINST THE WAR – JAIL VS. ARMS  100 College newspaper editors and student body presidents send letter to LBJ – Deeply troubled about war.  By 1967 – 500,000 troops in Vietnam – aggressive war for 2 years – where is victory?  May – 200,000 more troops privately requested by Westmoreland. McNamara disillusioned.  NVA confident of what they were doing – wear out the Americans.  LBJ – 1) Send more troops? What about China and Soviets?  2) Limit troops – prolong war.  3) Demobilize – political suicide  Cold War mentality from Kennedy to Ford

19. VIETNAM CASUALTIES  1965 – fewer than 1,400  1966 – 5,000+  1967 – 9,000+  Massive federal expenditures, deficits, and inflammatory pressures.  Human Cost: Among all the wars the United States had fought, Vietnam War is ranked 4th in casualties just below the Civil War and the two World Wars. Out of 2,594,000 personnel who served in Vietnam, there were 58,220 Americans dead, 153,303 wounded and 1,643 missing. More than 23,214 soldiers suffered one hundred percent disabled. Even when it already ended, the war continued to cost many American lives. It’s estimated that 70,000 to 300,000 Vietnam Veterans committed suicide and around 700,000 veterans suffered psychological trauma.  Economic Cost: The Department of Defense (DOD) reports that the United States spent about $168 billion (worth around $950 billion in 2011 dollars) in the entire war including $111 billion on military operations (1965 – 1972) and $28.5 billion on economic and military aid to Saigon regime (1953 – 1975). At that rate, the United States spent approximately $168,000 for an “enemy” killed. However, $168 billion was only the direct cost. According to Indochina Newsletter of Asia Resource Center, the United States spent from $350 billion to $900 billion in total including veterans’ benefits and interest.

20. “ALBATROSS”- TREASON OR PATRIOTISM?  More protests – Coretta Scott King – 1967 (50,000 – San Francisco)  Senator William J Fulbright stated that dissent “is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism, a higher form of patriotism.”  Politicians continue to act with Cold War mentality.

21. SUMMER OF DISCONTENT – 1967  Black Panther Party for Self Defense arrive at Capitol at Sacramento to protest bill restricting citizens from carrying loaded weapons in city limits.  Black Berets, black gloves, fist with extended arm.  10 Point Program.  Aggression of Vietnam, escalation of police brutality, consequently, black people must arm themselves.  Violence is necessary. Still, MLK is supported by most.  More riots – Boston, Tampa, Buffalo, Wilmington, Newark.  Newark: National Guard fired 150,000+ rounds of ammo; 1,200 wounded, 25 killed; LBJ sent the US Army with tanks, machine guns, helicopters Huey Newton Bobby Seale

22. RIOTS IN 1967 PROVE LBJ’S POLICIES AREN’T WORKING  Admin spent $300,000 to kill one Vietcong; $50.00 to help an American out of poverty. What???  LBJ appointed Gov Otto Kerner to investigate riots (surveyed 20 cities)  Grievances: police brutality, unemployment or underemployment, discrimination in housing and education.  In regards to ghetto lives, “White institutions created it, white institutions maintain it, and white society condones it.”  Glow of liberalism snuffed out by arguments over race and war.  Doves – “Peace Now!”; Hawks – “Bomb Hanoi!”

23. SUMMER OF LOVE  Dropping out – rejecting war, racism, and the American way  The Hippies – A wholly new subculture, a bizzare permutation of the middle class American Ethos.”  Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco  Fashion of hippies  Smoked and sold mj, did LSD, went to the “happenings”  Generation felt alienated  Police harrassed anyone with long hair.  Journalist called mj the “killer drug” – led to delirious rage.  From Acid to Zen – peaceful and honest.  Human “be-in” – Turn on, Tune in, Drop out

24. MUSIC OF THE SUMMER  The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jefferson Airplane, and the Doors.  Monterey Pop – first major music festival  30,000 to 60,000 by Sunday  New batch of LSD – Purple Haze  Peaceful – no police issues  Haight – trouble brewing – new drugs, too many people, no support,  Hippie enclaves in every town.

25. AUTUMN OF ANGUISH  Stop the Draft Week  Confront the war makers  Anti-war reached its peak – March on the Pentagon  Includes middle class liberals, religious leaders, students, hippies, civil rights moderates, black power advocates, Vietnam Vets, federal government workers, business executives.  50,000 – listened to Peter, Paul, & Mary  Philip Ochs – “Days of Decision”   Nationally, 1400 men returned their draft cards  2nd time Feds armed forces to protect nation’s capital  Midnight – paratroopers attacked brutally  LBJ believed peace movement was turning citizens against the war.  Took the offensive

26. LBJ TAKES THE OFFENSIVE  Instructed FBI to watch antiwar leaders and investigate  CIA Agents infiltrated CORE, Women Strike for Peace  LBJ & aides leaked lies  Again, communism to blame for the March on the Pentagon  Had not wanted war, but couldn’t back away.  Failure or defeat – not an option – matter of pride.  Sell the “product” to the American people.  “We’re winning the war!”  Autumn – officials fudged numbers.  Enormous pro-American kill and body counts announced on tv.  We were “winning a war of attrition”  Westmoreland – “significant that the enemy hasn’t won a major battle in over a year.”  First casualty of war – TRUTH  LBJ’s approval rate declined rapidly

27. WHY WERE WE THERE?  New York Times Poll – ½ of respondents don’t know why we were there.  By end of 1967 - What happened to the liberalism and optimism of 2 years earlier?  Escalation in Vietnam, civil rights marches, shouts for black power, endless urban riots, angry white backlash, mounting campus protests, weird kids flaunting mainstream values, television – fire in the streets, napalm in Vietnam

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