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A friend from college days posted a flyer for the April 17 1965 March on Washington to end the war in Vietnam. What follows is the discussion that followed. Don't laugh too hard. Just try and imagine the nursing home discussions we'll be having in another ten or fifteen years.

Me: I don't think I was there - were we on vacation? My parents never would have let me go...
1 hr · Like

HK, who posted the flyer: I'm pretty sure there was a busload from Brandeis to Washington. Gotta admit I get my DC demos mixed up, but this one I remember.
1 hr · Like · 2

Me: Or was that the time I was sitting in front of the White House in cold slush after promising my mother I wouldn't go? It probably is - I know I got there on a bus from Brandeis...
1 hr · Like · 1

KM: @Rachel - I remember sitting in front of the White House in cold slush hiding from the news cameras because I told my mother I wouldn't be there.
52 mins · Unlike · 1

Me: I also remember sharing hot coffee with the police. I was just talking about it with someone at the seder - that's where I learned I could do just fine without milk and sugar. You and I are clearly soul-sisters.
45 mins · Like

NP: Rachel, I sat in front of the White House in slush and sleet and lobbied at the House of Representatives, but that was to get federal protection for civil rights demonstrators in Selma. Could that have been the same time?
24 mins · Like

NP: I think that must have been in '64-'65.
24 mins · Like

Me: NP, the Selma demonstration I remember was a sit-in at the Federal Building in Boston. I don't think there would have been time to organize a lobbying trip for that. That summer I remember lobbying for the Freedom Democratic Party.

At this point, I burst out laughing and decided I had to put this into a diary.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (17+ / 0-)

    Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

    by ramara on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 04:24:44 PM PDT

  •  I don't remember going to any of those so I (7+ / 0-)

    probably didn't. But then I was 18 months old so it was out of my control. You guys better not even start on whether or not you went to Woodstock.
         Cold slush? You bet! Memory really does file itself by weather incidents. One time I left my Boston campus for a weekend at RPI and before I could get back there was such a major snowstorm (in April!!1!) that the buses weren't running in Boston when I needed to get back.
         That was back in the day when even getting to a phone could be hard and trying to make a "long-distance" call was expensive, for you folks out there even younger than me. Cell-phones? Sci-fi.
         So yes that story was very amusing and you all get kudos for doing it all without cell phones, computers at all,  or even GPS.

    We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

    by nuclear winter solstice on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 04:45:57 PM PDT

  •  heh (7+ / 0-)

    Well, yes. After 50 years the momory can be a bit fuzzy.

    I remember the march on DC with MLK Jr, where he gave the "I Have a Dream" speech. I went with my mom. I was 7 years old.

    I remember being there with a huge crowd or very energized people. It was great. I don't remember the speeches though. I only know them from later hearing them.

    "If you lose your sense of humor, it's just not funny anymore" Wavy Gravy

    by offgrid on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 04:46:21 PM PDT

  •  Nice. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    worldlotus, ramara, Cadillac64

    I wasn't quite fully baked at that point.

    I do remember sirens and people running through the streets, and sitting on some tall guy's shoulders as he held one side of a banner and tons of other people chanting and singing. Don't remember People's Park, although I'm told I "helped" build it, playing in the sand pile while others placed bricks. That would have been '68 or '69.

    ...if you plant ice you're gonna harvest wind. (RH/JG)

    by telebob1 on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 05:06:38 PM PDT

  •  Too funny & too real! Thanks for this heart smile (5+ / 0-)

    & chuckle....

    Last year I attempted to record for my kiddos & grandkiddos some factoids & participation in various "change the world" activities & found myself getting brain cramps trying to recall critical names & dates.

    This getting older is definitely not for sissies or for those who did not journal in real time!!!

    Was too young to participate in the '65 March on Washington (was in Jr High) however not too young later on for antiwar ('Nam) demonstrations at military installations.

    Which did not bode well for me as my father was a military officer...

    In those days, in that locale, the minor military brats were turned over to the custody of their parents sans charges.  In most cases, jail would have been preferable, lol.

    I salute all of those who defy their parents & their societal norms-sometimes at great personal cost- to participate in activities for the greater good.

    PS: Youngsters take note-keep a journal.

  •  I'm sixtyfive now and (6+ / 0-)

    I remember every time I was arrested at demonstrations and I remember the face of every single cop that did it.
    Then in 1999 i was being booked for barfighting, and they ran my sheet.
    Of course when they asked if I'd every been arrested before, I replied, "Why no, sir".
    A cop held up my 60s mugshot and said "Hey you had a lot more hair in them days, man."
    But those early run ins at demonstrations did form my attitude toward authority, for life.

    I buy and sell well trained riding mules and American Mammoth Jack Stock.

    by old mule on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 05:36:27 PM PDT

    •  I saw where this road was leading, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      worldlotus, ramara, Cadillac64

      a few years back, been traveling retro-temp ever since. The winter CME of 2021 took out all the old binary crap so only log in crystle maytrx or chip you data into rocks or something.

      Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it. - Mark Twain

      by Wood Gas on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 06:34:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Was '65 when they tried levitating the Pentagon (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier, ramara, Cadillac64

    to exorcise the evil spirits within?

    I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk. - Kasper Gutman

    by rasbobbo on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 07:15:53 PM PDT

    •  I remember that well. It was October 1967 and was (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Abbie Hoffman's PR stunt in connection with the famous march on the Pentagon. (I was there, BTW.) Of course, there was no linking of hands around the Pentagon, although that added some silliness to what was otherwise a fairly grim operation.
         I did get to see "Che lives" painted on the Pentagon wall, though.
         That particular demo is very well described by Norman Mailer in "Armies of the Night."
         I believe that the Pentagon march was the first big national demo, drawing people from all over the country. Earlier big demos were primarily East Coast affairs.

  •  Tipped and rec'd cuz we may have been there, too, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    northerntier, ramara, Cadillac64

    but only one of us remembers it being slushy.

  •  didn't go to any of the big protests, but (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ramara, Cadillac64

    I was at the anti-inaugural parade protesting tricky Dick in 1969.  My college was in Carlisle Pa and we marched on the Army War College a few times.  Things got really tense because Kent State wasn't that far away.  I seem to remember finals being postponed that year.  Gosh we thought we could change the world.   We did, but not in the way we were hoping.

    sometimes the dragon wins

    by kathy in ga on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 08:39:58 PM PDT

  •  It is pretty funny (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ramara, Cadillac64

    I have to admit.

    But it is pretty hard to remember the details. It was such a long time ago, and there were so many demonstrations; they mostly all run together in my mind. I went to Washington three times, and protests in New York where I lived were going on all the time.

    Unlike most people of my generation, I don't think we stopped the war. We came out in our millions around the world, but the war went on and on and on. I don't know that it would have lasted any longer than it did if we'd never demonstrated.

    The one event that stands out in my memory was in Washington in November, 1969. My brother and I climbed up on the roof of a big truck and had a panoramic view, and I could not see the end of the crowd in any direction. They said there were half a million people there. Everyone believed they always undercounted by a lot, so maybe there were a million. I've never seen that many people in one place again and I'm sure I never will.

    I'm always surprised when people have fond memories of those days. I remember feeling so much rage and fear and powerlessness that it made me physically ill. I particularly remember that day as raining, cold, and miserable. Nothing about it was exciting or hopeful or empowering. I didn't believe we would make a difference. We'd already been doing this for years and all the while the war kept getting bigger and bigger.

    My brother was on the verge of going to Canada or to jail at that point. I felt like I would let them draft him over my dead body, but of course my dead body would have made no difference.

    •  It wasn't pleasure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that I remember, though remembering (however confusedly) has some pleasure. There was a sense of purpose in what we were doing. And don't forget, this was early in 1965 - the war had not yet become so large and disastrous. We still had hope.

      Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

      by ramara on Thu Apr 17, 2014 at 09:20:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. We didn't stop the war. I've come to the (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ramara, denise b

      conclusion that mass demonstrations are simply not enough to turn the nation aside from an obviously wrong course.
         Wrong policies apparently have to turn into complete fiascoes  before the public stops giving TPTB the benefit of the doubt.

      •  The reality was (0+ / 0-)

        that war was already out of our hands; Ike's warning about the military-industrial complex came only when it was already an established fact.

        The decisions were made because supplying the necessities for an army and for destruction was already too important economically. We would never again need to take over automobile factories to make bombers, or ask kids to find foil from cigarette wrappers to help in the effort. Every state in the country became dependent on war industries and military bases for economic well-being.

        And yet it has become more frightening to me that we take wars for granted and that fewer and fewer soldiers are killed and more and more civilians die far away.

        Being attentive to the needs of others might not be the point of life, but it is the work of life. It can be ... almost impossibly difficult. But it is not something we give. It is what we get in exchange for having to die. - Jonathan Safran Foer

        by ramara on Fri Apr 18, 2014 at 10:28:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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