Vietnam War Protests
United States involvement in the Vietnam War lasted for two decades, through the administrations of five presidents: Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson, Richard M. Nixon, and Gerald Ford, who brought it to an end on April 29, 1976, with his order for evacuation of the American Embassy in Saigon, after the fall of the city to North Vietnam forces. Characterized as a battle against Communist takeover of Southeast Asia, the war found early support from Congress and the public through most of its first decade. But by 1966, when youth activists began questioning and protesting against United States involvement, they framed a ten-year debate on the underlying national political and social issues laid bare by the conflict: unfairness and inequities of the military draft, racial discrimination, poverty, and official deceit. J. Edgar Hoover, head of the FBI called the protesters "Marxists," whose aim, he said, was to destroy democracy.
As the toll of death and destruction mounted, the protest movement grew in numbers and spread across the country. Violence erupted in cities and on college campuses. Police used tear gas against protesters on the Minneapolis campus of the University of Minnesota. Ohio National Guard troops killed four students on the campus of Kent State University. The entire world watched in 1968 as Chicago police battled war protesters on the street outside the Democratic National Convention where, inside, Minnesota Senator Eugene McCarthy and Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey played major colliding roles and where Humphrey's political career and future were changed forever.
Get Started With Secondary Sources
- Campus Activism: A Study of Saint Mary's College Public Opinion
of the Vietnam War in the Late Sixties, 1966-1969, by Amy E.
Historical research paper (St. Mary's College), 1993.
MHS call number: DS 559.62.U6 M68 1993.
- I'm Sorry I was Right: Eugene McCarthy, written and
directed by Mike Hazard.
[St. Paul, Minn.]: Center for International Education, 2001.
This film is a documentary portrait of the politician and poet, Eugene McCarthy. With rare archival footage, lively interviews, and good humor, McCarthy tells us about his work as a politician, the lessons of the Vietnam War, and the dangers of corporate control of the public mind.
MHS call number: Videotape 878 (1 27-minute color videocassette).
- Judging the Judges: Justice, Punishment, Resistance, and the
Minnesota Court During the War in Vietnam, by Kenneth E. Tilsen.
St. Cloud, Minn.: North Star Press of St. Cloud, 2002.
MHS call number: KF 221.P6 T55 2002.
- Out Now!: A Participant's Account of the American Movement Against
the Vietnam War, by Fred Halstead.
New York: Monad Press, 1978.
MHS call number: DS 559.62.U6 H35.
- Papers on the War, by Daniel Ellsberg.
New York: Simon and Schuster, .
MHS call number: E 183.8.v5 E4.
- Twenty Years Toward Peace: The Honeywell Project History, 1968-1988,
by text by Mordecai Specktor, photographs by Mark E. Jensen.
[Minneapolis: The Project, 1988].
MHS call number: FOLIO JX 1961.U6 T84 1988.
- Who Spoke Up?: American Protest Against the War in Vietnam,
1963-1975, by Nancy Zaroulis and Gerald Sullivan.
Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1984.
MHS call number: DS 559.62.U6 Z37 1984
- Minnesota History index subjects that may be useful for this topic:
- Vietnam War: Antiwar Movement
- Vietnam War: College Campuses, Reaction
- Vietnam War: Criticism of
- Vietnam War: Domestic Repression of Dissent
- Vietnam War: Political Viewpoints
- Tom Copeland Photograph Collection.
In September 1969 Copeland and 32 other Macalester College students and one faculty member rented two houses on St. Paul's Summit Avenue and opened the Macalester College "Inner College," an experiment in communal living, which lasted until May 1970. This collection includes views of their involvement in the anti-Vietnam War protest movement, including anti-war demonstrations, military draft protests, and demonstrating against Honeywell (protesting war related production).
MHS call number: III.30 (in the A-V Collection).
- "The Cause is Peace?"
[St. Paul, Minn.: KSTP-TV, 1972.]
Videotape of news coverage of the antiwar demonstrations at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) following President Richard Nixon's order to mine North Vietnamese harbors, May 1972. Includes a rally appearance by Sen. Eugene McCarthy and a discussion of the events by KSTP-TV news staff.
MHS call number: Videotape no. 183 (in the A-V Collection, 45-minute video).
- Council for Corporate Review Records.
This archival collection (1967-1976) consists of background and working files of the Council for Corporate Review, which was organized in 1970 to "broaden effective public participation in the decision-making processes of Minnesota corporations." Major activities of the Council included attempts to stop the production by Honeywell, Inc., of anti-personnel fragmentation bombs used in the Vietnam War.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed under Council for Corporate Review—for a detailed list of boxes and locators (there are 7 boxes, but not all relate to this topic).
- Marianne Hamilton Papers.
Personal papers of a founding member of the International Assembly of Christians in Solidarity with the Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Laotian People and a U.S. coordinator of the Assembly representing the Catholic Commission of Inquiry. The papers include personal correspondence, organizational memoranda, reports, press releases, newsletters, news clippings, and printed materials (some including prisoner testimony) regarding Southeast Asia, the Vietnam War, and Catholicism. Also included is a typewritten diary, which describes a ten-day trip to Hanoi in September 1972.
Note: Many items are in French, a few in Vietnamese.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed under Hamilton, Marianne—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 3 boxes of material).
- Hubert H. Humphrey Vice Presidential Files (1964-1968).
There is considerable material on foreign affairs, with emphasis on Vietnam.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed under Humphrey, Hubert H.—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 600 boxes, but not all relate to this topic).
- Hubert H. Humphrey Vice-Presidential Files, collected
by William B. Welsh.
Reports, memoranda, speeches, correspondence, notes, and other materials kept by William B. Welsh in his capacity as Administrative Assistant to Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey during the late 1960s. Major topics include Humphrey's 1968 presidential campaign, the Vietnam War, and the response to the urban riots of the late 1960s.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed under Welsh, William B.—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 3 boxes of material), or use an electronic version of the inventory.
- Eugene J. McCarthy Papers.
This collection contains McCarthy's files as U.S. Congress member from Minnesota's fourth district (1949-1958) and as U.S. senator from Minnesota (1959-1970). Foreign relations, especially the Vietnam War, are heavily emphasized in the Legislative Files series for 1966-1970.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed under McCarthy, Eugene J.—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 315 boxes of material, but not all relate to this topic).
Note: Files on McCarthy's 1968 campaign for U.S. president are at the University of Minnesota, Special Collections and Rare Books Division, in the Elmer Andersen Library.
- Minnesota Clergy and Laity Concerned, Vietnam War Opposition
This archival collection contains correspondence, background research materials, topical files, reports, articles, and speeches relating to the organization's activities in opposition to the Vietnam War and the U.S. draft. There is also information on other peace groups, 1962-1976.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed under Minnesota Clergy and Laity Concerned—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 4 boxes of material); or use an electronic version of the inventory.
- Peace and Protest Rallies in the Twin Cities Photographs.
Contact sheets of photographs by various Minneapolis Star & Tribune news photographers, including views of anti-Vietnam War activities such as demonstrations, parades, draft protests, and confrontations with the police.
MHS call number: I.316 in the Sound and Visual Collection (650 b&w photoprints on 32 sheets).
- Barbara Stuhler Papers.
This archival collection includes materials documenting her research interests and organizational activities also include records documenting the Bipartisan Caucus to End the War in Vietnam.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed under Stuhler, Barbara—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 9 boxes of material, but not all relate to this topic).
- Vietnam War Protest Collection.
This archival collection (1969-1973) consists of flyers, leaflets, posters, petitions, newsletters, newspapers, and other printed matter centered on the protest movement against the Vietnam War (1969-1973) in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Anti-war actions documented in the collection include local and national protest marches and demonstrations, student strikes, teach-ins, draft resistance, and fund raising benefits.
MHS call number: P1996; see the green Manuscripts Notebooks for more details (there is 1 box and 1 oversize folder).
- James M. Youngdale Papers.
This archival collection (1932-1981) includes materials documenting Youngdale's participation in a number of 1960s pro-peace groups protesting the Vietnam War. Youngdale was a farmer from Benson, a veteran of World War II, and later taught at the University of Minnesota.
MHS call number: See the green Manuscripts Alpha Notebooks—filed under Youngdale, James M.—for a detailed list of boxes and locator numbers (there are 2 boxes of material, but not all relate to this topic).
- Crisis ("regular newsletter of the Minnesota Committee to End the War in Vietnam"): Folio DS557.A6 M6.
- Minneapolis Star-Tribune (an index for articles published after 1970 is located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room)
- Minnesota Mobilizer (Minnesota Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam): DS557.A6 M64.
- Minnesota Vietnam News ("voice of the Minnesota Anti-War Movement"): DS557.A6 M63.
- St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch (an index for articles published after 1970 is located in the Hubbs Microfilm Room)
- Visual Resources Database subjects that may be useful for this topic:
- Check the library catalog for other materials.