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Pete Seeger & The Anti-War Movement

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Desirae Springstead

on 13 October 2014

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Transcript of Pete Seeger & The Anti-War Movement

The Vietnam War was a long, costly armed conflict that pitted the communist regime of North Vietnam and its southern allies (Viet Cong vs South Vietnam & the U.S.)
Major Figures
Vietnam War

Richard M. Nixon
: The Nixon administration expanded the war into the neighboring countries of Laos and Cambodia. In 1973, during Nixon's final year in office, the last U.S. combat soldiers left Vietnam, but military advisers and some Marines remained.

Movement Development
The movement against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War started with peace activists and leftist intellectuals on college campuses, such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) who organized peace marches and other protests
Other Anti-War Musicians
Major Figures
Vietnam War
Martin Luther King Jr
: On April 15, 1967, King led thousands of demonstrators to the United Nations building in New York where the civil rights leader delivered a speech attacking U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam. Over 100,000 people attended the rally.

"Bring 'Em Home"
Anti- War Songs By Pete Seeger

"Waist Deep in the Big Muddy"
Pete Seeger & The Anti-War Movement
The lyrics can be interpreted to make Johnson appear as the "big fool" and the Vietnam War as the foreseeable danger.
Written specifically as a response to the Vietnam War.
Emphasizes the fact that we should pull our military out of Vietnam
Explains how war affects society because it is an example of one of the many forms of protests against the Vietnam War.
Peter Yarrow trio "Peter, Paul and Mary"
Arlo Guthrie
Tom Paxton
Richie Havens
Leonard Bernstein
Earl Scruggs
Fred Kirkpatrick
Mitch Miller
Some artists listed above performed with Seeger at a protest march organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. This event occurred in Washington D.C. on November 15, 1969. Over 500,000 protesters attended.
These songs helped society have a voice. Seeger's music during this era helped people to be brave and stand up for what they believed in by giving them the courage to protest.

The Vietnam War
Assange1, F. (n.d.). Martin Luther King's Vietnam Anti-War Speech. In YouTube. Retrieved October 8, 2012
Bachom, Sandi. (2010, Oct., 10). Give Peace A Chance. [Video file]. Retrieved from
Barringer, Mark. "The Anti-War Movement in the United States." The Anti-War Movement in the United States. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2014. <http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/vietnam/antiwar.html>.
Bob Dylan. (2012, Sept., 11). Blowing In The Wind (Live On TV, March 1963).[Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube.com
Bring 'Em Home by Pete Seeger. Ed. James Teixeira. N.P., 21 May 2012. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
Capaldi, Jim, and Mary Capaldi. "Life and Times of Pete Seeger." Pete Seeger Appreciation Page Life and Times of Pete Seeger Comments. Word Press, 1992. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. <http://peteseeger.net/wp/?page_id=10>.
dynamoehummm. (2007, Jun., 23). The War Drags On by Donovan. [Video file]. Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRKsown-yEE
"ESSENTIAL QUESTION." Youth, Mass Culture, and Protest: The Rise and Impact of 1960s Antiwar Music. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2014. <http://teachrock.org/lesson/youth-mass-culture-and-protest-the-rise-and-impact-of-1960s-antiwar-music/>.
Footage File. (2010, Nov., 25). ANTI-WAR PEACE DEMONSTRATION. [Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube.com
Footagefarm. (2012, Jun., 4). Vietnam War Moratorium . [Video file]. Retreived from Youtube.com
funkydudesupreme. (2006, Nov., 1). Buy A Gun For Your Son. [Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube.com
History.com Staff. "Vietnam War Protest."History. A+E Networks, n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-protests>.
ianm12. (2008, July, 14). A Time to Break the Silence - Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. [Video file] Retrieved from http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/pete-seeger
McLaughlin, Katie. "The Vietnam War: 5 Things You Might Not Know." CNN. Cable News Network, 01 Jan. 1970. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. <http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/20/us/vietnam-war-five-things/>.
Opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Wikipedia, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.
PHILOCHSVEVO. (2014, Jan., 17). I Ain't Marching Anymore (Live). [Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube.com
Percivaldurham. (2010, Jan., 30). Where Have All The Flowers Gone. [Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube.com
Pete Seeger. N.d. Americans Who Tell The Truth. Web. 02 Oct. 2014. <http://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/pete-seeger>.
Pete Seeger: Waist Deep in the Big Muddy. PopulistParty, 18 Dec. 2008. Web. 24 Sept. 2014.
Richards, Adam . "The Vietnam War: Causes, Conflicts & Effects." Education Portal. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Sept. 2014. <http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/the-vietnam-war-causes-conflicts-effects.html#lesson>.
Rosenthal, Rob, Sam Rosenthal, and Pete Seeger. Pete Seeger in His Own Words. Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2012. 132-35. Print.
"Songs of Peace and Protest: 6 Essential Cuts From Pete Seeger." Time. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Sept. 2012. <http://time.com/2315/pete-seeger-best-songs/>.
Staff, History.com. Vietnam War History. N.P., 2009. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.
The Vietnam War: People. Shmoop, n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2014.
"The Vietnam War." ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association, n.d. Web. 25 Sept. 2014. <http://www.ushistory.org/us/55.asp>.
United States of America. Department of Defense. Office of The Secretary of Defense. Http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/. By John Carland. N.p., n.d. Web. <http://www.vietnamwar50th.com/assets/1/7/Info_paper_Vietnam_War_and_US_Start_Date.pdf>.
Vietnam Video. History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 02 Oct. 2014. <http://www.history.com/topics/vietnam-war/vietnam-war-history/videos/vietnam>.
"Where Have All The Flowers Gone? by The Kingston Trio Songfacts." Weblog post. Where Have All The Flowers Gone? by The Kingston Trio Songfacts. Songfacts, n.d. Web. 05 Oct. 2014. <http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=3483>.
Wong, James. (2013, Dec., 5). Turn! Turn! Turn! [Video file]. Retrieved from Youtube.com
There was never an actual declaration of war
According to the Office of the Secretary of Defense "to ask when the Vietnam War started for the United States is, metaphorically speaking, to open a can of worms. Before 1950, it was clear that the United States was not engaged in the war in any serious way. After 28 July 1965, it became equally clear that the United States had indeed become engaged in the war."
More than 3 million people (including 58,000 Americans) were killed in the Vietnam War
In 1965 the movement gained national attention after the United States began bombing North Vietnam
On October 21, 1967, one of the most prominent anti-war demonstrations took place, as some 100,000 protesters gathered at the Lincoln Memorial
Anti-war demonstration at Kent State University in 1970. Ohio National Guardsmen fired into a crowd of protesters, killing four students and wounding nine others.
In August 1964, North Vietnamese torpedo boats attacked two U.S. destroyers in the Gulf of Tonkin, and President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered the retaliatory bombing of military targets in North Vietnam.
Teach-ins & Sit-ins were used
Protesters were students, artists, intellectuals and "hippies." As well as though young people who rejected authority and embraced the drug culture.(history.com)
$25 billion per year
The movement gained more momentum when MLK stated his opposition to the war
Under the draft system, as many as 40,000 young men were called into service each month
Television helped to draw attention to the Anti- War Movement as graphic images of war made there way into peoples homes
Vietnam Veterans Against the War, many of whom were in wheelchairs and on crutches. The sight of these men on television throwing away the medals they had won during the war did much to win people over to the anti-war cause. (history.com)

Dec. 1969 the draft was started which raised tension and caused many men to flee or self mutilate to avoid being drafted
1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, Illinois, as more than 10,000 demonstrators took to the city’s streets
Cultural Impact
The Anti War Movement impacted culture by unifying people in opposition to the war.
The movement scared the government as the numbers of protesters increased.
The movement also divided the American people, raised tensions, and caused controversies among communities
Pete's Involvement
Student Peace Union
Emerge in 1959 on college campuses
Joining the Anti-War Movement
Pete was been accused of being a traitor to his county(PS, p.95) and was later jailed for Contempt of Congress(1950s-62)
He was being Blacklisted
Turn! Turn! Turn!
"Song, songs kept them going and going;/ They didn't realize the millions of seeds they were sowing./ They were singing in marches, even singing in jail./ Songs gave them the courage to believe they would not fail."

In the 1960s, Pete was working hard in the south with the Civil Rights Movement
The protests gave young people a voice, in the absence of the right to vote.
11,000 women served
Average age 21
1 in 10 soldiers were injured
Mohammed Ali
: refused to go to war, famously stating that he had "no quarrel with the Viet Cong" and that "no Viet Cong ever called me nigger." Ali also stated he would not go "10,000 miles to help murder, kill, and burn other people to simply help continue the domination of white slavemasters over dark people."
John F. Kennedy
: During his years as president, Kennedy tripled the amount of American economic and military aid to the South Vietnamese and increased the number of U.S. military advisers in Indochina. He refused to withdraw from the escalating conflict in Vietnam because, he said, "to withdraw from that effort would mean a collapse not only of South Vietnam, but Southeast Asia. So we are going to stay there."
Lyndon B. Johnson
: Despite promises to bring a swift end to American involvement in Indochina, Johnson steadily increased the number of U.S. troops deployed to Vietnam, hoping to ensure a U.S. victory before withdrawing forces.
John Lennon
This is footage from the Washington D.C. protest
Where Have All The Flowers Gone?
Students, women, & African-American groups, were most involved in the movement against the Vietnam War, using arts and music to aid their demonstrations
Monk Burning himself in protest
It would be better to come, and speak out, and if necessary be told to leave by the US Government, rather than not speak out(PS.p.129)
There is no enthusiasm for the war, in the country, except for the far right, and the generals(PS.p129)
Jimi Hendrix
Bob Dylan
The opposition is building up-- slowly. Everyone is feeling their way, thinking of their jobs, their homes, their business, etc. The Terrible feeling of isolation is what stops so many from standing up for their opinions.(PS.p.130)
Pete still felt dissatisfied with the work he was doing in raising peoples consciousness of the war and the world
Pete compares the war in Vietnam to that of Nazi Germany," that is what Hitler was trying to do, and he fooled a lot of people."(Talking of fighting Communism)(PS.p.131)
The question is not only what, but how, do we fight- Pete Seeger
Pete wasn't against serving for your country- Just the violence- He stood for peace and love. And even said that " you can learn a hell of a lot from being in the service. You learn discipline; you learn how to get along with people from many different places and different races and walks of life. If I had my way I would see two years citizenship service for every boy and girl on the globe. Compulsory for all... eight months to your country, eight months to your own city or loval region, and eight months to the United Nations.(PS.p.132)"
Music could serve to express the united determination of a large group of people to affect some changes in the world. (Ps.p. 132)
"The worlds problems are increasingly interrelated" Pete Seeger
At the Washington D.C. protest, Pete sang Bring 'Em Home, and later sung/hummed John Lennon's, Give Peace A Chance. He was joined on stage by Brother Kirk, Mitch Miller, Peter, Paul, and Mary. People stood and swayed, flags and banners waved, all in unison(PS.p.135)
90 percent of the people present were high school and college age- Pete Seeger: Washington D.C. Protest
Peace is for everybody. Everybody.- Pete Seeger (PS.p 136)
Pete refused to pay taxes in 1969 that would support an "illegal intervention in the affairs of Asia."
Reason 1
Congress is only capable of declaring war, and the executive branch is continuing to carry on an undeclared war
Reason 2
The United States disobeyed the Geneva agreements of 1954.
Reason 3
US military leaders activities in Vietnam violate international law(chemical warfare, etc)
PS. p. 137
Pete believed the US started the war by supporting Diem
The USA has spent since 1950 over 1000 billions of our dollars on war(PS.p138)
The government spent billions on war while communities and towns in the US disintegrated.
U.S. war makers have been busy making profits and power. Liars. Criminals. Murders.
Inasmuch as I have gone along with them and not protested out loud, I am also- I Pete Seeger- also. Liar. Criminal. Murderer. I, who paid my taxes and did not go to jail. I would like to be a part of the solution, but am still part of the problem.
PS. p. 138
In a 1970 speech Pete urges:
Young men: don't go. Wives, mothers, girlfriends: don't let them go. Old folks: don't pay taxes. Everyone: speak out loud, no matter where
This is an interview with student protester from 1968
Please check out this History.com video!
The war began after the rise to power of Ho Chi Minh and his communist Viet Minh party in North Vietnam
Men of all ages, young and old, were being sent to fight in the war, while those left at home, i.e. women and children were neglected by their government
Peace and love
James William Fulbright US Senator
Joan Baez, refused to pay taxes. 1964, she founded the Institute for the Study of Nonviolence & encouraged draft resistance
Arrested twice
Bob Dylan
Phil Ochs
Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam
This song was wrote as a call for peace. Pete was inspired by Mikhail Sholokhov's novel And Quiet Flows the Don,(songfacts.com)
Late 1950s
The Problem is much broader than Vietnam(PS.p 129)
Desirae Springstead & Katie Spitzley
Full transcript