Nevada Appeal at 150: Oct. 16, 1969: War protest marches sweep across nation

With parades, rallies, candlelight processions and church services, hundreds of thousands of Americans joined in the largest war protest in America’s history. Supporters of American policy on Vietnam also demonstrated publicly.

Every state had some form of protest Wednesday and more than one million people, most of them young, may have participated. Opponents of the Vietnam Moratorium Day displayed the American flag and drove with headlights on.

There were isolated reports of disorders amid the many activities centered on the moratorium slogan: Bring home the troops. All the troops. Now!” Many protests included reading the names of war dead.

When it was over, a spokesman for President Nixon said in Washington, “I don’t think the president can be affected by a mass demonstration of any kind.”

Leaders of the protest said they would continue “until the boys come home,” with two days of demonstrations in November, three in December, four in January.

Americans abroad and foreign students demonstrated in London, Paris, Rome, Brussels, Vienna, Tokyo, Dublin, Copenhagen and Bogota, Columbia. About 15 infantrymen fighting in South Vietnam wore black armbands to show their support for the protest.

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.


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