Documents

Historical documents are not our primary focus.

However, as we come across documents or artifacts of interest–particularly those that are of relevance to a blog post we have done or are related to one of our Flickr photo albums–we scan and post them. 

The document categories are in alphabetical order and within each category the documents are in chronological order: 

Periodicals, Newspapers, Newsletters

Quick links to periodicals

Documents

Quick links to document categories

Anarchism and Syndicalism

Weather Underground FBI Wanted Poster  – 1972

While never specifically espousing an anarchist philosophy, the Weather Underground’s political beliefs and actions mirrored some of the characteristics of anarchism. The group formed as a result in a split of the mass student-based organization Students for a Democratic Society in 1969.

The Weathermen, as they were originally known, carried out their first major action later in the year—The Days of Rage in Chicago’s streets October 8-11th. Several hundred hard-core activists battled Chicago police over three days under the slogan “Bring the War Home.” 

A major focus of the demonstration was the trial of the Chicago 8—antiwar leaders of various philosophies charged with fomenting a riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

The clashes with police ended with six Weathermen wounded by police gunfire, 287 arrested and a number of other injured. The police suffered several dozen injuries—none serious. Many of those charged failed to appear in court resulting in most of the wanted profiles on the linked document.

The Weather Underground went on to conduct a symbolic bombing campaign of government, industrial or other political targets until 1977 when the group essentially disbanded.

A few members went on to participate in the May 19thCommunist Organization joint action with the Black Liberation Army of a 1981 robbery of a Brinks truck in New Jersey that resulted in the death of a guard and two police officers. Suspects were arrested over a five year period and sentenced to long prison terms.

Antiwar

(See Vietnam War for Indochina conflict)

D.C. SNCC calls for anti-draft march – May, 1967

The Washington, D.C. Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee calls on black youth to protest the draft May 8, 1967 by joining a march from 14th and H Streets NE to the Rayburn Office Building.

About 100 students from different East Coast colleges marched from the Rosedale playground to the Rayburn Building where they were barred from entering the building or attending a hearing being conducted by U.S. Senator Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.) on the draft.

The crowd grew to about 200 people and about 50 were eventually let into the building where they staged a sit-in  in the lobby. They were forcibly ejected by Capitol police, but not arrested.

The Resistance conscription refusal flyer – Oct. 1967

A flyer from The Resistance calling on draft-eligible people to refuse to cooperate with the U.S. Selective Service System and return their draft cards at a demonstration October 16, 1967.

The call was nationwide with the largest protest in Oakland, Ca. The Washington, D.C. demonstration at the draft board headquarters at 1724 F Street NW drew about 70 people.

Ten draft cards and about 50 anti-draft cards (statements that declared a refusal to cooperate with the draft) were given to Selective Service officials.

Stop the Draft Week – Dec. 1967

A flyer advertising a series of demonstrations in Washington, D.C. Dec. 4-9, 1967 for “Stop the Draft Week.”

The protests were part of a nationwide effort that week that resulted in demonstrations and civil disobedience in dozens of cities across the U.S.

Locally demonstrators rallied at St. Stephens Church, marched on the Selective Service headquarters and marched to the State Department. An event at the Ambassador Theater was also held.

The Washington, D.C. demonstrations were sponsored by D.C. chapter of The Resistance, a nationwide draft resistance group; the Washington Mobilization Committee Against the War in Vietnam, the umbrella group for anti-Vietnam War opposition; and the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, a Socialist Workers Party-influenced student group.

The Washington Area Resistance Freakout – 1967

The Vietnam-era draft resistance group sponsored an event at Washington’s Ambassador Theater (formerly Knickerbocker) before holding a protest on Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s lawn–1967. The group staged several high profile demonstrations in support of those who refused induction into the armed services  in the Washington, D.C. area.

Draft Prince Georges draft counselor flyer -1968

A draft of a flyer for draft counselors Robert and Eleana Simpson targeted toward working class youth in Prince George’s County, Md circa 1968..

The two counseled young people on draft law and options from 1968-69 during part of the peak period of the Vietnam War.

Hiroshima Day peace rally – Aug. 1968

A flyer by the Washington Mobilization for Peace, Women’s Strike for Peace, Washington Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), and the Washington Peace Center sponsor a Hiroshima Day (the day the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in 1945) rally in Lafayette Park August 10, 1968.

The flyer calls for 1) an end to all bombing 2) peace talks with the south Vietnamese National Liberation Front, 3) U.S. troop withdrawal.

A National Call: Free the Catonsville Nine – Oct. 1968

The flyer calls for a national demonstration to be held coincidi9ng with the trial of the Catonsville Nine—Catholic and peace activists who took draft records of about 800 young men outside the selective service office and set them afire with homemade napalm on May 17, 1968.

The nine waited at the scene to be arrested in what was the second “hit and stay” action of non-violent direct action resistance to the draft and the Vietnam War.

Thousands showed up to support the nine, but they were all convicted and sentenced to three years in prison.

Hiroshima Day commemoration – 1972

The Washington Area Peace Action Coalition flyer advertising Hiroshima Day events and calling for a planning meeting of interested groups. Hiroshima Day annually marks the 1945 bombing of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. using atomic bombs. The U.S. remains the only country that has used atomic weapons against an enemy–killing an estimated 200,000 Japanese, most of whom were civilians.

Civil Liberties

Virginia communists denounce Heller bill – 1940

The Virginia Communist Party issues a lengthy statement March 11, 1940  condemning the General Assembly for passing the so-called Heller Bill that would deny public facilities to communists or others.

Specifically, the bill would have instructed “custodians of all public buildings in Virginia” to deny the use of such buildings to anyone who “advocate, advise or teach the doctrine that the government of the United States or the Commonwealth of Virginia, or any political subdivision thereof should be overthrown or overturned by force violence or any unlawful means.”

After it passed the state senate without fanfare, a campaign was launmched to defeat the bill in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Delegate Francis Pickins Miller of Fairfax called it “a departure from the policies this state has cherished for three centuries” and declared it would “create a new public officer in Virginia, the custodian of dangerous thoughts.”

Gov. James Price ultimately vetoed the bill in a victory for the communists and civil liberties advocates.

Washington Committee for Democratic Action conference call – Apr. 1940

The Washington Committee for Democratic Action, the local affiliate of the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties, calls for a conference at the Washington Hotel at 15th and F Streets NW April 20-21, 1940.

Over 300 people attended the conference focused on civil rights, labor rights and gaining the right to vote and civil rights for District of Columbia residents.

The Washington Committee, along with the National Federation, merged with the International Labor Defense and the National Negro Congress to form the Civil Rights Congress in 1946.

In 1947 the Civil Rights Congress, along with the predecessor organizations, was listed as subversive by U.S. Attorney General Tom Clark.

National Federation for Constitutional Liberties membership brochure – circa 1940

The National Federation for Constitutional Liberties (NFCL) membership application brochure circa 1940 describes the purpose of the organization, lists its officers and provides a membership form.

The Washington Committee for Democratic Action was an affiliate of the national group that was founded at a convention in June 1940 and later merged in 1946 with the National Negro Congress and International Labor Defense to form the Civil Rights Congress..

In 1947, the NFCL was listed as a subversive organization, along with the Civil Right Congress, by U.S. Attorney General Tom Clark.

Call for civil rights demonstration in Washington: 1948

An ad hoc committee called the National Non-Partisan Mass Delegation to Washington puts out a flyer calling for a gathering in Washington, D.C. June 2, 1948 to demand Congress pass civil rights legislation.

Specific demands included abolition of the poll tax, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission (The FEPC existed during World War II—similar to today’s EEOC), ending segregation in the armed forces, and passage federal legislation making lynching a crime.

Two of the main sponsors were NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois and actor, singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson.

Several thousand attended the demonstration and added defeat of the Mundt-Nixon anti-communist bill to its legislative demands.

Daily Worker on U.S. communist leaders’ arrest – 1948

The Daily Worker, publication of the Communist Party USA, reports on the initial arrest of its leaders July 21, 1948 for advocating overthrow of the U.S. government as defined under the Smith Act.

The issue also contains a statement issued by the Communist Party on the arrest of their leaders.

Negro Freedom Rally Committee flyer – Sep. 1949

Following the “Peekskill Riot” where a white supremacist mob attacked people who gathered for a Paul Robeson concert, protest rallies were organized around the country, including Washington, D.C.

Marie Richardson flyer – Dec. 1951

As the Second Red Scare moved into full swing, authorities brought felony charges against Marie Richardson Harris for lying on a federal job application. The federal government alleged she was a member of the Communist Party. Harris held the Library of Congress job for 2-3 months and handled no classified information.

However, she had been the first black woman to hold a full-time union position in a national union (United Federal Workers) and was executive secretary of the local National Negro Congress. She served 4 ½ years in prison.

The case of Marie Richardson Harris: The victim of a modern witch-hunt – 1952

As the Second Red Scare moved into full swing, authorities brought felony charges against Marie Richardson Harris for lying on a federal job application. The federal government alleged she was a member of the Communist Party. Harris held the Library of Congress job for 2-3 months and handled no classified information.

However, she had been the first black woman to hold a full-time union position in a national union (United Federal Workers) and was executive secretary of the local National Negro Congress. She served 4 ½ years in prison.

Her defense committee had a fundraiser broken up by D.C. police and itself was later designated as a subversive organization by the U.S. government.

NLRB non-communist affidavit – circa 1955

The Taft-Harley Act passed in 1948 prohibited members of the Communist Party from holding labor union office if the union were to use provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. It required officers to sign a “non-communist affidavit” in order for the union to be eligible for National Labor Relations Board services and the use of the law in disputes with employers. 

The unions of the American Federation of Labor quickly agreed to this, but the Congress of Industrial Organizations briefly resisted and tried to use non-compliance with signing the affidavit as a direct action way of neutralizing other anti-labor provisions in the Taft-Hartley Act such as prohibition on secondary boycotts, sympathy strikes, authorization for states to enact so-called “right to work” laws, among others.

The refusal to sign quickly collapsed as major unions such as the United Auto Workers signed and anti-communist fervor swept the U.S. It wasn’t long before the CIO expelled or forced out 11 major national unions for alleged communist-domination and all the remaining union leaders signed the affidavits.

Many mark the decline of the labor movement to the Taft Harley Act and the inability of labor to wage effective resistance.

A flyer protesting HUAC hearings in D.C. – 1968

A September 1968 flyer advertising protests at the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings in Washington, D.C. into the clashes at the 1968 Democratic Convention. The flyer is unsigned, but lists the alternative newspaper Washington Free Press as a contact on the reverse side. 

At the hearing, prominent Yippie Abbie Hoffman was arrested for wearing an American flag shirt while his compatriot Jerry Rubin was hustled out of the hearing when he showed up bare-chested with an ammunition bandolier and a toy M-16 rifle [see Rubin and Hoffman].

Rubin and other Yippies tried to stand in silent protest of the “unfair treatment” they received at the hands of the committee.

Fact sheet on antiwar seaman Roger Priest – 1969

A 1969 fact sheet on the case of Roger Priest, a Navy seaman who worked at the Pentagon charged with a variety of offenses for his publication of an anti-Vietnam War newsletter called OM. The flyer is uncredited.

OM had a print run of 1000 and featured anti-Vietnam War articles and information as well as acting as a “gripe” forum for armed service members.

The court martial at the Washington Navy Yard included charges of soliciting fellow soldiers to desert, urging insubordination and making statements disloyal to the United States.

He was convicted of minor charges and received a reprimand, reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge for promoting disloyalty. Upon appeal the charges were voided and he was given an honorable discharge.

The Day After (TDA) Watergate protest flyer – 1970

A flyer advertises for a The Day After demonstration to protest the pending verdicts of the Chicago 8—defendants charged with fomenting disturbances at the 1968 Democratic Convention by their speech.

The 600-1000 demonstrators who gathered would later march on the Watergate home of Attorney General John Mitchell (People’s Tour of the Watergate) where they clashed with police in some of the bitterest street fighting in D.C. of the anti-Vietnam War period.Fighting broke out between police who used batons and tear gas and protesters who used rocks, bottles and sticks.

145 people were arrested during the hours-long confrontation that followed the initial halt of the march. The 145 were later awarded damages after a lawsuit. The demonstration was organized weeks in advance with leaflets advertising “The Day After (TDA)” the verdict with a time and place to gather.  The TDA was used multiple times over the next few years as a way to spread the word about an action in the pre-internet era.

This flyer should be viewed in conjunction with a related flyer below.

A flyer containing a map called a “Tour Guide” for the Watergate The Day After demonstration  – 1970

A “tour guide” map of a planned demonstration to follow the verdict in the Chicago 7 (formerly Chicago 8) trial produced in February 1970. The creators are not known.

The defendants were charged with conspiracy to foment disturbances at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

The 600-1000 demonstrators who gathered would later march on the Watergate home of Attorney General John Mitchell (People’s Tour of the Watergate) where they clashed with police in some of the bitterest street fighting in D.C. of the anti-Vietnam War period.

Fighting broke out between police who used batons and tear gas and protesters who used rocks, bottles and sticks. 145 people were arrested during the hours-long confrontation that followed the initial halt of the march. The 145 were later awarded damages after a lawsuit.

The demonstration was organized weeks in advance with leaflets advertising “The Day After (TDA)” the verdict with a time and place to gather.  The TDA was used multiple times over the next few years as a way to spread the word about an action in the pre-internet era.

This flyer should be viewed in conjunction with a related flyer above.

Dillingham for Sheriff poster – 1970

A full page ad in the alternative newspaper Quicksilver Times was the only expense J. Brinton “Brint” Dillingham recorded during his September 15, 1970 Democratic primary quest for Sheriff of Montgomery County, Md.

Dillingham campaigned on freeing all political prisoners, including those incarcerated because of their economic status, and disarming sheriffs’ deputies. Early in the campaign in November 1969, Dillingham blasted incumbent Sheriff Ralph W. Offutt charging that sheriff’s deputies used undue force in shooting a convicted cattle rustler in the rump when he tried to escape from jail.” Offutt responded, “if that long-haired s.o.b. wants to make an issue, let him.”

Later in the campaign he sought writs of habeus corpus for a dozen people charged with crimes but held in jail because they couldn’t make bail. When the election was held, Dillingham drew a surprising 10,000 votes to Offutt’s 40,000.

Mother Jones collective exposes alleged police agent – 1970 ca.

The Mother Jones Collective in Baltimore, a Marxist-Leninist formation that grew out of the student movement, puts out a flyer describing a suspected police agent named John Shaw circa 1970.

The Mother Jones collective along with the Mother Bloor collective in Maryland were typical formations that grew out of the student movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s that laid some of the basis for the new communist movement of the 1970s.

The Mother Jones collective held Marxist-Leninist study sessions, developed communist work at factories, shipyards other places of employment in Baltimore, held rallies and demonstrations and defended the Baltimore Black Panther office among other activities.

U. of Md. ‘wanted poster’ of undercover police – 1970 ca.

The first in a series of “wanted” posters put out anonymously on the University of Maryland campus of police agents and informers following the student strike of 1970.

This one features state police officers John Paul Cook and Bob Wacker.

U. of Md. ‘wanted poster’ of undercover police (2) – 1970 ca.

The second in a series of “wanted” posters put out anonymously on the University of Maryland campus of police agents and informers following the student strike of 1970.

This one features alleged state police officer or informer Jim Lair.

U. of Md. ‘wanted poster’ of police/FBI informant (3) – 1970 ca.

The third in a series of “wanted” posters put out anonymously on the University of Maryland College Park campus of police agents and informers following the student strike of 1970.

This one features alleged police/FBI informant Thomas Hyde.

Pocket rights card – Aug. 1972

A card given out to protesters at the 1972 Republican Convention that outlines rights during arrest and contains the phone numbers of attorneys.

Civil Rights and Black Liberation Before 1955

Stop lynching; demand death penalty – 1931

A flyer advertising a December 29, 1931 Washington, D.C. meeting sponsored by communist aligned groups to protest recent lynchings is shown above.

The flyer demands the death penalty for the murderers of Matthew Williams in Salisbury, Maryland and Sam Jackson and George Banks in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

The League of Struggle for Negro Rights, the International Labor Defense and the Scottsboro Defense Committee were all communist-led organizations.

Washington Committee for Democratic Action conference call — Apr. 1940

The Washington Committee for Democratic Action, the local affiliate of the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties, calls for a conference at the Washington Hotel at 15th and F Streets NW April 20-21, 1940.

Over 300 people attended the conference focused on civil rights, labor rights and gaining the right to vote and civil rights for District of Columbia residents.

Labor speakers included Rep. John Coffee (D-Wa.); John P. Davis, National Negro Congress; Arthur Stein, D.C. council of the United Federal Workers and David Lasser, president of the Workers Alliance; and Cecil Owen, president of the Washington Industrial Council, CIO.

Civil rights speakers included Rep. John Gavagan (D-N.Y.); Charles Hamilton Houston, general counsel of the NAACP; and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn of the Communist Party

The Washington Committee, along with the National Federation, merged with the International Labor Defense and the National Negro Congress to form the Civil Rights Congress in 1946.

March on Washington: 1941

A March 1941 letter from A. Phillip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, to NAACP leader Walter White inviting him to join a march on Washington for fair employment.

The March on Washington Movement led to President Franklin Roosevelt issuing an executive order banning discrimination in defense-related industry and enforcing it through a Fair Employment Practices Commission. The planned march was cancelled after Roosevelt’s order.

Poll Tax Repealer – Mar. 1943

The March 1943 edition of the Poll Tax Repealer, a national newsletter published by the National Committee to Abolish the Poll Tax.

Poll taxes (a tax levied when voting in an election) were imposed in many U.S. Southern states as one of several methods to minimize African American voters.  Laws typically excluded from the tax anyone whose father and/or grandfather, had voted prior to the Civil War—assuring that nearly all African Americans were subject to the tax and most white Southerners were not.

The national campaign against the poll tax began in the early 1940s and continued through the end of the decade.

The campaign had some success at the local level as some states repealed their poll tax, including Georgia in 1945.

The civil rights movement wasn’t successful at ending the tax until the 24thAmendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1964. Poll taxes in state elections were outlawed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1966.

For other issues of the Poll Tax Repealer, see periodicals below.

D.C. NAACP Victory Mass Assembly – May, 1945

The District of Columbia branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) holds a Victory Mass Assembly at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church on M Street NW May 6, 1945 following the victory of Allied forces in Europe over Adolph Hitler’s Nazi regime.

The war against Japan was ongoing at the time.

The program includes Judge William Hastie, police chief Edward J. Kelly, opera singer Lillian Evanti, former Liberian ambassador Dr. Rafael O’Hara, rights activist Eugene Davidson and civil rights and liberties attorney George E. C. Hayes.

The D.C. NAACP ‘Case Against Lansburgh’s’: 1945

An October 11, 1945 flyer targeting Lansburgh’s Department Store for a campaign to desegregate its lunch counter is launched by the Washington, D.C. branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The flyer urges the public to close their credit accounts at Lansburgh’s in order to pressure the store. The effort did not succeed in desegregating Lansburgh’s.

It would be another four years before the Coordinating Committee for the Enforcement of the D.C. Anti-Discrimination Laws was launched in late 1949 headed by long-time rights activist Mary Church Terrell that would ultimately break the back of Jim Crow in the city.

D.C. NAACP meeting protesting police riot in Columbia, Tennessee – 1946

This handbill by the D.C. chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) calls for a protest meeting April 7, 1946 at the Asbury Methodist Church at 11th and K Streets NW

The meeting was called to protest a police riot in Columbia, Tennessee that resulted in shootings and looting black businesses and mass arrests of black people by state police after a white lynch mob had gathered in town.

The incident, along with the 1946 Moore’s Ford, Georgia lynching of four black Americans, galvanized the civil rights movement after World War II.

One of the main speakers was Channing Tobias,  a leading civil rights figure at the time having developed a career in the black section of the YMCA and was director of the Phelps Stokes Fund that invested in education at the time of the meeting.

The other was Mrs. James Morton (first name unknown) of Columbia who provided eyewitness testimony of the destruction wreaked by state police.

NAACP recruiting flyer: Make D.C. stand for Democracy’s Capital – Jan. 1948

The D.C. branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People publishes a flyer for their 1948 membership drive.

The group pitched making D.C. stand for “Democracy’s Capital” in terms of a beacon for non-discrimination.

NAACP mass meeting to support Truman’s civil rights plan – Apr. 1948

The Washington, D.C. branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) calls for a city-wide meeting April 18, 1948 at All Souls Church on 16th Street NW appealing to people “Don’t wreck the President’s civil rights plan; support it.”

There is a handwritten date of 1943 in the upper right hand corner. However this seems incorrect. Arthur Powell Davies, listed on the flyer, didn’t become pastor of All Souls Church until the fall of 1944. The date of April 18th falls on a Sunday in both 1943 and 1948, making 1948 the more likely year.

The call to support the President’s plan was at odds with Paul Robeson,  the Civil Rights Congress and other activists that took a more confrontational approach and demanded immediate action.

It also came during a time when former vice president Henry Wallace had announced he would make a third-party candidate run for president on a platform of peace, civil rights and labor rights.

The rally served as an implicit endorsement of Truman and a rejection of Wallace.

Call for civil rights demonstration in Washington – 1948

An ad hoc committee called the National Non-Partisan Mass Delegation to Washington puts out a flyer calling for a gathering in Washington, D.C. June 2, 1948 to demand Congress pass civil rights legislation.

Specific demands included abolition of the poll tax, a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission (The FEPC existed during World War II—similar to today’s EEOC), ending segregation in the armed forces, and passage federal legislation making lynching a crime.

Two of the main sponsors were NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois and actor, singer and civil rights activist Paul Robeson.

Advertisement calls for end to Jim Crow at the Bureau of Engraving – May 1949

A display ad published in the Washington Afro American May 7, 1949 by a number of prominent labor and black organizations in the D.C. area calling on President Harry Truman to end Jim Crow at the Bureau of Engraving.

A broad coalition led by Margaret Gilmore, president of United Public Workers of America Local 3, organized pickets at the Bureau of Engraving and at the White House.

Gilmore led a three-year fight against Jim Crow at the agency that printed U.S. money, winning major victories along the way.

Negro Freedom Rally Committee flyer – Sep. 1949

Following the “Peekskill Riot” where a white supremacist mob attacked people who gathered for a Paul Robeson concert, protest rallies were organized around the country, including Washington, D.C.

Save the Martinsville 7 from the electric chair – Mar. 1950

A flyer by the Committee to Save the Martinsville Seven calls for a rally in Richmond, Virginia March 23, 1950.

The Martinsville 7 were seven African American men convicted of raping a white woman in 1949 and sentenced to death. All 45 men executed in Virginia’s electric chair up until 1951 for the crime of rape were black men convicted of assaulting white women.

A nationwide campaign by the Civil Rights Congress highlighted the issue of racial injustice, but failed to stop the executions. The men were electrocuted by the state of Virginia in February 1951.

Why the Crusade on the Martinsville Seven – Nov. 1950

The Civil Rights Congress and the Virginia Committee to Save the Martinsville Seven publish a flyer November 8, 1950 explaining why the Virginia case of seven black men sentenced to death was important for the fight against white supremacy.

The Martinsville 7 were charged with the rape of a white woman, Ruby Stroud Floyd, in a black neighborhood of Martinsville, Virginia on January 8, 1949. After a long legal battle led by the NAACP and a grassroots campaign led by the Civil Rights Congress, the seven were executed in 1951 on February 2nd and February 5th. 

Civil Rights Congress highlights Martinsville 7 case – Jan. 1951

The January 8, 1951 Charter Bulletin, newsletter of the Civil Rights Congress, features the Martinsville 7 case on the front page.

The Martinsville 7 were seven African American men convicted of raping a white woman in 1949 and sentenced to death.

All 45 men executed in Virginia’s electric chair up until 1951 for the crime of rape were black men convicted of assaulting white women.

A nationwide campaign by the Civil Rights Congress highlighted the issue of racial injustice, but failed to stop the executions.

The men were electrocuted by the state of Virginia in February 1951.

Civil Rights Congress takes on white supremacy – Feb. 1951

A Civil Rights Congress (CRC) flyer issued March-April 1951 on the execution of the Martinsville 7, Willie McGee’s pending execution and the re-trial of the Trenton 6.

Washington Mobilization to Free Willie McGee flyer – Mar. 1951

The Washington Mobilization to Free Willie McGee calls on demonstrators arriving for a “Peace Crusade” to support freedom for Willie McGee, a black man convicted of raping a white woman in Mississippi and sentenced to death.

The flyer called for a prayer vigil at the U.S. Supreme Court March 15th, lobbying Congress March 16th and a vigil in front of the White House. McGee was scheduled to be executed March 20th.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black issued a stay, but the full Court would not hear the case. More demonstrations were held in D.C., including one in which protesters chained themselves to the Lincoln Memorial, but McGee was executed May 8, 1951.

Washington Mobilization to Free Willie McGee press release – Mar. 1951

The Washington Mobilization to Free Willie McGee writes two press releases March 15, 1951 about U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black and the case of Willie McGee.

The first press release that applauded Black for issuing a stay in the case was ultimately issued March 16, 1951 after Black acted on the petition. The other draft condemned Black and was not issued.

Jack Zucker, who issued the release, was the legislative director of the United Shoe Workers of America, CIO and a member of the Communist Party.

Marie Richardson flyer – Dec. 1951

As the Second Red Scare moved into full swing, authorities brought felony charges against Marie Richardson Harris for lying on a federal job application.

The federal government alleged she was a member of the Communist Party. Harris held the Library of Congress job for 2-3 months and handled no classified information.

However, she had been the first black woman to hold a full-time union position in a national union (United Federal Workers) and was executive secretary of the local National Negro Congress. She served 4 ½ years in prison.

The case of Marie Richardson Harris: The victim of a modern witch-hunt – 1952

The Committee to Defend Marie Richardson Harris publishes an 8-page description of the case and appeals for help defending Ms. Harris who was sentenced to prison for failing to disclose communist affiliations on a government job application.

As the Second Red Scare moved into full swing, authorities brought felony charges against Marie Richardson Harris for lying on a federal job application. The federal government alleged she was a member of the Communist Party. Harris held the Library of Congress job for 2-3 months and handled no classified information.

However, she had been the first black woman to hold a full-time union position in a national union (United Federal Workers) and was executive secretary of the local National Negro Congress. She served 4 ½ years in prison.

Her defense committee had a fundraiser broken up by D.C. police and itself was later designated as a subversive organization by the U.S. government.

DC Anti-Discrimination Pamphlet – 1952

The group headed by Mary Church Terrell, the Coordinating Committee for the Enforcement of D.C. Anti-Discrimination Laws, put out regular updates to the public about which restaurants served both black and white people.

The committee was conducting pickets and boycotts of those that operated Jim Crow. Most of the chain restaurants and lunch counters in the downtown area desegregated under this pressure prior to the group winning the Thompson’s Restaurant case in 1953 where the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Washington, D.C.’s so-called “lost laws” of 1872 and 1872 that banned discrimination in public accommodations.

Coordinating Committee for the Enforcement of the D.C. Anti-Discrimination Laws appeal – 1953

The U.S. Court of Appeals rules against the Coordinating Committee for the Enforcement of D.C. Anti-Discrimination Laws in the Thompson’s Restaurant case and the group puts out an appeal for funds.

The U.S. Supreme Court would later reverse that decision and uphold Washington, D.C.’s so-called “lost laws” of 1872 and 1872 that banned discrimination in public accommodations.

Civil Rights and Black Liberation After 1955

D.C. NAACP flyer for annual meeting and elections – 1957

A Washington, D.C. NAACP branch flyer advertising its annual meeting December 15, 1957 where the president of the organization gives an annual report and elections of officers are held.

The meeting was to be held at the Turner Memorial Church and 6th and Eye Streets NW. Eugene Davidson was elected as president of the branch to his sixth term.

Davidson was a long time civil rights advocate in the city who once headed the New Negro Alliance that organized boycotts of merchants that wouldn’t hire front line black employees while doing business in the black community.

The Afro American newspaper gave an account of the meeting and quotes Davidson’s report on the state or racial progress in the city in its December 28, 1957 edition

Flyer for the Youth March on Washington – 1959

A flyer for the April 18, 1959 Youth March on Washington to demand enforcement of the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision desegregating public schools and for civil rights legislation championed by the Republican leaders in Congress and supported by U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (D-N.Y.).

The flyer was published by the Youth March for Integrated Schools of New York.

The demonstration drew 26,000 people to Washington, D.C. April 18, 1959 as estimated by U.S. Park Police.

William Moore special supplement to CORE newsletter – 1963

A supplement to the regular CORE newsletter published in June 1963 chronicles the murder of Baltimore civil rights worker William Moore.

Moore worked in Baltimore as a letter carrier when he became involved in the civil rights movement there. He staged two lone marches—one to Annapolis and one to Washington, D.C. to deliver letters written by him urging the Maryland governor and the president to support civil rights.

He decided to stage a march through Alabama to see Mississippi Gov. Ross Barnett and deliver another letter. He was murdered near Reece City, Alabama August 23 1963.

Jazz benefit for Julius Hobson’s ACT – 1964

A flyer advertising a benefit jazz concert for ACT, a civil rights group initiated by Julius Hobson in the city after he was expelled by CORE earlier in the year, is scheduled for November 23 1968 at WUST at 9th and V Streets NW.

ACT was not an acronym and was the full name of the civil rights organization that existed briefly from 1964 until about 1968 with chapters in several cities. When other civil rights organizations began abandoning direct action after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, ACT tried to pick up the slack.

The flyer corresponds with a campaign by ACT for a citizen review board of complaints of police brutality. ACT held a series of street corner meetings throughout the District of Columbia in 1964 where the demand was raised.

The image on the flyer shows a police officer firing a gun at a black person with an X over the police officer indicating ACT’s demand for an end to police brutality.

D.C. SNCC calls for anti-draft march – May, 1967

The Washington, D.C. Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee calls on black youth to protest the draft May 8, 1967 by joining a march from 14th and H Streets NE to the Rayburn Office Building.

About 100 students from different East Coast colleges marched from the Rosedale playground to the Rayburn Building where they were barred from entering the building or attending a hearing being conducted by U.S. Senator Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.) on the draft.

Call for a black power conference at Howard – May 1967

Huey LaBrie, one of the leaders of the student protests at Howard University in 1967 issues a call for a black power student conference to be held in Washington, D.C. May 19-21, 1967.

The informal conference was a run-up to the larger Newark Conference held in the summer ofr1967 that included the NAACP, The Urban League, Afro-American Unity, Harlem Mau and Maus along prominent leaders such as Jessie Jackson, Ron Karenga, Floyd McKissick, Rap Brown, and Charles 27X Kenyatta.

Following up the Newark conference, Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture) pulled together a Black United Front in the District of Columbia in January 1968 that was intended to act as a unified voice for black people in the city.

LaBrie was the brother of Aubrie LaBrie who was a prominent black leader at San Francisco State University. Huey LaBrie was a  leader of the 1967 Black Power Committee on the Howard campus along with Dr. Nathan Hare, Robin Gregory and others.

White Man’s Road Through Black Man’s Home – 1968

This is a poster designed by Sammie Abbott of the Emergency Committee for the Transportation Crisis in 1968 that encapsulated the group’s fight against planned freeways in the District of Columbia.

In January 1967, Abbott used the words “a white man’s road…through black men’s homes,” in testimony before the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) on the North Central Freeway.

Abbott may have used the words first, but Reginald Booker turned them into a slogan that galvanized black opposition to new highways and put the issue in stark racial terms. Abbott, a graphic arts designer, produced the dozens of posters and flyers that featured it.

The group would successfully lead a confrontational fight against new freeways, for public takeover of the private bus company and for construction of the new Metrorail system that resulted in almost complete victory against powerful opponents.

Flyer for the Poor People’s Campaign (national office) – 1968

An early flyer by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference national office in Atlanta, Ga. calling for a Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1968.

The early demands were “jobs, income and a decent life.”

The six-week Poor People’s Campaign from May 21st until June 24th for economic justice and against the Vietnam War drew upwards of 100,000 people at its peak in addition to the 3,000 encamped on the national mall.

Flyer for the Poor People’s Campaign (Mississippi) 1968

An early flyer by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in Grenada, Mississippi calling for a Poor People’s Campaign in Washington, D.C. in the spring of 1968.

The early demands were “Decent Jobs and Income!” and “The Right to a Decent Life.”

The six-week Poor People’s Campaign from May 21st until June 24th for economic justice and against the Vietnam War drew upwards of 100,000 people at its peak in addition to the 3,000 encamped on the national mall.

Eldridge Cleaver speech flyer at American University – Oct. 1968

Black Panther Party Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver, presidential candidate on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket and author of Soul on Ice is invited to speak on the American University campus in Washington, D.C. 

The Panthers would establish a small chapter in the city in 1970 and prominent leaders, including David Hilliard, Huey Newton, Elbert “Big Man” Howard, Donald Cox, Eldridge Cleaver, and Kathleen Cleaver all made public appearances in the city.

American Independent Party candidate for President George Wallace handbill – Nov. 1968

A handbill passed out at polling places in Maryland November 5, 1968 for white supremacist candidate for president George Wallace who was running as a third-party candidate on the American Independent Party ticket.

Wallace hoped to garner enough electoral votes to throw the election into the House of Representatives where he could be a kingmaker and bargain to preserve white supremacy in the south. He won five southern states, but Richard M. Nixon won enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

Wallace ran behind both Nixon and Humbert Humphrey in Maryland in 1968, gaining about 170,000 votes to the other two nominees who each received about 470,000.

Coolidge student march against the war flyer – 1969

A flyer advertises a demonstration held during the Vietnam Moratorium by black students at Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. October 15, 1969.

Over 100 students from Coolidge High School sought to enter the White House grounds with a black pinewood coffin containing letters from students asking President Nixon to end the war.

Refused entry by White House guards, the students pressed forward anyway. Park and metropolitan police bolstered the guards and arrested three students and one passerby. 500 bystanders gathered around the confrontation angrily shouting at police to let the arrested students go.

Black Panthers seek to recruit D.C. white student allies – Dec. 1969

During the Black Panther recruiting drive in December 1969 led by Jim Williams, the group also sought to set up an affiliated chapter of the National Committee to Combat Fascism (NCCF).

The flyer publicizes a number of events designed to familiarize area students with the Panthers and to recruit members to the NCCF chapter.

The tour came shortly after the Chicago police murder of Fred Hampton on Dec. 4thand this event is addressed on the reverse side of the flyer.

The NCCF only functioned for a short time, but the Panthers established a full-fledged chapter at their announcement of the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention at the Lincoln Memorial in June 1970.

Flyer calling for a strike and school boycott on King’s birthday – 1970

A flyer calling calling for a work stoppage on the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr January 15, 1970 also advertises a rally at Howard University.

The work and school boycott achieved some success across the Washington, D.C. City agencies reported absenteeism as high as one-third of the normal staff. In the sanitation department where garbage collectors had which been designated as “essential” employees, 70 percent were absent.

Teachers across the city were absent in higher rates as well with the Washington Post reporting that 40 teachers were absent at the Moten Elementary school in Anacostia.

Students across the region also boycotted classes. The Washington Post reported that 800 students out of 2,400 at Eastern High School in the city were absent. “School attendance also declined in Arlington, Prince Georges and Fairfax counties, the newspaper reported.

Call to support the Panther New Haven 9 – Apr. 1970

An unsigned and undated flyer (circa April 1970) addressed primarily to the black community calling for rallying around the Black Panther Party New Haven 9 that including Panther chair Bobby Seale.

The flyer specifically addresses criticism from some sectors of the black community over the support of the Panthers’ white allies and is published just before a mass rally to coincide with the opening of the trial of Seale and Ericka Huggins.

Ericka Huggins, a D.C. native and a New Haven, Ct. Panther leader, and Seale were charged with the murder and kidnapping of an alleged police informant, Alex Rackley. Huggins was one of the main leaders of the New Haven Panther chapter. The trial resulted in a hung jury for the two and prosecutors dropped all charges against them shortly afterward.

Call to protect the D.C. Black Panther organizing office – Apr. 1970

An unsigned, undated flyer calling on supporters of the Black Panther Party to protect the Party organizing headquarters in Washington, D.C. and to attend the May 1, 1970 rally in New Haven, Ct. in support of Panther chair Bobby Seale and New Haven Panther leader Ericka Huggins.

For a period of days, white supporters sat outside the National Committee to Combat Fascism, the Panther organizing office, on 18th Street NW as a buffer against possible police action until the immediate threat subsided.

Carpools were organized from Washington, D.C. to New Haven where 15,000 demonstrated for the Panther leaders’ freedom. They had been charged with murder, but the trial resulted in a hung jury and charges were dropped thereafter.

The D.C. police did raid the Panther’s on July 4, 1970 while they were celebrating on the holiday with community members.

The flyer was probably published in late April 1970.

Remember the Augusta Six – May 1970

A rally is called at the University of Maryland College Park May 20, 1970 to honor the six slain black men in Augusta, Ga. who were shot to death by police—most apparently in the back—while they were protesting the violent death of a 16-year-old that was in police custody.

The campus was under martial law at the time following two weeks of confrontations between students and National Guard and police. Gatherings were prohibited. This is likely why the flyer is unsigned. The first demand of the 1970 student strike was the ending of repression of black people.

Black Panther Party call for a rally and press conference at the Lincoln Memorial – June 1970

The Black Panther Party issues a call for a rally and press conference at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. to be held June 19, 1970—Emancipation Day—to announce plans for a Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention.

The tabloid-sized call was put out by the D.C. chapter of the National Committee to Combat Fascism—a Panther allied group that permitted whites to join.

The broadside referred to Judge Julius Hoffman’s chaining Panther leader Bobby Seale to a chair during the trial of the Chicago 8:

“The shackling like a slave of Black Panther Party Chairman Bobby Seale is like the reincarnation of Dred Scott 1857. This brazen violation of Bobby Seale’s Constitutional rights exposes without a doubt that black people have no rights that the racist oppressor is bound to respect.”

The press conference drew about 1,000 people. 

Black Panther Party Message to America – Jun. 1970

The Black Panther Party issues a “Message to America, delivered on the 107th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation at Washington, D.C., Capital of Babylon, world racism and imperialism, June 19, 1970.”

The proclamation was issued at a rally at the Lincoln Memorial atte4nded by about 1,000 people on the occasion of calling for Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention to write a new document outlining what a new America would look like.

Black Panther Party call for a Revolutionary Peoples Constitutional Convention – June 1970

The Black Panther Party issued its call for a Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. June 19, 1970 (Juneteenth).

This tabloid size paper contains the proclamation and essays by Chair Huey Newton and Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver.

D.C. Black Panther Party press release – July 1970

A press release by the newly formed Washington, D.C. chapter of the Black Panther Party issued July 5, 1970 after a raid by the D.C. police.

Call to plenary session of the Revolutionary Convention – Aug. 1970

The four regional offices of the Black Panther Party, including the southern regional office headquartered in Washington, D.C., publish this two-sided invitation to the plenary of the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention to be held in Philadelphia, Pa. September 5-7, 1970.

Guide to the Philadelphia plenary of the Black Panther Revolutionary Convention – Sept. 3, 1970

A four-page pull-out guide produced by the alternative newspaper Philadelphia Plain Dealer to the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention Plenary (RPCC) held in Philadelphia, Pa. Sept. 4-7 organized under the auspices of the Black Panther Party.

Contains the agenda, workshop information, maps of the city and convention proceedings, a guide to legal issues, a list of information centers and friendly nearby restaurants.

The Plenary of the RPCC was generally deemed a success by the 10,000 participants, but a coordinated effort to deny a venue for the convention itself held in Nov. 1970 in Washington, D.C. ultimately doomed the effort to adopt a unified platform for revolutionary groups.

Southern Regional Headquarters Black Panther Party on venue for planned revolutionary convention – Sept. 1970

A two-sided informational flyer put out by the Southern Regional headquarters of the Black Panther Party located in Washington, D.C. early in the battle (probably late Sept. 1970) over obtaining a venue for the planned Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention.

The reverse side of the flyer appeals for logistical support for the planned convention.

The Armory Board would turn down the Panthers, citing the need for the armory in the event the National Guard was called up to quell Panther violence.

The Panthers would also be turned down by the University of Maryland and would be rejected by Howard and American Universities as well. Howard demanded a large upfront cash payment bond far exceeding the resources of the Panthers.

The Panthers ultimately cobbled together churches and other facilities and held a semblance of a convention attended by a few thousand with workshops and the drafting of different parts of a revolutionary constitution, but a venue was never found for the requisite mass meetings.

Panther Trial News, What’s Really Happening at the Trial of Bobby and Ericka – Oct. 25, 1970

The October 25, 1970 edition of Panther Trial News, What’s Really Happening at the Trial of Bobby and Ericka covers two weeks of pretrial motions in the case of Black Panther leaders Ericka Huggins and Bobby Seale.

One of the motions involved a defense effort to have charges dropped due to the inability to get a fair trial due to pre-trial publicity.

The other motion sought to show that the defendants couldn’t get a fair trial because the jury selection system was biased against black people.

In May 1971 the jury deadlocked 11 to 1 for Seale’s acquittal and 10 to 2 for Huggins’ acquittal. Prosecutors dropped the charges shortly afterward.

D.C. Black Panther Party free children’s breakfast program – Oct. 1970

Although the D.C.  chapter only formed a few months previously, this flyer announces the opening of a second location for the Black Panther Party free breakfast for children program. One at their Community Center at 1932 17th Street NW and the other at 2804 14th Street NW.

Black Panther Party calls for rally at Malcolm X Park – Oct. 1970

The Black Panther Party calls for a rally at Malcolm X Park protesting the failure of the D.C. Armory Board to permit the Panthers to use the facility for the planned Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention.

The Panthers would also be rejected by the University of Maryland, Howard University and American University before cobbling together several church venues and a private school.

However none of the facilities had the capacity to host the necessary mass meetings and the attempted convention ultimately did not achieve its goals.

Maryland radicals Mother Bloor Collective and DRUM defend Panther’s RPCC – Oct. 1970

The Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM) and the Ella Reeve Bloor Collective (Mother Bloor) publish an explanation of the Black Panther Party-sponsored Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention plenary session in Philadelphia, Pa. and re-iterate that the full convention scheduled for Washington, D.C. in November 1970 will be held.

Due to political pressure from the federal government and local authorities, suitable venues in the Washington, D.C. area, including Howard University, the University of Maryland and the D.C. Armory all rejected the Panther convention. While several thousand streamed into the city and small activities were held, no plenary session was ever convened.

On the back side of the flyer are hand-written lyrics to a song popularized by the Weather Underground: Red Party Fights to Win.

Panther Defense Committee reprint of a Washington Post editorial on freedom of assembly – Oct. 1970

Panther Defense Committee reprint of a Washington Post editorial on freedom of assembly: Oct. 1970

The Black Panther Defense Committee publishes a flyer reprinting an October 16, 1970 editorial condemning the D.C. Armory for refusing to host the Panther-sponsored Reovlutionary People’s Constitutional Convention scheduled for Washington, D.C. in November.

The flyer declares that the convention will not be stopped and “will be held if it has to be held in the streets.” It also makes an appeal for funds.

Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention bumper sticker – Nov. 1970

A bumper sticker for the Black Panther Party—sponsored  Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention in Washington, D.C. to be held November 27-29 1970 at an as yet unidentified location does not have a credit line but was probably the Panthers..

A suitable venue was never found with the D.C. Armory Board, Howard University and the University of Maryland rejecting the group, among others.

The convention was cobbled together at various churches through the city, but was unable to hold a mass gathering of the several thousand who arrived in the city.

As a result of having no venue, there was no vote or amendments or discussion of the results of the Philadelphia plenary session held in September or the workshops held in Washington, D.C.

Black Panthers call for D.C. Revolutionary Convention – Nov. 1970

The Ministry of Information for the Black Panther Party issues a call for a Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention in Washington, D.C. to be held November 27-29 1970 at an as yet unidentified location.

This 11 x 17 pamphlet contained a long treatise on the way forward for revolutionaries. Unfortunately several pages are missing from this copy.

However, enough remains that lays out a critique of Marxism in the U.S. that can be identified with the Eldridge Cleaver trend within the party.

The tract posits that the lumpen proletariat (long-term unemployed, petty criminals) are the revolutionary class in the United States and specifically criticizes predominantly white left-wing groups that upheld the working class.

Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention handout – Nov. 1970

This 4-page unsigned handout expresses the views of the Black Panther Party and was probably published by that organization.

It was part of the package of materials given to people who registered for the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention in November 1970.

RPCC women’s workshop issues statement of solidarity with Panthers – Nov. 1970

The women’s workshop of the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention issues a statement of solidarity with the Black Panther Party during the Nov. 27-29 convention.

The Jewish Urban Guerrilla and the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention – Nov. 1970

The Jews for Urban Justice put out a flyer In November 1970 for a series of workshops held simultaneously with the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention in Washington, D.C. posing the question, “Is it possible to be a revolutionary, support the Panthers, and still be a Jew?” among other topics.

The group was formed in the summer of 1968 to oppose anti-black racism from white Jewish landlords and business owners.

The JUJ was a key organizer of a Freedom Sedar that drew over 800 diverse people in 1969 and participated in the Poor People’s Campaign, welfare rights and the Delano grape boycott, among other activities. Its most prominent member was Arthur Waskow, a founder of the Institute for Policy Studies and a long-time left-wing activist.

Position paper on workers for Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention: 1970

The Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM), a primarily student group based at UMD College Park, puts out a flyer outlining its position on workers for the Revolutionary Peoples’ Constitutional Convention scheduled for Nov. 27-29 in Washington, D.C

The convention was spearheaded by the Black Panther Party.

It calls for workers control of the means of production, minority guaranteed a proportional share of work and decision-making, guaranteed employment, a national production plan, and guaranteed education and training.

Angela Answers 13 Questions – Circa Nov. 1970

A four-page tabloid-size pamphlet produced by the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Committees to Free Angela Davis reprints a Joe Walker interview with Davis conducted for Muhammad Speaks—the newspaper of the Nation of Islam.

It was the first wide-ranging interview conducted with the open Communist Party member Davis following her October 13, 1970 arrest for “aggravated kidnapping and first degree murder” for the attempted escape of Jonathan Jackson and two other prisoners in California during which they were killed along with a judge they had kidnapped.

Prosecutors alleged she provided the weapons used by the prisoners in the attempted escape. A nationwide “Free Angela” movement followed.

She was acquitted in a high profile June 1972 trial and continues to be active in social justice causes.

D.C. Patriot Party distributes ‘Free Bobby Seale’ flyer – 1971

A flyer published by the Patriot Party, a white left-wing revolutionary organization aligned with the Black Panther Party, that was distributed in the greater Washington, D.C. area in 1971 and calls for freedom for Bobby Seale, a Panther leader.

The Patriot Party organized in the Washington, D.C. area 1970-71 out of the Panther office and their Community Center focusing are far southeast Washington where working class whites still lived and the inner suburbs of Prince George’s County.

The Patriots struggled in the D.C. as Arthur Turco, one of the leaders of the national organization, was indicted in May 1970 for ordering the killing of Baltimore Black Panther suspected of being an informant. The indictment of Turco and a number of Baltimore Panthers consumed much of the effort by Patriot organizers in the Washington area.

The organization was not related to the later right wing organization of the same name.

Call for an anti-Klan rally in Maryland – 1971

A flyer for an anti-Klan demonstration sponsored by Youth Against War and Fascism (YAWF) in Rising Sun, Maryland June 19, 1971.

About two miles outside of town, a counter-demonstration of about 50 organized by YAWF picketed the Klan picnic held prior to their scheduled night rally and cross burning.

The demonstration was held on a ten foot strip of land between the road and George Boyle farm fence on Sylmar Road. The state had erected “no parking” signs only days before and stationed state troopers nearby. Demonstrators were forced to have several vans drive back and forth along the narrow road in the event of trouble.

The only incident occurred when a young Klansman spit across the fence at demonstrators. The night rally brought Robert Shelton, Imperial Wizard of the United Klans of America, to the farm for hate speeches and their cross burning before a crowd of several hundred.

Fight the Energy Freeze: Jan – 1974

The D.C. branch of the African Liberation Support Committee puts its turn toward Marxism into practice as it issues a flyer January 26, 1974 calling for a meeting at Pride, Inc. to fight the energy crisis.

Annapolis Report, Vol. 2. No. 2 – Feb. – 1974

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Maryland Public Employees Council 67 reports in its February 12, 1974 legislative newsletter on its efforts to convince the state legislature to declare Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday a state holiday.

The Maryland House and Senate later passed the bill making Maryland the second state to honor Dr. King’s civil rights legacy in 1974.

Baraka’s vision for Congress of Afrikan People – Mar. 1974

Imamu Amiri Baraka writes a short analysis of the situation facing black revolutionaries that is delivered to the Congress of Afrikan People (CAP) in March 1974 and represents the transformation of the organization from a pan-Africanist, black nationalist organization to a Marxist-Leninist.

Baraka’s gives his analysis of the current situation and lays out a political program and organizational program to further the cause of black liberation.

Specifically he calls for expanding CAP cadre and working within the African Liberation Support Committee and the broader National Black Political Assembly.

CAP would ultimately re-name itself the Revolutionary Communist League (Marxist-Leninist-Mao Tse-tung Thought), later merging into the League of Revolutionary Struggle (Marxist-Leninist) before that group split. Part of the League joined the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

African liberation activist D.C. newspaper – May 1974

The Washington, D.C. chapter of the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC) briefly published a tabloid newspaper in 1974 called Finally Got the News named after the film of the same name that depicted the League of Revolutionary Black Workers struggle in Detroit.

The large African Liberation Day rally in 1972 was the driver behind forming the national ALSC composed mainly of pan-Africanists and black nationalists.

By 1973 a split was developing within the ALSC over working with white organizations that supported African liberation as urged by some leaders of the movements in Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.

Read the local Finally Got the News May 1974 issue to understand the shift in emphasis to the black working class along with supporting African liberation.

Call to march against white supremacy in Boston – 1974

The Emergency Committee for a National Mobilization Against Racism issues a call to march in Boston Dec. 14, 1974 after white mobs hurled racial epithets and attacked school buses carrying black children at the South Boston High School.

Four buses left Washington, D.C. carrying about 180 people while dozens more made the drive up the east coast to join an estimated 15,000 demonstrators who ranged from pacifists to Marxist poet Amiri Baraka.

Comedian and activist Dick Gregory told the crowd, “Let’s not fool ourselves, the schools in South Boston are just as bad as the schools in Roxbury. What we really want is an end to bad schooling.”

I Am We newsletter—Huey Newton and Panther support committee: 1975

The Committee for Justice for Huey P. Newton and the Black Panther Party publishes its third newsletter May-June 1975.

“I Am We,” the national newsletter published in Oakland, Ca,. contains reports of a call for an investigation into CIA “abuses against minority and civil rights organizations” and poetry from Huey Newton, including “Revolutionary Suicide.”

Congress of Afrikan People Unity & Struggle newspaper: 1976

The May 1976 issue of Unity and Struggle—the newspaper of the Congress of Afrikan People (CAP) led by Imamu Amiri Baraka.

CAP was at this point a Marxist-Leninist organization that followed the positions of the People’s Republic of China, including accepting the so-called three-worlds theory where the U.S. and the Soviet Union were equal enemies of people world-wide.

As one of three marches on African Liberation Day in 1976, the African Liberation Support Committee marched from the White House to Malcolm X Park. By this point in time the ALSC had come to be dominated by organizations and individuals learning toward Maoism, including CAP and  Baraka.

Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration: 1992

A 1992 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday celebration at Howard University’s Crampton Auditorium featuring Mint Condition.

Singer Chris Walker received second bill. Both Mint Condition and Chris Walker had released popular albums at the time and were a big draw for the event.

King’s birthday became a federal holiday in 1986.

Communists

The Communist Party’s Third Period

The Communist Party in the U.S. was the leading activist organization in the country from its formation in 1919 into the 1950s when it fell victim to an anti-communist crusade and internal divisions that decimated the organization.

It was supplanted by activist civil rights organizations like SCLC, CORE and later SNCC and the Students for Democratic Society and other “New Left” organizations in the 1960s. The Third Period was an analysis adopted by the Communist International (Comintern) at its Sixth World Congress, held in Moscow in the summer of 1928. The Comintern’s made an economic and political analysis of world capitalism that divided recent history into three periods.

The “First Period” that followed World War I was defined by a revolutionary upsurge that saw a brief seizure of power by the working class in Germany, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, and Iran and failed revolutionary attempts in Finland, Italy, Netherlands, Bessarabia, Georgia, Estonia and Belgium.

The “Second Period” saw capitalist consolidation for most of the decade of the 1920s.

The “Third Period,” according to the Comintern’s analysis began from 1928 onward and was to be a time of widespread economic collapse and mass working class radicalization. This economic and political discord would again make the time ripe for proletarian revolution if militant policies were rigidly maintained by communist vanguard parties, the Comintern believed.

The analysis initially seemed accurate as the Great Depression swept Western economies.

Communist policies during the Third Period were marked by a denunciation of reformism and political organizations espousing which was seen as an impediment to the movement’s revolutionary objectives. While the analysis was accurate in understanding the coming crisis of capitalism, revolution did not occur in any Western countries.

The errors in understanding conditions led the Comintern to believe that the 1932 Bonus March in the U.S., with thousands of veterans gathering in the nation’s capital, was a revolutionary situation.

The rise of the Nazi Party to power in Germany in 1933 and destruction of the largest organized communist movement in the West there shocked the Comintern into re-assessing the tactics of the Third Period.

From 1934, new alliances began to be formed under the aegis of the so-called “Popular Front” against fascism. The Popular Front policy was formalized as the official policy of the world communist movement by the Seventh World Congress of the Comintern in 1935. Third period documents available:

Stop lynching; demand death penalty – 1931

A flyer advertising a December 29, 1931 Washington, D.C. meeting sponsored by communist aligned groups to protest recent lynchings is shown above.

The flyer demands the death penalty for the murderers of Matthew Williams in Salisbury, Maryland and Sam Jackson and George Banks in Lewisburg, West Virginia.

The League of Struggle for Negro Rights, the International Labor Defense and the Scottsboro Defense Committee were all communist-led organizations.

Toward a Soviet America by William Z Foster – 1932

This book documents the rise of socialism in the Soviet Union, the crisis facing capitalism, the need for revolution, and a vision of what a socialist society would be like in the United States.

The book also attacks social-democrats and liberals calling them “Social Fascists” because they seek to give the masses concessions in order to calm them and prevent communist revolution. It is probably the best-known book published by the Communist Party, USA.

Foster organized the packing house workers along industrial lines during World War I and led the failed steel strike of 1919 that also organized workers along industrial lines. It would be another 20 years before Foster’s industrial strategy was successful.

He served as chair of the Communist Party USA from 1924-34 and from 1945-57.

Highway of Hunger: The Story of America’s Homeless Youth by Dave Doren – 1933

This pamphlet portrays a bleak future for youth whether they are the children of unemployed or college graduates—unless a revolution led by the Communist Party prevails. Doran joined the Young Communist League in 1930 and went to the Deep South to build up membership of the YCL among the unemployed.

In Scottsboro, Alabama, he was beaten up after he became involved in the campaign to free the “Scottsboro Boys.” In 1931 he joined the Communist Party USA and worked as a trade union organizer with agricultural workers in Alabama, textile workers in North Carolina) and coal miners in Pennsylvania).

By 1936 he was the party’s director of trade union activities. He joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight fascism in Spain. After showing heroism in a number of battles, he was promoted to political commissioner for a battalion.

He was believed to be captured and executed on April 2, 1938 in Gandesa, during the Retreats phase of the Spanish Civil War.

Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International and Draft Resolution of the 8th Convention of the Communist Party, USA – Mar. 1934

These were two documents produced at the end of the third period and reiterate the premises of the 1928 analysis with few changes. In practice, the formation of a united front against fascism began to be implemented in 1934 but these documents had not caught up to the times. 

Following the Nazi seizure of power in Germany in 1933 and the subsequent crushing of the Communist Party in Germany—the largest in the West—caused Soviet leader Josef Stain to rethink whether a revolutionary situation, in fact, had developed.

He came to the conclusion that the greatest danger lay in the development of fascism in the advanced capitalist countries and began urging an anti-fascist alliance with sections of the capitalists that were opposed to fascism. It was widely called the “Popular Front.”

Virginia communists denounce Heller bill – 1940

The Virginia Communist Party issues a lengthy statement March 11, 1940  condemning the General Assembly for passing the so-called Heller Bill that would deny public facilities to communists or others.

Specifically, the bill would have instructed “custodians of all public buildings in Virginia” to deny the use of such buildings to anyone who “advocate, advise or teach the doctrine that the government of the United States or the Commonwealth of Virginia, or any political subdivision thereof should be overthrown or overturned by force violence or any unlawful means.”

After it passed the state senate without fanfare, a campaign was launched to defeat the bill in the Virginia House of Delegates.

Delegate Francis Pickins Miller of Fairfax called it “a departure from the policies this state has cherished for three centuries” and declared it would “create a new public officer in Virginia, the custodian of dangerous thoughts.”

Gov. James Price ultimately vetoed the bill in a victory for the communists and civil liberties advocates.

The “Popular Front” briefly dissolved from 1939-41 after the Soviet Union reached a non-aggression pact with Nazi Germany giving more impetus to anti-communist legislation, including the Smith Act which was enacted into law by Congress in 1940.

Liquidation of the U.S. Communist Party

After pursuing the Popular Front strategy for 10 years, CPUSA chair Earl Browder formulated a new analysis after the Teheran conference in 1943 between Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt and Josef Stalin.

The Teheran conference cemented the World War II alliance between England, the United States and the Soviet Union and Browder believed that a permanent truce had been arranged between the anti-fascist capitalists and the communists. He proposed liquidating the U.S. Communist Party and replacing it with a Communist Political Association that would act as a kind of “left wing” of both the Democratic and Republican Parties.

Only a few U.S. communists in leadership positions opposed the change; notably William Z. Foster, the former chair; Anna Damon, executive secretary of the International Labor Defense and Sam Darcy, a communist leader who led the 1930 unemployed march in New York and played a key role in the West Coast Longshore strike of 1934.

A Communist Party convention in 1944 completed the transformation. After World War II ended, it became clear that the United States and the Soviet Union would be in competition although it was not yet clear that a complete break would occur.

A letter was circulated among high party officials in Moscow denouncing Browder’s move to dissolve the party. It was partially based on Foster’s opposition to Browder’s move. French communist leader Jacques Duclos put his name to the letter and released it publicly.

The CPUSA was reconstituted and Browder expelled. However, there was little time for the party to come to terms with the easy acceptance of Browder’s liquidation of the organization before the Cold War and anti-communist hysteria swept the US in the late 1940s.

Many later analysts believe this left the communists unprepared for the onslaught they would face and in the end, leave them marginalized.

Popular Front documents available:

Invitation to Join the Communist Party by Robert Minor – 1943

The pamphlet wraps itself in the American flag and closely hues the Popular Front thesis. There is no real mention of revolution or socialism and the tract puts forward several important, but ultimately reformist demands.

Liquidation of the Communist Party documents available:

Shall the Communist Party Change Its Name? – Essays by Earl Browder, Eugene Dennis, Roy Hudson and John Williamson – Feb. 1944

Party chair Earl Browder and other U.S. communist leaders argue that the Communist Party should turn itself into a communist political association–essentially a left-wing caucus within the Democratic and Republican parties. No longer will candidates run on the Communist Party ballot line and the organization will open itself up to non-communists.

Communist Political Association – Oct. 1944

After the U.S. Communist Party is dissolved and replaced by the Communist Political Association, the new Maryland group unabashedly pushes Franklin Roosevelt for President while putting forward an eight-point political program that it asks congressional candidates from both parties to embrace.

U.S. Communist Party during the 2nd Red Scare

After World War II, the former allies of the U.S. and the Soviet Union quickly became in competition with each other, particularly after the U.S. promulgated the Marshall Plan designed to rebuild Western Europe along a capitalist economy.

The most provocative part of the plan offered the same type of aid to some Eastern European countries that it had earlier agreed would be in the Soviet sphere of influence.

Once the dividing line became clear, both Republican and Democrats took aim at the U.S. Communist Party with a series of laws and propaganda designed to discredit the party.

Where once the party had been a very junior partner in the Roosevelt New Deal, it now had a target on its back. Dozens were jailed, hundreds lost their jobs and countless more who were not communists at all had their reputations besmirched. Eleven unions were forced out of the mainstream labor movement that represented about 3.5 million members.

Many have charged that the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg was primarily designed to send a message to communists and supporters in the U.S.

D.C. May Day Rally flyer – 1948

A May Day rally flyer sponsored by the Communist Party of the District of Columbia around the demands of D.C. suffrage, against Jim Crow, for equal rights, for peace—against the war makers.

The rally was to be held at the National Press Building May 2, 1948.

Daily Worker on U.S. communist leaders’ arrest – Jul. 1948

The Daily Worker, publication of the Communist Party USA, reports on the initial arrest of its leaders July 21, 1948 for advocating overthrow of the U.S. government as defined under the Smith Act.

The issue also contains a statement issued by the Communist Party on the arrest of their leaders.

House Un-American Activities Committee anti-communist guide – Jun. 1948

“100 Things You Should Know About Communism in the USA.” is published by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) June 17, 1948.

The 32-page guide posed questions on how you can tell if someone is a communist and listed what it said were the principal communist officers, both nationally and locally.

It was the first of a series of handbooks on communism to be published by the congressional committee and was later updated at least once in subsequent years.

Those named for the Maryland and District of Columbia district of the Communist Party located at 210 West Franklin Street, Baltimore, Md., and 527 Ninth Street NW, Washington, D.C. were:

Chairman (district)—Phil Frankfeld
Secretary (district)—Dorothy Blumberg
Chairman (District of Columbia section)—William Taylor
Vice chairman (District of Columbia section)—William S. Johnson
Secretary (District of Columbia section)—Elizabeth Searle
Treasurer (District of Columbia section)—Mary Stalcup
Literary director (District of Columbia section)—Casey Gurewitz
Cumberland organizer—Mel Fiske
Director, membership committee—Constance Jackson

Marie Richardson flyer – Dec. 1951

As the Second Red Scare moved into full swing, authorities brought felony charges against Marie Richardson Harris for lying on a federal job application. The federal government alleged she was a member of the Communist Party. Harris held the Library of Congress job for 2-3 months and handled no classified information.

However, she had been the first black woman to hold a full-time union position in a national union (United Federal Workers) and was executive secretary of the local National Negro Congress.

She served 4 ½ years in prison.

The case of Marie Richardson Harris: The victim of a modern witch-hunt – 1952

The Committee to Defend Marie Richardson Harris publishes an 8-page description of the case and appeals for help defending Ms. Harris who was sentenced to prison for failing to disclose communist affiliations on a government job application.

As the Second Red Scare moved into full swing, authorities brought felony charges against Marie Richardson Harris for lying on a federal job application. The federal government alleged she was a member of the Communist Party. Harris held the Library of Congress job for 2-3 months and handled no classified information.

However, she had been the first black woman to hold a full-time union position in a national union (United Federal Workers) and was executive secretary of the local National Negro Congress. She served 4 ½ years in prison.

Her defense committee had a fundraiser broken up by D.C. police and itself was later designated as a subversive organization by the U.S. government.

Maryland Civil Rights Congress calls for Rosenberg clemency – 1953 ca.

The newly formed affiliate of the Civil Rights Congress issues a press release calling on Maryland Gov. Theodore McKeldin to urge clemency and President Dwight Eisenhower to grant clemency to Julius and Ethel Rosenberg following the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to hear their case.

The Rosenbergs were convicted of passing atomic secrets to the Soviet Union during the second Red Scare  and executed in 1953 despite a world-wide campaign for clemency..

NLRB non-communist affidavit – circa 1955

The Taft-Harley Act passed in 1948 prohibited members of the Communist Party from holding labor union office if the union were to use provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.

It required officers to sign a “non-communist affidavit” in order for the union to be eligible for National Labor Relations Board services and the use of the law in disputes with employers.

The unions of the American Federation of Labor quickly agreed to this, but the Congress of Industrial Organizations briefly resisted and tried to use non-compliance with signing the affidavit as a direct action way of neutralizing other anti-labor provisions in the Taft-Hartley Act such as prohibition on secondary boycotts, sympathy strikes, authorization for states to enact so-called “right to work” laws, among others.

The refusal to sign quickly collapsed as major unions such as the United Auto Workers signed and anti-communist fervor swept the U.S. It wasn’t long before the CIO expelled or forced out 11 major national unions for alleged communist-domination and all the remaining union leaders signed the affidavits.

Many mark the decline of the labor movement to the Taft Harley Act and the inability of labor to wage effective resistance.

The New Communist Movement

The student upsurge in the mid and late 1960s produced a number of groups that styled themselves as anti-revisionist–those who rejected the Soviet Union’s state as going against Marxist-Leninist principles and headed toward restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union.

At one time the largest of these groups, the Revolutionary Union that subsequently evolved into the Revolutionary Communist Party sunk roots into the working class, established a student group and other organizations in other strata of society, did work among artists, poets and singers and mimicked in many ways the U.S. Communist Party of the Third Period.

New Communist Movement documents

Mother Jones collective exposes alleged police agent – 1970 ca.

The Mother Jones Collective in Baltimore, a Marxist-Leninist formation that grew out of the student movement, puts out a flyer describing a suspected police agent named John Shaw circa 1970.

The Mother Jones collective along with the Mother Bloor collective in Maryland were typical formations that grew out of the student movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s that laid some of the basis for the new communist movement of the 1970s.

The Mother Jones collective held Marxist-Leninist study sessions, developed communist work at factories, shipyards other places of employment in Baltimore, held rallies and demonstrations and defended the Baltimore Black Panther office among other activities.

Call for an anti-imperialist contingent in national antiwar march – May 1972

A flyer by the Attica Brigade, a youth group associated with the Maoist Revolutionary Union calls on people to join an anti-imperialist contingent in a larger march on Washington, D.C. to oppose the Vietnam War May 21, 1972.

While speeches took place before a crowd of 10-15,000 on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, several thousand in the anti-imperialist contingent tossed rocks, bottles and other projectiles while police responded with clubs and tear gas.

D.C. police chief Jerry Wilson was hit six times with objects including a wooden stick that caused blood to run down his face.

Wilson was quoted, “They usually run when I walk toward them. This time they threw bigger rocks.”

A dozen police officers were injured and 178 protesters were arrested during the confrontation.

Baraka’s vision for Congress of Afrikan People – Mar. 1974

Imamu Amiri Baraka writes a short analysis of the situation facing black revolutionaries that is delivered to the Congress of Afrikan People (CAP) in March 1974 and represents the transformation of the organization from a pan-Africanist, black nationalist organization to a Marxist-Leninist.

Baraka’s gives his analysis of the current situation and lays out a political program and organizational program to further the cause of black liberation.

Specifically he calls for expanding CAP cadre and working within the African Liberation Support Committee and the broader National Black Political Assembly.

CAP would ultimately re-name itself the Revolutionary Communist League (Marxist-Leninist-Mao Tse-tung Thought), later merging into the League of Revolutionary Struggle (Marxist-Leninist) before that group split. Part of the League joined the Freedom Road Socialist Organization.

Congress of Afrikan People Unity & Struggle newspaper – 1976

The May 1976 issue of Unity and Struggle—the newspaper of the Congress of Afrikan People (CAP) led by Imamu Amiri Baraka.

CAP was at this point a Marxist-Leninist organization that followed the positions of the People’s Republic of China, including accepting the so-called three-worlds theory where the U.S. and the Soviet Union were equal enemies of people world-wide.

As one of three marches on African Liberation Day in 1976, the African Liberation Support Committee marched from the White House to Malcolm X Park. By this point in time the ALSC had come to be dominated by organizations and individuals learning toward Maoism, including CAP and  Baraka.

CAP would ultimately re-name itself the Revolutionary Communist League (Marxist-Leninist-Mao Tse-tung Thought), later merging into the League of Revolutionary Struggle (Marxist-Leninist) before that group split. Part of the League joined the Freedom Road Socialist Organization

We’ve Carried the Rich for 200 Years – 1976

As the 200th birthday of the United States approached in 1976, the Revolutionary Communist Party had a different vision of what that meant and organized a protest during the bicentennial celebration in Philadelphia.

About 3,000 marched through the streets of the city chanting revolutionary slogans and carrying banners—many from factories and plants from around the country. 

It was the last worker-based demonstration organized by the group, although it carried out a protest against revisionism in the communist movement attended by several hundred during the U.S. visit of Chinese premier Deng Xiaoping in Washington, D.C. in 1979 that resulted in the arrest of dozens and the exile of its leader Bob Avakian for many years.

Other significant demonstrations by the group include May Day events and antiwar demonstrations during both Iraq wars.

D.C. Area Miscellaneous

Washington Committee for Democratic Action conference call — Apr. 1940

The Washington Committee for Democratic Action, the local affiliate of the National Federation for Constitutional Liberties, calls for a conference at the Washington Hotel at 15th and F Streets NW April 20-21, 1940.

Over 300 people attended the conference focused on civil rights, labor rights and gaining the right to vote and civil rights for District of Columbia residents.

Labor speakers included Rep. John Coffee (D-Wa.); John P. Davis, National Negro Congress; Arthur Stein, D.C. council of the United Federal Workers and David Lasser, president of the Workers Alliance; and Cecil Owen, president of the Washington Industrial Council, CIO.

Civil rights speakers included Rep. John Gavagan (D-N.Y.); Charles Hamilton Houston, general counsel of the NAACP; and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn of the Communist Party

The Washington Committee, along with the National Federation, merged with the International Labor Defense and the National Negro Congress to form the Civil Rights Congress in 1946.

D.C. Newsreel benefit – 1969

A flyer from the radical Washington Newsreel promotes the organization and a fundraiser scheduled for April 4, 1969 and announces that films will start to be made in the D.C. area within the next two months.

Newsreel were radical filmmakers that joined together in New York in 1968 and a few months later spread to San Francisco. Distribution centers were eventually set up in many cities around the country, including Washington, D.C.

Local filmmakers also began to join the effort.

In the era before Youtube, DVDs and streaming, Newsreel was a way for radical independent film makers to explore subjects and themes not covered by mainstream filmmakers or news outlets and gain audiences.

California Newsreel is the direct successor to this effort and continues to operate today.

D.C. Newsreel lists available films – circa 1970

A circa 1970 flyer from the radical Washington Newsreel describes the films that are available to rent.

Newsreel were radical filmmakiers that joined together in New York in 1968 and a few months later spread to San Francisco. Distribution centers were eventually set up in many cities around the country, including Washington, D.C.

Local filmmakers also began to join the effort.

In the era before Youtube, DVDs and streaming, Newsreel was a way for radical independent film makers to explore subjects and themes not covered by mainstream filmmakers or news outlets and gain audiences.

Some of the early films included:

Black Panther; Mayday; High School, San Francisco State Strike; Army Film; People’s Park, Yippie; People’s War; Day of Plane Hunting; Isle of Youth; and  La Jolie Moi de Mai (My Beautiful May).

The Jewish Urban Guerrilla and the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention – Nov. 1970

The Jews for Urban Justice put out a flyer In November 1970 for a series of workshops held simultaneously with the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention in Washington, D.C. posing the question, “Is it possible to be a revolutionary, support the Panthers, and still be a Jew?” among other topics.

The group was formed in the summer of 1968 to oppose anti-black racism from white Jewish landlords and business owners.

The JUJ was a key organizer of a Freedom Sedar that drew over 800 diverse people in 1969 and participated in the Poor People’s Campaign, welfare rights and the Delano grape boycott, among other activities. Its most prominent member was Arthur Waskow, a founder of the Institute for Policy Studies and a long-time left-wing activist.

Revolutionary holiday card by Insurgent Press – 1970 ca.

An image of a revolutionary holiday card circa 1970 produced by Insurgent Press, a left-wing press that operated in Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. At one point it was operating out of a building at 11th and K Streets NW.

The card’s front reads “Peace on Earth” and when you open it, it reads “By Any Means Necessary” with an image of a Vietnamese  holding an automatic rifle in the air.  A quote by Mao Zedong on the nature of war is on the inside fold.

Letter from a Regional Addiction Prevention (RAP) graduate (1) – 1973

Letter from a Regional Addiction Prevention (RAP) graduate (2) – 1973

These two letters from Regional Addiction Prevention (RAP) graduate Marc Sher in 1973 to the Washington Area Spark collective illustrates the radical politics that at least one resident refined going through a nearly year-long residential addiction treatment.

Sher became addicted to the free methadone in order to get high. The methadone was give out by facilities without screening at the time to anyone, including Sher–who was not a heroin addict.

The vintage Montgomery Spark wrote in 1972:

“RAP’s left-wing analysis of the heroin plague has led to attacks on the organization from reactionary elements who seek to capitalize on an addict’s plight through methadone maintenance or other exploitive methods.”

“RAP’s ‘success rate,’ as government authorities call it, has been remarkably higher than other types of treatment. This is probably because RAP’s residents learn that the root of the heroin problem lies in society’s illnesses, and by knowing this, the individual can better realize how to cope with their problems.”

Fight Against Fascism

Invitation to Join the Communist Party by Robert Minor – 1943

The pamphlet wraps itself in the American flag and closely hues the Popular Front thesis of the Communist Party. There is no real mention of revolution or socialism and the tract puts forward several important, but ultimately reformist demands.

Early ‘March for Victory’ flyer – 1970

An early version of a flyer for fundamentalist Christian preacher Rev. Carl McIntire’s “March for Victory” that was ultimately held in Washington, D.C. April 4, 1970 protesting President Richard Nixon’s “no win” policy in Indochina.

March organizers claimed 50,000 but news organizations generously estimated 10-15,000 people took part in a protest against President Richard Nixon’s “no win” policy in Vietnam.

The march was sponsored by right-wing Christian preacher Rev. Carl McIntire. Who described himself as a fundamentalist equated Christianity with anti-communism.  McIntire favored “peace through victory” in Vietnam and a return of prayer to the schools,.

Freedom Rally flyer by March for Victory Committee – 1970

An early call by the March for Victory Committees led by Rev. Carl McIntire for a demonstration in October 1970 following their spring march that featured Georgia Governor Lester Maddox speaking to a crowd of 10-15,000 and calling for victory in Vietnam.

The rally date was later changed to October 3, 1970 where an estimated 15-20,000 staged a march that rejected President Richard Nixon’s phase-down of the war in Vietnam and instead called for outright defeat of the Vietnamese.

South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyễn Cao Kỳ was to speak at the rally but opposition from the Nixon administration and a threatened mass anti-Ky demonstration caused Ky to cancel his appearance and instead gave a statement that was read to the crowd.

Several hundred antiwar counter-protesters occasionally clashed with pro-war marchers at the October protest leading to 49 arrests.

March for Victory in Vietnam flyer –  Sep. 1970

The National March for Victory Committee flyer calls for a March for Victory [in Vietnam] led by Rev. Carl McIntire October 3, 1970 in Washington, D.C.

The demands were “Win the Peace Through Military Victory; Defeat the Viet Cong by strength; Free the POW’s First; Bring the Boys Home in Triumph; Prayer, Bible Reading in School; and Freedom of Choice [probably not abortion though].

South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyễn Cao Kỳ was to speak at the rally but opposition from the Nixon administration and a threatened mass anti-Ky demonstration caused Ky to cancel his appearance and instead gave a statement that was read to the crowd.

An estimated 15-20,000 attended the October march and rally—far less than the 500,000 predicted and far fewer than the 100,000-500,000 that national antiwar marches regularly drew.

Several hundred antiwar counter-protesters occasionally clashed with pro-war marchers at the October protest leading to 49 arrests.

Immigrant Rights

No documents at this time

LBGT

No documents at this time

Labor Movement

Records of Bill Marshall Fudge – 1933-54

Virginian Railway Company Pass – 1933 (Machinist Apprentice)

Union Dues Book 1 – 1940-44 (shows initiated July 17, 1940, General Work” (Journeyman))

Union Dues Book 2 – 1944-49 (shows he was 34 years old, 6’ ½”, 200 lbs. and lived at 1326 28th Street SE Washington DC 1945-49 “General Work” (Journeyman))

Union Dues Book 3 – 1950-54 (shows initiated July 17, 1940, “General Work” (Journeyman))

Bill Marshall Fudge was a machinist apprentice and journeyman, 1933-54, Member of International Association of Machinists Columbia Lodge 174 and worker on the Virginian Railway Company.

March on Washington – 1941

A March 1941 letter from A. Phillip Randolph, head of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, to NAACP leader Walter White inviting him to join a march on Washington for fair employment.

The March on Washington Movement led to President Franklin Roosevelt issuing an executive order banning discrimination in defense-related industry and enforcing it through a Fair Employment Practices Commission. The planned march was cancelled after Roosevelt’s order.

Advertisement calls for end to Jim Crow at the Bureau of Engraving – May 1949

A display ad published in the Washington Afro American May 7, 1949 by a number of prominent labor and black organizations in the D.C. area calling on President Harry Truman to end Jim Crow at the Bureau of Engraving.

A broad coalition led by Margaret Gilmore, president of United Public Workers of America Local 3, organized pickets at the Bureau of Engraving and at the White House.

Gilmore led a three-year fight against Jim Crow at the agency that printed U.S. money, winning major victories along the way.

NLRB non-communist affidavit – circa 1955

The Taft-Harley Act passed in 1948 prohibited members of the Communist Party from holding labor union office if the union were to use provisions of the National Labor Relations Act.

It required officers to sign a “non-communist affidavit” in order for the union to be eligible for National Labor Relations Board services and the use of the law in disputes with employers.

The unions of the American Federation of Labor quickly agreed to this, but the Congress of Industrial Organizations briefly resisted and tried to use non-compliance with signing the affidavit as a direct action way of neutralizing other anti-labor provisions in the Taft-Hartley Act such as prohibition on secondary boycotts, sympathy strikes, authorization for states to enact so-called “right to work” laws, among others.

The refusal to sign quickly collapsed as major unions such as the United Auto Workers signed and anti-communist fervor swept the U.S. It wasn’t long before the CIO expelled or forced out 11 major national unions for alleged communist-domination and all the remaining union leaders signed the affidavits.

Many mark the decline of the labor movement to the Taft Harley Act and the inability of labor to wage effective resistance.

Parents alerted to student walkout in support of teacher strike – Feb. 1968

Springbrook High School notifies parents of students who participated in a walkout Feb. 2, 1968 in support of a Montgomery County, Maryland teachers strike. 

Defying court injunctions and threatened fines, the union held firm until a settlement was reached that tilted largely in favor of the MCEA (National Education Association affiliate) demands and re-affirmed its dominance as the voice for teachers in the county.

Washington, D.C. Teacher

The Washington, D.C. Teacher was the newsletter of the Washington Teachers Union (American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Local 6).

The issues available include articles on new methods of education, anti-Vietnam War activities, a demonstration against red-baiting surrounding Antioch College, contract talks and other local union business.

The following issues of the Washington Teacher, usually published as a tabloid, are currently available:

Vol. 5 No. 7 – June 1970

Special Issue – July 1970 

Vol. 6 No. 1 – October 1970 

Vol. 6 No. 5 – April 1971

First issue of University of Maryland AFSCME newsletter – Sep. 1973

The first issue of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1072’s AFSCME in Action newsletter from September 1973.

The union represented about 1300 University of Maryland College Park campus workers but did not have collective bargaining rights at that time.

The issue covers campus layoffs, racial discrimination, a rival employee association, the union picnic, safety, a call to impeach Nixon and other issues.

The local president was Gladys Jefferson. Saul Schneiderman’s name appears in the newsletter as one of the contacts. He would later take a job at the Library of Congress and go on to become AFSMCE president at that location.

Annapolis Report, Vol. 2. No. 2 – Feb. – 1974

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Maryland Public Employees Council 67 reports in its February 12, 1974 legislative newsletter on its efforts to convince the state legislature to declare Rev. Martin Luther King’s birthday a state holiday.

The Maryland House and Senate later passed the bill making Maryland the second state to honor Dr. King’s civil rights legacy in 1974.

WMATA & union letters ordering striking workers back to work – May 1974

Shortly after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA also known as Metro) took over four privately owned bus companies in addition to the task of building a subway, the contract between Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 and the new public company expired.

The union called a strike on May 1, 1974 after the contract expired, negotiations stalled and Metro had not specifically agreed to arbitration as provided for in the expiring labor contract and the Interstate Compact that created Metro.

The union argued that the clause in the expiring contract permitted a legal strike when the company refused to arbitrate. A federal judge disagreed and fined the union $50,000 per day (later reduced to $25,000) until workers returned to work.

Attached are back-to-work letters from the union and the company after workers continued the strike after the judge’s order.

Files of the Metro Employees Action Alliance – 1976

The Metro Employees Action Alliance (originally named the Ad Hoc Committee) was a brief-lived caucus with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 approximately May-September 1976.

It questioned union leaders at meeting, publicized the management’s contract proposals, made contract proposals of their own, raised money and hired a public relations firm to counter negative press on Metro workers and their union.

It was the first of several organized caucuses that eventually helped produce new leadership of the union that replaced the “business unionism” of the time.

The surviving records:

WMATA management proposals for contract changes – May 1, 1976

Questions to be asked at the union meeting  – May 18, 1976

Summary of Metro contract proposals circulated to union membership – circa May 22, 1976

Caucus meeting agenda – May 28, 1976

Draft notice to members of Metro’s contract proposals  – circa May 28, 1976


The Trades Unionist – Oct. 1976

The October 15, 1976 issue of the Trades Unionist covers a rally to support the Washington Post pressmen’s strike, a commemoration of long-time Cafeteria Workers Union Local 473 president Oliver Palmer, the fight to increase the minimum wage, political endorsements and covered the meeting of the Central Labor Council delegates meeting where there was a lively fight over endorsing Statehood Party candidate Josephine Butler.

The Trades Unionist was published by the Washington, D.C. Central Labor Council since 1896, but the shrinking of union membership eventually forced it to end publication. It was replaced in the 21st Century with a daily online newsletter by the umbrella labor group for unions in the greater Washington area.

The Central Labor Council is now known as the Washington Metropolitan Council, AFL-CIO.

Arbitration award on Metro strike discipline – 1978

The Washington Metro system had been beset by three wildcat strikes and a work-to-the rule within a four-year period. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority sought to discipline workers who led and participated in the July 1978 strike over the refusal to pay a cost-of-living increase provided for in the labor agreement.

Workers eventually won the dispute, but over a 100 were disciplined for the strike and eight were fired for their roles in the work stoppage.

An arbitrator ruled on four fired defendants finding that discipline was warranted but that the terminations should be reduced to suspensions, largely because Metro had not disciplined employees for prior strikes or job actions.

The finding also affirmed that strikes are illegal under the Interstate Compact that created Metro that provides for “final and binding arbitration of all disputes.”

Files of the Metro Workers Rank and File Action Caucus – 1978-80

The Metro Workers Rank and File Action Caucus was formed in the wake of the 1978 cost-of-living wildcat strike that paralyzed bus service and the embryonic subway service for a week in July 1978. At least two caucuses arose out of the strike. One was influenced by the Progressive Labor Party and the other was the Action Caucus.

The caucus lasted about two years during which it held a fundraiser for workers fired during the strike, proposed more democratic bylaw changes, investigated the union’s finances and finding some discrepancies and running candidates for union offices in the elections scheduled for December 1979. The election was postponed for a month to January 9th and a runoff was held January 16, 1980 in instances where no candidate received 50 percent plus one of the vote.

Two Action Caucus members won two board seats and Progressive Labor won one board seat out of the 15 seats available. Allies of the Action Caucus on the Unity Slate won two of the top five positions: secretary-treasurer and  2ndvice president and also won two additional board seats. The incumbent president was defeated by an independent candidate.

Action

Vol. 1 No. 1 – Sept. 5, 1978

Vol.1. No. 2 – Oct. 1978

Vol. 1 No. 3 – Nov. 1978

Vol. 1 No. 4 – Jan. 1979

Vol. 1 No. 5 – Jun. 1979

Vol. 1 No. 6 – Aug. 1979

Minutes, flyers and election flyers (material related to the Action Caucus):

Caucus minutes – 7/30/78 – 10/1/78

Turn out for the arbitration hearings flyer – 8/21/78

Report of the Local 689 audit committee – 10/2/79

A vote for Mayo-Waller-Simpson is a vote for change – election flyer 11/79

Elect the Unity Slate platform – 11/79

Letter on the disqualification of Walter Tucker as presidential candidate—11/19/1979

Vote January 9 Mayo-Waller-Simpson—1/9/80

Vote Mayo-Waller-Simpson in the runoff elections—1/16/80

Attend the new officers installation—2/80

Unofficial election results—2/80

Files of the Metro Committee Against Racism (CAR)

The Metro Committee Against Racism was an ongoing caucus within Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 organized by the Progressive Labor Party from approximately 1978 until approximately 1996.

It criticized union leadership, ran candidates for union office and advocated for social and economic justice and against U.S. imperialism.

We currently have one issue of the newsletter Metro C.A.R.

Metro C.A.R. – August 1978 ca.

Marijuana

No documents at this time

Miscellaneous

Patriot Party 10-Point Program – Oct. 1969

The 10-point program of the Patriot Party, a white left-wing revolutionary organization aligned with the Black Panther Party, was published in October 1969..

The Patriot Party was initially formed as the Young Patriots Organization in Chicago and later expanded nationwide as the Patriot Party. It was one of the component organizations of Black Panther Fred Hampton’s Rainbow Coalition in Chicago.

They rejected white supremacy but wore a confederate flag patch on their shirts.

They organized in the Washington, D.C. area 1970-71 out of the Panther office and the Panther’s Community Center focusing on far southeast Washington where working class whites still lived and the inner suburbs of Prince George’s County.

The Poor Revolutionist – 1969 ca.

This Christian tract by Chick publications was widely distributed at anti-Vietnam War rallies in the late 1960s and early 1970s in an attempt to turn young people away from activism.

In the booklet, the good Christian dies for his beliefs while the revolutionaries perish in battle or after being betrayed when the revolution succeeds. The revolutionaries go to hell and the good Christian goes to heaven.

The overall theme is that it is useless to struggle for a better life on Earth and that people should instead simply accept their fate and God.

National Liberation and Anti-Imperialism

(for Indochina War, see Vietnam War)

Civil Rights Congress calls on U.S. president to denounce South African apartheid system – 1952

The Civil Rights Congress initiates a petition to President Harry Truman in 1952 calling on him to denounce apartheid in South Africa and uphold the right of all nations to self-determination, among other demands.

Among the signers were Washington, D.C. residents Ms. Adam S. Butcher, Dr. HJ. A. Callis, United Cafeteria Workers Business Manager Oliver T. Palmer and civil rights luminary Mary Church Terrell. Dr. John E. T. Camper, a former Progressive Party candidate for Congress in Maryland also signed.

Among the national luminaries were NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois; Ewart Guinier, former official in the United Public Workers and father of Lani Guinier, actor Sidney Portier and actor, singer and rights activist Paul Robeson.

‘Save the American Revolution’ – 1967

An undated flyer published most likely in the summer/fall of 1967 by the Washington Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam blasts U.S. foreign policy support for dictatorships while opposing popular revolutionary movements.

The flyer casts the theme that these revolutionary movements that were taking place in countries around the world were akin to our own American revolution and called on people to “Save the American Revolution.”

The Washington Mobilization was an umbrella organization for antiwar groups that grew out of the 1967 Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam.

Committee of Returned Volunteers statement of purpose – Apr. 1969

The Committee of Returned Volunteers, composed of former Peace Corps and other volunteer service members who served overseas, publishes a packet that contains a statement of purpose in a packet distributed circa April 1969.

Also included in the packed is the question of whether the Peace Corps is developing an alternative path of development or an accomplice in exploitation and also contains an analysis of Peru and a critical analysis of the Hickenlooper amendment and its  possible application in Peru.

Founded in 1966, the Committee of Returned Volunteers (CRV) was an organization of people who have worked in voluntary service programs in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, and in the United States.

The group‘s thinking evolved into an anti-imperialist perspective and  concentrated its efforts on liberation of Third World countries and U.S. policy towards those countries.

Revolutionary holiday card by Insurgent Press – 1970 ca.

An image of a revolutionary holiday card circa 1970 produced by Insurgent Press, a left-wing press that operated in Washington, D.C. in the late 1960s through the mid-1970s. At one point it was operating out of a building at 11th and K Streets NW.

The card’s front reads “Peace on Earth” and when you open it, it reads “By Any Means Necessary” with an image of a Vietnamese  holding an automatic rifle in the air.  A quote by Mao Zedong on the nature of war is on the inside fold.

Jose Marti—‘mastermind’ of the assault on the barracks–Moncada — 1970 ca.

A Cuban poster circa 1970 of Jose Marti with the inscription that can be translated as “mastermind of the assault on the barracks” followed by the name Moncada.

Marti was a Cuban poet, philosopher, essayist, journalist, translator, professor, and publisher, who is considered a Cuban national hero because of his role in the liberation of his country, and he was an important figure in Latin American literature.

Following the 1959 Cuban Revolution, Marti’s ideology became a major driving force in Cuban politics. He is also regarded as Cuba’s “martyr” and “patron saint.”

Fundraiser for the Venceremos Brigade – Mar. 1974

The local branch of the Venceremos Brigade, an organization that promotes education and understanding of communist-led Cuba, calls for a fundraiser in Washington, D.C. March 15, 1974.

The Brigade sent groups of young people to Cuba to work and learn side-by-side with ordinary Cubans beginning in 1969.

Robert Simpson, an original and contemporary Spark contributor, was one of those who traveled to Cuba with the Brigade in 1974j.

Note that the post office box is the same as that of the historical Washington Area Spark and that the flyer was printed by Insurgent Printing—a left-wing printing press at 10th & K Streets NW that published many flyers, leaflets and newsletters in the Washington, D.C. area during the early and mid 1970s.

African liberation activist D.C. newspaper – 1974

The Washington, D.C. chapter of the African Liberation Support Committee (ALSC) briefly published a tabloid newspaper in 1974 called Finally Got the News named after the film of the same name that depicted the League of Revolutionary Black Workers struggle in Detroit.

The large African Liberation Day rally in 1972 was the driver behind forming the national ALSC composed mainly of pan-Africanists and black nationalists.

By 1973 a split was developing within the ALSC over working with white organizations that supported African liberation as urged by some leaders of the movements in Guinea-Bissau and Mozambique.

Read the local Finally Got the News May 1974 issue to understand the shift in emphasis to the black working class along with supporting African liberation.

Celebrate the Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution – 1974

A flyer advertising a New Year’s Eve party to be held Dec. 31, 1974 in Washington, D.C. sponsored by the Venceremos Brigade and the D.C. Chile Coalition.

The Venceremos Brigade is a long-standing U.S. group founded in 1969 supporting the Cuban revolution of 1959. It sponsors Americans, particularly students, on trips to Cuba to promote understanding and solidarity.

The D.C. Chile Coalition was formed after the U.S. backed coup that overthrew the popular government of Salvador Allende on September 11, 1973. The group sponsored a number of demonstrations and events supporting opponents of the coup, particularly 1974-75.

Native Americans

Flyer announcing The Long Walk for Survival –  May 1980

The Long Walk for Survival was a cross-country demonstration by Native Americans that ended in Washington, D.C. with a series of demonstrations and prayer meetings over two weeks from Nov. 1-14, 1980 to draw attention to the issues of nuclear power and forced sterilization of Native women.

The walk began on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Gay six months earlier. About 100 demonstrators made the whole trek to Washington, D.C. where they were joined by several hundred more Native Americans and supporters.

They protested the forced sterilization of 60-70,000 Native women in the previous 12 years and the dumping of nuclear waste on Indian reservations as well a more general demand for more self-determination on the reservations.

Prison Rights

No documents at this time

Slave Resistance/Revolts/Military Action

No documents at this time

Socialism

The Swimmers,” by John Reed – 1910

The Swimmers was published in The Forum. It was Journalist/Socialist John Reed’s first trade-published short story.

The piece was published in The Forum, 1910. John Silas “Jack” Reed (October 22, 1887 – October 17, 1920) was an American journalist, poet, and socialist activist, best remembered for Ten Days That Shook the World, his first-hand account of the Bolshevik Revolution.

Declaration of Economic Independence – 1976

The People’s Bicentennial Commission, formed by democratic socialists Jeremy Rifkin and John Rossen, published a Declaration of Economic Independence in 1976 in conjunction with demonstrations and the July 4, 1976 rallies in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The declaration identifies corporations as the cause of economic distress in the United States and calls for a decentralized ownership of the means of production.

Students

Highway of Hunger: The Story of America’s Homeless Youth – 1933

This pamphlet portrays a bleak future for youth whether they are the children of unemployed or college graduates—unless a revolution led by the Communist Party prevails.

Doran joined the Young Communist League in 1930 and went to the Deep South to build up membership of the YCL among the unemployed. In Scottsboro, Alabama, he was beaten up after he became involved in the campaign to free the “Scottsboro Boys.”

In 1931 he joined the Communist Party USA and worked as a trade union organizer with agricultural workers in Alabama, textile workers in North Carolina) and coal miners in Pennsylvania). By 1936 he was the party’s director of trade union activities.

He joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight fascism in Spain. After showing heroism in a number of battles, he was promoted to political commissioner for a battalion.

He was believed to be captured and executed on April 2, 1938 in Gandesa, during the Retreats phase of the Spanish Civil War.

Students for a Democratic Society Bulletin – Feb. 1965

This issue of the SDS newsletter contains the flyer for the first mass march on Washington, D.C. against the Vietnam War scheduled for April 17, 1965. It is located on page 13. A surprising 25,000 or more attended the march and rally.

Also of interest to Maryland readers is the article by Bob Moore, then active in the U-JOIN project (Union for Jobs or Income Now). Moore would later go on to lead the organizing effort for hospital workers in the city and become president of the Local 1199 affiliate in the city.

SDS calls for march against Viet War – 1965

The national office of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) issues a call for a march on Washington, D.C. to be held Nov. 27, 1965 in one of the early national demonstrations against the war in Vietnam.

In this flyer, SDS begins to make a break with those calling for negotiations by stating,

“We must not deceive ourselves: a negotiated agreement cannot guarantee democracy. Only the Vietnamese have the right of nationhood to make their government democratic or not, free or not, neutral or not. It is not America’s role to deny them the chance to be what they make of themselves.”

Nearly 50,000 attended this demonstration—double the number that came the previous spring in the first major antiwar march on Washington.

U. of Md. Students for a Democratic Society Vietnam study guide – circa Spring 1967

The University of Maryland College Park Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) publishes a two-sided flyer circa Spring 1967 that provides a study guide for those interested in educating themselves on the war in Vietnam.

This was toward the end of the “teach-in” period of SDS where a lot of effort was put into educating fellow students about why the Vietnam War conducted by the United States was wrong. The “teach-ins” flourished across the country in 1965-66.

D.C. SNCC calls for anti-draft march – May, 1967

The Washington, D.C. Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee calls on black youth to protest the draft May 8, 1967 by joining a march from 14th and H Streets NE to the Rayburn Office Building.

About 100 students from different East Coast colleges marched from the Rosedale playground to the Rayburn Building where they were barred from entering the building or attending a hearing being conducted by U.S. Senator Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.) on the draft.

Call for a black power conference at Howard – 1967

Huey LaBrie, one of the leaders of the student protests at Howard University in 1967 issues a call for a black power student conference to be held in Washington, D.C. May 19-21, 1967.

The informal conference was a run-up to the larger Newark Conference held in the summer ofr1967 that included the NAACP, The Urban League, Afro-American Unity, Harlem Mau and Maus along prominent leaders such as Jessie Jackson, Ron Karenga, Floyd McKissick, Rap Brown, and Charles 27X Kenyatta.

Following up the Newark conference, Stokely Carmichael (later Kwame Ture) pulled together a Black United Front in the District of Columbia in January 1968 that was intended to act as a unified voice for black people in the city.

LaBrie was the brother of Aubrie LaBrie who was a prominent black leader at San Francisco State University. Huey LaBrie was a  leader of the 1967 Black Power Committee on the Howard campus along with Dr. Nathan Hare, Robin Gregory and others.

U. of Md. College Park Students for a Democratic Society constitution – circa 1968

The University of Maryland College Park Students for a Democratic Society constitution circa 1968.

This would have been a necessary document to becoming a recognized student group on campus with access to facilities.

Parents alerted to student walkout in support of teacher strike – Feb. 1968

Springbrook High School notifies parents of students who participated in a walkout Feb. 2, 1968 in support of a Montgomery County, Maryland teachers strike. 

Defying court injunctions and threatened fines, the union held firm until a settlement was reached that tilted largely in favor of the MCEA (National Education Association affiliate) demands and re-affirmed its dominance as the voice for teachers in the county.

U. of Md. SDS contemplates the upcoming Democratic Convention – Mar. 1968

The University of Maryland College Park Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) holds a talk on campus by Lee Webb of the Institute for Policy Studies about the upcoming Aug. 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

U. of Md. Students for a Democratic Society internal organizing letter – Aug. 1968

Gregory Dunkel, one of the prominent leaders of the U. of Md. College Park SDS  who would later be banned from the campus for his activities during the student strike of 1970, writes a letter inviting members to two informal meetings for an exchange of ideas on what steps to take next.

Topics suggested for discussion included the Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign, the 1968 Democratic Convention, racism, campus politics, war-related issues, reports from national meetings, and Cuba.

SDS plans for fall school year – Sep. 1968

The Regional Office of the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) schedules an area-wide discussion group for September 7, 1968 to plan for the school year.

There were active chapters of SDS at George Washington University, American University, the University of Maryland as well as a number of at-large members in the Washington, D.C. area.

Washington Regional SDS recruiting flye – Fall 1968

The Washington Regional SDS office produced this two-sided flyer both as political analysis and a recruiting tool after the Aug. 1968 Democratic Convention that resulted in police violence against the 10,000 demonstrators that had assembled to protest the war and continuing oppression of black people.

The flyer contains an illustration of the city of Chicago as a fortress with Mayor Richard J. Daley, national guardsmen and other figures.

The flyer makes the case that change will not come through peace candidates like Eugene McCarthy and that the repression in Chicago takes the “movement” to a new level.

National SDS recruiting booklet – Fall 1969 ca.

The. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) national office publishes an undated, but probably the fall of 1968, pull out a membership recruitment booklet that skillfully threads the needle between the arising factions and their viewpoints within the organization.

The booklet describes the evolution of the organization from a liberal-left group to a radical group with a bent toward revolutionary politics.

It describes the SDS positions on Vietnam and foreign policy, The draft and the military, on the black liberation movement, labor and the struggles of working people, and the student revolt.

It concludes with an appeal to subscribe to SDS’s publication, New Left Notes, and to join the organization itself.

SDS rally against 30 percent UMD tuition increase: Oct. 1968

The University of Maryland College Park Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) issues a flyer calling for a rally October 7, 1968 in front of McKelden Library against a 30 percent tuition increase approved by the Board of Regents.

The flyer blasts Gov. Spiro Agnew for raising taxes on working people and freezing the wages of state employees while proposing to cut the taxes of landlords

They also decried the spending of money on a new administration building on the flagship campus while the historically black campuses of the UMD system received no construction funds.

SDS demands:

  1. No tuition or fee increase
  2. End the freeze on state employees’ wages
    1. Admit thousands of black and white working class students with subsidies if necessary
    2. Hire enough teachers to reduce the student/faculty ratio by 50 percent.
    3. Upgrade the black campuses in the university system

Eldridge Cleaver speech flyer at American University – Oct. 1968

Black Panther Party Minister of Information Eldridge Cleaver, presidential candidate on the Peace and Freedom Party ticket and author of Soul on Ice is invited to speak on the American University campus in Washington, D.C. 

The Panthers would establish a small chapter in the city in 1970 and prominent leaders, including David Hilliard, Huey Newton, Elbert “Big Man” Howard, Donald Cox, Eldridge Cleaver, and Kathleen Cleaver all made public appearances in the city.

Call for a student strike against the election – Nov. 1968

An unsigned flyer probably issued by someone in the Washington, D.C. Regional Office of the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) calls for a student strike and demonstrations coinciding with the national presidential election in 1968.

The strike call was issued to protest the three candidates—Democrat Hubert Humphrey, Republican Richard Nixon and American Independent George Wallace—and to demonstrate firm opposition to continued involvement in Vietnam.

Humphrey and Nixon favored continuing the war until a so-called honorable peace could be attained while Wallace favored continuing the war until outright victory.

The Washington, D.C. actions were part of a nationwide call for a student strike. The strike failed and attendance at the antiwar demonstrations held across the country was poor.

A little over two months later, the antiwar movement was reinvigorated with the counter-inaugural demonstrations held simultaneously with the victorious Nixon-Agnew ticket’s official installation in office.

UMD SDS calls for student strike against Viet War and election – Nov. 1968

The University of Maryland College Park Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) calls for a student strike and demonstrations coinciding with the national presidential election in 1968.

The strike was intended to protest the Vietnam War and the choices of candidates in the election.

Coolidge student march against the war flyer – Oct. 1969

A flyer advertises a demonstration held during the Vietnam Moratorium by black students at Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. October 15, 1969.

Over 100 students from Coolidge High School sought to enter the White House grounds with a black pinewood coffin containing letters from students asking President Nixon to end the war.

Refused entry by White House guards, the students pressed forward anyway. Park and metropolitan police bolstered the guards and arrested three students and one passerby. 500 bystanders gathered around the confrontation angrily shouting at police to let the arrested students go.

Smash the 3-Sisters Bridge – Nov. 1969

A poster calling for a rally to “Smash the 3 Sisters Bridge” at Georgetown University followed by a march to the bridge site November 16, 1969 sponsored by the Student Committee on the Transportation Crisis.

The SCTC was set up by students at George Washington, American and Georgetown universities to assist the efforts of the long-standing Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis led by Reginald Booker.

The SCTC was influenced by the more radical faction of the recently fractured Students for a Democratic Society and by the Yippies.

The group engaged in a number of confrontations with police at and around the bridge site, resulting in stone throwing, tear gas and arrests.

A court order stopped construction on the bridge in Aug. 1970 and it was never resumed.

Black Panthers seek to recruit D.C. white student allies – Dec. 1969

During the Black Panther recruiting drive in December 1969 led by Jim Williams, the group also sought to set up an affiliated chapter of the National Committee to Combat Fascism (NCCF).

The flyer publicizes a number of events designed to familiarize area students with the Panthers and to recruit members to the NCCF chapter.

The tour came shortly after the Chicago police murder of Fred Hampton on Dec. 4thand this event is addressed on the reverse side of the flyer.

The NCCF only functioned for a short time, but the Panthers established a full-fledged chapter at their announcement of the Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention at the Lincoln Memorial in June 1970.

UMD Statement on the arrest of the Skinner 87 – Mar. 1970

The University of Maryland College Park issues a statement on the arrest of 87 students March 24, 1970 who were protesting the dismissal of two popular professors.

Two professors, Peter Goldstone and Richard Roeloff, were denied a renewal of their contracts. Several hundred students seized Skinner Hall March 23 for 13 hours before police were called to arrest the demonstrators

Students briefly occupied three buildings on campus again on April 6th, including Skinner Hall, McKeldin Library and the South Administration Building. 

The protest was largely forgotten when the campus erupted May 1, 1970 in protests against President Richard Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the subsequent shooting deaths of 4 students at Kent State University by the Ohio Guard.

University of Md. College Park ‘Commuter Newsletter’ – May 8-10, 1970

A unsigned, undated three-page flyer (issued between May 8 and 10, 1970 and probably issued by members of the student strike committee) dubbed “Commuter’s Newsletter”  recounts a faculty assembly vote at the University of Maryland College Park to endorse an immediate end to the war in Vietnam, opposing repression against the Black Panther Party and urging the school administration to keep the school facilities open during the student strike.

Demonstrations against the Vietnam War and a student strike began at the school May 1, 1970 after President Richard Nixon ordered U.S. troops to invade Cambodia-widening the war. A national student strike was called May 4, 1970, the same day that the Ohio National Guard gunned down four students and wounded nine others at Kent State University in Ohio.

The flyer also calls for students to support a liberal grading plan for classes of those engaged in the student strike.

The last page of the flyer reprints the faculty resolutions adopted at an assembly of 1,000 faculty members at Cole Field House May 7, 1970. The assembly was watched by 7,000 students in the stands.

University Record account of UMD administration building fire – May 15, 1970

The University Record dated May 15, 1970b publishes photographs and excerpts from a speech to the University of Maryland College Park  board of regents by President Wiison Elkins describing damage to the administration building sustained during a student demonstration against the Vietnam War May 14, 1970.

Over 5,000 students again occupied U.S. Route 1 after the school’s faculty voted by a 2-1 margin to apply relatively strict grading criteria to students involved in the strike against the expansion of the Indochina War by President Richard Nixon and the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University by Ohio National Guardsmen.

Ed Beall, a left-leaning faculty activist led a group of students to put out the fire. Otherwise the building may have burned to the ground.

Beall, however, was not rewarded for his actions. Instead the board of regents at the school later fired the tenured professor for posting unauthorized signs on campus and other trivial matters.

Martial law order by National Guard at UMD – May 15 1970

A photograph of a May 15, 1970 order by Maryland National Guard commander Major Gen. Edwin Warfield III imposing a curfew at the University of Maryland College Park, banning the sale and possession of gasoline and banning gatherings on campus of more than 100 people.

It marked the second time the National Guard occupied the campus during the 1970 student strike against the U.S. expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the killings of students at Kent State University.

When the Guard arrived on campus the evening of May 14th, the most bitter and prolonged fighting between students and police and National Guard occurred.

Shortly after this order, 25 students were banned from campus by Warfield at the request of university officials.

Students repeatedly defied the National Guard order and held rallies and marches of several thousand on May 18th, 20thand 22nd.

The National Guard would occupy the campus again during anti-Vietnam War protests in 1971 and 1972.

Remember the Augusta Six – May 1970

A rally is called at the University of Maryland College Park May 20, 1970 to honor the six slain black men in Augusta, Ga. who were shot to death by police—most apparently in the back—while they were protesting the violent death of a 16-year-old that was in police custody.

The campus was under martial law at the time following two weeks of confrontations between students and National Guard and police. Gatherings were prohibited. This is likely why the flyer is unsigned. The first demand of the 1970 student strike was the ending of repression of black people.

Flyer announces formation of DRUM at College Park: 1970

The first flyer issued by the newly constituted Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM) announces its formation in late May 1970  out of the 1970 student strike coalition at College Park.

The May 1970 student strike was the first mass protest at the College Park campus and included occupation of buildings, the seizure of U.S. Route 1, confrontations with police and National Guard and a student strike that was part of a nationwide student strike against the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the shooting deaths of four student protesters at Kent State University in Ohio.

DRUM filled a year-long void caused by the splintering of the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) in the summer of 1969.

DRUM published The Radical Guide to the University of Maryland and the Route One Gazette and held a number of meetings and protests on and off the campus.

The spring 1971 antiwar protests on the campus that resulted in a Maryland National Guard occupation of the campus for the second straight year were largely guided by these activists.

Confront Mandel and the [UMD] Regents – Jun. 1970

President Wilson Elkins scheduled a meeting with the University of Maryland Board of Regents and Maryland Gov. Marvin Mandel June 26, 1970 and students responded by calling a demonstration.

The flyer is unsigned, but likely issued by the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM).

DRUM was formed from the student strike committee that attempted to guide the month-long student strike in May 1970 against the Vietnam War following President Richard Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia.  The shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University May 4, 1970 by the Ohio National Guard helped fuel the strike and protests.

The War Drags on Rally at the U. of Md. College Park – Aug. 1970

An unsigned flyer calls for a rally against the Vietnam War August 4, 1970 on the Mall at the University of Maryland College Park. The flyer is unsigned but contains the demands of the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland and was likely put out by the group.

USNSA Congress News – August 16, 1970

USNSA Congress News – August 17, 1970

U.S. National Student Association (USNSA) Congress News October 16, 1970 reports on the passage of a resolution the previous night during their convention at Macalester College in Minneapolis, MN that authorizes the umbrella group of college student governments to negotiate a People’s Peace Treaty and organize demonstrations, including civil disobedience, beginning May 1, 1971.

While its politics were always liberal, the top officers of the organization permitted the CIA to use students to gather intelligence and attempt to blunt communist influence in international student gatherings from 1947-67.

Ramparts Magazine published an expose in 1967 blowing the lid of the scheme and the group extricated itself from CIA funding.

Despite its background as a Cold War front group, over the course of three years 1967-70, it turned from a tool of U.S. foreign policy to helping lead the fight against it, including the call for a national student strike against the Vietnam War in May 1970, the negotiations of a People’s Peace Treaty with North and South Vietnamese students in December 1970, and the endorsement and organization of the Mayday civil disobedience in Washington, D.C. in May 1971.

Radical Guide to the University of Maryland – Aug. 1970

The University of Maryland was relatively quiet during the late 1960s when turmoil swept campuses around the country over the Vietnam War and black liberation.

However, the campus exploded in 1970—first with the university’s mass arrests of students protesting the firing of two popular professors and later with massive antiwar demonstrations and resulting confrontations that ended in the campus being occupied by the National Guard.

The Guide was written and published by the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM), a short-lived campus successor to the Students for Democratic Society (SDS).

It recounts the demonstrations of during the Spring of 1970 and puts forward the views of the students on important issues of the day.

Maryland radicals Mother Bloor Collective and DRUM defend Panther’s RPCC – Oct. 1970

The Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM) and the Ella Reeve Bloor Collective (Mother Bloor) publish an explanation of the Black Panther Party-sponsored Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention plenary session in Philadelphia, Pa. and re-iterate that the full convention scheduled for Washington, D.C. in November 1970 will be held.

Due to political pressure from the federal government and local authorities, suitable venues in the Washington, D.C. area, including Howard University, the University of Maryland and the D.C. Armory all rejected the Panther convention. While several thousand streamed into the city and small activities were held, no plenary session was ever convened.

On the back side of the flyer are hand-written lyrics to a song popularized by the Weather Underground: Red Party Fights to Win.

May Strike at U. of Md. film screening flyer: Nov. 1970

The Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM) sponsors a film November 9, 1970 on the student strike the previous spring that protested President Richard Nixon’s expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the shooting deaths of four Kent State University students by the Ohio National Guard.

Anyone who has information on this film, please contact Washington_area_spark@yahoo.com We would love to digitalize it and post it on our site.

Position paper on workers for Revolutionary People’s Constitutional Convention: 1970

The Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM), a primarily student group based at UMD College Park, puts out a flyer outlining its position on workers for the Revolutionary Peoples’ Constitutional Convention scheduled for Nov. 27-29 in Washington, D.C

The convention was spearheaded by the Black Panther Party.

It calls for workers control of the means of production, minority guaranteed a proportional share of work and decision-making, guaranteed employment, a national production plan, and guaranteed education and training.

Call for action to stop Nixon’s new war escalation – Nov. 1970

A call to action at the University of Maryland College Park  on the Vietnam War following an increase in bombing and a failed attempt to rescue American POWs is published by the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM) circa November 1970.

This flyer disparages President Richard Nixon’s war escalation and provides facts to support an antiwar position. The flyer is partially damaged.

DRUM was a successor to the campus chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society that was formed out of the steering committee from the May 1970 student strike against the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard.

U. of Md. ‘wanted poster’ of undercover police – 1970 ca.

The first in a series of “wanted” posters put out anonymously on the University of Maryland campus of police agents and informers following the student strike of 1970.

This one features alleged state police officers John Paul Cook and Bob Wacker.

U. of Md. ‘wanted poster’ of undercover police (2) – 1970 ca.

The second in a series of “wanted” posters put out anonymously on the University of Maryland campus of police agents and informers following the student strike of 1970.

This one features alleged state police officer or informer Jim Lair.

U. of Md. ‘wanted poster’ of police/FBI informant (3) – 1970 ca.

The third in a series of “wanted” posters put out anonymously on the University of Maryland College Park campus of police agents and informers following the student strike of 1970.

This one features alleged police/FBI informant Thomas Hyde.

Mother Bloor collective warns U. of Md. students of drug raids – Apr. 1971

Mother Bloor, a Marxist-Leninist study group based at the University of Maryland College Park  that briefly formed its own organization, warns of the possibility of a police raid on the campus looking for drugs April 30-May 2, 1971.

No raids apparently took place, though the campus would be wracked by another year of anti-Vietnam War demonstrations that brought the National Guard back to occupy the campus for a second year.

Mother Bloor (1970-71), named after an early U.S. Communist Party labor leader, was formed in large by University of Maryland College Park activists around the same time as Mother Jones, a similar group in Baltimore named after another labor leader.

Both groups acted as communist political groups but ended up taking different directions. Most members of Mother Bloor affiliated with the Workers World Party—a split off from the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party in the 1959–while most Mother Jones members affiliated with the Revolutionary Union—a Maoist group with roots in San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1960s.

U. of Md. students produce a guide to Mayday civil disobedience – 1971

The University of Maryland Mayday contingent produced a guide to the Mayday 1971 anti-Vietnam War demonstrations that were intended to shut down the government by using civil disobedience to block traffic in Washington, D.C.

Call for an anti-imperialist contingent in national antiwar march – May 1972

A flyer by the Attica Brigade, a youth group associated with the Maoist Revolutionary Union calls on people to join an anti-imperialist contingent in a larger march on Washington, D.C. to oppose the Vietnam War May 21, 1972.

While speeches took place before a crowd of 10-15,000 on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, several thousand in the anti-imperialist contingent tossed rocks, bottles and other projectiles while police responded with clubs and tear gas.

D.C. police chief Jerry Wilson was hit six times with objects including a wooden stick that caused blood to run down his face.

Wilson was quoted, “They usually run when I walk toward them. This time they threw bigger rocks.”

A dozen police officers were injured and 178 protesters were arrested during the confrontation.

Protest arrests of two U. of Md. students – July 1972

An unsigned flyer protests the arrests of two students charged with minor acts of vandalism to the destruction of the Vietnam War. The flyer calls on students to attend the trials of Steve Moore and Bob Ferraro.

U. of Md. students protest arrests – Fall, 1972

A newly formed Md./D.C. Committee to Oppose Political Repression issues a flyer protesting the arrest of three University of Maryland students arrested during a May 10, 1972 antiwar demonstration on the campus where police engaged in well-documented police brutality against one of those arrested.

Freedom Party marches on Rockville, Md. – Nov. 1972

The Montgomery County Freedom Party sponsors an anti-Vietnam War demonstration November 8, 1972 where about 75 people marched to the military recruiting station in downtown Rockville, Md.

The Freedom Party was one of dozens of local groups that sprang up around the country on college campuses to fill the void caused by the collapse of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) in the summer of 1969.

It was one of the few local demonstrations against the Vietnam War in Montgomery County where the focus was usually on Washington, D.C.

The Freedom Party left its mark on the Rockville campus of Montgomery College from the fall semester of 1971 through the spring semester of 1973, publishing Spark newspaper, sponsoring a series of speakers and holding protests. At one point they held a majority of seats in the student government.

Weather Underground FBI Wanted Poster  – 1972

While never specifically espousing an anarchist philosophy, the Weather Underground’s political beliefs and actions mirrored some of the characteristics of anarchism. The group formed as a result in a split of the mass student-based organization Students for a Democratic Society in 1969.

The Weathermen, as they were originally known, carried out their first major action later in the year—The Days of Rage in Chicago’s streets October 8-11th. Several hundred hard-core activists battled Chicago police over three days under the slogan “Bring the War Home.”

A major focus of the demonstration was the trial of the Chicago 8—antiwar leaders of various philosophies charged with fomenting a riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention. The clashes with police ended with six Weathermen wounded by police gunfire, 287 arrested and a number of other injured. The police suffered several dozen injuries—none serious.

Many of those charged failed to appear in court resulting in most of the wanted profiles on the linked document.

The Weather Underground went on to conduct a symbolic bombing campaign of government, industrial or other political targets until 1977 when the group essentially disbanded.

A few members went on to participate in the May 19thCommunist Organization joint action with the Black Liberation Army of a 1981 robbery of a Brinks truck in New Jersey that resulted in the death of a guard and two police officers. Suspects were arrested over a five-year period and sentenced to long prison terms.

Transit in the D.C. Area

White Man’s Road Through Black Man’s Home – 1968

This is a poster designed by Sammie Abbott of the Emergency Committee for the Transportation Crisis in 1968 that encapsulated the group’s fight against planned freeways in the District of Columbia.

In January 1967, Abbott used the words “a white man’s road…through black men’s homes,” in testimony before the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC) on the North Central Freeway.

Abbott may have used the words first, but Reginald Booker turned them into a slogan that galvanized black opposition to new highways and put the issue in stark racial terms. Abbott, a graphic arts designer, produced the dozens of posters and flyers that featured it.

The group would successfully lead a confrontational fight against new freeways, for public takeover of the private bus company and for construction of the new Metrorail system that resulted in almost complete victory against powerful opponents.

Rally to rehabilitate Brookland homes – Jun. 1969

A rally is planned June 28, 1969 to make a second attempt at rehabilitation of homes condemned by the District government for the North Central Freeway in the Brookland area of the city.

The homes had been vacant for more than a year and had been vandalized. A court injunction had placed the planned freeway on hold.

On June 21st six people were arrested for entering one of the homes and attempting to begin rehabilitation. Following the publicity, Mayor Walter Washington announced that the city would rehabilitate the homes and place them up for sale.

Smash the 3-Sisters Bridge – Nov. 1969

A poster calling for a rally to “Smash the 3 Sisters Bridge” at Georgetown University followed by a march to the bridge site November 16, 1969 sponsored by the Student Committee on the Transportation Crisis.

The SCTC was set up by students at George Washington, American and Georgetown universities to assist the efforts of the long-standing Emergency Committee on the Transportation Crisis led by Reginald Booker.

Opposition to the bridge was seen as the key to stopping a planned series of freeways that would destroy thousands of primarily black homes and crisscross the city.

A court order stopped construction on the bridge located several hundred yards north of the existing Key Bridge in Aug. 1970 and it was never resumed.

Later on legislation passed Congress allowing localities to utilize unused freeway construction funds for subway building and D.C. then took freeway and bridge funds and used them to accelerate the building of the Metrorail system.

Call for 3-Sisters Bridge celebration – 1971

A flyer calling for a celebration October 30, 1971 of a U.S. Court of Appeals decision that effectively indefinitely delayed construction of the Three Sisters Bridge.

The court ruled that the government must start all over with the planning and review process.

Opposition to the bridge was seen as the key to stopping a planned series of freeways that would destroy thousands of primarily black homes and crisscross the city. A court order stopped construction on the bridge in Aug. 1970 and it was never resumed.

Later on legislation passed Congress allowing localities to utilize unused freeway construction funds for subway building and D.C. then took freeway and bridge funds and used them to accelerate the building of the Metrorail system.

WMATA & union letters ordering striking workers back to work – May 1974

Shortly after the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA also known as Metro) took over four privately owned bus companies in addition to the task of building a subway, the contract between Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 and the new public company expired.

The union called a strike on May 1, 1974 after the contract expired, negotiations stalled and Metro had not specifically agreed to arbitration as provided for in the expiring labor contract and the Interstate Compact that created Metro.

The union argued that the clause in the expiring contract permitted a legal strike when the company refused to arbitrate. A federal judge disagreed and fined the union $50,000 per day (later reduced to $25,000) until workers returned to work.

Attached are back-to-work letters from the union and the company after workers continued the strike after the judge’s order.

Files of the Metro Employees Action Alliance – 1976

The Metro Employees Action Alliance (originally named the Ad Hoc Committee) was a brief-lived caucus with Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 approximately May-September 1976.

It questioned union leaders at meeting, publicized the management’s contract proposals, made contract proposals of their own, raised money and hired a public relations firm to counter negative press on Metro workers and their union.

It was the first of several organized caucuses that eventually helped produce new leadership of the union that replaced the “business unionism” of the time.

The surviving records:

WMATA management proposals for contract changes – May 1, 1976

Questions to be asked at the union meeting  – May 18, 1976

Summary of Metro contract proposals circulated to union membership – circa May 22, 1976

Caucus meeting agenda – May 28, 1976

Draft notice to members of Metro’s contract proposals  – circa May 28, 1976


Arbitration award on Metro strike discipline – 1978

The Washington Metro system had been beset by three wildcat strikes and a work-to-the rule within a four-year period.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority sought to discipline workers who led and participated in the July 1978 strike over the refusal to pay a cost-of-living increase provided for in the labor agreement.

Workers eventually won the dispute, but over a 100 were disciplined for the strike and eight were fired for their roles in the work stoppage.

An arbitrator ruled on four fired defendants finding that discipline was warranted but that the terminations should be reduced to suspensions, largely because Metro had not disciplined employees for prior strikes or job actions.

The finding also affirmed that strikes are illegal under the Interstate Compact that created Metro that provides for “final and binding arbitration of all disputes.”

Files of the Metro Workers Rank and File Action Caucus

The Metro Workers Rank and File Action Caucus was formed in the wake of the 1978 cost-of-living wildcat strike that paralyzed bus service and the embryonic subway service for a week in July 1978. At least two caucuses arose out of the strike. One was influenced by the Progressive Labor Party and the other was the Action Caucus.

The caucus lasted about two years during which it held a fundraiser for workers fired during the strike, proposed more democratic bylaw changes, investigated the union’s finances and finding some discrepancies and running candidates for union offices in the elections scheduled for December 1979. The election was postponed for a month to January 9th and a runoff was held January 16, 1980 in instances where no candidate received 50 percent plus one of the vote.

Two Action Caucus members won two board seats and Progressive Labor won one board seat out of the 15 seats available. Allies of the Action Caucus on the Unity Slate won two of the top five positions: secretary-treasurer and  2ndvice president and also won two additional board seats. The incumbent president was defeated by an independent candidate.

Action

Vol. 1 No. 1 – Sept. 5, 1978

Vol.1. No. 2 – Oct. 1978

Vol. 1 No. 3 – Nov. 1978

Vol. 1 No. 4 – Jan. 1979

Vol. 1 No. 5 – Jun. 1979

Vol. 1 No. 6 – Aug. 1979

Action Caucus Minutes, flyers and election flyers

Caucus minutes – 7/30/78 – 10/1/78

Turn out for the arbitration hearings flyer – 8/21/78

Report of the Local 689 audit committee – 10/2/79

A vote for Mayo-Waller-Simpson is a vote for change – election flyer 11/79

Elect the Unity Slate platform – 11/79

Letter on the disqualification of Walter Tucker as presidential candidate—11/19/1979

Vote January 9 Mayo-Waller-Simpson—1/9/80

Vote Mayo-Waller-Simpson in the runoff elections—1/16/80

Attend the new officers installation—2/80

Unofficial election results—2/80

Files of the Metro Committee Against Racism (CAR)

The Metro Committee Against Racism was an ongoing caucus within Amalgamated Transit Union Local 689 organized by the Progressive Labor Party from approximately 1978 until approximately 1996.

It criticized union leadership, ran candidates for union office and advocated for social and economic justice and against U.S. imperialism.

We currently have one issue of the newsletter Metro C.A.R.

Metro C.A.R. – August 1978 ca.

U.S. National Domestic Politics and Issues

American Independent Party candidate for President George Wallace handbill – Nov. 1968

A handbill passed out at polling places in Maryland November 5, 1968 for white supremacist candidate for president George Wallace who was running as a third-party candidate on the American Independent Party ticket.

Wallace hoped to garner enough electoral votes to throw the election into the House of Representatives where he could be a kingmaker and bargain to preserve white supremacy in the south. He won five southern states, but Richard M. Nixon won enough electoral votes to win the presidency.

Wallace ran behind both Nixon and Humbert Humphrey in Maryland in 1968, gaining about 170,000 votes to the other two nominees who each received about 470,000.

Declaration of Economic Independence – 1976

The People’s Bicentennial Commission, formed by democratic socialists Jeremy Rifkin and John Rossen, published a Declaration of Economic Independence in 1976 in conjunction with demonstrations and the July 4, 1976 rallies in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

The declaration identifies corporations as the cause of economic distress in the United States and calls for a decentralized ownership of the means of production.

Unemployed

Highway of Hunger: The Story of America’s Homeless Youth – 1933

This pamphlet portrays a bleak future for youth whether they are the children of unemployed or college graduates—unless a revolution led by the Communist Party prevails.

Doran joined the Young Communist League in 1930 and went to the Deep South to build up membership of the YCL among the unemployed. In Scottsboro, Alabama, he was beaten up after he became involved in the campaign to free the “Scottsboro Boys.”

In 1931 he joined the Communist Party USA and worked as a trade union organizer with agricultural workers in Alabama, textile workers in North Carolina) and coal miners in Pennsylvania).

By 1936 he was the party’s director of trade union activities. He joined the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight fascism in Spain. After showing heroism in a number of battles, he was promoted to political commissioner for a battalion.

He was believed to be captured and executed on April 2, 1938 in Gandesa, during the Retreats phase of the Spanish Civil War.

Students for a Democratic Society Bulletin – Feb. 1965

This issue of the national SDS newsletter contains the flyer for the first mass march on Washington, D.C. against the Vietnam War scheduled for April 17, 1965. It is located on page 13.

Also of interest to Maryland readers is the article by Bob Moore, then active in the U-JOIN project (Union for Jobs or Income Now). Moore would later go on to lead the organizing effort for hospital workers in the city and become president of the Local 1199 affiliate in the city (page 7).

Veterans

The B.E.F. News (newspaper of the Bonus Army) – Jun. 1932

The B.E.F. News (newspaper of the Bonus Army) – Jul. 1932

Two of the first issues of the B.E.F. News published June 25, 1932 and July 9, 1932 by the Bonus Expeditionary Force-BEF–or Bonus Army—are published for the estimated 50,000 people that made up their encampments around the Washington, D.C.

The World War I era veterans and their families began arriving in the city in May to press demands for an accelerated wartime bonus that had been promised them in the future.

After nearly two months of demonstrations and lobbying Congress, they were routed from the camps by the U.S. Army on orders of President Herbert Hoover who feared a communist uprising. Two veterans were killed and dozens injured in the eviction.

Smaller groups would return the city in the coming years until the. Bonus was finally paid out in 1936. Congress, with Democrats holding majorities in both houses, passed the Adjusted Compensation Payment Act authorizing the immediate payment of the $2 billion in WWI bonuses, and then overrode Roosevelt’s veto of the measure.

South Vietnamese 20 Dong note: 1964

A 20 Dong note circulated in the Republic (South) of Vietnam that was widely familiar to American GIs who served in-country.

Officially: Ngan-Hang Quoc-Gia Viet-Nam, (National Bank of Vietnam) circa 1964, 20 Dong – Banknote.

Front: Book (symbol for Wisdom and Sciences), scrolls (symbol for Knowledge and Scholarliness). Back:  Dragon fish.

The currency was phased out after the 1975 military victory by forces of the (South) Provisional Revolution Government and the Democratic Republic (North) of Vietnam.

Fact sheet on antiwar seaman Roger Priest – Jul. 1969 ca.

A 1969 fact sheet on the case of Roger Priest, a Navy seaman who worked at the Pentagon charged with a variety of offenses for his publication of an anti-Vietnam War newsletter called OM. The flyer is uncredited.

OM had a print run of 1000 and featured anti-Vietnam War articles and information as well as acting as a “gripe” forum for armed service members.

The court martial at the Washington Navy Yard included charges of soliciting fellow soldiers to desert, urging insubordination and making statements disloyal to the United States.

He was convicted of minor charges and received a reprimand, reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge for promoting disloyalty. Upon appeal the charges were voided and he was given an honorable discharge.

VVAW comes to Washington July 1-4 1974 – June 1974

Vietnam Veterans Against the War was formed in 1967 and grew quickly to thousands of members nationwide. It carried out a number of high-profile demonstrations and actions including the April 1971 protests where veterans threw their combat medals, ribbons and other related items onto the U.S. Capitol grounds in protest of the Vietnam War.

The 1974 demonstration in Washington, D.C. was the last major protest organized by the group before it fractured in an internal struggle over the future of the organization. It still continues to operate today, carrying out awareness of veterans’ issues and focusing on medical treatment of veterans.

Vietnam War

South Vietnamese 20 Dong note: 1964

A 20 Dong note circulated in the Republic (South) of Vietnam that was widely familiar to American GIs who served in-country.

Officially: Ngan-Hang Quoc-Gia Viet-Nam, (National Bank of Vietnam) circa 1964, 20 Dong – Banknote.

Front: Book (symbol for Wisdom and Sciences), scrolls (symbol for Knowledge and Scholarliness). Back:  Dragon fish.

The currency was phased out after the 1975 military victory by forces of the (South) Provisional Revolution Government and the Democratic Republic (North) of Vietnam.

Students for a Democratic Society Bulletin – Feb. 1965

This issue of the SDS national newsletter contains the flyer for the first mass march on Washington, D.C. against the Vietnam War scheduled for April 17, 1965. It is located on page 13.

Also of interest to Maryland readers is the article by Bob Moore, then active in the U-JOIN project (Union for Jobs or Income Now). Moore would later go on to lead the organizing effort for hospital workers in the city and become president of the Local 1199 affiliate in the city.

SDS calls for march against Viet War – 1965

The national office of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) issues a call for a march on Washington, D.C. to be held Nov. 27, 1965 in one of the early national demonstrations against the war in Vietnam.

In this flyer, SDS begins to make a break with those calling for negotiations by stating,

“We must not deceive ourselves: a negotiated agreement cannot guarantee democracy. Only the Vietnamese have the right of nationhood to make their government democratic or not, free or not, neutral or not. It is not America’s role to deny them the chance to be what they make of themselves.”

Nearly 50,000 attended this demonstration—double the number that came the previous spring in the first major antiwar march on Washington.

Hey, Hey, LBJ; How many kids did you kill today? – circa 1967

The National Liberation Front of South Vietnam (Viet Cong) produced this small (approximately 3” x 4.5”) flyer for U.S. troops serving in Vietnam circa 1967 (The Manilla conference referred to was in Sept. 1966).

The flyer tells the truth about the chant that greeted President Lyndon Johnson and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey whenever they visited a U.S. city.

In Washington, D.C., about two-dozen members mobilized by SDS and other groups based at 3 Thomas Circle gathered on a Sunday morning early in 1968.

As the Presidential limousine and accompanying secret service cars pulled up to the National City Christian Church located across the Circle, the demonstrators began chanting, “Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?” while moving toward the church.

The secret service quickly hustled President Lyndon Johnson and his wife inside the church and protest ended shortly afterward.

Those who woke up early and gathered at the SDS offices in Washington that morning probably wondered what the point of it all was when the small protest was over within two minutes.

But George Reedy, Johnson’s press secretary at the time, recalled in a 1997 interview with the Los Angeles Times, “It bothered the hell out of him to see the students chanting, ‘Hey, hey LBJ, how many kids did you kill today?'”

Spring Mobilization rally at Lincoln Temple – Mar. 1967

A flyer from the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam calling for an anti-Vietnam War rally at the Lincoln Temple church March 31, 1967.

The church rally was intended to spur participation in the planned mass march in New York City on April 15th.

Several hundred thousand marched from Central Park to the United Nations on April 15thled by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. They were joined by another 100,000 led by Coretta Scott King in San Francisco.

The mass marches April 15thwere the first large-scale demonstrations against the war.

D.C. SNCC calls for anti-draft march – May, 1967

The Washington, D.C. Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee calls on black youth to protest the draft May 8, 1967 by joining a march from 14th and H Streets NE to the Rayburn Office Building.

About 100 students from different East Coast colleges marched from the Rosedale playground to the Rayburn Building where they were barred from entering the building or attending a hearing being conducted by U.S. Senator Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.) on the draft.

The crowd grew to about 200 people and about 50 were eventually let into the building where they staged a sit-in  in the lobby. They were forcibly ejected by Capitol police, but not arrested.

Antiwar walk with Stokely Carmichael flyer – May 1967

The Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam sponsors a rally and a march to the White House to be led by former Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) chair Stokely Carmichael May 16-17, 1967.

Carmichael spoke at Lincoln Memorial Temple on May 16thwhere he told the half black, half white crowd that he was going to “build a war resistance movement or die trying.”

He urged the crowd to make “heroes” of war resisters “and we are going to start with Mr. Muhammad Ali.”

Anti-napalm poster – circa 1967

An 8 ½ x 14 poster depiction of a Vietnamese women and her child holding what appears to be a dead child and weeping over her dead husband with the word “Napalm” emblazed across the page circa 1967.

Produced by the “Committee for the right to vote in Selma, Saigon, Santo Domingo and Washington — Revolutionary Arts Cooperative.”

No further information available on the group or the specific circumstances behind the production of the poster.

The Americans are Coming – circa 1967

An 8 ½ x 11 version of poster art by Tomi Ungerer created circa 1967 depicting a Vietnamese version of Paul Revere’s ride that underscores the role the U.S. played in Vietnam.

The poster was widely circulated throughout the United States and became a popular symbol that America was on the wrong side in Vietnam.

Hiroshima Day anti-Vietnam War demonstration – Aug. 1967

The Washington Mobilization to End the War in Vietnam issues a flyer calling for two simultaneous marches to be held August 6, 1967 to protest the war in Vietnam and to commemorate the victims of the U.S. atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

One to leave 10th and U Streets NW from the black community and the other to leave Dupont Circle to march to a rally at Lafayette Park in front of the White House.

Peace March Marathon – Aug. – Oct., 1967

A 4-page. 8 ½ x 14 inch pamphlet describes a coast-to-coast “Peace Torch Marathon” where a flame originally lit in the Japanese City of Hiroshima was flown to San Francisco on August 17, 1967 where runners began carrying the torch across the country, arriving in Washington, D.C. on October 21st at a massive anti-Vietnam War rally.

The torch casing was made of U.S. munitions that had been dropped on North Vietnam. Hiroshima was one of only two cities attacked with nuclear weapons. Nagasaki was the other and both were bombed by the U.S. at the end of the second World War.

The pamphlet contains a schedule of cities that the torch will pass through. In urban areas volunteers walked one mile each before handing off the torch while in rural areas runners covered 10 miles before passing it on.

The Resistance conscription refusal flyer – Oct. 1967

A flyer from The Resistance calling on draft-eligible people to refuse to cooperate with the U.S. Selective Service System and return their draft cards at a demonstration October 16, 1967.

The call was nationwide with the largest protest in Oakland, Ca. The Washington, D.C. demonstration at the draft board headquarters at 1724 F Street NW drew about 70 people.

Ten draft cards and about 50 anti-draft cards (statements that declared a refusal to cooperate with the draft) were given to Selective Service officials.

Support the Ft. Hood 3 who refused orders to Vietnam – 1967

The Fort Hood 3 Defense Committee holds a rally at St. Stephens Church October 16, 1967 and a subsequent picket at the White House  to support three soldiers who refused orders to go to Vietnam in 1966.

The three—David Samas, 20, a Lithuanian/Italian from Chicago; James Johnson, 20 black from East Harlem, N.Y.; and Dennis Mora, 25, a Puerto Rican from Spanish Harlem, N.Y.—were given a month leave from Ft. Hood, Tx. and told to report to Vietnam. 

Instead they held a press conference announcing their refusal to report to Vietnam. The antiwar movement rallied to their defense, but they were sentenced to long prison terms and dishonorably discharged. Mora received a three year prison term while Samas and Johnson received five years.

The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately refused to hear their case which rested on the argument the the Vietnam War was illegal.

Appeal for funds for the March on the Pentagon – Oct. 1967

The Washington Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam makes a last minute appeal for funds in order to stage the March on the Pentagon scheduled nine days later.

March on the Pentagon – Oct. 1967

The Washington Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam publishes this two-sided mailer/flyer promoting the national march on the Pentagon to be held October 21, 1967.

It was the largest anti-Vietnam War demonstration in Washington, D.C. up until that point in time, drawing about 100,000 people, including liberals, Poet Allen Ginsburg leading an attempted levitation of the Pentagon, Progressive Labor Party charging the doors and briefly breaching them, pacifists conducting a sit-in, Yippies and others conducting a “piss-in,” along with dozens of other stripes of the peace movement.

It came during the time when Gen. William Westmoreland, who already commanded over 500,000 troops in Vietnam, requested 200,000 more. The rising antiwar movement and the stubbornness of the North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front resistance convinced President t Lyndon Johnson to refuse the request and ultimately decide not to seek re-election.

Call for women to oppose Viet War – Nov. 1967

87-year-old Jeanette Rankin issues a call for women to come to Washington, D.C. January 15, 1968 at the opening session of Congress to oppose the Vietnam War.

Rankin was a former congressional representative from Montana who was the first woman elected to Congress and voted against U.S. entry into both World War I and World War II.

More than 5,000 women heeded the call and marched from Union Station and rallied on a cold, snowy day in front of the U.S. Capitol building.

Rankin served two terms in Congress, being elected in 1916 and again in 1940. The protest marked the beginning of an antiwar organization of women that named itself the Jeanette Rankin Brigade.

Stop the Draft Week – Dec. 1967

A flyer advertising a series of demonstrations in Washington, D.C. Dec. 4-9, 1967 for “Stop the Draft Week.”

The protests were part of a nationwide effort that week that resulted in demonstrations and civil disobedience in dozens of cities across the U.S.

Locally demonstrators rallied at St. Stephens Church, marched on the Selective Service headquarters and marched to the State Department. An event at the Ambassador Theater was also held.

The Washington, D.C. demonstrations were sponsored by D.C. chapter of The Resistance, a nationwide draft resistance group; the Washington Mobilization Committee Against the War in Vietnam, the umbrella group for anti-Vietnam War opposition; and the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, a Socialist Workers Party-influenced student group.

The Washington Area Resistance Freakout – Dec. 1967

The Vietnam-era draft resistance group sponsored an event at Washington’s Ambassador Theater (formerly Knickerbocker) before holding a protest on Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s lawn–1967.

The group staged several high profile demonstrations in support of those who refused induction into the armed services  in the Washington, D.C. area.

12 Days of Vietnam – Dec. 1967

This takeoff on the 12 Days of Christmas carol turns it into an anti-Vietnam War song. Written by Ronald J. Willis and published by Liberation News Service December 15, 1967.

Don Luce to speak at Montgomery Blair H.S. – Jan. 1968

A flyer for a January 7, 1968 talk by Donald S. Luce, a former International Volunteer Service worker in Vietnam, at Montgomery Blair High School.

Luce turned against the war while serving in Vietnam and worked afterward to educate the American public that the U.S. could not win the Vietnam War.

Graham Martin, the ambassador during those final days before Saigon fell in 1975, testified on Jan. 27, 1976. He assured Congress that the collapse of the South Vietnamese government had nothing to do with the policies of Saigon or Washington but was caused “by one of the best propaganda and pressure organizations the world has ever seen,” largely organized by the Indochina Resource Center and “the multi-faceted activities of Mr. Don Luce.”

Draft Prince Georges draft counselor flyer -1968

A draft of a flyer for draft counselors Robert and Eleana Simpson targeted toward working class youth in Prince George’s County, Md circa 1968..

The two counseled young people on draft law and options from 1968-69 during part of the peak period of the Vietnam War.

Hang up on War flyer – 1968

The War Resisters League publishes a two-sided 8 ½ x 11 flyer urging Vietnam War opponents to deduct the federal tax when paying their phone bill and only pay the amount owed the phone company.

The 1966 tax was passed to help finance the Vietnam War and remained a target of resisters throughout the war years.

U.S. Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam flyer – 1968

The U.S. Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam publishes an appeal in 1968 upholding the “just struggle” of the Vietnamese people and denouncing U.S. “imperialist foreign policy.”

The Committee was formed in April 1965 and became probably the first group to carry the NLF (often called Viet Cong) flag in antiwar demonstrations beginning in November 1965.

The flyer ends with an appeal:

“We would like to help you and your organization learn more about the Vietnamese and their struggle. Once you understand, we hope you will express your solidarity by urging others to do the same. Help us dispel the false notion of the Vietnamese as our ‘enemy’ and show that the true enemy of the Vietnamese is our enemy too.”

Call for U.S. withdrawal after Viet commander reassigned – Jun. 1968

The Washington Peace Mobilization Committee publishes a flyer continuing criticism of the Vietnam War and urging an immediate withdrawal of troops following President Lyndon Johnson’s reassignment of U.S. commander General William Westmoreland in June 1968.

The Mobilization Committee was the local umbrella committee for groups opposed to the Vietnam War and also called for people to join their efforts.

On the back side of the flyer is a re-print of a letter from a GI to his father recounting the atrocities committed by U.S. troops and calling into question whether the U.S. is fighting on the right “side” in the war.

Hiroshima Day peace rally – Aug. 1968

A flyer by the Washington Mobilization for Peace, Women’s Strike for Peace, Washington Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy (SANE), and the Washington Peace Center sponsor a Hiroshima Day (the day the first atomic bomb was dropped on Japan in 1945) rally in Lafayette Park August 10, 1968.

The flyer calls for 1) an end to all bombing 2) peace talks with the south Vietnamese National Liberation Front, 3) U.S. troop withdrawal.

D.C. call to demonstrate at the Democratic Convention – 1968

The Washington Mobilization for Peace calls on opponents of the Vietnam War to travel to Chicago for the August 1968 Democratic Convention saying,

“Our purpose is not to disrupt the convention but to demonstrate on behalf of central issues:

*Immediate withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam

*An end to the oppression of black and poor people at home”

The demonstrators were denied permits by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and the 10,000 protesters often clashed with the 23,000 police and National Guardsmen in front of television cameras.

Prince George’s McCarthy chair writes support letter for candidate – Sep. 1968

Elbert Byrd, chair of Citizens for McCarthy of Prince George’s County writes a last minute letter in late August or early September to support the congressional campaign of Melvyn Meer in Maryland’s 5th District.

Eugene McCarthy’s campaign for president in the 1968 Democratic primaries on an anti-Vietnam War platform was a factor in President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to decline to seek re-election. McCarthy inspired grass-roots antiwar activists around the country to campaign on his behalf.

Meer was an assistant professor of economics at the University of Maryland and a founder of McCarthy’s campaign effort in the Prince Georges. He was a one-time co-chair of the McCarthy group in the county and running as an antiwar candidate.

Incumbent Rep. Harry G. Machen faced a competitive race in the 5th District from former Rep. Carlton Sickles and Maryland state senator Fred Wineland.

However Meer could crack the top tier and ended up finishing last in the six-way race.

A flyer protesting HUAC hearings in D.C. – 1968

A September 1968 flyer advertising protests at the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) hearings in Washington, D.C. into the clashes at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

The flyer is unsigned, but lists the alternative newspaper Washington Free Press as a contact on the reverse side. At the hearing, prominent Yippie Abbie Hoffman was arrested for wearing an American flag shirt while his compatriot Jerry Rubin was hustled out of the hearing when he showed up bare-chested with an ammunition bandolier and a toy M-16 rifle [see Rubin and Hoffman]. Rubin and other Yippies tried to stand in silent protest of the “unfair treatment” they received at the hands of the committee.

A National Call: Free the Catonsville Nine – Oct. 1968

The flyer calls for a national demonstration to be held coincidi9ng with the trial of the Catonsville Nine—Catholic and peace activists who took draft records of about 800 young men outside the selective service office and set them afire with homemade napalm on May 17, 1968.

The nine waited at the scene to be arrested in what was the second “hit and stay” action of non-violent direct action resistance to the draft and the Vietnam War.

Thousands showed up to support the nine, but they were all convicted and sentenced to three years in prison.

Call for a student strike against the election – Nov. 1968

An unsigned flyer probably issued by someone in the Washington, D.C. Regional Office of the Students for Democratic Society (SDS) calls for a student strike and demonstrations coinciding with the national presidential election in 1968.

The strike call was issued to protest the three candidates—Democrat Hubert Humphrey, Republican Richard Nixon and American Independent George Wallace—and to demonstrate firm opposition to continued involvement in Vietnam.

Humphrey and Nixon favored continuing the war until a so-called honorable peace could be attained while Wallace favored continuing the war until outright victory.

The Washington, D.C. actions were part of a nationwide call for a student strike. The strike failed and attendance at the antiwar demonstrations held across the country was poor.

A little over two months later, the antiwar movement was reinvigorated with the counter-inaugural demonstrations held simultaneously with the victorious Nixon-Agnew ticket’s official installation in office.

UMD SDS calls for student strike against Viet War and election – Nov. 1968

The University of Maryland College Park Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) calls for a student strike and demonstrations coinciding with the national presidential election in 1968.

The strike was intended to protest the Vietnam War and the choices of candidates in the election.

The Maryland SDS action was part of a nationwide call for a student strike. The strike failed and attendance at the antiwar demonstrations held across the country was poor. However, a year-and-a-half later, students at 500 campuses across the country including the University of Maryland went on strike after President Richard Nixon announced the invasion of Cambodia and the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University.

Flyer calls for demonstration at Nixon Inaugural – Dec. 1968

In December 1968, the Washington Mobilization for Peace issues a call for demonstrations against the war in Vietnam the weekend of President Richard Nixon’s first inauguration in January 1969.

The call for protest at the Inauguration represented an attempt to re-group the antiwar movement and a move toward more widespread confrontation politics.

Call to demonstrate at Nixon’s Inauguration – Jan. 1969

The National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam issues a call to demonstrate at the Inauguration of Richard Nixon as President in January 1969.

The 15,000 that assembled held a counter-inaugural march that went the reverse of the official route the day before Nixon’s festivities. Protesters threw horse manure at Vice President-elect Spiro Agnew’s guests dressed in their evening finery. A pig named Ms. Pigasus, who was to be In-Hog-Urated, escaped on the Monument grounds.

A counter-inaugural ball was held in a circus tent near the Washington Monument grounds and thousands lined Nixon’s official parade route greeting him with boos, some of whom threw rocks, bottles, tomatoes and other debris at his limousine as it passed. 

Afterwards hundreds battled police into the night and what had been a despondent antiwar movement with Nixon’s election was reinvigorated. 

Agnew reception protest flyer – Jan. 1969

An unsigned flyer advertises a protest against vice-president elect Spiro Agnew January 19, 1969.

The protesters staged a counter-inaugural parade and were headed toward a counter inaugural ball to be held in a large tent near the Washington Monument when they stopped to gather on the Mall side of the Smithsonian to protest the Agnew reception. As Agnew’s guests arrived in their finery, protesters picked up horse manure from U.S. Park Police horses and hurled it at the reception guests as they made their way down a long red carpet toward the Museum.

Police responded with a furious attempt to drive back the protesters, who in turn fought back against the police. This unscheduled protest was over within 30 minutes.

The following day protesters lined President Richard Nixon’s Inaugural parade route and threw rocks, vegetables, several smoke bombs and wads of paper at his limousine as it passed, later clashing with police.

Nixon Inauguration handout explains anti-Viet protest – Jan. 1969

An unsigned handout to people attending President Richard Nixon’s first inauguration January 20, 1969.

The handout critiques Nixon’s slogan of “forward together” as only for the wealthy and the sentiment “Give Nixon a chance”  as “give Nixon a chance to kill more young men senselessly.”

Fact sheet on antiwar seaman Roger Priest – Jul. 1969 ca.

A 1969 fact sheet on the case of Roger Priest, a Navy seaman who worked at the Pentagon charged with a variety of offenses for his publication of an anti-Vietnam War newsletter called OM. The flyer is uncredited.

OM had a print run of 1000 and featured anti-Vietnam War articles and information as well as acting as a “gripe” forum for armed service members.

The court martial at the Washington Navy Yard included charges of soliciting fellow soldiers to desert, urging insubordination and making statements disloyal to the United States.

He was convicted of minor charges and received a reprimand, reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge for promoting disloyalty. Upon appeal the charges were voided and he was given an honorable discharge.

Coretta Scott King to lead D.C. Vietnam Moratorium – Oct. 1969

The D.C. actions of the first Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam October 15, 1969, featuring Coretta Scott King, are advertised in this leaflet. King held a candle and led a night march from the Washington Monument grounds to the White House. A crowd estimated at 15-20,000 participated in the Washington, D.C. demonstration.

The moratorium was a soft approach to a nationwide strike against the war in Vietnam and involved upwards of two million people across the U.S. A second moratorium was held a month later.

Coolidge student march against the war flyer – Oct. 1969

A flyer advertises a demonstration held during the Vietnam Moratorium by black students at Coolidge High School in Washington, D.C. October 15, 1969.

Over 100 students from Coolidge High School sought to enter the White House grounds with a black pinewood coffin containing letters from students asking President Nixon to end the war.

Refused entry by White House guards, the students pressed forward anyway. Park and metropolitan police bolstered the guards and arrested three students and one passerby. 500 bystanders gathered around the confrontation angrily shouting at police to let the arrested students go.

Professionals for Peace Moratorium flyer – Oct. 1969

A flyer for a rally during the October 15, 1969 Vietnam Moratorium sponsored by Professionals for Peace and endorsed by Business Executives Move for Vietnam Peace.

The rally drew upwards of 2,000 professionals and office workers in business attire to Farragut Square in Washington, D.C. to hear former Alaska Sen. Ernest Gruening tell the crowd that, “There is no reason whatever for Congress to vote to continue this madness.”

Call for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops – Nov. 1969

A flyer from the Washington, D.C. chapter of the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam calling for immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops and a mass demonstration to be held in the nation’s capital November 15, 1969.

A host of other demands were also made, including self-determination for black America, an end to racism and poverty, free speech for GIs, self-government for the District of Columbia, the freeing of political prisoners and an end to the draft.

A feature of the demonstration was a two-day procession preceding the main march where individuals paraded single-file from Arlington National Cemetery, past the White House where each individual stopped and called out the name of a slain U.S. soldier, and then continued on to the U.S. Capitol.

A two-day nationwide work stoppage was called for Nov. 14-15 by the Vietnam Moratorium Committee. A previous Moratorium in October had an estimated two million people participate across the country.

Upwards of 500,000 attended the Nov. 15thmarch—the largest of the Vietnam War era up to that point in time.

Student strike Nov. 14; March on Washington Nov. 15 – 1969

The Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam issues a call for a student strike on November 141969, coinciding with the Second Moratorium, and to attend the November 15th demonstration in Washington, D.C.

The call for a student strike in 1969 largely fizzled as it had in 1968, but the following year 500 campuses went on strike following President Richard Nixon’s expansion of the war into Cambodia.

Upwards of 500,000 attended the November 15th march on Washington.

Viet protesters call for D.C. self-government – Nov. 1969

The Fifth Avenue Vietnam Peace Parade Committee issues a call to support the second Moratorium Nov. 13-15 1969 and a march on Washington in protest of the Vietnam War.

The Peace Parade Committee had earlier sponsored some of the largest demonstrations against the war in New York City.

The flyer contains the specific demands of the march that included “self-government for Washington, D.C.”

The Nov. 15 march in Washington was perhaps the largest of the Vietnam War rivalled only by an April 24, 1971 march also in D.C.

Workshop for marshals at Vietnam Moratorium – Nov. 1969

The Vietnam Moratorium Committee gave this document to volunteer parade marshals at a training session for the Moratorium November 13-15, 1969.

It contains general guidelines for marshals, legal rights and medical information.

This was the second moratorium in 1969. The first in October involved upwards of two million people in a nationwide strike with local rallies.

The second also called for a nationwide strike, but held a solemn march from Arlington Cemetery to the U.S. Capitol Nov. 13-14 where each marcher carried a single candle representing those killed in Vietnam. On November 15th, a mass march was held from the Capitol to the Washington Monument grounds involving upwards of a half million people.

March on the South Vietnamese embassy – Nov. 1969

The front side of an anonymous flyer calling for a march on the South Vietnamese Embassy November 14, 1969.

The event occurred the day before the massive 2nd moratorium march on Washington and was called to support the rebels in South Vietnam that the US government was fighting.

An epic clash between 15-20,000 protesters and police broke out when the unauthorized march was attempted and police moved to halt it.

Residents, hotel guests and workers in the area were all swept up into the battle that featured rocks and bottles by the protesters and clubs, tear gas and guns by the police.

The Day After (TDA) Watergate protest flyer – 1970

A flyer advertises for a The Day After demonstration to protest the pending verdicts of the Chicago 8—defendants charged with fomenting disturbances at the 1968 Democratic Convention by their speech.

The 600-1000 demonstrators who gathered would later march on the Watergate home of Attorney General John Mitchell (People’s Tour of the Watergate) where they clashed with police in some of the bitterest street fighting in D.C. of the anti-Vietnam War period.

Fighting broke out between police who used batons and tear gas and protesters who used rocks, bottles and sticks. 145 people were arrested during the hours-long confrontation that followed the initial halt of the march. The 145 were later awarded damages after a lawsuit.

The demonstration was organized weeks in advance with leaflets advertising “The Day After (TDA)” the verdict with a time and place to gather.  The TDA was used multiple times over the next few years as a way to spread the word about an action in the pre-internet era.

This flyer should be viewed in conjunction with a related flyer below.

A flyer containing a map called a “Tour Guide” for the Watergate The Day After demonstration  – Feb. 1970

A “tour guide” map of a planned demonstration to follow the verdict in the Chicago 7 (formerly Chicago 8) trial produced in February 1970. The creators are not known.

The defendants were charged with fomenting disturbances at the 1968 Democratic Convention.

The 600-1000 demonstrators who gathered would later march on the Watergate home of Attorney General John Mitchell (People’s Tour of the Watergate) where they clashed with police in some of the bitterest street fighting in D.C. of the anti-Vietnam War period.

Fighting broke out between police who used batons and tear gas and protesters who used rocks, bottles and sticks. 145 people were arrested during the hours-long confrontation that followed the initial halt of the march. The 145 were later awarded damages after a lawsuit. The demonstration was organized weeks in advance with leaflets advertising “The Day After (TDA)” the verdict with a time and place to gather.  The TDA was used multiple times over the next few years as a way to spread the word about an action in the pre-internet era.

This flyer should be viewed in conjunction with a related flyer above.

Early ‘March for Victory’ flyer – 1970

An early version of a flyer for fundamentalist Christian preacher Rev. Carl McIntire’s “March for Victory” that was ultimately held in Washington, D.C. April 4, 1970 protesting President Richard Nixon’s “no win” policy in Indochina.

March organizers claimed 50,000 but news organizations generously estimated 10-15,000 people took part in a protest against President Richard Nixon’s “no win” policy in Vietnam.

The march was sponsored by right-wing Christian preacher Rev. Carl McIntire. Who described himself as a fundamentalist equated Christianity with anti-communism.  McIntire favored “peace through victory” in Vietnam and a return of prayer to the schools.

U.S. Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam – Support People’s War in South East Asia!

The U.S. Committee to Aid the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam publishes an appeal in 1970 to “stop the pig war machine anyway you know how,” and urging “direct support to our sisters and brothers in South Viet Nam.”

The Committee was formed in April 1965 and became probably the first group to carry the NLF (often called Viet Cong) flag in antiwar demonstrations beginning in November 1965.

By the time of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973, the flag was commonplace at demonstrations. It was probably the only time since the Civil War that the flag of an opponent that the U.S. was engaging in armed conflict with was carried openly and supported by a significant minority of the U.S.

The flyer calls on people to “Support people’s war in Southeast Asia” and ends with an appeal for groups to send messages of solidarity or actions in support of the National Liberation Front to the NLF office in Paris or the Democratic Republic of (North) Vietnam. It ends with a call for “any direct action, from word to deed, that will help stop the U.S. military killing and suppressing in South East Asia.”

The words used in the flyer mark a change to a more militant stance from the group’s flyers in earlier years, coinciding with a more militant antiwar movement that increasing employs direct action against the Vietnam War.

New Mobe seeks parade marshals – May 1970

The New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam  (New Mobe) issues a hasty call for marshals for a demonstration scheduled for May 9, 1970 that they only had a week to plan.

After President Richard Nixon announced on national television April 30, 1970 that he had expanded the Vietnam War into Cambodia, students responded with a nationwide student strike and the Ohio National Guard shot to death four students at Kent State University on May 4th.

The recruitment flyer empathizes with those who favor direct action, but urge a peaceful march to keep all elements of the coalition on one page.  The march went off without incident although a confrontation occurred later with protesters who sought to cool off in the Reflecting Pool and still later at a Joe Cocker concert at George Washington University.

Martial law order by National Guard at UMD – May 1970

A photograph of a May 15, 1970 order by Maryland National Guard commander Major Gen. Edwin Warfield III imposing a curfew at the University of Maryland College Park, banning the sale and possession of gasoline and banning gatherings on campus of more than 100 people.

It marked the second time the National Guard occupied the campus during the 1970 student strike against the U.S. expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the killings of students at Kent State University.

When the Guard arrived on campus the evening of May 14th, the most bitter and prolonged fighting between students and police and National Guard occurred.

Shortly after this order, 25 students were banned from campus by Warfield at the request of university officials.

Students repeatedly defied the National Guard order and held rallies and marches of several thousand on May 18th, 20thand 22nd.

The National Guard would occupy the campus again during anti-Vietnam War protests in 1971 and 1972.

The War Drags on Rally at the U. of Md. College Park – Aug. 1970

An unsigned flyer calls for a rally against the Vietnam War August 4, 1970 on the Mall at the University of Maryland College Park. The flyer is unsigned but contains the demands of the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland and was likely put out by the group.

Freedom Rally flyer by March for Victory Committee – 1970

An early call by the March for Victory Committees led by Rev. Carl McIntire for a demonstration in October 1970 following their spring march that featured Georgia Governor Lester Maddox speaking to a crowd of 10-15,000 and calling for victory in Vietnam.

The rally date was later changed to October 3, 1970 where an estimated 15-20,000 staged a march that rejected President Richard Nixon’s phase-down of the war in Vietnam and instead called for outright defeat of the Vietnamese.

South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyễn Cao Kỳ was to speak at the rally but opposition from the Nixon administration and a threatened mass anti-Ky demonstration caused Ky to cancel his appearance and instead gave a statement that was read to the crowd.

Several hundred antiwar counter-protesters occasionally clashed with pro-war marchers at the October protest leading to 49 arrests.

March for Victory in Vietnam flyer –  Sep. 1970

The National March for Victory Committee flyer calls for a March for Victory [in Vietnam] led by Rev. Carl McIntire October 3, 1970 in Washington, D.C.

The demands were “Win the Peace Through Military Victory; Defeat the Viet Cong by strength; Free the POW’s First; Bring the Boys Home in Triumph; Prayer, Bible Reading in School; and Freedom of Choice [probably not abortion though].

South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyễn Cao Kỳ was to speak at the rally but opposition from the Nixon administration and a threatened mass anti-Ky demonstration caused Ky to cancel his appearance and instead gave a statement that was read to the crowd.

An estimated 15-20,000 attended the October march and rally—far less than the 500,000 predicted and far fewer than the 100,000-500,000 that national antiwar marches regularly drew.

Several hundred antiwar counter-protesters occasionally clashed with pro-war marchers at the October protest leading to 49 arrests.

The people have stopped Ky – Oct 1970

An October 1970 flyer calling for a celebration of the decision by South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Can Ky to cancel his appearance at a March for Victory scheduled by right-wing Rev. Carl McIntyre. 

The celebration on the streets of Georgetown turned into a confrontation between those who occupied Wisconsin Ave. and M Street in that section of town and D.C. police. More than 300 were arrested during the disturbances.

The next day McIntyre led a crowd of about 5,000 in a pro-Vietnam War demonstration that heard Ky address them via telephone. About 500 counter-demonstrators waved Viet Cong flags.

We stopped him [Ky] once and we’ll do it again – Nov. 1970

After cancelling an October appearance in the United States, South Vietnamese Vice President Nguyen Can Ky embarked on a two-week tour of the U.S. in November and one of his stops brought him to Washington, D.C. on November 25th, 1970.

The flyer advertises for Nov. 25th, but this was later updated. It was put out by the local Youth International Party (YIP) or Yippies. The Student Mobilization Committeee, a group influenced by the Trotskist Socialist Workers Party, put out a separate leaflet (unavailable).

About 100 people picketed the National Press Building while Ky spoke inside. Two were arrested on minor charges.

Ky was greeted by demonstrations at nearly every city he visited, some much larger than the Washington, D.C. protest.

Call for action to stop Nixon’s new war escalation – Nov. 1970

A call to action at the University of Maryland College Park  on the Vietnam War following an increase in bombing and a failed attempt to rescue American POWs is published by the Democratic Radical Union of Maryland (DRUM) circa November 1970.

This flyer disparages President Richard Nixon’s war escalation and provides facts to support an antiwar position. The flyer is partially damaged.

DRUM was a successor to the campus chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society that was formed out of the steering committee from the May 1970 student strike against the expansion of the Vietnam War into Cambodia and the shooting deaths of four students at Kent State University by the Ohio National Guard.

Mayday Tactical Manual – 1971

The Mayday 1971 tactical manual provided guidance to individuals and collectives seeking to join in the effort to non-violently shut down the federal government in Washington, D.C. in protest of the ongoing Vietnam War May 3rd through 5th.

For about 5 hours on Monday, May 3, 1971 demonstrators used non-violent civil disobedience attempting to shut down the U.S. government in protest of the Vietnam War by blocking intersections and bridges throughout Washington, D.C.

Frustrated by the slow progress in clearing demonstrators, police suspended civil liberties sometime around 5:30 a.m. and locked up anyone who vaguely resembled a protestor. Around 7,000 were arrested.

On May 4th and 5th, police employed mass arrests outside the Justice Department and at the U.S. Capitol.

In all, more than 12,000 people were arrested in the largest mass arrest in U.S. history. The total surpassed the previous record of over 7,000 arrested during the disturbances in Washington, D.C. after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King. Charges were later dropped against nearly everyone involved and thousands later received compensation from the government for their arrest.

U. of Md. students produce a guide to Mayday civil disobedience – 1971

The University of Maryland Mayday contingent produced a guide to the Mayday 1971 anti-Vietnam War demonstrations that were intended to shut down the government by using civil disobedience to block traffic in Washington, D.C.

National Liberation Front headband – 1971-72

A homemade headband with a representation of the flag of the National Liberation Front (NLF) of South Vietnam (commonly called Viet Cong) that was worn by members of the Washington Area Spark newspaper staff 1971-72.

The headband was intended to express solidarity with the NLF in the struggle for independence of South Vietnam from U.S. domination.

NLF flags and buttons were common at antiwar demonstrations from 1967-73. It was an unusual period where a significant minority of people—particularly young people–in the U.S. openly expressed solidarity with the forces that the U.S. was engaged in armed conflict with.

‘People’s Offensive’ pamphlet lists spring antiwar activities – Spring 1972

An unsigned, short pamphlet lists a calendar of planned anti-Vietnam War events in the greater Washington, D.C. area for a spring 1972 “People’s Offensive.”

Given the list of non-violent civil disobedience activities and the recognition of Ho Chi Minh’s birthday, it was probably published by the People’s Coalition for Peace and Justice (PCPJ) or one of its affiliates.

Spark “bomb” headband – 1972

A homemade headband with the Spark logo worn by members of the newspaper staff during anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in 1972.

The “bomb” displayed was the second version of the Washington Area Spark newspaper’s logo. The smaller “bomb” was adopted in the masthead in March 1973. The original had the word “Spark” on the interior of the “bomb.”

The “bomb” was later phased out in May 1973 in favor of an interracial group of men and women with raised fists.

Youth Against War and Fascism calls for anti-imperialist contingent in national antiwar march – 1972

A flyer by Youth Against War and Fascism (YAWF), a youth group affiliated with the Workers World Party,  calls on people to join an anti-imperialist contingent in a larger march on Washington, D.C. to oppose the Vietnam War May 21, 1972.

While speeches took place at the U.S. Capitol to an assembled crowd of about 15,000, another 3-4,000 battled police at the foot of the U.S. Capitol. YAWF, along with the Attica Brigade, were the primary sponsors of the confrontation.

D.C. police chief Jerry Wilson was hit six times with rocks and a large stick and had blood running down his head from a number of cuts in one of the more intense clashes in Washington of the Vietnam War era.

Wilson was quoted, “They usually run when I walk toward them. This time they threw bigger rocks.”

A dozen police officers were injured and 178 protesters were arrested during the confrontation.

The Attica Brigade issues a call for an anti-imperialist contingent in national antiwar march – 1972

A flyer by the Attica Brigade, a youth group associated with the Maoist Revolutionary Union calls on people to join an anti-imperialist contingent in a larger march on Washington, D.C. to oppose the Vietnam War May 21, 1972.

While speeches took place before a crowd of 10-15,000 on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol, several thousand in the anti-imperialist contingent tossed rocks, bottles and other projectiles while police responded with clubs and tear gas.

D.C. police chief Jerry Wilson was hit six times with objects including a wooden stick that caused blood to run down his face.

Wilson was quoted, “They usually run when I walk toward them. This time they threw bigger rocks.”

A dozen police officers were injured and 178 protesters were arrested during the confrontation.

Hiroshima Day commemoration – 1972

The Washington Area Peace Action Coalition flyer advertising Hiroshima Day events and calling for a planning meeting of interested groups. The flyer compares the Vietnam War to Hiroshima. Hiroshima Day annually marks the 1945 bombing of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki by the U.S. using atomic bombs. The U.S. remains the only country that has used atomic weapons against an enemy–killing an estimated 200,000 Japanese, most of whom were civilians.

South Vietnam in Struggle – Oct. 1973

The 220th issue of the English-language South Vietnam in Struggle published October 29, 1973 takes place after the signing of the Paris Peace Accords in January 1973 but before the liberation of South Vietnam in 1975. It is the 7th year of publication as the Central Organ of the South Viet Nam National Front for Liberation (NLF, commonly called Viet Cong).

The issue contains reports of violations of the Paris Peace Accords by both the U.S. and the Thieu regime in South Vietnam, reports of conditions under the Thieu regime, the Provisional Revolutionary Government, and from North Vietnam..

The paper also reports on former U.S. Vice President Spiro Agnew’s legal troubles, evidence of the U.S. backing the coup against Chilean president Salvadore Allende, a report from Senegal, a report on Thailand, and a critique of U.S. policy in the Middle East.

Women’s Rights

Call for women to oppose Viet War – Nov. 1967

87-year-old Jeanette Rankin issues a call for women to come to Washington, D.C. January 15, 1968 at the opening session of Congress to oppose the Vietnam War.

Rankin was a former congressional representative from Montana who was the first woman elected to Congress and voted against U.S. entry into both World War I and World War II.

More than 5,000 women heeded the call and marched from Union Station and rallied on a cold, snowy day in front of the U.S. Capitol building.

Rankin served two terms in Congress, being elected in 1916 and again in 1940. The protest marked the beginning of an antiwar organization of women that named itself the Jeanette Rankin Brigade.

–Next page for periodicals-

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