Arthur Fournier on resistance to the Vietnam War
Vietnam: 2002
Arthur M. Fournier, University of Miami Dean for Community Health Affairs, speaks about defining events in Vietnam in which he sought his inner "moral compass." Fournier asks whether anyone in the class knows the term "fragging" and relates that a former classmate of his had been fragged. He talks about religious beliefs as involved the war and recalls Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc, who immolated himself to protest American involvement. Fournier asserts, re the US-Iraq War, that "The road to peace is not to war." He questions whether the US government had planted violence-promoters among peace activism groups for subversive purposes, and describes the non-violence mode of thought as the only valid litmus test for opinions about Vietnam. He asks who is familiar with the phrase "Clean for Gene," referring to the 1968 campaign for the presidency and Eugene McCarthy's opposition to the war on moral grounds. Finally, Fournier jokes about attending the Woodstock Festival.
Time: 7 min 20 sec
Basil Paquet on his experiences in Vietnam
Vietnam: 2002
Basil Paquet, writer and Miami resident, gives a brief autobiographical sketch. In the 1960s, he attended the University of Connecticut, and Paquet talks about attending lessons in "Operation Rolling Thunder," the bombing campaign of Vietnam. He says that he studied the war from historical, ethical, and other views, and decided that the war in Vietnam was wrong. When Paquet was drafted, he hoped that his heart murmur would preclude him from passing the physical; when it didn't, he declared himself a conscientious objector. Paquet talks about the Johnson Administration's "Project One Hundred Thousand," designed to enroll one hundred thousand African Americans, who were not eligible to join the military with its benefits and pay before the Vietnam War required so many more bodies each year. He observes that most of the new 350,000 inductees were poor, undereducated, and Southern – and a huge number were black. By the end of the Vietnam War, African Americans accounted for 12% of combat deaths. Paquet talks about his eventual volunteering in 1966 to the role of a medic and his assignment to the 24th Evacuation Hospital in Long Binh, South Vietnam, in 1967. He remembers the atrocities and political corruption that he witnessed, speaking particularly about Laos. Paquet recounts three incidents that occurred during the Tet Offensive. The first was when an injured child was brought in and a priest wanted to baptize her, but Paquet prevented this “spiritual kidnapping.” The second was when a fellow officer who reminded him of “Little Orphan Annie at 25” freaked out and began to beat a Viet Cong prisoner in his chest wound; she was forcibly stopped. The third was when a Military Intelligence officer tried to coerce a 12-year-old wounded boy into giving secrets; Paquet insisted that the boy needed medical attention; the boy spat into his face, seeing no difference among any of these Americans. After the war ended, Paquet joined the VVAW, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and joined a march on Washington. He talks about founding the publishing company "1st Casuality Press." He gives statistics on casualties and wounded.
Time: 19 min 21 sec
David Fisher on the ups and downs of the 1960s
Vietnam: 2002
David Fisher, Professor of Geology, describes the 1960s as "the best of times and the worst of times." He recalls teaching at Cornell in the early 1960s and observing that there was only one bathroom for the faculty, because nobody had considered there might ever be women on the faculty. He remembers that when he came to University of Miami in 1966, the chairman overlooking graduate applicants dumped all the female students’ applications into the wastebasket. He describes the formal dress code at Cornell in comparison with the informality at Miami. Fisher gives his opinion on the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and the official, but untrue, story that North Vietnamese torpedo boats launched unprovoked attacks against a U.S. destroyer. He suggests that President Johnson got us into Vietnam as a political maneuver against the rival presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. But he offers Sputnik as one of the happy developments of the 1960s, because national paranoia resulted in massive federal funding for science, so that it was a good era in which to be a scientist. Fisher recalls President Kennedy’s determination to beat the Soviets to the Moon and chemist Harold Urey’s lunar theories.
Time: 9 min 38 sec
David Kraslow on major events of 1940s-1970s
Vietnam: 2002
Professor Spivey introduces David Kraslow, who gives a dramatic and wide-ranging lecture. Kraslow, former journalist and co-author of "The Secret Search for Peace in Vietnam," reads from a Columbia Journalism Review article about Donald Graham, chairman of The Washington Post Company and nephew of Senator Bob Graham, who volunteered for the draft and fought in Vietnam from 1966 to 1968. When he returned it was to a country in turmoil. In 1969, over 300 protests were held involving one third of the nation’s students. Kraslow compares these large numbers with a single anti-US-Iraqi war movement reported in the news the week before his speech. He reads from a timeline the major events of the 1950s and 1960s, including issues of race relations. University of Miami was "lily white" when Kraslow attended in 1946. The first black student was admitted to UM in 1961, and the first black football player attended in 1967. The Orange Bowl was segregated until 1950. Kraslow discusses the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education and the 1957 enrollment of nine African-American students at Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, which fomented a crisis in which President Eisenhower had to intervene. Kraslow discusses Florida Senator Bob Graham, former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who knew classified information on the US-Iraq War and pushed Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet to declassify it. He admonishes his audience that the greatest power the U.S. government has is the power to classify information to protect those in authority. Kraslow talks about Operation Marigold, an attempt by Polish diplomats to bring the United States and North Vietnam together in secrecy; its failure and cover-up led to the bombing of Hanoi. At the end, Kraslow answers a question about race relations and the war.
Time: 23 min 27 sec
David Landowne on conscientious objection
Vietnam: 2002
David Landowne, Professor of Physiology, introduces himself as having been politically naïve when he was a graduate student studying physiology. He recalls that the American press had explained that soldiers were sent to Vietnam to defend the Americans who were there at the time and that, in that period, the phrase "credibility gap" began to appear in the media. Landowne had gone to study Quakerism, being "religiously curious," but met two young women who wanted to attend a protest against the war, and he went with them. As a result, he learned more about conscientious objection (CO) and the Quakers. Later, he began to work in an office and travel around New England to advise young potential recruits about CO, about the law, and about their options. Landowne speaks about demonstrating outside of induction centers and draft board offices, and about the various ways in which draft resisters avoided the draft (going to jail, moving abroad, etc.). Speaking on October 15, 2002, Landowne notes that there was a bill being considered in Congress at that time to reinstate the draft.
Time: 9 min 55 sec
David Wilson on conscription
Vietnam: 2002
University of Miami Associate Provost for Instructional Advancement and Biology professor David Wilson remembers getting "Clean for Gene" in 1968 and helping Senator McCarthy’s campaign for the presidency. Wilson shows photos of McCarthy and of Phil Ochs singing at a demonstration held in Grant Park, Chicago. Another photo is of Rennie Davis, a member of the Chicago Seven, political radicals accused of conspiring to incite the riots that occurred during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, August 21-26, 1968. Wilson took part in a peaceful anti-war demonstration and shows a photograph in which demonstrators were assaulted with tear gas by the police. He recalls another tear gas experience when he attended (in the capacity of a medic) the Democratic National Convention at Miami Beach in 1972. The Miami police were approaching and Wilson got briefly separated from his wife, Peggy, so he began calling, "Hey, Peg!" The police thought he was saying "Pig!" and gassed him. Another anecdote involves Milton M. Cohen, Peggy’s uncle, a social activist for African American civil rights, who was was called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in 1965 and, with Jerry Stamler and Yolanda Hall, refused to testify. The defiance of Cohen, Stamler and Hall eventually brought the downfall of HUAC.
Time: 8 min 55 sec
Joseph Alkana on civil unrest
Vietnam: 2002
Joseph Alkana, Professor of English, recalls being a high school student in New York when a teacher's strike engaged the African American community. [On May 9, 1968, 19 junior high school teachers in the Ocean Hill-Brownsville area of Brooklyn were fired. They were white; the school board that fired them was predominantly black. The crisis led to three teachers' strikes and angry confrontations between African-American and white New Yorkers.] Alkana joined anti-war demonstrations and was tear-gassed and arrested several times, but became disenchanted with the factionalism and authoritarianism that he also found among anti-war protesters. He dropped out of college and identified himself as part of the counter-culture. He recalls joining a medical team at the Siege at Wounded Knee in 1973.
Time: 11 min 47 sec
Julian C. Lee on absentee infractions
Vietnam: 2002
University of Miami Professor of Biology Julian Lee recalls being inducted into the army and applying for conscientious objector status; he was denied and shortly afterwards court-martialled. He was imprisoned in the stockade of Fort Lewis, Washington, and from there sentenced to the Penitentiary "Disciplinary Barracks" in Leavenworth, Kansas. Lee describes his duties at Leavenworth and reports that he was, eventually, honorably discharged from the Army. He summarizes his view of the people he met at Leavenworth, saying, "They were all individualists," from the peace activists to the sociopaths. Everyone received psychiatric evaluations on admittance to Leavenworth and the draft resisters were judged to be "suffering martyr complexes."
Time: 9 min 41 sec
Patrick McCarthy on the Selective Service System
Vietnam: 2002
Patrick McCarthy, Professor of English, tells the funny story of how he managed to avoid the draft. He went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee in 1969, but his draft board was in Birmingham, Alabama, "the most godawful place in the world to have a draft board," and the conscription agents turned down his application for a fatherhood deferment. He went to Birmingham to appear personally before the board. "Things did not go well. They regarded me as a smart-ass and I regarded them as a bunch of ignorant rednecks. We were both right." McCarthy describes the Selective Service System as corrupt, because the SSS Director, Lewis B. Hershey, had ordered local draft boards to ignore Congressional law concerning deferments. McCarthy was drafted a few months after entering grad school, but took advantage of an ambiguous directive by President Nixon to postpone conscription until the end of the school year. He describes the various steps he took to keep postponing induction for the next 3 years, to much laughter from the audience.
Time: 12 min 33 sec
Robert Warren on Harvard in the 1960s
Vietnam: 2002
Robert Warren, Professor of Cell Biology, recalls growing up in Houston, Texas, and being only peripherally aware of race issues. In 1963, he was accepted into Harvard, and experienced culture shock. He became opposed to the war. Warren was protected by a student deferment in 1966, and managed to reach the age of 26 without being drafted. Warren describes the strike that took place at Harvard in April, 1969. Harvard students demonstrated, sometimes with violence, their opposition to the Vietnam War and took over a university administration building. President Pusey called the police on campus to evict and arrest the demonstrators, the most radical of whom were members of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society). Warren concludes with some thoughts on ideology and how the lessons of the past should be applied to the US-Iraqi War.
Time: 17 min 45 sec
Sherri Hayes on student activism, 1966-1970
Vietnam: 2002
Sherri Hayes, Professor of Physical Therapy, says that she attended the University of Connecticut during the years 1966 to 1970, a turbulent era. She recalls the November 15, 1969, March on Washington, when more than 250,000 protesters gathered in Washington, D.C., in the largest anti-war demonstration to occur during the Vietnam war. At UConn, students decorated the ROTC building with flowers and recalls campus rallies and sit-ins. Student activism was major in 1969 and 1970. After graduating, Hayes did her internship at Walter Reed, where her patients were injured Vietnam veterans.
Time: 10 min 25 sec

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