A Dictionary of American History

Author: Thomas L. Purvis  | Date: 1995

Vietnam Antiwar Movement

Vietnam Antiwar Movement Soon after the first bombing of North Vietnam on 2 March 1965, college teach-ins began denouncing the Vietnam War. Most antiwar protests were nonviolent, but draft board files were vandalized, college Reserve Officers’ Training Corps buildings burned, and a bomb killed a University of Wisconsin graduate student at a computer lab on 24 August 1971. In March 1968, Lyndon Johnson withdrew from the Democratic primary after public dismay over the Tet offensive’s casualties led to unexpected support for his antiwar opponent, Eugene McCarthy. The Chicago Democratic convention Riot occurred as Democrats nominated Johnson’s choice for president, Hubert Humphrey, over McCarthy. In November 1969, 300,000 war protesters marched in Washington, D.C. In April 1970, the invasion of Cambodia sparked militant campus demonstrations nationwide that climaxed in the Kent State University shootings on 4 May and the death of two Mississippi State University students on 15 May. Classes closed on over 400 campuses as students boycotted lectures to protest the invasion and killings. The Pentagon papers appeared in 1971, but by mid-year, antiwar activism had waned due to the draft’s suspension and US troop withdrawals.


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Chicago: Thomas L. Purvis, "Vietnam Antiwar Movement," A Dictionary of American History in A Dictionary of American History (Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell Reference, 1995), Original Sources, accessed December 1, 2022, http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P11IBX4B8T86H4B.

MLA: Purvis, Thomas L. "Vietnam Antiwar Movement." A Dictionary of American History, in A Dictionary of American History, Cambridge, Mass., Blackwell Reference, 1995, Original Sources. 1 Dec. 2022. http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P11IBX4B8T86H4B.

Harvard: Purvis, TL, 'Vietnam Antiwar Movement' in A Dictionary of American History. cited in 1995, A Dictionary of American History, Blackwell Reference, Cambridge, Mass.. Original Sources, retrieved 1 December 2022, from http://originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=P11IBX4B8T86H4B.