| Chap. 1 | Chap.
2 | Chap. 3 | Chap.
4 | Chap. 5 | Chap.
6 | Chap. 7 | Chap.
8 | Chap. 9
11 Digital Archive
September 11: Bearing Witness to History
History 101 Pages
for Chapter 9
THE BABY BOOM
GENERATION: ONE SEATTLEITE'S RECOLLECTION
TO RICHARD NIXON, 1960
A BIRMINGHAM JAIL
THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT
JOHNSON PROPOSES THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT
KING AND THE FBI
THE END OF
NON-VIOLENCE: THE WATTS RIOT
ON BLACK LIBERATION
THE UW BLACK
ON THE NISQUALLY
TACO IS DEAD"
BERETS AND CHICANO LIBERATION
DEMOCRACY: THE PORT HURON STATEMENT
FIRST ANTI-WAR PROTEST
ON "THE PROBLEM THAT HAS NO NAME"
RIGHTS AMENDMENT AND ROE V. WADE
ACT OF 1965
TO THE UNITED STATES, 1940-1979
OF IMMIGRANTS, 1820-1979
POLITICAL ACTIVISM SINCE 1965
PROSPERITY: NEWPORT AND LATINO IMMIGRATION
FROM STONEWALL TO SAN FRANCISCO
WEST, AND THE POLITICS OF OIL
TO FEMINISM: PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY AND JERRY FALWELL
IS GOOD": THE 1980s
JAPANESE AUTOS IN THE 1990s
IN THE 1990s
METROPOLITAN AREAS, 2000
for Week 9
Student Non‑Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC)
Martin Luther King
1964 Civil Rights Act
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
Free Speech Movement
Immigration Act of 1965
The Great Society
Betty Freidan, The Feminine Mystique
National Organization for Women (NOW)
Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)
Roe v. Wade, 1972
Iranian Hostage Crisis
Saturday Night Massacre
Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
Jerry Falwell/Moral Majority
The AIDS Crisis
Newt Gingrich/Contract With America
The World Trade Organization (WTO)
BABY BOOM GENERATION: ONE SEATTLEITE'S RECOLLECTION
the following vignette local historian and political activist
Walt Crowley describes the baby boom generation.
I first saw Seattle from the windows of the Great Northern's
Empire Builder early one November morning in 1961. Three
days out from Chicago, the train delivered my mother and me
to King Street Station, where my father waited to take us to
our new home. My eyes filled with tears, but not of joy.
A long, twisting route had brought me to that moment.
I was born fourteen years earlier in a middle class suburb of
Detroit. No one knew it then, least of all me, but I was
one drop in a swelling wave of more than 3.8 million births
in 1947. That year was the leading edge of the "baby
boom." This was not some postwar spurt of pent up
passion but the first of a series of demographic tsunamis which
would not crest until 1957 or abate until 1964, when annual
births finally dropped below 4 million. In all, 75 million
Americans were born between 1946 and 1964. Nearly 50 million
of us hit our teens and early twenties between 1960 and 1972
and were old enough to participate as leaders or followers in
shaping the Sixties.
Huge as the baby boom was in absolute numbers, it loomed even
larger in relative terms. The boom followed upon the fertility
bust of the Depression and war years and thus overwhelmed the
generation of its parents, teachers, professors, and other social
guardians... [Nobody] was prepared for my generation, and society
never got ahead of the wave.
But the magnitude of the baby boom cannot alone explain the
unprecedented character of its impact on politics, popular culture,
art and social values. This golden cohort was not merely
the largest in history, it was also the richest, healthiest,
and best educated, and it was born and reared in the world's
most powerful nation flush with confidence, idealism, and not
a little arrogance. The adolescence of the baby boom also
coincided with a profound transformation of economic organization
from capital industry to mass consumerism, dramatic technological
innovation, and also great dread. We were shaped by both
unprecedented affluence and anxiety, the first children raised
with televised mass marketing and the prospect of nuclear mass
The boom did not erupt from the large families typically raised
by farmers and the urban poor to provide a domestic work force
and hedge against infant mortality. Most children of the
boom were raised with one or two siblings in "nuclear"
families. I, however, was raised an only child; my experience
and understanding of the Sixties are condition by this basic
natal fact, and diverge early from the lives of others raised
in large families. Beyond this, my upbringing was not
exactly average, which deserves a little explanation.
My father was a scientist, inventor, and militant atheist.
My mother was a feisty British war bride raised in the working
class row houses of Hartlepool, Sheffield, and Hull. Both
were independent, energetic, and confident citizens eager to
build a new world up from the ruins of World War II. Neither
of my parents was active politically, but our house resounded
with discussions of current events and solutions to the world's
problems. The coffee table was piled high with magazines--news,
science and science fiction--which provided my first reading.
My parents instilled in me a fierce individualism, a passion
for justice, a faith in rationalism, and a historical optimism
which refuses to surrender to objective reality... I grew up
a "liberal" without ever having to ask why, for a
thinking, caring person could be nothing else.
Conservatives like to argue that we were shaped by a "liberal
media." They have a point, but the wrong one.
There is no doubt that television shaped the political consciousness
of my generation. The content of news broadcasts--footage
from far off wars in Korea and the Middle East, the Army-McCarthy
hearings, scenes of federal troops guarding Negro children during
the integration of Little Rock's Central High School, and interviews
with Allen Ginsberg and other beatniks--each in its own way
undermined faith in the established order and created an appetite
for something new and better. If breakfast cereals could
improve themselves every other week, why couldn't the world?
* * *
If the clay of my personality was still damp at age fourteen,
the same could be said of Seattle when I arrived virtually on
the city's 110th birthday. I like to think that we grew
up together; certainly we both changed during the next ten years.
I was singularly underwhelmed by the city. Having lived
much of my life close to three of the nation's largest cities,
I found Seattle puny, provincial, and puritanical. I would
learn only much later about the richness of its past and the
titanic struggles for wealth, labor and reform which shaped
the city's destiny. Stories of old strikes and scandals
had no place in the classroom, least of all at Jane Addams Junior
High School. Neither, from what I could tell, did education.
I had left Ridgefield [Connecticut] High School, consistently
rated one of the nation's best, to enter what was regarded as
one of the worst in an undistinguished system. It wasn't
really a school at all but an asylum for victims of juvenile
dementia and hormonal hysteria. On my first day, I walked
into the lunch room to discover a full-scale food fight in progress...
Shocked, I marched directly into the administration office to
alert officials to this obvious collapse in social discipline.
The vice principal listened to my appeal for action and then
replied, "You're going to be a little troublemaker, aren't
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had just visited Seattle, and
troublemakers were much in the news at that time... In October
1961, the new Seattle branch of CORE [Congress of Racial Equality]
led a "selective buying" campaign to compel the major
downtown department stores to hire more black clerks.
The campaign...was later expanded to include "shop-ins"
at area grocery stores, in which protesters would fill and then
abandon their shopping carts. Similar tactics clogged
up Nordstrom's during "shoe-ins." Seattle yielded
CORE its first employment gains for blacks and adoption of corporate
"equal opportunity" policies by Nordstrom and other
Another measure of social progress came in March 1962 when Wing
Luke was elected to the Seattle City Council. He was the
first non-white ever elected in the city, and his seat on the
Council was the highest elective office yet attained by a Chinese
American anywhere in the continental U.S. Luke was no mere token;
he became a voice for the "other Seattle" and championed
causes such as open housing and minority employment...
Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in
Seattle (Seattle, 1995) pp. 3-5, 11-13.
REAGAN TO RICHARD NIXON, 1960
after the Democratic Party held its Convention in Los Angeles
in 1960 where it nominated Massachusetts Senator John F. Kennedy
for President, Ronald Reagan sent the following letter to Vice
President Richard Nixon offering his services in the upcoming
presidential campaign. The letter outlines Reagan's belief
that the United States is, at heart, a conservative nation and
that the GOP should rally many of those non-voting conservatives
to political action.
Dear Mr. Vice Pres.
I know this is presumptuous
of me but I'm passing on some thoughts after viewing the Convention
here in L.A.
Somehow the idea persists
that someone should put an end to the traditional demonstrations
which follow each nomination. True they once had their place
when their only purpose was to influence the delegates within
the convention hall. Now however TV has opened a window onto
convention deliberations and the "demonstration" is
revealed as a synthetic time waster which only serves to belittle
us in what should be one of our finer moments. One has a feeling
that general gratitude would be the reward for any one who would
once and for all declare the "demonstration" abandoned.
Starting with the opening
speech and continuing through all the speeches until Kennedy's
acceptance speech I thought the Democrats could pick up some
campaign money by selling the collection of addresses as, "talks
suitable for any patriotic occasion with platitudes and generalities
I do not include Kennedy's acceptance
speech because beneath the generalities I heard a frightening
call to arms. Unfortunately he is a powerful speaker with an
appeal to the emotions. He leaves little doubt that his idea
of the "challenging new world" is one in which the
Federal Govt. will grow bigger & do more and of course spend
more. I know there must be some short sighted people in the
Republican Party who will advise that the Republicans should
try to "out liberal" him. In my opinion this would
You were kind enough to write
me to comment on the "talk" I had given and which
you had read. That is why I'm presuming on your busy day with
these thoughts. I have been speaking on the subject in more
than thirty eight states to audiences of Democrats & Republicans.
Invariably the reaction is a standing ovation--not for me but
for the views expressed. I am convinced that America is economically
conservative and for that reason I think some one should force
the Democrats to publish the "retail price" for this
great new wave of "public service" they promise. I
don't pose as an infallible pundit but I have a strong feeling
that the twenty million non voters in this country just
might be conservatives who have cynically concluded the two
parties offer no choice between them where fiscal stability
is concerned. No Republican no matter how liberal is going to
woo a Democratic vote but a Republican bucking the give away
trend might re-create some voters who have been staying at home.
One last thought,-- shouldn't
some one tag Mr. Kennedy's bold new imaginative program
with it's proper age? Under the tousled boyish hair cut it is
still old Karl Marx--first launched a century ago. There is
nothing new in the idea of a Govt. being Big Brother to us all.
Hitler called his "State Socialism" and way before
him it was "benevolent monarchy."
I apologize for taking so much
of your time but I have such a yearning to hear some one come
before us and talk specifics instead of generalities. I'm sure
the American people do not want the govt. paid services at "any
price" and if we collectively can afford "free
this & that" they'd like to know it before they buy
and not after it is entrenched behind another immovable govt.
You will be very much in my prayers
in the days ahead.
Source: Reproduced from the holdings
of the National Archives, Pacific Region, Laguna Niguel Office,
Laguna Nigel, California.
FROM A BIRMINGHAM JAIL
1963 Martin Luther King had emerged as the most important civil
rights leader of the era. However as the campaign to desegregate
public accommodations in Birmingham proved far more difficult
than King or his followers had anticipated, some white Birmingham
clergy openly criticized his efforts as harmful to the harmonious
relationship between the races and questioned his commitment
to Christianity. In his letter written while he was under
arrest for violating Birmingham's segregationist ordinances,
King answers the ministers.
I think I should indicate why I am here in Birmingham since
you have been influenced by the view which argues against "outsiders
coming in." Several months ago the [SCLC] affiliate
here in Birmingham asked us to be on call to engage in a non‑violent
direct‑action program if such were deemed necessary.
We readily consented, and when the hour came we lived up to
our promise... But more basically, I am in Birmingham
because injustice is here... I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta
and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere...
Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial
"outside agitator" idea. Anyone who lives inside
the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere
within its bounds.
You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham.
But your statement fails to express a similar concern for the
conditions that brought about the demonstrations... It
is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham,
but it is even more unfortunate that the city's white power
structure left the Negro community with no alternative.
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily
given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.
Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct‑action campaign
that was "well‑timed" in the view of those who
have not suffered from the disease of segregation. For
years now I have heard the word "wait!" This
"wait" has almost always meant "Never."
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional
and God‑ given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa
are moving with jet like speed toward gaining political independence,
but we still creep at horse‑and‑buggy pace toward
gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter. Perhaps it
is easy for those who have never felt segregation to say, "Wait."
But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers
and drown your sisters and brothers at whim; when you have seen
hate‑filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black
brothers and sisters...when you have to concoct an answer for
a five‑year‑old son who is asking: "Daddy,
why do white people treat colored people so mean?..."
When your first name becomes "boy" (however old you
are) and your last name becomes "John," and your wife
and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."‑‑then
you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.
Leslie H. Fishel and Benjamin Quarles, The Negro American:
A Documentary History, (Glenview, Ill., 1967), p. 523.
following letters written between June and August, 1964, provide
a brief glimpse of the impressions and emotions of the largely
white college students who worked in Mississippi during that
Us white kids here are in a position we've never been in before.
The direction of the whole program is under Negro leadership--almost
entirely. And a large part of that leadership is young
people from the South--Negroes who've had experience just because
they're Negroes and because they've been active in the movement.
And here "we" are, for the most part never experiencing
any injustice other than "No, I won't let you see your
I turned down a chance to work in the southwest part of the
state, the most dangerous area. I talked to a staff member
covering that area for about fifteen minutes and he told me
about the five Negroes who have been taken into the woods and
shot in the last three months... I told him that I couldn't
go in there because I was just too scared. I felt so bad
I was about ready to forget about going to Mississippi at all.
But I still wanted to go; I just didn't feel like giving up
my life. After thinking about this seeming contradiction,
I decided that I have not discovered just how dedicated I am
to the civil rights cause and that is the purpose of the trip....
Mom and Dad,
A lot of the meetings have been run by a Negro Mennonite minister
from Georgia, a member of the National Council of Churches.
(The NCC is paying for this orientation, and has some excellent
staff people here.) His name is Vincent Harding, plump,
bespectacled, and brilliant moderator in discussions because
he reacts so honestly and humorously to every question.
Yesterday he gave a long talk about people using each other
and where to watch out for this within the movement itself (Negro
man accuses white girl of being a racist if she won't go to
bed with him, or vice versa; or white girl looking for "my
summer Negro"; or Negroes in the community using volunteers
as the only available victims of their suppressed hostility
to whites in general, etc., etc). These are examples of
the kind of honesty that characterizes the whole training session.
His main point was that people within the movement must not
use each other because it is that very exploitation of someone
else, which turns him from a human being into an object, that
the movement is fighting against.
Mom and Dad,
This letter is hard to write because I would like so much to
communicate how I feel and I don't know if I can. It is
very hard to answer to your attitude that if I loved you I wouldn't
do this--hard, because the thought is cruel. I can only
hope you have the sensitivity to understand that I can both
love you very much and desire to go to Mississippi. I
have no way of demonstrating my love. It is simply a fact
and that is all I can say....
I hope you will accept my decision even if you do not agree
with me. There comes a time when you have to do things
which your parents do not agree with.... Convictions are worthless
in themselves. In fact, if they don't become actions,
they are worse than worthless--they become a force of evil in
themselves. You can't run away from a broadened awareness....If
you try, it follows you in your conscience, or you become a
self-deceiving person who has numbed some of his humanness.
It think you have to live to the fullest extent to which you
have gained an awareness or you are less than the human being
you are capable of being... This doesn't apply just to civil
rights or social consciousness but to all the experiences of
Yesterday, July 29, two of us (both white) went to speak in
two Sociology classes [at a local white university]. We
spoke about our project in Holly Springs and then answered questions.
While some questions were relevant, many were of the nature
of: a "Would you marry a Negro?" "Is your
organization Communist?" and "Why are Negroes so immoral?"
Both Alvin and I felt that it was fairly successful. We
were able to answer most of the questions in sociological terms.
The second class which we attended was an advanced class in
Urban Sociology. Their questions were for the most part
more sophisticated. Both classes treated us respectfully
and were very attentive to what we had to say... Later, I realized
what had been bothering me about those people at [the university].
It was that they were patting themselves on the back for recognizing
and admitting that conditions in Mississippi were bad....
I am beginning to understand why people who work in the Movement
come to not really care too much about the kind of thoughts
of some "liberal" southern and, for that matter, northern
whites. I try to fight the bitterness...
Mother and Father:
I have learned more about politics here from running my own
precinct meetings than I could have from any Government professor...For
the first time in my life, I am seeing what it is like to be
poor, oppressed, and hated. And what I see here does not
apply only to Gulfport or to Mississippi or even to the South....The
people we're killing in Viet Nam are the same people whom we've
been killing for years in Mississippi. True, we didn't
tie the knot in Mississippi and we didn't pull the trigger in
Viet Nam--that is, we personally--but we've been standing behind
the knot-tiers and the trigger-pullers too long. This
summer is only the briefest beginning of this experience, both
for myself and for the Negroes of Mississippi.
Your daughter, Ellen
Sutherland, ed., Letters From
(New York, 1965), pp. 3-14, 22-23, 45-72, 145-147, 229-230.
the 1964 Freedom Summer hundreds of black and white civil rights
workers from throughout the United States assisted black Mississippians
to register to vote and to challenge the racially discriminatory
laws of the state. Three of those workers, Andrew Goodman,
Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, were killed near Philadelphia.
The passage below from William Bradford Huie's Three Lives
for Mississippi, describes their deaths.
The murder was done in the "cut" on Rock Cut Road,
less than a mile from Highway 19, about four miles from where
the three were taken from the station wagon. It was before
midnight, and the moon was still high. Three cars were
in the cut. I was told that the three victims said nothing,
but that they were jeered by the murderers. Several of
the murderers chanted in unison, as though they had practiced
"Ashes to ashes, Dust to dust, If you'd stayed where you
belonged, You wouldn't be here with us."
Another said: "So you wanted to come to Mississippi?
Well, now we're gonna let you stay here. We're not even
gonna run you out. We're gonna let you stay here with
When Schwerner was pulled from the car and stood up to be shot,
I was told that the man with the pistol asked him: "You
still think a nigger's as good as I am?" No time
was allowed for a reply. He was shot straight through
the heart and fell to the ground.
Goodman was next, with nothing said. Apparently he stood
as still as Schwerner did, facing his executioner, for the shot
that killed him was the same precise shot. I was told
that another man fired the shot, using the same pistol, but
my opinion remains that one man fired both shots.
Chaney was last, and the only difference was that he struggled
while the others had not. He didn't stand still; he tried
to pull and duck away from his executioner. So he wasn't
shot with the same precision, and he was shot three times instead
The three bodies were tossed into the station wagon and driven
along dirt roads to a farm about six miles southwest of Philadelphia.
All three bodies were buried in darkness with a bulldozer.
They were also uncovered, forty‑four days later, with
a bulldozer. After the burial the station wagon was driven
to a point fifteen miles northeast of Philadelphia, to the edge
of the Bogue Chitto swamp. There it was doused with diesel
fuel and burned. Afterwards the murderers began drinking
though none could be called drunk. They were met by an
official of the state of Mississippi.
"Well, boys," he said, "you've done a good job.
You've struck a blow for the White Man. Mississippi
can be proud of you... Go home now and forget it. But
before you go, I'm looking each one of you in the eye and telling
you this: the first man who talks is dead! If anybody
who knows anything about this ever opens his mouth to any outsider
about it, then the rest of us are going to kill him just as
dead as we killed those three sonsofbitches tonight. "Does
everybody understand what I'm saying? The man who talks
is dead... dead...dead!"
William Bradford Huie, 3 Lives for
(New York, 1968) pp. 118-121.
THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT
the following vignette University of Washington historian William
Rorabaugh describes the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley that
began in September 1964. Note the movement's links to
civil rights activism then taking place in the South.
In the early 1960s Berkeley student activists were particularly
drawn to the civil rights cause because of the changing racial
composition of the city of Berkeley. Due to black migration
from the South, by 1960 the city was one-fifth black.
Berkeley's blacks lived in a corner of the city remote from
the University. One seldom saw a black on campus, black
shoppers were not welcome in downtown Berkeley, and both school
segregation and discrimination in employment and housing were
common. In 1963 Berkeley voters rejected an open housing
ordinance, 22,750 to 20,456, and in October 1964 the school
board was nearly recalled over desegregation. These votes
indicated the city's bitter divisions. The split was ironic,
because liberals had long considered Berkeley to be advanced,
and they pointed with pride to the black assemblyman elected
from a mostly white district as early as 1948. In truth,
white Berkeley was schizophrenic‑-many older residents
were native Southerners. Berkeley student activists formed the
Berkeley Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) to protest job discrimination.
Throughout 1964 CORE and its allies sponsored demonstrations
at Lucky's stores in Berkeley, at the Sheraton‑Palace
Hotel and along auto row in San Francisco, and at the Oakland
Tribune, organ of William F. Knowland, a former U.S. senator.
In the summer of 1964, when the Republican national convention
met in San Francisco, activists organized anti-Goldwater pickets
on the Cal campus. To some people, it appeared that a
handful of agitators systematically used the campus as a staging
ground for making trouble.
In keeping with the...rules banning political activity on campus,
activists for‑several years had solicited donations and
sign‑ups for protests from card tables set up on the city
sidewalk at the edge of campus at Bancroft and Telegraph...
Whether pressured from outside or not, Alex C. Sherriffs, Vice‑Chancellor
for Student Affairs...became upset by the activists' presence.
Sherriffs, whose office was in Sproul Hall, perhaps worried
less about political activity itself than about its visibility
and the effect that it had upon visitors to campus. In
1964 one of the first sights a visitor saw, at the corner of
Bancroft and Telegraph, was a student, possibly blue‑jeaned,
bearded, and sandaled, manning a card table, jingling a can,
and asking for a donation to support civil rights. To
Sherriffs, this scene was appalling because it created an image
of the University as a haven for eccentrics and malcontents.
The vice‑chancellor saw himself as a moral guardian bound
to protect the purity of the campus and its clean cut fraternity
and sorority kids from unkempt beatniks and wild‑eyed
When the University opened that September, activists looked
forward to recruitment and fund‑raising. Over the
summer...sixty students had worked for civil rights in Mississippi,
and they returned to campus with renewed dedication and determination.
These activists, including Mario Savio and Art Goldberg, were
dumbfounded in mid‑September when the University suddenly
issued new rules that banned tables...where they had been placed
in growing numbers for two or three years. When the activists
sought an explanation for the change, they could get no answers...
The activists were better prepared for war than [University
President Clark] Kerr. First, they knew what they wanted.
Although their specific demands changed over time, they ‑demanded
an end to the regulation of political activity on campus.
This was called free speech... The activists identified
the issue as a traditional American right in order to appeal
to large numbers of students, who in other circumstances might
have sided with Kerr. Second, some of the activist leaders were
battle‑tested veterans of the civil rights movement. "A
student who has been chased by the KKK in Mississippi,"
observed one student,' "is not easily scared by academic
bureaucrats..." They knew when to advance, when to
retreat, how to use crowds, how to use the media, how to intimidate,
and how to negotiate. The activists understood their ultimate
weapon, the sit‑in, and were prepared to use it. Although
the leaders were not close to one another, they spoke a common
language gained through a common experience. Kerr, on
the other hand, was as unready to do battle as a southern sheriff
facing a civil rights march for the first time. Again
and again, Kerr showed that he understood nothing about his
opponents' tactics. Finally, activist leaders knew how
to maintain discipline over their troops. Mass psychology,
song, theater, and other techniques long favored among revivalists
and street politicians accompanied innovative mass meetings
at which people freely spoke and at which collective decisions
were made by, a kind of consensus that came to be called participatory
democracy. Through these techniques and by focusing on
the simplicity of the demand for free speech, activists created...an
army. In contrast, Kerr badgered his beleaguered bureaucracy
until it could barely function.
Throughout September 1964 skirmishes continued as defiant activists
set up tables and were cited by irritated deans. The angry
students escalated the conflict by moving their tables to Sproul
Plaza. This protest led to a mill‑in inside Sproul
Hall and the summary "indefinite suspension' of eight students
[including] Mario Savio [and] Art Goldberg... Finally, on October
1, University police went to the plaza to arrest a former student,
Jack Weinberg; who was manning a CORE table. The police
drove a car onto the plaza to take Weinberg to be booked, and
as Weinberg got into the car, someone shouted, "Sit down."
Suddenly, several hundred students surrounded the car.
The police did not know what to do, because they had never encountered
such massive defiance. Kerr's bureaucracy became paralyzed.
This event launched the Free Speech Movement. Participants
later recalled the spontaneity of the "sit‑down,"
the thrill of power over the police, and the feeling that something
important was happening. For thirty‑two hours Weinberg
sat in the back of the police car. Although students came and
went, there were always at least several hundred surrounding
the car. Among those who observed the sit‑down was Jerry
Brown; the governor's son, then living in Berkeley, who was
hostile to the protest. During the night students who
disapproved of the sit‑down‑‑many from nearby
fraternities‑‑molested the protesters by tossing
lighted cigarettes and garbage into the crowd. The activists
responded by singing civil rights songs. During the sit‑down
the demonstrators used the roof of the police car (with police
permission) as a podium to speak to the crowd. People
aired all sorts of views, and the discussion moved from the
rules banning political activity to analyses of the University's
governance. Students expressed their powerlessness, which
contrasted with the power that they held over the immobilized
police car. So many people stood on the car's roof that
it sagged; the FSM later took up a collection and paid the $455.01
damage. Several times a twenty‑one year old junior,
Mario Savio, removed his shoes to climb atop the car, and when
he spoke, his words seemed especially to energize the crowd.
He became a celebrity and was identified by the crowd as the
leader of the activists. From then on Savio battled Kerr. It
was not a fair match....
William J. Rorabaugh, Berkeley at War, The 1960s (New
York, 1989), p. 18-19, 20-21.
JOHNSON PROPOSES THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT
March 7, 1965, Martin Luther King led demonstrations at Selma,
Alabama, to secure voting rights for black Americans.
One week later President Lyndon Johnson spoke before a joint
session of Congress to urge passage of voting rights legislation
that would guarantee that right. Johnson for the first
time placed the full support of the Presidency behind Dr. King
and the Civil Rights Movement. Here is part of his address
Mr. Speaker, Mr. President, Members of the Congress:
I speak tonight for the dignity of man and the destiny of democracy.
I urge every member of both parties, Americans of all religions
and of all colors, from every section of this country, to join
me in that cause.
Wednesday I will send to Congress a law designed to eliminate
illegal barriers to the right to vote. This bill will
strike down restrictions to voting in all elections....which
have been used to deny Negroes the right to vote. We cannot
refuse to protect the right of every American to vote in every
election that he may desire to participate in. We have
already waited one hundred years and more, and the time for
waiting is gone....
But even if we pass this bill, the battle will not be over.
What happened in Selma is part of a far larger movement which
reaches into every section and State of America. It is
the effort of American Negroes to secure for themselves the
full blessings of American life.
Their cause must be our cause too. Because it is not just
Negroes, but really it is all of us, who must overcome the crippling
legacy of bigotry and injustice.
And we shall overcome.
As a man whose roots go deeply into Southern soil I know how
agonizing racial feelings are. I know how difficult it
is to reshape the attitudes and the structure of our society.
But a century has passed, more than a hundred years, since the
Negro was freed. And he is not fully free tonight.
The time of justice has now come. I tell you that I believe
sincerely that no force can hold it back. It is right
in the eyes of man and God that it should come. And when
it does, I think that day will brighten the lives of every American.
For Negroes are not the only victims. How many white children
have gone uneducated, how many white families have lived in
stark poverty, how many white lives have been scarred by fear,
because we have wasted our energy and our substance to maintain
the barriers of hatred and terror?
So I say to all of you here, and to all in the Nation tonight,
that those who appeal to you to hold on to the past do so at
the cost of denying you your future.
This great, rich, restless country can offer opportunity and
education and hope to all: black and white, North and South,
sharecropper and city dweller. These are the enemies:
poverty, ignorance, disease. They are the enemies and
not our fellow man, not our neighbor. And these enemies
too, poverty, disease and ignorance, we shall overcome...
A. Bailey and David M. Kennedy, The American Spirit,
(Lexington, Mass., 1984), pp. 872‑873.
LUTHER KING AND THE FBI
1964 Martin Luther King, shortly after his notification that
he was the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, got an anonymous letter
suggesting he was a fraud and that he commit suicide.
It was later determined that the letter originated with the
FBI which was trying to discredit King and retard the Civil
Rights Movement. The letter is reprinted below.
In view of your low grade... I will not dignify your name
with either a Mr. or a Reverend or a Dr. And, your last
name calls to mind only the type of King such as King Henry
King, look into your heart. You know you are a complete
fraud and a great liability to all of us Negroes. White
people in this country have enough frauds of their own but I
am sure they don't have one at this time anywhere near your
equal. You are no clergyman and you know it. I repeat
you are a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that.
You could not believe in God... Clearly you don't believe in
any personal moral principles.
King, like all frauds your end is approaching. You could
have been our greatest leader. You, even at an early age
have turned out to be not a leader but a dissolute, abnormal
moral imbecile. We will now have to depend on our older
leaders like Wilkins, a man of character and thank God we have
others like him. But you are done. Your "honorary"
degrees, your Nobel Prize (what a grim farce) and other awards
will not save you. King, I repeat you are done.
No person can overcome facts, not even a fraud like yourself...
I repeat--no person can argue successfully against facts...
Satan could not do more. What incredible evilness...
King you are done. The American public, the church organizations
that have been helping--Protestant, Catholic and Jews will know
you for what you are--an evil, abnormal beast. So will
others who have backed you. You are done.
King, there is only one thing left for you to do. You
know what it is. You have just 34 days in which to do
it (this exact number has been selected for a specific reason,
it has definite practical significant [sic]). You
are done. There is but one way out for you. You
better take it before your filthy, abnormal fraudulent self
is bared to the nation.
J. Garrow, The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. (New York,
1981), pp. 125‑126.
END OF NON-VIOLENCE: THE WATTS RIOT
four days of rioting that swept the Watts section of Los Angeles
in August, 1965 proved a turning point in the Civil Rights struggle.
The nation's attention, which had previously been focused on
the rural South now shifted to the ghettos of the North and
West as African Americans demonstrated their anger with the
prevailing political and economic status quo. The passage
below describes the death of Charles Patrick Fizer, one of the
34 people killed during the riot.
Charles Patrick Fizer, born in Shreveport Louisiana, sang because
he loved to--and for money. People paid to hear Charles
Fizer sing. For a brief time, he made it big. Most
of the Fizer family migrated to California during World War
II to take jobs in the buzzing Los Angeles area aircraft plants
and shipyards. In 1944, when he was only three, Charles
Fizer was taken there by his grandparents. He lived with
them for a time. Then, when he was seven, he moved to
Watts with his mother.
The Fizer family was a religious one. Charles attended
the Sweet Home Baptist Church and became an enthusiastic choir
member. He had a good voice. By the time he was
fifteen, he was singing in night clubs....He became part of
a successful group of entertainers. He broke in singing
second lead with the Olympics, as the group was known....Came
the Olympics' recording of "Hully Gully," and Charles
Fizer was something to be reckoned with as an entertainer.
The record sold nearly a million copies. The Olympics
won television guest shots. Charles came up with a snaky
dance to fit the "Hully Gully" music. Other
hit songs followed, and it seemed nothing could stop Charles
Fizer from reaching the top. [But] Charles became restless.
With his fellow performers, he became impatient. His testy
attitude and souring views cost him his job with the singing
group. He and another entertainer formed a night club
duo, but it flopped. The summer of the Los Angeles Riot, he
hit bottom. He served six months at hard labor on a county
prison farm after being arrested with illegal barbiturates.
He was released Thursday, August 12. The riot already
was in progress. Even as the violence spread in Los Angeles,
Charles Fizer wakened early Friday, went job-hunting and found
work as a busboy....But there would be no work Saturday─the
restaurant manager decided to close until peace was restored
in the city... But that night Charles Fizer drove through Watts
after the curfew hour. In the center of the fire-blackened
community, he stopped short of a National Guard roadblock at
102nd and Beach Streets. Inexplicably, he backed the Buick
away from the barricade. Suddenly, he turned on the car's
headlights and shifted into forward gear. What compelled him
to jam the accelerator to the floor only he could say─and
soon he was past explaining. Too many white faces challenging
him? Perhaps. A white man giving him an order?
Perhaps. In any event, he pointed the car straight for the roadblock.
Guardsmen cried to him to halt and fired warning shots into
the air. Then came the roar of M-1 carbines. The
Buick spun crazily and rammed a curb. Charles Fizer never realized
his resolve to make a new life. Inside the car he lay
dead, a bullet in his left temple. The time was 9:15 P.M.
Cohen and William S. Murphy, Burn, Baby, Burn: The
Los Angeles Race Riot August, 1965, (New York, 1966), pp.
CARMICHAEL ON BLACK LIBERATION
the Spring of 1966 Stokely Carmichael became chairman of the
Student Non‑Violent Coordinating Committee and soon afterwards
advanced the concept of Black Power. In a article published
later that year he discussed its ramifications for America.
The history of every institution of this society indicates that
a major concern...has been the maintaining of the Negro community
in its condition of dependence and oppression. This has
not been on the level of individual acts of discrimination between
individual whites against individual Negroes, but as total acts
by the White community against the Negro community.
Let me give you an example of the difference between individual
racism and institutionalized racism... When unidentified
white terrorists bomb a Negro Church and kill five children,
that act is widely deplored by most segments of the society.
But when in that same city, Birmingham, Alabama, not five but
500 Negro babies die each year because of lack of proper food,
shelter and medical facilities...that is a function of institutionalized
We must organize black community power to end these abuses,
and to give the Negro community a chance to have its needs expressed.
A leadership which is truly "responsible"‑‑not
to the white press and power structure, but to the community‑‑must
be developed. Such leadership will recognize that its
power lies in the unified and collective strength of that community.
The single aspect of the black power program that has encountered
most criticism is this concept of independent organization.
This is presented as third‑partyism which has never worked,
or a withdrawal into black nationalism and isolationism.
If such a program is developed it will not have the effect of
isolating the Negro community but the reverse. When the
Negro community is able to control local office, and negotiate
with other groups from a position of organized strength, the
possibility of meaningful political alliances on specific issues
will be increased. That is a rule of politics and there
is no reason why it should not operate here. The only
difference is that we will have the power to define the terms
of these alliances.
The next question usually is, "So‑‑can it work,
can the ghettoes in fact be organized?" The answer
is that this organization must be successful, because there
are no viable alternatives‑‑not the War on Poverty,
which was at its inception limited to dealing with effects rather
than causes, and has become simply another source of machine
patronage. And "Integration" is meaningful only
to a small chosen class within the community.
[The] "inner city" in most major urban areas is [sic]
already predominately Negro, and with the white rush to suburbia,
Negroes will in the next three decades control the heart of
our great cities. These areas can become either concentration
camps with a bitter and volatile population whose only power
is the power to destroy, or organized and powerful communities
able to make constructive contributions to the total society.
Without the power to control their lives and their communities,
without effective political institutions through which to relate
to the total society, these communities will exist in a constant
state of insurrection. This is a choice that the country
will have to make.
Thomas R. Frazier, Afro‑American History: Primary Sources,
(Chicago, 1988), pp. 414, 419‑420.
UW BLACK STUDENT UNION
1968 Black Student Unions had emerged on virtually every major
university campus in the United States including the University
of Washington. The vignettes below provide rare glimpses
into the campus mood which generated the UW BSU. The first
vignette describes black student athletes and the second is
an interview with UW BSU leaders.
In March  the U. of W. Athletic Department was jolted
by charges of racism and discrimination made by some 13 black
athletes. Among the 13 was basketball player Dave Carr,
who later spoke...about the feelings of Negroes on the campus.
"Except for some talk of 'niggers,' racism is not so noticeable
these days," says Carr. "White students just
look at us like, 'What are you doing on our campus.' Or
sometimes we're considered exceptional Negroes.
Hell, I'm not exceptional, I'm just lucky. So many of
us now are hungry to compete and able to compete if we
get the chance.
"There are other aspects," he continued, "like
not being able to find a place to live in the U. District.
But you know the single thing that bothers me most? Nobody
will ever talk to me about anything except basketball. 'You
keepin' in shape? You goin' to play pro ball?' I'm
supposed to be the dumb black athlete who can't do anything
else. I like basketball, but I also am taking a
degree in business, and ultimately I intend to go into personnel
work. But no one's interested in that."
Hidden away in a far corner in the basement of the UW HUB is
Room 92. Though nothing on the door proclaims it, Room
92 houses the UW Black Students' Union (BSU). Little more
than a cubbyhole, the room is jammed with furnishings, and on
one recent afternoon, a half-dozen BSU members. Among
those present are E.J. Brisker, BSU vice-president; Jesse Crowder,
the BSU's sole Mexican American; Richard Brown, one of the four
young men who had been charged with firebombing; and Larry Gossett,
one of those involved in the Franklin High sit-in. The
conversation is a mixed bag of self-kidding, Whitey put-ons
and serious discussion; Brown and Gossett do most of the talking.
"The Black Student Union is for anything that advances
the cause of black people," says Gossett. "For
example, we're in full support of the Olympic Games boycott.
This country has been using its black athletes far too long,
showing them off in foreign lands to convince the people that
racism doesn't exist in America--when we know it does."
Adds Brown, "Yeah, a black athlete is Mister when
he's overseas, but he's nothing when he gets home--can't find
housing, can't get a job."
Gossett wears black-frame glasses and a big Afro; he gestures
as he speaks, and he has a habit of gnawing his lower lip.
"In general," he explains, "the Black Students'
Union is a political organization set up to serve the wants
and needs of black students on white campuses. The educational
system is geared for white, middle-class kids, so it's never
served black students. We're educated to fit into some
non-existent slot in white society, rather than to be responsible
to the needs of our brothers in the ghetto. To combat
this, one thing we want to do is establish courses in Afro-American
culture and history." On Richard Brown's lapel is
a button which displays a leaping black panther. "No
black person will be free," he says, ending the conversation,
"until all blacks are free."
Ed Leimbacher, "Voices from the Ghetto,"
5:51 (June 1968) pp. 41-44.
"FISH-IN" ON THE NISQUALLY
mid-October 1965 a group of Washington State Indians staged
one of their first "fish-ins" to protest state conservation
prohibitions against traditional fishing. In jeopardy
were rights which Northwest tribes like the Nisqually, Puyallup
and others enjoyed since the days of their treaties signed in
1855, to fish and net salmon on the Nisqually and other rivers.
According to the protesters, the white man's dams, pollution
and commercial fishing were depleting the salmon, not their
smaller operations. During the controversy there were
a number of "battles" around Puget Sound and on the
Columbia River, between state officials and Indians who refused
to stop fishing. Janet McCloud, a Tulalip mother of eight
was one of the protestors arrested and held in jail. Her
daughter, Laura McCloud, recounts her story at the trial.
On October 13, 1965, we held a "fish-in" on the Nisqually
River to try and bring a focus on our fishing fight with the
State of Washington. The "fish-in" started at
4:00 p.m. and was over at 4:30. It ended with six Indians
in jail and dazed Indian kids wondering "what happened?"
My parents, Don & Janet McCloud; Al and Maiselle Bridges;
Suzan Satiacum and Don George Jr. were arrested that day.
They were released after posting bail a few hours later.
The charges against these six Indians was "obstructing
the duty of a police officer." Now, all we could
do was wait till the trials started. There was a seventh
Indian who was later arrested for the same charge, Nugent Kautz.
And he had not been a Frank's Landing on that day.
The trial was to begin on January 15, 1969, at 9:30. We
went into the courthouse that Wednesday certain that we would
not receive justice as was proved to us in other trials.
As we walked into the hallways there were many game wardens
standing there, some dressed in their uniforms and some in plain
clothes, but we recognized all of them.
Many of us were dressed in our traditional way with headbands,
leggings and necklaces. As we walked the length of the
corridor to the courtroom, the game wardens were looking us
up and down, laughing at us. I said to my cousin, "Don't
pay any attention to them, they don't know any better."...
The first witness for the State was a field marshal for the
game department--Zimmerman. He stated that he was directing
the game wardens at the Landing on Oct. 13. Hw was in
charge of the reinforcements from all over the State that come
down on us like a sea of green. At the time of the fish-in
I thought that there were about a hundred game wardens...
The next morning the State started off with their last witness,
State Fisheries Biologist, Lasseter. He talked about how
we Indians are the ones who depleted the fish in the Puyallup
River and if we weren't controlled we would do the same to the
Nisqually River. The Puyallup River is filled with pollution
more than it is with water. And why would we want to wipe
out our livelihood? Our attorney made Lasseter state that
could have been the pollution not the Indians who depleted the
fish in the Puyallup River.
Now it was our turn! The first witness for our defense
was Bob Johnson. At the time of the fish-in he was the
editor of the Auburn Citizen newspaper. He told
of the tactics the game wardens use on us. Mr. Johnson
also had evidence with him, pictures of game wardens, showing
billie clubs and seven-celled flashlights. The Prosecuting
attorney got real shook up about these. It seemed like
he was saying "I object" every few minutes...
The next defense witness was Janet McCloud, Tulalip Indian.
She told...why the Indians had the fish-in demonstration on
that day and what the mood the Indians had before the fish-in...
We were not expecting any violence because all my brothers and
sisters were there and the youngest was 4 at that time... She
told how she felt when she realized that the game wardens were
going to ram our boat...and [how] these mean meant business
with their...flashlights, billie clubs and brass knuckles.
My two little brothers were in the boat when it was rammed,
the youngest was 7 and could not swim. Besides, once you
get tangled in nylon mesh it is very easy to drown. While
she was telling this story, we could tell she was trying very
hard to keep from crying but...she started to...
With all this testimony and evidence, it was plain to see that
the game wardens had lied. We only hoped that the jury
would believe our side of the fish-in story. We also learned
the names of the game wardens whose pictures we had, especially
the one who had been beating on Alison and Valerie Bridges...
After the two lawyers gave their summations the jury went into
session. This was at ten o'clock at night. They
were out until midnight. The foreman came in first and
said, " The rest are afraid to come in." I thought,
here comes another guilty [verdict]. When the foreman
handed the judge the decision the room became very silent.
Then the judge read, "The jury finds the defendant Nugent
Kautz 'not guilty.'" He read the rest of the names
with the same verdict. I didn't believe it. I turned
to my cousin and said, "Did I hear right?" She
nodded her head, yes. Everyone was happy, except the State.
The game wardens were very hostile after this...
So the war goes on--which goes to prove that the history books
are wrong when they talk about "the last Indian wars."
They have never stopped!
Peter Nabokov, ed., Native American Testimony: A Chronicle
of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to the Present, 1492-1992
(New York, 1991), pp. 362-366.
TACO IS DEAD"
title of a 1970 Newsweek article signaled for many in
the United States an introduction to the Chicano Movement.
Excerpts of the article appear below.
It is impossible to ignore the handwriting on the wall--the
enormous, angular jottings that spillover imaginary margins.
Across the peeling faces of neo-Victorian buildings, on littered
sidewalks, anywhere where there is a decent-size blank space
young chicanos scrawl their names, their slogans, their
dreams.... On the ash-gray bricks of one nameless liquor store
deep in the heart of the East Los Angeles barrio, someone has
written a footnote to American history. "Tio Taco is dead,"
it says, "Con safos."
Tio Taco--or Uncle Taco, the stereotype Mexican-American, sapped
of energy and ambition, sulking in the shadow of an Anglo culture--is
dead. From the ghettos of Los Angles, through the
wastelands of New Mexico and Colorado, into the fertile reaches
of the Rio Grande valley in Texas, a new Mexican-American militancy
is emerging. Brown has become aggressively beautiful...
Their are 5.6 million Mexican-Americans in the United States,
divided roughly into two subgroups. The first is made
up of descendants of settlers who arrived in the Southwest before
the Mayflower... The forefather of these Spanish Americans,
as they prefer to be called, founded California and gave Los
Angeles its name... Today, they live in rural communities scattered
across New Mexico and Colorado... The second, and larger,
subgroup is made up of more recent immigrants from Mexico and
their descendants. Substantial migration to the U.S. began
with the Mexican Revolution and went on through the 1960s with
Texas serving as the way station to the great urban ghettos
of San Antonio, Los Angeles, Denver, and points farther north...
Through the Southwest today, were 90% of the Mexican-Americans
live, a third of them are below the official poverty line--that
is, they make do on less than $3,000 a year. In some sections
of Texas, poverty-stricken Mexican-Americans live in unbelievably
primitive conditions. Countrywide, the unemployment rate
among chicanos is twice as high as the unemployment rate among
Anglos. And the vast majority of Mexican-Americans who
are employed work at unskilled....jobs. Mexican-Americans
average four years less schooling than Anglos and two years
less than Negroes.
Statistics tell only part of the story. On top of the
poverty, Mexican-Americans have long been subjected to violence
by the authorities. For years, law-enforcement agencies
in the Southwest acted as it was open season on muchachos.
"There's a lot to the saying that all Texas Rangers have
Mexican blood," one witness told the U.S. Commission on
Civil Rights. "They have it on their boots."
Just as often the Anglo attitude has been more subtle--and more
crippling. Guidance counselors regularly steer students
into "realistic" vocational programs, advice that
just about locks young chicanos into the poverty cycle.
Overall the insensitivity of Anglos--whether in government,
in education or simply on a person-to-person basis--has amounted
to psychological oppression of incalculable dimension.
"Why do they persecute us"? asks Bob Castro, a chicano
activist in Los Angeles. "Why do they beat us and
throw us into prison? Why do they insult our language,
culture and history? Why do they call us names?
Why do they hate us.?"
Newsweek, June 29, 1970, pp. 27-30.
BROWN BERETS AND CHICANO LIBERATION
the following account historian Rodolfo Acuna describes the
Brown Berets who emerged in the East Los Angeles barrio in the
Most Chicano organizations have had defensive postures and have
reacted to crisis situations. These organizations, for
the most part, have worked within the system and have been reform
oriented. The Brown Berets is an exception; it is one
of the few Chicano organizations advocating physical measures
to defend the Chicano community's rights. The Brown Berets....
has aroused a fear in Anglo‑Americans that a Chicano group
would counter U.S. oppression with its own violence. Whether
or not the threat was real is not at issue. More important
is that law enforcement authorities believed that the Brown
Berets were capable of violence or arousing this kind of action
in other groups. In effect, it is an affirmation of the
police's increasing awareness of the resentment toward police
brutality and the realization that the theme of liberation is
becoming more popular among Chicanos. The Brown Berets,
in effect, panicked police officials and exposed their basic
undemocratic attitudes toward Mexicans or groups attempting
to achieve liberation. This is especially true in Los
Angeles, where the Berets were founded. The police and
sheriff's departments there abandoned reason in harassing, intimidating,
and persecuting the Brown Berets in a way that no other Chicano
organization has experienced in recent times. Police and
sheriff's deputies raided the Berets, infiltrated them, libeled
and slandered them, and even encouraged counter groups to attack
the members. The objective was to destroy the Berets and
to invalidate the membership in the eyes of both the Anglo and
the Chicano communities.
The Brown Berets were formed in 1967 in East Los Angeles.
At first they were known as Young Citizens for Community Action
(YCCA). The group was sponsored by an interfaith church
organization, and its founding leader was David Sánchez, a teenager
from a lower‑class family. Four other Chicanos joined
Sánchez as charter members. In time, the group's defensive
posture crystallized, with the organization evolving from a
community service club into a quasi "alert patrol."
Later in the year, the YCCA opened a coffee shop called La
Piranya to raise operating expenses. Events meanwhile
forced the organization to become more militant; this is reflected
in the change in the group's name to the Young Chicanos for
Community Action. The members began to wear brown berets,
and they took on a paramilitary stance. The YCCA became
popularly known as the Brown Berets. This militant profile
attracted a large number of young Chicanos and had considerable
impact on the student organizations of the time. Simultaneously,
the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department began a vicious "bust
the Berets" operation. They raided them, picked up members,
and spread rumors that they were Communists.
Beret chapters spread throughout the Southwest and Midwest.
In Los Angeles, sheriff's deputies harassed the Brown Berets
and so disorganized them that they were forced to shut down
their coffee shop in March 1968. That same month, the
Berets were escalated into the national limelight by the East
Los Angeles school walkouts. There is little evidence
that the organization itself took a leadership role in planning
the walkouts, but as one observer stated: "When the crap
came down, the Berets were there, offering to serve and taking
the brunt of the police brutality. They were the shock
troops." During the walkout, the police and sheriffs departments
attempted to make the Brown Berets the scapegoats, branding
them as outside agitators, while playing down the legitimate
grievances of the Chicano students. A grand jury later
indicted 13 Chicanos on conspiracy charges stemming from the
walkout; seven were Brown Berets. This case was appealed
and later declared unconstitutional, but only after three years
of legal harassment. As the police and sheriff's repression
increased, the popularity of the group spread. Ironically, the
only offensive action during this time was on the part of law
Meanwhile, obvious parallels between the Brown Berets and the
Black Panthers emerged. Both organizations were paramilitary,
and they had a similar organizational structure, e.g., the prime
minister, the ministers of defense, education, etc. There
were also very real differences: the Black Panthers evolved
from a Poverty Agency, whereas the Berets were much younger
and their base was the barrio. In addition, the Black
Panthers attracted many middle‑class Black intellectuals
as well as white radicals (nonmembers); whereas the leadership
of the Berets was primarily comprised of high school dropouts
who were highly suspicious of educated Chicanos and who almost
totally rejected Anglos. Moreover, the Panthers have received
considerable financial support from the Anglo‑American
liberal community; the Berets operated with no budget.
The lack of funds prevented the Berets from building a Panther‑like
network among its own chapters, and they were not able to attract
high‑powered legal assistance to advertise the police
harassment of the group, or to obtain editorial help in producing
The Berets inspired a revolutionary fervor in many youth, especially
those in their early teens, who not only wanted to defend themselves,
but wanted to stand up and fight. The Battle of Algiers,
a film depicting the Algerian struggle against the French, became
a model. These youth were attracted by the physical nature
of the Beret‑defined form of confrontation. Moreover,
the Berets... attracted the street batos (guys) who directly
felt the oppression of the police and the street. At the
same time, the batos were alienated from the mainstream
of the Chicano community, which did not understand their hybrid
culture or, many times, their frustrations. Unable to
articulate their feelings or their grievances, the uniform and
the paramilitary nature of the group gave members and nonmembers
the feeling that they could strike back in the manner that they
felt and understood best--physically.
The ability to serve and to protect the Chicano barrio by any
means necessary provided a link with the Chicano community.
The Berets evolved into a radical group. Imbued with the politics
of liberation, they dealt with the immediate needs of the barrio--food,
housing, unemployment, education, etc.. Their philosophy has
been molded by the conflict and the street.... A basic
weakness in the Brown Berets is that it does not have the strong
family structure that has heretofore marked survival and success
for most Chicano organizations. It has not been accepted
as the "Army of the Brown People." ....Its attempt
to operate a free clinic in East Los Angeles, for example, has
been frustrated by outside interference such as police harassment
and Red‑baiting. Nonetheless, despite the failures,
the Brown Berets are important, because they are one of the
few Chicano groups that have not attempted to work entirely
within the civil rights framework of the present reform movement.
They are the bridge between the groups of the past and those
of liberation, which shall become more offensive.
Rodolfo Acuna, Occupied America: The Chicano's Struggle Toward
Liberation (New York, 1972), pp. 231-233.
a psychiatrist and noted author on racial attitudes, wrote an
article titled "The White Northerner: Pride and Prejudice,"
which attempted to explain the "backlash," the growing
white resentment of black civil rights gains in the 1960s.
In the part of the article reprinted below Coles allows a Boston
housewife to explain her fears following the integration of
the nearby public school in 1967.
Why do they do it? [Call for integrated schools] I don't understand
them at all. They have their own people, just as we do,
but suddenly they're not happy together. They want to
go here and there, and send their children everywhere.
All you hear these days is news about them. You'd think
Negroes were the only people in America that have a tough time.
What about the rest of us? Who comes here asking us how
we get by, or how we feel about what we had to go through?
They may be poorer than a lot of white people, but no by very
much. Anyway, what they don't get in money they more than gain
in popularity these days. The papers have suddenly decided
that the Negro is teacher's pet. Whatever he does good
is wonderful, and we should clap. But if he does anything
bad, it's our fault. I can't read the papers anymore when
they talk about the race thing. I'm sick of their editorials.
All of a sudden they start giving us a lecture every day on
how bad we are. They never used to care about anything,
the Negro or anything else. Now they're so worried.
And the same goes with the Church. I'm as devout a Catholic
as you'll find around. My brother is a priest, and I do more
than go to Church once a week. But I just can't take what
some of our priests are saying these days. They're talking
as if we did something wrong for being white. I don't
understand it all. Priests never used to talk about the
Negro when I was a child. Now they talk to my kids about
them all the time. I thought the Church is supposed to
stand for religion, and eternal things.
I went to school here in Boston, and nobody was talking about
Negroes and busing us around. The Negroes were in Roxbury
and we were here. Everybody can't live with you,
can they? Everybody likes his own. But now even
the school people tell us we have to have our kids with this
kind and that kind of person, or else they will be hurt, or
something. Now how am I supposed to believe everything
all these people say? They weren't talking that way a
few years ago. The governor wasn't either. Nor the mayor.
The same with those people out in the suburbs. Suddenly
they're interested in the Negro. They worked and worked
to get away from him, of course, and get away from us, too.
That's why they moved so far, instead of staying here, where
they can do something, if they meant so well. But no.
They moved and now they're all ready to come back‑‑but
only to drive a few Negro kids out for a Sunday picnic.
Who has to live with all this, and pay for it in taxes and everything?
Whose kids are pushed around? And who gets called `prejudiced'
and all the other sneery words? I've had enough of it.
It's hypocrisy, right down the line. And we're the ones
who get it; the final buck gets passed to us.
A. Bailey & David M. Kennedy, The American Spirit,
Vol. II, (Lexington, Mass, 1984), pp. 997, 999.
PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY: THE
PORT HURON STATEMENT
In 1962 the Students for a
Democratic Society (SDS) issued the Port Huron Statement which
outlined their vision of a just society. Part of the statement
In a participatory
democracy, the political life would be based on several root
principles: That decision-making of basic social consequence
be carried on by public groupings; that politics be seen positively
as the art of collectively creating an acceptable pattern of
social relations; that politics has the function of bringing
people out of isolation and into community, this being a necessary,
but not sufficient, way of finding meaning in personal life;
that the political order should serve to clarify problems in
a way instrumental to their solution; it should provide outlets
for the expression of personal grievance and aspiration; opposing
views should be organized so as to illuminate choices and facilitate
the attainment of goals; channels should be commonly available
to relate men to knowledge and to power so that private problems
from bad recreation facilities to personal alienation are formulated
as general issues.
sphere would have as its basis the principles: That work should
involve incentives worthier than money or survival. It
should be educative, not stultifying; creative, not mechanical;
self-direct, not manipulated; encouraging independence, a respect
for others, a sense of dignity and a willingness to accept social
responsibility, since it is this experience that has crucial
influence on habits, perceptions and individual ethics;
That the economic
experience is so personally decisive that the individual must
share in its full determination;
That the economy
itself is of such social importance that its major resources
and means of production should be open to democratic participation
and subject to democratic social regulation...
Source: Jack Newfield, A
Prophetic Minority (New York, 1966), pp. 125-126.
YOUNG AMERICANS FOR FREEDOM
In 1960 ninety college students
from 24 states, representing 44 colleges and universities met
at the estate of William F. Buckley, Jr., in Sharon, Connecticut
to form the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). Their founding
statement appears below.
In this time of moral and political
crisis, it is the responsibility of the youth of America to
affirm certain eternal truths.
We, as young
among the transcendent values is the individual's use of his
God-given free will, whence derives his right to be free from
the restrictions of arbitrary force.;
is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist
without economic freedom;
That the purposes
of government are to protect these freedoms through the preservation
of internal order, the provision of national defense, and the
administration of justice;
That when government
ventures beyond these rightful functions, it accumulates power
which tends to diminish order and liberty;
That the Constitution
of the United States is the best arrangement yet devised for
empowering government to fulfill its proper role, while restraining
it from the concentration and abuse of power;
That the genius
of the Constitution--the division of powers--is summed up in
the clause which reserves primacy to the several states, or
to the people, in those spheres not specifically delegated to
the Federal Government;
That the market
economy, allocating resources by the free play of supply and
demand, is the single economic system compatible with the requirements
of personal freedom and constitutional government, and that
it is at the same time the most productive supplier of human
That when government
interferes with the work of the market economy, it tends to
reduce the moral and physical strength of the nation; that when
it takes from one man to bestow on another, it diminishes the
incentive of the first, the integrity of the second, and the
moral autonomy of both;
That we will
be free only so long as the national sovereignty of the United
States is secure; that history show periods of freedom are rare,
and can exist only when free citizens concertedly defend their
rights against all enemies;
That the forces
of international Communism are, at present, the greatest single
threat to these liberties;
That the United
States should stress victory over, rather than coexistence with,
this menace; and
foreign policy must be judged by this criterion; does it serve
the just interests of the United States?
Source: Gregory L. Schneider,
ed., Conservatism in America Since 1930 (New York, 2003),
SEATTLE'S FIRST ANTI-WAR PROTEST
In the passage below, Walt
Crowley recalls the first protest march in Seattle against the
War in Vietnam. The march took place on October 16, 1965,
and involved 350 demonstrators who gathered in front of the
Federal Court House and proceeded to the Westlake Mall.
In contrast marches the day before in Oakland and New York City
involved 10,000 protestors in each city.
16, Seattle experience its first antiwar march led by the UW
SDS and "Seattle Committee to End the War in Vietnam"
(SCEWV). I was among the nervous 350 or so who gathered
in front of the Federal Court House that morning. We marched
down two lanes of Fourth Avenue, herded by motorcycle police
and taunted as Communists and traitors by passing motorists,
to a noon rally beneath the old Monorail station at Westlake
Mall. Our every move was photographed by men with crew cuts
who aimed cameras at us from doorways and rooftops.
An ugly crowd
surrounded us at Westlake, and they tried to drown out our speakers
by singing the Mickey Mouse Club anthem. When UW Professor
Paul Brass began his remarks, a man rushed up and doused him
with red paint. He later identified himself to the press
as, paradoxically, "Joe Freedom." He turned
out to be one of Brass's students. There were a few scuffles
when the rally broke up, but all of us got home with our skin,
if not our nerves, intact.
The press coverage
was nasty and the public response was hostile. Both the
P-I and the Times editorialized that students
were allowing themselves to be duped and exploited by Communists.
The Seattle Jaycees urged everyone to turn their lights on during
the day to endorse the war and 10,000 pro-war anti-protestors
marched in New York City.
also dying: 240 fell in a single week in November , more
than had died in the previous year. [Defense Secretary
Robert] McNamara boasted, if that is the right word, that "we
have stopped losing the war," but Senator Edward Kennedy,
passing through Seattle warned, "We are deluding ourselves
to think there is going to be a quick solution in Vietnam."
20, B-52s began bombing North Vietnam's primary seaport at Haiphong.
Three days later, President Johnson halted all bombing in the
north as a "gesture of peace." On Christmas
Day Tom Hayden and Quaker activist Staughton Lynd arrived in
Hanoi on the first of many such pilgrimages.
The year ended
with 184,000 U.S. troops deployed in Vietnam, and a combat death
toll of 1,350 accumulated since the U.S. started counting in
1961. Most had fallen in the past six months. Everyone
knew much worse was to come. The national mood was summed
up by the surprise hit song of 1965, written by P. F. Sloan
and intoned in urgent, rasping tones by Barry McGuire: "And
tell me over and over again, my friend, you don't believe we're
on the eve of destruction."
Source: Walt Crowley, Rites
of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle,
1995), pp. 45-46.
BETTY FREIDAN ON "THE
PROBLEM THAT HAS NO NAME"
The following are excerpts from
Betty Freidan's 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique.
lay buried, unspoken, for many years in the minds of American
women. It was a strange stirring, a sense of dissatisfaction,
a yearning that women suffered in the middle of the twentieth
century in the United States. Each suburban wife struggled
with it alone. As she made the beds, shopped for groceries,
matched slipcover material, ate peanut butter sandwiches with
her children, chauffeured Cub Scouts and Brownies, lay besides
her husband at night--she was afraid to ask even of herself
the silent question--"Is this all?"
For over fifteen
years there was no word of this yearning in the millions of
words written about women, for women, in all the columns, books
and articles by experts telling women their role was to seek
fulfillment as wives and mothers...Experts told them how to
catch a man and keep him, how to breastfeed children and handle
their toilet training, how to cope with sibling rivalry and
adolescent rebellion; how to buy a dishwasher, bake break, cook
gourmet snails, and build a swimming pool with their own hands;
how to dress, look, and act more feminine and make marriage
more exciting... They were taught to pity the neurotic,
unfeminine, unhappy women who wanted to be poets or physicists
or presidents. They learned that truly feminine women
do not want careers, higher education, political rights--the
independence and opportunities that old fashioned feminists
fought for... A thousand expert voices applauded their
femininity, their adjustment, their new maturity. All
they had to do was devote their lives from earliest girlhood
to finding a husband and bearing children.
housewife--she was the dream image of the young American woman
and the envy, it was said, of women all over the world.
The American housewife--freed by science and labor-saving appliances
from drudgery, the dangers of childbirth and the illnesses of
her grandmother. She was healthy, beautiful, educated, concerned
only about heir husband, her children, her home. She had
found true feminine fulfillment. As a housewife and mother,
she was respected as a full and equal partner to man in his
world. She was free to choose automobiles, clothes, appliances,
supermarkets; she had everything that women ever dreamed of...
If a woman
had a problem in the 1950s and 1960s she knew that something
must be wrong with her marriage or herself. Other women
were satisfied with their lives, she thought. What kind
of woman was she if she did not feel this mysterious fulfillment
waxing the kitchen floor. She was so ashamed to admit
her dissatisfaction that she never know how many other women
shared it. If she tried to tell her husband, he didn't
understand what she was talking about. She did not really
understand it herself... "There's nothing wrong really,"
they kept telling themselves. "There isn't any problem..."
came to realize that the problem that has no name was shared
by countless women in America. As a magazine writer I
often interviewed women about problems with their children,
or their marriages, or their houses, or their communities...
Sometimes I sensed the problem not as a reporter, but as a suburban
housewife, for during this time I was also bringing up my own
three children in Rockland County, New York. I heard echoes
of the problem in college dormitories and semi-private maternity
wards, at PTA meetings and luncheons of the League of Women
Voters...in station wagons waiting for trains... The groping
words I heard from other women, on quiet afternoons when children
were at school or on quiet evenings when husbands worked late,
I think I understood first as a woman long before I understood
their larger social and psychological implications.
Just what was
this problem with no name? What were the words women used
when they tried to express it? Sometimes a woman would
say "I feel empty somehow...incomplete." Or
she would say, "I feel as if I don't exist."
Sometimes she blotted out the feeling with a tranquilizer.
Sometimes she thought the problem was with her husband, or her
children, or that what she really needed was to redecorate her
house, or move to a better neighborhood, or have an affair,
or another baby... Most [women] adjusted to their role
and suffered or ignored the problem that has no name.
It can be less painful for a woman, not to hear their strange,
dissatisfied voice stirring within her.
It is no longer
possible to ignore that voice, to dismiss the desperation of
so many American women. This is not what being a woman
means no matter what the experts say... I do not accept
the answer that there is no problem because American women have
luxuries that women in other times and lands never dreamed of;
part of the strange newness of this problem is that it cannot
be understood in terms of the age-old material problems of man:
poverty, sickness, hunger, cold. The women who suffer
this problem has a hunger that food cannot fulfill. It
persists in women whose husbands are struggling interns and
law clerks, or prosperous doctors and lawyers; in wives of workers
and executives who make $5,000 a year or $50,000...
It is no longer
possible to blame the problem on loss of femininity; to say
that education and independence and equality with men have made
American women unfeminine...the problem cannot be understood
in the generally accepted terms by which scientists have studies
women, doctors have treated them, counselors have advised them,
and writers have written about them. Women who suffer
this problem, in whom the voice is stirring, have lived their
whole lives in the pursuit of feminine fulfillment. They
are not career women (although career women may have other problems);
they are women whose greatest ambition has been marriage and
children. For the oldest of these women, these daughters
of the American middle class, no other dream was possible.
The ones in their forties and fifties who once had other dreams
gave them up and threw themselves joyously into life as housewives.
For the youngest, the new wives and mothers, this was the only
dream. They are the ones who quit high school and college
to marry, or marked time in some job in which they had no real
interest until they married. These women are very "feminine"
in the usual sense, and yet they still suffer the problem.
If I am right,
the problem that has no name stirring in the minds of so many
American women today...is far more important than anyone recognizes.
It is the key to...problems which have been torturing women
and their husbands and children, and puzzling their doctors
and educators for years. It may well be the key to our
future as a nation and a culture. We can no longer ignore
that voice within women that says: "I want something more
than my husband and my children and my home."
Source: The Feminine Mystique
(New York, 1963), pp. 11-16, 21-22, 27
Organization of Women was organized in 1966 to campaign for
women's rights. Here are excerpts from the founding statement
of the organization.
WE, men and women who hereby constitute ourselves as the National
Organization for Women, believe that the time has come for a
new movement toward true equality for all women in America,
and toward a fully equal partnership of the sexes, as part of
the world‑wide revolution of human rights now taking place
within and beyond our national borders.
The purpose of NOW is to take action to bring women into full
participation in the mainstream of American society now, exercising
all the privileges and responsibilities thereof in truly equal
partnership with men...
There is no civil rights movement to speak for women, as there
has been for Negroes and other victims of discrimination.
The National Organization for Women must therefore begin to
WE BELIEVE that the power of American law, and the protection
guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution to the civil rights of all
individuals, must be effectively applied and enforced to isolate
and remove patterns of sex discrimination, to ensure equality
of opportunity in employment and education, and equality of
civil and political rights and responsibilities on behalf of
women, as well as for Negroes and other deprived groups...
WE DO NOT ACCEPT the token appointment of a few women to high‑level
positions in government and industry as a substitute for a serious
continuing effort to recruit and advance women according to
their individual abilities.
WE BELIEVE that this nation has a capacity at least as great
as other nations, to innovate new social institutions which
will enable women to enjoy true equality of opportunity and
responsibility in society, without conflict with their responsibilities
as mothers and homemakers.
WE BELIEVE that it is as essential for every girl to be educated
to her full potential of human ability as it is for every boy‑‑with
the knowledge that such education is the key to effective participation
in today's economy...
WE REJECT the current assumption that a man must carry the sole
burden of supporting himself, his wife, and family, and that
a woman is automatically entitled to lifelong support by a man
upon her marriage, or that marriage, home and family are primarily
woman's world and responsibility‑‑hers, to dominate,
his to support.
WE BELIEVE that women must now exercise their political rights
and responsibilities as American citizens. They must refuse
to be segregated on the basis of sex into separate‑and‑not‑equal
ladies' auxiliaries in the political parties....
IN THE INTERESTS OF THE HUMAN DIGNITY OF WOMEN, we will protest
and endeavor to change the false image of women now prevalent
in the mass media, and in the texts, ceremonies, laws, and practices
of our major social institutions.
WE BELIEVE THAT women will do most to create a new image of
women by acting now, and by speaking out in behalf of their
own equality, freedom, and human dignity.
Mary Beth Norton, Major Problems in American Women's History
Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath and Company, 1989), pp. 397‑400.
RIGHTS AMENDMENT AND ROE V. WADE
in the 1970s, the Equal Rights Amendment and the U.S. Supreme
Court Decision on abortion in Roe v. Wade, have come to symbolize
the complex issues raised by the feminist movement and reflect
the deep divisions among women and men as to the implications
of sexual equality. The ERA is reprinted below as well
as excerpts from the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973.
Rights Amendment, 1972
Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged
by the United States or by any State on account of sex.
The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate
legislation, the provisions of this article.
This Amendment shall take effect two years after the date of
Roe v. Wade:
We forthwith acknowledge our awareness of the sensitive
and emotional nature of the abortion controversy, of the vigorous
opposing views, even among physicians, and of the deep and seemingly
absolute convictions that the subject inspires. One's
philosophy...religious training...attitude toward life and family
and their values, and the moral standards one establishes...
are all likely to influence and to color one's thinking and
conclusions about abortion.
In addition, population growth, pollution, poverty, and racial
overtones tend to complicate and not to simplify the problem.
It perhaps is not generally appreciated that the restrictive
criminal abortion laws in effect in a majority of States today
are of relatively recent vintage... They derive from statutory
changes effected, for the most part, in the latter half of the
The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy.
In a line of decisions, however, the Court has recognized that
a right of personal privacy, or a guarantee of certain areas
or zones of privacy, does exist under the Constitution... This
right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's
concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action...or
in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people,
is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not
to terminate her pregnancy.
The appellee and certain amici argue that the fetus is a "person"
within the language and meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment...
The Constitution does not define "person" in so many
words... But in nearly all of the instances the use of
the word is such that it has application only postnatally.
None indicates, with any assurance, that it has any possible
Mary Beth Norton, Main Problems in American Women's History
(Lexington, Mass: D.C. Heath, 1989), pp. 422, 425‑427.
ACT OF 1965
In the passage
below historians Roger Waldinger and Mehdi Bozorgmehr describe
the impact of the 1965 Immigration Act on the United States
with particular reference to Los Angeles, the destination for
the largest number of newcomers.
Passage of the Hart-Celler Act in 1965 provided the conventional
date for the onset of the new immigration the United States.
The 1965 reform transformed the immigration system with
a few bold strokes. First, it abolished the old country-of-origins
quotas, which allotted small quotas to southern and eastern
Europe and still smaller--almost prohibitively small--quotas
to Asia. Second, it established two principal criteria
for admission to the United States: family ties to citizens
or permanent residents or possession of scarce and needed skills.
Third, it increased the total numbers of immigrants to be admitted
to the United States...
The reformers thought that the new act would keep immigration
to modest proportions. But for various reasons the numbers
quickly spiraled; 7.3 million new immigrants arrived into the
United States during the 1980s, an influx second only to the
peak of 8.8 million newcomers recorded during the first decade
of the 20th Century. To be sure, at 8%, the immigrants
constituted a far more modest share of the nation's population
in 1990 than was true in 1910, when fifteen of every hundred
Americans were foreign-born. Still, the 1990 level represented
a substantial increase over the 5% level recorded when the foreign-born
share of the U.S. population hit its historic nadir in 1970.
A second unexpected twist concerned the act's beneficiaries.
The 1965 legislation was principally targeted at eastern and
southern Europeans, the groups hardest hit by the nativist legislation
of the 1920s. By the 1960s, however, workers from Italy
or Yugoslavia had fallen out of the orbit of trans-Atlantic
migration. Instead, the newcomers who took advantage of
the newly liberalized system came from Asia, Latin American
and the countries of the Caribbean.
What no one expected in 1965 was the burgeoning of Asian immigration...
The 1965 reforms created opportunities for immigrants whose
skills--as engineers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists--were in
short supply. Along with students already living in the
United States, who enjoyed easy access to American employers,
these professionals made up the first wave of new immigrants,
in turn creating the basis for the kinship migration of less-well
educated relatives. The system was sufficiently flexible
for longer-established groups, like the Chinese, to renew migration
streams while also allowing entirely new groups--most notably
Koreans and Asian Indians--to put a nucleus in place and then
Political developments added momentum to the migrant flow across
the Pacific... Unexpected pressures repeatedly forced
the United States to expand greatly its admission of refugees.
The collapse of the U.S.-supported regime in South Vietnam,
followed by Communist takeovers in Cambodia and Laos, triggered
a sudden, massive outflow of refugees, many of whom settled
on the West Coast... By the 1980s, Asia emerged as the number
two source area of the foreign-born, accounting for 37% of all
Asian immigrants passed through the front door opened by the
1965 reforms... Mexican and later on Central Americans were
more likely to come through the back door of unauthorized migration.
The immediate roots of Mexican unauthorized migration lie in
the Bracero Program begun during the Second Word War to eliminated
the shortage of agricultural workers. Ostensibly, the
Bracero Program was destined for a short existence, and the
workers it imported were supposed to head back to Mexico after
a short stint of temporary labor in the U.S. But the influence
of agribusiness kept the Bracero Program alive until 1963, and
with time, an increasing number of migrants dropped out of the
bracero stream, heading for better jobs in Los Angeles, San
Francisco and other urban areas. By 1964...networks between
the United States and villages throughout Mexico's central plateau
were already in place, providing all the information and connections
needed to keep the migrants coming, whether or not they had
While Mexicans were drawn by the inducements of American employers,
the Salvadorans and Guatemalans who headed for the U.S. border
in increasing numbers in the late 1970s and afterwards were
responding to different factors. Like the Vietnamese,
Cambodians, and Laotians, the Central Americans were escaping
political unrest, but unlike their Asian counterparts, the Central
Americans had the bad fortune to be fleeing right-wing regimes
propped up with U.S. government support. Hence, these
newcomers mainly moved across the border as unauthorized migrants...
Just how many newcomers have arrived without authorization has
long been a matter of dispute; wildly disparate estimates...ranging
from 2 to 12 million are stock-in-trade... [The best estimate]
suggests about 2 to 4 million residing in the United States
as of 1980, of whom over half had come from Mexico...
Given the many circumstances of migration, it should be no surprise
that the newcomers of the post-1965 years are an extraordinarily
diverse lot... The extraordinary educational differences
among various immigrant groups suggest that skill levels
have gone up and down. Highly educated professionals
and managers dominate some streams, most notably those from
the Middle East, Africa, South and Southeast Asia; among many
of these groups, median levels of schooling leave America's
native white workers far behind. Manual workers with little
schooling predominate among other groups--Mexicans are the most
conspicuous example--and the contribution of low-skilled workers
to America's immigrant pool has risen substantially in recent
Roger Waldinger and Mehdi Bozorgmehr, Ethnic
York, 1996) pp. 9-12.
TO THE UNITED STATES, 1940-1979
Number of Immigrants
of Immigrants By Country of Origin
South and Central America\West
France, Switzerland &
BACKGROUNDS OF IMMIGRANTS, 1820-1979
Lewis Todd and Merle Curti, Rise of the American Nation,
(New York, 1982), pp. 798, 843.
AMERICAN POLITICAL ACTIVISM SINCE 1965
brief discussion below Sucheng Chan describes the growing
importance of "grassroots" political activism
among younger Asian Americans. Her assessment challenges
the widely held belief of political apathy within Asian
Very few Asian Americans participated in the civil rights
movement in the early 1960s., but the movement against U.S.
involvement in the war in Vietnam caught their attention
in the late 1960s. With the help of the television
evening news, an increasing number of Asian American college
and high school students realized with a shock that the
"enemy" whom American soldiers were maiming and
killing had faces like their own. A number of the
more radical students began to think of the war not only
as an imperialist but also a racist one.
Young Asian Americans, as well as youth of other backgrounds,
also drew inspiration from China's Great Proletarian Cultural
Revolution...in the ten years between 1966 and 1976.
The Cultural Revolution, an officially sanctioned campaign
by young Red Guards against a segment of China's political
establishment, fired the imagination of rebellious students
everywhere. Bookstores in the United States that imported
the red plastic-covered booklets containing the sayings
of Mao Zedong did a thriving business. Like the Red
Guards in China, many Asian American students, along with
their black, Chicano, and white peers, waved the pocket-sized
talismans as they marched in demonstrations against the
war in Vietnam, for civil rights, for racial pride, and
for the establishment of ethnic studies courses and programs.
The activists eagerly adopted the Chinese Communists' political
work style; they held long meetings, practiced collective
leadership, and engaged in sectarian struggles. But
since there was no "countryside" to go to, where
they might learn from "the masses"--as the Red
Guards in China were doing--the Asian American activists
descended on their surprised communities. Some members
of these communities--especially the leaders of the traditional
organizations--looked askance at the students' unkempt long
hair, Mao jackets, and rude (and terribly un-Asian) manners.
Nonetheless, the activists tried to organize garment and
restaurant workers; set up social service agencies; recruit
individuals to leftist organizations, which mushroomed overnight;
and protested against a variety of ills. These included
not only those created by American racism and capitalism
but also those spawned by the increasing presence of Asian
"flight capital," which allowed entrepreneurs
from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, and various
other Asian metropolises to buy up buildings in the major
Chinatowns and Japantowns of America, driving real estate
prices sky high and causing severe hardship on the old residents.
The political activists were of two kinds: radicals who
were mostly concerned with articulating the "correct"
leftist political "lines" and reformers who put
their energy primarily into setting up legal aid organizations,
health clinics, and bilingual programs for the elderly and
youth. In the long run, the former has had relatively
little effect, but many of the agencies set up by the latter
have remained. They continue to render important assistance
to the needy and have been crucial in providing services
to non-English-speaking new immigrants.
Within the political arena, the radicals were initially
firmly opposed to "bourgeois" electoral politics,
but a number of them later became actively involved in Jesse
Jackson's Rainbow Coalition. Some of the reformers,
meanwhile, have run for office or supported candidates.
Ironically, those who paved the way for Asian American involvement
in mainstream politics are now slowly outnumbered by more
conservative individuals who support the domestic and foreign
policies and programs of the Reagan and Bush administrations.
The new immigrants who have come in search of a good life
under capitalism, as well as the refugees who risked their
lives to escape communism, are natural allies for the Republican
Sucheng Chan, Asian Americans: An Interpretive History
(Boston, 1991), pp. 174-175.
OF PROSPERITY: NEWPORT AND LATINO IMMIGRATION
In a 1992
Register-Guard article, reporter Larry Bacon describes the
experiences of recently arrived Latino immigrants in Newport,
Oregon. Here is his account.
Tamayo and Jesus Hernandez came to Newport in search of
a better lives for themselves and their families Tamayo,
37, a former shoemaker from the industrial city of Purisime
del Bustos in central Mexico, left his family behind and
came to Newport four years ago when there were few Hispanics
in the area Hernandez, 23, a former fisherman from the seacoast
city of Puerto Angel in the south of Mexico, arrived in
March with his wife and two children. At the same
time Hernandez arrived, hundreds of other Hispanics also
came looking for jobs in Newport's new whiting processing
industry. The workers brought racial diversity to
a community where few people of color have lived before.
But life in the United States is not always easy for the
two men, and their dreams have proved somewhat elusive.
Yet Tamayo has grown comfortable with his new life in Newport.
He's learned to speak English fairly well. He has
friends in both the Anglo and Hispanic communities.
He's been able to find enough work at the seafood plants
to stay employed almost year-round. He makes from
$18,000 to $24,000 a year‑‑much more than he
could hope to make in Mexico‑‑and still spends
two months each winter at home with his family.
Even though he hopes to bring his family to this country
someday, he has some reservations. "I am afraid the
white people have prejudice about my kids," he says.
Most of the prejudice he's experienced has not been not
overt "It's something you can feel when they see you."
He recalls a white co-worker telling him a joke based on
the racial stereotype that Mexicans steal. "It's like
he was trying to be nice, but at the same time‑‑put
the knife inside," Tamayo says. Prejudice kept the
local Eagles lodge from accepting him as a member, both
he and a lodge official say. Tamayo rejected a friend's
advice to sue the lodge for discrimination, however. "I
don't want to make trouble with anybody," he says.
Dick Gearin, president of the Eagles lodge, says Tamayo
and three other Hispanics were "blackballed" by
three members who were angry about problems some other Hispanics
had caused at a lodge function. At the time, three
negative votes could bar anyone from membership. Gearin,
who helped sponsor Tamayo..., says he and most other lodge
members were so upset by the blackballing that they changed
the rules. Now members are admitted by majority vote.
Tamayo and his friends have since joined the Eagles lodge
at nearby Toledo.
Meanwhile, Hernandez and his wife, Saray Gabriel Luna, are
less concerned about prejudice than learning English and
making their way in a new country. They say they have made
Anglo friends who have been warm and friendly. The friends,
primarily from their church, have invited them to dinner
and given them clothes for their children.
They have had help learning American ways from Luna's older
sister, Maria Luisa Dale, who married an Anglo and moved
to Newport eight years ago. The young newcomers lived
with the Dalles for four months until they could rent a
one-bedroom apartment of their own.
dreams of making enough in the fish plants to return to
Puerto Angel and buy a small fishing boat for about $3,000.
But it is expensive for them to live in Newport, and they
have saved little so far. Their salaries‑‑$5.75
an hour for him and $5.25 an hour for her part-time work‑‑are
eaten up by living expenses, particularly rent. Their
tiny apartment costs $340 a month. Now the whiting
season is over, and they have both been laid off. They are
looking for any type of work to tide them over until whiting
season begins again next April...
Eugene Register-Guard, November 8, 1992, p. 1
ATTITUDES TOWARD GOVERNMENT
the 1930s when the United States was in the throes of the
Great Depression most Americans welcomed and indeed demanded
an activist government that would reinvigorate the economy
and protect their rights. Over the years however,
attitudes toward government and what it can and should accomplish
have undergone a dramatic shift. The quotes from four
American Presidents reflect that shift.
The liberal party is a party which believes that, as new
conditions and problems arise beyond the power of men and
women to meet as individuals, it becomes the duty of the
Government itself to find new remedies with which to meet
them. The liberal party insists that the Government
has the definite duty to use all its power and resources
to meet new social problems with new social controls‑‑to
insure to the average person the right to his own economic
and political life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
D. Roosevelt, June
Statements are made labeling the Federal Government an outsider,
an intruder, an adversary... The people of this (TVA) area
know that the United States Government is not a stranger
or not an enemy. It is the people of fifty states
joining in a national effort... Only a great national
effort by a great people working together can explore the
mysteries of space, harvest the products at the bottom of
the ocean, and mobilize the human, natural, and material
resources of our lands.
F. Kennedy, May 18, 1963
Government cannot solve our problems. It can't set
our goals. It cannot define our vision. Government
cannot eliminate poverty, or provide a bountiful economy,
or reduce inflation, or save our cities, or cure illiteracy,
or provide energy.
Carter, January 19, 1978
Government is not the solution to our problem. Government
is the problem.
Reagan, January 20, 1981
John M. Blum, The National Experience:
A History of the United
(New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989), p. 812.
that follows is a brief description of the worst political
scandal in the history of the United States.
The capture of five burglars inside the Democratic National
Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington,
D.C., on June 17, 1972, had aroused widespread suspicion
about White House involvement. Despite official denials,
two investigative reporters of The Washington Post, Carl
Bernstein and Bob Woodward, printed stories claiming that
the burglars had obtained money from the Committee for the
Re-election of the President (popularly known as CREEP)
and that illegal campaign contributions had been "laundered"
in Mexican banks. "What really hurts,” replied
President Nixon in a news conference on August 29, "is
if you try to cover it up... I can state categorically that
no one in the White House staff, no one in this administration,
presently employed, was involved in this very bizarre incident.”
Two weeks later, a federal grand jury indicted the five
burglars as well as two former White House aides, Gordon
Liddy and E. Howard Hunt, on charges of tapping telephones,
electronic surveillance, and theft of documents. "We
have absolutely no evidence to indicate that any others
should be charged,” announced a Justice Department
The trial of the Watergate burglars opened in January 1973
in the court of Judge John Sirica... Four of the burglars,
all connected to the anti-Castro Cuban community of Miami
and believed to have participated in the CIA-backed Bay
of Pigs fiasco, maintained silence by pleading guilty.
Hunt, Liddy, and former CIA operative James McCord were
also convicted. But unlike his codefendants, McCord,
determined to protect the CIA, and in the process, save
his own skin, refused to participate further in the Watergate
cover-up. In a letter to Sirica in March 1973, McCord
admitted that “political pressure” had led the
defendants to plead guilty, that perjury had been committed,
and that the web of complicity reached high into the administration...
Persuaded that the Nixon White House would never adequately
investigate itself...the Senate established the Ervin committee
to probe possible violations of campaign law. Nixon,
fearing exposure of the Watergate cover-up and confident
in his ability to defy congressional power, promptly announced
his refusal to cooperate with the Senate on the grounds
of “executive privilege.”
“Executive poppycock,” retorted Ervin.
White House personnel were not“nobility and royalty,”he
stated, and would face arrest if they refused to appear
before a congressional committee.
On April 17, 1973, White House press secretary Ron Ziegler
announced the discovery of new evidence that made all previous
statements about Watergate“inoperative.” The
President told a stunned television audience that four major
advisers--H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, John Dean, and
Attorney General Richard Kleindienst—had resigned
because of the Watergate affair, but that Nixon alone, as
chief executive, was responsible for what he termed “a
series of illegal acts and bad judgments by a number of
individuals.”Nixon pledged to "bring the guilty...to
The President named as attorney general Elliot Richardson,“a
man of incomparable integrity and rigorously high principle,”
and agreed to appoint an independent special prosecutor
to deal with the Watergate case. In May, Richardson
selected...Archibald Cox. “I have the greatest confidence
in the President,” maintained House Minority Leader
Gerald Ford, “and am absolutely positive he had nothing
to do with this mess.”
On Friday, the thirteenth of July...former White House appointments
secretary Alexander Butterfield was describing the administration's
office procedures when an investigator asked about the possibility
of recording presidential conversations. “I was hoping
you fellows wouldn't ask me about that,”replied Butterfield.
The President ordered the Secret Service to install voice-activated
tape recorders in White House offices to preserve a historical
record. Such tapes...promised to resolve the conflicting
testimony presented to the Ervin committee, would reveal
at last who had told the truth and who had lied.
On July 31, 1973, Representative Robert F. Drinan, a Catholic
priest from Massachusetts, introduced a resolution listing
four presidential actions—the bombing of Cambodia,
the taping of conversations, the refusal to spend impounded
funds, and the establishment of a “super secret security
force within the White House”—as grounds for
impeachment. Public opinion polls found that large
majorities doubted the President’s honesty and most
Americans believed he had an obligation to surrender the
White House tapes... “It may well be,” wrote
columnist William Raspberry in The Washington Post, “that
the biggest threat to the presidency today is the President.”
As Nixon struggled to recapture public confidence, his administration
received a severe blow from its sturdiest supporter—Vice
President Agnew. On August 6, 1973, the Justice Department
revealed that the second highest executive officer was under
investigation for receiving bribes during his tenure as
governor of Maryland. “I am innocent of any wrongdoing,”
asserted the Vice President... But with the administration/s
credibility already suspect, Agnew could no longer rally
public support... Facing incontrovertible evidence
of bribery, even while serving in Washington, Agnew agreed...to
plea-bargain for a reduced sentence. On October 10,
1973, in exchange for his resignation, Agnew offered a “nolo
contendere” plea.. the full equivalent to a plea of
guilty--to a single count of income tax evasion, amounting
to $13,551.47. In leaving government service,
the former Vice President received a three-year suspended
sentence, a $10,000 fine, and a letter from Richard Nixon
expressing “a great sense of personal loss.”
The departure of Agnew also served the crucial symbolic
role of weakening public allegiance to the entire administration.
“We've demonstrated that we can replace a Vice President,"
remarked William Rusher, publisher of the conservative National
Review, “so I expect we could replace a President.”
After a decade of assassination—the sudden loss of
the two Kennedys, King, George Wallace—the idea of
finding substitute leadership no longer seemed odd or implausible.
On the day he announced [Gerald] Ford’s nomination
[as Vice President], an appellate court denied the President's
“incantation of the doctrine of separation of powers,”
rejected his claim “of special presidential immunities,”
and ordered him to produce the subpoenaed White House tapes
for Judge Sirica... Disregarding the court order, Nixon
announced his intention to comply with the spirit of the
ruling...by providing written summaries of the tapes...
The Ervin committee...consented to Nixon's compromise.
But prosecutor Cox questioned the reliability of such secondhand
evidence and rejected the proposal. “I think it is
my duty as the special prosecutor,” declared Cox in
a televised news conference on Saturday, October 20, 1973,
“to bring to the court’s attention what seems
to me to be noncompliance.”
Enraged by his subordinate’s audacity, Nixon immediately
ordered Attorney General Richardson to fire Cox. But
Richardson, having assumed office the previous April on
assurances that the President would not interfere with the
special prosecutor, refused the task and instead submitted
his resignation. Nixon then ordered deputy Attorney
General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. But he, too,
refused and was promptly fired by the President. Solicitor
General Robert Bork then assumed the attorney general's
post and executed the order.
This Saturday Night Massacre, reported immediately by the
television networks, provoked waves of protest that White
House Chief of Staff Alexander Haig likened to “a
fire storm.” “The office of the President does
not carry with it a license to destroy justice in America,”
objected Senator Robert Packwood. More than a quarter
of a million telegrams denouncing the President’s
action poured into Washington, and on Sunday huge crowds
surrounded the White House, urging passing motorists to
“honk for impeachment.” In the House of
Representatives, eighty-four congressmen sponsored twenty-two
different bills calling for Nixon’s impeachment, and
the Democratic leadership instructed the judiciary committee,
headed by Representative Peter Rodino of New Jersey, to
begin an impeachment inquiry.
The President's hope to restore public confidence in the
new year  abruptly collapsed when a panel of expert
technicians reported or January 15 that a particular eighteen-and-a-half
minute gap in conversation between Nixon and Haldeman had
been deliberately erased... “We know that there is
corruption in the... Oval Office,” concluded political
columnist George Will. Listing the names of all the
White House aides who had left the administration because
of Watergate--Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Colson, Dean, Strachan,
Porter, Caulfield, Ulasewicz, Mitchell, Stans, Hunt, Mardian,
Segretti, Liddy Kaimbach, McCord, Chapin, Gray, and Magruder-—Will
asked, “Of all the significant men who were around
the White House when the cover-up began [and], who are still
there providing the continuity in this ongoing cover-up,
one name,” he said, “springs to mind.”
In audacious attempt to preserve his administration, Nixon
commanded television airtime on April 29, 1974... Still
maintaining that "the President has nothing to hide,"
Nixon released a 1,308-page edited transcription of the
subpoenaed tapes, in place of the actual evidence.
The publication of the transcriptions revealed the most
intimate details of White House conversations and stripped
away the remaining shreds of presidential dignity. “We
have seen the private man and we are appalled,” commented
the conservative Chicago Tribune. “He is humorless
to the point of being inhumane. He is devious. He
is vacillating. He is profane. He is willing
to be led. He displays amazing gaps in his knowledge...his
loyalty is minimal.” “Nobody is a friend
of ours. Let’s face it,” said Nixon on
one of the tapes. Congressional leaders, embarrassed
and angered by such disclosures, prepared to take him at
[O]n July 27, the [House Judiciary] committee voted 27—11
to adopt the first article of impeachment, charging the
President with obstruction of justice for blocking a full
investigation of the Watergate affair. On July 29,
the committee recommended 28—10 the second article
of impeachment, accusing Nixon of abusing his powers of
office to violate constitutional rights. On July 30,
the committee approved 21—17 the third article of
impeachment, citing the chief executive's violations of
Certain that the full House would ratify the recommendations,
Nixon prepared to carry his fight to the Senate... On August
5, in an act of apparent political suicide, the President
released additional transcriptions of conversations which
showed unmistakably that on June 23, 1972, six days after
the Watergate burglary, Nixon personally ordered a halt
to a full investigation of the crime. Shocked by this
disclosure, Republican loyalists quickly withdrew their
remaining support... On August 7, three of the most powerful
Republicans on Capitol Hill, Senate Minority Leader Scott,
House Minority Leader John Rhodes, and Senator Barry Goldwater,
journeyed to the White House to confirm estimates of minimal
Facing certain conviction, the 37th President of the United
States addressed the American people for the 37th time on
August 8, 1974. “I have never been a quitter,”
he admitted. "To leave office before my term
is completed is opposed to every instinct in my body."
His struggle, he announced, would end the next day at noon.
For the first time, an American president had resigned.
In a somber White House, Nixon bade farewell to the members
of his administration on the morning of August 9. “Always
give your best,” advised the outgoing President. “Never
get discouraged. Never be petty. Always remember:
others may hate you. Those who hate you don't win
unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”
Source: Peter N. Carroll, It
Seemed Like Nothing Happened: The Tragedy and Promise of
America in the 1970s
(New York, 1982), p. 140-43, 145, 148-51, 153, 155-58.
RIGHTS: FROM STONEWALL TO SAN FRANCISCO
vignette below describes the gay-rights movement of the
The emergence of a gay life-style triggered a demand for
homosexual rights. Activists dated the beginning of gay
militancy to a hot June day in 1969 when New York City police
invaded a homosexual bar, the Stonewall Inn, and angry patrons
fought back. In subsequent years, numerous municipalities
enacted ordinances extending equal protection to homosexuals,
and a gay-rights bill lingered in Congress. Gay lobbyists
met with [President] Carter's aide Margaret Constanza to
seek the right to serve in the military, FBI, CIA, and the
State Department... Though Carter rejected the pressure,
he acknowledged the legal rights of gays. "I don't
feel that society, through its laws, ought to abuse or harass
the homosexual," he stated on Father's Day, 1977.
These assertions of gay rights...prompted a powerful backlash
that swept the nation in 1977. The issue coalesced
first in Miami, Florida, soon after the city adopted a law
prohibiting discrimination against homosexuals. "The
ordinance condones immorality, and discriminates against
my children's rights to grow up in a healthy, decent community,"
charged singer Anita Bryan, who quickly launched a Save
Our Children movement to overthrow this measure...
Fighting back, gay activists defined the issue as a defense
of civil rights. "Miami is our Selma," claimed
one gay activist, alluding to the black crusade of the sixties...
What if the people of Selma, Alabama, had been asked to
vote on equal rights for blacks in 1964?"
In June 1977, Miami voters spoke--by a two-to-one margin
rejecting the antidiscrimination ordinance. The outcome
outraged liberals through the nation. "Terribly wrong,"
commented San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, as five thousand
of his city's homosexuals marched in protest. In New
York City, angry gays paraded the streets chanting, "Gay
Division within the homosexual communities--distrust between
lesbians and gay men, disagreements between homosexuals
who urged anonymity and exhibitionists who flaunted their
preferences--left this group vulnerable to further attack...
In the spring of 1978, the spirit of Miami spread to St.
Paul, Minnesota, Wichita, Kansas and Eugene, Oregon [where]
popular referenda repealed existing antidiscrimination laws...
But in a hotly contested municipal election in Seattle,
voters overwhelmingly rejected an attempt to repeal a law
protecting civil rights regardless of sexual orientation.
San Francisco, with one of the largest homosexual communities
in the country, boasted a gay supervisor, Harvey Milk, first
elected in 1977, and a gay rights ordinance signed by Mayor
Moscone in 1978. [Yet even here] a substantial constituency
criticized gay rights and a conservative police department
resented the mayor's prohibition of the harassment of homosexuals.
The only supervisor to vote against the antidiscrimination
measure was a former policeman named Dan White who had campaigned
against "splinter groups of radicals, social deviates,
incorrigibles." Unable to influence municipal
policy, White overcame his political impotence with the
help of a police special .38 and a dozen hollowed bullets,
assassinating Moscone and Milk in their offices in November
1978. "If a bullet should enter my brain,"
Milk had prophetically tape-recorded his own eulogy, "let
that bullet destroy every closet door."
Source: Peter N. Carroll, It
Seemed Like Nothing Happened: The Tragedy and Promise of
America in the 1970s
(New York, 1982), pp. 290-293.
OPEC, THE WEST, AND THE POLITICS OF OIL
During the 1970s the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) dramatically, if temporarily,
changed the world balance of power by first embargoing and
then raising the price of oil sold to the West. Those
years of change are described in this excerpt from David
Halberstam's book, The Reckoning.
For twenty years the companies were able to stabilize the
posted price of oil─in effect, the price at which
they chose to sell (vastly above the cheap price at which
they bought)... From about 1948 to 1971 the price
was remarkably even, staying near $2 a barrel. But
beneath the seeming stability there was volatility.
For the first time the Arab nations began to talk of unity...
In 1967 the Egyptians and the Syrians attacked Israel in
what became known as the Six‑Day War. The speed
and completeness with which the Israelis defeated their
Arab opponents only made the Arabs more aware of their weakness
and deepened their rage... The impotence of the Arabs
simply created more contempt for them in the West.
But it was this demonstration of their own ineffectuality
that prompted real change, at last compelling the Arab nations
to cooperate with one another.
At the same time the buyer's market in oil was beginning
to become a seller's market. The Six‑Day War
took place twenty‑two years after the end of World
War II. By then Western Europe had become a full‑fledged
member of the oil culture....From 1950 to 1965 the six Common
Market countries' reliance on oil as an energy source increased
from 10 to 45 percent... Japan's economy, a scaled‑down
replica of the American model, became ever more oil‑based,
and countless smaller countries were also beginning to demand
The first substantial break came in 1969 in Libya.
In September of that year, King Idris was overthrown by
a group of radical officers headed by a young army colonel
named Muammar Qaddafi, bitterly anti‑Israel, fiercely
anti‑Western... Unlike other Arab countries,
where the government dealt with only one main concessionaire,
Libya had opened itself up to a variety of companies, and
its fields were allotted among them. Thus someone
like Qaddafi could exert considerable leverage on a single
firm he chose to isolate. Advised by experts that
his oil was under priced, he sought an increase; the companies
rejected his request. In May 1970, his patience exhausted,
he took on Occidental Petroleum, an independent and, among
the many companies doing business in Libya, the weakest
It was probably the first time one of the oil countries
did to a company what the companies had been doing to them.
Occidental quickly offered a modest increase in price, but
it was too late...
At a meeting of OPEC in December 1970, the new Arab confidence
was obvious. Not just the leaders of the radical countries
but even supposedly moderate leaders like the Shah were
behaving in a new way..."The oil-producing countries
know they are being cheated," he declared. "Otherwise
you would not have the common front... The all‑powerful
seven sisters [the international oil companies] have got
to open their eyes and see that they are living in 1971
and not in 1948 or 1949."
The negotiations between the companies and the Iranians
became intense. The Iranians wanted 54 cents more
a barrel, and the Americans offered 15 cents. They
finally settled on 30 cents, increasing to 50 by 1975...
In March the companies doing business with Libyans agreed
on a posted price of $3, an increase of 76 cents.
Word of that price spread swiftly through the Arab world.
The Shah, hearing the news, was furious; he realized how
much more he could have gotten...
In June 1973 there was another OPEC meeting, at which the
countries announced an additional 12 percent increase...
Sheik Yamani [the Saudi oil Minister] told reporters that
this was the last time the countries would negotiate with
the companies on price; from now on they would meet, work
out the price, and announce it unilaterally to the companies...
Now two powerful currents came together─a changing
market value for oil and an enraged Arab sensibility over
American support of Israel. Four Arab foreign ministers
flew to Washington to warn the Americans of the possibility
of a boycott. The most important of them was Omar
Saqquaf, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia. On
the day that Saqquaf hoped to see President Nixon, the President
pleaded too busy a schedule, and that angered the Saudis.
A press conference an American reporter suggested to Saqquaf
that the Saudis might have to drink their oil, and Saqquaf
retorted, "All right, we will."
On October 21 the boycott, aimed primarily at the Americans,
began. The embargo helped drive the price per barrel
skyward, for those allowed to buy. It seemed a particularly
cruel irony that only a few weeks earlier the companies
had sneered at Yamani's request for a $5 price...
On December 16, 1973, the Iranian State Oil Company for
the first time conducted an auction of its oil. The
highest bid was $17 a barrel. Shell was said to have
bid at $12. Another auction in Algeria produced bids
of $22. It was clear that the posted price and the
market price no longer had anything to do with each other...
The American economy and the American people were completely
unprepared for the change. The squandering of oil
was built into the very structure of American life.
Everyone had become dependent upon cheap energy. Almost
all American cars, for example, had automatic transmissions,
which used 25 percent more gas than manual transmissions...
Eighty-five percent of the job holders in America drove
to work every day─and as a result, public transportation
had atrophied. Suddenly gas was expensive and scarce.
In a short time it went from 36 cents a gallon to 60.
People lined up for hours at every service station.
There were fights as drivers tried to jump the line, reports
of bribes, and even one murder committed in a struggle for
gas. In the neurosis created by the boycott there
was a new craze called "topping off," which was
an attempt to keep one's tank perpetually filled.
At one service station in Pittsburgh a motorist came in
and bought 11 cents worth and the attendant spit in his
In March 1974, just five months after it began, the boycott
was over. The Arabs had flexed their new muscles,
had made both their political and economic points, and were
now being richly rewarded by the high price of oil.
The oil began flowing again, though much more expensively...
Source: David Halberstam, The Reckoning,
(New York, 1986), pp. 452‑459.
HOSTAGE CRISIS IN IRAN
following account describes the 444 day Iranian hostage
crisis which of 1979-1981.
Like Richard Nixon, President Carter valued Shah Mohammed
Reza Pahlavi of Iran, whom the United States had been supporting
since 1953, when the CIA helped pave his way to power, as
an instrument of American interests in the Persian Gulf
region. On a visit to Tehran in 1977, Carter complimented
the shah on "the admiration and love which your people
give to you." In fact, the shah had long been
violating his subjects' human rights--his secret police,
which had close times to the CIA, had tortured and imprisoned
some 50,000 people and had been spending unprecedented amounts
of Iranian wealth on arms from the United States instead
of investing it in economic development. Opposition
to his regime was bitter and widening, especially among
the country's religious leaders, who strongly disliked the
Westernizing trends the shah supported.
In January 1979, a revolution led by Shiite fundamentalists
forced the shah to flee to Europe. The new head of
Iran was Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, seventy-nine years
old...who rapidly turned the government into a theocracy
that condemned modernization and preached hatred of the
In early November, Carter admitted the shah to the United
States for cancer treatment, despite warning that the action
would jeopardize American diplomats in Iran. On November
4, 1979, armed students broke into the American embassy
compound in Tehran and held fifty Americans hostage...
The crisis increasingly frustrated and angered Americans
as television carried nightly clips from Tehran of anti-American
mobs demonstrating at the embassy and shouting "Death
to America." Carter immediately froze Iranian
assets in the United States and prohibited the importation
of Iranian oil. A mission to rescue the hostages in
1980 fell apart when two American aircraft crashed into
each other in the desert. The attempt had been pushed
by the White House over the misgivings of the military...
But after being invaded by Iraq in September, the Ayatollah
Khomeini's government decided it did not want to deal with
two enemies at once. It released the hostages on Carter's
last day in office, having held them for 444 days.
Source: Pauline Maier, Inventing
America: A History of the United States
(New York, 2003) pp. 997-998 ,1101
THE CHALLENGE TO FEMINISM:
PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY AND REV. JERRY FALWELL
In the following vignettes
we see the views of Phyllis Schlafly, a lawyer, author and
political activist who emerged in the 1970s as the principal
opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment and Rev. Jerry Falwell,
a Baptist Minister from Lynchburg, Virginia and the founder
of the Moral Majority.
The first requirement for the acquisition of power by the
Positive Woman is to understand the differences between
men and women. Your outlook on life, your faith, your
behavior, your potential for fulfillment, all are determined
by the parameters of your original premise. The Positive
Woman starts with the assumption that the world is her oyster.
She rejoices in the creative capability within her body
and the power potential of her mind and spirit. She
understands that men and women are different, and that those
very differences provide the key to her success as a person
an fulfillment as a woman.
liberationist, on the other hand, is imprisoned by her own
negative view of herself and of her place in the world around
her. This view of women was most succinctly expressed
in an advertisement designed by...the National Organization
for Women (NOW), and seen in many magazines and newspapers...
The advertisement showed a darling curly headed girl with
the caption: "This healthy, normal baby has a handicap.
She was born female."
the self-articulated dog-in-the manger, chip-on-the-shoulder,
fundamental dogma of the women's liberation movement.
Someone--it is not clear who, perhaps God, perhaps the "Establishment,"
perhaps a conspiracy of male chauvinist pigs--dealt women
a foul blow by making them female. It become necessary,
therefore, for women to agitate and demonstrate and hurl
demands on society in order to wrest from an oppressive
male-dominated social structure the status that has been
wrongfully denied to women through the centuries... Confrontation
replaces cooperation as the watchword of all relationships.
Women and men become adversaries instead of partners...
dogma of the women's liberationists is that, of all the
injustices perpetuated upon women through the centuries,
the most oppressive is the cruel fact that women have babies
and men do not... Women must be made equal to men in their
ability not to become pregnant and not to
be expected to care for babies they may bring into this
Woman will never travel that dead-end road. It is
self-evident...that the female body with its baby-producing
organs was not designed by a conspiracy of men but by the
Divine Architect of the human race. Those who think
it is unfair that women have babies, whereas men cannot,
will have to take up their complaint with God because no
other power is capable of changing that fundamental fact...
generation can brag all it wants about the new liberation
of the new morality, but it is still the woman who is hurt
the most. The new morality isn't just a "fad"--it
is a cheat and a thief. It robs the woman of her virtue,
her youth, her beauty, and her love--for nothing, just nothing.
It has produced a generation of young women searching for
their identity, bored with sexual freedom, and despondent
from the loneliness of living a life without commitment.
They have abandoned the old commandments, but they can't
find any new rules that work...
between men and women are...emotional and psychological.
Without woman's innate maternal instinct, the human race
would have died out centuries ago.. Caring for a baby serves
the natural maternal need of a woman. Although not
nearly so total as the baby's need, the woman's need is
nonetheless real... The overriding psychological need of
a woman is to love something alive. A baby fulfills
this need in the lives of must women. If a baby is
not available to fill that need, women search for a baby-substitute.
This is the reason why women have traditionally gone into
teaching and nursing careers. They are doing what come naturally
to the female psyche. The schoolchild or the patient
of any age provides an outlet for a woman to express her
natural maternal need...
women are different from men in dealing with the fundamentals
of life itself. Men are philosophers, women are practical,
and 'twas ever thus. Men may philosophize about how
life began and where we are heading; women are concerned
about feeding the kids today. No woman would ever,
as Karl Marx did, spend years reading political philosophy
in the British Museum while her child starved to death.
Women don't take naturally to a search for the intangible
and abstract. The Positive Woman knows who she is
and where she is going, and she will reach her goal because
the longest journey starts with a very practical first step.
I believe that at the foundation of the women's liberation
movement there is a minority core of women who were once
bored with life, whose real problems are spiritual problems.
Many women have never accepted their God-given roles.
They live in disobedience to God's laws and have promoted
their godless philosophy throughout our society. God
Almighty created men and women biologically different and
with differing needs and roles. He made men and women
to complement each other and to love each other. Not
all the women involved in the feminist movement are radicals.
Some are misinformed, and some are lonely women who like
being housewives and helpmates and mothers, but whose husbands
spend little time at home and who take no interest in their
wives and children. Sometimes the full load of rearing
a family becomes a great burden to a woman who is not supported
by a man. Women who work should be respected and accorded
dignity and equal rewards for equal work. But this
is not what the present feminist movement and the equal
rights movement are all about.
Rights Amendment is a delusion. I believe that women
deserve more than equal rights. And, in families and
in nations where the Bible is believed, Christian women
are honored above men. Only in places were the Bible
is believed and practiced do women receive more than equal
rights. Men and women have differing strengths.
The Equal Rights Amendment can never do for women what needs
to be done for them. Women need to know Jesus Christ
as their Lord and Savior and be under His Lordship.
They need a man who knows Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior,
and they need to be part of a home where their husband is
a godly leader and where there is a Christian family...
ERA defied the mandate that "the husband is the head
of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church"
(Ep. 5:23). In 1 Peter 3:7 we read that husbands are to
give their wives honor as unto the weaker vessel, that they
are both heirs together of the grace of life. Because
a woman is weaker does not mean that she is less important.
Source: Mary Beth Norton,
Major Problems in American Women's History (Lexington, Ma.,
1989), pp. 429-433. .
"GREED IS GOOD": THE 1980s
Historian Pauline Maier, in this vignette,
provides one description of the 1980s.
The Reagan years reminded some observers of the 1920s, not
only in the ebullience of the prosperity but in the unevenness
of it, and in the naked materialism of the culture associated
with it. Between 1982 and 1988, the gross domestic product
grew at an average annual rate of about 4 percent, generating
more than 630,000 new businesses, 11 million jobs, and a
drop in the unemployment rate from 7.4 percent to 5.5 percent.
By 1988, mortgage rates had plummeted roughly 40 percent,
and by 1989 median family income corrected for inflation
had shot up 12.5 percent.
Corporate profits broke records, and so did the stock market-‑at
least until October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones industrial
average (an indicator of stock‑market value) plummeted
508 points, losing almost a quarter of its worth wiping
out $750 billion in paper wealth, and generating fears that
the country might be headed for another Depression. But
the jitters were short‑lived. By 1989, the Dow Jones
had more than doubled its level in 1982.
The decade produced a new group called "yuppies,"
a derivative acronym for "young urban professionals,"
upwardly mobile men and women with degrees in law or business,
dressed for success and exuding the ambitions of an unrestrained
materialism. Americans of all sorts became absorbed with
celebrities‑professional athletes, television newscasters,
entertainers, clothing designers, even chefs, most of whom
were admired for their professional skills but also for
their opulent incomes. Among the heroes of Wall Street
ere manipulators of junk bonds, loans issued to finance
the purchase of corporations for prices far higher than
the corporations were worth. Some of the heroes, who received
several hundred million dollars a year in commissions, were
later exposed as crooked and went to jail.
Tom Wolfe's best‑selling novel Bonfire of the Vanities
relentlessly explored the culture of avarice, but reality
outdid fiction. Amid the weakened oversight of Reaganite
deregulation, a number of savings‑and‑loan institutions
were looted by white‑collar thieves, some of whom
bought yachts and threw lavish entertainments. Ivan Boesky,
one of the financial buccaneers of the decade‑he later
went to jail for fraudulent manipulations proclaimed, "Greed
is all right...everybody should be a little greedy,"
a sentiment that pervaded the popular film Wall Street.
Source: Pauline Maier, Inventing
America: A History of the United States,
vol. 2 (New York, 2003), pp. 1026-1027.
COMPUTER AGE ARRIVES
vignette below describes the emergence of the personal computer
and ironically its debt to the counterculture generation.
One of the most significant technical developments of the
1970s was the personal computer. Personal computers
(PCs) sprang from several sources, notably the military's
patronage of microelectronics and the interests of hobbyists
in democratizing the use of computers. An essential
component of the PC was the integrated circuit, which formed
all its electrical parts out of a flat piece of silicon,
photo etching the connections between them. It was devised
independently at Texas Instruments and at Fairchild Semiconductor
Laboratories, in Palo Alto, California, which was an incubator
for many of the engineers who would develop the computing
industry in what came to be known as Silicon Valley, the
region heavy with computer firms on the peninsula south
of San Francisco. Although integrated circuits were
not developed with military patronage, the Defense Department
and NASA provided a sizable fraction of the early market
for them. One Minuteman II missile used 2,000; the
Apollo guidance system, 5,000. By the late 1960s,
engineers in Silicon Valley were creating an integrated
circuit on a small chip containing the calculating circuits
equivalent to all those in a mainframe computer of the 1950s.
In 1973, the Intel Corporation, founded by several veterans
of Fairchild, announced that it had produced such a chip:
The development of the personal computer was encouraged
by the abundant technical resources of Silicon Valley notably
the electronics graduates from nearby Stanford University
and the University of California at Berkeley and the engineering
innovations from local firms such as Hewlett-Packard‑-and
by the inspiration that hobbyists drew from time‑sharing
computers. Built around a central computer that automatically
allocated processing time to different individuals, time‑sharing
gave users in their offices access to their personal files
and encouraged them to think they could have interactive
access to their own computers at any time for any purpose.
Computer hobbyists, some of them in tune with the countercultural
ambience of the San Francisco Bay Peninsula, called for
bringing computing power to the people by, for example,
providing the public with free access to timeshared terminals.
One enthusiast recalled the "strong feeling that we
were subversives. We were subverting the way the giant
corporations had run things."
In 1974, a small firm that three hobbyists had founded in
Albuquerque, New Mexico, to sell radio transmitters for
model airplanes went beyond the dream of universal terminal
access to put computers themselves into everyone's hands.
They started marketing a personal computer kit called the
Altair. Selling for $397, the Altair ran on the Intel
8080 chip and was an instant hit with hobbyists, even though
it had no keyboard or monitor. It spurred Bill Gates, a
twenty‑year‑old Harvard student, and his high
school friend Paul Allen, twenty‑two, to write a software
program for it that they licensed to the Albuquerque firm.
Gates dropped out of Harvard to develop the Microsoft Corporation,
a software firm he and Allen founded in 1975 for the Altair
venture. In 1976, Steve Wozniak, twenty‑five,
and Steve Jobs, twenty, began marketing a comparable personal
computer, the Apple. Both were T‑shirts‑and‑jeans
devotees of the hobbyist electronics culture in Silicon
Valley, where they grew up; Jobs, with long hair and sandals,
was an acolyte of vegetarianism, the Beatles, and transcendental
meditation. They built the first Apples in the home
garage of Jobs's parents.
Eager to expand the business, Jobs and Wozniak relinquished
their T‑shirts for suits, obtained venture capital,
and in 1977 brought out the Apple II, which included a keyboard,
a monitor, and a floppy‑disk drive for storage.
A later version, introduced in 00 operated with a mouse
and pull-down menus, both of which had been originally developed
under contracts the Defense Department and NASA. By
this time, several other companies were selling personal
compute software for them was initially confined to educational
programs and games such as the wildly popular "Pacman,"
but in 1979 VisiCalc, a spreadsheet program, came on the
market and demonstrated the value of the PC for business.
Bill Gates had already warned the hobbyists that he would
consider free sharing of the software that Microsoft had
produced for the Altair a form of piracy. By the late
1970s, personal computing was rapidly turning away from
its countercultural origins into a lucrative for‑profit
enterprise. In 1981, IBM entered the PC market, enlisting
Microsoft to provide the operating software for its machines.
In response, Microsoft bought a software package that had
been devised at Seattle Computer Products by Tim Paterson,
a recent college graduate, and provided it to IBM as MS‑DOS
(short for "Microsoft Disk Operating System").
Gates sold IBM the right to use the system but maintained
Microsoft's ownership, an arrangement that permitted the
company eventually to earn billions of dollars by selling
the right to use the system, which soon became an industry
standard, to other makers of personal computers. The PC
caught on so fast that two years later Time magazine
designated the personal computer its "Man of the Year."
Source: Pauline Maier, Inventing
America: A History of the United States,
vol. 2 (New York, 2003), pp. 991-993.
late 20th Century inventions have so profoundly changed
U.S. society as the Internet. Indeed, you are reading
this vignette courtesy of internet technology. A brief
history of the Internet appears below.
Like so many innovations that changed the way people lived,
the Internet originated in the national defense program's
patronage of science and technology. It was principally
conceived in the late 1960s by a computer scientist at MIT
named J. C. R. Licklider as a network that would preserve
communications in the event of nuclear attack. In
the seventies, scientists and engineers at different institutions
developed the essential hardware and software that would
permit different types of computers and networks to communicate
with each other through an intermediate service provider.
With the sponsorship of the Defense Department, a nationwide
network rapidly developed among industrial and university
scientists. It was used mainly for e‑mail, which
was pioneered in 1971 and which an authoritative 1978 report
dubbed a "smashing success" that would "sweep
Between the mid‑1980s and early 1990s, partly at the
initiative of then‑Senator Al Gore, the Internet was
transferred to civilian control and then opened up to commercial
use. In the meantime, scientists in Europe developed
a program to retrieve information from any computer connected
to the Internet by latching on to its standard address (called
a "URI," for universal resource locator).
They also devised a language ("html," for hypertext
markup language) for presenting text and images, and protocols
("http," for hypertext transfer protocol) for
transferring them from one computer to another. Programmers
at a government computing facility in Illinois, having devised
a browser, left in 1994 to develop a new, commercial version
that they called Netscape. Together, these innovations
led to the birth of the World Wide Web. After the
mid‑1990s, the Web spread with the freely accessible
Internet across the globe. Its diffusion was accompanied
by an avalanche of companies founded to exploit it commercially,
most of them with URLs that ended in the designation ".com"
and were known accordingly as "dot com" companies.
By early 1999, about 74 million people, including two out
of five adults, were accessing the Internet.
Source: Pauline Maier, Inventing
America: A History of the United States,
vol. 2 (New York, 2003), p. 1065-1066.
E-MAIL "REVOLUTION" BEGINS
following passage from a 1985 Los Angeles Times article
describes the advent of electronic mail. At the time
electronic mail services charged $40 to sign-up or $10 for
a monthly service rate. Ironically Microsoft advertised
its Word program for the Apple-Mcintosh in that section
of the paper for $149.95
From offices in San Francisco, the Bechtel Group, Inc. coordinated
its Tedi River gold mining operations around the globe in
Papua New Guinea by exchanging information over a computer
message network. In Mexico agricultural scientists
are using computer links to remote experimental crop stations
to monitor data of new strains of wheat being grown there.
And in Dearborn, Michigan, the Society of Manufacturing
Engineers coordinates plans for its annual convention and
distributes abstracts of technical papers to engineers across
the United States over a computer communications system.
Today, information that might otherwise require costly long
distance calls or delay for postal delivery can be exchanged
across town or around the world virtually in an instant
via "electronic mail"-- a computer-to-computer
communications system regarded as the most revolutionary
since the telegraph and telephone replaced horseback couriers
more than a century ago.
"Electronic mail will be the 21st Century version of
the telex--which it clearly makes obsolete," said communications
consultant Richard Miller, president of International Telematics
in Palo Alto. He predicated dramatic changers in international
communications. "It allows me, for example, to
send you a message regardless of where in the world either
one of us is at the time."
Although still a fledgling industry, with revenues last
year estimated at $200 million, electronic mail use is growing
at an annual rate of nearly 60%--faster than any other segment
of the computer industry, according to analysts.
Last year, for example, Columbus, Ohio-based CompuServe--the
nation's largest electronic mail service--doubled its subscribers
to 185,000. And Echo, a Marina del Rey-based newcomer,
has established 14,000 subscribers in less than a year,
adding 3,000 in the last month alone. Today there
are an estimated 1 million electronic "mailboxes"
"In the next decade electronic communication is going
to become as routine as making phone calls," said Jan
Lewis, an analyst for InfoCorp, a Cupertino, California-based
marketing research firm. She predicted that the average
home in the mid-1990s will be equipped with a telephone
with a built-in computer that will permit easy access not
only to electronic mail, but to various databases, the latest
stock quotes, weather reports and computerized directory
assistance. "We won't even have to memorize telephone
numbers anymore," Lewis said.
The electronic mail concept is not new. Back in the
days when mail was delivered by horseback, telegraph--the
original electronic communications system--revolutionized
the way the world conducted business. News of a gold
discovery in the West, for example, could be relayed in
a matter of hours to financial centers in the East.
Today, however, the computer has squeezed the hours down
to milliseconds. It is technically possible today
to move the contents of an entire set of encyclopedia from
a computer in Chicago to another terminal in Los Angeles
in the time it takes to read this sentence.
The increasing business use of electronic mail will affect
consumer use as well. "People who use it in the office
are going to want to use it at home," said Michael
J Cavanagh, executive director of the Electronic Mail Association--a
Washington-based industry group...citing the example of
an early electronic mail network set up a few years ago
through the Defense Department--a system designed for the
exchange of important scientific information. "After
a time they found that there were also personal messages
being exchanged like plans for Friday night poker games."
He conceded, however, that consumer growth will lag behind
business use of electronic mail. "More people
need to buy personal computers and telephone modems for
their homes," he said. "Until they do, we'll
have the same problem that the telephone had for the first
few decades--that is, even if some the of earliest users
had a telephone, the chances were that very few of their
friends did. So, who could they call?"
That's the case now with electronic mail," Cavanagh
said. "Its consumer value will increase as the numbers
of subscribes increase."
Source: Los Angeles Times, February
24, 1985, Part VI, p. 1.
AMERICAN AND JAPANESE AUTOS IN THE 1990s
an article titled "Why Can't America Catch Up,"
James Risen offers an explanation of the success of Japanese
auto manufacturers vis-à-vis their American counterparts.
The explanation describes the challenge auto manufacturers
and indeed all American industry faces in an increasingly
competitive world market.
TOKYO-As the worldwide auto industry enters
the 1990s, the Japanese are still holding the competitive
edge over Detroit's auto makers that they first asserted
more than a decade ago. Despite a 10 year, multibillion
dollar effort by the American auto industry to catch up
with Japan in terms of reliability and overall quality,
the Japanese are still building better cars.
This winter, Detroit is paying an awful price for its failure
to close the quality gap in the 1980s. A free-fall
plunge in car sales has forced General Motors, Ford and
Chrysler to lay off tens of thousands of workers during
the last few months. A staggering 42 of 62 Big Three
assembly plants are being shuttered temporarily during January.
The Big Three auto makers have dramatically improved the
quality of their cars over the last 10 years, a trend that
has, at the very least, kept America in the ball game and
Detroit has produced its share of winning products...
Ford's Taurus helped redefine automotive styling, while
Chrysler's mini-van single-handedly created a whole new
market. But many automobile industry analysts believe
the Japanese are in fact widening their quality lead once
more, after several years in which Detroit did narrow the
"The quality gap is still there" warned Chris
Cedergren of J. D. Power & Associates. "The
domestics are certainly improving, but the Japanese are
too. The domestics are now only about where the Japanese
were in 1983 or 1984."
Today, one of every four cars sold in America comes from
the Japanese─more if the Japanese-built cars hiding
behind American nameplates, Ford's Probe and Plymouth's
Geo Storm, for example, are included. The Japanese
now sell more cars in America than does Ford and they are
rapidly catching up with industry leader, GM.
Ironically, the Japanese seem to have a better understanding
of American consumers than the American auto companies do.
Said Cedergren, "I think the domestics, after all this
time, are still out of touch with what a whole generation
of car buyers─and I mean anyone under 45─wants
in a product.
Remarkably, the Japanese have kept their competitive lead
during the period in which they lost their once-formidable
labor-cost advantage over Detroit. Thanks to the rise
in the value of the yen relative to the dollar and a worsening
labor shortage, assembly-line workers in Japan command higher
wages than their counterparts in Detroit; the average Toyota
worker made the equivalent of $49,000 compared to $40,000
at Ford. The Japanese have adjusted by drastically
upgrading the automation of their factories.
Most embarrassing for auto executives in Detroit has been
that they have had to watch as the Japanese have rapidly
set up shop in the Midwest with plants that can approach
the best quality levels of Japan─while employing the
same kind of American workers that Big Three management
once blamed for the poor workmanship in American cars.
"We screamed at them to come over here and build cars
where they sold them, and now they are doing it─and
they are still beating us," one Ford official said
with a sigh.
Why are Japanese cars still better?
First, the Japanese can design and develop a new car much
faster than American companies can. It often takes
two years longer in Detroit to develop a new model than
it does in Japan─virtually assuring that Japanese
cars will always seem newer, fresher and just plain better.
In addition, the Japanese do a better job of planning ahead
for problems, placing a much greater emphasis on what they
call "designing-in" quality. When their
engineers design new models, they spend a great deal of
time making sure that the cars will be easy to build on
the assembly line, taking a big load off their workers and
The Japanese have also developed far more sophisticated
relationships with their parts suppliers, who often perform
critical research and development work for the auto makers.
By bringing their parts suppliers into their development
process, the Japanese are consistently able to offer newer
and better technology for much less money than Detroit.
They have also perfected the complex art of building many
different models on the same assembly line─something
Detroit has never quite mastered. In Japan, it is
quite common for six different cars to be built on the same
line. That allows the Japanese to offer a wider array
of new models without going to the huge expense of building
But what may be most important is the Japanese attention
to detail, which borders on the obsessive. That willingness
by both managers and line workers to focus on even the smallest
problems until they are solved springs from a genuine sense
of team spirit, which continues to elude Detroit's auto
makers even after years of rhetoric about it. The
difference is that Japanese assembly-line workers are made
to feel like a team, not through words but through deeds.
The pay gap between executives and the people on the shop
floor is much smaller in Japan than in the U.S. The
chief executive of a major Japanese auto company earns only
about 10 times as much as the youngest line worker; top
executives in Detroit, by contrast, usually make at least
50 times as much and sometime as much as 500 times.
Along with their fixation on detail comes a sense in Japan
that quality isn't stationary. Instead, the function
of quality control in Japan is kaizen─the search
for constant improvement. So what is most frightening
for Detroit today is that the Japanese are, more than ever,
a moving target.
"We are never satisfied," said Kaname Kasai, general
manager of Honda's massive assembly plant in Sayama, Japan.
"We are moving now so that in the next couple of years
we can open the quality gap even wider over America."
Source: James Risen, "Why
Can't America Catch Up,"
January 14, 1990.
As the table
below indicates, the United States is now a post-industrial
economy. Ford and General Motors are the fifth and
six largest employers and only eight of the top twenty-five
employers are primarily manufacturers.
Business Daily (September 2004).
TERRORISM IN THE 1990s
the following vignette historian Pauline Meier describes
the emerging Al Qaeda terrorist network led by Osama bin
Laden and its relationship to the Taliban, who controlled
Afghanistan through the decade.
The sanctions against Iraq and the civilian suffering they
generated, the presence of American troops on Saudi Arabian
soil during and after the Gulf War, and the United States'
support of Israel all angered a number of Muslims in the
Middle East. They infuriated Osama bin Laden, a rich
Saudi exile living in Afghanistan. Bin Laden hated
the United States enough to finance a network of terror
called Al Qaeda, directed against the country. In
February 1993, four Muslim terrorists connected to bin Laden
exploded a car bomb in the garage under one of the World
Trade Center towers in New York City. Although they
failed in their ambition to topple the tower into its twin,
they succeeding in killing 6 and injuring more than 1,000.
In 1996, terrorists drove a truck bomb into an American
army barracks in Saudi Arabia itself, killing 19 U.S. military
service people. And in 1998, several other suicide
truck bombers blew up the American embassy in Tanzania,
killing 11, and [the one] in Kenya, killing 213 Kenyan citizens
and injuring thousands of civilians.
A few hours after the attacks in 1998, President Clinton
declared, "We will use all the means at our disposal
to bring those responsible to justice, no matter what or
how long it takes." In an operation code‑named
"Infinite Reach," U.S. planes attacked two targets
believed to be associated with bin Laden‑the Al Shifa
pharmaceutical plant in Sudan, alleged to be a source of
biochemical weapons, and a temporary base camp in Afghanistan,
labeled by Clinton "one of the most active terrorist
bases in the world." (The owner of the plant
denied that he had anything to do with bin Laden, and reporters
visiting the site saw no evidence that he did.) During
the trial of the organizers of the Africa bombings, testimony
indicated that bin Laden and Al Qaeda had attempted to acquire
weapons of mass destruction about five years earlier.
In 1996, the Taliban, a group of extreme Islamic fundamentalists,
gained control of Afghanistan and extended their protection
to bin Laden as a "guest." In October 1999,
the U.N. Security Council, alarmed, resolved to impose limited
sanctions against the Taliban in an effort to force them
to turn over bin Laden immediately to a country where he
could be brought to justice. The Taliban refused,
and bin Laden and Al Qaeda grew bolder. A year later, terrorists
linked to bin Laden attacked the USS Cole while it was anchored
in the Yemeni port of Aden, killing 17 of its crew and injuring
Between 1993 and 1999, the FBI's counterterrorism budget
more than tripled, to some $300 million a year. Still,
in the wake of so many successful assaults, a number of
analysts believed that the United States was inadequately
on guard against the war of terrorism that was increasingly
being waged against it. Some contended that it was
only a matter of time before the terrorists would strike
on American shores with far greater destructive effect than
they had achieved in the 1993 bombing at the World Trade
Source: Pauline Maier, Inventing
America: A History of the United States,
vol. 2 (New York, 2003), pp. 1062-1063.
SEX, LIES, AND IMPEACHMENT
the vignette below historian Pauline Meier describes the
Monica Lewinsky Scandal which prompted the second impeachment
of a President in the nation's history.
From early 1998, [President Bill] Clinton's ability to advance
even a modest domestic agenda was greatly undermined by
the scandals that began washing over him and led to his
impeachment the following year. The scandals came
to light as a result of the work conducted by Kenneth Starr,
who in August 1994 had been appointed a special prosecutor
to look into the Whitewater affair. During the next
several years, Starr was authorized to investigate several
other allegations of impropriety in the Clinton administration.
Then in January 1998, Starr received evidence from a government
employee named Linda Tripp that Monica Lewinsky, a young
government intern, had been having an affair with the president
that included her performing oral sex on him during visits
to the Oval Office.
Meanwhile, in late 1997, the attorneys for Paula Jones,
who was still pursuing her sexual harassment suit against
the president, had heard rumors of an affair between Lewinsky
and Clinton. Hoping to demonstrate that Clinton showed
a pattern of predatory sexual behavior, they obtained a
ruling from the Supreme Court requiring Clinton to answer
their questions, establishing the precedent that a sitting
president could be compelled to testify in a civil suit
concerning actions that took place before his presidency.
On January 17, responding under oath to questions by Jones's
lawyers, Clinton denied having a romantic relationship with
At Starr's request, Attorney General Janet Reno authorized
him to enlarge his multiple investigations of Clinton into
whether the president had lied in his testimony to Jones's
lawyers and had sought to obstruct justice by encouraging
Lewinsky to cover up their affair.
By now, January 1998, word of the information Tripp had
given Starr was making headlines. In a statement on national
television at the end of January, Clinton, shaking his finger,
emphatically declared, "I did not have sexual relations
with that woman." He refused to discuss the matter
further publicly, but he told his family, cabinet, and advisers
that the stories about his relationship with Lewinsky were
absolutely untrue. Hillary Clinton blamed the array
of investigations into the couple's activities on a "vast
right‑wing conspiracy." Frenzied discussions
of the case fined newspapers, television, radio, and the
Internet for months. In 2000, Philip Roth remarked
in his novel The Human Stain that in the summer of
1998 "a president's penis was on everyone's mind,"
and his alleged Oval Office peccadilloes "revived America's
oldest communal passion...the ecstasy of sanctimony."
In August, Lewinsky, whom Starr had threatened to prosecute,
agreed to testify in return for a grant of immunity.
Besides telling a federal grand jury in graphic detail about
her affair with Clinton, she turned over a blue dress that,
according to her, was stained with the president's semen.
Clinton realized that DNA testing of the stain would demonstrate
that the semen was his. In mid‑August, in videotaped
testimony to Starr and the federal grand jury, he conceded
that his conduct with Lewinsky had been "wrong,"
but insisted that he been legally accurate in denying to
Jones's lawyers that he had engaged in a "sexual relationship"
with Lewinsky because he took such a relationship to mean
intercourse. He told the American people in a four‑minute
nationally televised address that he had "misled"
them and done injury to his family. Still, he defiantly
insisted that he had not lied under oath nor asked anyone
to lie for him.
On September 9, Starr gave Congress a videotape of Clinton's
grand jury testimony and a 445‑page report.
The report detailed Clinton's sexual contacts with Lewinsky
and listed eleven possible grounds for impeachment, some
of which focused on charges that he had lied under oath.
Congress quickly released both the full report and the videotape
to the public. On October 8, the House voted to launch
an impeachment inquiry by a solid majority of 258 to 176,
with 31 Democrats joining most of the Republicans in support.
The public had long thought Clinton was lying about his
relationship with Lewinsky, but it had persistently registered
high approval of his performance in office. Now Clinton's
conduct was brushed off by leading Democrats and his supporters
among feminists, blacks, gays, and union officials as sex
between two consenting adults, covered up as anyone might
conceal an illicit affair, but by no means worthy of impeachment.
"It's hard to get really excited," a waitress
remarked. "What does the Clintons' sex life have to
do with me?" Meanwhile, the public standing of Starr,
Linda Tripp, and the Republican Congress plummeted.
In the congressional elections in November, the Democrats
gained five seats in the House while maintaining their number
in the Senate and in state contests. Newt Gingrich,
under fire himself for questionable financial dealings,
announced that he would leave Congress. His expected
successor in the speakership, Robert Livingston of Louisiana,
also left as news stories began to circulate that he had
engaged in adultery.
All the same, on December 19, 1998, the House in a strongly
partisan vote resolved to impeach Clinton on two articles‑perjury
and obstruction of justice‑making him the second president
(after Andrew Johnson) to be so treated. On January
27 1999, the impeachment trial began in the Senate, with
the House leadership presenting the case against the president:
After more than a month of partisan debate, the prosecutor
failed to come near the two‑thirds majority (67 votes)
necessary for conviction. The Senate voted 55 to 45
against the perjury charge and 50 to 50 on the charge of
obstructing justice (Neither charge gained a single Democratic
vote; 10 Republicans opposed the charge of perjury, 5 the
charge of obstructing justice.
Source: Pauline Maier, Inventing
America: A History of the United States,
vol. 2 (New York, 2003), pp. 1073-1074.
AMERICAN URBANIZATION, 1980-2000
Top Twenty U.S. Metropolitan
According to the U.S. Census,
the total U.S. population in 2000 was 281,421,906.
The total number of people in 2000 living in the twenty
largest metropolitan areas displayed below was 119,838,639.
Thus, 42.6% of the nation's people lived in these major
Areas in U.S.
New York – Northern
NJ – Long Island
Los Angeles –
Riverside – Orange County
Chicago – Gary
Washington D.C. -
San Francisco –
Oakland – San Jose
Wilmington – Atlantic City
Boston – Worcester
Detroit – Ann
Arbor – Flint
Dallas – Fort
Houston – Galveston
Miami – Fort
Seattle – Tacoma
Phoenix – Mesa
Denver – Boulder
Tampa – St.
is fitting that the final vignette in this manual address
the events of September 11, 2001. Here historian Pauline
Maier describes the cataclysmic events in New York City
and Northern Virginia and the massive, spontaneous outpouring
of support for both the victims and the nation. The
events and our response serve to remind us of our connection
to our collective history and to each other.
On Tuesday, September 11, 2001, America's world was suddenly
and dramatically transformed. Within the space of
an hour and a half that morning, two passenger airlines
took off from Logan in Boston, and two others took off from
Newark Airport in New Jersey and Dulles Airport in Washington,
D.C. All four, bound for California, were loaded with
fuel. At some point not long after the planes were
airborne, each was commandeered by four or five hijackers
armed with box cutters and knives.
At 8:45 A.M. one of the planes from Boston crashed into
the north tower of the 110‑story World Trade Center
in lower Manhattan, tearing a huge hole in the building
and setting it ablaze. Eighteen minutes later, the
second plane out of Boston struck the south tower and exploded.
At 9:43, the plane from Dulles crashed into the Pentagon.
Shortly after 10, the south tower of the World Trade Center,
its reinforced concrete supports severely weakened by the
intense heat of the jet fuel fire, collapsed, showering
a torrent of debris into the streets below. Just before
10:30, the north tower followed its twin into Vie dust,
releasing a tremendous cloud of debris and smoke and severely
damaging a nearby 47‑story building--later in the
day it, too, fell‑‑and setting others in the
area on fire. In Washington, in the meantime, the
portion of the Pentagon that had been hit also collapsed.
Passengers on the fourth flight, in touch with relatives
via cell phones, learned about the attacks on the Trade
Center and the Pentagon; they concluded that their plane
was being flown to a target as well. Some decided
to storm the cockpit, with the result that the Plane crashed
in a field southeast of Pittsburgh rather than into a building.
(It was, in fact, headed toward the nation's capital.)
All forty‑four people aboard were killed.
Within less than an hour of the first crash at the World
Trade Center, the Federal Aviation Administration halted
all flights at American airports for the first time in the
nation's history and diverted to Canada all transatlantic
aircraft bound for the United States. President Bush was
in Florida, but the White House was evacuated and so were
all other federal office buildings in the capital.
Secret Service agents armed with automatic rifles were deployed
opposite the White House in Lafayette Park. In New
York, the stock exchanges and all state government offices
At a news conference in the mid‑afternoon, New York's
Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, asked about the number killed, said,
"I don't think we want to speculate about that‑more
than any of us can bear." That evening, the city
reported that hundreds of its police officers and firefighters
on the scene were dead or missing. In the weeks that
followed, estimates of the deaths at the World Trade Center
ran as high as 6,000 (they were later reduced to 3,000).
Some 200 people died in the crash at the Pentagon...
The attacks of September 11 prompted an outpouring of patriotism
rarely seen since Pearl Harbor. American flags appeared
in shop windows and on homes, buildings, cars and trucks,
overpasses, and bridges. Millions of Americans pinned
red, white, and blue streamers on their jackets. Across
the country, people attended services for the victims, sent
money to assist their families, and gave blood for the survivors.
Commentators everywhere extolled the heroism of the firefighters
and police who died in the line of duty at the World Trade
Center. Thousands flocked to Ground Zero, now hallowed
ground, solemnly peering at the smoldering ruins and the
workmen removing the debris. Many posted prayers, notices
of the missing, and poems on the protective chain‑link
fences at the site and on any available wall space (including
phone booths) around the city.
September 11 heightened awareness of the fact that the United
States, as the world's sole superpower, was an integral
part of what was becoming a global civilization. The day
after the attacks, the French newspaper Le Monde ran the
headline "Nous sommes toutes les Amiricaines"
(We are all Americans). The victims at the World Trade
Center included the nationals of more than eighty nations.
The multinational and multicultural nature of American society
was revealed by the names of lost spouses, parents, and
children, hundreds of them on posterboards pleading for
information about them--people named Schwartzstein, Henrique
and Calderon, Kikuchihara and Tsoy, Cassino, Staub, and
Egan, Williams, Caulfield, and Wiswall.
On a sheet of paper tacked up in New York's Grand Central
Station in late October, an anonymous poet cried out:
Six thousand fallen heroes
The six thousand angels, their trumpets blaring
Are calling us to arms, Waking us up from our selfish slumber
To the truth of our lives, the evil in the world
We must stop, turn, stand up together as one,
Arm in arm, pillars of strength
Many observers declared that September 11 had ushered the
United States into a new era. Perhaps it had...
Another poem posted at Grand Central Station told the perpetrators
of September 11 why the nation remained strong and resilient:
Well, you hit the World Trade Center, but you missed America
America isn't about a place, America isn't even about a
bunch of buildings
America is about an IDEA.
The idea, forged and enlarged through almost four centuries
of struggle, had come to include many elements. The
overarching ones—the Fourth of July standards of freedom,
equality, democracy, and opportunity--continued to transcend
the nation's diversity, bind it together, and at once invigorate
and temper its response to the shadowy threats it was now
compelled to confront.
Source: Pauline Maier, Inventing
America: A History of the United States,
vol. 2 (New York, 2003), pp. 1082-1086.