1968 Anti-War Protest

Peace demonstration at Ohio University 02-22-1968I’m working on an exhibit of photos dealing with the turbulent 60s and 70s at Ohio University. Given the choice between posting random photos as I’m editing them or letting the site go dark from time to time, I’ll opt for posting pictures with minimal copy.

The negative sleeve says February 22, 1968, so I must have shot them for The OU Post.

Must have been cold

Peace demonstration at Ohio University 02-22-1968It’s Ohio. It’s February, and people are wearing coats, scarves and gloves. That’s a pretty good indication it was being held outside where it was cold.

Must have been one of first

Peace demonstration at Ohio University 02-22-1968I transferred from SEMO to Ohio University as a junior in the fall of 1967, so this must have been one of the first of many protests and demonstrations I would cover over the next two years.

These three are a mixture of genders and ages. They’re dressed downright preppie, too. They don’t quite fit the image of commie pinko hippies. A lot of the photos from this post will be in the show.

20 Replies to “1968 Anti-War Protest”

  1. Dear Mr. Luckett

    “Those who cannot remember (or choose to ignore) the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana

    For me, 1968 was a dreadful year with two assassinations (King and Kennedy), NIxon and Agnew voted into office, and the loss of the woman of my dreams (at that time) to another man. I can relive the pain knowing that it provides some perspective on life.

    Go ahead and pick away, Ken. A gadfly can be constructive for all of us. It is history. It is life.

  2. Please Mr. Steinhoff pick away. Any wars we engage in, which are promoted or encouraged by our government and are based upon lies are to be avoided!
    F. Williams CHS’67

  3. During this time frame I was on the other side protecting those idiots rights to protest their frustration of having to adjust to reality .. another case of let ‘george do it’, or ‘don’t don’t expect me to protect my way of life’.

  4. Ken

    I will keep reading your exceptional blog. Sometimes I will disagree with you and yes I will delete you.1968 was a wonderful year for me. I was in Okinawa
    when Kent St. and DR. King was killed. We mourned both killings but I got over both. Terrible things happened when I was in the military but I got over them. Do you bring up Ohio because you loathe the military that much or you feel guilty for not serving your country? Im 67 yrs old and I’ve found holding grudges and resentments inside takes too much work
    and it’s not worth it. Keep on blogging Ken!


    1. Jim, if you have been reading the blog, you should know that I write about events I have covered in MO, OH, NC and FL while working for newspapers.

      For the most part, I was an impartial observer. Now that I’m retired, I’m digitizing that work and publishing the images and stories on the blog, doing presentations at universities and museums and working on some books.

      The reason you are going to see some more Ohio protest stuff in the future is because I’m working with some Ohio museums on retrospectives of the 1967 – 1970 era when so much was going on in this country.

      At the same time, that represents only a microcosm of my life’s body of work.

      If you think the fact that my job at the time entailed shooting events that you might disagree with makes me “loathe the military,” then you are wrong.

      I did not serve in the military. I have to admit that I held on to my student deferment as long as possible, was classified 1Y and had a high lottery number pulled before I was scheduled to go back for a new physical. Had I been accepted, I’d have gone.

      That’s unlike chickenhawks like Dick Cheney, George Bush, Rush Limbaugh and the others who found ways to dodge the draft, but who beat the drums of war for other young men and women.

      I’m glad you enjoy MOST of my posts, but be prepared for more heartburn. I’m sure I’ll find topics that you dislike equally as much.

  5. Ken

    George W. Bush was a jet fighter pilot.(Yes he was in the military). Like a lot of outfits his wasnt’t called up. They say if you tell a lie enough it becomes the truth. Name the only president to get an MBA from Harvard? Governor of the second largest state, business owner(Texans). Cheney and Limbaugh ,
    I don’t care about. There were a lot of things I didn’t like in George Bushes 2 terms (war)but I admire him as a man. Community organizer as a president. Give me a break.I feel much better!


  6. In life, there are momentous,joyous events to remember and celebrate yearly.
    Conversely, in life too, there are bodacious, horrid events to remember and to honor both those who survived say ethnic cleansing and those who were tortured and killed during ethnic cleansing.
    Certain things, events and the like should never be forgotten.

  7. I agree with Jim in that there is a certain mindset out there that classifies all military personnel as ‘savages or war mongers’ rather than patriotic men and women who believe in our way of life and are willing to defend the principles for which our representative government was founded. I am 71 years of age and I served in the military for four years and had a tour in Vietnam. I can say that I am not proud of what I did, but I am proud of why I did it! When duty calls you respond, we do not have the time or the ability to take a ‘vote’ on our action – remember, we are a representative form of government, and we have to rely on our elected officials to make the right calls – just think of Truman and the A bomb, Lincoln and the Civil War, Roosevelt and the Depression – all of these men had to make tough decisions which have proven to be correct despite all the turmoil their decisions brought to our country at the time. Keep picking Ken.

    Wally Sinnwell – SEMO ’67

  8. There were some young men that were brave enough to go to Canada, burn their draft cards, or just hide. We called them (pardon my English) chickenshits.


  9. Ken , as you can see by Jim and Shirley’s reply, there are certain events which can occur in one’s life that can never be forgotten or ignored. The collective experience of those who faithfully answered the call of their country during the Vietnam era and faithfully fulfilled their duty can not be compared to to those individuals who chose to ignore the very principle of our representative government and chose to to be ‘traitors’ – and as such should have been dealt with accordingly! After I graduated from SEMO in ’67, I along with four of my AKP brothers enlisted in the U.S. Army and went thru training – I attended OCS and was commissioned a 2LT and served in Panama (training soldiers for Vietnam) and ended my Army career in Vietnam. I still feel the emotional pain I endured from those -as Carol states ‘smart men’ who threw rocks and eggs when I departed San Francisco for Vietnam and on my return. I would imagine that Carol would also call ‘smart men’ those who figure out ways to illegally ‘skirt’ paying their taxis and ‘skirt’ public laws – all for their own personal gain. Is it no wonder that we find our society so corrupt and immoral when we seen to allow and rationalize this type of behavior as part of being ‘smart’ rather than tearing at the very fabric of our country.

    Wally Sinnwell – SEMO ’67

    1. Wally, thank you for your civil and well-reasoned reply. Yes, you are right. feeling run deep on this subject. I know there were some WW II vets who swore they would never buy a German or a Japanese car. That was their right.

      What I have a problem with is when folks condemn as traitors those people who protested the war in a legal and peaceful manner. The people in this particular post certainly fit into that category.

      My ire is reserved for those of our generation who found ways to avoid the draft – I’m talking about Dick Cheney, George W. Bush (the guard was a safe place to be in that era), Rush Limbaugh, Ted Nugent, Bill O’Reilly, Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, et al, but then talk tough when it came time to send other sons and daughters into harm’s way.

      Some of them, to be fair, had student deferments just like I did. But, Dick Cheney stretched his college career out for six years, received five deferments and conveniently became a father just as his last deferment was running out.

      (“On Oct. 6, 1965, the Selective Service lifted its ban against drafting married men who had no children. Nine months and two days later, Mr. Cheney’s first daughter, Elizabeth, was born.”)

      Mr. Cheney also told The Washington Post “I had other priorities in the 60’s than military service.”

      I’m not giving Bill Clinton a pass, either. He gamed the system, but I don’t see him as someone who beat the drums of war as much as the other guys.

      I’ll repeat another thing I’ve said before: if we were still drafting young people, the last two wars would not have gone on for a decade.

      It’s easy to put a yellow magnetic sticker on your SUV to “support the troops,” but it’s a lot harder to invest your son or daughter or husband or wife or brother or sister.

      It’s also interesting how quick we are to send young men and women into war zones, but how slow we are to give them what they need for their physical and mental traumas when they return.

      OK, fire away.

  10. Last statement. In my personal opinion, all Youth should spend 2 years in the Military (AF, MARINES, ARMY OR COAST GUARD) doesn’t make any difference.
    they will learn how to do things without asking why,they will learn to respect their country,heck they might learn to respect themselves.A very,very
    minute % would ever see battle. The military is not for everone (5 yrs was plenty for me). You will come out of the military in better shape mentally and physically. Thank you Ken for the spirited debate.


    1. Jim,

      Finally we come to some common ground (or close to it).

      I think one of the best things that military service did was to put together people from all walks of life (who didn’t manage to dodge it) and from all parts of the country. War movies made that a cliche, but it was true.

      I don’t know that it has to be limited to military service, though. I have a friend who was in the Peace Corps. There is no doubt that her experience changed her life. I had other acquaintances who were in VISTA helping kids in Appalachia.

      I think a two-year stretch of public service in exchange for college or trade school tuition would be good for the country.

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