The Baby Boomer Movement

Sixty seven rounds fired in thirteen seconds killing four and wounding nine others at Kent State in Ohio drew the attention of the whole nation and brought the focus of millions of Americans to the antiwar movement. This event on May 4, 1970, when Ohio National Guard members fired at Kent State students, forever shocked and changed the nation and made the antiwar movement a headline in newspapers everywhere. No person in the population of the United States ever thought that our own soldiers would ever shoot other fellow American citizens, let alone kill four innocent people. This incident brought the antiwar movement to new heights and attracted more people into the movement than ever before. Although there were many parts to the evolution …show more content…
The baby boomers were a new generation of people. With increased educational, financial and social opportunities, the Boomer Generation was seen as a generation of optimism, exploration and achievement. Compared to the previous generations, more teenagers pursued a higher education or moved away from family to pursue career and educational goals or interests. This new generation was determined and free thinking. There were networks such as the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and the students for a Democratic Society.(1pg3) It was these student organizations that led the antiwar movement during Vietnam. In 1956 when President Johnson put the Vietnam conflict into a full scale air and ground war, the antiwar movement was ignited. By this time there were many well established student organizations on college campuses demonstrating how students could bring about change. In early 1965 when the U.S. began bombing North Vietnam, the pace of protesting escalated. On March 24 1965, faculty memebners at the University of Michigan held a series of “teach ins”, modeled after earlier Civil Rights seminars, that sought to educate large segments of the student population about both the moral and political foundations of U.S. involovement(2pg1). This “teach in” method spread to other campus bringing faculty members into active antiwar …show more content…
This phrase and the protesting made President Nixon and the rest of his administration very uneasy. In an attempt to make the public understand why U.S. troops are fighting in Cambodia, Nixon went down to the Lincoln Memorial. At 4am on May 9, Nixon spoke with 30 students conducting an antiwar vigil, to hopefully show the students the reason for being in Cambodia. In the speech, he expressed how he thought that the anti-war movement was the pawns of foreign communists and he did not want our country to go down the wrong path of communism. The antiwar movement had become so big and influential that Nixon wanted to do whatever he could to get information regarding antiwar movement leaders. Nixon devised the Huston Plan, which would have used illegal procedures to gather information on the leaders of the anti-war movement. The greatest fear of the Nixon White House was that the nationwide student protests would intersect with the mass struggles of the American labor movement, and would make the protest even larger than they already were. But the mass protests marked a significant turning point in the war in Vietnam. The Nixon White House was compelled to withdraw troops from Cambodia in a month of the invasion, and announced that the withdrawals of troops from Vietnam itself would be increased. So the protests proved to be successful.

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