tv Book Discussion on Witness to the Revolution CSPAN August 17, 2016 11:53pm-12:57am EDT
he writes enthusiastically. he seems to be more responsive to movies he sees the people he meets. people in the diary are not impressive. movies he gets very excited about. and he'll say in his the actors are there good and he gets offended when they use drugs or bad language. i think he is reading, it won't kinda reading when reading when he was a boy you like to venture stories. at another. the 50s users to political literature. by the the time his president elect to read human events, right-wing newspapers and his aides would try to keep it away from him because he would pick up these stories and fables and he would go on say things that were not true and then they would have to walk them back and so they were constantly hiding the events and then he'd be finding and getting it back. the writing is interesting. if you want to get a sense on how he thought these transcripts
of his radio commentaries from the late 70s at the most interesting thing. the really good written out in longhand. very few scratch outs. he just set down and wrote. there good. i said somewhat that we would give you -- they are somewhat, their preferred out there sometimes. but they were original and interesting that has that quality in that little bit rush limbaugh quality. it's kind of compelling. >> over the presidential field. i just didn't didn't write up of exactly this in the paper tomorrow, but details. but you
know it's sort of funny because reagan is the patron saint of the republican campaign, when they did the cnn debate at the reagan library, the candidates they spoke of reg at 38 times, they only mention got ten times. that gives you a sense of the actual hierarchy of the part republican party it is a largely false myth that there building up both the idea reagan as a conservative peers as opposed to pragmatists. but but in terms of what he thought. reagan thought at least three things that we get him kicked out the republican. one is about immigration. there's a great quote from the 1984 debate with walter mondale where reagan says, i support amnesty. people may have come here illegally but who work hard, lived in this country. he was a southern californian. he thought thought the idea of a border fence was appalling.
as a migrant labor force that moves back and forth across the border and picks the fruit and vegetables. if they don't, the fruit and vegetables rot. he thought. he thought it was a necessity and a reality. he lived in a multicultural world filled with mexican immigrants. he liked the idea of immigration. even -- so he is a view of immigration that would be barely tolerable of the democratic party but not the republican party. he supported handgun control. after he got shot's probably not a great ideas to buy $20 handguns and pawnshops without background checks. because of what happened. you can have that position today and the republican party. the the last one was abortion. reagan changed his view on this but he signed as governor of california something called the therapeutic abortion bill which probably did more at the national level to make abortion
illegal as roby wade. california was an influential state early on, they, they pass the bill and he supported it and signed it. it said, your dr. can decide if you should have a abortion or not. at that point the discretion of a dr. came very easy to get an abortion. reagan later said he regretted that. but imagine the scene at the republican debate. you're the one who legalized abortion in this country. so you can't say that was ultimately his view. so in some ways it's not just how he held his views but actually the views he held that would now make him. you can't say say it would make him a liberal in the party on taxes and government. but what most republicans thinks is consistent with what reagan thought along with the contradictions in impossibility of having it both ways that
reagan economic plan embodied. but in other respects it just shows how certain things have become this required ideology and the republican party that were not 35 years ago. >> i think we have a few more. >> i come from an old washington family. we met ronald reagan many times. my wife's father was reagan's barber. his holter. >> you love the haircut. >> it was cheap. he didn't not have to tip. he knew a lot of secrets of reagan. >> i can think of one in particular. >> the first one was hair. and he would never talk about visiting the white house, never. so he died with a lot of secrets. anyway, i went to notre dame, tell me about reagan's special relationship with notre dame, especially with father hesburgh.
>> first, asking more about the hair? 's. >> first as you can see nobody. having having the ceramide age, i know that reagan's haircolor at his age was not possible. was. was your father-in-law who died it? do you think? >> well it's like women, they say i never die my hair, but with chemicals but i use it vegetables. that is how they walk away from that. if you ever dye your hair it falls out. it disappears. >> but your father-in-law was the vegetable man? >> he always should have had a v-8. >> i see you've inherited his plug miss on the subject. >> but now it can be told. >> only god knows. not true. there are a few people who know. we know.
a notre dame, think well there's one part of that they differ, reagan wanted to play george give, the one part in hollywood he was desperate to get. and he went after it and he got this part. that is where the gipper comes in he nearly didn't get it. >> pat o'brien got it for him. >> you know the story better than i do. >> i'm a notre dame man, we have to. >> i watched a lot of old movies and there's a line in that movie that nobody focuses on. they focus on that speech which is mythological by the way, never happened. it's a good myth. but but the line in that movie which is kind of true about what george was really like, i don't like like people to get close to me.
and i thought, that is the line that really resonates with reagan, that's when which reagan was like that character. >> you should know that when hesburgh would visit the white house reagan would show -- >> the last question will do quickly. >> could you follow up please only, that was made during the introduction to the effect that i thank you might think that reagan was the second most influential president in the 20th century, since fdr anyway ? >> i do think that. i think of you take that long perspective you had a liberal progressive wave which you say the new deal era, forget the early progressive part of it begins with roosevelt election in 1932. really last until reagan is elected in 1980. then in a lot of ways the republican president in that. were in many respects liberal presidents, the continued in those years and you had
democratic congresses and all for those years. so you had tended to perpetuate. reagan halted that. that. it's an interesting argument about how he reversed it because he didn't really shrink government, the federal government was about the same size when he left office with a shared economy that it was when he was elected. the government stop growing. he gave rise to a movement that still holds to his fundamental belief that is the moderate it modern conservative movement. i thank you could argue since 1980 we have been living in the age of reagan. just as republican presidents were in a liberal area before that, the democratic democratic presidents have been democratic presidents in a largely conservative era since then. i think changing the direction of government, challenging the role of government, stopping the growth of expansion and expansion of government in the
way that he did was what he set out to do. it was enormous project and i think he was effective at it. not the only thing but if you think which president really change the country i would say fdr and reagan and the 20th century. thank you. [applause]. >> thursday, but to be primetime continues with books on global politics. at 8:00 p.m., the less you know, the the better you sleep, looking at russia.
at 930, on choosing a hero looking at ellen johnson's early rise to the liberian presidency. at 10:10 p.m., on the brave new world, india, china and the united states. at 11 p.m., oscar 11:00 p.m., oscar martinez on his book, "a history of violence" even in dieting and central america. >> a signature feature of c-span's book tvs are coverage of book fairs and festivals across the country featuring nonfiction authors. saturday at 11:00 a.m. eastern tv will be live at the mississippi book festival for the second annual literary lawn party at the state capital. other panels feature civil rights, education policy, mississippi, mississippi state history in the 2016 presidential election.
authors include john beauchamp who is written biographies on jefferson, jackson, and george hw bush. trent lott discusses his book on political polarization, crisis point. go to book tv done or for the complete schedule. >> live coverage at 1:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> come in a public tv in primetime, books focusing on issues of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. the, clara bingham on her book witness to the revolution. then 67 shots, the end of american innocence.
later, jacob weisberg on his book on "ronald reagan". now look at the social and political situation in the u.s. from august 1967 until august august 1970. clara bingham talks about her book "witness to the revolution" this is one hour. [inaudible] >> okay, good evening everybody. can everybody hear me? good evening, my name is it zoe, thank you so much for coming and
supporting our local independent bookstore. i like to begin by asking you to turn off her silence your cell phones even if you're confident there silence give them a check. will tell you our event series is full of author talks presented by authors such as michael harvey and others will be here with their respective novels. if you like to know more about e author events follow us on facebook, twitter instagram. instagram. our pick up an event schedule. clara bingham is the author of "witness to the revolution ". also class-action class-action come the landmark case thatt change sexual harassment law which was in l.a. best book of the year award. she has authored woman on the hill, challenging the culture of congress. she is a former newsweek white house correspondent and writing
has appeared appeared in vanity fair, though washington monthlym and other publications. she's produced a documentary, the last mountain. last mountain. before she speaks tonight will be playing a short trailer for witness to the revolution i will watch that right now now. >> good evening. we'll talked about the war on vietnam. i'd like to answer som of the questions that i know are on the minds of many of you.
[inaudible] relate 21 years old, where kids. where people who would come up and activism. the the report in the civil rights movement. we are born in the women's movement and the beginning of the queer movement. so all of this was happening in one principle was -- the combination of the word black empower shock the nation. m i mean people went nuts. they just went nuts. [inaudible] i was nervous even though is incarcerated. i knew immediately that. [inaudible] later is proven.
for an end of the war. he saw moment and were part of moments where the human spirit was really at its best. i think it is fair to say that we lost -- we did that and capitalism, we did not end racism, we did not actually have a war in vietnam but we did win all of the cultural battles.it there's no place in the united states -- [inaudible] alternative health movement, these things are exertingterm long-term pressures that are deeply --
[inaudible] >> hello everybody. thank you for coming. thank you for brooklyn brooke smith for inviting me here. there so few independent bookstores laugh so i'm eyes excited to come to one that is this big and vibrant and that clearly is a community center. i'm really thrilled to be here. i also wanted to give a shout out to a random house colleagueg of mine who is here, amelia who is sitting over there being shy.
and who is a lawyer for this book, which required a lot of work as you can imagine. so i'm glad she's here. this video that you just saw or the voices that you heard were from tape-recorded interviews that i conducted with 100 different people. obviously not, only a few of that video but i talked to 100 people over the course of about three years who were involved in different parts of the movements for social change. the late 60s all of them lived in america. [laughter] i decided that i miss the 60s. i was born in 1963 and i grew up in new york city on central park west.y my playground was essentially the staging ground for the antiwar movement. i knew that a lot was going on as a young child.
i was not completely aware off the significance of it. my early hometown heroes were shirley chisholm and i have pictures of them on my wall when i was a young feminist at age seven. but, all this was really theater to me and when i graduated from college in 1985 it was exactly 15 years after the largestst student strike in america which you just saw the statistics about. there are 700 colleges close do down, 2.5 million went on strike. knowing took finals and yet, i graduated just 15 years later to the middle of the reagan administration. a few of us went to battle of the streets against apartheid trying to get harvard, otherwise it was very quite. my friends
friends went off to work on wall street.. i just knew that my life was different because of what had happened in the sixties. i was free to choose any career i wanted and and live in a life i wanted to leave. i really wanted to know what itw was about this revolution in the late 60s that i missed. how that activism, that awaken generation had changed my generation and all the generations to follow. i also thought it was a good time to go back in with history thank you are allowed to go back every decade or so and revisit what had occurred even if the 60s have been written about enormously. the mostly. the library that i collected in my research was fast.ky to de so i could feel like it was a little cheeky of me to decide that i could take on this decado as a kid who is not even there. it seemed like the right time to revisit the decade and talk to people who were activist.and 70s
many of them were in their late 60s and 70s ready to reflect. so much i gone on in the last 4a years that there is a lot to talk about.d i wanted to catch them at a time when they still remembered what they had done and wanted to reflect. so i set about traveling around the country. i wanted to focus on the school your 1969 - 70, august to august which was a period of was a period of time which i considered to be the climax, crescendos of the 60s in some ways. i try to re-create through an oral history narrative, this is all the first-person voice woven together, i re-created many of the big events that occurred during that time through personal stories of the people i talk to. it was a really movingce to ge experience to get people to tell
me what happened to them. everyone remembered everything remembered everything because it was ultraviolet. ii would have to talk about fading memories but that's not the case. everyone was traumatized, whether they had come back from the were part fought in vietnam or were fighting against the war on the streets here or if they are part of the counterculture or the feminist movement. everyone had done things that they felt were extremely important. they committed their lives in ways that no one in my generation had ever really done. so it was exciting to me to revisit all of that with them. in august of 69, as many of you may remember it was woodstock. i looked at woodstock through the eyes of david harris who, at the time was in jail. his wife joan was pregnant with the child and singing on stage and telling everybody the 500,000 people who appeared in
new york all about her husband who had started the resistance. it was a large group of draft leaders who decided what was the best in moral thing to do despite the draft. which, by the way it affected the lives of 27 million people5 between 1965 and 1973. 2,200,000 american men million american men were drafted. it was in instantly politicizing experience. david harris thought the most orally correct thing to do was to go to jail. he tried to convince as many people as possible to take that act of civil disobedience ago to jail. david harris, like many activists at this time was raised in the civil rights movement. so he had gone to mississippi as had tom hayden and robin morgan in so many people who were later in the antiwar movement. they had worked in the silver
rights movement in the south. david harris was a student atll stanford. i'm going to read a section from the book from different voices. this is david harris speaking. i consider myself part of the movement from the day i left mississippi. what we called the movement, t,, m was a commitment was a commitment to justice and the values of democracy. they call it the new left because it was not an ideology. it was not specific politicking attached to it. it was a set of set of values, finding ways to express themselves. i was in marches, as in rallies and demonstrations, but there's always the larger question of the constriction system. in that era it would any male turned 18 he had a go to the post office and register for the selective service system. when you register for selective service they give you two cards, one was proof that you had registered and the otherf,ic indicated your classification. because under the selective
service there were various classification starting with one a which meant that you were -- so you are going to get a noticg soon in the mail reporting which meant you are physically unable to perform and therefore exempt. in between that, the largest one was to s which was a student deferment. anybody in college, making quote reasonable progress toward ampo degree had temporary exemption until they finish their education. so that was a system that covered all of our lives. all of the mail lives anyway. always there were exploding out there, what happens when they call your number. we understandably focused on that a lot. i mean there were people going to graduate school so they would not get drafted. there are people getting married so they would not get drafted because early on in married was an exemption. they were going to draft family man, they thought if you wanted to take a year off
and go to paris and write poetry, you poetry, you're headed to the tall grass if you do that. this defined everybody's life. i see a few nods. so the draft really is the sign of the story in many ways. and it is probably many ways the reason my this group of early baby boomers were often called the awaken generation, because there's nothing that wakes you up more than realizing that who you are voting for and how you act will have an impact on whether you live and die, whether you go to or not. so a perfect storm of rebellion took place by the end of the 60s. we had the vietnam war and the draft, the civil civil rights, the political side of thed, worg revolution. that was working arm in arm and that there's a psychedelic revolution. the counterculture taken place. that all had a profound attitude of people's establishment. establishment.
by the end of the 60s there is a massive movement of student uprising. i concluded many the people i tt interviewed concluded that lsd played a part in that. marijuana also. i said in thehe book that lsd was used widely in the late 1960s with the secret ingredient that help propel a transformation in attitude and lifestyle that challenged nearly every principle that supported american society and culture in the 1950s. it was called the revolution by consciousness or psychedelic revolution. by 1970, at least 2 million americans had tried acid. one third of all college students had smoked marijuana. the escalation the escalation of th vietnam war and resistance to-hf the draft in the second half of the decade combined with a psychedelic fuel to counterculture created a nationwide spontaneous combustion. again, david harris had a lot to
say about that. he was at stanford in the mid sixties. he was elected stanford as student body president. he had long hair. at one point fraternity brothers could nap timid shaved his head. that became very big news in san francisco and was on the front page of the papers. meanwhile, even though prolonget time during the 60s the political left in the counterculture were not always simpatico. there's there is a sense that they had different ideals and different objectives. the david harris found himself right in the eye of that bull's-eye, right in the middle of the two revolutions that were taking place because he was in palo alto. this is what he told me about that. about the the same time i took asset for the first time,
ken was doing his trip festival in the city. use of figure around stanford because he lived up in the hills, and the back of stanford. eventually we all knew him and we took acid with him several times. a lot of hippies at the time or looking to get stoned and dance and play. we're all forgetting getting stoned, dancing and playing with serious business was how to deal with the machine that was chewing up southeast asia. their mingle together and part of the same uprising of young people who insisted on writing their ticket. the tickets that the tickets are being written for them were bad at best and criminal worst. it wasn't just acid, is the whole thing. growing your hair out, were close were close that didn't come from jcpenney's or saks fifth avenue. you got to remember we grew up in the 50s.. the 50s was a time of no option. there was only one way to be. when i grew up in fresno we had three choices. you could be generally in the
sense of you and jima, or john wayne in the that the way everyone was insisting that we're supposed to be and we were going to find them. after august, a group of straight antiwar activists, many of them were clean for jean and 68, they had shaved their beer and cut their hair to campaign for eugene mccarthy in new hampshire. they organize something called the moratorium committee to end the war in vietnam. on october 15, they staged what was the largest ever protest against the war. 2,000,000 people all over the country went on strike for one day. they had different events to oppose the war this was very
threatening to the nixonng. administration. because it proved that it was not just the radical fringe. it's not just to be freaks that were against the war. this war. this was something that wasne multigenerational now. the country was really turning against the war by 1969 more than 50 than 50% of americans69 were against the war. the moratorium really prove that this was no longer a french movement. this was a much broader movement.this, one of the ways the next administration dealt with this is that they try to intimidate the members of the committee. one of them was a man named david and he was gay. he had a very intimidating and scary incident occurred to him which i will reach about, i think it is a little bit of a precursor to the plumbers. this is clearly something that the early mix and administration, maybe the fbi was involved with. i will tell you what happened.
because it was really quite shocking. i was terrified to tell my dad that if i was drafted i would not serve. it was sort of a joke now because all had to do was tell them that i was gay. i would have been out instantly. but being in jail for five years appeal more to me than letting anyone know that i was gay. it is pretty powerful is that? that's all had to say. i would rather have gone to jail to have anybody know the truth about me i would not have been allowed to do anything i was doing. i would not have been a cochair of the vietnam war tory and if i were gay. i had to fight to get -- women were not given good roles, as one emerges supporters. gay, not a chance in the world would i be allowed to do any of it. >>would have immediately beenn discarded.
and then this is what happened to him right after. one night i got trunk, went to this really remote, dingy bar of this vision from god came in. he was exactly my type. intelligent, handsome, masculine , and we ended up going home together. he said, i know i know who you are, i work for the federal government. i don't want you to panic, i i want to create a safe place for you. i really have feelings for you. he had everything i loved in his house. the router, yates, all the great poets i loved in elvis presley and janis joplin records. anyhow, to make anyhow, to make a long story short, we started an affair and he did create a safe place for me. about 30 days into it he said he had to go away for the weekend. when he got back he said let's meet for lunch on monday, i wil come straight from the airport. i said great. i went to the hot shop on k and 16th street and sat in a booth b waiting for him.
two guys in suits pulled into the booth and sat across from ma and showed me their badges. when someone shows you a badge, how many times have you taken ar look at it especially in those days. i don't know if they werei real, they put out on the table some naked pictures of the two of us having sex. it just wasn't there someone had stuck a knife into my got. i've my first thought was, i have to warn frank, so immediately afterwards i rent his apartment . . got in and the place of totally empty. there wasn't a dust ball or anything else. i never saw him again. the suits gave me three days to get out or they were going to sen these pictures to my family and the press. so i got very, very drunk and told my friends i add heart condition was and was very sick. i decided to kill myself. i bought a gun, and was going to kill myself, but i wanted to get
but i wanted to get drunk enough to do it. but then i had a moment of clarity and i realized there was no way they could send the photo to the press because how are they going to explain it, did the governments want the press to know that they were filming and blackmailing them?ma maybmay be they as much to losei did. when they met him, when they met up with the nst are you getting out i said send it to them i don't care and walked away. i thought they had gotten the pictures. i dreaded hearing from them. the press called and said we want to speak to david. every single time they worried that they had the photos. so i immediately pulled back and stopped speaking to the press. after the october 15 moratorium, there was another moratorium on
november 15.ok this one took place in washington, d.c., 500,000 people came to dc for three days. it was absolutely one of the largest single events in one city ever against the war and ended with something called the march of death which is 38 hours people marching from arlington cemetery with placards of names of dead american servicemen all the way to the capitol building putting the placards in makeshift coffins that have been lined up in front of the capitol and then carrying them to the white house. house. so that was the revenge and also one of the most moving things hd participated in. at that moratorium on the 15th, there were signs many people had signs saying free the people and the reason why this hines had just come up was two days earlier on november 13, an
investigator had just broken a story about the massacre. and this story dribbled out over the course of a month andit eventually revealed that american soldiers had moved into a village and killed 504 civilians who are mostly women and young children and it was a absolutely devastating story that did more to help the movement than any protesterny march ever could. and also revealed to many people how difficult the war was to win because it was hard to tell who was an enemy and who was a friend and fellow that the u.s.o had an unspoken rule called kill anything that moves into the body count was very important,wp so what happened was happening all over vietnam and in the smaller scale and then i interviewed soldiers who were
there who understood that he wasn't just a one-time events. buone time event. but this was actually reallyympm symptomatic of one of the many problems on the war and how it was being fought. it was a fascinating person for me to interview. he was an investigative reporter who didn't want to talk to me. i had to go through most of people to get to him. i told the story and i'm sick of telling the story. but eventually, he told me the whole story of how he was a great reporter investigating the story of how he got the first tip. he got wanted about the one tipe lieutenant who was in trouble. he told him where kelly was and he went to south carolina, found cali after the military base and she ended up telling him everything he knew which wasn't to the benefit. later on, they find other people
who are in the troupe and one of the most important people that he discovered in talking to him was a guy named medlow. finding him wasn't that easy. the only thing i knew from the roster was speed 11 was from indiana so i found every meadlo i could find in the state. i then finally found somebody anyplace i called and said i am looking for paul is he okay? >> what do you mean, i mean how is his leg, while he's doing all right. were you and i said i'm just a reporter.t i want to talk about what happens in the war and she said well i don't know if they will talk to you. i said is it okay if i come and she said i can't promise. she had a very deep indiana
voice. so, the next day we flew to indianapolis, rented a car and drove. it might have been ten in the morning when i got there. i couldn't find the place for a long time. it was a chicken farm but when i pulled into the farm i could see that it was all messed up and there were chickens over the place. his mom comes out and she is a little old lady. 50 but looked closer to 70, just beaten down and living in this old wooden shack. so i say is he american is it okay if i go in and she said yes of course. then she said this great line. she looked at me and said i sent them a good boy and and they me him a murderer. it was one of those lines doubles with you forever. i sat down and first i asked him about his leg which is always what you do. you've got to do that. i said i want to see the stump.
after a few minutes i said okay. tell me your story. what's your story coming i comee smiled, happy to have somebody not pretending that nothing ever happened to him. he said i just began to shoot people. he told me to shot so he shot and shot and i'm taking notes. i shot and shot and i spoke to seven kids to write the book after reading the first five articles and of course they won the pulitzer for that story. so that was november, and we are not even into 1978. by december, a few things happened but most notably, the murder of fred hampton who was a leader in the very charismatic young black panther member and he was based in chicago and oned of the things hampton preached
was for unity. he was a pre- jesse jackson rainbow coalition which made the fbi. nervous. and because he wasn't a separatist and the black panther party at that point started in oakland, but by the end of 1969, it was at its peak. and this is what i wrote about it. at the vanguard of this domestic rebellion was the black panther party, which in reaction to the police brutality and fbi harassment, publicly declaredec war on the police.lice. two dozen black panther chapters had opened up across the country. and in 1969, the police killedrr 27 panthers and arrested or jailed for 749. j. edgar hoover announced the black panther party was the greatest threat to the internal security of the country. and he assigned 2,000 full-time
fbi agents to expose, disrupt, misdirect and discredit and otherwise neutralize the panthers and other new left organizations. in 1969 a speech to congress, who for declared that it was a firmly established subversive force dedicated to the complete destruction of our traditional democratic values and principles of ththeprinciples of the gover. succumb it was war at home. and these 2,000 agents were part of a secret organization called within the fbi. they went after the panthers first, the weathermen second, buweatherman second,but then th. they infiltrated them against the war and many feminist groups say even they went to the communes and had a lot of people
who were underground and disrupting from inside all these organizations. and also, encouraging them to be more and more violent. on december 4, fred hampton was killed in his sleep. 80 shots were fired from his front door. he and his colleague at 4:00 inr the morning hampton's bodyguard with an fbi informant he had slipped him a sleeping pill. so he never woke up. it was a cold-blooded assassination. at the beginning always said that it was a firefight with i only two bullets were shown tobu have gone through the outside from inside to outside. so, it was clearly an fbi arranged with the chicago polici assassination, and it was extremely upsetting to the right left and to a group of sds radicals who had to split off from the largest student
democratic society split off and created a more militant radicall group and they called themselves the weatherman. mark was one of the leaders. he had been at columbia in 1968 during the student uprising ande he described the impact of the fred hampton -- and also the fbi targeting of the black panthers on his group. when the panthers came alongd ly carrying guns for any means necessary and the government reacted by taking them seriously and murdering them, we said it's war and we've got to be out there and not just applauding from the sidelines. there's always a tendency for white people to hold back their applause from the sidelines. but we identified, sorry, we identified as being racist. not to take any risks.
we didn't want to be liberal. to be a liberal was to be a hypocrite and a betrayer. succumb a part of our thinking was what side are you on, fred hampton became our battle cry. black power then became an enormous challenge to white kids. will we be germans were racist and ignore what's happening or what we support the people who l were fighting and taking the risks? that became a challenge for the weatherman. most don't understand the extent of the challenge the blackck movement posed to the weather underground and the movement. i interviewed several members of the black panther movement, and as well as the weather underground. and that was fascinating especially it was very reflective about what they have done and they felt they made a lot of mistakes by becoming as militant as they did.
i wasn't interested in judging them. i wanted to know why, what it was that motivated them to act the way they acted. in february, the weatherman bombs a house of judge murtagh in new york city he was then judge presiding over the panther 21 trial, which at the time was the largest case. it went on for months and months, and 21 panther 21 panthn arrested. they were allth in jail without bail. bail was set at $100,000. it delete code they firebombed the house of mirth ha -- murtag. i interviewed his son, who amelia does com come it is interesting to hear his point of view and what it was like to be the victim of a bombing, how terrifying it was and how threatening.
but that was just the beginning. on march 6, the weatherman blew up the famous townhouse on the westhewest village on 11th stre. three of them were killed. they were making a bomb that they planned to detonate at fort dix and at an officer stands, and it would've killed dozens of people. t it would have killed officers and their dates, the waiters handed bandmembers. and it was an example of how far out the weather had gotten inton with all this anger and wanting to fight fire with fire. after thatoccurred, they all went underground. the leaders, about 200 members of the weather underground assumed fake name, moved all over the country. many of them went left, the war wigs started to demand will labor, cash only jobs and many of them lived underground for up to ten years. and they joined a large community of underground people.
there were a lot of people who had escaped drug laws and black panthers and different people involved in the black power movement. succumb there was a large community of hundreds of thousands of people livingnglivg underground. after townhouse explosion, the impact of that on the new left and the antiwar movement was devastating because of course it played right into nixon's hands. tom hayden and have started the weather in the early 60s and served at that stage as thehe grandfather of the antiwar movement and who i interviewed multiple times, told me about the townhouse. the townhouse explosion was pretty stunning. i knew everybody who died. i think there are too many people who view it as the end of the 60s. but you can only have so many in the 60s.
there were about ten of them. altamont was the end of the 60s. the end of the 50s is really 1975. when it came to its national end. t i didn't think the townhouse signified the end of the 60s, but i just felt immense sorrow and depression. i have questions of the technical nature, like what went wrong, what were they doing? the people have been blasted into oblivion. there were only fingernailsrnais left. i just thought that they were beyond logic and sense. it confirmed what i feared. nobody ever came to me and said we are going to kill soldiers. it was one of the leaders of th group, jj's logic, that said if the government is killing innocent vietnamese than our job is to kill innocent american soldiers. i looked at the practicalld morality, like what the fuck are
you doing? you are carrying out an act that will reflect on everybody carrying out the movement. bring out the fbi or the cia on us. it has no rationale that can be voiced. you might as well say that youiz are organizing for saving. it would be the equivalent. stand on the street corners where satan satan are just join. there are some people that youth will reach, but with the fuck are you doing? it is only possible but they't were doing it because they didn't care anymore about influencing american opinion. after the townhouse in may president nixon announced thepr invasion of cambodia. he had been secretly bombing cambodia for about a.bu may 1, he sent in troops. and this was not greeted at all with any sort of popular opinion.
everyone was very upset. students were still in school and they protested all over the country and can state occurred, which we just saw on may 4. four students were killed, 14 shot by the ohio national guard. after that, the student striker took place over the rest of the month and the country came as close to the civil war i think currently has ever had in the 20th century. it was the moment of pure chaos. and it ended on august, in a way i feel like the movement ended in some ways at least morally on august 24 at the university of wisconsin when four men bombed a
building in the blew up the entire building was the research building and a lot of research was taking place there. it had been a hot issue for years because the researchersor were working in that building and a man named carl armstrong whom i interviewed and his brother and two other men who were on the student newspaper decided that that would be an important symbolic building to blow up and they detonated an entire u-haul truck of ammunition and it was considered the largest domestic terrorist act before the oklahoma bombing. unfortunately by mistake they killed somebody, a 33-year-old physics researcher who had three children into only antiwar himself and happened to be working up to were three in thee morning and so the armstrong
brothers and their friends wenth on to canada and they were able to be fugitives for several years before they werebefore t discovered and carl armstrong did have ten years of time. it was the thing to do if you haven't gonhadn't gone to jail. the example was extreme but many others did time for drugs and protest and time for civil disobedience. it was considered even worse than the bombing because it occurred afterwards and even one of the people was still on the land. after that bombing the weather underground continued to bomb and they took up a symbolic bombing and with no intention of killing people they actually didn't kill anyone.
he was the main caseworker for the underground and followed them for ten years and was fascinating.at she knows more about them than anybody because he listened to all the conversations. it was very funny how women were complaining that they didn't have the power that they wanted in spite of the organization. they felt that it is completely untrue and they listened to all the conversations and felt that there were a lot of women go bison told me this about the weather underground. it was the left by the fbi. it was 38 bombings. i have the list memorized. the underground was extremely
sophisticated with their devices more so than many people realize. none of the weathermen bombings have been solved. we would still like to find out who did them. however the statute of limitations is over for all of them except for the golden gate police department in california where a police officer was killed. we closed the underground investigation in 1977 which is when i wrote the closing report. also, in 1976, the fbi was involved in their biggest scandal in 47 ages were indicted in four of them were illegal and is fighting on disruptive behavior against the weather underground. and by 1980, many of the leaders were able to come out. no one ever went to jail because
no evidence could be used against them in court. and the same thing happened for daniel ellsberg is one of the people i interviewed who had released the pentagon papers and was going to trial for treason. but of course the burly plumbers have broken in to the psychiatrists office. and also they bug the phones at the friend of ellsberg's. when these revelations came out in court, the case was dropped. and instead of going to jail. in many ways nixon and hoover's war against the antiwar movement morphed into what became a regular habit of dirty tricks. a lot of the people i interviewed believed that nixon's focus on the antiwarment
movement. if you look at who's on the list many of them are members of this movement and really got theth better of him and was very much a precursor to watergate. also everybody's stories. [applause] does anybody have any stories they would like to share or any of you in any of these places or event? the school went on. they started interacting with these people saying they were crazy and why were they doing
this they took his side just for fun and argued back they pulled out a 20-dollar bill. >> i have a question. you spent a lot of time talking. about the violent part of the 60s. i didn't hear any mention of tht catholic worker. >> i focused on a particular year and the event of the year many of them were quite violent. they were on the run during this year and mary and that whole group of wonderful left catholic organizers.. >> i spent two years have been
-- been very federal prison. >> is a big difference. >> is basically used by the badd guys. why were you in prison? prison? >> i turned 18 in 64. that was the primetime to turn 18. there were family hardships and it took me three years to convince the federal government. >> so you have to try. so you didn't want to have the white skin privilege.