Ye Olde TSL: Claremont Colleges Protest Vietnam War in 1969

The
Claremont Colleges took part in a national protest calling for the end of the
Vietnam War on Oct. 15, 1969. Classes were cancelled; instead, the colleges hosted talks, marches,
rallies, and other opportunities to learn about different sides of the issue. The next day, TSL dedicated an entire issue to the day’s events. Here’s one blurb about a march that took place. Can you imagine a
political event bringing 2,000 Claremont residents together today?

In
a candlelit march through Claremont to a mass rally at Alumni Field, some 2,000
people yesterday night expressed their opposition to the war in Vietnam.

Chanting
“peace now” and singing “all we are asking is give peace a
chance,” the orderly procession moved from the staging area at College
and Bonita up Bonita to Yale, from Yale to Eighth, and then from Eighth to the
field at College and Sixth.

Moratorium
monitors guided the crowd: 12 Claremont Police officers directed traffic at all
of the intersections. The marchers included 150 from Chaffey College, some of
whom walked the eight miles to Claremont from a rally at Chaffey, and there was
also a delegation which marched from the School of Theology at Claremont.

People
watched the march from their home front porches and windows; a good number of
community people participated, particularly high school students but also
elderly couples and young couples with their children. A few dogs ran loose.
Everyone had trouble keeping their candles from blowing out.

Finally
the march reached the rally, where a few hundred people were waiting already.
Signs such as “Nixon-Thieu in ’72?” and “Swap Spiro for
Peace” appeared; a more conservative person unfurled two banners on the
bleachers, “Nixon Wants Peace Too” and “Help Bring PEACE Support
the PRESIDENT.”

Moratorium
officials and two independent SL surveys estimated the marchers at 2,000; a
Claremont police officer suggested 5,000.

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