An Estimated 100,000 People Gather at Lincoln Memorial in First National Demonstration Against the Vietnam War
[On] October 21, 1967, a large demonstration took place at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
As many as 100,000 demonstrators attended the event, and at least 30,000 later marched to the Pentagon for another rally and an all night vigil. Some, including Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, attempted to "exorcise" and "levitate" the building, while others engaged in civil disobedience on the steps of the Pentagon, interrupted by clashes with soldiers and police. In all, 647 arrests were made. When a plot to airdrop 10,000 flowers on the Pentagon was foiled by undercover agents, these flowers ended up being placed in the barrels of MP's rifles, as seen in some famous photographs. Norman Mailer documented the events surrounding the march on the Pentagon in his novel, Armies of the Night.
Anti-Vietnam war protestors rallied to Washington on Saturday, October 21, 1967, in the first national demonstration against the war. The Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam organized the protest to get national visibility for the anti-war movement. Nearby, military policemen stood at ten-foot intervals around the Pentagon. Within the circle of MP's, 300 U.S. Deputy Marshals spent the day waiting. The Deputies were on hand to make any necessary arrests, a civilian power not normally bestowed on the military. Hidden inside the Pentagon and other government buildings were five to six thousand Army troops armed with rifles and bayonets.