A Question Of Amnesty – A Subject Of Conscience – 1974 – Past Daily Reference Room
Click on the link here for Audio Player – ABC News Inquiry – Amnesty: Can you go home again? – April 24, 1974 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
The only thing more contentious about our involvement in the Vietnam War was the subject of those who refused to get involved in that War and what to do about it.
The subject of Amnesty was brought up – granting those who either refused to serve, deserted or who sought refuge in other countries, an opportunity to come back and be absolved of criminal charges for their actions.
The proposals ran the gamut – Amnesty in exchange for 2 years of Public Service. Or blanket Amnesty with no questions asked.
The subject of Amnesty brought a storm of controversy from both sides of the argument, but the need was greater to bring about some healing of a country fractured by the War. And so the conversation started.
Lines were clearly drawn and each side posed impassioned reasons for their decisions.
This documentary, produced by ABC News and narrated by Frank Reynolds, sought to look at all sides of the argument. And for the next hour you get to hear just how fractured and split our country was, all because of Vietnam.
The subject still causes contention in some circles, and most likely some wounds will never heal. New wars have broken out since then. There is no draft. And every time one is proposed it’s shot down. But in 1974, the country was being torn apart by a scandal and it needed some measure of healing in order to just go on. And an Amnesty proposal forty years ago was a start.
Here is that ABC New Inquiry Episode: Can You Go Home Again? – first broadcast on April 24, 1974.
FYI – if historic News and Public Affairs programs are something you’re passionate about, would you consider chipping in to keep Past Daily up and running and continuing the preservation and digitization project we’ve been doing? We’re not asking a lot – we need to reach our goal of $10,000 to keep going for the next 6 months, and you can help. You can make a contribution, and you can also tell your friends to stop by and see what we’re up to. In either case, we need your help and we greatly appreciate all your help so far.
So take a minute or two to consider making a difference.