Our House Divided – The Protests Of May, 1970 – Past Daily Reference Room

The division was getting deeper and more pronounced.

The division was getting deeper and more pronounced.

. . . or click on the link here for Audio Player – NBC Radio – Our House Divided – May 10, 1970 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection

The events of this month 45 years ago were shocking and polarizing. The tide going against our continued War in Vietnam and our involvement in Southeast Asia (which now included Cambodia) pointed up to a shift in American attitudes about the War. The majority of Americans were now in favor of getting out as soon as possible. But there was that vocal minority who were making themselves known, and were just as loud and potentially just as violent as the ones calling for Peace.

It spoke volumes about how deeply divided this country was at the time (still is, according to many) and how there seemed to be no simple solution to this very complex and draining problem that had overtaken America since the 1960s on.

Making matters worse, in addition to the surprise announcement that U.S. Troops were invading Cambodia, was President Nixon‘s off-the-cuff remarks to Pentagon workers. Calling the students “bums” who were only “interested in burning down college campuses”, inflamed passions even more – and ignited renewed protests, which for a time were dwindling because of a promise to wind down the Vietnam War. Coupled with the surprise announcement of Cambodia and the killing of students at Kent and Jackson State, the country was once again on the edge of anarchy.

All of this turn of events spawned a flood of media reflection and question-asking. The airwaves were filled with discussions on the nature of the war, the protests, the poll numbers and the misinterpretations.

One of those programs, offering to shed some light on the current state of affairs was NBC Radio News, and an overview of the situation called “Our House Divided”, which aired on May 10, 1970.

A fascinating look at the divisions within our society, and the nature of protest during the Vietnam War, and how this new chapter in the Vietnam odyssey was bringing those divisions to the surface.

Here is Our House Divided, as it was originally broadcast on May 10, 1970.

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