February 15, 1967 – Protesting The Vietnam War – Calling Up The Reserves – It’s No Longer Cassius Clay –
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February 15, 1967 – Sixth Hour News – WNBC New York – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
February 15, 1967 – News today was about Vietnam – the Vietnam War and protesting the Vietnam War. Starting with Defense Secretary Robert McNamara saying he doubted the bombing of North Vietnam in itself would stop the aggression in South Vietnam. However, he would not call the raids ineffective. He said instead they could be viewed according to their limited objectives, and that was to place a high price on Hanoi’s campaign of moving men and supplies into the South. The effectiveness he said, should be judged by the great efforts the North Vietnamese have taken to stop it.
His announcement came shortly after some 2,000 women from the Women’s Strike For Peace demonstrated at the Pentagon in Washington this day. The women came primarily from New York City and Philadelphia. The New York contingent gathered at Penn Station to board trains heading to Washington D.C. – they carried signs and chanted slogans against the War and were viewed as a sign opposition to the war was on the increase and that 1967 was going to be an important year in helping turn the tide of public opinion on the war in Vietnam.
Secretary McNamara also said that some 25-30,000 reservists who were unable or unwilling to participate in reserve activities would be drafted because, as he put it “these men were enjoying a draft deferment without contributing to the readiness of the Reserve”.
Warnings were issued from the Agriculture Department over the threat of a global food shortage unless something was done to reverse the trend – Secretary Orville Freeman issued the warning in a speech to the Overseas Press Club, going on to stay that world population would double from 3 billion to 6 billion by the year 2000 and that one-fifth of the U.S. wheat crop went to India in 1966 and was still not enough to contain the country’s consumption. The situation was only going to get worse if something wasn’t done and done quickly.
Ramparts Magazine published an exposè on the CIA’s involvement in funding and infiltrating various Youth groups around the U.S. who were actively engaged in protesting the Vietnam War.
And Heavyweight Champion of the world Cassius Clay was now to be known as Muhammed Ali as he was training for an upcoming fight with Zora Foley. Though some individuals and organizations balked at the conversion to Islam, Ali was no longer Cassius Clay and let everyone know on no uncertain terms.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this February 15, 1967 as reported by WNBC’s Sixth Hour News.