January 1969 brought Richard Nixon to office and with him came the promise of “peace with honor”. Nixon claimed he could negotiate the withdrawal of U.S. troops and still maintain a free South Vietnam. By October of 1969 many people felt the process of “peace with honor” was moving too slowly, and widespread demonstrations were called for, initially the demonstrations were to be concentrated on 300 college and university campuses. But the idea soon spread nationwide. On October 15, 1969 hundreds of thousands of people participated in the Vietnam Moratorium.
Featured this week is an anti-war poster with an image of the MSU Vietnam Moratorium protests. The Vietnam Moratorium on campus was lead by some of Michigan State University’s most prominent public figures. The rallies on campus ended with a march of nearly 8000 MSU students and faculty down Michigan Avenue to the State Capitol Building on October 15, 1969. At the center of the poster (wearing sunglasses) is MSU president Walter Adams, to the left of him is State Representative Jackie Vaughan III, and to the right of him is Josephine Martin, wife of MSU Trustee and late 1950’s MSU football player Dr. Blanche Martin. This poster was created and distributed around campus to show both students and administrators opposing the Vietnam War together.
–Photo at top from MSU Archives contributed by Jon Backus, Collections Assistant, Collections Up Close : Object of the Week, October 16, 2014.