National Constitution CenterCenturies of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline Exhibit
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1970-1987: We wrestle with our democratic freedoms, arguing issues old and new

January 27, 1973
Our nation’s been in turmoil over the war in Vietnam

Anti-war protesters

“Hell no. We won’t go!”
—Antiwar chant

The Vietnam War—and its casualties—continued to grow under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

The war split America apart. Many people supported a war to contain communism. But as the evening news brought the war home, people began to wonder: could this war be won? And if so, at what price?

Students and peace groups organized massive rallies to end the war. Increasingly militant antiwar protests set off a debate that frayed the nation but eventually moved popular opinion. Most Americans became convinced the loss of life wasn’t worth it.

The clamor against the war prevailed. As of today, the U.S. “will stop all its military activities” in Vietnam. We’ve signed the Paris Peace Accord with North Vietnam.

As Americans, we can change government policy—through our constitutional rights of protest, free assembly and free speech.

Read about it in the New York times

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