1 april 1968 & federal employees against the war in vietnam
"The ad was refused by the Washington Post...." FEAWV organizers (1968)
"It is important to remember that we are men and women, not bureaucrats. We have moral responsibilities.... The agencies we work for are taxing and drafting for the war."
Michael Ambrose, FEAWV spokesperson (1968)
#OTD Monday 1 April 1968 The Federal Employees Against the War in Vietnam's first full-page ad appeared in the Evening Star newspaper. The ad included the signatures of 1,600+ federal employees who wanted to publicly register their opposition to the Vietnam War. The ad was part of a larger petition signed by more than 2,500 federal employees, representing 60+ federal agencies.
The ad stated:
"We are federal employees, opposed to our nation's policy in Southeast Asia, who view with daily, personal anguish the actions taken in Vietnam by the government for which we ourselves work. From our position we have seen how the purpose and energy of government are drained by preoccupation with the making of war. We have seen how progress in foreign policy has been obstructed. We have seen how massive national resources are absorbed by a disastrous war while critical domestic needs are inadequately met. And seeing this, we fear the political and moral consequences for the future of our country. All this, together with the tragic and unnecessary suffering of the Vietnamese people, has troubled our conscience and now compels us to speak out to colleagues and fellow citizens. We call then for the war's end--which we believe is in America's power to bring about. We call upon our Chief Executive to change his policy in Vietnam, to end his reliance on military force, and to seek instead a genuine political statement in bring peace to Southeast Asia."
The organizers had also planned to have the ad run in the Washington Post. However, according to FEAWV, “the POST knowingly imposed unacceptable conditions for printing the ad, and...POST business officials were generally uncooperative and difficult.”
Your comments are welcome below. Were you or a family member part of FEAWV? Did you sign the petition? Do you remember reading the petition? Did you know Michael Ambrose? The address for FEAWV was 404 6th St SE. Was that the organization's office or someone's home? Who lived at 1620 S St NW, where a fundraising event was held? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Evening Star newspaper 1 April 1968.
To learn more about Federal Employees Against the War in Vietnam, see Lessons of the Sixties.
"U.S. Employees Present Petition Against the War," Evening Star 1 April 1968.