The 1967 March on the Pentagon - October 21, 1967

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The Pond by The Lincoln Memorial





Dick Gregory


Louis Abolafia




























The 1967 March on the PentagonOn ~ Oct. 21, 1967


I was 23 years old and I marched along with with 100,000 others to our American Capitol to protest; we were passionately against The Vietnam War, called “The American War” over there.

Our mass dissent this day was called- “The March on the Pentagon” or “The March on Washington.”

During the end of this very long day a large ardent contingent, myself included, sundered a protective fence and went forth. We had the temerity to surround the Pentagon, which was well protected by edgy soldiers, US Marshalls and Military Police, most of them our own age. The only thing we could do now, other than actually storm the building and lay siege, was to sit down peacefully and occupy the surrounding grounds.

It was dusk and we were cold and yeah, we were scared too. There was no plan other than “exorcising” the Pentagon and levitate the notorious five sided structure. This benign notion came directly from Abbie Hoffman at Yippie headquarters. Abbie- always good for a political laugh.

Quietly at first, then louder, with sweet grace and conviction we sang the most poignant version of “America the Beautiful” I’m sure I will ever hear. Damn- it was holy. Thankfully, most of us got out of there alive and in one piece. We had powerful memories of the day and thought that maybe we made a dent against LBJ’s jihad.

I had only been into photography for a few months and was a year away from first being published, but I was aware that I had the gene of a storyteller and proceeded to take it upon myself and try and capture photographs of the day, of this great event, and ultimately tell a story with my camera.

Days later I printed 10 or so pieces, the ‘best of’, and I liked what I saw. I had the semblance of the makings of a story as told with still photography. In fact it was the one and only time, outside of my artist’s portfolio to be, that I collected a day of work, a news story that sort of held together, and I put it all into a looseleaf folder.

I've always been sentimental about that looseleaf folder.

I’ve added a few more never published photos of The March in today’s digital version of my looseleaf binder. I hope you like.

- Robert Altman




Please note that all of these photographs are Copyright © 2002 Robert Altman, All Rights Reserved. They are made available for your personal enjoyment only. Any other use without the express, prior written consent of Robert Altman is strictly prohibited.

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Raggedy Clown Marriage | The 1967 March on the Pentagon