Timeline of the G.I. Antiwar Movement

  • 1965

    November 27, 1965
    Veterans for Peace founded in Washington, D.C.
  • 1966

    February 1966
    Donald Duncan, a decorated Green Beret, quits the Armed Forces as an act of personal protest, writing publicly in Ramparts Magazine that the Vietnam War is immoral.
  • June 1966
    Dennis Mora, David Samas, and Jim Johnson, the “Fort Hood 3”, refuse orders to go to war.
  • 1967

    January 1, 1967
    Martin Luther King, Jr. openly expresses support for the antiwar movement on moral grounds.
  • Coffeehouses like “UFO” and “The Oleo Strut” lead the way establishing a peace network of GIs in the towns outside military bases.
    An underground GI press emerges, with over 300 anti-war newspapers written by veterans and active-duty troops.
  • April 15, 1967
    Nationwide Spring Mobilization to End the War (MOBE). In San Francisco, 100,000 people march from Second and Market Streets to Kezar Stadium at Golden Gate Park. Donald Duncan gives the keynote speech.
  • June 1967
    Six Vietnam veterans, including Jan ‘Barry’ Crumb, Mark Donnelly, and David Braum, who had marched together at MOBE, found the organization Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) both to protest the war and fight for veterans' rights. At the height of its effectiveness in the late 1960s, VVAW claims over 40,000 members.
  • June 2, 1967
    Capt. Dr. Howard Levy, age 30, is court-martialed and imprisoned for refusing to train Green Berets in dermatology. (Providing such basic medical care to rural Vietnamese farmers was a tactic being used to win their “hearts and minds.”)
  • September 15, 1967
    In Oakland, the Army arrests 23-year-old African American draftee from Philadelphia, Pvt. Ronald Lockman and takes him to the Presidio stockade after he refuses orders to go to Vietnam. He tells the press, “My fight is back home in the Philadelphia ghettos where I was born and raised.” Attorney Terence Hallinan provides his legal representation.
  • 1968

    July 17, 1968
    The “Nine for Peace,” servicemen representing all branches of the military, chain themselves to ministers in a SF church. This includes Keith Mather, later a member of the Presidio 27.
  • August 1968
    43 African-American GIs, the “Fort Hood 43,” refuse to leave their Texas post for the assignment of riot-control duty at the Democratic National Convention.
  • August 29, 1968
    Black prisoners lead a riot at the harsh, overcrowded Long Bình Jail in South Vietnam. AWOLs made up over half its prison population. Black prisoners, guarded by whites, made up nearly 90%.
  • October 11, 1968
    Richard “Rusty” Bunch, imprisoned in the Presidio stockade for being AWOL, is shot and killed by a guard while on a work detail.
  • October 12, 1968
    The GI March for Peace on the streets of San Francisco is the first demonstration in the country organized by servicemembers. Over 10,000 march to the Presidio to support for the “Nine for Peace” and to protest the killing of Richard Bunch. Activist Randy Rowland, later to be one of the Presidio 27, turns himself in from AWOL at the end of the march and is imprisoned.
  • October 14, 1968
    The “Presidio 27 Mutiny” occurs.
  • 1969

    May 1969
    At Fort Ord, Pvt. Ken Stolte, Jr. and Pfc. Daniel Amick are sentenced to hard labor for forming a discussion group that distributed a leaflet entitled “We protest the war in Vietnam.”
  • Summer 1969
    Marines William Harvey and George Daniel are sentenced to 6-10 years for organizing a meeting about whether black people should be fighting in Vietnam.
  • Sept - Nov. 1969
    Details of a Mỹ Lai Massacre (committed the year before) begin to be reported by mainstream media.
  • October 1969
    Many soldiers serving in Vietnam are seen wearing black armbands in solidarity with domestic protests against the war.
  • 1970

    The Pentagon documents 209 cases of “fragging” in Vietnam, which is an attempt by soldiers to kill a commanding officer who orders them into combat, resulting in 34 deaths. (So named for the fragmentation bombs often laid in commanders’ tents.)
  • 1971

    Colonel Robert Heinl writes in the Armed Forces Journal that the “morale, discipline and battleworthiness of the U.S. Armed Forces are, with a few salient exceptions, lower and worse than at any time in this century and possibly in the history of the United States.”
  • 1972 - ’73

    Some B-52 pilots refuse to fly bombing missions over Hanoi and Haiphong. Larger numbers of ground companies refuse to go into combat.
  • End of 1973
    About 700,000 servicemembers have received less-than-honorable discharges, and nearly 18% of American soldiers are listed as AWOL.
  • 1977

    President Carter passes a general amnesty for those who had fled to Canada (and elsewhere) in defiance of the draft, allowing them to return to the United States, because there were too many people to punish or send to prison.