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The Height of the Anti-War Movement at UPenn

Printed just after the announcement of the start of the Cambodian Campaign on April 30th, 1970, this poster attacks the war effort and then-president Nixon. Showing the three nations in which Nixon was involved at the time--South Vietnam, Laos, and present-day Cambodia--as Nixon's left cheek, the unflattering image calls for a general strike and rally four days after the Kent State shootings.

The first two weeks of May 1970 were undoubtedly some of the most important of postwar America. While students and other liberals had been opposed to any involvement in Vietnam for many years, with the Student Mobilization Committee formed in 1966, the expansion of the war into Cambodia proved to be the final straw for many students. The first protests occurred as soon as May 1, the day after the announcement, but these were mainly limited to college campuses. These grew over time, but the shooting of unarmed protesters on May 4th at Kent State galvanized the protests on a nationwide scale. May 8th was selected as the date for a general strike, with millions of students and workers striking across the country.

This poster calls students to Independence Hall and was produced by the Regional Strike Committee of the Student Mobilization Committee, headquartered at Houston Hall, University of Pennsylvania. A tab at the student allows supporters to donate to the anti-war effort. Philadelphia would see a crowd of 100,000 students gathering outside Independence Hall and more than 90% of high school students missing class, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

As with most college campuses, students at the University of Pennsylvania opposed the war effort from the start. Major protests occurred at various points throughout the war, notably against Penn's association with Dow Chemical for its production of Napalm. Protests would continue until the end of the war, with the events of May 8th, 1970, being some of the largest.


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Condition Description
Chips and short tears around margins. Mostly even toning.