Sept 1972: Pete Seeger, Jane Fonda, Tom Hayden

lettuce boycott

In two weeks in September 1972, I saw Pete Seeger, Jane Fonda, and Tom Hayden twice each.

Mon 11 Sep – Hitchhiked from New Paltz to Poughkeepsie to Nixon-Agnew headquarters to pick up some literature. [Even then, I always was interested in what the opposition was saying.]

Th 14 Sep – Congressman Howard W. Robison (R-Owego) was in town in his newly expanded district, supporting Nixon and the two-party system.

Mon 18 Sep – “I go to Nixon hq where I receive a warm reception.” [What was that about? Did they think I was a Nixon backer? Maybe they recognized me from my previous visit.]

My ex-roomie Ron, friend Mark, a guy named Bob, and I go to the Main Building auditorium. But the event is so significant that it’s moved to the Main Quad. There were several activists, including lettuce boycotters from the United Farm Workers. Jane Fonda talked about Hanoi. Tom Hayden said: “Unless Nixon thinks that down is up, we aren’t winding down the war.

Then the Okie, Mark, friend Alice and I went to a Kingston auditorium for another event with UFW reps, then a short play. Pete Seeger sang If I Had a Hammer, Land of A Thousand Songs, Songs For The Rifle, and Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag. Terry Morse (or Morris), “a black guy with a nice voice, but nervous,” sang A Better One and We Shall Be Relieved. He and Seeger sang Down By the Riverside.

An A.M.E. Zion pastor emceed and talked like a “Trinity A.M.E. Zion [my home church] pastor, including taking the collection.”

When Jane Fonda “discussed the anti-personnel weapons, I got very depressed and felt like crying.” The program broke up by 10:30 after Pete sang This Land Is Your Land.


I checked the Kingston Freeman reportage on this. Yes, there were two different events on the same day. The first sentence in the story: “There is probably truth to the rumor that Jane Fonda had an easier time getting into North Vietnam than Kingston’s Municipal Auditorium.”

The bizarre story involved getting an insurance policy, which ended up in US District Court. Later, the agreement of a “12-hour period” of the policy wasn’t made clear, and the lawyer working on it was unavailable because of Yom Kippur. Ultimately, one of the organizers had to drive from Poughkeepsie to Kingston with the amended document and court order before the doors could be opened.

Given the fact that I remember SO many things clearly about 1972, I’m really surprised that seeing Jane Fonda and Tom Hayden TWICE in one day is not one of them.

On another matter, if you want to write to complain about Jane Fonda going to North Vietnam and posing on a tank, know that she has apologized repeatedly for that lapse, so I don’t feel the need to relitigate it here.

More Pete

Th 21 Sep – Mark and I went to see a speaker named Patrick O’Neill. “Anti SST, pro-NASA, anti-Lockheed type aid, pro-pot legalization, anti-pot decriminalization, likes Nixon only for his court choices, fears McGovern election like the San Francisco earthquake.”

Fri 22 Sep – Went to see Pete Seeger concert. He told tales about miners and farmers. Feel Like I’m Fixin’ To Die Rag, Land of A Thousand Songs, Train to Nuremberg, Walk This Lonesome Valley, Vote Song, The Young Woman and the Lie, Turn Turn Turn, Peart Bog Soldier, Guantanamera, Wimoweh, Old Glory, Hobo’s Lullabye, Casy Jones, Little Boxes, , Banks Are Made Of Marble, D-Day Dodgers, The Farmer’s First Wife, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, Yodel Song, The Water is Wide, If I Had A Hammer, A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall. Encore: This Land Is Your Land. I knew I had seen Pete a lot, but I didn’t realize it was twice in one week.

Other things were happening, including attending class, negotiating a marriage with the Okie, and hanging out with friends.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

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