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9 photos of the University of Minnesota’s massive 1972 anti-war protest
In May of 1972, outrage over the Vietnam War spurred a 3,000-person protest on the University's campus
As the protest grew more restless, police tried to get students out of the mall area. Police broke the protester lines by shooting nearly 40 canisters of mild tear gas and pepper fogger into the crowd. Soon after, Governor Wendell Anderson called in the National Guard to help police get the protest under control.
In response to President Richard Nixon’s order
to blockade the northern Vietnamese coast — mining Haiphong Harbor, and in
effect, continuing the Vietnam War — a massive, 3,000-person protest arose on
the University of Minnesota campus in May
Then-Governor Wendell Anderson and former
Minneapolis Mayor Charles Stenvig ordered the U.S. National Guard to assist
local police officers with controlling campus crowds.
The Minnesota Student Association asked
administrators to close the school, but University President Malcolm Moos said
a shutdown was unnecessary.
The Minnesota Daily reported hour-by-hour
coverage of the entire protest, which lasted for two days.
According to Minnesota Daily archival
material, the University’s protests in May were in line with several other rallies
that raged across the nation at the time as anti-war sentiment grew across
Protests also occurred at Minnesota State
University Mankato, Winona State University, and the University of Florida around
the same time as the University of Minnesota’s protest.