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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Boxing - my 8th novel

So much encompassed the simple title of this post. Is it the first time in the ring, or the first vanquished bully, the first win, the last fight, the greatness of the professionals, the tears, the sights and sounds of a fight card, the test, the losses, or the memories that make boxing a great sport? Yes.

A few of my all time favorites ...

Sugar Ray Robinson -- Frequently cited as the greatest boxer of all time (I agree). Robinson's performances in the welterweight and middleweight divisions prompted sportswriters to create "pound for pound" rankings, where they compared fighters regardless of weight. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990.
Robinson was 85–0 as an amateur with 69 of those victories coming by way of knockout, 40 in the first round. He turned professional in 1940 at the age of 19 and by 1951 had a professional record of 128–1–2 with 84 knockouts. From 1943 to 1951 Robinson went on a 91 fight unbeaten streak, the third longest in professional boxing history.[1][2] Robinson held the world welterweight title from 1946 to 1951, and won the world middleweight title in the latter year.
Ali (pro 56-5, amateur 100-5, 118-5, 127-5, 134-7, 137-7, and 99-8 are among the claims) Gotta be either 1 or 2.
Then there are the great middleweights, Monzon, Griffith, Hagler, Basilio and other welterweights like Duran whose superb skills and hearts won generations of fans.
Then there is the unbelievable featherweight Willie Pep, 229-11 pro record (1940-1976). In his 1946 fight with Jackie Graves, Pep and sports writers allege Pep won a round without throwing a punch. In 1938, as an amateur, Pep fought pro Sugar Ray Robinson in the attic of a feed store in Norwich, CT. Weights were Pep 105 lbs, Robinson 130.
But maybe my favorite emotional pick of all time is Joe Louis, although he could be #1, too. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, and is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweights of all time. Louis' championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights. It's a sad reminder that the young Rocky Marciano, also one of my favorites of all time fought Louis in 1951.
Most recent bouts of sublime enjoyment for me? Gotti-Ward, all three bouts. Amazing!

1965 - 71: Gallup Polls on Vietnam popularity

Interesting bit on Vietnam popularity in the US ...
MonthPercentage who agreed with war
August 196561%
March 196659%
May 196649%
September 196648%
November 196651%
February 196752%
May 196750%
July 196748%
October 196746%
December 196748%
February 196842%
March 196841%
April 196840%
August 196835%
October 196837%
February 196939%
October 196932%
January 197033%
April 197034%
May 197036%
January 197131%
May 197128%
After May 1971 Gallup stopped asking this question.
The US withdrew its troops by 1975.

The protests ... Kent State University murders (1970)



  • On March 24, organized by professors against the war at the University of Michigan, a teach-in protest was attended by 2,500 participants. This model was to be repeated at 35 campuses across the country.[78]
  • On March 16, Alice Herz, an 82-year-old pacifist, set herself on fire in the first known act of self-immolation to protest the Vietnam War.
  • On April 17, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), a civil rights activist group, led the first of several anti-war marches in Washington, D.C., with about 25,000 protesters.[78]
  • Draft-card burnings took place at University of California, Berkeley at student demonstrations in May organized by a new anti-war group, the Vietnam Day Committee. Events included a teach-in attended by 30,000, and the burning in effigy of president Lyndon B. Johnson.
  • Gallup poll in May showed 48% of U.S. respondents felt the government was handling the war effectively, 28% felt the situation was being handled badly, and the rest had no opinion.
  • May – First anti-Vietnam War demonstration in London was staged outside the U.S. embassy.[79]
  • Protests were held in June on the steps of the Pentagon, and in August, attempts were made by activists at Berkeley to stop the movement of trains carrying troops.
  • A Gallup poll in late August showed that 24% of Americans view sending troops to Vietnam as a mistake versus 60% who do not.[80]
  • By mid-October, the anti-war movement had significantly expanded to become a national and even global phenomenon, as anti-war protests drawing 100,000 were held simultaneously in as many as 80 major cities around the US, London, Paris, and Rome.[78]
  • On October 15, 1965, the first large scale act of civil disobedience in opposition to the Vietnam War occurred when approximately 40 people staged a sit-in at the Ann Arbor, Michigan draft board. They were sentenced to 10 to 15 days in jail.
  • On November 2, Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old pacifist, set himself on fire below the third-floor window of Secretary of DefenseRobert McNamara at the Pentagon, emulating the actions of the Vietnamese monk Thích Quảng Đức.
  • On November 27, Coretta Scott King, SDS President Carl Oglesby, and Dr. Benjamin Spock, among others, spoke at an anti-war rally of about 30,000 in Washington, D.C., in the largest demonstration to date. Parallel protests occurred elsewhere around the nation.[81]On that same day, President Johnson announced a significant escalation of U.S. involvement in Indochina, from 120,000 to 400,000 troops.


  • In February, a group of about 100 veterans attempted to return their military decorations to the White House in protest of the war, but were turned back.
  • On March 26, anti-war demonstrations were held around the country and the world, with 20,000 taking part in New York City.
  • A Gallup poll shows that 59% believe that sending troops to Vietnam was not a mistake. Among the age group of 21–29, 71% believe it was not a mistake compared to 48% of those over 50.[82]
  • On May 15, another large demonstration, with 10,000 picketers calling for an end to the war, took place outside the White House and the Washington Monument.
  • June – The Gallup poll respondents supporting the U.S. handling of the war slipped to 41%, 37% expressed disapproval, and the rest had no opinion.
  • A crowd of 4,000 demonstrated against the U.S. war in London on July 3 and scuffled with police outside the U.S. embassy. 33 protesters were arrested.
  • Joan Baez and A. J. Muste organized over 3,000 people across the nation in an antiwar tax protest. Participants refused to pay their taxes or did not pay the amount designated for funding the war.[83]
  • Protests, strikes and sit-ins continued at Berkeley and across other campuses throughout the year. Three army privates, known as the "Fort Hood Three", refused to deploy in Vietnam, calling the war "illegal and immoral", and were sentenced to prison terms.
  • Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali – formerly known as Cassius Clay – declared himself a conscientious objector and refused to go to war. According to a writer for Sports Illustrated, the governor of IllinoisOtto Kerner, Jr., called Ali "disgusting" and the governor of MaineJohn H. Reed, said that Ali "should be held in utter contempt by every patriotic American."[84] In 1967 Ali was sentenced to 5 years in prison for draft evasion, but his conviction was later overturned on appeal. In addition, he was stripped of his title and banned from professional boxing for more than three years.
  • In June 1966 American students and others in England meeting at the London School of Economics formed the Stop It Committee. The group was prominent in every major London anti-war demonstration. It remained active until the end of the war in April 1975.


The protest on June 23 in Los Angeles is particularly significant. It was one of the first massive war protests in the United States and the first in Los Angeles, Ending in a clash with riot police, it set a pattern for the massive protests which followed[85] and due to the size and violence of this event, Johnson attempted no further public speeches in venues outside military bases.[85][86]
File:1967-04-18 Peace March.ogv
Universal Newsreel about peace marches in April, 1967
Mounted policemen watch a protest march in San Francisco on April 15, 1967. The San Francisco City Hall is in the background.
Vietnam War protests at the Pentagon, October 1967
  • Another Mother for Peace group founded.[78]
  • January 14 – 20,000–30,000 people staged a "Human Be-In" in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, near the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood that had become the center of hippie activity.
  • In February, about 2,500 members of Women Strike for Peace (WSP) marched to the Pentagon. This was a peaceful protest that became rowdier when the demonstrators were denied a meeting with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.[87]
  • February 8 – Christian groups opposed to the war staged a nationwide "Fast for Peace."
  • February 23 – The New York Review of Books published "The Responsibility of Intellectuals" by Noam Chomsky as a special supplement.
  • March 12 – A three-page anti-war ad appeared in The New York Times bearing the signatures of 6,766 teachers and professors. The advertisement spanned two and a quarter pages in Section 4, The Week in Review. The advertisement itself cost around $16,500 and was sponsored by the Inter-University Committee for Debate on Foreign Policy.
  • March 17 – a group of antiwar citizens marched to the Pentagon to protest American involvement in Vietnam.
  • March 25 – Civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King, Jr. led a march of 5,000 against the war in Chicago.
  • April 4 – Civil rights movement leader Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a speech in New York City. "America rejected Ho Chi Minh's revolutionary government seeking self-determination...." (See details here.)
  • On April 15, 400,000 people organized by the Spring Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam marched from Central Park to the UN building in New York City to protest the war, where they were addressed by critics of the war such as Benjamin Spock, Martin Luther King, event initiator and director James BevelHarry Belafonte, and Jan Barry Crumb, a veteran of the war. On the same date 100,000, including Coretta Scott King, marched in San Francisco.
  • On April 24, Abbie Hoffman led a small group of protesters against both the war and capitalism who interrupted the New York Stock Exchange, causing chaos by throwing fistfuls of both real and fake dollars down from the gallery.
  • May 2 – British philosopher Bertrand Russell presided over the "Russell Tribunal" in Stockholm, a mock war crimes tribunal, which ruled that the U.S. and its allies had committed war crimes in Vietnam. The proceedings were criticized as being a "show trial."
  • On May 22, the fashionable À L'Innovation department store in Brussels, Belgium burnt down, killing over 300 people amid speculation that the fire was caused by Belgian Maoists against the Vietnam War.
  • On May 30 Jan Crumb and ten like-minded men attended a peace demonstration in Washington, D.C., and on June 1 Vietnam Veterans Against the War was born.
  • In the summer of 1967, Neil Armstrong and various other NASA officials began a tour of South America to raise awareness for space travel. According to First Man, a biography of Armstrong's life, during the tour, several college students protested the astronaut, and shouted such phrases as "Murderers get out of Vietnam!" and other anti-Vietnam War messages.
  • June 23, 1967 President Johnson traveled to Los Angeles for a Democratic fundraiser. He was met by a massive anti-war protest on the street outside the hotel where he was speaking as Progressive Labor Party and SDS protestors at the head of a march halted. The Riot Act was read and 51 protestors arrested.[88][86] This was one of the first massive war protests in the United States and the first in Los Angeles, Ending in a clash with riot police, it set a pattern for the massive protests which followed.[85] The vigor of the response from the LAPD, initially intended to prevent the demonstrators from storming the hotel where Johnson was speaking, was to a certain extent based on exaggerated reports from undercover agents which had infiltrated the organizations sponsoring the protest. "Unresisting demonstrators were beaten – some in front of literally thousands of witnesses – without even the pretext of and attempt to make an arrest."[89] A crowd the Los Angeles Times reports at 10,000 clashed with 500 riot police outside President Johnson's fundraiser at the Century City Plaza Hotel. Expecting only 1,000 or 2,000 protesters, the LAPD field commander later told reporters he had been 'astounded' by the size of the demonstration. "Where did all those people come from? I asked myself." Scores were injured, including many peaceful middle-class protestors.[85] Some sources put the crowd as high as 15,000 and noted that the police attacked the marchers with nightsticks to disperse the crowd.[89] Due to the size and violence of this event, Johnson attempted no further public speeches in venues outside military bases.[85][86]
  • July 30 – Gallup poll reported 52% of Americans disapproved of Johnson's handling of the war, 41% thought the U.S. made a mistake in sending troops, and over 56% thought the U.S. was losing the war or at an impasse.
  • On August 28, 1967, U.S. representative Tim Lee Carter (R-KY) stated before congress: "Let us now, while we are yet strong, bring our men home, every man jack of them. The Vietcong fight fiercely and tenaciously because it is their land and we are foreigners intervening in their civil war. If we must fight, let us fight in defense of our homeland and our own hemisphere."
  • On September 20, over one thousand members of WSP rallied at the White House. The police used brutal tactics to try to limit it to 100 people (as per the law) or stop the demonstration, and the event tarnished the wholesome and nonviolent reputation of the WSP.[90]
Demonstrations in The Hague in the Netherlands, 1967. The placards read "USA out of Vietnam".
  • In October 1967, Stop the Draft Week resulted in major clashes at the Oakland, California military induction center, and saw more than a thousand registrants return their draft cards in events across the country. The cards were delivered to the Justice Department on October 20. Singer/musician-activist Joan Baez, a longtime critic of the war in Vietnam, was among those arrested in the Oakland demonstrations
  • In October 1967, 300 students at the University of Wisconsin attempted to prevent Dow Chemical Company, the maker of napalm, from holding a job fair on campus. The police eventually forced the demonstration to end, but Dow was banned from the campus. Three police officers and 65 students were injured in the two-day event.[10]
  • The next day, October 21, 1967, the March on the Pentagon took place. A large demonstration organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, a crowd of nearly 100,000 met at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. and at least 30,000 people then marched to the Pentagon for another rally and an all night vigil. Some, including Abbie HoffmanJerry Rubin, and Allen Ginsberg, attempted to "exorcise" and "levitate" the building, while others engaged in civil disobedience on the steps of the Pentagon. These actions were interrupted by clashes with soldiers and police. In all, 647 arrests were made. When a plot to airdrop 10,000 flowers on the Pentagon was foiled by undercover agents, some of these flowers ended up being placed in the barrels of MP's rifles, as seen in famous photographs of the event (such as Flower Power and The Ultimate Confrontation: The Flower and the Bayonet). Norman Mailer documented the events surrounding the march, and the march on the Pentagon itself, in his non-fiction novelThe Armies of the Night.
  • In November 1967 a non-binding referendum was voted on in San Francisco, California which posed the question of whether there should be an immediate withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam. The vote was 67% against the referendum,[91] which was taken by a Johnson administration official as support for the war[citation needed]


Olof Palme marching against the Vietnam War in Stockholm, 1968
  • On January 15, 1968, over five thousand women rallied in D.C. in the Jeannette Rankin Brigade protest. This was the first all female antiwar protest intended to get Congress to withdrawal troops from Vietnam.[92]
  • On January 18, 1968, while in the White House for a conference about juvenile delinquency, black singer-entertainer Eartha Kitt yelled at Lady Bird Johnson about the generation of young men dying in the war.[93]
  • January 30, 1968 – Tet Offensive was launched and resulted in much higher casualties and changed perceptions. The optimistic assessments made prior to the offensive by the administration and the Pentagon came under heavy criticism and ridicule as the "credibility gap" that had opened in 1967 widened into a chasm.[94]
  • February – Gallup poll showed 35% approved of Johnson's handling of the war; 50% disapproved; the rest, no opinion. [NYT, 2/14/68] In another poll that month, 23% of Americans defined themselves as "doves" and 61% "hawks."[95]
  • March 12 – anti-war candidate Eugene McCarthy received more votes than expected in the New Hampshire primary, leading to more expressions of opposition against the war. McCarthy urged his supporters to exchange the 'unkempt look' rapidly becoming fashionable among war opponents for a more clean-cut style to in order not to scare voters. These were known as "Clean Genes."
  • March 16 – Robert Kennedy joined the race for the US Presidency as an anti-war candidate. He was shot and killed on June 5, the morning after he won a decisive victory over McCarthy in the Democratic primary in California.
  • March 17 – Major rally outside the U.S. Embassy in London's Grosvenor Square turned to a riot with 86 people injured and over 200 arrested. Over 10,000 had rallied peacefully in Trafalgar Square but met a police barricade outside the embassy. A UK Foreign Office report claimed that the rioting had been organized by 100 members of the German SDS who were "acknowledged experts in methods of riot against the police."
  • In March, Gallup poll reported that 49% of respondents felt involvement in the war was an error.
  • April 17 – National media films the anti-war riot that breaks out in Berkeley, California. The over-reaction by the police in Berkeley is shown in Berlin and Paris, sparking reactions in those cities.
  • On April 26, 1968, a million college and high school students boycotted class to show opposition to the war.[10]
  • April 27 – an anti-war march in Chicago organized by Rennie Davis and others ended with police beating many of the marchers, a precursor to the police riots later that year at the Democratic Convention.
  • During the 1968 Democratic National Convention, held August 26 – August 29 in Chicago, anti-war protesters marched and demonstrated throughout the city. Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley brought to bear 23,000 police and National Guardsman upon 10,000 protestors.[96] Tensions between police and protesters quickly escalated, resulting in a "police riot." Eight leading anti-war activists were indicted by the U.S. Attorney and prosecuted for conspiracy to riot; the convictions of the Chicago Seven were subsequently overturned on appeal.
  • August – Gallup poll shows 53% said it was a mistake to send troops to Vietnam.[97]
  • Among the academic or scholarly groups was the Committee of Concerned Asian Scholars, founded in 1968 by graduate students and junior faculty in Asian studies.


Anti-Vietnam War demonstrations in Lund, Sweden.
  • March polls indicated that 19% of Americans wanted the war to end as soon as possible, 26% wanted South Vietnam to take over responsibility for the war from the U.S., 19% favored the current policy, and 33% wanted total military victory.[95]
  • In March, students at SUNY Buffalo destroyed a Themis construction site.[10]
  • On March 5, Senator J. William Fulbright was prevented from speaking at the first National Convocation on the Challenge of Building Peace by members of the Veterans and Reservists to End the War in Vietnam.[98]
  • On April 6, a spontaneous anti-war rally in Central Park was recorded and later released as Environments 3.
  • On May 22, the Canadian government announced that immigration officials would not and could not ask about immigration applicants' military status if they showed up at the border seeking permanent residence in Canada.[99]
  • On July 16, activist David Harris was arrested for refusing the draft, and would ultimately serve a fifteen-month prison sentence; Harris' wife, prominent musician, pacifist and activist Joan Baez, toured and performed on behalf of her husband, throughout the remainder of 1969, attempting to raise consciousness around the issue of ending the draft.
  • On July 31, The New York Times published the results of a Gallup poll showing that 53% of the respondents approved of Nixon's handling of the war, 30% disapproved, and the balance had no opinion.
  • On August 15–18, the Woodstock Festival was held at Max Yasgur's farm in Bethel, New York. Peace was a primary theme in this pivotal popular music event.
  • On October 15 the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam demonstrations took place. Millions of Americans took the day off from work and school to participate in local demonstrations against the war. These were the first major demonstrations against the Nixon administration's handling of the war.
  • In October, 58% of Gallup respondents said U.S. entry into the war was a mistake.
  • In November, Sam MelvilleJane Alpert, and several others bombed several corporate offices and military installations (including the Whitehall Army Induction Center) in and around New York City.
  • On November 15, crowds of up to half a million people participated in an anti-war demonstration in Washington, D.C. and a similar demonstration was held in San Francisco. These protests were organized by the New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (New Mobe) and the Student Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam (SMC).
  • In late December, the And babies poster is published – "easily the most successful poster to vent the outrage that so many felt about the war in Southeast Asia."[100]
  • By end of the year, 69% of students identified themselves as doves.[10]


  • On March 4 Antonia Martínez, a 21-year-old student at the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras was shot and killed by a policeman while watching and commenting on the anti-Vietnam War and education reform student protests at the University of Puerto Rico.
  • Kent State/Cambodia Incursion Protest, Washington, D.C.: A week after the Kent State shootings, on May 4, 100,000 anti-war demonstrators converged on Washington, D.C. to protest the shooting of the students in Ohio and the Nixon administration's incursion into Cambodia. Even though the demonstration was quickly put together, protesters were still able to bring out thousands to march in the Capital. It was an almost spontaneous response to the events of the previous week. Police ringed the White House with buses to block the demonstrators from getting too close to the executive mansion. Early in the morning before the march, Nixon met with protesters briefly at the Lincoln Memorial but nothing was resolved and the protest went on as planned.
  • National Student Strike: more than 450 university, college and high school campuses across the country were shut by student strikes and both violent and non-violent protests that involved more than 4 million students, in the only nationwide student strike in U.S. history.
  • A Gallup poll in May shows that 56% of the public believed that sending troops to Vietnam was a mistake, 61% of those over 50 expressed that belief compared to 49% of those between the ages of 21–29.[101]
  • On June 13, President Nixon established the President's Commission on Campus Unrest. The commission was directed to study the dissent, disorder, and violence breaking out on college and university campuses.[102]
  • In July 1970. the award-winning documentary The World of Charlie Company was broadcast. "It showed GI's close to mutiny, balking at orders that seemed to them unreasonable. This was something never seen on television before."[103] The documentary was produced by CBS News.
  • On August 24, 1970, near 3:40 a.m., a van filled with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil mixture was detonated on the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Sterling Hall bombing. One researcher was killed and three others were injured.
  • Vortex I: A Biodegradable Festival of Life: To avert potential violence arising from planned anti-war protests, a government-sponsored rock festival was held near Portland, Oregon from August 28 to September 3, attracting 100,000 participants. The festival, arranged by the People's Army Jamboree (an ad hoc group) and Oregon governor Tom McCall, was set up when the FBI told the governor that President Nixon's planned appearance at an American Legion convention in Portland could lead to violence worse than that seen at 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.
  • The Chicano Moratorium: on August 29, some 25,000 Mexican-Americans participated in the largest anti-war demonstration in Los Angeles. Police attacked the crowd with billyclubs and tear gas; two people were killed. Immediately after the marchers were dispersed, sheriff's deputies raided a nearby bar, where they shot and killed Rubén SalazarKMEX news director and Los Angeles Times columnist, with a tear-gas projectile.

1971 and after[edit]

Protests against the Vietnam War in Washington D.C. on April 24, 1971
  • On April 23, 1971, Vietnam veterans threw away over 700 medals on the West Steps of the Capitol building.[104] The next day, antiwar organizers claimed that 500,000 marched, making this the largest demonstration since the November, 1969 march.[105]
  • Two weeks later, on May 5, 1971, 1146 people were arrested on the Capitol grounds trying to shut down Congress. This brought the total arrested during the 1971 May Day Protests to over 12,000. Abbie Hoffman was arrested on charges of interstate travel to incite a riot and assaulting a police officer.[106]
  • In August, 1971, the Camden 28 conducted a raid on the Camden, New Jersey draft board offices. The 28 included five or more members of the clergy, as well as a number of local blue-collar workers.
  • Beginning December 26, 1971, 15 anti-war veterans occupied the Statue of Liberty, flying a US flag upside down from her crown. They left on December 28, following issuance of a Federal Court order.[107] Also on December 28, 80 young veterans clashed with police and were arrested while trying to occupy the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.[108]
  • On March 29, 1972, 166 people, many of them seminarians, were arrested in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania for encircling the Federal Courthouse with a chain, to protest the trial of the Harrisburg Seven.[109]
  • On April 19, 1972, in response to renewed escalation of bombing, students at many colleges and universities around the country broke into campus buildings and threatened strikes.[110] The following weekend, protests were held in Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, and elsewhere.[111][112]
  • On May 13, 1972, protests again spread across the country in response to President Nixon's decision to mine harbors in North Vietnam[113] and renewed bombing of North Vietnam (Operation Linebacker).
  • On July 6, 1972, four Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on a White House Tour stopped and began praying to protest the war. In the next six weeks, such kneel-ins became a popular form of protest and led to over 158 protestors arrests.[33]