Skip to main content

Eve Of Destruction

Now, I'm not one for protesting, but when I was 10-years-old I witnessed one very big protest.  The date was Thursday, May 28, 1970.  The place was Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Two of the most admired men in America were there: Billy Graham and President Richard Nixon.   

The protestors were actually standing next to where my group was. By the time Nixon rose to speak, they were chanting, "One, two, three, four, We don't want your (blank-ing) war!" I remember thinking how disrespectful it was to do that at a Billy Graham Crusade, but Nixon was there and he was the reason the protestors were there.  It was during the Vietnam War and the tragic shootings at Kent State had occured just a few days earlier.  Nixon had gone into seclusion at the white house and he saw the Graham crusade as a chance to be seen in a more positive light.  He did not count on such a major protest occuring.

The chants used by the protestors were frequent and loud, but Nixon seemed to draw strength from it.  Time magazine called his speech that night one of the greatest of his presidency. Not wanting to disrupt the religious part of the service, the protestors eventually filed out of the stadium.  I can remember some of them were singing John Lennon's "Give Peace a Chance" as they left.  It was quite the scene for a 10-year-old boy to witness.

Funny, but it does not take much to update this 1965 Barry McGuire hit to fit today's scene.

Bob Dylan once said, "The times they are a-changing."

Oh really?

The eastern world, it is exploding
Violence flarin', bullets loadin'
You're old enough to kill, but not for votin'
You don't believe in war, but what's that gun you're totin'
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin'

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say
Can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin' away
There'll be no one to save, with the world in a grave
Take a look around ya boy, it's bound to scare ya boy

Yeah, my blood's so mad feels like coagulatin'
I'm sitting here just contemplatin'
I can't twist the truth, it knows no regulation
Handful of senators don't pass legislation
And marches alone can't bring integration
When human respect is disintegratin'
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin'

Think of all the hate there is in Red China
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama
You may leave here for four days in space
But when you return, it's the same old place
The poundin' of the drums, the pride and disgrace
You can bury your dead, but don't leave a trace
Hate your next-door neighbor, but don't forget to say grace

And you tell me
Over and over and over again, my friend
You don't believe
We're on the eve of destruction




Peace!





 For a more detailed story on Richard Nixon's appearance at the Billy Graham Crusade, read my Nixon's Night Out.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Tornado at Beaty Swamps

Shortly after midnight on Wednesday, May 10, 1933, Beatty Swamps, TN ( also known as Bethsaida), a small rural community located in Overton County, Tennessee, approximately 6.7 miles from Livingston, was struck by an F4 tornado that completely devastated the community. The funnel, anywhere from one-half to three-quarters of a mile wide, destroyed every home in the community, and killed or injured virtually every single resident. Much of the area was swept clean of debris. This is the second deadliest tornado ever to strike Middle Tennessee.

There have been tornadoes that have gained greater notoriety, such as the Super Outbreak of April 3, 1974, but never has a tornado affected a community as completely as the one that struck Beatty Swamps.

According to the National Weather Service, it had been a humid evening in the rural Cumberland Plateau community. In nearby Allardt, the temperature that Tuesday afternoon had climaxed at 82 degrees, a warmer-than-normal reading for early May. …

Ode To A Mule

James Arness died today. Gunsmoke was every one's favorite TV show back when I was a kid. For years, at my house, we watched every single episode that came on the TV. There's isn't any need to explain the show because I am sure that most of you have seen an episode of Gunsmoke at one time or another.

When I heard that Mr. Arness has passed away, I went online, because I wanted to read some quotes from the TV show - more specifically, I wanted to read some dialogue between Festus, played by singer Ken Curtis (Sons of the Pioneers), and the rest of the cast. Festus had a way of speaking, but he always spoke the truth and what he said always made sense, well in a Festus-sort-of way, I guess.

So, I went online to do that, and well, one click led to another click, and then another and another, and before I knew it, I found myself on YouTube, and that's when I heard, for the first time in many years, this beautiful story that I want to share with you.

If you paid close atte…

Long Live The Goat Man

(This photo was made in the 1950's as the Goat Man passed through my town)
Charles McCartney was born on July 6, 1901. In 1915, at age 14, he ran away from his family's Iowa farm. He eventually wound up in New York, and was soon married to a Spanish knife-thrower. When she got pregnant they tried to make it as farmers, but bad weather and the Great Depression wiped them out. About the same time, he experienced a religious awakening. A man on a mission, he hitched up his team of goats to a wagon and took to the open road with his wife and son. His wife made goatskin clothes for him and his son to wear as a gimmick during their travels, but she quickly grew tired of the road and returned to Iowa, taking their son with her.

Charles McCartney looked like a goat. He smelled like one, too because he rarely took a bath. You take a fellow who looks like a goat, travels around with goats, eats with goats, lies down among goats and smells like a goat and it won't be long before peop…