Continuing with the preview of my next book I am sharing the introduction of Chapter 1969:
There began to be an odd type of symmetry in current events:
Spring brought a smile to young men all over the nation as President Nixon initiated “Vietnamization” of the conflict in Southeast Asia. Christmas brought mixed emotions to those same young men as the government replaced the draft with a Draft lottery eliminating deferments and spreading conscription on a more equitable basis across economic classes
- New York teams managed to book-end the year by the Jets winning the Super Bowl and the Mets “losing last place” in the World Series
- In July the crew of Apollo 11 rocketed to the Moon over the same weekend that Senator Kennedy dove back under the water three times to rescue Mary Jo Kopechne.
- The following month the brutal murder of actress Sharon Tate & friends at the direction of Charles Manson in August came close to overwhelming three days of “fun and music” at Woodstock barely a week later
Even if there hadn’t have been 250,000 people marching on Washington DC it was obvious that Dissatisfaction with the Vietnam conflict was continuing to build…which made Richard Nixon’s secret plan to pull the nation out of the conflict a major factor in his electoral victory over Hubert Humphrey and George Wallace in his election to president the previous fall.
Local developments included:
- A late-winter freak build-up of ice in the lower Kenai river caused flooding in lower-lying areas of Soldotna
- The same dry conditions created Swanson River Kalifornsky beach road and several smaller fires along the highway to Anchorage. For the entire summer There was a yellow cast to the sunlight, and everyone smelled like bacon.
- The Don’t Make Waves Committee (later Greenpeace) began protesting of nuclear testing in the Aleutian Islands
- …and according to her account Hilary Clinton spent the summer in a fish cannery in Valdex