The Cold War & The Vietnam War

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The Code of Comics of 1954

The Code of Comics was issued in 1954 as set of restrictions for comics commenting on war with a set of guidelines including nudity, connotations of sex, as well as promoting American values such as the home and the sancticty of marriage. More importantly, the code stresses the importance of not painting government officials or people of authority in an unsavory light. Arguably, the values promoted in the code are reminiscent of those in propaganda of the 1940s both during and after war as America attempted to reestablish gender roles disrupted by the war effort. This sources shows the standards set for the ideal “comic” and provides a nice contrast for protests during the latter half of the century.

Code of Comics Magazine Association of America Inc. The Comics Code October 26, 1954. Located in: Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Comic Books and Juvenile Deliquency, Interim Report (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 1955).


Anti-War Propaganda

 The newsletter “Bring the Troops Home Now” was distributed in April of 1966 as an anti-draft group that updates other members of the group on the fight against the war effort. Split up into different topics, the newsletter covers news from all over the country and abroad news. Using an interview with a soldier legitimizes their criticism of President Johnson and the war effort. This source is unique in its inclusion of a soldier’s account of the war and shows how returning draftees were treated and regarded by the anti-war effort.

Buch, Peter, Gus Horowitz, Jens Jensen, and Judy White. “Bring the Troops Home Now.” GI Press Project (Cambridge, MA), April 11, 1966.

Unrest Among College Students

This piece is part of a series called Campus Underground through Michigan State University. Walker writes to the general student body and explains the controversy over the war and the battle between Anti-Draft groups and the Young Americans for Freedom (YAF). The source closes with a description of a protest on campus where 15,000 students demanded for more action on the behalf of the university to turn over known members of the YAF to the FBI. This source sheds light on the retaliation against the anti-war movement specifcally on college campuses and the tactics used to spread hate and drive a wedge between those who supported the war and those who did not.

Walker, Dale. “Future News.” The Paper (East Lansing, MI: Michigan University), Jan. 16, 1967, 12.


John Kerry’s Anti-War Speech 1971

This statement, by John Kerry on behalf of the group, ‘Vietnam Veterans Against the War’ was made on April 23, 1971 in front of the Senate Committee of Foreign Relations. The speech reminds the committee as well as Americans the uselessness of the effort in Vietnam and the irrevocable costs that resulted both for the Vietnamese and the Americans. In a heartfelt, emotional piece, Kerry recounts the war crimes committed by US soldiers against innocent civilians in Vietnam. Kerry challenges the committee to consider the true weight of a life and how many were gambled away in a losing battle overseas. This source sheds light on the aftermath of the Vietnam War and speaks to legitimacy of the anti-war movement.

Kerry, John. “Vietnam Veterans against the War Statement.” Vietnam Veterans Against the War Statement, NBC News, Apr. 23, 1971.