Black Power

Behind the camera: AP Photographer
Where: 1968 Mexico City Olympics
Photo Summary: Tommie Smith on the gold medal platform, John Carlos on the bronze raising their fists in salute with silver medalist Peter Norman looking on
Picture Taken: October 17, 1968 Mexico City Olympics

The AP called it a Nazi-like salute, and Chicago columnist Brent Musburger called them “black-skinned storm troopers”, yet black America saw them as heroes. For many outside of America, Tommie Smith’s and John Carlos’s protest was their first introduction to “Black Power” and the clenched fist raised arm Black Power salute. Media editors denounced them as unpatriotic, and un-American yet Smith thought that was the point saying, “If I win I am an American, not a black American. But if I did something bad then they would say ‘a Negro’. We are black and we are proud of being black.”

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Symbolism

Being Black, and facing the racism they and other Black Americans felt was what the protest was all about. Smith and Carlos each wore a black glove on opposite hands, and Smith’s raised right fist represented Black Power, while Carlos raised left fist represented Black Unity. Together, the raised black, gloved fists formed an arch of Unity and Power. Along with the gloves, the men wore black socks with no shoes to protest black poverty. Smith wore a black scarf that stood for black pride, and Carlos wore beads which he described, “The beads were for those individuals that were lynched, or killed that no-one said a prayer for, that were hung and tarred. It was for those thrown off the side of the boats in the middle passage.” Having such an elaborate statement many people assumed that Carlos and Smith were close, yet they barely talked before and after the protest. They only worked out their statement during the two-hour wait for the medal ceremony. Smith comments on the relationship has said, “I don’t think John Carlos likes me, even now, [but] I don’t think Carlos likes very many people. That’s just his demeanour.”

Bios


John Wesley Carlos was born June 5, 1945 in Harlem, New York. One of five children he spent a lot of time across the road from his apartment at the Savoy Ballroom. The Savoy was a hot spot on the big band and jazz circuit. Carlos and his friends were always helping people out of cabs, singing dancing outside the club, “we were out there hustling,” he said. As a promising high school athlete, he was able to get a full track and field scholarship at East Texas State University (ETSU). His presence is attributed to ETSU winning their first Lone Star Conference Championship. After one year, he was lured to San Jose State College where he was trained by Lloyd (Bud) Winter a future National Track & Field Hall of Fame coach.
Tommie Smith was born in Clarksville, Texas on June 5, 1944. One of 12 children born into a farming family, Smith would often spend up to 10 hours a day helping in the fields. After his family moved to California he attended Lemoore High School where he set many track records, some of which still remain unbroken. His skill as a runner won him a scholarship at San Jose State. At San Jose State he won the national collegiate 220 yd title in 1967, and the AAU furlong as well. In 1968 he again won the AAU furlong getting him a spot on the Olympic team.

While both Smith and Carlos attended San Jose State, another former black athlete was teaching Sociology, Harry Edwards. Edwards noted that, “…the same social and racial injustices and discrimination that had dogged [his and other Black student’s] footsteps as freshmen at San Jose were still rampant on campus – racism in the fraternities and sororities, racism in housing, racism and out-and-out mistreatment in athletics, and a general lack of understanding of the problems of Afro-Americans by the college administration.” Edwards and others through protest were able to change a lot of conditions on campus. Through his results, he released the power Black Athlete’s held over America’s unofficial religion, sports. Edwards had been able to organize black players to boycott a football game forcing it to be cancelled, even though then-governor Reagan was willing to bring in the National Guard. The boycott became nationwide news because it was the first time in a 100 years of NCAA Division I history that a football game had been cancelled because of a campus protest. More threats against other sporting events were able to force change, including more Black faculty, desegregated school dorms and more Black student enrollment.

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Olympic Project for Human Rights

It was this power in mind that Edwards, other Black athletes, and Civil Rights activists created the Olympic Project for Human Rights (OPHR). The OPHR was originally created to boycott the 1968 Mexico City Olympics unless key demands where met:

  • 1) Return Muhammad Ali title which was stripped from him due to his anti-Vietnam War stance
  • 2) Remove Avery Brundage the President of the International Olympic Committee due to his supposed racist views
  • 3) As a show of solidarity with international black freedom struggles ban Rhodesia and South Africa due to their apartheid governments
  • South Africa and Rhodesia not showing up to the 1968 games and the attitude of most black athletes took the wind out of the boycott. Many athletes did not want to give up an event that they had been training their whole lives for. John Carlos recounted, “We first tried to have a boycott (of the games) but not everyone was down with that plan. A lot of athletes thought that winning medals would supersede or protect them from racism. But even if you won the medal, it ain’t going to save your momma. It ain’t going to save your sister or children. It might give you fifteen minutes of fame, but what about the rest of your life? I’m not saying that they didn’t have the right to follow their dreams, but to me the medal was nothing but the carrot on a stick.” OPHR decided to abandon the boycott plan, although some black athletes decided not to come, and called on black athletes to protest in their own ways.

    When the American athletes arrived in Mexico the media pressed them hard to reveal what type of protest they had planned. The US track coaches sought to assure reporters that there would be “no trouble whatever” and “there will be no demonstrations”. Carlos while pledging that he had no intention to disrupt the games also said, “But that does not mean we will not do something to accentuate the injustices that have been done to the black man in America. . . . If I win a gold medal, I will be up there to get it. I may throw it away afterward, but nothing is going to keep me from getting it.” The world didn’t need long to figure out what “something to accentuate the injustices” meant.

    Even before the medal ceremony, the black athletes caused a stir over when it became known that they didn’t want the Brundage to present any medals to them. It was thought to be an honor for the American president of IOC to present the medals yet the OPHR still detested him for his past actions that many thought were racist. When sprinters Jim Hines and Charlie Greene made it clear that they didn’t want Brundage to present their medals Brundage seeking to avoid controversy stayed away from the ceremony. British official Lord David Burghley instead handed Hines his gold medal and Greene his bronze. Tommie Smith also told the press that if he won a medal he didn’t want to get it from Brundage. Smith’s wife bought a pair of black gloves in case Brundage did show up.

    Even before their medal podium display, Smith and Carlos were making the news. Reporters took note of their unusual long black socks. Newsweek described them as ghetto pimp socks. Jesse Owens the famous black sprinter who beat the Nazi sprinters at the 1936 Olympic games was commentating at Mexico City. Labelled an “Uncle Tom” by the OPHR, he still had advice for Smith and Carlos: they should have shorter socks, below the calves, so as to not affect circulation. At the next race when he noticed that Carlos had indeed switched to shorter socks Owens remarked, “Maybe they’re listening to their uncle. I’m old enough to be their uncle, but I’m not their Tom. We don’t need this kind of stuff. We should just let the boys go out and compete.”

    The race

    Black Power Olympic Salute 1968

    Another angle the salute is pictured


    Curiosity on how black athletes would protest assured a huge TV viewing audience. Smith made it even bigger when in his first heat he tied the Olympic record, 20.3. The bar was raised a few heats later when Australian Peter Norman broke that record with his best print ever 20.2. Smith matched that time in another heat but also pulled a groin abductor muscle. Commentators worried that Smith might not be able to run in the final but in the final race, showing no pain, Smith crushed the world record with an unbelievable time of 19.83. The 20-second mark was not broken at the Olympics again until Carl Lewis at the 1984 LA Olympics. The upstart Aussie Peter Norman bested John Carlos to take the silver but Carlos would later say that he let Smith win because the gold was more important to Smith. Despite the excitement of the race it was at the medal ceremony where the real show would take place.

    As the American and Australian flags were raised with an estimated audience of 400 million looking on Smith and Carlos walked out to the medal podium wearing socks and holding one shoe in their hands. While the Star-Spangled Banner played they each raised their black, gloved fists into the air. Silver medalist Peter Norman, in solidarity, wore an OPHR badge that he took from Paul Hoffman in the stands (US rowing team member that supported the OPHR. For giving the badge he was almost kicked out of the Olympics). Smith recounted:

    “My whole life flashed in my face. I had two minutes to see everything. Oh man, I never felt such a rush of pride. Even hearing the Star-Spangled Banner was pride, even though it didn’t totally represent me. But it was the anthem which represented the country I represented, can you see that? They say we demeaned the flag. Hey, no way man. That’s my flag . . . that’s the American flag and I’m an American. But I couldn’t salute it in the accepted manner, because it didn’t represent me fully; only to the extent of asking me to be great on the running track, then obliging me to come home and be just another nigger.”

    In the stands Mrs. Smith laughed with her friends, “Wait, until Avery sees this, He’ll die.” Not everyone in stands was as supportive, while The Star-Spangled Banner played the audience booed and heckled the two. The Olympic officials never ones to break protocol never turned from the flags to see what all the fuss was about. As the athletes left the stadium the catcalls from the audience grew and Smith and Carlos raising their fists again in defiance.

    Aftermath

    The IOC wanted them Smith and Carlos out of the games. At first, the US Olympic Committee refused to ban but when the IOC said the whole US track team would be kicked out, the USOC complied. The two were withdrawn from all future races and kicked out of the Village. Many of the athletes tried to show solidarity with the two. Wyomia Tyus upon taking the gold in the women’s 4×100 team said, “I’d like to say that we dedicate our relay win to John Carlos and Tommy Smith.” The all white Olympic Crew Team from Harvard even issued this statement “We -as individuals- have been concerned about the place of the black man in American society in their struggle for equal rights. As members of the US Olympic team, each of us has come to feel a moral commitment to support our black teammates in their efforts to dramatize the injustices and inequities which permeate our society.” More surprising was the actions of fellow Olympian, boxer George Foreman. Foreman, who won the gold, waved an American Flag on the podium and then bowed to the stadium crowd, actions seen by many as a show of anti-solidarity with Smith and Carlos.

    Peter Norman


    The other man on the podium, Peter Norman, also faced a storm when he returned to his home country of Australia. While he didn’t raise his fists he did wear a badge supporting Smith and Carlos’ actions. Even though he was a world-class athlete the Australians didn’t send him to the following games and he was treated like a sports pariah. Even during the Sydney Olympics, he was the only VIP sportsperson to be banned from taking the lap of honor at the 2000 Games. The Americans at the games, however, embraced his place in history and allowed him to use their facilities. In an interview in 2012 John Carlos said that:

    There’s no-one in the nation of Australia that should be honoured, recognized, appreciated more than Peter Norman for his humanitarian concerns, his character, his strength and his willingness to be a sacrificial lamb for justice. That’s what I would say to the people of Australia.

    The Australian Olympic Committee has had a decades-long policy of officially denying that it took part in any harsh treatment to Peter Norman as a result of his actions at the 1968 games but in August of 2012 the Australian government issued an official apology to Peter stating:

    “That this House; Recognises the extraordinary athletic achievements of the late Peter Norman, who won the silver medal in the 200 meters sprint running at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, in a time of 20.06 seconds, which still stands as the Australian record;

    Acknowledges the bravery of Peter Norman in donning an Olympic Project for Human Rights badge on the podium, in solidarity with African-American athletes Tommie Smith and John Carlos, who gave the black power salute;

    Apologises to Peter Norman for the wrong done by Australia in failing to send him to the 1972 Munich Olympics, despite repeatedly qualifying; and Belatedly recognises the powerful role that Peter Norman played in furthering racial equality. — Australian statement

    Unfortunately, Peter was no longer around to hear of his redemption. In 2006 he underwent triple bypass surgery and then while mowing his lawn a month later was hit with a fatal heart attack on October 3, 2006. Morning his loos were his second wife, Ruth, their three children, and his first wife, Jan, and their two children.

    Return Home

    The two returned to the States to death threats and attacks on their homes. Smith visited his father who as always was working the fields. His dad couldn’t read, but people told him that his son had gotten into trouble in Mexico. Smith remembers how, “He kind of looked at me, looked up and down, and said in his southern drawl: ‘You know, I’ve been hearing a lot of things about you. Everybody been telling me you did something wrong. You stuck a hand up or hit somebody or something.’ I said that’s not truthful. He said: ‘Well, you’re telling me that and I’m going to believe you. You’re my son.’ First time I shook hands with him in my life.”

    With the death threats and attacks came a mixed blessing when after graduation Smith was given an honorable discharge from the army for “un-American activities”. Saving him from having to go and serve in Vietnam. “I was going to ‘Nam, I could see myself in rice paddies. I believe there’s a God. Sixty-eight had its downfall, but it had its protection for me. I might not be alive.” Carlos who had two brothers in service and they two were discharged after his protest.

    Carlos went on to have his best year in ’69 when he equalled the 100-yard record of 9.1, won the AAU 220-yard run and lead San Jose State to its first NCAA victory in the 100 and 220 4×110-yard relays. After track, he tried the NFL playing with the Philadelphia Eagles until a knee injury forced him out. He tried again in the Canadian Football League before retiring from football after two years. After a number of jobs in 1985, he became the Track & Field Coach, at Palm Springs, California High School.

    Tommie Smith track career saw him setting several world records and he also tried football, playing with the Cincinnati Bengals for three years. He went on to become a professor of sociology and track coach at Oberlin College in Ohio. He is now a faculty member at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California.

    “None of these kids know who I am,” Smith says of his young track protégés at the Santa Monica College. “They don’t have the slightest idea. To them, I’m just ‘coach’.” At a ceremony at San Jose State to honor their protest Smith comments, “What’s so surprising about it is, on a positive note, it’s the brainchild of a 23-year-old white student,” Smith said. It’s been almost 40 years since the two made their stand, made history. Thirty-five years have passed since two sprinters made a stand, made a difference, made history. “We still have a way to go,” Carlos said, “but we can see some distance for where we were.”

    [apimages picturetitle=”Black Power” aplink=”http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Associated-Press-Sports-Mexico-Olympics-BLACK-P-/885f208ffde6da11af9f0014c2589dfb/63/0″]

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    Marilyn Monroe

    Behind the camera: The many press photographers and bystanders that took pictures of the movie shoot for, The Seven Year Itch
    Where: The pictures were shot at Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street close to the Trans-Lux theatre.
    Photo Summary: Marilyn Monroe
    Picture Taken: Late Sept 8, early morning of Sept 9, 1954

    Before her death, Marilyn Monroe was an iconic Movie star who’s movies thrilled millions. This famous scene was shot for the movie, The Seven Year Itch . The picture has been turned into posters, t-shirts, mugs and is probably her most famous image. Filmed on location on Lexington Ave, New York, the New Yorkers who turned up to watch the filming got so out of control that the director couldn’t use any of the footage taken because of the crowd noise. The scene had to be recreated in Studio but then was cut by the censors for being too steamy. In the actual movie, her skirt never rises above her knees.

    Marilyn Monroe

    Marilyn Monroe (June 1, 1926 – August 4, 1962) was an American actress, singer, and model. After acting in small roles for several years, she gradually became known for her comedic skills, sex appeal, and screen presence, going on to become one of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s. She was and is idolized throughout the world as a sex goddess. Later in her career, she worked towards serious roles with a measure of success but was always restrained by several prescription drug addictions. On August 4, 1962, Marilyn Monroe died between 8:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. at her home at 12305 Fifth Helena Drive in Brentwood, Los Angeles, California. She was 36 years old. The cause of death based on the toxicology report was acute barbiturate poisoning.

    Marilyn and Joe Dimaggio

    We haven’t lost a star; we’ve gained a center fielder
    -Fox execs on the Dimaggio marriage

    Marilyn was married three times in her short life. Her third and last was to Arthur Miller the famous playwright on June 29, 1956. Author of the play Death of a Salesman and a movie Marilyn stared in, The Misfits; their marriage lasted four years and seven months with the two divorcing in 1961. Her first marriage was when she was just 16 to James Dougherty on June 19, 1942. She filed for divorce in Las Vegas, Nevada and it was finalized on September 13, 1946.

    Her second was in 1951 she eloped with, famous baseball player, Joe DiMaggio on January 14, 1954. Fox loved the idea of marriage with executives boasting that “we haven’t lost a star; we’ve gained a center fielder”. The marriage was rocky from the start with Joe pressuring Marilyn to become a quiet wife while Marilyn tried to keep her star rising. Even on their honeymoon, Marilyn left to do a tour for the troops in Korea. A busy schedule of movies saw Marilyn go directly from the movie set of Show Business to the set of The Seven Year Itch. This was a move that made Dimaggio furious as he wanted to spend some time with his new wife. An abusive man, friends, and makeup people would often see bruises on her arms and backs from her fights with Joe. When Marilyn visited Marlon Brando on the set of Desirée he noticed that her arm was black and blue. Yet the stoic Marilyn, while their marriage was crumbling she, had to shoot, The Seven Year Itch.

    The scene from The Seven Year Itch

    The Seven Year Itch was a play turned into a movie about a man who sent his family away upstate to escape the hot and humid New York summer. While alone he meets his new neighbor, the blonde and beautiful Marilyn Monroe, known in the movie as “the girl”. The two get to know each other and he is torn between his lust for the girl and being faithful to his wife.

    The scene in which the skirt was to blow up was a part of the movie were Marilyn’s character, known as the girl, was on a date with the main character, Richard Sherman played by Tom Ewell. They are walking out of the Trans-Lux theatre where they just watched Creature from the Black Lagoon. As they walk down the street Marilyn sees the breeze wafting up from the sidewalk grates as a subway car passes underneath. Even though it is night, New York is still hot and humid and she runs over to catch the breeze. As subways run back and forth and her skirt is lifted up, she says her lines from which we get some famous quotes such as, “Don’t you feel the breeze from the subway? Isn’t it delicious?” and “Ooohhh! This feels just elegant!”

    This particular scene is where Richard Sherman is overtaken by the moment and kisses Marilyn. However, while the play had Sherman eventually sleeping with Marilyn’s character the movie ends with Sherman being faithful and running to upstate New York to join his wife and son.

    Behind the Scenes


    Crowd around Marilyn while filming the famous scene picture by Sam Shaw

    Crowd around Marilyn while filming the famous scene, picture by Sam Shaw


    Directed by Billy Wilder the film required the subway skirt scene to be shot at a location on Lexington Avenue at 52nd Street in New York. Fox Studio publicity men put the word out on the street that Marilyn would be on location wearing an outfit that would, “stop traffic”. Marilyn who by this time was taking multiple pills for various ailments both real and imagined struggled with her lines. While Marilyn did a take after take a crowd began to develop around the many photographers who showed up to get pictures. Rather than being quiet and constrained, the mob of New Yorkers yelled and whooped whenever the skirt was blown up over her waist which the bright movie lights, despite wearing two sets of underwear, revealed “all” of Marilyn.

    The Split

    Joe Dimaggio hated publicity and Hollywood, he usually stayed away from the set but since Marilyn was filming in New York he hovered nearby drinking at a bar. He ran into a friend, Walter Winchell who convinced him to go to the set and watch Marilyn.

    The scene when he arrived was of thousands of fans screaming every time they could see her underwear. Conservative Joe Dimaggio while listening to the roar of the mob in time with the skirt lifting over her waist became infuriated and stormed off the set. At the hotel, that night crewmen heard screaming from their room and the next day Marilyn’s hairdresser, Gladys Whitten had to cover up bruises on her shoulders with make-up.

    After filming, the couple flew back to California were friends saw more fights and neighbors saw Marilyn wandering the streets crying. 274 days after getting married the two staged an elaborate press conference where they announced that they were getting a divorce due to, “conflict of careers” and, “the usual mental cruelty”.
    The skirt scene that helped kill the marriage was thrown out by the director as the crowd noise made it unusable. The whole street was recreated in a studio so that Marilyn could do it again in privacy. Even then most of the skirt shots were cut from the picture when the Hollywood censorship board, the Hays Code or Production code, killed any shot where the skirt went over the knee.

    The Dress

    Over the years actress, Debbie Reynolds amassed a huge collection of Hollywood memorabilia including the infamous dress used in this image. In 2011 her collection was put on the auction block and a lucky and very rich bidder bought the dress for $4.6 million ( $5.52 million after taxes and fees were included ) This smashed the record for the most-payed-for dress which was held by Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black dress from the 1961 film Breakfast at Tiffany‘s, which sold for $923,187.

    Copyright images

    AP Images handles the listening for some of the September 8, 1954, Seven Year Itch photos.

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    I Have a Dream

    Behind the camera: AP Images
    Where: Steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
    Photo Summary: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Picture Taken: August 28, 1963

    I have a dream!
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    “I Have a Dream” is the name given to the August 28, 1963, historic public speech by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when he spoke of his desire for a future where blacks and whites would coexist harmoniously as equals (I Have a Dream). The speech is seen as his crowning moment and one of the most Iconic moments of that time. The speech is often ranked as one of the greatest 20th-century speeches in America. Footage and pictures of the speech are still famous and the clip is used in movies and on TV to represent the civil rights movement in the ’60s.

    Taking the photo





    G.Marshall Wilson started the day with 6:00 AM walking through the crowds with four 35mm cameras. The cameras, film and other equipment weighed 38 lbs but that didn’t slow down Wilson. Around noon he had wandered over to the speaker’s platform in front of the Lincoln Memorial and climbed to the top of the elevated cameramen’s stand. Seeing the crowd spread out he had an idea for a photo. Walking back down he talked with King and his entourage and King always on the lookout for iconic photos jumped at the chance for a front page photo. Climbing to the top of the cameramen’s stand Wilson took a number of shots of King waving to the crowd. Space was limited so Wilson used a 24mm wide-angle lens on his 35mm camera.

    March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

    The federal government had for years tried half-heartedly to pass some kind of civil rights bill that would grant equality to all Americans. It wasn’t until President John F. Kennedy tried to pass his bill on June 11, 1963, that a real attempt to give Blacks civil rights was undertaken. The bill was quickly blocked by southern representatives in Congress.
    It was under this atmosphere that leaders from the civil rights movement planned a march to Washington to build political momentum behind the measure. Proposed by A. Philip Randolph and organized by him, Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr. the march saw a joining of multiple parties who often were in disagreement. At first, the Kennedy Whitehouse was against the march as it might turn violent and hurt the passage of the bill. The organizers agreed to tone down the rhetoric and keep the more militant organizations in check but refused to cancel the march. Once he saw that he couldn’t stop it Kennedy supported the march but because of the concessions organizers gave Kennedy many prominent Black leaders were against it. Malcolm X called it the “Farce on Washington” and the Nation of Islam punished any members who attended.

    Stay home. This will not be safe
    Southern congressmen

    Before the march there was an atmosphere and fear of potential violence, on one side Southern congressmen told their white female employees, “Stay home. This will not be safe.” and on the other, there was a fear that not enough people would show to show how much the public supported the goals of the march. These fears proved unfounded as almost a quarter of million people came to hear the speeches given that day, the largest demonstration in America at that point in time. Amongst the speakers were Martin Luther King Jr and many others who each got 15min to speak or perform. The speakers included SNCC leader John Lewis, civil rights figures such as Gordon Parks and Roy Wilkins, labor leaders such as Walter Reuther, clergy including Patrick Cardinal O’Boyle (the Archbishop of Washington, who made the invocation), Rabbi Uri Miller (President of the Synagogue Council of America) who gave the prayer, remarks by Rabbi Joachim Prinz (President of the American Jewish Congress), Archbishop Iakovos primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America, author James Baldwin, film stars such as Charlton Heston, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte, and Marlon Brando, nightclub stars Josephine Baker and Eartha Kitt, and singers such as Mahalia Jackson, Marian Anderson, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary and Bob Dylan (who performed after King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, as seen in the film No Direction Home)

    Prepared Speech

    Legend holds that King departed from his prepared text and began preaching on the fly, but he had delivered a similar speech incorporating some of the same sections in Detroit in June 1963, when he marched on Woodward Avenue with Walter Reuther and the Rev. C.L. Franklin. He had rehearsed other parts before the march.

    Liscening

  • Text and Audio of Speech Accessed Dec, 2006
  • AP IMAGES handles the copyright for the several images that day: AP “I Have a Dream” picture from behind and the AP “I Have a Dream” picture from the front

    Copyright of the Speech

    Because King distributed copies of the speech at its performance, there was controversy regarding the speech’s copyright status for some time. This led to a lawsuit, Estate of Martin Luther King, Jr., Inc. v. CBS, Inc., which established that the King estate does hold copyright over the speech and had the standing to sue; the parties then settled. Unlicensed use of the speech or a part of it can still be lawful in some circumstances under the doctrine of fair use.

    While the recording King gave that day is considered a national treasure it is still copyrighted, like a song would be. This is why you can’t find a full copy on YouTube or even a government site. This is due to the British music publishing EMI Publishing house (In 2011 Sony Corp bought out EMI) and the King estate own the rights to the recording. If movies, documentaries want to use the speech they have pay. If you want a copy for yourself you have to buy the Martin Luther King Jr. – I Have a Dream DVD.

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  • Nixons V sign

    Behind the camera: AP Photographer
    Where: White House lawn Washington D.C. America
    Photo Summary: Nixon giving his famous V sign before he boards the Presidential helicopter, Army One (Until 1976 Marine Corps shared the responsibility of helicopter transport with the Army).
    Picture Taken: August 9, 1974

    Well, when the President does it, that means that it’s not illegal
    -Nixon

    Say Nixon to anyone and ask what word comes to mind, most likely they will say “Watergate”. One of the biggest scandals in America’s history, Watergate forced the 37th President of the United States, President Richard Milhous Nixon, to resign from the president’s office on August 9, 1974 (The only president ever to resign). Every other scandal since then has had the suffix “gate” added to it. The image of Nixon entering the Marine-One Helicopter door, smiling and giving his patented two-handed V-sign was for many
    the last image of Nixon.

    Nixon


    Photo by Bob Daughtery/AP File Photo

    Photo by Bob Daughtery/AP File Photo

    Nixon was born Jan 9, 1913, to Francis Nixon and Hannah Milhouse Nixon in Yorba Linda, California. Raised a Quaker he lived a modest life yet still managed to excel in school earning a full-tuition scholarship from Harvard. The Harvard scholarship didn’t include living expenses, so Nixon couldn’t go and instead studied at the local Quaker school, Whittier College. He graduated in 1934 second in his class and managed to secure a full scholarship at Duke University School of Law.
    He returned to California after graduation where he practiced law and met his future wife Pat, a high school teacher. The two married on June 21, 1940. When war broke out the next year he served as an officer in the Navy eventually working in the supply corps of the South Pacific. As a poker shark he built up a large fund which when the war ended, he used to fund his election campaign to get into Congress.
    Nixon quickly rose through the political ranks becoming Vice President on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1952 ticket. In 1960, he first tried to become President running against and losing to John F Kennedy. In 1962 he again lost an election this time for California Governor. He moved to New York where he worked as a high profile lawyer until 1968 when he made a political come back to not only win the Republican nomination for President but also the election itself. Beating Hubert H. Humphrey and George Wallace, Nixon became the 37th President of the United States.

    Nixon Achievements

    He took America off the gold standard, created many of the acronyms that we are familiar with today including the: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), even the Strategic Arms Limitation Talks Treaty with Russia (SALT Treaty). The Nixon presidency normalized diplomatic relations with Communist China, talked to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin while they walked on the moon, and among other things created the Legal Services Corporation. However, the Nixon White House will always be marred by some of the Bloodiest years of the Vietnam War, secret bombings of neutral Cambodia and of course Watergate.
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    Watergate


    Ollie Atkins takes a different angle


    On June 17, 1972, Frank Wills, a security guard working at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. called the police when he noticed suspicious activity. The police arrived and arrested five men who were discovered breaking into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The five men, Bernard Barker, Virgilio González, Eugenio Martínez, James W. McCord, Jr., and Frank Sturgis were discovered to have links to the CIA and the Committee to Re-elect the President (CRP also known as CREEP). The men had been part of a plot to sabotage the Democratic election bid the burglary was later revealed as an attempt to repair listening devices planted in an earlier break-in. The White House at the time was able to deny any links to the men but over the course of two years two reporters, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, were able to uncover a series of embarrassing and incriminating disclosures about Nixon’s abuse of presidential executive powers. The final straw that forced Nixon from office was a tape between the Vice President and Nixon, the recording would later be known as the “smoking gun”.

    His own undoing

    Secretive and often paranoid Nixon had taken to tape recording all activities in the White House. These tapes would later be used against Nixon when a transcript of a recording made in the Oval Office, the so-called “smoking gun” tape was released on August 5, 1974. It showed that on June 17, 1972, six days after the Watergate break-in, Nixon had discussed using the CIA to block the FBI’s investigation of the burglary. This recorded conversation directly linked “Tricky Dick” to the burglary something he always denied. Seeing the writing on the wall and seeking to avoid a long drawn out impeachment trial, three days later Nixon gave a televised resignation speech and on August 9, 1974, boarded the Army One Helicopter. Just before entering he turned back to the White House and Press and gave his famous smile and V-sign.

    Hunter S. Thompson on the scene

    In with the Press Club was reporter Hunter S. Thompson who gave this account:

    I walked outside to the Rose Garden, where a big olive-drab helicopter was perched on the lawn, about 100 feet out from the stairs. The rain had stopped and a long, red carpet was laid out on the wet grass from the White House door to the helicopter. I eased through the crowd of photographers and walked out, looking back at the White House, where Nixon was giving his final address to a shocked crowd of White House staffers. I examined the aircraft very closely, and I was just about to climb into it when I heard a loud rumbling behind me; I turned around just in time to see Richard and Pat coming toward me, trailing their daughters and followed Closely by Gerald Ford and Betty. Their faces were grim and they were walking very slowly; Nixon had a glazed smile on his face, not looking at anybody around him, and walked like a wooden Indian full of Thorazine.

    …I lit a cigarette and watched him climb the steps to the door of the helicopter. . . Then he spun around very suddenly and threw his arms straight up in the famous twin-victory signal; his eyes were still glazed, but he seemed to be looking over the heads of the crowd at the White House. Nobody was talking. A swarm of photographers rushed the plane as Nixon raised his arms– but his body had spun around too fast for his feet, and as his arms went up I saw him losing his balance. The grimace on his face went slack, then he bounced off the door and stumbled into the cockpit. … The helicopter went straight up and hovered for a moment, then swooped down toward the Washington Monument and then angled up into the fog.
    Richard Nixon was gone.

    Retirement

    After leaving by helicopter Nixon fly flew from the South Grounds of the White House to Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland. He later recounted, “As the helicopter moved on to Andrews I found myself thinking not of the past but of the future. What could I do now?…” At Andrews, Nixon boarded the Air Force One Jet that flew him to El Toro Marine Corps Air Station, California and then to his new home, San Clemente, California. While flying to California to start his self-imposed exile back in the East Room of the White House, Chief Justice Burger swore in Ford as the 38th President of the United States. When news reached the pilot of Air Force One, he radioed in to change the plane’s call sign from “Air Force One” to “SAM 26000″ as the plane no longer carried the president.
    In his home state of California Nixon over the years with carefully timed releases of interviews and books slowly worked his way back into the Washington political scene, even visiting the White House. By his death on April 22, 1994, he was seen as a respected elder statesman and gave counsel to both Republican and Democratic governments.

    [apimages picturetitle=”Nixons V sign” aplink=”http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/AP-A-DC-USA-Political-Pardons/474306b6eb844bdf834b25f1464ef03b/20/0″]

    Other Political Scandal pictures

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    Escaping over the Taedong Bridge

    Behind the camera: Max Desfor
    Where: A bridge on the Taedong River that runs through the city of Pyongyang, North Korea
    Photo Summary: Labelled Flight of Refugees Across Wrecked Bridge in Korea the image shows refugees fleeing the North Koreans over a bridge on the Taedong River
    Picture Taken: December 4, 1950

    Late 1950 in the Korean War saw the direct entry of China into the Korean War. North Korean forces along with huge numbers of Chinese reinforcements not only broke the United Nations advance but sent them reeling. American forces, who made up the most of the United Nations forces, started the longest retreat in U.S. military history. As UN forces retreated so to did Korean civilians, with thousands fleeing from the advancing communist forces. Near the North Korean capital of Pyongyang AP photographer Max Desfor took this picture on a freezing December day as Korean refugees struggled across the ruined bridge. The image went on to win the 1951 Pulitzer Prize for photography.

    Covering Korea

    When he heard war had broken out in Korea 36-year-old Max Desfor volunteered at his work in the AP news service to cover the war. His supervisor initially tried to dissuade him from going as he didn’t think the war last two weeks. Desfor persisted and joined United Nations forces as they retreated from the North Koreans in the initial stages of the War. He was free to roam the various army groups and remembers that “embedding was not a term we used in Korea. We were not directed as to whom to go with. We were completely on our own.
    He took part in a number of operations and after the hugely successful Inchon landing that forced the North Koreans into retreat, he took part in a parachute jump with the 187th Regimental combat team. “It was just about mid-way from Seoul to Pyongyang when I heard of a parachute jump that was going to take place… it was incredible – what an experience it is to make a parachute jump,” said the photographer. Even though the United Nations had by late 1950 occupied most of North Korea the direct involvement of China into the war changed everything. A string of battles broke the UN advance and they forced to retreat before the combined forces of the Chinese and North Koreans.

    Taking the photo

    Retreating with United Nations forces Desfor remembers stumbling upon an incredible scene in the freezing weather of December of 1950. In a the book Remembering the Forgotten War Desfor recalls:

    I liberated a jeep from someone and joined the retreat. With me were [Tom Lambert (AP) and Homer Bigart(NY Times)] and an army signal corpsman. We crossed the Taedong River on a pontoon bridge that had just been hastily erected by the army engineers … On the south side of the river … [civilians] were walking across where the ice was solid and clogged the river. A little farther upstream, where the water was still open, they were crossing in small boats. As we jeeped farther southward … I saw what had been a sturdy span across the river, obviously recently destroyed by aerial bombs … with Koreans fleeing from the north bank of the Taedong River, crawling through and into and above and onto the broken-down bridge, it was like ants crawling through the girders. They carried what little possessions they had on their heads or strapped to their shoulders, and on the north side I saw thousands more lined up waiting to do the same thing, waiting to crawl and join the rest of them.

    Desfor actually had trouble working his camera due to the plummeting temperatures. Falling off the bridge into the freezing river was likely a death sentence yet the thousands of refugees kept streaming across the bridge. Years after the war Desfor was struck by the “deathly silence” of the scene. The reporters continued on their way to what was left of the airport and put his film on the last Air Force Plane. He could have been evacuated with his film but decided to keep reporting the retreat. He did, however, get word to Bill Achatz the photo editor in AP Tokyo to look out for the film. Achatz got the film and transmitted it to the States on December 5, 1950.

    Max Desfor

    Desfor was born in 1914 and was an Associated Press photographer. He covered the Pacific Theater during World War II and was one of the photographers that photographed the Enola Gay crew when it returned from the Hiroshima Atomic Bombing. He was also able to record the Japanese surrender in 1945. After World War II he covered the Indonesian National Revolution in 1946 and the Indian Pakistan Kashmir War in 1947. In 1950 he returned to America after being stationed with his family in Rome, Italy. When war broke out he volunteered to cover the war taking a number of photos but it was this image that won him a Pulitzer Prize. In 1936 he married Clara Mehl until 1994 when she was taken from him in a horrible car accident. He lived another two decades after his wife’s death, dying himself at his Silver Spring, Maryland home on February 19, 2018, at the age of 104.

    Copyright

    For this image the Korean War Refugees Flee by Max Desfor the copyright held by AP Images

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    Burst of Joy

    Burst of joyBehind the camera: Slava ‘Sal’ Veder
    Where: Travis Air Force Base, in California
    Photo Summary: The Stirm family running to their father, Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm. In the lead is 15 year old Lorrie followed by Robert Jr., Cindy, Roger and wife Loretta.
    Picture Taken: March 17, 1973

    With the signing of the Paris Peace Accords on January 27, 1973 American involvement in the Vietnam was over. Through a series of diplomatic negotiations a deal was reached with the North Vietnamese government that allowed the return of 591 American POWs held by the communists. In Operation Homecoming from February 12 to April 4 there were 54 flights out of Hanoi, North Vietnam to bring the POWs home. One of these runs was the plane with Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm. After giving a short speech Stirm’s family ran across the tarmac to greet their father who they hadn’t seen in six years. Slava “Sal” Veder who was working for the Associated Press caught this image. It went on to win the 1974 Pulitzer Prize for photography.

    Taking the photo

    The March 17th flight bringing 20 POWs home from Vietnam had a lot of press come out with a large crowd of around 400 family members and supporters. 46 year old Associated Press photographer Slava “Sal” Veder on assignment saw that after Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm finished his speech his family had appeared on the runway. “You could feel the energy and the raw emotion in the air,” he said. He snapped off a couple of shots and then rushed to the makeshift AP darkroom that had been set up in the Air Base ladies’ bathroom (United Press International were in the men’s). He and another AP photographer, Walt Zeboski, picked six to develop. Sal picked his favorite, titled it Burst of Joy and sent it out over the wire. It was published across the country and because Lt. Col. Stirm’s had his back turned towards the camera the anonymous image came to represent all the Vietnam homecomings.

    Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm

    Robert Stirm was born in San Francisco, California, in 1933. In 1953 he joined the Aviation Cadet Program and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force on November 3, 1954. He served as a fighter pilot in Holland before getting training in the F-105 Thunderchief and going to Vietnam in August 1967. On October 27, 1967 Stirm was leading a flight of F-105Ds over Canal Des Rapides Bridge, Hanoi when he was shot down and captured that night. Before October 27th he had flown 33 combat missions. Throughout his six years as a POW he was held in several camps including the infamous Hanoi Hilton. He endured starvation, torture and a total of 281 days in solitary confinement. For part of his imprisonment he shared a cell with future politician John McCain. Robert Stirm remained in military service after his return retiring as a colonel in 1977. He lives in Foster City, California.

    [midgoogle]

    The Stirm family

    LT. COL. Robert L. Stirm, a recently released prisoner of war, greets his family upon his arrival at Travis Air Force Base

    Lt. Col. Robert L. Stirm, a recently released prisoner of war, greets his family upon his arrival at Travis Air Force Base.

    While in the Air Force Robert Stirm married his wife Loretta on February 6, 1955. They had four children Lorrie Alynne, Robert L. Jr., Roger David and Cynthia “Cindy” Leigh. Lorrie was only 9 when her father was shot down. After 6 long years he finally came home. While her Dad gave a speech on behalf of the 20 POWs on their flight the family was stuck in the Stirm’s station wagon on the tarmac at Travis Air Force Base. Minutes passed that seemed like hours but finally with the formalities over, the children jumped out of the car and ran to their father. Lorrie remembers that she “just wanted to get to Dad as fast as I could, We didn’t know if he would ever come home … That moment was all our prayers answered, all our wishes come true.”
    The happiness of the reunion didn’t last long. Three days before Stirm returned to America a chaplain had handed a Dear John letter from his wife. When he returned they tried to keep the marriage alive. Lorrie remembers “So much had happened—there was so much that my dad missed out on—and it took a while to let him back into our lives and accept his authority.” Robert and Loretta Stirm divorced within a year. His wife remarried in 1974 moving to Texas with her husband. Robert Stirm also remarried but this marriage too ended in divorce.
    The oldest Robert became a dentist and the younger Robert, like his father, joined the Air Force rising to the rank of Major. Lorrie the oldest is an executive administrator and the youngest daughter Cindy is a waitress. Except for pilot Robert, who lives in Seattle, they all live in California. All four keep the picture mounted in their houses. “We have this very nice picture of a very happy moment,” Lorrie says, “but every time I look at it, I remember the families that weren’t reunited, and the ones that aren’t being reunited today—many, many families—and I think, I’m one of the lucky ones.”

    The photographer

    Slava J. Veder was born on August 30, 1926 in Berkeley, California. An alumni of Modesto Junior College, Pacific College and Sacramento State. After working in several jobs such as fireman, sportswriter for the Richmond Independent and staff on the Oakland Hockey Club in 1949 he joined the Almeda Times-Star before moving to the Tulsa World were he got work as an editor. In 1956 he left the Tulsa World and worked for a number of papers around America working as an editor. In 1961 he returned to California to work for the AP in Sacramento before transferring to the AP San Francisco office. It was in San Fran that he took Burst of Joy and a year later won the Pulitzer.

    [apimages picturetitle=”Burst of Joy” aplink=”http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Associated-Press-Domestic-News-California-Unite-/c0ceffd99fe5da11af9f0014c2589dfb/6/1″]

    [Vietnam]

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    Vietnam Napalm Girl

    Behind the camera: Associated Press photographer Nick Út (Also known as Huynh Cong Út), ITN news crew including Christopher Wain and cameraman great Alan Downes. Also there was NBC cameraman Le Phuc Dinh who filmed Kim running towards the reporters.
    Where: On the Vietnamese highway (Route 1) that leads from Saigon towards the Cambodian border just outside the village of Trang Bang, about 25 miles WNW of Saigon.
    Photo Summary: Kim Phuc (aged 9) running naked in the middle with her older brother, Phan Thanh Tam (12), crying out to the left. Her younger brother, Phan Thanh Phuoc (5), to the left looking back at the village and to the right are Kim Phu’s small cousins Ho Van Bo, a boy, and Ho Thi Ting, a girl.
    Picture Taken: June 8, 1972

    This photo of Kim Phuc (full name Phan Thị Kim Phúc) was taken just after South Vietnamese planes bombed her village. She had only lived because she tore off her burning clothes. AP Photographer Nick Út and NBC cameraman Le Phuc Dinh filmed her and her family emerging from the village, after the airstrike, running for their lives. This photo has become one of the most famous and memorable photos of Vietnam and won Nick Út the Pulitzer prize in 1972.

    Air Strike on Trang Bang



    AP reporter Nick Út was among a number of reporters sent to the small village of Trang Bang along Route 1, the highway that leads from Saigon towards the Cambodian border. Travelling with Nick was ITN correspondent, Christopher Wain, North Vietnamese troops had taken control of the Highway there and Nick was sent to cover the South Vietnamese soldiers from the 25th Army Division who were ordered to retake Trang Bang and open the Highway. When Nick arrived he and other reporters also on assignment stood with South Vietnamese soldiers just outside the village watching the action.
    The South Vietnamese commander of the unit requested an airstrike and propeller-driven Skyraiders, Korean-war vintage planes from the 518th Vietnamese Airforce Squadron, dropped Napalm on the village. When the smoke cleared villagers from the Trang Bang ran screaming from the village to the soldiers and reporters up the road. Taking pictures with two cameras, his Leica and a Nikon with a long lens, Nick Út remembers seeing Kim Phuc running naked down the street:

    As soon as she saw me, she said: “I want some water, I’m too hot, too hot,” – in Vietnamese, “Nong qua, nong qua!” And she wanted something to drink. I got her some water. She drank it and I told her I would help her. I picked up Kim and took her to my car. I ran up about 10 miles to Cu Chi hospital, to try to save her life. At the hospital, there were so many Vietnamese people – soldiers were dying there. They didn’t care about the children. Then I told them: “I am a media reporter, please help her, I don’t want her to die.” And the people helped her right away.
    –Nick Út

    Christopher Wain also remembers the event after the napalm struck:

    There was a blast of heat which felt like someone had opened the door of an oven. Then we saw Kim and the rest of the children. None of them were making any sound at all – until they saw the adults. Then they started to scream. We were short of film and my cameraman, the late, great Alan Downes, was worried that I was asking him to waste precious film shooting horrific pictures which were too awful to use. My attitude was that we needed to show what it was like, and to their lasting credit, ITN ran the shots.

    KIM PHUC getting treated for burns

    Nick quickly released that without help Kim would die and so drove her and other injured family members to the hospital. Kim already thought she was doomed and while reporters and soldiers tried to treat her horrible wounds she told her brother Tam, “I think I am going to die.” Driving an hour to the provincial Vietnamese hospital in Cu Chi, halfway up the highway to Saigon, Kim passed out from the pain.
    The hospital was used to war injuries, and after years of civil war knew that Kim’s chances of living were slim to none and tried to triage her, or put her aside so they could treat other wounded who had better chances of living. Only at Nick’s urging that the girl had been photographed and her picture would be shown all over the world did the hospital staff agree to operate. Nick didn’t leave to develop his film until she was put on the operating table. At first, his editors refused to run it because she was naked but when nick explained that she had no clothes because they had been burned off her body they changed their minds and sent it around the world.
    [midgoogle]

    Life after the napalm

    On June 12, 1972, then American President Richard Nixon was recorded talking to his chief of staff, H.R. Haldeman, discussing the Vietnam War. Among other things he was recorded saying they should use the Atomic bomb in Vietnam and talking about Kim’s photo said, “I’m wondering if that was fixed,” Haldeman replied, “Could have been.”
    While Nixon debated with his staff about whether she was a fraud Kim defied all expectations and after a 14-month hospital stay and 17 surgical procedures, she returned home to the napalm bombed village of, Trang Bang. Nick continued to visit until the fall of Saigon three years later, in 1975, when he along with other American media employees were evacuated.

    As Kim grew up there was a lot of pressure from government and anti-war groups who forced her to be used as an anti-war symbol. She requested and was eventually granted permission to move to Cuba to study pharmacy. In was in Cuba that she meet her future husband, Bui Huy Tuan. They were married and a Korean friend paid for a vacation to Moscow in 1992. On the return flight, their plane stopped over in Gander, Newfoundland, a province in Canada. As it was refuelling she and her husband walked off and defected to the Canadian government.
    The two live in Ajax, Ontario Canada and have two children, Thomas and Stephen. In 1997 she established the Kim Foundation a non-profit charitable organization that funds medical care for child victims of war around the world. For her charity work she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Law from York University in Toronto, Ontario, in 2002, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002, and the Order of Ontario in 2004.
    These days find her touring the world and giving speeches at churches and schools talking about her story, the Kim Foundation and her hopes for peace:

    I should have died

    My skin should have burned off my body

    But I’m still beautiful, right?

    …Don’t see a little girl crying out in fear and pain

    See her as crying out for peace.

    Who ordered the Strike


    KIM PHUC STORY
    The picture has since become a powerful anti-war piece and symbolizes everything wrong with American involvement in Vietnam. This is ironic considering a South Vietnamese commander ordered an airstrike carried out by the South Vietnamese Airforce which was flown by Vietnamese pilots. By June 1972 the “Vietnamization” (The handing over of American duties to their South Vietnamese counterparts) in the country was in full swing and most Americans had been withdrawn back to the States.
    But did America have any involvement in the airstrike? In 1996 Kim gave a speech at the United States Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Veterans Day where she said that we cannot change the past but can work for a peaceful future. After the speech, Vietnam war veteran John Plummer, now a Methodist minister, talked to some of his old buddies and got them to ask if she would like to meet him for he stated that he was the one who ordered the bombing. She accepted and they met briefly and Plummer remembers that, “as I approached her, she saw my grief, my pain, my sorrow. She held out her arms to me and we embraced. All I could say was “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m so sorry’ over and over again. And I heard her saying to me “It’s all right. It’s all right. I forgive. I forgive.” He also claims that later in the day, they knelt together (Kim had converted to Christianity in Vietnam) and prayed together. Plummer said, “Finally, I was free. I had found peace.”

    Plummer claimed that he received a call from an American military adviser working with a South Vietnamese army unit, who requested an airstrike on the village of Trang Bang. He relayed the request for a strike to U.S. Air Force personnel, who asked the South Vietnamese air force to launch it. Later, he saw the photo in Stars and Stripes, and recognized the bombing as one in which he was involved.

    His version of events sparked quite a bit of controversy as he originally was quoted as saying he ordered the attack. His former superior retired Maj. Gen. Niles J. Fulwyler, was quoted as saying that Plummer didn’t have the authority to order the attack and that, “He did not direct that Vietnamese aircraft in that attack,”. In response to outraged Vietnam vets claiming he exaggerated his role in the bombing Plummer has since said that while he didn’t order the attack he definitely relayed the orders to others in the military machine.

    Nick Ut

    Nick Ut (born March 29, 1951 as Huynh Cong Ut) is a Vietnamese photographer born in the town of Long An, then part of South Vietnam. On January 1, 1966, when Ut was only 14 he began to take photos for the Associated Press after his older brother Huynh Thanh My, another AP photographer, was killed in Vietnam. While covering the war Ut was wounded three times. When South Vietnam fell Ut moved and worked for the Korean, and Japanese branches of AP before settling in Los Angles, America in 1977. Ut and his wife, Le Tuyet Hong, live in Monterey Park, California, with their two children.

    In LA he became a celebrity photographer and in 2007 famously captured Paris Hilton being forced back to prison exactly 35 years after taking the Napalm Girl photo. When New York Daly News asked about the Paris Hilton shot Ut replied, “I was lucky to get the shot I did, I focused on her blond hair when she got out.” when asked about celebrity versus war photography, he only said, “It’s very different.” The Paris Hilton shot gained even more media controversy when it emerged that standing beside Ut was photographer Karl Larsen who took a similar shot. Many media outlets used Larsen’s picture and credited it as Ut’s. Larsen ended up having to sue stations like ABC for lost revenue.

    Copyright


    Copyright for this image is handled by AP Images. They deal with the photo taken by Nick Ut.

    More Famous Photos

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    Vietnam Execution

    Behind the camera: Eddie Adams
    Where: In Cholon, the Chinese section of Saigon, Vietnam
    Photo Summary: General Nguyen Ngoc Loan killing Vietcong operative Nguyen Van Lem
    Picture Taken: Feb 1, 1968

    After Nguyen Ngoc Loan raised his sidearm and shot Vietcong operative Nguyen Van Lem in the head he walked over to the reporters and told them that, “These guys kill a lot of our people, and I think Buddha will forgive me.” Captured on NBC TV cameras and by AP photographer Eddie Adams, the picture and film footage flashed around the world and quickly became a symbol of the Vietnam War’s brutality. Eddie Adams’ picture was especially striking, as the moment frozen is one almost at the instant of death. Taken a split second after the trigger was pulled, Lem’s final expression is one of pain as the bullet rips through his head. A closer look of the photo actually reveals the bullet exiting his skull.

    Nguyen Ngoc Loan



    httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGrsw6m9UOY

    “Two people died in that photograph: the recipient of the bullet and General Nguyen Ngoc Loan” – Eddie Adams. Nguyen Ngoc Loan was one of 11 children born to an affluent family in the ancient city of Hue. He finished university at the top of his class and trained as a jet pilot in the South Vietnamese Air Force. It was in the air force that he meets, Nguyen Cao Ky, the flamboyant pilot who once flew a helicopter into the courtyard of his girlfriend’s house to impress her. Ky would later become Prime Minister of South Vietnam from 1965 to 1967, and then Vice President until his retirement from politics in 1971. When in power Ky Surrounded himself with trusted men including his friend, Nguyen Ngoc Loan who he put in charge of the national police. As police chief Loan immediately gained a reputation among reporters for his anger and hair-trigger temper when the Vietcong struck civilian targets. 

    Nguyen Van Lem

    The guy killed one of … Loan’s officers and wiped out his whole family
    -Eddie Adams

    The prisoner whose last instant is captured in Adam’s shot was Nguyen Van Lem. A Viet Cong operative, who like other Viet Cong agents went by the secret name of Captain Bay Lop (Lop was his wife’s first name). His wife, who still lives in Saigon (Now Ho Chi Minh City), confirms that Lem was a member of the Vietcong and that he disappeared shortly before the Tet Offensive never to return. Lem’s role in the Viet Cong is murky. Most reports give him the role of a Captain in a Viet Cong assassination and revenge platoon responsible for the killing of South Vietnamese policemen and their families. Eddie Adams was told by Loan that Lem had killed one of Loan’s friends and his family, “They found out that [Lem] was the same guy who killed one of his —uh—Loan’s officers and wiped out his whole family.” Yet facing international pressure when the picture and footage aired Vice President Ky, said the prisoner had not been in the Viet Cong but was “a very high ranking” communist political official. History hasn’t clarified Lem’s role in the Vietcong and the Vietnamese government has never acknowledged his role in the war. Lem’s widow and children lived in poverty for years before being discovered by a Japanese TV crew living in a field. It was only then that the Vietnamese government provided her shelter. 

    Taking the picture

    He was a hero … very well loved by the Vietnamese
    -Eddie Adams on General Loan

    Adams, the man who captured Lem’s final instant was a former Marine photographer in the Korean War. Working for AP, he had arrived in Vietnam a few weeks before the Tet Offensive. This was his third tour; the first was when marines initially touched down in Vietnam in 1965. On the second day of the Tet Offensive Eddie heard reports of fighting near the Cholon, the Chinese section of the capital. The AP and NBC were office neighbors and often pooled resources when reporting the war. So Eddie teamed up with one of NBC’s cameramen, Vo Su, and went to check out the location where the fighting was reported. 
    The two shared a vehicle but as they got closer started to proceed on foot. Hal Buell, Eddie’s boss, tells what happened next: 

    Adams watched as two Vietnamese soldiers pulled a prisoner out of a doorway at the end of the street. The soldiers then pushed and pulled what appeared to be a Viet Cong in a plaid shirt, his arms tied behind his back. They escorted the man toward the spot where Adams and Vo Su were located.
    “Eddie Adams said, ‘I just followed the three of them as they walked towards us, making an occasional picture. When they were close – maybe five feet away – the soldiers stopped and backed away. I saw a man walk into my camera viewfinder from the left. He took a pistol out of his holster and raised it. I had no idea he would shoot. It was common to hold a pistol to the head of prisoners during questioning. So I prepared to make that picture – the threat, the interrogation. But it didn’t happen. The man just pulled a pistol out of his holster, raised it to the VC’s head and shot him in the temple. I made a picture at the same time.’ “The prisoner fell to the pavement, blood gushing,” Buell, quoting Eddie. “After a few more pictures of the dead man, Adams left.

     
    [midgoogle]

    Video Footage


    NBC also acquired film footage of the incident, thanks to the South Vietnamese journalist with Adams, Vo Suu, a cameraman for NBC correspondent Howard Tuckner. The color footage of the execution filmed by Vo Suu was shown to a stunned America already shocked by images of a supposed “defeated” on the offensive during the Tet attack.
    After the picture and footage flashed across the world there were cries for Loan to be charged with War Crimes for his summary execution of Lem. Loan’s execution would have violated the Geneva Conventions for captured soldiers or Prisoners of War (POWs) if Lem had been wearing a military uniform. Since Lem was caught wearing civilian clothes, plaid shirt and black shorts, Loan was only restricted by the laws of the South Vietnamese government, which allowed the use of such harsh measures.

    After the War

     

    His Vietnam execution shot won Eddie Adams the Pulitzer Prize for the Associated Press in 1969. He has always felt guilty over his role in demonizing Loan. After the picture was released in 1969 the AP assigned Adams to follow Loan around Vietnam. In this time Adams remembers, “I . . . found out the guy was very well loved by the Vietnamese, you know. He was a hero to them . . . and it just saddens me that none of this has really come out.”
    Adams would later do a series of shots of 48 Vietnamese boat people who had managed to get to Thailand in a small 30ft boat, only to be towed back out to sea by Thai military officials. His reports and picture convinced President Jimmy Carter to grant asylum to over 200,000 Vietnamese boat people. “I would have rather won the Pulitzer for something like that. It did some good and nobody got hurt.” 

    General Loan Taken out of Action

    The guy was a hero. America should be crying
    -Eddie Adams on hearing of Loan’s death

    In May 1968 only a few months after the execution picture, now, Brigadier General Loan was seriously wounded. While leading the charge against a Viet Cong strong point a machine gun burst had ripped off his leg. Once again a photograph captured Loan. This time the general was bleeding profusely while the broad-shouldered Australian war correspondent, Pat Burgess, carried him back to his lines. 
    Loan was taken to Australia for treatment but when it was discovered who he was there was such an outcry from the Australian public he was moved to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington. After recovering from his injuries the one-legged Loan returned to Saigon where because he had been relieved of his command due to his injuries devoted his time to set up hospitals and the helping Vietnamese war orphans. 

    General to Pizza Cook

    When South Vietnam fell to the north in 1975, Loan at almost the last moment made it out of the country on a South Vietnamese plane after being denied help by the fleeing Americans. He settled in the United States eventually opening a pizzeria in northern Virginia. He lived a quiet life until he was forced to close his restaurant in 1991 when his identity was discovered. In 1998, at 67, he died of cancer but is survived by his four children his wife, Chinh Mai; and nine grandchildren. “The guy was a hero. America should be crying,” Eddie Adams response when he learned of Loan’s death. 

    Eulogy

    I won a Pulitzer Prize in 1969 for a photograph of one man shooting another … The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still, photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths. What the photograph didn’t say was, “What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?” General Loan was what you would call a real warrior, admired by his troops. I’m not saying what he did was right, but you have to put yourself in his position.  

    …This picture really messed up his life. He never blamed me. He told me if I hadn’t taken the picture, someone else would have, but I’ve felt bad for him and his family for a long time. I had kept in contact with him; the last time we spoke was about six months ago when he was very ill.
    I sent flowers when I heard that he had died and wrote, “I’m sorry. There are tears in my eyes.”
    –Eddie Adams

    Eddie Adams: The Execution of a Viet Cong Guerilla, 1968

    With Color


    Life After the Picture

    Eddie Adams born on June 12, 1933, in New Kensington, Pennsylvania has covered 13 wars but has also become famous as a magazine cover photographer. His pictures have been seen on magazines and newspaper covers around the world including Time, Newsweek, Life, Paris Match, Parade, Penthouse, Vogue, The London Sunday Times Magazine, The New York Times, Stern and Vanity Fair. (Yes Penthouse! He shot a number of “Pets” in the 70s) He has shot cover shots for some of the most famous people in the world, presidents Richard Nixon to President Bush, Mikhail Gorbachev, Anwar Sadat, Deng Xiaoping, Fidel Castro and Pope John Paul II. In 1988 he started an annual photo event, Barnstorm: The Eddie Adams Photojournalism Workshop. For four days the workshop brings together newbies and seasoned pros in the Photojournalism field for photography, editing tips and networking. 
    Eddie Adams himself lived to 71 when on September 18, 2004, he died from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The Vietnam war correspondent who carried the wounded Loan to safety, Pat Burgess, also died from painful sclerosis of the nervous system, similar to the type Eddie Adams had.
    The North Vietnamese failed to achieve any of their goals with the Tet Offensive. The attack was a military disaster for the Vietnamese and Vietcong forces where never able to return to the pre-Tet strength. However, in the eyes of the American pubic, it seemed like America had been the one that had been dealt a serious blow. The Offensive contradicted the message from the White House that the USA was winning. The execution photograph was a part of the media presentation of the Tet Offensive and seemed to present a battle that had been reduced to desperation and savagery. Yet for all the emotional impact that the film and picture had, the event had little effect on the presence of American soldiers in Vietnam. American G.I.s stayed for another five years. The American government still continued funding the South Vietnamese for another seven years, until 1975; the same year South Vietnam fell. 

    [apimages picturetitle=”VIETNAM WAR SAIGON EXECUTION” aplink=”http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Associated-Press-International-News-Vietnam-VIE-/156535629de5da11af9f0014c2589dfb/20/1″]

    [Vietnam]

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    Vietnam – No 13

    Behind the camera: Art Greenspon
    Where: Ashau Valley near Hue, Vietnam
    Photo Summary: Soldier with hands raised directing a medical evacuation helicopter to remove wounded men of A Company, 101st Airborne Division
    Picture Taken: April 01, 1968 3:00 PM

    Art Greenspon, who was then 26-years old, had travelled to Vietnam and was promptly hired as an AP stringer. While stationed with American 101st Airborne Division near Hue he captured this picture of a man with his hands raised directing a medical evacuation helicopter to remove wounded men of A Company, 101st Airborne.

    The picture

    The Ashau Valley near Hue, Vietnam was a one of the main through fares of the Ho Chi Ming Trail, a supply line that provided weapons and supplies to the Vietcong fighting Western-backed forces in South Vietnam. As such South Vietnamese forces often backed by American units frequently patrolled the valley seeking to stop the flow of war material.
    During one such American 5-day patrol a firefight between communist fighters and the 101st Airborne troops resulted in a number of wounded. While covering the evac Art Greenspon took this picture.
    When the image was sent back to the States and hit the wire famed photographer Douglas Duncan proclaimed that it was a “masterpiece” and the best picture of the war yet.

    Greenspon’s shot is, of course, anchored upon the solider – head thrown back arms reaching toward the heaven … and help .. silhouetted against the dust of battle deep in the Vietnam Forest. He represents all soldiers in every war: the fact that he is guiding a rescue chopper is irrelevant … I salute this masterpiece. –Douglas Duncan

    While covering the war, on May 5, 1968, later a bullet passed through a LIFE photographer’s hand before hitting Greenspon between the eyes. He returned to New York to recover from the shoot.

    Possible identification

    A few days later during this battle Tim Lickness, from the 502nd Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division was handling medical evacuations. After a helo was hit by enemy fire and crashed he organized a rescue mission to get the surviving crew members. As he did participate in medical evacuations after April 1st, he might be one of the people in this picture.

    Platoon

    Platoon Greenspon comparison

    Movie still from Platoon and the Greenspon shot

    Movie Director Oliver Stone created one of the most iconic Vietnam War movies, Platoon. A veteran of the war himself Oliver Stone struggled to recreate his experiences in Vietnam. He was inspired by Greenspon’s image and created a memorable scene where Willem Dafoe’s character, Elias Barnes, is hit by enemy fire and throws his hands in the air, Christ-like, as he collapses in death. David Parsons a professor of the University of New York describes Stone’s effort of replicating this scene as trying to change the image of the American GI from aggressor to victim of the Vietnam War.

    As the immediate politics of the war waned in the 1980s, American popular culture began to explore its human costs in different terms, most often locating the war’s tragedy in the experiences and suffering of American combat troops. In this version of the Vietnam War narrative, Americans themselves become posed (both literally and metaphorically) as victims, helpless to even comprehend the scope of the tragedy that has befallen them.

    [apimages picturetitle=”Vietnam – No 13″ aplink=”http://www.apimages.com/metadata/Index/Associated-Press-International-News-Vietnam-VIE-/5d3c4915bae5da11af9f0014c2589dfb/11/0″]

    [midgoogle]

    [Vietnam]

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    War Is Hell

    Behind the camera: Horst Faas
    Where: Phouc Vinh airstrip in South Vietnam
    Photo Summary: 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion member Larry Wayne Chaffin on guard duty at the Phouc Vinh airstrip
    Picture Taken: June 18, 1965

    Horst Faas was an infamous war photographer that shot extensively through the Vietnam War theater. With another author he published a book on his and other photojournalist’s time in South East Asia titled, Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina He captured the War Is Hell image while touring South Vietnam in 1965. The picture was always left uncaptioned and the face unidentified until it was revealed that the man was Larry Wayne Chaffin.

    Larry Wayne Chaffin


    173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion member Larry Wayne Chaffin during the Vietnam War, Phouc Vinh airstrip in South Vietnam 1014 × 1500 June 18, 1965 by Horst Faas

    Colorization


    The family of Larry Wayne Chaffin claims that the man in this photo is their father. Research into the photo by the AP revealed that Fass added in his notes:

    the unidentified Army soldier picture was shot June 18, 1965, and the soldier was with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Battalion on defense duty at Phouc Vinh airstrip in South Vietnam.

    All match-up with Chaffin’s war record and where he was deployed. According to the 173rd’s records on June 18, 1965, the units were sent to the town of Dong Xoai north of War Zone “D” after reports of Viet Cong activity. There was no contact and so they returned to their base but that the deployment was successful as the Americans were able to deploy a battalion task force within hours.

    Later when Chaffin was discharged from the army his wife, Fran Chaffin Morrison, met him at the airport. She remembers that after getting off his plane he showed this portrait in a Stars and Stripes publication to which he joked that this “picture is going to make me rich sometime.”
    Like a lot of Vietnam Vets, he had trouble adjusting to life back home and died at the age of 39 from complications that arose from diabetes. The family is convinced that diabetes was a result of his exposure to the infamous Agent Orange, a defoliant agent used in Vietnam and linked to multiple health issues. He died December 3, 1985, and is buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.

    Horst Fass


    War Is Hell american soldier color

    In color


    Fass was born in Germany and started his photography career at 21. During the Vietnam War, he was a photo-editor as well as a photojournalist. He was instrumental at getting two of the most famous Vietnam War pictures published the Vietnam Execution and the shot of naked Vietnamese girl running down the road. He 1967 an injury after he was hit by an RPG almost ended his life and left him with serious injuries to his legs. As chief photographer for the Associated Press (AP) in Saigon he won the 1965 Pulitzer Prize and then in 1972 Faas won a second Pulitzer Prize for his pictures of torture and executions in Bangladesh.

    He was based in South Vietnam until 1974, in 1976 he moved to London and worked at the AP office until 2004. In addition to Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina he also co-wrote, Lost Over Laos: A True Story Of Tragedy, Mystery, And Friendship He died Thursday May 10, 2012, he was 79.

    Copyright info

    Copyright to this photo is managed by AP Images for: War Is Hell

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