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Oklahomans and the Vietnam War


Photograph Analysis

Study the picture below and answer the following questions. (This lesson is adapted from the National Archives.)

  1. What can you infer from the photograph?

  2. What questions does this photograph raise in your mind?

  3. Where might you be able to find answers to your questions?

  4. Create a caption for the photograph.

  5. How would you categorize this photograph? For example, is the topic jungle warfare, air warfare, weapons, or tanks?

Word Search

Download Word Search (PDF)

Vietnam War Protest Song Analysis

Listen to a Vietnam War protest song such as Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On?" while reading along with the lyrics (courtesy of TES).

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Ah, what's going on

In the meantime
Right on, baby
Right on
Right on
Mother, mother, everybody thinks we're wrong
Oh, but who are they to judge us
Simply because our hair is long
Oh, you know we've got to find a way
To bring some understanding here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me
So you can see
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Tell me what's going on
I'll tell you what's going on - Uh
Right on baby
Right on baby

What is the tone of the song?

What is the message the artist is trying to convey to the listener?

What lyrics stand out to you?

What images come to mind while listening to the song?

What aspects of the Vietnam War does the song mention?

Vietnam War Protest Sign

Would you have protested the war in Vietnam? Use this page as a template for an antiwar protest sign.

Download Template (PDF)

Thinking About the Draft

Read the paragraph and have students answer the following questions. (Lesson adapted from TeacherVision).

When two battalions of Marines were sent to guard the Danang Air Base on March 8, 1965, there were already some 20,000 troops in Vietnam. By the end of the year the number had reached 200,000. In order to provide ever-increasing numbers of troops, the army used the draft to force men into military service. Not everyone supported the draft, however. The prospect of dying in a combat zone was very real. Demonstrations and antiwar rallies were held on college campuses across the nation. Male students were required to register for the draft. If they attended school, they automatically received a deferment or postponement of their service. Some young men burned their registration cards, an act that was against the law. An estimated 250,000 avoided registration. Many of them fled to Canada and Europe where they participated in huge demonstrations against US involvement in Vietnam. They remained outside the US until President Carter pardoned them in 1977.

  1. Was the draft fair? Why or why not?

  2. The draft did not apply to women. Should women be exempt from the draft?

  3. How did the draft impact the war?

  4. What other times in US history has the draft been used?

  5. Do you believe President Carter should have pardoned those who dodged the draft?

Main Page
The Draft
Battle in Vietnam
The Antiwar Movement
Support and Protest at home
Veterans return home