Eartha Kitt: An Anti-War Patriot

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Forty years ago, America’s cultural icons expressed the frustratation of the American people with the failure of then-President Lyndon Johnson to end this country’s undeclared war in Vietnam by boldly demanding peace.

The most respected newsman in the nation, CBS anchorman Walter Cronkite, explained to a national television audience after the Tet Offensive that the war had gone horribly awry.

Singer Johnny Cash, whose music and style had made him a hero of blue-collar Americans, described himself as “a dove with claws” and began singing the anti-war song “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream.”

The Smothers Brothers variety show was censored when it attempted to air a segment featuring Harry Belafonte singing in front of images of student protesters clashing with the police. CBS executives reportedly feared that the implicit anti-war message would offend President Johnson and his aides.

But the most direct and powerful anti-war statement of the period was delived by singer Eartha Kitt, then at the height of her celebrity.

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Eartha Kitt: An Anti-War Patriot
The Nation (21 Dec 2008)

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