Experience A High School Class Vietnam War Debate in 1968. Any Different Today?



The students in this class at Charlottesville High School Virginia in 1968 clearly knew that national news video cameras were present. There are at least three cameras filming this scene. it was recorded in 16mm although this is a video copy of the television program. Although I feel as I watch at that everything is staged in a way, it is also surprisingly real. The subjects discussed in the way that these Virginia high school students saw things happening around America in the cities, with the hippies, regarding the Vietnam War which was big news at that time on a daily basis. For me, this footage allows you to jump back and feel what it was like at that time to be a high school senior giving a report on something you had studied.

The concept of cancel culture, of political correctness, of things you could and could not say was not a major issue at this time, except for a hotly contested debates over the Vietnam War and over religion in schools. In general, as this video shows, while there was a small percentage of students who were political radicals and broke all social rules, most students treated each other respectfully although they profoundly disagreed.

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