Honor America Day: 1970
Honor America Day was staged by supporters of President Richard M. Nixon on July 4, 1970 on the grounds of the Washington Monument and drew an estimated 50,000 people.

Most of the antiwar movement believed this event to be a pro-war rally. Honor America Day was quickly organized after students at nearly 500 campuses went on strike and four students were killed by National Guard at Kent State University and two by police at Jackson State University during antiwar protests.

The principle sponsors were Rev. Billy Graham, Nixon’s personal minister, and the entertainer Bob Hope who headed USO tours for U.S. servicemen. Kate Smith sang God Bless America at the event. Nixon sent greetings to the event

A significant group of protesters numbering several thousand showed up to demand an end to the war in Indochina and demanding legalization of marijuana. Police used tear gas to quell the protests and many in the larger crowd received their first whiff of the stinging gas.

An album of selected recordings from the event highlighted by the Kate Smith rendition memorialized one point of view. On the other hand, the demonstrators recreated the event for many years as an annual “smoke-in” demanding legalization of marijuana.
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