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The American South and the Vietnam WarBelligerence, Protest, and Agony in Dixie$
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Joseph A. Fry

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780813161044

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813161044.001.0001

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Southerners and the End of the Vietnam War, 1971–1973

Southerners and the End of the Vietnam War, 1971–1973

(p.323) 8 Southerners and the End of the Vietnam War, 1971–1973
The American South and the Vietnam War

Joseph A. Fry

University Press of Kentucky

During the final two years of the war, a majority of the southern public and its political leaders continued to afford President Nixon his most dependable prowar backing as he sought unsuccessfully to bludgeon North Vietnam and the Vietcong into accepting a US-dictated peace agreement. But as had been the case since at least 1970, even southerners were clearly tiring of the conflict. Both majority southern attitudes and the region’s growing agony were revealed in Dixie’s newspaper editorials, public polling, and constituent correspondence. The defection to antiwar positions by former hawks Everett Jordan (D-NC), Phillip Landrum (D-GA), and William Spong (D-VA) further demonstrated the region’s war fatigue. In addition to tracing and explaining these developments, this chapter includes an examination of country music as a vehicle for understanding southern war-related attitudes and a focus on Dixie women, especially the mothers and wives of soldiers. Within the latter section, the experience of Jerry McCuistion, an Alabama POW wife, is highlighted. Finally, this chapter ends with the book’s overall conclusions.

Keywords:   country music, southern women, Seawillow Chambers, Segrid Blair, Jerry McCuistion, Easter Offensive, Paris Peace Agreement, War Powers Act

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