Advisor(s)

Jeffrey Burds

Abstract

This research paper explores the history of a particular organization that flourished in a time of controversy and uncertainly through the United States. The People's House was a GI coffeehouse located outside of Fort Campbell in Clarksville, Tennessee from 1970 to 1972 that was developed in response to a growing opposition to the Vietnam war from the soldiers themselves. During the war, GI coffeehouses played a key role in providing a safe space outside of Army bases where disillusioned GI's could speak their mind and organize together. This purpose, combined with the hope of bringing together GI and civilian activists, inspired and motivated the People's House and its members. This research reveals that both the community of Clarksville and also the federal government did not approve of the People's House. From firebombs to hearings before the House of Representatives, it is apparent that many viewed the People's House as both a Communist cell and threat to national security. The methodology used in this research involved a close examination of primary source and government documents related to the People's House and interviews with past members. This research paper examines the importance and history of the widely under recognized GI movement and examines the reasons why the federal government saw the People's House as a threat to the safety of America. The paper concludes that the legacy of the People's House and other coffeehouses like it is an increase in governmental and public tolerance for criticism of the military by members of the military, the government and the general public.

Date Accepted

5-1-2007

Publication Date

5-2-2007

Keywords

antiwar, Vietnam War, GI movement

Degree Grantor

Northeastern University

Rights Holder

Alice Saunders

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