Radiozine on 08/29/12
Treasures from the KBOO Public Affairs Archives - Tom McCall
On Labor Day weekend in 1970, the American Legion was scheduled to have its national convention in Portland, with vice president Spiro Agnew as the keynote speaker. Thousands of anti-Vietnam War protesters were expected, too. Governor Tom McCall feared violent clashes. He threatened to use force to put down any violence, but he also put on a rock concert called Vortex as a diversion for the hippies. A few days ahead, he went on television and radio to tell the citizens that he intended to keep our state safe, both for everyday folks, and for those who hoped to exercise their right of free speech. His 15-minute address is a fascinating example of the times, and of a moderate Republican faced with a no-win situation.