Pictures of the Day: The 1969-70 Chicago Seven Conspiracy Trial

Abbie Hoffman Reading a Book During the Trial

Abbie Hoffman Wearing Judicial Robes at the Trial


Poet Allen Ginsberg Testifying at the Trial

Bobby Seale Bound and Gagged in Court

Mayor Daley Testifying at the Trial

Yippie founder Abbie Hoffman is shown sporting judicial robes and reading in court. Another drawing, shaded in murky brown, depicts a celebrity poet Allen Ginsberg testifying in Sanskrit. These images are among 483 courtroom sketches from the 1969-70 Chicago Seven conspiracy trial recently acquired by the Chicago History Museum.  The pictures, the work of famed news artist Franklin McMahon, tell the story of one of the more bizarre spectacles in U.S. courtroom history, a trial that reflected the divergence of the youth counterculture of the 1960s from previous generations.

According to a report by Azam Ahmed in The Chicago Tribune:

The historical significance is that it’s one of the first places in a formal setting that you see just how different young people’s views were from the generation that they saw themselves up against,” said Joy Bivins, a curator at the museum. “That these really critical issues of the Vietnam War, youth counterculture and civil rights all come together in one place is unique.

The drawings, once sorted, will be exhibited at the museum, where McMahon’s drawings from the Emmett Till trial already grace the walls.  His Chicago Seven sketches, drawn in shades of black, brown and deep auburn, provide snapshots of a supremely colorful trial in which the defendants wore jeans, ate, editorialized out loud and slept during the court proceedings.

The judge was uptight, and these guys were running revolution by show business,” McMahon said.  “They were out there to make a scene, and they did.”

The trial began Sept. 24, 1969, 13 months after violence broke out during the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, shocking the nation.  Protesters collected in Grant Park were clubbed and gassed; one observer described the police force as hitting the crowd like “sheets of rain.”

The government charged eight men with conspiring to incite a riot.   The number originally included Bobby Seale, leader of the Black Panthers, who was bound and gagged in court because of insults he hurled at Judge Julius Hoffman.   Seale eventually was severed from the case and sentenced to 4 years in prison for contempt of court.

That left seven defendants: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Rennie Davis, Tom Hayden, John Froines and Lee Weiner.  Their trial became a microcosm of the tensions playing out throughout the nation during the 1960s.

McMahon, 86, who has drawn everything from the protests in Selma, Ala., to the Paris Opera, said the trial was among the most important of his subjects during that time.

I thought the acts of the defendants were atrocious, but I was on their side in the sense I was against the war and in the sense I was more of a Democrat than a Republican,” McMahon said.

The work of McMahon, a longtime freelancer, has appeared in the Tribune, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Fortune, Life and Sports Illustrated, among other publications.  In addition to covering the trial of the men accused of killing Till, a 14-year-old Chicago boy, McMahon drew pictures in Mission Control for the first landing on the moon.”

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be Social:

Edith Piaf: The Little Sparrow

Edith Piaf: The Little Sparrow

From the ruthless streets of the murderous Belleville district of Paris to the dazzling limelight of New York’s glamorous concert halls, Edith Piaf’s life was a constant battle to sing and survive, to live and love.  Raised in wretched poverty while surrounded by prostitutes and pimps, Piaf’s magical voice made her a star on both sides of the Atlantic. Her passionate romances and friendships with the greatest names of the period (Yves Montand, Jean Cocteau, Charles Aznavour, Marlene Deitrich, boxing world champion Marcel Cerdan) made her a household name as much as her memorable live performances and beautiful renditions of the songs that she made internationally famous, “La Vie en Rose“, “Milord“, “Hymn to Love“, “Non, je ne regrette rien” and many more. But in her audacious attempt to tame her tragic destiny, the “Little Sparrow” flew so high that she could not fail to burn her wings.

Marion Cotillard: La Vie En Rose (2007 Trailer)

Edith Piaf: La Vie En Rose

Edith Piaf: Non, Je ne Regrette Rien (Live, 1962)

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Please Be Social:

My Article for Monday, September 17, 2007

Quoted: Mark Edmundson is a professor of English at the University of Virginia, and author of the recently published The Death of Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days. In this week’s issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education , he has published a brief essay about his book. It is, I think, an important essay, since Edmundson addresses questions that

[tags: blogs]

See the Rest of My Articles at Blue Dot

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be Social:

Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days

Mark Edmundson is a professor of English at the University of Virginia, and author of the recently published The Death of Sigmund Freud: The Legacy of His Last Days.  In this week’s issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription), he has published a brief essay about his book, which has also been reviewed in The Guardian.   It is, I think, an important essay, since Edmundson addresses questions that are of great importance to us today.  Manifestly, the book began as an investigation about death and dying, an attempt to more fully understand what it might mean to die a good death, a good secular death.  But as Edmundson began to study Freud’s old age and his later works, he came to see that the hurdles and plights that Freud faced were in many ways still ours.  Both religious fundamentalism and political tyranny threatened Freud in his old age, and in very immediate ways.

But Freud did more than experience that tyranny, he also wrote about it in amazingly prescient books and essays.  Totem and Taboo, Group Psychology, Future of an Illusion, and a number of his other later writings analyzed how and why authority goes bad and becomes oppressive.  He concluded that the rise of Hitler was but part of the endless recurrence of the same dynamics, a sad hunger for Truth, the Center, the Leader, and the Law.  Anna Freud pointed out that by understanding the darkness of that need and caring to make it plain for all to see, Freud was one who had perhaps truly brought something into the world that was genuinely new.  Edmundson has made a major contribution by reminding us of Freud’s later studies.

TechnoratiTechnorati: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Be Social:

%d bloggers like this: