Friday, June 28, 2019

Stonewall Semicentennialback Satureve

Given that my blog features my editorial cartoons for the LGBTQ+ press, plus a regular Saturday feature of old cartoons marking this or that anniversary, you might expect that tomorrow's post will feature a bunch of 50-year-old cartoons about the Stonewall Riots.

Well, it won't.

The fact is, the nation's editorial cartoonists hardly took note of Stonewall (and most probably would have drawn cartoons demeaning the rioters if they had). Outside of New York, few newspapers even reported the uprising. As riots go, Stonewall was overshadowed by racial riots in several U.S. cities, including Omaha, Nebraska; Kokomo and Marion, Indiana; Des Moines, Iowa; Middleton, Ohio; and Waterbury, Connecticut that same week.
"The President Says He'll Cover That..." by Pat Oliphant in Denver Post, ca. June 28, 1969
But since it is the 50th anniversary of Stonewall today, here are a few modest examples of what editorial cartoonists were drawing about at the time. The Nixon administration, and, for some reason, former Secretary of Defense Clark Clifford, announced plans to withdraw some of the American troops from the war in Vietnam. The Nixon administration also withdrew the nomination of Dr. John Knowles to be Assistant Secretary for Health and Science Affairs in what was then the Department of Health, Education and Welfare.
"Tell Them We Did Everything We Could" by Gene Basset for Scripps-Howard Newspapers, ca. July 1, 1969 
One of the issues that sunk the Knowles nomination was his support of all-inclusive health insurance so that poor people could afford health care, by the way, just in case you thought that was a new-fangled concept.
"Aren't We Suppose to Get Some Foreign Aid First" by Wayne Stayskal in Chicago Today American. ca. June 30, 1969
And let's see... We were about to send our first manned mission to the moon — which is pretty fricking amazing when you consider that the moon landing was 50 years ago now, and 50 years before that, we had only just succeeded in flying across the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.
"His Critics Never Broke Through...," unsigned (Ted Shearer?) in Washington (D.C.) Afro-American, July 1, 1969
And Chief Justice Earl Warren stepped down from the Supreme Court. I've already discussed how Republicans Merrick-Garlanded President Lyndon Johnson's nominees to succeed Warren, so it's hardly worthwhile to repeat myself today.
"That Cat's on Crab Grass" by Bill Mauldin in Chicago Sun-Times, ca. June 29, 1969
Oh, there was plenty of other stuff, but most of it just doesn't inspire a whole lot of nostalgia (I'm not quite old enough to wax nostalgic about 1969 anyway...although I have sometimes wished I still had the drug awareness workbook we had in elementary school, just to see how well I remember it) or insightful commentary.
"To Soothe the Savage Breast" by Bill Crawford for Newspaper Enterprise Association, ca. July 1, 1969
So tune back here tomorrow morning for a slew of cartoons half a century older than these.

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