Bob Begin on Reasons for Protest

This story clip can be aligned to the following Ohio Department of Education Social Studies Standards:

  • American History Content Statement 3: Historians develop theses and use evidence to support or refute positions.
  • American History Content Statement 26: The Cold War and conflicts in Korea and Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics.
  • American History Content Statement 33: The United States faced new political, national security, and economic challenges in the post-Cold War world and following the attacks on September 11, 2001




Father Bob Begin was a protester during the Vietnam War. In this particular clip, he has just finished describing an experience of protesting the war by breaking into Dow Chemical Company and vandalizing the office and stealing files. Begin describes the reason why he engaged in the protest, which is that he believed “we had no business being there in the first place.” Begin also mentions the fact that more bombs were dropped in Vietnam and Cambodia than there were throughout World War II. Begin then compares the circumstances of the Vietnam War to the current situation with ISIS, and even discusses the 2016 Presidential election.

Potential Classroom Uses:

Teachers might use this clip in various ways, possibly in a unit about the Vietnam War, a unit about present-day terrorism, a lesson about foreign policy during the Cold War, or in a lesson about current events. When studying the Vietnam War, Begin’s clip could be used to analyze the protest movements at the time, specifically the motives for antiwar sentiment. Students could take a position either supporting the war or protesting against it and write a short essay supporting their arguments. Teachers could also use this clip to evaluate the policy of dropping bombs over Vietnam and other countries throughout the Cold War. Since Begin discusses ISIS and Trump, this clip could be useful to analyze terrorism and current events. 


Photo Credit: “DC 9 wreck Dow offices protesting napalm & nerve gas: 1969” Photographer Unknown. Washington Area Spark,