Bob Begin’s Vietnam War Protest and Arrest

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

American History #3: Historians develop theses and use evidence to support or refute positions.
American History #26: The Cold War and conflicts in Korea and Vietnam influenced domestic and international politics.
American Government #22: Individuals and organizations play a role within federal, state and local governments in helping to determine public (domestic and foreign) policy.


In this clip, Father Bob Begin recalls his arrest on January 27, 1969 in Cleveland, OH. Fr. Bob Begin and others (part of Christians Who Care) organized a protest based on what they perceived as the perpetuation of injustices against minority groups in the United States and the Vietnamese, as well as an abuse of power by the Catholic hierarchy. Frank’s Story also helps contextualize Fr. Begin’s motives for this protest action.

This clip is recommended for educators utilizing a “flipped classroom” approach, but there are a few other options below.

Potential Classroom Uses:

  1. As a multiple day lesson with the option for “flipping” the classroom.
  2. An introduction in anti-war protests during the Vietnam War.
  3. A debate on the effectiveness of activism, what types of activism are allowed under the U.S. Constitution, or a unit on American history of political activism (consider the American Revolution; abolitionist and anti-slavery activism; 1920s worker’s rights strikes in Seattle, food and drug regulation, anti-trust acts, women’s rights; civil rights; EPA protest; LBTQ+ protests; etc).
  4. After learning the history of political activism in America and its successes and failures, students conduct a debate on the question, “Is activism a necessity to promoting political change?”

Sources used:

Edutopia. Keyword search: “Flipped classroom.” Accessed August 8, 2018.

[Photo Credit: Cleveland People. “Fr. Bob Begin honored on St. Colman Day Saint Colman Church – Cleveland  November 2, 2014.” November 2, 2014.]