One of the more disturbing aspects of the unpopular war in Vietnam was the practice known as fragging. Disenchanted soldiers in Vietnam sometimes used fragmentation grenades, popularly known as frags, or other explosives to threaten or kill officers and NCOs they disliked. The full extent of the problem will never be known; but it increased sharply in 1969, 1970, and 1971, when the morale of the troops declined in step with the American role in the fighting. A total of 730 well-documented cases involving 83 deaths have come to light. There were doubtless others and probably some instances of fragging that were privately motivated acts of anger that had nothing to do with the war. Nonetheless, fragging was symptomatic of an Army in turmoil.
They were the glory of the race of rangers,
Matchless with horse, rifle, song, supper, courtship,
Large, turbulent, generous, handsome, proud, and affectionate,
Bearded, sunburnt, drest in the free costume of hunters,
Not a single one over thirty years of age.
Beginning as a tiny cloud on the horizon in 1965, the antiwar movement had grown impressively to a point at which its arguments had been adopted by many people who would never have participated in a demonstration or signed a petition. In a complicated symbiotic relationship, antiwar activists affected and were affected by prominent figures in Congress, the media, and the intellectual world who confronted the president with an articulate, sizable, and increasingly influential group of citizens whose proposals for withdrawal from Vietnam began to appear more credible than those of the president who could only promise more of the same.
By the spring of 1968, the patriotic ‘rally-round-the-flag effect was wearing thin and recognition of the war’s mounting costs was sinking in. On April 27, the Mobe sponsored another major demonstration, this one relatively peaceful. About 100,000 people congregated in New York to hear Coretta Scott King, Mayor John Lindsay, and other speakers. Another 20,000 gathered in San Francisco. A group of forty active-duty GIs were given the honored place at the head of the demonstration in San Francisco.
Having spoken from his conscience, King was labeled an enemy of the state by his government, and derided as a dupe of the communists by the press. He was not alone in this. Both the Johnson and Nixon administrations besmirched antiwar activism as support for the communist cause, if not actually being controlled by communists. Using an expansive definition of “subversion,” they employed the FBI and CIA to conduct surveillance and sabotage of antiwar groups, including King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). As for the mainstream media, its denunciations of antiwar activism decreased over time as more Americans joined the antiwar movement and the costs of the war increased.
Within this era of brightening futures, Carl proposed an idea to some of the higher-ups at NASA. He wanted the Voyager, having already successfully completed its primary mission of observing Jupiter and Saturn, to turn its camera back to the vicinity of our planet and take one last photograph. It was an interesting proposal on multiple levels. At the time Carl was initially shopping around the idea, he was also promoting his television series, The Cosmos. So naturally a lot of folks at NASA saw it as nothing more than a publicity move for him. Not many people could see the scientific merit in the proposal; not that Carl was implying any. In fact, he was quite adamant that there was little to no scientific value of a photograph that would show Earth as nothing more than a speck of light.
When "Hill Valley" was created for the original Back to the Future (1985) they built the town in the pristine 1955 condition and shot the middle of the movie, then damaged it for the 1985 town and shot the beginning and end of the movie. When they decided to shoot Back to the Future Part II (1989) they had to clean the set up and restore it to the same condition it was in 1955. It cost more to rebuild than it cost to build it from scratch.