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Poster design by Ben Shahn (1899-1969).

We have seen recently how years of frustration can boil over into violence. Today’s domestic terrorism threat comes from the right; more than 50 years ago, it came from the left.

The 1968 Democratic primary race was full of candidates after President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not run for the nomination. Minnesota’s Eugene McCarthy did well in the primaries, but the eventual nominee was a fellow Minnesotan, Hubert H. Humphrey, who was more pro-Vietnam War than McCarthy. 

Camilla Hall, who later became a member of the Symbionese Liberation Army in 1974, was 23 in 1968. Humphrey’s nomination, which she saw as going against the will of the people, planted a seed of dissent within her. She wrote to her parents:

We’re always going to be denied a choice if we don’t put our foot down and say NO. I’m campaigning for and voting for liberal legislators and local politicians, but I intend to vote NO for president…In the next four years, we’re going to take over the DFL—we, the people.

Things were not any better for Camilla by 1972, when Nixon was re-elected. In early 1974, Camilla joined the SLA and was part of the group during the Patty Hearst kidnapping on Feb. 4, 1974. Camilla and five other SLA members were killed in a shootout with Los Angeles police on May 17, 1974. She was 29 years old.