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June 23, 1972. President Nixon seated at his desk, family photos and the Lincoln bust statuette are visible behind him. Images taken while a campaign documentary was being filmed. Photo from the Nixon Presidential Library.

It makes sense that Camilla Hall’s letters to her parents became more political in 1968, one of the most tense and volatile election years the country had seen. “Very disappointed to watch Nixon win on the first ballot—Republicans are so consistently stupid. I hope the Democratic convention isn’t so easy. Some say there will be a lot of trouble at it since it’s the last vestige of hope for liberals.”

As we know, there was a lot of trouble at the Democratic convention in Chicago. The riots resulted in the trial of the Chicago 7, and Humphrey won the nomination even though the other candidates targeted their campaigns to the populace and seemed to have the popular support.

Six years later, Camilla’s frustrations boiled over. She joined the Symbionese Liberation Army, a radical left-wing organization most famous for kidnapping newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst.

Sometimes it seems so little has changed. Volatile election seasons. Frustrations with government. And people turning toward violence.


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