Program to focus on manifesto
September 27, 2009
The Port Huron Museum is holding a program about the Port Huron
Statement, written and adopted by Students for a Democratic Society
at their 1962 founding convention.
A lecture, "The Port Huron Statement The Start of Revolution," will
be held Oct. 8 at 7 p.m. at the Port Huron Museum, 1115 Sixth St., Port Huron.
In 1962 a group of students met at the Lakeport State Park and
drafted a manifesto supporting a participatory democracy. The Port
Huron Statement became a rallying cry for a generation of activists
and civil rights workers nationwide in the turbulent 1960'2 and
beyond, according to the museum. It inspired groups like the Students
for a Democratic Society, the Weather Underground and others.
The program is being offered in conjunction with the exhibit, "The
Enemy Within Terror in America: 1776 Today."
Al Haber, who was one of the creators of the statement, will start
University of Michigan Flint Political Science Professor Jason
Kosnoski, who has done extensive research on the statement and its
impact, will also participate in the program.
Admission is free with a paid exhibit admission. Museum admission is
$8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $5 for students. Children under
4-years-old are free.
Museum and Passport members are $2 each, up to a family maximum of $5.
Due to limited space and unique subject matter of this presentation,
advance reservations are required by calling the museum.
For additional information, contact Holly Modock at (810) 982-0891
ext. 118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enemy Within exhibit takes a careful look at terrorism
September 23, 2009
In his 1932 inaugural address, President Franklin D. Roosevelt used
the now famous words, "We have nothing to fear but fear itself" to
characterize the sense of mass terror that affected America at the
beginning of the Great Depression.
The average citizen did not understand how an economy that produced
the "Roaring 20s" could crash and burn in such a short time.
Roosevelt's remark was intended to convey the idea that people panic
when faced with difficulties they do not understand. Although the
Depression was not an act of terrorism, it had a similar impact.
FDR went on to explain some promising proposals to restore confidence
to the public -- steps that had many positive long-term effects on
the country, such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, rural
The Enemy Within, the Port Huron Museum's new exhibit, shows how acts
of terrorism have affected our development as a society and as a
nation. It is not intended to frighten or scare. Events on the
nightly news do a very good job of that.
Rather, it reminds us terrorist acts have a long history in America.
We can learn some valuable lessons from the exhibit -- lessons that
can help us cope with change and remove the conditions for future
A local example illustrates the point. The Blue Water Area has been
the scene of extremist political activity from both the right and the
left. In 1962, Tom Hayden and other student activists from the
University of Michigan convened a meeting at the AFL-CIO Camp at
Lakeport to draft the "Port Huron Statement," the founding charter of
the Students for Democratic Society.
The Weather Underground, an SDS splinter group, later was at the
center of campus protests and bombings. As a result, the FBI created
a special task force to infiltrate and track members of this and
other radical groups. This had a long-term effect on the manner in
which law enforcement agencies gather intelligence on those who seek
to change society by force and violence.
Acts of terrorism featured in The Enemy Within represent important
turning points in our history, events that led to major changes in
foreign and domestic policies. More important, they changed life at
the personal level for many people through the years.
If you have visited an airport lately or crossed the Blue Water
Bridge, you know how heightened security following Sept. 11, 2001,
has affected travel and infringed upon our privacy.
On the other hand, acts of terrorism by the Ku Klux Klan helped the
civil rights movement gather the momentum to reverse the onerous laws
derived from apartheid and racism. The passage of the U.S. Civil
Rights Act in 1964 made it possible for African Americans to begin to
claim the rights, freedoms and opportunities enjoyed by others as citizens.
The Enemy Within and its series of panel discussions and workshops
offer the opportunity for each visitor to become informed on these
important issues. After all, the success of democracy and freedom is
based upon informed citizens exercising their right to decide how we
will react to such horrendous events.
Each person's vote helps determine how we respond to provide security
and yet preserve our individual freedoms.
Dr. Dennis Zembala is president of the Port Huron Museum. For more
information about the exhibit, visit www.phmuseum.org.