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Marching Mothers leave Pontiac - 3-15-72 - ABC

by Matt Delmont

McCabe and five other Pontiac mothers set off on their six-week trek on March 15, 1972, and both print and television reporters noted the historical echoes of the event (Figure 4). “How and why,” one article asked, “did the trim housewife emerge as a national figure emulating the tactics of the civil rights marchers of the ‘60s?” At the Pontiac sendoff to McCabe and the marching mothers, ABC’s Jim Kincaid noted “Irene McCabe and her National Action Group have taken a page from other demonstrations in the past. It won’t be the first walk to Washington, it may be one of the longest.” In addition to the clear reference to the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the marchers also made a side trip to Massillion, Ohio, the starting point of Coxey’s Army March on Washington by unemployed workers in 1894. As these historical precedents suggest, McCabe’s “mothers’ march”in was designed to be easily recognized as a newsworthy event.

Marching Mothers leave Pontiac - 3-15-72 - ABC

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Marching Mothers leave Pontiac - 3-15-72 - ABC

from ABC Evening News (1972)
Creator: ABC Evening News
Distributor: ABC
Posted by Matt Delmont