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Armed Black Panthers March on the Capitol 1967


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United States
01/11/2021 04:44 PM

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Armed Black Panthers March on the Capitol 1967
[link to capitolweekly.net (secure)]

It’s largely forgotten now, but 50 years ago, it created a national sensation. It even caused the National Rifle Association and Ronald Reagan to back a gun-control bill authored by a Republican.

Tuesday is the 50th anniversary of the May 2, 1967 “invasion” of the state Capitol by two dozen gun-toting Black Panthers. Carrying rifles, pistols and shotguns, and wearing dark glasses, leather jackets and berets, they marched up the front steps and into the Capitol to demonstrate their opposition to an anti-gun bill by Oakland Republican Don Mulford (1915-2000).

Unlike today, there were no airport-style security checkpoints at Capitol entrances — visitors could come and go freely.

When they arrived, Ronald Reagan, then near the beginning of his eight years as governor, was on the Capitol lawn, hosting a gathering of eighth-graders.