15. Jane Fonda: American Patriot or Traitor?

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One of the most divisive eras in American history is the Vietnam era. The Vietnam era for the United States ran roughly from 1960 through 1975. In the mid to late 60s, America's involvement became a huge issue. The conflict in Vietnam was divisive for many reasons, but mostly because of the public's perception that it was an immoral and illegal operation. The other major factor was that the U.S. was still engaged in drafting young men into the service of the country against their will.

One of Hollywood's major film stars of the time was Jane Fonda. Fonda came from Hollywood movie royalty, being the daughter of the great actor, Henry Fonda. She won two Oscars, seven Golden Globe awards, and an Emmy award through her long career. In the 60s she was a political activist who was against the war in Vietnam. She was very outspoken against the conflict, as many celebrities were at the time.

In 1970, Fonda made headlines for a very different reason. She and two fellow actors starred in an anti-war film that drew much controversy. In July of 1972, Fonda drew the wrath of many Americans when she was photographed sitting with North Vietnamese Army members on an anti-aircraft gun. That image soiled her reputation as an actress, and as a true American. Many called Fonda a traitor for interacting with the enemy. Years later, Fonda said that she was manipulated into taking that photo, but many Americans still have their doubts.

During her trip to North Vietnam, which was at war with the U.S. backed South Vietnam, Fonda made a number of radio broadcasts denouncing America's involvement in the war. This further cemented her image as a traitor. However, there are many Americans who feel she was a true patriot because she refused to stand still and spoke out against the war.



      

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