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CATONSVILLE NINE RESOURCES

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Online Portals

Wikipedia: Catonsville Nine

List of the Nine, History, Aftermath, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (play), See also, References, Notes, Sources, Further reading, External links


Enoch Pratt Free Library: The Catonsville Nine File

Action, Trial, Context, Profiles, Collection


Zinn Education Project: The Catonsville Nine Files

Features documents, photos, and audio and video accounts about the Catonsville Nine who burned Vietnam war draft files.


 

Online Essays & Articles

Catonsville 9 Statement by Dan Berrigan, S.J.

On May 17th, 1968, Nine people, including Father Daniel Berrigan and his brother Father Phillip Berrigan, entered a draft board and removed draft files of those who were about to be sent to Vietnam. They took these files outside and burned them with home-made napalm, a weapon commonly used on civilians by the U.S. forces. They then awaited their arrest by authorities. The following is the statement Dan Berrigan read in court during their trial.


“For the Fracture of Good Order,” The Catonsville Nine Protest and Legacy by Timothy Joseph Stefonowich

There is no doubt that the Catonsville action was successful in the sense that it was able to push forward its message, expose the weaknesses of American policies domestically and in international affairs. And the message and pushing the ideas of it forward is what was most important for the Catonsville Nine


‘Sick at Heart’: The Lonely Radicalism of the Catonsville Nine by John Lingan

Catholic radicals burned hundreds of draft cards with homemade napalm in 1968. Here’s what modern activists can learn from them.


Inattention to accuracy about ‘Catonsville Nine’ distorts history by George Mische

In honor of the 45th anniversary of the “The Catonsville Nine” draft file burning, I have decided to write something that more accurately reflects that event than how others have portrayed it in the past.


NY Times: Catonsville Journal; Keeping Alive the Spirit of Vietnam War Protest by Francis X. Clines

As they round out their eighth decade, the Berrigan brothers, Philip and Daniel, are entitled to retire from the protest wars, but they are still up to their fervid old ways of getting arrested in nonviolent resistance to American military policy.


How the Catonsville Nine survived on film by Jake Olzen

The iconic images and audio from that historic event were almost lost in the annals of history.


Incendiary Etchings: Tom Lewis and the Catonsville Nine by Morgan Dowty

Lewis, in between his imprisonment awaiting and after the trial, created a portfolio of etchings, The Trial and Prison (1969), now in the collection of the Baltimore Museum of Art.


Finding the Catonsville Nine by Bruce Goldfarb

The act marked a turning point in public sentiment against the war, the origin of a new movement, and the genesis of my own moral awakening.


UMBC Department of American Studies Awarded Grant for ‘Catonsville Nine’ Project by Destination UMBC

UMBC’s Department of American Studies receives a grant to teach Baltimore area citizens about the actions and impact of the Catonsville Nine.


The Baltimore Four and the Catonsville Nine would spark a series of similar, Catholic Left-led demonstrations by Jenn Ladd

The Baltimore Four and the Catonsville Nine would spark a series of similar, Catholic Left-led demonstrations-the Milwaukee 14, the D.C. Nine, the Chicago 15, the Boston Eight, and several others.


‘Hit & Stay’ looks to Catonsville Nine and beyond by Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun

“Hit & Stay” is a compelling documentary not only because it tells of a seminal moment in the history of the Vietnam-era anti-war movement, but also because it shows in intricate detail how that action — both the ideals it highlighted and the people who carried it out — would spread through the country over the next few years.


A fiery act of civil disobedience in Catonsville still resonates, 45 years later by Fern Shen

The Catonsville action had the narrative hook of the dashing priest-brothers Philip and Daniel Berrigan, defying the pro-war Catholic Church hierarchy, an angle the activists knew would prove irresistible media bait.


The Catonsville Nine by Shawn Francis Peters by Michael Kenney

In “The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era,’’ Shawn Francis Peters, a Catonsville native who teaches in the integrated liberal studies program at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, presents a comprehensive account of this high-profile event in the antiwar protest movement of the 1960s and ’70s, along with an examination of its aftermath and legacy.


The Burning of Paper Instead of Children: the Symbolic Destruction of Records by Hillel Arnold

These activists, a large number of whom were Roman Catholics motivated in their actions by their faith, had an understanding of records that prefigure recent conceptions of records as morally-loaded agents actively participating in the construction of history. And I also hope to show that this particular understanding of records grew out of these activists’ religious convictions.


 

Online Videos

Hit and Stay (Trailer) by Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk

A History of Faith and Resistance – A documentary about priests and nuns who protested the Vietnam War by breaking into draft boards, destroying draft records, and then waiting around to be arrested. Their actions inspired a movement, which shaped the anti-war movement and helped bring an end to the draft.


Catonsville Nine (Trailer) by Lynne Sachs 

Lynne Sachs’ Investigation of a Flame is an intimate look at this Sixties protest within our current times, when foes of Middle East peace, abortion, and technology resort to violence to access the public imagination. Lynne Sachs combines volatile, long-unseen, archival footage with interviews with Daniel and Philip Berrigan and other members of the Catonsville Nine, encouraging viewers to ponder the relevance of civil disobedience and the implications of personal sacrifice today.


The Catonsville Nine original 5/17/68 footage

Deemed too dangerous for broadcast in May 1968, the iconic footage of nine Catholic activists burning draft files might have been lost forever if not for Pat McGrath — a dogged and sympathetic reporter, who has struggled to ensure its preservation. Read the full story on Waging Nonviolence:


The Catonsville Nine: Taking A Fiery Stand Against The Vietnam War Drafts by Amelia Farrell

Quarterly Project for my AP U.S. History Seminar class, also is my NHD (National History Day) Project.


Looking Forward from the 45th Anniversary of the Catonsville Nine Actions

UMBC- hosted discussion panel with Thomas and Margarita Melville, Karin Aguilar-San Juan; moderated by Joby Taylor.


The Holy Outlaw by Lee Lockwood

1970 documentary about Father Daniel Berrigan for National Educational Television.


Daniel Berrigan and Non-violence by Bishop Barron

“The church needs pacifists the way it needs celibates.”


Daniel Berrigan: 1921-2016

Daniel Berrigan in 2001 on his 80th birthday. “If you were to identify Catholic prophets in the twentieth century, he’d be right there with Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton,” said Georgetown University professor Chester Gillis.


Democracy Now: Remembering Father Daniel Berrigan, a Prophet of Peace by Amy Goodman

Remembering the life and legacy of the legendary antiwar priest Father Daniel Berrigan. He died on April 30, just short of his 95th birthday. Berrigan was a poet, pacifist, educator, social activist, playwright and lifelong resister against what he called “American military imperialism.”


 

Online Audio

Fire Sparked Push to End Vietnam War  (Heard on All Things Considered May 17, 2008) by Andrea Seabrook

On May 17, 1968, a quiet suburb of Baltimore became the flash point of the movement to end the Vietnam War.


 

Online Images

Catonsville Nine’s 5/17/68 Action Images

Black and White Photographs Taken on the Site and Day of the May 17,1968 Catonsville Nine Action.


Catonsville Nine Baltimore Courthouse Protest Images 10/5/68 – 10/9/68

Black and White Photographs of Pro- and Anti- Catonsville Nine Protesters Outside the Baltimore Courthouse at the Time of their Trial October 5–9, 1968.

Books

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine by Daniel Berrigan, 1970.

The Trial of the Catonsville Nine became a powerful expression of the conflicts between conscience and conduct, power and justice, law and morality. Drawing on court transcripts, Berrigan wrote a dramatic account of the trial and the issues it so vividly embodied. The result is a landmark work of art that been performed frequently over the past thirty five years, both as a piece of theater and a motion picture.


The Catonsville Nine: A Story of Faith and Resistance in the Vietnam Era by Shawn Francis Peters, 2012

In The Catonsville Nine, Shawn Francis Peters, a Catonsville native, offers the first comprehensive account of this key event in the history of 1960’s protest. While thousands of supporters thronged the streets outside the courthouse, the Catonsville Nine–whose ranks included activist priests Philip and Daniel Berrigan–delivered passionate indictments of the war in Vietnam and the brutality of American foreign policy.


Disarmed And Dangerous: The Radical Lives And Times Of Daniel And Philip Berrigan by Murray Polner and Jim O’Grady, 1997

Jesuit Daniel Berrigan and his younger brother Philip (who subsequently left the priesthood) gave Catholic activism a controversial new direction in the 1960s with their militant antiwar protests. Now 75 and 73, the Berrigans continue to speak and act against militarism and violence. This biography addresses criticisms of the brothers as quixotic and intolerant of those who disagree with their tactics, but honors them as an uncompromising moral force. The authors sketch personality differences between Philip, “still political,” and the more contemplative Daniel, while focusing primarily on their public life.


With Clumsy Grace: The American Catholic Left, 1961-1975 by Charles Meconis

A Clumsy Grace concerns anti draft board actions by the “Catholic Left” from 1961-1975.


 

Films

Hit and Stay  by Joe Tropea and Skizz Cyzyk

A History of Faith and Resistance – A documentary about priests and nuns who protested the Vietnam War by breaking into draft boards, destroying draft records, and then waiting around to be arrested. Their actions inspired a movement, which shaped the anti-war movement and helped bring an end to the draft.


Investigation of a Flame by Lynne Sachs

Investigation of a Flame is an intimate look at this Sixties protest within our current times, when foes of Middle East peace, abortion, and technology resort to violence to access the public imagination. Lynne Sachs combines volatile, long-unseen, archival footage with interviews with Daniel and Philip Berrigan and other members of the Catonsville Nine, encouraging viewers to ponder the relevance of civil disobedience and the implications of personal sacrifice today.


The Trial of the Catonsville Nine by Gordon Davidson

Film- adaptation of the Daniel Berrigan play produced by Gregory Peck.


Collections

Daniel and Philip Berrigan Collection, 1880-1995 at Cornell University Library

Personal papers and ephemeral publications by and about Daniel and Philip Berrigan, including correspondence, legal documents, manuscripts of poetry and prose writings, notes for talks, periodical arcticles, newspaper clippings, photographs, broadsides, tape recordings, videocassettes, and microfilms. The greater part of the collection consists of papers dated after 1960 and contains much on the Catonsville Nine, the Harrisburg Seven, and the Plowshares Eight. Earlier material includes some Berrigan family history. The collection is supplemented by published books by and about the Berrigans. Also twelve letters of correspondence with Ross Labrie.


 

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Social Justice Activism Links
Jonah House

Jonah House began as a community in 1973 with a group of people that included Philip Berrigan, a Catholic priest, and Elizabeth McAlister, formerly a Catholic nun. The community later called itself Jonah House.


Viva House

Viva House is part of a network of places around the country that are part of the Catholic Worker Movement. Viva House serves two meals per week to about 200 people from the neighborhood and elsewhere; they give away hundreds of bags of donated groceries every month; and they agitate for non-violence.


The Br. David Darst Center

The Br. David Darst Center provides unique learning and immersion opportunities that explore issues of social justice through the lens of Christian social teachings of peace, justice and respect for human dignity and the environment. We seek to inspire a responsive, active faith, a commitment to serve, and a passion for social change.