WSB-TV newsfilm clip of a reporter John Philp conducting street interviews with civilians and soldiers outside the commissary following the conviction of lieutenant William Calley for his role in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, Fort Benning, Georgia, 1971 March 30

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of a reporter John Philp conducting street interviews with civilians and soldiers outside the commissary following the conviction of lieutenant William Calley for his role in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, Fort Benning, Georgia, 1971 March 30

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Creator:WSB-TV (Television station : Atlanta, Ga.)
Title:WSB-TV newsfilm clip of a reporter John Philp conducting street interviews with civilians and soldiers outside the commissary following the conviction of lieutenant William Calley for his role in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, Fort Benning, Georgia, 1971 March 30
Date:1971 Mar. 30
Description:

Reporter: Philp, John.

In this WSB newsfilm clip from March 30, 1971, reporter John Philp interviews civilians and soldiers outside the commissary at Fort Benning, Georgia following the conviction of lieutenant William Calley for his role in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War.

The clip begins focusing on a building on the fort. A man and woman, seen from behind, walk up steps and into the building. During the street interviews, the clip pauses between each person and the reporter is not seen. The first interviewee is a young woman who holds a grocery bag. The young woman, whose husband is a second lieutenant, feels that lieutenant William Calley should not have been convicted for his role in the My Lai massacre. She explains that "this could happen to any one of" the soldiers serving in Vietnam. Next, an Asian American woman expresses regret at the massacre, but continues that "many people do something wrong in the war." The next interview is with a young soldier who feels that Calley's conviction is the result of external pressure. He hopes that in the appeals process Calley will eventually be let off. Next, a male African American commissary employee criticizes the verdict because "they are judging him for what they sent him over there for." A white young man in civilian clothes offers the one dissenting opinion, explaining that the conviction was the only just decision because civilians who were not resisting the soldiers were killed. A white commissary employee strongly disagrees with Calley's conviction and declares he would have helped Calley if he had been in Vietnam with him. Finally, reporter John Philp comments on the situation, recognizing the overwhelming support for lieutenant Calley at Fort Benning. According to Philp, most people feel the "verdict was too harsh and feel there is nothing to be gained by putting Calley in jail for the rest of his life or executing him." Philp reports that people more closely associated with the trial say it was fair. Philp praises captain Aubrey Daniel for his work for the prosecution and Colonel Reid Kennedy for his work as the trial judge. He also mentions George Latimer, the defense attorney, has a background in appeals and that lieutenant Calley feels that the verdict may be reversed on appeal. Philp recognizes that in a purely legal sense, there is no question of Calley's guilt. But he also recognizes that the situation is more complicated than that.

Second lieutenant William Calley was a member of the Charlie Company, 1st battalion, 20th infantry regiment, 11th infantry brigade while in Vietnam. While in there, he participated in the March 16, 1968 attack on the hamlet of My Lai. During the attack between three hundred and five hundred unarmed Vietnamese, mostly women and children, were killed. Lieutenant Calley was charged on September 5, 1969 with premeditated murder of Vietnamese civilians. His trial lasted from November 17, 1970 until March 29, 1971; two days later, Calley was sentenced to life in prison. In the end, Calley served three and a half years of house arrest at Fort Benning, Georgia. The details of the of the My Lai massacre helped turn public opinion in the United States against the Vietnam War.

Title supplied by cataloger.

The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.

Types:Moving images | News | Unedited footage
Subjects:Calley, William Laws, 1943- --Trials, litigation, etc. | Calley, William Laws, 1943- --Public opinion | Philp, John | Daniel, Aubrey | Kennedy, Reid | Latimer, George | Calley, William Laws, 1943- | My Lai Massacre, Vietnam, 1968 | Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Atrocities | Courts-martial and courts of inquiry--United States | Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Public opinion | Trials (Murder)--United States | Interviews--Georgia--Fort Benning | Reporters and reporting--Georgia--Fort Benning | Vietnam War, 1961-1975--United States | Public opinion--Georgia--Fort Benning | Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Casualties | Fort Benning (Ga.) | Muscogee County (Ga.) | Chattahoochee County (Ga.) | Russell County (Ala.) | Georgia | Alabama | My Lai 4 (Vietnam) | Vietnam
Collection:
Institution:Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection
Contributors:Philp, John | Philp, John | Digital Library of Georgia | Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection | Civil Rights Digital Library Collection (Digital Library of Georgia)
Online Publisher:Athens, Ga. : Digital Library of Georgia and Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia Libraries | 2007
Original Material:

1 clip (about 3 min.): color, sound ; 16 mm.

Original found in the WSB-TV newsfilm collection.

Rights and Usage:

WSB-TV newsfilm clip of a reporter John Philp conducting street interviews with civilians and soldiers outside the commissary following the conviction of lieutenant William Calley for his role in the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, Fort Benning, Georgia, 1971 March 30, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 1729, 19:39/22:32, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.

Related Materials:

Forms part of: Civil Rights Digital Library.

Persistent Link to Item:http://dlg.galileo.usg.edu/crdl/id:ugabma_wsbn_62845