Update: A federal judge's order that would have prevented Michigan from enforcing a state law to keep voters from taking photos of their ballot in the Nov. 8 election has been overturned. So for now, no ballot selfies on election day.
There was a great fascination with Tom Hayden when I was in high school in the Detroit suburbs in the mid-1960s. Mostly on the part of the teachers, that is.
They regarded him as a boy gone wrong who had grown up in what was then sleepy, suburban Royal Oak and then become a radical enemy of America. Some of them knew his mother, who was a film librarian for the public schools.
Tom Hayden, a radical activist and advocate for progressive causes, died Sunday at the age of 76.
In the early 1960s, Hayden was a freedom rider in the South and a community organizer in Newark. He was a civil rights activist who became famous for his anti-war efforts and made several high-profile (and later controversial) trips to Vietnam. He was a founding member of the Students for a Democratic Society and wrote the first draft of the influential activist group's manifesto, the Port Huron Statement.
A group of university students wrote the Port Huron Statement fifty years ago at a UAW retreat center, north of Port Huron. They called themselves “Students for a Democratic Society.” One of the main participants was political activist Tom Hayden, who was in his early twenties at the time.
The statement begins with these words: "We are people of this generation, bred in at least modest comfort, housed now in universities, looking uncomfortably to the world we inherit."