When stock brokers joined construction workers: NYC’s ‘Hard Hat Riot’ turns 44

“A lot of us are World War II vets and fathers and Purple Hearts. We’re from a generation that believes the flag over everything.” – Electrician Morty Grutman, quoted in the New York Post, May 9, 1970.

What has been largely forgotten by both the mainstream media and academia nation-wide, today marks the 44th anniversary of New York City’s pivotal “Hard Hat Riot” what began as a violent reaction from a relative handful of NYC construction workers, many of whom were World War II, Korea War and Viet-Nam War veterans, against a rather large number of anti-Vietnam War protesters. As reported by the New York Times on May 9, 1970, the Wall Street Journal on May 11, 1970, and also the Vancouver (Canada) Sun on May 20, 2970, an estimated two hundred “Hard Hats” battled roughly one thousand antiwar protesters literally in the shadows of the New York Stock Exchange.

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