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EVO, the FBI and the Plot to Bomb the Pentagon

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I can’t honestly remember how I became interested in The East Village Other. Probably, it’s just the age-old thing of a son wanting to know more about his father. That my father’s twin brother was also part of that scene (more involved as it turns out), made it even more curious. The more I researched the whole thing, the more I became aware of what an important part of history they had been.

I suppose it’s not every kid who would make a Freedom of Information Act request to learn everything he could about something, but that was the historian in me back in 1989 when I was writing my undergraduate thesis at the University of Colorado at Boulder. There were lots of stories about possible surveillance and possible this and that. I wanted to know for sure.

The documents came back from the FBI and many of them were typical FBI documents – not all that interesting and with lots of stuff blacked out. However, there were also many surprises, many little semantic treasures, and many things revealed that one might think shouldn’t be. The following account was culled from the most interesting of those documents.

In September 1967, The East Village Other hatched a plan to bomb the Pentagon. The planned date of this bombing was Oct. 20, 1967 (though it was changed to Oct. 21 at some point or the FBI got the date wrong in its original memorandum), the day before the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam was to hold its march on Washington. On page 22 of EVO’s September 1-15 issue was a not-so-subtle ad: “Pilot Wanted for Daring Feat, phone 228-8640, ask for ALLEN or WALTER.” Allen was my uncle, Allen Katzman and Walter was Walter Bowart. The plan was true and the FBI took immediate notice, only the bomb wasn’t nuclear or conventional. It was flowers. Read more…