Fifty years since The Make Love Not War t-shirt caused a stir around the world

Fifty years since The Make Love Not War t-shirt caused a stir around the world

ANU student Megan Stoyles on October 20, 1966, wearing that t-shirt at an anti-Vietnam War protest in Canberra as US President Lyndon Johnson arrived in the national capital.It’s 50 years on Thursday   since then ANU student Megan Stoyles attracted headlines around the world by wearing a Make Love Not War t-shirt at an anti-Vietnam War protest in Canberra in 1966 as US president Lyndon Baines Johnson – LBJ – arrived in the national capital.Megan Stoyles Megan Stoyles earlier this year in the t-shirt she wore in 1966 during an anti-Vietnam War protest in Canberra as president Lyndon Johnson arrived in the national capital. Photo: Stuart Hay, ANUShe still has the t-shirt and can still fit into it – wearing it as she spoke about student activism in the ’60s at a 70th anniversary celebration for the ANU in August.Now living in Melbourne, Ms Stoyles on Thursday did tell us that, contrary to popular belief, the image of her in the t-shirt outside the Rex Hotel on October 20, 1966, probably never did make the cover of Time magazine.The Canberra Times article from October, 1966 about “the girl with Make Love Not War written across her chest”. Photo: Trove, the National Library of Australia”I think that was an urban myth,” she said.”The photograph was, however, used in Life magazine to illustrate an article called ‘International Students in Revolt’.”Nevertheless, she did make an impact as, yes, male journalists covering the presidential visit, gushed more about how the then 19-year-old filled the t-shirt rather than what it actually said.The New York Post’s correspondent, for instance, wrote of her “marvellous chest bouncing beneath a white tee-shirt…”. Megan Stoyles Auistralian National Univrsity alumnus Megan Stoyles speaking in August at a 70th anniversary event for the university about student activism in the 1960s. Photo: Stuart Hay, ANU”The morning and afternoon papers  all ran my photo, and the ‘colour’ journalists were soon in on the act: ‘naïve young student [my political views] but what boobs’,” she wrote. Ms Stoyles remembers conscription had been introduced and Liberal prime minister Harold Holt, facing an election, “thought they could leverage some political capital off a visit by the Presidential Visit  Down Under, with a catchy slogan All the Way with LBJ”.She said it was not a slogan shared by her or her student contemporaries – some of whom had received their conscription notices at the ANU. She decided to unveil …

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