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Cory Welch Family Films, No. 4 - Tractorcade in Washington, D.C., Part II (1979)

Cory Welch

Silent | 1979

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  •  Texas farmers roll down the street in their tractors 
  •  The United States Capitol and the National Mall 
 
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This home movie from 1979 captures scenes from the national tractorcade in Washington, D.C. In the film, tractors—including several from Texas—occupy the National Mall in front of the United States Capitol to protest current agriculture policies. On February 5, 1979, an estimated 900 tractors from across the nation converged on Washington, D.C. to protest the current state of the agricultural industry and rally for more profitable and equitable policies for family farms. The invasion of tractors caused much frustration for commuters and city officials. Police eventually corralled the tractors on the National Mall, where they remained for several weeks. The event marked the second tractorcade organized by the American Agriculture Movement, though the 1979 protest turned out far less organized than the prior year’s. Washington billed the demonstrators for $1 million in damages. A group of Maryland farmers ultimately volunteered to fix the national greens.