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Cory Welch Family Films, No. 3 - Tractorcade in Washington, D.C., Part I (1979)

Cory Welch

Silent | 1979

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  •  Stopped at a toll booth 
  •  The caravan of tractors assembles in a parking lot 
 
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This home movie from 1979 captures scenes from the national tractorcade in Washington, D.C. In the film, a group of Texas farmers make the slow trek to the national capital in their tractors 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.