Joan Baez

Joan Baez was born in Staten Island, New York, on January 9, 1941. She excelled in music, and after her father began teaching physics at Harvard in the late 1950s, she turned to folk music, singing in local coffeehouses. Baez received numerous recording contracts after the Newport Folk Festival. Her liberal politics and belief in peace and disarmament made her a natural antiwar leader when the Vietnam conflict escalated in the 1960s. In 1966, Baez refused to pay her income taxes to protest the war, and was arrested in Oakland, California, in 1967 for picketing in front of the Northern California Draft Induction Center. Baez married draft resister David Harris, and together they led a number of protest movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In 1973, Baez culminated her antiwar activities with a trip to Hanoi, and after the visit she reported that American air raids had caused extensive destruction of Hanoi as well as destroying part of an American POW camp.