Based on the book "They Marched into Sunlight" by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss, this AMERICAN EXPERIENCE production tells the story of two turbulent days in October 1967 when history turned a corner.
In Vietnam, a US battalion unwittingly marched into a Viet Cong trap. Sixty-one young men were killed and as many wounded. The ambush prompted some in power to wonder whether the war might be unwinnable. Half a world away, angry students at the University of Wisconsin protested the presence of Dow Chemical recruiters on campus. The demonstration spiraled out of control, marking the first time that a student protest had turned violent. Told almost entirely by the people who took part in the harrowing events of those two days, American soldiers, police officers, relatives of men killed in battle, protesting students, university administrators and Viet Cong fighters, the film offers a window onto a moment that divided a nation and a war that continues to haunt us.