Police in front of the burning ROTC building at Washington University. Image courtesy: Student Life May 6, 1970, University Archives, Department of Special Collections, Washington University Libraries.
After anti-war protests at Washington University in 1970, Howard Mechanic became the first person arrested and charged under the Civil Obedience Act. Claiming innocence, Mechanic jumped bail to avoid prison time. He moved out West and created a new identity. For 28 years, he lived as Gary Tredway while raising a family and starting his own business. But what happens when Gary Tredway’s background is questioned? Can he continue under an assumed name or will his past finally be open to the public?
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Howard at the height of his protest days at Washington University.
The performance award given to Howard during his tenure at the Defense Supply Agency. Image courtesy of Howard Mechanic.
Howard’s mugshot following his arrest for allegedly throwing a cherry bomb at riot police during protests at Washington University. Image courtesy of Howard Mechanic.
An original flyer from Howard’s Scottsdale City Council election campaign as Gary Tredway. Image courtesy of Howard Mechanic.
A mock flyer from the Phoenix New Times – February 24, 2000. Image courtesy of Howard Mechanic.
The Lawrence Journal – February 12, 2000
“Everybody knew that I shouldn’t be in prison and the guards treated me differently than other people, which is good in a certain way but some of the prisoners didn’t like the treatment I got.” – Howard on his time in prison. Image Courtesy of Howard Mechanic.
The Daily Courier – February 28, 2000
Front page of the Scottsdale Tribune – May 5, 2000. Image courtesy of Howard Mechanic
Howard with Harold Ramis, who became a supporter and advocate for his release.
The official pardon from President Clinton. Image courtesy of Howard Mechanic.
Howard holding his pardon at his current home in Prescott, AZ.
Tags: anti-war protest, arizona, bill clinton, Civil Obedience Act, Everything Is Stories, Gary Tredway, Howard Mechanic, podcast, Vietname War