Midnight Hour

February 17, 1970
1970 HFP, Volume 2 Number 4

"What's their hurry?" Dale Yancy's front page cartoon, pictured at right, depicted Bible-toting Jesus People boarding a large ship named the "USS Noah's Ark", while a cynical couple in the foreground agreed that they had plenty of time to decide about "this Jesus guy."

The issue's lead article, "Midnight Hour", focused on the race for our destiny between the environmental collapse of the planet Earth and the "spiritual explosion" underway on many college campuses and across America as the Jesus Movement continued to sweep the nation in the early weeks of 1970. At one point the article quoted a dire prediction in LIFE Magazine that in decades to come, "new diseases that humans cannot resist will reach plague proportions." A chilling prediction that would later come true through killer viruses including Ebola, AIDS and most recently, SARS.

The trial of the "Chicago Seven", a group of radicals accused of conspiring to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago, was still in progress, judge Julius Hoffman having just sent the case to the jury three days before the HFP went to press. The day after the HFP was printed, the jury returned guilty verdicts on five of the seven including Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden, although all convictions were later overturned on appeal.

One of the major themes swirling around the controversial trial was that of "radicalizing" Vietnam-era youth to revolution, and an article in this edition pondered the question of becoming "true revolutionaries", moving beyond the "issues forced down our throats by a corrupt establishment" to taking action. The article was illustrated with a small Yancy sketch of radicals burning a Bank of America building, a reference to the riots in Isla Vista, California, earlier that month in which a Bank of America branch was burned to the ground. Jesus was presented in the article as history's greatest revolutionary, "found guilty of ridiculous crimes dreamed up by the establishment just to have him locked up, shut up and finally killed." Jesus' revolutionary spirit, the article concluded, still exists today.

An open letter from a high school student in Rowland Heights, a suburb of Los Angeles, described how much it meant to him to see Jesus People speaking out in his school and community, and encouraged the HFP staff to "keep on publishing this paper. I wish I could have read something like it a few years ago when I started looking for an answer to life."

"The Wall" was filled to overflowing with special events, Bible raps, prayer groups, coffee houses and details on free speech hours at local college campuses. Large advertisements announced a "resurrection march" on the upcoming Easter Sunday, and a concert featuring Love Song, and Andrae Crouch.

Dale Yancy's dramatic back cover poster, pictured below right, pondered the fleetingness of time and how our lives are but "a mere breath" in the context of eternity.

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