Free the Prisoners

March 16, 1971
1971 HFP, Volume 3 Number 6

As the war in Vietnam continued, the scene both at home and abroad became increasingly surreal. As Radio Hanoi broadcast Jimi Hendrix's "Star Spangled Banner", a thousand U.S. aircraft bombed Cambodia and Laos while the Nixon administration publicly denied it was expanding the scope of the war. Boxer Muhammad Ali lost his bid to regain the heavyweight boxing title from Joe Frazier. CBS announced it was cancelling the Ed Sullivan Show after 23 years. And the U.S. Senate approved an amendment to lower the voting age to 18, which would finally be ratified as the 26th Amendment to the Constitution in July of 1971.

The previous month's radical news from Sacramento had spread to Ohio and was catching fire. The mayor of Cincinnati had proclaimed March 27 "Spiritual Revolution Day" and our friends Arthur Blessitt, Larry Norman and others were making plans to participate in the march from Fountain Square and a rally and concert at Tuft Auditorium. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, Cleveland's largest daily newspaper, was planning an article on the local Jesus People in that city, and our friend Joel Kischel wrote that "Cleveland is cracking wide open for Jesus!"

Back in L.A., Arthur Blessitt and our friend Jimmie McPheeters marched through Hollywood carrying a huge wooden cross and leading a large crowd of noisy Jesus People. Plans were underway for an Everlasting Living Waters Rock Festival in Long Beach, a Resurrection Festival on Easter Sunday at the Hollywood Bowl, and a Jesus Festival of Music at the Hollywood Palladium. Our Thursday night Bible rap and communion at the HFP house in Hollywood was growing and the Jesus People Training Center was starting another series of two-week Bible training sessions. Our switchboard section, the Wall, now covered three full pages with listings of Jesus houses, Bible studies and rap sessions in 29 of the 50 states as well as Canada.

A photo by Tom Jackson, shown at right, captured an exciting moment in one of our beach baptisms held in the crashing surf of the Pacific Ocean. Our simple back cover poster depicted a large heart with the name Jesus.

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