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Jane Fonda was here

How the movie star crashed the gate

Jane Fonda made history when she crashed the Fort Lewis gate in 1970. Photo clip from Barbarella

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"I shall return!" With those parting words, actress and political activist Jane Fonda was escorted off then Fort Lewis property by military police following her raid on the Evergreen Post, March 7, 1970.

The caper was part of an attempt by Fonda, and the daughter of Jim Thorpe, the famed Native American football star, to dramatize the "shabby treatment" of Native Americans over the past couple hundred years.  They particularly wanted to further the cause of northwest Natives trying to acquire a piece of Fort Lawton (a sub post of Fort Lewis at the time), which had recently gone on the government's surplus list.

In the early hours of March 7, 1970 protestors staged a picket rally outside Lawton while Fonda and eight others drove through Lawton's gate.  They were stopped by MPs, asked to leave, and they did.

Later that day, however, Fonda was discovered parading around 2nd Division Drive on Fort Lewis talking with soldiers.  This time, she and several others with her, were detained by MPs for questioning and then released with letters of expulsion.

It was rumored that following Fonda's raid, 30,000 signatures were gathered by soldiers here calling for a boycott of Jane Fonda's films showing on the post.

"If we are going to spend four bits to see her," one soldier was quoted in local press, "she's going to have to show us a lot more than she did Sunday."

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