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Catonsville protester dies

6 October 2008
clipped from
John Hogan had just returned after 15 years helping the poor in a tiny Guatemalan village when he learned about a protest against the Vietnam War planned by a group of Catholic activists.

Forty years ago last spring, Mr. Hogan and eight others seized hundreds of draft records from the Catonsville U.S. Selective Service office, doused them with homemade napalm in a parking lot and set them ablaze. The actions of the protesters, known as the Catonsville Nine, sparked a dramatic trial, inspired generations of activists and is remembered as one of the country’s most famous acts of civil disobedience.

After being released from prison for his actions, Mr. Hogan worked as a carpenter and devoted himself to a life of quiet service. He died Friday of complications from a stroke at Yale New Haven Hospital near his home in Hamden, Conn. He was 73.
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Nowadays we hear a great deal about the religious right, but there was a time when the religious left was just as well known. The Catonsville Nine inspired people around the world, including the radical Christian magazine The Catonsville Roadrunner published in the UK.

Hat-tip to The Christian Radical: Catonsville Nine protester dies

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jenelle permalink
    6 October 2008 11:21 pm

    Crazy. I used to live in Catonsville. Went to to uni near.

  2. 7 October 2008 4:32 pm


    Well, now you know it was once famous!

  3. 4854derrida permalink
    10 February 2010 2:56 am


    I’ve recently uploaded two rare interviews with the Catholic activist Dorothy Day. One was made for the Christophers [1971]–i.e., Christopher Closeup– and the other for WCVB-TV Boston [1974].

    Day had begun her service to the poor in New York City during the Depression with Peter Maurin, and it continued until her death in 1980. Their dedication to administering to the homeless, elderly, and disenfranchised continues with Catholic Worker homes in many parts of the world.

    Please post or announce the availability of these videos for those who may be interested in hearing this remarkable lay minister.

    They may be located here:

    Thank you

    Dean Taylor

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