Only someone like Bruce Springsteen could perform at the biggest American political demonstration in history and just be his regular self.
On June 12, 1982, American protesters stormed Central Park in New York City to peacefully rally against nuclear weapons and the nuclear arms race that continued to rage between the United States and the Soviet Union. The protest called for complete disarmament of U.S. weapons and an end to the arms race that perpetuated the long-standing Cold War.
At an estimated one million people, there has still been no greater crowd at political demonstration in the history of the country for any matter, let alone anti-nuclear demonstrations. You’d think we’re overdue for some kind of massive protest in the 21st century, one fueled by social media that could just shatter that record.
The park’s “Great Lawn” held the main stage where Springsteen performed, along with Jackson Browne, James Taylor, Joan Baez and others.
It must have been a surreal feeling for Springsteen and the other performers knowing that they were performing in front of a million people who were physically there at Central Park. Playing in front of millions of TV viewers sounds daunting enough; playing to a live crowd that big is epic beyond words.
Check out two performances from the historic demonstration below.