The Front Blog

Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Datebook: June 17 – Nixon declares “war on drugs” 40 years ago

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On June 17, 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a “war on drugs,” identifying drug abuse as “public enemy No. 1.” He was the first to use the term to describe a controversial campaign of prohibition and foreign military aid and military intervention being undertaken by the United States government with the assistance of participating countries, intended to both define and reduce the illegal drug trade.

Earlier this month, the United Nation’s Global Commission on Drug Policy released a critical report on the War on Drugs, declaring “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.”

It’s Friday, June 17

Volunteers are needed for tomorrow’s River Sweep, an annual cleanup of the region’s riverbanks. The event lasts from 8 to 11. To volunteer, meet at Kolb Park, at 1650 South 6th Street in Paducah. All volunteers receive a free t-shirt.

The Paducah Wastelanders, a group of regional artists, hold a summer solstice art exhibition tomorrow night from 6-9. The free exhibit takes place at the Viterisi grocery building at 10th and Park Avenue in Paducah. Live music and refreshments will be provided.

The Lone Star Rodeo takes place at the Mayfield-Graves County Fairgrounds tonight and tomorrow night. Tickets are 15 dollars for adults and 10 dollars for children. The rodeo starts at 8.

The Paducah Regatta is tomorrow at the Noble Park Pool. Build boats from cardboard and duct tape, then race them across the pool to win trophies. Supplies are provided. Registration starts at 9:30, and the races start at 10:30. The cost is $10 per boat.

Find more regional events at

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