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Tractorcade was a 1978 and 1979 protest in Washington, D.C. by the American Agriculture Movement.


In January 1979, nearly 3,000 farmers drove their tractors to Washington, D.C., many of them from thousands of miles away. The Carter administration agreed that the Farmers Home Administration would stop all foreclosures, but soon after the rally was over resumed foreclosures of farms with past due loans. [1]

On February 5th, 1979, farmers arrived in Washington, D.C.; 17 tractors had been impounded. Police confined the tractors to the National Mall.[2] They blocked traffic, creating significant tie-ups.[3] A blizzard hit while they were in town, and then the tractors became useful as they were the only vehicles that could reliably travel through the snow, often delivering doctors and nurses to hospitals.[4]

A group of Maryland farmers attempted to repair the damage to the Mall, by sowing grass seed.[2]


  1. ^ James P. Hertzog (February 7, 1979). "DC Farm Protestors Facing Fiscal Drought". The Pittsburgh Post Gazette. 
  2. ^ a b Brasch, Sam (February 5, 2014). "When Tractors Invaded D.C.". Modern Farmer. Retrieved 5 February 2014. 
  3. ^ "D.C. Police Corral Farmers and Tractors". Retrieved 2013-11-06. 
  4. ^ Roby, Marguerite (1979-02-05). "Tractorcade | Smithsonian Institution Archives". Retrieved 2013-11-06. 

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