Some background information about Norman Morrison, the inspiration for RE:UNION. Most of the information comes from a thorough article in The Baltimore Sun titled "Of Norman Morrison: Thirty years ago a Baltimore Quaker set himself on fire to protest the Vietnam War. Did it make a difference?"
December 29, 1933-November 2, 1965
Born in Erie, Pennsylvania
A Baltimore Quaker
Survived by his wife Anne Morrison and his children Ben, Christina, and Emily
How he is remembered by friends and family:
He rode a second-hand bike and liked to wear a helmet.
He was fond of carpentry and gardening and ice hockey – a sport which he played hard; once in a casual, pickup game he came close to cracking his opponent’s rib.
He liked to clunk around the house in the morning wearing only boxer shorts and big, black shoes.
He delighted in frugality -- bought his suits for $2 and $3 at rummage sales -- and was fascinated by the stock market, although he never bought a stock in his life.
He liked to dance -- had a natural sense of rhythm -- but had some misgivings about it. He could even wiggle his ears to a beat. He liked to hold his 5-year-old daughter, Tina, and swing her round and round to the music of Scottish reels.
He earned degrees from the College of Wooster and Western Theological Seminary in Pittsburgh. He planned to enter the Presbyterian ministry but instead became a Quaker in 1959 and worked professionally in the Society of Friends. His salaried position as executive secretary at the Stony Run Friends Meeting in Baltimore included attending committee meetings, visiting homes and ministering to its 420 members.
He could be very distracted and often seemed to have his mind focused on something other than the task at hand. At the same time, he took pleasure in finishing a job in half the time it might normally require.
He was frustrated by his inability to communicate as a public speaker and was not always at ease socially.
Each year he withheld $5 from his income tax as a "token protest" against the federal government's military budget.