On this day, Nov. 26, in 1965, Arlo Guthrie was arrested in Stockbridge, Mass., for dumping some trash following a Thanksgiving feast at a restaurant run by Alice Brock.
Guthrie, the oldest son of the legendary folk singer Woody Guthrie, wrote a 15-minute song about the event that became a Thanksgiving folk classic, “Alice’s Restaurant.”
Guthrie, 18, dumped the half-ton of garbage on the side of cliff after learning that the town dump was closed for the holiday.
He was the next morning arrested after Police Officer William Obanhein — Officer Obie in the 15-minute long song — found an envelope with his name on it. He was fined $50 and ordered to pick up the garbage.
The singer was deemed unsuitable for military service after he told his draft board of the arrest.
Guthrie turned the experience into the 1967 anti-war hit “Alice’s Restaurant,” that was also made into a movie by the same name. Obanhein played himself in the movie, saying making himself look like a fool was preferable than someone else doing it.
– Scott McCabe