It was 45 years ago today (October 7th, 1975), that John Lennon won his four-year battle against deportation by the U.S. government. Due to his stance against the Vietnam War, Lennon had been under almost constant surveillance from the FBI and the Immigration & Neutralization Service (INS) since his arrival in the U.S. in 1971.
Documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act have shown that plans were put into motion to deport Lennon as early as February 4th, 1972. Senator Strom Thurmond issued a memo, classified as secret, claiming Lennon was a threat to the 1972 Republican National Convention, and advised that, “If Lennon's visa is terminated, it would be a strategy counter measure.” The government used Lennon's 1968 marijuana conviction as the basis for their attempt to have him deported.
Although the deportation case hit hard on Lennon — both mentally and financially — he was always able to look on brighter side, at least for the public: “Occasionally I get into a little spot of trouble, but nothing that's going to bring the country to pieces. I think there's certainly room for an odd Lennon, or two, here.”