Two months after their Amsterdam “Bed-In for Peace” drew worldwide attention, John Lennon and Yoko Ono chose Montreal as the site for a second event. The Montreal bed-in, which began May 26, 1969, and lasted a week, ended with the recording of one of the most enduring protest songs: “Give Peace a Chance.”
New York was the the couple’s first choice for the bed-in but Lennon’s 1968 pot conviction kept them barred from the U.S. Plan B was the Bahamas, which proved too hot, expensive and remote for press coverage. Lennon and Ono then headed north to Toronto. On their arrival, they told the Toronto press why they decided to stage a second bed-in.
“The whole effect of our bed-ins has made people talk about peace,” Lennon said. “We’re trying to interest young people in doing something about peace. But it must be done by non-violent means — otherwise there can only be chaos. We’re saying to the young people — and they have always been the hippest ones — we’re telling them to get the message across to the squares.”