In the 60's and much of the 70's, most people wrote in high-level languages as if they were coding assembler. Goto's all over the place. Not that they had a choice -- for example, control flow in Fortran IV, the most-used high-level language of the time, featured IF, DO (a crude version of the modern FOR -- not do), GOTO, CALL, RETURN. No else, while, do/while, no modern-style for, case, etc. AND, get this: NO BLOCKS; the IF statement controlled only a *single* statement, so that meant you often *had* to say IF (...) GOTO xxx. Just like assembler. It was awful! There were other less-popular but more-evolved languages, but unstructured practices were very often carried over to those as well. GOTOs were just how most programmers thought.
That's the backdrop for Djikstra's condemnation of GOTO. Certainly, the then-current mass use of GOTOs was a very bad thing since it completely obscured program logic. If you read the original article, he's not so much condemning GOTO as he's arguing for structured programming.
Consider GOTO Considered Harmful as a successful wake-up call. By keeping his message black/white, i.e. GOTO is bad, he gave his message punch and made it much talked-about. People started to think in a more structured manner (though at first we thought the "structured crowd" were a bunch of weenies), and started to demand better control-flow features. Pretty soon, structured control-flow was de rigeur in any new or revised language. Fortran even got IF/END IF in Fortran 77!
People nowadays have hardened the anti-GOTO bias into gospel. At the time, the response was more nuanced, more in line with the spirit of what Djikstra was saying. For example, in 1974 even Niklaus Wirth's new PASCAL (a principled, hard-line structured language if there ever was one) included the goto statement with the warning in the User Manual and Report that "the goto statement should be reserved for unusual or uncommon situations where the natural structure of an algorithm has to be broken." If anybody was going to out-and-out outlaw goto, Wirth would have been the guy.