Gregory Bush on his political activities in the 1960s
Student unrest: 2002
Gregory Bush, Professor of History and Director of the Institute for Public History, remembers growing up in a parochial New Jersey town that was "too stultifyingly nice" and learning about Thoreau and Emerson and their teachings on individualism and questioning authority. He grew interested, while attending Colgate College in New York, in activism and politics. He went with his father to the 1964 Democratic National Convention and saw the Kennedys there. Bush thought about entering politics but became disenchanted. He recalls joining a student protest concerning a Jewish student who was banned from joining a fraternity in 1968 -- "different kinds of incidents became symbols" of discrimination. His disenchantment grew when he went to work for Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon in 1969; he saw instances of corruption and phoniness that alienated him from politics. Bush wrote some speeches for Hatfield; one concerned tiger cages in which live prisoners were being contained in Vietnam. He moved from liberal Republicanism to liberalism, partly because he was trying to avoid the draft. He concludes with two stories. First, Bush graduated from Colgate with long hair and with two guests at the graduation: Secretary of State William P. Rogers and U.N. Secretary General U Thant. The valedictorian read out the names of all those who had refused to go to Vietnam, and the university president was furious, but Rogers and U Thant smiled. Second, Bush worked on "getting out the vote" for Senator George McGovern in the 1972 presidential campaign.
Time: 10 min 54 sec
Holly Ackerman on social change in Washington and New York
Student unrest: 2002
Holly Ackerman, social sciences librarian at Richter Library, talks about campus protests. She went to Howard University where, on March 19, 1968, a sit-in became the first building takeover on a college campus. She was working as a paraprofessional in a black ghetto, which was frequently patrolled by police officers with German shepherds who would be unleashed on the residents if there was any trouble. Ackerman went on to grad school at Columbia to get a degree in social work. Ackerman says that the student activists had two main issues: they thought the curricula they were being taught were unrealistic in view of the real conditions of the world they lived in; and they were unhappy with social justice and the slow pace of the Civil Rights Movement. She recalls student strikes at Columbia, but concludes that "when things were settled, it seemed to me we settled for very little. ... We accepted a small number of changes." Ackerman says she had applied, with other students, to be a community organizer, but they were told that white women could not be community organizers because it was too dangerous. The students struck a deal: that they would engage in social work for families for a year, but if they still wanted placement in community organization in their second year, it would be granted. Ackerman wound up working for a group of poor people on the west side of Manhattan. Eight groups around the city, who were connected to health centers affiliated with a teaching hospital, plotted to organize take-overs of buildings within the hospital, their ultimate goal being to introduce detox programs for addicts and thereby show that the hospital had not been treating fairly the people in its neighborhood. She concludes by explaining the attitudes behind the radical-revolutionary mode of social change.
Time: 8 min
Peter Tarjan on communism and political repression
Student unrest: 2002
Peter Tarjan, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and a native of Hungary, begins to tell a story about a man he met on a train in Hungary, who had been a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Unfortunately, the video cuts off abruptly.
Time: 2 min 18 sec
Robert Gawley on segregation in the South and Vietnam
Student unrest: 2002
Robert Gawley, Professor of Chemistry, gets some opening laughs by showing a slide rule, "the precursor to the calculator, the successor to the abacus," which "those of you under 40 may not have ever seen before." He recalls growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, and attending a segregated high school, then attending the conservative, Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated Stetson University in DeLand, Florida. "Up until 1965, you were not allowed to dance anything other than square-dance on campus." He remarks that most of Florida was "very, very Southern," except for Miami, which had more Northern immigrants. Gawley was unaware of Vietnam until his freshman advisors suggested that he enter ROTC, both because he would become an officer if drafted, and because that way he could earn a deferment if entering graduate school. His draft number was 51, but he was able to avoid Vietnam. Gawley describes gender segregation at Stetson and fondly remembers the Dean of Women, Etter Turner, who kept open communication lines with the students. Other comments refer to the fact that Assistant for National Security Affairs Henry Kissinger, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara, and General Westmoreland were lying to America when they reported on Vietnam so that they could keep the war going; and that Richard Nixon, ironically, campaigned for the presidency as an anti-war candidate. Gawley recalls that Jimmy Carter's first act as president was to declare amnesty for all Vietnam protesters. Gawley winds up with a recollection of a black ROTC student at Stetson who was dating a white girl and was cautioned about it; he later became a successful businessman and a trustee at Stetson: "Things have changed quite a bit."
Time: 11 min
Steven Ullmann on California students of the 1960s
Student unrest: 2002
Steven G. Ullmann, Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School, remembers being in high school in San Francisco when there were student protests at San Francisco State College and seeing the police massing near the campus with their tear gas and rubber-bullet guns. When he and his classmates heard about the deaths of students at Kent State, they rallied around the flagpole and pulled the flag down to half-mast. He describes the sit-ins of Haight-Ashbury. Berkeley, which Ullmann attended, was "one of the very demonstrative universities in terms of the anti-war movement." He recalls that his first class at Berkeley was taught by a hippie-type professor who would discuss how the teachings of Chairman Mao related to calculus. "That was the environment of the day." The professors were anti-authoritarian enough to award a B grade for one paper turned in and an A for two papers turned in, because "grading was a bourgeois concept." Professors often invited students to their homes for informal discussions. Ullmann studied "radical economics" and recalls that the "Group of Four" Harvard professors who had been purged from their positions came to Berkeley because it was a more hospitable environment. He also says, to appreciative laughter, that a photograph of him during a student rally appears in a history textbook.
Time: 9 min 7 sec
Thomas Crowder on discrimination in education in the 1960s
Student unrest: 2002
Thomas E. Crowder, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, comments on race discrimination at the University of Mississippi in the 1960s. He was Director of Libraries at Mississippi State in Starkville at the time. He recalls the governor of Mississippi at that time, Ross Barnett, "a psychopath if ever there was one," and the legal battle of James Meredith, an African American, to enter the University of Mississippi. He remembers the riots and the fact that students were often armed, because they came from families of hunters. Federal marshalls collected a shopping wagon full of identification badges of students who had gone to protest at Ole Miss. Crowder says that Henry Kissinger was often on the news saying, "We will not bomb Cambodia," and then the U.S. Army bombed Cambodia, which resulted in University of Miami students being galvanized to pay attention to the Vietnam War. He discusses many other issues as well.
Time: 15 min 30 sec

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