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Digital Collections

About this collection

The items in this digital collection are housed in a variety of physical collections at the Washington State University's Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections in the Terrell Library.

The Collection:

The collection is comprised of text-based materials, primarily individual handouts, publications, and university documents, dealing with Washington State University student unrest and activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Links to some related items in other digital collections:

Photographs taken of WSU student activism in this timeframe by Paul Philemon Kies.
1969-1970 school year issues of The Evergreen, WSU's student newspaper.
Select "underground" / alternative newspapers, including Burgerville Blues, Three Forks Press, and 'Sblood / 'Scorn.
Audio of the "Fort French" takeover, recorded May 5, 1970.

Selected Events of the 1969-1970 School Year:

September 25: First classes begin in WSU's new Black Studies Program.

October 6: 50 to 75 students occupy the campus Placement Bureau, protesting military recruitment.  On Nov. 5, two of them are sentenced to 60 days in jail.

October 15:  National Student Moratorium against the Viet Nam War

March 7: During the playing of the National Anthem before a WSU/UW basketball game in Bohler Gym, several students silently raise their right fists in a 'black power salute.'  Members of the crowd boo in response; one city resident confronts and shoves an African-American student and is arrested for it.

March 13: After a downtown draft protest, several hundred protestors invade the then-downtown Safeway and smash grapes as an agricultural protest.  Of the hundreds involved, only one, Ralph Atkins, an African-American student, is initially arrested.  He'd be convicted in October and sentenced to six months in jail (reduced to 90 days after grocery stores are reimbursed for the damages).

March 16-23: Anti-Draft Week on the WSU campus includes panels, marches, church services, and a dance.  

April 4: The south stands of the football stadium are destroyed in an arson fire, shuttering the stadium for two years.

April 22: Four African-American WSU students, including the head of the Black Student Union, are arrested for the rape of a white WSU student. In November, two were found guilty and sentenced to a year's jail time.

May 5: Several hundred students occupy the French Ad building, demanding that President Terrell meet with them and submit to their demands.

May 18 - June 1: The "Third World" alliance of minority student groups presents the university with a list of demands.  When President Terrell rejects most of them, the students call for a campus strike.  The alliance and the University reach an agreement on June 1.

Searching the Database:

Entering search terms in the box located at the top of the page will search across all items. To read a document, select Browse This Collection and then click on the appropriate item. Search results are displayed as a series of thumbnail images that may be browsed. To view the larger image and its corresponding description, click on the thumbnail. An option to return to the home page for this collection is provided in the banner.

Please be aware that though these materials have been OCRed and are, in theory, full-text searchable, many materials probably did not translate well into electronic text.  Handwritten materials, faded or poor-condition materials, and things written in unusual fonts probably translated poorly if at all.  Please do not rely 100% on full-text searching.

Creating the Database:

University Archivist Mark O'English supervised the project, designed the metadata schemas, and created this page. Individual pages were scanned as 300 dpi pdf files, primarily on an Aficio MP 4002 copier.  Metadata was created by student Megan Bridge and Mark O'English. Cindy Ellis provided technical support for CONTENTdm. This collection was created as part of a physical exhibit on this subject, hosted at WSU MASC from June 2016 to February 2017.

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