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Student Strike of 1970 collection, 1968-1971
1.25 linear feet (3 containers)
Collection number: CA.MS.00031

Abstract:
Student anti-war demonstration. Contains correspondence, diaries, notes, speeches, notices, posters, memoranda, photographs, petitions, newsletters, packets, press releases and newspaper clippings

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Smith College, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Copyright is held by Sarah Gordon and Lucy Bodine or their heirs for their diaries. Permission is required from Sarah Gordon or her heirs to publish quotations from her diary.

Smith College Archives

Biographical / Historical

The idea of a nationally coordinated student strike developed over a period of at least two years of growing tension between the federal administration and minority and student groups who expressed dissatisfaction with the undeclared war in Vietnam, the military draft, and economic consequences of the war. Coordinated by the National Moratorium Committee (organized in June 1969), Moratorium Days held on October 15, 1969 and November 15, 1969 included the suspension of classes, neighborhood canvassing, protest marches and petitions. The third week in March 1970 was proclaimed National Anti-Draft Week. Planned demonstrations were held at local draft board offices, and "we won't go" petitions were circulated. In 1970, the Fast for Peace was held on April 13, 14, and 15, as an expression of moral concern about the war. In early May, student opposition intensified with the knowledge of the expansion of the conflict into Cambodia, President Nixon's April 3 announcement of his decision to resume bombing in North Vietnam, and the treatment of dissenters in the United States. On May 4, the day of the killings on the Kent State University campus, "leaders of the National Student Association and the former Vietnam Moratorium Committee officially called for a nationwide strike of indefinite duration" (Facts on File 1970, p.299).

At Smith, the Moratorium Days were occasions for student involvement in the local community. Smith students staffed the Green Street Moratorium office, canvassed residents, and coordinated marches down Main Street with the cooperation of local businesses. The first Moratorium Day was October 15, 1969 and was called Work for Peace Day at Smith. Smith's Chaplain the Rev. Richard P. Unsworth participated in a memorial service for Hampshire County veterans held at the Unitarian Church. On the second Moratorium Day, November 15, 1969, a contingent of 250 Smith students and 10 Smith professors attended the march in Washington, D. C to protest the Vietnam War. In Northampton, the weekend of November 15 included a teach-in at Wright Hall, a silent march from Helen Hills Hills Chapel to the center of Northampton and back, and well-attended coffee klatches held in a number of Northampton homes.

A timeline of activities at Smith during the May, 1970 Strike is provided below. During and after the strike, alumnae and friends of the college became involved. On May 30, President Mendenhall announced that his office was receiving 10 letters a day expressing opinions about the strike (tape recording of last Chapel,../../70). Many seminars were repeated during Commencement Weekend for the benefit of alumnae and parents, and a video tape of many of the strike activities was shown. The following organizations formed at Smith due to the strike: the Strike Committee, the Education Committee, the Community Action Committee, Union for National Draft Opposition, Committee on Justice and Repression at Home, Unofficial Committee of Concerned Citizens, Committee on Governance, and the People's Lobby. The activities of the People's Lobby continued beyond the academic year, with students working in Northampton, in Washington D. C., and in their hometown to spread information and coordinate lobbying efforts. Several existing Smith organizations took part in Strike activities; these include: the Student Government Association, the Committee on Educational Policy, the Faculty - Student Committee, and the Young Republican Club.

May 4, 5 p.m.
At regularly scheduled all-college meetings, a few students and a professor speak about strike issues, and there is a discussion of race/foreign policy distinction.
May 4, 8 p.m.
About 30 people opposed to the strike gather in front of Neilson Library. Meanwhile at Paradise pond, Professor Donald Robinson offers a plan for lobbying Congress.
May 5
About 300 students rally at Davis to hear speeches against U. S. action in Cambodia and in support of Bobby Seale.
Smith students vote to strike, 1547 to 437 (12 abstentions).
Smith faculty vote to suspend all normal college activities from May 6 to May 10.
May 5,ca. 11 p.m.
In response to a controversy over whether President Mendenhall had announced the results of the student strike vote at the faculty meeting, students and professors stand outside the President's house in the rain until it is announced that there was a failure of communication and that a faculty meeting will be held the next day.
May 6
At an all-college meeting, the Sid Waller '70 speech and the BSA speech, both contained in this collection, are delivered.
May 7, 4 p.m.
The Government Department sponsors a lecture at the J. M. Greene Hall on President Nixon's policy in Cambodia.
May 7,5 p.m.
A student statement of purpose is read to 15 area clergy and 40 Smith students at a meeting in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel lounge led by the Rev. Richard P. Unsworth and Rabbi Yechiael Lander.
May 8, 9 a.m.
A memorial service is held in the Helen Hills Hills Chapel for the Kent State dead.
May 9
Smith students attend a protest march in Washington, D.C.
May 10
Students from Smith and other area colleges canvass local residents.
Black Panther Doug Miranda lectures in the Quad to a group of about 300 people.
May 31
Commencement exercises bring the Student Strike at Smith College to a close; however, many organizations and students remained active throughout the summer.
Scope and Contents

The approximately one linear foot of files relating to the Student Strike of 1970 consist of a variety of materials including correspondence, diaries, notes, speeches, notices, posters, memoranda, photographs, petitions, newsletters, packets, press releases and newspaper clippings.

Although the collection spans March 11, 1968 - March 19, 1971, most of the material dates from mid April to early June, 1970. This collection provides material from a wide variety of sources representing different view points concerning the Student Strike of 1970. The material specific to Smith College includes first person accounts, such as notes, diaries, and correspondence in addition to newsletters, packets, and statements.

Of particular interest are the correspondence of Sien-Nyat Chin '73; the diaries of Lucy Bodine '72, and Sarah Gordon '72 and student speeches. Also of interest are the material from faculty and staff, such as the correspondence and notes of Michele Aldrich, an exam of Charles Melvin, memoranda from President Mendenhall, and a petition drafted by Cecilia Marie Kenyon. Organizations mentioned in the SMITH - General series include the Unofficial Committee of Concerned Citizens, the Committee on Governance, the Student Government Association, the Committee on Educational Policy, the Faculty - Student Committee, and the Young Republican Club.

The collection also shows how the Student Strike of 1970 at Smith was organized and structured to include educational programs, lobbying, economic boycotts, and community action programs. The effort was to make an impact on both local and national levels.

This collection is organized into three series:

  1. I. Smith
  2. II. Other Colleges
  3. III. News clippings

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections.

Restrictions on use:

Smith College retains copyright of materials created as part of its business operations; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Smith College, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Copyright is held by Sarah Gordon and Lucy Bodine or their heirs for their diaries. Permission is required from Sarah Gordon or her heirs to publish quotations from her diary.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

Student Strike of 1970 collection, Box #, Smith College Archives, CA-MS-00031, Smith College Special Collections, Northampton, Massachusetts.

History of the Collection

In the Spring 1985, the College Archives received a collection of files relating to the strike of 1970. The material had been collected by Sarah Gordon '72 and David Allmendinger, Assistant Professor of History. The papers themselves describe the process of collecting examples of notices circulating during the strike (see Sarah Gordon's diary), and include evidence that Prof. Allmendinger solicited further contributions after the strike was over. This collection was merged with a few College Archives files from the strike of 1970. Many of the newsclippings may have been collected by the Smith News Office.


Additional Information
Contact Information
Smith College Special Collections
Young Library
4 Tyler Drive
Northampton, MA 01063

Phone: (413) 585-2970
Fax: (413) 585-2886

Email: specialcollections@smith.edu
URL: https://www.smith.edu/libraries/special-collections
Language
English
Sponsor
Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Contents List
Series I. Smith
March 11, 1968-March, 1971
.5 linear feet

The first and largest subseries, Smith - General, contains material originating from individuals and administrative offices, as well as material of unknown origin.

The hierarchy of Smith College is ignored, and this series is divided into nine of the special committees that were active during the strike. The subseries include: General, Canvass Committee; Economic Boycott Committee; Education Committee; People's Lobby; Committee on Political Repression at Home; Strike Committee; Union for National Draft Opposition; and William Allan Neilson Library.

General



Correspondence- General
May 11 - Jun 6, 1970

Box 3024: folder 1
Correspondence- Aldrich, Michele
May 4 - 20, 1970

Box 3024: folder 2
Correspondence- Alumnae
Mar 11, 1968 - May 20, 1970

Box 3024: folder 3
Correspondence- United States Congress
May 7 - Jul 7, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 4
Correspondence- United States Congress, Enclosures
Oct 31, 1969 - Jun 5, 1970

Box 3024: folder 5
Diary- Bodine, Lucy '72
May 8 - 16, 1970

Box 3024: folder 6
Diary- Gordon, Sarah '72
May 3 - 10, 1970

Box 3024: folder 7
Directories
undated

Box 3024: folder 8
Exams
May 30, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 9
Fact sheets
ca.May 9, 1970

Box 3024: folder 10
Memorabilia
undated

Box 3024: folder 11
Memoranda- General
May 12, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 12
Memoranda- Faculty and staff
Apr 17 - Jun 1, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 13
Memoranda- President Mendenhall
May 14 - 19, 1970

Box 3024: folder 14
Memoranda- Registrar, Office of
May 7 - 11, 1970

Box 3024: folder 15
Memoranda- Treasurer, Office of
May 11, 1970

Box 3024: folder 16
Newsletters
May 4 - 5, 1970

Box 3024: folder 17
Notes of meetings- General
May 5, 9, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 18
Notes of meetings- Aldrich, Michele
undated

Box 3024: folder 19
Notices, posters
Feb 20 - Jun 1, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 20
Petitions
May 1970

Box 3024: folder 21
Photographs
Spring 1970

Box 3024: folder 22
Press releases and letters to editor
May 1970 undated

Box 3024: folder 23
Reports
May 12, 1970

Box 3024: folder 24
Speeches
May 4 - 31, 1970

Box 3024: folder 25
Statements- Faculty and staff
May 5 - 12, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 26
Statements- Students
May 10, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 27
Strike votes, ballots
May 5, 1970, undated

Box 3024: folder 28
Subject files- Memorial Service
May 8, 1970

Box 3024: folder 29
Questionnaires
May 15, 1970, Mar 19, 1971, undated

Box 3024: folder 30
Canvass Committee- Canvasser's packet
May 10, 1970

Box 3025: folder 31
Economic Boycott Committee- Notices, statements, report
undated

Box 3025: folder 32
Education Committee



Memoranda
ca.May 8, 1970

Box 3025: folder 33
Schedules
May 12 - 18, 1970

Box 3025: folder 34
Seminars



General - notes
May 8, 1970, undated

Box 3025: folder 35
General- notices, schedules, reading lists
May 7 - 18, 1970

Box 3025: folder 36
Guidelines for Community Action
May 1970 undated

Box 3025: folder 37
The Role of Science in American Democracy
ca.May 8 - 20, 1970

Box 3025: folder 38
The Smith Strike as History
May 9, 1970

Box 3025: folder 39
People's Lobby



Correspondence
May 7 - 29, 1970, undated

Box 3025: folder 40
Directory
ca.May 13, 1970, May 8, 1970

Box 3025: folder 41
Information



about correspondence with Congress
May 6 - 8, 1970, undated

Box 3025: folder 42
general, statements of purpose
ca.May 6, 1970, undated

Box 3025: folder 43
Newsletter
Jun 16 - Sept 8, 1970

Box 3025: folder 44
Packets



Introductory packet and policy statement
May 9 - 13, 1970, undated

Box 3025: folder 45
Alumnae packet
early May 1970

Box 3025: folder 46
Legislative research information sheets
undated

Box 3025: folder 47
Packet sent to other schools
May 12, 1970, undated

Box 3025: folder 48
Washington packet lobbying
May 11 - 13, 1970

Box 3025: folder 49
First packet to state captains
late May 1970

Box 3025: folder 50
June 1 packet
Jun 1, 1970

Box 3025: folder 51
June 17 packet
Jun 17, 1970

Box 3025: folder 52
July 3 packet
Jul 3, 1970

Box 3025: folder 53
August 21 packet
Aug 21, 1970

Box 3025: folder 54
Photographs
undated

Box 3025: folder 55
Press releases and letters to editors
May 9, 1970, undated

Box 3025: folder 56
Political Repression at Home, Committee on- Fact sheet
undated

Box 3025: folder 57
Strike Committee- Directory
ca.May 7, 1970

Box 3025: folder 58
Strike Committee- Memoranda
May 3 - 8, 1970

Box 3025: folder 59
Strike Committee- Office messages
May 9, 1970, undated

Box 3025: folder 60
Strike Committee- Newsletters
May 4 - 31, 1970

Box 3025: folder 61
Strike Committee- Schedules
May 5 - 31, 1970

Box 3025: folder 62
Union for National Draft Opposition
ca.May 8 - 13, 1970

Box 3026: folder 63
William Allan Neilson Library- Bibliographies
May 7-21, 1970

Box 3026: folder 64
Series II. Other Colleges
February-June 19, 1970
.25 linear feet

This series is divided into Local and National subseries.

The Local subseries consists of material from Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, and University of Massachusetts. This subseries also includes material from organizations affiliated with the five colleges and other local organizations.

The National subseries includes material from Dartmouth College and Yale University, as well as from various other colleges in the U. S. In addition, it includes a letter from the American Council on Education regarding tax exemption and political activities at colleges.

Local



5-College Communications Center- Newsletter
May 8 - 10, 1970

Box 3026: folder 65
5-College Communications Center- Memorandum, petition, report
May 13 - 15, 1970

Box 3026: folder 66
5-College Communications Center- Schedules
May 7 - 16, 1970

Box 3026: folder 67
Amherst College
May 4 - 8, 1970, undated

Box 3026: folder 68
Hampshire College
May 7 - 13, 1970

Box 3026: folder 69
Mt. Holyoke College
May 7 - 25, 1970, undated

Box 3026: folder 70
University of Massachusetts
Mar 3 - May 17, 1970, undated

Box 3026: folder 71
Valley Peace Center newsletter
May 9 - 14, 1970

Box 3026: folder 72
Other organizations
ca.May 1970

Box 3026: folder 73
National



American Council on Education
Jun 19, 1970

Box 3026: folder 74
Dartmouth College
May 6 - 27, 1970

Box 3026: folder 75
Yale University
Apr 19 - May 18, 1970

Box 3026: folder 76
Other institutions
Febr - Jun 13, 1970, undated

Box 3026: folder 77
Series III. Newsclippings
May 6 - September 29, 1970
1 folders

This series contains newsclippings pertaining to Smith College and the other area colleges. There are also national newclippings relating to the nationwide Student Strike of 1970.

Various
May 6 - Sept 29, 1970

Box 3026: folder 78

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

Subjects
  • Smith College--Strike, 1970.
  • Smith College.
  • Student strikes--Massachusetts--Northampton.
  • Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Massachusetts--Northampton.


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