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The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Madison College student protest, April 1970, an oral history project

Repository: James Madison University Libraries. Special Collections

Collection Description (Extant): This monograph reviews some of the factors and events surrounding academic unrest and general radicalism that were prevalent on American campuses during the 1960s and early 1970s. Mentions national campus involvment and support for the Civil Rights Movement; free speech (including the Free Speech Movement (FSM) at the U. of Cal., Berkeley); anti-Vietnam War demonstrations; and general rebellion against college administrative authority as exemplified by such groups as SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) and the concept of Free Universities. Also records general factors and specific events leading to three protests that occurred at Madison College (Harrisonburg, Va.) in February and April, 1970. Reviews general factors such as the concept of "in loco parentis," the dress code, and other rules/regulations that governed women at that time at the college. Mentions other factors leading to change, including increased enrollment of men and the gradual change of the institution from a traditional Southern teachers' womens' college to a co-educational one. Reviews specific events precipitating the protests, namely the decision by the administration and President G. Tyler Miller to deny renewal of contracts to three liberal-minded faculty members, James McClung, Houston Rodgers and Rodger Adkins. Records attempts by students Jay Rainey, Louis Sword and others (Harambee student association) to reverse the decision culminating in three protests, the final one resulting in the arrest of twenty-eight students and two professors. Mentions the trial, involvement of the ACLU, appeals, and jail sentences of three protestors which were later commuted
Interviews were conducted with two former students involved in leading the protests, Jay Rainey and Lewis Sword, and Dr. John Wood, a faculty member (now retired), who was sympathetic to their viewpoints

Collection URL: http://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/OralHistory/ListofOralHistoryCollections.aspx External Link

Digital Status: No

Existing IDs: SdArch 11

Extent: 4 sound cassettes; 3 transcripts; 1 monograph

Language: English

Interviewees: Jay Rainey, Lewis Sword, John Wood

Rights (CRHP): Contact the repository which holds the collection for information on rights

Subjects:

Academic freedom
Civil rights movements--Virginia
College students
College teachers
James Madison University
Student movements
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements

Genres:

Interviews
Manuscripts
Sound recordings
Transcripts

 

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   March 5, 2012
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