San Jose State University Civil Rights and Campus Protest Collection MSS.2010.07.07

R. Schuyler Selden. Updated by Natalie Sanchez, April 2016.
SJSU Special Collections & Archives
2010
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028
special.collections@sjsu.edu


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Title: San Jose State University Civil Rights and Campus Protest Collection
creator: San José State University
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2010.07.07
Physical Description: 3 boxes 5.83 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1967-1990
Date (bulk): 1968-1970
Abstract: The San José University Civil Rights and Campus Protest Collection, 1967-1990 (bulk 1968-1970), documents the civil unrest that occurred during the civil rights and anti-Vietnam movements at San José State during the 1960s and the 1970s. Between 1968-1972, college campuses became the center point for a variety of protests and demonstrations, and as the Vietnam War escalated, students across the U.S. protested the presence of Dow Chemical and ROTC recruiters on college campuses. San José State students were very active in the anti-war protests of the era. This collection documents local student response to Dow Chemical and ROTC recruitment, the unequal treatment of African-American and Hispanics students, and athletes. The most notable protest took place during the 1968 Olympic Games when track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos accepted their medals with the black power salute. This event sparked a series of protests on campus led by faculty member Harry Edwards. This collection is arranged into two series: Series I. Newspaper Clippings and News Releases, 1967-1972 (bulk 1968-1970); Series II. Student Publications and Campus Events, 1967-1990 (bulk 1968-1970); Series III: Protest Ephemera, 1967-1972.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has been assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

San Jose State University Civil Rights and Campus Protest Collection, MSS-2010-07-07, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid EAD encoded by R. Schuyler Selden. In April 2016 changes were made to the arrangement and organization of the collection by Natalie Sanchez. The collection was arranged into three series from its original two series. The third series was created for ephemera materials. The first two series were given new titles. Materials in Series I and II were re-housed in new archival folders and labeled according to original folder titles. The topical arrangement of the collection was kept. An accrual was made to the collection as well. Protest materials donated in 2008 by SJSU alumn Bruce England were added to Series II.

Organazational History

In 1857 the San Francisco Board of Education established Minns' Evening Normal School for current and prospective teachers in the city. Named after its principal, George W. Minns, the institution was formally established as the first California State Normal School by the State Legislature in 1862. A decade later, the Legislature voted to move the Normal School to San José, and the school relocated to its new home on Washington Square prior to the fall term of 1872. After a fire destroyed the Normal School building in 1880, the Legislature authorized $200,000 to construct a new building on the same site. Completed in 1881, the building was commonly referred to as the Second State Normal School. After several names and curriculum changes, Minns' Normal School is now San José State University, offering more than 134 bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations, and is recognized as one of the top public universities granting such degrees in the West. The 1960s political environment ushered in a new era social reform and high hopes for social progress. The election of John F. Kennedy offered the promise of a "New Frontier," which inspired a variety of social movements that promoted civil rights, women's liberation, identity politics, and anti-war. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 reaffirmed the struggles of the civil rights movement. Despite these gains a growing disillusionment followed with assassinations of political leaders that included Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy, and Malcolm X, the escalation of the Vietnam War, violent police repression, and political corruption. College campuses became the center point for a variety of militant protests and demonstrations opposing the Vietnam War, the military draft, and recruitment by Dow Chemical and the ROTC. It has been estimated that two million men and women engaged in campus protests. By the 1970s student protest escalated with the killings at Kent State and Jackson State followed by mass protests at over 760 college campuses including a protest at San José University. Events at state colleges mirrored other college campuses. Demonstrations occurred relating to the 1967 Dow Chemical campus recruitment, ROTC recruitment on campus, the 1968-1969 faculty strike regarding labor organization, and response to use of excessive force against demonstrators by local police. Other social protests at SJSU focused on racial discrimination on campus, housing discrimination, and fair treatment of African American and Hispanic students. San Jose State became internationally known as result of the 1968 Olympic Games, where track stars Tommy Smith and John Carlos raised their fists in solidarity with black power militants and the Black Panther Party. Prior to this event, the black student population had experienced extreme discrimination on campus and in housing. Faculty member Harry Edwards and the United Black Students for Action organized protests against institutional racism. President Clark worked to eliminate racial discrimination on campus by creating an ombudsman to address all discrimination concerns. He was one of the few college presidents at the time willing to work with the student population and to enforce new policies that prohibited racial discrimination in athletics, student clubs and Greek societies, and in housing.

Scope and Content

The San José University Civil Rights and Campus Protest Collection, 1967-1990 (bulk 1968-1970), documents the civil unrest that occurred during the civil rights and anti-Vietnam movements at San Jose State during the 1960s and the 1970s. Between 1968-1972, college campuses became the center point for a variety of protests and demonstrations, and as the Vietnam War escalated, students across the U.S. protested the presence of Dow Chemical and ROTC recruiters on college campuses. San Jose State students were very active in the anti-war protests of the era. This collection documents local student response to Dow Chemical and ROTC recruitment, the unequal treatment of African-American and Hispanics students, and athletes. The most notable protest took place during the 1968 Olympic Games when track stars Tommie Smith and John Carlos accepted their medals with the black power salute. This event sparked a series of protests on campus led by faculty member Harry Edwards.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into three series: Series I, Newspaper Clippings and News Releases, 1967-1972; Series II, Student Publications and Campus Events, 1967-1990; Series III, Protest Ephemera, 1967-1972.

Bibliography

Allen, Roger. Harry Edwards: We Get What's Ours or We Burn it Down. Spartan Live (Winter 1968): pp. 7-9/
Gilbert, Benjamin F., and Burdick, Charles. Washington Square, 1857-1979: The History of San José State University. San José, California: San José State University, 1980.
Jones, J., Wood, P.H., et al. Created Equal: A Social and Political History of the United States, Volume II (from 1865) (2nd Edition). San Francisco, California: Pearson Education Inc., 2009.
San José State University. About SJSU. http://www.sjsu.edu/about_sjsu/
Walsh, James P. San José State University: An Interpretive History, 1950-2000. San José, California: San José State University, 2003.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/twodays/peopleevents/e_antiwar.html. Retreived August 17, 2010.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

California State University, San José -- History
Civil Rights -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area
Olympic Games (19th : 1968 : Mexico City, Mexico)
San José State University -- History
Social movements -- United States -- History -- 20th century
Edwards, Harry, 1942-
San José State University

Box 1

Series I: Newspaper Clippings and News Releases 1967-1972 1968-1970

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series documents the campus protests at San José State during the 1960s and 1970s. The collection includes local media's coverage of campus unrest, including the following: student demonstrations against Dow Chemical recruitment, the ROTC campus presence and recruitment, protest against housing discrimination, athletic discrimination, protest at the 1968 Olympic Games, presence of Black Panther members on campus and the role of faculty member Harry Edwards. Formats include newspaper clippings, magazines and flyers.

Arrangement

This series is arranged by topic.
Box 1, Folder 1

Black Students and Black Experience

Box 1, Folder 2

Sports

Box 1, Folder 3

Chicanos and Mexican American Studies

Box 1, Folder 4

Ombudsman Investigates Discrimination

Box 1, Folder 5

Tommie Smith

Box 1, Folder 6

Professor Harry Edwards

Box 1, Folder 7

Racial Problems at San Jose State College

Box 1, Folder 8

Job Recruitment on Campus

Box 1, Folder 9

R.OT.C.

Box 1, Folder 10

National Student Congress- Campus Protest

Box 1, Folder 11

San Jose State College Students and Faculty

Box 1, Folder 12

Gay Liberation Front

Box 1, Folder 13

Protest

Box 1, Folder 14

Security Increase

Box 1, Folder 15

Women's Movement and the Women's Studies Program at San Jose State

Box 1, Folder 16

Lectures at San Jose State

Box 1, Folder 17

Students for a Democratic Society

Box 1, Folder 18

School of Humanities and Arts- Black Studies Division

Box 1, Folder 19

J.B. White and Campus Unrest

Box 1, Folder 20

Speakers' News Releases

Box 2

Series II: Student Publications and Campus Events 1967-1990 1968-1970

Processing Information

The last folder in this series has been moved to Box 3 due to the size of the materials in the folder.
Box 2, Folder 1

1968 Olympic Black Athletes' Views and Boycott Responses

Box 2, Folder 2

Olympic Athletes: Life & Sports Illustrated

Box 2, Folder 3

Information Flyers and Fact Sheets (1 of 2)

Box 2, Folder 4

Information Flyers and Fact Sheets (2 of 2)

Box 2, Folder 5

Flyers for Events and Protests

Box 2, Folder 6

Newspapers, Clippings and Flyers

Box 2, Folder 7

Newspaper Clippings

Box 2, Folder 8

Experimental College

Box 2, Folder 9

Draft Resistance League

Box 2, Folder 10

Bruce England Student Protest Collection

Box 2, Folder 11

Report: "Student Unrest At San Jose State College, 1967-68"

Box 3, Folder 6

Pres. Robert D. Clark Statement "The College Crisis"

Box 3

Series III: Protest Ephemera 1967-1972

Arrangement

This series is arranged by topic and size.
Box 3, Folder 1

San Jose State President Clark and Harry Edwards Discrimination Meeting

Box 3, Folder 2

Survival Fair Photographs and Ephemera

Box 3, Folder 3

Protest Buttons

Box 3, Folder 4

Sticker: No Tuition

Box 3, Folder 5

Posters