Harvard on Strike - 1969

Harvard on Strike - It was the war, it was society - it was the times.

1969 – Harvard On Strike – A College President Faces The Press – Past Daily Reference Room

Harvard on Strike - 1969
Harvard on Strike – It was the war, it was society – it was the times.

Dr. Nathan M. Pusey; President,Harvard University – Meet The Press – May 4, 1969 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

As the Vietnam war intensified, the protests against it became an ever-increasing part of daily life in America. And where they were most prevalent were on the college campuses in just about every state in the union. Campuses became the flash point for many protests and as those protests increased, some colleges which were thought to be immune from the anti-war movement became front-and-center during this period of social turmoil.

In April 1969, Harvard University experienced a two-week period of almost daily crisis as Harvard students, primarily under the leadership of the Harvard-Radcliffe chapter of Students for a Democratic Society, vehemently expressed their concerns regarding the Vietnam War. Additional political issues that were the focus of protest were the status of the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) on campus, the University’s policy on the conversion of residential property in Cambridge and Boston to University use, the governance of the University, and the establishment of a Department of Black Studies. One protest included the take-over of University Hall, a Harvard administration building. President Pusey’s decision to have police on campus to evict and arrest the demonstrators resulted in an additional set of confrontations over disciplinary procedures.

In this episode of Meet The Press, Dr. Pusey is questioned over his reasons for calling in police which resulted in the Harvard campus protests to spiral out of control, a move which would only add to an already volatile situation across America during the Vietnam War period.

Here is that interview with Dr. Natham M. Pusey from May 4, 1969 from Meet The Press.

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