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Anti-Vietnam-War Strike Materials

Identifier: 31/6/88
Leaflets/Distributed Information includes publicity for gatherings, protests and counter-protests, leaflets distributed by students in the Evanston community, form letters sent to University and government officials, and political statements circulated by individual students and organizations. Of particular interest is a file (Box 1, Folder 10) containing a collection of material appearing in faculty mailboxes over the course of the strike, and a leaflet lampooning strike demands for a modified grading system.

The Official University Position/Administrative Response is documented by various University press releases reacting to and commenting upon the strike, as well as inter- and intra- administrative correspondence during and after the event. Included also is the official administrative response to demands presented to the University by Eva Jefferson on behalf of the Associated Student Government and the strike committee; the University call center log, which provides a nearly minute-by-minute chronology of events; and a lecture entitled “The Idea of Disinterestedness in the University,” delivered at Northwestern in October of 1970 by Gordon N. Ray, then the president of the Guggenheim Foundation, discussing the significance of the Northwestern and other university strikes in the context of the broader politicization of the academy.

Newspaper Clippings were gathered from local and national newspapers (including the Daily Northwestern), and document the events of the strike as well as reactions, editorials, and letters to the editor. Several entire issues of the Daily Northwestern published during the strike are also included in this section.

Files documenting significant Events of the Strike include material relating to the April 28, 1970, fire in the Linguistics building that exacerbated campus tensions leading up the strike (Box 2, Folder 7); the memorial service for the Kent State dead held on Deering Meadow (Box 2, Folder 11) and proposals for the “New University” (Box 2, Folder 10) that was set up by faculty and students during the strike to educate the University community about the Vietnam War and other issues of concern to the student body. Of interest, as well, is a proposal by a group of students for the permanent closure of Sheridan Road inspired by the “festive atmosphere” of the barricade during the strike.

Files documenting activities and responses from Student Groups involved in the strike are organized alphabetically by the name of the group. These files contain political statements, flyers for events, and leaflets distributed during the strike and its aftermath. The Associated Student Government file (Box 2, Folder 15) contains a daily strike schedule and frequent “news releases.” Included in this subseries are files on CADRE (Chicago Area Draft Resistors), the Northwestern chapter of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), and the Young America Foundation, a conservative student group that opposed the strike.

Faculty Participation in the strike is documented by departmental statements of support, a petition circulated opposing the University’s sanction of strike activity (Box 3, Folder 17) and a file on NUFAC (NU Faculty Action Committee), a group committed to furthering the aims of the strike against the escalation of the conflict in South East Asia and the use of force against students on university campuses (Box 3, Folder 23).


  • May 6 - 12, 1970


Conditions Governing Access



3.00 Boxes


The Anti-Vietnam War Strike Materials Collection comprises a diverse assortment of documents and other materials relating to the University-wide strike that took place over a seven day period in May of 1970. The collection of newspaper clippings, press releases, flyers, and memos records the events of the strike and its aftermath through the summer and fall of 1970.

Arrangement Note

The collection is organized into six subseries and materials are arranged chronologically within individual folders.

Method of Acquisition

This collection is formed of materials acquired in three accessions: Accession No. 74-120, consisting of materials removed from the University Archives general files; a significant portion of Accession No.80-114, transferred to the Archives by Thomas Lifka, Associate Dean of Students, on August 4, 1980; and the photocopied newspaper clippings that comprised Accession No. 85-117, transferred to Archives by Mel Lewis, Office of the Chancellor, in April, 1985.

Related Materials

Series 31/6/89, Student Protests and Strikes at Northwestern, 1965-1979; University Archives Photograph Collection (“Student Protest”); Subject file, “Anti-Vietnam War—Student Strike” (Archives Reading Room); Student Portest and the Technocratic Society: The Case of ROTC, by Jack Nusan Porter (copy in Archives NU History Section, Reading Room); student papers (Archives Reading Room); Eva Jefferson Biographical File (Archives Reading Room); Files on individual student groups (Archives General Files, Student Activities); On Strike! Newsletter (Archives Serials Collection).

Processing Information

Leon Hilton, Summer 2005
Guide to the Anti-Vietnam-War Strike Materials
Leon Hilton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US