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1 FOOD FOR THE REVOLUTION: LOCAL CULTURE AND YOUTH POLITICAL RADICALIZATION IN THE 1960s SOUTH By MICHAEL ALAN FALCONE A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE RE QUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2012
2 2012 Michael Alan Falcone
3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Numerous people have contributed to the successful completion of this project. I would first like to thank my thesis advisor, Dr. Benjamin Wise, and the members of my supervisory committee, Dr. Paul Ortiz, and Dr. Jack Davis, for their insight and support. I am also indebted to Dr. William Link, who played a central role in the early stages of th is project. Also, I owe a great debt of gratitude to all the diligent interviewers who, in the last four decades, had the far richer for their efforts. My apprec iation also goes to the helpful staff at the University of Florida libraries, who contributed their valuable resources and ideas. Finally, I would like to thank my parents, Anne and Ron Falcone, as well as all of my family scattered across the globe, for t heir unending dedication, support, and faith.
4 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 3 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 8 A Change in the Seasons ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 8 Background ................................ ................................ ................................ ............................. 12 2 COMMUNITY, AMBIENCE, ETHOS, AND ENTERPRISE ................................ .............. 16 Community, Ambience, and Ethos ................................ ................................ ......................... 16 Enterprise ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ 22 3 D RUG CULTURE AND UNDERGROUND PRESSES ................................ ....................... 27 Drug Culture ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 27 Underground Presses ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 32 4 FACULTY ACTIVISM ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 39 Mutual understanding ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 43 A Spiritual Paragon: The Ex ample of Father Michael Gannon ................................ .............. 47 5 ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND FREE SPEECH ................................ ................................ ... 53 Academic Freedom ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 53 Attrition ................................ ................................ ................................ ........................... 53 Dissonance ................................ ................................ ................................ ....................... 63 Retrenchment ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 66 Shifting currents ................................ ................................ ................................ .............. 68 Collective Bargaining ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 77 6 BREAKAWAY INSTITUTIONS AND FREE UNIVERSITIES ................................ ......... 82 7 RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS AND SPACES ................................ ................................ ...... 96 Youth Spirituality ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 104 Religious Traditionalism ................................ ................................ ................................ ...... 107 8 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 113 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 117
5 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 123
6 Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts FOOD FOR THE REVOLUTION: LOCAL CULTURE AND YOU TH POLITICAL RADICALIZATION IN THE 1960s SOUTH By Michael Alan Falcone May 2012 Chair: Benjamin E. Wise Major: History Quite apart from free speech, the Vietnam War, civil rights, and other well known political flashpoints of the postwar period, the d evelopment of radicalism and student unrest during the 1960s and 70s was largely the result of local, cultural developments. University communities in particular provided young people with the space and leisure to openly respond to postwar cultural upheava ls, resulting in an unprecedented degree of student engagement with social issues, heightened generational awareness, and a new paradigm of youth political action formed from a growing tradition of cultural dissent. But far from representing a cohesive mo vement, these developments hinged on individual inherently followed the contours of their cultural landscape the social circles they joined, the events and gatherings they attended, the media and merchandise they consumed, the activism of their adult role models, and the values of their religious denominations. These everyday considerations influenced the viewpoints of each young person differently, but their combined energies eventually brought about a transformation of the cultural and political ethos of the community as a whole.
7 The evolution of the University of Florida from an orthodox Southern institution into a locus of radicalism and counterculture demonstrate s these changes. The legacy of local civil rights mobilization and the social engagement of faculty and religious leaders helped to legitimize reform minded youth dissent. As students absorbed the changing ideas of their community, the advent of countercul tural enterprises, underground presses, action groups, and liberal theologies aided the development of their own organizational capacities. Soon, Gainesville was home to a dedicated core of radical young people, as well as a large swath of moderate student s who sympathized with their goals.
8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION A Change in the Seasons On the night of December 5, 1964, nearly 3,000 young people took to the streets of Gainesville, Florida. Singing and chanting, the mob burned palm trees and tore down street beleaguered local police moved in with nightsticks, arresting sixteen and dispersing the crowd. It was a scene remembered and memorialized by st udents for years, until it was eclipsed by a conflagration graver, more explosive, and far more consequential. 1 By May 1972, the setting was the same, but the nightsticks had become tear gas, the two hour disturbance had stretched to two days, the arrests Despite the violence, the first event was actually a celebration : football team had upset its top ranked opponent that night. The second, more auster e occasion was a student rally in opposition to American escalation of the Vietnam War. Separated by seven years and an intellectual and cultural chasm, these two riots bookended a sea change in youth consciousness, a process which transformed this Souther n university community from a political students, their new worldview was not simply anchored in politics. The story of their transformation, and of their const ruction of a radicalized community ethos, was inherently a cultural one. concerned with matters of political and ideological development. Many scholars, focused on the 1 Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Fla.), Dece mber 7, 1964; and Florida Alligator May 10, 1972.
9 social and cultural constructions as mere expressions of political engagement. In Sixties historical literature, notions of political idealism often precede themes of cultural change, as consciousness. 2 from the expressive politics of the it all hang out way of 3 The shortcoming of this premise is that it undervalues the capacity of cultural constr uctions to serve as precursors to political engagement. In reality, popular and local culture had a critical role to play in Sixties political developments, and provided an acculturation beyond traditional narratives of antiwar, civil rights, and free spee ch mobilization. The sheer number of historical themes involved in movement socialization (including community formation, sexuality, race, gender, mass culture, and economics) testifies to the inadequacy of isolating political concerns as the predominant c atalyst for cultural change. On the contrary, cultural forms were themselves powerful sparks in the explosive politicization of 1960s youth. This is not to contend, however, that the realms of the political and cultural were entirely separate spheres. Rat her, they were distinct but intertwined manifestations of a shared evolution 2 The historiography of 1960s youth activism and the New Left is generally predicated on analysis of political matters. Cultural themes are certainly included, sometimes ex tensively, but often presented as manifestations of political engagement, or as yoked to an overall frustration with mainstream American social values (particularly of of works which focus on the political and social, rather than the cultural, see also: Allen J. Matusow The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (New York: Harper & Row, 1984); Todd Gitlin, The Sixties : Years of Hope, Days of Rage (New York: Bantam, 1987); James Miller, Democracy Is In The Streets: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987); Maurice Isserman, If I Had A Hammer : The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the N ew Left (New York: Basic Books, 1987); Terry H. Anderson The Movement and the Sixties (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995); James Farrell, The Spirit of the Sixties: Making Postwar Radicalism (New York: Routledge, 1997); Jeremy Varon, Bringing The Wa r Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revolutionary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004); Van Gosse, Rethinking The New Left: An Interpretive History (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005 ); and David Barber, A Hard Rain Fell: SDS and Why It Failed (Oxford, Miss.: University of Mississippi Press, 2008). 3 Gitlin, The Sixtie s, 213.
10 in values wrought by individuals drawn from a common social context. The principles enumerated at Port Huron elitism, anti served soci al as well as political ends, after all. 4 This study thus preserves the interconnectedness of the political and the cultural in 1960s youth activism, but inverts their traditionally assumed historical roles. It argues that popular and local cultural forms socialized outsiders into modes of radical political engagement. The process was aided by self styled social nonconformists, who applied mechanisms of local culture to bestow mainstream legitimacy on ideas of social and political dissent. Their progress be came self sustaining, allowing other community issues academic freedom and the right to open dissent most prominently to be subsumed into the countercultural narrative. In this way, an evolution in youth culture generated a transformation in youth politic s. Central to understanding the development of both political radicalization and the counterculture is a recognition of the historical contingency within individual processes of acculturation. 5 Young people, especially in the South, were not intrinsically predisposed to join a sweeping youth movement, or to overturn a century of political protocol. Each person required a tangible, local idea of what cultural and political change meant, and a persuasive reason to resist the status quo. The oft essentialized concept of the New Left, then, must be seen for what it was: 4 Milton Cantor, The Divided Left: American Radicalism, 1900 1975 (New York: Hill and Wang, 1978), 186. 5 Histo Douglas Rossinow has similarly written the counterculture was an innovative means to circumvent the impediments to radical change inherent in an entren ched political system (Rossinow, The Politics of Authenticity : Li beralism, Christianity, and the New Left in America [New York: Columbia University Press, 1998]). Both of these analyses hinge on the centrality of a the existential search for personal wholeness and social justice. The authent icity model helps to explain the motives and ideals of a collective radicalization, but it also suggests that young people had a kind of unacquired internal catalyst which impelled them to seek and construct alternative mores. Other studies have linked New Left ideology to the broader historical currents of postwar liberalism, Fifties depersonalization, white sweep of the movement at times es sentializes what was, as stated in these pages, a n amalgamation of individual choices.
11 a tumultuous and disjointed ensemble of individual choices. Accordingly, this study concentrates on local projects of community building and cultural stimulus, wielded by dedicated radicals for t he purposes of individual persuasion and acculturation among mainstream youth. This was not a early and persistent desire to entice a broad youth demographic in to alternative modes of social and political thought, using the co optation of trends, social forums, and popular culture as its means. In addition, the influence of liberal local role models faculty, religious leaders, and others provided a legitimizing a nd bolstering stimulus for young people, while dedicated counterculturalists simultaneously constructed a holistic youth environment of nonconformity and dissent, thus providing young people with an array of local cultural encouragements to expand their wo rldviews. The specific mechanisms of this process included alternative businesses, drug culture, liberal theology, underground media, and the general transformation of at the intersection of culture and counterculture. And although these forms proliferated nationwide, their effectiveness inherently depended on localized processes of community construction, personal interaction, and manipulation of social space. The tran sformation of the city of Gainesville, home to the immense University of Florida, provides an indicative canvas upon which to illustrate the primacy of cultural forms over e example not only as a reflection of the broad process of radicalization, but also of the individual process as good a microcosm of the whole New Left as you are likely to find. It would be valuable as a study because it is a continuous movement, with little outside influence. Here, one can study the
12 of UF the history o 6 Having initially resisted the national discourse of student action, by the time politics and activi sm found community appeal, there was no remaining New Left to join. Community culture insulated the city from the fiery movements of the mid 1960s, but sustained a provincial radicalism even as national youth mobilization collapsed. These developments high light the power of local cultural forms to resist broader social currents, and provide an important example of the political and cultural character of an area detached from the strong national tide of activism. Yet, as it abandoned the ingrained conservati sm of the midcentury South, the community was increasingly community at a social and political crossroads. Background a University of Florida student in 1970. 7 this Southern university town. But his next thought e ncapsulated the rapid transformation but they lack direction. There is no solidarity here. These people possessing fine ideas are scattering their energies in m 8 6 The University Report (Gainesville, Fla.), Vol. 2 No. 21, February 6, 1969. 7 MMc ( pseudonym ), Letter t o the editor, The Eye (Gainesville, FL), October 1, 1970. 8 Ibid.
13 The story of the unification of these energies is the story of an explosive social massive size it boasted a n en rollment of 20,566 students by the fall of 1967 it had for decades been noted for its cultural homogeneity. 9 Young women, first admitted to the university in 1947, joined sororities and social clubs, while young men created networks by participating in campus calendars were football games and Homecoming celebrations, and the nearest thing to civic unrest took the form of so called panty raids, in which crowds o f more or less harmless male students marched on female dormitories. 10 Off campus, the city of Gainesville had been known as a sleepy, segregated Southern town. Unspoken but clearly delineated boundaries existed between white and black public spaces, effect ively minimizing racial interaction. African Americans for generations had been 11 By the mid 1960s, however, these local Jim C row customs began to meet with sustained resistance: black and white activists fought for social justice by substandard health services, inconsistent waste collection and, in many cases, lack of running water. 12 The primary force in this struggle was the all female Gainesville Women for Equal Rights, which, along with African American associations like the SCLC and youth organizations like the UF Student Group for Equa l Rights, catalyzed the process of social change in the town. 9 Board of Regents, State University System of Florida. Publication no. 111, 19 68. 10 New York Times June 12, 1971. 11 U.S. Department of Commerce Bureau of the Census. 1970 Census of Population and Housing: Gainesville, Fla. Standard Metropolitan Stati stical Area ( Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972). 12 Transcript, Jean Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, April 22, 1991, p. 9, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Uni versity of Florida.
14 A focus on social issues, rather than political ones, allowed community activists to operate flexibly and pragmatically, achieving reform through a series of small but important victories. Their struggles remained small. The overarching cultural ambience of the city and its university rema ined largely insulated from national discourse, and the student body resisted political engagement. The result was the community wide preservation of a parochial, sports and socializing Southern university ethos seemingly a world apart from the pitched pol itical battles of radicals remained isolated in a wilderness of local apathy. But their challenge was also regional. Even as the national political narrative a mong young activists shifted to the war in Vietnam, to student free speech, and to frustration with what was perceived to be the counterfeit moral foundations of American material culture, Southerners who 13 Political agitation and ideas of participatory democracy were thus unlikely to meet with success, compelling radicals to seek alternative forms of coordination and expansion in order to legitimize their movement and its goals. Cultural constructions of community fused nonconformist values with mainstream scruples, helping to disseminate the evolving ideology of radicalism through tangible, localized mechanisms. These mechanisms including the reconstruction of the loca l social environment, the foundation of co ops and businesses, the popularization of drugs, the proliferation of underground newsmedia, and others represented an 13 Gregg L. Michel, Struggle For A Better South: The Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1964 1969 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), 1.
15 innovative means to wake local students from their political lethargy, as well as to create a broad based movement imbued with the idealized goals of moralism and authenticity.
16 CHAPTER 2 COMMUNITY, AMBIENCE, ETHOS, AND ENTERPRIS E Community, Ambience, and Ethos By co opting elements of broader youth culture and combining them with the political age ndas of their movement, radicals in Gainesville convinced themselves that mainstream participation in countercultural activities represented a broad endorsement of their convictions by other young people. The widespread public attraction of gatherings, hip pie fashions, drugs, and concerts gave radicals a sense of acceptance and solidarity among their peers, even if many of them were simply seeking entertainment and gratification. Nevertheless, the growing popularity of these leisure activities presented cou nterculturalists with an opportunity to disseminate their social values and political ideas to a broader cross section of the youth demographic. The bold presumption of broad based support allowed nonconformists to chip away at the cultural conservatism of their city, even if it meant abandoning rhetoric of alienation and disaffection by pushing counterculture into the mainstream. The eventual result was the birth of a palpable ntity that then 14 parochialism and transformed it into a place of open political debate and cultural experimentation. The measured pace of this change allowed gradual development of the politicization which marked many campuses around the nation. As a religion professor from the 14 University of Florida, 1963
17 the many kids felt at Florida was n ot coming here and getting a black roommate but [rather] coming from Miami Dade and having a roommate from Chipola, rural Florida. So the university had sort 15 This provided students and citizens with a growing poo public figures to speak on campus as varied as George McGovern, Allen G insburg, Barry Goldwater, Milton Friedman, John Kerry, Shirley Chisholm, Jane Fonda, Abbie Hoffman, Jerry taught decidedly unorthodox creative writing courses to undergr aduates. At times Crews stumbled into class intoxicated, bleeding, or singing; often he held classes in his favorite bars or at his house. He nevertheless built a fierce loyalty among students for his daring, countercultural style. As one of them recalled, 16 played host to an array of ideas and demonstrations, from rallies against the two party politica l 17 themselves outside the mainstream of society merely pushed them further toward the margins. Certainly they ushered in a p ervasive hippie culture, complete with its fashions, lifestyle, and 15 Transcript, Austin B. Creel Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, August 27, 1992 p. 39 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Uni versity of Florida. 16 Perspectives on Harry Crews Gainesville Sun May 7, 2006; and Trans cript, W.H. Abney Oral history interview with Dirk Drake, April 7, 1996 p. 13 Samuel Proctor O ral History Program Collection University of Florida. 17 The University Report Vol. 1 No. 11, October 30, 1968; Florida Alligator May 1, 1972.
18 rhetoric. In 1967, a columnist wryly observed in the campus newspaper, the Florida Alligator house in town whose audience is funnier and mo re interesting than its films. Witness the frolicking clothes of the sandals, bearded, long haired hippies and ho 18 A wide swath of customs, as witnessed in its collective ambivalence toward the so Hearts Club Band (released on June 1 st ), a nd as tropes of free love, drug enlightenment, and artistic expression infiltrated the national news media, the preeminent controversy in Gainesville for nearly the entire summer was a proposed change to the seat reservation policy in the Florida ootball stadium. 19 Americas in July, it drew only a handful of attendees, some of whom were merely curious passersby. 20 And some self stream, as when one student took up the nom de plume 21 including pragmatism, existentialism, objectivism, Bob Dylan, and [Marshall] McLuhan, a 22 These ventures overstepped the boundaries of acceptability in a community which was still in the process of forging its political identity, but they nevertheless gave young people new outlets for expression and individuality. Such inchoate forms of counterculture failed to find 18 Florida Alligator Jun 16, 1967. 19 The Beatles, et al ., The Beatles Anthology (San Francisc Florida Alligator July 28, 1967. 20 Florida Alligator July 25, 1967. 21 Classified advertisement. The Eye October 27, 1970. 22 Florida Alligator June 23, 1967.
19 legitimacy, but the lessons learned helped campus rebels better understand the pat h to broad public appeal. Political grandstanding generated little interest, but changes in local culture could lead to political and social engagement. These garde, and they l earned quickly. However, given the disparity between their own political consciousness and that of most of their fellow students, they also became quickly frustrated. eld against developments in California, Illinois, Wisconsin, and New York. In early 1967 t hree years after the Berkeley Free Speech movement had ignited broad youth politicization the campus protest demonstration in the histor y of the University of person sit in opposing disciplinary action against Pamme Brewer, a student who had posed nude in the humor magazine The Charlatan Although it was locally significant, advocacy for the right to star in a centerfold photo shoot hardly represented a ringing display of solidarity with the growing activism of the national New Left. 23 Certainly the incident that is, young people b eginning to writhe against the bonds of restrictive in loco parentis policies. 24 But the protest was a pyrrhic victory for those pressing for broader action. The slow pace of local social engagement vexed a radical faction who had long since turned its atte ntion to the Vietnam War, national politics, and challenging what historian Allen Matusow describes as 25 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) had existed in Gainesville since 1965, a nd the Southern Student 23 The Crocodile Vol. 2 No. 1 (Gainesville, Fla.), February 20, 1967. 24 United Press International, N ew York Times February 15, 1967. 25 Allen J. Matusow. The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s (New York: Harper & Row, 1984), 309.
20 Organizing Committee (SSOC) since 1967, but neither was officially recognized as a student group by the university. In this context, radicals were obliged to resort to methods of cultural coordination rather than political organizat ion. 26 political engagement and the national maturation of student activism. By the time local involvement had congealed into a discernible movement, forms of advocac y which had seemed revolutionary several years earlier now began to take on a facade of banality. Before UF students had staged even a single large antiwar protest, customary methods of picketing and marching began to appear outmoded, due in no small part to the national attention given to more active movements across the country. An Alligator columnist wrote in 1967 again, before any large demonstrations had taken place in Gainesville seems to be becoming o ld hat. Turnouts are dwindling, causes multiplying too quickly, and the people who carry picket signs tending to take on a sameness of appearance. Protest, picketing, 27 Although this s years, for a time it became central to the promotion of alternative modes of engagement. Cultural dissemination was fresh, powerful, and appealing. If rallies an d posters could not bring translate into nonconforming politics. Not that this approach received unanimous approbation within the radical community. With increasi ng public attention given to youth politics, some self styled political New Leftists 26 Area Studies Collections, George A. Smath ers Libraries, University of Florida. 27 Florida Alligator June 23, 1967.
21 feared for the ideological purity of their movement. As the lines between youth culture and ng people; and as the intellectualism of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan replaced hit machine pop, those who had initially spearheaded radical change chafed at what they perceived to be the cultural pretense of newcomers. The political New Left, they contended, sh ould be kept wholly separate from the novelty of the growing, seemingly apolitical, counterculture. One such objector was leftist UF humanities professor Ed Richer who, writing in a national New Left journal, scathingly berated the ideological chasm betwee movemen t which diverted attention from more grievous structural problems in society smoker wants rebellion, the antagonist of the rat 28 Three years later, philo sophy professor Kenneth Megill agreed, declaring in a speech that politics was for traditional liberals, while cultural overhaul was the domain of a new, iconoclastic generation of practical accepts the rules of the game. Radical call s these rules into question. Liberal fights for that there will be no fundamental change until the economic and social forces which are creating the current order is re 29 Nevertheless, many reacted with relish as their cultural designs brought them into contact with a wider cross section of the moderate public. Throughout the 1960s, 28 Free Student (New York, N.Y.) No. 5, 1965. 29 cals Gainesville, Fla., October 20, 1968. Kenneth A. Megill Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, University Archive, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.).
22 radicals attempted to fuse their own labyrinth of doc trines with the rapidly changing world of popular culture. While it would be inequitable to dismiss this fusion as a collective misconception, it is clear that many movement leaders extrapolated broad notions of youth solidarity from what may have in reali ty amounted to mere popularity. For instance, in October Halloween Costume Ball, which drew hundreds, or perhaps thousands, of students to the Plaza of the Americas. While the social appeal of such an event to a large group of college students is self evident, the next issue of avant garde magazine The Eye saw things di people were against the war. There is no doubt that these people are into things beyond WORK STUDY GET AHEAD g the issues to the 30 Enterprise bricks and mortar community development. By the late 1960s, had become dotted with small ventures traditionally associated with hippie culture. These were local organizations run by local people, unassociated with but certainly inspired by collectivist establishments proliferating na tionwide. The individuals who operated these markets and shops generally came from a single, limited, social circle, and mutually collaborated to set enterprises was inherently dependent on the prevailing system of Darwinian commercialism that no well intentioned idealism could counteract, a fact which compelled would be collectivists to 30 Fast (pseudony The Eye November 7, 1970.
23 temper their ultimate objectives or face assured economic ruin. In this way, enterprises borne of a faction striving for nonconformity reached a broader public by attempting, ironically, to operate within a conventional capitalist framework. Although this may have seemed like a compromise of integrity or legitimacy, it actually had a serendipitous effect on the radical palatable to a broader segment of the public. But this moderation also unintentionally produced a ready made market for conventional businesses, whose co optation of countercultural forms nourished the very profit imperatives that radicals so zealously opposed. In rapid succession, organi zations sourcing and distributing local goods, organic foods, and catered to the university community from a grocery located six blocks from the campus. The Hogtown F ood Co Op published recipes in cook, eat, and trade meals without any exchange of money. 31 Downtown, residents could b rowse 32 These ent erprises represented small scale forays into pseudo communalism on the part of the operators. And although such ventures were inherently limited by the realities of the commercial system in which both the university and the surrounding town operated, the s hared experience of founding co ops and collective enterprises dedicated to distributing free 31 The Eye October 13, 1970, 17. 32 The Eye November 24, 1970, 15.
24 products forged a close knit community of individuals who repeatedly tested the practical boundaries of idealism. As their enterprises interacted and proliferated, this small group could exchange and consider radical ideas, and put them into practice if feasible. More importantly, they could present those ideas to the broader public in new and creative ways. On the su rface, this communalism was predicated on the political self validation and mutual vision of its founders. But it was also a potential building block in the construction of a reformed community ethos that could, it was hoped, attract infusions of new peopl e and ideas. Correspondingly, radicals integrated the commercial and political powers of their unorthodox institutions to create vehicles of outreach designed to attract interest from across the social spectrum. These were primarily centered on the manipul ation of popular culture, as evidenced when co events at which hundreds of students and community members could come together to meet, mingle, dance, and talk. 33 At the heart of these very visible manifestations of evolving counterculture was the desire to conform with some degree of legitimacy to the concept of communitarian anarchism by radicals who were unwilling or unable to actually divorce themselves from society. The dis 34 Historian James dignity and activism of individuals could engender political changes in impersonal establishments. His assertion that personalists assumed that the institutions of a community 33 Ibid. 34 James J. Farrell, The Spirit of the Sixties: The Making of Postwar Radicalism (New York: Routledge, 1997), 7.
25 anipulated to the benefit or detriment of society, helps to explain the antithetical impulses that pulled radicals toward anarchistic disaffection while simultaneously instilling in them a desire to reform and improve existing social structures. 35 It was a compromise which helped to popularize their efforts among the broader community, and bring their political message to a mainstream audience. While the collectives put radical ideologies into practice, profit seeking businesses appealed to images of counter culture to further their commercial ends, effectively bridging the worlds of hippie idealism and free market capitalism. As scholar George Lipsitz notes, d esires that could easily co 36 In Gainesville, many existing firms quickly adopted psychedelic symbols and slang to demonstrate solidarity with the powerful youth market. Meanwhile, new companies positioned them selves to fulfill the emerging demands of alternative retail, selling the trinkets and wares of hippie culture from patterned dcrafted leather belts, bags, vests, and custom 37 Meanwhile, the strip of shops, bars, and restauran ts adjacent to the university known as the Gold Coast an area only desegregated six years earlier Gainesville, selling countercultural literature, music, and drug paraphernalia. 38 Whether or not thes e for profit concerns truly embraced the counterculture, their economic strategy served to 35 Ibid. 36 Farber ed., The Sixties: From Memory to History (Chapel Hill: University o f North Carolina Press, 1994), 231. 37 Advertisements The Eye Vol 1 No 2, October 1 1970. 38 Transcript, W.H. Abney Oral history interview with Dirk Drake, April 7, 1996 p. 20 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florid a History, University of Florida.
26 legitimize the mores of the nonconformists they emulated and courted. The result was, ironically, a heavily capitalistic environment in which the profit motives of s upply and demand nurtured and fostered an evolving anti establishment radicalism.
27 CHAPTER 3 DRUG CULTURE AND UND ERGROUND PRESSES Drug Culture Intrinsically linked to counterculture in this period was an upsurge in drug use among young people. Perhaps more explosive, however, was the heightened public discourse surrounding the culture of drugs. As increasing numbers of students proclaimed their overt use and advocacy of mind altering substances, parents, politicians, and administrators pointed to drug use as a degenerative national peril indeed, both Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon addressed the issue to national audiences in 1968. 39 But while the perceived epidemic had firmly embedded itself in the public consciousness, the increase in raw numbers of committ ed users did not represent the most critical cultural change wrought by Sixties drug culture; in fact, one study estimated that this group did not exceed ten percent of the youth population. 40 Rather, discourse was most shaped by the principles of the uninv 41 That this large segment of the community was aware of, and unoffen ded by, the increasing proliferation of illicit substances in college life gave drug proponents latitude to express their lifestyles publicly, and to champion their own constructions of morality. This was certainly the case in Gainesville, where an active drug culture rapidly spread beyond the boundaries of the hippie movement. Indeed, by the early 1970s, concerned parents 39 Helen H. Nowlis, PhD, Drugs On The College Campus (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1970), x. 40 Donald B. Louria, M.D., The Drug Scene (New York: McGraw Hill, 1968), 168. 41 Ibid.
28 narcotics agents were powerless to thwar t it. 42 Despite the obvious embellishment, drugs were indeed becoming a fact of campus life and a common subject of public discussion. The university sanctioned Florida Alligator regularly published pieces on drugs, prompting candid letters from students on both sides of the issue. On one such occasion, a business senior wrote a scathing guest editorial after an article suggested that the hallucinogenic LSD could cause have 43 The pervasiveness of that substance was illustrated in humorous fashion when The Pub, a midtown beer hall, advertised i n its window the sale of LSD for 25 cents only to disappoint potential buyers when it was revealed that the product on sale was in fact Large Size Draft beer. 44 example, st udent Tony Lee Garner was shot dead in his dormitory room while selling marijuana. 45 Also threatening to the wider community was the increasingly casual use of hard drugs, a risk exacerbated by the lack of gravity given to their dangers by users. Gainesvill mind ill be possible to live in 46 42 Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Frank Belyeu, Florida, April 16, 1973. Administrative Policy Records, University of Florida Office of the President (Stephen C. braries, University of Florida. 43 Florida Alligator June 13, 1967. 44 Florida Alligator May 19, 1967. 45 ll to Members of the Florida Board of Regents, April 19, 1973. Administrative Policy Records, University of Florida Office of the President 46 The Eye September 15, 1970.
29 47 But these blas discussions of drug culture reveal a potentially dangerous spiral of abuse. Mai nstream students looked on warily as the radical Alligator gingerly covered the rumored arrival on campus of the methylamphetamine known as STP, vigilantly repeating the asserti 48 The problem became such that even the committed drug users behind magazine The Eye de Maintenance Program, a walk tr 49 Hippies and later, radicals in general used drugs as a means to bring others into their social fold. Thus mainstream students sampling drug culture inadvert ently also found an entre into a radical coterie of new values and ideas. Counterculturalists hoped that through introduction to drugs and the social opportunities associated with them a growing number of people could be made to question their long held c particular social maxims of their users and distributors. One student, entering the university in 1970 as a self describ ed Goldwater conservative, described the holistic manner with which he was swept into the cultural and political framework of the radical Left through this social interaction: 47 The Eye January 5, 1971. 48 Florida Alligator July 14, 1967. 49 The Eye November 24, 1970.
30 I was not [yet] radicalized then. I noticed that the radicals on campus had the best drugs, the best looking women who would have sex with you, and they gave the best parties. So social life was really good for the radicals. I began to see this and hang out with them more and more, and talk less and less conservative stuff and paid m ore attention to politics, good looking women, drugs, the rock n roll, all of it. 50 the Local and university leaders, unaccustomed to large scale drug issues, were slow to act. Administrators were aware that students used drugs in residence halls, in fraternity and sorority h ouses, and off campus, but hoped initially that the problem could be checked by pressure from housing personnel and by the examples of student role models. These efforts had little effect. The use of marijuana and depressant medications such as methaqualon e were especially noted at public gatherings like rock concerts and Gator Growl pep rallies, where students mingled with incentive to maintain their habits and minister to the uninitiated. 51 This vacuum of enforcement gave Gainesville a reputation as a popular drug center, inspiring repeated calls from citizens for corrective a ction. In 1969, Dr. Edwin Larson, a psychiatrist at the campus infirmary, estimated that Gainesville lagged only slightly behind known drug havens like San Francisco, and that the going to 52 50 Transcript, W.H. Abney Oral history interview with Dirk Drake, April 7, 1996 p. 3 and p. 16 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Univers ity of Florida. 51 of Florida Office of the Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 52 Florida Times Union October 10, 1969.
31 Eventually, a coalition of Gainesville and Alachua County police departments, local public school officials, concerned university students, and former drug users (like those from the Methadone Maintenance Clini c), came together to found the Corner Drugstore, a grassroots organized rehabilitation space for present and former addicts and their loved ones. Receiving the full backing of the university administration, the Drugstore was conceived as a non judgmental f counseling and treatment. 53 It was not without controversy, however. Rumors swirled that rogue members of the staff who had failed to stay clean were peddling LSD and using the building for cohabitation. 54 Nevertheless, after opening its doors in 1969, the Drugstore received private donations from prominent Florida businessmen and politicians, and enjoyed wide support from the general public. The central charact eristic of drug culture as a mechanism in social proselytizing was its very neutrality. Unlike political postures or cultural dissent, drugs did not espouse any single cause or require ideological conversion. Rather, drug use was couched in the rhetoric of introspection and enlightenment, an alleviation of social pressure that led the user to the shores of personalism and cultural awareness but preserved his or her prerogative of choice on whether or not to take the plunge. Moreover, the perceived kinship l inking drug users together in a form of abstract community and it was primarily just a perception brought young people a sense of fellowship with their idols. Music icons brought drugs to mass culture, transforming themselves into symbols of youth nonconfo rmity in the process. The popularity of hip, progressive musicians and writers perpetuated the rhetoric of drug fueled self awareness among young 53 Ibid.; onnell to the Honorable Don Shoemaker, Miami, FL, December Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Flor ida. 54 Memorandum from James T. Hennessey, Assistant to the Vice President for Student Affairs, to President Stephen nd Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
32 people. As historian David Farber notes, the legitimizing influence of cultural arbiters like rock bands made many teenagers feel, through their own participation in drug culture, that they were 55 In an intellectual context, then, the cultural assumptions carried by drug use helped to fulfill youth fantasies related to both popular culture and radical discourse. Drugs provided young people with an idealistic notion of personal nonconformity, while simultaneously giving them a sense of solidarity with their cultural heroes. Th is utopian situation left no room for the influence of the reviled Establishment (nor, unfortunately, for proper awareness of the dangers of substance abuse). In short, drugs provided an outlet for ideas of detachment and isolation, and a common ground for the expansion of the radical community. Underground Presses audience emerged in many forms. Some of these like the businesses, social gatherings, and drug culture described above were unsystematic efforts, tenuous steps to win favor and legitimacy for a somewhat amorphous social faction. Others were more deliberate. Radicals wanted not only to inspire an increased political consciousness among their peers, but also to organize and define their fundamental beliefs. Several years before frustrations with traditional outlets erupted into fiery protests, radicals sought more benign forms of alternative expression to spread and debate their values, resulting in the founda tion of an independent news media. More importantly, by producing intellectually stimulating content, local writers hoped to continue radicalizing the uninitiated. Historian John McMillian has written of alternative newssheets that [radicals] imbued their newspapers with an ethos that socialized people into the Movement, 55 David Farber, The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s (New York: Hill and Wang, 1994), 174.
33 56 Accordingly, f rom the mid 1960s on, Gainesville nurtured a vibrant underground press scene, which flooded the community with leftist magazines, newspapers, and pamphlets. The individual careers of these publications were generally brief ranging from a few months to a fe w years and most eventually capsized under financial troubles, low circulation, or editors who chose to move on. The single constant was a collective tenacity: when one publication fell, another quickly took up its mantle. In previous decades, Gainesville had demonstrated a marked lack of published dissent, paired with a tradition of rigid official control of student media. The primary literary outlet for antiauthoritarianism was the decidedly benign humor magazine The Orange Peel published triannually und er the watchful censorship of university administrators. Nevertheless, college satire represented an inchoate form of nonconformity, which the magazine itself acknowledged ome weed 57 Peel that it shut down the publication, replacing it in 1962 with the more domesticated New Orange Peel By way of protest to this move, a group of students established an unofficial, off campus publication complete with restored risqu content waggishly titled The Old Orange Peel. As the Sixties drew on, alternativ officials. Students began founding journals to treat contemporary issues of race, war, and education, especially at the local level. The main impetus for the creation of these periodicals was the per Gainesville Sun 56 John McMillian, Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and t he Rise of Alternative Media in America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011), 4. 57 The Orange Peel (Gainesville, Fla.), Winter 1960.
34 and the student run, university sanctioned Florida Alligator were unanimous in their censure of these outlets, citing crimes of apathy and o bliviousness. These characterizations, however, were not entirely justified, particularly in the case of the Alligator which sought at times to be investigative but which was published at the discretion of university administrators. This compromised posit ion is illustrated by a 1968 incident in which an op ed lambasting the university administration over academic freedom policies was harshly 58 After five subeditors resigned in administration control. The University Report an independent broadsheet, provided a forum for Hull and others to express themselves without the specter of censorship. The Alligator i tself, went on to sever its editorial and financial ties to the university, resuming publication in 1972 as the unsubsidized and unsupervised Independent F lorida Alligator 59 the optimistic idealism of mid 1960s journals g ave way to iconoclastic militancy bordering on sedition on the part of an increasingly angry radical community. At times this process was evident from issue to issue within a single paper, as in the case of one of the trailblazing underground periodicals i n Gainesville, pointedly named The Crocodile Founded in 1966 as to for open debate and healthy discussion. But this format lasted less than a year before it was 58 Associated Press, Sarasota Herald Tribune April 20, 1968. 59 Policy Records, University of Florida Office of the President (Stephen C. The Miami News April 10, 1972.
35 relaunched by student editor Lucien Cross as a less idealistic, but determinedly more leftist, Crocodile promoted mass youth mobilization and local race integration, as well as seminars which d iscussed the antiwar 60 countercultural imagery and political fantasy. Each issue blended ideology, poetry, philosophy, art, and, perhaps most abundantly, dogma. These eclectic publications thus simultaneously served as the mouthpieces of radicals and as movement welcome mats for interested outsiders. Gruesome published accounts of brutality in Vietnam and racis m at home cultivated politicizing acrimony amongst leftists, while local interest pieces and reviews of rock and folk music appealed to mainstream students. This all embracing structure clearly illustrated a growing confluence of the cultural and political once meant art and activism, creativity and civics. It provided an outlet for both hippie idealism and revolutionary advocacy. In this way, radicals methodically strengthened the intellectual foundati ons of an increasingly diverse youth movement. Also, in the period before mass demonstrations were commonplace, alternative media provided the most visible manifestation of escalating antiwar sentiment. It is likely no coincidence that independent journal s arose in their greatest numbers after the Nixon primarily treated local issues Alachua County voting trends, feminism in the university, tenure controversies, and the segregation of UF athletics while the early 1970s saw a clear upturn in pamphleteering and local journalism as key means to disseminate the antiwar message. The 60 The Crocodile May 22, 1967.
36 resu lt was a literal combination of culture and politics: in the pages of these magazines students could read about the food culture of communist Hungary next to exposs on the Dow ther with firsthand accounts of My Lai style atrocities from local veterans. 61 By 1969, students had a cornucopia of periodicals to choose from. The Hogtown Orifice imp 62 The Hogarm an organ of the protest group UF Veterans For Peace, investigated classified ads, including 63 Meanwhile, the short lived Hogtown Press railed against the local ROTC program, and published pieces on military contracts awarded to the University of Florid a, the city of Gainesville, and the county of Alachua (the latter of which, the newsletter estimated, received $4 million annually from the Department of Defense). 64 But perhaps the most sophisticated of these underground outlets was The Eye whose breadth it covered subjects ranging from feminism to Fidel Castro was only matched by its self confidence as a mouthpiece for movement recruitment and cultural change. As one tell 61 The Eye April 1, 1971 62 Hogtown Orifice (Gainesville, Fla.: Florida Experimental College) Vol. 1 No. 2, December 7, 1969 University Archive, Special and Area Studies Colle ctions, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida 63 The Hogarm The Hogarm No. 2, September 1971, Universit y Archive, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida 64 The Hogtown Press Vol. 1 No. 1, Spring 1972, University Archive Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
37 65 cultural concerns. The unique Southe rn placement of the community ensured that culture remained the critical focus of radical activities, and provided a tangible, local motivation beyond antiwar sentiment or national political enmity. While many youth movements around the country battled apa thy and the frustrations of inciting change from the so mindedness of the particular regional culture surrounding them. Outlets like The Ey e were quick to cite cultural concerns as central to the simmering conflict between radicals and the establishment, and used the prevailing Southern cultural conservatism of the previous decades as a movement rallying cry and a catchall explanation for ong oing disputes. In recounting a case of sexual harassment against a young female Hippie, for example, The Eye proffered the following of the places in Gainesville where the freak culture and the redneck the other. Sometimes, though, prejudices and misconceptions about another way of life real ly 66 In another piece, the magazine explained the central role of culture in the community of love or that a counterculture has definitely established it self here is deluding himself, but these things are in process of happening. The Eye is one of these developing after Hippie experimentation had elsewhere turned into 65 The Eye January 19, 1971. 66 The Eye February 23, 1971. University Archive, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
38 militancy and extremism the piece betrays an optimi stic, hopeful note for cultural with them if we care about them at all. People building a new culture here, too, will react differently to what seems to them mistaken; they will struggle with it responsibly as a part of 67 67 The Eye February 9, 1971. University Archive, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
39 CHAPTER 4 FACULTY ACTIVISM Reflecting on his pr Department of Economics, declared that the work of scientists and faculty must be guided by Goff decay. Not once did I read a professional piece on the economic plight of the blacks or Chicanos erent ordering of priorities 68 academic structures of his youth. By 1960, young faculty increasi ngly reflected the changing activism. In Gainesville, this meant a passionate core of professors and their families and friends who brought energy and enthusiasm to the local civil rights movement. Moreover, as the public discourse absorbed other narratives (academic freedom, opposition to the war in into an arena for deb ate and a forum for the dissemination of new ideas. The actions of activist faculty are critical to understanding the germination of a radical local culture. The 1960s quest for personalism among young people involved a complex and often contradictory rel ationship with hierarchy and authority. On one hand, students questioned the rights of university administrators to dictate morality and exert control over their lives. The battles that proliferated nationwide following the 1964 Berkeley Free Speech Moveme nt, for example, were the boiling point of resentments over structure and subordination which had 68 Florida Alligator May 19, 1972.
40 simmered for years in the university context. On the other hand, students proved to be deeply and personally affected by the actions of politicized faculty, h olding them in considerable esteem and seeing in them an admirable use of authority for noble ends. These seemingly antithetical values were another manifestation of the contradictory impulses toward both resistance and reform so commonly held by students caught in the cultural cross currents of the period. population, meaning that as their values and cultural understandings changed, so too did those of the city around t hem. This transformation can be explained primarily by the demographics at play: More than the student body, the administration, or city residents at large, the university faculty drew together individuals from diverse cultural and intellectual backgrounds Hailing from the North or Midwest, many professors were simply not steeped in the Jim Crow hierarchy that marked their adoptive Southern community. This was critical in forging a tradition of dissent in Gainesville, as many transplanted faculty rejected the cultural assumptions of the South and resisted its hostility towards activism. Thanks to an exponential increase in academic hiring precipitated by the explosive postwar growth of the university itself, this cultural dissonance reached its height in th e 1950s and 60s. Decades later, many faculty and their families recounted with stark clarity their first impressions of Gainesville and its conservative status quo, an experience which quickly ettes portray jarring moments of cultural and political awakening. The late Lyle McAlister, distinguished scholar of Latin Gainesville from San Francisco in the 1950s. Upon arrival, he repeatedly found himself contravening Southern cultural customs. Unaware of Jim Crow, he was chastised for drinking
41 from blacks only water fountains and sitting in the rear sections of buses. Further rejecting the mores of his adoptive hom e, he refused to stand up at football games when the band played felt 69 Jean Chalmers, who had spent her life in Canada and New York City, was almost immediately repulsed by Jim Crow after her arrival in Gainesville. When an elderly black couple stepped into a gutter during a heavy ra instorm to defer to her on the sidewalk, she recalls how 70 Her husband, however, wa s more accustomed to the Southern social code from his years in Washington, D.C. toxic combination of stagnant Jim Crow conventions and ingrained class inequality: were not basically the explosive race problems, [but] the underlying problem that Gainesville faces [is] that this is a terribly poor community, one of the poorest communities in the United States. Alachua County is a poverty area. You are going to find that particularly for youth there 71 impression of harmony, and for years allowed the perpetuation of a white supremacist status quo without impulse for significant reforms. For many newcomers, this situation was galling. The rot of public apathy became a 69 Transcript, Lyle N. McAlister Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, June 17, 1993, p. 10 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 70 Transcript, Jean Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, April 22, 1991, p.5, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 71 Transcript, David Chalmers. Oral history interview w ith Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p. 27, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
42 motivating factor in the creation of a new brand of local social activism which sought to hold a goal was nothing less than the reversal of a century old system of cultural conventions. Religion p nist notions of the region but were not compelled to take public stands in defense of their views. Creel heard only private grumblings, studded with racial epithets and dampened pejoratives about the liberalism of Chief Justice Earl Warren. 72 Even local act militancy and prevented social issues from becoming central to the public discourse. As Creel down the roa 73 But the evolving faculty demographic quickly began to challenge the accomodationist ethos of the previous decades. By the early 1960s, frustrated newcomers had begun to assemble a civil rights coalition of black leaders, faculty wives, and sympathetic students. A core of activist professors (Marshall Jones, Austin Creel, Ed Richer, David Chalmers, and others) worked with a small group of students to found the Student Group for Equal Rights (SGER) on camp us. Together with the NAACP, the organization immediately began picketing local establishments and staging small civil rights demonstrations. 74 local women, including Beverly Jones, Jean Chalmers, Shirley Conroy, Cora Robertson, and 72 Transcript, Austin Creel. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, August 27, 1992, p.15, Samuel Pro ctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 73 Ibid. 74 Michel, Struggle for a Better South 95.
43 Rosa Williams, formed the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights (GWER), which spearheaded local activism and worked toward the betterment of African Americans for more than a decade. Though initially limited in scope, these groups quickly spawned a fervent activist tradition circulation of a pamphlet by Beverly 75 Youth pickets and cross state rallies with SGER, meanwhile, soon blossomed into a comprehensive front of student and faculty activism on issues as varied as academic freedom, in loco parentis and the war in Vietnam. Mutual understanding For some young people most of whom had spent their lives cocooned in the unchallenged embrace of Southern conservatism civil rights activism provided pr oxy versions of the same stark moments of realization described by outsiders Jean Chalmers and Lyle McAlister. In 1963, for example, student Judy Benninger was leaving a downtown restaurant when she came upon an angry mob threatening two black men who were attempting to integrate the Florida Theater. Immediately confronted with a crisis of personal conviction, she joined the and intelligence the bravest unlike a 76 Meanwhile, students like Dan 75 Gainesville Iguana Making Waves: Female Activists in Twen tieth Century Florida (Gainesville, Fla.: University Press of Florida, 2003), 319. 76 The Human Tradition in the Civil Rights Movement (Oxford, U.K.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006), 2 58
44 and Jim Harmeling almost immediately joined pickets outside the Gold Coast and College Inn restaurants after contemplating segregation and the moral roots of activism. 77 Efforts like GWER and SGER were therefore critical in strengthening ties between faculty, community leaders, and students. For the first time, adult mentors actively recruited young people to engage with salient social issues, helping to forge relationships firmly separate from tradition al, classroom in the civil rights movement by the early 1960s gave radicalizing students a sense of hope and confidence in the power of engagement. This would later apply to youth mobilization for a range of political and social causes. Civil rights activism was thus not a separate movement but part and parcel of a holistic, broad social reformation in the postwar period. Accordingly, as scholar rather Martin Luther King, Jr. 78 Students treated socially conscious faculty alternately as patriarchal figures, as political shepherds for their sometimes disjointed causes, and as prisms through which thei r frustrations with university structures could be interpreted. Of course, these relationships evolved over the course of the decade. At first, students simply followed the example of their faculty mentors, as the case of David Chalmers, Austin Creel, and the Student Group for Equal Rights makes clear. But faculty beginning to include students in social causes and treat them as peers was a critical In 1966, Dr. Suri ndar Suri, a visiting political science professor from India, told The Crocodile y of them are 77 Michel, Struggle for a Better South 95. 78 Gosse, Rethinking the New Left 36.
45 already mature emotionally and physically and, because of the compulsions of nature, act in 79 Faculty like Chalmers, Creel, and Richer provided a bridge bet ween those two worlds, bringing young As students found their own voices, they began to combine a radicalism fostered by the real world activism of their mentors with the rebellious t endencies of an evolving national youth students reformed their expectations of local power structures. According to historian James Farrell, students in the 1960s 80 Faculty who ful filled these expectations not only avoided the general scorn for authority figures so prevalent during the period, but also wielded enormous influence over students, their culture, and the form taken by the malleable local radical movement. Together, profe expectations worked to erode the rigid mentor structure. This change was a critical prerequisite to overcoming one of the primary hindr ances to joint social action in the academic setting: lack of mutual understanding. As the Student Group for Equal Rights showed, the efforts of conscientious students and faculty to recognize points of view across generational lines produced a more cohere nt front of social engagement than two separate struggles, dictated by experiential differences, could have hoped to achieve. Moreover, 79 The Crocodile Vol. 1, No. 7, June 15, 1966. University Archives, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 80 Farrell, Spirit of the Sixties 169.
46 the coalition was successful even while ostensibly adhering to traditional hierarchies of power, because the official r ecognition of activist student organizations (and the associated nomination of an approved faculty sponsor) legitimized the close working relationship of professors and students. 81 Thus, within the sanctioned world of on campus involvement, SGER planning bo ycotts and demonstrations represented not a perversion of traditional academic relationships, but simply the everyday pursuits of an official student group. Such intergenerational cooperation proved durable in the coming years, as illustrated by the group of twenty students and professors who, in 1968, organized a series of four symposia on the nature of student unrest. Working together for mutual comprehension, the association of adults and youth made it their goal to increase awareness and understanding o f the ideological workings of youth movements, both locally and in Latin America and Europe. 82 For their part, many professors sought not only to inspire students, but also to influence officials, policymakers, and the community at large. Certain respected members of the university who sympathized with the social and political activism of students saw opportunities to use their social standing and cachet in support of worthwhile causes. The result was the sorely needed legitimization of otherwise divisive id eas among moderate members of the public. Nowhere was this more evident than in the formation of the Gainesville Committee of 71, which in 1971 the Vietnam War 83 The group was conceived as a nonpolitical community action organization which would encourage constituents to write weekly letters to Congress and President Nixon, as 81 Transcript, Austin Creel. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, August 27, 1992 p. 20 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 82 University Report Vol. 1 No. 8, September 25, 1968. Univers ity Archive, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 83 Letter from Parker A. Small, Jr., to Dr. William F. Enneking (College of Medicine, University of Florida), March 31, 1971, Gainesville, Fla. Manning J ulian Dauer Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
47 well as to bring publicity and resources to the genuine concerns of citizens opposed t o the war. 84 The unique aspect of the Committee of 71 was the reputability and perceived integrity of its members. These included Emanuel Suter, dean of the College of Medicine, Robert F. Lanzillotti, dean of the College of Business Administration, and Mann ing J. Dauer, chairman of the Department of Political Science, as well as an assortment of respected Gainesville attorneys, businessmen, pastors, and priests. The group hoped to cleanse the popular conception of antiwar activism as the exclusive domain of degenerates and disorganized youth, and aimed to inspire communities nationwide to lend establishmentarian legitimacy to the antiwar movement. Their local efforts were initially successful: the Gainesville Sun proclaimed tailed, clabber lipped conglomeration of mal 85 A Spiritual Paragon: The Example of Father Michael Gannon Perhaps the most respected and well was Father Michael V. Gannon, UF Professor of History and Religion and the first chaplain of useful microcosm of the precarious position occupied by faculty caught between the changing interests of students and those of university authorities. Sympathetic to the concerns of young people, Gannon also provided a critical voice of moderation as generational tensions escalated, a role which helped him maintain the esteem of both students and members of the establishment. of so cial and political engagement, his skill at mediation particularly when cultural tensions 84 Letter from Parker A. Small, Jr., M.D., to Members of the Gainesville Committee of 71, June 27, 1972. Manning Julian Dauer Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 85 Gainesville Sun April 17, 1971.
48 boiled into demonstrations gave form to the neglected possibilities for understanding and reconciliation between radicalizing students and reactionary administrators. As a longtime Florida resident, Gannon was heavily invested in serving the community, and could often be found participating in local humanitarian pursuits, including charity drives on the Plaza of the Americas and a twenty mile walk around the city in su 86 dialogue against an increasingly militant atmosphere of protest and vandalism. For example, after racial clashes in 1971 led to the resignation o f UF Head of Minority Affairs Roy Mitchell, Gannon hosted a Southern Regional Council forum on race issues at the Catholic Student Center. 87 Similarly, during the forcible desegregation of Gainesville High School, Gannon volunteered as an ombudsman, helping to alleviate tensions between black and white students and parents. 88 Gannon took up his post in the Catholic Church in 1959 and remained for twelve years, a tenure which was marked by local civil rights struggles, changes to university social policies, a nd increasing public resentment to escalation in Vietnam. Increasingly intrigued by the growing controversy surrounding the war, in 1968 Gannon obtained a press pass from Catholic magazine America and the National Catholic News Service, and extensively tou red the Vietnam theater. The experience left him vehemently against the war, and upon his return to Gainesville he began participating in antiwar activities with both students and faculty. He frequently allowed the use of the Catholic Student Center space for debates, speeches, and meetings, and volunteered 86 Florida Alligator May 7, 1970. 87 United Press International, St. Petersburg Times May 26, 1971. The key in allowing the forum to take place. 88 Gainesville Sun October 13, 2003.
49 [Demilitarized Zone] in the north to the Mekong Delta in the south, on the battlefields, in the rice paddies an d throughout the cities, I saw at first 89 political and social demonstrations, although primarily this was in the role of moderator and pea ceful organizer. Gannon was no stranger to large protests, having attempted to calm the violent civil rights clashes in St. Augustine in 1964. Although unsuccessful in this effort, it proved to be a valuable experience in coping with later unrest in Gaines ville. In the wake of the May 1970 killings at Kent State University, for example, Gannon delivered the first speech at the and led 6,000 people in a candlelight vigil. 90 The follow protest, Gannon conducted large discussions and eventually convinced students to abandon their 91 In April 1971, when frustrations among bla ck students boiled into a clash with officials and police at Tigert Hall, Gannon stepped in to try to restore order, personally pleading with the Gannon media ted between law enforcement and the Black Student Union, and eventually secured the release of ten arrested students. Taking up a building loudspeaker, Gannon spoke to hese negotiation is] only a first step, but maybe what we accomplish in our society can be 89 Written testimony by Father Michael V. Gannon, St. Augustine Catholic Church, Gainesville. Collected by the Gainesville Com mittee of 71 to End the War in Vietnam, March 1971. Manning J. Dauer Papers, University Archive, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.). 90 Florida Alligator May 6, 1970; and Bob Wise, Florida Alligator May 11, 1970. 91 Florida Alligator May 6, 1970.
50 92 With this message of non confro ntation, Gannon led those assembled into negotiations, effectively avoiding further violence. largest ever antiwar demonstration. Gannon arbitrated terms between un iversity officials and the Student Mobilization Committee, addressed rioters, contacted city leaders to try to legalize th Street, and worked to diffuse the potential violence of the culmination of years of studen t disquiet. 93 As the disturbance spilled into a second day, Gannon joined with members of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War in an unsuccessful attempt to turn the strike into a peaceful candlelight vigil. 94 Amid the tumult, he spotted a police officer in riot gear preparing to throw a tear gas grenade into the all glass faade throwing arm and pleaded with him not to harm the students. As a result, Gannon was b eaten with a baton, dragged across the street, and arrested but the grenade was never thrown. 95 He Government to collect money to provide to students in need of bail funds and legal fees. 96 The social engagement of a respected community figure like Gannon was an important Gannon brought legitimacy to a local culture of diss ent through his reasonable, respectful activism. That a well regarded professor and clergyman could involve himself in not just the salient political issues of the time but also in local, social ones, contributed to his importance in 92 Gainesville Sun April 16 1971. 93 Florida Alligator May 10, 1972. 94 Florida Alligator May 11, 1972. 95 S t. Petersburg Times May 30, 2010. 96 Florida Alligator May 12, 1972.
51 the community. He main tained his beliefs but toed a line between the interests of the students and the wider interests of the city and its leaders. Accordingly, Gannon commanded respect from local radicals and student activists even while maintaining the confidence of the objec t of many 97 At the same time, Gannon was a legitimate and respectable actor in the eyes of even the most radical loca l leaders. Iconoclastic Vietnam headed. He was a good 98 positive force. He did not start the [demonstrations], but he frequently ended up leading them in a way that would diffuse them. So he performed a very fine service to the students as well as the 99 But possibilities vested in faculty to exert influence on both the radical subculture and the dominant establishment. In sympathizing with antiwar activities, Gannon lent po litical legitimacy to a social engagement and space for ideological debate, he lent social legitimacy to an experimental and ill activity because he was an influential figure who recognized that a main source of the conflict between establishment and counterculture was an unwillingness to understand conflicting points of view by both sides. He believed that the friction resulting from the increasing progressivism of 97 Lakeland Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), January 22, 1977. 98 Transcript, Scott Camil. Oral history intervie w with Stuart Landers, October 20, 1992 p. 56 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 99 Transcript, with Joel Buchanan June 19, 1996 Sam uel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
52 the university community led to resentment from the city, engendering a desire to punish activism and quell dissent. This key point of understanding by a professor who was decidedly not radical represented a critical bridge of communication between the warring factions of an insulated Southern town. Only an increase in this communication proved to calm the fissures. In 1971, Gannon was awarded the Gainesville Sun leadership for University of Florida students of all faiths, particularly during times of community 100 100 Gainesville Sun January 20, 1985.
53 CHAPTER 5 ACADEMIC FREEDOM AND FREE SPEECH Academic Freedom W hile Gannon exemplified moderatio n in his respectful calls for change in society, not all of his colleagues were so patient. The University of Florida in the 1960s and 70s was marked perhaps even defined by heated clashes between unabashedly radical professors and determinedly austere adm inistrators, resulting in an ongoing spate of dismissals, appeals, and public hearings. These events were not merely confined to the halls of power at the university; rather, they played a primary role in fueling public debates over academic freedom, polit icization of education, and the structure of the university itself. These issues seeped into the culture of the the conduct of university professors; and th e suitability of radicalism in the context of higher education. Students, in particular, mixed the question of faculty independence with frustrations about their own subordination, resulting in a heightened impulse to brand university officials as the cent ral antagonists in their fight against structure and order. The controversial terminations of professors Ed Richer, Marshall Jones, Kenneth Megill, and others, gave young radicals a local cause celebre and helped give meaning to their sometimes nebulous cu ltural movement. Support for outspoken faculty mentors meant support for an open, freethinking Gainesville, and adult culture in all its forms. In this way, pu blic struggles over academic freedom became central to defining the radicalism and cultural transformation of 1960s Gainesville. Attrition Repression of dissent and restriction of freedom of expression, however, were not new developments in Gainesville in
54 prevailing sensibilities had been silenced by officials, public demand, or both. Crimes warranting termination had ranged from praising Abraham Lincoln (as had Enoch Banks in 1911; he resig ned due to public outcry) to openly practicing Catholicism (as had Father John Conoley in 1924; he was kidnapped and forced into exile by the Alachua Ku Klux Klan). But the ostwar Red Scare, with the 1956 state authorization of the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee. Known colloquially as the Johns Committee (after its chairman, conservative state senator Charley Johns) and modeled after the anticommunist crusade of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy, the committee performed draconian investigations of individuals within the statewide university system. Its tactics included interrogation of professors without counsel, employment of campus police to remove students from cla sses for questioning, and surveillance of public spaces for suspicious behavior. The committee initially claimed to be seeking suspected communists and extralegal witchhun suspected gay infiltrators of public institutions. 101 By the time the investigation had run its course, more than twenty professors had been fired or resigned and more than fifty students had been expelled. Consist ent with the fearful and insulated ethos of 1950s Gainesville, the activities of the Johns Committee went almost completely unopposed by the community, including faculty and administrators. 102 Indeed, university president J. Wayne Reitz cooperated fully with the committee, authorizing the 101 mophobia, 1956 ed., (New York: New York University Press, 1997), 156. 102 Karen L. Graves, (Urbana, Ill.: Univers ity of Illinois Press, 2007), 73.
55 u dismissing faculty members named by its reports. 103 n and coerced acquiescence among faculty. For several years, professors maintained a fearful silence even as their colleagues vanished overnight from the university payrolls. After the committee dissolved, this grudging compliance turned into shame. Theref ore, although the academic atmosphere was profound. David Chalmers cites the investigation as a key turning point in academic consciousness at the university: decided, and felt very deeply, that we were at fault because we had let something like this go on. I think that those who experienced it were convinced, without ever having t aken the the legacies of the 1960s; that one has to take a public stand and fight against the things that are wrong. I think for some people the experience of the Joh ns Committee, when we did nothing, brought about changes in our thinking. I do not think that we would let that go 104 These feelings, combined with nationwide developments in the arenas of race, culture, and politics, emboldened many academics to act on their social concerns. Furthermore, for those instructors and students who held legitimately radical views, the post Johns Committee ethos of open defiance and academic activism attenuated their fears of o ffending the community, minimizing their willingness to soften nonconformist rhetoric. These reformed attitudes, however, were not in concert with those of university administrators or the public at large. The result was nearly a decade of battles between professors who sought to test the limits of freedom 103 Howard, ed., 142. 104 Transcript, David Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p. 2 8 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Librar y of Florida History, University of Florida.
56 of expression and authorities who sought to maintain a dutiful conservatism within the realm of higher education. Florida Alligator (eventually syndicated to national SDS outlets). Richer had long been involved in social activism; among the group of faculty who picketed to integrate local restaurants, he was one of the few who travelled to de monstrate in St. Augustine and Ocala. 105 As an outspoken member of CORE and the NAACP, Richer had become one of the 1960s, stridently making speeches and penning written opinions which fused pointed cu ltural criticism with his own political convictions. Following the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Richer was featured on the Alligator unfortunately necessary po with the country. 106 More unsettling to university administrators than this publicity, however, was his enthusiastic support for student activism. Richer had served as the faculty sponsor to the Student Group for Equal Rights and was instrumental in supporting the Freedom Party, a renegade group which challenged the decades Student Government. 107 He also represented UF at a conference of the Sout hern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC), a group that had been denied official recognition by the university. 108 swiftly put him under the microscope of UF President J. Wayn e Reitz. At the end of the 1965 105 Transcript, Austin B. Creel Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, August 27, 1992 p. 18 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 106 Florida Alligator July 7, 1964. 107 Free Student (New York, N.Y.) No.5, 1965. 108 Report on Spring Conference, Southern Student Organizing Committee, March 1965. Archived by C ivil Rights Movement Veterans 1951 1968. A ccessed January 20, 2012 http://www.crmvet.org/docs/ssoc_misc.pdf
57 s pring to year teaching contract, citing his lack of academic qualification. The university was on stable ground with this charge: Richer possessed urnalism and had no publications to his name (and even his friend and fellow activist David Chalmers admitted that he was likely unqualified for tenure). 109 his po faculty senate. The administration circumvented this by simply withholding its lawyers from participation, a decision which effectively denied Richer due process and en ded his career. 110 The ease with which the university dispatched Richer undoubtedly served to reinforce the feeling of political and intellectual hegemony enjoyed by administrators. With the Johns icher represented simply another heretic to be kept away from students. This line of thought, however, overlooked the rapid cultural changes already underway in Gainesville, and was dramatically proved obsolete when President Reitz attempted to muzzle Rich just three years after the Richer termination, concerns over academic freedom had become central to the popular consciousness, a development that ensured administrative attempts at censorship would t henceforth be subjected to exacting public scrutiny. For the first time, the community demonstrably recognized its stake in allowing the university to serve as an open forum for ideas, and indicated that radicalism could no longer simply be expelled at the whims of the local establishment. 109 Transcript, David Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p. 19 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 110 Jeffrey A. Turner, Sitting In and Speaking Out: Student Movements in the American South, 1960 1970 (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2010), 159.
58 Richer, he allowed this activism to spill into h is university life, serving as the faculty advisor to both the Student Peace Movement and the local chapter of SDS. Openly radical, Jones dedicated much of his time to social issues as a prolific writer, orator, and demonstrator. In 1966 alone, he organize d a picket of a Florida Blue Key banquet appearance by Hubert H. Humphrey, debated political science professor John Spanier on the Vietnam War in a so and published a short piece, The Black Power Argument, under the auspices of the Gainesville SDS Press. For many moderate students, Jones served as an introduction to radical culture, while for those already committed, he was a like minded mentor and community organizer. As then 111 holarly accomplishments proved to be complicating factors in their attempts to extirpate him. It happened that Jones was an excellent candidate for tenure, with a growing resume and a substantial record of service. A fellow psychiatry professor told report ers that Jones was 112 University officials r, were unmoved by these achievements. Their enmity toward activism clearly took precedence over institutional aspiration for academic 111 Transcript, Austin Creel. Oral history i nterview with Stuart Landers, August 27, 1992, p. 35, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida; and Marshall B. Jones, The Black Power Argument (Gainesville, Fla.: Gainesville SDS Press, 1 966). 112 Associated Press, Sarasota Herald Tribune November 1, 1967.
59 approved his tenure, President Reit z and Graduate School dean Linton E. Grinter overturned it, Ha rmeling to a black Orlando woman. 113 In June 1967, Reitz unilaterally dismissed Jones. 114 Unlike with Richer three years earlier, however, neither the faculty nor many members of indignation The ensuing controversy demonstrated an awakened sensitivity to matters of academic freedom on the campus, and pushed the emerging local struggle between radicals and officials into a national spotlight. Moreover, by encroaching on the fledgling extracurricular teacher student relationships under development in Gainesville, administrators only alienated radicalizing students further, many of whom qu ickly began to organize around a vicarious sense of persecution. Clearly, much had changed since the shamed silence of the Johns Committee years. controversial hearings follo wed. Local and state media outlets began to debate the broader philosophical implications of the proceedings, thus shining a light of public attention on the question of freedom of expression in higher education. Despite the publicity, however, Jones made no attempt to rein in his very conspicuous activism. Following the Memphis assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (which occurred precisely in the midst of the tenure hearings) Jones rial service. Railing 113 Recorded interview, Daniel E. Harmeling. Oral history interview with Marna Weston, February 13, 2009. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, Unive rsity of Florida. 114 Interview with Marshall B. Jones, October 1967. Unidentified interviewer. Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.).
60 University Avenue and Main Street in protest of local racism. He was arrested, along with twenty others, in what quickly escalated into a night of vandalism, riots, and the mobilization to Gainesville of the Florida National Guard. 115 appeal, and his ter mination was upheld. These events, and the appeal hearings themselves, drew nationwide attention to the growing challenges to the conservative status quo in Gainesville. The New York Times reprinted McCarthyesque statements from Reitz, including his belie 116 The disconnect between these statements and of support among students and peers served to further undermine the official position, and the situation was only exacerbated by the subsequent actions of President versity of Radicals noted that in 1959 he had joined the majority in an opinion denying college admission to a black applicant; they also repeatedly called for his re signation from the segregated Gainesville Country Club 117 the right man for the moment. As the New York Times later summarized: 115 Associated Press, St. Petersburg Times April 8, 1968. 116 New York Times April 21, 1968. 117 New York Times April 18, 1971.
61 He graduated from a segregated high school, attended the segregated University of Florida, joined a segregated fraternity, became pre sident of a segregated honor society, and graduated from a segregated law school. He practiced law in a segregated firm before all white juries in an all white judicial system and ultimately became the Chief Justice of an all white State Supreme Court. Whe n he became president of his alma mater, he moved into a white pillared, Georgian mansion provided for him on the edge of campus, joined the all white country club and settled at a school known for its white conservatism. 118 enerally to maintain order and convention, even in the face of street protests, racial inequality, and student unrest. For this, the new president stood as a key counterpoint to the dissonant culture emerging in Gainesville. If institutional leadership in bte noire experimenting with drugs, rejecting the mores of their parents, and absorbing the rhetoric of outlets like The Eye met not only with dissatisfaction, but with outright upheaval. The polarizing nature of his presidency drew counterculturalists into academ ic freedom debates with fervor, helping to young people. against Mars hall Jones. The furor surrounding the Jones case from both radical students and Following the first hearing, the chief student editor of the Florida Alligator Steve H ull, wrote an editorial denouncing the actions of both the Reitz administration and the proceedings under 118 Ibid.
62 c alled for an apology from university officials. 119 Althou gh Hull did not consider himself a editors to resign their posts in support of the administration. 120 Student Faculty Board of P ublications, suppressed publication of the piece, and demanded that Alligator editorial had been censored in the history of the university. 121 The ensuing uproar brought in to clear focus the growing unwillingness of students to bow to administration pressure. A day later, students crowded into the newsroom of the Alligator to show their support for Hull, and the editorial was circulated on the campus via the printing of 5,00 0 handbills. A highly diluted version of the article was eventually permitted in the Alligator but the damage to the administration was already wrought. State and regional newspapers reprinted earlier versions of the piece, and the New York Times recounte d the censorship fracas for a national audience. 122 Nevertheless, officials moved to keep the Alligator under a watchful installed one of the five resigning editors the administration friendly Harvey Alpert in the 123 The controversy brought academic freedom to the center of the local public discourse, but did little initially to change the climate of repression for faculty. Just a year l ater, the university dismissed three faculty members for refusing to sign an oath of loyalty to the Florida constitution still a condition of collegiate employment despite having been ruled 119 Anthony Riple New York Times April 21, 1968. 120 Associated Press, Daytona Beach Morning Journal April 19, 1968. 121 University Rep ort Vol. 2, No. 18, January 15, 1969. 122 Associated Press, Sarasota Herald Tribune April 20, 1968; Associated Press, The Tuscaloosa News April 22, 1968; New York Times April 21, 1968. 123 University Report Vol. 2 No. 21, Feburary 6, 1969.
63 ell himself still on the bench as a justice). The oath pledged support to the governments of Florida and the United States and included a vow not to have any relations with the Communist Party. 124 Despite an injunction request by the American Civil Liberties Union, the three who did not sign the oath were Department of Philosophy, was retained after eventually agreeing to sign (although on the back 125 The dismissals did nothing to improve relations between the university and the faculty. As political issue which accounts for w hy Florida has a second 126 The and considering one of the dismissed was Leroy Lamborn, a law professor on a tenure track the Association of American Law Schools produced a report on the case at its 1971 annual conference, issuing a ion toward restitution was not taken. 127 University officials took little notice. Dissonance faculty never diminished during his six years in office. After the Jones contro versy, however, it seemed clear that action taken against rebellious educators required clear transgressions on the 124 Chan ging Education Vol. 4 No. 4, Spring 1970 (Journal of the American Federation of Teachers AFL CIO), Washington, D.C. Kenneth A. Megill Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, University Archive, University of Florida. 125 Associated Press, Ocala Star Banner December 4, 1969. 126 Ibid. 127 Proceedings of the 1971 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Law Schools hools, 1971), p. 129.
64 part of the professors themselves, rather than unilateral and abrupt decisions from above. The justification for this line of thought was mi xed, however, as was demonstrated in yet another dispute of national recognition: that of education instructor and doctoral candidate Robert Benjamin Canney. Canney was a perfect example of the evolving relationship between activist faculty and their incre asingly open minded students, and accordingly represented the consummation of the fears of conservatives leery of the influence of liberal faculty. The impacts and risks associated with the social engagement of radicals like Ed Richer and Marshall Jones, a s well as quickly became a committed activist, and traveled to Ocala to participate in civil rights protests with Jones. By 1968, he was involved in labor advocacy, and from his instructor post at Brevard of Florida in 1970, h e began an intense campaign of political action, including antiwar demonstrations and advocacy for the Black Power Movement. Reflecting later, Canney would cite joining SGER as the catalyst for his intense radicalism thus proving the potential success of the student faculty social relationship. 128 upon stepping down from the podium, Canney was struck from behind by six police officers, w ho threw him to the ground and arrested him for profanity (the offending word in question 128 The Eye No. 4, October 27, 1970.
65 129 The charge was later dropped, but Canney was convicted of resisting ured Accent into withdrawing its funding for a scheduled forum in which Canney was to participate on campus. 130 disturbance of the status quo, and because cer tain officials want to make an example of me to 131 court dates brought mistrial to be declared in the case. Canney also rece ived abundant space in mainstream news political repression, to free all political prisoners and to end all oppression and exploitation of women, and black 132 National opinion magazine Mother Jones petitioned the governor of Florida to pardon Canney, insisting Amen 133 popular movement for his freedom further focused outside attention on the attrition of left leaning faculty at the university. Gainesville, once a sleepy Southern colleg e town with little 129 March 28, 1976. Robert Canney Collec tion, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 130 This plan backfired, however, and the forum went forward without Accent. With even more militantly radical views than before his arrest, Canney appeared on s tage with Junta of Militant Organization (JOMO) chairman Joe Waller, who compared Canney to nineteenth century radical abolitionist John Brown. 131 The Eye No. 4, October 27, 1970. 132 St. Petersburg Times March 26, 1976. 133 Mother Jones (San Francisco, Calif.) Vol 1 No. 3, May 1976.
66 convergence for pitched battles over activism, counterculture, and New Leftism. Retrenchment The proliferation of these controversies did no t mean, however, that moderates and right leaning faculty were complicit in the firestorm created by their radical colleagues. The struggle for legitimacy among leftist faculty was made more difficult by many peers who either chose not to rock the cultural boat in Gainesville, or who openly condemned the growing activism of their fellow professors. This divide among faculty had a long legacy. When academics began to engage with local civil rights issues, a group of business administration faculty, supporte d by Dean Linton Grinter, were known to deliberately cross their picket lines. 134 Later, when the university was integrated, many black students found that some of the greatest resistance to their arrival came from lack enrollees recalled that, while white students were black person could not do the work. [They] really did not know how to deal with them, feeling that most of the black people here on campus were admitted or were here because of some 135 Other scholars believed that r Allen M. Sievers wrote in the University Report scholarly pursuits, and that true institutional reform had to originate from students themselves. 134 Transcript, David Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p 15 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 135 Transcript, Betty Stewart Dowdell Oral history interview with AaBram Marsh, March 15, 1995 p. 7 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Col lection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
67 136 Some reactionary faculty went so far as to actively root out those students they suspected of having coun tercultural associations. One self described radical student, William Abney, recalled an incident in 1971 in which a professor in the English department passed out three page questionnaires on the first day of literature class. The survey required students to report their personal views on religion, sexuality, and politics, after which the professor took photographs of each student and filed them. Incensed at such a blatant violation of privacy, Abney stormed from the classroom, reported the professor, and instead. 137 Conservative faculty and, indeed, members of the public at large represented the presence helped to defi right of center opponents served as a focal point and organizing principle for leftists and counterculturalists. One graduate student, responding to an epithet laden diatribe against integration in the Florida Alligator in 1967, highlighted the scope of the motivation that he and his counterparts felt when listening to rigid Southern orthodoxy and traditionalism. The letter aware of the fact that this world is not free from ignorance, hate, and fear. [They make] it possible for those who love life and despise bigotry in my mind a type of moral and intellectual death to continue to struggle to improve the lot of man. Moreover, [they] serve to awaken those of us who are complacent in 136 University Report Vol. 1 No. 5, September 18, 1968. 137 Transcript, W.H. Abney Oral history interview with Dirk Drake, April 7, 1996 p. 12 Samuel Proctor O ral History Program Collection P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
68 138 Meanwhile, conservative faculty also served to legitimize the actions of the university administration, lending approval and support to officials, and aiding their resolve in maintaining demands for concessions to black student s in 1971, petitions commending the administration flooded into his office from engineering, music, and building construction faculty. The Institute Services staff sent a declaration of agreement. 139 Clearly, conservative faculty members were not willing to completely abdicate control of the public discourse to their leftist counterparts. Shifting currents While some in the university community were steadfast in their beliefs about their radical peers, many moderates were increasingly affected by proceedings like the Jones case and the outside scrutiny it attracted. After all, growing concerns about the instability of academic careers and, increasingly, institutional r eputations were not issues limited only to radical thinkers. Particularly after public debate on the matter began to grow, academic freedom became academic rights org anizations began to hover above the university, further exacerbating 1968, the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) issued a 138 Florida Alligator April 7, 1967. 139 Gainesville Sun April 24, 1971.
69 i 140 The resolution, however, did nothing to reverse the Jones decision or preserve the employment of those who had refused to sign the constitutional oath. But professional security was not the only salient issue; also at stake was the reputation of the institution itself. Many of the faculty who supported Jones were not radicals, had already gained tenure, and legitimately held concerns that the ongoing repression of professors would outside observers as news of the controversy spread. In 1968, the editorial board of the St. Petersburg Times w ot more effectively ward off challenging teachers and inquiring students if it built a wall around all of Alachua 141 The negative press increased whe microscope on Gainesville. Frustrated members of the local chapter, including David Chalmers ter an analysis, the AAUP in its December 1970 bulletin conducive to the protection of academic freedom for non tenured faculty members nor, as indicated by recent 142 The censure the strongest sanction issued by the AAUP 140 Associated Press, Sarasota Herald Tribune November 1, 1967. 141 St. Petersburg Times February 10, 1968. 142 AAUP Bulletin Vol. 56, No. 4, December 1970 (Washington, D.C.: American Association of University Professors), p. 405 422.
70 academic environment. A professor of psychiatry and pediatrics worried that it would cause the while the head of the UF chapter of AAUP agreed that the censure 143 Worse, the reprimand brought more national Wall Street Journal, for example, reminded its national readership that the Universi ty of Florida had joined a list of only twenty five schools at which the AAUP advised against employment. 144 These events left many members of the faculty and particularly the activists shaken and fearful for their own livelihoods. But unlike the silent asse nt of the Johns Committee era, faculty by the early 1970s were prepared to stand together and push back against the administration. Moreover, faculty struggling for academic freedom shared a symbolic relationship with radical students struggling for recogn ition and reform; together, they increasingly represented public dissent and the pursuit of ideals. Differences in age, background, and attitude, rather than being movem ents. In actively pursuing freedom from censorship, faculty and students were united. This unity was another manifestation of the blurred lines separating radicalism and counterculture from the mainstream. No single theme civil rights, free speech, or even Vietnam was at the center of this movement, and in some ways such an ambiguity of philosophical boundaries helped to fuel activism and the hope for broad solidarity among Homecomin 143 Associated Press, Sarasota Herald Tribune November 1, 19 67; and Associated Press, St. Petersburg Times April 21, 1971. 144 Wall Street Journal (New York, N.Y.), April 16, 1971.
71 celebrations and the circulation of underground newspapers could be found in the academic rights campaign. Movement disjointedness provided the inspiration for individuals to believe that fellow counterculturalists would rally to any number of causes, a nd gave them the latitude to James Millikan, a radical instructor from the Department of Philosophy, penned an open letter to students and faculty, imploring them to unite in the name of free thought at the university. The Eye magazine, declaring in boldface that it tendencies And that means, among r Boyer, Marshall Jones, Lee Lamborn, Bob Canney; 145 The Eye that radical professor Ken Megill was indeed next. More than any of the other facu lty dismissals, however, the Megill case demonstrated the collision of culture and politics, and the entrenched ideas of the Nixon speech. For the first time since the Johns Commi ttee collapsed, politicians initiated a campaign to directly intervene in the affairs of the university, challenging both the climate of academia and the loyalties of a university administration caught between reactionary legislators and a growing radical faction on campus. The controversy made starkly clear the political priorities of 145 Jam l etter, The Eye No. 4, October 27, 1970, p. 1.
72 university officials, and more significantly, helped to clear a path through a tangle of deeply rooted cultural barriers to unionization. Kenneth A. Megill joined the Departm ent of Philosophy in 1967, and quickly earned a reputation for being a politically engaged and socially active professor. Megill became a fixture in local civil rights and antiwar organizations, and like many of his colleagues, brought his cultural and pol blems. Among biological warfare research rchitecture students to 146 In 1969, Megill drew the alarmed attention of politicians in Tallahassee when he made a series of public speeches addressing the power structure in higher e ducation. In the talks, Megill university if we are to have a free university. We can only control our lives when the administration responds to us and is 147 Despite clarifying that he was merely referring to administrative representation, a political firestorm ensued. Almost immediately, State Senator Tom Slade, a Republican from Jacksonville, threatened legislative action against the univ ersity as well as a full government investigation of its affairs unless Megill was immediately dismissed. Concurrently, the leader of the State House of Representatives 146 Kenneth A. Megill Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 147 St. Petersburg Times February 24, 1969.
73 introduced a bill requiring that all Florida college students sign an oath promising no t to 148 Both legislators were quickly checked by government officials, who called for due process procedures with in the university to be completed before beginning any political action, but the result was a full scale crisis of autonomy for the university administration. Tigert Hall found itself caught between unacceptable threats from interventionist politicians and irksome machinations from subversive radicals. 149 As pressure to adopt an official considerable standing as an academic. His published works included numerous peer reviewed articles and a successful pre dissertation book, The New Democratic Theory In a show of support for Megill, students had voted him Outstanding Professor in the Coll ege of Arts and ever nominee for a National Foundation of the Humanities fellowship. 150 Most importantly, he had the support of his colleagues, including his n one of the ablest, most thoughtful and interestingly dedicated young men within the faculty of this university, and in terms of 148 The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Februa ry 19, 1969; and Associated Press, Daytona Beach Morning Journal February 18, 1969. 149 Associated Press, Daytona Beach Morning Journal February 16, 1969. 150 Civil Liberties Union, October 28, 1969. Kenneth A. Megill Papers, Special and Area Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida; and Kenneth A. Megill, The New Democrat ic Theory (New York: The Southern Journal of Philosophy Vol. 9, Issue 1, (Memphis, Tenn.: Wiley Blackwell, Spring 1971), p. 61 66.
74 personal probity, sobriety, and human generosity he is one of the finest men I have ever encountered in the teaching professio 151 the threat of intervention from the legislature in Tallahassee led him to prioritize the autonomy of the institution and of his administration above his political disagreements with a radical scholar. tensions with the AAUP, writing that disciplinary action against Megill would violate the dom and only draw it into further objection. 152 In his right to say them, while assuring Slade that his attempts at determin ation, writing that academia was inextricably linked to the changing culture around it, terminations in writing these comments, and clearly showed his hand when beseeching legislators to act, in 153 The negative nat ional exposure had, to an extent, taken its 151 Letter from Thomas Hanna, Chairman, Department of Philosophy, to Dean Harry H. Sisler, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, February 18, 1969. Special Collections, University Archive, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.). 152 1969. Administrative Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.) 153 Ibid.
75 subsequent actions made clear that his opinions on Megill specifically and radical faculty 154 The case went to the Board of Regents, actions as president before retire ment, urged the regents to reject this result, and in June 1973 the examiner in definitively denying Megill tenure. 155 A final flareup surrounding the Megill controver sy was the revelation, published nationally by the New York Times ion had constructed a network of administrators, police officers, public relations staff, and college deans to conduct surveillance on the movements of numerous campus en individually assigned to trail him, and that they had written reports about his speeches, classes, 154 Letter from President Florida, February 22, 1971. Kenneth A. Megill Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 155 Associated Press, The Miami News July 25, 1973.
76 and meetings. In just two years, the file had grown to thousands of pages. 156 This atmosphere of suspicion, distrust, and clandestine machinations at the un administrators in a favorable light, and for many, it hearkened back to the extralegal processes of had violated his F irst Amendment rights. 157 But such high level chicanery merely served to erode confidence further between faculty and management. Political terminations had done nothing but escalate for a decade in spite of publicity, legal challenges, and censure. For its part, the administration felt a legitimate right to control faculty it perceived as dangerous or seditious and certainly, being the controlling body of a public university, it felt considerable taxpayer pressure to maintain such vigilance. But years of pub lic debate on the importance of tenure, due process, and freedom of thought had only increased the resolve of faculty, moderates among them, to organize in defense of their rights. Regardless of whether his personal opinions on Megill coincided with those of the state ng the conflagration in Tallahassee with idealistic rhetoric about the role of the university, he returned to clean his own house in Gainesville by dismissing Megill on his own terms. The temporary contradiction, however, identified for activist faculty th particularly of a political nature, from outside actors. In a matter of months, professors and instructors had begun to absorb the message as championed by Megill for years that their rights could only be pr otected through organization and political action. Radical academics fused 156 New York Time s, December 24, 1972. 157 St. Petersburg Times November 28, 1972.
77 the realms of culture and politics by concentrating their energies toward coordinated collective bargaining. By the early 1970s, countercultural dissent among professors began to tr ansform into an organized, political push for legitimacy among educators of all types. Collective Bargaining departure of some of our best and most creative teac hers is to have a strong local organization which can bargain with the administration in order to set a contract, which will provide 158 unionization of faculty was not only as an advocate but as an example. Although his was only dynamic of his case: In the minds of many of his colleagues, it was an unsettling fact that a scho lar of his distinction could be summarily terminated as he had. While still employed at the university, Megill had worked to bring the national American Federation of Teachers (AFT) to Gainesville, and had served as its local chapter president. After the rocedure is necessary to a united teacher organization which enters into a collective bargaining agreement with the 159 Megill predicted at that 158 Letter from Kenneth Megill, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, to unknown recipient (the letter is addressed only Archive, Uni versity of Florida. 159 Associated Press, St. Petersburg Times January 22, 1971.
78 university would be available by 1972, and expressed confidence that the majority of faculty would vote in favor of it. 160 Despite this optimism, the institution of collective bargaining in Florida faced se veral considerable cultural and logistical hurdles. The most tangible of these was the nature of the or down for union representation individually, Florida required a system wide agreement encompassing nine major campuses. 161 Perhaps more problematic for faculty labor leaders, though, were the cultural barriers. Many Floridians were very much in accord with an ingrained anti union sentiment found throughout the South. David Chalmers recalls that the impulse against unions was one of least had was the anti union feeling, [which was] very, very strong in Florida. The parents of our studen ts would rather have them go to school with [black nationalist] Stokely Carmichael than 162 But a decade of social engagement, innovative pedagogy, outspoken dissent, and community activism by educators fro m outside the South had proven that a convergence of cultural forces, like colliding weather fronts, could produce dramatic changes in the local social and political climate. Faculty had helped to transform the social acceptability of student radicalism, h ad drawn the community into civil rights issues, had lent legitimacy to the antiwar movement, and had played a major role in the evolution of the university campus into a venue for social, cultural, and political debate. The time had come to bring this inf luence to bear on the security of their own standing in society, as an intellectual class with the freedom to present their 160 Ibid. 161 St. Petersburg Times Mar 24, 1975. 162 Transcript, David Cha lmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p. 12 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
79 convictions without fear of unreasonable retribution. As the New York Times lleagues at the university seem willing to join faculty unions, the broad issue of freedom of speech in academic freedom has become a matter of wide 163 Despite the Times aided by worsening everyday employment conditions for faculty across the state. Pay stagnation and budget threats from Tallahassee exacerbated these worries. Law professor David Smith told reporters in 1975 that mismanagement of university faculty relations had rapidly eroded anti campaigning has to be done. This is politicizing some people who otherwise would say a union 164 Informal statistics seemed to s upport this conclusion. In May 1972, the state branch of the American Federation of Teachers sent a questionnaire to University College teachers, which revealed that 88 percent of the faculty polled believed they had not been duly included in academic deci sion making processes, while 81 percent thought that the university university is impaired by such blows to the morale of educators who are ultimately responsib le 165 expected, but the wake of uncertainty generated by his dismissal had an indelible effect. In 1975, academics statewide voted i n favor of representation by the United Faculty of Florida (UFF) for 163 New York Time s, December 24, 1972. 164 St. Petersburg Times March 24, 1975. 165 Letter from Norman M. Markel, President, Florida Universities Local 1880, American Federation of Teachers AFL George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.).
80 d 166 Much had changed in the fifteen years since the reign of the union ethos, but had been vigorously aided by missteps and overreach from man agement itself. The faculty in Florida, and insulated due process from the whims of political actors (including the state appointed university president) in the coming decades. Years of conflict over the right to nonconformity had brought about a sea ensured that Gainesville would remain a venue for outspoken dissent. One longtime radical resident reflected in 1 167 local chapter and the administration of new university president Robert Q. Marston, and several of the dismissed professors received financial compensation. Kenneth Megill continued his union activism, leading the United Faculty of Florida until 1983. Marshall Jones, meanwhile, received an appointment at Pennsylvania State University, quickly rising to the rank of department chair. ment, and in 1970 completed his dissertation on early activism at the University of Florida with the telling 166 Associated Press, Ocala Star Banner March 5, 1976. 167 Transcript, W.H. Abney Oral history interview with Dirk Drake, April 7, 1996 p. 17 18 Samuel Proc tor O ral History Program Collection P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
81 title Berkeley of the South 168 purchase $6,000 worth of books about academic free dom and race tolerance, which were 169 168 University Report Vol. 2 No. 21, February 6, 1969; and outh: A History of the Student Movement at the Universrty of Florida, 1963 169 The Independent Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Fla.), January 6, 1975; and Linda Wis The Independent Florida Alligator June 2, 1975.
82 CHAPTER 6 BREAKAWAY INSTITUTIO NS AND FREE UNIVERSI TIES In 1967, California psychiatrist Robert S. Berns wrote in a peer reviewed academic journal that the explosive issues supposedly central to student unrest exemplified by the Berkeley Free Speech Movement problematic relationship with the structu re and personnel of higher education in the United appropriate communication among and between administrative officers, faculty members, and students on large 170 ified a complex array of youth motivations, but his was an accurate one. Across the nation, power relationships between students and universities were c entral to the process of movement acculturation and politicization, and Gainesville was no and its rocky recent history with matters of civil rights strations. The seemingly faceless institution represented structure, establishment, and status quo, and provided a physical, convenient space in which students could feel engaged. The history of the 1960s abounds with ambitious national movements failing f or want of cohesiveness; but in local contexts, where individuals could be known, heard, and understood by their peers and could see tangible changes resulting from their activism the feeling of futility that marked attempts at large scale political change s was diluted. In short, the university as an institution, although producing 170 American Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 123, No. 9 (Arlingto n, Virg.: American Psychiatric Association), March 1967, p. 1165.
83 legitimate grievances, provided a surrogate focal point for a broader cultural disquiet among students, while the community surrounding the institution provided a relatively safe setting in which to express it. Nevertheless, to the extent that the university served as a proxy for larger concerns, the f legitimate authority led to increasing frustration with the most discernible one in their lives the university administration. Thus students began to interpret the university as not merely a venue for the cultural change occurring around them, but centra l to it. As officials pushed back at these changes, understandably attempting to reassert control over their campuses and restore the influence they had long enjoyed, they inadvertently produced only a regressive and power hungry image, delegitimizing them selves further in the eyes of many radicalizing students. This was the primary result of the communication breakdown campus civil rights demonstrations blatant censorship of politically dissident faculty many of whom served as mentor figures for counterculturalists in Gainesville over the ver y purpose of higher education in the United States. This marriage of cultural and ideological change culminated, by the late 1960s, in a frank public discussion about the natures of freedom, authority, and educational structure. From the editorial pages of major newspapers to the columns of fiery New Left leaflets, publications began to weigh in on matters of academic freedom and responsibility, and even university f the College of Arts and Sciences Harry H. Sisler, for example, contributed his thoughts on the
84 importance of academic freedom to the inaugural edition of the independent newspaper University Report in 1968, writing that never before in his lifetime had t when the general public was as concerned as now with the policy of institutions of higher education. The interest of citizens in such matters as academic freedom, tenure, student rights, faculty rights, and the governance of univers ities is without parallel in the history of higher 171 Inextricably linked to these themes was the question of the role and legitimacy of the university itself, especially as national narratives on politics, civil rights, counterculture, and war e volved. their adult mentors. Addressing the Florida Philosophical Association in 1968, philosophy the antics and ethical, social, and political matters. That is, many young people, though still a small percentage of them, no longer seem awed by the values or acti 172 To Elliott, this was a healthy inquisitiveness which could result in positive social and cultural question the militar y and industrial domination of most aspects of contemporary life. They question how a university can be a seat of learning and still encourage the recruiting and training of personnel in the techniques of biological and atomic annihilation. They have disco vered, first hand, that the police and the courts all too often serve to maintain the authority of those 171 University Report Vol. 1 No. 1, July 17, 1968. University Archive, George A. Smathers Libraries, Univers ity of Florida. 172 University Report Vol 1. No. 12, excerpted from address given to the Florida Philosophical Association, Sarasota, Fla., November 2, 1968. Sp ecial and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.).
85 individuals who hold power within the community, even when their support of these individuals 173 Studen frustrations with that they perceived as its hypocrisies, were quickly integrated into their emerging penchant for cultural rebellion. In the mid 1960s, this remained lawful, co nscientious rebellion, and the result was thus a measured, reasonable attempt at academic experimentation. The rise of educational projects independent of the university represented a natural outgrowth of the youth impulse for separation and cultural refor m during the period, and was strengthened by similar developments nationwide. With the Free Speech Movement not yet fully subsumed into a broader youth ideology, and with academic rights and university reform still a central narrative in the minds of many young activists, the creation of so ideological step, allowing students to declare independence from the existing tensions of the formal university and create a new system imbued with their idealistic ideas and goal s. On a more personal level, many students wanted to fight against the in loco parentis policies which dictated many aspects of their social lives. In Gainesville, the roots of free university experiments lay in the 1965 founding of the Freedom Party, a sp Student Government. Members of the local civil rights movement, particularly the Student Group for Equal Rights, correctly perceived the powers invested in Student Government long a po litical networking tool controlled almost exclusively by ambitious fraternity men as a key means toward university reform. Election to Student Government meant control over funds, streamlined access to university administrators, and the power to adopt reso lutions on behalf of the student body. In time for the February 1965 Student Government elections, the Freedom 173 Ibid
86 Party organized a comprehensive and integrated slate of candidates for more than twenty student offices, with radical student Jim Harmeling as it s presidential nominee and Ed Richer as supported status quo, calling for the elimination of compulsory ROTC for all male students, the removal of administrative veto power over campus speakers, an 174 focus on issues outside the traditional discussions of campus safety and social activities. The election results sharply rebuked the party: Harmeling finished in third place in the presidential polling, and only one of the 23 Freedom candidates won office. 175 The following year, Freedom presidential candidate Alan Levin performed even worse, receiving only 187 of 8,500 total votes cast. 176 By 1967, the party had disbanded. The Freedom Party, however, was significant not for its vote tallies, but for its cultural impact on the tradition of dissent in Gainesville. Civil rights activists like Harmeling and R icher were not only seeking to influence Student Government; rather, they saw the organization effort Freedom Party represented an early example of the collision of cultural and political concerns within the institutional setting of the university. As historian Gregg Michel writes, a primary desire to attract more students to prog ressive causes. They were convinced that raising university related concerns would motivate many previously inactive students to speak out, and 177 174 Free Student (New York, N.Y.) No.5, 1965. 175 Michel, Struggle For A Better South 97. 176 Editori Miami News February 16, 1966. 177 Michel, Struggle For A Better South 96.
87 enge to the apolitical status quo on campus was the first salvo in what would grow into a volley of localized rebellions. ssons of organization, messaging, and ideology to its members. It also served as a catalyst for cultural changes on the campus, and its example demonstrated to students who were frustrated with the establishment but not yet radicalized (or willing to join rebellious youth movements) that change was possible. Inspired by the Freedom reform finally toppled the decades old Greek stranglehold on the Student Government i n the 1967 election. 178 The Freedom Party served as an ideological precursor to at least three independent burgeoning youth movements from which they were created, and la rgely reflected the evolving ethos and confidence of the nonconformist community. As such, the earliest examples were well intentioned attempts to expand the public discourse on social issues. As politics and culture collided in the latter part of the deca de, however, militancy and radicalism became central to the dedicated to fulfilling the lost educational purpose of mainstream higher education, in reality transfer of knowledge from one mind to another than the formal gathering of already knowledgeable radicals for discussion and debate. Thus, the projects were largely ineffectual for cultural and political proselytizing, but served an effective organizational purpose. 178 Ibid
88 The first and perhaps best coordinated experimental college was founded after the termination of Ed Richer. Activist faculty both from the university and from city high schools joined with students from the Freedom Party (as well as other local civil rights figures) to officially incorporate the Free University of Flo rida as a legal non profit organization. The group named Richer as its chancellor and elected a board of trustees, although this was comprised of individuals drawn from the same limited pool of faculty. Tuition was set at $1 per course, per week. That the organization was born out of frustration with the lethargic process of social the university as an American social institution is not as free as it might be, then not until the advantages of a free university are made sharply visible will students, faculty, and administration 179 Despite being almost entirely comprised of leftists, the Free University was al so the most conceptually nonpartisan of the renegade institutions set up in Gainesville clearly a reflection of the still nonmilitant period of its inauguration. FUF founders hoped to infuse the organization with the egalitarian ideals of their civil right s activism, and consciously incorporated principles of open mindedness into its right, middle, left, are all welcome as teachers and students. That is what FRE E means, and that 180 This University of New York, which deliberately promulgated id eas of Marxism. For a brief time, the Free University of Florida injected a level of excitement into the socially active hopes of its participants, creating a sense that real change was possible in the 179 Students for a Democratic Society Bulletin Vol. 4 No. 2 (Chicago, Ill.: Students for a Democrati c Society, 1965). 180 Free Student (New York, N.Y.) No.5, 1965.
89 community. Focusing primarily on civil rights, FUF cou rses provided an ideal setting to draw together radical students and faculty, and to clarify their ideologies and strategy. Fletcher Baldwin, a prominent professor both in the UF law school and the Free University, remembers the progressive atmosphere of t terms of who saw so many sandals and long robes and long hair in my life, but they were very delightful 181 The excitement of Baldwin and others, however, belied the logistical and ideological difficulties the Free University actually faced. Despite ambitious, unrealistic dreams for the coming years including an FCC licensed educational radio station, a printing press, a theater, and an art studio the Free University was doomed almost from its inception, regularly facing political opposition from conservatives and outright hostility from the community at large. Richer, in particular, became a divisive figure following his public dismissal from the University of Florida. As he ventured to find a permanent venue for his renegade organization, local landlords refused to rent him classroom space, and hotels denied the use of their facilities for registration events. Gainesville mayor James G. Richardson soon told Richer that nothing 182 FUF was 181 Transcript, Fletcher Baldwin Oral history interview with Denise Stobbie May 9, 1989 p. 18 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yong e Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 182 Students for a Democratic Society Bulletin Vol. 4 No. 2 (Chicago, Ill.: Students for a Democratic Society, 1965).
90 Over the course of a year, t his situation became increasingly demoralizing, until practical concerns and internal divisions finally broke the organization apart in 1966. The experiment, however, had given the local movement critical experience in activism and organization, and helpe problems. The experience imparted the realization that that breaking away into a powerless splinter group actually made preserving the traditional order easier for the local establishment. A s Marshall Jones, one of the first FUF participants to express skepticism over its future, elsewhere and do better. Higher education in America would continue a s it was and more easily, 183 Concurrently with the collapse of the Free University of Florida, and perhaps having observed its mistakes, a small number of campus counterculturalists founded an organization driven by a completely opposite strategy: an exclusively student run, volunteer group conducting relatively informal classes with the purpose of spreading nonconformist ideals and discussing the blossoming hippie culture that, as yet, had not taken hold in Gainesville. The organization was christened the U of F Annex, and the three structure and dents and teachers will be freed from irrelevancies such as grades, arbitrary schedules, predetermined curricula, 183 Jeffrey A. Turner, Sitting In and Speaking Out : Student Movements in the American South, 1960 1970 (Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2010), 160.
91 184 willingness to fuse their growing political concern s with their desire to reform the culture around started whenever a group of students expresses an interest in some question or related questions and of success. The effort soon disbanded. 185 The failures of both of these educational projects discouraged the creation of any new experiments for several years, an intellectual exercise in radicalism. However, the cultural changes that took place in Gainesville after 1966 (along with the fading legacy of the previous two failures) eventually gave a new genera tion of young activists the confidence to make another attempt at organizing an off campus educational institution. Founded by four students in early 1969, the Florida Experimental College (FEC) ostensibly aimed to guide public discourse on academia while maintaining a reasonable air of moderation a clear attempt to avoid the discrediting public scorn that befell its process and the elimination of bureaucracy and structure therein. Classes were to be guided escalating debate over higher education in the community. In this way, the FEC occupied a middle ground, conceptu ally at least, between the education centered Free University of Florida 184 The Crocodile Vol. 1 No. 3, May 18, 1966. Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smat hers Libraries, University of Florida. 185 Ibid
9 2 and the freewheeling disarray of the U of F Annex. The chairman of the FEC, graduate student 186 hen authoritarian, overly directive, or subtly coercive teaching methods are used. The Experimental College wishes 187 This rhetoric, so different from the increasingly radical writings of New Leftists on campus, drew opportunistic attention and praise from both university officials and statewide media. For administrators and community leaders, the tolerant nature of the Experimental College was a convenient example of an organization which could be of interest to modern, open minded students, but which was not poisoned by the machinations of ambitious and agitating outside radicals. The result was a sudden and unprecedented bestowal of public legitimacy to the enterprise. The editorial board of the St. Petersburg Times for example, experimental college has not raised red flags of revolution or black flags of anarchy over the 188 Soon the University of Florida undergraduate catalog featured an official listing for the Experimental College, which represented an affirmat ion of legitimacy that FUF or the U of F Annex certainly never enjoyed. The catalog entry, next to a photograph of a female student wearing a hippie like chain of flowers in her hair (and preceding an entry on the Peace Corps), described the casual 186 St. Petersburg Times January 13, 1969. 187 The Eye No. 4, October 27, 1970. 188 St. Petersburg Times January 14, 1969.
93 process of organizing courses, in which students met at the beginning of every quarter to 189 The organization established itself further by sending a representat ive to participate in a symposium on student educational engagement at the Southeastern Psychological 190 Despite these overtures to reasonableness and the positive publicity it produced, in practice the Florida Experimental Coll ege was scarcely different from its radical forebears. Its chartered publication, The Hogtown Orifice was just as subversive and militant as its counterparts The Eye and The Crocodile re cooker not exist on the University of 191 ts 1970 f all course listing gives a clear picture of the collision of political idealism, splintered New Left militancy, coalescing countercultural ideas, and wayward energies that had come together as the Gainesville movement. These courses, held for two hours weekly 189 Florid a Handbook : The University Record Vol. LXVI, Series 1, No. 7, July 1, 1971 (Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida Administrati on). Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 190 Psychological Association, April 24 26, 1970, Louisv ille, Kent., published in Norman B. Anderson, PhD, ed., American Psychologist Vol. 25, Issue 9 (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, September 1970), p. 864. 191 R Hogtown Orifice Vol. 1 Hogtown Orifice Vol. 1 No. 3, January 29, 1970. Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
94 ; and, perhaps 192 The eclecticism of these sessions notwithstanding and in common with its ill fated forerunners the FEC lasted only several brief terms. The short lives of these educational projects are indicative of the myriad frustrated energies young people expended in pursuit of their evolving ideals. As underground presses, co ops, and other grassroots enterprises have shown, young people were willing to challenge the status quo but faced practical limitations in their abilities to realistically do so. Experimental colleges were founded with mainstream universities in mind as proxies for establishment and structure, but the conceptual impotence of loosely organized breakaway schools soon exposed the real defici encies in substituting the tribulations of Tigert Hall for those of Capitol Hill. To reform higher education was not, in reality, to revolutionize American society, just as the circulation of independent periodicals proved ineffective at challenging domina nt corporate news outlets. Free universities thus took their historical place among countless frustrated youth experiments, in which the well intentioned desire to enact social change washed upstream against the overwhelming currents of pragmatism and publ ic opinion. Experiments with educational secession also reflected the same impulse toward communitarianism that produced the off campus co Questioning the purpose of the university as an institution in modern life did no t symbolize doubt about the usefulness of education itself, but rather with the established university as many students perceived it: a bureaucratic machine run by political appointees, maintaining in loco parentis and involved in war research. Docile ins titutional rebellions, from the Freedom Party to 192 Published announcement The Eye No. 4, October 27, 1970.
95 the Florida Experimental College, all shared the common goal of seeking to restore relevance to failures only fru strated young people further, highlighting the practical limitations of both manifestations of the same frustration growing nationwide throughout the decade turn ed culture into politics, SDS into Weatherman, reform into rebellion, and radicalism into militancy.
96 CHAPTER 7 RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIO NS AND SPACES On a gray March afternoon in 1967, avowedly radical professor Kenneth Megill stood up before a c ongregation at the Episcopal Student Center near campus and delivered a speech mistake of turning man you and me into an abstraction, into a transcendent being a p lace which should be reserved for God and has demanded that the Christian withdraw from the sions to Karl Marx and ust sleep in at Tigert when it becomes necessary, and he Christian is in the world and because he is part of the Christian community, he cares as Jesus cared 193 During the immediate postwar period, the United States was an increasingly churchgoing society, especially in the South. A study of eight major Protestant denominations has revealed that between 1950 and 1960, church membership grew fas ter than the national population, and in Southern churches continued to grow until 1975. 194 Gainesville was therefore an overwhelmingly religious community, with considerable representation by major Christian denominations, Jewish temples, and by the 1970s, congregations dedicated to liberal Western theology and Eastern 193 Kenneth A. Megill Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smat hers Libraries, University of Florida. 194 Hugh McLeod, The Religious Crisis of the 1960s (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), 208.
97 spaces where members of the community could come together to meet and socialize. Later, this wo uld prove useful in overcoming the logistical challenges inherent to organizing nonconformist cultural and political radicals into a cohesive movement. in the matrix drove the ideals of many activists and the resolve of many conservatives, and was used as an too easy characterizatio n of religious 195 In cultural battles. Religious figures like Father Michael Gannon, R everend John Talbird, Preacher Ulysses Gordon, and Reverend Thomas A. Wright held influential public positions, while religiously affiliated civic spaces across the city provided regular venues for debate, dissent, and discussion. Religion and radicalism, however, were not inevitable bedfellows in early 1960s. In fact, the fusion of theological influences with the counterculture largely owed its existence to a blending of the political and the spiritual by the civil rights movement in the postwar period. Indeed, scholars have analyzed the religious and theological aspects of the nationwide civil rights struggle and its leaders for nearly five decades. As Lints argues, civil on by its retrieval of traditional Christian themes of the dignity of all human persons and the yearning for 196 On a more practical level, churches were central meeting points where large numbers of African Americans could spend time with others who 195 Richard Lints, Progressive and Conservative Ideologies: The Tumultuous Decade of the 1960s (Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate Pub lishing, 2010), 32. 196 Lints, Progressive and Conservative Ideologies 33.
98 haven from the racist hierarchy of the public commons, and a place where important friendships and alliances could be formed. Charles Moore, who grew up in Alachua County, recalls the discipline with which his community unfailingly attended church and Sunday school each week. afternoon together : playing sports; cooking and eating; talking; and sharing time and ideas. As did in our 197 This pleasurable socializing provided a readymade structure for later civil rights organizing, as when the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights joined black civil rights leaders in rican American churches. But allying with begun locally as early as 1948. In that year, a group of affiliates from African American churches in the community formed t local church establishment to involve the public in voter registrations, meetings, and civil rights efforts. 198 Later, when the threat of backlash from militant segregationists made public civi l rights meetings unsafe, black churches northeastern side served as safe venues for both black and white activists to organize. 199 rior to the 1960s, soon their influence began to percolate into other Gainesville institutions and causes, a change which drew in increasing numbers of young white radicals. Activists soon applied the 197 Charles Moore, recorded interview with Michael Falcone, November 23, 2010. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 198 Tra nscript, Savannah Williams Oral history interview with Joel Buchanan January 24, 1984, p. 10 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 199 Transcript, Jean Chalmers. Oral history intervie w with Stuart Landers, April 22, 1991, p. 10 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
99 lessons of black church organizing to bring their socia l messages to white congregations. At first this was a difficult task, given the prevailing conservatism of white churchgoers during the period. David Chalmers recalls employing strategic protests to highlight what he considered to be the hypocrisy of memb ers of the St. Augustine Catholic Church, who would attend Sunday mass until noon and then stream en masse to the segregated College Inn restaurant next door: ring the Student Group for Equal Rights picketing outside. 200 Young students like Robert Canney and faculty like Ed Richer witnessed this firsthand, increasing the rebellious sentiment among early white radicals. Later, the institutions themselves began to c hange, as when the same Catholic parish, under Michael Gannon, opened the use of its facilities to SGER as a logistical headquarters for protest activities. Although many mainstream denominations were slow to liberalize, certain white religious organizati ons had long worked for progressivism and civil rights in the community. In the Episcopal Canterbury House, the Baptist Student Union, and the Methodist Gainesville We sley students now banned because of race will show the nation and the world that Florida answered reasonable start toward full 201 This rhetoric exemplified the central role church organizations played in exhibiting initiative and action in an atmosphere of conservatism and racial orthodoxy, as well as hat role and its implications. Churches were, in many cases, consciously at the vanguard of local social reform. 200 Transcript, David Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p. 15 Samue l Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 201 Associated Press, Ocala Star Banner July 24, 1955.
100 Eventually, relations between predominantly white and black religious institutions improved sufficiently that productive interracial protest st rategies began to emerge. In 1963, the Gainesville Ministerial Association of white churches opened its membership to black ministers, and publicly called for an end to segregation. It was a promising development, albeit a substantially delayed one, even b had long since formed an interracial desegregation council, while similar black and white ministerial groups in several coastal cities had merged and integrated in 1956. 202 The impetus for SGER ex tending their demonstrations to Jim Crow hotbeds like Ocala and St. Augustine, Pinkston, Sr. His efforts in placing what then Religion professor Austin Creel cal led a regional action with his students. 203 It was a decision which would prove critical to the social engagement of participating students, as legitimate civil rights in volvement was one of the driving forces behind the development of radicalism in a local context. The liberalization and politicization of clergy went hand in hand with an increase of clerical participation in social and political causes. Increasingly, rel igious spaces opened their doors to radical and countercultural student organizations, welcoming debate and promoting ideological exploration. This development was aided by the logistical advantages enjoyed by nd most rooted focal points, many ecclesiastical thoroughfares. In a single six block stretch of West University Avenue, for example, houses of 202 Helen L. Jacobstein, The Segregation F actor in the Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Primary of 1956 University of Florida Social Sciences Monographs, No. 47 (Gainesville, Fla: University of Florida Press, 1972), 11; and T ranscript, David Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, J une 2, 1992, p. 16 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 203 Transcript, Austin Creel. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, August 27, 1992, p. 24 Samuel Proctor Oral History Pr ogram Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
101 worship from Cath olic, Jewish, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, and Episcopalian denominations all overlooked the campus. Such ideal placement, along with growing ministerial engagement with youth culture, provided a plentitude of optimal venues for political an d cultural activities. events, and organizations to receive offi cial institutional recognition and recruit a faculty sponsor before receiving an allocation of campus space. This had the desirable effect of preventing use of campus resources by militant groups like the Ku Klux Klan, but also enabled administrators to de ny venues to organizations with which they disagreed, such as Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the Southern Student Organizing Committee (SSOC). Moving activities off campus and away from the watchful eyes of administrators liberated students fr om intellectual restriction and encouraged a blossoming culture of dissent. For their part, many leaders of religious institutions warmly welcomed organized radicals into their facilities. Episcopal, Presbyterian, and African American Baptist churches, for example, hosted the Human Relations Council and the Gainesville Women for Equal Rights, while the Free University of Florida, unable to find accommodations due to the radical reputation of Ed Richer, found a welcoming venue in the Methodist Student Center 204 Meanwhile, the Jewish Hillel facility provided space for cultural talks and political debates, and hosted Student Group for Equal Rights meetings. 205 204 Transcript, Jean Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, April 22, 1991, p. 10 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida Hi story, University of Florida ; and Transcript, Fletcher Baldwin Oral history interview with Denise Stobbie May 9, 1989 p. 19 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 205 Transcript, Aust in Creel. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, August 27, 1992, p. 18 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
102 But beyond their also active participants in the cultural activism and politicization of the community. Local religious leaders enthusiastically contributed to the public discourse on matters of war, race, education, and activism, and brought their unique perspectives on spirituality and morality to bear on contemporary issues. They also combined their social engagement with establishment gravitas. In common with academics like Manning J. Dauer, church leaders provided legitimacy to a range of causes via the esteem of their denominations and the respect even among nonbelievers of their profession. When the Gainesville Committee of 71 was launched, the immediate participation of Catholic Father Michael G annon, First Baptist Church pastor Fred T. Laughon, Episcopal priest Earle C. Page, and others, provided the committee a stature inconceivable to other antiwar groups however well established run by radicals. 206 In yet another symptom of the contradictory be lief system held by an ill defined radical movement, young counterculturalists welcomed religious leaders and invited them to participate indicates that to y oung people, status as an establishment figure was less a repulsion than common cultural and political convictions was an endearment. Although ostensibly reviling the status quo, countercultural students demonstrated no discomfort in holding their meetings under the roofs of religious houses, or in working closely with ecclesiastical leaders. On the contrary, stances. When students founded the Florida Experimental Col lege, their primary assistants were Dan Beardsley, minister of the United Church of Christ (on leave from Yale Divinity School); John Talmage, Presbyterian pastor; and the Unitarian Reverend Henry Gooch. 207 And when 206 Gainesville Sun April 17, 1971. 207 St. Petersburg Times January 13, 1969.
103 shocked local youths gathered to memoriali ze the fallen students of Kent State University, it was Father Michael Gannon, Reverend Robert Smith, and Rabbi Michael Monson who led the vigil. 208 In some cases, the changing scope of religion in society transformed the nature and scope of religious insti Christianity engage with the social and political problems of the day, a group of religious people ed in forming a liberal Protestant church. In 1964 they placed an advertisement in the Florida Alligator group that responded formally organized into the United Churc h of Gainesville. In a period in premise of universal equality under God represented a consciously progressive break from entrenched local orthodoxies. 209 In 1966 th religious heritage yet Presbyterian Student Center, which gladly permitted the use of its space while the organizat ion searched for a permanent home. 210 (In a similar display of religious solidarity, the Seventh Day Adventist Church allowed the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship to use its building for services for five years, from 1963 to 1967, until it could find perman ent headquarters). Given the liberal 208 Florida Alligator May 7, 1970. 209 Gainesville Sun Apr il 9, 2005. 210 Florida Alligator May 5, 1967.
104 theologies of these new groups, it was clear that the overarchingly conservative religious ethos of the previous decade was losing its hegemony. Youth Spirituality For young people, personal theological exploration was increasingly becoming an acceptable and commonplace pursuit, resulting in a spirited change to the public discourse. While many moderate students viewed their faith as independent of political or cultural matters, radicals rly stages sought to use theological ideas as a way of making sense of their countercultural impulses. As it had for millennia, religion and spirituality helped to provide a framework for understanding the changing world order and for coping with and comba ting the ills of society. Students also sought to find theological angles to their new cultural notions, in order to buttress their political arguments and support their um for this spiritual expansion, and soon swelled with counterculturalists influenced by the broadening worldviews of the music and media they consumed. In one incident, religion professor Austin Creel recalls the divided reactions among students when he d irected his class into a conversation comparing the Hindu caste system to the social code of the American South. Some moderate and conservative students, sensing a challenge to the moral structure in which they had been raised, responded with clear resentm ent. But the idea gave others pause, as they pondered and excited. They agreed long before they came to that class that they were glad to have more ammunition. So 211 211 Transcript, Austi n Creel. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, August 27, 1992, p. 15 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
105 These ideas soon spread outside the church gates and temple doors, and into the spiritual explorations at the center of the burgeoning counterculture. Hippies formed the vanguard of this change, as they absorbed messa ges of open mindedness, awareness, and wisdom from increasingly avant garde mainstream artists like The Beatles. Interpretations of Hinduism and Eastern mysticism fueled in part by the upsurge in consciousness expanding drugs were ostensibly integral to Hi ppie culture, but in most cases the most critical spiritual change wrought by pop and rock music was in its popular engagement with political, philosophical, and social subject matters. What had been corporation driven pop a decade earlier suddenly flowere d into a worldwide forum for cultural and political ideas, which legitimized an ethos of contemplative cultural and spiritual engagement among young people. The student newspaper University Report ture drove social philosophy 212 theological awareness beyon d the borders of the Hippie movement. Religious thought appealed to rebellious counterculturalists in this period partly because the introduction of Eastern and alternative theological ideas challenged the Christian orthodoxy that seemed to surround and up hold the American capitalist establishment. Debate over fundamental religious meaning seemed to be as legitimate in questioning the status quo as any other form of youth dissent. For this reason, spiritual matters became natural counterparts to antiwar pro tests or Free Speech 212 University Report July 31, 1968. University Archives, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
106 the purposes of promoting radicalism and nonconfor mity. 213 In some cases, however, these ideas (combined with vague notions of theological awareness) devolved into more outlandish attempts creation of a new way of li unconventional mission of the People, the Methodist chapel near campus proved its tolerance by allowing the use of its facility for the meeting. 214 As young people grappled with these fundamental concerns, some spiritual establishments took matters of local debate and activism into their own hands. The Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, for exam calenda r of topical presentations on salient social and cultural issues, ranging from talks by ingfield. 215 Meanwhile, the Gainesville Society of Friends, or Quakers, brought its centuries old doctrine of pacifism to activities ranged from congregation discussio ns to joining with the Student Peace Union to sponsor a speech on conscientious objection. 216 213 The Eye October 27, 1970; and Dale Coberly, University Report Vol. 1 No. 3, May 18, 1966, University Archive, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 214 The Eye January 5, 1971. Un iversity Archives, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. 215 Meeting program and event calendar, October 20, 1968, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville. Kenneth A. Megill Papers, Special and A rea Studies Collections, University Archive, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.). 216 Associated Press, St. Petersburg Times March 29, 1968.
107 In fact, the Society of Friends had long maintained a rich agenda of local social activism. Upon moving to Gainesville, activists David and Jean Chalmers were impr essed by the theology, 217 By 1967, the Friends and their associates were more active than many student pacifists in organizing day peace vigil, drawing an estimated 400 people to their meetinghouse near campus. The event, comprising discussions, meditation, lectures, and an early iteration of guerilla theater (which would later become pop ular among activist radicals), drew overwhelming praise from the Florida Alligator which noted that the Quakers were ahead of their youth counterparts as the Democratic Socie ty and anyone else who cared to learn how to conduct a peace vigil last 218 Religious Traditionalism While pacifist groups like the Quakers as well as mainstream ones like the Catholic Student Center provide d energy and resources to the antiwar movement (and to student activities in general), religion also provided a considerable local center of gravity for establishment conservatism. Most notably, the First Presbyterian Church of Gainesville served as a trad itionalist counterpoint to the progressive changes occurring on campus, and supplied an organizational and social center for community elites. University officials, city leaders, and politicians flocked to its venerable, white columned church building down town, which served not only as a place of ideological and spiritual support, but also as a key networking venue. Conservative Presbyterians occupied many of the key posts in the city government and the 217 Transcript, Jean Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers April 22, 1991, p. 7 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 218 Florida Alligator May 9, 1967.
108 university administration, and through the decades con structed an unspoken network of mutual support and implicit political cooperation. David Chalmers drolly summarizes how the Presbyterian establishment habitually closed ranks around its own: All of the university and much of the community elites belonged to First Presbyterian. Just about all of the university upper administrators were Presbyterians. It was not that we set out to hire Presbyterians; we set out to hire moral men, and they turned out to be Presbyterian. We did have one Baptist vice president, and the stories were that he played the piano and played things other than hymns, that the glass of liquid on the piano was not absolutely transparent. So we dealt him off to be the president of Auburn and replaced him with a Presbyterian. 219 The driving f preacher Ulysses S. Gordon, who led the church from 1928 to 1969 and continued his association thereafter as Pastor Emeritus until his death in 1976. A native of Panola County, Mississi ppi, Gordon was steeped in the segregationist paradigm of the Deep South, despite his 220 David 221 Upset by the integration process, Gordon predicted the 222 219 Transcript, David Chalmers. Oral history interv iew with Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p. 16 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 220 Transcript, Ulysses Short Gordon. Oral history interview with Dr. Samuel Proctor, July 10, 1973, p 18, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 221 Transcript, David Chalmers. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p. 16 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collectio n, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 222 Transcript, Ulysses Short Gordon. Oral history interview with Dr. Samuel Proctor, July 10, 1973, p. 30, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History University of Florida.
109 longtime congressman Don Fuqua and a number of university deans and presidents. Despite his insistence that he never brought politics into church life, Gordon was a clo se, personal supporter recognized excerpts from his own sermons in Lawton Chil 223 the Florida Blue Key. Thus, while he may have made efforts to avoid direct political advocacy from the pulpit, Gordon was certai nly involved with the crme of local and regional politics. On campus, Gordon had unparalleled access to University of Florida officials, even among those belonging to other denominations. The family of President John Tigert attended First Presbyterian, Pr though Catholic, played handball with Gordon when he was an undergraduate. From the earliest stages Gordon recognized the importance of the university as a political locus, and ov er the community was the teat that [citizens] had to suckle. The university people meant a vast amount own in my church were from the 224 Indeed, the preacher was awarded an honorary degree from the university, and after his death, Dean of Student Affairs Lester Hale wrote an effusive and sentimental 249 page biography entitled Preacher Gordon, A Mischievous Saint: The Christian Charisma of a Man Called Preacher 225 223 Ibid p. 15 and 26. 224 Ibid p. 18. 225 Lester L. Hale, with Perry A. Foote, Jr., Preacher Gordon, A Mischievous Saint: The Christian Charisma of a Man Called Preacher (Gainesville, Fla.: L. Hale, 1982).
110 The close association of local elites in a religious setting provided moral support for the law and order traditionalism of student dissenters and faculty activists, found weekly reinforcement and soothing assent from like minded community elders and their families, and used the church setting to fortify their struggles spiritually. Of course, this religious partisanship only served to deepen local schisms, integration incident lanned to hold an academic conference on campus in the late 1950s brings this into sharp relief. One of the conference attendees, a black scholar of Caribbean origin, unknowingly caused a stir when conference organizers realized that he would be unable to Crow edicts. The Presbyterian Student Center, which like its neighboring religious youth quickly stepped in and offer ed to arrange lodgings in its building. When word passed to First Presbyterian, however, the downtown congregation expressed clear displeasure at the renegade actions of the troublesome campus branch. Gordon quickly made it known that no accommodations wer e to be made for black scholars at a Gainesville Presbyterian establishment. 226 Conflicts such as this highlighted both the parallels and the growing divisions between local activists and community leaders. Both groups found comforting ideological havens beh ind the doors of religious houses, used the legitimacy and cultural capital of their religious organizations to fortify their convictions, and applied faith toward the construction of a society based on their respective ideals. But their primary divergence was in the nature of those ideals. 226 Transcript, David Chalme rs. Oral history interview with Stuart Landers, June 2, 1992, p. 16 Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
111 Historian James Farrell has written that twentieth century American radicalism was influenced by European Christian personalism, which fused the quest for personal wholeness with theistic notions of fellowship and servi dimensions of human personhood [and] deeply rooted in religion, personalism considered Christianity into contemporary 227 Similarly, Douglas Rossinow places theological discussions of morality, brotherhood, and social responsibility helped to fuse the idea of s alvation with notions of personal validation. 228 The deeply ingrained religiosity of the South amplified these feelings, providing a familiar cultural and spiritual framework in which young people could develop a value system of social justice and pacifism. Also, Christianity held no exclusive franchise on spiritual guidance for ambitious and impressionable young cultural dissenters: the tenets of Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and even Unitarian Universalism also provided comfort and intellectual nourishment f or the expanding consciousness of American youth. These values, however, represented only half the story. Religious institutions also provided an important practical focal point for radical energies, many of which were firmly secular in scope. Pragmatism, after all, was an important impetus for associating with houses of worship. Outside of churches, temples, and other religious meeting places, the community provided young people with very few substantial public venues outside the control of university admi nistrators. Liberalizing spiritual leaders like John Talmage of the Presbyterian Student Center thus provided not only guidance to their young flocks, but also space and legitimacy. Religion its tenets, its 227 Farrell, Spirit of the Sixties 10. 228 Rossinow, Politics of Authenticity 8 2.
112 structure, its facilities, and its spiritual grav ity was ideally placed to give counterculture and radicalism both practical accommodations and a philosophical anchorage. Far from being an irreligious movement, the cultural activism of the 1960s sought, as the Gainesville Compact acting with religious and spiritual concern to improve the welfare of all. 229 229 Florida Alligator May 5, 1967.
113 CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSION Every four years, major university communities across the country undergo mass scale population turnovers. As thousands of impressionable young people arrive to explore adulthood and develop as citizens, thousands more depart, hopefully more wor ld wise than when they began and with heightened senses of self identity. It is an unending social process that transforms not only communities, but the individuals within them. In the 1960s, this cycle played a major role in fueling the swift and unprece dented development of youth counterculture and radicalism. Eighteen year olds arriving in cities like Gainesville places of youth energy, social experimentation and collective awareness spent their years constructing a legacy of nonconformity, radical thou ght, academic dissent, and social activism. Their efforts were validated by the participation of newcomers: When bright eyed freshmen arrived on campus in 1968, 1971, or even today, they had no reason to suspect that the complex local culture before them h ad ever been different. Seeking social interaction and influenced by the exciting and challenging intellectual stimuli around them, young arrivals quickly forged places for themselves in the cultural mlange of their new homes. Before long, they themselves became the torchbearers for the community, responsible for carrying forward the lessons, conflicts, setbacks, and achievements of previous generations. Together with national and international changes in youth identity, cultural awareness, and social conv entions, the freedom and flux inherent to university communities provided fertile and ever shifting grounds for experimentation, engagement, dissent, and debate. In May 1970, approximately 1,200 students marched on the UF administration building in protes t of student deaths at Kent and Jackson State universities. Another 6,000 gathered for a
114 candlelight vigil on the Plaza of the Americas, forcing suspension of classes. 230 The following year, a coalition of white and black students staged a sit in demonstrati on in the offices of American students and faculty; the result was a mass withdrawal of black students from the university, some of whom never returned. 231 Observing the 19 72 anniversary of the Kent State violence, more than 2,000 young people took to the streets in protest, and only a week later raging violence erupted in the city. Students seized campus buildings, radicals provoked the crowds with fiery speeches, and police turned clubs, tear gas, and fire hoses on protesters. 232 By the time of this unrest, Gainesv ille had become both a focal point for public activism and a breeding ground for heightened social consciousness. Its status as a sleepy Southern college town had become a distant memory. What had changed in the space of a few short years? More than anyth ing else, it was culture. While Vietnam and partisan politics were polarizing and frustrating issues, young people were influenced above all by the groups they associated with, the events they attended, the media they consumed, the people they admired, and the cultural assumptions they forged. Through communal enterprises, drugs, social gatherings, religious institutions, and other cultural forms, young people fashioned a new, unique set of values dynamic, uncertain, and at times contradictory values, but m eaningful nevertheless. These new youth maxims established new and thrilling philosophical and intellectual connections between people, and were instrumental in radicalizing, politicizing, and mobilizing them. 230 Florida Alligator May 8, 1970. 231 Transcript, Betty Stewart Dowdell. Oral History Interview with Ab r am Marsh, March 15, 1995, p.9, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. 232 Florida Alligator May 5, 1972 ; and The Gainesville Iguana May 2002; and Florida Alligator May 10, 1972.
115 Although this process was loosely organized an d organic, it was also aided by the examples of role models and committed counterculturalists, both of whom actively used local culture and community building as avenues toward ethical and political proselytizing. Open minded (and in some cases definitivel y radical) faculty, religious figures, and community leaders turned their reputations and cachet toward social reform, and the result was the transformation of struggles over academic freedom and tenure into central battlegrounds in the crusade for open pu blic discourse and the legitimacy of radical thought. Young nonconformists, meanwhile, transformed cultural constructions shops, drugs, music, even the community itself into a means of political communication, altering public consciousness such that the va rying strands of activism, disaffection, and frustration. The people on the receiving end of fire hoses and tear gas canisters were no longer freaks, hippies, rad icals they were youth, politically active and culturally engaged. But in grappling with the competing instincts of activism and disaffection, radicals struggled to maintain the bonds of cohesion within an inherently nonconformist faction. The solution was an expansion of their scope, a search for legitimacy, and a turn toward community engagement. As self styled cultural missionaries, local radicals sought to reimagine Gainesville in their own revolutionary image. But while the quest for authenticity was c ollective, it also required a process of seduction and induction on the individual level an acculturation of young people which would, it was hoped, awaken them to new social and political realities. To achieve this end, the use of local culture provided b oth a setting and a mechanism for expanding messages of radicalism, pacifism, nonconformity, and dissent.
116 But it was an expansion which would prove to come at great cost to the realization of the amental desire for legitimacy and growth undermined the nonconformist ideas that drove their ideology in the first place. Radicals co opted trends and prevailing tastes, until the pools of popular and alternative culture splashed together into a disorganiz ed blur of energies and creeds. This helped to foster political consciousness among the youth, but it also ironically turned the counterculture into a conformist, mainstream commodity. The disintegration of both would rapidly follow. Despite the dramatic c ollapse of the tangle of concerns traditionally labeled the New Left, the Sixties notion that political messages could be realized through nonpolitical means endures as a lasting legacy. While certainly many iconoclastic political revolutionaries resisted the overtures of counterculture, and many cultural nonconformists found political concerns equally unappealing, the slow tango danced by these two factions resulted in a union tentative at first, but eventually unmistakable of previously separate ideologic al and social spheres. The transformation of community, a slow, localized, painstaking process, resulted in the transformation of the individuals within it, and the permanent expansion of the cultural and political horizons of American youth.
117 LIST OF REFERENCES Primary Sources Periodicals, magazines, and pamphlets The Crocodile (Gainesville, Fla.), 1966 [broadsheet]. The Crocodile (Gainesville, Fla.), 1967 [pamphlet]. Daytona Beach Morning Journal, (Daytona Beach, Fla.), 1968 69. The Eye (G ainesville, Fla.), 1970 71. The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Fla.), 1969. Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Fla.), 1964 1972. Florida Times Union (Jacksonville, Fla.), 1969. Free Student (New York, N.Y.) 1965. The Hogarm (Gainesville, Fla.), 197 1 72. The Hogtown Orifice (Gainesville, Fla.), 1969 70. The Hogtown Press (Gainesville, Fla.), 1972. Independent Florida Alligator (Gainesville, Fla.), 1975. Gainesville Sun, 1971 1985. Lakeland Ledger (Lakeland, Fla.), 1977. Miami News 1966 1973. Mother Jones (San Francisco, Calif.), 1976. New York Times 1967 72. Ocala Star Banner 1955 1976. The Orange Peel (University of Florida), 1960. Sarasota Herald Tribune 1967 68. St. Petersburg Times 1968 1976, 2010. The Tuscaloosa News (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), 1968.
118 University Report (Gainesville, Fla.), 1966 69. Wall Street Journal, 1971. Archival sources Administrative Policy Records, University of Florida Office of the President (Stephen C. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida. Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Manning Julian Dauer Papers, Special and Area Studies Collection s, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Kenneth A. Megill Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. University Archives, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida. Organization records and academic journals 1970 Census of Population and Housing: Gainesville, Fla. Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (Washington, D.C: U .S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1972). AAUP Bulletin Vol. 56, No. 4, December 1970 (Washington, D.C.: American Association of University Professors). American Journal of Psychiatry Vol. 123, No. 9 (Arli ngton, Virg.: American Psychiatric Association), March 1967. American Psychologist Vol. 25, Issue 9 (Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association, September 1970). Changing Education Vol. 4 No. 4 (Washington, D.C.: Journal of the American Federat ion of Teachers AFL CIO, Spring 1970). Florida Board of Regents ( Office of the Board of Regents, State University System of Florida. Publication no. 111, 1968 ) (Washington, D.C.: Association of American Law Schools, 1971).
119 Rights Movement Veterans 1951 1968, accessed January 20, 2012, http://www.crmvet.org/docs/ssoc_misc.pdf Southern Journal of Philosophy Vol. 9, Issue 1, (Memphis, Tenn.: Wiley Blackwell, Spring 1971). Students for a Democratic Society Bulletin Vol. 4 No. 2 (Chicago, Ill.: Students for a Democratic Society, 1965). The University Record Vol. LXVI, Series 1, No. 7, July 1, 1971 (Gainesville, Fla.: University of Florida Administration) Primary source books Jacobstein, Helen L. The Segregation Factor in the Florida Democratic Gubernatorial Primary of 1 956 University of Florida Social Sciences Monographs, No. 47. Gainesville, Fla: University of Florida Press, 1972. of Florida, 1963 y of Florida, 1970. Jones, Marshall B. The Black Power Argument Gainesville, Fla.: Gainesville SDS Press, 1966. Hale, Lester L., with Perry A. Foote, Jr. Preacher Gordon, A Mischievous Saint: The Christian Charisma of a Man Called Preacher Gainesville, Fla.: L. Hale, 1982. Louria, Donald B. The Drug Scene New York: McGraw Hill, 1968. Megill, Kenneth A. The New Democratic Theory New York: The Free Press, 1970. Nowlis, Helen H. Drugs On The College Campus Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Books, 1970. Oral history interviews and transcripts Abney, William H. Oral history interview transcript, April 7, 1996. Dirk Drake, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. Baldwin, Fletche r. Oral history interview transcript, May 9, 1989. Denise Stobbie, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. Camil, Scott. Oral history interview transcript, October 20, 1992 Stuart Landers, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
120 Chalmers, David. Oral history interview transcript, June 2, 1992. Stuart Landers, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. Chalmers, Jean. Oral history interview transcript, April 22, 1991. Stuart Landers, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library o f Florida History, University of Florida. Creel, Austin. Oral history interview transcript, August 27, 1992. Stuart Landers, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. Gordon Ulysses S. Oral history interview transcript, July 10, 1973. Samuel Proctor, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. Harmeling, Daniel E. Oral history interview, February 13, 2009. Marna Weston, interviewer, Samuel Proctor Oral History Program, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. Jones, Marshall B. Interview with unidentified interviewer, October 1967. Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida (Gainesville, Fla.). McAlister, Lyle N. Oral history interview transcript, June 17, 1993. Stuart Landers, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, Uni versity of Florida. Moore, Charles. Oral history interview, November 23, 2010. Michael Falcone, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. interview transcript, June 19, 1996. Joel Buchanan, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. Stewart Dowdell, Betty. Oral history interview transcript, March 15, 1995. AaBr am Marsh, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral History Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida. Williams, Savannah. Oral history interview transcript, January 24, 1984. Joel Buchanan, interviewer. Samuel Proctor Oral H istory Program Collection, P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History, University of Florida.
121 Secondary Sources Secondary source periodicals Gainesville Iguana (Gainesville, Fla.), 1998 2002. Gainesville Sun (Gainesville, Fla.), 2003 2006. Secondary sour ce books Anderson, Terry H. The Movement and the Sixties New York: Oxford University Press, 1995. Barber, David. A Hard Rain Fell: SDS and Why It Failed Oxford, Miss.: University of Mississippi Press, 2008. Bledsoe, Erik, ed., Perspectives on Harry Cr ews Oxford, Miss.: University of Mississippi Press, 2001. Cantor, Milton. The Divided Left: American Radicalism, 1900 1975 New York: Hill and Wang, 1978. Davis, Jack E. and Kari Frederickson, eds., Making Waves: Female Activists in Twentieth Century Fl orida Gainesville, Fla.: University Press of Florida, 2003 Farber, David. The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s New York: Hill and Wang, 1994. Farber, David, ed. The Sixties: From Memory to History Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Pr ess, 1994. Farrell, James. The Spirit of the Sixties: Making Postwar Radicalism New York: Routledge, 1997. Gitlin, Todd. The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage New York: Bantam, 1987. Glisson, Susan M. ed. The Human Tradition in the Civil Rights M ovement. Oxford, U.K.: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006. Gosse, Van. Rethinking the New Left: An Interpretive History New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. Graves, Karen L. Teachers Urbana Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2007. Howard, John, ed., New York: New York University Press, 1997. Isserman, Maurice. If I Had A Hammer : The Death of the Old Left and the Birth of the New Left New York : Basic Books, 1987.
122 Lints, Richard. Progressive and Conservative Ideologies: The Tumultuous Decade of the 1960s. Farnham, U.K.: Ashgate Publishing, 2010. Matusow Allen J. The Unraveling of America: A History of Liberalism in the 1960s New York: Harpe r & Row, 1984. McLeod, Hugh. The Religious Crisis of the 1960s New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. McMillian, John. Smoking Typewriters: The Sixties Underground Press and the Rise of Alternative Media in America New York: Oxford University Press, 2011. Michel, Gregg L. Struggle For A Better South: The Southern Student Organizing Committee, 1964 1969 New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Miller, James. Democracy is in the Streets: From Port Huron to the Siege of Chicago New York: Simon and Schuste r, 1987. Rossinow, Douglas. The Politics of Authenticity: Liberalism, Christianity, and the New Left in America New York: Columbia University Press, 1998. Varon, Jeremy. Bringing the War Home: The Weather Underground, the Red Army Faction, and Revoluti onary Violence in the Sixties and Seventies Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004. Turner, Jeffrey A. Sitting In and Speaking Out: Student Movements in the American South, 1960 1970 Athens, Ga.: University of Georgia Press, 2010.
123 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Michael Alan Falcone was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1986, and grew up mostly in Sanford, Florida. He received his BA in h istory from the University of Florida in 2008. He worked in the aviation industry for ten years prior to returning to U F for graduate school, where he will receive his MA degree in h h istory PhD program in the f all of 2012.