Browse Items (11 total)

  • Tags: 1960s-1980s

The story of a hidden clay installation called "Thirty Blocks" by visual artist Virginia Maksymowicz — a former UCSD graduate student from the class of 1977 — has survived for almost 40 years.

On May 10, 1970, a UCSD undergraduate, George Winne Jr., doused himself in gasoline and lit himself on fire in the middle of Revelle Plaza. Winne was the fourth incident of self-immolation that year in California higher education. A couple years after Winne's death, undergraduates in Michael Todd's Environmental Sculpture class established the George Winne Jr. Memorial Grove, in which Maksymowicz's "Thirty Blocks" is located (Polachek, 2013).

Thirteen days after 1,200 students gathered to protest UC investment in South Africa's apartheid government, an equal number rallied Tuesday in the Revelle Plaza as a sign of solidarity for the Free South African Coalition . . .

Professor Herb Schiller addressed the gathering: "Do what you have done today. Do what you have been doing in the last two weeks. Remember, sometimes you may feel there is nothing to be gained from this. You may be out here thinking this is just an event, nobody cares. But people in action means that you're not lobotomized" (Students strike, rally, 1985).

1982-Newspaper snip - Civil Rights Conference.PNG
We Shall Overcome: A Retrospective on the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s was the theme of an historic conference which took place Friday, April 16 and Saturday, April 17, 1982, at University of California, San Diego's Summer Auditorium. The Conference [was] the first of its kind at UCSD. . .

Dr. David L. Lewis, one of the principal organizers of the conference, along with Professor Michael E. Parrish, both of the UCSD History Department, commented that the conference's purpose was to analyze the revolution" of civil rights in the sixties while looking at our successes and failures. He said that this retrospective analysis was necessary to take a sober look at the future (Civil Rights Conference Convenes at UCSD, 1982).

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Clio was the history muse in ancient Greece — and the name proposed in 1965 for UC San Diego's third college. . . . College III — slated to open in 1970 — was to focus on historical and classical studies. But history-making events intervened. . . . On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated — and Clio wound up on the cutting-room floor.

Talk turned to founding a college in Dr. King's memory — with programs for recruiting disadvantaged students, tutoring local children and promoting the integration of majority and minority students. By 1968, the UCSD student body of approximately 3,600 included 33 Blacks and 44 Mexican-Americans.

In fall 1968, [Provost Armin] Rappaport asked [the Black Student Council and Mexican American Youth Association] for suggestions regarding possible ethnic studies programs. Their joint response in March 1969 was the Lumumba-Zapata College demands, which blindsided the provost and infuriated Chancellor William J. McGill (Tiersten,…

Student leaders like graduate student Angela Davis proposed a Lumumba-Zapata College — named after the assassinated Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba and Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata — devoted to the theory and practice of revolution, "communities of resistance," and socialist education.

Students — with support from faculty such as Herbert Marcuse and Carlos Blanco — wanted a "Third World college" devoted to the needs and class interests of "students from oppressed social groups," that is, working-class Black students, Chicano students, and white students" (Ferguson II, 2015).

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Over 350 students rallied March 4 on Revelle Plaza to protest Reagan's proposed $3 billion cuts in education for the '82-'83 fiscal year. This rally was part of a state-wide "day of action" that saw hundreds of students rally on other campuses. In Washington D.C., several thousand students from across the nation marched the previous week to oppose the cuts (1982).

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George Winne Jr. of La Jolla, California, died ten hours after he set himself on fire in San Diego to protest the Vietnam war. As he lay dying he asked his mother to write to President Nixon about the reason for his action. Her letter stated: "Our son George Jr. set himself afire on the UCSD campus on May 10. Before dying, he told us he had picked the most dramatic way he could think of to call people's attention to the most deplorable condition of the world and of this country" (Bromley, 1970).

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The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King had a deep and profound effect upon members of the UCSD academic community.

Chancellor Galbraith held an official commemorative service on the grassy knoll behind the library* at noon. This was followed later in the day by a march into La Jolla and a demonstration at City Hall in San Diego, where a series of recommendations were presented.

Chancellor Galbraith told the students that King's dream is far from realization and that "the time is upon us when all blacks and whites must take action to translate his dream into reality" (University Mourns Death of Dr. King, 1968).

*Present-day Galbraith Hall

A handful had dreamed of attending the University of California, La Jolla, the name given this brave new campus by the Board of Regents in 1959. Eighteen months later, after listening to community debate, the Regents voted to scrap UCLJ for the more inclusive UCSD (Morgan, 2004).

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In one of UCSD's historic moments a collection of twenty-five freshmen, graduate students, and faculty members joined in a demonstration against U.S. military intervention in the Dominican Republic. UCSD's "Advocacy and Open Discussion Area" on the upper campus was first put into service an hour or so before noon, Thursday, May 6. Many of the demonstrators carried signs commenting on the situation in the Dominican Republic. Among the slogans used were "Join the marines and fight the world," "Does the end justify the Marines," and "Napalm those Dominican kids!" (UCSD's First Demonstration, 1965).

[D]isparate antiwar groups decided to do a joint sit in of Urey Hall — a science building — one of the centers of the University's complicity with war, as many of the offices of those professors with DOD contracts were located there.

There was no plan to do damage to the building or to the offices, and none occurred. We just wanted to close down this center of the war — at least temporarily (Dr Anonymouse, 2009).
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