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Collections - MF 070 UMaine during the Vietnam War era/ Laura Finkel Collection

MF 070 UMaine during the Vietnam War era/ Laura Finkel Collection

Number of accessions: 17
Dates when interviews were conducted: 1994, 1996 – 1998
Time period covered: Vietnam era (1964-1973)
Principal interviewer: Laura Finkel
Finding aides: transcripts
Access restrictions: NA 2557
Description: A series of fifteen interviews recorded between 1994 – 1997 by Laura Finkel concerning anti-war movement, protests, and activities on the campus at the University of Maine during the Vietnam War era (1964 – 1973).

 

2377 Michael Alpert, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 2 and December 8, 1994, Bangor, Maine. Alpert talks about Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; threatening atmosphere of a protest in 1965; UMaine’s Students for a Democratic Society (SDS); involvement with the Bangor NAACP; meaninglessness of the Vietnam War; causing trouble at draft examinations; social atmosphere of the sixties; administrative paranoia about protest; limited role of faculty members; perception of the Vietnam War; what Vietnam did to soldiers; the Chicken Crisis of 1968; firing of sociology professors; comparison of the Vietnam War to the Gulf War; President Clinton and American involvement in Haiti; Native Americans in the Bangor-Orono area; growing role of women in SDS; supporting the Bangor Public Library; antiwar activism as a training ground; and gender roles. Also includes discussion of present day policies. Text: 103 pp. transcript plus interviewer’s journal. Recording: C 1396 – C 1398 3.5 hours.

2550 Walter “Bud” Schoenberger and Maralyn Schoenberger, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 8, 1996, Orono, Maine. Tapes: 1 cassette (1.5 hours) w/ complete transcript. The Schoenbergers talk about the Vietnam Era protests and activities on the campus of the University of Maine at Orono (1968 – 1973). Deposited by Laura Finkel in August, 1998. Text: transcript (missing). Recording: C 1653 / CD 2215 1.5 hours.

2551 Charlie Jacobs, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 12, 1996, in his office in the State Building of Augusta. Jacobs talks about the political atmosphere on The University of Maine Campus (Orono) during the Vietnam era; assisting Stan Cowan, president of the student senate; working with Win Libby; other people he knew at the time including Larry Moskowitz, Steve Hughes, Mel Leary and professors Stew Doty, Rob Thompson and Walter “Bud” Schoenberger; the immediate aftermath of The Great Chicken Crisis on Maine’s campus; being informed of the tragedy at Kent State and going to the presidents house afterward; helping to organize a two- day moratorium on campus following the Soc. crisis and his reasons for doing so; that the overall climate of the campus was moderate; certain incidences of distrust among fellow students; his life currently; how he’s faired in politics since Vietnam. Text: 42 pp. transcript (transcript missing 1/29/2010). Recording: C 1654 1.5 hours.

2552 John McGrail, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 12, 1996, by telephone. McGrail discusses Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; the process of turning to the progressive/antiwar movement; composition of Students for a Democratic Society [SDS]; links between national and local SDS; SDS nationally growing more radical; difference between engineering and liberal arts students; relationship with Student Government; significance of the antiwar movement; difference between UMaine and other, larger schools; perception of UMaine President Win Libby; response to Kent State killings; blood drive; being attacked while marching; talking to fraternities about the war; restrictions of in loco parentis policies; impact of antiwar involvement on his life; his role as the “everyman;” the Communist Party on campus; the backwardness of northern Maine in the 1960s; and individuals involved in the antiwar movement. Text: 72 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1655 1.5 hours.

2553 Dick Davies, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 13, 1996, in Augusta, Maine. Davies talks about Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; first demonstrations in 1965; reactions of other students and faculty; growing awareness of the war; role of Larry Moskowitz; small number of Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] members; SDS involvement with labor; the Ounegan mill strike; UMaine Presidents Young and Libby; the Chicken Crisis and the change it led to in administration; reorganization of student government; role of the Maine Campus in activism; teach-ins; changed attitudes by 1970; end of SDS and move to coalition-building; UMaine as a generally conservative campus; separation of student government and the university administration; impact of activism on his life; and the limited influence of the Communist Party. Text: 48 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1656 1.5 hours.

2554 Debi Young Zeno, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 14, 1996, over the telephone. Zeno discusses Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; feeling that students were too serious; difference between engineering and social sciences students; organizing a blood drive in protest over the Kent State incident; ideology behind donating blood to save soldiers in Vietnam; and what she learned from organizing the blood drive. Text: 19 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1657 45 minutes.

2555 Geoffrey Sullivan, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 21, 1996, in Needham, Massachusetts. Sullivan talks about Vietnam-era protest and activism at the University of Maine; getting involved with Students for a Democratic Society [SDS]; why the movement was different at UMaine than elsewhere; being monitored by the state legislature; SDS’s anti-drug policy; the Chicken Crisis; cooperation and overlap between SDS and Student Government; connections with labor and the working class; UMaine’s SDS chapter in relation to SDS regionally and nationally; antiwar activities; the end of SDS; and causing change with the Program for the University. Text: 44 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1658 1.5 hours.

2556 Larry Moskowitz, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 25, 1996, in Manhattan, New York. Moskowitz discusses Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; activism straining his family relationships; the beginning of activism on campus; deciding the Vietnam War was wrong; Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] and their gradual acceptance on campus; influences that kept UMaine’s SDS chapter more sensible than others; supporting the Ounegan mill strike; discovering Marxism; ROTC Day protests; counter-demonstrations; organization of SDS; the Orono chapter in the regional and national SDS; getting into a fight with fraternity men; background to the Chicken Crisis of 1968; the Chicken Crisis testing students’ rights; SDS in student government; activities of the Orono Anti-Draft Union; his own experience being drafted; relationships with faculty members; why he joined the Communist Party; UMaine SDS’s connections with the working class; his activism after leaving UMaine; Margaret Chase Smith at Colby College. Text: 82 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1659 – C 1660 3 hours.

2557 Frank Hample, interviewed by Laura Finkel, November 12, 1996, in Augusta, Maine. Hample discusses Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; why he left ROTC; individuals he was associated with; student involvement with the community; attempting change through student government; joining VISTA for draft deferment; women’s involvement in Students for a Democratic Society [SDS]; how Maine’s SDS was unique; and reevaluating the world in 1968. RESTRICTED. May not be used without permission of Director and Frank Hample. Text: 61 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1661 1.5 hours.

2558 Ruth Nadelhaft, interviewed by Laura Finkel, March 18, 1997, in Orono, Maine. Nadelhaft discusses Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; her previous activism experiences in Geneseo, NY; how easy it was to be “radical” in conservative Maine; not having much of an impact; trying to create a new kind of college at Bangor Community College; being labeled a communist; how the war influenced all of the classes she taught; UMaine President Win Libby and Nadelhaft’s unflattering perceptions of him; characteristics of Mainers; how protest and activism alter community ties; Maine’s intellectual climate; and why Maine’s antiwar movement was distinct. Text: 60 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1662 – C 1663 2 hours.

2559 Eugene Mawhinney, interviewed by Laura Finkel, March 21, 1997, Orono, Maine. Mawhinney talks about Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; UMaine President Win Libby’s response to student activism; firing of three sociology professors; his concerns over the protests in 1970; reflections on UMaine President Young; how professors dealt with antiwar concerns; and the evolution of his personal feelings about the Vietnam War. Text: 29 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1664 1 hour.

2560 James Tierney, interviewed by Laura Finkel, March 24, 1997, Lisbon Falls, Maine. Tierney discusses Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; Student Action Corps; difference between Student Action Corps and Students for a Democratic Society; antagonistic reactions to antiwar opinions in 1966; why he was against the war in Vietnam; attitudes of the administration and faculty; importance of academics as well as activism; the Chicken Crisis and how it led to reform and less arbitrary administration; ROTC protest in the spring of 1996; reorganization of Student Senate and student dues; drug use that came after his time, c. 1970; feeling that world events in the late 60s could not be ignored; student involvement with the community; Mainers as being against the war; his perceptions of UMaine President Win Libby; feeling that students could affect change; and results of the Vietnam War. Text: 55 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1665 1.5 hours.

2561 Mary Snell, interviewed by Laura Finkel, March 24, 1997, Gorham, Maine. Snell talks about the Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; her awakening regarding the war; expressing her opposition to the war through creative writing; socializing with other activists; level of involvement of general student population; intersection of academics and discussions about the Vietnam War; Snell’s struggle because her brother was fighting in Vietnam; concern for the psychological welfare of soldiers; demographic shift in the state of Maine due to migration and higher college enrollment; shift in values and perceptions; community Snell found at UMaine; Stephen King’s speech; perception that the faculty was not the enemy; and discussion of Snell’s yearbook. Text: 45 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1666 1.5 hours.

2562 Bill Donahue, interviewed by Laura Finkel, March 31, 1997, Bangor, Maine. Donahue discusses Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; protesting Dow Chemical recruitment; the university administration’s response to protest events; Old Town shoe strike; Students for a Democratic Society [SDS] and its close ties to the Communist Party; speakers SDS brought to campus; SDS nationally becoming extremist; involvement with educational reform; a meat cutters strike; key individuals in the UMaine activist movement; anti-draft counseling; methods for avoiding the draft, particularly the use of amphetamines; and UMaine President Libby’s role in preventing violent confrontations. Text: 36 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1667 1.5 hours.

2563 Chris Hastedt, interviewed by Laura Finkel, April 2, 1997, Augusta, Maine. Hastedt discusses the Vietnam-era protests and activism at the University of Maine; elitism as a difficulty in spreading antiwar messages; why the University of Maine was different than other colleges; schism between antiwar activists and class officers; early lack of understanding as to why Hastedt was involved in activism; hostile responses to protest demonstrations; administrative responses to antiwar activists; evolution of Hastedt’s thoughts on the Vietnam War; the “chicken crisis” demonstration; how campus activism impacted her life; sense of community; and avoiding heavy involvement with drugs to keep focus on the politics. Text: 35 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1668 1 hour.

2564 Susan Dunn Nichols interviewed by Laura Finkel, April 13, 1997, on Brewer Lake, Maine. Nichols talks about Vietnam-Era protests and activism at the University of Maine; her awareness of war and activism in high school; getting involved with Students for a Democratic Society [SDS]; the Great Chicken Crisis; name changes following dissolution of SDS; UMaine SDS’s closer than average association with organized labor; reactions to SDS activities; trying to interrupt the draft; how her husband avoided the draft; a women’s liberation beauty pageant; discussion groups; organizational structure of SDS; key individuals in UMaine’s SDS; shift in activism by 1970; how her involvement with student activism impacted her life; and SDS’s stance against drugs. Text: 54 pp. transcript. Recording: C 1669 1.5 hours.

2575 By Laura Finkel, May, 1998, Orono, Maine. Copy of Laura Finkel’s 186 pp. typed M. A. thesis for the Department of History at the University of Maine, 1998. “This is Maine, Baby, Not Berkeley: Vietnam Era Protest at the University of Maine, 1964-1973.” From the introductory paragraphs: “This work looks at at the University of Maine, a relatively small, working class school in a rural state to show similarities to and differences from the story of dissent portrayed in the extant literature. It is a community study which shows the significance of geography, culture and community in the dissemination of a national movement.” Thesis is supported by numerous recorded interviews also on deposit at the Maine Folklife Center. Text: 186 pp. M.A. thesis.


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