MAY 6

By noon on May 6, "some 3,000 persons gathered … near the steps of Curtiss Hall for what was to be a meeting of ‘speakers and dialogue’ about things that could be done to get the campus more involved against the war in Cambodia  … (see Figures 13, 14, and 15).

 

Figure 13.  View of mass rally on central campus in front of Curtiss Hall, home of the College of Agriculture.

"[S]ome speakers argued the case for some kind of non-violent protest, with GSB Vice-President JERRY PARKIN declaring that [President Richard M.] Nixon had ‘made a mistake’ by sending troops into Cambodia. ‘We must show him it was a mistake’, he added" (Swan, 1998, p. 23).

Figure 14.  View of rally from steps of Curtiss Hall. The roof of Morrill Hall, a university building that dates from 1890-1891, is seen in the upper right-hand corner.

Figure 15.  View of students with protest signs listening to a speaker addressing the rally from the steps of Curtiss Hall.

"What had been an orderly rally took a dramatic turn when BOB TREMBLY, Econ 4, read what he called a memo from the Dean of Sciences and Humanities, Chalmer Roy, declaring that all political science classes would be held as usual during the strike. 'I say we have had enough ‘business-as-usual’'  … [and] called for a peaceful sit-in at the ROTC drill field, where … cadets were having a class" (Swan, 1998, p. 23) (see Figures 16 and 17).

Figure 16. 

Figure 17.

Figures 16 and 17.   BOB TREMBLY addressing the rally on central campus.

"The Daily estimated that three-fourths of the crowd then migrated to the field just west of the Armory under the leadership of ...  CLYDE BROWN, [a sophomore and former  coordinator of the state Vietnam Moratorium Committee] who asked the group to go ‘with love and not hate’" (Swan, 1998, p. 23) (see Figure 18).

Figure 18.  Central campus rally crowd marching toward Beardshear, the central university administration building, on the way to the ROTC field west of the university Armory.

Figure 19.  University administrators on the steps of Beardshear Hall watching members of the campus rally crowd disperse on their way to the ROTC field . WILBUR L.  LAYTON, Vice President for Student Affairs (right), is seen talking with A. Weldon Walsh,  Assistant to the President (1959-1978) (left), and Wayne R. Moore, Vice President for Business and Finance (1966-1984) (center). 

"According to the Daily, the protestors swarmed over the drill field and effectively disrupted … [the ROTC] drill (see Figures 20, 21, and 22).

Figure 20.

Figure 21.

Figure 22.

Figures 20, 21, and 22.  Sit-in at the ROTC field west of the Armory. The field was located west of Bissell Road, where three university buildings, Hoover Hall, the Design Center (College of Design), and Town Engineering, are now located. 

After that, the demonstrators descended on the Armory, where they unfolded bleachers and sang" (Swan, 1998, p. 24) (see Figure 23)

Figure 23.  Crowd of students inside the Armory after leaving the ROTC field. 

"From the Armory, the protestors moved en masse down Morrill Road, past Beardshear, gaining in number along the way. At this point, it is estimated that the crowd numbered 4,000 people. The group then marched east to the intersection of Lincoln Way and Beach Avenue at the edge of campus, where some 1,500 demonstrators sat down, blocking traffic in all directions for 10 minutes" (Swan, 1998, p. 24) (see Figure 24).

Figure 24.  Student sit-down at the intersection of Lincoln Way and Beach Avenue.

"At that point, a hand vote was held on whether to march to the draft board in downtown Ames. About 1,000 demonstrators … decided to continue the march and set off east on Lincoln Way toward the [Story County] draft board [located in what was then the PYLE Office Building] at 414 Northwestern [Avenue]. The others either drifted away or else stayed behind to listen to an impromptu concert by a group called the Jugband" (Swan, 1998, p. 24). "The main phalanx [of marchers] was given some support by Ames police, who blocked traffic on to Lincoln Way in order to prevent west-bound cars from drifting into the east-bound marchers, who were chanting ‘We don’t want Nixon’s war, we don’t want any war’ and singing ‘All we are saying is give peace a chance’ [the key phrase from the protest song of the same title written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney of The Beatles, and sung by Lennon]. 

The demonstrators marched east on Lincoln Way all the way to Duff Avenue, then turned north two blocks before heading west on Main Street (see Figure 25) toward the Selective Service Center, [located in what is now the Knapp-Tedesco Insurance Agency building], where they sat down on the lawn, apparently intending to conduct something like a vigil" (see Figure 26). That night, a handful of protestors spent the night outside the building (Swan, 1998, p. 24).

Figure 25.   Protestors marching west down Main Street to the draft broad located in the PYLE Office Building at 414 Northwestern Avenue. GSB Vice-President, JERRY PARKIN,  is seen in the foreground.

Figure 26.   Student sit-in at the PYLE Office Building.