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"Town and Gown" Perspectives

from the Madison Courier and the Triangle, 


His234 students selected the following articles to illustrate events of 1969 and 1970 as experienced in the Hanover-Madison area.  Stories from the Triangle (Hanover's student newspaper) provide the campus perspective, and those from the Madison Courier represent the perspective of local residents.

(NB: Print version of the Triangle, are available at the Hanover College Archives.  Articles from the Madison Courier are reproduced by permission.)

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Selective Service Lottery

In the late 1960s, the military demands of the Vietnam War meant that over 200,000 American men had to be drafted every year.  In 1969, the Selective Service System instituted a random drawing of birthdates to decide who would be called. As men were needed, the Selective Service System would call up men according to the order that their birthdates were drawn in the lottery.  (Thus, those with a low lottery number knew they were very likely to be drafted.  Those with a high lottery number could hope that the military's manpower needs would be filled before their turn came.)

"Drawing for Draft Is Tonight," Madison Courier, 1 Dec. 1969, p. 1.

Washington (AP) -- Every draft-age man in the nation has a ticket in tonight's new Selective Service lottery, a ticket he received the day he was born.

For the order in which birthdays are drawn from a big glass jar will largely determine each man's chances of being drafted in 1970 -- or for some, in a future year.

Every man who reaches at least age 19 but not 26 by Dec. 31, 1969, has a stake in this drawing.

For some, the waiting will be short, the result conclusive.

As the first capsule is drawn, about 8 p.m., EST and the date written on a paper inside it is announced, men who share that birthday and are classified 1A can be virtually certain to receive their draft call soon after the New Year ushers in 1970.

Men sharing that first-drawn birthday, but who are deferred or exempt, will know they stand to be drafted if they lose their deferment or exemption.

One by one the little plastic capsules will be drawn, each containing a different day of the year -- 366 in all, including Leap Year's Feb. 29.

The White House estimates some 200,000 draftable men will join the armed services voluntarily next year, leaving about 560,000 to take their chances. Out of that remainder, some 260,000 -- about 46 percent -- must be drafted under current planning.

If it were only a matter of arithmetic, the first 170 birthdays drawn would just about provide 1970's draftees, but there are a lot of unpredictable factors that blur that dividing line.

If may vary considerably from one local draft board to another, reaching a higher number here, a lower one there.

Still, for those men with first birthdays drawn -- maybe the first 140 or 150 or so -- the uncertainty will end the lottery's first hour.

They won't be surprised to receive a draft notice next year; they should be surprised only if they don't.

But for the men whose birthday are called next -- perhaps the next 60 or 80 drawn from the jar -- the suspense will only be starting.

They can guess at their chances, but it will be late next year -- even next December for some -- before they know for certain whether they will be drafted.

As the drawing continues through its second and last hour, the suspense will decrease and then practically vanish, however.

The men whose birthdays are called toward the end of the drawing can feel reasonably sure the draft will not reach them in 1970 unless some emergency causes an unexpected jump in draft calls.

Once a man gets through 1970 without being drafted, he will be even safer in 1971, when the new crop of 19-year olds will be the prime target and will be sweating out his own lottery.

Tonight's drawing at Selective Service Headquarters here will be the first time in 27 years that a lottery is used to determine the order of calls.

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from the Madison Courier, Dec. 12, 1969.

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"College Papers Don't Buy Nixon Lottery," Hanover College Triangle, 16 Jan. 1970, p. 5.

Washington (CPS) - - College newspaper editors aren't buying the draft lottery.

Editorial reactions to the induction-by-birthdate system initiated by the Nixon administration have ranged from half-hearted acceptance to anger at the government for making false promises, to outright condemnation of the draft in any form.

Small college papers have been especially vehement in their denunciations. The Knox College Student saw the lottery merely as a deceptive packaging of the old draft and another example of the influence of the "bloated" and "corrupt" military on American life.

"It is frightening . . . to see the sickening contradictions between the ideals of free men and reality of the Selective Service system," the Student wrote. "We are told that we must give up for a part of our lives out God given freedom, our individuality, our birthright as Americans.

"Why? So that we might protect ourselves from those who would take our freedom, our individuality, and our birthright." The paper said the greatest threat to peoples' freedom in the world today is the U.S. military. Knox College is a coed liberal arts school of about 1,300 in Illinois.

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The University of Montana Kaimin wrote: "A modern form of Russian roulette, the draft lottery, marked thousands of young men for death and disfigurement when the birthdates were drawn. . . Leaving the matter of life or death up to chance is hardly the most equitable method of selecting the men who will serve in the military."

The Kaimin expressed the hope that ROTC will dwindle in size to include only those with low lottery numbers, and the hope that draft resistance will increase so as to "shaft the draft."

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Kent State Shootings

The tragedy at Kent State began when President Richard Nixon announced that U.S. forces would invade Cambodia as part of the effort to defeat communism in Vietnam. Those who opposed the war in Vietnam were appalled at its expansion into Cambodia; even people who had not previously protested the war began to do so in 1970. Kent State University was one of hundreds of colleges and universities where students staged protests against the expansion of the war. On May 4, 1970, the National Guard, called in to disperse the crowd, opened fire on the students. They killed four people and injured nine others.

Alice Jane Smith, "Madison Students Hold Observance," Madison Courier, 6 May 1970, p. 1.

Not more than 50 Hanover College students had a memorial service yesterday for the four Kent State University students killed Monday when Ohio National Guardsmen fired into a crowd of several hundred students during an assault with large rocks and sticks.

Unlike student response nationally, the reaction at Hanover was to write letters to the Brigadier General of the National Guard, the college president, the town newspaper and the students - - and not to join in resulting student strikes, marches, sit-ins or the few cases of fire bombings on other campuses.

Barbara Beale, junior from Havertown, Pa., who organized the service, said she was asked yesterday: What are you going to do now, Barbara? Take to the streets?

"I can't do that.  I'm willing to try," she paused, "again."

Miss Beale has led the Hanover Mobilization Committee organizing peace fasts in April and the Oct. 15 and November Moratoriums.

Students did not critize, so much, President Robert I. White's decision to call troops on campus to quell disorders on the Kent, Ohio, college.

But they sharply questioned why the guardsmen carried ammunition and why they fired into the crowds if they had received sniper reports.

"A sniper would be shooting from above," a student said.

Miss Beale rapidly read a newspaper report on the incident to try to clear confusion and questions.  "I think it is important that we make some kind of declaration from Hanover as individual students expressing our concern over the incident," she said.

Steve Jones, junior from Terrace Park, Ohio, commented during the service "it is easy to take the position of attacking, but a difficult position to reconcile."

"We can expect a certain amount of adolescent rebellion," he said, but expressed concern over reaching the "point when we are shooting down young people because of dissent with national policies."

"When you get enough people afraid of dissent, then you start shooting," he said.  He said students should be "reconcilatory agents" rather than agents of destruction.

Lee Mann, freshman from Marion, call the action "the death of ideals, like freedom and liberty" not exemplified in Monday's action.  He expressed fear that "someone will move in with an iron hand, and we don't want that."

Both inside the chapel and outside on the grass, a gray and white kitten meowed, climbed trees and wandered from person to person while the group talked about what they wanted the letters to say.

Dr. Ralph N. Calkins, business-administration, criticized use of what he called a civil police force, untrained for campus disorders.

"I think we are seeing a repetition of the 1930s, when people were killed during labor strikes.  I think it was a serious mistake to call in the National Guard," he said.  "The college president should have asked for persons, such as state troopers, who are trained sufficiently, to handle the situation" without firing into the crowd, he said

"The national guard ought not to go on a college campus for the purpose of riot control," he said.  "That was the basic mistake."

"If there are no other means to control violence, I would rather see the violence than the massacres resulting, because. . . with use of guardsmen . . . the violence will increase," he said.

"I think it is the function of a college president to protect students, and I cannot feel a college president deserves to exercise power if he allows anybody to shoot down students," he said

"The military forces take care of their people when they get into trouble; they help them," he said.

Commenting on the "tension and conflict in our society."  Dr. Calkins said "one job is to protect ourselves.  This does not mean we have to go into the streets and attack society.  But it is quite another thing when we invite armed men onto the campus."

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"Editorial: Revolutions Are No Trifles," Madison Courier, 7 May 1970, p. 4

The shooting to death of two young men and two young women by National Guardsmen at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, was a terrible and deplorable thing. It is one of the worst stains on any page of this country's history.

So confused was the situation on the beleaguered campus that the truth of what happened, what caused guardsmen to loose a fusillade of bullet into a crowd of students -- whether it was the result of an order, a misunderstood order, in self-defense or out of sheer panic -- may never be known.

What is certain is that when two groups of youngsters chase each other playing Good Guys and Bad Guys -- both sides armed, one with stones and the other with guns -- someone is going to get hurt. . . .

National Guardsmen are not trained to deal in psychological persuasion against rampaging rioters. These men -- boys, really -- were already under strain from duty during a violent Teamsters' strike in Cleveland.

The ultimate blame for what happed at Kent rests squarely on a small core of instigators -- some of them students at Kent, some of them from outside -- and indirectly on the masses of students who, while they did not actively participate in the disturbances, watched and applauded from the sidelines.

Beyond them, blame falls on faculty and administrators -- not just at Kent but at a dozen other colleges and universities. For too long, the one has egged on the dissenters and the others have permitted law-breakers to go unpunished out of fear of "radicalizing" the other students.

Now we are all radicalized.

Almost exactly two centuries ago, in 1770, nervous British soldiers fired into a crowd of rioters in Boston, drawing the first blood of the American Revolution.

If there be any who believe that a second revolution has begun at Kent State University, let them ponder the words of John Adams, who defended the soldiers at their trial:

"Revolutions are no trifles," wrote Adams years after war. "They ought never to be undertaken rashly; not without deliberate consideration and sober reflection; nor without a solid, immutable, eternal foundation of justice and humanity; nor without a people possessed of intelligence, fortitude and integrity. . ."

How much reflection, how much humanity -- how much intelligence -- was displayed by the rioters at what radicals will undoubtedly call the Kent Massacre of 1970?

Young people have shouted long and raucously that they are going to "turn this country around" and set it straight. The time is overdue for them to turn around and take a sober, reflective look at themselves, at what they have done, at what they may yet do to their country.

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John McDonough, "For Kent State, Cambodia -- Student[s] Express Concern In Letters," Hanover College Triangle, May 8, 1970, 2.

Hanover's reaction to the incident at Kent State and the recent move of American troops into Cambodia was vividly expressed last night by a capacity crowd of students and faculty listening to peer group speakers advocating means of expression.

Senior Hunt Prothro started the discussion by reviewing the tragedy at Kent Sate and the action taken by students at several other colleges and universities. Protho went on to state that certain students had prepared letters to Kent State President White, the Adjutant General in command during the riot, the student body of Kent, and the people of Kent.

As each letter was read to the crowd, various opinions were expressed from dissenting members. Although Sophomore Jo Lynne Warfield's letter to President White seemed to be well received, Lee Mann's letter to the Adjutant General will not be sent at the request of one listener who felt a letter to the Governor or State Legislature would be more effective. Senior Steve Jones' letter ended by asking, "If indeed a president of a university or a country has split that body asunder would we as students continue to tear at that wound or start to heal it."

An all day strike did not receive wide support and a suggestion by Senior John Burlew that students go to their classes, and then show their concern by attending discussion classes during their free hour was well supported by applauding listeners.

Dr. Ralph Calkins, economics professor, read a letter that he intends to present to Indiana State Senator Vance Hartke on Saturday concerning his feelings on the recent actions at Kent and in Southeast Asia. Calkins also indicated he would be happy to present any other letters students might want to have read.

A list of professors and rooms in which they will speak today was read and will be posted on the Classic Bulletin board. Various teachers and students expressed their own views and a representative of Western College of Women explained a proposal for a boycott on cosmetics, beer, liquor, records, and other college supported products. The aim of the boycott is to "show the people of America how strongly we feel on these issues.

As the meeting adjourned, students donated over $60 toward purchasing material and postage in order that the four approved student letters might be sent to all state university presidents and Governors.

Following the meeting, some students cleaned up the multi-purpose room, as others went to get paper and typewriters to prepare the letters. Steve Jones announced that Senate President Mick Davis had expressed the hope that Senate would vote to provide funds for mailing and might vote to support the letters at a special meeting to be held Monday.

At the last of the discussions, listeners left the multi-purpose room and one girl turned to another and said, "This reminds me of last year when everyone got together over the Judicial system." The other girl answered, "Maybe - but let's hope not."

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from the Triangle, May 8, 1970.

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