Friday, April 4, 2008


Forty years is such a long time. The IJ today published this piece by Dave Burak about Joan Baez's concert on campus the night after King's assassination. At the time, Dave was head of Cornell's chapter of S.D.S. Mark and I would meet him a year and a half later, when he visited the high school to talk to our chapter of Junior S.D.S., a chapter run by Winton Rossiter, son of famed historian Clinton, who would take his own life a few months later.

What the Journal fails to recall is an incident that took place on campus the very day King was killed. A group of students from the Afro-American Society took over the Economics Department to protest perceived racist comments from a visiting professor. It was a precursor to the far better-known 1969 takeover of Willard Straight. Donald Alexander Downs writes about all this in Cornell '69: Liberalism and the Crisis of the American University.

No comments: