Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog

Yearbook in a Box: The 1971 Jayhawker

June 22nd, 2015

Unique, playful, interactive” are words that describe the 1971 Jayhawker. Packaged in a blue box, the yearbook stands out amongst those that came before and after.

1971 Jayhawker box

Box housing the parts of the 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Inside, however, are the usual contents to any Jayhawker yearbook: sections on athletics, the seniors, Greek life, administration, hot topics, and more. But the way in which they were presented was unusual, satirical, and perhaps a commentary on the year that was by the Jayhawker staff. For example, the section on Greek life was titled “Agricultural Almanac of Flowering Plants in Eastern Kansas.”

Another part included an interactive “Love Sun” mobile. To see what this Love Sun mobile actually looked like, I put one together for the University Archives. Below are pictures from this endeavor, with the completed Love Sun hanging in the University Archives in front of the yearbook collection.

 

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook  Step 2_1971 yearbook

Left: Instructions for making the Love Sun mobile. Right: The six cards that form the mobile.

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook  Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Right and left: Constructing the Love Sun mobile.

Constructing Love Sun card mobile from 1971 Jayhawker yearbook

Completed Love Sun mobile hanging in the University Archives.

 

JoJo Palko
KU Sesquicentennial Research Assistant
University Archives

Smoke and Fire: Political and Civil Unrest at the University

May 5th, 2015

By 1969 American society was increasingly uncivil and the University of Kansas was facing a crisis. The struggle for civil rights and racial equality continued, but was joined by a radicalized white youth. They did not believe that American involvement in the Vietnam War was justifiable and had no interest in being drafted. Tension would remain high throughout the year, culminating in the so-called “Days of Rage” that included racial conflicts, student protests, bomb threats, arson, and sniper fire. This second and final part in a series about two of the most tumultuous years for the University outlines the events from May 1969 to May 1970.

May 9, 1969: Protest Cancels ROTC Review

The annual Chancellor’s ROTC Review was cancelled when 200 protesters broke down the gate into Memorial Stadium. They began by reading the names of the 33,379 servicemen and women killed in Vietnam to date and then joined together on the field and started a sit-in, chanting and waving signs against the ROTC. Chancellor W. Clarke Wescoe decided the review could not be accomplished in such circumstances and wanted to avoid violence from the agitated crowd. The protest was organized by KU Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). Afterward, 33 of 71 identified protestors were suspended for one semester by KU in confidential hearings. The event left Wescoe visibly drained and worried about what lay ahead; his fears would not be unfounded.

 

Photograph of ROTC demonstration in front of Strong Hall, May 1969

The group of protestors rallies in front of Strong Hall before their disruption
of the ROTC Review, May 1969. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1969: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of a ROTC demonstration, May 9, 1969

Protestors during the ROTC Review at Memorial Stadium, May 9, 1969.
ROTC members stand on the track in the background. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1969: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

October 15, 1969: National Vietnam Moratorium Day

More than 3,500 KU students, faculty, and locals paraded on Memorial Drive and Jayhawk Boulevard in protest of the Vietnam War. Later, about 150 people gathered in front of Strong Hall in a silent vigil held behind rows of white crosses. The day also included four KU professors making their case against the war inside Hoch Auditorium, attended by 3,000 students. Similar rallies and gatherings were happening all over the country, pressuring President Nixon to change policy in the Vietnam War.

Photograph of protestors lined up behind white crosses, October 15, 1969

Protestors lined up behind white crosses on the lawn of Strong Hall on
National Vietnam Moratorium Day, October 15, 1969. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1969: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click images to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of two men silently protesting on campus, October 15, 1969

Two men silently protesting on campus,
National Vietnam Moratorium Day, October 15, 1969.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/18 1969:
Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

February 23, 1970: University Daily Kansan dumped into Potter Lake

In retaliation for the University printers’ decision to no longer print the Black Student Union’s (BSU) Harambee, the group gathered 6,000 copies of the UDK and tossed them into Potter Lake on campus. Harambee celebrated black culture and encouraged black solidarity. It ran information for a scholarship program established by BSU but also included Black Power Movement ideology, like the need for oppressed people to arm themselves to achieve freedom. The reaction from some white groups deemed the material obscene and inflammatory, leading to the printers’ decision to discontinue its service.

Photograph of men pulling copies of the University Daily Kansan out of Potter Pond, February 23, 1970

Photograph of men pulling copies of the University Daily Kansan out of Potter Pond, February 23, 1970

Black Student Union Protest, men pulling copies of the University Daily Kansan
out of Potter Pond, February 23, 1970. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1970: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

February 26, 1970: Black Student Union Protest

The BSU presented a list of demands calling for more black faculty members and students and the creation of a black studies program. The timetable for the demands was deemed unrealistic by Chancellor Chalmers, but an African Studies program would be created later in the year.

April 20, 1970: Arson Fire at Memorial Union

The culminating act in a day of mayhem and a week of civil disorder on the KU campus, a period often referred to as the “Days of Rage,” was the April 20, 1970, fire at the Kansas Union. Eventually deemed arson, the fire caused nearly a million dollars in damage and took place against the backdrop of a nation in turmoil over the Vietnam War and racial unrest in a college town considered a “hot bed” of political activism and protest.

Photograph of the Memorial Union fire, 1970

Memorial Union fire, 1970. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/54/f 1970: Campus Buildings: Memorial Union (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of the Memorial Union fire, exterior damage, 1970

Memorial Union fire, exterior damage, 1970. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/54/f 1970: Campus Buildings: Memorial Union (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of Memorial Union fire, interior damage, 1970

Memorial Union fire, interior damage, 1970. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 0/22/54/i 1970: Campus Buildings: Memorial Union (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

May 5-8, 1970

The month of May witnessed the greatest display of campus dissent and disorder. As the end of the 1970 school year approached, KU protesters urged fellow students to go on strike. After the US invasion of Cambodia and four student deaths at Kent State, the campus was on high alert.

May 5: A coffin-bearing crowd of 500 marches against the U.S. invasion of Cambodia and the Kent State massacre.

May 6: ROTC Review was cancelled for the second straight year as a crowd of 1,000 rallies against the group on campus. About 200 re-grouped and damaged the Military Science Building on campus.

Photograph of the Military Science Building, damage from student protests, May 7, 1970

Military Science Building, damage from student protests, May 7, 1970. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1970: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

May 8: Chancellor E. Laurence Chalmers held an Alternative Convocation attended by 12,000 and allowed students to choose between finishing the semester in classes or completing the semester early and taking part in some political activity of their choice. Antiwar activists were upset the University did not take an official stand against the war and close down. Conservative politicians, regents, and alumni thought the Chancellor caved in to student radicals.

Photograph of Day of Alternatives, Chancellor Chalmers with students, May 8, 1970

Chancellor Chalmers with students at Memorial Stadium for the
Alternative Convocation, May 8, 1970. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1970: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

Photograph of Day of Alternatives, Chancellor Chalmers addressing students, May 8, 1970

Day of Alternatives, Chancellor Chalmers addressing students at Memorial Stadium, May 8, 1970.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/18 1970: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

JoJo Palko
University Archives Intern

“We’re All Going to Jail, to Jail”: The University and Civil Rights in 1965

March 23rd, 2015

The 1960s were an iconic time in the United States, marked by social activism and cultural conflict. Lawrence was no exception, and the University of Kansas also experienced civil unrest throughout the decade. This is the first in a two-part series about two very tumultuous years for the university. The year 1965 saw a sit-in at Chancellor Wescoe’s office in Strong Hall. While it was perhaps the most well-known of the protests that year, the demonstration was just one of many to thrust students against authority, inequality, and war. What follows is a timeline of some of the events from that year.

Photograph of a group of Vietnam protestors in downtown Lawrence, 1965 February 21

Group of Vietnam protestors in downtown Lawrence, February 21, 1965.
Lawrence Journal-World Photo Collection, University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG LJW 71/18 1965: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

February 24: Civil Rights Housing Picket
Approximately thirty-five members of the Civil Rights Council (CRC) staged a picket just before a speech by noted civil libertarian Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas. Picketers were not against Douglas but were opposed to KU’s complicity in housing discrimination. Douglas spoke to 2,000 in Hoch Auditorium on the role of international law in the nuclear age.

Photograph of Justice William O. Douglas speaking to the crowd inside Hoch Auditorium, 1965 February 24

Justice William O. Douglas speaking to the crowd at Hoch Auditorium, February 24,1965.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 0/19 Douglas, William O.:
University General: Visitors (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

March 8-9: Fair Housing Sit-In and March
150 members of CRC, both black and white students, gathered in the corridor outside of Chancellor Wescoe’s office the morning of March 8th. The hope was to bring attention to the administration’s unspoken approval of discrimination in campus housing and approved organizations, like fraternities and sororities. The group came with a list of seven demands that the students wanted Wescoe to approve immediately. They included the abolishment of racially discriminatory practices of sororities and fraternities; a rule that the University Daily Kansan could no longer publish advertisements of racially discriminatory landlords and/or organizations; and the formation of a committee of students, faculty members, and administrators to resolve such grievances on campus.

Protestors came and went throughout the day, but as the doors were to be locked to the Chancellor’s suite, 110 of the participants refused to leave. Those that remained were arrested by Lawrence police and taken to county and city jails where they were charged with disturbing the peace and then released on bond. While Lawrence was not the center of the national civil rights movement, those 110 protestors arrested was the largest number besides a demonstration led by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. in Alabama. That night around 400 conducted a peaceful candlelight march near the Chancellor’s residence, singing “We Shall Overcome.”

The following day, the demonstrators returned with signs and stood in front of Strong Hall. Wescoe met with representatives from several groups and ultimately met the protesters’ demands. “The 1965 demonstration was perhaps the most successful civil rights protest ever in Lawrence,” said noted Lawrence historian, Rusty L. Monhollon. It did not fix all of the issues immediately, but it was the start of student equality.

Photograph of the civil rights sit-in protest in Strong Hall, 1965

Civil rights sit-in protest in Strong Hall, 1965. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/18 1965: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

March 17: Blood Splashed on ROTC Posters
Charles Hook, president of the University’s Student Peace Union (SPU), slashed his left wrist and spattered his blood on a U.S. Navy bulletin board in the hallway of the Military Science Building on campus. It was a protest against U.S. foreign policy in Vietnam. Hook said the action was “purely spontaneous and an individual gesture” and intended to make the ROTC think about the consequences of their training. United States action in Vietnam would be the cause of several protests on campus and across the country during this time.

March 22-26: Vietnam Vigil at KU
Monday evening began a picket-vigil at the KU Military Science Building. Once again, Charles Hook led the demonstration against U.S. policy in Vietnam and military methods of accomplishing goals. The SPU would have at least one member stand vigil throughout the next several days and nights.

April 28: Park Plaza Fair Housing Picket
Members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and CRC picketed the office of Park Plaza South apartments in Lawrence for not allowing two African American students to rent from them. Led by KU professor Mildred Dickeman, a member of CORE, the picketers stand outside the office from 9 am to 5 pm demanding that the apartment complex implement a non-discriminatory policy.

May 11: Edward Teller H-Bomb Protest
Dr. Edward Teller was a University of California physicist widely regarded as “the father of the hydrogen bomb.” His speech discussed “The Responsibility of the Scientist” and the effects of nuclear war. Dr. Teller’s speech was picketed by twelve representatives of SPU at KU. They stood outside Hoch Auditorium and carried signs that said “Dr. Strange Teller?” and “Bombs for Peace?”

May 21: Third ROTC Review Picket
A group of twenty people representing the SPU picketed the annual ROTC Review in Memorial Stadium. They carried signs reading “The U.S. Talks Peace But Drops Bombs,” “Voluntary ROTC Is a Vote for War,” and “Do We Want Peace in Vietnam or a Piece of Vietnam?” According to Charles Hook, the group hoped to influence some of the cadets to drop out of the ROTC program. Two of the men wore suits and several others wore sports shirts with ties. They marched around the football field during the event. The ROTC Reviews were a popular event to picket and protest during the 1960s and into the 1970s.

Image of a flyer outlining the Student Peace Union's agenda and itinerary for the ROTC Review, undated

Flyer outlining the Student Peace Union’s agenda and itinerary for the ROTC Review, undated.
University Archives. Call Number: RG 67/38 Student Peace Union Records.
Click image to enlarge.

September 22: KU Committee to End War in Vietnam forms
The purpose of the committee was “to provide a nucleus for the channeling of student and faculty opposition to the U.S. policies in Vietnam.” Led by Errol Harris, professor of philosophy, the group planned to focus on educational programs like teach-ins and inviting well-known speakers to campus. One member stated that it is the responsibility of students to inform themselves about a situation for which they may be called upon to give their lives. This attitude would continue at KU for several years as the conflict in Vietnam escalated.

Photograph of Vietnam protestors with signs in front of a store on Massachusetts Street, 1965

Vietnam protestors with signs in front of a store on Massachusetts Street, October 16, 1965.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 71/18 1965: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge (redirect to Spencer’s digital collections).

December 6: General Taylor/Vietnam Demonstration
General Maxwell Taylor, former ambassador to South Vietnam, appeared for a press conference in the Regents Room of Strong Hall and then delivered a forty-five-minute talk in Hoch Auditorium. A capacity crowd of about 4,000 people attend the speech. Two different groups demonstrated in front of Hoch to protest certain aspects of the war in Vietnam. One was a silent vigil sponsored by the KU-Vietnam Committee and the other was a vocal protest sponsored by The United Campus Christ Fellowship.

Photograph of protests in advance of Maxwell Taylor's speech, 1965 December 5

Protests in advance of Maxwell Taylor’s speech, December 5, 1965.
Lawrence Journal-World Photo Collection, University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG LJW 71/18 1965: Student Activities: Student Protests (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of General Maxwell Taylor speaking inside Hoch Auditorium, 1965 December 6

General Maxwell Taylor speaking inside Hoch Auditorium on December 6, 1965.
Lawrence Journal-World Photo Collection, University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG LJW 0/19 Taylor, Maxwell: University General: Visitors (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

JoJo Palko
University Archives Intern

Summertime in University Archives: Artifacts, Books, and Photographs, Oh My!

August 25th, 2014

As an intern in the University Archives at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library this summer, I experienced and accomplished many projects and duties. It feels like just yesterday that I received an interesting and varied list of assignments at the beginning of June. Where did the summer go? Let me show you.

Photograph of University Archives intern JoJo Palko at the desk

University Archives Intern JoJo Palko. Click image to enlarge.

Part of the story starts back in the fall of the 2013. I was hired as a research assistant for the publication of KU’s 150th anniversary book, Toward the Blue, working out of the University Archives. Fast forward to May and we are selecting the photographs and images to be used in the book. By the end of May, the other research assistant, the editors, and I had compiled a selection of over 200 images from the archives. So what was waiting for me when I started my internship? You guessed it—those photographs (funny how that worked). Over the course of a few weeks, I entered the metadata for each image. Fortunately for me (and you) these photographs are little treasures from the university’s past and I really enjoyed going through every single one. I have selected a few to share here.

Photograph of two KU football fans, 1973

Indeed, Kansas is for lovers! Two football fans show their
spirit in true 70s fashion. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/66/14 1973 Prints: Student Activities: Football (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

 Photograph of the hill and campanile during a football game, 1975-1976

View of the hill and campanile during a
football game, 1975-1976. University Archives Photos.
Call Number: RG 71/0 1975-1976 Prints: Student Activities (Photos).
Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Grupo de Kansas, 1970

Grupo de Kansas, a group of KU students, arriving in Costa Rica, 1970.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 12/1 1970 Prints: International
Programs: Study Abroad (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of Chancellor Chalmers with new Baby Jay at Homecoming, 1971

Chancellor Laurence Chalmers with new Baby Jay at Homecoming, 1971.
University Archives Photos. Call Number: RG 2/13 1971 Prints: Chancellors:
Chalmers (Photos). Click image to enlarge.

One other project that took up most of my time was to reorganize, house, and label the archive’s artifacts and to update the database and spreadsheet to make it more efficient for anyone to look up these items in the future. I started the process with a large book truck full of items that were not labeled, not housed, and not in any order that made sense. I panicked. How was I supposed to go through this truck plus the other two boxes full of items? Luckily, my supervisor, University Archivist Becky Schulte, calmed me down and told me to take it one step at a time. I managed to figure out what record group every object belonged in, found a box for those that needed it, labeled them, and entered the information into the databases. That was the end of a very long first step. The second step was just as much fun. There are three rooms that house the University Archive’s artifacts. In order to make room for the new additions, an entire reorganization of the rooms needed to occur. On the positive side, for those few weeks I did not need to work on my upper body at the gym. On the negative side, artifacts continued to come out their hiding places (behind doors) and others were found that needed labels or boxes. As I put the finishing touches on this project, I am really satisfied with how everything turned out and I loved seeing all the interesting “stuff.” Check out the images below to see the final results!

Photograph of University Archives artifacts room

Photograph of University Archives artifacts room

Photograph of University Archives artifacts room

The three above photos show University Archives artifact rooms after
the completion of my reorganization project. Click images to enlarge.

Photograph of Bolshevik Jayhawk Statue

Photograph of Bolshevik Jayhawk Statue in box

This Bolshevik Jayhawk Statue – also shown in its new housing created by the Libraries’
Conservation Department – was sent to the School of Journalism in 1921 by a
former KU student who found it in a Bolshevik Prison camp. University Archives Artifacts.
Call Number: RG 23/0 School of Journalism (Artifacts). Click images to enlarge.

Besides the larger artifacts and metadata projects, I was kept busy throughout the summer with other tasks. One of the most interesting involved a transfer of items from KU’s Theater Department. Moses Gunn, renowned African American actor, attended KU for his graduate degree. It was here that Moses first performed the role of Othello, a character he would play throughout his career. Moses also went on to co-found the Negro Ensemble Company, receive an Emmy nomination, appear in movie and television roles, and perform in many Off Broadway productions. His collection of items that arrived at the University Archives was a glimpse into this great man’s life. Included were many awards and accolades, theater posters and photographs, art work and artifacts. Two of the artifacts were a bust of Moses and a partial mask with a long black wig attached that he wore in the role of Titus Andronicus. The artwork was beautiful and insightful: most depicted Moses in character on stage, or simply the stage set. All in all, ninety-eight items were received, each one adding to the history of Moses Gunn.

Photograph of a bust of Moses Gunn

Bust of Moses Gunn. Click image to enlarge.

Photograph of a mask worn by Moses Gunn in the role of Titus Andronicus

Mask worn by Moses Gunn in the role of Titus Andronicus.
Click image to enlarge.

Throughout my internship I completed several reference and research requests (another one was just handed to me). By completed, I do not mean that I was able to find the information every time, because I quickly learned that sometimes the record or document in question does not exist in the archives. It took me a few of these dead-ends to come to terms with the fact that there are time periods, events, and people missing, with records never being created or donated. However, when I would find the desired document that was one of the best feelings. Most of the requests came from Jayhawk Generations—people wanting to know if their relative attended KU. Others were from researchers wanting to know about a specific topic, or from community members looking for photographs of family members. One of the most personally satisfying research requests was for any information relating to World War I that the archives held. Being a favorite history topic of mine and with the centennial anniversary underway, this was a great topic for me to explore and find all of the related material.

Another aspect of my time here was to learn about a few online archives systems. For this assignment, Assistant University Archivist Letha Johnson showed me the digital ways of archives. One such system was Archives Online. For several weeks I would spend a little bit of time every day entering data and uploading documents to KU’s ScholarWorks website. The documents were mostly weekly newsletters or updates from different KU departments. So now there are 271 new items on this system relating from a week in KU Athletics or the Dole Institute of Politics. Another system that I received an overview about was Archive-It, a site that the archive uses to capture certain websites at a certain time in order to preserve institutional memory and history. The last one was ArchivesSpace, a system that the Kenneth Spencer Research Library is just starting to implement. If time and manpower allow, this database could became the main system for accession records management for the entire library.

Speaking of records management, I was also able to learn about this aspect of the behind the scenes workings of the archive. Records and transfers would come into the University Archives constantly throughout the summer. I worked on one of these transfers with the Moses Gunn records, but then a couple of smaller projects also helped me become familiar with the processing of a university record. Another out of sight aspect of the archives that I received a glimpse into is the wonderful world of conservation. I believe it was my first or second week here that I got a crash course in emergency conservation procedures. There was a large rain storm the night before and in the morning the staff discovered some leaks down in the basement. What else is an intern for than to help out in these types of situations? Working with Assistant Conservator Roberta Woodrick to drape giant plastic sheets over the shelves to protect the items was a fun (because it only lasted an hour) way to get acquainted with conservation work. I also received a grand tour of the conservation workspace from Whitney Baker, Head of Conservation Services, and got to see some of the projects their students were working on at the time.

Finally, I will wrap up by saying that I thoroughly enjoyed my time here (if that wasn’t apparent already!). I never felt that I was just another warm body to be used to make copies all summer. There was always something to do, and not once was I bored. The staff is wonderful, helpful, and always willing to teach me their magical ways of knowing how everything works. I have gained a greater appreciation for just how much they put in to making the institution succeed, and for a couple of months I was glad to be a part of that team.

JoJo Palko
University Archives Intern

KU Anniversaries: A Cause for Celebration

July 23rd, 2014

As the University of Kansas approaches its 150th anniversary in the fall of 2015, one might be wondering how the university celebrated its previous milestones. For more recent anniversaries there was a trend of looking to the future, while the earlier ones looked to the past. What path will this anniversary follow? My guess would be a little bit of both, but only time will tell.

The Quarter-Centennial: 25th Anniversary 1890/91

KU celebrated 25 years of its history with a gathering of alumni, school and state officials, and the publication of a book (two practices that would continue for most anniversaries). The book, written by M.W. Sterling, sold for $1.00 and covered several aspects of the university’s first 25 years. One memorable section recalled some practical jokes. During commencement a grinning skeleton descended from a hole in the rafters, dancing and shaking to the band’s music. On its toe was stuck a piece of paper that read the Latin word ‘prex’. What does ‘prex’ mean you may ask? The faculty.

The Semi-Centennial: 50th Anniversary 1915/16

The 50th anniversary for KU fell during international warfare, with the United States on the brink of joining the battle. This would not be the last time that KU’s anniversary would come during a World War; only 25 years later for the Diamond Jubilee the world would be at war again. With funding restricted and bigger issues to handle, the university senate understandably decided the $4,000 price tag for a celebration in May 1916 would not be possible. Chancellor Strong said the celebration would be postponed until “ways and means” could be provided. However, the following year would prove just as restrictive and the celebration never came to be.

The Diamond Jubilee: 75th Anniversary 1940/41

Following the lack of celebration 25 years earlier, KU made up for it in a grand, five-day celebration in 1941 that took three years of planning. This included a university-wide exposition, the reopening of Dyche Museum (now the Museum of Natural History), the publication of Across the Years on Mount Oread by Robert Taft, with over 300 photographs of the campus from the previous 75 years, a song contest, symposiums, class and group reunions, dinners and entertainments which included a Coronado Entrada and Kansas Cavalcade. To make sure that the returning alumni would feel right at home again on campus, 60 young women dressed in 1866 period gowns to help visitors around campus. Plus, old fashioned hitching posts were erected and the main mode of transportation was by horse and carriage.

Photograph of representative members of the previous 75 classes at the November 9th conclave. Photo of One of the 60 young women dressed in appropriate 1866 period fashion.

Representative members of the previous 75 classes at the November 9th conclave (left) and One of the 60 young women dressed in appropriate 1866 period fashion (right). University Archives. Call Number: RG 0/6 (Photos), 1941. Click to enlarge.

Women posing in a section of the diorama in the newly reopened Dyche Museum, 1941 Photograph of a group of women showing off the horse-drawn carriages and hitching posts used for the celebration.

Some of the ladies posing in a section of the diorama in the newly reopened Dyche Museum (left); A group of women showing off the horse-drawn carriages and hitching posts used for the celebration (right). University Archives. Call Number: RG 0/6 (Photos), 1941. Click to enlarge.

Photograph of a participant in the Coronado Entrada on campus overlooking the football stadium.

A participant in the Coronado Entrada on campus overlooking the football stadium. Call Number: RG 0/6 (Photos), 1941. Click image to enlarge.

Centennial: 100th Anniversary 1965/66

To be expected, the centennial celebration was a multi-day affair just like the 75th (minus the historical gowns and hitching posts). Whereas the previous anniversary celebrated the past, this one looked to the future and was highlighted by the Inter-Century Seminar, “Man and the Future.” The seminar brought together great intellectuals who discussed and lectured on the challenges of the next one hundred years. On the other hand, Clifford S. Griffin undertook a massive compilation of the past 100 years of history in his book: The University of Kansas, A History. While thoroughly covering KU’s history, Griffin kept in mind the Centennial’s theme of “progrediamur” (let us progress) and discussed the possibilities of the university’s future.

Photograph of medallion designed by Elden Tefft, for the 1966 centennial.

Designed by Elden Tefft, the medallion showcases the Lawrence campus silhouette along the bottom. The column on the left is composed of 26 symbols: three Jayhawks; a salamander, trilobite, bee and others denote scientific accomplishments; the wheat and sunflower for Kansas; 10 points of the star signify the nine schools and college. Call Number: RG 0/5 (photos): 1966

Photograph of the official dinner for the Inter-Century Seminar, 1966

The official dinner for the Inter-Century Seminar. Call Number: RG 0/5 (photos): 1966

Quasquicentennial: 125th Anniversary 1990/91

In response to the Centennial’s Inter-Century Seminar, the 125th anniversary hosted a similar session, “Looking forward: KU and the Challenges of the Future”. The participants took into account what was predicted 25 years earlier and offered their opinions. According to one prediction from the 1966 seminar by Arthur C. Clarke, British scientist and science fiction writer, man will have established a permanent base on Mars by 2066. That doesn’t sound as crazy now as I’m sure it did just 25-50 years ago.

JoJo Palko
University Archives Intern