Friday, April 4, 2014

We Demand!

In light of recent events, we thought it would be fitting to look back at another era when Parkhurst was the target of student ire.

On April 22, 1969, the Dartmouth chapter of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) issued a set of demands calling on the Trustees to abolish ROTC, provide financial aid to students enrolled in ROTC and terminate military recruiting on campus. The demands were issued as a protest against the war in Vietnam and American exploitation, which SDS members felt the College was complicit in supporting through recruitment and ROTC participation. SDS further stated that they would occupy Parkhurst Hall if their demands were not met by Monday, April 28th.

The administration maintained that they could not terminate the ROTC contract that quickly and that the College did not have the funds to pick up the financial aid for the ROTC members. A student referendum on the issue found that 8.6% of the students wished to retain ROTC on campus, 29.8% agreed with the faculty position (which was essentially termination of ROTC no later than June of 1973), 35% supported the elimination of ROTC as soon as student currently under contract graduated and 24.6% were in favor of immediate termination.

As threatened, on April 29th SDS proceeded to peacefully occupy Parkhurst for a day (the second such incident at that point). Meanwhile, the College quietly drew up a court injunction to be put into place should the occupiers return. Dissatisfied with the Administration’s response, SDS set another deadline for their demands to be met. When this deadline also passed without a satisfactory outcome, they entered Parkhurst Hall on May 12 and ejected the staff and administrators from the building. While most of the administrators left of their own accord, there was a brief scuffle between students and one of the deans.

While the protestors spoke via bullhorn to a large crowd of supporters gathered outside, the Administration issued its injunction. As night fell State Police in riot gear moved in and arrested the protesters. The protestors, not all Dartmouth students, were jailed for 30 days and the students among them were suspended from school.

President Dickey’s hardline, by-the-rules approach was in stark contrast to President Kemeny’s response to a similar crisis only a year later: http://raunerlibrary.blogspot.com/2013/09/lemons-for-new-president.html

To view files detailing the incident ask for: President’s Office records, DP-12, box 7199, folder ROTC Controversy—Chronology. Photos can be found in the photo file "Parkhurst Hall Seizure, 1969."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

19th Century Fan Fiction

Well, not exactly, "fan" fiction, but of the same ilk. After the success of Charles Dickens' Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club in 1837, George Reynolds took the characters on a new picaresque journey in Pickwick Abroad: or, the Tour in France published in monthly parts from 1837-38.  Our first single-volume edition from 1839 acknowledges its debt to Mr. Dickens (or "Boz"), but also cites a review from The Age boasting that "'Pickwick Abroad' is so well done by G. W. M. Reynolds, that we must warn Boz to look to his laurels." Reynolds was surely throwing down the gauntlet, but by using Dickens' own creations.

How could this happen? At that time, an author did not have any real rights over the characters he or she created. The original work could get copyright, but the story and the characters were up for grabs. This led to works like Pickwick Abroad as well as other adaptations of popular novels. The law was not changed until Frances Hodgson Burnett fought for full control of her characters later in the century. Pickwick Abroad was a tremendous success that earned Reynolds 800 pounds.

To see the original, ask for Val 826 D55 U6. Pickwick Abroad is Sine C76pic.