Friday, April 8, 2016

Wonder Woman for President, 1972

First issue of Ms set on September 1972 issue of The DartmouthWhen we look back at major milestones in Dartmouth's history, we often get caught up in the local conditions that spurred the changes and forget about the broader cultural context. Dartmouth's decision to admit women is a case in point. The discussions we see almost always revolve around the campus response, the difficulties the first generations of women faced, and the impact on campus life. But, of course, the decision to make Dartmouth a co-ed institution occurred at a time when the nation as a whole was wrestling with issues raised by second-wave feminism.

That national context was one of the reasons we were thrilled to receive a mint condition inaugural issue from 1972 of Ms., the magazine that quickly became the primary venue for mainstream feminist thought.  Just a month later the first class of women enrolled at Dartmouth. The 1972 local news in the D resonates in new ways when juxtaposed with this new voice of a national movement. But also, the cover stories speak to the continued social and political battles of today: "Wonder Women for President," "Money for Housework," and "Gloria Steinem on How Women Vote."

Come see it, and the curious mix of ads it contains (Coppertone wasn't too sure how to speak to the feminist movement!) by asking for Rare HQ1101.M55 Vol 1, No.1, 1972.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Malcolm X at Dartmouth

Malcolm X at Dartmouth, January 26, 1965On January 26, 1965, Malcolm X visited campus at the invitation of the Undergraduate Council to offer Dartmouth students an alternative viewpoint to Martin Luther King, Jr. and James Farmer, both of whom had visited campus in the recent past. As you might expect, Malcolm X stirred up controversy with his lecture in Spaulding Auditorium and extended interview on the campus radio station, WDCR.

The D reported that Malcolm X promised "A Long, Bloody Summer," and a series of editorials and letters to the editor alternated expressions of fear, hostility and admiration. The D editorial board was unimpressed. They defended his right to speak on campus, but criticized his views: "His arguments were often irrational and his solutions, based on the ends to be achieved, often ignored the implications of the means to accomplish the ends."

Richard Joseph '65 offered a rebuttal to the editorial board under the disclaimer "THIS COLUMN DOES NOT NECESSARILY REPRESENT OR REFLECT THE POLICIES OF THIS PAPER" and letters to the editor supported Malcolm X. Just a few weeks later, Malcolm X was murdered. Dartmouth students, so recently debating his ideas, had to confront Malcolm X's life, death, and ideas on a personal level.

Come in and read the whole story in the D on our open reference shelves. To read the transcript of the WDCR interview, ask for the Malcolm X vertical file.