This guide is designed primarily for patrons using
the North Carolina Collection, in Wilson Library at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Sarah Falls, a graduate student
in the School of Information and Library Science at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, completed the guide in December
of 2001. The North Carolina Collection staff made revisions in May
This guide identifies books, theses, and archival
sources useful in the further study of student activism at UNC-Chapel
Hill in the 1960s.
BACKGROUND | SUBJECT
HEADINGS | BOOKS
| STUDENT PUBLICATIONS | CLIPPING
FILES | EPHEMERAL,
ARCHIVAL AND PHOTOGRAPHS | MASTERS
the mid- to late-1960s, students at the University of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill became increasingly vocal in their protests of local
and national events. As on other campuses nationwide, students used
marches, sit-ins, and strikes to express their opposition to what
they perceived to be unjust policies.
At UNC-Chapel Hill, though there were voices of dissent
throughout the decade, four large protests have received the most
attention. The Speaker Ban Controversy (1963), Food Workers' Strike
(1969), and anti-Vietnam protests in 1969 and 1970 provoked the
largest reactions from students and the media.
Speaker Ban (1963-1966)
The "Act to Regulate Visiting Speakers" was passed by
the North Carolina State Legislature in June 1963. The law specified
that known members of the Communist Party, or those who had pleaded
the Fifth Amendment when asked under oath if they were Communists,
would not be permitted to speak at any of North Carolina's state-sponsored
institutions. Many students, faculty, and administrators saw the
bill as a direct attack on free speech and academic freedom on the
UNC campuses. The law was challenged on several occasions, most
notably when Herbert Aptheker and Frank Wilkinson spoke from a Franklin
Street sidewalk to students gathered on campus on the other side
of a low stone wall. A North Carolina court overturned the law in
Civil Rights Protests (1963-1964)
UNC-Chapel Hill students were often at the forefront of Civil Rights
protests in Chapel Hill. Inspired by other acts of civil disobedience,
such as the sit-ins begun by North Carolina A&T students in
Greensboro in 1960 and the large-scale protests in Birmingham in
the summer of 1963, a small group in Chapel Hill began to protest
the town's segregated institutions. As the protests grew in size
and in volume, many in the traditionally quiet, liberal town of
Chapel Hill were surprised by the violent reaction to the protestors
and the stubborn determination of several restaurant owners to retain
segregated facilities. An effort to pass a public accommodations
ordinance in early 1964 was narrowly defeated by the town council
and Chapel Hill businesses remained formally segregated until the
passage of the federal Civil Rights Act later that year.
Food Workers' Strike (1968-1969)
In late 1968, members of the Black Student Movement (BSM) at UNC-Chapel
Hill began advocating on behalf of the university's low-paid and
predominantly African American cafeteria workers. With the support
of the BSM and other students, the dining hall workers went on strike.
For several months, tensions rose between supporters of the strike
and students increasingly angered by the difficulty in getting a
meal on campus. Fearing a large outbreak of violence, the Governor
asked the North Carolina National Guard to stand by in Durham in
case they were needed on campus. The Guard was never called in,
and the strike ended in late March when the food workers' lawyer
and the governor reached an agreement that would raise wages for
the university's lowest-paid employees.
Anti-War Protests (1969-1970)
Richard Nixon’s election and subsequent failure to curtail
U.S. involvement in the war in Vietnam led, by the fall of 1969,
to mass demonstrations and protests by UNC-Chapel Hill students.
By the spring of 1970, class boycotts targeting the U.S. war effort
had become significant, and student protests culminated in a strike
by graduate teaching assistants and a march by 2,000 students on
South Building. Following the strike, university faculty and administrators
met in May amidst student teach-ins and sit-ins to discuss the university’s
policies toward the strikers and student protesters, demonstrating
that campus discontent was no longer limited to the periphery of
Library of Congress Subject Headings:
To begin your search using the library's online catalog (www.lib.unc.edu),
select a "Subject" search and enter any of the following
College Students--North Carolina--Chapel Hill--Political Activity
College Students--North Carolina--Chapel Hill--Political Activity--History--20th
Peace Movements--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
Protest Movements--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
Student Movements--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
Vietnam Conflict--Protest Movements--North Carolina--Chapel Hill
Sources on the UNC Student Movements:
Billingsley, William J. Communists on Campus: Race, Politics,
and the Public University in Sixties North Carolina. Athens,
GA: University of Georgia Press, 1999. C378 UE65.
This is a very good overview of the Speaker Ban Controversy
from the inception of the bill to court battles and negotiations
between politicians and UNC administrators to the eventual dismissal
of the law. University President William Friday and campus protests
figure prominently in the discussion, as does television commentator
Jesse Helms, whose increasing political influence becomes evident
during the Speaker Ban debate. The book includes a couple of
photographs of "Gov. Dan K. Moore wall" on Franklin
Ehle, John. The Free Men. New York: Harper and Row,
1965. C326 E33f
Daily Tar Heel. 1893 - present. C071 T16
The Daily Tar Heel, the primary student newspaper, includes
coverage of all student protests, editorials, and letters to the
The Left Heel. October 1966 - January 1967. C378 UQLe
A publication of the UNC Students for a Democratic Society. The
editors belong to the "New Left," and state, "We
feel that for too long the voices of unreflective conservatism
had retained a monopoly at this university." Content covers
national issues -- especially civil rights and Vietnam (vol. 1,
no. 3 is a "Special Viet Nam Issue").
Vietnam Viewpoints. November - December, 1967. Two issues.
The editors write, "Our primary objective is to provide
a forum for the opinions of students and others on the war."
The newspaper contains many reprints of articles from other newspapers
as well as original material. There are many editorials as well
as reports of protests and war news. Most of the viewpoints are
strongly anti-war, though there are some dissenting opinions.
Protean Radish. 1968-1970. C071 P987.
The Protean Radish was a local counter culture, anti-war magazine.
The North Carolina Collection holds bound copies of it, while
it can be found on microfilm at Davis Library.
Clipping Files at the North Carolina
The North Carolina Collection has a large collection of newspaper
clippings arranged by subject. University of North Carolina Clippings
(call number: CR378 UE7) will be helpful for researchers searching
for general material on UNC-Chapel Hill. See the Subject
Clippings Index for a full description. There is a separate collection
of newspaper articles on the Food Workers' Strike at the call number
Ephemeral, Archival and Photographic Holdings including
A variety of archival
materials are available at the North Carolina Collection and the
Southern Historical Collection. These include fliers, photographs
and personal collections of materials.
[Anti-War Materials from the University of North Carolina, Chapel
Hill] [Manuscript]. 1967-1970. 80 items. Found at the NCC at FVC378
Aycock, William Brantley. My Role in the Speaker Ban Controversy,
1963-1965. (1994). Photocopies of materials such as speeches,
letters and newspaper articles dealing with the early years of the
Speaker Ban. Found at NCC at FC378.9 N87a. Also found in the Law
and School of Government Libraries.
4, Series P4 in the North Carolina Collection Photographic Archives
documents the Anti-War activities on Campus.
Aycock, William Brantley. Records of the Office of the Chancellor:
William Brantley Aycock Series, 1957-1964. Held in the Manuscript
Department, UARS records, items 1-24600. Electronic Finding Aid
available at: http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/uars/40020.txt
Friday, William C. The records of William Clyde Friday, president
of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, 1957-1972, and
General Administration of the University of North Carolina, 1972-1986.
Inventory to the William C. Friday records, 1957-1986. Chapel
Hill, N.C. : University Archives and Records Service, University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1991. Found in the NCC at C378.1
Sitterson, J. Carlyle. Papers, 1930s-1999s [manuscript].
Held at the Manuscripts Department, records SHC 4770, items 1-10000.
The electronic finding aid is available at: http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/inv/s/Sitterson,J.Carlyle.html
Sitterson, J. Carlyle. Records of the Office of Chancellor :
Joseph Carlyle Sitterson series, 1966-1971 [manuscript]. Held
at the Manuscripts Department, records UARS Records, items 1-39600.
The electronic finding aid is available at http://www.lib.unc.edu/mss/uars/40022.txt
master's theses have been written on the student protest movements
at UNC-Chapel Hill. These all have thorough bibliographies, including
many helpful citations to Daily Tar Heel articles.
Floren, Gillian Dae. Speaking Freely: UNC-CH Administrators
Respond to Freedom of Expression, 1963-1970. Master's Thesis,
School of Journalism, 1989. C378 UO2 1989 FLOREN, G.D.
This is a concise look at of the movements focused on in this
pathfinder, the Speaker Ban, Food Worker's Strike, and the Anti-War
Strike of 1970. The thesis is helpful in setting the events
at UNC into the national context.
Thorpe, Judith L. Study of the Peace Movement at the University
of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Viewed within the Context of
the Nation 1964-1971. Master's Thesis, School of Education,
1971. C378 UO2 1972 THORPE, J.L.
Thorpe's work focuses on the anti-war movements at UNC. The
author argues that while UNC-Chapel Hill was thought to be "the
liberal bastion of the South," students were not as politically
active as those on other campuses.
Weiner, Terry S. Sources of Student Activism. Master's
Thesis, School of Sociology, 1972. C378 U02 WEINER, T.S.
This is a concise, useful source on the sociological aspects
of the student movements, using the Foodworker's Strike as a
case study. Written just after the strike, the author was able
to interview many of the people involved.
Williams, J. Derek. "It Wasn't Slavery Time Anymore:"
Foodworker's Strike at Chapel Hill, Spring 1969. Master's
Thesis, Department of History, 1979. C378 UO2 1980 WILLIAMS, J.D.
This is a nice complement to Terry Weiner's 1972 thesis. While
Weiner looked at the students involved in the food worker's
strike, Williams discusses all of the participants, including
the cafeteria workers and members of the Black Student Movement.