Voices of 1968 oral history collection

Summary

Creator: University of Delaware. Library. Special Collections
Date(s): 2018
Call Number: MSS 0858
Language: Materials entirely in English.
Abstract: Voices of 1968 is an oral history collection focused on Delawareans to capture local stories of that pivotal year in American history. Interviews were conducted by Library staff, partners in the Wilmington Archive Project, and other project volunteers. The topics covered in the interviews include campus politics and student activism in Delaware (particularly through the Students for Democratic Society chapter at the University of Delaware campus), reactions to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, the National Guard occupation of Wilmington, and political and social actions related to civil rights, the 1968 presidential campaign, resistance to America's involvement in Vietnam, and other aspects of life in Delaware.
Physical Description:
  • 11.42 gigabytes (8 interviews (MP4) 3 interviews (WAV)s)
  • 1 megabyte (11 time logs (PDF)s)
Immediate Source of Acquisition: Collected by University of Delaware Special Collections, 2018.
Processing Information: Processed and encoded by John Caldwell and Rebecca Johnson Melvin, 2018. Finding aid prepared using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Alternative Format: Access to streaming video of the oral histories and PDFs of the tape logs is available by following the links in the finding aid below. These digitized files are housed in the University of Delaware Institutional Repository

Biographical and Historical Notes

1968 is remembered as a pivotal year in American history, particularly notable for Delawareans as the year when the Delaware National Guard occupied Wilmington to quell riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in April. At the University of Delaware, students were involved in rallies and protests on campus that mirrored national activism in war resistance, civil rights, Black power, and equal rights for women. In Wilmington, residents grappled with urban issues, especially after the construction of I-95 at the start of the decade had gutted neighborhoods and white migration to the suburbs created large pockets of low-income, high unemployment, predominantly African American communities, especially in the areas of Southbridge, West Center City ("The Valley") and Northeast Wilmington.

The University of Delaware Library commemorated this historic time with a 50th anniversary exhibition, "1968: Heterodoxical Times in Delaware" and initiated an oral history project, "Voices of 1968," to collect additional information from Delawareans. At the same time, the Delaware Art Museum, Delaware Historical Society, Delaware Humanities, UD Interdisciplinary Humanities Research Center, and many other community partners collaborated to plan events, exhibitions, and projects described at http://www.wilmington1968.org/ to reflect on the social justice activism that was sparked and has continued since 1968.

The Wilmington Archives Project joined with the University of Delaware Library and other volunteer partners to collect and contribute oral histories preserved in this Voices of 1968 oral histories collection.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains raw audio recordings and audio-visual footage of interviews, most of which were recorded in the University of Delaware Library's Student Multimedia Design Center. Interviews were conducted by Library staff, Wilmington Archives Project partners, and other project volunteers.

The topics covered in the interviews include campus politics and student activism in Delaware (particularly through the Students for Democratic Society chapter at the University of Delaware campus), reactions to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination, the National Guard occupation of Wilmington, and political and social actions related to civil rights, the 1968 presidential campaign, resistance to America's involvement in Vietnam, and other aspects of life in Delaware. Most interviews are accompanied by time logs, which provide a general summary of the topics discussed in the interview, along with a time stamp denoting where in the interview (minute and seconds) the topics are discussed. Full text transcripts are available for some of the interviews.

Brief biographical profiles of interviewees are included in the finding aid.

This is a growing collection and new interviews will continue to be added.

Using these materials

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

MSS 0858, Voices of 1968 oral history collection, Special Collections, University of Delaware Library, Newark, Delaware.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library, https://library.udel.edu/static/purl.php?askspec

Container List

Arrangement

Oral history interviews are arranged alphabetically by last name.

Interview with Phillip Bannowsky, 2018 June 11

Phillip Bannowsky first came to Delaware in the eraly 1960s. In 1968, Bannowsky had recently returned to Newark, Delaware after living for a time in Philadelphia.

Interview conducted by Rebecca Johnson Melvin (interviewer) and John Caldwell (notetaker).

Interview and Time log

Duration: 1:01:50

Interview with Lewis Bennett, 2018 June 1

Lewis "Lew" Bennett was a student at the University of Delaware in 1968. Bennett was friends with a number of members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) during his time at the University, and also hitchhiked across the country during the summer of 1968.

Interview conduced by Rebecca Johnson Melvin (interviewer) and John Caldwell (notetaker).

Interview and Time log

Duration: 0:39:06

Interview with Harmon and Claire LaMar Carey, 2018 August 13

Harmon Carey is a Wilmington native and retired social worker. Claire LaMar Carey was the first black female chemist at Hercules, Inc. in 1965. Married in 1967, the Careys were living in Arden, and Harmon was working with the Peoples Settlement in 1968.

Interview conducted by Rod Carey (interviewer) and Rebecca Johnson Melvin (notetaker).

Interview and Time log

Duration: 1:08:22

Interview with Richard Codor, 2018 October 24

Richard Codor was a student at the University of Delaware from 1965-1969 and served as the cartoonist for both The Review and The Heterodoxical Voice.

Interview conducted by Shaun Mullen (interviewer) and Rebecca Johnson Melvin (notetaker).

Interview and Time log

Duration: 0:53:19

Interview with Shaun Mullen, 2018 April 19

Shaun Mullen is a native Delawarean (Hockessin). Interested in journalism, Mullen worked for The Review as a student at the University of Delaware. In 1968, he served as the editor of The Review.

Interview conducted by John Caldwell (interviewer) and Grace Adeneye (notetaker).

Interview and Time log

Duration: 0:36:35

Interview with Clinton Perkins, 2018 November 7

Clinton Perkins was raised in Wilmington. Perkins was an active participant in the civil rights movement as a youth in 1968, including going to Resurrection City in the spring of 1968 as a high school senior.

Interview conducted by TAHIRA (interviewer) and David Kim (notetaker). Additional notes by Rebecca Johnson Melvin.

Interview and Tape log

Duration: 0:53:44

Interview with E. Poppa Rogers, Sr, 2018 November 10

E. Poppa Rogers, Sr., grew up in Wilmington. His mother was, the son of Ida Mae Rogers Kellerhan Stallings, a civil rights activist and one of the mothers of the welfare rights movement in Delaware. Rogers was a teenager in 1968 and, with his mother and siblings, was very active in the civil rights movement.

Interview conducted by TAHIRA (interviewer) and David Kim (notetaker). Additional notes by Rebecca Johnson Melvin.

Interview and Tape log

Duration: 0:56:14

Interview with Jea P. Street, Sr, 2018 November 8

Jea Street, Sr., is a Wilmington native who grew up attending NAACP meetings with his mother. Street eventually joined the NAACP himself at the age of 12. Street was 15 in 1968, and remembers the days after Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death in Wilmington, the National Guard, and the aftermath of 1968 in Delaware.

Interview conducted by TAHIRA (interviewer) and David Kim (notetaker). Additional notes by Rebecca Johnson Melvin.

Interview and Tape log

Duration: 0:50:45

Interview with Leo Tammi and Judy Reynolds Tammi, 2018 April 4

The son of politically-active Finnish immigrants, Leo Tammi grew up on Otts Chapel Road in Newark, Delaware. Tammi was a self-taught photographer, developing his interest and skill as a high school student.

Judy Reynolds Tammi also grew up in Newark, Delaware. She and Leo met while Judy was helping deliver mail to the Tammi Egg Farm.

Interview conducted by Rebecca Johnson Melvin (interviewer) and John Caldwell (notetaker).

Interview and Time log

Duration: 0:32:43

Interview with Kennard Wiggins, 2018 May 11

Kennard "Ken" Wiggins, a Wilmington native, was 22 years old in 1968. A student at the University of Delaware, Wiggins was also a member of the Delaware National Guard, and was activated during the events in Wilmington in April 1968.

Interview conducted by Rebecca Johnson Melvin (interviewer) and John Caldwell (notetaker).

Interview and Time log

Duration: 0:46:43

Interview with George Wolkind, 2018 May 1

George Wolkind was a student at the University of Delaware from 1965-1969. In 1968, Wolkind was an active member of the Univeristy's chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).

Interview conducted by Shaun Mullen (interviewer) and Rebecca Johnson Melvin (notetaker).

Interview and Time log

Duration: 0:49:22

Names & Subjects

Names

Subjects

Locations

Formats

Additional Titles

  • Heterodoxical voice
  • Review (University of Delaware)