The Lawrence 1970 Project

The Lawrence 1970 Project The Lawrence 1970 Project is a community-wide endeavor to mark and commemorate the tumultuous events of 50 years ago in Lawrence, Kansas.
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Fifty years ago today, the Kansas Union was firebombed, a crime that remains unsolved. Read this retrospective from our ...
04/21/2020
50 years later, firebombing of Kansas Union leaves lasting impact on Lawrence history

Fifty years ago today, the Kansas Union was firebombed, a crime that remains unsolved. Read this retrospective from our friends at Lawrence Journal-World. Were any of you here in Lawrence at the time?

Fifty years ago today, Lawrence and the University of Kansas campus were the epicenter of nationwide unrest over civil rights and simmering tensions amid the country’s involvement in the Vietnam War. In the days and weeks leading up to April 20, 1970, an unsettled feeling had already begun to take...

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINETuesday, April 14: "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here."Over 200,000 miles from earth, th...
04/15/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Tuesday, April 14: "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here."

Over 200,000 miles from earth, the Apollo 13 spacecraft suffers an explosion. The world is transfixed watching as the three astronauts aboard make repairs, abort their mission, and return to earth against great odds.

When counterculture bad boy Abbie Hoffman came to town exactly 50 years ago, he ruffled a LOT of feathers. Get the skinn...
04/08/2020
Hoffman's Huff

When counterculture bad boy Abbie Hoffman came to town exactly 50 years ago, he ruffled a LOT of feathers. Get the skinny on his visit in this great KU History article!

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEWednesday, April 8: Wild times! Arson and bomb threats had the police chasing suspects around ...
04/08/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Wednesday, April 8: Wild times! Arson and bomb threats had the police chasing suspects around KU overnight. Then 4,000 students gather for a strike and rally protesting recent actions of the Board of Regents. AND, tonight Abbie Hoffman will give a poorly received speech on campus, blow his nose on an American flag, and call Lawrence a "drag." Did we miss anything??

04/07/2020
Earth Days 2009 Full Movie

Fifty years ago this month, Lawrence residents joined in a new, nationwide environmental movement. Tune in to the Watkins Museum of History page on April 22 for Online Event: Earth Day 50th Birthday Party, featuring videos from the Watkins and several community partners. In the meantime, check out this great American Experience | PBS documentary about the origins of Earth Day in April 1970!
KU Natural History Museum Spencer Museum of Art Friends of the Kaw - Kansas Riverkeeper Kansas Biological Survey and KU Field Station

Earth Days (2009) - Full Movie Earth Days (2009) - Full Movie Earth Days (2009) - Full Movie

THE LAWRENCE 1970 PROJECTMonday, April 6: It's a "major city problem"--and it stinks. In the midst of a nationwide envir...
04/06/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 PROJECT

Monday, April 6: It's a "major city problem"--and it stinks. In the midst of a nationwide environmental movement, the Journal-World is running a series on local pollution. Today the newspaper reports that the hole where the city dumps its solid waste is turning into a "Garbage Mountain" that is nearly overflowing. Yuck! (Lawrence Journal-World)

Happy birthday, Gremlin! AMC introduced this peculiar-looking car on this date 50 years ago. Who remembers the iconic Gr...
04/01/2020

Happy birthday, Gremlin! AMC introduced this peculiar-looking car on this date 50 years ago. Who remembers the iconic Gremlin?

(Bob DuHamel; creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en)

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINETuesday, March 31: Welcome back, Explorer 1! America's first satellite reenters Earth's atmosp...
03/31/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Tuesday, March 31: Welcome back, Explorer 1! America's first satellite reenters Earth's atmosphere and burns up over the South Pacific. Launched twelve years ago, Explorer I has made 58,376 revolutions around the Earth and collected lots of data.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINESunday, March 29: Let's get counted! Census forms were mailed out yesterday, and the official ...
03/29/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Sunday, March 29: Let's get counted! Census forms were mailed out yesterday, and the official date for the 1970 census will be this Wednesday. The census will count 45,698 people living in Lawrence, an increase of over 39% since 1960.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 PROJECTIn this spring of 1970, the local Planned Parenthood office has closed due to lack of funds. No...
03/27/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 PROJECT

In this spring of 1970, the local Planned Parenthood office has closed due to lack of funds. Now female KU students can only get birth control from the county health department--but first they must face an exam, complete with grilling and often shaming--at Watkins Memorial Hospital.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEThursday, March 26: Last night, a police-community relations meeting held at the East Lawrence...
03/26/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Thursday, March 26: Last night, a police-community relations meeting held at the East Lawrence Community Center got a little tense. African American residents told officers at the meeting that relations between blacks and the largely white police force have become polarized, and that they fear officers who approach them.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINESpring of 1970 is a busy time for KU women. Emily Taylor, the activist Dean of Women and futur...
03/25/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Spring of 1970 is a busy time for KU women. Emily Taylor, the activist Dean of Women and future namesake of the Emily Taylor Center for Women and Gender Equity, organizes a conference of women's groups, including Associated Women Students, the National Organization of Women, and the Women's Liberation Front.

For more on Emily Taylor, read the book by Kelly C. Sartorius:

03/24/2020
Sly & The Family Stone Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) HQ Audio

During this difficult time, we'd just like to THANK YOU all for following the Lawrence 1970 Project!
Stuck indoors? Check out the daily content created by our partners at the Watkins Museum of History: Discover the Watkins Online

Sly & The Family Stone Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) 1970 Used VirtualDub to edit and enhance video, also to replace audio with HQ true stereo reco...

Watkins Museum of History
03/23/2020

Watkins Museum of History

History is being made right now! Help the Watkins document how people and groups are adapting and aiding our community during the 2020 pandemic. We’d love to archive copies of photos that you’re posting online. Those interested in donating photo files can contact Collections Manager Brittany Keegan at [email protected]. We can’t accept physical donations at this time, but ask that you save materials like flyers, journals, signs, etc., for possible donation later.

03/19/2020
Let It Be (Remastered 2009)

"When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me ..."

We can't think of a better song for times of trouble! The Beatles' "Let It Be" is released this month and will become a #1 hit in April.

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group Let It Be (Remastered 2009) · The Beatles Let It Be ℗ 2009 Calderstone Productions Limited (a division of Univer...

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEWednesday, March 18: It's the largest union-sanctioned strike in U.S. history. Today, federal ...
03/18/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Wednesday, March 18: It's the largest union-sanctioned strike in U.S. history. Today, federal postal workers in New York launch a strike that spreads across America and will lead to the dissolution of the U.S. Post Office, the creation of the U.S. Postal Service, and guaranteed collective bargaining rights for postal employees.

(APWUcommunications; creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

Instead of ending the spring semester early, KU has decided to move it online. It's not an exact parallel to the situati...
03/17/2020
KU moves classes online for entire spring semester; commencement status still undecided

Instead of ending the spring semester early, KU has decided to move it online. It's not an exact parallel to the situation in the spring of 1970, but similar!

Story updated at 1:34 p.m. Tuesday The University of Kansas on Tuesday announced that its classes for the remainder of the academic year would be held remotely to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The move came a day after an order from Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly dictated that gatherings f...

1970-2020: RESILIENCE & COMMUNITYFirst of all, a big thanks to all of you for joining the Lawrence 1970 Project Facebook...
03/17/2020

1970-2020: RESILIENCE & COMMUNITY

First of all, a big thanks to all of you for joining the Lawrence 1970 Project Facebook community. Your interest and support are totally far out!

Sadly, the current health situation has forced us to cancel several great events that were scheduled for April, and this may happen with later events as well. In the meantime, stay tuned for timeline news updates every couple of days or so. And feel free to make your own posts about 1970!

One thing that comes across in studying Lawrence in 1970 is locals' courage and resilience. And the same is true of Lawrence in 2020. Peace, guys and gals! (Photo courtesy of John Gary Brown.)

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINETuesday, March 17: The U. S. Army charges 14 officers (including two generals) with suppressin...
03/17/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Tuesday, March 17: The U. S. Army charges 14 officers (including two generals) with suppressing information about the 1968 My Lai Massacre in South Vietnam, and refers charges for court martial.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEMonday, March 16: Jack Mohr--anti-Semitic militia leader and member of the far-right John Birc...
03/16/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Monday, March 16: Jack Mohr--anti-Semitic militia leader and member of the far-right John Birch Society--is invited to speak at KU. During Mohr's speech, members of the audience interrupt and pelt him with marshmallows.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINESunday, March 15: Science--can you dig it?! The Atomic Energy Commission will renew its contra...
03/15/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Sunday, March 15: Science--can you dig it?! The Atomic Energy Commission will renew its contract with KU's study of the structure of the atomic nucleus. The project, headed by KU Prof. Ralph W. Krone, will continue for a 13th year and grants of nearly $2 million to date.

(Fastfission; creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en)

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINESaturday, March 14: Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) has said he hopes the Senate ...
03/14/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Saturday, March 14: Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D-MT) has said he hopes the Senate will follow up its vote to lower the voting age to 18 with a constitutional amendment. If adopted, such an amendment will enfranchise some 11 million Americans!

(Photo licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license: creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEFriday, March 13: In the past three days, a wave of bombings and bomb scares have hit communit...
03/13/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Friday, March 13: In the past three days, a wave of bombings and bomb scares have hit communities across the United States. Last week, members of the terrorist group Weather Underground accidentally blew up their New York City headquarters. Surely this couldn't happen in Lawrence?

Pictured: Aftermath of a Weather Underground bombing.

Almost 50 years ago, on March 15 and 22, 1970, the Sunflower munitions plant was picketed by Lawrence-based anti-Vietnam...
03/12/2020

Almost 50 years ago, on March 15 and 22, 1970, the Sunflower munitions plant was picketed by Lawrence-based anti-Vietnam War protesters. Learn more about the long history of this local plant in a talk hosted by our friends at Eudora Area Historical Society on March 19.

Did you work at the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant? Did one or both of your parents work there? How about any family and friends? Even though the Sunflower Plant closed 28 years ago, an enormous amount of people in the Eudora Area have a direct connection to the Sunflower Ammunition Plant.

Our next free program is titled "Eudora and the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant."

One of the most consequential events in Eudora’s History was the opening of the Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant just east of Eudora in 1942. The plant primarily produced smokeless powder and propellant used in weapons by the US Armed Forces. During WWII, the plant employed over 12,000 people. All of the new jobs meant that the workers and their families needed places to live. The population of Eudora tripled almost overnight, and there was an extreme housing shortage. The Plant remained in operation on and off until it closed for good in 1992. KU Museum Studies Students Natalie Vondrak and Meredith Cate will share their research on the impact of the Plant on the Eudora community. We also invite any former Sunflower employees to attend this program and to share their personal experiences from working at the Plant.

When: Thursday March 19th, 7:00pm
Where: Eudora Community Center (1630 Elm Street)

We also plan to live-stream this program on our page, don't miss it!

EudoraEvents, Eudora Chamber of Commerce, City of Eudora, Watkins Museum of History, Freedom's Frontier National Heritage Area, Inc., The Eudora Times

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEThursday, March 12: KU students and others are participating in National Stop the Draft Week, ...
03/12/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Thursday, March 12: KU students and others are participating in National Stop the Draft Week, which sparks actions until March 22. Students boycott classes and large groups will picket the Lawrence Selective Service office and the Hercules Sunflower munitions plant.

In other news, the U.S. Senate votes in favor of lowering the voting age to 18.

The official schedule is now available for Paper Plains: A Literary Festival. Check it out to see what Lawrence 1970 Pro...
03/06/2020
Events — Paper Plains Literary Festival

The official schedule is now available for Paper Plains: A Literary Festival. Check it out to see what Lawrence 1970 Project-affiliated exhibits and events are included!

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEThursday, March 5: A milestone of world peace is achieved as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferati...
03/05/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Thursday, March 5: A milestone of world peace is achieved as the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons goes into effect after being ratified by 47 nations. The three sponsoring nations are the USA, the USSR, and the UK.

(Photo: Marc Baronnet. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/deed.en)

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEWednesday, March 4: Lawrence will have a new library! Yesterday, city voters approved by 56% a...
03/04/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Wednesday, March 4: Lawrence will have a new library! Yesterday, city voters approved by 56% a $1,575,000 bond measure to fund it. The new public library will be opened in 1972 at 7th and Vermont Streets.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINETuesday, March 3: The Jayhawks will soon be playing on a new type of field! KU Athletic Direct...
03/03/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Tuesday, March 3: The Jayhawks will soon be playing on a new type of field! KU Athletic Director Wade Stinson has confirmed plans to replace Memorial Stadium's grass surface with a synthetic material such as Astroturf.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEThursday, February 26: Happy birthday to NPR! Today, National Public Radio is incorporated to ...
02/27/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Thursday, February 26: Happy birthday to NPR! Today, National Public Radio is incorporated to be a provider of news and programming for public radio stations. NPR will go live on April 20.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEThursday, February 26: The Black Student Union at KU presents a list of demands to Chancellor ...
02/26/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Thursday, February 26: The Black Student Union at KU presents a list of demands to Chancellor Laurence Chalmers, including more hiring and enrollment of African Americans and creation of a black studies department. Most of the demands will be rejected, but an African Studies program will be created later this year.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEWednesday, February 25: "Rubber duckie, you're the one ..." Kids' television history is made t...
02/25/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Wednesday, February 25: "Rubber duckie, you're the one ..." Kids' television history is made today as the Muppet Ernie performs his signature song for the first time on "Sesame Street." The piece will soon become a bestselling record!

02/21/2020
I Don't Wanna Get Drafted

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Saturday, February 21: A special commission chaired by former Defense Secretary Thomas S. Gates, Jr., submits a report to President Nixon recommending an end to the military draft. Frank Zappa will be pleased!

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group I Don't Wanna Get Drafted · Frank Zappa The Lost Episodes ℗ 1996 Zappa Family Trust, Under exclusive license to ...

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEFriday, February 20: The Kansas Board of Regents approves partial funding for KU's new humanit...
02/20/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Friday, February 20: The Kansas Board of Regents approves partial funding for KU's new humanities building. The rest of the cost of the $8 million structure, named Wescoe Hall, will be covered by student fees.

(Photo by Jack Nealy; licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.)

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEThursday, February 19: Opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War is growing, and it's ...
02/19/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Thursday, February 19: Opposition to U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War is growing, and it's easy to see why. Today the U.S. command in Vietnam announced that 96 Americans were killed in the past week and 589 wounded. A total of 40,562 Americans have been killed in Vietnam so far.

We're in the news! Thanks for the fab article, LJWorld.com!
02/18/2020
Yearlong project will commemorate Lawrence in 1970 with events, exhibits

We're in the news! Thanks for the fab article, LJWorld.com!

The Watkins Museum of History is commemorating the 50th anniversary of 1970 and the era’s influence with a yearlong program of events called The Lawrence 1970 Project. The project is a communitywide endeavor that will explore important aspects of the era relating to civil rights, race, war, femini...

THE LAWRENCE 1970 PROJECTTuesday, February 17: Defendants in the "Chicago Seven" trial have received lengthy sentences--...
02/18/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 PROJECT

Tuesday, February 17: Defendants in the "Chicago Seven" trial have received lengthy sentences--and their sympathizers here in Lawrence and elsewhere respond with anger. Some 200 protesters gather in front of the Douglas County Courthouse at 11th and Mass Streets, where they break a window and spraypaint fists on the building. Three young men will later be arrested.

Far out! Lawrence 1970 Project graphic designer Austin Childs submitted this poster to the Creators' Ball on January 31 ...
02/14/2020

Far out! Lawrence 1970 Project graphic designer Austin Childs submitted this poster to the Creators' Ball on January 31 and it was one of the winners!

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINESaturday, February 14: Happy Valentine's Day! The novel "Love Story" by Erich Segal is release...
02/14/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Saturday, February 14: Happy Valentine's Day! The novel "Love Story" by Erich Segal is released today and will become the best-selling novel of the year. A movie version will come out in December and turn out to be one of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity
02/13/2020

Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity

Join The Lawrence 1970 Project for Opening Doors: Accessibility in Lawrence, featuring our Director Emeritus Dr. Kathy Rose-Mockry, on Friday, February 28th, 7-8:30 pm, at Watkins Museum of History.

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINEFriday, February 13: "Is it the end, my friend? Satan's coming 'round the bend ..." Yikes! The...
02/13/2020

THE LAWRENCE 1970 TIMELINE

Friday, February 13: "Is it the end, my friend? Satan's coming 'round the bend ..." Yikes! The first heavy metal album, Black Sabbath's title debut, is released in England. It will be released in the United States on June 1.

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How Local History Informs the Present

The Lawrence 1970 Project is a community-wide endeavor to mark, commemorate, and illuminate the tumultuous events of 50 years ago, which deeply affected Lawrence, Kansas. Through a timeline and events listing, project partners will bring people together to remember and explore issues of race, civil rights, war, feminism, and the counterculture that touched off a painful, but in some ways liberating, year in Lawrence.

The Watkins Museum of History oversees and moderates the social media platforms related to the Lawrence 1970 Project. We welcome and encourage your comments and posts. A friendly reminder that communications and interactions must be respectful and non-discriminatory, promoting civil discourse. The Watkins Museum of History and partners in the Lawrence 1970 Project are not responsible for any comments that are posted. In addition, we reserve the right to remove any posts or comments that are inappropriate and/or discriminatory and to block any individuals that act in inappropriate and/or discriminatory ways. We also do not permit messages selling products or promoting commercial, political or other ventures.

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July 16, 1970 in Lawrence KS... (excerpt from "So This Is America...." by By R. Monhollon
July 16, 1970 in Lawrence KS... (excerpt from "So This Is America...." by By R. Monhollon