1970s Counterculture

Terry Carroll discusses the 1970s counterculture and how the Vietnam War affected students' lives on campus.

Interview on 2011-04-22

Transcript

00:00:00.000 Well and in State's case you were introducing mixed genders too.
00:00:05.606 We had one woman's dorm and I think it was less than a hundred.
00:00:10.398 Anyway, there was one dorm over close to the administration building.
00:00:12.610 Men and women weren't allowed to mix.
00:00:16.881 You had all that going and you had kind of a Southern "Animal House."
00:00:26.241 I mean I loved the movie because if you were kind of involved in that sort of thing there is a lot of truth in that movie.
00:00:33.239 Then you had all the wild stuff in California
00:00:40.261 and we were a very conservative area from my perspective at that point in time.
00:00:43.950 And of course you had the music going on, all that was going,
00:00:49.537 free love, I mean you got to throw that in there, streaking; all that stuff is going on.
00:00:54.008 You had a lot of protests with the war.
00:00:59.943 I experienced that as a soldier, I experienced that, you know, holding a rifle on other college students when I was in D.C.
00:01:07.155 I was in service up in Quantico and, you know, you had a loaded magazine,
00:01:11.928 and Kent State had occurred. Four people had been killed at Kent State.
00:01:15.607 You had the gas stuff and fights and stuff breaking out there, people opening other people's gas tanks to siphon gas.
00:01:26.916 Prices were going through the ceiling.
00:01:30.276 People wondered about how they were going to pay their tuition, drive to campus, do these sorts of things.
00:01:35.524 We did have some racial riots at the time,
00:01:42.747 not when I was in office but when I was there earlier when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated.
00:01:49.096 We had martial law. I'll never forget that.
00:01:53.595 You had curfews to be in.
00:01:55.898 The jeeps drove up and down on Poole Ave. kind of making sure that students stayed on campus.
00:02:02.809 I think we had like a 6:00 curfew we had to be in.
00:02:06.280 Then of course Nixon, whom I really detested but I have learned to appreciate,
00:02:14.365 Nixon was handed a very difficult situation.
00:02:18.639 The world was crazy.
00:02:21.804 There was a double standard in terms of the racial stuff.
00:02:29.166 There was equality in Vietnam but there wasn't equality when you came home, so that was going on.
00:02:38.209 In some ways people have said that we were on the verge of revolution.
00:02:43.257 I don't know if we were on the verge of revolution but it was a hot powder keg.
00:02:46.453 So you had all that stuff going on
00:02:51.223 and you had students becoming more assertive,
00:02:57.237 and of course a lot of it had to do with the draft
00:03:01.807 and I dare say--and I shouldn't say this and it's politically bad to say this--
00:03:06.052 but if we had the draft today we would be seeing a whole lot more in terms of protests and everything else, in terms of the wars that we're in.
00:03:13.341 We don't, and I think that is--. In my opinion, and I haven't studied it or anything, but I would say that is the single biggest factor that differentiates today from late '60s, early '70s.