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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Social and Political Change on South University

 
 
Social and Political Change on South University Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
1. Social and Political Change on South University Marker
Inscription. When local merchants began the Ann Arbor Art Fair in July 1960, South University catered to both townspeople and students. During 40 years of social and political change, the fair grew into a city-wide extravaganza. In the twentieth century, as fraternities, sororities, dormitories, and student rooms concentrated nearby, South University had become a focus of student activity. At this corner in the 1950s and 1960s you could have seen homecoming parades or panty raiders shouting "To the hill!" (women's dorms), in the 1980s a basketball riot, and the 1990s the Naked Mile.

Political activities as well as pranks have always been a part of student life. Earlier students, fueled by alcohol, youth, and boredom, had torn up the town's wooden sidewalks for bonfires, disabled trolley cars, and shouted down presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan. They vigorously debated abolition, temperance, wars, and women's suffrage. During the Vietnam War, Ann Arbor became a center of the nationwide social and political firestorm. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and peace teach-ins originated at UM. Those turbulent years began with civil rights picketing, intensified with antiwar protests, White Panthers, Black Action Movement strikes, and demonstrations for women's liberation and gay rights. "Make love not war!"and "Power to the
Top Main Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
2. Top Main Image
Art Fair 1960
people!" affronted middle-class values and expressed the new rebellious spirit that led to hippies, the sexual revolution, and the Hash Bash.

Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library, the Ann Arbor News, and John and Leni Sinclair.
 
Erected by Ann Arbor Historic District Commission and South University Area Association.
 
Location. 42° 16.504′ N, 83° 44.152′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of South University Avenue and East University Avenue, on the right when traveling west on South University Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1101 South University Avenue, Ann Arbor MI 48109, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Corners of South University and East University Avenues (within shouting distance of this marker); Engineering at Michigan (within shouting distance of this marker); The Denison Archway (within shouting distance of this marker); East University Avenue Campus Boundary (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Martha Cook Building (about 600 feet away); William L. Clements Library
Top Panel, Upper Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
3. Top Panel, Upper Right Image
By the 1971 Art Fair, psychedelic rock, long hair, Afros, and tie-dyed T-shirts had replaced the Hit Parade music, crew cuts, suits, ties, hats and gloves of the 1950s.
(about 600 feet away); Michigan Summer Symposium in Theoretical Physics (about 600 feet away); First Medical Buildings (about 700 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
 
Also see . . .  Site 15. SOUTH UNIVERSITY and EAST UNIVERSITY. Better view of what the sign looks like without the background showing through. (Submitted on October 19, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.) 
 
Categories. 20th Century
 
Top Panel, Lower Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
4. Top Panel, Lower Left Image
Minorty students on South University returning from a three-day sit-in at the UM Administration building.
Top Panel, Lower Right Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
5. Top Panel, Lower Right Image
The first Hash Bash brought thousands of young people to the Diag on April Fool's Day 1971 to celebrate Ann Arbor's lenient penalties for smoking marijuana.
Bottom Panel, Main Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
6. Bottom Panel, Main Image
On a hot June night in 1969, over 1,000 youths tried to "liberate" South University and turn it into a "People's Park." On the third night of escalating conflict, city police and sheriff's deputies responded to rock throwing by using tear gas and nightsticks to clear the street. This incident symbolized for many the political and social upheaval of the time.
Lower Panel, Upper Left Image image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
7. Lower Panel, Upper Left Image
Officers with night-sticks, riot helmets, and gas masks form a line on South University at Church Street, June 1969.
Social and Political Change on South University Marker image. Click for full size.
By Joel Seewald, October 12, 2017
8. Social and Political Change on South University Marker
View looking toward the east along South University Avenue.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 15, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 19, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 67 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on October 19, 2017, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.
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