Re: [sixties-l] SF State Bombings, Radical Campus Chaplains,and Claremont Colleg es Activism

From: Peter Levy (
Date: Tue May 01 2001 - 09:00:56 EDT

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    While I can not help you with most of your requests, Doug Rossinow wrote
    a paper (grad school seminar, I believe) on student activism at
    Swarthmore College. The paper is available at Swarthmore, although I
    don't believe it circulates. Their library catalogue is on line.

    "Tenney, Matthew" wrote:
    > Dear Sixties Aficionados, Scholars, and Relentless Activists:
    > I'm a student at Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California, and I
    > recently completed my senior thesis on white student radicalism at the
    > Claremont Colleges between 1966 and 1970. Although I've already submitted
    > the thesis, I intend to significantly expand my paper and deposit the
    > narrative history in the College Archives. Before I continue with my
    > project, however, I was hoping that some members of this list might shed
    > some light on a few questions I have:
    > 1. What ever happened to Timothy Peebles? Peebles was the San Francisco
    > State Black Student Union (BSU) member who accidentally blew himself up on
    > March 5, 1969, while planting a bomb in the SF State Creative Arts Building.
    > Claremont had bombings at Pomona and Scripps Colleges (two of the
    > undergraduate schools that comprise the Claremont Colleges) in late February
    > of that year, and investigators linked the devices to an earlier explosion
    > at Southwestern College in Los Angeles. After the SF State explosion,
    > Peebles became the main suspect in the Claremont bombings, although charges
    > were never filed (the Claremont bombings occurred right before the Pomona
    > College faculty was set to vote on the Claremont BSU's plan for an
    > autonomous Black Studies Center).
    > 2. Are there any dissertations, papers, articles, or monographs that
    > explore how campus clergy fostered and channeled student dissent at colleges
    > and universities and the extent of their involvement in radical activism?
    > The Claremont chaplains led marches and rallies, established a draft
    > counseling center, and delivered radical sermons during chapel services.
    > Claremont Colleges Chaplain James Joseph, who later served as President
    > Clinton's ambassador to South Africa, once delivered a sermon endorsing the
    > Black Manifesto penned by James Forman. Essentially, the Claremont clergy
    > turned the campus religious activities center into the physical and
    > spiritual hub of white radical activism on campus.
    > Doug Rossinow's book (The Politics of Authenticity) explores how the
    > University of Texas-Austin YM/YWCA and the Christian-Faith-and-Life
    > Community fostered liberal dissent in the early Sixties. However, once he
    > starts discussing the latter New Left (1966-1970), the religious aspect
    > disappears from his narrative. Ken Heineman's Campus Wars occasionally
    > makes reference to clergy activism at the four public colleges he profiled
    > (Michigan State, SUNY-Buffalo, Kent State, and Penn State). Are there any
    > historiographical materials that specifically examine the activist role
    > played by campus clergy?
    > 3. Are there any dissertations, papers, articles, or monographs that
    > explore campus radicalism at small, private liberal arts colleges? I would
    > like to compare Claremont activism to the radical activities at comparable
    > institutions.
    > 4. Do you know any former Claremont activists who are willing to share
    > their experiences? The student and community newspapers mention the same
    > five or so names in every article on student dissent. (FYI, one of those
    > names is Jim Miller, a former Pomona student and radical anarchist who
    > attended the 1969 SDS convention supporting Murray Bookchin's anarchist
    > platform. Miller later wrote Democracy Is in the Streets, which led the
    > Sixties historiographical avalanche of 1987 and prompted Tom Hayden to
    > complete his memoirs.) I would like to interview some of the activists who
    > weren't media darlings to get their opinion on the Movement leaders in
    > Claremont. Yes Claremont is a relatively small place, but I figure some
    > subscribers to this list might work with or otherwise know Claremont
    > Colleges alumni. Perhaps your "six degrees of separation" might produce a
    > few valuable leads. By the way, if anybody on this list knows the present
    > whereabouts of one Jim Kulk, I'd greatly appreciate your assistance in
    > tracking him down. Kulk was a Claremont Graduate School student and leader
    > of the SDS chapter there. I've inquired around Claremont, but nobody knows
    > what happened to him after he left in 1970 without completing his Ph.D.
    > 5. (The easiest question to answer!) I'm curious: what is former National
    > SDS leader Greg Calvert up to these days? I know he went back to school
    > some years ago and obtained a Ph.D. from the UC Santa Cruz History of
    > Conciousness program. Is he teaching anywhere?
    > Thank you for your assistance -- I certainly appreciate whatever tidbits of
    > information you might provide. Thank you, too, for continuing the
    > discussion and debate over the many facets of this fascinating era.
    > Best regards,
    > Matthew Tenney

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