This Week in Daily History

Published March 17, 2004

March 15, 1999

A group of 30 students occupied University President Lee
Bollinger’s office in the Fleming Administration
Building.

The students, all members of Students Organizing for Labor and
Economic Equality, vowed to continue the sit-in until the
University would comply with their demands by adopting a strong set
of standards for the collegiate apparel industry.

The students left the building two days later, after Bollinger
presented a policy for the University’s expectations for
licensed manufacturers at a University Board of Regents meeting.
The sit-in lasted just over 50 hours.

March 20, 1965

Four University students were arrested while participating in a
civil rights demonstration in Montgomery, Alabama.

The students, Barry Goldstein, Helen Jacobson, David Aroner and
Diane Runkel, were arrested with a group of 120 other demonstrators
for loitering on the state capitol grounds.

Students returning to Ann Arbor reported that the four jailed
students had decided not to post bail, instead starting a hunger
strike until their release.

About 70 University students had traveled to Montgomery for the
demonstration, led by Martin Luther King Jr. The two-day event
consisted of several demonstrations and a march to the state
capitol, which flew the Confederate flag at the time.

March 15, 1975

In front of a packed Hill Auditorium, consumer advocate Ralph
Nader lambasted American food producers for selling food products
that he said lacked nutritional value

“The hot dog is an example,” Nader said. “It
consists of fat, water, a little meat and trash.”

Nader proposed the establishment of consumer co-ops to pressure
food companies and courses to educate the public about nutrition
and consumer affairs.

March 20, 1951

The University Young Republicans were split over a report that a
conference of Young Republicans from southern colleges had endorsed
a Republican- “Dixiecrat” coalition for the 1952
Presidential election.

YR president Dave Cargo denounced the idea, calling it
“the most asinine, the most foolish I’ve ever heard.
And boy, I mean it!”

But YR member Bill Halby said he saw merit in the proposed
coalition.

“The Republican Party doesn’t stand a chance in the
South as things stand,” Halby said. “I’m all for
it.”

Young Democrats President Don McNiel said he would not mind
letting the southern Democrats go.

“They’d make fine bedfellows,” McNiel said of
Dixiecrats and Republicans.

Dwight Eisenhower later won the election.

March 16, 1958

Members of the Young Socialists Club of Wayne County charged
that members of the Detroit Police Department’s “Red
Squad” photographed them in an attempt at intimidation while
the group passed out newsletters in front of the Michigan
Union.

The club members reported that a group of men in a car with
Detroit license plates refused to identify themselves after taking
the photographs.

Detroit police, as well as Ann Arbor police, state police and
the FBI, denied knowledge of the incident.

March 15, 1935

A survey of about 50 female University students revealed that
the ideally dressed man wore a checked jacket, gray slacks, a
bright plaid tie and socks and white shoes. Bow ties, stiff collars
and black shirts elicited a largely negative response.

The survey indicated that a slight majority favored the wearing
of hats on dates, but derbies were widely frowned upon.

March 17, 1983

Prof. Charles Tilly, with a speech titled “Marx the
Historian” before a packed Angell Hall auditorium, kicked off
the two-day Karl Marx Centennial Conference.

Tilly praised Marx for his contributions to historical and
political philosophy. He went on to lament the present state of
socialism, which he said bore little resemblance to Marx’s.
The opening ceremonies continued with a speech by Prof. Goran
Therborn of Sweden’s Lund University. Open workshops, in
which scholars and students explored Marxist philosophy, were held
all day in the Rackham third-floor conference rooms and in the
Frieze Building.

—Compiled by Daily Staff Reporter Donn M.
Fresard