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1960s

Decade team: Amy Boruff, Stephanie Loiacono, Brett Myers, Jessics Strieper and Adam Vos (captain)

During the sixties, The Daily endured a decade of war, confusion, love, experimentation, rebellion and, ultimately, social change. The publication struggled to maintain a sense of neutrality, saturating itself with the fads and crazes of the time.

The Daily started the 1960s by promising to devote more time to national and international news.  This was initiated by the thought that students often relied on The Daily despite availability of other papers. The Daily frequently devoted time during the fall quarter of 1960 to covering election polls and candidate visits to the state.

The first major story of the decade was the appearance on campus of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who spoke in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union on Jan. 22, 1960. King delivered a speech titled “Moral Challenge of a New Age” to an overflow crowd of more than 1,500, almost all of them white. The Atlanta minister, who ate dinner with the Delta Delta Delta sorority the night of his speech, said: “The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slave from slavery, and established him as a legal fact, but not as a man.” King also spoke the next day, at the MU’s gallery.

The Daily, still heavily covering local and campus news, often exhibited a style of campus news much different from what you would find today. In 1960 it was common for The Daily to report events that would today be considered campus gossip. The Daily would report couples that were pinned, that is, when the male in the couple would give the female his fraternity pin as a sign of affection.

In the mid-1960s, The Daily covered Lyndon Johnson as president, go-go dancers as Ames’ latest fad, a 107-minute space walk and repeated visits by Juanita Castro, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s sister.  Fashion talk found its way into the newspaper, discussing new fashion trends at length.  Entire issues were dedicated to fashion and beauty for the fall and spring in 1966.  Churches dominated the ads in the paper in September of 1966. The Daily featured ads for “The Bomb” yearbook, reminding students to pick up a copy.

The mid-1960s also brought sexism and racism into the spotlight at The Daily.  During 1965 and 1966, the paper covered numerous stories about the life of college women. Stories focused on women as the object of beauty contests.  Other articles focused on women who had become victim to rape or harassment.

Racism was a constant issue as well.  The paper contained many stories about more blacks becoming students at ISU. In 1968, the paper extensively covered grievances by the Black Student Organization, which complained of racism towards blacks on campus, including in the athletic department.

Sports was covered intensely by The Daily during the early 1960s.  The football team achieved a 7-3 record in the Big 8 Conference.  The Daily would often devote two whole pages in an eight-page publication to the football team.

Interestingly, sports coverage bled into the editorial section of the publication, offering the first-hand perspective of Joy Cassill, a female sports reporter covering football with all-male colleagues.  Cassill’s column ended with her being disappointed that she could not go into the locker room like her male counterparts to interview players. This predated the debate over female sports reporters in the men's locker room.

Many namesakes that we recognize today were active in the mid sixties.  Robert Parks, after whom Iowa State’s library is now named, was president. Virgil Lagomarcino was the first dean of the new College of Education. Barbara Forker was head of the Department of Physical Education.

During the late sixties, the paper changed its logo from a clean-cut Times New Roman font to a bubbly Arial logo.  The placement of the title also varied throughout the school year during the late sixties. Sometimes it was found near the middle of the page; at other times, near the top, as we would expect today.  During the ’60s, The Daily continued a practice of publishing Monday through Saturday, often heavily devoting a thinner Saturday newspaper to the football team.  Most news stories did not include bylines.

The late ’60s brought to The Daily an era of change and rebellion. While professors debated the legalization of marijuana, students formed resistance movements in opposition to the draft and the war in Vietnam.

Toward the beginning of the 1968 school year, The Daily devoted multi-part stories chronicling the violent riot that occurred at the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago.

The Iowa State Organization of the Resistance, led by three ISU students, took part in the national resistance movement in 1967.  The Daily reported that “The resistance is a group of men who are bound together by one single and clear commitment:  on October 16 we will hand in our draft cards and refuse any further cooperation with the Selective Service System.”  The Daily filled the front page with a story covering twenty-eight members of the ISU community accepting draft cards and then turning them in to support non-violent resistance to the draft.

Further change on the ISU campus included the first female GSB president, Mary Lou Lifka, who preceded “bearded, motorcycle riding GSB president, Don Smith.” Smith, a member of Students for a Democratic Society, was a radical who would eventually become a national expert on wind-powered energy. Smith, who didn’t like wearing socks and was therefore known as the “Sockless Rebel,” wanted a student bill of rights. The GSB president told The Daily that he had used marijuana, and that caused a major stir on campus. After only 40 days in office, Smith boarded his motorcycle and drove to California, thus ending his reign as GSB leader. Smith’s tenure ushered in a period of student activism and dissent. Iowa State would never quite be the same.

 

 

 

         

 

     

 

   
 
About this Project Iowa State Daily Greenlee School Iowa State University Centennial Site