1968: Columbia in Crisis

Timeline of Events > Timeline

SDS Calendar

Original calendar of events proposed by SDS for the week of April 22 to April 27, 1968.

Click here for item information


Noon              SDS Sundial Rally

12:40 p.m.     March on gymnasium site, Morningside Park

2:00 p.m.       Sit-in begins in Hamilton Hall; Dean Henry

                     Coleman restrained from leaving his office by

                     protesting students

2:50 p.m.      Six Demands forumlated; students decide not

                    to leave until demands are met

Kirk's Office During Occupation

Students occupying President Kirk's office

Courtesy of Columbia College Today, Larry Mulvehill, photographer, 1968

Click here for item information


5:30 a.m.     White students evicted from Hamilton Hall by

                   black students

6:15 a.m.     Students break into Low Library and seize

                   President Kirk's offices

10:00 a.m.   Faculty with offices in occupied Hamilton Hall

                   begin congregating in 301 Philosophy Hall

3:30 p.m.     Dean Coleman released from Hamilton Hall and

                   goes directly to the Faculty meeting being held

                   in Havemeyer Hall

8:00 p.m.     Administration makes unsuccessful compromise

                   offer to black students

Evening        Avery Hall occupied by architecture graduate

                    students who refused to vacate the premises.

Kirk and Truman Press Conference

Grayson Kirk and David Truman at press conference in the Faculty Room of Low Memorial Library, April 25, 1968

Click here for item information

THURSDAY, April 25

2:00 a.m.     Fayerweather Hall occupied by students from

                   the graduate faculties, especially from the

                   social sciences

4:00 p.m.     Formation of the Ad Hoc Faculty Group;

                   formulation of its first proposals to end


7:00 p.m. -

8:00pm        Strikers reject Ad Hoc Faculty proposals

8:00 p.m.     Harlem activists address rally at Columbia

                    gates, march across campus

Evening        Counter-demonstrators are dissuaded by

                   Ad Hoc Faculty Group members from

                   attempting to invade Fayerweather Hall

H. Rap Brown

H. Rap Brown reading Hamilton Hall statement, Friday, April 26, 1968

Courtesy of Lee T. Pearcy '69C

Click here for item information

FRIDAY, April 26

1:05 a.m.     Provost Truman announces impending police

                    action to Ad Hoc Faculty Group

1:05 a.m.     Mathematics Hall occupied by radical/hard

                    line students from Low and Fayerweather

3:20 a.m.     As a result of strong faculty opposition, Truman

                   announces police action canceled; gym

                   construction suspended

1:10 p.m.     H. Rap Brown and Stokley Carmichael enter




Faculty Talking to Students on Low Ledge

Faculty members talking to students occupying Low Library.


Click here for item information

SATURDAY, April 27

1:00 a.m.     Mark Rudd delivers "bullshit" speech before Ad

                   Hoc Faculty Group, rejecting their efforts at

                   mediation that does not include amnesty for

                   striking students

Morning        William Petersen, chairman of the Trustees,

                   releases a hard line statement regarding the

                   situation on Columbia's campus

11:30 a.m.   Faculty cordon around Low Library established

                   to prevent access to demonstrators


Crowds Outside Low Library

Crowds of people outside the southwest corner of Low Library.  Faculty members wear white armbands, Majority Coalition members wear light blue armbands and an occupying student on the building ledge wears a red armband.

Courtesy of Columbia College Today

Click here for item information

SUNDAY, April 28

8:00 a.m.     Ad Hoc Faculty Group announces final

                   resolution ("bitter pill") to end crisis

5:00 p.m.     Majority Coalition establishes cordon

                   around Low Library

Evening        Demonstrators attempt to pass food

                   through counter-demonstrators' cordon

                   into Low Library

"No Amnesty" Sign

Anti-SDS student protesting against student occupation of buildings.

Click here for item information

MONDAY, April 29

3:30 p.m.     President Kirk issues negative response to

                   "bitter pill" resolutions

6:30 p.m.     Strikers reject "bitter pill" resolutions

11:30 p.m.   Ad Hoc Faculty Group appeals to Mayor Lindsay,

                   tables amnesty motion

Evening        Majority Coalition reluctantly accepts

                   "bitter pill" resolutions; withdraws its cordon

                   from around Low Library

The Bust

Police chasing students during the bust, April 30, 1968.

Photo courtesy of Paul Cronin, photographer unknown, 1968

Click here for item information

TUESDAY, April 30

2:30 a.m. -

5:30 a.m.    New York City police remove students from

                  occupied buildings and clear campus; 712

                  arrested, 148 injured

Noon           Ad Hoc Faculty Group meets in McMillin Theatre

                  to discuss a resolution in support of student

                  strike; resolution presented and withdrawn

2:00 p.m.    Joint Faculties meet in St. Paul's Chapel,

                  establish Executive Committee of the Faculty

8:00 p.m.    Students hold strike meeting in Wollman


Columbia University Libraries / Rare Book & Manuscript Library / Butler Library, 6th Fl. / 535 West 114th St. / New York, NY 10027 / (212) 854-5590 / rbml@libraries.cul.columia.edu