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"Roving Reporter" collected student responses to the film Operation Abolition. "Roving Reporter" collected student responses to the film Operation Abolition.

Decades Ago at San Diego State

A look back at campus news on March 7, 1961.

With the university celebrating its birthday in March with SDSU Month, it is a perfect time for this new series presented by the SDSU Library's Department of Special Collections and University Archives. "Decades Ago at San Diego State" will take a look back at news and topics of note from archived issues of The Daily Aztec, providing a glimpse of the university's past. 

Surrounded by stories about All-Men’s Week (click on any link to view relevant newspaper clipping), a beard-growing contest and the near-demise of the paper itself, the March 7, 1961, issue of The Daily Aztec announced the showing of the film “Operation Abolition.” It documented student protests of hearings held by the House Un-American Activities Committee in San Francisco in May 1960.

Listening to the 'Sounds of Protest'

In subsequent days, The Daily Aztec covered student response to the film, as well as responses to the audio recording “Sounds of Protest” put out by the University of California Berkeley student group SLATE in opposition to “Operation Abolition.”

Strong student response

For more than a week, numerous interviews, opinion pieces and letters to the editor appeared about the film and the recording, some with interesting pen names. The Daily Aztec reports from 50 years ago provide a glimpse of the homefront in America during the Cold War, the birth of the Berkeley Free Speech Movement and San Diego State at the dawn of the “radical ‘60s.”

Learn more

To learn more about the “Sounds of Protest” recording, click here. Side A is a silent slideshow of images from the protest, while side B contains audio.

More "Decades Ago at San Diego State" features