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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

UT Student Rally T-Shirts Collection

 Collection
Identifier: AR-0770

This collection contains three t-shirts that allude to or outright protest various historical events that took place during the Vietnam War, and one September 1970 issue of Esquire magazine. The magazine is in decent condition with minimal discoloration, and contains approximately 210 pages of articles and advertisements. The relevant article is six pages, and is photocopied and included within the same folder as the magazine itself. The first t-shirt is white and has the UT logo on the front. On the back is a large silkscreened and red “strike” fist on the back. The silk-screening was done on campus. The second t-shirt is green and reads, “Fly the Friendly Skies of Cambodia,” a play on words of the popular United Airlines slogan “Fly the friendly skies.” This t-shirt alludes to the bombings in Cambodian that began on March 18, 1969 and was purchased in Hawaii. The third t-shirt is white has a target on its back with various points for each level of the target; the bullseye is 100 points, and above the target is the word “student.” This t-shirt was produced in reaction to the Kent State Massacre.

Dates

  • 1970

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

0.5 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection contains three t-shirts that protest events that took place during the Vietnam War: The Billy Graham Tour crusade held May 22-31, 1970 at the University of Tennessee, with presidential guest Richard Nixon; the bombing of Eastern Cambodia from March 18 1969 – May 1970 referred to by codename Operation Menu; and the Kent State Massacre of May 4th, 1970, in which four unarmed students were killed and nine students were wounded by the Ohio National Guard as a result of on-campus protests of the Cambodian Campaign. This collection also contains the September 1970 issue of Esquire, The Magazine for Men; within this issue is an article entitled, How Nixon Used the Media, Billy Graham, and the Good Lord to Rap with Students at Tennessee U.

Biographical/Historical Note

The Billy Graham crusade held in Knoxville, Tenn. was an evangelical revival meeting, the 204th of 417 revivals that took place from 1949 – 2005. This event took place in Neyland Stadium and brought in growing crowds each night, reaching 75,000 attendees in the Stadium and 20-25,000 outside Neyland on the May 28, 1970, the day that presidential guest Richard Nixon addressed the crowds. Nixon’s attendance at the Billy Graham revival was significant, as his appearance at the University of Tennessee was the first appearance he made on a college campus since the Kent State shootings earlier that month. Nixon’s appearance at UT was touted by the press as President Nixon Welcomed on College Campus, despite the fact that most participants in the Billy Graham crusade were not students. In a time of nationwide unrest on college campuses due to anti-Vietnam war sentiments (specifically as a result of the Cambodian bombings) and the Kent State massacre, Nixon’s appearance was met with protest demonstrations organized by approximately 500-600 college students and about one dozen faculty members. The protestors distributed anti-war signs, the most notable of which reading, Thou Shall Not Kill. Nixon’s arrival in the stadium was met with chanting of vulgarities by the protestors, resulting in the police moving to photograph the protestors for later identification and arrest.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480