The 1968 riot and takeover on the Columbia University campus is still a rotting sore that ruins the day. The matter drowns in infamy and many wish it soon to be forgotten — much like the student strike of 1932 that took over the campus — but if we hope not to repeat the mistakes of the past, we must remember them, share the facts of the moment, and preserve the truth into the future.
It is interesting that, just as during the campus strike in 1932, the 1968 riot centered on athletics at Columbia university.
I was able to purchase the historic images you see in this article, and I’m sharing them all with you now to help set the definitive timeline of what happened in Morningside Heights in the Spring of 1968 — and why the riot happened, and how Columbia, still to this day, wrestles with the hard matters had at hand half a century later.
Some of the dates and captions may seem off — I offer them to you directly as they appear in situ — no editorializing or changing of the information has occurred.
Some ghosts never die — they remain, haunting you, forever; not from the shadows — but from the bright sunlight of College Walk.
New York: Statue of Alexander Hamilton looms above students outside Hamilton Hall during a protest rally at Columbia University April 24th. Hanging from the balcony are photos of Stokely Carmichael and a Viet Cong flag. Acting dean Harry S. Coleman and two other Columbia officials have been barricaded inside the building since April 23rd. One target of the student sit-ins is the university’s plan to construct a gymnasium in a Harlem park, which Negro students contend will deprive residents of a recreation area.