Date Approved


Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department or School

History and Philosophy


On the campus of Eastern Michigan University, the turbulent decade of the 1960s passed by almost without notice. Only small groups protested the war in Vietnam or racial equality on campus. Beginning with the seizure of Pierce Hall by black students in February 1969, student activism escalated until May 1970 when campus erupted in protests and riots on a level that exceeded the most active campuses in the nation. This paper uses mostly first-hand accounts of the entire decade recorded in the student newspaper, Eastern Echo; archived documents; and secondary sources to document the decade of activism at Eastern that ended in the riots. This paper avoids oral histories and interviews due to avoiding scope with a project more in order with a dissertation. This paper provides a rare historical documentary dedicated to student protest and activism at Eastern and provides a mirror to other small conservative blue-collar campuses.