May 4th 1970 Rally
Shut It Down: The 1970 Student Strike at Syracuse University


The period of the late 1960s into the 1970s in the United States was an era of seismic social, cultural, and political changes. From the ongoing struggles of the civil rights movement to anti-Vietnam War and draft resistance protests, these public outcries for change were supported and often led by the nation’s young people. Student life on college campuses provided opportunities for young adults to speak out on the issues they believed most directly impacted their lives and the society they would inherit and shape. Syracuse University would not remain uninvolved in these conversations for long. Beginning on May 4, 1970, Syracuse University students participating in the National Student Strike held teach-ins and sit-ins, marched, erected barricades and caused damage to campus, negotiated with University administration, and made their voices heard. Although the Strike ended at the close of the 1970 spring semester, the impact of this student-led protest was felt for years to come.

Please note: This exhibition contains image and text-based archival documents. Please contact the Libraries’ Accessibility Specialist if you require assistance accessing this content.

About the Curator

Vanessa St.Oegger-Menn is Pan Am 103 Archivist & Assistant University Archivist in the Special Collections Research Center at Syracuse University Libraries.

Header image:

Detail from 4 May 1970 photograph of students and campus community members gathered in front of Hendricks Chapel during the May 4 Rally. Syracuse University Photograph Collection, University Archives.