• Amy Laskowski

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    Amy Laskowski is a senior writer at Boston University. She is always hunting for interesting, quirky stories around BU and helps manage and edit the work of BU Today’s interns. She did her undergrad at Syracuse University and earned a master’s in journalism at the College of Communication in 2015. Profile

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There are 10 comments on Alums Share Memories of Dark Days of April 1968

  1. I was a freshman (CLA 71) when Dr. King was assassinated. I remember BU closed and we were instructed to go to our rooms on campus or to go home, since race riots were expected. Dr. King had received his Doctor of Theology at BU. It was a scary time.

  2. In 1968, I was a sophomore enrolled in the now extinct School of Nursing. On the day of the take over of the administration building, I had clinical and had to be at the hospital. When I returned to campus, I walked to the administration building and was pulled up to the second story window on a rope. A reporter captured it all and it was reported on the news. My father happened to see the evening news (that’s another story).

    1. Ms. Avery, I have been trying to research the takeover of the administration building for a book I am writing (historical fiction). Would you be willing to tell me more about your experience? I would really appreciate it!

      1. I would be honored to tell that story. I just saw your post. My niece sent me the picture and she spotted me in it. I kept scrolling down through the comments and saw you message to me. I am very proud of those days. Did you know about the 40 year reunion where we we allowed to officially graduate? Please contact me at mows@bellsouth.net.

        1. Thank you for responding! I tried emailing you at the address above and my message was returned, saying it was an invalid address. I would love to talk with you this summer. Could you email me at writerautumnal @ gmail.com? I will keep checking back here to see if you have a better email address. Thank you!

  3. I am not a historian but I do remember the BU student elections because I was very much a part of it along with Gerry Ducharme. He ran for president and I was on the ticket running for vice president. We won the election fairly handily as I recall, and totally disrupted the SDS movement, at least at BU, after which Gerry disappeared and left me holding the bag, if you will, having to take over as President. My understanding was that he ended up going to Berkley in California to do the same thing but I was never able to confirm but it was rumored that the CIA was somehow involved which may atone for why there seems to be very little info on this. I resigned the position in the fall of 1968 stating that I had three responsibilities, one to my education, secondly to the BU Hockey program and thirdly to the student body and I didn’t think it was right that the students should be third on my list. Yes, I was there when the Black community took over the admin buildings and was asked to present their demands to the trustees since I was the president of the student body at the time. There is a front page news article with most of the election details. I cannot seem to find any of this info in any reports of of the 1968 student elections but I do have the newspaper article:). Not sure who will be reading this but at my age, memories like this come back to, I guess create one’s legacy for their grand children etc. and kinda fun to reflect. I don’t mean to be egotistical, albeit I suppose I am being just that, but I noted that the reporting of my goal against Ken Dryden in the Christmas Hockey tournament in 1966 was totally miss interpreted, but that is another story. Guess I am just on a rampage in my old age.

    I also found it interesting that there is very little info on this event anywhere to be found and in fact the book that talks about “who’s who in US Colleges and Universities for 1968 has gone missing. My Mother had a copy but has since been lost. She had it sent to her because my name was noted in the back of the book as a last minute addition. I am not sure if this is the correct spelling of his name but Arland Chris-Janer was the President of BU at the time and I was part of the President’s Host which was an organization that welcomed new students to the university operating out of what I believe is now the new Alumni residence. If any of this is of interest i would enjoy reminiscing with whomever:). There was a whole issue of planning Homecoming in the Fall of 1968 where we had planned to have Sammy Davis Junior, Harry Belafonte and Aretha Franklyn put on a concert at Nickerson Field to raise scholarship funds in the name of Dr. Martin Luther King. This never came about but Coretta King did join us at the event held in the armory which back then was located where the Agganis arena now sits.

    1. Mr. Abbott, I have been trying to research the takeover of the administration building for a book I am writing (historical fiction). Would you be willing to tell me more about your experience interacting with the Black Student Union about their demands? It would be very helpful to me!

    2. Darrell Abbott,

      I am a Vietnam Veteran. You were student body president in fall of 1968? I am looking for a friend named Edward White, we both won the 1969 Draft Lottery. We went through the same military school and was stationed in II Field Forces, 219th Military Intelligence Detachment together. I heard he also was a Student Body President of BU. I was wondering if you knew of him. The years would have been somewhere between 1967 and 1969.

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