The flagpole incident, circa May 1970
A week after the Kent State shootings, several hundred Norwich students gathered at the base of the flagpole in front of Jackman Hall to voice their concern over the tragedy and talk about how the University should respond. The peaceful, six-hour discussion among students, faculty, and staff initially focused on whether or not the American flag should be flown at half mast until the end of the Vietnam War in sympathy with those who had died in Vietnam and Cambodia, and as a symbol of the concern of all Norwich students over the war. At 1600 hours, in response to student demand for a statement, General Hamlett addressed the Corps in Plumley Armory, stating, “I shall do everything in my power as president of this University that will support the freedom to get an education, but I will not let Norwich be used as a political instrument.” Local newspapers called the incident the “first expression of political activism on a military campus.” Were you there? What was your reaction?   – Editor

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