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Archival Collections

This guide provides descriptions of some of Webster University's archival collections

Background, references, and documents

On May 4, 1970, an anti-war protest on the campus of Kent State University turned deadly when members of the Ohio National Guard opened fire on the protesting students, killing four and wounding nine (For more information, visit Kent State Shootings: May 4 Collection). The incident precipitated calls for strikes at colleges and universities across the United States. Webster College (as Webster University was known at that time) was the site of a strike on May 5–6, 1970.

Webster College students protesting Kent State shootingsThe student newspaper (at that time called The Web) published its last issue of the semester on May 8, 1970 ("STRIKE!", p. 1). It recounted the activities that took place in the aftermath of the shootings – a memorial service and all-night vigil, a student strike on Tuesday, May 5, and a campus-wide strike on Wednesday, May 6, complete with sit-ins, neighborhood petitions, and fasting. The day ended with an “Affirmative Rally for Peace” and a benefit performance of Boys from Syracuse, a Rodgers and Hart musical, to raise money to be sent to Kent State ("Strike summary", p. 2).

According to one estimate, 80 percent of the Webster student body took part in the protest ("Student strike spills"). A faculty participant reported that three classes were held on the day of the strike (Rosenberg, p. 16).

Selected resources related to the strike preserved in the Webster University Archives are listed under the References and Documents tabs on this page.

No 'business as usual'. (1970, May 8). The Web, vol. 48, no. 23, p. 1.

Rosenberg, Arthur A. Diary of a Strike: Webster in Motion. Webster University Archives

STRIKE! (1970, May 8). The Web, vol. 48, no. 23, p. 1.

Strike summary. (1970, May 8). The Web, vol. 48, no. 23, p. 2.

Student strike spills over to community. (1970, May 7). St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

The Webster College Strike Committee (1970, May 5). The Web—Strike Issue.