Students Seize Maury Hall, George Washington University, April 1969 (University Archives)
On April 23, 1969, close to forty members of the GW chapter of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) seized control of Maury Hall, home of the Institute for Sino-Soviet Studies. The students occupied the building from approximately 10:00 pm to 3:30 am, and made multiple demands including an end to the Institute for Sino-Soviet Studies, the severance of University ties with the Naval Logistics Research Laboratory and with the Human Resources Research Offices, an end to ROTC and military recruiting on the GW campus, and open admission into the George Washington University for all black students. The incident sparked nearly two months of campus unrest, and reflected the charged political atmosphere of Washington, DC during this time.

These photographs document the Maury Hall takeover as it was happening. They also capture ensuing events, including an emergency meeting of the Faculty Assembly the morning after the demonstration, and the public administrative hearings of nine of the fifteen members of the SDS who were formally indicted by the University. The photographs were taken by Marvin Ickow, an alumnus of the George Washington University, who at the time was a staff photographer for the school newspaper, the GW Hatchet. Ickow donated his collection of photographic negatives to the University Archives in 1988, and the collection is open for research in the Special Collections Research Center of the Gelman Library.

Were you on the GW campus during the spring of ’69? Do you have additional information that would enhance visitors’ understanding of these photographs and this important period during GW’s history? If so, we’d love to hear from you! It also helps us to know how our visitors work with the images we upload to Flickr. If you use any of these images, let us know how. Please consider posting a comment here, or e-mail us at archives[at]gwu.edu.
75 photos · 1,927 views