5/6/65 Citizen was study in contrasts

2012-04-30T00:00:00Z 5/6/65 Citizen was study in contrastsArizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 30, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Editor's note: The Tucson Citizen of May 6, 1965, provided a curious contrast.

Several photos, including the one reprinted here, showed "Woman's Day" at the University of Arizona.

A story described the scene at 5:30 a.m. as coeds, dressed in white, gathered to watch the tapping of new members of Mortar Board, the woman's honorary.

The 21 juniors tapped for membership were given nosegays, the Citizen reported.

Afterward, they gathered at the Student Union for a breakfast that included chocolate fudge cake.

The curious part is that the front page of the same edition included the giant headline "1,000 Students Run Wild at UA."

For those who pine for the "good old days," we republish key parts of the story here:

Three University of Arizona students were arrested early today out of a mass of 1,000 who fought with law officers and stormed the walls of girls' dormitories.

"I think it was what they call spring fever," Sheriff Waldon V. Burr said after the dust had settled from the two-hour battle.

"Every year about this time, we start having some trouble with students."

As many as 20 city police, campus police and sheriff's deputies fought with the students, trying to persuade them to go home.

The damage included a burned-down parking ticket shack and a plate-glass window at the campus book store, broken-off doors at Old Main, dents and windshields broken in police cars - and the feelings of the police officers from the taunts and insults of rampaging students.

The trouble began at 12:40 a.m. when fire broke out in a shack at the parking lot.

The Fire Department was called and students began to gather in large numbers.

Apparently at this point the students got the idea that this was a good occasion for a panty raid.

Campus police said that the hard core of 100 to 200 students, which at times increased to as many as 1,000, then made the rounds of the girls' dormitories as well as some of the sorority houses.

By 3:15 a.m., the campus was quiet again.

Before then, however, three students had been taken into custody by deputies.

At various points about the campus, as police tried to break up the mob, they were assaulted with rocks and glass bottles.

Sheriff's Deputy James Dunfee said, "I went to the dormitory at Park Ave. and 5th St. and saw several hundred male students shouting at the girls inside.

"The majority of the girls were screaming back and throwing undergarments back to the crowd below their windows.

"The male students were attempting to climb up the front of the building. In the melee, somebody pulled the fire alarm."

A city police officer said, "The coeds were urging the boys to throw rocks at us."

The majority casualty in the rock battle - aside from the police cars - was Douglas Paxton, campus security supervisor, who was struck in the leg.

Burr said his deputies will be on duty tonight to stop any more such events.

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