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Ephemera concerning the People's Park protests

Call Number: WA MSS S-4353

Scope and Contents

Fliers, broadsides, posters, pamphlets, comic book, periodicals, and other ephemera concerning the 1969 People’s Park protests in Berkeley, California compiled by an unidentified creator. The ephemera document meetings, rallies, fundraisers, vigils, and protests held by various groups concerning People’s Park and, to a lesser extent, the Vietnam War and the civil rights movement. Organizations represented in the ephemera include Students for a Democratic Society, Young Socialist Alliance, Bay Area Revolutionary Union, Berkeley Defense Committee, Bay Area Spartacist League, Progressive Labor Party, and the People’s Press Syndicate, among others.


  • 1968 - 1969

Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Ephemera Concerning the People's Park Protests is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Lorne Bair Rare Books on the Frederick W. and Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana, 2019.


Arranged as received.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

Biographical / Historical

People’s Park is a tract of land in the Southside neighborhood of Berkeley, California. University of California, Berkeley acquired the land through eminent domain in 1968 and demolished several buildings before abandoning the site due to lack of funding. In April 1969, local residents and students established a park on the site for public use. In May the university announced plans to build a sports field on the site. Berkeley mayor Wallace Johnson and California governor Ronald Reagan sent police officers to destroy the park and build a perimeter fence.

On May 15, over 3,000 people protested the destruction of the park and police shot protestors with buckshot, killing bystander James Rector. Protests continued after Reagan declared a state of emergency and sent National Guard troops to Berkeley.

In 1971, the university planned to turn the site into a soccer field and parking lot. Protests continued until the city of Berkeley voted to lease the land from the university in September 1972. Volunteers rebuilt People’s Park soon after. The university again attempted to turn part of the park into a parking lot in 1979, but abandoned the plans after further protests.

Guide to the Ephemera concerning the People's Park protests
Stephanie Bredbenner
2021 January
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

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