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Chauncey, Henry "Sam", 2005 November 4

 Part of Collection
Call Number: RU 1055, Series Accession 2008-A-001

Scope and Contents

Henry "Sam" Chauncey Jr. was Special Assistant to Yale President Kingman Brewster during the 1970 Black Panther trials and May Day demonstrations and later became Secretary of the University. He recalls the University's strategies and decisions in regard to the demonstrations. Brewster and many faculty members, Chauncey explains, believed that the May Day demonstrators should be protected but that violence and riots should be averted at all cost. He discusses his collaboration with New Haven Chief of Police Jim Ahearn and their joint attempts to maintain order. He tells a story of preventing the Weathermen from coming for the demonstrations by arranging for their buses to be sabotaged and explains that this was done to avert a riot. Chauncey discusses the Black Panthers, who he believes were fundamentally good and not prone to violence. Rather, he explains, they represented just one part of the revolutionary climate of the day. Chauncey also describes his suspicion that President Richard Nixon and Attorney General John Mitchell conspired to blow up Yale's ice rink and Peace Building as part of their assault on liberal universities and the Eastern Establishment. He assesses Yale's changing relationship with the community in the early 1970s, its attempts to foster better community relations, and the internal reforms to admissions and curriculum that took place under Brewster.

Interviewer: Clemente, Jean


  • 2005 November 4

Conditions Governing Access

As a preservation measure, original materials may not be used. Digital access copies must be provided for use. Contact Manuscripts and Archives at to request access


1 Computer Files (.wav)

2:03:48 Duration (HH:MM:SS.mmm)

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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