Guide to the Rubinstein Collection 1964-1988 MG 1629
TABLE OF CONTENTS
52 Park Place
Newark, New Jersey 07102
Contact: NJHS Library
(973) 596-8500 x249
© 2004 All rights reserved.
The New Jersey Historical Society, Publisher
Inventory prepared by Douglas Baldwin.
Finding aid encoded by Julia Telonidis. December 2004.Production of the EAD 2002 version of this finding aid was made possible by a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Finding aid written in English.
This collection contains student anti-war newspapers and protest announcement posters relating to the Vietnam War during the 1960s and 1970s. American involvement in the country of Vietnam (formerly French Indochina), from advisors to military presence, can be dated back to the late 1940s during the beginnings of the Cold War. In the 1950s, the U.S. sent supplies, weapons, and advisors to the South Vietnamese, to aid in their efforts to stop the North Vietnamese communists from taking the southern half of the country, which was divided at the infamous 38th parallel. However, the escalation of U.S. military presence under the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, coupled with the increasing number of American casualties, began a rift in American public opinion regarding our presence there.
In 1965, colleges and universities held teach-ins to protest our involvement in Vietnam. These teach-ins were held by college professors, who used them as opportunities to engage the student population in dialogue about the war. Rutgers University, in fact, was one of the first universities to hold a teach-in (in 1965). However, in spite of rising anti-war sentiments during this early period, the majority of the country still supported the war in 1965.
However, in 1968, the Tet Offensive occurred in which the North Vietnamese engaged in a large scale military action against U.S. and South Vietnamese forces on the Vietnamese holiday of Tet. American and South Vietnamese forces were caught by surprise, and as a result large numbers of casualties were inflicted. This pivotal event during the war did much to invigorate the anti-war movement back home.
It was at this time that many colleges all over the country produced newspapers spreading the anti-war message through editorials, satirical cartoons, and announcements detailing when and where protests would occur. During this same period, the civil rights movement was gaining momentum. Many of these student produced newspapers that promoted an anti-war stance, supported the civil rights movement and as such also contained stories, articles and protest announcements that backed this movement. Many campuses also hosted civil rights speakers who came to discuss and promote different aspects of the movement. Some of the posters in this collection relate to such activities.
Alongside the anti-war and civil rights movements were general anti-establishment sentiments emerging from much of the youth culture. These sentiments were heavily anti-authoritarian and specifically targeted the policies and actions of the federal and local governing bodies and police. These sentiments were clearly evident in the student-produced newspapers of the period.
In October 1969, hundreds of colleges and universities across the U.S. participated in a nationwide ‘Vietnam Moratorium’ that was designed as a large-scale protest of the war. Rutgers University, Montclair State University, William Paterson College, Jersey City State College (now New Jersey City University) and the newly opened Essex County College all participated in the moratorium.
From the Newark Sunday News (Oct 12, 1969): “New Jersey college students with public officials and high school students will march, pray, and sing in protest of Vietnam…a majority of 100,000 students from 56 colleges in New Jersey are expected to participate in the National Vietnam Moratorium.”
More than 2 million people participated in moratoriums across America.
One of the participating colleges, Essex County College opened in 1968, and was plagued with various controversies from its start. The campus was heavily involved in both the anti-war and civil rights movements and had two presidents retire from their positions within a five-year period. The second president retired under a firestorm of controversy surrounding allegations by college professors of racism. However, the college did survive its troubled fledgling years, and continues today with campuses located in Newark and Verona, N.J.
There are some items in this collection related to the Howard Savings Bank. ‘The Howard’ as it would come to be known was opened May 5, 1857 in Newark, N.J. during the age of robber barons and railroads. The bank maintained its corporate office in Newark through the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century. The bank opened new branches throughout northern New Jersey, and continued to operate through World War I, the Great Depression, and World War II. The bank continued to operate into the 1980s when it began to diversify its services to include commercial and residential mortgages, commercial real estate development, and finance. While at first ‘The Howard’ profited enormously from its new ventures, it would eventually prove to be its downfall. The savings and loan scandals of the late 1980s and early 1990s sent the bank into a downward spiral from which it could not recover. The bank was bought out by First Fidelity Bank in 1992.
This collection contains a variety of different items including posters, newspapers, and other printed materials. The smaller printed materials in this collection include several maps and calendars, a high school ID and program of study, flyers and announcements, as well as a program from the National Association of Accountants.
This collection also contains numerous posters advertising concerts, protests, plays and other social functions. Furthermore, there are four newspapers that contain anti-war rhetoric and satirical cartoons, music reviews, announcements for concerts and social engagements, as well as editorials covering the Vietnam War, police brutality, juvenile rights and justice, and civil rights. There are also several copies of a poster produced for an auto show, in 1969, at the Teaneck Armory.
There are some articles related to The Howard Savings Bank, as well as the road and highway schematics from the NJ State Highway Department.
One of the posters in this collection is a handwritten announcement for the activities at Essex County College in regards to the nationwide Vietnam Moratorium held in 1969. Also of interest are some of the music reviews and bullet news written for the newspapers in this collection that reference the Woodstock Music and Peace Festival, as well as acts such as Derek and the Dominos, The Beatles, and Jim Morrison of The Doors.
Items from this collection given to museum collection — Museum ID 2004.34.1-4
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1629, Rubinstein Collection, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Donated by Shirley and Irving Rubinstein to the New Jersey Historical Society in August 2002.
There are four newspapers/newsletters within this collection that should be handled with extreme care due to their brittle nature. One of the newspapers has significant tearing among several of its pages. While most of the posters are printed on cardboard, and therefore reinforced, there are a few posters that are handwritten on thin paper, and like the newspapers, should be handled with care. Finally, in the first box in this collection, there are several loose items of ephemera not contained within folders (due to either their bulk or size), yet are housed within the box itself. These items should be carefully restored to the box is the similar positions in which they were stored to ensure the safety of both the loose items, as well as the documents contained within folders.
“Fall of Howard: Real Estate Loans Sent Bank Crashing” Star Ledger, Oct 4, 1992.
“First Fidelity won Howard in Tight Bidding Competition” Star Ledger, Oct 29, 1992.
“Employees Sad to Witness End of Howard Years” Star Ledger, Oct 4, 1992
“NJ Set for Viet Protest” Newark Sunday News, Oct 12, 1969.
Rutgers University digital on-line collection of issues of its student newspaper, The Daily Targum, from 1965 during the Rutgers teach-in