August 30—Ed Garvey, immediate past president of the Wisconsin Student Association, is elected president of the National Student Association at a stormy ten-day NSA convention held on the UW campus. Garvey, a sharp critic of the House Un-American Activities Committee who vows to continue the NSA’s support for the Southern civil rights actions, was considered the moderate in a campaign against an alumnus of Oberlin College.[i] Soon after taking office, the Burlington native learns a closely held secret which he keeps confidential – that the association has for many years received funding from the Central Intelligence Agency.
August 30— Concerns about nuclear war have led about five thousand area homeowners to build some sort of fallout shelter, ranging from improvised shelters in cisterns to full facilities, and Madison civil defense director Richard C. Wilson wants that number to grow much higher. He says everyone should build a shelter in the southwest corner of their basement, and stock it for about two weeks – the time it will take for radiation to drop to a safe level. Madison will likely suffer directly in case of nuclear war, he tells area builders, because the city is “surrounded by targets,” especially Truax Air Field. The city is waiving assessments and building permit fees for shelters that meet federal standards, but not building permits, or the need to follow zoning regulations.
August 23—Madison has its first director of public works – Edwin J. Duszynski, previously the first public works director for both Appleton and Cudahy. And Mayor Henry Reynolds finally gets Edwin S. Conrad confirmed as city attorney, a year after the council twice refused to confirm him. Conrad has been acting city attorney since Alton Heassler’s fatal traffic accident in March.[ii]
August 18—UW announces the appointment of a new Professor of History — Harvey Goldberg, UW PhD 1950, specialist in French history, particularly its revolutionary period,. Goldberg, who did his doctoral work under President Fred Harvey Harrington, has been at Ohio State University.[iii]
August 23—Bearing signs reading “Get Out of Vietnam,” about fifty picketers organized by Evan Stark and the Student Peace Center protest the appearance of Vice President Hubert Humphrey at the Union Theater. Inside, Humphrey references the demonstration, telling cheering delegates to the National Student Association convention, “If they can show us how to get out of Vietnam without the communists getting in, we’ll put the placards around here in the hall of fame rather than the hall of shame.”[iv]
August 29—St. Paul’s African Methodist Episcopal Church, a spiritual cornerstone for Madison’s Black residents, holds its last service before being demolished. The church was built for Bethel Lutheran in 1887, bought by St. Paul’s and moved to 625 E. Dayton St. in 1902, and moved to 631 E. Dayton St. in 1928. The congregation will move into the former Central Lutheran Church building, 402 E. Mifflin St.[v]
August 24—The State Building Commission approves construction of the $3.8 million Gymnasium Unit II on the western campus. The university will now move ahead with its plans to demolish the Red Gym/Armory and build a high-rise guest house and underground auditorium on the lakefront site.[vi]
August 27—Mayor Otto Festge issues guidelines for how much skin the go-go girls can show at the four city discotheque and how they should dance. Dancers should be covered at least to the level “as is acceptable on city beaches,” the new rules state, adding “Sensual elements should not become so blatant that they completely overshadow all other elements of the dancing, or become the dominant interests of the spectators.” Police chief Wilbur Emery, citing what he calls “a breakdown in moral standards” due to the growing number of discotheques, had asked Festge to state the standards.[vii]
August 27 The coach of the Madison Mustangs semi-pro football team, Hank Olshanski quits after a season-opening defeat and is replaced by former UW star fullback Merritt Norvell. A three-time letter winner who played in the 1963 Rose Bowl, Norvell is also a UW grad student and probation officer for Dane County.[viii]
August 24—Park Plaza, on the 2300 block of South Park Street, has its grand opening. The three-hundred-thousand-square-foot center, featuring a Kroger supermarket, Rennebohm Rexall drug store, and Ben Franklin variety store, was developed by a doctor’s group from Chicago.[ix]
Late August—Nelson Cummings, the first director of the new Madison Urban League, files complaints with city and state officials alleging housing discrimination. Cummings, thirty-four, has been living in a motel while his family remains in South Bend, Indiana, and he tries to rent a three-bedroom house in Madison. He says he may have to quit in October if he can’t find proper housing, but he eventually does find a house on Odana Road.
@DL:August 27—HUD approves a $3.5 million grant for the twenty-one-acre, $5.4 million urban renewal project in the 600–900 blocks of University Avenue, to be developed cooperatively by the city, UW, and the Lake Park Corporation, the organization of current property owners and businessmen with former area alderman James Goulette as its president. The federal funds will be used to buy and raze the fifty-two properties; another HUD grant of $195,762 will be used for residential relocation. The city tab of about $2 million will be spent on area infrastructure, including street improvements, storm sewers, and traffic signals. Two days later, the MRA approves spending $800,000 to purchase the first fourteen properties, with most of the rest being purchased by the end of the year.[xi]
August 27—The new Fire Station #1 opens in the 300 block of West Dayton Street, replacing the historic station at 15 S. Webster St. The second-floor conference room is named the Parkinson Room, in memory of Dan “Monk” Parkinson, the firefighter who died in the State Street fire of January 1966.[xii]
And that’s this week’s MITS. For your award-winning, listener-supported, protective services sacrifice honoring WORT news team, I’m Stu Levitan.
photo courtesy Capital Newspapers
[i] Willenson, “Wisconsin Man to Head NSA; Liberals, Moderates Elected,” WSJ, August 31, 1961; “Garvey Picked NSA President, Vows ‘Change, Not Destruction,’” DC, September 12, 1961.
[ii] Aehl, “Duszynski Gets Works Chief Job,” WSJ, August 24, 1962; Marcus, “E.J. Duszynski Confirmed As City’s Works Director,” CT, August 24, 1962.
[iii] “Goldberg, French History Specialist, to Return to U.,” CT, August 19, 1963; Ron McCrea and Dave Wagner, “Harvey Goldberg,” in Buhle, ed., History and the New Left, 241–245.
[iv] Hunter, “Humphrey Wins Cheers of NSA Despite Picketing,” CT, August 24, 1965.
[v] “St. Paul A.M.E. Sets Last Service in Its Old Church,” CT, August 27, 1965.
[vi] Hunter, “Doom of ‘Old Red Gym’ Is Sealed by Building Group,” CT, August 25, 1965.
[vii] Brautigam, “Move to Regulate Local Discotheque,” CT, August 11, 1965; Coyle, “Don’t Go-Go Too Far, City Guidelines Urge,” CT, August 27, 1965; Gribble, “Tip for Go-Go Waitresses: Dress!” WSJ, August 28, 1965.
[viii] Don Lindstrom, “Olshanski Resigns, Novell Coach of Mustang Grid Club,” WSJ, August 28, 1965.
[ix] “Park Plaza Center’s Opening Is Boost to South Side,” WSJ, August 23, 1966.
[x] “Urban League Head Can’t Find Housing,” WSJ, September 10, 1968; Nelson Cummings interview[with author?], 2017.
[xi] Merle, “U Ave. Renewal Gets U.S. Aid,” WSJ, August 28, 1968; MRA minutes, August 29, 1968.
[xii] William Hess, “New Fire Buildings Near Completion,” WSJ, July 29, 1968; “New No. 1 Fire Station Opens for Business,” WSJ, August 28, 1968.