An ex-CIA agent gives advice, freezing firemen battle a State Street blaze, and Mr. Richter goes to Washington. Just some of the things happening in December in the early 1960’s. Stu Levitan has all the details on this week’s Madison in the Sixties.
December 7— Dean of students LeRoy Luberg, a Korean War–era recruitment officer for the Central Intelligence Agency, warns students in a Daily Cardinal interview that they may be jeopardizing their professional futures by joining leftist political groups. There are many campuses, he cautions, that don’t have “the level of toleration which is generally accepted here.”
December 9— The regents approve a faculty proposal to tighten admission standards for out-of-state students by requiring a top 40 percent ranking rather than the top 50. Out-of-state students come from families with more education and higher income than resident students, according to a new UW study.
December 13— Nearly 200 freezing firemen battle a five-alarm blaze that rages out of control for six hours in subzero cold on the north side of the 400 block of State Street, doing $500,000 in damage. The 1.5 million gallons of water firefighters use in their daylong efforts freezes into such a thick sheet of ice that city workers need almost a ton of calcium chloride salt to make the street passable. Fire inspectors blame the blaze on faulty wiring strained by two space heaters left on overnight. Victor Music and the Tellus Mater gift shop are among the sixteen businesses damaged or destroyed.
December 8— The regents approve in principle the North Lower Campus Development Plan, featuring an underground auditorium and high-rise guesthouse on the site of the Red Gym/Armory, underground parking, a large Memorial Plaza, two pedestrian skywalks over a one-way Langdon Street (which would be lowered), and a lakefront location for the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Some details may change, says Professor Kurt F. Wendt, dean of the College of Engineering and chair of the Campus Planning Committee, “but we don’t plan to make any wholesale departure from the basic concepts we have established.”
December 26— Two of the three Chicago-area men awaiting a February trial for killing a Sauk County patrolman and seriously wounding the Lake Delton police chief escape from their cell at the Dane County jail, jump two jailers— knocking one unconscious and taking his keys— and make it to an outer courtyard on the sixth floor of the City-County Building before they are apprehended by Madison police officer August Pieper.
December 28— Marshall Colston, a supervisor with the Dane County Department of Public Assistance and a member of the MCHR, is elected president of the Madison NAACP without opposition. Board members elected at the meeting at the YWCA, include outgoing president Odell Taliaferro and Stuart Hanisch.
December 3— The Washington franchise of the National Football League makes Pat Richter the first Badger taken in the first round of the NFL draft since Alan Ameche in 1955. He also joins other All-Americans in appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and the two-month old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. The senior, the first Badger to earn nine varsity letters since Rollie Williams in 1920–1923, had another stellar season, capped by his unanimous selection to both the AP and UPI All-American teams.
December 6— Associated Women Students’ Co- Ed Congress calls for a drastic revision in the curfew hours for women on campus (currently 10:30 p.m. on weeknights, 12:30 a.m. on weekends, and 11:00 p.m. on Sundays). “The restrictiveness of the present hours is an affront to the maturity and intelligence of girls who are pursuing advanced academic studies,” the congress declares in a report asking the Student Life and Interests Committee for unlimited hours for senior women and liberalized hours for all others.
December 12— “Let’s make this Rose Bowl trip the last one,” the Daily Cardinal editorializes, complaining that “the attention of students is diverted away from education toward ‘the Big Game’ to a degree that upsets the precarious balance between the scholastic and social life.”
December 16— Supporters of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) shout obscenities and edge toward violence against members of the University Students for the Abolition of HUAC trying to distribute literature at the lakeshore dorms’ Kronshage Hall. A similar scenario unfolds the following night when the anti-HUAC forces are heckled at a meeting of about 50 dorm residents.
December 20— A group of high-powered friends of the university, including builder Milton Findorff, banker Lucien Hanks, and meat magnate Oscar G. Mayer Jr., form the University Park Corp. to acquire and develop land on the south side of the 700 and 800 blocks of University Avenue, in such close cooperation with the university that University Vice President and Trust Officer A.W. Peterson is the president of the private corporation.
Photo: Two days before the Badgers’ big game with rival Minnesota, Pat Richter reads the morning State Journal at home, 2034 Yahara Pl. WHI IMAGE ID 137918, PHOTO BY RICHARD SRODA