A big weekend for civil rights, as Operation Friendship brings 24 students from historically black colleges here to share their stories of the sit-in movement protesting southern lunch counter segregation – just as students here are picketing the chain stores on the Square in support of that movement.
Dean of Students LeRoy Luberg had sharply criticized the local picketing of Woolworth’s and the other stores, and some civil rights supporters feared that protest was so unpopular off-campus it would taint the students visit. They needn’t have worried. “When we saw the picketing, it really touched our hearts,” a student from Tennessee A&I tells a group of about a hundred UW students meeting on the steps of the Memorial Union. Nine of the 24 visitors have already been jailed for sitting in.
In his remarks to the group, Luberg praises Operation Friendship and creates a stir when he also praises the picketers for following city regulations in their downtown demonstration. A former recruitment officer for the CIA, Luberg later clarifies he was commenting only on the orderliness of the demonstration, not its merits. He reiterates that Madison merchants haven’t done anything wrong, and should be commended, not condemned.
And campus support for civil rights will continue, as Ed Garvey succeeds Ann Olsen as president of the Wisconsin Student Association. The Burlington junior says his administration will focus on social regulations, apartment living, and civil rights – both on campus and around the country.
No progress on civil rights in the Madison school system, still without any black teachers under full time contract, as a meeting between leaders of the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Superintendent Philip Falk ends inconclusively. Commissioner want to know why Falk hasn’t offered a contract to African American substitute teacher Sloan Williams or any other black teachers. Falk, a member of the UW’s Ku Klux Klan interfraternity in the early 1920s, says he’s following the board’s policy of equal opportunity but not affirmative action – hiring the best candidate without regard to race, color or creed. Commission chair Atty. Lloyd Barbee, who recently stepped down as chair of the Madison NAACP, agrees there are candidates with better resumes, but says Williams is qualified and should be given a chance. Falk also notes that the district did twice offer a contract to a Negro teacher, but she rejected it. The teacher said that part of the reason she turned it down was an instance of past discrimination.
The transformation of part of the Greenbush neighborhood into the Triangle urban renewal project takes a major step, as the Madison Redevelopment Authority submits the first part of the final plan for the 52-acre project bounded by S. Park, Regent and West Washington. Plans call for a maximum of 1,000 apartment units, a large shopping center at the southeast corner of Regent and Park streets, and additional land for Madison General Hospital. The six streets that crisscross the area will be replaced by a single curving street from S. Park to W. Washington, both of which will also be widened. The federal urban renewal agency will pay 2/3 of the $3 million project. MRA officials expect to begin buying the area properties sometime this fall.
And a big week for highways, as city and university planners agree on a two- phase $15 million improvement project for University Avenue and West Johnson Street. The first phase includes expansion to eight lanes from Bassett Street to Breese Terrace, with a new road— to be known as Campus Drive— swinging west along the Milwaukee Road right- of- way and out to Merrill Springs on the far west side. In 1980, a submerged University Avenue freeway is to be built, ten feet below grade, through the campus. The plan also makes westbound University Avenue one- way in the campus area—except for of a bus lane headed east on the southern side of the avenue, separated from other traffic by a low cement strip. The project now goes to the council, regents, the Village of Shorewood, and the railroad for their approval.
And the city streets committee gives the OK to the proposed Monona Bay Causeway from North Shore Drive along the railroad tracks to Lakeside Street. It’s unlikely to be built anytime soon, though – the city’s capital budget pegs the plan as the city’s lowest priority for street projects. The highest priority is adding a second lane in each direction to Highway 30, from E. Washington Ave. to the proposed Badger interchange on Highway 90.
More legal problems for the F. S. Royster Guano Co., back in Superior Court facing complaints noxious gasses coming from its fertilizer plant on Dempsey Road. The company pleads not guilty to the charge, brought by 15th Ward Ald. Robert Hagen. Area residents filed 18 separate complaints about the plant over a three-day period in late April. Two previous charges are still pending, with a trial set for May 25.
The Armed Forces Day parade around the Capitol Square brings a crowd of about 12,000 to enjoy martial music from eight marching bands, a demonstration from the Navy Sea Bees construction crews, and a fly-by by F-102 fighter planes. Men from eight Madison area ROTC, Reserve and regular armed forces units strut their stuff before Mayor Ivan Nestingen and several military dignitaries on the reviewing stand at Wisconsin Avenue.
In Society News – The Madison Civic Symphony orchestra holds its first pops concert, an elegant affair that fills the Crystal Ballroom of the Hotel Loraine to capacity. Town and gown is dressed to the hilt as Civic Music Association Director Walter Heermann strikes up the band. Tickets are five dollars, with proceeds going to the orchestra’s own library.
The week ends with shocking tragedy on the west side – John and Florence Buending are shot to death in a murder-suicide in the basement of their home at 4609 Windigo Trail. The bodies are found so close together that police aren’t yet sure who fired the fatal shots from the .22 caliber automatic revolver. Buending, 25, an engineering assistant with the Dane County Highway Department, had been ticketed earlier that day for a hit-and-run accident after drinking at Jingles Stadium Bar on Monroe Street. Mrs. Buending, 35, was eight months pregnant; doctors at Madison General Hospital are unable to save the life of the unborn child
And that’s this week’s Madison in the sixties, For the WORT news team, I’m Stu Levitan.