The Ohio State University Alumni Association

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Makio '68, Getty Images, Library of Congress

Video: Students protest on the Oval in 1968

View an archival film of a 1968 protest on Ohio State’s Columbus campus at which students picketed and took turns speaking at a microphone.

While reporting stories about 1968 at Ohio State, we screened several 16mm films in storage at University Archives. This one, of a protest, captured our interest. The camera work was skilled and thoughtful. Colors seemed to pop off the old film. And the faces. Lots and lots of faces of students and, presumably, faculty and staff, either participating in the protest or watching it from nearby.

Though we have no information about the precise date the film was shot or who held the camera, we did identify one of the people shown: Marshall S. Adams, the man wearing a drab green jacket and sunglasses at the microphone. Adams, according to The Lantern, was chairman of the campus Veterans for Peace chapter and frequently led or participated in anti-war protests at Ohio State in 1968. Adams’ name last appeared in The Lantern on May 2, 1968, when his truck was ticketed by campus police. “When asked why he was holding a ‘demonstration’ when he had said last Wednesday was the last, he replied, ‘If the administration doesn’t keep its promises, we don’t have to either.’”

Andrew Ina / Matthew Stoessner