0:00

PETER: Anyway, let me give my intro information here.

EMBRY: Sure, let me, like to write it myself(??).

PETER: Okay. This is a, um, interview, uh, Jim Embry. Uh, today's date is November 14, 1978. And the location here is the, um, the West End Plaza(??) on, uh, Georgetown Street. This is the, uh, what?

EMBRY: Don't put that on there.

PETER: Don't put that on there. (laughs) Okay, anyway, it's, uh, uh--

EMBRY: --where I work at--

PETER: --6:37, let's say, at Georgetown Street, Lexington, Kentucky. Uh, the subject is the, uh, uh, campus upheaval on the University of Kentucky campus of, uh, May of 1970, specifically the burning of the, the ROTC building, way back when. Okay. Mr. Embry, what, what 1:00were you, what were you doing at U.K. back in the spring of, uh, 1970?

EMBRY: Well, I was participating in the student uprisings, you might say. Uh, I was, I wasn't in school at the time.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Because in 1969, around June, three other persons and myself had been arrested for attempting to burn down some buildings at U.K. And we'd been arrested and put in jail and had been, uh, put out of school.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And so we went to trial in the spring of 1970 2:00about January.

PETER: Hm.

EMBRY: Uh, and we were found guilty. And, uh, the sentence was, I would say was somewhat light. We were put on a year's probation and, uh, fined five hundred dollars. And it could've been a maximum of two years in jail, uh, about a thousand-dollar fine.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh.

PETER: So, as a result of your being arrested, you were, you were kicked out of school?

EMBRY: Right.

PETER: Yeah.

EMBRY: Right.

PETER: Well, how far, how far had you gotten?

EMBRY: I was just a, I just, I finished two years.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Came to school in 1967, went that year, '68, and came back in the fall and went again. And then, uh, the incident happened in the summer of '69.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, yeah, and so, even though we were out of school, and in a sense, we were in a sense barred from campus, 3:00in a sense, we still, uh, kept it all up with happenings on the campus. Uh, we were involved in the Black Student Union, well, the black student population, and the problems there. And we were also, uh, familiar with and friends with a lot of the, uh, white students--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --and the concerns that they had. So, uh, uh, we, uh, participated in a lot of the--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --uh, activities that students, you know, had back, they had(??) what they called , uh, what, what we called, two years prior(??), we called "bitch-ins" for black students who basically would, uh, come before the patio, Student Center patio, and bitch about, uh, the problems of black students. So, that kind of situation atmosphere, the bitch-in was used, uh, in 1970 when, uh, uh, the student population at U.K. began 4:00to, uh, discuss and, and, and threw out their opinions of the Vietnam War and the student code and other concerns. So, we would meet over behind Memorial Hall, as a matter of fact, in that area--

PETER: --right, right--

EMBRY: --just over there, and microphones out, and they would be talking about this, and talking about whatever the situation was.

PETER: Tell me about your case. What happened?

EMBRY: Uh, you mean what happened that night?

PETER: No, no, with the--

EMBRY: --oh, you mean, with(??)--

PETER: --with the, you being arrested for the burnings and whatnot.

EMBRY: Well, uh, just giving you as a little follow-up, uh, the, the black students, uh, were at U.K., those who I know(??) the first two years, uh, faced a lot of problems, discrimination, harassment, fights, uh, no black athletes, no black professors, and other questions like that. So, uh, we felt we very frustrated, and we were. 5:00So, one night in June, uh, we were sitting around talking about the problems, being a black student, being a black person in America. We were drinking and smoking and so forth. And, uh, we had just witnessed earlier in the year the riots, uh, uh, well, the riot the previous year when Dr. King was killed. Uh, then there were riots as well that summer of '69 in different parts of the country, black, uh, communities. So, we felt that, uh, to, I guess, to vent our anger, that we'd go out there, we were high anyway, go out and try and burn down one at the university, ----------(??) got anyway. (Peter laughs) We went out, and, and, you know, got some gasoline cocktails, and, uh, attempted, you know, to, uh, burn down, uh, uh, what 6:00was known as the Geology Annex, which isn't there anymore; it's torn down. That's between the library and the, I think, Kastle Hall, King-, Kinkead Hall. There's a grassy area there now.

PETER: Right, right.

EMBRY: Uh, so, what happened during the course of getting in the car and driving on campus and getting the bottles out and coming along, uh, a policeman came by and saw us and we ran off, you know, uh, ran off out to the cars. But one of the persons did happen, did throw a bottle in the building, but it didn't ignite it. So, we were, you know, subsequently arrested for, and, uh, put in jail for about three or four weeks. Uh, the bond was about twenty-five thousand dollars, something like that.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, and we got the bond, though, in about a month, and got out, and the trial was set for the fall, but 7:00our lawyer, you know, Wiseman(??), uh, asked for a continuance through this, to January until things died down. But meantime there were a lot of black students, uh, as well as whites who, uh, were sympathetic to the situation and, uh, trying to make us kind of like martyrs, you know, I guess. Uh, and raise a little money and we would hold meetings and discuss, you know, questions around the case or whatever. So, by the spring in January, uh, we went to court and had a very, a very good jury, I would think, very sympathetic. Uh, and we went to trial and it was over with. A lot of the jurors cried. And it was about a, it was about a five-day, five-day trial. It was all night long.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And, uh, a lot of black students who came wanted to be in back, back of the court, ----------(??) and raise their fists up. And, you know, and we would go out at night after a long day's trial, and we would see policemen standing on the rooftops of buildings downtown, uh, in case anything happened, another incident, 8:00because there was, there was talk among, I guess, the black students and some of the white students that they would, uh, do something if, you know, we got put in jail, that kind of thing. It was kind of, kind, kind of an interesting experience because we were kind of torn between in both ways(??), we said now if we're found guilty, you all create a situation. We gonna get more time than we got already. So, we're kind of torn between, you know, whether to support what they wanted to do and supporting us.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: I wanted to say, "Well, wait a minute. Let's don't do this, you know." (laughs) But we don't want to go to jail. What happened, we didn't, we only got a five hundred dollar fine--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --that was all.

PETER: Um-hm. It's interesting to me that there was, uh, a sympathy for you really from, from students and such because I, I know at the, uh, the burning of the ROTC building, uh, 9:00was pretty much, from what I've been able to find out, universally, uh, you know, condemned as a violent act, you know, and what not. That--

EMBRY: --uh--

PETER: --what, what, did you, was there a change in, this was earlier, this was like, what? [Nineteen] sixty-nine--

EMBRY: --[Nineteen] sixty-nine when this happened--

PETER: --you say, '69--

EMBRY: --right.

PETER: Was, do you think there was that much of a, of a change in, in the temperament of the times?

EMBRY: Well, I think that the people that supported--

PETER: --perhaps it was just the black issue, or--

EMBRY: --that supported us were the minority of students, okay? There were students who were willing to take a stand, who were willing to come downtown, you know, for five nights, for four nights, four days, and sit through the trial, and willing to raise money for you. Uh, but like I tell you(??), a select few, it wasn't a whole lot of people.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, during the situation, I think, '70, uh, the student code, like the Vietnam War, the Cambodian invasion, uh, the Jackson State killings, 10:00the Kent State killings, you know, all kind of brought things to a head at U.K., but the student code was also an issue that brought out a large number of students, you know, uh, who hadn't really understood what the situation, what the crisis was about. You know, they were just out there, you know, following the crowd, like a rhinoceros, like a rhinoceros herd. Uh, you've read about, uh, but the, but they didn't have any principles to stand on.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And a friend of mine who was involved in the thing with me in '69 has oftentimes said, said, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Okay? So, probably the students who were out there that night, because, like, as I recall that night, it was like a fun thing. You know, people were out, you know, they were laughing, you know, roaming around the campus. And it was like, you know, like a, like a panty raid.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, they used to occur when I was in school, I'm 11:00not sure they occur now. But a panty raid was just some -----------(??) young men would roam over the campus, you know, and yell for girls' panties and run away. See. And probably that's what the people thought it was, that kind of thing, you know, where it would just be a, a fun kind of a thing, you know, really no real thing would, would really kick off. Uh, and as, as we were walking, we were coming across campus in a big crowd, we came down to the armory. And, uh, the armory was a point, a focal point that night.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, and it was surrounded by policemen, uh, state, as well as I think it was state, local, and campus police who were surrounding the armory. And, uh, I recall different people, you know, ----------(??) and, uh, I don't know who all, -----------(??) preaching(??), you know, in front of the armory, uh, about the, uh, about different things, about the code, about the Cambodian, about the Vietnam War, about the campus, and what it should be like, and, uh, whether or not 12:00there should be a student on the board of trustees, and about, um, uh, whether, like, big business, big business should sit on the board of trustees, all kind of things were, were, were thrown in. And then, uh, some people began to throw rocks, you know, at, at the armory--

PETER: --okay, hold on, I, I want to get this--(Embry laughs)--I, I want to get this, I, I want to get this in detail for sure. Sounds good, but, uh, let's back up. Just generally, just, uh, to get, get a sense of, of general impression for the time. What, what, what was life like, just generally, on, on campus at the time? Were the concerns of the average student?

EMBRY: The average student was concerned with probably about his or her social life, and then secondarily his or her grades, uh, and, uh, success in college.

PETER: Um-hm.

13:00

EMBRY: The average student.

PETER: Um-hm. How was campus different from like todays?

EMBRY: Well, it was, one thing it was smaller in terms of the population. When I was there, there were about fifteen thousand students. When I was in the school at U.K., there were twenty-five black students.

PETER: Hm.

EMBRY: Now there're about six hundred.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, the, uh, the atmosphere on the campus was different. Uh, like I say, it kind of began, at least when I first went there, around the black student concerns and the civil rights movement, the black problem was in its height at that time. Uh, I mentioned we, we would hold bitch-ins almost weekly in the patio, the black students would, in, in conjunction with other white students. There'd be a big crowd out there, you know, we'd talk about the, uh, questions of, of black students, and, uh, discussing, uh, you know, uh, like there was a lot of fraternities that would, 14:00um, play "Dixie," uh, at the home football games, they would, uh--

PETER: --right--

EMBRY: --play "Dixie" when you walked by--

PETER: --that was a big issue with student government for a long time--

EMBRY: --right, right, right, right, right. And I recall that I went there one night as a BSU representative and spoke the night they were voting, you know, voted to ban "Dixie" at football games. So, that was the kind of thing we were concerned about. So, the atmosphere was a lot more activity, uh, a lot more, uh, things going on in the Kernel, articles, you know, had been written about those kinds of questions. Um, the, uh, student government was, was more active in, uh, voting on, uh, the question of "Dixie," and voting on, uh, uh, questions that are different from questions today, like that's how student government was trying to get off, off the ground the whole thing of, of alternative bookstores, where you could sell your books, you know, as a student and get more 15:00money than going to Kennedy's or Wallace's. Uh, there were questions of legal aid, trying to provide students with legal aid service. Uh, uh, there were questions of putting a student representative on the, uh, board of trustees. There were questions of student and faculty relations and how you could resolve problems that you had--

PETER: --hm--

EMBRY: --because there was no, there was no recourse. Now there's a where you could ----------(??), I forget(??), ombudsman you can go to and discuss things.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, there were questions of, uh, uh, students, uh, there were a lot of questions about concerning the war and, and, and persons who were like ----------(??) what they called being a draft evader. There were questions about that.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: You know, whether it was right, you know, to avoid the war, and, uh, whether you should, whether it was right to hide from a student classification. Those kinds of questions, people being drafted, 16:00you know, left and right. Uh, the atmosphere were much more activity, political activity.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, it wasn't just concerned about social life, would they get more concerts here, or whether, uh, you know, questions about the, the student code also a concern. It, it was being developed. And there were we thought that the input should come from us on the student code. Uh, things are much quieter now in that regard, but albeit it, they were some of the things now should be active, but those were kinds of things(??), there were reasons to be active.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: You know. Uh, like I say(??), it was the height of the Black Power movement; the black students had many grievances. It was like the, uh, the time when the Vietnam War was becoming, uh, very much a part of people's lives. So, like those two things, you know, kind of brought the activity to a head.

PETER: I bet(??).

EMBRY: Uh, if you'd look, at, at U.K. campus, I'd say around 17:00sixty-, sixty-, '63, '64, it was quiet.

PETER: Um-hm. Um-hm. Um, what kind of organizations were, were involved with these things? You probably had more experience with, uh, the black organizations that were there.

EMBRY: Well, there was the Black Student Union.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, there was a group called, well, SDS was there--

PETER: --right--

EMBRY: -- ----------(??). There was also a group that was about to fizzle out called, uh, the AdHoc Committee on Human Rights that was a kind of composite of blacks and whites.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, I think that was, I think that was their name. Uh, there was, um.

PETER: Student Mobilization Committee--

EMBRY: --Student-, is that what they were called?

PETER: Yeah.

EMBRY: I forget.

PETER: SMC.

EMBRY: Yeah, right, SMC, that's right, I was thinking of SMC. That was.

PETER: There was a, uh--what, you say there were only twenty-five black 18:00students--

EMBRY: --in sixty-, '67, when I was there. About 1969, there may have been maybe seventy-five.

PETER: Were most of those, were most of those students in the, uh, in the union?

EMBRY: Uh, no. Uh, I would say maybe a majority of them.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: A majority of them, I would say maybe fifty, uh, sixty. Uh.

PETER: Um-hm. Were you involved in that group?

EMBRY: The Black Student Union?

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Yeah, I was president for two or three years. Treasurer, a little bit of everything. That was, uh, the main black student group at that time. Uh, I was very active in that as well as student government. Uh.

PETER: What do you remember, what do you remember of the SDS on campus?

EMBRY: Uh.

PETER: Someone told me that, uh, I think, in the late sixties, at some point they had a, uh, a national or, or a 19:00regional convention there.

EMBRY: Right.

PETER: Do you remember anything about that?

EMBRY: Uh, not much. I recall that SDS had problems getting recognized on the campus. They had problems getting speakers because, uh, they had tried to get, uh, uh, Bobby, Huey Newton--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --here to speak. They tried to get, um, what was his name? The radical lawyer, uh.

PETER: Uh, Kunstler.

EMBRY: Who, who defended, yeah, they tried to get Kunstler here--

PETER: --Kunstler was on campus.

EMBRY: Uh, yeah, yeah, but there was a lot of ----------(??) went on because at that time, Kunstler and Huey and other folks were all seen as what they used to call "outside agitators." (Peter laughs) And, uh, if they came in to speak, then something would happen on the campus.

20:00

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: So, um, SDS was involved in that. There, there was a lot of, say, between them, white students, and well, mainly the administration over their selections of persons to come to speak. Recall the convention, I, I'm, I'm not, I'm not really, because we saw SDS as a radical group. But they didn't have, well, as I recall, they didn't really support our demands or our, our concerns. And we saw that, uh, we shouldn't support them, at least out-front, uh, although we had, we had numerous meetings together and discussions, uh, you know, of our officers and so forth. But it wasn't a lot of contact, a lot of support of BSU and SDS.

PETER: How about, um, student government?

EMBRY: Student government probably more so than any other group.

21:00

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, they, uh, the leadership, leadership overall was very supportive of our demands. Of course, as a matter of fact, BSU at one time had an office in the, in the student government office. Uh, we would go in there and have our office. We had a big office. And we run off stuff, you know. So, we had a lot of relations for a long time. Uh, also, uh, um, when questions, when questions like, say we were talking about needing some black basketball players. ----------(??) none at all. Student government might say, you know, pass a resolution saying that we support, you know, the concerns of the black students to have more black athletes, you know, and that kind of thing, or they might write an article for the paper, uh, a long article, you know, supporting that kind of thing. So, there were good relations between student government, uh, as a whole, even though there were factions inside student government who were mostly(??) fraternity people who'd vote 22:00consistently(??) against it. The whole questions of "Dixie" was, uh, uh, a question of factions who wanted basically because it was good for the fraternity and that kind of thing. And "We don't mean any harm," and that kind of thing, you know. Uh.

PETER: The Kernel was, uh, pretty supportive.

EMBRY: Right. Absolutely. The Kernel sometimes bent over backwards to support the students' concerns, uh, BSU concerns, student government. Some of them would, there'd be an article they wanted printed, and we'd be late, and they would say, "Okay, we're gonna show you how to get it in there." And they would get in there. Cause, Guy Mendes, uh, some other guy, I can't think of his name. Guy, I know him, I see him all the time now. You know, I belong to the Good Foods Coop, and I see him often. But he was on the Kernel. Okay, he was one of the campus, uh, leaders. And there were a couple of other guys on the paper who were very 23:00vocal, and I guess you could call radical at that time. Uh. So, uh, SDS had also tried--well, they had gotten--one of, one of, one of the things in student government were in those years was to get various factions into the student government because it had been traditionally just a, just a popularity contest. And then it began to be a political struggle to get SDS members into the student government, to get BSU into the student government, and, I think, get SMC into student government, you know. And just run on platforms, you know. BSU might, might join with SDS. I knew lots of people who did that, the SDS.

PETER: Hm.

EMBRY: They, uh.

PETER: Hm. Remember the, uh, Lexington Peace Council?

EMBRY: Yeah, yeah.

PETER: They were like not exclusive campus people at all.

EMBRY: Right, right , right, because one of, one of the mistakes, if you might call it that, of the student movement in Lexington, as well as nationwide, and that goes for the white students as 24:00well as the black student movement, there was no attempt to rally support or to become in touch with the community. Uh, we felt that we were in a sense all-powerful. And if there were any problems, we could solve them by being students on campus. And we had no, students don't have any clout once they, uh, there's really no power base. Uh, uh, of course, we were very transitory, or we were at that time. You know, you go through four or five years, and then you're gone. There's no, no, no continuity between leadership, say, in BSU as it is now, and when I was in BSU. Uh, so, uh, the Lexington Peace Council, as you, as you ment-, as you said, was, um, more a community-based organization. And if we had been much more clear in our strategy and understanding, we'd have recognized the need to go to people like the Peace Council, uh, NAACP, or 25:00whatever other community groups, uh, bring our problems, our questions, and get them to be much more active, you know, in the concerns of students at U.K.

PETER: Do you recall any ties with the Lexington Peace Council?

EMBRY: Well, uh--

PETER: --groups on campus?

EMBRY: I, uh, I went to a number of their meetings. Some of my close friends were on the Peace Council. Uh, uh, they were mostly out there supporting groups of concerns on the campus. Uh, they would send, you know, uh, people to the, uh, rallies, and the bitch-ins, and, uh, they would, uh, uh, do things that they could on their level. You know, it, it was a, once again, it was, there was a gap between, um, the student population and the community population. Also, a lot of the people in the Peace Council were Lexingtonians.

26:00

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Okay. So, most of the students were not Lexingtonians. This was also a problem. You know, if you want to bridge a gap, it's hard if you're not from Lexington. Okay. Uh, although in later years I recognized that, you know, error, and became much more active in community affairs, uh, community struggles, community concerns. And, uh, that's where I'm at now. But, uh, that was the, uh, the Peace Council we had(??).

PETER: Okay. How many people, or say, what percentage, of people on campus would you define as, as protestors, however you'd define protestors?

EMBRY: Percentage?

PETER: Um-hm. People on campus, say.

EMBRY: Oh, I would say, at the height, that night, during the 27:00course of those weeks, there may've been at the most five hundred people, at the most--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --who were involved to some degree consistently. Uh, so, five hundred out of fifteen thousand, whatever percentage that is. Uh, less than 10 percent, I mean, less than 5 percent, uh, somewhere near 3, 4, 5 percent, uh, at the most.

PETER: So, do you think that that, that was the height? Say, the, uh, the, the burning of the ROTC building, the, uh, the guard on campus, do you think that was the height of, say, the movement in Lexington?

EMBRY: The movement in Lexington?

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: It's hard to say that--

PETER: --um-hm--

28:00

EMBRY: --the movement, the movement on campus that was the height, because there was no movement in Lexington, as such--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --around that time.

PETER: Okay.

EMBRY: There was a campus movement, and they're different. They're different--

PETER: --okay--

EMBRY: --you have to be clear about.

PETER: Okay.

EMBRY: Yeah, that was the height. And like, you know, one of the problems the students had, whether it be whites and blacks, because black students had been involved in the past couple of years in struggles over certain issues on the campus. So, what happens, the issue is raised around April or May. Uh, and what happens, school ends, and the, uh, the movement in a sense ends because you're gone. You either were going home, you know, or wherever you'd gone to.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: So, at that time, that happened, uh, right at the time when school was getting ready to end. Uh, I would say that ----------(??) important, what's important, once again, to link up, to have 29:00the community be the main force of the struggle, not the students. Because if the community is there, you know, an issue there is always going to be there because they're always going to be here.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And with students, you see, are transitory, and we'll leave at the end of the year or leave Christmas vacation. Uh, last year the black students had some issue, I forget what it was right offhand. And, uh, a lot of, um, there was some marching and there was some articles in the paper about the Kernel not doing something for them. But then school was out and the moment's dead.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: The issue was dropped.

PETER: Um-hm. How do you think those people were, were viewed by the faculty, the administration?

EMBRY: Once again, you know, you can look at things generally, but then again, you've got to recognize the, uh, individuals, uh, people in that sense(??) were, uh, some faculty members(??) were very supportive. I recall, uh, people, again, like Dr. Adelstein, who was in the English 30:00department, who was very supportive of, of, uh, student concerns. Uh, Dr. Channing(??) who, uh, was at the history department at that time was very supportive. Uh, uh, oh, there were, ----------(??) probably, but, but there were a few, a few, a few faculty members who even in the faculty senate would rise up, you know, and talk about, uh, uh, some student concerns. Uh, the senate, there were many times, uh, that the main movement, uh, the faculty senate met oftentimes, uh, many would be marching through, uh, the, uh, um--

PETER: --administration building, marching through it(??)--

EMBRY: --I guess the administration building, yeah, it was during that, and we were talking, calling for a takeover. Well, a lot of students were outside and some of them marching inside.

PETER: Yeah.

EMBRY: The students, the, uh, faculty senate met, you know, in that 31:00period, in the ----------(??), as a matter of fact, uh, to see what they, they could do, you know. They send over, they might send somebody over to talk to us. They say, "Well, here from so and so, and maybe you all should come talk to us," and drive back and forth.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Because they, they were overall very concerned, I would say.

PETER: Do you remember any support out of the administration?

EMBRY: Um, I'm trying hard. Hm. Well, I would say that the administration was in a different position than the faculty. And their position deemed them to be somewhat understanding possibly of student concerns, but primarily as a police force, uh, trying to keep the campus going, you know, trying to keep disturbances down, and, and trying 32:00to avoid what happened in other, what happened at Cornell, and what happened at other colleges around the country. So, you know, some of them may have expressed some empathy, uh, on an individual level, depends on what was seen by the students in the, in the press, it was, you know, not the same, same way at all. Uh, you know.

PETER: Um, the last days of April of 1970, Nixon, uh, sent troops into Cambodia and the following Monday, May 4, the, uh, Kent State killings occurred. Do you recall your impressions of, of those two events when you, when you first heard about them, where you were and how you felt?

EMBRY: Well, my impressions of that are related to impres-, impressions I had in '68, if I can do so.

33:00

PETER: Sure.

EMBRY: In '68, the Black Student Union was becoming very active on campus. Uh, we were having different cultural events, we were demanding more black athletes, and on and on and on. Uh, we were holding, uh, statewide BSU conferences at U.K. and so forth. In April 4, as a matter of fact, uh, Dr. King was killed. And as I recall, we had somehow just finished something. It was either a, a bitch-in or some kind of little activity that we just had the night before. And, uh, we were kind of keyed up. And, uh, one of the Kernel reporters, as a matter of fact, we were in the, uh, I think, the BSU office somewhere. We had a newspaper(??) we were writing on. He called and said, "Hey, heard the news?" I said, "No." He said, "Dr.-, Dr. King was just killed in Memphis." You know. And we, we all essentially cried, 34:00you know. Of course, he was a, even though some of our views were different than his, we loved him. Um, so, that happened in, in, in '68, and the next day, uh, the next days we held several memorial services, and we, uh, had a big, in Memorial Hall we had hookups with Dick Gregory, and Jesse Jackson, and people like that.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, so that kind of, um, was a, a point in my life. That, that summer I went to New York to work in New York City.

[Pause in recording.]

EMBRY: Um, I was, uh, in New York when Robert Kennedy was killed. And I went to the, uh, crypt where his body was, um, lying at, and I was in a long, about two-hour(??) line standing at the church. And that had a, you know, uh, effect on me because it, it, it startled me that a, 35:00a country, country of ours would slay two of its very, most promising and very, uh, vocal, uh, leaders, uh, one black and one white. Uh, so it made me much more determined to, uh, see what I could ----------(??) you know, a better country. So, in, in, in, um, in '68 there were a lot of rebellions and riots in the cities. People were killed. Uh, and then in '70, with the, uh, Kent State killings, uh, I think the, uh, attitude of black students was as, uh, as Malcolm X said one day, ----------(??) particularly up on the roof. Meaning that you've been kill black students a long time, you know. In the early SNCC(??) movement, in the early things in the South(??) have 36:00been killing blacks a long time, black students, and not--

[Pause in recording.]

EMBRY: --the point where they would even kill their own sons and daughters.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And we felt that if that's the case, then, um, the concerns of the Vietnam War and the climate of the country had reach a very low point. A very low, because you would kill unarmed, you know, students, ----------(??) own people. Uh, so, that was the attitude of, of, of the black students, as well as mine, at this point. Uh, it wasn't(??), it wasn't a thing, you know, of welcoming people getting shot, but of recognition of, of, of just how bad ----------(??) had gotten. The crises(??) of the 37:00Vietnam War had gotten to that, to that, to that point. Uh, that next day after we had, uh, uh, heard it, we held, uh, like a march. It might've, it might've been that night, but, but there was a, a, what we called a, a night vigil--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --that we held where we, uh, walked around the campus--

PETER: --okay, so that's the beginning of the--

EMBRY: --I think at the people killed(??)--

PETER: -- -----------(??).

EMBRY: We, uh, walked around with a couple of candles, uh, in our hands, and wound up right in front of the administration building, because most of our services(??) were held at those services. And, uh, formed a circle. And, uh, you know, talked, uh, you know, there were people from, at that time, Lexington Peace Council--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --okay. And they were very supportive and very vocal of their concerns.

PETER: Uh, I would suspect that, that was probably the night of the fourth. That, uh, because--

38:00

EMBRY: --might've been(??)--

PETER: --the fifth, the fifth was--

EMBRY: --might've been--

PETER: -- ----------(??) of the burning.

EMBRY: Okay, right, might've been.

PETER: Do you remember how that was organized?

EMBRY: What's that?

PETER: The, uh, the candle march through the administration building.

EMBRY: Uh, as far as I know, I think the, uh, was it that, it probably was, at that time there were I think I mentioned(??) various groupings who were involved.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: School had a lot of contact with each other, you know. So, it was probably just kind of a consensus of the various groups, you know. BSU's said, "Yeah, you know, like, we'll be right there," and, and other groups, SDS, "Yeah, call so and so, and tell him get down." You know, kind of, it was more like a call ----------(??)---------- across the campus. It kind of came to me, uh, or anyone came ----------(??). Uh, there wasn't a need to be a lot of publicity about it, about having a thing.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: The word just got it spread. Uh, plus, there was a lot of, uh, at that time, uh, on campuses, a lot 39:00of, the, the hangout over on, uh, Rose Street is now torn down, uh, called the Paddock, where, uh, we used to hang out, drink beer.

PETER: Um-hm. ----------(??)----------

EMBRY: Right, right, right.

PETER: I think I remember that place.

EMBRY: Okay, it's, uh, it's now where, where the ----------(??) stores are. The, uh, ice cream parlor and ----------(??) place liquor store. But it was this old wooden, rural(??) store. And had a, we'd go there, you know, check out, um, the political happenings. And probably in, in many of evenings, there was a ----------(??)--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --I, I can recall, being kind of a ----------(??). Uh, but it was, it was also a, I think, uh, people were shocked. This, I think the most expressed emotion, this, this just shocked that, uh, cause I, the union, once again, coming from a black perspective, the union(??) that people would shoot black students. The 40:00blacks believed that. But we didn't really think that they'd shoot white students.

PETER: Um-hm. ----------(??)---------- Uh, quite a shock. On May 5, um, the day after Kent State, there was a board of trustees meeting on the eighteenth floor of Patterson Office Tower. Uh, do you remember anything about that?

EMBRY: Not much--

PETER: -- ----------(??)--

EMBRY: --uh, not much--

PETER: --where you there that day?

EMBRY: Yeah, I was on campus that day. But I didn't want to go up stairs though. (laughs) Uh, and I could be, this could be the wrong board meeting, but I do recall the one board meeting where that Chandler was there, and, uh, one of the students was either talking to him, or had his finger in his face, or something, and then Chandler hit him(??), uh--

41:00

PETER: --yeah, that's the day.

EMBRY: That was the day--

PETER: -- ----------(??)----------.

EMBRY: Okay.

PETER: Did you go, did you go up to the eighteenth floor that day?

EMBRY: No, no. No, unh-uh. Uh, nope, didn't go up there. For one thing it was very crowded.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, everybody wanted to get up there.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, and I believe, as I recall, we had kind of chosen, there was a committee that--no, there was a, what, what were they called? Uh, they might've, yeah, I think, that might've been. There, there was, there were, there were some people who were the leadership of the struggle.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: ----------(??) Guy was one. Uh, a guy named Benny ----------(??) was one. Uh, other people who were selected to speak, you know--hey Benny! He's right there, as a matter of fact. (laughs) But, uh, they were chosen, you could ask, you could 42:00ask--okay, okay. But, uh, we're discussing the, the, uh, the, uh, the burning of the building, the burning of the old ROTC building. (laughs) But, uh, so, the committee formed, they would represent the terms of the group and get the, had the faculty meeting, board members.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: So, I believe, as I recall, that they were responsible for ----------(??) the board meeting and voicing the concerns. But after them, some other students who wanted to get up there, and, you know, and be a part of the audience, and it was only, it gonna get(??), they kept saying, "Look at all these people(??)." "----------(??) few people." "Everybody can't come up here." Uh, the room's so big, and they would, I recall Jack Hall, uh, who was the dean at that time, who we all despised, uh, who was, um, come, he would, uh, choose who, who would go in, more 43:00or less. But anyway, ----------(??) as I recall, is that someone, Chandler was there; he was very reactionary, uh, who, uh, hit, uh, the guy. And they, this is a ----------(??), and the police either grabbed and took him away, I'm not sure what all the details of it.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: As I recall, I probably was one of the, outside of the, outside in the, um, the Patterson Tower, there was students, you know, everywhere.

PETER: Right. There was a, I'm pretty sure there was a, a, a rally that day at the fountain--

EMBRY: --right--

PETER: --at one o'clock.

EMBRY: Right.

PETER: You were there--

EMBRY: --right, right--

PETER: --that day?

EMBRY: Yeah.

PETER: Do you remember if there were any speakers that day?

EMBRY: Yeah, uh, once again, uh--

PETER: --I'm not really sure. Were these people at, at one o'clock aware that there was a board meeting? Or did someone come up and say, "There's a board meeting upstairs, let's go."

EMBRY: Well--

PETER: --I'm--

EMBRY: --I'm not sure. I know, I'm not sure. I 44:00believe we knew there was gonna be a board meeting.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: I believe we knew, because generally Steve-, was it Steve Bright at that time--

PETER: --no, he wasn't--

EMBRY: --on the board, but he was finally on the board, ----------(??) somehow I knew--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --somehow I knew, we were informed at that they were gonna have a board meeting. And, uh, I'm pretty sure that ----------(??) everybody was there, cause to bear(??) ----------(??) show the board that hey, here we are, kind of thing. I'm pretty sure that's why it was there. Cause most of ours were held behind Memorial Hall. Or in front of the administration building(??), by the front, by, by, by the fountain. So, we probably knew they were gonna be a board meeting there, and we were there to, um, make our presence known, our concerns, and so forth.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, and by the, as, as I recall, I believe that there were a number of signs, you know, there were, that were there. Uh, you know, signs--

[Pause in recording.]

EMBRY: --that kind of thing. Uh, they had given that(??), uh, I don't, I don't know, uh, primarily, uh, a ----------(??).

45:00

PETER: Okay, um, in the Herald-Lead-, in the Kernel accounts, it's real confusing, uh, as to, to what went on, as far as time and, and movements--

EMBRY: --yeah--

PETER: --of, of that rally. Apparently there were some speakers at the, uh, the student patio area, the Student Center patio. And it went(??) on in the complex with the coffins.

EMBRY: Right.

PETER: Do you remember, can you give me a, uh, uh, a, a synopsis of, of the movement as in, in time? And do you remember what time the rally got started? Um-hm.

EMBRY: Well, most of the events we held were around lunchtime, because that's when people--(laughs)--

PETER: --right--

EMBRY: --eat lunch. Um, they out.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: All, all I can recall is, is, is going to the, to the patio area. Uh, the old patio, all that old(??) ----------(??) you know, hearing various people speak. Uh, hearing, like the, 46:00I even recall Don Pratt(??), I, I, I believe he spoke at that, that rally.

PETER: I think he did, concerning ----------(??) concerning of guns on campus

EMBRY: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

PETER: And how he felt apparently that, uh, they should be taken away, uh, from police on campus--

EMBRY: --right--

PETER: --if need be, by force--

EMBRY: --right, right, right. That was one of the, that was one of the, ----------(??) one of the yells, "NO GUNS ON CAMPUS! NO GUNS ON CAMPUS!"

PETER: Right, right, yeah. Okay, well, do, uh--

EMBRY: --well, there were various--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --various speakers. Uh, and I like mentioned to you, coffins that we, uh, marched up campus -----------(??), and up Rose Street, and over the complex.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And then once we got over there, we kind of dispersed.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh.

PETER: Do you remember any kind of reactions that you got?

EMBRY: Oh, students had all kinds of reactions. Once again, look at the population who was involved; no more than say five hundred, 47:00or 5 percent, or whatever we talked about. Then the rest of campus had very mixed reactions.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: A lot of them would, would say, uh, things like, um, um, they would call us, like, like, turned coats, cause the thing they were referring to, you know, like, like, the country. Uh, saying that we weren't patriotic. Uh, that we, uh, didn't have our country, ----------(??) that they would knew whether we would--

PETER: -- ----------(??).

EMBRY: Yeah, like, a renegade, you know, cause that, that kind of concern. Uh, they would say, "Well, you know, if you don't want to either go to school, then get the hell of here," that kind of thing. Uh, "Leave us alone, we want to study, and we want, you know, our education, we want our degrees." Um, uh, "Leave us alone." Uh, some students would say, "Well, uh, we want to ----------(??) but I go to class." Uh, "I got to, you know, go study. Uh, I got to work."

PETER: Right, this is a part of those ----------(??)----------.

EMBRY: Right, right, right.

UNKNOWN: ----------(??)----------

EMBRY: Uh, a lot, a lot of them were hanging around the 48:00library, like with a ----------(??). A lot of people were out in there(??). Uh, so we had mixed reactions. Over near fraternity row probably was some of the more reactionary, uh, things being said.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, um, at that time, the foreign students were, I would say, were very distant. Even though now they're, the foreign students, you know, they're different, you know, ----------(??). At that time, ----------(??) I mean it was very distant, foreign students. Uh, what were we doing? Uh, cause their reaction was just, "Hey, I'm here to get my education; don't, you know(??), don't bother me."

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, uh, some of the professors, um, a lot of their class was dismissed to join, you know, the, uh, the, uh, the rally, uh, the march.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: That happened, you know, that was ----------(??). Uh, who, mixed, 49:00mixed reactions. Um, as we're marching, say, across the street, some people in cars would yell different, you know, different things, either in support or either in, in very stern(??) indignation what was we doing.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: You know, uh(??).

PETER: Do you remember how many people were, were on that march?

EMBRY: Uh.

PETER: Got any idea? Say, say back at the, uh, the Student Center patio. Do you remember just how big of an area where--

EMBRY: --the whole area was covered with--

PETER: --the whole area--

EMBRY: --yeah, yeah.

PETER: It's like a grass slope there that leads up to Buell Armory.

EMBRY: People were, like, nobody could ----------(??), as I recall, the whole area was covered the students, even up on the ramp if you come from the Student Center--

PETER: --right--

EMBRY: --people were sitting up there. People all near Frazee Hall. People were standing at the steps that go right in to the patio. Uh, the long steps that go ----------(??)---------- people were all up there. People were over near ----------(??) gardens, they were 50:00over in the parking lot, behind the, uh, well, by the Student Center.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: Uh, there's people everywhere. People were all underneath the, the Student Center patio. Uh, there were a lot of students. As a matter of fact, one reason that was recognized when we're talking, people were up, were up on Patterson Tower--no, up, up on the, uh, the ----------(??) talking pictures, uh, of the incident. And as, as I recall, uh, the fellow in the ----------(??) who was talking to, I think, Jack Hall, or somebody, and he was saying how he had pictures of everything that went on, you know, that everybody, and, uh, snapshots of all the different marches, and different speakers, and everything was, was in a, a portfolio.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, but, uh, so everybody was, was just crowded everywhere. A lot of, people who worked at U.K. in, in the cafeteria 51:00came out to look to see what's going on.

PETER: You said that, uh, once you got over the complex, there was(??) people dispersed.

EMBRY: As I recall, I, I--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --I, I recall marching over there. And walking fraternity row. But I can't really recall what happened after that.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: Uh--

PETER: --well, the Kernel, the Kernel reported that, uh, the group came back, uh, down, down Rose Street to Euclid, and then on the street, down Euclid, to the corner of Euclid and Limestone, and there was a, uh, a sit-in there--

EMBRY: --oh, that's right--

PETER: --of some, some sort--

EMBRY: --that's right. In the street, as a matter of fact.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: It was in the street, yeah, right--

PETER: --do you have any recollection(??) of Euclid and Limestone(??)--

EMBRY: --right, right, right, that's right, sure was. Um-hm. Sure was. Boy ----------(??)--

PETER: --do you recall--yeah, for a long time, a long time. Did you take part in that sit-in--

EMBRY: --yeah--.

PETER: --do you remember?

EMBRY: Yeah.

PETER: What percentage of, of the marchers did? I, not all 52:00did apparently.

EMBRY: Uh, oh, must've been less than(??) half.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Cause that was, like, you know, another step. You know, marching's okay. You know, people would march ----------(??), but taking another step beyond that, people, you know, just weren't ready for. Uh, I would say much, much less than half.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: But it was, it was enough to, um, block traffic for a while. Uh, to, um, uh, create some conflict. Now, whether or not that was the thing we should be doing. Uh, there were students who supported us marching over to the complex and back. They wouldn't report us, you know, in that kind of activity.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, so much less than half. Uh, maybe twenty-five, fifty, I guess, maybe.

PETER: So, what happened there?

EMBRY: Uh.

PETER: In regards to the split.

EMBRY: Well, eventually, I'm not sure how long it was we moved. 53:00Uh, and I think, I think at that point there was some discussion as to what should be the, I guess, the next thing students that we should do.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: You know, march, studying, you know, what else do we do to get our point across?

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, and I'm sure there was, like, a lot of discussion inside the, uh, committee, and, uh, different places over, you know, what, are we evaluating, you know, the, uh, the sit-in, and what that did, and whether it was too radical, you know, and depending on what, what, you, people, people were saying something that on, on the, uh, sidewalks saying, "Well, you, you were one of those peop-, Kent State, you know. You don't want to get, you know, run over, and you don't want to get shot," you know, that kind of thing. Uh, but there(??), there was other people that said, "Well, that's fine(??)."

PETER: It sounds as though there was a, a lot of indecision 54:00here, as, as though it weren't a real cohesive batch of people--

EMBRY: --right, sure--

PETER: --um-hm.

EMBRY: There was no overall organization everybody was committed to, uh, who shared the same ideas and same leadership. It was like a coalition of different groups with different principles and different willingness to do certain kinds of things.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, there was some, some concern, uh, over the way we should even march across campus or not, and whether, and whether we should like--(laughs)--having to, to refer to the code, you know, saying, "Well, do we have the right, you know." And we'd go through the code, and said, "Well, we can, we do(??) so and so." (laughs) ----------(??)---------- "What does the code say about this?" Uh, a lot, lot, lot of indecision. Uh, a lot of indecision. And, uh, there were people, uh, probably who were trying to spur the group on to do things that could possibly 55:00wind up in more violent situations. As you mentioned, like, like the group were talking about, which was a very real thing.

PETER: Do you think it was a matter of certain people proposing certain things and because of their status in the group, uh, their move-, their, their, their decisions being followed, or do you think it was just a matter of the majority of people went in a certain direction, and as a result to stay a part of the group to, to, to go in that direction?

EMBRY: Well, what happens, when you do things, you do things as a, um, example. Okay. As an example of students that had, their protesting were, you know, marches, vigils, uh, and so forth. Uh, as well as you got, I would say, uh, another area. So, people were following examples. There was, there was 56:00no real laid-out strategy--

[Pause in recording.]

EMBRY: --the climate of the country, sometime we might read about(??), "Well, they're doing so and so over there, you know." Uh, "they're doing so and so out there," that kind of thing. Uh, and so, so it was, it was kind of spontaneous reaction to things. Uh, so, I would say that it's probably a majority of people, uh, who cause they didn't, just went along with the activity, with the crowd--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --with the decision that was made. Uh, uh, because the spontaneous events probably didn't(??) happened.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: You know, like, the, the, riots in the city, the rebellions, you know, there was no laid-out strategy. A couple of people said, "Well, let's go burn down some buildings."

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And it got to be more and more and more people burning down buildings, but there was no strategy, no organization to it. 57:00But that, that was, that was one of the weaknesses of the riots, of what the students movement. There was no organization to provide leadership, you know, on ongoing situation.

PETER: So, you think as, as a result of, of the majority of going on to Buell, there's the people who are blocking the intersection, went ahead and, and followed onto Buell?

EMBRY: Say that again now.

PETER: Do you think as a result of, of the majority of the marchers going on to Buell, after coming to the intersection at Euclid and Limestone, the ones that were sitting in the intersection went ahead and followed the majority onto Buell?

EMBRY: Sure.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Sure.

PETER: What happened at Buell? Say, what, what time do you think it was by the time that everybody had to, had assemble, uh, assembled on Buell?

EMBRY: It was, um, wow. Well, I recall that it wasn't quite dark.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Because you could still, you know, see things. You know, 58:00it wasn't dark where you couldn't see, you know--

PETER: --right--

EMBRY: --where you were walking at. Um, I really can't recall just how long when you were at the armory, if there was speeches made. There were, I think, times you were, uh, agitate.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Just as I recall, the Kernel was just, just right(??), there were people who suddenly appeared, you know, out of nowhere in different functions, who were projecting things that we should do.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And--

PETER: --someone described that to me as, as very theatrical.

EMBRY: Oh yeah, oh yeah. They just very emotional. Uh, because emotions is what rules spontaneity(??); you respond by emotions. You don't think about whether you, your emotions go. At that time, emotions was a thing to, you know, to deal with, you know. A lot of, uh, I, I think wonder a person who we thought was strange, who talked about, "Well, when I was, you know, somewhere, you know, we did so and so and so." 59:00You know, and like, "Don't be, you know, scared." ----------(??) just trying to get you really pissed off.

PETER: Do you remember what they were proposing?

EMBRY: Well--

PETER: --if anything--

EMBRY: --one was to go to the armory.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Um, the other was to go in the administration building.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, one was saying go through the center(??), because as a matter of fact, we went through the Student Center(??) one night real late. Well, it might've been all, all night. It might've been the fourth. I'm not sure when it was.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: But it, the Student Center was just given to us in a sense, uh, all night. Uh, but those were the primary to take over the, uh, Buell Armory, and people, students take over the administration building, were the two, uh.

PETER: Were, were, were these people like in a group? Were they together? No. Um-hm.

EMBRY: Because like, after you being on campus, you know, for all spring long, you get to know--

PETER: --right--

EMBRY: --who the radicals are--

PETER: --right, right--

EMBRY: --and who's not. You know by(??) face.

PETER: Um-hm.

60:00

EMBRY: But this particular time, these individuals, uh, you hadn't seen before. Uh, and because you could tell this by their voice, even if you're blind, that they were--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --that voice, I wonder come, where that voice's coming from, I haven't heard that voice before.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, so they were, what you would call agent(??) provocateurs. Uh, which, which the Panther party, you know, uh, had a problem with that. People who were sympathetic to agitate, uh, the situation, uh, for whatever reason, I don't know. But, uh, I feel that some-, the, the(??) moment they were gone.

PETER: Never saw them again?

EMBRY: Never again.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh.

PETER: Okay, uh, do you remember any other, other speakers?

EMBRY: I was trying to think of someone today, I really.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Really hard for me to(??).

61:00

PETER: See, the, uh, the tape that's, that with, that I, uh, listen to in research to this had Steve Bright talking.

EMBRY: Yeah.

PETER: And then shortly thereafter, um, Jack Hall talked, telling people to disperse.

EMBRY: Right.

PETER: But, uh, as, as to, as to whether this was early on at the, uh, Student Center patio or at Buell, it's hard to tell. I take it that that--

EMBRY: --probably Buell--

PETER: --Hall, Hall, and Bright were at Buell.

PETER: Probably at Buell. ----------(??) Steve Bright was, I guess, the, the moderate, not, not, not ----------(??), he was more or less the person that the, I guess, the people in the faculty looked up to and became ----------(??) to as, you know, to, uh, kind of make sure they didn't get out of hand.

PETER: How did you feel about his politics?

EMBRY: Uh, at that time, I, uh, thought that being a white 62:00student, one going to(??) law school, he was a, a fairly radical, although other whites were more radical than he was. But for his situation, he probably was as radical as he could be.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: He was pretty, you know, he was--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --quite vocal, quite supportive. Uh, uh, yeah, I think what Bright vented the, uh, concerns of the students, you know, quite well.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: In terms(??) of political concerns were, I mean, the concerns, as I look back on it now, were very shallow, uh, very, uh, almost meaningless in terms of what the real issues were. But, uh, in terms of what the concerns were connected(??) to be, he supported it(??) quite well. Uh, he and I had, you know, endless conversations and working relations. Uh, I respected him a lot(??).

PETER: Um-hm. Do you remember what he had to say that night?

EMBRY: Uh--

PETER: --how about Hall? Do you, do you recall, I guess?

EMBRY: Uh. I, I can't recall what, what was said. 63:00I, I can imagine that the ----------(??) and the students were, uh, you know, a lot of the cops on campus was one of the concerns.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: You know, uh, the guns on campus. Uh, uh, that's, you know, the meat(??) discuss(??)our concerns that were, you know, raising.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, probably the answer was, you know, from Jack Hall was, you know, "We're here to protect you know the campus. Uh, unless you gonna do any damage," that kind of thing.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And, uh, whatever the discussion was it wasn't resolved. He stopped speaking.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: But it was resolved by the, uh, uh, well, there, there was, there was some rock throwing at the armory. Uh.

PETER: How was that received by, say, the protestors?

EMBRY: Very mixed.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Um. I didn't throw any rocks. (both laugh)

64:00

PETER: Do you know how you felt about those that did?

EMBRY: I think ----------(??) sure.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: But I, I knew that if, if, if, if the dean came down, I, I would get the brunt of the, uh, punishment. I mean, black students, you know.

PETER: Apparently there was some people arrested for rock throwing that night.

EMBRY: Right, right. Uh. But, um, I think that students, uh, were, had mixed emotions about it. Uh, uh, we were at a confrontation. You know, uh, at the armory and rocks were thrown. Uh, thrown not so much, I think, in trying to destroy the windows, but just in defiance of having police on campus.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Um, and then probably what, I'm not sure what would've happened, uh, if, if the police, along with the fire, hadn't broken the crowd up, I don't what would've happened. Just, you know, we even sit back, sitting back after it happened, had said(??), "Well, maybe 65:00if ----------(??)----------"--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --"happened the way it did. Someone might've, you know, might've gotten shot."

PETER: Right, Steve Burnt(??) said that. That, uh, there was a situation, you know, at, at Buell that was, that was tense, and the fire in fact kind of alleviated that, that--

EMBRY: --yeah, it did--

PETER: -- ----------(??) in the middle.

EMBRY: Yeah.

PETER: Um, it's confusing to me because I, I, I talked to another person today. And he told me that in fact there, there was no real, um, danger of, of anybody getting hurt that night. Were there police on hand that night?

EMBRY: Sure.

PETER: Yeah?

EMBRY: There was probably ----------(??). They were in front of--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --the armory.

PETER: Um-hm. Okay, the next night, May 6, there was another, uh, another group in the, at Buell. And--

EMBRY: -- ----------(??).

PETER: Okay, but I just, I, can you be certain that you're 66:00not confusing those two nights?

EMBRY: Can't I be sure(??).

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Can't be for sure(??). But in my opinion, whenever you have police and students, that kind of confrontation, like people said, a lot of, they were having kids ----------(??)--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --to what happened(??).

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Cause they wouldn't have, no one was predicting that, you know, students, you know, uh, students ----------(??)---------- were walking across campus and heard a shot, you know, of National Guard. Uh, so whenever you have a gun, you know, it's just, uh, someone(??) get killed. Uh, there's no thing about whether--

PETER: --right--

EMBRY: -- -----------(??) or not, uh, that situation.

PETER: Um-hm. Well, I was, I was told this afternoon that, uh, because the Kernel apparently is like very unclear on this, you know. They, they have, as far as the rally goes, they have like two or three hundred people marching from here to here and that's it, you know.

EMBRY: Excuse me, what, what--

67:00

PETER: --given their record, they did a really poor job--

EMBRY: --yeah--

PETER: --on that one.

EMBRY: Sure(??)

PETER: But, uh, the person I talked to this afternoon said that there were police inside. They could be seen through the windows, rushing back and forth, that, um, it, it, they weren't outside lined up.

EMBRY: That's right, that's right.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: That's right, that's right; you're right, cause--

PETER: --yeah--

EMBRY: --that's right, cause there was the armory and, and people were on the steps talking.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: Jack Hall, uh, Steve Bright, on the steps of the armory. And there was a side door to the armory, uh, facing the, uh, office tower.

PETER: Yeah.

EMBRY: They were helping(??) police in there.

PETER: That's--

EMBRY: --that's right--

PETER: --that's the, uh, the large rec. room(??)--

EMBRY: --that's right--

PETER: --I'm not sure whether it was a large hole(??)--

EMBRY: --right, right. Uh, I believe there might've been some because, because the, uh, the, the situation was we wanted to take it over.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: As I recall.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And there were some, I think, police, uh, some army men in the windows we could see. You're right; there were no police outside. The next night, that's when they, uh, ran us away.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Yeah, right.

PETER: Were you conferring with people, uh, on, on the possibilities of taking over the armory?

EMBRY: Well, like I say, it, it's, it's in reaction--

68:00

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --to things that other(??) places that took over armory(??), took over buildings. And we saw that the army was, uh, kinda the, uh, I mean, that was the place for ROTC training, and something I guess was the focal point.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: But, uh, once again, there, there was, there was no real strategy involved in saying, "Well, okay, now, you go in the backdoor. You go in the front door. And I'll go in the front door," that kind of thing.

PETER: Nothing like that.

EMBRY: It was just, you know, like I say, a rhinoceros herd--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --moving towards a, towards the armory.

PETER: I've heard it said that it was, it was more a, just an emotional reactions rather than any, any rational planning.

EMBRY: Right, right. Now, when the people, you know, say, in Cornell took over that building, it was planned, you know.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, because going in there with rifles, you got to plan it too.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Plan it out. But here at U.K. there was no, no strategy, no plans, no. Uh, uh, but, uh, but that, 69:00I don't think that there was really any long, any(??) discussion about how long we keep it, if we do, how long, how long we gonna keep it, who's gonna be the front door, who's gonna be the backdoor, there was just a--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --emotional kind of thing, you know. ----------(??)

PETER: Um, do you remember seeing the flames?

EMBRY: Oh yeah.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Very ----------(??). One of the things that people believe here that it was set not by students, but by someone in the government, uh, someone in the, uh, administration, cause in front of the armory, and then all of sudden, sheew! See these big flames, you know, we ----------(??) the students sooner.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, and, you know, we all ran over there. And, uh, outside, you know, for a long time watching it. And it just burned real quickly. Uh, and ----------(??) be arrested, you know, soon(??). ------------(??) obviously ran(??). ----------(??) the flames. Uh, 70:00I guess, that was a kind of a, whomever it was, was, was from now what we could tell, that type of person, uh, she was, she was, she was, you know, I guess, radical or whatever. Uh, it was a surprise to us. Now, soon after that, ----------(??)---------- but not her. It seemed that day she was arrested, uh, the next day, whenever it was, we just shocked that she was arrested.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: You know.

PETER: That she was arrested like twenty minutes after it went up--

EMBRY: --right, right, right--

PETER: --something like ------------(??) that(??).

EMBRY: So, uh--

PETER: --by Lexington municipal police(??).

EMBRY: So, the flames as a result from the armory(??)--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --we were in front of the armory and saw the flames over the building.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: Uh, and as far as I know today, there's been no clarity on what happened. As a matter of fact, she was, you know, got through legal heckles(??), there was no further investigation of--

71:00

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --who ----------(??) how it was set. Uh, it was kind of just swept under the rug.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: ----------(??) out ----------(??)--

PETER: --a people's park--

EMBRY: Yeah, right.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: Right, right.

PETER: Uh, so, what happened with the crowd in front of Buell when, when the flames went up?

EMBRY: Uh.

PETER: Was there a real rush over to the--

EMBRY: --yeah.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Yeah, that's what happened. People just kinda left their things; they just rushed over to Buell to what was happening.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Who set, you know, and how did it do? And, and people were ----------(??)--(laughs)--people went to the building and began yelling, clapping, you know. Uh, uh, "Down with ROTC," you know, and "Burn mother(??)," and ----------(??) sayings like that. And, uh, and when the, uh, fire truck came, they were saying, you know, "Let it burn, let it burn, let it burn." Cause it was gonna happened anyway. Uh.

PETER: So, what was your attitude towards the, the ----------(??)---------- to?

EMBRY: Well, I guess we were kind of, uh, elated in a 72:00sense that that kind of thing happened at U.K. You know, you read about things happening on other campuses, and you kinda envy them, because they took over their building, they did this.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: So, in a, in a way, you want to be like other campuses; you want things happening here too. So, when the, when the building burnt down, I guess we were, I guess we all rather elated--

PETER: --right, of how you've made it, right--

EMBRY: --yeah, made a big, made a big headlines. (laughs)

PETER: Yeah, it did. Um, there was rumors at the time about a, uh, a professional arsonist. Do you remember hearing those or how strong they were?

EMBRY: Well, even that night when it was burning, we were saying that, you know, if, if you set a fire and you're one person, as, as the whole thing was, you throw a firebomb in there. It takes time for it, you know, to burn and, you know, that kind of thing. But this, this building, you know, that just, just ignited just very quickly--

73:00

PETER: --apparently it was an old wooden barracks--

EMBRY: --sure, sure, but like even, um, even, but we got around there to the building, the whole building was in flames. Okay. The whole structure.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: If you throw a firebomb into a building, it will burn at one end, up way with the night ----------(??), okay. The fuels in the flames and all the way up. And if someone went in there, as we were talking that night, and poured gasoline, you know, all over the place--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --you know, everywhere, and threw a match in there, and then it get like that.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, but it didn't look like, look like what you could call, you know, just a one firebomb being thrown in there.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, the, there, there was, there was a lot of discussion that night about, uh, uh, that it was set, say, by the school, or whoever, to get us away from Buell Armory. Uh, that it was, uh, set as a, as a rationale to bring 74:00more cops on the campus. Uh, because I think there was a lot of, of course, a lot of cops that converged(??) on the scene too. Uh.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: So, that was kind of the consensus, as well as a kind of elation that it was burning down. You know, it was the ROTC building was burning down. Uh, so, it had a kind of significance, uh.

PETER: Do you have any idea who did it?

EMBRY: Not even, other than that. See, I think it was, it was set by, uh, uh, it was somebody in the government--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --state, local, uh, that includes your university, as far as the government, I believe.

PETER: But that's theory.

EMBRY: Sure.

PETER: Um-hm. Sure. Uh, so, the next, I think the next four days, I'm not sure on that, but the guard was on campus--

EMBRY: -- -----------(??)--

PETER: --called out by Governor Nunn. What do you recall about that, that time? Any, any, uh, like, like--

75:00

EMBRY: --well--

PETER: --just general impressions of--

EMBRY: --yeah, there were--

[Pause in recording.]

EMBRY: Students were brought off of the campus. ----------(??)----------. I was, I was one of them. Uh, but the guards ran the campus. ----------(??)----------(??) and Maxwell streets. And at night--

[Pause in recording.]

EMBRY: --began to gather in the seminary lot across from the, uh, the Memorial Hall.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: It was the gathering place. And, uh, we come back in and discuss, I guess, strategy of how to get onto the campus. So, at different times, we would be across the street and the guard would be up near, say, Memorial Hall.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: And, uh, then one person might run over there. Run back. (laughs) You know. And the guard would chase them. Um, uh, say, if you were going home, or if 76:00you were going to the Paddocks, you'd walk along the, uh, sidewalk next to, uh, the big lawn in front of the administration building.

PETER: Right.

EMBRY: The guard all along there. And we'd walk along and talk to them, you know, some of them. Uh, and many of them would say, "Hey, I'm opposed to the war, too, but we're doing our job." And we'd sit back and talk to them. ----------(??) big, you know, at that time. ----------(??) to them.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, let see, what other kinds of thing, uh. Uh, that didn't happened a lot as the days went on. A lot of students talking to the guardsmen--

PETER: --um-hm--

EMBRY: --you know, about what had happened, uh, our concerns, uh, and then there was still the kind of situation of where we'd be over here with ----------(??) all night long. You know, you'd bring your blanket, you'd sleep on the grass, and you'd, oh, you'd bring the beer, and you'd--

PETER: --was there permission by the seminary?

77:00

EMBRY: As far as I know.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: Uh, cause we was there.

PETER: Um-hm.

EMBRY: I would think so.

PETER: Yeah.

EMBRY: Uh, and there was still the, uh, people kind of teasing, you know, the guardsmen, that kind of--

[End of interview.]

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