Contact Details

Dr. Michael Doyle

In October of 1969, a small group of students at Ball State University marched to protest the Vietnam War as part of the Vietnam Moratorium Committee (VMC). Members of the original group are hosting a reunion and 50th anniversary conference at Ball State University's Pittenger Student Center on Friday, October 11, 2019 from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM. 

The full schedule is available online, and the conference is free and open to students and the public, who are encouraged to attend all or part of it. Organizers hope to bring generations of activists together at this event so that the lessons of Sixties activism will be shared with the rising generation of activists who populate college campuses today. 

What's Notable about This Event

  • Ball State is holding the only known commemorative event in the country in October connected with the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam's protest 50 years ago, which culminated in a march on Washington and hastened the withdrawal of American troops from Southeast Asia
  • Antiwar activism at Ball State attracted national press coverage at the time, including a front-page article in the Washington Post (2 Nov. 1969) and a six-minute story on NBC’s Huntley-Brinkley Report (25 Feb. 1970).
  • The keynote speaker is David Harrisveteran activist, journalist, and author. As a college student at Stanford University, Harris founded The Resistance, a national grassroots campaign for men to publicly burn their draft cards as a nonviolent protest against the Selective Service System. Harris was at that time married to the most prominent folksinger of the era, Joan Baez, who announced from the Woodstock Festival stage the start of his 2-year incarceration in a federal prison for refusing induction.

Reunion on Thursday, October 10

  • The reunion is for anyone who participated in antiwar demonstrations during 1969 and 1970 at Ball State.
  • It will be held on Thursday, October 10th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm at the Ball State Alumni Center Assembly Hall. For more information, visit the website. 

Conference on Friday, October 11

  • Co-organizers of the conference are Dr. Michael Doyle, Associate Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus of the Public History Program and the Oral History Workshop at Ball State, and Dr. Mary (Munchel) Posner, the lead organizer of Ball State’s VMC chapter. 
  • An Activist Fair and Poster Session will take place in the 2nd floor Browsing Lounge in the Student Center. If you're interested in presenting, visit the VMC50 website. 
  • The conference will wrap up with a memorial service in front of the Arts Terrace at 5:00 PM where a curtain of 1,000 origami peace cranes will be displayed.

Sponsors of the conference are the Ball State Center for Peace and Conflict Studies; Center for Middletown Studies; College of Sciences and Humanities; Honors College; and the Departments of Communications Studies, English, History, Psychological Science, Philosophy and Religious Studies, and Sociology; and the University Libraries Archives and Special Collections.