Jimmy H. Zien, Class of 1969. Oral history interview documenting his experiences with activism and the Vietnam War era. Zien describes his early life in post-World War II Tennessee and his father’s job with the National Labor Relations Board, including his interactions with continuing New Deal programs such as the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). He discusses race relations, McCarthyism, and nuclear threats during the Cold War. Zien recalls the assassination of President John F. Kennedy during his high school years, and his firsthand observations of the Watts riots in 1965. He recounts his time as a student at Dartmouth, his participation in the anti-war movement on campus, and his experiences with political activism and campaigning for Eugene J. McCarthy during the 1968 presidential campaign.
Richard J. Parker, Class of 1968. Oral history interview documenting his experiences as an activist during the Vietnam War. Parker discusses his early interactions with national politics, his religious background, and his experiences with the civil rights movement. In particular, he describes his firsthand observations of the Watts riots in 1965, his work with the Dartmouth-Talladega Upward Bound program in Alabama in 1966, and his participation in campus protests. Parker discusses his time as a student at Dartmouth, including his involvement in Bones Gate, the crew team, Casque and Gauntlet, and the Dartmouth Christian Union (DCU). He recounts his initial attempts to obtain Conscientious Objector status with the Selective Service and his later decision to submit his draft card. Parker describes his participation in anti-war protests and his experiences campaigning for Eugene J. McCarthy during the 1968 presidential campaign.
Ray A. Meyer. Class of 1965. Oral history interview with the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Meyer describes his childhood in Ridgewood, New Jersey as a son of immigrant parents from the Netherlands. Meyer explains how his family was working-class living in a wealthy suburb of New York City. He describes how being a Boy Scout might have contributed to his decision to join the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) at Dartmouth. Meyer describes how Dartmouth’s Air Force ROTC experienced a reorganization and all members has to re-enroll at which point Meyer chose to not sign up again. Meyer describes participating in the Glee Club. Upon graduation from Dartmouth Meyer discusses his time in law school at Boston University (BU). Meyer shares his experience working in the Office of Legislative Services in New Hampshire. While working in New Hampshire he learned that he was accepted into the Foreign Service Civilian Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS) program. Meyer shares his experience in Vietnam with CORDS. He describes his experience as very different than most people involved in the Vietnam War. In between his time spent in Vietnam he was sent to Brussels to the U.S. Mission to the European Union. Meyer shares his experience working in Bonn, Germany with the U.S. Mission to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 1989 and his involvement in lawyering the reunification of Germany. After his work in Germany Meyer discusses his involvement with nuclear nonproliferation law and civil liability for nuclear damage.
Allen L. Keiswetter. Class of 1966. Oral history interview with the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Keiswetter describes growing up in various towns in Kansas and Oklahoma and his transition to Dartmouth. He shares that athletics were not of particular interest and that he was more focused on academics as a child and in college. His interest in politics began during John F. Kennedy’s election. Keiswetter retells the story of his first encounter with his freshman year roommate, Landon [B.] Jeffers, Class of 1966. Keiswetter describes his freshman English class with Professor [Arthur] Dewing, as being very influential. He describes being exposed to Robert Frost, who gave his last lecture to Keiswetter’s class before his death. Keiswetter discusses his work as a student with Robert J. “Bob” Dole & Nelson A. Rockefeller. While at Dartmouth he describes himself as being a “Green Weenie” rather than a “Big Greenie”, more studious versus more athletic. He discusses his year spent at the European Studies Center in Bologna, Italy after graduation. From there, Keiswetter describes his transition into the Foreign Service Civilian Operations and Rural Development Support (CORDS) program and his time spent in Vietnam through that program. He shares his experience in Vietnam and explains how different his time was versus those who were serving in the military. He describes being able to move freely without much disruption or fear. Keiswetter describes himself as a Europeanist even though the bulk of his career focused on the Middle East. Keiswetter describes his career as a scholar at the Middle East Institute, a professor at the National War College, the National Defense Intelligence College, and at the University of Maryland.
Keane, John Interview Abstract
1. Childhood and Political Awareness in Huntington, NY
2. Time at Dartmouth
3. Peace Corps Experience in Colombia
4. Time in Vietnam with the Foreign Service
5. Post-War Career and Final Thoughts
John D. Isaacs. Dartmouth Class of 1967. Oral history interview documenting his work with the United States Foreign Service during the Vietnam War. Isaacs describes his undergraduate years at Dartmouth College, including a brief enrollment with the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), and his experience as a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University’s Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, including involvement in the antiwar movement. He recounts his deployment to Vietnam in 1970 and his assignment working with refugees in Binh Tuy Province, Bien Hoa, and Saigon through CORDS (Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support). Isaacs describes his later work in Washington, D.C., including his contributions to help pass the War Powers Resolution of 1973, and his work with the Indochina Resource Center. Isaacs discusses U.S. foreign policy and the country’s role in contemporary conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and with the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL).
David C. Hoeh, Associate Director of Public Affairs in the Public Affairs Center at Dartmouth College, lecturer in Social Science at Dartmouth College, coordinator of Dartmouth College/Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) program. Oral history interview documenting his memories of World War II (WWII) as a child in Newton, Massachusetts, and his involvement in the Democratic Party of New Hampshire, first in student government at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), then in state government from 1963 to 1967. Hoeh discusses his experience and involvement in the Vietnam War era and Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) era at Dartmouth College, as well as his service as Chairman of the New Hampshire [Eugene] McCarthy For President Committee. Hoeh graduated from UNH in the Class of 1960 and earned his Masters from Boston University and PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Paul Hodes, Class of 1972. Oral history interview documenting Paul Hodes’ activism in the popular movement against the Vietnam War, during his time at Dartmouth College. Hodes details the occupation of the administrative building, Parkhurst, by Dartmouth College student activists, and his role as bearing a bull horn to warn the occupants of the arriving police force. Hodes recalls the impact of the 1970 Kent State shootings, and his decision to participate in the March on Washington in the same year. Hodes also narrates his involvement with SDS (Students for a Democratic Society), his childhood in New York City, and his decision to run for Congress in New Hampshire in 2006.
Hayes, Stephen Interview Abstract
1. Childhood in Delaware
2. Coming to Dartmouth
3. Training at OCS
4. Naval Service in Japan and Vietnam
5. Life and Career Post-Vietnam
Long history of patriotism and military service on his fathers side of the family. Dates back to 1635 in New England.
Growing up in Gardner Ma, diversity in town –
Applying to Dartmouth
Freshmen teams vs varsity teams
President of Dartmouth rowing club
Happy as all male school – all male campus culture
Coached freshman crew as a student
Undergraduate Judiciary Committee
ROTC freshman year only
Lived in Casque & Gauntlet
Didn’t know what to do after college so joined peace corps
New Mexico for training
Honduras – setup a clinic – went to Caribbean to setup a track & field event for kids
Organized student protests while at Michigan
Marched in Belzoni Mississippi
Freedom Now movement to Black Power movement - At the event in Greenwood Mississippi
Got in touch with PBS Eyes on the Prize series – they wanted to know about transition to Black Power – only white witness they could find
Protesting the war
Dinner with McNamamara
Worked for Warren Wiggins in Chicago
Wrote a book about the Vice Lords
Got a grant from Rockefeller Foundation to improve life with Vice Lords
Returned to Mass and began working for the state/governor
Worked at Dartmouth in development office
Guilt of not going
Professor Colin C. Blaydon. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Professor Blaydon describes growing up in Newport News, Virginia as the son of a Naval architect and engineer. Blaydon discusses his school experience, race relations, and segregation in Virginia during his childhood. Blaydon describes attending the United States Military Academy at West Point. He shares that West Point was a difficult experience and was able to transfer to University of Virginia as a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Blaydon discusses being commissioned in the Army Corps of Engineers after graduation, however, he attended Harvard University for graduate school and did not go into active duty until 1966 after he completed graduate school. He shares his experience at Harvard studying modern control theory and later received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics. He was commissioned by the Atomic Energy Commission for a nuclear technology fellowship. Blaydon shares how he was able to use his Ph.D. work while on active duty. He describes meeting Alain C. Enthoven after a class at Harvard and as a result of their conversation, Blaydon describes how he was assigned to Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara’s staff. He details his involvement with Army intelligence during the Vietnam War. Specifically his work with drone technology. He describes being sent to the strategic target operations center at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. Professor Blaydon describes returning from Vietnam and working in academia. He worked at Harvard Business School as an Assistant Professor teaching quantitative analysis and finance. He discusses the climate on campus after the war and the difference between graduate and undergraduate student attitudes towards the Vietnam War. He details the events of the Kent State shooting and Harvard’s decision to suspend classes and remove the ROTC from campus. Blaydon describes his involvement with Vietnamese resettlement in the United States after the war. He discusses his career as the Dean of the Tuck School of Business and describes the Tuck School’s participation in establishing a business school for the Vietnam National University during the 1990s. He describes the kind reception of the American’s received in Vietnam during this time.
Charles G. Billo. Attended Bronxville Schools, Brown University Class of 1964. Billo applied to Navy Office Candidate School, but went to Columbia Business School. Class of 1967, rather than enrolling in OCS. At Columbia Business School Billo also joined Columbia University’s School of International Affairs [now Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs]. He discusses changing views towards the war while in Graduate School, and then his process of being drafted in 1967. Billo was assigned to the CORDS [Civil Operations and Revolutionary Development Support] program, and was trained in Washington, D.C. He arrived in Vietnam in 1969 as an economic reporting officer, with joint responsibility to the embassy in Saigon and the deputy for CORDS in IV Corps. He was then transferred to Can Tho in June of 1969, where he surveyed rice usage and consumption, and dealt with U.S. imports of it. After leaving in 1970, at the age of 27, Billo was then reassigned, still in the Foreign Service, to a post in Milan, Italy. He met his wife there, and they were married in June of 1973. He discusses some anecdotes about his time in Saigon, his fears and his reflections on his time. He also discusses the military and government’s handling of the war, and how it has affected (or has not affected) current military conflicts. Billo discusses with frequent emotion his experiences and encounters in Vietnam, and reflects on the larger political theater at the time.
Beers, Rand Interview Abstract:
1. Adolescence in a Military Family
2. Time at Dartmouth and Military Training
3. Vietnam Tour and Extension
4. Transition to Civilian life and Joining the State Department
5. Vietnam’s Impact on Later National Conflicts
6. Experiences with the Second Gulf War
7. Leaving the Bush Administration for the Kerry Campaign
8. Time in the Obama Administration
David P. Barton. Class of 1966. Oral history interview for the Dartmouth Vietnam Project. Barton describes growing up in Silver Spring, Maryland. Barton shares that he attended Dartmouth because his brother was a student when he applied. He describes being very interested in sports as a child and continued playing tennis as a student at Dartmouth. He also discusses his involvement in the Dartmouth Christian Union, Delta Upsilon fraternity, Cask and Gauntlet, and the foreign study abroad program in France his junior and senior years. He describes his involvement with anti-Vietnam War activism on campus with events such as film screenings and teach-ins. Barton describes a breakfast he shared with Malcolm X when he was living in Cutter Hall at Dartmouth. Barton discusses his experience as a teaching fellow at Philips Andover Academy and as a graduate student at John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. He explains how he became involved with the American Friends Service Committee where he and his wife were sent to Quảng Ngãi Province in Vietnam. Barton describes the relationships he had with the Vietnamese people during the war. He discusses how the CIA was torturing political prisoners near the rehabilitation center where he worked. Barton describes how he was called to testify before Lee [H.] Hamilton’s subcommittee in Congress about what he knew of the torture of the political prisoners in Vietnam. Barton explains his involvement in the House-Senate Joint Inquiry into the 9/11/2001, attacks and his relationship with democracy in the United States and U.S. foreign policy.