Governor's Day records

Identifier: AC 0061

Scope and Contents

Shortly after the Governor's Day events as described in the Administrative History Note, the Oral History Program began interviews with administrators, faculty, observers, and students. The interviewers, Mary Ellen Glass, Ruth Hilts, and Marian Rendall, prepared the following list of questions:

1. Name. 2. Home town. 3. For student: major, class For faculty or other: position 4. Why do you think you were chosen to be interviewed? 5. What was your reaction to President Nixon's decision to move troops into Cambodia? 6. In what way do you think the Cambodia decision was related to what happened next on the UNR campus? (Maybe several ideas of what happened next --meetings called, demonstrations arranged, etc.) 7. What was your reaction to events in other parts of the country related to the Cambodia decision (Kent State, others)? 8. Regarding the Governor's Day activities at UNR: What did you think of the arrangements for the observances? What was your reaction to the demonstrations? Did you feel it was necessary to participate in any of the activities or demonstrations? What do you think was the most effective part of the demonstrations/observances? What should have been the reaction of the ROTC/demonstrators/university administration to the conflict that developed? 9. What was your reaction to the violence that followed Governor's Day (bombing of ROTC building, bombing of Hobbit Hole)? 10. What category of participant (student/faculty/outsider) do you feel was most effective in fomenting the violence that erupted? Do you think outsiders were important? 11. What actions do you feel were most effective in preventing more violence or in cooling off the situation that developed from the bombings? 12. How do you think events on campus affect the university's image with outsiders? 13. What function should the university have in focusing public opinion? 14. Do you feel that issues of academic freedom are involved in participation in demonstrations? 15. How can students/faculty be effective politically? Should they attempt to influence political or governmental policies? 16. Where is the peace movement in this area headed? 17. What other comments would you like to make? 18. What restrictions would you like to have placed on this interview? The plan is to deposit all tapes, untranscribed, in the UNR archives. They will be either open for research or closed for a period of time.

The interviews were conducted using two formats: reel to reel (48) and cassettes (8). It should be noted that the tapes were previously used and interviews were recorded over previous interviews. Quality and completeness of the interviews vary. Cassette copies were made of each interview for preservation purposes.

In addition to the tapes, there is the proposal, a list of people solicited for interviews, the questions asked, and copies of letters stating restrictions.


  • 1970


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials must be used on-site; advance notice suggested. Access to parts of this collection may be restricted under provisions of state or federal law.

Exceptions, there are restrictions to the following reels and cassettes:

Adamian, Paul. Restricted until the Library receives written permission to open the tape for research and Adamian is unable to locate to request permission to open. Closed for research.

Dwyer, Larry. Open for research only to qualified historians.

Gartenberg, Joel M. Graduate student. Use for research purposes in the University Archives only. At no time will public playing of the tape be allowed. Open.

Kirk, Lawrence M. Open for research only to qualified scholarly researchers.

Siegel, Richard L. No attributions or quotations are to be used without written permission from Richard Siegel.

Copren William G. Tape will be sealed against access for five years. After that period of time, the tape will be used only with the permission of Copren or his wife, and then only by a professional historian (i.e., a member of the American Historical Association or Organization of American Historians). At no time will access be given to law enforcement officers or members or anyone from the administration or faculty (with the exception of professional historians) of the University of Nevada. Closed for research.

Historical Note

The annual Nevada Governor's Day was an occasion for honoring ROTC cadets, with the governor in attendance to review future officers. In 1970, the event was scheduled the same week that President Richard Nixon ordered American troops into Cambodia, and four student protesters were shot to death by National Guard troops at Kent State University in Ohio. Students who opposed the war and the military policies of the federal government announced a peace rally to be held in Manzanita Bowl for the same day as Governor's Day, which was held in the stadium. The rally became a march toward the stadium, and the marchers temporarily interrupted part of Governor Paul Laxalt's motorcade. Two or three hundred students poured into the stadium, walked around the field where military exercises were to be held, and later filed into the stands, shouting anti-war slogans. They delayed the ceremony for several minutes, and some of the demonstrators went onto the field and threatened to disrupt the ROTC cadet drill. UNR President N. Edd Miller asked for calm conduct and courtesy, and some faculty members and moderate students joined the ranks of the protesters for the purpose of urging restraint. The episode ended without violence. The following week, fire-bombs were twice thrown into university-related buildings. The first time caused minor damage to an office of the ROTC building. Later, an old house on North Virginia Street known as the Hobbit Hole, and identified as the headquarters for the anti-war faction, was similarly assaulted. English professor Paul Adamian was one of the faculty identified with the protesters. During the Governor's Day disruption, he was a conspicuous participant. During the demonstration he spoke to the crowd before the march, he was present in front of the governor's motorcade while it was stopped, walked at the head of the column to Mackay Stadium, and shouted in protest during the ceremony. Those who saw the events interpreted them in different ways. Adamian and his supporters asserted he attempted to quiet the crowd; others said he tried to increase the disruption. A few days later the regents filed charges of misconduct against Adamian and Fred Maher, a teaching assistant in the English department. The charges were later dropped against Maher, but in December 1970, Adamian was discharged from the faculty. He appealed his termination through the federal courts, arguing that his termination was a violation of his civil rights. In 1975, the decision for his termination by the Board of Regents was upheld. From "The University of Nevada: A Centennial History" by James W. Hulse. (Reno, University of Nevada, 1974).


2.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials



Arranged in alphabetical order by name Governor's Day was an annual occasion for honoring ROTC cadets. In 1970, the event was scheduled the same week that American troops went into Cambodia, and four student protestors were killed by National Guard troops at Kent State University in Ohio. Students who opposed the war in Vietnam held a peace rally the same day as Governor's Day, which became a march toward the stadium where the military review was being held. The students marched into the stadium and filed into the bleachers shouting anti-war slogans, and some went on the field and threatened to disrupt the cadet drill. N. Edd Miller, university president, asked for calm and courtesy, and some faculty members and students joined the rank of the protestors urging restraint. The episode ended without violence. The following week, though, there were two instances of fire-bombings on or near the campus. Shortly after these events, the Oral History programs began interviews with administrators, faculty, observers, and students. The collection consists primarily of audio-tapes of interviews concerning Governor's Day, May 5, 1970. In addition to the tapes, there is the project proposal, a list of the questions asked, and copies of letters stating individual restrictions.


Arranged alphabetically by name of interviewee.

Guide to the Governor's Day Records
Karen Gash
Approximately 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nevada, Reno. University Archives Repository

Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center
1664 N. Virginia St.
University of Nevada, Reno
Reno NV 89557-0322 USA
775-682-5724 (Fax)