This history of the UVA Law legal marshals took shape in early 2019, when Class of 1970 alum Edward Hogshire contacted UVA Law Special Collections and recommended that the library preserve and tell the “legal marshal” story, particularly since May 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of the student strike movement at the University of Virginia. With that encouragement, the Law Special Collections team decided to revitalize the library’s oral history program, starting with the stories of student marshals, faculty, and a local photographer during the “May Days” protests. As of June 8, 2020, we have conducted eleven oral history interviews with twelve individuals to learn more about this fluid law student collective and their reactions and realizations from their time at UVA Law during May 1970.
The primary timeline of events of May 1970 are well-represented in the University of Virginia’s archives. However, information on UVA Law’s “legal marshals” is sparse. Through oral history interviews, Marshaling May Days offers answers to questions like “How did it feel to be arrested,” “What was the energy like inside the Mayflower van,” and “How does this moment in UVA history resonate with you, 50 years later?”
This is an on-going project with the UVA Law community, and if you would like to share your story with us, we want to hear from you!
May Days Oral History Project Team
Randi Flaherty - project head, lead interviewer
Cecilia Brown - project archivist
Meggan Cashwell - interview team, co-exhibit curator
Micheal Klepper - videographer, transcription editor
Jane McBrian – transcription lead
Loren Moulds - digital archivist and developer
Addison Patrick - interview team, lead exhibit curator
We would like to thank the Law School Foundation for their collaboration and support. We also extend our deepest appreciation to the following individuals for their editing assistance and project support: Leslie Ashbrook, Kate Boudouris, Sara Garcia-Pretelt, Logan Heiman, Kent Olson, and Amy Wharton.
The UVA Law Library oral history initiative draws inspiration from Thomas Jefferson’s “Getting Word” program; Reflections: Oral Histories at UVA in conjunction with WTJU 91.1 and Virginia Humanities; Baylor University Institute for Oral History; Minnesota Historical Society Oral History Office; Historic Columbia River Highway Oral History Project; Guildford College Hege Library; 1970: May Strike in Context – Oral Histories with Alumni; James Madison University Oral History Team; and the Museum of Durham History in Durham, North Carolina.