On this edition of From the Vault we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Free Speech Movement with a documentary called Free Speech Movement: Sounds and Songs of the Demonstrations. Assembled from KPFA field recordings made during the 1964-1965 academic year on the campus of the University of California at Berkeley, this recording would be released to the public on 12” vinyl in 1965 to critical acclaim. The record includes sounds from the 6,000-plus student sit-in at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Hall, and speakers sharing their concerns and opinions regarding students’ rights and the faculty’s involvement. We’ll also hear the arrest of civil rights activist Jack Weinberg, an early speech by Mario Savio, and a mix of Free Speech Movement songs performed by various artists. But first, we present a recording of one of the principle student leaders, Bettina Aptheker, who reflected on the early days of campus life – before the Free Speech Movement began – in this 1979 recording made in tribute of the 15th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement.
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.
PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.