For Jane Madell A Madison police officer raises his nightstick during the violent melee that ensued on the UWÐMadison campus after officers forcibly cleared anti-Dow protesters from the Commerce Building on Oct. 18, 1967. PHOTO BY JOHN WOLF AND HEINER GIESE

Beginning on Oct. 18 and lasting into Oct. 19, 1967, hundreds of students protesting Dow Chemicals blocked access to the Commerce Building on campus, with Madison Police removing participants with force. The events are considered to have transformed UW-Madison into one of the leaders in the anti-war movement of the time.

If you, or someone you know, was present at the Dow demonstration on campus in 1967, UW-Madison wants to hear from you – your memories, your feelings, your lived experience.

“The events of October 1967 left a lasting impact on both the campus and wider community,” said Troy Reeves, head of the oral history program with the University Archives. “The students’ experiences helped shape the campus anti-war culture throughout the remainder of the 1960s and into the next decade. Ensuring that these stories are captured for the future is not only about preserving history, but helping to understand the impact it has had on the present and will have on the future.”

To gather stories from those who experienced the demonstrations, the UW-Madison Libraries are partnering with Madison Public Library to set up recording stations at the Central Library, Oct. 18-19, for community members to share their memories.

  • Recording Dates: Oct. 18-19
  • Time: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Location: Madison Public Library, Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St., Local History Room (2nd floor)

“We are pleased to have this opportunity to work together with the University Archives to capture stories of this important era in Madison’s history,” said Michael Spelman, Public Services Manager of the Central Library. “By highlighting both institutions, we hope that Madisonians will be inspired to learn more about the history of their city and the University.”

As the 50th anniversary of the demonstration approach, the University Archives will also assist the University as it launches a collaborative special multimedia project sharing the stories of alumni experiences during the Dow demonstrations. The project can be viewed at