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People's Park: Resources from The Bancroft Library


The timeline of People's Park follows the events that led to the birth of the Park in April 1969 up to the current controversy of 2022. Each section has a rotating gallery of images, showcasing photographs and protest flyers that illustrate community engagement in the Park's survival and the heavy-handed crackdowns by authorities.

To see full-sized images in the galleries:
Firefox: Right-click on image and select View Image
Chrome: Right-click on image and select Open image in new tab
For those using screen readers, descriptive text of photographs and full transcripts of protest flyers are included.

Key Figures in the 1969 Conflict

Stew Albert
Local activist and co-founder of People's Park. He is credited for writing Berkeley Barb's call to action.

Frank Bardacke
UC Berkeley graduate student and co-founder of People's Park. He was a leading voice of the People's Park Negotiating Committee that was formed in response to Chancellor Heyns' fencing off of the property.

Michael Delacour
Local merchant and activist, co-founder of People's Park. He is credited for being a driving force in the Park's realization.

Paul Glusman
UC Berkeley student and co-founder of People's Park. Prior to his involvement in the People's Park controversy, he was known for his anti-Vietnam War efforts.

Roger Heyns
UC Berkeley Chancellor from 1965 to 1971. His reputation was already under fire due to his involvement in the Free Speech Movement of 1968. He was largely responsible for the Regents' purchase of the property that would become People's Park. He rebuffed early negotiation attempts regarding community use of the property, his actions showed otherwise.

Wallace Johnson
Berkeley mayor from 1963 to 1971. Alarmed by the events of Bloody Thursday, he encouraged Governor Reagan to send in the National Guard to restore order. He also served as the city's representative in negotiations about the Park's future with campus officials and the People's Park Negotiating Committee.

Frank Madigan
Alameda County Sheriff from 1963 to 1975. He was responsible for authorizing the use of buckshot during the conflict on Bloody Thursday.

Ronald Reagan
Governor of California from 1967 to 1975. He was highly critical of UC Berkeley's "soft" handling of the Free Speech Movement. In February 1969, he declared a state of emergency in Berkeley in response to the Third World Liberation strike. His insistence on no compromise on People's Park controversy led to the Regents' vote against it.

James Rector
A 25-year-old carpenter from San Jose. A bystander on a rooftop during the Bloody Thursday riot, he was fatally shot and later died from his wounds on May 19th. His death served as a rallying cry against police brutality in the People’s Park demonstrations that occurred after.

Wendy Schlesinger
Local activist and co-founder of People's Park. Her early fundraising efforts helped provide sod for the fledgling Park.

Dan Siegel
Student activist and ASUC Student Body President in 1969. His speech in support of the Park during March 15th noon rally triggered the march into the city which culminated in the Bloody Thursday riot.

Sim Van der Ryn
UC Berkeley professor and chairman of the Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Housing and the Environment. He advocated for a compromise where the College of Environmental Design would sponsor a community-developed People's Park.