Remembering the Dow Protest, 50 years later

Published: Oct. 19, 2017 at 10:18 PM CDT
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50 years ago life for many on the UW Madison campus came to a halt. On October 18th, 1967 a sit-in against the Dow chemical company turned violent as Madison Police officers in riot gear forced anti-war protesters from the campus commerce building, bringing Madison to the forefront of a growing movement against the Vietnam War.

Dow Chemicals was involved in napalm production in the Vietnam War effort and was actively recruiting employees on the UW-Madison campus.

Now, UW Madison's Oral History Program is gathering stories from those who experienced the Dow demonstrations through recording sessions at Madison Public Library.

Dana Schreiber was a 19 year old UW sophomore when she took part in the protest.

""I had never seen police in riot gear, except maybe on TV during the civil rights movement. You could hear people being hit . You could hear people screaming." Schreiber said.

Schreiber vividly recounts the day as students staged a sit-in at the commerce building, now known as Ingraham Hall.

"It was a radicalizing moment for most people. I know it changed our lives and I think we all made choices for the future very much determined by that experience." Schreiber said.

If you would like to share your story from the Dow protest, contact Troy Reeves with the Oral History Program. You can reach him by e-mail at

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