Part of a 40-week series in which we take a look at a specific year in Chicago history via the pages of the Reader.

[issue cover: Vol. 1, No. 15]

February 4, 1972

A report from Chicago campuses: The student movement just isn’t the same.

Something was spreading across Chicago’s campuses. What was it? Exhaustion? Apathy? Richard Valelly’s survey ran in the February 4 Reader. An excerpt follows.

When I asked Phil Lantz if he knew any stories about former radicals from Northwestern, he said that he only knew of three people. “One is selling shirts, another shoes, and the third is working for the Post Office and is afraid the Post Office will find out he’s radical,” he said.

At the University of Chicago, there is very little activity. Gay Liberation has consciousness-raising group sessions, and has had a dance. Also, toward the end of the last academic quarter, there was an incident in which four membersof Gay Lib broke into a dinner at the Quad Club which was being held in honor of Thomas Foran, prosecuting attorney of the Chicago Seven Trial, and who, after the trial said, “Our kids are being lost to a freaking fag revolution.” Apparently the people from Gay Lib shouted “Foran is a fag beater!” whereupon they were dragged out of the Club by members of the police force.

The collection drive for Bangladesh has been successful, and has raised over 2000 dollars. Also, there has been some agitation to make the university recycle its trash. . . .

Milton Rosenberg, professor of psychology at the U. of C., a leading member of SANE [the Committee for a SANE Nuclear Policy], and a longtime peace activist, commented on the student peace movement in general. “My real impression is that for the nation Vietnamization has worked as the public relations gimmick that it is. People rate the war less highly than they did before, although we’re still continuing genocidal activities through the air. By my classes, students appear to be politically fatigued.”

[issue cover: Vol. 1, No. 23]

March 31, 1972

Success Story

The Ivanhoe’s George Keathley

“I think my relationship with him is now ruptured beyond repair. That’s the way I want it. I don’t want to have anything to do with him. He’s an impossible man.” —George Keathley, director of the Ivanhoe Theatre, discussing Tennessee Williams with the Reader

[issue cover: Vol. 1, No. 41]

August 4, 1972

Inside the Challenge

But perhaps it wasn’t political fatigue so much as ideological fatigue. Political activism wasn’t dead—it had grown up. That summer the Democratic National Convention would reject the Illinois delegation led by Mayor Daley on the grounds that it was undemocratically chosen and wasn’t a representative cross section of the party. On August 4, Wayne Whalen, the lawyer orchestrating the challenge, discussed it in the Reader.

“Then, last and most important, the response of the Daley machine to the legalities of the Challenge demonstrated the intellectual bankruptcy of the machine hierarchy and its decision-making process. From Chicago, to Washington and the Credentials Committee and the Supreme Court, all the way to Miami, they made 25 to 30 major mistakes. With 17 or 18 lawyers working for them, the Organization seemed unable to make a right decision. The Challenge showed that Daley, confronted with a political problem such as this, can no longer bring the necessary forces to bear on it. They no longer know how to work with the rules, let alone within them. The conduct of this group of people in responding to the challenge demonstrated they are not fit to govern.”

[issue cover: Reader's First Anniversary Guide to Chicago (Volume Two, Number One)]

September 29, 1972

“What kind of a paper is this, anyway?”

Questions we’ve heard over and over in the last year.

The Reader reports on the Reader in its first anniversary issue:

“Sustained a $19,874 loss in its first ten months of operation”

“Currently, four people are working full-time”

“Making this newspaper turn a profit does not appear easy, as long as we attempt to stay honest”

“More and more people tell us how relieved they are not to have to fight through radical political polemics to read a story.”