Menu Close

Episode Six: The Sixties Come to Kingston

Our sixth podcast starts with an account of an explosive City Council meeting on August 31, 1970. Even the Whig-Standard stood up and took notice:

Whig Standard, p. 1, September 1, 1970

On a later page, the Whig gave a fuller account of the drama:

Kingston Whig-Standard, p. 15, September 1 1970

This event, in which Alderman [sic] Joan Kuyek tried to pass a rent control motion, was really only one moment in a longer process of citizen activism over substandard housing and landlord exploitation. The process is more fully documented in an activist-produced newspaper, This Paper Belongs to the People. You heard some excerpts in the podcast. Joan Kuyek has kept quite a few issues of the paper, and here are some of them for you to take a look at. They will be donated to the Queen’s Archives shortly. If anybody has any other issues, let us know! We’d love to be have a complete run. (To enlarge the pages, click once, and then again.)

Dennis Crossfield gave us access to other examples of print enterprises at the time, both posters and a radical magazine put out by high school students, Plymouth Square. It turns out that Kingston, too, participated in the rebellion, creative community-making, and youth activism of this era. As Dennis said in his interview, it wasn’t all happening in LA or San Francisco.

I’ll close with one more archival gem. This is from the Whig Standard, September 1967, and it really has to be read to be believed. Don’t miss the perfect fact that the Principal of KCVI is named Mr. Fudge. The story will give you a good idea of why high school students at the time were obstreperous, even if Robert Ellis was only “dejected,” according to the Whig.

And that’s it for our podcast features on the blog — since that’s it for our podcasts — but stay tuned for more news from the Swamp! New things do keep turning up….

— Laura Murray