Throwback Thursday…OHA in ’73

Follow our weekly series, Throwback Thursday, designed to help celebrate 50 years of OHA. We’ll profile a year in the life of the organization each week with photos, logos, and highlights taken from the Oral History Association Newsletter. We welcome your memories, photos, and comments at

OHA in 1973…

President: John E. Wickman, Director of Eisenhower Library, Abilene, Kansas
Site of the Annual Colloquium: West Point, New York
Newsletter: Bernard Galm, Editor; Joel Gardner, Associate Editor
Editorial office located at University of California, Los Angeles
Annual individual membership: $7.50

Highlights of the year from the OHA Newsletter:

  • The NEH awarded the Claremont Colleges a grant of $41,955 to record “the history of blacks and Chicanos in Southern California.” The plan calls for “about 30 black and Chicano students to conduct taped interviews with old-timers and leaders of both ethnic groups.” The project included training on interview techniques and sessions on how to examine family records and other documents.
  • The international scope of oral history “has been greatly widened over the past few years, spreading from its American foundations to nearly all parts of the world.” OHA President Wickman took three weeks of his vacation time to go on a lecture tour to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leicester, and Turku in Finland, giving lectures to students and faculty where he found “from this firsthand contact, an intense interest in oral history.”
  • Oral history in Canada gained a foothold with projects at University of British Columbia and McGill University in Montreal. Subjects include the role of women, the labor movement, and the history of Canadian invention and technology.
  • Interviewers from the South Dakota Oral History project recorded more than 250 interviews after a devastating flood hit the Black Hills in the summer of 1972. More than 230 lives were lost in the state’s greatest natural disaster. The interview team used a controlled sampling of city residents so that a cross section of socioeconomic groups were interviewed.


Cars awash after massive flooding in South Dakota.

Who were we interviewing?

  • Vincennes Library, Indiana — Indiana residents about experiences of the Great Depression.
  • The American Nurses Foundation — Past Presidents of the association discussion health care and nursing practice in the state.
  • University of Missouri-St. Louis — strikers participating in the four-week teachers’ strike, the first in city history.
  • Foxfire magazine staff of rural Georgia students — spreading their prototype for folklore projects to eleven other students groups thanks to a $196,000 Ford Foundation grant.

Click 1973 OHA Newsletter to get a sneak peak at the front page of the Oral History Association newsletter, Volume II, Number 1, March 1973

Check back next week for news of 1974…



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