May 2, 2011
From Kenneth H. Ashworth:
Laura, well, at last my book on the Erwin years 1969 to 1973 is out. It is called “Horns of a Dilemma, Coping with Politics at the University of Texas.” Several people are unhappy with me about it, so I hope it describes the era well. Some of the dirty nothings will find it of interest. It is available under “Kenneth Ashworth” under “books” at amazon.com.
I’d love to hear what readers think about it. There’s even a poem from the times about the Waller Creek trees.
February 20, 2011
This Daily Texan photo from 1969 shows my late brother, Malcolm McNeil, protesting Frank Erwin‘s plan to cut the trees by Waller Creek
February 20, 2011
Frank Erwin called students who came out to protest the 1968 visit of President Lyndon Johnson to the UT campus “a bunch of dirty nothins” who were disrupting “the workings of a great university in the name of academic freedom.” “Dirty Nothin” buttons soon appeared on campus. Bumper stickers later appeared saying “Pray for Rosemary’s Baby and Frank Erwin.”
When Erwin proposed cutting down the beautiful trees that shaded Waller Creek on the campus in order to enlarge Memorial Stadium in 1969, some students came up with a compromise solution to build a tunnel arch through a corner of the stadium, but Erwin rejected this. Student protesters managed to stay in the way of workmen who came to fell the trees for two days. Meantime a coalition was working on getting a restraining order that would prevent the trees from being cut down. Erwin came out the morning of the third day and ordered the students removed and the trees cut down. This happened, though he had not consulted either the other Regents or the university administration.