Masterson Speaks, 1969

I’ve been home in bed all day with what I hope is just a bad cold. Miserable, yes, but it did allow me time enough to listen to something that absolutely blew my mind. A few days ago my colleague Norie Guthrie showed me something that turned up in the old ktru tapes that she’s been digitizing. (If you haven’t been checking out her posts on woodsononline, you should do so. The blog highlights all sorts of things in our collection and her “ktru Tuesday” entries are fantastic.)

The first thing we digitized when we got the equipment was a tape of the student meeting in the gym during the Masterson Crisis, which I talked about here. But this is what she showed me the other day:


I haven’t managed to get through it all yet but the first thing I heard was Dr. Masterson’s remarks and the questions that followed on this Saturday afternoon in February 1969:


There were a couple of moments when I found myself shaking. Here’s the thing: I no longer have to rely completely on what other people said happened that day. I can hear it myself. You can even hear him fiddling around with the bullhorn.

I’m so grateful to the people who recorded this, to the people who have kept it safe all this time, and to Norie.


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6 Responses to Masterson Speaks, 1969

  1. There should be a large number of tapes with oral remembrances by Faculty, Staff, and Students. I know I spoke on one describing my experiences.

  2. A bit of archival trivia about the ktru tapes. Like most of the university, ktru was running out of places to store things in the studios back in the mid seventies, and all of our tapes kept getting shuffled here and there. We got some old obsolete metal library shelves from Fondren that were collecting dust and rust and put them in the office in the studios so that they created some strong shelf space near the ceiling out of the way of daily operations (And where they were less tempting to record over when someone was desperate for a reel of tape.) As a result, they were high and dry when the flood of 1976 nailed everything below the waterline. Those shelves were not pretty, but they were really valuable and stable. So, in a very real sense, Fondren helped preserve these recordings “back in the day”

  3. Pingback: KTRU Tuesday: Project Update | What's in Woodson

  4. Melissa Keane ("the other Melissa Keane"), Jones '72 says:

    It was a frightening time for me — a freshman.

  5. Pingback: “a new feeling of freedom,” 1969 | Rice History Corner

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