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Archive for November, 2019

Indians of All Tribes 1

November 20 of this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Native takeover and occupation of Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Native activists took advantage of a clause in the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie that all retired, abandoned or out-of-use federal land should be returned to the Native people who once occupied it. Alcatraz closed as a federal prison in March 1963 and was abandoned by the government by 1964. On November 20, the first boat full of Native activists arrived to take possession of the island; they would remain on Alcatraz until forced out by the federal government on June 11, 1971.

Solidarity Rally

The Archives & Special Collections holds a wide range of materials both from the time of the occupation and retrospectives and other later publications. A selection of these items is on display on Frost Library A-Level through the end of the semester to mark this important anniversary.

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Today the news reached us in the Archives & Special Collections that Jack W. C. Hagstrom MD (AC 1955) passed away late last week. We will offer a fuller tribute to Jack’s memory in the weeks ahead, but this post from 2012 gives some sense of how much he shaped the collections at Amherst College. Without Jack and his devotion to the poetry of Robert Frost, we would not have the world-class collection we hold today. We are all richer thanks to Jack’s efforts.

He will be missed.

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