Loyola University Chicago

Department of History


Michelle Nickerson to Speak at OAH Luncheon

Michelle Nickerson to Speak at OAH Luncheon

FBI surveillance photo of draft board raiders Kathleen Ridolfi and Rosemary Reilly entering the Camden Federal Building in August of 1971. Print courtesy of ECC Media, LLC, http://www.camden28.org/

Next month, Dr. Michelle Nickerson will be the featured speaker at the Urban History Association Luncheon at the Organization of American Historians conference in St. Louis. Dr. Nickerson's luncheon, "Burn Draft Cards Not Cities: Catholic Leftist Politics of the Vietnam Era", will be held on April 18 from 12:20-1:50 PM. Conference registration and luncheon tickets are available through the OAH conference webpage.

In their recent newsletter, the Urban History Association detailed "Burn Draft Cards Not Cities": "Late one night in August of 1971, the FBI caught eight opponents of the Vietnam War vandalizing a Selective Service office in Camden, New Jersey. The burglars were part of the “Catholic Left” network of activists who had raided over a hundred draft board offices and destroyed a million 1-A files. While the FBI and raiders faced off on the third floor of the Federal Building, a war of another kind was engulfing the city around them. The smell of smoke from fires mixed with tear gas. The sounds of violence—gunshots, sirens, bottle rockets—were now entering third night of the so-called “Puerto Rican Riot.” What did these events—the draft board raid and riot—have to do with each other? At the UHA luncheon at the OAH, Dr. Nickerson will examine this question within the context of her current project on the Camden 28 and Catholic radicalism in the Vietnam War era."

For more information on the Urban History Associations luncheon at the Organization of American Historians conference and to purchase luncheon tickets, check out the OAH conference webpage.