May 15

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May 15 in Clemson History

  • 1915: P. H. E. Sloan, Secretary and Treasurer Emeritus of Clemson Agricultural College, dies this date. "The following was unanimously adopted at the annual meeting of the Alumni Association in June.
Whereas, Dr. P. H. E. Sloan was honorably connected with Clemson College from its earliest days and always rendered most faithful and efficient service, and
Whereas, he was always a warm friend of all the students, unflagging in his devotion to their welfare, and opening his loyal heart and his hospitable home to them his warm personal friends,
Therefore, Be it resolved - First, That the Alumni Association collectively and individually do now express their heartfelt sorrow in his death, which has deprived us and all interests of the College of a most loyal supporter and benefactor.
Second, That a copy of these resolutions be sent his bereaved family that they may know of our deep regret over his death, and our sincere sympathy with them in their bereavement.
A. B. Bryan, '98,
W. S. Beaty, '05,
J. C. Littlejohn, '08."
(The Tiger, "Resolution", Tuesday 28 September 1915, Volume XI, Number 2, page 2.)
  • 1916: Football Coach Wayne Hart begins one week of spring practice on Monday, after returning to campus on Sunday, May 14. "Monday night after supper practically the entire corps gathered in chapel to start the football practice off properly with a few good old time yells and short speeches. Coach Hart, 'Johnnie' Gantt, 'Rummy' Magill, 'Dopie' Major, and 'Mule' Littlejohn made speeches, short but to the point, and with the true ring to them. In Coach Hart's talk he said that he was confident that Clemson would send out a winning team next year. He went further to say that his rules for training would be rigid and strictly enforced, that all men who come out for football will be expected to stay out all the year, that all men, whether they be big, little, old, or young, wil have a fair chance to make the team, etc. Coach didn't hand out any soft line but his words and manner were direct and smacked of old time pep. Coach was greeted with a thrilling roar of applause and was assured of the hearty confidence and support of the entire corps. The enthusiastic way in which the yells and songs were pulled off is indicative of the great expectations generally entertained with regard to the 1916 football season. After the mass meeting, Coach kept the squad in chapel and showed them a few offensive plays on the blackboard. Some of the old heads fell for his style of play, and everybody is very optimistic over the football outlook for next season. (The Tiger, Wednesday 17 May 1916, Volume XI, Number 28, pages 1, 3.)
  • 1942: Rationing of gasoline begins on the East Coast (nationwide by December) and sugar rationing is imposed by the government.
  • 1959: Arthur Buist Bryan dies.
  • May 14, 1970-May 15, 1970: The Jackson State killings occur on Thursday/Friday, May 14-15, at Jackson State College (now Jackson State University) in Jackson, Mississippi. A group of student protesters were confronted by city and state police. The police opened fire, killing two students and injuring twelve.(Review of "Lynch Street: The May 1970 Slayings at Jackson State College" (Tim Spofford) Review author: William M. Simpson The Journal of Southern History, Vol. 56, No. 1. (Feb., 1990), pp. 159-160. This happened 10 days after National Guardsmen killed four students in similar protests at Kent State University in Ohio, which first captured national attention.
A group of around a hundred African-American students had gathered on Lynch Street (which at the time bisected the campus) on the evening of Thursday, May 14. By around 9:30 p.m. the students had started fires and overturned vehicles, including a large truck. Firefighters dispatched to the scene quickly requested police support. The police responded in force. At least 75 Jackson Mississippi Police units from the city of Jackson and the Mississippi Highway Patrol attempted to control the crowd while the firemen extinguished the fires. After the firefighters had left the scene, shortly before midnight, the police moved to disperse the crowd now gathered in front of Alexander Hall, a women's on-campus dormitory.
Advancing to within 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 m) of the crowd, at roughly 12:05 a.m., police opened fire. The exact cause of the shooting and the moments leading up to it are unclear. Authorities claim they saw a sniper on one of the building's upper floors, and were also being sniped in all directions, while the students say police fired for no reason. The crowd scattered and a number of people were trampled or cut by falling glass. Phillip Lafayette Gibbs, 21, a junior, and James Earl Green, 17, a student at nearby Jim Hill High School, were killed and twelve others were wounded. Gibbs was killed near Alexander Hall by buckshot, while Green was killed behind the police line in front of B. F. Roberts Hall, also with a shotgun.
The President's Commission on Campus Unrest investigated this event and also held public hearings at Kent State, in Los Angeles, and Washington. There were no arrests in connection with the deaths at Jackson State.

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