In May 1970, the American invasion of Cambodia and the tragic slaying of students by National Guardsmen at Kent State University led to strikes and protests by students on university campuses across the country. University of Virginia students participated in rallies boycotts, and the occupation of administrative buildings.
These images capture the 3000-person rally held on the steps of the Rotunda on Wednesday, May 6. Earlier in the week, law students had formed an ad hoc Law School Boycott for Peace Committee, which urged law students to boycott classes and attend mass meetings on grounds. The committee distributed armbands to law students encouraging them to act as ‘legal marshals’ in the ensuing demonstrations on grounds. The marshals informed other students of their rights and helped maintain order during the protests. Several students in the photographs are wearing legal marshal armbands. Law professor Charles H. Whitebread, who appears in several images, was a speaker at the Wednesday rally.