The eyes of Texas were upon 60s radicals
11/18/2006 3:51 PM
By: News 8 Austin Staff
The 1960s were a turbulent time in America. Protests against authority and the Vietnam War spilled over onto college campuses, including the University of Texas.
Some newly discovered documents shed light on the surveillance efforts of campus police during that time. UT police chief Allen Hamilton kept detailed records of underground movements. The documents were discovered upon his death last year.
Thorne Dreyer wrote an article for the Texas Observer called “The Spies of Texas.” [See our post of two days ago, which links to the Observer article.]
News 8 Austin’s Todd Boatwright spoke with Dreyer about his article.
Q: You’ve written a very interesting article in the Texas Observer. Take us back to what that is and how you discovered these files.
A: First off, I was involved back in the 60s. I was an underground newspaper editor, and I’m in these files. What happened was, these are the files of former UT police chief Allen Hamilton. When he died, his son found these boxes in his office and sold them to Half Price Books. Most of [the files] were about Charles Whitman [the 1966 UT Tower sniper.] Half Price Books realized it was something special and donated them to the library. But they gave us access to them first because they thought [the files] should be made public. So I wrote a story for the Texas Observer and now we’ve got all these files online.
Read a snip of the interview or see a video of the entire interview here.