The Spirit of Hollybush: Looking Back to 1967

By Sherada C. Rempe ’72, ’89
Posted with permission from Rowan Magazine

D-Day. JFK’s assassination. Man walks on the moon. We all remember where we were at significant moments in our lives. Two days in June held significance for anyone who lived or worked in Glassboro in 1967 when all the world watched Cold War history made on our quiet campus. Thirty years later the Cold War is over, but in that spring the world feared a direct confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union because of a Middle East crisis. The crisis was averted in part through discussions held in the 19th century stone mansion on Whitney Avenue called Hollybush.

In June 1967, with the spring semester and commencement ceremonies over, few faculty and less than 100 students remained on campus. The town of Glassboro and its state college settled into the quiet routine of a South Jersey summer. In contrast, tensions had increased in the Middle East between the U.S.-backed Israelis and the Soviet-supported Arab states. Both U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Premier Alexei Kosygin of the USSR pledged not to intervene.  But the Middle Eastern political temperature continued to rise in spite of the superpowers’ restraint, and the Six-Day War began on June 5th. The Soviets were still unwilling to engage their troops directly by backing the Arab states, but on June 19th, Kosygin came to New York to condemn Israel and the U.S. in a special session of the U.N. General Assembly.

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