University of Notre Dame

The Story of Notre Dame

America - Europe

A Transatlantic Diary 1961 - 1989

Klaus Lanzinger

Notre Dame, April 3, 1964

The Polka Party

The Polka Party of the local Slavic population has preserved a good part of the Polish and Czech folklore heritage. For the most part, they still converse in their native tongues, but mainly in Polish.

Notre Dame, April 4, 1964

Jean Madeira

In today’s matinee of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra Jean Madeira gave a concert. In 1955 the world-famous alto celebrated triumphs as Carmen in the Vienna State Opera, which have become part of operatic history. As a sign of her affection for Vienna, she sang at the end of the concert “Wien, Wien, nur du allein.”

[Jean (Browning) Madeira was of native Indian-Irish descent. Born 1924 in Centralia, Illinois, she grew up in St. Louis where she had her first music education. From 1948-71 she was a member of the Metropolitan Opera. Jean Madeira died in 1972.]

Notre Dame, April 10, 1964

Amish Country

The area that stretches from here about 50 miles to the east is known as Amish country of Indiana. In the midst of well cared for farm land a number of attractive villages and small towns have developed, among them especially Bremen, Nappanee, Goshen, Bristol, Middlebury and Shipshewana stand out. The Amish are a separate sectarian group of Mennonites, who in the 18th century had emigrated from Southern Germany and Switzerland to the New World. The name derives from the founder of this sect, Jacob Amann, from Bern in Switzerland. Searching for more fertile land, the Amish, starting in the 19th century from Pennsylvania, moved farther west and settled in Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. The Amish are Anabaptists who live strictly according to the Bible and who are very mindful of their independence as a group. In modern America the Amish are a conspicuous curiosity. They cling unbendingly to their old traditional simple lifestyle foregoing electricity, television and the telephone. They also reject the use of motor vehicles, driving instead across the countryside in a “buggy,” a small black carriage drawn by a single horse. They are mostly dressed in black. The men grow beards and wear broad-brimmed black hats. Besides agriculture, small active industries have developed primarily good homespun eateries as well as furniture and cabinet-making. The Amish are known for being good farmers. Their natural produce is liked in the food departments of super markets.

Notre Dame, April 15, 1964

The Michigan Fruit Belt

South Bend and Notre Dame are situated close to the Michigan state line. The area north from here along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan surprises by its natural beauty and large wooded dunes. Favored by the steady climate on the lakeside, an extensive fruit belt has developed. Here, apples, pears, cherries, peaches, and grapes are grown. Immigrants from Holland, Germany, and Eastern European countries have contributed to the development of this area. The southwest corner of Michigan is like one vast orchard. Especially at this time of the year, the landscape resembles a sea of blossoms.

Notre Dame, April 22, 1964

The Civil Rights Bill and the Wallace Campaign

[As Governor of Alabama George C. Wallace had made his decision known that he would be a candidate in the 1964 primaries of the Democratic Party in the North. He eventually ran his campaign in the Wisconsin and Indiana primaries. Wallace’s sharp polemics against the Civil Rights Bill was a direct challenge of President Johnson.]

The civil rights question is taking center stage as the decisive issue in this year’s presidential election. The votes Governor Wallace gained in the Wisconsin primary (Wallace gained nearly 35% of the Democratic votes) worries Democrats as well as the liberal wing of the Republican Party. The Wallace campaign north of the Mason-Dixon Line raised awareness that political forces are at work also in the Northern States opposed to the Civil Rights Bill.

Notre Dame, April 24, 1964

President Johnson Visits South Bend

President Lyndon B. Johnson paid a surprise visit to South Bend today. He visited the vocational retraining centers for the former Studebaker Automobile Plant workers who had lost their jobs. This visit by the President called national attention to the retraining programs supported by the government. At the same time L.B. Johnson started his campaign. The clever domestic policy tactics of Johnson goes in the direction of personally visiting the so-called “poverty pockets” in order to make his anti-poverty program explicit to voters. Johnson’s visit passed by remarkably quiet, whites and blacks alike showed a great deal of sympathy towards him.

Notre Dame, April 30, 1964

The Indiana Primary

[After Wisconsin, the Wallace Campaign concentrated on Indiana.]

Wallace’s entry into the Indiana primary had an alarming effect. Governor Matthew Welsh of Indiana, who stood in as proxy candidate for President Johnson in the primary of his state, led a crusade against Wallace. Welsh warned voters not to repeat the example of Wisconsin.

The Welsh vs. Wallace controversy in the Middle West moved the civil rights question to the foreground of the national interest. Under the pretext of “States’ Rights,” to protect the rights of the individual states, Wallace presented himself shamelessly as advocate of race discrimination. This evoked the unanimous resistance of church communities and university campuses. At yesterday’s campaign speech on the Notre Dame campus, Wallace saw himself confronted with vociferous demonstrations. He was able to escape only with the greatest difficulty from the incensed crowd.

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