Tag Archives: digital collections

When the President came to Pepperdine: Today’s featured digital object

President Gerald Ford (right) greets actor John Wayne, with benefactor Richard Seaver (center)

On Founder’s Day, September 20, 1975, as Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus began its fourth year of activity, the university was honored by an official visit from the President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford. This was the first time a sitting President had visited Pepperdine, a milestone indicative of both the prestige the university had gained nationally and the ties its administration held with the Republican Party. The day was marked by two building dedications on the rapidly growing campus, both of which featured remarks by President Ford. A VIP brunch ceremony dedicated the Brock House, home to the university president, and this was followed by a public gathering of over 18,000 attendees to witness the dedication of the Firestone Fieldhouse, the campus’ athletics facility. Newly discovered and digitized, the audio recording of President Ford’s dedication of the Firestone Fieldhouse is now available online in our Historic Sound Recordings collection.

The 18,000 strong crowd at the Firestone Fieldhouse dedication, 1975

In addition to a twenty-minute speech by President Ford (on the important role of independent universities and free enterprise in the national education system), the recording also features the pomp and ritual particular to that era, including Pat Boone singing the national anthem and John Wayne leading a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

Although it may not be apparent in this recording, President Ford’s visit to Pepperdine occurred during a period of heightened anxiety for both the president and the university. Just two weeks earlier, Squeaky Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, had attempted to assassinate President Ford in Sacramento (the gun failed to discharge). Security at Pepperdine was intense and there were no incidents; however, just two days later, Sara Jane Moore fired on the president in San Francisco in a second failed attempt. Meanwhile, four days before President Ford was to arrive at Pepperdine, M. Norvel Young, Chancellor of Pepperdine University, crashed his car into another vehicle on the Pacific Coast Highway, causing the death of two motorists. The shadow of this tragedy nearly derailed the Presidential visit, but the event continued as planned.

In addition to listening to the recording, you can also view photographs of the day’s events. Enjoy.

Introducing Historypin: Putting Pepperdine history on the map



Search for historic photos near you with the Historypin mobile app


Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of its new channel with Historypin.com, a website and mobile application that allows the pinning of historical photographs, audio recordings, and moving image files to Google Maps. Would you like to see the Malibu hills in 1969 before the arrival of Pepperdine University, overlaid seamlessly with the current Google street view? Or perhaps you’d like to take a drive across the newly opened San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge in 1940? You can do all of these things—and more—in our new, interactive Historypin.com channel.

Historypin.com, developed by the nonprofit We Are What We Do in partnership with Google Maps, facilitates social mapping, in which individuals or institutions create a visual history of a particular spot on Earth through pinning digitized photographs (or other media) along with the stories that contextualize and enrich the history behind the images. Historypin calls this “fourth dimensional mapping,” a phenomenon that enables new ways for users to interact with historical photographs. For example, when you visit the Historypin website or mobile application, you can view the image, compare it with the current Google street view (when available), add your own stories to the image feed, use your smart phone to take a “Historypin Repeat” of the same scene, or link to the original image in our digital collections. In addition to searching or browsing images via the map, you can interact with materials in thematic collections or go on virtual walking tours.

Pepperdine University Libraries is utilizing Historypin to further the twin goals of its Special Collections and University Archives department: to preserve and disseminate the history of Pepperdine University and serve as the primary historical repository for the Malibu community. In addition to creating our own Historypin collections and tours, we are leveraging the unique strengths of Historypin to foster collaborations with other university departments and make new inroads into the Malibu community.



New Cold War era Herschensohn film online: Today’s featured digital object

Where were you at 5:02? May 18th, 1965, that is. Attending a Hindu wedding in New Delhi? Riding a roller coaster in Mexico City? Serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rio de Janeiro? Or perhaps being born in San Diego? These are just some of the events captured by the film Eulogy to 5:02, written and produced by Bruce Herschensohn for the United States Information Agency in 1965. Narrated by Richard Burton, the 27-minute film presents twenty segments—each one-minute long—depicting a “minute lived in freedom” in twenty locations around the world. That minute? 5:02 Greenwich Mean Time on May 18th, 1965.

Filmmaker Bruce Herschensohn in 1965

It was a minute of no particular importance, but, as the opening narration tells us, “for the two-thirds of the world who lived in freedom on May the 18th, 5:02 was significant, for it was another minute spent in doing what they chose to do. Though their freedom went on as unnoticed as the time, 5:02 was theirs, to work if they wanted to work, to dream if they wanted to dream, to live as they wanted to live.”

Although clearly crafted for an explicit purpose at the height of the Cold War, Eulogy to 5:02 presents the viewer with a remarkable, multinational time capsule depicting life on Earth nearly 50 years ago. Tahitian women wash clothes on the beach as the sun rises; Arab construction workers build high-rise apartments in the planned-city of Ashdod, Israel; and youngsters play children’s games on the streets of Copenhagen, Denmark. A little closer to home, a salesman maneuvers his convertible through the labyrinthine freeway system of Los Angeles, where it is 9:02 AM (the lack of traffic congestion would startle today’s commuter). All scenes are scored with Herschensohn’s lively and dramatic music.

At least as interesting as the film itself is the story behind its creation. This story plays out in the digitized scripts, production notes, and correspondence of the Bruce Herschensohn Collection. Coordinating the simultaneous filming of twenty sequences in twenty global locations is a significant task—as is fudging the truth when circumstances don’t quite work out. Piecing this story together reveals as much about history and politics as it does about making movies.

Storyboard and still from "Eulogy to 5:02" refugee sequence

For example, the concluding one-minute segment of the film depicts the arrival of refugees to free soil. Herschensohn originally scripted the sequence with mainland Chinese seeking refuge in Hong Kong, but circumstances required the relocation of the scene to Vietnam. His instructions to the local film crew (employed by the USIA) included the following: “This is one of our main propaganda sequences and needs to come off with a real feeling of compassion. The family or families need to evoke a real empathy from the audience and no corn. The faces should be great old wrinkled faces as well as unknowing youth…” On May 24th, 1965, Ed Hunter of the USIA film crew in Saigon wrote to Herschensohn with news of the successful, although arduous night of filming. “I risked my life, got soaked to the skin, and was arrested four times during the shooting, if you like the footage and can’t pay, send a present.” The night before the film shoot, he explains, Vietcong disguised as Marines attacked an outpost only a quarter of a mile from the location. Hunter also references the bombing of the US embassy less than two months earlier, which his crew also documented. “Ghastly. Truly ghastly.” He writes of the embassy: “We now have safety glass in our office windows, and they have bricked up the library downstairs. Come back to Saigon…”

See the results for yourself. Click here to watch Eulogy to 5:02 in its entirety and then explore the materials related to the film in the Bruce Herschensohn Collection. Enjoy.

Rare Martin Luther King, Jr. recording unearthed in University Archives—Listen online

In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Pepperdine University Libraries is pleased to make available this rare audio recording of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking in Los Angeles on the moral imperative of civil rights in 1964. Recently digitized, the complete recording is now available for online listening in our Historic Sound Recordings digital collection.

Dr. King delivered this forty-minute speech as the keynote speaker of “Religious Witness for Human Dignity,” a multi-faith event held at the Los Angeles Coliseum on May 31, 1964. Dr. King’s speech passionately and persuasively takes on the issues of race relations and human dignity, touching on topics of segregation, poverty, civil rights, and non-violent resistance. He evokes the memory of the late John F. Kennedy while urging for the quick passage of the Civil Rights Act, and his speech is immediately followed by a mass performance of the civil rights anthem “We Shall Overcome.”

Dr. King is briefly introduced by the Rev. Marvin T. Robinson, pastor of the Friendship Baptist Church of Pasadena, California, and President of the Western Christian Leadership Conference. The event, attended by approximately 15,000 people, was cosponsored by Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish organizations.

This recording captures Dr. King at a critical moment in American history and his own evolution as a public figure. This speech comes nine months after his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, and about four months before he received the Nobel Peace Prize. The Civil Rights Act, stalled in the Senate by a filibuster, would be signed into law a month later on July 2.

The Special Collections and University Archives department of Pepperdine University Libraries came into possession of the nondescript reel of tape containing this historic speech by way of Fred Casmir, a former Communications professor. Dr. Casmir had apparently acquired the recording for use in his classes, and it arrived to us in a large box, hidden among more mundane audiovisual materials. It is our great honor to share this recording with the world and contribute another small piece to the enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Click here to listen online.

Student life 25 years ago today: Today’s featured digital object

In February of 1988, Pepperdine University’s alumni newspaper, The Pepperdine Voice, featured a photo spread titled “A Day in the Life of Pepperdine University.” The introductory text read:

“On Thursday, Jan. 7, 1988, seven photographers were deployed to scour all areas of campus to capture the daily activities of Pepperdine on film…What sort of day was Jan. 7? It was an ordinary day in Pepperdine life, and that is why it was chosen—to show the miracle of the mundane—students, faculty and staff at work, at play, in solitude and in action.”

The original prints and negatives produced for this project are now housed in our University Archives and were recently scanned for the University Archives Photograph (digital) Collection. Continuing our celebration of 40 years in Malibu, I encourage you to view this photographic time capsule of student life in the ‘80s. Technology and fashion may have changed, but I think you’ll agree that the “Waves spirit” captured in these photos is timeless.

View the slideshow, or explore these photos in our digital collections.

Happy New Year!

1971—Construction commences in Malibu: Today’s featured digital object

Continuing our series on the historical events that shaped Pepperdine University in Malibu—in honor of the Malibu campus’ 40th anniversary—we arrive at April 13, 1971. On this overcast, unusually chilly day, approximately 500 Pepperdine supporters gathered on the freshly leveled dirt building pads of the new Malibu campus to observe ceremonies initiating construction of the campus buildings. Billed as the “Ceremony to Commence Construction of Academic Complex on Pepperdine University’s Malibu campus,” the event saw the dedication of three core buildings: Payson Library, the Pendleton Learning Center, and the Huntsinger Academic Center.

The namesakes of these buildings were on hand to make remarks, and President William S. Banowsky spoke about Pepperdine’s educational philosophy, but the real attraction of the day was the keynote address by Wernher von Braun, Deputy Associate Administrator of NASA. Von Braun, a German rocket engineer brought into the fold of the US government following World War II, was one of the leading scientists behind the Apollo moon mission. His prominence following the first moon landing in 1969 contributed to the phrase “it’s not rocket science” to describe a simple task.

His appearance at the Commencement of Construction ceremony—less than two years after the moon landing—provided Pepperdine University with the perfect symbol of education, innovation, and achievement. It was an auspicious start to the buildings that now form the heart of Pepperdine University’s Seaver College in Malibu.

In our Pepperdine Digital Collections, you can listen to a recording of the speeches made that day, including the address by von Braun (he appears on Part 2 of the recording). You can also view a few of the archival photographs of the event. Enjoy.

The 2012 Los Angeles Archives Bazaar Is A Success!

On October 27, 2012, Special Collections and University Archives participated in the 7th annual Los Angeles Archives Bazaar held at Doheny Memorial Library on the USC campus. Over eighty archives were represented and hundreds of scholarly researchers, journalists, history buffs, and those simply interested in exploring the stories of Los Angeles attended the one-day event. Special Collections and University Archives shared materials from the Malibu Historical Collection, University Archives, and the Digital Collections with the public over the course of the day. Over one hundred people stopped by our table!

(Lindsey Gant and Katie Richardson exhibit some of the materials from Special Collections and University Archives)

The Rindge and Adamson family papers, which are part of the Malibu Historical Collection, were also featured in the special session “A Very Quick Tour of Los Angeles Area Archives” where thirteen L.A. as Subject members shared one notable collection from their archives as a way of introducing their materials. Approximately 80 people attended the session.

A special thanks to Jessica Geiser, Lindsey Gant, and Kevin Miller for making the day a success!

For more information about Special Collections and University Archives please contact Katie Richardson at katie.richardson@pepperdine.edu or (310) 506-4323.


Governor Reagan and Pepperdine’s Malibu “birth”: Today’s featured digital object

Bill Banowsky and Ronald Reagan with Pereira's sketch of Malibu campus, 1970

With the 40th anniversary of Pepperdine University in Malibu upon us, this entry is the first in a series dedicated to the historic events and hardworking individuals that made the vision of Pepperdine in Malibu a reality and shaped its presence in this seaside community. We begin with a “birth.” Nearly two years before construction crews laid the 40-foot-deep, steel-reinforced concrete foundations of Seaver College in 1971, an event known in Pepperdine lore as the “birth of a college” dinner cemented the new college’s philosophical (and financial) foundations. Officially known as the Pepperdine College at Malibu Master Plan Announcement Dinner, the “birth of a college” dinner brought together educators, politicians, and donors on the rainy evening of February 9, 1970 to reveal the architectural plans and educational vision of the new campus. With over 3,400 people in attendance, the capacity crowd in the Century Plaza hotel spilled into the nearby Beverly Hilton, and the featured speakers shuttled between the two locations.

The keynote speaker for the event was Ronald Reagan, then governor of California and a longtime friend of Pepperdine College. President Nixon was represented by his aid, Jeb Stuart Magruder, a name later associated with the Watergate scandal. William Pereira, an architect who—already famous at the time—would go on to design the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, presented his renderings of the Malibu campus buildings. Bill Banowsky, soon to be president of the new multi-campus Pepperdine University, gave a farsighted speech about liberal arts education. Pat Boone provided the musical entertainment.

By the 1960s, Pepperdine College had outgrown its location in southeastern Los Angeles, and social unrest in the area spurred the hunt for a new undergraduate campus. The “birth of a college” dinner marked a pivot point in Pepperdine’s history. The undergraduate campus was reborn in Malibu and the original “urban campus” became the graduate school for education and professional studies, with students serving as teachers in the local community. Pepperdine became a university.

Governor Reagan’s twenty-minute speech at the event lauds the importance of independent colleges and warns against an overemphasis on faculty research at the expense of actual teaching. His speech also invokes the milieu of 1970, with references ranging from student activism to the LA Rams. Reagan concludes:

“Let no one carelessly dismiss our obligation to the independent colleges and universities, which are so much a part of the educational tapestry of America. Without them, I promise you that tapestry would soon become a very simple fabric of great monotony and very little color.”

The “birth of a college” dinner is well documented in our Pepperdine Digital Collections. Over one hundred photographs capture the events of the evening and those in attendance. Put faces to the names that grace the buildings of Seaver College: Charles Payson, Fritz Huntsinger, Richard Scaife, Mildred Phillips, George Elkins, and, of course, Blanche Seaver. You can view selected highlights or, if you wish, the complete collection. You can also listen to Ronald Reagan’s speech or a recording of the entire event. Enjoy.

When the Olympics came to Pepperdine: Today’s featured digital object

As the 2012 Summer Olympic Games open in London, we look back to 1984 when the Olympics came to Los Angeles and the Malibu campus of Pepperdine University. Raleigh Runnels Memorial Pool served as the site for all of the water polo matches, bringing international attention to Pepperdine University. At a poolside press conference in February 1982, Olympic organizers made it clear that the selection of Pepperdine for the events owed in part to the great beauty of its surroundings.

Players and coaches rally during an Olympic water polo match at Pepperdine, 1984

Pepperdine did not disappoint. Runnels Memorial Pool was temporarily transformed into a first rate Olympic venue, complete with grandstands, souvenir shops, and vistas of the Pacific. The US National Team, featuring Pepperdine alumnus Terry Schroeder, played hard, beating out ten other teams to win the silver medal. Schroeder went on to play in several Olympic games and is now head coach of the Pepperdine men’s water polo team.

In the photo to the right, from the University Archives Photograph Collection, the drama of the match is captured in the excitement of the players and coaches cheering their teammates on from the pool’s edge. Schroeder is on the far left and head coach Monte Nitzkowski is center, left.

As you cheer on the US teams in this year’s Summer Olympics, take a moment to look back at photographic highlights from Pepperdine’s moment in the Olympic sun.

A historic debate on free love and morality: Today’s featured digital object

Anson Mount, William Banowsky, and Hugh Hefner in 1967

What’s this, you say? Former Pepperdine University President Bill Banowsky standing—all smiles—with Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner? What occasion could have produced such strange bedfellows? The answer lies in our new digital collection of Historic Sound Recordings. On October 8, 1967, Dr. Banowsky, then minister of the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock, Texas, engaged in a much-publicized debate with Anson Mount, the religion editor for Playboy, on the topic of sex and morality. The photo above—with Mr. Mount on the left—was used to publicize the event.

Billed as a “clash of philosophies” between “Christianity and hedonism,” the debate was held in Lubbock before an audience of 3000 college students. As the moderator suggests, the event showcased “two perspectives on how 1967 should be,” as Mr. Mount argued for a humanist approach to sex based on situation ethics and Dr. Banowsky countered with a Christian perspective. As he put it during the debate: “I am affirming the moral principles of Christ, which honor the power, and majesty, and beauty of sex as the sacred, limited, exclusive gift of married love.”

For Dr. Banowsky, who had already expressed an interest in returning to Pepperdine to oversee the move to Malibu, the debate was a catalytic moment in his meteoric career. Within four years he became President of Pepperdine University at the age of 34.

The recording of the debate is at once historic and timeless—it captures the public discourse on morality typical of the late 1960s, while maintaining relevance for today’s listener. It is a frank, well-articulated, and thought provoking discussion on both sides of the issue. You can listen to this debate in its entirety in our digital collection of Historic Sound Recordings. Enjoy.