10 Cool Things I Learned Looking Through the Flyer News Archives

Cover photo of a headline from 1973

Sean Newhouse 
Online Editor-in-Chief

This article was written before the suspension of in-person classes and closure of housing for most students due to the coronavirus

Flyer News has spent the last year posting photocopies of our print archives to our website, which you can access by clicking here. These issues date back to 1956. 

It’s clear looking through the archives that while some things have changed at the University of Dayton, some things have not. 

1. Cigarette ads used to be in the student paper 

It would be unimaginable to see a cigarette ad in Flyer News today, but on the back page of an issue from Sept. 17, 1956 there was an ad for Winston cigarettes.

2. UD has always been under construction 

The April 1, 1958 edition of Flyer News reports that the new science building had miraculously finished construction. A note on the bottom of the front page, however, reveals that it was a story for April Fools’ Day. It would appear that construction was actually taking a considerably long time.

3. The university purchasing a computer was front page news 

The Nov. 4, 1960 issue of Flyer News featured a front-page story about UD purchasing a “computor.” Consider that only five decades later most students would have a personal laptop that fits in their backpack and a smartphone that fits in their pocket. 

4. Kennedy Union was named for the assassinated president soon after his death

The Dec. 6, 1963 copy of Flyer News reported that the student union (Kennedy Union) would be named after the late President John F. Kennedy. He had been assassinated only two weeks earlier on Nov. 22, 1963. 

Naming the student union after Kennedy, however, wasn’t the top news in Flyer News that day. It was that a car rammed into St. Joseph’s Hall. 

5. Bill Cosby performed at UD 

Flyer News had a preview in its Oct. 4, 1968 edition that Bill Cosby would kick off UD’s annual concert series. This was nearly two decades before his sitcom premiered. 

Cosby is in prison for drugging and sexually assaulting a woman in 2004. In addition to this incident, more than 60 women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct. 

6. UD’s student government members in the 70s were probably Democrats 

According to the Nov. 2, 1973 copy of Flyer News, student government hosted an impeachment rally where an effigy of President Richard Nixon, a Republican, was beaten by students and chewed on by a dog. Nixon resigned from office a year later after facing likely impeachment over the Watergate scandal. 

(Our archives columnist wrote an in-depth article about Flyer News’ coverage of Watergate, which you can read here.) 

7. And you thought PATH points were hard

Every UD student has an opinion about PATH points, which is how university housing is awarded. But based on this announcement from March 18, 1977, the housing lottery used to be an actual event that students would attend to pick their housing.  

8. The Cold War must not have been that bad

Nuclear tension aside, the Jan. 16, 1979 issue of Flyer News reports on a performance by the Russian Gymnastics Team at UD Arena. 

9. Diversity and inclusivity were talked about back then too

An article from Feb. 22, 1980 discusses an event hosted by the Center for Afro-American Affairs, now Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center (MEC), about the lack of minority students at UD. Discussing the pressures of being black at UD, one student said: “I feel like I have to prove myself.” 

10.This one speaks for itself

There were a total of 74 liquor law arrests and citations in 2018, according to UD’s annual crime report. Compare that to this story from Sept. 3, 1982

Looking through old Flyer News copies, some things seem intimately familiar while others seem extremely dated. These archives, however, provide a look at UD’s history from the perspective of the students at the time. And it’s a privilege to have access to them today.  

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