Mrs. James B. Neely to Smith, July 3, 1968
In the 1960s, universities became the vanguard of social change in America. Fueled by the protest movement against the Vietnam War, students began to question other aspects of society. Many advocated new ways of thinking about civil rights, women's rights, and the way that money and power were allocated. Others focused on personal rebellion expressed through dress, music, and more casual attitudes towards sex and drug use.
The generation gap between Preston Smith and the student protesters was more like a chasm. Smith had spent his life working to become part of what the protesters called the establishment. Moreover, he had focused much of his career on advocating higher education and expanding the university system in Texas. In this letter, a citizen writes to Smith, then a candidate for governor, about a remark he made about students at the University of Texas.
Wednesday July 3
Dear Mr. Smith,
I feel rather certain that you will be
As a former student at the University
We, the state of Texas needs a man
I am awaiting your reply.
Mrs. James B. Neely