A typewritten petition featuring a student signature in blood.

Blood petition signed by student S. Cogswell, 1967. Antiwar Petitions Collection, University Archives, University of Iowa Libraries Special Collections & Archives.

“The action behind this protest underscores the anger and frustrations and care that anti-war protestors experienced at the time.” – David McCartney, co-curator of We Are Hawkeyes: Celebrating 175 Years of Student Life at the University of Iowa.

In 1967, University of Iowa student protestors signed their names in blood to protest against military recruitment on campus during the Vietnam War. The petitions were delivered to the President’s Office.

Transcription of the petition:

“We who have signed our names below have demonstrated, in the last three days, our non-violent committments [sic] to peace. We wish to make clear to you that our protest is not solely directed against the United States Marines and this country’s involvement in the internal affairs of Vietnam; we are also specifically protesting this university’s implicit sanction of that involvement as demonstrated by:

  1. The university approved use of campus facilities by the U. S. Marines and others actively engaged in the prosecution of the Vietnam War, not to inform, argue, or represent but the enlist people in active participation.
  2. The refusal of the university to even attempt to use its own forces to halt the beating of students non-violently protesting the war.
  3. The misuse of outside forces, when they were finally called, not to arrest those who had been feloniously assaulting, but only to arrest, for a comparatively minor offense, those who had been feloniously assaulted.
  4. The failure of the university to seek an expression of the demonstrators point of view and plans, before handing down a policy decision designed to dissuade them from their action, but to get that expression from the Student Body President who made only an inadequate attempt to understand the demonstrators position.
  5. The university’s use of the equal-right-of-access policy statement (with which even the most militant of the demonstrators agrees) to divert attention from the university’s failure to define as a separate issue, and make a policy statement governing, which organizations may recruit through the placement office.

Our expectation is that the university administration act in the same enlightened manner it expects from its students.”