“People at USF could be Diggers if they wanted to –“

May 31st, 2017 by Gina Solares Leave a reply »

With institutions around the city celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, I got to thinking about our own campus’ proximity to the Panhandle and to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood. I wonder how the experience of the USF community was touched or shaped by its location during that summer…

Gleeson Library has copies of the St. Ignatius Calendar & Bulletin from 1967. In the May Bulletin of that year, James E. Straukamp, S.J. wrote an article drawing some comparisons between the Diggers of 17th century England and the Diggers of 1967 San Francisco.


He calls these local Diggers “our neighbors” and writes about their efforts related to communal food production, non-violence, and “a society of love and cooperation.” Although Straukamp mentions that he interviewed “Apache” and Art Lisch, unfortunately he doesn’t give much space to describing those contemporary Diggers. Much of the article is focused on those he is most familiar with, the 17th century Diggers who also believed in a non-violent society free from private property. To read the full article from The St. Ignatius Church Bulletin, click here.

The Diggers were also featured in an article in the March 10, 1967 issue of the Foghorn.


News Editor, Tom Sandborn includes a description of one of the Diggers’ food giveaway events in the Panhandle, quotes from Diggers on their philosophy, and remarks on the Diggers from Father Leon Harris of the All Saints Episcopal Church on Waller. You can read the full Foghorn article or browse the full Foghorn digital archive in Gleeson Library’s digital collections.

These articles merely hint at the ways that USF students, staff, faculty, and St. Ignatius parishioners were exposed to what was happening in 1967. There was also the time when Jefferson Airplane performed in the USF gym, and the Vietnam War protests on campus, and well, I have no doubt our alumni have quite a few stories to tell about the Summer of Love at USF.

For more on the Diggers & the local scene:

McKenna, Kristine, and David Hollander. Notes from a Revolution: Com/co, the Diggers & the Haight, 2012. Print book available at Gleeson Library

See some digitized ephemera, posters, and publications in the Digger Archives

Browse the Foghorn digital archive in Gleeson Library’s digital collections

Coyote, Peter. Sleeping Where I Fall: A Chronicle, 2015. Print book available at Gleeson Library

Stanyan Street Meets Haight & Ashbury (1960–1969). St. Ignatius College Preparatory webpage


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