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Stephen Lynn Smith Papers

Identifier: RG02.0009.032

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Scope and Contents

Papers include newspaper articles and other materials pertaining to his political activism in civil rights and anti-war protest, 1964-1967.


  • Creation: 1964-2016


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.

Biographical / Historical

Stephen Lynn Smith was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1944. After graduating from Marion High School in 1963, he enrolled at the State University of Iowa with a major in engineering. With an interest in the Civil Rights Movement, Smith joined the local chapter of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He also participated in Freedom Summer (also known as the Mississippi Summer Project), a voter registration drive sponsored by the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). On the night of July 15, 1964, Smith and Eric Morton were detained and beaten by the local police of Canton, Mississippi as they delivered voter registration materials form Jackson to Greenwood.

As a dedicated civil rights activist, Smith also participated in an eight-day hunger strike in March 1965 in downtown Iowa City in support of civil rights workers in Selma, Alabama. In October 1965, he additionally burned his draft card in the Iowa Memorial Union in speaking of the atrocities of the Vietnam War. He was one of the first in the nation to do so.

After graduating from Iowa, Smith became a professor of computer science at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Smith died on April 24, 2009 after an extended illness.


0.50 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



State University of Iowa alumnus and activist.

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Archives Repository

100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242