Stephen Lynn Smith Papers
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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
- Smith, Stephen Lynn (Person)
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