The Foghorn: A Student History of USF

If newspapers publish the “first rough draft of history,” it is fascinating indeed to view those rough drafts from the perspective of USF students. Gleeson Library is in the process of digitizing back issues of USF’s student newspaper, the “Foghorn,” and the first major batch is available now.

The parallels between some articles from nearly 50 years ago and similarly-themed contemporary articles (from the San Francisco Foghorn website) are striking, and invite many questions …


Black student Union issues demands
From the November 8, 1968 issue of the San Francisco Foghorn, part of Gleeson Library’s Digital Collections.
BSU list of demands
From the March 10, 2016 issue of the San Francisco Foghorn on the newspaper’s website.
Blacks rap, whites listen in Black Power town hall
May 3, 1968 issue of the San Francisco Foghorn (go to page 5 to view), part of Gleeson LIbrary’s Digital Collections
Black Student Union hosts USF Black Out in solidarity with Mizzou
From the November 19, 2015 issue of the San Francisco Foghorn on the newspaper’s website.
  • What has changed between 1968 and 2015-16, and what has not?
  • Do these articles give you the “whole picture”?
  • What was happening at USF in 1968? In the Bay Area, the nation, and the world?
  • Is the context significantly different in 2015-16? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?
  • How are the students’ strategies for change different?
  • Were these events/issues also reported in the professional newspapers such as the San Francisco Chronicle? If so, how is the reporting different? If not, why not?

You might begin to answer some of theses questions by browsing issues of the Foghorn, and seeing the world of 1968 from a USF student perspective.

The USF community can also look into Gleeson Library’s historical and contemporary newspapers and newspaper collections such as these (myUSF login from off-campus):

Historical Newspapers

Contemporary Newspaper Collections

The Foghorn, or San Francisco Foghorn as it is currently titled, is USF’s official student newspaper dating back to 1903.  The earliest issues were published under the title “Ignatian” and “Ignatian News“.  The University Archives currently holds print copies of the earliest issues of Ignatian from 1926 and onwards. This collection is now digitized and made full-text searchable online.

As of this writing, issues from 1926 through December 1992 are available online.  The rest of the collection will be available in Spring 2017.

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