Frank re-entered his home and sat down to scan the front page. The weather report bore out his brief weather inspection: "Quite warm and humid becoming more cloudy with scattered showers"–not good reading for the head of the household, who had hoped to take the family to Ocean City's seashore for an outing before summer session began on Monday. The rest of the front page was like the gloomy weather prediction: the latest report on Viet Nam casualties, bickering at the United Nations General Assembly, and the difficulty of getting Premier Kosygin and President Johnson to follow the Biblical adjuration, "Come now, and let us reason together."
While Mr. Meyer was reading his Philadelphia Inquirer, Dr. Thomas E. Robinson, Glassboro's President, was pulling out of his Holly Bush home behind the wheel of the college's Rambler Station Wagon, heading north to Trenton for a morning meeting with the five other state college presidents. There, at the spacious State Department of Education Building, they dis cussed the roles of the presidents under the aegis of the newly-created State Board of Higher Education. Following Dr. Robinson northward was Business Manager Walter Campbell, driving to Newark State College to a meeting of the state college business officials. At the Glassboro home base, Dean of Instruction Stanton Langworthy wrestled with curricular changes for the next college year, while Field Service Director Charles Walker was making final arrangements for 2500 summer-session students expected to throng Glassboro on the coming Monday. Professor Michael Kelly, Glassboro Dramatics Director, spent Thursday ironing out flaws, as the Summer Theater Group sharpened its acting skills in preparation for Moss Hart's Light Up the Sky, scheduled for July 7. Over in the public relations offices, Donald Eagin checked proofs of the new college catalog and supervised the production of Volume One of the Target, Glassboro 's summer-session news organ.
Elsewhere on campus, Otto Cassady, Superintendent of Maintenance, and his chief assistant, Victor Fowler, busied themselves in directing the multitudinous activities needed to give any college that fresh, brushed-up look; while Mrs. Helen Rodgers, Supervisor of Dormitories, in her typical efficient and energetic manner, guided preparations for the comfort of 385 girl-cheerleaders expected on campus on Sunday. And Thursday, June 22, found Mrs. Thomas E. Robinson, wife of the College President, back from a doctor's visit prepared to heed his warning that her blood pressure was rather low, "but if you take it easy the next two days, there is no reason why you can't attend that wedding in Hackettstown on Saturday." Never did a patient have less chance to follow a doctor's orders.
At the State House in Trenton, Governor Richard J. Hughes spent some anxious hours awaiting one of the most important telephone calls of his life. His vigil was eased somewhat by a miscellany of gubernatorial duties: signing legislative bills into law, greeting a group of community service internes, granting an interview for an article to appear in the St. Joseph 's College Alumni Bulletin, receiving a plaque from the New Jersey Astronomical Society, and looking over notes for a speech he was scheduled to deliver that night at a gathering of Gloucester County Democrats.
About 150 miles south of Trenton, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his White House office, grappled with problems on a global scale. Some were unpleasant; others, pleasant. In the former category were the vexatious stalemate in the Viet Nam jungles; Charles DeGaulle's intransigent, anti-American stance on both the Viet Nam issue and the Isareli-Arab conflict; and the prospect of vociferous anti-Johnson demonstrations expected on Friday night, when the President was scheduled to speak at a $1,000 per couple Democratic-Party dinner at the Los Angeles Century Plaza Hotel. But the day had its compensating moments, as when Mr. Johnson, at a noon luncheon attended by Great Britain's Foreign Secretary, George Brown, and the prime ministers of Italy and Denmark, pridefully reported the progress of his one-day-old grandson: weight, eight pounds, ten ounces; height, twenty-one inches. On a serious note, the President addressing the foreign dignitaries expressed his greatest hope: "I would like to make a world for young Patrick Nugent and his contemporaries in every land that will be safer, more prosperous, more hopeful, and certainly more peaceful by far than the world I have inhabited."
Northward over 200 miles away was the man who could go a long way in helping Mr. Johnson attain his goal. Ensconced in the Soviet Mission at New York City 's 136 East 67th Street was Russian Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin, coping with problems which had the sting of hornets: how to extricate Russia from its Mid-East fiasco; how to conteract the Chinese Communist taunts on Russian weakness in the Six-Day War; and, above all, how to deal with the dread reality of Chinese mastery of the hydrogen bomb detonated only five days previously. Neither was the Premier 's state of mind eased by the sight of 300 marchers parading outside of the Soviet Mission, chanting and carrying signs like: KOSYGIN, HANDS OFF ISRAEL; KOSYGIN, USE REASON; PEACE NOT SLANDER; and END SOVIET ANTI-SEMITISM.
Those were some of the persons–Meyer, Robinson, Campbell, Langworthy, Walker, Kelly, Cassady, Fowler, Rodgers, Hughes, Johnson, and Kosygin–who in less than twenty-four hours were to be actors in a drama whose stage was Glassboro and whose audience was the world. And it all happened because a man had an idea whose reach at times appeared to exceed his grasp.
The Power of An IdeaIdeas that trigger great events sometimes spring up in strange places. Wednesday morning, June 21, 1967, found Governor Richard J. Hughes comfortably seated in the back seat of his Cadillac bearing New Jersey license plate number one. As his State Trooper chauffeur deftly steered the big car on roads leading from the Governor's Morven Mansion, in Princeton, to the State House, in Trenton, Mr. Hughes, as was his wont, scanned the New York Times. On an inside page, he read a dispatch that perplexed and troubled him. It was a story about two proud men, each eager to meet and arrive at the beginning of a modus vivendi, a step toward living in harmony. But the man in New York City was determined not "to crawl on his knees to Washington." The other man in Washington was equally adamant in his refusal to travel to New York, host at the time to a special United Nations General Assembly meeting he was not willing to dignify with his presence. Neither showed any interest in playing the role of Mohammed who, swallowing his pride, broke an impasse by journeying to a mountain.
After reading the article, the New Jersey Governor leaned back in his seat, head reclining on the vehicle 's upholstery. In this position he engaged in troubled reverie, the gist of which he reported a few weeks later:
President Johnson and Premier Kosygin could not see their way to meet, and the Prime Minister was scheduled to leave the United States in a few days. I became upset about this and thought how tragic it would be if these two leaders of the two great nuclear powers, mixed up in the world tensions we have today, could not meet. I knew that millions of Americans devoutly hoped they would get together, for all rational people know these men are dealing with inflammable subjects. The whole world is in a dangerous situation now. If those who lead the two greatest powers cannot meet when they are a short distance from each other, the future of the world, particularly of my children and theirs, look bleak.
I had no idea then what could be accomplished, but at least to clear my conscience I resolved to offer New Jersey as a meeting place.
Dr. Rostow thanked the Governor for his concern and ended the conversation with the statement: "We will think it over and call you back." As he hung up his telephone, Governor Hughes was under no illusion that the White House return call would soon be forthcoming. Like the college graduate after his first job interview, the Governor could do nothing more about the matter but await the answer to his offer. However, he devoutly hoped his call to Dr. Rostow would speed up the week-old negotiations on a possible Summit meeting. Hughes realized, of course, that the talks had progressed from lower to higher levels, from dialogues between Soviet Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin and United Stat.es Ambassador Llewellyn Thompson to talks between Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko and Secretary of State Dean Rusk. By Wednesday, June 21, Mr. Rusk was meeting with Soviet Premier Alexsei Kosygin, an indication that a thawing process was taking place, because President Johnson was now "prepared to go virtually anywhere on the east coast." But as a quid pro quo, the President was insisting that "the Soviet leader promise him a substantive rather than merely a social conference."
It was this Johnson condition that kept Governor Hughes' White House return call from coming through on Wednesday. Unlike his predecessor, the impetuous Nikita Khrushchev, Mr. Kosygin did not pound tables with his shoe, nor was he inclined to make hasty, arbitrary decisions. United States officials suspected that the Russian Premier spent much of Wednesday in contact with members of the powerful Politburo, seeking their advice on questions such as: Should the go-ahead signal be given for the meeting? Should, it take place some place in New Jersey? Should the agenda deal with the substantive issues of Viet Nam, the Middle-East conflict, and nuclear non-proliferation?
Evidently Premier Kosygin discovered, at least for the time being, that the Politburo contained more doves than hawks, for in the mid-morning hours of Thursday Marvin Watson called Governor Hughes with the message: "The President is interested in New Jersey as a meeting place. What specific localities do you have in mind?" Governor Hughes immediately mentioned Morven, the governor's mansion; Rutgers University; and Princeton University. Watson discounted all of these suggestions. Fortunately, the disappointment brought on by these rebuffs was short-lived, after President Johnson called urging the Governor to keep looking for a location, one near a jet airport but not in nor too close to a large city. Mr. Johnson's advice got the Governor searching his mind for large estates which might serve as possible meeting sites; but, in the excitement of the moment, he was unable to think of any. Actually on the previous day, when a New Jersey Summit Meeting seemed the remotest of possibilities, Mr. Burkhardt, the Secretary of State, had mentioned estates such as the Clendening-Ryan Home in Allamuchy, the Richmond House in Burlington County, the Amos Peasley estate near Woodbury, and the Seabrook estate in Salem County. On Thursday morning Governor Hughes said that he "was glad he had not seriously considered these estates, because none possessed the exact setting for a Summit Meeting."
Unable and perhaps unwilling to think in terms of large estates, the Governor set his mind racing in other directions for a meeting spot. He stopped the searching process when the picture of Glassboro State College came to mind. Later, in answer to an interviewer's question on why he selected Glassboro, the Governor replied:
Subsequent events would prove that Governor Hughes displayed a rare prescience in anticipating both President Johnson's and Premier Kosygin's delight with the Glassboro Summit setting. But the pragmatic Mr. Hughes also knew that intangibles would not alone convince the tough-minded Mr. Johnson of the desirability of Glassboro as a Summit location. Before calling the President, therefore, the Governor marshalled a list of Glassboro assets: its geographical location–138 airline miles from Washington and 105 miles by automobile from New York City; its proximity to a jet airport–eighteen miles from Philadelphia; its closeness to the New Jersey Turnpike–about ten miles from Swedesboro's Exit Two; and its excellent security environment.Bearing in mind the humility of a man who has come up from the working groups like Premier Kosygin and the yearning of President Johnson for the humble ways of life and his love for rural America, I concentrated on finding a place that typified rural America, not too fancy and yet a locale having a dignified educational background which makes one think of youth and the great stake youth has in the peace of the world. The spot that met these requirements was Glassboro State College.
Governor Hughes also listed two other important assets that Glassboro possessed: facilities and staff to aid in organizing the Summit production on a short, sixteen-hour notice. Available at the college were sixteen buildings, thirty-four administrators, a faculty of 287, and a maintenance staff of 108, including carpenters, electricians, plumbers, welders, and mechanics.
Using this arsenal of persuaders, the Governor placed a call to President Johnson urging Glassboro as the Summit site. The Chief Executive displayed considerable interest in the Hughes ' presentation, but pledged him to secrecy until last-minute discussions could be held with the Russians. The Governor carried his secret around with him for the remainder of the morning, through the lunch hour, and into late afternoon.
At 4:30 P.M. Governor Hughes, still without final word from the White House and realizing the enormity of the task to be faced in far too short a time, decided to call Dr. Thomas E. Robinson, Glassboro's President and potential Summit host. Mr. Hughes was faced with the unenviable task of alerting Dr. Robinson to something big coming to Glassboro without being free to divulge the true shape of things to come. The dialogue which follows was an act of necessary subterfuge.
"Tom, " said the Governor, "I might. have occasion tomorrow to use your campus facilities for a meeting of about twenty-five Pennsylvania legislators. Will you help me carry out this assignment?"
"Yes, Governor," replied the College President, "we are used to handling situations like this. Besides your request comes at a good time, for we happen to be between commencement and the beginning of summer session."
"How many students are on campus now?" queried the Governor.
"About fifty Upward Bound Youths and sixteen Summer Theatre students," answered the President, "but on Monday we shall have 2500 students attending summer session."
"Tom, will your administrative staff be on hand if we need their services?"
"Certainly, and our maintenance personnel will also be here to help out."
"How many of your buildings are air-conditioned?" asked the Governor.
"Only the Administration Building and the Library, but Holly Bush is a naturally cool meeting place for the size group you have in mind, "replied Dr. Robinson.
"Thanks, Tom, I 'm not quite sure how this meeting is going to turn out, but I'll be in touch with you shortly."
The Governor hung up the telephone, assured at least of an operations base if the long-awaited, go-ahead call came from the White House. But by 5:40 P.M. there was still no word from President Johnson. At this point time was a precious commodity if arrangements for a Summit were to be started. An anxious Governor decided to take off for Glassboro. Before going, however, he called Dr. Robinson, informing him that he was on his way. The Governor also charged a staff member to remain in the office to radio him if the White House called.
At 6:00 P.M. while the Governor's car was speeding over the rain-swept New Jersey Turnpike, the White House received word that Premier Kosygin had officially accepted both the site of the meeting and the substantive nature of the agenda. President Johnson immediately started the difficult process of locating and informing the Glassboro-bound Governor of the final decision. Contact was finally made at 6:15 P.M. A voice over the radio telephone requested Governor Hughes to telephone the President of the United States. The Governor told his chauffeur to stop at the next public phone booth on the Turnpike, for he wanted to take no chances of amateur radio operators monitoring a conversation of this import as it came into his radio telephone. The chauffeur braked the big car to a halt at an outside telephone booth not far from Camden's Exit 4. Climbing out of the automobile, the Governor of New Jersey walked through the rain, entered a public phone booth, and made contact with the President of the United States. President Johnson expressed his pleasure at the prospect of meeting Premier Kosygin at Glassboro and expressed appreciation for the role Mr. Hughes had played in breaking a troublesome impasse. The Chief Executive also informed Governor Hughes that the White House would make the official announcement of the Summit Meeting, together with informing Dr. Robinson of the big event. At 6:35 P.M. Thursday, June 22, 1967, Presidential Press Secretary George Christian released the news of the Summit Conference to an anxiously awaiting world; and, before he reached Glassboro, Governor Hughes heard the announcement over his car radio. It was no longer a tightly kept secret. Ironically the man who was destined to be host of the Conference had not yet learned about it. Dr. Robinson was at home slightly puzzled by the Governor 's feeling of urgency in holding a meeting for twenty-five state legislators.
Reactions to the AnnouncementAt 6:00 P.M. Thursday evening, June 22, the exact time when Premier Kosygin finally agreed to meet with President Johnson, Paul Elton, 1967 graduate of the college and a summer-time bookstore employee, came out of Memorial Hall. He walked to the campus traffic circle midway between Memorial and Bunce Halls. From this vantage point, he stopped to survey the campus. At a later time, Paul explained his action and thoughts:
I suddenly realized that, for the first time in my four years at Glassboro, I was looking at a completely deserted campus. At that moment, in whatever direction I looked, I could not see a vehicle, let alone a person. How different the scene was from usual, with the campus alive and jumping . At last I understood what Goldsmith meant when he wrote his "Deserted Village." The cloud-laden skies together with absolute stillness gave me an eerie feeling.
One hour later, Paul's deserted campus was no more, for it began to pulsate with movements and sound: the roar of huge trucks, the purring of automobile engines, and the excited buzzing of large numbers of sightseers drawn as by a magnet to Holly Bush. No theatrical stage manager changed this scene so dramatically. On the contrary, it was that honest broker, Governor Hughes, who was largely responsible for the 6:35 P.M. laconic statement that on Friday, June 23, at 11:00 A.M. President Johnson and Premier Kosygin would meet at Glassboro. This was the announcement that set the town agog.
Few Americans in their mid-forties will ever forget where they were or what their reactions were to the radio voices of H.V. Kaltenborn or Raymond Gram Swing, on December 7, 1941, as they broke the news of the sneak, Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Nor will Americans sixteen or older soon forget where they happened to be and what their emotional reactions were on November 22, 1963, as television announcer Walter Cronkite sadly recounted the tragedy at Dallas, Texas. In a similar manner, the Glassboro community–town and gown– will long remember the night of June 22, 1967.
News that the Summit meeting was to be held in Glassboro struck the townspeople with traumatic force. Whether they got the word verbally at a Rotary meeting, or on the car radio coming home from work in Philadelphia, or from their television sets, their initial reactions bordered on shock and disbelief. Newsmen from nearby large cities, on the prowl early for feature stories, interviewed small knots of citizens gathered outside their homes. Virtually all of the reporters filed stories quoting puzzled residents who asked, "Why was Glassboro chosen? " Many Glassboroites reacted to their first contact with the news by taking it as some kind of joke. Police Chief Everett Watson, for example, "thought somebody was pulling a prank. "
But these were first responses to the big news. After recovering from the initial shock, many had secondary re actions, more sober and realistic, Thus, long-time Glassboro resident Selena Johnson, apprehensive of noisy demonstrators from outside, admitted, "There is a certain amount of anxiety; we wonder how it will all come out." A perceptive Glassboro resident in answer to the persistent question "Why Glassboro?" replied: "Why not Glassboro?" It's about halfway between Washington and New York City." Reflecting another kind of reaction was sales engineer Edward Marshall's cheerful comment: "It is wonderful, and I hope it works out well." Expressive of the townspeoples' most widespread and deepest thought was barber Joseph Barca 's comment, "It sure would be fine if something like this could provide some way for peace and friendship," a reaction echoed by accountant Rocco Petroni, who told the press, "I hope it is fruitful. The world needs a break."
But Glassboro citizens did more than answer interviewers' questions on that exciting, rainy night. Over 200 made their way to the college campus drawn by a mixture of excitement, anticipation, and curiosity. They gathered in front of Holly Bush Mansion and along its sides, where they fascinatingly watched scores of workmen, federal and state officers, and college personnel enter, leave, and re-enter a home that history had tapped on the shoulder. Other Glassboroites remained at home, savoring radio and television reports featuring their home town. However, they saw no need for big-city commentators and newscasters to refer constantly to the Summit site as a "sleepy little town," a "tiny farm town," and a "tiny college town." Their irritation would have been compounded had they realized that the newscaster who used the expression "the obscurity of the site" was Richard Valeriani, a native of South Jersey 's Burlington County and a person who had swung golf clubs at the neighboring Pitman Country Club on many occasions.
News of the Summit Conference site caught summer session students, four days before classes were to begin, enjoying brief vacation trips in virtually all parts of the country–as far north as Montreal, Canada; south in San Juan, Puerto Rico; and west in California's San Francisco. Others found themselves at places in between these extremes: waiting for a plane in Chicago; riding on the Maine Turnpike; checking in at a hotel in Worcester, Massachusetts; enjoying the sea breezes at Cape Cod; eating in a Howard Johnson 's on the Pennsylvania Turnpike; getting married in Falls Church, Virginia; enjoying the sights of historic Williamsburg, Virginia; and coming out from a swim at Jacksonville, Florida.
Many were closer to the Glassboro scene when they first heard the announcement: teaching a Bible class; getting ready to watch the Phillies-St. Louis baseball game on television; attending a parent-teacher executive committee meeting; visiting a friend at a hospital; getting hair washed, set, and dried at a beauty parlor; shopping at an Acme market; and reporting at a police station the theft from her apartment of all her possessions.
No matter where they were or what they were doing, student emotional feelings to the choice of the Summit Town were similar to those of the Glassboro townspeople: shock, disbelief, and surprise. Indicative of those moods were some typical, first reactions: "I turned to another news program to find out if I had heard right the first time"; "I had to stop and think awhile"; "I turned the radio up to be sure I had heard correctly"; and, "Thought I heard Glasgow rather than Glassboro."
Like the Glassboro town folks, the summer-school students had secondary reactions, after the first shock had worn off, and the dominating one was pride in Glassboro. Typifying this response were: "Had a feeling of overwhelming pride –pride of association"; "Pride in the choice of a place I consider grass-roots America"; "Felt the right time and place had been chosen"; "Amazed and elated that I had sat in the same room the President and Premier would be using "; and, "I had just completed registration there yesterday."
Glassboro State College faculty were no different from townspeople and the students in their initial reactions to the announcement of the Summit's locale. Associate Professor John Whitcraft of the Philosophy Department, for example, first heard the news from a Trenton State College friend; but, because the friend was inclined to practical joking, Mr. Whitcraft dismissed his tale out of hand, and, when young Bob Whitcraft came home with the same news, his father accused him of collaborating with the Trenton professor! Physical Education faculty member John Fox got the word from colleague Lester Bunce, and, when Mr. Fox expressed grave doubts concerning his informant 's sanity, Lester suggested that the doubting Thomas turn on his television set for verification. Associate Professor Leonard Mancuso was at a Rotary meeting when the club president came back after receiving a telephone call to announce the Johnson and Kosygin visit. Leonard joined the rest of the Rotarians in a loud chorus of "Oh, Yeah!" Education Department member Fred Love had just come back from a short vacation spent with his family at Beach Haven. His first act was to call the Pitman police to report a theft of $35. When the officer replied that the police force was quite busy getting ready to lend Glassboro a hand in providing security for the American President and the Russian Prime Minister, Mr. Love, going along with what obviously was an unusual gag, informed the Pitman gendarme: "Forget our theft; you have more important business at hand!"
"Are you serious, Don?"
"Yes, I am."
Inquired the doubtful Dr. Myksvoll, "Are you calling from home?"
"Yes, I am. "
"Don," the gentle Doctor asked, "have you taken a drink?''
Perhaps the sole faculty member to take the Summit announcement in stride was Dr. William Pitt of the Psychology Department. Dr. Pitt heard the news on his car radio as he entered Yonkers, New York, en route back to Glassboro from a short visit to Connecticut. His immediate reaction was to label the site location an intelligent compromise and to express to his wife: "I'm delighted with their choice of Glassboro; I hope the friendly atmosphere of the Holly Bush home will pervade throughout the discussions."
Other faculty members were away from the campus when Glassboro 's great moment in history was announced. College Registrar Rudolph Salati, for example, was in Montreal, Canada, and did not hear the news on Thursday night. The next morning, however, upon turning on his car radio, he heard a French-speaking newscaster giving details of the big event taking place at Glassboro. Conversant with all of the romance languages, Mr. Salati had no trouble in understanding and enjoying the broadcast.
Rinehart Potts was at Surf City enjoying a vacation with his wife and children. After hearing the announcement on television, Rinehart became restless, paced the floor, and began imagining the events taking place at Glassboro. Realizing his desire to be where the excitement was, his wife bade him take off to the Summit Town. He departed at midnight, arriving at 2:00 A.M. on the Glassboro campus where he saw huge Bell Telephone trucks, lights flashing, and helmeted men down in manholes and perched atop telephone poles stringing miles of new wire. Nearer Holly Bush, Mr. Potts came upon more gargantuan trucks labeled NBC, CBS, and ABC. Nearby Mr. Potts saw dozens of sweating men, heaving heavy cables into position and erecting television cameras. Rinehart Potts would not soon forget the night of June 22, 1967.
At Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Student Teaching Director Donald Mumford was camping out with his family as far away from the twentieth century as they could get. Because of this Thoreau-like desire to cut themselves off from the modern world for a day or two at least, the Mumfords did not learn of what a satiric, big-city feature writer dubbed "The Glassboro Caper" until Friday at noontime. Succumbing to temptation, Don turned on the car radio and heard newscasters describing the world-attention events taking place on his campus. That evening, when they learned that a second meeting was scheduled, the Mumfords decided to cut short their idyllic safari and return to Glassboro. Early Saturday morning found them starting a fourteen-hour trip of 600 miles. They arrived in Glassboro late that night in plenty of time to become part on Sunday of the Whitney Avenue crowd, which received rave notices from all parts of the earth, excepting, of course, the Arab world and the hard-core Communist press.
Dr. Clarke Pfleeger, Chairman of the Music Department, was another faculty member who cut short a well-deserved vacation to become a part of Glassboro 's finest hours. On that Thursday night at 9:30, Dr. Pfleeger and his wife were strolling along the Wildwood boardwalk, when they heard a clothing store radio blaring out names like Johnson, Kosygin, Dr. Robinson, and Glassboro. Because they had caught only the end of the broadcast, the Pfleegers were not certain that the names they had heard added up to a Summit Meeting at their college. Intrigued but doubtful, Clarke entered a restaurant 's pay phone booth and placed a long-distance call to son David back in Glassboro. Dave casually informed his father that President Johnson and Premier Kosygin were due to meet at Holly Bush the next morning. Mrs. Pfleeger, getting the import of the message, assumed control of the phone and in an equally casual tone asked, "What 's new in Glassboro, David?" Not until they returned to their motel, the Cape Cod Inn, were they Pfleegers convinced. A television 11:00 P.M. newscast resolved their doubts.
Although they had already paid their rent two days in advance, the Pfleegers decided they "could not stand staying in Wildwood." Packing one suitcase and leaving the rest of their clothes at the motel, they started back to Glassboro, arriving on campus at 1:15 A.M. where they joined the large crowd milling about Holly Bush. At 2:00 A.M. they went to their nearby Glassboro home, rang the doorbell for ten minutes, yelled up at their son until they awoke the neighbors, and then went to an outside pay booth near Holly Bush and rang David for ten more minutes. But with the youth's resistance to insomnia, the son slept through all the commotion. Only by climbing up an extension ladder was the father able to gain entrance to his home for a few hours sleep.
Up early on Friday morning the Pfleeger family walked to Whitney Avenue's vantage point where they spent the hot-sultry day waiting for a brief glimpse of the President and the Russian Prime Minister. After cheering both vociferously, Clarke and his wife returned to Wildwood for a one-night stay, but early Saturday morning they were back to Glassboro 's excitement. Upon reaching home at 10:00 A.M., they were greeted by daughter Karen who, by cutting classes at West Virginia University, had flown home to supplement her textbook history course with first-hand experiences. Her trip cost father Pfleeger $100. This bill added to the motel accommodations not used represented a tidy sum for the family pocketbook to pay. But Dr. Pfleeger maintained that the investment was sound, for it "brought us the most exciting time in our twenty-year stay at Glassboro State College."
And there was the Wackar family. The Summit announcement found them vacationing at New Brunswick, Canada. Watching Friday's proceedings on television, Richard Wackar, Physical Education professor and varsity football coach, recalls that he was proud of his college but sad to be so far away and unable to share in its glory. Stimulated by television pictures of familiar scenes, Dick gathered up the family and embarked for Glassboro, where he arrived in time to serve in Sunday's proceedings as a volunteer liaison man between the college and security officials.
Glassboro administrators' initial reactions to the Summit Conference announcement were about the same as those of townspeople, students, and faculty. Dean of Instruction Stan ton Langworthy got the word first at 7:10 P.M. by way of a telephone call made by his daughter from Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Utterly amazed, the Dean verified the bombshell message by tuning into a radio broadcast, after which he placed a call to Dr.Robinson. Getting a busy signal, Dr. Langworthy, foreseeing a busy evening ahead, made his way to Holly Bush. Dean of Administration Ward Broomall and College Housing Coordinator Richard Smith, taking advantage of one of Glassboro 's infrequent lulls, had just started a golf match on the Tall Pines greens, when Dr. Broomall was called to the telephone. Returning, he informed his partner, "You will not believe this. President Johnson and Premier Kosygin will be on campus tomorrow for a Summit Meeting." The time was about 7:00 P.M. Ten minutes later Broomall and Smith reported to Holly Bush for duty. Driving home on the New Jersey Turnpike from a meeting in Newark, Business Manager Walter Campbell was riveted to attention by a broadcast announcing the Summit Meeting at Glassboro. At first Mr. Campbell suspected he was hearing things, but soon realized that the report was genuine and that his next few days would be busy. Upon reaching his Pitman home at about 7:30 P.M., the Business Manager found a message from Dr. Robinson urging him to report immediately to Holly Bush.
Earlier at the Holly Bush Mansion itself, the unsuspecting President Robinson, fighting a temptation to take his first swim of the year in the college pool, awaited Governor Hughes' visit. At 6:42 P.M. his telephone rang and a voice asked the incredible question: "Tom, how are you going to take care of President Johnson and Premier Kosygin?" The voice belonged to this book's author who, two minutes before, had heard with disbelief the Summit announcement by way of the Huntley Brinkley television news program. This was the first time the Master of Holly Bush had heard about the Summit Meeting location. After this very brief call, Dr. Robinson received official word of the meeting from the White House, together with the news that the White House staff was departing for Glassboro.
At about 7:00 P.M. Governor Hughes arrived at Holly Bush to inform the College President that a gathering of greater import than a group of state legislators would be at Glassboro on the following day. Before leaving to keep a previously scheduled speaking engagement at Gloucester County 's Annual John F. Kennedy Memorial Dinner, held in the Woodbury Country Club, the Governor told Dr. Robinson that he had alerted the State Police and members of his State House staff and that they would be at Glassboro shortly to hold preliminary strategy meetings. Governor Hughes also promised to cut his speech short to enable him to return for the conferences.
The Governor's departure left the College President all alone, plagued by the continuous ringing of telephones. For a short while at least, he was a general without an army, facing the biggest campaign of his career.