The first major demonstrations protested on-campus recruiting for the Dow Chemical Company, which supplied napalm used in the Vietnam War.
Police clashed with students, prompting the Legislature to suggest that it take over the university, and one senator to say: "We should shoot them if necessary."
UW Police Chief Ralph Hanson was on the bullhorn. “This is an unlawful assembly” he said “We are going to clear the place out.”
The day before, the San Francisco Mime Troupe that had been performing in Madison, announced at it's show that they will be at the next days protest.
Dow Chemical, who at that time was manufacturing Napalm, was on the UW Madison campus recruiting. Anti war supporters didn’t believe
the University should be allowing Dow to use facilities for their interviews.
The students, including future mayor Paul Soglin, were amassed in a sit-down. The hallway of the
was made impassable to make things difficult for the interviews.
After Hanson issued his final call for the students to leave cops entered the building. They started swinging their nightsticks but initially were pushed back.
Police regrouped and re-entered, a melee ensued. Students could hear sounds they had never heard before, they realized it was the sound of people having their
bodies hit with nightsticks. “It was like a basketball bouncing on the floor, or hitting a watermelon with a baseball bat. They weren't arresting people, they
were beating people.”
In all about 75 people were injured, mostly students. However, the most seriously injured were the police.
“Two Days in October” – A documentary on Dow Day with footage and interviews of many involved
including; Paul Soglin, Faculty, Police, and Students.