Bill Baird's Visits

Bill Baird

The press greets Baird upon his arrival in Oshkosh. 1971

During a state-wide debate about access to contraception, UW Oshkosh invited nationally recognized reproductive health activist, William “Bill” Baird to speak on campus. Baird’s arrival came 18 months after his first visit to Oshkosh. In January 1970, en route to Ripon College he was arrested on an Ashland County warrant. During a speech at Ashland’s Northland College, he had publically displayed contraceptives or “indecent articles,” a practice prohibited under Wisconsin law. Prior to 1976, contraception was required to be hidden from view in retail environments and was not allowed to be shown for demonstrations of any kind. Coming to UW Oshkosh in 1971, with the same intention to discuss contraception, Baird again risked arrest. During his speech in Albee Hall, he displayed his “indecent articles,” and argued for safe abortion practices. Baird, aware of Dr. Cunningham’s opinions, said that he “should run the hell out of town.” This time, the authorities left Baird alone.

Bill Baird with his indecent articles

Baird publicly displays his “indecent articles” in Albee Hall. 1971