Four young men from Wichita were charging that the Boys State program, which had met for its annual session on the Kansas University campus in June, was too militaristic in its regulations, particularly those regarding hair length. The information provided to the boys before the session informed them of the requirement of “a decent masculine-type haircut with sideburns no longer than mid-ear.” Also, “Staters must be clean-shaven at all times.” Other complaints included marching in formation several miles a day, wearing of military-style caps, and “white-glove treatment” in checking quarters every day. The Boys State executive director contended that all the regulations had a logical basis -- the caps helped identify staters, and the marches were only from the dormitory area to Murphy Hall and were only intended to provide an orderly way to move 1,200 people.
An enthusiastic group of Lawrence High School students had been working hard at fund-raising events to benefit a friend and 1970 graduate who was in fair condition after a car accident. They had established a fund at the First National Bank on June 18 and had raised $700 as of a month later.