Mark Rudd, a 1960s' radical just turned 30, emerged from seven years underground today to the calm of the 1970s in which the rhetoric that once propelled him onto front pages had no echoes.
"A new society will develop out of this revolutionary movement." Rudd proclaimed to 1,000 students at Kent State University in 1968.
This month, a campus newspaper poll of 100 freshmen at Columbia University - which Rudd was instrumental in closing down in 1968 - found that only eight could identify Rudd.
Columbia students are preparing a television documentary on what changes the 1960s campus upheaval brought to the university. They found no lasting effects, one participant said today.
Indeed, the change in Columbia making news when registration began this fall was that freshmen wore beanies for the first time since Rudd's student days eight years ago.
Rudd, who borrowed Che Guevara's slogan "create two, three, many Vietnams" and made it "create two, three, many Columbias," went underground in April, 1970 rather than appear in criminal court here to answer misdemeanor charges stemming from the student occupation of the Columbia campus.
He has been a leader of Columbia's chapter of Students for a Democratic Society and of the radical Weathermen , who took their name from a line in a Bob Dylan song that reads. "You don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows." He is believed to still be an active member of the successor organization, the Weather Underground.
Rudd kept his current political and other views to himself today as he pushed his way through reporters struggling to catch his thoughts.
"I have on thing to say." Rudd finally said when he found a photographer backed into the revolving door of the Manhattan district attorney's office building, making it impossible for him to enter and surrender. "Excuse me, can I go in?"
The former student leader who once harangued crowds with the aid of a bull horn also remarked quietly to his attorney, Gerald Lefcourt. "I hope nobody picks my pocket" as he struggled through the reporters.
If another example of how times have changed since Rudd disappeared and became the target of an unsuccessful FBI search, complete with "Wanted" posters, the prosecutor agreed with Lefcourt at the arraignment and recommended that Rudd be released without bail.
The prosecutor described the fugitive of seven years as a "reasonable" risk to appear at a hearing set for Oct. 13. The changes against him here are jumping bail, criminal trespass unlawful assembly, criminal solicitation and obstructing governmental administration - all misdemeanors.
Rudd faces other misdemeanor charges in Chicago and will fly there for arraignment Thursday, his attorney said.
The Chicago charges arise from the "Days of Rage" the Weathermen staged in October of 1909 in which young radicals weating helmets and brandishing sticks, smashed windows and dented ears as they ran through the streets with the police in hot pusuit.
Almost nothing is known of Rudd's life since he disappeared to become part of the Weather Underground. In 1970, which a Greenwhich Village house exploded, killing three Weather Underground members, it was thought for a few hours that Rudd was one of the victims. The house was being used to build bombs for the violent actions to which the Weather Underground had turned.
No revolutionary action was too strong. Rudd said in a 1969 speech, adding that it was "good to be violent against the pigs."
The Weather Underground claims responsibility for a bomb explosion in the U.S. Capitol and for aiding Timothy Leary, the apostle of hallucinogenic drugs, escape from prison.
In recent years, however, the Weather Underground has laid claim to no acts fof violence. In 1975, explanations started surfacing that the underground was starting an "inversion" process in which its members would gradually become public once again.
Two members, Robert Toth and Phoebe Hirsch, who voluntarily surrendered to authorities earlier this year, were each sentenced to two years' probation and $1,000 fines Tuesday in Chicago.
Although Rudd's reasons for surrendering remained unclear today, his father guessed that: "He's 30 years old. You get too old to be a revolutionary.It's time to start something new."