1. For background on Norman Thomas, see Vol. VI, note 52.
2. For background on A. Philip Randolph, see Vol. V, note 111.
3. George Baldanzie (1907–1972) was born in Black Diamond, Pennsylvania. He began working in local coal mines, but moved to Paterson, New Jersey where he secured employment in a textile mill. He helped found and became the first president of the Federation of Dyers (1933–1936), affiliated with the United Textile Workers of America. Baldanzie became a leading advocate in UTW for affiliation with the Congress of Industrial Organizations. He was elected president of the UTW-Textile Workers Organizing Committee in 1938, and when it was reorganized into the Textile Workers Union, he served as executive vice-president from 1939 to 1952. Baldanzie also served on the CIO executive board. In 1952 he ran for the TWU presidency but lost, and was stripped of his offices.
For background on Frank Crosswaith, see Vol. VI, pp. 215–16, 506, note 135.
For background on Howard Kester, see Vol. VI, note 142.
Leo Krzycki (1881–1966), a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, became a lithographer, and eventually rose to the office of general vice-president (1904–1908). He was elected to several city offices on the Socialist ticket before becoming an organizer for the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America in 1920, and then vice-president in 1922. In 1936, John L. Lewis appointed Krzycki a CIO organizer in the rubber industry.
John C. Lawson (1900- ) was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, immigrated to Vermont, and entered the stone quarries of Graniteville. For fifteen years he served as local president of the United Stone and Allied Products Workers of America before election to the union’s executive board from 1930 to 1945. He was appointed USA-PWA international organizer in 1934, and was elected secretary-treasurer.
For background on Henry L. Mitchell, see Vol. VI, note 142.
4. For background on William Green, see Vol. VI, note 52. For background on John L. Lewis, see Vol. VI, note 68 and note 126.
5. Warren Homer Martin (1902–1968) graduated from William Jewell College in Missouri in 1928, and attended the Kansas City Baptist Theological Seminary. He served as a pastor in 1931, but quit to take a job at a Chevrolet plant in 1932. When he became local president of the AFL affiliated United Automobile Workers in 1934, Martin was discharged so he moved to Detroit. There he organized a UAW local and became its president in 1936. He led the UAW into the CIO, but lost control of the local in 1939, then led a small group of UAW members back to the AFL. Martin left the union movement and became active in the Democratic Party of Michigan. In 1961 he moved to Los Angeles where he died.
Roy Wilkins (1901–1981) was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1923. He worked for the Kansas City Call until 1931 when he became the assistant executive-secretary of the NAACP. In 1934, Wilkins was appointed editor of The Crisis. When Walter White (see note 16) died in 1955, Wilkins became executive-secretary of the NAACP, a position he held until his retirement in 1977. As the head of the NAACP, Wilkins served during the years of the modern civil rights struggle, and he was a key leader in that effort. He received many honors for his public service including the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1969).
For the background on Benjamin J. Davis, Jr., see Vol. VI, note 123.
6. Henry Johnson’s reminiscence was recorded by a Works Progress Adminiministration worker in 1937, and the transcript is in the WPA’s “Negro in Illinois” survey deposited at the George Cleveland Hall Branch of the Chicago Public Library. Johnson was born in Siblo, Texas, and his father was a logger, plasterer, and farmer who had been a member of the International Workers of the World. Henry Johnson followed a parapetetic life living in numerous cities. He also worked at a number of jobs including plasterer, bricklayer, singer, and union organizer. He even found time to graduate from City College of New York (1934). In 1932, he began work as an organizer for the International Workers’ Order, an organization founded by the Communist Party. He enlisted in the CIO drive to organize Chicago’s steel industry in 1936, and in 1937 became an organizer for the CIO in meatpacking. Johnson also was active in the National Negro Congress who “loaned” him to the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (CIO) to organize in the mills of Gary, Indiana, in early 1937. By 1938, Johnson was assistant national director of the Packinghouse Organizing Committee.
7. The Scottsboro Case revealed the worst aspect of race relations in twentieth-century America. On March 31, 1931, nine black youths were indicted at Scottsboro, Alabama, for the alleged rape of two white women, Ruby Bates and Victoria Price. Eight of the boys (one escaped) were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death, although both women proved dubious plaintiffs and one later recanted her testimony. The trial became a cause célèbre for those who believed that the charges against the youths had not been proven, and that their convictions stemmed from racial prejudice. Defense efforts won the boys a retrial in which the death penalties were commuted, but sentences still ranged up to ninety-nine years. Eventually, all were freed. The ninth youth, who remained a fugitive for many years, finally surfaced in New York City and received a pardon in 1977.
8. Edward E. Cox (1880–1952) was born in Camilla, Georgia, graduated from Mercer University’s law school in 1902, and served in the United States Congress from 1925 until his death.
9. The Farmer-Labor Party was formed in 1920 by members of the Progressive Party, and chiefly in the Midwest. Its membership was composed of farmers and laborers, as its name implied, who advocated public ownership of utilities, the establishment of government banks, farm relief measures, and progressive labor legislation. In 1924, it joined Robert La Follette Progressive Party.
10. For background on Henry Ford, see Vol. VI, note 78.
The “Memorial Day Massacre” occurred on May 30, 1937. The Steel Workers Organizing Committee failed to gain recognition from Little Steel, composed of Republic Steel, Bethlehem, Inland and Youngstown Sheet and Tube, and 70,000 steel workers walked out on strike. Little Steel was led by Tom M. Girdler, president of Republic Steel. The bitterness of the 1937 strike was highlighted at Republic’s South Chicago plant on May 30, when families of strikers were strolling across a field toward a meeting and were attacked by police. During the assault, ten strikers were shot (seven in the back) thirty were wounded and sixty required medical attention from the beatings they received.
“The Hearsts” refers to the Hearst family, whose fortune was founded in a newspaper chain. The Hearsts were ardently anti-labor.
12. The reference to Samuel Johnson’s comment comes from James Boswell’s recollection of a woman who, in referring to Johnson’s dictionary, once asked the famous author “how he came to define Pastern the knee of a horse; instead of making an elaborate defence, as she expected, he at once answered, ‘Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.’” See Boswell’s Life of Johnson, G. B. Hill and L. F. Powell (eds.), 6 Vols. (Oxford, 1934–50), I, pp. 293.
13. “I.R.T.” refers to the Inter-Regional Transit Authority.
14. Michael Joseph Quill (1905–1966) was born in Ireland, and immigrated to the United States in 1926. One of the founders of the Transport Workers Union of America (1934), Quill was elected president in 1935. He led the union into the CIO in 1937, and joined its executive board. Quill was active in New York City politics, serving several times as a city councilman from the Bronx. A member of the American Labor Party. Quill resigned during the late 1940’s, and led a reorganization of the New York CIO Council which eliminated Communist influence. In 1950, he became a CIO vice-president. Early in his career Quill was a Communist, but toward the end he became militantly anti-Communist.
15. For background on the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., see Vol. VI, note 52.
16. Vito Marcantonio (1902–1954) was born in New York and graduated from New York University in 1925 with a degree in law. He was elected as a Republican to the United States Congress in 1935, but failed to gain reelection. From 1939 to 1951, however, he served in Congress as a member of the American Labor Party. In 1949, Marcantonio ran for mayor of New York, but lost, and served as president of International Labor Defense.
Walter F. White (1893–1955) was born in Atlanta, Georgia. While his family was spared in the race riot of 1906, he always remembered the scenes of brutality against blacks. After graduation from Atlanta University, White did postgraduate work in economics and sociology at the College of the City of New York. After becoming assistant secretary of the NAACP, White played a leading role in investigating lynchings. When James Weldon Johnson (see Vol. V, n 99) resigned his post as executive-secretary of the NAACP in 1930, White replaced him, and remained in the post until his death.
17. The New Negro Alliance of Washington, D.C. was founded during the Great Depression to combat employment discrimination against blacks by white-owned businesses in the ghetto. Its motto was “Buy Where You Work—Buy Where You Clerk,” and its primary weapon was the boycott. The Alliance’s most noteworthy campaign in Washington was against Peoples Drug Store.
18. The Norris-La Guardia Act (1932) was the first attempt to erect safeguards against the misuse of the injunction in labor disputes. By forbidding injunctions which would sustain “yellow dog” contracts or prevent boycotts and picketing, the act was a major gain for organized labor.
19. Abram L. Harris (1899–1963), a native of Richmond, Virginia, graduated from Virginia Union University in 1922, and received an M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1924. In 1931, he earned a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University. Harris was an instructor at West Virginia State College before he went to the Minneapolis Urban League in 1925. He became a professor of economics at Howard University, head of the department in 1931, and spent the remainder of his career at Howard. His writings include, The Black Worker (with Sterling Spero) published in 1931, The Negro as Capitalist (1936), and Economics and Social Reform (1958).
20. For background on Booker T. Washington, see Vol. IV, note 8.
21. For background on W. E. B. Du Bois, see Vol. IV, note 136.
22. Alain Leroy Locke (1886–1954), was a native Philadelphian who attended Harvard University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation in 1907, he received a Rhodes Scholarship for two years of study at Oxford University. Returning to America in 1912, Locke became a professor at Howard University, and earned the Ph.D. from Harvard in 1918. Locke became chairman of the department of philosophy at Howard, where he remained until his retirement in 1953. Among his numerous works are The New Negro (1925), his most well-known contribution.
23. See Abram L. Harris, The Negro As Capitalist; A Study of Banking and Business Among American Negroes (Philadelphia, 1936).
24. For background on William Pickens, see Vol. V, note 64.
25. For background on Matthew Woll, see Vol. VI, note 72. For John P. Frey, see Vol. V, note 31.
26. A poll tax is levied upon a person rather than property, and although usually small, it is regressive in that it bears no relationship to ability to pay. Many southern states required payment of a poll tax as a prerequisite to voting in order to discourage Negroes from exercising the franchise. In 1964 the Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution prohibited the poll tax in federal elections.
27. For background on Earl Browder, see Vol. VI, note 116.
28. Walter T. Hardin was born in Tennessee, moved to Johnstown, Pennsylvania and joined the Industrial Workers of the World. He was active in the 1919 steel strike in Johnstown through the Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers. Hardin became a Communist, and in 1929 moved to Pontiac, Michigan. During the 1930’s, he was an organizer for the Auto Workers Union (Communist), and was a leader of the hunger marches and anti-eviction demonstrations in that city. Subsequently, he quit the party, and in 1937 became an organizer for the United Auto Workers-CIO.
29. “Fred Thomas” refers to Rolland J. Thomas (1900–1967). Born in East Palestine, Ohio, Thomas was forced to drop out of Wooster College to find employment. In 1923, he went to work for Fisher Body in Detroit, and in 1929 for Chrysler, also in Detroit. In 1930, Thomas was elected president of Local 7 of the United Automobile Workers. The following year he was elected UAW vice-president, and in 1939 was elected international president. During World War II, he served on several national boards, including the War Labor Board, and became a CIO vice-president. In 1946, Walter Reuther (see note 190) defeated Thomas for the UAW presidency, but Thomas was elected first vice-president. Following the AFL-CIO merger, he became an assistant to its president, George Meany (see note 229).
30. “Martin” refers to Warren Homer Martin (see note 5). “Hoover” refers to Herbert Hoover (see note 90). “Girdler” refers to Tom M. Girdler (see note 10).
31. Horace R. Cayton and George S. Mitchell, Black Workers and the New Unions (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1939).
32. For Paul Robeson, see pages 492, 587–612.
33. Willard S. Townsend (1895–1957) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. An Afro-American, Townsend received a B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, and an LLB from the Blackstone College of Law in Chicago. He worked variously as a redcap, a dining-car waiter, a teacher, and again as a redcap in the 1930’s. In 1936, he founded the AFL Labor Auxiliary of Redcaps in Chicago, and became its first president. He organized an independent Brotherhood of Redcaps in Chicago (1938), which was given an international charter by the CIO in 1942, and he became a member of the CIO executive board that year. In 1940, he was elected vice-president of the National Urban League. After the AFL-CIO merger in 1955, he was elected a vice-president and executive council member. Townsend also authored what the Negro Wants (1944), and Full Employment and the Negro Workers (1945).
34. Philip Murray (1886–1952) was born in Scotland, and entered the coal mines at age ten. After immigrating to the United States in 1902, and settling in western Pennsylvania, Murray became active in the United Mine Workers of America. He rose through the ranks to become a vice-president in 1919. Active in the CIO organizing drives of the late 1930s, he was appointed chairman of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (1936–1942), and elected president of the CIO in 1940. Because of differences with John L. Lewis, Murray was expelled from the UMWA in 1942. He led strikes against the steel industry in 1946, 1949, and 1952. Murray also served on numerous public commissions, and was a member of the NAACP executive committee.
35. The “Green-Woll-Hutcheson Clique” refers to key figures in the AFL leadership: William Green, president of the AFL (see Vol VI, note 52); Matthew Woll of the AFL executive council, and one of the most conservative craft unionists (see Vol. VI, note 72); William L. Hutcheson (1874–1953), long-time president of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters (1915–1951), and opponent of CIO industrial unionism.
36. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was a minister, civil rights leader, and controversial congressman from New York City. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, November 29, 1908, Powell graduated from Colgate University in 1930, and became assistant pastor of his father’s church in Harlem, where the elder Powell had gathered the largest religious congregation in America. When Harlem became a congressional district in 1944, Powell ran for office as an independent and was elected to consecutive terms until 1967. He had numerous legislative successes, especially in the field of equal employment opportunity. However, he often irritated members of Congress less supportive of civil rights by his constant use of the so-called “Powell amendment,” a rider designed to make government color-blind when dispensing government funds. In March 1967, the House of Representatives stripped him of his seat because of a number of dubious practices, which included making a European “junket” at government expense, ignoring a court order, and a fifteen-year legal battle with the Internal Revenue Service. The Supreme Court later declared the House action illegal and, after a final losing bid for office in 1970, Powell retired to the Bahamas, where he died of cancer on April 4, 1972.
37. “Green, Frey, and Wharton” are references to leading figures in the AFL: William Green, president of the AFL (see Vol. VI, note 52), John P. Frey (see Vol. V, note 31), and Arthur O. Wharton (1873–1944) who served as president of the International Association of Machinists from 1926 to 1939. He was known as the AFL’s “archpriest of craft exclusivism.”
38. For background on William Z. Foster, see Vol. V, note 114.
39. For background on James W. Ford, see Vol. VI, note 115.
40. Benjamin Careathers, a black Communist who led hunger marchers that won public relief for the unemployed, personally enrolled nearly 2,000 steel workers in the Pittsburgh area, most of them blacks. He won public praise from Philip Murray for unionizing the Jones-Laughlin steel mill at Aliquippa.
41. William N. Jones, managing editor of the Baltimore Afro-American, one of the leading Negro weeklies in the United States, was nominated as William Z. Foster’s vice-presidential running-mate on the 1932 Communist Party ticket.
For background on Lester Granger, see Vol. VI, note 115.
42. William J. Walls (b. 1885) received an A.B. degree from Livingstone College in 1908, and a B.D. degree in 1913. A native of North Carolina, between 1920 and 1924 he served as editor of the Charlotte Star of Zion. He also became a bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and chairman of its board of publications. Bishop Walls was a member of the President’s American Clergymen’s Committee, and served on the executive board of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States.
43. For background on Robert L. Vann, see Vol. VI, note 59.
44. For background on T. Arnold Hill, see Vol. V, note 135.
45. For the definitive account of the campaign to make lynching a federal crime, see Robert L. Zangrando, The NAACP Crusade Against Lynching, 1909–1950 (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1980).
46. For background on George S. Schuyler, see Vol. VI, note 7.
47. David J. McDonald (1902- ), of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, entered the steel mills at age fifteen. He became a secretary to Philip Murray (see note 34) of the United Mine Workers. In 1936, Murray appointed him secretary-treasurer of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, and continued in that capacity after the United Steelworkers of America was founded in 1942. He became president of USWA following Murray’s death in 1952, and in 1955 was elected a vice-president in the newly merged AFL-CIO. In the 1960s, McDonald was criticized for being “soft” with management, and in 1965 was unseated by I. W. Able.
48. For background on Brookwood Labor College, located at Katanah, New York, see Vol. VI, note 129.
49. John Mitchell, Jr. (b. 1863) was born a slave in Henrico County, Virginia. In 1883–84 he worked as a reporter for the black newspaper, The Richmond Planet, before assuming the position of editor and transformed it into the leading black journal in the state.
50. Louis H. Redding, a Wilmington, Delaware attorney, was educated at Brown University before receiving a law degree from Harvard University. Redding was active in the NAACP, and in 1950 won Parker V. University of Delaware, which obtained admission of blacks as undergraduates at the University of Delaware. In 1954, he successfully argued the Delaware cases on public school desegregation before the U.S. Supreme Court, which were part of Brown v. Board of Education, invalidating racial segregation in public education.
51. For the most authoritative analysis of blacks and the strike at Ford Motor Company, see August Meier and Elliott Rudwick, Black Detroit and the Rise of the UAW (New York, 1979).
52. George “Edmonds” refers to Edmunds, a black organizer for the United Mine Workers of America. Between about 1910 and the early 1930s, Edmunds served as an international representative of the UMWA. He was called from retirement by CIO head, John L. Lewis, to work as an organizer for the Steel Workers Organizing Committee.
53. See George W. Lee, Beale Street: Where the Blues Began (College Park, Maryland, 1969, originally 1934).
54. Arthur W. Mitchell (1883–1968) was born in Chambers County Alabama, attended Tuskegee Institute, Columbia University, and Harvard University. An Afro-American, Mitchell taught school in Alabama and founded Armstrong Agricultural School in West Butler, Alabama. In 1927, he began practicing law in Washington, D.C., but moved his practice to Chicago in 1929. He was a delegate to the Democratic Convention of 1936 and 1940, and was the first black American to address a national convention. From 1935 to 1943 he served as a Democrat in the United States Congress.
55. Romare Bearden (1914- ) was born in North Carolina, and graduated from New York University. One of America’s primier artists, Bearden painted and then changed to a medium of collage and painting. He is famous for his rendition of black ghetto life. Bearden first gained widespread recognition during the World War II Era with his mural of Negro aspirations.
56. “Men like Gary, Schwab and Carnegie” refers to three of the most powerful steel magnates in the United States: Elbert H. Gary, and Charles M. Schwab, both of whom were associated with the United States Steel Corporation, and Andrew Carnegie, who sold his own steel mills to U.S. Steel.
57. Noel Beddow was an attorney, and the chief compliance officer for the National Recovery Administration in Alabama. He was appointed executive-secretary of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee.
58. Luther Patrick (1894–1957) was born in Morgan County, Alabama, attended Louisiana State University, Purdue University, and in 1918 received a law degree from the University of Alabama. The author of numerous books of poetry, Patrick also worked as a radio commentator before entering politics. From 1937 to 1943 he served in the United States Congress as a Democratic representative of Alabama.
59. The American Liberty League (1934–1940) opposed what it regarded as the excesses of President Roosevelt’s New Deal programs, particularly those related to labor. Among the leaders of this bipartisan organization were Jouett Shouse, John W. Davis, and Alfred E. Smith. Financial support came from wealthy industrialists, and although the League spent one million in a campaign against Roosevelt, his overwhelming election in 1936 destroyed the organization.
60. Martin Dies served in Congress as a Texas Democrat from 1931 to 1945, and again from 1953 to 1959. Dies headed the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was formed as a temporary investigative committee in 1938 to advance the career of the Texas congressman who served as its chairman. Dies was particularly active in his investigation of communist activity in the union movement. Like his more famous clone, Joseph McCarthy, Dies employed character assassination as a means for emphasizing his own “patriotism.”
61. William A. Mitch (1881– ), the son of an Ohio coal miner, entered the pits in 1894. He became involved in union work early, and served the United Mine Workers of America as a traveling auditor, then as secretary-treasurer of District 11 (Indiana) from 1915 to 1931. In 1933, Mitch reorganized District 20 (Alabama), along with William Dalrymple, and black UMWA organizer Walter Jones. He led a srike for union recognition in Alabama in 1934, and succeeded in gaining the dues check-off among ninety per cent of the operators. He served as president of District 20 from 1933 until 1946, and as president of the Alabama State Federation of Labor from 1933 to 1937. In 1936, Mitch was appointed director of the southern region of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, and then president of the Alabama State Industrial Union Council.
62. “Mellons and Rockefellers and Morgans” refers to three of America’s most powerful financiers: Andrew W. Mellon, John D. Rockefeller, and John P. Morgan.
63. Joseph E. Curran (1906- ) was born in New York, and in 1922 began his career as a seaman. He joined the International Seamen’s Union in 1935, and led a wildcat strike aboard the S. S. California. When the men were discharged, a protracted strike on the east coast led to the formation of the National Maritime Union, a rival of the ISU. Curran was elected president of the NMU in 1937, and became a CIO vice-president in 1941. After the AFL-CIO merger in 1955, Curran also served as a vice-president of the organization and as a member of the executive board. He retired as president of the NMU in 1973.
64. “Faruseth” is a misspelling of Andrew Furuseth.
The Morro Castle disaster of September 1934, was a mysterious tragedy at sea which took 135 lives. The cruise ship Morro Castle was homebound fromHavana, Cuba, to New York. On September 7, the captain died of a heart failure, and shortly thereafter a fire of unknown origin was discovered. The acting captain, William Warms, failed to order a slower speed and heavy winds fanned the flames. An SOS was not ordered until the radio cabin was engulfed in flames. What followed was a demonstration of poorly trained seamen and officers. Fortunately, the ship was only six miles from the New Jersey coast. Convictions of the ship’s officers for negligence eventually were overturned in a higher court.
65. Sir William Schwenck Gilbert (1836–1911) and Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan (1842–1900) were a writer-musical composer team who created numerous light operas, including “H.M.S. Pinafore” (1878), “The Pirates of Penzance” (1879), “The Mikado” (1885). They are known as the “Savoy Operas” because most of them were produced at the Savoy Theatre in London.
66. See Upton Sinclair, The Jungle, (New York, 1905).
67. Lillian Gaskins was a black woman of Harlem who was active in organizing the dressmakers, and who served as a delegate on the International Ladies Garment Workers’ Union executive board.
For background on Ashley Totten, see Vol. VI, note 43.
68. For background on William Pickens, see Vol. V, note 64.
Max Yergan (1894- ) was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, graduated from Shaw University (1914), and in 1916 entered service with the international Young Men’s Christian Association. His work took him abroad to India, South America, and the Middle East. Most of his service was in Africa, however, and from 1937 to 1948, Yergan served as director of the Council on African Affairs. During this period he also served a term as president of the National Negro Congress. He received numerous awards for social service, including the Harmon Award (1928) for his work in South Africa, and the Spingarn Medal (1933), also for service in South Africa.
69. Ferdinand C. Smith was a black Communist from Jamaica who helped found the National Maritime Union, and became its first secretary and vice-president. He was branded an “undesirable alien” by the Truman administration during the “red baiting” of the early 1950s. In August 1951, he chose to leave the United States and return to his native land of Jamaica.
70. For background on Frederick Douglass, see Vol. I, notes 8, 12 and 21; on Nat Turner, see Vol. I, note 2; on Denmark Vesey, see Vol. I, note 2; on Soujourner Truth, see Vol. II, note 86.
Gabriel Prosser planned a slave revolt in Virginia to be launched on August 30, 1800. Over 1,000 slaves amassed about six miles from Richmond for the march on the city, but a violent storm scattered the rebels, and Governor James Monroe quickly sent in 600 troops. Scores of slaves were arrested, and thirty-five were executed, including Gabriel Prosser himself.
Harriet Tubman, fugitive slave and abolitionist, became a legendary figure on the Underground Railroad. Born to slave parents in Maryland, probably in 1821, she made her escape to freedom about 1849, by following the north star. Throughout the 1850s, she made repeated journeys into slave territory to lead other fugitives, including her parents, to freedom. Undoubtedly, one reason for the phenomenal success of her reported 300 journeys into slave states was the enforced rule of death to any slave who turned back. Her exploits were known to most of the leading abolitionists, including John Brown who sought her counsel for the Harper’s Ferry raid in 1859. When the Civil War began, she served as an army cook and nurse, and became a spy and guide for Union forays into Maryland and Virginia. After the war, she managed a home for indigent and aged Negroes until her death on March 10, 1913. Harriet Tubman was buried with full military honors.
71. The “Townsend Plan” was introduced by Francis Everett Townsend (1867–1960), a Long Beach, California, physician. It called for a $200 per month pension to all persons over sixty. The funds were to be raised through a sales tax, issued in script which had to be spent within a month. Townsend’s plan and organizational efforts resulted in a pressure group estimated at nearly thirty million. After passage of the Social Security Act (1935) the Townsend Plan lost its appeal.
72. Benito Mussolini (1883–1945) a former socialist and editor of Avanti, turned Fascist in the 1920s and rose to become Dictator of Italy on December 31, 1923. Siding with Adolph Hitler during World War II, he fell from power as the Nazis withdrew from Italy. On July 25, 1943, he resigned and was placed under arrest. On April 28, 1945, Mussolini was executed by Italian anti-Fascist forces.
73. For background on Marcus Garvey, the “provisional president” of the Universal Negro Improvement Association, see Vol. VI, note 32.
74. Equal Rights probably refers to the National Equal Rights League, background on which may be found in Vol. VI, note 112. For the American Negro Labor Congress, see Vol. VI, pp. 436–45. For the referred to “Sanhedrin,” see Vol. VI, note 18.
75. For background on Walter Winchell and Walter Lippman, see Vol. VI, note 113.
76. The National Movement for the Establishment of a Forty-Ninth State was an ideological offshoot of the black nationalist movement led by Marcus Garvey. Instead of a new state in Africa, however, it contemplated the creation of a separate (49th) state for Negroes within the United States. For Marcus Garvey, see Vol. VI, note 32.
77. Thomas Kennedy (1887–1963), son of a Pennsylvania coal miner, started work in the mines at twelve. He became the secretary-treasurer of his United Mine Workers local, and began a steady ascent in the organization. From 1910 to 1925, he served as District president in the anthracite fields, as UMWA international secretary-treasurer from 1925 to 1947, and then as international vice-president, 1947–1960. When John L. Lewis retired, Kennedy became president, but old and ill, he left the office in the hands of Tony Boyle. Kennedy served on many national boards, and was elected lieutenant-governor of Pennsylvania in 1934. He made a bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1938, but was defeated.
78. Hugo L. Black (1886–1971) became a prominent Birmingham, Alabama, lawyer, and then served in the U.S. Senate (1927–1937), where he fought against big-business combinations and led the fight for passage of the Fair Labor Standards Act. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1937, where he continued to support strong social welfare and civil liberties legislation.
79. For background on Bishop Richard Allen, see Vol. I, note 2.
80. Charles H. Wesley (1891- ), a native of Louisville, Kentucky, graduated from Fisk University before receiving his M.A. from Yale University in 1913. Subsequently, Wesley earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University (1925) and a D.D. from Wilberforce University (1928). He joined the Howard University history department in 1914 and served as its chairman from 1921 to 1942. He also served as executive director and as president of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Wesley is the author of numerous books including Negro Labor in the United States, 1850–1925.
Crystal Bird Fauset (d. March 28, 1965) was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1938. She was the first black woman elected to a state legislature in the United States.
81. For background on Mayor Fiorello La Guardia, see Vol. VI, note 52.
82. For the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution, see Vol. I, note 14. The Fourteenth Amendment became law in 1868. By far the most detailed of the three Civil War Amendments, it established Negro citizenship and denied the states the right to abridge citizenship privileges of blacks without “due process of the law.” It was this clause which provided the basis on which the modern civil rights movement was founded.
83. For background on Richard B. Moore, see Vol. VI, note 60.
84. Rex Ingram, stage and film actor, played such roles as “De Lawd” in the film The Green Pastures (1936), and the Genie of the Lamp in The Thief of Bagdad (1940). Ingram was one of the few established black actors of the thirties and forties who could command a significant salary for his work.
85. Loren Miller’s father was born a slave and eventually moved to Pender, Nebraska, where Loren was born in 1903. He attended the University of Kansas and Howard University, and received a law degree from Washburn Law School. Miller practiced law in Los Angeles, and published the California Eagle. A vice-president of the NAACP, he argued numerous racial discrimination cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. See Loren Miller, The Petitioners: The Story of the Supreme Court of the United States and the Negro (New York, 1966).
86. Sterling A. Brown (1901- ) was born in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Williams College (1922) and received an M.A. from Harvard in 1923. He taught at several universities and was professor of English at Howard University. A prolific poet and author, his books include Southern Road (1932), The Negro in American Fiction (1938), and The Negro Caravan (1941).
87. Ben Gold (1898- ) was born in Russia and immigrated to the United States in 1910. He joined the International Fur Workers Union in 1913 and was elected to the Furriers’ Joint Board in 1919. For joining the Communist faction in the union he was suspended from the union in 1924, but was soon reinstated. From 1925 to 1929, he served as Manager of the New York Furriers’ Joint Board. After leading the general strike in 1926 he was expelled from the IFWU for being a Communist. He served as president of the Communist-organized Needle Trade Workers Industrial Union after 1928, and in 1937 after the two unions merged, Gold was elected president. In 1950, Gold resigned from the Communist Party, but was indicted in 1954, nevertheless, and he gave up his position in the furriers’ union.
88. Robert M. La Follette, Jr. (1895–1953) was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and attended the University of Wisconsin. From 1919 to 1925 he was his father’s private secretary, served as vice-president of the Robert M. La Follette (his father) and Burton K. Wheeler presidential campaign of 1924, and in 1925 was elected to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the death of his father. He was reelected in 1928 and served in the Senate until 1947.
89. John Brophy (1883–1963) was born in England, the son of a coal miner. He immigrated with his family to Pennsylvania in 1892. At age twelve he entered the mines, joined the United Mine Workers of America in 1899, and became the union’s leading advocate for nationalization of the coal industry. He became president of District 2 (Central Pennsylvania), and when John L. Lewis abandoned the miners’ strike of 1922, Brophy continued the strike against the orders of Lewis. Along with other anti-Lewis forces, he formed the Save the Union Committee which unsuccessfully supported Brophy against Lewis in the presidential election of 1926. After a reconciliation with Lewis, Brophy was appointed UMWA organizer, 1933–1935, and then national director of the CIO, 1935–1939. For a number of years he organized steel and auto workers, and in 1951 became director of the CIO’s department of industrial union councils. Brophy retired in 1961.
90. “Chief G-Man Hoover” refers to John Edgar Hoover (1895–1972). He was born in Washington, D.C, and graduated from George Washington University in 1916. In 1924, he became the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a position he retained until his death.
91. John Allen was a very effective black organizer for the STFU. He was driven off the plantation where he was working in Eastern Arkansas. For a time he worked in Missouri, and then went to Mississippi. In this piece Allen escaped, but later on, in Mississippi, he was not so fortunate. His body was found in the Coldwater River, “shot to pieces.” H. L Mitchell to Ronald L. Lewis, June 23, 1982.
92. Joseph T. Robinson (1872–1937), was born in Arkansas, attended the University of Arkansas, and became a lawyer. He served in the state legislature for several years before being elected to the United States Congress from 1903 to 1913. In 1913 he was elected governor, but soon was sent to the United States Senate to fill a vacancy. Robinson served as a Democratic Senator until his death in 1937. In 1938, he was the vice-presidential candidate with Alfred E. Smith of New York, and under President Franklin Roosevelt he worked for New Deal legislation.
93. J. E. Clayton was a graduate of Prairie View Agricultural College for Negroes in Texas. He was a minister and taught in the segregated schools of Texas. After World War I, he acted as an agent for several railroad companies for selling right-of-way land to black farmers. Consequently, he was widely known and respected by whites and blacks throughout the western states. He was more than a fast talking promoter, however, for he worked assiduously for a better life for southern blacks, and that is what brought him to be an organizer for the STFU. Apparently, Clayton was a spellbinding speaker with powerful connections. He was an early supporter of Lyndon B. Johnson, and confident of Texas senator Tom Connally, and at the founding of the United Nations following World War II, Clayton acquired credentials to represent labor at the meeting. H. L. Mitchell to Ronald L. Lewis, September 4, 22, 1982. See also, H. L. Mitchell, Mean Things Happening in This Land (Montclair, N.J., 1979), pp. 183–84.
94. Frank O. Lowden (1861–1943) was born in Minnesota, graduated from the State University of Iowa, and Union College of Law in Chicago. He married the daughter of industrialist George Pullman, and himself acquired a fortune as the director of various corporations. He served as United States congressman from Illinois from 1906 to 1911, and in 1916, was elected governor of Illinois. He made a strong stand against the pacifists and socialists during World War I, and in the “Red Scare” of 1919–1920. When Lowden and General Leonard Wood tied for the Republican presidential nomination, Warren G. Harding won the nod.
95. Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma (New York, 1944), p. 475.
96. Sidney Hillman (1887–1946) was born in Russia, but immigrated to the United States in 1907 and entered the garment industry. He led a group opposed to the United Garment Workers Union, and became the first president of the new Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America. He served on several New Deal labor advisory boards. One of the early supporters of the CIO, Hillman was elected first vice-president in 1937, and served as chairman of the Textile Workers Organizing Committee. During World War II he was associated director general of the Office of Production Management, and served as a member of the War Production Board.
97. For background on Emmett J. Scott, see Vol. V, p. 228.
98. For Eugene Talmadge, see note 103.
99. Earl B. Dickerson was born in Canton, Mississippi, in 1891. After receiving his B.A. degree at the University of Illinois (1914), he earned a law degree from the University of Chicago (1920). He served as an alderman in Chicago, was appointed to the President’s Committee on Fair Employment Practice (1941–43), and served as a director and president of the National Lawyers Guild.
100. Revels Cayton was a black official of the National Union of Marine Cooks and Stewards. He served as business agent for the union on the West Coast and as a trustee of the Marine Federation.
101. Gerald L. K. Smith (1898–1976) was born and raised in Wisconsin, attended Valparaiso and Butler Universities in Indiana, and at age 19, became a minister in the Disciples of Christ Church. In 1928, he was invited to lead a church in Shreveport, Louisiana. There, he met Huey Long and worked as a social reformer and union organizer. When Long was elected governor, Smith became his aide. Following Long’s assassination in 1935, Smith was forced to leave Louisiana, and became a political conservative. He became an ardent opponent of President Roosevelt’s New Deal, and was an associate of Father Coughlin. In 1942, Smith founded his racist, pro-fascist paper The Cross and the Flag, which was listed by the U.S. Attorney General as seditious. He also organized the America First Party, which ran him for President in 1944. Following World War II, he founded the Christian National Crusade to further his dream of a “White, Christia America by the deportation of Jews, and by shipping blacks to Africa. For background on Father Charles E. Coughlin, see Vol. VI, note 93.
102. Frank Porter Graham (1886–1972) was educated at the University of North Carolina, and at Columbia, Chicago, and London Universities. He returned to his alma mater and served as professor of history from 1915 to 1930, when he assumed the presidency of the University of North Carolina. He held that position until 1949 when he was appointed to the U.S. Senate. Graham failed to gain the nomination of his party in 1950. A liberal activist, Graham was interested in education, race relations, civil liberties, and peace. President Truman appointed him to the Committee on Civil Rights in 1946.
103. Eugene Talmadge (1884–1946), a native of Georgia, graduated from the University of Georgia law school and practiced law. A flamboyant politician after the demagogical mold, Talmadge served three terms as Georgia’ commissioner of agriculture, and was elected to four terms as governor (1932, 1934, 1940, 1946). He used the Ku Klux Klan as a mechanism for achieving and retaining political power, and he used that power to keep blacks locked into their caste status, and to break strikes in the textile industry. “Cracker” was a term applied to poor southern whites, but came to connote a white racist.
104. The “Pepper Poll tax bill” refers to the effort of Claude D. Pepper (1900- ), a Democratic U.S. Senator from Florida, to end the use of poll taxes as a requirement for voting. A liberal New Deal Democrat, Pepper was constantly at odds with other southern members of Congress and the Senate.
105. Rayford W. Logan (1897- ) was born in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Williams College in 1917, and earned M.A. (1932) and Ph.D. (1936) degrees from Harvard University. Logan taught at Virginia Union University and Atlanta University before taking a position at Howard University as professor of history and dean of the graduate school. He authored many articles and books, including The Negro in the United States (1957).
Layle Lane was a black socialist school teacher, and pioneer in New York teacher unionism.
106. John E. Rankin (1882–1960) received a law degree from the University of Mississippi in 1910, and entered state Democratic politics. He served in the United States Congress from 1921 to 1953.
Theodore G. Bilbo (1877–1947) attended Peabody College, Vanderbilt University law school, and the University of Michigan. He taught in the high schools of Mississippi for several years before he was admitted to the bar in 1908. He entered politics and served in the State senate (1908–1912), as lieutenant governor (1912–1916), and as governor (1916–1920, 1928–1932). In 1934 he was elected to the United States Senate where he served until his death.
For background on Eugene Talmadge, see note 103.
For background on Edward E. Cox, see note 8.
Ellison D. (“Cotton Ed”) Smith (1866–1944) of South Carolina, graduated from Wofford College in 1889, and served in the State legislature (1896–1900). He was engaged in the cotton business, and was one of the principle figures in the organization of the Southern Cotton Association in 1905. He served as a general organizer in the cotton protective movement (1905–1908). In 1908, he was first elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate where he continued to serve until his death.
Allen J. Ellender (b. 1890), a native of Louisiana, received a law degree from Tulane University in 1913, and served in a variety of political positions in the state, including house floor leader (1928–1932) and speaker (1932–1936). In 1936, he was elected to the United States Senate and continued to hold that position until the mid-seventies.
Thomas T. Connally (1877–1963) graduated from Baylor University (1896), and received a law degree from the University of Texas in 1898. After serving in numerous elective posts in Texas, he was elected to the United States Congress in 1917 and served until 1929. In 1928, Connally was elected to the United States Senate, and served in that capacity until 1953 when he retired to a private legal practice.
Hatton W. Sumners (1875–1962) of Texas, was admitted to the bar in 1897, and practiced law in Dallas until 1913 when he began a long career in the United States Congress, serving until 1947.
For background on Martin Dies, see note 60.
Joe Starnes (1895–1962), a native of Alabama, taught school and served in World War I before taking a law degree from the University of Alabama in 1921. He practiced law and served in state political offices until 1935 when he became a congressman, and served until 1945.
Carter Glass (1858–1946), of Lynchburg, Virginia, was a reporter, city editor, and then owner of the Lynchburg Daily News and of the Daily Advance. He served in various state offices, and in 1902 became a member of Congress, serving until 1918 when he was appointed Secretary of the Treasury by President Woodrow Wilson. He resigned in 1920 to become a United States Senator, a position he held until his death.
Howard W. Smith (1883- ) graduated from the University of Virginia law school in 1903, and for many years served in the state courts. From 1931 until 1967 he served in each succeeding Congress.
For background on Patrick Henry, see Vol. IV, note 82.
For background on Crispus Attucks, see Vol. VI, note 85.
107. “VE-Day,” refers to May 8, 1945, Victory-in-Europe Day. It followed the unconditional surrender of the German armies on May 7, making the end of World War II in Europe.
108. James F. Byrnes (1879–1972) was born in Charleston, South Carolina, read law, and became a lawyer in 1903. He practiced law, and published the Aiken (S.C.) Journal and Review. Byrnes entered politics and served in the United States Congress from 1911 to 1925. He was an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate in 1924, but was elected in 1930, and reelected in 1936. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1941, but in October 1942, Byrnes resigned to head the War Mobilization Board (1943–1945). President Harry Truman appointed him Secretary of State in 1945, and he served until 1947. From 1950 to 1955, Byrnes served as governor of South Carolina.
109. “VJ-Day” refers to August 15, 1945, Victory-in-Japan Day. It followed the unconditional surrender of Japan on August 14, marking the end of World War II in the Pacific.
110. Harvey W. Brown (1883–1956) became a machinist apprentice in 1900, and joined the International Association of Machinists. He served in various offices of the IAM, including Wilkes–Barre local agent (1911–1915), international organizer (1915–1916), and IAM vice-president in 1921. In 1938 and 1939, Brown served as acting president of the IAM, and then president, 1940–1948. He also was elected as AFL vice-president in 1941. Brown withdrew the IAM from the AFL because of jurisdictional disputes with the carpenters and operating engineers. In 1948, the IAM was forced to remove the racial exclusion clause from the ritual. Possessed of a bellicose style of leadership, Brown was constantly embroiled in conflict within the union and without.
111. David Sarnoff, president of the Radio Corporation of America, and a Jew, “balanced” the first group appointed to the Fair Employment Practices Committee in 1941. The first committee was made up of: Mark Ethridge, publisher of the Louisville Courier Journal, Chairman; Philip Murray, president of the CIO; William Green, president of the AFL; Milton P. W. Webster, black vice-president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters; Earl B. Dickerson, Negro attorney and member of the Chicago City Council; and David Sarnoff.
112. Will W. Alexander 1884–1956), a Methodist minister, became an expert on southern race relations and a leading southern spokesman for liberal racial policies. In 1917, he helped create the Commission on Interracial Cooperation and served as its director until 1944. Alexander also helped to establish Dillard University and served as its president from 1931 to 1935. As vice-president of the Rosenwald Fund he assisted many promising young blacks by providing fellowships for advanced study. As assistant administrator of the Resettlement Administration and as administrator of the Farm Security Administration, he helped to shape New Deal farm tenancy legislation and policy. During World War II he served as a consultant to several federal agencies on race relations.
113. Boris Shiskin was an economist and legislative consultant of the AFL who protected the organization’s interests on the Fair Employment Committee.
114. William H. Baldwin, Jr., was president of the Long Island Railroad, an important figure in the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Southern Railroad systems, and Booker T. Washington’s closest white friend. Although he did not live to witness the event, Baldwin was one of the whites who assisted in founding the National Urban League. Like other Progressives, he believed that it was the duty of the middle and upper classes to lead the way toward development of the social institutions which would personal development of individuals in modern society. It was the duty of these classes to remove the needless barriers to Negro advancement as well. Nevertheless, Baldwin believed that Anglo-Saxon standards were the benchmark to which the downtrodden blacks and immigrants should measure their progress.
115. Wendell Lewis Willkie (1892–1944) graduated from Indiana University in 1913, and entered the legal profession. In 1933, he became president of the Commonwealth and Southern Corporation with headquarters in New York. Although he was a Democrat, Willkie’s business and political connections enabled him to win the Republican presidential nomination in 1940. Willki was not an isolationist, however. He supported President Roosevelt’s foreign policy, and outlined his own internationalist views in his book, One World (1943). Nevertheless, he did oppose New Deal domestic legislation as too extravagant.
116. Monsignor Francis Joseph Haas (1889–1953) was born in Racine, Wisconsin, was ordained a priest in the Roman Catholic Church in 1913, and earned a Ph.D. in sociology (1922) at the Catholic University of America. In Milwaukee, he taught sociology at Marquette University, and in 1931 became dean of the school of social service at Catholic University. Haas was appointed a consultant to the National Recovery Administration and to the Works Progress Administration after 1933 on the labor question. In 1943, he became first chairman of the United States Committee on Fair Employment Practices, and also was named bishop of Grand Rapids, Michigan. He wrote extensively on social problems.
117. For background on the Missouri Compromise, see Vol. IV, note 81.
118. Dorie Miller (1919–1943) was born near Waco, Texas, the son of a sharecropper. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was serving as a messman aboard ill-fated Arizona when the ship was sunk by Japanese aircraft during the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941. During the battle Miller manned a machine gun and brought down four Japanese planes, for which he received the Navy Cross. Miller was killed in action aboard the Liscome Bay in December 1943.
119. Wayne L. Morse (1900–1974) was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and graduated from the University of Wisconsin before taking law degrees at Minnesota and Columbia Universities. From 1931 to 1944, he served as dean of the law school at the University of Oregon, and became a leading authority on labor arbitration. Morse served in the United States Senate from 1943 to 1969, during which time he was a fiercely independent legislator, but supported labor legislation and opposed the Taft-Hartley Act (1947). His opposition to the war in Vietnam contributed to his defeat for reelection in 1968.
120. Mary T. Norton (1875–1959) was born in New Jersey and graduated from Packard Business College in New York (1896). Active in local Democratic circles, she was elected to the state Democratic committee in 1921, and was a delegate to numerous national conventions of the Democratic Party between 1924 and 1948. From 1925 to 1951 she served in the United States House of Representatives. In Congress she chaired the House Committee on Labor.
121. Malcolm Ross was named to chair the Fair Employment Practices Committee in 1943 when Monsignor Francis J. Haas (see note 116) resigned to become a bishop. Ross was Haas’s deputy. During the late 1920s, and throughout the depression years of the thirties, Ross investigated the problems of the poor and wrote about them extensively. See for example, Machine Age in the Hills (New York, 1933).
122. Plummer B. Young, Sr. (b. 1884) was born in Littleton, North Carolina. In 1911, he founded the Guide Publishing Company, which became the black newspaper, Norfolk Journal and Guide (Norfolk, Virginia). Young was active in the politics of Virginia as a leading conservative black spokesman.
123. Sam T. Rayburn (1882–1961) graduated from East Texas Normal College (1903), studied law at the University of Texas, and became a lawyer in 1908. He was elected to the State house of representatives (1907–1913), and then to the United States House of Representatives from 1913 until his death. He was elected Speaker of the House in 1940, and retained that position for the duration of his career.
125. “P.T.C.” refers to the Philadelphia Regional Transportation Company.
126. “TWU” refers to the Transport Workers Union.
127. The “P.R.T.” Employers Union refers to the company union of the Philadelphia Regional Transportation Company.
128. Francis B. Biddle (1886–1968) was born into a prominent Philadelphia family, graduated from Harvard University (1909) and Harvard Law School (1911) before becoming a prominent corporation lawyer. He served occasionally as a special United States Attorney from 1922 to 1926, as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board in 1934–1935, and as council for the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1938. He was drawn to the New Deal, and President Roosevelt appointed him judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia (1939), U.S. Solicitor General (1940), and U.S. Attorney General (1941). Following his resignation in 1945, he served on the international war crimes tribunal at Nuremburg, Germany, and in 1951 he was appointed to the Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague.
129. This list includes two of the greatest boxers of all time. Joe (“Brown Bomber”) Louis (1914–1981) was born in Alabama and began boxing as an amateur. He won the heavyweight Golden Gloves title and, thereafter, turned professional. In 1937, he won the heavyweight crown by a knockout from Jimmy Braddock. During World War II, Louis volunteered for service in the Army. Louiw held the title until 1949 when he retired. He attempted an unsuccessful comeback, and retired for good in 1951.
Ray (“Sugar Ray”) Robinson (1921- ) was born Walker Smith in Detroit, Michigan. Moving to New York when he was twelve, Sugar Ray entered amateur boxing as a teenager. Having won all 89 of his amateur bouts, and the 1939 Golden Gloves featherweight championship, Robinson turned professional in 1940. He was drafted into the Army during World War II and toured Army bases with Joe Louis. He won the welterweight championship in 1946, and in 1951 took the middleweight crown. He is considered one of the greatest all-round fighters in the history of the sport.
130. Ernest Calloway was a black coal miner and United Mine Workers of America organizer in West Virginia and Kentucky. He was “on loan” to the CIO as a SWOC organizer.
131. Dr. James J. McClendon presided over the Detroit NAACP during the late 1930s and early 1940s when the United Automobile Workers-CIO launched its struggle to gain control over the workers at Ford Motor Company. Not until 1939 did McClendon show the slightest interest in organized labor. By then, however, sentiment on the NAACP board, and in the black community was tilting away from unquestioning support of Henry Ford, who for years practiced a benevolent paternalism toward black workers to forestall unionism. McClendon remained publically uncommitted until 1941, when, with the support of the national executive director of the NAACP, Walter White, he succumbed to pressures and came out for the UAW-CIO over the UAW-AFL affiliate.
132. For background on Secretary of Labor Francis Perkins, see Vol. note 23.
133. Louis E. Martin was a graduate of the University of Michigan. In 1936, he became the editor of the Michigan Chronicle, a weekly subsidiary of the Chicago Defender. Martin became a staunch supporter of the United Automobile Workers-CIO, to the chagrin of numerous black community leaders, and the Ford Motor Company.
134. Shelton Tappes, a black Ford employee who strongly supported the United Automobile Workers-CIO, became chairman of the committee which was responsible for working out the first Ford contract, and which included an anti-discrimination clause. Tappes became an important spokesman in the black community of Detroit because of his union position. An active member of the left-wing in Local 600, Tappes, nevertheless, steadfastly refused to join the Communist Party. This position eventually cost him his position as recording-secretary.
Veal Clough was a Ford foundry worker and plant committeeman for the UAW-CIO. He was fired for his union activity, and became an organizer for the UAW-CIO.
135. Van Amberg Bittner (1885–1949), the son of a Pennsylvania coal miner, began working in the mines at age eleven, and at sixteen was elected president of his United Mine Workers local. In 1908, he was elected vice-president of District 5, and then president. He became a UMWA international representative, and because of his work in West Virginia, was elected District 17 president. From 1933 to 1942 he served on the Appalachian Coal Conference. Bittner became an organizer for the CIO in the steel industry during the late 1930s. He resigned all union offices after conflicts with John L. Lewis, and served as a labor advisor on several governmental boards during World War II. After the war, Bittner became director of the CIO’s Southern Organization Drive.
136. Robert F. Wagner (1877–1953) was born in Germany, and immigrated with his parents to New York in 1885. He graduated from the College of the City of New York in 1898, and New York Law School in 1900. From 1905 to 1918, he served in the state legislature, and in other state positions, including the New York Supreme Court from 1919 to 1926. Wagner served in the United States Senate from 1926 to 1949.
137. The “Double V”” campaign of the Pittsburgh Courier, a major black newspaper, refers to the paper’s campaign for a victory against the Nazis abroad, and a victory against racism at home.
138. Horace R. Cayton (1903- ) was born in Seattle, Washington. His mother was the daughter of Hiram Revels, one of the two blacks elected to the United States Senate during Reconstruction. He spent four years at sea as a youth, and traveled widely. Afterward he graduated from the University of Washington (1932), and became a research assistant in sociology under Robert Park. Two years later he was appointed special assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Interior. After a year of teaching at Fisk University, Cayton became co-director of a research project dealing with Chicago blacks (1936–1939), which became the embryo for his major work, Black Metropolis (1945), co-authored with John Gibbs St. Clair Drake, Jr. In 1939, he published with George S. Mitchell, Black Workers and the New Unions, a model study of blacks and the union movement. Cayton also published his autobiography, Long Old Road (1965).
139. James Leary came up through the mines of Butte, Montana, to become recording secretary of the Butte local of the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers (which grew out of the radical Western Federation of Miners). In 1940, he won election as international secretary-treasurer, and thereafter was in the forefront of the right-wing in IUMMSW to purge the union of communist influence. This meant he fought a running battle with his old friend, and president Reid Robinson. Leary made an unsuccessful bid for the union presidency in 1946.
140. Oscar Noble (1914- ) was born in Jacksonville, Florida, and moved to Pontiac with his family during World War I. By age 21, Noble was a machine operator for the Pontiac Motor Company. Because of his natural ability to communicate, and gain the trust of both black and white workers, Noble joined the UAW staff in 1937. He played an active role in organizing Pontiac, and in lining up support for the union in the black community. He represented Plant 6, where most of the workers were white, on the bargaining committee.
Victor Reuther (1912- ), with his brother Walter Reuther (see note 190), played a pivotal role in organizing the United Automobile Workers during the late 1930s. During World War II, he served as a representative of labor on the War Manpower Commission. In 1946, he became the UAW’s education director, and in 1951 was appointed to head the CIO’s European office. From 1953 to 1955, he served as an administrative assistant to the president of the CIO.
141. For background on the Trade Union Unity League (TUEL), see Vol. VI, note 117.
142. Alfred McClung Lee and Norman D. Humphrey, Race Riot (New York, 1943).
143. Judge Ira W. Jayne was a devoted white contributor to the NAACP who also recruited numerous other prominent whites into the Detroit branch.
Herbert H. Lehman (1878–1963) was born in New York, graduated from Williams College (1899), and became a partner in Lehman Bros., an investment firm. He was elected lieutenant governor of New York (1929–1932), and then Governor (1933–1942). Lehman also served in several federal capacities during World War II. After an unsuccessful bid for a Senate seat in 1946, Lehman was elected as a Democrat to fill the unexpired term of Senator Robert Wagner in 1949. He was reelected to a full term in 1950.
144. John J. Delaney (1878–1948) was born in New York, attended Manhattan College, and graduated from the Brooklyn Law School of St. Lawrence University in 1914. He was elected as a Democrat to fill an unexpired term in the United State House of Representatives (1918–1919), but declined the renomination in order to pursue his business interests. He was returned to Congress in 1931, however, and reelected to succeeding congresses until his death.
145. The reference to “John” being shot on the picket line with Fanny Sellins is probably an error. Sellins, a grandmother and widow who was an experienced organizer for the United Mine Workers in the tradition of “Mother Jones,” was on the picket line at a mine near Natrona, located on the Allegheny River outside of Pittsburgh. Accounts differ, but she was shot to death by a company guard. Dying with her from similar causes was a coal miner named Joseph Strezelecki.
146. The “Four Freedoms” were enunciated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in his annual message to Congress on January 6, 1941. They were: Lend-Lease for Americas allies; Freedom of Speech and expression; Freedom of Worship; Freedom from fear. These were “essential human freedoms” upon which the world should be organized.
147. For background on the “New Negro,” see Vol. VI, note 84.
148. Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma, (New York, 1944), p. 402.
149. “Unwelcome ghost of a dusky Banquo” refers to Banquo in Shakespeare’s Hamlet who returns to haunt his friend’s conscience in the way A. Philip Randolph returned to haunt the annual AFL conventions. For background on Randolph, see Vol. V, note 111.
150. For background on Milton P. Webster, see Vol. VI, note 44.
151. The Crosser-Dill Act (1934), or the Railway Labor Act, created a smalle mediation board than had existed, and established a thirty-six member Adjustment Board with members from labor and management. It gave employe the right to organize and bargain collectively.
153. John T. Clark (b. 1883) was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and graduated from Ohio State University in 1906. After teaching at a high school for several years, he became a field secretary for the National Urban League in New York (1916–1917). Thereafter, he served as executive secretary of the NUL in Pittsburgh (1917–1926), and then St. Louis (1926–1949). Also, he was elected 3rd vice-president of the National Conference of Social Work in 1940.
155. John R. Commons, Institutional Economics (Madison, Wisc., 1934), was one of numerous books published by the eminent professor from the University of Wisconsin. In this book, Commons (1862–1944) helped change the focus of economics by aligning the discipline more closely with the social sciences. He was one of the founders of the modern field of labor history and labor studies.
156. For background on John Fitzpatrick, see Vol. VI, note 52.
157. For background on Cyril Briggs, see Vol. VI, note 106.
158. For background on Thomas J. Curtis, see Vol. VI, note 52.
159. Morris Feinstone (1878–1943), a native of Poland, immigrated to England and rose in the Woodcarver’s union to become its president in 1895. He immigrated to the United States in 1910, settled in New York, and in 1926 became executive secretary of the United Hebrew Trades. Feinstone represented the UHT on the executive board of the Central Trades and Labo Council of Greater New York. Also, he was vice-chairman of the Jewish Labor Committee, publisher of the Jewish Labor Forward, and served on the boards of the Rand School and the New Leader. Feinstone was a leading advocate of the American Labor party.
160. For background on Bennie Smith, see Vol. VI, pp. 244–46 and index.
161. Daniel J. Tobin (1875–1955) was born in Ireland, and immigrated to the United States in 1890. He settled in Boston and began work as a teamster joined the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and rose to become its president in 1907. Tobin retained that position until 1952, and was elec a vice-president of the AFL from 1933 to 1952. In 1940, he served as an administrative assistant to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1940, and served on numerous government and labor organization boards.
162. For background on William D. Mahon, see Vol. IV, note 32.
163. Charles J. Mac Gowan (1887–1960), a native of Scotland, immigrated with his family to Canada before moving to the United States in 1913. He served an apprenticeship as a boilermaker, and after 1917 served the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers in many capacities. In 1936, he was elected vice-president of the IBB, and in 1944, was elected to the presidency. Mac Gowan was elected a vice-president of the AFL in 1947, and in 1955, of the AFL-CIO, a position he held until his death.
164. For background on Frank Duffy, see Vol. V, note 32.
165. Joseph P. Ryan (1884–1963) began work on the New York docks in 1912, and became a full-time union professional in 1916. He was elected president of the Atlantic Coast District of the International Longshoremen’s Association in 1918, the same year he was elected vice-president of the ILA. In 1927, Ryan was elected president of the ILA. He served as a vice-president of the New York Federation of Labor between 1926 and 1946, and as president of the Central Labor Council of Greater New York from 1928 to 1938. Ryan was elected president of the ILA for life in 1943, but resigned from the ILA in 1953 after expulsion from the AFL on charges of corruption. He was convicted of corruption in 1955, and received a fine and a suspended jail sentence. The ILA became alienated from the union movement during his years in office because of its domination by gangsters, and because of Ryan’s obsessive anti-communism.
166. “Mr. Morrison” refers to Frank Morrison. For background, see Vol. IV, note 33.
167. Walter F. George (1878–1957) was born in Webster County, Georgia, graduated from Mercer University with a law degree in 1901, and became a judge of the state’s superior court, and then court of appeals, from 1912 to 1917. He served on the Georgia supreme court from 1917 to 1922, when he was elected to the United States Senate. Subsequently, George was elected to the Senate until 1957. From 1955 to 1957 he served as President pro tempre of the Senate, and was President Dwight Eisenhower’s special ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
168. Albert Thomas (1898–1966) was born in Nacogdoches, Texas, graduated from Rice Institute (1920), and received a law degree from the University of Texas (1926). After serving in several local public offices, he was elected as a Democrat to the United States Congress from 1937 to 1966.
169. For background on the Kellogg-Briand Pact, see Vol. VI, note 51.
170. Haile Selassie (1892–1975), the Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974, assumed power in a coup, and changed his name from Tafari Makonnen to Haile Selassie I. As absolute monarch, he outlawed slavery, and instituted other reforms. He was forced into exile in 1935 when the Italian fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini, conquered Ethiopia. During World War II, Ethiopia was liberated and Haile Selassie regained his throne. Opposition to his rule increased, and in 1974 the army finally succeeded in seizing control.
171. The white primary was one means by which blacks were disfranchised in the South. Until 1940, state Democratic organizations, rather than the states, determined voter eligibility at the polls. Thus, by limiting party membership to whites only, blacks were effectively disfranchised. After 1940, the system began to crumble, and by 1953 federal courts ruled the white primary unconstitutional.
172. Richard J. Gray (1887–1966) was born in Albany, New York, where he became a bricklayer, and subsequently was elected local president (1927) of the Bricklayers, Masons and Plasterers International Union. Gray rose in the organization to become international treasurer of the BMPIU (1928–1936), and international secretary (1936–1946). An opponent of industrial unionism, his intransigence further strained relations between the AFL and the Committee on Industrial Organization during the late 1930s. Gray became president of the building and construction trades union department of the AFL in 1946, but after the AFL-CIO merger in 1955 his abrasiveness with CIO leaders, along with his support of the McCarthy anti-Communist witchhunts, forced his resignation in 1960.
173. Alfred E. Smith (1873–1944) was a native of New York, where he entered politics at an early age, and rose through the ranks. He served in numerous local and state offices. While serving as president of the New York Board of Aldermen, he ran for governor (1918) and won. Smith was so popular that he was reelected three times. In 1928, Smith became the first Irish Catholic ever to receive the nomination of a major party to run for the presidency. He lost the race to Herbert Hoover, at least partly, because he was opposed to prohibition and was an urban “boss.”
174. For his involvement in the Munich “Beer Hall Putch” of November 8–11, 1923, Adolph Hitler was arrested and imprisoned. The ill-advised attempt to overthrow the Bavarian government by the young leader of the growing National Socialist Party was easily crushed. While serving his term in prison, Hitler wrote Mein Kampf, a book which outlined his career, theories, and his program for revitalizing Germany.
175. For background on the Know-Nothing Party, see Vol. I, note 52.
176. Alexander Pushkin (1799–1837) was the first Russian poet to criticize the social order under Czarist rule. See, for example, Boris Godunov (1825), and Kapitanskaia Dochka (1832).
Alexander Dumas (1802–1870), the French novelist, and playwright, is best known for his novels The Three Musketeers (1844), The Count of Monte Cristo (1844–1845), and The Black Tulip (1945).
Both artists were to some degree Negroid in ancestry.
177. Hirohito (1901- ) became emperor of Japan in 1926, succeeding his father Yoshihito. Apparently he opposed his nation’s drift into World War II, but was powerless to oppose it. He is credited with influencing the decision to surrender to the Allies in 1945, which ended the war. The Constitution of 1946 stripped the emporer of all but his ceremonial powers.
178. For Crispus Attucks, see Vol. VI, note 85; for Wendell Phillips, see Vol. I, note 67; for Charles Sumner, see Vol. II, note 39.
179. Gustave M. Bugniazet (1878–1960), of New York, became an electrician, and served as local business manager of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He moved to Philadelphia, and was elected international vice-president in 1911, serving until 1925. Bugniazet served the union in various other capacities as well, and in 1925 became international secretary. He was elected a vice-president of the AFL in 1930, and held that position until 1946. He served on numerous AFL boards and committees, and was a member of the AFL committee which attempted to resolve the differences between the AFL and the CIO (1936–1937). In addition to acting as secretary of the IBEW benefit fund, Bugniazet edited The Journal of Electrical Workers and Operators.
180. Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain), was born in 1835 in Hannibal, Missouri. He worked on Mississippi River boats for a number of years, and became a pilot. After the Civil War, success as a newspaper reporter led him into a lucrative career as a lecturer and novelist. His most famous are classics, Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and Huckleberry Finn (1884). He died in 1910.
The “dictator down in Washington, Mr. Vinson,” refers to Frederick M. Vinson. See note 201.
181. Harry S. Truman (1884–1972), 33rd President of the United States (1945–1953), was born in Missouri, served in World War I, and ran a haberdashery He attended Kansas City School of Law (1923–1925), and entered Kansas politics. Truman served as a county judge from 1926 to 1934, when he was elected to the United States Senate (1935–1944). In 1944, he ran as Franklin Roosevelt’s vice-president, and when President Roosevelt died in April 1945, Truman succeeded to the presidency. During the post-war years, he instituted the Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan to deter the spread of communism, and to facilitate the European economic recovery. Truman was elected to a full term in 1948, even though he was opposed by southerners because of his civil rights program, Truman vetoed the Taft-Hartley Act of 1947, but Congress overrode his veto. He declined to seek renomination in 1952, and retired from public life.
182. Jacob S. Potofsky (1894- ) immigrated with his family from Russia to the United States in 1905, and settled in Chicago. He entered work in a men’s clothing factory became active in the union movement and rose through various local offices of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America to become assistant general secretary-treasurer of the ACWA (1916–1934). Having moved to New York, he became assistant president of the ACWA in 1934, and became one of the original members of the CIO executive board. From 1940 to 1946, Potofsky served as general secretary-treasurer of the ACWA, and in 1946 was elected president of the union, an office he held until 1972 when he retired. Potofsky served on numerous public boards, including the Labor Management and Manpower Policy Committee of the Office of Defense Mobilization.
183. Felix H. Knight (1876–1952) a native of Missouri, became a railroad carman, and joined the St. Louis local of the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America in 1902. After serving in numerous union offices, he was appointed assistant general president of the BRCA in 1913, and held that position until 1934. Knight was appointed general president of the union in 1934, and was elected to the office the following year. In 1936, he was elected an AFL vice-president. Knight resigned his union positions when he retired in 1947.
184. George M. Harrison (1895–1968) was born in Missouri, and went to work at various jobs for the Missouri Pacific Railroad from 1909 to 1917, when he became chairman of the St. Louis local of the Brotherhood of Railway and Steamship Clerks. From 1922 to 1925, Harrison served as a vice-president of the BRC, and in 1928 was elected grand president of the union. He held that position until 1963, when he became chief executive officer, and then president emeritus in 1965. During World War II, Knight served on several important government boards, including the National Youth Administration, the National Defense Mediation Board, and the President’s Council of Economic Advisors.
185. Robert Byron (1880–1959), a native of Scotland, immigrated to Springfield, Illinois parents in 1888. He began his career as a sheet metal worker in 1897, and served in various local offices of the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association until 1908, when he became an international representative for the SMWIA. In this capacity he traveled widely, and in 1939 became international president, a post he held until his death. Byron also was vice-president of the AFL’s building and metal trades departments.
Patrick V. McNamara (1894–1966) attended Fore River Apprentice School in Massachusetts from 1912 to 1916, and learned the trade of pipefitter. After moving to Detroit, he joined the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada, and was elected president of UA local 636 (Detroit). McNamara held that position until 1954, as well as other local positions, such as vice-president of the Detroit Federation of Labor (1939–1945), and was a member of the Detroit Common Council (1946). In 1954, he was elected as a Democrat to the United States Senate, where he was a cosponsor of the Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosing Act of 1959.
186. Clarence M. Mitchell (1911- ), a native of Baltimore, Maryland, graduated from Lincoln University and the University of Maryland Law School. He served as the Director of the NAACP Washington Bureau from 1950 to 1978. He received the Spingarn Medal in 1969, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1980.
187. Charles Hamilton Houston (1895–1950) a Washington, D.C. lawyer who was one of the principal architects of the NAACP legal approach against racial discrimination. He devised the legal strategy for Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) which led to the desegragation of public education. He was also responsible for upgrading Howard University’s law school to one of national recognition.
188. “The Steele and Tunstall Cases” refers to Steele v. Louisville & Nashville Railroad (1944), and Tunstall v. Locomotive Firemen (1944). Both cases involved discrimination against black railroad workers and represented important benchmarks in the law against racial discrimination. Unfortunately, by the end of World War II blacks were nearly eliminated from all but the menial jobs in the railroad industry.
189. For the case of James Tillman against the railroad brotherhoods and the Frisco Railroad, see p. 543. A similar case involving the same line was settled by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen v. Howard (1952).
190. Walter P. Reuther (1907–1970) was born in Wheeling, West Virginia, and attended Wayne State University for three years. He moved to Detroit in 1926 after being discharged from Wheeling Steel Corp. for union activities He worked for Ford Motor Co., became a foreman in 1931, but again was discharged for union activism. He and his brother Victor (see note 140) embarked on a three-year world tour (1933–1935), and on his return became an organizer for the United Automobile Workers. He became local 175 president in 1935, and was elected to the union’s executive board in 1936 Reuther rose in the union to become first vice-president of the UAW in 1942, and was elected president of the UAW in 1946. That year he was elected a vice-president of the CIO, and became president of the CIO in 1951. After the AFL-CIO merger he served as president of its industrial union department. In 1968, however, he led the UAW out of the AFL-CIO. He was killed in a plane crash in 1970.
191. Felix Frankfurter (1882–1965) was born in Vienna, Austria, and immigrated to the United States in 1894. He graduated from Harvard Law School in 1906, and after eight years in the profession, became a professor of law at Harvard (1914–39). During World War I he chaired the War Labor Policies Board. A liberal on issues of civil rights and labor questions, he helped establish the American Civil Liberties Union. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him to the Supreme Court where he served from 1939 to 1962. His writings include The Case of Sacco and Vanzetti (1927), The Labor Injunction (1930), and Law and Politics (1939).
William O. Douglas (1898–1980), was a professor of law at Yale University from 1928 to 1934. He was appointed to the Security and Exchange Commission in 1934, and became its chairman from 1937 to 1939. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1939, where he remained until he retired in 1975. A consisent liberal, he set forth his judicial ideas in We the Judges (1955), and The Right of the People (1958).
Robert H. Jackson (1892–1954), an ardent New Deal supporter, was appointed U.S. Solicitor General (1938), U.S. Attorney General (1940), and to the Supreme Court (1941). He authored two books, The Supreme Court in the American System of Government (1955), and The Struggle for Judicial Supremacy (1940).
Harold H. Burton (1888–1964) was born in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, graduated from Bowdoin College (1909), and received an LL.B. from Harvard University in 1912. He moved to Ohio and was admitted to the bar in 1912 and practiced law in Cleveland. He served in numerous city and state offices, including Mayor of Cleveland (1935–1940), until 1941 when he was elected to the United States Senate. In 1945, Burton was appointed to the United States Supreme Court, and served until he ritired in 1958.
Tom C. Clark (1899–1988) was born in Dallas, Texas, received A.B. (1921) and LL.D. (1922) degrees from the University of Texas, and entered legal practice. He rose up through several public offices, and in 1943 became Assistant Attorney General of the United States in charge of the antitrust division, and then the criminal division (1943–1945), Department of Justice. In 1945 he was appointed United States Attorney General, serving until 1949, when he was appointed to the Supreme Court (1949–1967).
192. Frederic Moore Vinson (1890–1953) was born in Kentucky. He served in Congress from 1923 to 1938, with the exception of one term. For a short period he served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, directed various federal agencies during World War II, and from 1945 to 1946 was President Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of the Treasury. Roosevelt appointed him Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in 1946.
Stanley F. Reed (1884–1980) was born in Mason County, Kentucky, received an A.B. degree from Kentucky Wesleyan College (1902), and an A.B. degree from Yale University in 1906. After studying law at the University of Virginia, Reed became a member of the Kentucky bar in 1910 and practiced in Maysville. From 1935 to 1938 he served as United States Solicitor General and represented the U.S. before the Supreme Court. In 1938 he was appointed to the Supreme Court a position he held until his retirement in 1957.
Sherman Minton (1890–1965) was born in Georgetown, Indiana, received an LL.B. degree from Indiana University in 1915, and an LL.M. degree from Yale University in 1916. He practiced law in Indiana until 1935, when he was elected to the United States Senate (1935–1941). In 1941, Minton was appointed U.S. Circuit Judge (7th Circuit), a position he held until 1949, when he was appointed to the United States Supreme Court. He retired in 1956.
193. Joseph C. Waddy (1911- ) was born in Virginia, and graduated from Lincoln University (1935) and Howard University Law School (1938). He practiced law in Washington, D.C. until 1962, when he was appointed judge on the municipal court. Waddy was a partner with Charles Houston (see note 187), and was active in several civil rights organizations.
194. For background on Ida B. Wells-Barnett, see Vol. V, notes 15 and 16.
195. Arthur J. Goldberg (1908- ), a native of Chicago, received a law degree as editor of the Illinois Law Review (1929–1930). During the 1930s, Goldberg practiced law, and then became professor of law at John Marshall Law School (1939–1948). In 1948, Goldberg became general council for the CIO and the United Steelworkers of America, and played a major role in the negotiations which led to the AFL-CIO merger. President John Kennedy appointed Goldberg U.S. Secretary of Labor in 1961, and served until 1962 when he was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. In 1965 he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, returned to private practice in 1968, and made an unsuccessful run for governor of New York in 1970.
196. Maurice E. Travis (1910- ) was a business agent for the United Steelworkers of America in California until 1944, when he was purged for being a Communist. He then became an international representative for the International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, and executive assistant to its president. In 1946 Travis was chosen vice-president, and that same year became president. His ascent caused friction between the left and right wings in IUMMSW, and he resigned the presidency in 1947. Charges that the union was dominated by Communists led to its expulsion from the CIO in 1950, even though Travis had resigned publically from the party in 1949. He was indicted in 1956 because of his Communist connections, and shortly thereafter retired from union work. In 1967 the case was dismissed.
197. Asbury Howard was regional director of the International Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers in Alabama and Mississippi, clerk of the Starlight Baptist Church in Bessemer, Alabama, president of the Bessemer branch of the NAACP, and president of the Bessemer Voters League, whose mission was to get blacks registered and to the polls on election day.
198. Paul Lawrence Dunbar (1872–1906) was born and attended high school in Dayton, Ohio. After graduation in 1891, he became an elevator operator and wrote poetry in his spare time. His first book of poetry Oak and Ivy (1893), was published at his own expense, as was his second, The best poems of these first two books were published in a third, Lyrics of Lowly Life (1896), which was a success. Dunbar was the first black American poet since Phillis Wheatley to win acclaim. Also, he was the first to use Negro dialect in the formal structure of his art. He died in 1906 from tuberculosis.
For background on the Negro poet James Langston Hughes, see Vol. VI, note 124.
199. Members of the United States House Committee on Un-American Activities represented here are:
John S. Wood (1885–1968), a native of Georgia, was a law graduate of Mercer University, and rose through state politics to become a United States Congressman from 1931 to 1935. After a decade of private practice, Wood was reelected to Congress from 1945 to 1953.
Charles E. Potter (1916- ), a native of Michigan, graduated from Eastern Michigan University in 1938, and enlisted when World War II began. As a result of a serious wound he lost his legs. In 1947, he was elected as a Republican and served until 1952, when Potter was elected to the United States Senate. He remained in the Senate until 1959 when he failed to be reelected.
Henry M. Jackson (1912- ) was born in Everett, Washington, attended Stanford University, and received a law degree from the University of Washington in 1935. In 1941, Jackson was elected to the United States House of Representatives where he served until 1953, when he was elected to the United States Senate. As of 1982, he still served in the Senate.
200. The Council on African Affairs was founded in 1937. Paul Robeson was co-founder and served as its chairman. Until 1955, the Council was the most significant American organization advocating African liberation from colonial rule. Its program called for assistance to the African masses; dissemination of accurate information about Africa; influencing governmental policies toward Africa which would promote liberation; to oppose imperialism; to stop the shipment of American arms to European powers for use in Africa; to strengthen the alliance between African and American progressives.
201. “Mr. Stalin” refers to Joseph V. Stalin who assumed power in the Soviet Union following the death of Lenin in 1924. His struggle for power lasted until 1926, when Stalin overcame the leftist opposition led by Leon Trotsky. Stalin ruled the Soviet Union until his death on March 5, 1953.
202. The Alien Registration Act (1940), also known as the Smith Act, strengthened the law governing the admission and deportation of aliens. Designed to check subversive activities, it made the advocacy of violent overthrow of the government illegal. Thus, any member of the Communist Party was guilty by association. Nevertheless, the Supreme Court upheld the law’s constitutionality in 1951.
203. James H. McGrath (1903–1966), a native of Rhode Island, graduated from Providence College in 1936, and received a law degree from Boston University in 1948. He rose through the ranks of the Democratic Party, and was elected governor of Rhode Island from 1940 to 1945, when he was appointed United States Solicitor General. He resigned this post when he made a successful bid for the United States Senate in 1946. He resigned from the Senate to become President Harry Truman’s Attorney General in 1949, a position he held until 1952.
204. Channing H. Tobias (1882–1961) was born in Augusta, Georgia, and attended Paine College. He also attended Drew Theological Seminary and the University of Pennsylvania. An ordained minister, he returned to Paine College in 1911 and taught Biblical studies. He spent many years working with the Y.M.C.A., and in 1943 joined the board of directors of the NAACP, serving as chairman from 1953 to 1960. With Walter White (see note 16) he helped organize the campaign “Free By ’63.” Tobias also served as director of the Phelps-Stokes Foundation (1946), and President Harry S. Truman appointed him to the Committee on Civil Rights (1954).
Charles S. Zimmerman (1896- ) immigrated from Russia to the United States in 1913, and secured work in a New York garment factory. He joined the International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union in 1916, and served in various local union offices. During the 1920s, he was a member of the Communist Party, for which he was expelled from ILGWU in 1925, but was reinstated in 1931. Zimmerman was elected a ILGWU vice-president in 1934. He also served as head of the Trade Union Council of the American Labor Party, as a member of the National Council for a Permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission, and as a chairman of the AFL-CIO civil rights committee. When he retired in 1972, Zimmerman was general manager of the ILGWU Dress Joint Council and New York Dress Joint Board.
205. Dwight David Eisenhower (1890–1969), 34th President of the United States (1953–1961), was born in Denison, Texas, graduated from the United States Military Academy (1915), and rose to become Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Western Europe during World War II. After the war, he became president of Columbia University (1948), and in 1951 served as Supreme Commander of NATO until 1952 when he resigned to run for the presidency. He defeated Adlai E. Stevenson in 1952, and defeated Stevenson again in 1956.
206. “McCarthyism” was the term applied to the hysterical search for communists who presumably had infiltrated the highest levels of the United States government. Joseph R. McCarthy (1908–1956), a senator from Wisconsin after 1947, publically charged that there 205 communists in the State Department alone. McCarthy became chairman of the Senate investigating sub-committee, and in 1953 conducted televised hearings in which he accused high officials of conspiracy. President Eisenhower denounced him in 1954, and the Senate voted to censure McCarthy’s conduct.
207. The McCarran-Walter Act of 1952 codified United States immigration laws, retaining most of the earlier provisions of the 1924 act on maximum quotas for various nationalities. It did remove the ban against immigration of Asian and Pacific people, however.
208. Irving M. Ives (1896–1962), a native of New York, graduated from Hamilton College (1920), and after World War I entered the banking business (1920–1930). From 1930 to 1946, he served in the New York State Assembly, and in 1944–1945 as chairman of the New York State Temporary Commission Against Discrimination. He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1946, and again in 1952. In 1954, he made an unsuccessful bid for election as governor of New York.
209. Herbert Brownell, Jr. (1904- ) was born in Peru, Nebraska, received a B.A. from the University of Nebraska in 1924, and an LL.B. degree from Yale University in 1927. He entered the practice of law in New York, and served several terms in the state assembly. Brownell managed Thomas Dewey’s gubernatorial campaign in 1942, and his presidential bids in 1944, and 1948. He became United States Attorney General in President Eisenhower’s cabinet, serving from 1953 to 1958.
210. “Ben” refers to Benjamin Gold. See note 87.
211. Howard [Melvin] Fast (1914- ) is a writer of historical fiction, some of which relates to the labor movement. See, for example, power (1963) and Clarkson (1947). Fast was a member of the Communist Party from 1943 to 1956, during which time he won the Stalin International Peace Prize (1953). Lee Pressman (1906- ) was educated at Cornell and Harvard before his admission to the New York bar in 1929. Specializing in labor law, he became general counsel for the Steelworkers Organizing Committee in 1936 and then general counsel for the United Steelworkers of America. A member of the Communist Party, he was forced to resign his union position during the Cold War and was called to testify before the House Un–American Activities Committee in 1950. He left the labor movement to enter private practice in 1948.
212. Henry A. Wallace (1888–1965) was born into a family already distinguished for government service. His father, Henry C. Wallace, was President Harding’s Secretary of Agriculture, although he died in office. Upon graduation from Iowa State College (1910), Henry A. Wallace joined the family periodical, Wallace’s Farmer, the leading agricultural newspaper in the nation. He became an authority on farm economics, and developed several strains of hybrid corn. Wallace became President Franklin Roosevelt’s Secretary of Agriculture (1933–1940), and was elected vice-president (1941–1945). He served President Truman briefly as Secretary of Commerce (1945). In 1948, Wallace ran for the presidency on the Progressive Party ticket.
213. John W. Snyder (1895- ), a native of Arkansas, attended Vanderbilt University before enlisting for World War I. He entered the banking business after the war, and became an assistant to the Reconstruction Finance Corporation from 1937 to 1943. In 1945, Snyder was appointed Federal Loan Administrator, and that same year promoted to director of war mobilization and reconversion. He joined President Truman’s cabinet as Secretary of the Treasury in 1946, and served until 1953.
William Langer (1886–1959) was born in North Dakota, graduated from law school at the University of North Dakota (1906), and from Columbia University (1910). He became the attorney general of North Dakota (1916–1920), and in 1932 was elected governor, but was removed from office by the state supreme court. Nevertheless, Langer was reelected governor in 1937 before being elected to the United States Senate in 1940, and continued to serve in that office until his death.
214. Harry A. R. Bridges (1901- ), a native of Australia, became a seaman and then immigrated to the United States in 1920. He became an organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World in 1921. After he gained work as a longshoreman in San Francisco in 1922, Bridges began organizing for the International Longshoremen’s Association and between 1933 and 1935 helped edit The Waterfront Worker. He led the longshore strike of 1934, and organized the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union, composed of Pacific Coast ILA locals, which he then led into the CIO in 1937. In 1939 he began a ten-year battle with the U.S. government to prevent his deportation. Finally, in 1949 he was convicted of perjury for swearing that he was not a member of the Communist Party, and was sentenced to a prison term, but in 1955 a higher court overturned the lower court decision.
215. Joseph DiMaggio (1914- ) was a professional baseball player who spent most of his illustrious career with the New York Yankees.
216. Jack (“Jackie”) Roosevelt Robinson (1919–1972) became the first black professional baseball player to sign a major league contract when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946. He attended junior college and then the University of California—Los Angeles before taking a commission in the Army during World War II. Following an outstanding career in baseball, Robinson enjoyed further success as a businessman, and as a sports commentator and columnist.
217. “Voice of America,” an international short–wave radio broadcast established by Congress in 1948, is known primarily for its programs beamed behind the “iron curtain.” In 1953, it became part of the U.S. Information Agency, and it continues to broadcast news of the “free world.” In effect, it is a propaganda vehicle operated by the U.S. government.
218. “Mr. Acheson” refers to Dean G. Acheson (1893–1971). He was born in Middletown, Connecticut, received a B.A. from Yale in 1915, and an LL.B. from Harvard in 1918. Acheson became a private secretary to Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, and then in 1921 joined a law firm. President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him Undersecretary of the Treasury in 1933, and served as Assistant Secretary of State from 1941 to 1945. From 1945 to 1947, Acheson served as Undersecretary of State, and in 1949 President Harry Truman appointed him Secretary of State, a position he held until 1953. His most important contributions were the formation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, implementation of the president’s Point-Four Program, and engineering the United Nations’ intervention on behalf of South Korea. Among his books are Power and Diplomacy (1958), and Present at the Creation (1969).
219. The “Marshall Plan,” formally the European Recovery Program, was inaugurated in 1947 to foster economic recovery for those countries outside the Soviet orbit which were affected by the ravage of World War II. Secretary of State George C. Marshall, for whom it was named, managed the economic assistance program which cost the United States $12.5 billion dollars. The program ceased to function in 1956.
220. The “betrayals of the Murrays and Greens, the Careys, Rieves and Dubinskys . . . the Townsends, the Weavers and Randolphs” refers to: Philip Murray (see note 34); William Green (see Vol. VI, note 52); James B. Carey (1911–1973), president of the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (1935–1965), one of the most progressive unions in the movement on issues of race; Emil Rieves (1892- ), president of the Textile Workers Union of America (1939–1956), and then chairman of the TWU executive council (1956–1960); David Dubinsky (see Vol. VI, note 136); Willard S. Townsend (see note 33); Robert C. Weaver (see Vol. VI, note 25); A. Philip Randolph (see Vol. V, note 111).
221. Fritz Pollard, Jr. (1915- ) was the son of Frederick Pollard, an all-American football player. By winning the hurdles at the 1936 Olympics, Fritz became North Dakota’s first black athlete to achieve fame. He was also an outstanding football player.
222. Miranda Smith was a Negro leader of all-black local 22, Food, Tobacco, Agricultural and Allied Workers Union-CIO, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She was active in the 1943 strike against R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Smith was a Communist and was forced onto the sidelines during the post-war purges, but local 22 continued to exist. In 1949, Smith was FTA Southern Regional Director, and, as a member of the union’s national executive board, occupied the highest position any black woman had held to that time in the labor movement.
223. Jawaharlal Nehru was a founder of the Indian nationalist movement to gain independence from Great Britain, which was achieved in August 1947. Nehru became prime minister and established a position of neutrality between the capitalist and Communist nations during the Cold War Era following World War II. Nehru died suddenly on May 27, 1964.
224. Mahalia Jackson (1911–1972) was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and in the 1930s gradually emerged as the “Queen of Gospel Singers.” She was invited to sing at the White House by presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy.
Rosetta (“Sister”) Tharpe (1910- ) was a jazz singer and musician born in Cotton Plant, Arkansas. In her early years Sister Tharpe sang in gospel choirs before turning to jazz. She performed with such notables as Cab Calloway and Lucky Millinder, and made numerous recordings for Decca.
225. “Old John Bull” is a perjorative reference to Great Britain which controlled the colony of Kenya, Africa, where a secret anti-white (i.e. British) organization known as Mau Mau began the struggle for independence in the early 1950s. Its leader, Jomo Kenyatta, an English educated Kenyan of significant accomplishments, was imprisoned for nine years. Kenyatta was released in August 1961, and in June 1963, he was sworn in as independent, Kenya’s first prime minister.
226. McCarthy refers to Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin (see note 206).
William F. Knowland (1908- ) graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1929, and engaged in newspaper publishing in Oakland, California. He rose through the state Republican Party, holding numerous political posts, and in 1945 was appointed to the United States Senate to fill a vacancy. He was elected to a full term in 1946, and was reelected in 1952. From 1953 to 1955, he was Senate majority leader, and from 1955 to 1959 Senate minority leader. In 1958, he waged an unsuccessful bid to become governof of California, and retired to private life.
Chiang K’ai-shek (1887–1975) led the Chinese Nationalist government from 1928 until his death. Except for the period of the Sino-Japanese War from 1937 to 1945, Chiang was engaged in constant warfare with the Communists, who finally defeated him in 1949 and forced him to move the Nationalist government from the mainland to the island of Taiwan.
227. “Vice president Nixon” refers to Richard M. Nixon (1913- ). Born in California, Nixon graduated from Whittier College in 1934, and from Duke University Law School in 1937. After serving in the Navy during the war, he was elected to Congress in 1946, and was reelected in 1948. In 1950, he was elected to the United States Senate, where he served until 1953 when he became President Dwight Eisenhower’s vice-president. Nixon served in that capacity until 1961, and in 1960 made an unsuccessful bid for the Presidency. He also was an unsuccessful candidate for governor of California in 1962. In 1968, however, he waged a successful campaign for President, and was reelected in 1972. His involvement in the Watergate Affair forced his resignation, however.
229. George Meany (1894–1980), of New York, became a plumber in 1910, and in 1922 was elected business agent for New York Local 463 of the United Association of Plumbers and Steam Fitters. In 1932, Meany was elected a vice-president of the New York State Federation of Labor, and president from 1934 to 1939. He was elected AFL secretary-treasurer in 1939, and became the first director of Labor’s League for Political Education (1948). Upon the death of William Green in 1952, Meany was appointed and then won election as president of the AFL. After the AFL-CIO merger in 1955, he was elected president of the new organization, a position he held until his death. An ardent anti-Communist during the 1950s, Meany gained firm control over the AFL-CIO by crushing all opposition, and exerted a powerful influence within the councils of the Democratic Party.