CUNY Digital History Archive

CUNY Digital History Archive

A participatory project to collect and preserve the histories of the City University of New York — A work in progress
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"Suspended City College Registrar at Opening of Trial"

This newspaper clipping shows suspended City College registrar John K. Ackley sitting at his trial before the Board of Higher Education. Ackley had been identified for his Communist ties by the Rapp-Coudert Committee in April 1941. By June, he was [...]

"ABOLISH the R.O.T.C.!" Graphic

Published in a 1934 issue of Student Outlook, this illustration encapsulates the feelings of many left-leaning student activists towards the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) programs found on college campuses across the country. At [...]

Students Playing Ping Pong in CCNY Alcoves

The City College alcoves, located in the lunchroom, provided the setting for much political debate between students during the 1930s and served as the base for various student groups. They also used the space for leisure activities such as playing [...]

"Coudert Victims Suffer Tragic Fate in Witch-Hunt"

This article and accompanying photo from The Daily Worker, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, features comments from labor leader Bella Dodd highlighting the plight faced by many of City College's instructors whose futures were in [...]

Rally against the Rapp-Coudert Committee: "Defend our Right to Freedom of Thought and Action"

Taken during the Rapp-Coudert Committee hearings sometime between 1940 and 1942, this photograph shows demonstrators protesting against the statewide hunt for "subversive activities" and persons in New York's public schools and colleges. Supporters [...]

"Free Morris Schappes"

This is the logo of the Schappes Defense Committee. The group was formed shortly after City College English instructor Morris Schappes was sentenced to prison for failing to divulge the names of his fellow communists on the faculty at CCNY. At a [...]

Morris Schappes at Desk

This is an undated photograph of City College English instructor Morris Schappes. Schappes, a self-confessed communist, was himself twice a cause célèbre at CCNY. In April 1936, Schappes was fired after speaking on behalf of the faculty organized [...]

"Strike Against War"

This undated flier, likely from the mid-to-late 1930s, advertises just one of many similar anti-war and anti-fascism demonstrations on the City College campus. The left-leaning groups at CCNY scheduled such protests regularly, in conjunction with [...]

"In the Case of Morris U. Schappes"

This page from a mid-1941 pamphlet was created to support recently fired and sentenced City College English instructor Morris Schappes. A self-confessed Communist, Schappes had appeared before the Rapp-Coudert Committee, a N.Y. State organized [...]

"Rapp-Coudert Committee Subpoenas Schappes-Edel"

This cover of an issue of The CCNY Student features an especially critical reaction to the ongoing Rapp-Coudert hearings of 1940-41. Produced by the American Student Union, a national left-wing student organization, the cover's [...]

AFT Meeting: "Free Schools - Free People"

This photograph shows Dr. Bella Dodd, legislative director of the New York Teachers Union and an organizer for the Communist Party, addressing a crowd in protest of the Rapp-Coudert hearings on December 11, 1940, at the Manhattan Center. The [...]

Charles Hendley Protesting the Rapp-Coudert Committee

This photograph shows Charles Hendley, president of the Teachers Union, addressing over 2,000 to protest the Rapp-Coudert Committee at the Manhattan Center on November 10, 1940. The Rapp-Coudert Committee, a New York State initiative, was [...]

"Section of 1937 May Day Parade of 250,000"

This clipping from the April 1938 edition of the Daily Worker shows marchers from a local chapter of the Teachers Union, affiliated with the A.F.L., taking part in the May Day parade of 1937. The paraders marched down 8th, 9th, and 10th Avenues [...]

Advertisement for "Mock Trial of President Robinson"

This clipping from The Student Advocate advertises a student-run mock trial of City College President Frederick B. Robinson at Irving Plaza on May 16, 1936. The trial centered on the recent firing of CCNY Professor Morris Schappes. Schappes, an [...]

Cartoon of President Robinson Stomping on Protest Signs

This illustration depicts City College President Frederick B. Robinson stomping on anti-war protest signs from an April 22, 1937 CCNY student rally. During his time at City College, Robinson drew extraordinary criticism from left-leaning student [...]

"Strike at 11am To-Day," April 12, 1935

This flier advertises an April 12, 1935 anti-war demonstration at the City College of New York (CCNY). The 11am rally was part of a nationwide day of protest and attracted front-page coverage from the New York Times the following day with the [...]

"Strike Today for: Reinstatement of 21 Expelled Students - Ousting of Pres. Robinson"

This flier, from November 20, 1934, advertises a demonstration calling for the reinstatement of twenty-one expelled City College (CCNY) students as well as the removal of college president, Frederick B. Robinson. The twenty-one were expelled [...]

Rally on CCNY Quad, November, 20, 1934

This photograph was taken at the November 20, 1934 rally at CCNY. The demonstration was held to demand the reinstatement of twenty-one expelled students as well as the removal of college president, Frederick B. Robinson. The twenty-one were expelled [...]

"Strike Today," 1933

One day after an anti-war/anti-ROTC demonstration that led to the suspensions of students, clubs, and campus publications, student activists assembled again, only this time to protest their treatment at (and the consequences of) the prior day's [...]

Anti-War & Anti-ROTC Rally, May 1933

This photograph captures student demonstrators on "Jingo Day" at City College (CCNY) on May 29, 1933. Their march, in protest of an ROTC review scheduled on campus at Lewisohn Stadium, would escalate with the arrival of police officers who had been [...]

Twin Effigy of President Robinson and Italian Premier Mussolini at Protest

This photograph from a November 20, 1934 rally at City College (CCNY), features a student-made, two-headed effigy of CCNY President Frederick B. Robinson and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. After being paraded around campus throughout the [...]

"Reinstate Schappes" Rally

This photograph comes from a 1941 student rally in support of City College English instructor Morris Schappes, a self-avowed communist sentenced to prison for failing to divulge the names of his fellow party members on the faculty at CCNY. At a [...]

Nine Police Surveillance Photographs — 1941 May Day Parade

These surveillance photographs were taken by the New York City Police Department on May Day 1941. The images show participants from multiple City College student and faculty organizations including a chapter of the American Student Union. Marchers [...]

Letter from Wilfred A. Callender to Alfred Giardino: Concerns About Limited Space at Hostos

In this letter to the chairman of the Board of Higher Education in 1974, Hostos Community College English professor Wilfred Callender describes the inadequacy of the facilities at Hostos, pointing out how poor infrastructure has damaging effects on [...]

Dorothy Harris in Protest Over Space at Hostos

This clipping of the May 2,1974 issue of The Clarion shows an image of student Dorothy Harris alongside an article on the campaign to secure more space for Hostos Community College. The Clarion was a widely read newspaper issued by the Professional [...]

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