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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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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

The Frederick Douglass Society, CCNY 1941

This 1941 photograph shows the members of the Frederick Douglass Society at City College (CCNY). The group, originally established in 1921 by ten black students, was one of the most active clubs on campus and, for several years, campaigned for the [...]

Suspended Faculty Reading Flier at Peace Rally

This photograph shows nine of the eleven City College faculty and staff members that were suspended on April 22, 1941 as a result of the Rapp-Coudert hearings. The New York State sanctioned hearings sought to weed out "subversive influences" and [...]

"Winter Soldiers - The Story of a Conspiracy Against the Schools"

Published in 1941 by the Committee for Defense of Public Education, a joint committee of the Teachers Union and the College Teachers Union, Winter Soldiers tells the story of the Rapp-Coudert hearings and New York State's efforts to rid its [...]