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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Subpoena issued to the College Teachers Union

This is the subpoena that was issued to the College Teachers Union on January 27, 1941. Commanding the union's presence at a January 31st hearing before the Rapp-Coudert Committee, the document requests extensive union membership records, meeting [...]

New York College Teachers Union Newsletter, January 1941

The cover of this issue of the College Newsletter, a publication of the New York College Teachers Union, includes several articles regarding the then ongoing Rapp-Coudert hearings of the early 1940s. They report on mass meetings with thousands of [...]

"Strike Tomorrow!"

The headline for this edition of Student News announces City College students' strike set for November 20, 1934. The strike was demanded the reinstatement of twenty-one expelled students as well as the removal of City College (CCNY) [...]

The Bulletin of the Anti-Fascist Association, January 1935

Founded by City College staff in early 1935, the Anti-Fascist Association was a collective of likeminded left-wing and liberal faculty who perceived and fought against a rising threat of fascism abroad and militarism at home. The group held monthly [...]

"New CCNY Song"

Published in the March 1936 edition of Teacher and Worker, the lyrics from this parody song mock City College of New York (CCNY) President Frederick B. Robinson and his efforts to keep "our alma mater pure," often through the supression of free [...]

Teacher and Worker, April 1936

Articles on this front page of the April 1936 issue of City College's Teacher and Worker discuss a planned student "peace assembly" as well as preparations for faculty participation in the upcoming May Day Parade. This monthly campus [...]

"Strike Against War!" Flier

This flier advertises an April 22, 1936 anti-war demonstration in the Great Hall at the City College of New York (CCNY). The event, attended by 3,500 students, featured addresses from student and faculty leaders as well as a vote that reaffirmed the [...]

"Umbrella Strikes Again!" Flier

This flier promotes an April 14, 1937 student protest against City College President Frederick B. Robinson's decision to ban the "Oxford Pledge" from the CCNY campus. The pledge, an American adaptation of the British original, comprised an oath in [...]

College Newsletter, November 25, 1940

Published by the New York College Teachers Union, this issue of the College Newsletter covers several reactions to the ongoing Rapp-Coudert hearings of the early 1940s.The Rapp-Coudert Committee was a New York State initiative [...]

American Student Union's "Charter of Student Rights and Responsibilities,"

Adopted at the American Student Union's (ASU) 1940 convention, this document lays out the group's main tenets, namely the belief that peace and progress must be found and cultivated at each of the nation's universities. The charter also lists a set [...]

"Peace Assembly: Strike in Lewisohn Stadium"

This flier advertises a peace rally at City College's Lewisohn Stadium on April 23, 1941. The assembly, one of two held simultaneously on that day, was part of an annual April peace demonstration at the school and the college cancelled all classes [...]

"Eleven CCNY Teachers Suspended in College Red Hunt"

This newspaper clipping from the April 23, 1941 edition of PM features eleven City College teachers suspended by the Board of Higher Education following discoveries, by the Rapp-Coudert Committee, of their communist ties. The majority [...]

"Students Fight Faculty Purge At City College"

This article from the New York Daily Mirror discusses an April 23, 1941 student rally at City College (CCNY). The rally, planned initially as an anti-war peace demonstration, was expanded to include a protest against the recent suspension of 11 [...]

"Breakfast and Forum on Political Tests for Teachers"

This flier promotes a breakfast forum discussing the Board of Higher Education's then recently passed resolution designed to "set up political qualifications for teachers." The resolution was adopted amidst the ongoing Rapp-Coudert Committee [...]

College Newsletter, June 2, 1941

The cover of this issue of the College Newsletter, a publication of the New York College Teachers Union, includes several articles regarding the then ongoing Rapp-Coudert hearings of the early 1940s. Included is one article addressed to [...]

College Newsletter, November 21, 1941

Published by the New York College Teachers Union, the cover of this issue of the College Newsletter features articles about the dismissal of Morris Schappes and Phillip Foner, two City College instructors fired as a result of the Rapp-Coudert [...]

"It's Happening in New York!"

Published in 1941, this pamphlet was created by the Committee for the Defense of Public Education, a joint committee between the Teachers Union and the College Teachers Union, amidst the turmoil of the Rapp-Coudert hearings. Citing a variety of [...]

National Student League Platform

Created in 1931, the National Student League (NSL) was a Communist-led coalition of radical students from across the United States. Growing out of frustrations felt by students at City College, the group expanded to other campuses embracing a single [...]

"They Put You in Jail"

This is a pamphlet from 1941 created in support of recently fired and imprisoned City College English instructor Morris Schappes. Schappes, a self-avowed communist was sentenced to prison for failing to divulge the names of his fellow party members [...]

"What Really Happened?"

Created within a week of the May 29, 1933 anti-war/anti-ROTC rally that led to the suspensions of students, clubs, and campus publications, this flier advertises another demonstration designed to both "secure the reinstatement of the [suspended] [...]

William Canning during his Testimony

This photograph shows William Canning, an instructor in the City College history department, appearing before the Rapp-Coudert Committee. During his testimony, Canning, an ex-member of the Communist Party, disclosed the names of over fifty fellow [...]

"Rally in City College's Lewisohn Stadium"

This newspaper clipping features a photograph of an April 23, 1941 peace assembly at City College's Lewisohn Stadium. An annual event, the college administration cancelled all classes that day between 11am and 12pm to accommodate the gathering. With [...]

Annette Gottsegen Taking Oath Before Testimony

This photograph shows Annette Sherman Gottsegen, a clerk at City College, taking an oath prior to her testimony against CCNY registrar John Ackley. Ackley would shortly thereafter be fired from his position. Gottsegen had previously been a member [...]

"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 [...]