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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"The Crisis in City College"

On this cover of the December 1933 edition of the National Student League's Student Review, CCNY President Robinson is depicted in full academic regalia as a cat, following in step behind a German military officer. Robinson's tail, [...]

"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) [...]

"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 [...]

"Schappes Must Stay!" Flier

This flier promotes a May 12, 1936 conference organized by City College's Student Council. The meeting, which first called for the election of student-elected delegates, was meant to "determine future student action on the Schappes case." Morris [...]

"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 [...]

"Our Position"

This flier promotes a student rally in support of suspended City College history instructor Jack Foner. Foner, a CCNY graduate of 1932, was just one victim of the Rapp-Coudert hearings which lasted from 1940 to 1941. The hearings, organized by New [...]

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 [...]

"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 [...]

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 [...]

"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] [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

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 [...]