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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Alumni Petition for Free Expression on Campus

This June 1933 petition was created by the City College Alumni Committee on Academic Freedom in protest of the college's treatment of students following a May 29th rally. The student-organized anti-war/anti-ROTC rally met resistance from the [...]

"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) [...]

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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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] [...]

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 [...]

"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 [...]

"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 [...]

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 [...]


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