Citation
Walking the Tightrope

Material Information

Title:
Walking the Tightrope Americans for Democratic Action in the South, 1947-1963
Creator:
Gallagher, Douglas Steven
Place of Publication:
[Gainesville, Fla.]
Publisher:
University of Florida
Publication Date:
Language:
english
Physical Description:
1 online resource (286 p.)

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Degree:
Doctorate ( Ph.D.)
Degree Grantor:
University of Florida
Degree Disciplines:
History
Committee Chair:
Zieger, Robert H.
Committee Members:
Pleasants, Julian M.
Davis, Richard H.
Jacobs, Matthew
Conley, Richard S.
Graduation Date:
5/1/2008

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Civil rights ( jstor )
College students ( jstor )
Communism ( jstor )
Conservatism ( jstor )
Liberalism ( jstor )
Political organizations ( jstor )
Political parties ( jstor )
Politicians ( jstor )
Senators ( jstor )
War ( jstor )
History -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
ada, liberalism, south, united
City of Miami ( local )
Genre:
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
History thesis, Ph.D.

Notes

Abstract:
My study explored the history of the liberal political organization Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) as its leaders attempted to establish a series of chapters in the southern United States and influence the political fortunes of liberals in those states in the period following the end of the Second World War. ADA boasted a number of prominent members in its ranks and claimed to have a great deal of influence in national politics, but its efforts in the South were largely unsuccessful in attracting new members and contributing to the debate in southern politics. ADA leaders made no fewer than three separate attempts to organize southern chapters with dedicated organizers on the scene in the region. The organization's lack of success in the South was the result of a combination of factors. Its leaders were never able to sustain organizational efforts financially as a result of chronic shortages of money throughout its early history. They also had to deal with frequent charges that ADA, despite a clear repudiation of Communism dating to the group's founding in 1947, had a close working relationship with Communists and their allies. The charge carried some weight in the South because of the willingness of other southern liberals to work with Communists during the Great Depression and World War II. A more fundamental problem was that ADA's leaders did not understand the political dynamics of the South during this period. Liberals in positions of national prominence hoped that the long-standing conservatism of southern politics was coming to an end, and the election of several liberals to state and national office in the post-war years buoyed their optimism. However, several years of struggling to attract southerners to ADA did not create the network of chapters its leaders had hoped to create, and this dissertation shows how and why that process failed and contributes to the political history of the post-war South. ( en )
General Note:
In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note:
Includes vita.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description:
Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description:
This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Thesis:
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2008.
Local:
Adviser: Zieger, Robert H.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Douglas Steven Gallagher

Record Information

Source Institution:
UFRGP
Rights Management:
Copyright by Douglas Steven Gallagher. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Embargo Date:
7/11/2008
Classification:
LD1780 2008 ( lcc )

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revive an inactive chapter at the school. Martin considered this possibility "a real break in, for

our purposes, the almost solid south [sic]."35 As was the case in Nashville and Knoxville,

however, the hope for a breakthrough in Charlottesville turned out to be unrealistic. The biggest

problem Rieger faced at Virginia was a university culture in which, as the student Cavalier Daily

editorialized, the vast majority of students "attend classes occasionally, the flicks [movies]

frequently, and have a 'great time' on weekends." These students were simply oblivious to the

notion that they should care about world affairs or reforming campus life, and this allowed a

small group of committed students to control campus affairs. Unfortunately for Rieger, most of

these students were conservative, leaving a small pool of liberals for him to organize.36

As a result, in the fall of 1953, when Rieger returned to Charlottesville, he found that

"things have not been breaking the way I had hoped." He could not convince a liberal member

of the faculty to sponsor SDA, finding them either in poor health, out of the country, deeply

involved with their own research, or unwilling to organize a chapter. He also had to deal with

the Young Republicans and Young Democrats, who formed the solidly conservative political

bloc on campus. As Rieger later wrote, "the reactionaries have taken over." Worse still,

Rieger's main lieutenant with SDA urged Rieger to work with the conservative Young

Democrats in lieu of the "'loaded name' of ADA." Rieger refused, saying "I am a fighter, and I

will not call a spade a diamond."37

Rieger may have welcomed the ADA label, but he also knew the political climate in

Charlottesville, and his experiences with the Young Democrats on campus taught him to keep



35 Martin to Arnold Rieger, August 17, 1953, reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers.

36 Virginius Dabney, Mr. Jefferson's University: A History (Charlottesville, 1981), 301-302.

37 Rieger to Martin, October 4, 1953, reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers.









Johnson himself withdrew.69 Once again, liberals were in a bind. They could not support

Shivers, of course, but they did not want Rayburn to turn the state Democratic Party into a pro-

Johnson organization either.

Texas Democrats disapproved of Rayburn's "dictatorial" handling of the Texas delegation

to the Democratic convention. There was every indication that several DAC members would

openly declare their displeasure with Rayburn's attempts to take over the delegation. Most DAC

members favored Stevenson, and Rayburn wanted to keep his reputation as a "democratic" figure

within the party, in the sense of allowing the organizers and activists to decide on policy for

themselves.70 Rayburn was also feeling heat from the right. On March 25, Shivers appeared on

Meet the Press to publicly insult the House Speaker and make "a sarcastic promise to support

Johnson if only he knew his views on such issues as federal aid to education, states' rights and

desegregation."71

Therefore, Lambert was quite optimistic that the circumstances of the moment precluded

any sort of compromise between Shivers, Rayburn, and Johnson. As he wrote, "given the kind

of terms Shivers could be expected to exact-Shivers as delegation Chairman, and a majority of

Shivercrats (disloyal Democrats) on the delegation ... and the consequences of these terms to

the national Party prestige of both Rayburn and Johnson if they should again show up in Chicago

supporting, or as part of, a party-bolting delegation-it would seem that the liberal DACers'

alternative would likely be more palatable."72


69 George Lambert, "TEXAS POLITICAL REPORT," March 18, 1956, pp. 1-2, reel 52, no. 308,
ADA Papers.

70 George Lambert, "TEXAS POLITICAL REPORT," 2-3.

71 Steinberg, Sam Rayburn, 301.
72 Lambert, "TEXAS POLITICAL REPORT," 3-4.









individuals can join, receive help and information, and work through 'front' groups and do a

'Fabian' sort of job."88 Ironically, this put SDA's leadership in the position of endorsing the

kind of tactics that liberals had vehemently criticized Communists and Socialists for using in the

1930s and 1940s. In the late 1940s, for example, ADA leaders had explicitly dismissed the

Southern Conference for Human Welfare as a front organization. Now Bernstein was asking his

superiors to endorse a similar strategy in the Deep South, where organizational prospects seemed

bleakest.

There were potential bright spots. Bernstein thought the contacts SDA leaders had

established with Martin Luther King during the Montgomery boycott would help them in

Alabama, and he believed that many of the predominantly black schools in Georgia and

Louisiana might be receptive to SDA's message. However, he was not particular about who

received the credit for SDA's organizational activities. "The most important thing is to get the

job done, whether it be done under the title SDA or not, and in the deep South, often a front

group such as 'Campus Political Club,' is more effective but SDA must offer the leadership."89

Bernstein traveled across the South as he mapped out this strategy. In late March and early

April 1956, he met with prospective members on campuses in Louisiana. He met with nine

potential members at Tulane in New Orleans, only to find that most were graduating seniors or

graduate students. In addition, they were all Unitarians in an overwhelmingly Catholic city.

Finally, Tulane liberals had endured persistent investigation by authorities at the state and federal

level. Senator James Eastland of Mississippi had taken a particular interest in whether

Communists were at work on the Tulane campus. He had sponsored a Senate investigation into


s Bestein, "Organization in the South."
89 Bernstein, "Organization in the South."
Bernstein, "Organization in the South."









a vision-called by whatever name-do most of the thinking and the work. They try to inject

enthusiasm and rally support even when they feel there will be no response."26

In late 1951, Ettinger left SDA. His replacement as SDA executive secretary was Galen A.

Martin, a West Virginia native who had been active in the SDA chapter at Berea College in

Kentucky while he was a student there. He would later refer to his time with SDA as a

"revelation."27 His first major project with SDA was an attempt to revive the chapter in

Nashville. The catalyst for Martin's interest in Nashville was the ultimately unsuccessful

presidential campaign of Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver. On two separate occasions in the

summer and fall of 1952, Martin contacted Vanderbilt political science professor Lee McLean,

who had worked on Kefauver's campaign, to ask whether he would become SDA's faculty

sponsor at Vanderbilt.28 Martin had also written liberal contacts at William and Mary in

Virginia, North Carolina A&T and the University of North Carolina to gauge their interest in

SDA. Most of the responses he received "did not indicate that it would be worth [his] while to

take such a long trip," so he abandoned the idea of an extended trip through the South.29

McLean's response to Martin's inquiry, written in February of 1953, was cautiously

optimistic. He recounted the history of the Nashville SDA chapter, noting that its biggest

problem had been that "its meetings were restricted to the campuses of our two Negro schools

here. Due partially to the inconvenience in going crosstown to attend meetings, the white

26 Ettinger to John H. Harris, May 18, 1951, reel 51, no. 299, ADA Papers.

27 Galen Martin interview by Betsy Brinson, November 4, 1999, p. 9, Kentucky Civil Rights Oral
History Project, Kentucky Oral History Commission, Kentucky Historical Society,
http://205.204.134.47/civil rights_mvt/media/KCRP.20.B.28.Martin.pdf (accessed January 30,
2008).

28 Martin to Lee McLean, July 8, 1952 and October 25, 1952, reel 135, series VIII, no. 170, ADA
Papers.

29 Martin to McLean, February 11, 1953, reel 135, series VIII, no. 170, ADA Papers.









Murray definitely disapproves of us and has pronounced a plague on the houses of both ADA

and PCA [Progressive Citizens of America] with fine impartiality."70

Taylor knew this because he was regularly receiving communications from southern union

leaders such as Paul R. Christopher of the CIO Organizing Committee in Knoxville, who

declined Taylor's request for assistance in starting ADA chapters in East Tennessee. According

to Christopher, "CIO's position is that we will stick to our own Political Action Committee

program, and both PCA and ADA are left off the recommended list of political organizations to

join. So I would not be able to join ADA however sympathetic I may be toward it or how much

I might prefer ADA over PCA.71 Confusion and poor communication were hindering Taylor's

efforts to get labor on board with ADA, and his frustration was palpable.

Other southern liberals disagreed with Taylor's public optimism about the South, ironically

agreeing with his private pessimism about the job. In September, for example, Atlanta attorney

(and local organizing committee member) Joseph Jacobs had written Loeb on this issue. Unlike

Taylor, Jacobs had not been impressed with the diversity of the initial Atlanta gathering. He

wrote, "there were no particularly outstanding people in the community; there was a dearth of

what might be called New Dealers and college people." Most of those interested were members

of labor unions, and ADA had always tried to avoid the impression that it was not just an

extension of the AFL or CIO. Non-affiliated liberals had stayed away in Atlanta, and Taylor

could not earn their allegiance in a week or ten days. Jacobs concluded, "It was the feeling of a







70 Taylor to Dubrow, September 23, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.
71 Paul R. Christopher to Taylor, December 22, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.









Hamilton could not understand Freeman's decision, especially in the wake of a report from

the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that had criticized SCHW for soliciting

the help of Communists for organizing and fund-raising activities. The bigger problem for

SCHW, however, was that it never created a base of support in the South. It depended far too

heavily for financial support from outside sources, including CIO unions.55 Taylor and his allies

in the South may have claimed that their true motivation for fighting SCHW was to free southern

liberalism from the taint of Communism in a time of Cold War, but the situation was more

complicated. ADA's position in the South was just as precarious as that of the Southern

Conference, and perhaps even more so. Taylor and Loeb were fearful of following in the failed

footsteps of Clark Foreman and James Dombrowski. SCHW's experience was a cautionary tale

for ADA. There was always a chance that the support they expected to find was not there.

Therefore, Taylor was after one of two things: either confirmation that ADA could be

organized in the South, or confirmation that his efforts would prove useless in the end. Either

way, he wanted to know so he could plan accordingly, and the national office acknowledged

Taylor's impatience. At the end of August, Tucker broached the subject. He wrote, "I am sure it

is warm and uncomfortable in Memphis as it is in Washington, if not more so, but nevertheless, I

am constrained to ask for a little more patience with us from you." Tucker then provided some

reasons, or "excuses" from Taylor's point of view, detailing why he had neglected Taylor's

correspondence, including a heavily reduced staff during the summer months and the national

office's own financial problems during the summer. Tucker reassured Taylor that "one of the






55 Morton J. Sosna, In Search of the Silent S.,lh S.nlihei I Liberals and the Race Issue (New
York, 1977), 145, 146.









party from the inside. Lambert also wanted to send a message to two prominent Democrats in

Washington, Representative Sam Rayburn and Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. These two Texans

were particularly susceptible to outside pressures: while they were enormously influential in

Washington, D.C., they were vulnerable to challenges from Shivers, who always suspected them

of being too liberal in supporting public housing, education, and government health insurance.

For their part, liberals thought Rayburn and Johnson too conservative on civil rights and too

zealous in protecting Texas oil and gas industries. Each side thought it could influence these two

powerful men and seize control of the state Democratic Party in the mid-1950s.

In the end, neither side truly won the war. Rayburn and Johnson fended off challenges to

their political positions through deft maneuvering that kept everyone off balance, and Shivers

maintained his hold on the state's political system for most of the 1950s. Years of struggle and

organization amounted to little for Lambert beyond a few new ADA chapters in Fort Worth,

Houston, and several smaller communities. Like Hopkins, Lambert found that organizing a

place such as Texas required finding committed and hard-working people in those communities

who were willing to sacrifice for the sake of their chapter, and those people were hard to find.

He also suffered even more acutely as a result of the financial burdens ADA was carrying in the

1950s. Lambert was tireless in his quest to foster ADA liberalism to Texas. However, his

efforts went largely unrewarded. The national organization ended its financial support for

Lambert before the 1956 elections, in which Texas again cast its electoral votes for the

Republican ticket.

Clearly, a new strategy for ADA organization was needed, and while ADA leaders never

truly gave up on the South, their focus shifted to ADA's student division, known as Students for

Democratic Action (SDA) before 1958 and Campus ADA (CADA) afterward. This









1950.3 It would be very difficult for the organization to support Pepper in his re-election fight,

but liberals had few southerners they could rely on in the Senate, and they could ill afford to lose

one, regardless of his views on Communism and the Soviet Union.

The other battleground on which ADA leaders focused in preparation for the 1950

election cycle was North Carolina, where, not long after the Atlanta conference adjourned, an

unexpected opportunity presented itself On March 6, 1949, former governor and newly elected

Senator J. Melville Broughton died, leaving Governor Kerr Scott the task of naming a

replacement to serve twenty months of Broughton's term before a special election in November

1950. Scott's list of potential replacements grew to over fifty names, though some of the

governor's closest confidants, including his wife Mary, urged him to select Frank Graham.

When Scott offered Graham the job, Graham balked, protesting that he already had a job as

president of the University of North Carolina. It is possible that Graham may have also had

political reasons for initially refusing a seat in the Senate. Graham knew that he had potential

liabilities as a candidate and that his enemies would use his past as a founding member of the

Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW) to accuse him of Communist sympathies, if

not outright membership in the party. Earlier in 1949, he had endured a taste of what his life

might be like in Washington. In January, he learned that the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC)

had been investigating him for more than two years without his knowledge, trying to find reasons

not to grant him "complete security clearance" as president of the Oak Ridge Institute for

Nuclear Studies. The AEC report found fault with Graham for his alliances with "suspect

persons and organizations," but it eventually found no reason not to trust him with nuclear



3 Clark, "Road to Defeat," 119-131; John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation
Before the Civil Rights Movement in the S.lum (Chapel Hill, 1995), 479.









needed dues."49 It was successful enough that Leong scheduled a debate on the Bricker

Amendment for February 16, even though, as Martin noted, the Senate would have voted on the

amendment by that date.50

After the defeat of the Bricker Amendment, Leong sponsored a panel discussion on

Indochina in February and a speech from economics professor Clarence Ayers on "The New

Economics" in March. These events were important successes for SDA at Texas, but Leong still

had important problems he needed to address. He had to deal with harassment from right-wing

groups on campus, though it amounted to little more than the defacing of a few posters. The

bigger issues were "lack of funds and a non-expanding membership. Liberal students attend our

discussion-meetings but hesitate to join. Our development seems to have reached an impasse."51

There was little Leong could do to expand on SDA's educational activities. He had

positioned SDA as one of the campus's most important groups in terms of educating students on

current events from a liberal perspective. However, he wanted to encourage students to take a

stand by joining SDA, and on that score he had little success, mirroring the experiences of

students at Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Virginia. The national office responded by telling Leong

to "play up and publicize the more famous liberal names in ADA" and tackle the Communism

issue head on, perhaps through "a discussion meeting in which you discuss just such a problem

so as to bring the question out into the open to thoroughly ventilate it and thus put to shame those

people who are frightened."52



49 Leong to Martin, February 3, 1954, reel 135, series VIII, no. 172, ADA Papers.
50 Martin to Leong, February 4, 1954, reel 135, series VIII, no. 172, ADA Papers.

51 Leong to Martin, March 3, 1954, reel 135, series VIII, no. 172, ADA Papers.

52 Hughes to Leong, May 25, 1954, reel 135, series VIII, no. 172, ADA Papers.









handclaps lit a cigarette in what looked like a gesture of contempt."53 One thing that seemed

clear from listening to the speeches in Miami was that the need for "unity" and the unwillingness

of Democrats to commit to more substantial reform was a bad sign for liberals.

The usefulness of reports like these to ADA leaders convinced them to keep Lambert on

the payroll through the 1954 Democratic primaries, even though the Dallas chapter had not

raised any money toward his salary.54 Looking at the quality and detail of the information

Lambert was providing, it is easy to see why ADA officials did not want to lose him. He had a

gift for telling liberals in Washington what was going on in Texas from a unique point of view.

With this in mind, the Washington office was willing to swallow an expense that might have

seemed prohibitive under any other circumstances. However, Lambert knew that he had to

deliver tangible results to ADA if its officials were going to continue to fund him.

In mid-May, after the window of opportunity for candidates to register for the Democratic

primaries in Texas had closed, he summed up where liberals stood at that moment. He was not

optimistic about his prospects. According to Lambert's report, Rayburn had done little with the

Democratic Advisory Council beyond turning it into a personal fund-raising tool that would

funnel money to the national party. Raybum would not let the group back liberals and loyalists

in the primaries and would not invite Stevenson to Texas for speeches or fund-raisers. As a

result, liberals had washed their hands of the DAC for the time being, choosing instead to

campaign for Shivers' main rival for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1954, Ralph

Yarborough. "Work and money is being shifted to the Yarborough campaign in the hope that

Yarborough can be elected and that, if elected, his prestige as Governor will cause enough of the



53 Lambert, "Report on ... Regional Dinner."

54 Hollander to Ruth Ellinger, July 7, 1954, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers.









Taylor was not willing to admit he had been wrong. He wrote, "a close examination of

expenditures of this office fails to support your initial statement that 'All the Southern Office

costs are exceeding its approved budget.'" He contended that his travel expenses had been well

within reason, even though Tucker had not questioned them; he had paid two months' advance

rent on their office space; and sixty dollars remained from the initial ADA appropriation. As for

the lamp, Taylor noted that his secretary had indicated that she would "be glad to pay for it

herself in case the national office disapproved," which they clearly did. Taylor acknowledged

the concern about individual expenditures over ten dollars, asking only, "in return that your

office expedite, better than it has in the past, approval or disapproval of such requests."44 The

tension between the local and national offices concerning financial matters was quite clear.

Despite this tension over finances, ADA could not claim that Taylor was not working hard

to organize chapters in the South. At the end of June, Taylor summed up his early activities in

his weekly report to Loeb. He had finally started a chapter in Memphis, and in early July he

planned to head to Birmingham to chair an organizational meeting headed by Fiedelson and

Mitch, though their participation was not yet official or public knowledge. He touted "the next

most likely spots" for organization as being Nashville and Chattanooga. "My most extensive list

of names, however, are [sic] from North Carolina, where I should make an extensive trip as soon

as possible. Chapters, I believe, can be rather easily established at Chapel Hill, Greensboro,

Raleigh and Charlotte."45 Taylor's approach to organization was to be involved at the very

beginning of a city's chapter formation, providing literature about ADA's liberal platform and

reassuring residents who were concerned about the group's stances on civil rights, Communism,



44 Taylor to Tucker, June 27, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.

45 Taylor to Loeb, "Weekly Report," June 30, 1947, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers.









prospects for southern liberalism, and they had shared their negative attitude with Sellers and

others.

Despite this consistent negativity from liberals in the South, SDA continued with its

southern efforts. Many of those efforts centered on Nashville, where in May 1950 twenty-one

students from Vanderbilt, Scarritt, Peabody, Cumberland, Fisk, and Tennessee A&I formed an

SDA chapter. Campus liberals formed the chapter at a moment when Vanderbilt was beginning

a "great leap forward" in its academic standing under Chancellor Harvie Branscomb.

Branscomb had become chancellor in 1947, and he wanted to make the university a national

institution. In order to do that, Branscomb had to curtail the power of the university's Board of

Trust, and in June 1950 he succeeded in convincing the board to remove older, more

conservative board members from active duty on the board. This was important to campus

liberals because the old alumni had a reputation for being "suspicious of innovations" and were

notorious for "[keeping a lookout for any form of liberal or radical heresy on campus," including

those advocating black civil rights and supporters of "New Deal regulatory or welfare policies."

These board members were never able to stop reform, but they held powerful positions on the

board, and Branscomb's ability to remove them from those positions meant that liberals would

have a better chance of making their voices heard.7

In 1949, Ralph Dummit had become SDA Field Secretary, and he saw the creation of the

Nashville chapter as an encouraging sign for southern organization. The inclusion of students

from black and white colleges in the city made it SDA's first integrated chapter in the South, and

Dummit hoped "to get six chapters in the South in order that a Southern Region may be set up.

If such a Region is established, there are hopes for a full-time field organizer and an office for

7 Paul K. Conkin, Gone ii i/h the Ivy: A Biography of Vanderbilt University (Knoxville, 1985),
434-435, 450-455.









systematic analysis of the realistic prospects for existing and future chapters in the region, on the

basis of the assessments long-time ADA members gave him. For example, he reported that

Atlanta "has the best of intentions but is too much dominated by labor leaders. These persons

have statewide interests, which will be helpful to our conference, but cuts its effectiveness in the

Fulton County area." The Schulters of Birmingham were "defeated by their estimate of the

city," in part because they wanted to emphasize civil rights to the detriment of the rest of the

liberal agenda. He could not even arrange a meeting with his contacts in Memphis, despite

having spent days putting together an itinerary that would allow such a meeting. Thomason

could not hide his disappointment with what he learned during the trip, writing, "my conclusions

after this trip are the task before us is much bigger than even the most pessimistic had imagined."

He also rejected the notion that "one man for the South aided only by voluntary supporters"

could undertake the task, noting that "Barney Taylor's experience seems to prove this point."

Finally, as always, there was the financial situation. He wrote, "Money is naturally the principal

problem and I must confess that there is little hope that the South can provide enough to do the

job."30

Despite the pessimism with which Thomason now regarded organizing southern liberals,

plans for the Atlanta conference went forward. Loeb drafted the formal letters inviting

important southern politicians, educators, labor leaders, and private citizens to the February

meeting. In it, he pointed to the success liberals had enjoyed in the November elections and

reiterated that this success presented a unique opportunity to liberals in upcoming legislative

battles. He declared, "Americans for Democratic Action-which, as you know, has become an

effective focal point for non-Communist liberal activity nationally-can be the agency in which,


30 Thomason to Loeb, January 12, 1949, reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.









As historians have told the individual stories of southern liberals, they have also sought to

explain how their collective efforts affected the course of southern history in the twentieth

century. The most important difference between these historians concerns the importance they

place on racial issues. Morton J. Sosna, John Dittmer, David Chappell, and Jason Sokol have all

concentrated almost exclusively on the process by which certain southerners became racial

liberals and traced the effect these liberals had on the debate over legal and social segregation in

the South.3 Sosna's In Search of the Silent .Salh is most explicit in defining southern liberalism

along these lines, "classifying as 'liberal' those white Southerners who perceived that there was a

serious maladjustment of race relations in the South" and fought against it by advocating anti-

lynching legislation, voting rights for blacks, and desegregation of public facilities.4

Other historians have advocated a more comprehensive view of what it meant for a

twentieth-century southerner to be "liberal." Patricia Sullivan's Days of Hope does not

deemphasize racial issues, but she does believe that southern liberals who were politically active

during the 1930s and 1940s were just as concerned with overturning the region's "defeating

culture of poverty" through economic development and labor activism.5 Numan Bartley's

history of the "New South" also emphasizes the important role of southern labor in liberal

activism, though he detects a shift in liberalism between the end of World War II and the mid-

1950s. During the post-war period, according to Bartley, "economic reform had gone out of


3 Morton J. Sosna, In Search of the Silent .o,nil .,n/lhei ni Liberals and the Race Issue (New
York, 1977); John Dittmer, Local People: The Sltrnigle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (Urbana,
Ill., 1994); David L. Chappell, Inside Agitators. White .Si/lhei nci in the Civil Rights Movement
(Baltimore, 1994); Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything: White .SNiwlhi wui in the Age of
Civil Rights, 1945-1975 (New York, 2006).

4 Sosna, viii.

5 Patricia Sullivan, Days ofHope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill,
1996), 2, 3-5.









CHAPTER 4
JOHN THOMASON, THE ATLANTA CONFERENCE OF FEBRUARY 1949, AND A
REASSESSMENT OF ADA'S FUTURE IN THE SOUTH

In the wake of the startling Democratic victory in the 1948 elections, ADA leaders

renewed their efforts to create a viable presence in the South. Encouraged by the election of

southern liberals such as Estes Kefauver in Tennessee and by Truman's ability to carry seven

southern states despite the challenge of the insurgent Dixiecrats, they organized a conference to

meet in Atlanta in February 1949. There southern liberals reviewed the prospects and challenges

for ADA in a South undergoing rapid political and economic transformation. Those attending

the conference, which resulted in a new ADA-funded effort to build local organizations in

several southern states, discussed at length such topics as the role of race and civil rights, the

condescending attitudes toward the South held by northern liberals, and the distinctive problems

facing liberals in the various southern states.

Indeed, the frank and free-ranging discussions brought forth a number of difficulties facing

a southern liberal initiative. Probably the most contentious issue related to race relations, with

even prominent liberals such as North Carolina's Frank Graham urging ADA to exercise caution.

Others outlined the distinctive dilemmas of the various southern states, the problematic relations

between organized labor and other activists, and the need to reassure even liberal southerners of

ADA's respect for states rights and local customs. Although all of these matters were potentially

crippling for the liberal organization, the Atlanta conference did result in the appointment of a

new southern organizer and a renewed commitment, one everyone hoped would benefit from

knowledge of the mistakes made during Barney Taylor's tenure, to create a vigorous ADA

presence in the heart of Dixie.

In that sense, Taylor's abrupt resignation in April 1948 was a blessing in disguise, since it

forced ADA to reassess its efforts in the South. This was particularly true considering the









was making progress.61 According to Loeb, Tennessee looked most promising, with chapters or

organizing committees established in Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga. Their success was

especially vital because of the need to help Kefauver and Browning in 1948. Loeb also

mentioned several communities in North Carolina and Louisiana where work was just beginning

or would begin shortly, arguing that ADA had more work to do in the South and that funding for

Taylor's project should continue.62

In addition, Atlanta seemed to be coming around, though this development barely received

a mention in Loeb's report. In September, Taylor's meeting with Atlanta liberals had suffered

from a "relatively light turn-out," according to one attendee, but the group they had assembled

seemed committed to making ADA work, and they had established good relations with people

like Tilly, who now worked for the SRC.63 As Director of Organization Evelyn Dubrow told

Vice President Carmen Lucia of the United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International

Union (AFL), "we are delighted to see ADA going so well in Atlanta because we think of your

city as a stronghold of liberal ideas where our organization should flourish."64 The key,

according to Arthur Joy, was continued effort at the local and regional level to get people

interested in ADA liberalism and keep them interested while the chapter got started. "The very

fact that we had only between 45 and 50 at the meeting in response to 340 invitations; the rather

apathetic reaction of the gathering; and the fact that only 14 of those present signed applications


61 The report was based on a "long, rambling letter" Taylor wrote to ADA's Washington office
in early September detailing his work and the backgrounds of the people he had brought into the
fold. Taylor to Violet Megrath, September 5, 1947, reel 52, no. 305, ADA Papers.

62 Loeb, "Executive Secretary's Report to ADA National Board," September 20, 1947, reel 50,
no. 264, ADA Papers.
63 Phillip G. Hammer to Taylor, September 17, 1947, reel 50, no. 275, ADA Papers.

64 Evelyn Dubrow to Carmen Lucia, September 25, 1947, reel 61, no. 33, ADA Papers.









selected through DAC and the delegation is under no obligation to Johnson other than to vote for

him on the first ballot." The DAC agreed to this proposal because they had canvassed county

Democratic leaders and found that a majority of them were refusing to give Johnson the power

he wanted.7

The next domino to fall in the fight over the Texas delegation was Rayburn, who had

stayed out of the limelight during Johnson's machinations. DAC State Secretary Kathleen Voigt

did reach Rayburn in Washington, however, for an off-the-record conversation about the

proposal. Voigt spoke on behalf of the loyal Democrats in insisting that something be done to

get the rank-and-file to fight for the Democratic ticket in the fall, and Rayburn's response

indicated he was willing to work with DAC liberals to protect his own interests.

This represented the end of Lambert's ultimately futile quest to turn what Robert Nathan

referred to as "the wonderful people he met in Texas, [and] the feeling of kinship and the

dynamic liberalism he found there" into thriving local ADA chapters and a liberal shift in the

Democratic Party in Texas. His struggles highlight in miniature the dilemma Americans for

Democratic Action faced in the years following World War II.76 The biggest problem ADA

faced was that its leaders were primarily outsiders, and like reformers throughout American

history, they saw the South "as a problem requiring remedial action."77

ADA officials never explicitly put matters in those terms, but that was how many Texans

viewed northern liberals, and the gap between these regions was never truly bridged in the years

following World War II. The state's Democratic party was so reactionary, so unwilling to


75 George Lambert, "Texas Report," 4-5.

76 Hollander to George Lambert, November 19, 1954, reel 52, no. 308, ADA Papers.

77 Larry J. Griffin and Don Doyle, introduction to The Sm,,/lh as an American Problem, Griffin
and Doyle eds. (Athens, 1995), 4.









of opinion on campus is not at all rabid-in fact, a majority of students in a poll taken a few

years ago came out in favor of integration." Dean wanted King to write a letter supporting the

Gainesville chapter's efforts and "asking for the co-operation of Florida's Negro teachers and

students." Doing so would place Dean's efforts in the context of the final push to integrate

southern universities, which was taking place in the early 1960s across the region.102

Dean suffered through a long delay in waiting for King's response, confessing to the

Washington office that "we are pressed for time" as a result. Nevertheless, Dean pressed on,

working with the principals of black high schools in the state to secure financial assistance that

applicants could use in case the university accepted them. "We have a couple of possibilities,

but you [in the Washington office] might be considering a fund of our own if only one or two

students qualify."103 In late January 1962, Dean finally received a reply from King, and the

Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) chairman did express support for the

Gainesville chapter's efforts. King also expressed confidence that "the principals of the Negro

high schools in Florida [would be] anxious to participate in this project."104

The activist nature of the chapters in Gainesville and Austin was an encouraging sign for

the national office. So too was the organization, in March 1962, of the Southern Student

Freedom Fund (SSFF). SSFF partnered CADA with several important liberal organizations,

including Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the National Student Association (NSA),

and SDA chairman Howard Wachtel explained that the coalition would "educate non-southern

sections of the country to the problems which confront Southern Negroes," as well as "embark


102 Dean to King, November 21, 1961, reel 138, series VIII, no. 211, ADA Papers.

103 Dean to Lambert, December 27, 1961, reel 138, series VIII, no. 211, ADA Papers.

104 King to Dean, January 27, 1962, reel 138, series VIII, no. 211, ADA Papers.









TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

A C K N O W LED G M EN T S ...................................................... ..............................................

ABSTRAC T ............. .............................................................................

CHAPTER

1 IN T R O D U C T IO N ............................... .................. ............................................................ ..

2 RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: SOUTHERN LIBERALISM, COMMUNISM, AND
THE UDA/ADA IN THE 1940s ........................................................................ 24

3 "THE HELL WITH IT": BARNEY TAYLOR AND THE FIRST INCARNATION OF
THE ADA SOUTHERN OFFICE IN MEMPHIS, 1947-1948 ...................................49

4 JOHN THOMASON, THE ATLANTA CONFERENCE OF FEBRUARY 1949, AND
A REASSESSMENT OF ADA's FUTURE IN THE SOUTH.............. ................90

5 "OUR PROPOSED SOLUTION...HAS COLLAPSED": ALDEN HOPKINS AND
THE REINCARNATION OF THE ADA SOUTHERN OFFICE, 1949-1950................128

6 THE LIMITS OF LIBERALISM: GEORGE LAMBERT, THE ADA IN TEXAS, AND
THE FIGHT FOR THE TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY, 1953-1956 ...........................179

7 "THE SOUTH IS AFLAME": STUDENTS FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTION, THE
CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, AND THE FIGHT FOR SOUTHERN LIBERALISM....212

8 CONCLUSION..................... ... .. .... .... ................. 264

L IST O F R E FE R E N C E S ............................................................................. ..........................282

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E T C H ............................................................................. ....................286









worked with the local UMW, telling him that a July meeting had "a very small attendance." This

forced Taylor to follow Schulter's suggestion "that we just sort of nurse [the chapter] along until

after the summer was over before trying to hold a mass meeting."46 In a situation where

momentum was so important, having local chapters stop their organizing activities for months at

a time was a bad blow to Taylor's project.

Moreover, bureaucratic snafus plagued his campaign, especially since Taylor only had the

assistance of one or two other people in Memphis. For example, in late May Taylor

inadvertently sent ADA membership appeals to several individuals who were already members,

including Arthur C. Joy of Atlanta, a local NLRB field examiner. Joy chided Taylor for the

mistake, telling him to "'leave us' not waste our funds in soliciting those who are already

members. There is too much need of both the funds and the energy." However, at around the

same time Joy had caused a similar problem, saying, "I was getting set to slightly bawl [Taylor]

out for not answering my letter of May 24th-but when I opened my file I found both the original

and carbon copy of said letter. Consequently I must admit that you have the best of reasons for

not answering the letter [you] never received." The whole affair had a Keystone Kops feel to it.

Ironically, the failure of these two men to communicate did not prevent Joy from being

enthusiastic about ADA's prospects. He offered his assistance in starting an Atlanta chapter (and

was named secretary for its organizing committee in early August), and he endorsed Taylor's

organizing strategy, urging quick action "to build ADA chapters in as many cities and towns as

possible. ... I am convinced that there is a surprisingly large number of real liberals in the South,







46 Frances Schulter to Taylor, July 27, 1947, reel 50, no. 273, ADA Papers.









seating arrangements on the city's buses. When Parks decided to fight the case, community

leaders, including the young Atlanta-born Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized a boycott of

Montgomery's public transportation system that eventually lasted more than a year. Thousands

of people who had depended on buses for transportation to work or school now walked, used

taxis, or organized carpools, inspired by King's stirring oratory and the efforts of the

Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA). MIA leaders suffered persistent police

harassment and often violent opposition from the Citizens' Councils and the Ku Klux Klan, but

they eventually convinced the Supreme Court to rule that the city's segregated bus system was

unconstitutional.73

In the spring of 1956, SDA's national leadership decided to help the boycott in whatever

way it could. On March 24, when the SDA National Board convened in Philadelphia, Civil

Rights Vice Chairman David Kotelchuck "suggested that SDA undertake a national program to

provide some kind of aid to the Montgomery boycott and that campus activity commence." The

board was unsure at that time about what "aid" they would provide, though they eventually

decided unanimously to proceed pending the expressed approval of the MIA.74

Kotelchuck immediately wrote Martin Luther King for approval. He referenced a speech

by Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, pastor of Montgomery's First Baptist Church and one of King's

closest advisors, in which Abernathy had pleaded for assistance from students in the MIA

boycott. SDA, according to Kotelchuck, "felt a conscious desire to lend our moral and financial

support, especially to the many young people who are participating effectively in this program."

To that end, he announced the creation of Indorse Montgomery Protest Action City Transit, or

73 Branch, Parting the Waters, 128-203.

74 SDA National Board meeting minutes, March 24-25, 1956, reel 129, series VIII, no. 108,
ADA Papers.









This Atlanta meeting was a catalyst in ADA's decision to hire a second full-time southern

organizer in the spring of 1949. Another catalyst was a change in strategy, also related to the

conclusions of the conference. Taylor had traveled extensively from his home base in Memphis,

visiting liberal prospects in cities throughout the South. It had been a grueling schedule, and it

had been expensive. Given the organization's continuing struggles to raise money, its financial

problems were critical. The second southern office, run by former National Labor Relations

Board researcher Alden Hopkins, concentrated its efforts in North Carolina and Florida, states

that appeared to have better prospects for liberals. Coincidentally, these states also had

prominent liberal politicians facing tough elections in the summer of 1950. Senators Frank

Graham and Claude Pepper were darlings of the liberal establishment in Washington, which

made them obvious targets for conservative Democrats.

ADA's decision to limit Hopkins' organizational activities to those two states showed that

reliable politicians could expect the enthusiastic backing of liberal activists. Graham and Pepper

would welcome the assistance of outside organizations. The same would be true of their

conservative southern opponents. The 1950 election cycle was the first that registered the effects

of Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy's campaign against Communist infiltration of the

American government. The truth of his allegations notwithstanding, his charges affected voter

perceptions in several key races, including North Carolina and Florida. Graham's association

with the Southern Conference and the Pepper's criticism of the Cold War consensus left each of

them vulnerable to McCarthyist charges. Reactionaries also assailed the senators for their

support of anti-poll tax and anti-lynching legislation, which branded them as radicals in southern









Estes Kefauver and Kerr Scott was also an encouraging sign, especially since they made no

secret of their stands on the issues. Much was possible for liberals in the South, as long as too

much was not made of the civil rights issue. In a surprising development, Jim Loeb, speaking for

ADA in Atlanta, had even showed a willingness to back off the harsh anti-southern rhetoric that

had marked the Democratic National Convention in 1948 in their deliberations. If a de-emphasis

on racial issues would increase ADA membership, this was a risk Loeb wanted to take, at least in

the short term.

As for where the organizer was expected to go, the consensus seemed to be that it would

not be prudent to send that person into certain states, especially the four states the Dixiecrat

ticket had carried the previous year. There was no sense that Mississippi or South Carolina was

ripe for a large-scale liberal effort, and so correspondence would be the main tool an organizer

would use in these states. The organizer would concentrate on states like Tennessee, North

Carolina, and Florida. The election results of 1948 had seen several promising liberals elected to

higher office in these states, signaling a potential turn away from reactionary politics. If the

South was going to change, it would change first in these states, creating a base from which

further campaigns would be possible in more difficult areas. The plan of action was, in this

sense, almost military in nature, though no one discussed it in these terms.

This was a marked departure from ADA's previous course of action, which involved

sending an organizer throughout the South, at great expense, with the hope that he would be able

to stir up liberal sentiment across a broad area. The end result of his work was a few small

southern chapters and no significant financial windfall. If ADA leaders wanted to reignite its

southern efforts (and it is clear that they did), the next campaign had to be planned in much more

detail. ADA also had to acknowledge that their image had changed since Taylor left his job in









language because of the influence of the southern caucus within the party. These southerners did

not want the Democrats to commit to specific legislation in their platform, and the threat of a

walkout by southern Democrats had hung over previous party gatherings.2

Establishment Democrats feared that states' rights southerners would bolt the convention.

ADA functionaries, on the other hand, wanted to call the bluff that southerners had been playing

for years. President Truman himself, writing in his diary during the convention, believed that

these ADA "crackpots hope the South will bolt."3 The "crackpots" did indeed want that, and

they also wanted to expose the two-faced nature of politicians who wanted to remain in good

standing with the party during election cycles while denouncing most of what the party stood for

at all other times. The best way to do that was to change the platform on which the Democratic

candidate would be forced to stand, most notably on civil rights. Thus, ADA and CIO leaders

worked to craft an alternative plank. Their final product also denounced discrimination in

general terms, but it differed dramatically in that it offered concrete proposals to be submitted to

the next Congress. The liberal alternative called for anti-lynching legislation, an end to

segregation in the armed forces, and the creation of a permanent fair employment practices

commission, based on the wartime Federal Employment Practices Commission (FEPC).4

President Truman's own Civil Rights Committee had made these recommendations the previous

year, and Truman had endorsed them in the State of the Union message at the beginning of 1948,

meaning that liberals believed their modifications could succeed.



2 Steven M. Gillon, Politics and Vision: The ADA andAmerican Liberalism, 1947-1985 (New
York, 1987), 48.

3 Gillon, Politics and Vision, 49.

4 Gillon, Politics and Vision, 48; Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the
Solid Sm,,h, 1932-1968 (Chapel Hill, 2001), 129.









(of course, some were already members) are all indicative of the fact that there is a real job to be

done." Joy thought "Brother Taylor" should be induced[d" to spend more time in Atlanta

instead of attempting to start chapters in Chapel Hill or New Orleans.65 Taylor moved quickly to

dispel the notion that he had considered his work "finished," reiterating his commitment to

Atlanta.66

One way in which Atlanta's chapter hoped to make noise was through the quick

production and distribution of "An Action Program for Atlanta," which it began circulating in

early November. Their six-point program called for a new approach to the public housing

problem, based on a "balanced program of demolition and replacement, financed by public funds

if necessary." It called for increased regulation of children's boarding homes to prevent abuses

by caretakers, new programs to increase the number of public parks and playgrounds, changes in

school curricula to "give adequate and fair attention to social, racial and economic problems," an

increase in the number of black officers on the police force, and progressive taxation to pay for

new social programs.6

Local politicians in Atlanta never took the "Action Program" seriously, but the production

of this pamphlet was an important act. As Taylor noted, one of his main goals in working with

ADA was "convincing a large number of people that ADA does not propose to be a dilletantish

'paper' organization of intellectuals."68 He hoped to do so in Memphis as well by leading the

fight against the Crump machine, which was already in trouble thanks to a new wave of political

activity by soldiers freshly home from the Second World War.

65 Arthur C. Joy to Hammer, September 21, 1947, reel 50, no. 275, ADA Papers.

66 Taylor to Hammer, September 25, 1947, reel 50, no. 275, ADA Papers.
67 "An Action Program for Atlanta," November 3, 1947, reel 61, no. 33, ADA Papers.

68 Taylor, memo to Loeb, October 1, 1947, reel 52, no. 305, ADA Papers.









convention as a whole was all that liberals could have hoped for. Press reports stressed their

strength while casting the southerners as "rather small, shrunken-looking men" (in the words of

one observer) who had looked like children who had taken their ball and gone home when they

did not get their way.6

In the aftermath of the 1948 convention, the Truman Democrats and their liberal allies,

including ADA, essentially wrote off the South in terms of campaigning and fund-raising. In

August, the states' rights "Dixiecrats" had traveled to Houston for their own convention,

nominating South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond and Mississippi governor Fielding Wright

as their presidential ticket. This presented obvious problems to a Democratic party that had

always counted on the "solid South" in presidential elections, but Truman and the loyal

Democrats gambled. They believed that the South had been solid for so long that states' rights

dissidents would be unable to break those bonds in most of the southern states. In the end,

Dixiecrats were unable to supplant Truman on the ballot in many states, despite their best

efforts.7 Even if the Dixiecrats were to succeed in capturing a majority of the region's electoral

votes, however, the Democrats thought they had a chance to win the election anyway. Their

growing strength in large metropolitan areas and among black voters outside the South, who

reacted favorably to the new civil rights plank, would more than counter expected southern white

defections.8

ADA was not an official arm of the Democratic Party, but few in the organization's

leadership questioned Truman's decision to campaign almost exclusively outside the South.



6 Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt, 130-131.

7 Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt, 147-186.
s Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt, 130-131.









ADA had the kind of finances your letter suggests. You indicate that there should be several

representatives of ADA in the South alone. Unfortunately, we do not have the finances of the

CIO at our disposal. We would be glad to undertake our own 'Operation Dixie' on the scale you

suggest, if you could figure out how to finance it."20 At the moment, Loeb declared, the more

pressing need was to explore ADA's role in the South, and that meant acting on the Executive

Committee recommendation for convening a regional conference to explore that role.

Loeb enlisted John Thomason to organize the conference, to be held in Atlanta on

February 19-20, 1949, and enlist prominent southern liberals to participate. In the end,

Thomason's passionate commitment to world federalism did not disqualify him from working on

this project. He negotiated a fee of one hundred and fifty dollars per week with the national

office plus expenses, and he began to compile a list of southerners with whom he wished to talk.

His initial list included journalists, politicians, lawyers, businessmen, clergymen and labor

leaders, with names like Ralph McGill, Douglas Southall Freeman, Estes Kefauver, Florida

Governor Fuller Warren, and even incoming Vice President Alben Barkley scattered

throughout.21 It was obvious at this juncture that Thomason was aiming high in his effort to

solicit opinions about the viability of southern liberalism.

Loeb was also clear about the purposes of the conference, especially when he thought

Thomason would attempt to downplay the organizational value of the meeting in Thomason's

correspondence. As Loeb stressed to Thomason, "I want to be completely institutional, and I

would therefore emphasize your first objective, 'to hammer out a role for ADA in the South.'"

He did not want to conference to turn into a meeting where the participants discussed politics


20 Loeb to Billingsley, December 7, 1948, reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.

21 Thomason to Loeb, December 16, 1948, reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.









danger they will become just a unified labor committee."75 The withdrawal of the local chapter

chairman, attorney C. Rudolph Johnson, from ADA activity did not help this impression. Loeb

then lamented his inability to honor Taylor's request to have prominent liberals come south on

behalf of the local chapters. He wrote, "This problem has us completely floored. There are only

a few people the Chapters want, and we have worked these people to death. Most of them will

do two or three meetings for ADA and then will beg off."76 Arthur Schlesinger and Eleanor

Roosevelt could only be asked to do so much. Despite this problem, and continuing financial

hardships, Loeb believed, "our Chapters have become increasingly active, are taking the

leadership on many issues, and are doing a pretty good job. We are not at all discouraged. Quite

the contrary. ADA is growing both in size and in guts."77

Taylor continued to work into October and November 1947, traveling to New Orleans to

supervise the creation of that city's chapter, which formally started on October 14 with forty

members, including several "persons of considerable means." He continued to answer

inquiries from Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia about the progress of chapters in those

75 The irony of such a statement was that, as ADA historian Steve Gillon notes, "labor was
crucial to any attempts to build a sustained liberal movement in America." In addition, much of
ADA's financial support came from AFL- and CIO-affiliated unions, even if certain labor
leaders (like CIO president Phillip Murray) were cool to ADA's efforts. Steven M. Gillon,
Politics and Vision: The ADA andAmerican Liberalism, 1947-1985 (New York, 1987), 13.

76 Even when prominent speakers were in areas where their presence would be a positive,
Taylor's problems concerning communication with Washington would often be most acute. For
example, Taylor lamented the fact that he had not been told that ADA National Chairman (and
former Louisville mayor) Wilson W. Wyatt was in Nashville in early November, while Taylor
had been in Nashville meeting with local liberals (including H.C. Nixon of the Vanderbilt
University Press, who headed the city's organizing committee). As he put it, "It seems that I am
usually finding out that national leaders of ADA are in the South by accident, and always too late
to get them to do anything for ADA." Taylor, memo to Dubrow, November 12, 1947, reel 50,
no. 269, ADA Papers.

77 Loeb to Taylor, October 4, 1947, Reel 50, No. 264, ADA Papers.

78 Taylor, memo to Dubrow, October 24, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.









victory served as a reminder to liberals that success was often temporary, and that permanent

realignment in favor of liberalism was going to be difficult to achieve.

In short, the South appeared to be up for grabs in the wake of the changes brought on by

World War II. Liberals and conservatives alike were eager for the opportunity to take advantage

of this situation. Nowhere was the battle for the region more noticeable than in Georgia, where

Talmadge's 1946 election turned into a free-for-all when the governor-elect died of cancer

before he could assume the office. Because Talmadge was such a polarizing figure, and because

Arnall's administration had been so good to liberals and moderates, anti-Talmadge forces were

determined to prevent the governor's son Herman from taking over for his father. The

controversy over the governorship of Georgia lasted several months, with Arnall and Talmadge

supporters literally fighting one another outside the capitol when Talmadge attempted to claim

the office. Pro-Talmadge men changed the locks on Arnall's office with the connivance of state

troopers, and Talmadge's forces made extra-legal attempts to overturn Arnall's changes to the

state's electoral system. The state's Supreme Court eventually threw Herman Talmadge out of

office, but his supporters had shown that they were willing to do almost anything to stop liberal

reform.31

In this highly charged atmosphere, it was difficult for the Southern Conference and its

allies to find solid footing. The problem for SCHW was its close association with known

Communists and fellow-travelers, which became a problem once the bitterness of the struggle

between the United States and the Soviet Union became clear. In March 1946, when Winston

Churchill warned the world of an "iron curtain" descending upon Eastern Europe (with President

Truman in attendance), Americans believed him, and they blamed Communists for this. As the


31 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day, 386-389.









the South." By the middle of June 1950, the chapter had attracted twenty new members,

showing that it was possible to expand an SDA chapter beyond a small core of already

committed liberals.8 The Nashville chapter also proved that it could be politically effective when

it helped convince a local theater, the Circle Player, to integrate its seating arrangements.

Sherman Conrad, a Vanderbilt student and the chapter secretary, credited a quiet campaign from

SDA members with bringing about a change without much fanfare. He called the Circle Player's

integration the "farthest step forward so far" for race relations in the city.9 While that was an

exaggeration, Conrad's enthusiasm over SDA's early success in Nashville was an encouraging

sign for its future prospects.

In February 1951, the situation appeared so positive that David Heinlein, the Vanderbilt

student who chaired SDA there, requested that his school's members secede into a separate

chapter, leaving students from the rest of the city in their own "Nashville" organization. It was a

problem born of "extreme problems of successful action and growth," and Heinlein's proposal

would "enable the Nashville unit to function as a recognized campus organization, facilitating

the growth and increasing the activity of the unit, but in no way impairing the cooperation of the

Nashville SDA groups." The split would become official when the students outside of

Vanderbilt had built up their numbers to a point where they were able to function on their own.

Until then, the Nashville students would remain a single chapter.10

The situation in Nashville seemed positive, except when SDA officials actually looked at

their records to determine how many members the Nashville chapter actually had. Al Ettinger,


8 Ralph Dummit to Lee Levitt, May 16, 1950, reel 135, series VIII, no. 170, ADA Papers.

9 Sherman Conrad to Dummit, September 11, 1950, reel 135, series VIII, no. 170, ADA Papers.
10 David Heinlein to SDA National Board, February 15, 1951, reel 135, series VIII, no. 170,
ADA Papers.




































To my parents, for their love and support









the South into national discussions about tactics and politics. "I think our meetings in the North

have been void of any real appreciation of the problem."64 Bernstein thus allied himself with a

particular strain of northern thinking on the South, one which believed that the region was

fundamentally different from the North. Consciously or not, Bernstein was agreeing with the

idea that the region was the "other," a place that needed to be made more like the North in order

to fully "Americanize" it.65

In mid-February 1956, Bernstein visited campuses in Nashville and Knoxville, and his

interactions with liberal students in Tennessee only strengthened Bernstein's conviction that

SDA needed the South as much as the South needed SDA. "If we can program in civil rights and

toward the economic problems of the south [sic], we would be accomplishing what would be, in

my opinion, the most worthwhile of all possible SDA projects." He believed that "SDA as of

now is the ONLY student organization training the necessary leadership ability in the South ...

where the outcome of the total situation depends on this leadership." Given the response he was

receiving, "a Southern conference next year by SDA could be a milestone in student liberalism

and a keystone in southern progress. Many of the students I've met will be the leaders tomorrow

(especially in the Negro schools). The South is aflame and SDA can capture this fire." He

had also concluded that a broader program for action, though still desirable in the long term, was

not necessary to organize chapters in the South. "The race question in its broadest terms







64 Bernstein, memo to SDA national office, February 14, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, no. 60,
ADA Papers.

65 James C. Cobb, Away Down South: A History of i.wnle i Identity (New York, 2005), 215-
216.









been independent from each other and Bernstein believed that "SDA can solve that [problem] by

definition."93

Above all, Bernstein's time in Louisiana served to strengthen his conviction that "SDA

should, (and this should be its first project) raise enough money ($5000) to get a FULL TIME

ORGANIZER IN THE SOUTH. THIS PERSON SHOULD BE SOUTHERN AND SHOULD

STAY IN THE SOUTH FOR A YEAR." He firmly believed that SDA could have chapters in

thirteen different southern states by April 1957 and that SDA would work with the NAACP,

SRC, and other liberal groups without taking money from them. As he saw it, "It can easily be

done. It should be done."94

The question was, would it be done? Bernstein's optimism about the group's southern

prospects was not limitless, and in the summer of 1956 he left his post as SDA organizer. Would

his departure signal an end to talk about organizing SDA in the South? IMPACT had been an

interesting campaign, but it had only raised a few hundred dollars before it had ended. Still,

there were other issues that could focus attention on the South, including segregation in college

athletics. Some SDA leaders recognized the impact athletics had on southern universities and

hoped to exploit it. For example, in November 1956, Tony Adona, an officer in SDA's chapter

at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, wrote other chapters across the country urging

northern universities not to play football or basketball games against southern schools. No

southern university had integrated its athletic teams as of 1956, but the fact that several southern

states banned integrated athletic competitions was the impetus behind Adona's appeal. The

"underlying principle" of his message was that "racial discrimination is incompatible with good



93 Bernstein, "Louisiana till 4/9/56."

94 Bernstein, "Louisiana till 4/9/56."









Loeb agreed to each of Taylor's requests, and he also agreed to set up ADA's southern

headquarters in Memphis, where Taylor had been working since the end of World War II. This

was important for personal reasons, as Taylor's wife was now expecting their first child. He also

thought it would help in getting the project up and running quickly, as "I can at least have the

physical setup in readiness to begin fulltime operations May 1-the office rented, necessary

equipment purchased, telephone installed, and secretary hired."22 National headquarters

budgeted $5,200 for Taylor's salary over the next three months and an additional $3,000 for

expenses, including rent, telephone and telegraph service, office supplies, postage, and printing

costs. There was every indication that if Taylor succeeded, he might be rewarded with an

extended ADA contract or with reduced responsibilities that might make his job easier. Loeb

justified the expense of Taylor's project to the ADA Executive Committee at their May 1947

meeting, calling the need for additional organizers ADA's "greatest need at the moment." He

also assured those worried about money that "the $30,000 proposed budget will permit several

additional organizers. This [budget] item covers not only the salary of the organizers but also

their travel, office equipment and all other expense."23 The South had become a part of the

larger ADA organizational strategy that focused on putting maximum pressure on southern

liberals. The more noise ADA could make the better for attracting new members, and Loeb

hoped the incoming money would eventually cover all of Taylor's activities.

The desire to get ADA going in the South animated a meeting Taylor convened in

Atlanta on May 9. Participants included Lillian Smith, Dorothy R. Tilly from the President's

Commission on Civil Rights, Guy John of the Southern Regional Council, and Frank McAllister



22 Taylor to Loeb, April 17, 1947, reel 78, no. 94, ADA Papers.

23 ADA Executive Committee meeting minutes, May 3, 1947, reel 33, no. 63, ADA Papers.









equality and political reform, but she did not believe that these goals could be achieved through

the Southern Conference, and this conclusion lead to her resignation.

The tension within southern liberalism was palpable. It mirrored a similar split among

liberals at the national level in which the question of what to do about Communism was pivotal.

Many liberals had agreed with Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech, but many others had grave

reservations about a tough stance toward the Soviet Union, especially because of the wartime

alliance. The most vocal critic of Truman's anti-Communist policies was a member of his own

cabinet, Secretary of Commerce Wallace, who would have become president himself had

Franklin Roosevelt died during his third term. In September 1946, Wallace's disagreements with

Truman about the dangers of Communism became public knowledge when the secretary gave a

speech at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Wallace warned that a great-power rivalry

with the Soviets would lead to an expensive, dangerous arms race that neither side would truly

win. To forestall this rivalry, he recommended that the United States recognize the Soviets' right

to control certain areas of Eastern Europe. He also lamented the tendency of some Americans to

use Communism to demonize fellow citizens and play upon their fears of subversion.35

He enjoyed support in this fight from Florida Senator Claude Pepper, who also spoke at

Madison Square Garden. Pepper had first been elected to the Senate in a special election in

1936. In 1938 and 1944, he had won re-election campaigning as a committed New Dealer and

an early critic of Hitler. Near the end of World War II, Pepper had traveled to the Soviet Union,

where he met with Stalin and expressed his admiration for the Russian people and the Soviet

leader. On March 20, 1946, he had spoken on the Senate floor urging the United States to

destroy its nuclear arsenal as a sign to the Communist bloc that it had no intention of starting


35 Sullivan, Days ofHope, 225-227.









In mid-April, Lambert again reported to ADA from Chicago in a manner that, in his own

words, was not "fully reported in the press." On March 21, Johnson had met with DAC

members in Washington, but he told them that he thought he had the power to decide who would

be representing Texas at the 1956 national convention, where he fully expected to be a strong

contender for the nomination despite recent health problems.73 He did not want an "extremist"

delegation representing Texas, and he would be using his own organization at the 1956

convention. Lambert worried that in "many, if not most, instances Johnson's County leadership

is the same as Shivers' leadership and many, if not most, of these County leaders for Johnson are

also Eisenhower Democrats." At the same time, Johnson was playing his usual games with both

sides of the party, telling liberals in Washington that he had not yet decided to be a candidate

while giving the opposite impression to Rayburn and others within the DAC.74

Lambert thought that this meant Johnson was over-confident in his ability to round up the

delegates for the convention, only to be quickly disabused of that notion by some of his people in

the state the day after the DAC meeting. On March 23, 1956, Johnson returned to Texas for

meetings with his top political advisors. Lambert thought Johnson was fearful of repeating his

1952 performance, when he had stayed out of the credential fight within the Texas delegation

contested between Rayburn and Shivers. His neutrality in that fight earned the nickname of

"lyin'-down Lyndon." Liberals and labor leaders in the DAC made their sentiments clear in a

meeting of the DAC's steering committee on March 25. The delegates were asked to consider a

sub-committee proposal that "called for DAC support of the Rayburn proposal that Johnson be

[sic] favorite son candidate and delegation chairman only if the loyal Democratic delegation is



73 See Caro, Master of the Senate, 801-830, for more on Johnson's plans in 1956.

74 George Lambert, "Texas Report," March 26, 1956, pp. 1-3, reel 52, no. 308, ADA Papers.









The conventional wisdom among liberal politicians and strategists was that the

Communism issue had been decisive in the 1946 Republican victory, affecting liberals regardless

of their stance on international affairs. Conservatives had been able to convince voters that

liberal candidates who accepted the support of the unions, the NAACP, or other liberal

organizations were under Moscow's control, and enough tangible evidence existed to lend

credence to this idea among a crucial part of the electorate. Certain Communists, after all, made

no secret of the fact that they were members of the party, and that meant any organization which

accepted their help appeared to be "infested" with "Reds." This was a particular problem in the

South, where the Southern Conference remained committed to the "Popular Front" mentality of

the late 1930s and the war period. James Dombrowski and Clark Foreman did not think that

accepting Communist support was a problem, but voters and politicians did, and this hurt the

public perception of all liberals.39

One group of liberals, however, presented itself as a viable alternative to the PCA and the

Southern Conference. On May 13, 1946, in a letter to The New Republic, James A. Loeb,

UDA's national director, spelled out liberalism's problems and offered potential solutions to

those problems. He attacked "progressives" for turning a blind eye to Soviet violations of human

rights and economically stagnant policies. He asked whether people who were enthusiastic

supporters of the Soviet Union, taking direct orders from Moscow, should be welcomed into

progressive organizations. He also warned that Communists had a long track record of

subverting those groups that they joined, warning that it would happen again to the Wallace

coalition if it was not pro-active in preventing it. Anti-Communist liberals who wanted to avoid




39 Sosna, In Search of the Silent Sn ulh, 145-146.









this project was $3,000, and ADA leaders' willingness to spend such a sum on the survey shows

how important they believed the South to be.19

Lambert knew what he was getting himself into, especially in a conservative city such as

Dallas. In March 1953, he told the national office that an editorial in the Dallas Morning News

had informed the Dallas chapter that their activities were being "watched." As Lambert pointed

out half-jokingly, "the editorial didn't bother to mention who is doing the watching." As far as

Lambert could tell, "the newspapers haven't been doing the 'watching' themselves since they

have had no official reporters at our meetings in the past three months, and the only non-ADA

people who have been at our meetings have been those associated with a group called 'The

Minute Women' who have apparently set themselves up to investigate anything and anyone who

could possibly be disapproved of by [Wisconsin Senator] Joe McCarthy."20 Despite the political

and organizational obstacles, he began soliciting Texas liberals and taking notes about the

political developments in the state.

The job was difficult, as Lambert knew it would be. Part of the problem was that ADA,

though affiliated with liberal Democrats in Texas, organized separately from them. The fortunes

of the state's Democratic Organizing Committee (DOC) were the top priority of most Texas

liberals.21 Formed in May 1953, the Committee was meant to counter the strength of the

Shivers-led conservative Democrats in the official Democratic organization of Texas. Lambert,

like most liberals, wanted badly for it to succeed, but he worked for ADA, and they were paying



19 Violet Gunther, memo to Robert Nathan and Edward Hollander, "Political survey in the
Southern States," June 16, 1953, reel 39, no. 129, ADA Papers.

20 George Lambert to Gunther, March 7, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers.

21 George Lambert, memo to Hollander, "Report on Activities in Texas-June 1 to June 14,"
June 14, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers.









intellectuals concentrated on consolidating liberal gains made over the previous decades instead

of attempting to conquer new territory.

This passivity did not, however, preclude more substantive attempts at organization if an

interesting possibility presented itself One such opportunity arose in 1953, national ADA

leaders seized an opportunity to organize in Texas, with the help of a former labor organizer,

George Lambert. Texas was a unique case for ADA because of the open intransigence and

double-dealing of the state's conservative politicians, all of whom continued to proclaim

themselves to be members in good standing of the national Democratic Party. However, these

conservatives thought that their nominal loyalty to the party should have allowed them to

exercise an absolute veto over the Democratic platform and the party's presidential nominees. In

1948 and 1952, conservatives had thrown their support behind the Republican ticket when the

national Democratic Party failed to conform to their agenda. Texas liberals such as Maury

Maverick, Wright Patman, and Ralph Yarborough worked hard to lessen the power of

conservative Democrats, but Dwight Eisenhower's 1952 victory in Texas showed how little

influence liberals actually had.

In 1953, Lambert proposed that ADA join the liberal campaign to blunt the power of

Governor Allan Shivers, who led the conservative faction in the state. These "Shivercrats" (to

use Lambert's term for them) opposed the national liberal agenda, but they wanted to keep their

positions of power and influence within the Democratic Party. Lambert and his allies in Texas

wanted to expose Shivers and his allies, and ADA leaders approved a campaign designed to

boost membership in the state while working with local liberals to reduce conservative power

within the party. They wanted national Democrats to look past the money and power Texas

conservatives controlled and excommunicate them as punishment for attempting to destroy the









decided to leave the school to become journalist at what he described as a "weekly about 50

miles west of here." Levitt's departure forced him to turn over the organizing in Knoxville to

two other students, Harry Cohany and Buford Rhea, neither of whom had the kind of personal

relationship with the administration that Levitt had claimed to have.15

Cohany and Rhea represented SDA before the school's administrative council when it met

in September to consider the group's application, but the council forced them to endure another

delay while it sent the matter to a subcommittee for further study. While Cohany and Rhea were

optimistic about the application, thanks to the presence of several "liberal faculty members" on

the committee, the delay into November would severely hamper further organization, as would

the "dispersal" of students that accompanied the end of summer school.16

Dummit fumed at the "disgusting performance of the Administrative Council" at UT, but

there was little he could do about it. The school's administration had reserved the right to accept

or reject organizations on its campus, and Dummit knew that SDA's support of integration and

academic freedom in a McCarthyist atmosphere would cause college officials across the South to

balk at allowing SDA on their campuses. He also suffered, as ADA organizers had, under a

debilitating lack of information from those chapters he had been able to organize. In November

1950, when Dummit resigned from SDA to join the Army, the situation at Tennessee had not yet

been resolved, and he concluded that "SDA is about dead there." He suspected that the

administration there had much to do with its collapse thanks to its foot-dragging on SDA's

application to become an official organization on campus.17



15 Levitt to Dummit, September 16, 1950, reel 135, series VIII, no. 170, ADA Papers.
16 Levitt to Dummit, September 16, 1950, reel 135, series VIII, no. 170, ADA Papers.

17 Dummit to Conrad, November 28, 1950, reel 135, series VIII, no. 170, ADA Papers.









ADA. Certainly, for many, the experience was discouraging and dampens their enthusiasm for

ADA."31 Even those who remained enthusiastic might not be welcome in ADA because of their

association with Wallace or the Southern Conference, which might tar ADA with the Communist

label. Hopkins told one ADA member to "[not] let anyone know you ever had anything to do

with the Progressive Party. I know you'll understand the basis for this." She also instructed him

to keep Charlotte attorney Charley Myers out of ADA completely, fearing that his outspoken

connections to Wallace would hurt ADA in the long run.32

Hopkins' concern with letting the "wrong people" into ADA was ironic, considering that

one of the most prominent figures associated with the legacy of liberal political action in the

South was Frank Graham, who had been present at the 1938 founding of SCHW in Birmingham

and had served on its board for several years. Hopkins may have wanted to distance herself from

the Southern Conference, but she had no problems working with Graham to support his election

to the Senate with ADA help. She kept up a running correspondence with Graham, much of

which was designed to encourage his liberal tendencies. For example, she noted that the AFL

and CIO appreciated his efforts in support of a bill to repeal the Taft-Hartley Act sponsored by

Utah Democrat Elmer Thomas.33 She assured Senator Graham that "their appreciation will

unquestionably be expressed in more concrete form at the polls next spring."34 North Carolina

liberals such as Hopkins wanted Graham to resist the temptation toward conservatism that had



31 Hopkins, memo to Loeb, June 6, 1949, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers.

32 Hopkins to Bob Sain, July 11, 1949, reel 50, no. 280, ADA Papers.

33 For more on the Thomas bill, see "Dream Bill," Time, February 7, 1949, republished online:
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,799744,00.html (accessed online January 31,
2008).

34 Hopkins to Graham, July 2, 1949, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.









organization, whose local leaders during the period included future Michigan Senator Carl Levin

and future Vice President and Democratic presidential nominee Walter "Fritz" Mondale, was

founded at the same time as ADA, but the bulk of its work in the post-war South happened after

1955. Before that year, the SDA chapters that had been formed at southern universities were

much like their ADA counterparts: small, ineffective, and contributing little to the fight for

liberalism. One of the main problems the student affiliates faced was that SDA members did not

know what kind of relationship they should have with other liberal groups, especially on the

campuses of historically black colleges.

In 1955, new SDA Field Secretary Yale Bernstein, who had spent several years working in

New York state as an ADA organizer, brought new energy to the task of starting new chapters

and cajoling existing ones into stronger action. Bernstein was especially eager to organize the

South. He argued passionately that "there are few, if any, organizations working for liberalism,

either on the student or adult level, in the South. Some church groups, sometimes some of the

unions, and sometimes the NAACP will be active. These groups do not, however, because of

their restrictive membership attraction, reach the majority of the liberal students." Bernstein

believed that "SDA could bring about a push toward this new South, which would be far out of

proportion to its numbers, and could bring into the active, aware political arena, many students

who would otherwise be lost to the movement."14 With Bernstein's enthusiasm and the

assistance of newly energized young liberals, SDA and CADA were far bolder in addressing

important political issues of the South in the 1950s and 1960s. SDA students assisted blacks

who boycotted the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama in the wake of the Rosa Parks incident.

They also protested bans on interracial athletic competitions in Mississippi and Georgia,

14 Yale Bernstein, "Organization in the South: A Prospectus," memo to Students for Democratic
Action national office, reel 122, series VIII, no. 2, ADA Papers.









city's political machine, under the control of "Boss" Ed Crump, was such an inviting target for

reform-minded liberals. Taylor's experience began a long-term trend in the history of ADA

activity in the South. Because of ADA's limited financial resources, Taylor and his successors

had to be selective in terms of where they operated. The staff in Washington, in concert with

Taylor, selected Memphis not only because it was convenient for Taylor but because it offered a

chance to affect the 1948 gubernatorial and senatorial elections in Tennessee. ADA leaders

wanted to slowly chip away at the entrenched position conservative Democrats enjoyed in the

South. They hoped that the results of the 1948 elections, in which Gordon Browning returned to

the governor's mansion and Estes Kefauver was elected to the Senate, were the start of a liberal

trend in the South that would make the region more politically balanced.

The elections of Browning and Kefauver in Tennessee were good news for liberals, but

these electoral victories did not translate into increased support for ADA, in Memphis or

anywhere else in the South. The financial troubles of the organization meant that it had to

concentrate on achieving the most possible success with the least expense. ADA leaders had to

use the organization's resources in places where it could get the best returns, and it quickly

became apparent that those places were all outside the South. The staff could not afford to spend

thousands of dollars on a southern organizer if that organizer could only recruit a few dozen new

members. Taylor had some important assets he could bring to bear, most notably the indignant

eloquence of Lillian Smith, who continually implored southerners to reject their retrograde

assumptions on race and class and embrace modernity. However, in fact the majority of the

financial contributions and letters of support ADA received as a result of Smith's appeals came

from outside the South.









When the Democratic platform committee rejected the liberal draft, liberal delegates were

happy to make its case before the full convention and a national radio and television audience on

July 14. They had wanted to force a dramatic showdown on the issue. Former Wisconsin

congressman (and ADA National Board member) Andrew Biemiller placed the plank before the

convention. The most dramatic moment, however, came when Minneapolis mayor and

Minnesota Senate candidate Hubert H. Humphrey, an ADA member, implored the convention to

ignore states' rights southerners and "walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights,"

concluding that the country was "one hundred seventy-two years too late" in ensuring equal

rights for all citizens.5

This was an open challenge to southern Democrats who had been threatening to walk out

of any convention that adopted such a platform, and liberals had thrown down the gauntlet. The

challenge became even more apparent when the convention adopted the ADA-supported civil

rights plank, 65112 to 5811/, and rejected a southern attempt to include a commitment to states'

rights into the platform. The southern Democrats reacted angrily to this defeat, though many

delegates did not follow through on their threat to publicly bolt from the convention. Alabama

and Mississippi led the way for those delegates who did walk out of the convention, following

the lead of Alabama's Handy Ellis. In a speech to the convention, he lamented that "we are

faced with the necessity of carrying out our pledges to the people of Alabama," which included

not supporting Truman if he was re-nominated and not supporting the civil rights plank as

written. Other southerners were extremely unhappy with the 1948 convention, but they did not

walk out, choosing instead to support Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell as a protest

presidential candidate and casting 263 votes for him. The public-relations effect of the


5 Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt, 129.









change, so outside what liberals considered to be the "mainstream" of American political life that

many Texas liberals believed "outside" pressure was the only way to force change. Others

wanted national liberals to stay out of the fray, thinking their efforts would be counter-productive

at best. Lambert was often caught in the middle of these arguments, appreciating the perspective

the national office could provide while advising them to stay out of the fights between liberal and

conservative Democrats. There was also deep skepticism about whether ADA should shoulder

the task of attempting to change Texas, or the South more generally. Part of this skepticism was

based on an assessment of ADA's finances, but the way in which Allan Shivers, Sam Rayburn,

and Lyndon Johnson fought each other for control of the state while Lambert was working for

ADA undoubtedly confused national liberal leaders observing the situation at a distance. In

short, there was a fundamental gap between the "vision" ADA leaders had for their organization

and the practical problems that constrained that vision, and Lambert's adventures in Texas are an

illuminating example of that.









in the state. Hopkins did her best to steer the Miami liberals toward a more practical political

approach that would have less concern with doctrinal purity. She continued to run into trouble,

however, particularly on issues of race. She could never convince southern ADA chapters to

totally embrace integration. ADA leaders had run into this question in the past, and they

continued to do so throughout their attempts to organize in the South. Its platform repeatedly

called for an end to segregation in support of black civil rights, but how could the organization

advance such views when its southern chapters held segregated meetings, as they often did?

Was ADA attempting to organize all liberals, or should it concentrate on attracting only white

liberals to its banner? Hopkins failed to persuade her superiors in Washington to relax

restrictions on segregated meetings, no matter how distasteful she thought they were personally.

This conflict was a key factor in her failure to establish an independent source of financial

support in either state, which doomed her southern office to the fate of Taylor's.

The same financial constraints that frustrated Taylor and Hopkins also doomed the efforts

of Texas liberal activist George Lambert, who went to work for ADA in 1953 in an attempt to

organize the state and learn more about its politics. Texas' support for Dwight Eisenhower in the

1952 presidential election had frustrated liberals, particularly because conservative Democrats

had been so instrumental in throwing Texas into the Republican column. Liberals wanted to cut

into the power Governor Allan Shivers had over the state's Democratic machine, but they needed

to understand how it worked before they could do so. That is where Lambert entered the picture.

As the Dallas chapter's executive secretary, he had gathered information about contacts

throughout the state and encouraged the creation of chapters in Houston, San Antonio, and

several other cities. He also offered to be ADA's eyes and ears in Texas, giving them a sense of

how bright liberal prospects truly were.









students, but "we must alter 100 years of upbringing, an upbringing they themselves are uneasy

about."62

Finally, Bernstein considered the black liberals he had encountered, who often posed the

most complicated problems. He believed that the leadership of the NAACP and other black

organizations was "woefully unaware of most of the non-racial issues around us and their

relation to the race question. ... It is easy to understand their primary concern, but they do not

have the tools with which to fight those tools being general political awareness." Liberal

black students were even less likely than adults to making these kinds of connections. He

thought it was not a question of goals, but of the tactics needed to achieve them. "[The]

disagreement seems to be that the white liberals view the situation is more complex than do the

Negro, and the whites are looking for lasting solutions." Worse still, "the average Negro

students, so I am told by the leaders I met, have a background of 'uncle Tomism.' That is, they

are so used to their second class position, they haven't the tools, or even the interest in bringing

themselves up."63

How could SDA leaders help the problems liberals faced on southern campuses?

Bernstein thought that SDA could be "the most effective solution to the southern problem"

because it was not a "One Issue organization." Its leaders could "see the complexity and

interrelation of the problems" all southern liberals faced. "SDA can be the meeting ground. The

whites can be made to understand the tactics and ideas of the Negro liberals and the Negroes can

be made to understand the tactics and ideas of the white liberals." He also wanted to integrate



62 Bernstein, memo to SDA national office, February 14, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, no. 60,
ADA Papers.

63 Bernstein, memo to SDA national office, February 14, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, no. 60,
ADA Papers.









is more cosmopolitan statewide, due to the influx of Northern residents." Even though there

were still questions about some prominent Democrats and officeholders in Florida, she was

convinced that they would work for ADA. 8

The final reason Hopkins wanted to work in Florida was political. She knew that Frank

Graham had not been the most attentive candidate in shoring up his political base and dissuading

potential rivals for the Democratic nomination, and even Governor Scott expressed his surprise

at Graham's unwillingness to acknowledge that someone might oppose him. At the end of 1949,

he had no organization in place, no campaign headquarters, and no plans to raise money for a

campaign.81 Nevertheless, Hopkins had convinced herself that "not only is it entirely possible

Graham will be unopposed, but even if he has opposition, both conservatives and liberals predict

he will win in a walk."82 Her North Carolina correspondents had apparently reinforced this

impression, and the withdrawal of former Senator William Umstead from the Graham race for

health reasons strengthened the idea that Graham would have an easy time winning his Senate

83
race.

Claude Pepper's race for a third full term in the Senate, however, was another matter. He

had a serious opponent, two-term Congressman George Smathers of Miami, who had actually

worked for Pepper's 1938 campaign while he was a law student at the University of Florida. He

had won his seat in Congress as an anti-Communist Democrat, and he had broken with the

Dixiecrats in 1948 by supporting President Truman at the Philadelphia convention and

campaigning for him. By October 1949, he had decided to run against Pepper, though his

so Hopkins, second memo to Loeb, December 31, 1949, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers.

81 Pleasants and Burns, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race, 51-52.

82 Hopkins, second memo to Loeb, December 31, 1949, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers.

83 Pleasants and Burns, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race, 53-54.









Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell's presidential campaign. Ettinger's facetiously

recommended that SDA "establish the 'Order of the Pink Heart' as a reward for those injured in

the line of duty, and that Sherman Conrad be the first recipient of this distinguished award."20

Despite this painful incident, Conrad believed that SDA still had a chance of succeeding in

the South, and Ettinger agreed with his optimism. In the summer of 1951, he had seen

encouraging signs at the University of Miami, where student liberals had decided, in lieu of

starting an SDA chapter, to attempt a takeover of the Young Democrats in Dade County.

Ettinger thought this made sense because the Florida Democratic Party was loosely organized.

This meant that "by enlisting a sufficient number of liberals in the organization we can gain

control and influence a more liberal trend in state policy and legislation." Activities with the

Young Democrats would not preclude the creation of a chapter in the future, since the two

organizations would serve different functions. SDA leaders would "keep alive liberal issues and

serve an important educational function on the campus," while liberals who thought SDA to be

too "radical" could join a broader-based Young Democratic Club. The attempt to take over the

Young Democrats eventually failed because of the strength of its conservative faction, but

Ettinger liked the way the Miami students were thinking, and in 1952 liberals at St. Petersburg

Junior College and the University of Florida in Gainesville also started SDA chapters.21

The chapter in St. Petersburg was a particular point of pride for Ettinger because of its

leader, Bill Haddad, who had attracted significant attention to SDA in the fall of 1951 with his

protests against campus segregation. In one debate, Haddad proudly reported, he had "beat the

living verbal hell out of the KKK" in favor of integration. Ettinger liked Haddad's approach

20 Galen A. Martin, SDA National Board minutes, May 17, 1952, reel 129, series VIII, no. 108,
ADA Papers.

21 Ettinger to George H. Jones, Jr., May 10, 1951, reel 51, no. 299, ADA Papers.









a notice from Memphis' telephone company saying that if ADA did not pay their bill by the end

of the month, their service would be cut off. Taylor's response was exasperated and comical.

He told Loeb, "O.K., so be it. If it gets cut off, it gets cut off-the hell with it."51

Taylor's exasperation carried over to the situation in Arkansas, where Rev. Samuel

Freeman continued to resist moving away from the Southern Conference in favor of ADA.

Before returning to Comell for the fall semester, Scott Hamilton provided one more update on

the rivalry. Taylor, because of his respect for Freeman's efforts in Arkansas, did not want to

upstage Freeman, which is why he told Hamilton, "I do not want to give the appearance of being

competitive with their efforts. If the Southern Conference is now a more or less dead issue, then

I want to come down as soon as possible and get an ADA organizing committee started."52

Hamilton consulted Freeman on the future of SCHW, and Freeman remained adamant about

wanting to stick with the Southern Conference. Hamilton wrote, "[Freeman] is still sticking by

SCHW, for he feels he cannot run away. It seems that a great deal of pressure was applied to his

board members."53 Freeman explained himself directly to Taylor, saying, "I cannot appear

completely enthusiastic either for A.D.A. or S.C.H.W. Neither of them has yet sufficiently

recognized the fundamental change which must come in our Society for Human Welfare-

therefore, both talk of working within two morally dead parties each competing with reaction

against the other."54 Freeman sounded like a beaten man under the pressure of liberal factions

pulling him in different directions.


51 Taylor, memo to Loeb, August 27, 1947, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers.
52 Taylor to Hamilton, August 13, 1947, reel 50, no. 274, ADA Papers.

53 Hamilton to Taylor, August 17, 1947, reel 50, no. 274, ADA Papers.

54 Freeman to Taylor, August 19, 1947, reel 50, no. 274, ADA Papers.









had received his unexpected appointment to the U.S. Senate not long before she got the job.

ADA wanted Graham elected for a full term in 1950, and functioning chapters supporting the

former college president seemed like they could only help him. Unfortunately for Hopkins,

long-standing rivalries within the liberal community and a general lack of interest in many North

Carolina cities meant that those chapters which Hopkins did found during her year in the state

were small, ineffectual, and unable to raise money for their activities.

In addition, Hopkins and other Graham supporters had to deal with their candidate's

seeming indifference with his political fate, which would prove costly to him during the 1950

Democratic primaries. He won the first primary, but his failure to capture a majority forced a

run-off with conservative lawyer Willis Smith in June. Smith's attempts to portray Graham as a

supporter of FEPC and a "tool" of labor unions made this race one of the most notoriously racist

campaigns of the century, and Smith's narrow victory confirmed many of the worst impressions

liberals had about North Carolina in particular and the South more generally.99 The other

southern candidate ADA supported, Florida Senator Claude Pepper, also lost a racially-charged

campaign to George Smathers, though Pepper's deficiencies as a candidate and his difficulty in

understanding changes in the foreign-policy climate in his state also contributed to his defeat.

Graham and Pepper were the southern candidates on which ADA, and most other liberals, had

invested so much hope, and both lost. Not only did they lose, they did so in a manner that was

terribly discouraging for liberals who had hoped the changes which World War II had caused

might have some political effects on the region. It was now clear that conservative politics still

had tremendous appeal in the South, and that liberalism had not made as much headway as its

adherents believed it had.


99 Pleasants and Burns, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race, 203-246.









who had threatened President Roosevelt with a march on Washington in the summer of 1941 if

the government did not end discriminatory practices in defense industries. Roosevelt responded

to the pressure with Executive Order 8802, which established a Fair Employment Practices

Committee (FEPC) to investigate hiring and labor practices, as well as racial discrimination

against workers in defense and government. The creation of the FEPC did not stop racial

discrimination, nor did it prevent reactionaries from stalling change to the status quo in the

South. Nevertheless, it showed that the federal government was willing to investigate what was

really going on in the South.25

As these events unfolded, SCHW continued to grow under the leadership of executive

secretary James Dombrowski. He was a native of Tampa, a student at Reinhold Niebuhr's Union

Theological Seminary, and the co-founder of the Highlander Folk School in rural Tennessee.

During the 1930s, Dombrowski's focus had been getting white workers in the South to look

beyond racial differences and toward common economic interests. In this regard, Dombrowski's

ideas conflicted with the policies of the CIO, which financed Highlander and wanted to avoid

any direct confrontation with segregation that might have hurt the CIO's membership numbers.

In December 1941, this issue caused Dombrowski to resign from Highlander and join SCHW.

He focused SCHW's efforts on how racial prejudice and economic backwardness hindered the

effort to defeat fascism. He also blocked changes in SCHW bylaws, proposed by board member

Frank McAllister in 1943, that would have barred Communists from the group, arguing that such

a change would have hindered the campaign to promote democracy and liberal values.26 This




25 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day, 213-216; Michael S. Sherry, In the .sh, \/,ll of War: The
United States Since the 1930s (New Haven, 1995), 50, 145-146.

26 Sullivan, Days ofHope, 150-155; Sosna, In Search of the Silent South, 142-144.









southern colleges that refused to allow black athletes to participate in intercollegiate athletics;

and the campaign to desegregate the University of Florida. SDA and CADA chapters were not

often the driving forces behind these campaigns, but the association with ADA gave these

students an important organizational backing for their activities. It also gave ADA leaders a

chance to affect the next generation of southern liberals and create a base from which liberalism

could grow in the coming decades.

The actions of these students, most of them white, flew in the face of the conventional

wisdom about the region, which ADA's previous experiences in the South had only reinforced.

Barney Taylor, Alden Hopkins, and George Lambert had all traveled the South attempting to

attract support for ADA liberalism, but they had convinced themselves that liberal southerners

would never be more than a tiny minority of the region's population. However, they failed to

recognize that this minority could potentially be decisive in the struggle against segregation.

Historians have begun to reevaluate the strength of integrationist sentiment in the white South.

They now recognize that the white South "was not a monolithic wall of resistance" to the

demands of the civil rights movement. White liberals in the South may not have "considered

themselves radicals," but they were useful to the civil rights movement as an example of the kind

of new southerner movement leaders wanted to create.4 Novelist Lillian Smith, who had been a

founding member of ADA and had written passionate pamphlets for ADA criticizing southern

society, was the embodiment of the kind of southerner ADA had always wanted to attract.

Students who joined SDA or CADA thought of themselves as part of the vanguard of southern

liberalism.



4 David L. Chappell, Inside Agitators: White S.Nilih nuei in the Civil Rights Movement
(Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), xxi, xxii.









discriminate against black students. In 1950, the Supreme Court's ruling in Sweatt v. Painter

had integrated the law school and graduate school at the University of Texas. Other cases were

making their way through the judicial system, but liberals were pressuring segregated schools to

admit black students before the courts forced them to do it.

In December 1950, SDA leaders petitioned UT to end its segregationist policies, but the

school's administration ignored their efforts. Unfortunately, ADA World, the organization's

official newspaper, had already credited Tennessee with integrating its state universities, and

Robert K. Owens, chairman of the Knoxville ADA chapter, attempted to correct that

misconception. While state Attorney General Roy Beeler had ordered the integration of

Tennessee's public graduate and professional schools, the university administration in Knoxville

had overruled him, arguing that "the Constitution and the statutes of the State of Tennessee

expressly provide that there shall be segregation in the education of the races in schools and

colleges in the state and that a violation of the laws of the state in this regard subjects the violator

to prosecution, conviction and punishment as therein provided."19 Owens and other liberals

protested the justice of this decision, but they feared that the final dispensation of the case would

take another court case that would last for years.

Despite repeated failures in Nashville and Knoxville, SDA kept trying to gain a foothold in

the South. In the spring of 1952, the SDA National Board approved another Southern organizing

trip to connect with liberal students in the region and assess organizational possibilities.

Sherman Conrad traveled to New Orleans, Atlanta, and several cities in Texas on his tour. In

Houston, he suffered a broken nose in a confrontation between a group of liberal students he was

meeting at a local hotel and a group of conservatives, meeting at the same hotel, who supported

19 Robert K. Owens, letter to the editor, ADA World, December 11, 1950, reel 135, series VIII,
no. 170, ADA Papers.









Claude Pepper and Estes Kefauver of Tennessee were the other senators Loeb singled out

for praise, and this short list provided the impetus for ADA's organizing activities in the coming

months. Kefauver would not be up for re-election until 1954, but Pepper and Graham would be

on the ballot in 1950, and each would face a difficult battle to remain in the Senate. Graham had

an indication that certain people would not welcome him to the Senate the day after Scott

announced his appointment. On March 23, isolationist Ohio Republican John W. Bricker stood

on the floor of the Senate and denounced Graham for his association with the Southern

Conference. North Carolina Democrat Clyde Hoey and Oregon Republican Wayne Morse, an

ADA board member, each defended Graham's loyalty and patriotism against Bricker, and Pepper

noted that it was highly unusual for a senator to publicly impugn another senator's character in

open debate.8 Nevertheless, Graham knew this was only the beginning of his political troubles.

There were no rules against criticizing a politician's patriotism during a campaign, and Graham

knew such attacks would happen during his re-election bid in 1950.

ADA leaders knew that too, and they wanted to help Graham in any way they could.

Loeb's congratulatory telegram to Graham on March 23 pledged[] [ADA's] fullest possible

support for 1950," and it soon became apparent that the new southern organizer would have to

concentrate all of his or her attention on Florida and North Carolina for the next 12-18 months.

One additional reason for focusing on these two states was a series of encouraging signs from

cities that indicated they would be receptive to the ADA message. In early April, John Schulter

traveled to Miami April for a meeting with James Crawford. Crawford was a native Miamian

with strong ties to ADA through the American Veterans Committee (AVC), an organization of

liberal veterans begun as an alternative to the conservative American Legion and Veterans of


8 Ashby, Frank Porter Graham, 244-246.









BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Douglas Steven Gallagher was born in 1977 in South Miami, Florida. The oldest

of four children, he grew up in South Miami and Coral Gables, Florida, graduating from

Coral Gable High School in 1995. He earned his B.A. in history, with a minor in

philosophy, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998, graduating

summa cum laude. He earned his M.A. in history from the University of Florida in 2001,

where he has worked as a teaching assistant and teaching associate since 2001.









new members or obtain anything more in the way of social progress than the present limited

welfare legislation now pending in Congress," and he "would feel inclined to help another

organization" instead of ADA.66

Beeler wanted ADA to operate more like the British Fabian Society, but Loeb balked at his

ideas. Beeler's "doctrinaire" approach to political action concerned Loeb in light of his summer

tour of Europe. In mid-October 1949, he told Beeler that "there is much to be said for the kind

of non-doctrinaire liberalism that has been in the American tradition as against the doctrinaire

variety which is current in Europe." The former was much more likely to win elections, though

Loeb acknowledged that long-term political education was important to the long-term success of

liberalism.67 Most liberals in Miami were not socialists, nor did they want ADA to become a

"Fabian" organization, but the fact that one of their leaders was proposing such radical ideas did

not bode well for the Miami chapter's effectiveness.

Despite these ominous signs, Hopkins traveled to Miami in November. When she arrived,

she found that the leadership in South Florida was far from ideal. She wrote that Max Singer, the

organizing committee's executive secretary and a Deputy Commissioner of the Dade County

Department of Motor Vehicles, "was organizing ADA as a political machine and primarily from

the motive of self-interest; and [he] had planned a chapter with segregated white and negro

branches." Singer wanted to use ADA as a launching pad for his own political ambitions, and he

had taken advantage of the relative disinterest of the rest of the Miami group.68 Singer had also

completely ignored the local labor unions, which forced Hopkins to "[talk] personally with every



66 Beeler to Loeb, November 11, 1949, reel 61, no. 32, ADA Papers.

67 Loeb to Beeler, November 17, 1949, reel 61, no. 32, ADA Papers.

68 Hopkins, memo to Loeb, November 27, 1949, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers.









Loeb readily agreed to her basic salary demands. He also agreed to pay for her meals,

hotel costs, and telephone expenses, and to provide twenty dollars minimum per week for her

automobile for time spent on behalf of ADA. However, he had one request for Hopkins.

Mindful of the importance of North Carolina in the upcoming election cycle, Loeb wanted her to

establish her base of operations in the state. He anticipated that North Carolina would be the

"permanent headquarters" for ADA in the South, and he knew that for the foreseeable future she

would be doing most of her organizing work in the state. Because Loeb and the Washington

office wanted this new southern project to be sharply focused, having Hopkins based in North

Carolina would cut down on expenses. Loeb was "quite confident that we shall have no

difficulty whatsoever," promised all of the cooperation his office could offer, and expressed

confidence in Hopkins' ability to do the job. He also sounded loftier ambitions for Hopkins'

work, writing, "I feel equally certain that you will receive from your association with the ADA

family a real sense of satisfaction in terms of your contribution to the things that are really of

importance in this crazy world."14

Hopkins agreed to Loeb's request and moved to Durham to set up shop. She believed that

the close proximity of the state's three major universities would put her in contact with a large

number of liberals, including students, faculty, local union leaders, and other liberals. With that

detail settled, she wanted to set up a better communication process between southern chapters,

mainly through encouraging each chapter to send copies of its correspondence to the officers of

the other chapters.15 Hopkins wanted the more active southern chapters to motivate those that

were less active with news of their successes. News that the Atlanta chapter had helped to elect



14 Loeb to Hopkins, April 29, 1949, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.

15 Hopkins to ADA southern chapters, May 20, 1949, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.









years as the state's governor between 1950 and 1956, was the state's most powerful

conservative. He brooked no opposition to his rule over the party. He and his conservative allies

thwarted liberal challenges to the status quo and made sure that Texas Democrats who served in

Washington did not become too independent under the influence of national liberals. Shivers'

two most significant political victories came during the 1952 and 1956 presidential elections.

While Rayburn and Johnson worked for Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson, Shivers delivered

the state to Republican nominee Dwight Eisenhower, a native Texan with whom he had served

during World War II. 5

His most important liberal opponent at the state level was Ralph Yarborough. This county

court judge began his feud with Shivers in 1952, when the governor refused to allow him to run

for state attorney general against Shivers' hand-picked candidate. Angered by Shivers'

arrogance, Yarborough ran for governor instead, winning 36% of the vote as the liberal candidate

in the Democratic primary. He ran against Shivers again two years later, this time winning 47%

of the primary vote. By 1954, Yarborough had become the champion of liberal causes in the

state. Yarborough's platform called for workers' right to organize, expansion of unemployment

benefits, an end to restrictive electoral laws that discouraged political participation for poor,

black, and Hispanic voters, higher tax rates for upper-income Texans, and regulation of the oil

and gas industries. Some of these issues were unique to the state, but the overall philosophy that

governed liberal thinking on these issues placed them squarely within the mainstream of national

liberal politics in the era.6





5 Bass and DeVries, Transformation, 309-310.
6 Davidson, Race and Class, 26-28.









presidency on the Progressive ticket. Pepper's opponents maintained that the senator had been

too supportive of the Soviet Union in his statements opposing an American nuclear build-up.

Florida conservatives had succeeded in blocking Pepper's efforts to send his hand-picked slate of

delegates to the 1948 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, selecting instead a states'-rights

slate pledged to Mississippi Governor Fielding J. Wright. Wright would end up as Strom

Thurmond's running mate on the Dixiecrat ticket, and Pepper's failure to stop Florida Democrats

from supporting Wright showed how vulnerable his political situation was.2

Despite Pepper's political liabilities and pro-Soviet views, the senator did share some

common ground with ADA. For example, once his personal presidential aspirations appeared

dead, Pepper had joined with ADA in supporting former Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D.

Eisenhower as the Democratic nominee in Philadelphia. The fact that Eisenhower expressed no

interest in being President and repeatedly declined to run did not stop Pepper, ADA officials, and

other disaffected liberals from trying to draft him. When the general finally convinced liberals

he was not interested, Pepper revived his own candidacy as an anti-Truman alternative for

liberals. He publicly declared himself a candidate on the second day of the convention,

describing himself as a New Deal liberal, a supporter of labor, and a "good southerner" on civil

rights. The national and state press denounced the effort, calling Pepper's candidacy "sad" and

"preposterous," and even ADA chairman Leon Henderson distanced himself from the senator.

Even before voting began, Pepper withdrew his name from nomination, and he supported the

Democratic ticket in the fall, but his presidential aspirations had dire political consequences in






2 James C. Clark, "Road to Defeat: Claude Pepper and Defeat in the 1950 Florida Primary"
(Ph.D. diss., University of Florida, 1998), 111-118, 125-127.









destroy such a coalition."' Indeed, the question of what to do with black southerners remained a

vexing one, even for those whites who supported changes to the segregationist status quo.

While Schulter and others forged ahead, ADA concentrated on finding a new southern

organizer. One advantage this new organizer would have was time, a luxury that Taylor had

never enjoyed. In May 1947, Taylor had been thrown into his ADA job with no real thought as

to what he should do, beyond identifying southern liberals and encouraging the formation of

ADA chapters. He was also stuck with the task of handling the affairs of the Memphis chapter,

by far the most politically and organizationally active during his time with ADA. Most

significantly, he had only a few months to focus on these tasks before the 1948 presidential

campaign began to monopolize the attention of those in Washington whose help he required to

do his job. The attention ADA's national staff paid to the election helped Harry Truman upset

Republican Thomas Dewey in November, but it did little to help Taylor's aborted efforts to make

ADA work in the South. In 1949, however, with no major electoral contests on the horizon,

Taylor's successor would have more energy available to devote to organizational matters.

Even so, Taylor's successor could count on more attention to the South because of

several significant races in the 1950 congressional elections, where liberals with strong ties to

ADA faced significant challenges. One such contest in Florida featured incumbent Senator

Claude Pepper, whose previous elections to the Senate in 1938 and 1944 had been close, hard-

fought affairs. Pepper had always had an uneasy relationship with New Dealers who were also

hard-line cold warriors. In 1949, his standing within the Democratic Party was under serious

scrutiny, even though he had eventually repudiated Henry Wallace's third-party run for the


1 John Schulter to James A. Loeb, February 21, 1949, Reel 42, No.162, Americans for
Democratic Action Papers, University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville, microfilm collection
(hereafter cited as ADA Papers).









The easiest way to convey that message was to fight against the forces that made

segregation possible. As SDA leaders rebranded their organization as Campus ADA in 1958,

southern members began to embrace a more direct approach to the problem that mirrored the

confrontational approach civil rights leaders embraced in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1960, the

ADA Executive Committee expressed its frustration with "massive defiance of law [that could]

no longer be met by half-hearted gestures or facile compromise." What made many in ADA

particularly upset was that such defiance continued even in the face of congressional legislation

and Supreme Court decisions in favor of voting rights and desegregation.98 As they had learned

during the 1950s, however, strongly worded resolutions and expressions of support for civil

rights legislation could only do so much. They still needed to win the support of southerners

who could use their influence on the ground, and students remained a vital part of that effort. In

the spring of 1960, for example, CADA members at the University of Texas demonstrated

against segregation on the streets of Austin. The university had officially desegregated in 1950

as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Sweatt v. Painter, but the protesters demanded steps

that would completely integrate the campus, including integrated student housing, black

participation in productions of the drama and music departments, and integration of the

university's athletic teams. However, the ADA label still carried a stigma that campus liberals

did not want attached to their campaign. As chapter secretary Hubert Beare noted, "the

demonstrators did not want any outside group sponcering [sic] it."99

Liberals at Texas may have wanted to keep CADA at arm's length, but the protests in

Austin were an encouraging sign. The same could be said for developments at the University of

98 "Draft Statement for Executive Committee," February 18, 1960, reel 34, no. 63, ADA Papers.

99 Hubert W. Beare, Jr. to Sheldon Pollack, March 26, 1960, reel 139, series VIII, no. 234, ADA
Papers.









Lambert would organize chapters, report on local conditions, and work to bolster liberalism in

Texas.17

On May 24, 1953, Lambert spoke on behalf of this idea at the monthly National Board

meeting, arguing that the need for organizing Texas (and the Southwest more generally) was

acute and needed help from the national level to succeed. Lambert carried the Dailey proposal

with him, along with details left out of Dailey's letter. The Dallas chapter proposed that

Lambert's contract would run for six months and pay him $800 a month, half to be paid by

Dallas and half to be paid by the national office.18

The timing of the Dallas proposal was perfect, since ADA leaders had just approved a

larger project at the 1953 national convention. In June, Political Secretary Violet Gunther

detailed the project in a memorandum to other top ADA officials. In an effort to better

understand the South, ADA would "make a survey of liberal political strength in the Southern

States." Gunther reported that "the purpose of this survey would be to make an on-the-spot

study of the Democratic Party in the several Southern States with a view to developing allies in

what will be undoubtedly a major political struggle in '56; i.e., the effort of the non-Fair Deal

Southern Democrats to take over both the policy direction and the nominating machinery at the

'56 Democratic Convention." Data collected in the survey would "be used as background for

increased ADA work in the South and to establish state and local contacts, both as a continuing

source of information and as a basis for cooperative work on mutually agreed-upon political

objectives either at the state level in 1954 or particularly looking toward '56." The budget for





17 Patrick Dailey to Zalles, May 9, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers.

18 Minutes to ADA National Board meeting, May 24, 1953, reel 46, no. 194, ADA Papers.









the Chattanooga Times, who had requested the statement in the first place. Loeb was the first to

speak. He lauded ADA's achievements and stressed the prominence of many of its members.

He then insisted that ADA's position was that the South "is still a part of the nation," and that the

national leadership "wants to know what southern liberals are thinking and doing, particularly in

view of the change in the South since the last election." The meeting's goal was to serve this

purpose, as well as to put southerners who might otherwise have been isolated in contact with

information and support that would help them in their struggles.43

The next to speak was Frank Graham, who declared that the conference would be a

positive experience because "I think it is good for us once in a while to get together to just sit

down and talk." His contribution to the conversation focused on policies that he thought were

possible in the near-future, including increased federal aid to education (which he regarded as "a

matter of national welfare"), introduction of state minimum wages that would exceed the federal

wage, and continued implementation of the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan. The issue of

education was of particular importance to this university president, especially since the United

States could no longer rely on recruiting intellectuals from European institutions; most of whom

were already in the United States. Graham argued that "if we could unite-North and South,

East and West. ., this could be a great Congress. Or else it can bog down because of

extremists on both sides."44

Graham thought any national liberal program might founder over the civil rights issue,

which was interesting given his position on the President's Commission on Civil Rights (and his

endorsement, however qualified, of the commission's conclusions). He reiterated that "I stand



43 Taylor, "Notes on Atlanta Meeting," 1.

44 Taylor, "Notes on Atlanta Meeting," 2-3.









While ADA leaders worked on Graham, in May 1947 Loeb and other ADA officials

approached Taylor with an offer made possible by Taylor's leave of absence from NFLU.19

Taylor had been working for ADA on a part-time, volunteer basis as an informal liaison between

southern liberals and the ADA leadership in Washington, but Loeb wanted to make Taylor a

permanent ADA employee. For his part, Taylor acknowledged that "on several other questions,

I have a completely open (or blank) mind; and will need guidance by better brains." He also

made a concession to the national office on policy matters. As he put it, "be assured that I am

organizationally minded enough to carry out policy thoughtfully arrived at, whether it represents

my own thinking or not."20

In return, Taylor wanted a three-month commitment from ADA, beginning in May 1947,

which would coincide with his NFLU leave. He wanted to postpone any regional conference,

arguing that "we will work on actual organization of community and campus chapters at the

same time. I wouldn't expect big dough from such efforts, but there will be some dues and

contribution income to the National Office. That policy will also make toward a more

representative subsequent conference by having chapter delegates as well as prominent liberal-

labor leaders among those present." Finally, Taylor wanted the title of Southern Organizer to

supersede any local responsibilities, saying, "I feel that I must avoid being regarded as a paid

local executive secretary, and plan to form working organizing committees in each state, city and

community."21


19 There is no indication that Taylor's parting from NFLU was anything but amicable. In fact,
Taylor made an important gesture to his former employer when he resigned from ADA's
Executive Board in mid-May 1947. He suggested that H.L. Mitchell, president of NFLU, serve
in his place. Taylor to Loeb, May 16, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.
20 Taylor to Loeb, April 17, 1947, reel 78, no. 94, ADA Papers.

21 Taylor to Loeb, April 17, 1947, reel 78, no. 94, ADA Papers.









Thurmond's Dixiecrats when the former presidential candidate ran against incumbent Senator

Olin Johnston in 1950 in a campaign that was "no secret" to political observers in South

Carolina. One big problem for loyal Democrats, as another participant noted, was that "no

person in South Carolina could run on the platform of the national democratic party [sic] and get

elected," and not even a comprehensive political education program would help that cause.68

These reports took a lot of time, but they gave the participants had a great deal to ponder,

as Loeb had undoubtedly hoped they would. The reports had served two main purposes. First,

national ADA wanted to introduce these liberals to each other in a politically safe environment

for an open discussion of the problems they faced in organizing the South. Second, Loeb wanted

to get a sense of the relative difficulties each southern state presented. Even if those outside the

South did not see it, southerners themselves were well aware that Tennessee and North Carolina

were very different from South Carolina and Mississippi. Loeb said, "This group was brought

together in a hit-or-miss fashion. Yet there was a common approach, while there were

differences in strategy and tactics."69 It would be now much easier to determine where and when

effort and money would be expended most effectively.

Before adjourning, Loeb asked for short-term suggestions that would allow ADA to act on

the advice they had been given quickly. Some of these suggestions included a series of large-

scale mailing campaigns, contacting local labor federations to inquire about office space, and

enlisting people who were already traveling to certain locations for volunteer work while they

were in those communities. Plunkett suggested, to widespread agreement, that the first

membership drive after Atlanta begin in Tennessee. Loeb offered $400-500 to states for 30-day


68 Taylor, "Notes on Atlanta Meeting," 22-23.

69 Taylor, "Notes on Atlanta Meeting," 25.









These criticisms struck a chord among many southern moderates and liberals. However,

another factor was at work with regard to the timing of the Atlanta conference and the

organization that hosted it. Though none of the negative responses to the invitation mentioned

the previous summer's Democratic convention, events in Philadelphia may have weighed on

their decisions as well. ADA had taken a very public lead in the fight to commit the Democrats

to a stronger position on civil rights and southern reform, and they now wanted to take that fight

into the South itself, even though their initial steps were tentative and low-key. ADA and its

leaders, particularly Senator Humphrey, had taken a great deal of heat from southern politicians

and journalists for their actions in Philadelphia. Many liberals who might have been inclined to

join the Atlanta meeting declined with their reputations in mind. At a moment when being

labeled as an ADA liberal was a potential political liability, even the most informal meeting

could have severe negative consequences for participants.

Despite the logistical and political problems the Atlanta conference posed, a strong list of

participants eventually emerged. Skittishness about being associated with ADA did not prevent

Frank Graham or Dorothy Tilly from being present, and Hodding Carter came from Greenville,

Mississippi along with his wife Betty, his partner in running the Delta Democrat-Times. Several

residents of Atlanta attended, as did representatives from chapters in New Orleans and

Chattanooga, Moss Plunkett from Virginia, and Charles Hamilton from Mississippi. The

delegates represented eight of the eleven states mentioned as possible targets for ADA growth.

Loeb acted as the group's moderator and as the main voice for the national organization.33

The conference also included Thomason, who had announced that he would be leaving his

post with ADA after the conference ended. He had accepted a publishing job in northern

33 Elizabeth Taylor, "Notes on Atlanta Meeting," February 19-20, 1949, p. 1, reel 61, no. 33,
ADA Papers.









who will find a means of independent political expression in a Little Rock ADA," and his

willingness to work with liberal college students at state universities won Taylor over, and he

made plans to meet with Hamilton.41 Taylor also thought things were looking up in Arkansas

because of the disintegration of the local SCHW chapter, though he cautioned that "this hurts

us more than it helps [in the short term], since the SCHW has a good many of the Arkansas

liberals somewhat gun-shy."42

Taylor saw numerous positive signs for organizing the South, but there was one looming

negative on the horizon that ADA could not ignore. Lillian Smith's anti-lynching appeal had

brought in some money, but ADA remained chronically short of financial support, and Taylor's

office was no exception. These problems became the subject of a rather testy exchange between

Taylor and the national office in late June, as Taylor had used much of his mailing budget on the

Smith letter. John Tucker chided Taylor because "all items of the Southern Office costs are

exceeding its approved budget. This is impossible both because this office cannot authorize such

excesses, but also because the financial receipts during the summer months are reduced to a point

that makes it essential to scrutinize carefully the most modest expenditures." Tucker and his

superiors were particularly upset at Taylor's purchase of a fluorescent desk lamp without first

consulting Washington about the purchase. They did not appreciate that Taylor had made this

purchase without considering the fact that the national office was sacrificing similar creature

comforts for the benefit of the field offices. The budget ADA approved for Taylor had not

allowed for such extravagance, and Tucker wanted him to bring the situation under control.43



41 Scott D. Hamilton, Jr. to Taylor, June 9, 1947, reel 50, no. 274, ADA Papers.

42 Taylor to Loeb, "Weekly Report," June 17, 1947, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers.

43 Tucker to Taylor, June 25, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.









AFL representative who was halfway progressive and who could be seen in two days." She also

talked with people at the American Jewish Congress, the Dade County Democratic Party, and the

University of Miami, where thirty students turned out for Hopkins' lunchtime speech.

Hopkins also ran afoul of local government over her desire to hold an integrated executive

committee meeting. She told Loeb that Singer had already publicized the meeting in a mass

mailing, but "[he] had chosen a meeting place which does not allow non-segregated meetings, in

a town-Coral Gables-in which a negro [sic] is not allowed after 6:00 p.m. It was impossible

to secure the cooperation of either the Coral Gables mayor, which [University of Miami student

James Strachan] tried, or the Police Department, which [Singer] tried halfheartedly. Under the

circumstances, I compromised by saying we wouldn't try to have negroes in the audience but

would have a couple negro speakers." Singer's opposition to ADA's integrationist policies made

him unacceptable as the driving force behind the chapter. She did not want Singer to resign from

ADA over this issue, however, so she passed the issue off to the national office and "told him we

would postpone the question until December 3rd, when the Executive Board would meet and

could make a policy decision for all Southern chapters to follow." She knew the Executive

Board had no intention of doing this, but she wanted to avoid the negative publicity that might

result from Singer's resignation.69

Hopkins was determined to "get control of the organization away from Singer, at the same

time insuring that we would have some active people to carry on the work." Her most important

ally in this work would turn out to be Kurt Singer (no relation to Max), a writer from Miami

Beach who worked for the Speakers' Bureau of the United Nations and had emigrated to the




69 Hopkins, memo to Loeb, November 27, 1949, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers.









Foreign Wars. Crawford was positive about possibilities for liberal initiatives in Dade County,

since a large contingent of New Yorkers and other northerners had made the area their second

home. Sending an organizer to Miami would make sense politically as well, "[s]ince this is the

home state of Claude Pepper."9

On April 15, Loeb would contact Crawford directly, but Loeb could do little at that

moment because he had failed to hire an organizer as of that date. Indeed, the two months

between the February conference in Atlanta and the end of April represented a lost opportunity

for ADA, and Loeb's rhetoric conveyed the sense that he knew it had been lost. "Believe it or

not, I still have the same problem that I discussed with you, I don't know how many months

ago," he told Crawford. John Thomason had been the obvious choice for the position in view of

his hard work in setting up the conference, but his commitment to the World Federalist

movement precluded him from taking ajob with ADA. On the other hand, Loeb did have some

good news for Crawford. "We cannot expect one person to do the whole South within a few

months. We must therefore concentrate on those areas where we think organization is most

possible and also where we think the political situation in 1950 will be most significant." As a

result, Loeb wrote, "From the political point of view, the most important races for liberals in the

South will be in North Carolina and in Florida." Loeb hoped that the re-election of Pepper and

Graham, with ADA help, would "disprove once and for all the theory that no one can be elected

in the South unless he has racist ideas."'1 It would also prove that ADA anti-Communist

liberalism had a fighting chance at success in the South, which would boost membership and

fund-raising efforts significantly.



9 Schulter to Loeb, April 6, 1949, reel 49, no. 261, ADA Papers.
10 Loeb to James Crawford, April 15, 1949, reel 17, no. 1, ADA Papers.









of our fighting men have had experiences which have taught them a new appreciation of their

fellow Americans of another race."5

McGill was also sure that the South would become more liberal. He acknowledged the

problems and divisions that were a fundamental part of the postwar political and social

landscape. However, he also thought that the problems the United States faced should be viewed

in the context of the five years that had just passed. His country was the most powerful, and

richest, on earth, possessed of technology (including the atomic bomb) that now awed the world.

America's soldiers, along with the British and Russians, had beaten back the most fearsome

armies mankind had ever produced. Under such circumstances, how could any challenge be

daunting? McGill "wanted desperately to believe that people were basically decent and that,

given a chance, they would do the right thing."6 Others who shared McGill's generally liberal

outlook were not so sure, and events in the months that preceded the founding of ADA in

January 1947 showed that New Dealers who wanted to keep their vision of the country alive in

the wake of Roosevelt's passing would have to work hard to do so.

First, liberals had to reckon with a new president. Almost from the moment he assumed

the office, Harry Truman had appeared unable to grasp the enormity of his position, and New

Deal liberals had no confidence in his ability to lead as Roosevelt had. He took the side of large

defense contractors when these businesses laid off tens of thousands of workers who were no

longer needed in a peacetime economy. In May 1946, he shocked liberal sensibilities when he

asked Congress for authorization to draft striking railroad workers, claiming that a national




5 Johnson quoted in Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything: White S.nli/ uei \ in the Age of
Civil Rights, 1945-1975 (New York, 2006), 20.

6 McGill quoted in Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day, 332-333.









Virginia two weeks before the meeting. He lamented the fact that he would be leaving what he

called the "the most challenging opportunity I have ever known." However, his close proximity

to the nation's capital would allow him to "work in every way possible with the national D.C.

chapter offices to further the liberal program we support." At the same time, his base in northern

Virginia would allow him to work against that state's Democratic machine, controlled by Senator

Harry F. Byrd. He also told Loeb that he would be keeping an eye out for potential successors.34

Despite the fact that Thomason would be leaving ADA in February, his final

correspondence with Loeb continued to think the problems ADA would face in the South. In his

mind, "there [were] many dangers and there [were] many opportunities to contribute to an

improvement in the politics of the South. ADA's course must be courageous and it must

acknowledge the force of ingrained social habits." ADA had to guard against becoming "the

special pleader for any particular group," since the NAACP and labor organizations already

existed for that purpose. What it could do in the evolving political environment of the late 1940s

was "fill the aching need for a spokesman for the not inconsiderable group of people who oppose

the ownership of the Democratic Party by traditional rulers." The "surest weapons" ADA

leaders could use in filling this need were "court rulings, [and] appeals to reason and education,"

which would put them in direct opposition to the "headline methods" Wallace and the Southern

Conference typically used in pursuit of liberal reform.35

Thomason thought that there was another aspect of the political situation in the South that

needed to be addressed, both at the Atlanta conference and in subsequent campaigns. He

questioned "whether Southern representatives misrepresent or truly reflect the desires of their



34 Thomason to Loeb, February 6, 1949, reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.

35 Thomason to Loeb, February 6, 1949, reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.









abandon the Carolinas, telling his superiors, "in addition to [numerous contacts in] Durham,

Greensboro, Chapel Hill and Charlotte-a recheck of my correspondence files show equally

good prospects for Raleigh, Asheville and Winston-Salem."83 Taylor was impressed with the

work that CIO State Director William Smith was doing in Charlotte, planning a series of

meetings in early January that would feature Jim Loeb as a dinner speaker in Durham, Raleigh,

and Charlotte.84 However, Taylor was not in a position to exploit those contacts at the beginning

of 1948, when Alabama and Tennessee consumed his attention.

In February, Taylor came down with what he described as a "rather severe appendicitis

attack." While he recovered from his illness, he was sidelined for a few weeks as chapter leaders

across the region looked to him for assistance.85 In addition, the Nashville chapter Taylor had

hoped would be organized by the end of February had collapsed. The acting secretary of the

Nashville group, Adele R. Schweid, had told Taylor that a late February meeting would signal

the start of a membership drive, but the meeting never took place because of scheduling

conflicts. Over the next few weeks, some of the Nashville liberals who had taken an early

interest in ADA concluded that, as Schweid told Taylor, "the outlook for an active, energetic

Nashville chapter was so gloomy that we felt it would be wiser, not only from our own

standpoint, but for ADA, to give up the idea and urge those interested to be members at large of

the National." Anti-Communist liberals in Nashville were tired of giving their time and effort to







83 Taylor to Dubrow, January 15, 1948, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.

84 Smith, letters to ADA Washington office, n.d., reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.

85 Taylor to Dubrow, March 2, 1948, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.









The fate of ADA liberalism in the South is the subject of this study, and it shows how the

entrenched political conservatism of the region frustrated liberals who had convinced themselves

that their philosophy could succeed in the South. In the period between 1947 and 1963, ADA

leaders worked hard to establish a political and organizational presence in the South, and they

believed they could succeed. According to historian Kevin Mattson, Niebuhr and Schlesinger

succeeded in making Cold War liberalism "a humanist project committed to pushing people to

think beyond the interests of the self." Practically speaking, this meant they avoided

"fanaticism" of all types and encouraged citizens to reach out to others.8

The problem for ADA liberals was that they possessed an inflated view of their own

effectiveness. As Mattson has noted, they wrote for the best magazines and newspapers, held

prestigious positions at the best universities, and traveled in the same "privileged, white, and

well-educated" circles, largely through organizations like ADA. However, having influence over

public debate did not translate into tangible political power. Their chosen presidential candidate

in 1952 and 1956, Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, lost each election he contested. In

addition, political conservatives had organizations and intellectuals of their own making their

case. In short, says Mattson, the idea of"a liberal consensus during [the 1950s] is little more

than a myth," and nowhere was that myth more painfully exposed than in the South.9

ADA liberals did have some success to show for their efforts. At the 1948 Democratic

National Convention, Hubert H. Humphrey, mayor of Minneapolis and soon-to-be-elected

senator from Minnesota, stirred the delegates with his call for a strong stand on civil rights. His

words ("To those who say that we are rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them, we are 172

SKevin Mattson, When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith ofPostwar Liberalism (New
York, 2004), 8-9.

9 Mattson, 12-14.









Hopkins' efforts, like those of Taylor before her, were frustrated, and in 1950 she left

ADA. However, her passion on the subject of southern organization was not dead. She had

always acknowledged the difficulty of organizing ADA chapters in the South without

compromising on the core ideals for which the organization stood, especially its support for

racial integration. Nevertheless, Hopkins believed that liberals could be elected to Congress

from the South, especially from major cities such as Nashville, New Orleans, and Atlanta. Her

commitment to the South had not dissipated. "It seems to me building up liberal sentiment and

organization in the South is much more than a matter of political expedience; it is a matter of

political life or death nationally."13 Hopkins thought that the fate of liberalism in the 1950s

depended on organizing the South, which would bolster liberalism's credibility at home and

abroad.

Hopkins certainly believed in the political importance of the South, but that did not

change the fact that, most of the chapters Taylor and Hopkins attempted to organize failed to last

beyond 1950. Hopkins believed that getting ADA off the ground in the South was a matter of

"political life or death," but she was unable to convince national leaders to commit thousands of

organizing dollars to the region for such modest results when the same financial resources

yielded far greater returns in New York, Washington, or Los Angeles. ADA leaders never

stopped trying to attract support for liberalism in the South, but after 1950 it did so in a far more

informal manner, waiting for inquiries about its platform from interested southerners before

committing resources to the region. In the 1950s, ADA's staff adopted an essentially passive

approach. This approach mirrored important trends in liberal thinking during the 1950s, when




13 Alden Hopkins, memo to James A. Loeb, December 31, 1949, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers.









are afraid of white people, and look over their shoulders before they speak. Negro people are not

afraid in the sense of a new panic, but have a stolid determination to see it through." One thing

southern liberals like this writer believed, however, was that "the old patterns will no longer do

(and all know this, consciously or not) and the new ones have not been established .... There's

all the harshness and tension of the last-ditch stand that cannot win but can take a terrible toll."2

Something had to change, but no one truly knew how it would change.

There was the hope that a new generation of southerners could spark social and political

change in the region, and ADA and other liberal organizations could participate in that change.

Liberals hoped that this new generation would not adhere to the political and racial conventions

of the past. The vehicle through which ADA hoped to mold southern liberalism was its student

division, first known upon its founding in 1947 as Students for Democratic Action (SDA) and

renamed Campus ADA (CADA) in 1958. Since its founding, SDA organizers had been creating

chapters across the country, but in 1956 a new executive secretary, Yale Bernstein, saw potential

for the liberal students in the South. By the mid-1950s, as he put it, "the clarity of the issues in

the South" was so obvious that organizing chapters on southern campuses would be not only

fruitful, but necessary for the hopes of liberalism, both regionally and nationally.3 The increased

interest in civil rights issues that resulted from the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v.

Board of Education facilitated organization, and ADA's student wing soon found itself involved

in some of the most important events of the civil rights movement that followed Brown. These

included bus boycotts in Montgomery, Alabama and Tallahassee, Florida; northern boycotts of


2 "From and About the South," ADA World 11.3 (March 1956), 2M, reel 141, series IX, no. 2,
ADA Papers.

3 Yale Bernstein, memorandum to Students for Democratic Action (SDA) national office,
February 29, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, no. 60, ADA Papers.









CHAPTER 6
THE LIMITS OF LIBERALISM: GEORGE LAMBERT, THE ADA IN TEXAS, AND THE
FIGHT FOR THE TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY, 1953-1956

Charles C. Alexander's history of the 1950s concludes that the decade was one in which

government and society attempted to "hold the line" against the expansion of the welfare state at

home and Communism abroad.' Richard H. Pells's intellectual history of the same decade

broadly agrees with Alexander's thesis and extends it to the intellectuals who challenged the

conservative nature of the era. Because of their "disenchantment with the political and cultural

radicalism of the 1930s," liberal intellectuals "neither proposed nor trusted any sweeping

solutions to the difficulties of their time."2 The problems Americans for Democratic Action

(ADA) liberals faced in the South in the aftermath of World War II had not responded to

"sweeping solutions." The result was a period in which the organization's leaders eschewed

grand organizational plans in favor of smaller-scale efforts.

However, ADA leaders working during the 1950s did not give up on the South. They still

believed that if they did enough work, southerners would finally join the national consensus in

favor of their program. One of the most important places where ADA tested this belief was

Texas. The state offered some intriguing possibilities for liberals. Texas was a right-to-work

state, as was North Carolina and Florida, but its larger population (7.7 million in 1950) meant a

pool of unionized workers that numbered in the tens of thousands and was reliably liberal.

Texas was also more culturally diverse than the rest of the South. Its black population was much

smaller than in other southern states, but the southern half of the state was between ten and



1 Charles C. Alexander, Holding the Line: The Eisenhower Era, 1952-1961 (Bloomington,
1975), xvi.

2 Richard H. Pells, The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age: American Intellectuals in the 1940s
& 1950s (New York, 1985), viii, ix.









Not all Americans reacted to Roosevelt's death with sorrow. Many southerners,

particularly the vast majority of elected officials and power brokers in the Democratic Party, had

cooperated with the New Deal only begrudgingly, if at all. They looked forward to dealing with

a President who seemed to think and act like "one of them," especially on racial issues.

However, not all southerners cheered Roosevelt's passing. Atlanta Constitution editor

Ralph McGill, for one, made a trip to Roosevelt's southern White House in Warm Springs to pay

his respects, and he recorded his impressions of the trip through rural Georgia for his newspaper.

McGill saw little of the negativity that the region's political classes felt toward Roosevelt,

reporting instead on the respect and admiration ordinary Americans had for the man who had

been their greatest champion, even if his rhetoric often outpaced his achievements. This

reaction, in part, led McGill to write that "all I can see for this country is the green light."4

McGill's conclusion was optimistic in its assessment of the ability of the country to deal with the

challenges of post-war life, with or without Roosevelt.

In a sense, both McGill's cautious optimism and Schlesinger's negativity were each valid.

The divisions that had existed in the United States before the war had not disappeared, but had

merely faded as international problems took precedence. One of these divisions was between

North and South. Many Americans, particularly liberals, emerged from the war with the sense

that they could no longer ignore pressing social and economic problems in their own country.

Some of them were native southerners whose opinions, particularly on racial issues, had not

survived their wartime experiences. Liberals hoped that this cohort of southerners was a large

one. Guy Johnson, chairman of the SRC at the end of the war, boldly asserted that "the majority



4 McGill quoted in John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil
Rights Movement in the S.,ulh (Chapel Hill, 1995), 332.









They were enthusiastic about the prospect of peace, but the death of President Franklin D.

Roosevelt on April 12 had come as a great shock to people of Schlesinger's generation. There

had been a great deal of speculation on Roosevelt's health in the months leading up to the 1944

election, but his death was still unexpected. As Schlesinger notes in his memoirs, "people my

age hardly remembered any president before FDR. We unconsciously supposed that he would

be president forever."1

The inability of younger Americans to comprehend what Roosevelt's death meant was

understandable, but Schlesinger's reaction was also political. Schlesinger was a liberal, and his

career to that point reflected his liberalism. His Pulitzer Prize-winning Age ofJackson,

published in 1945, was a self-conscious attempt to place the events of pre-Civil War America in

the context of the Great Depression and New Deal, arguing that the Jacksonian Democrats were

proto-New Dealers like himself. Now the great champion of American liberalism had died, and

Schlesinger told his wife that "his death leaves a kind of awful vacancy."2 He had been so

effective in pushing the country to accept liberal legislation such as Social Security, banking

reform, public power, and labor legislation. Moreover, he had created a solid Democratic

coalition that passed liberal legislation and protected the gains of the New Deal from a

conservative backlash. Now he was gone, and liberals were not at all sure where they fit in

under Roosevelt's successor, former Missouri senator Harry S Truman.3





1 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Life in the 20th Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950 (Boston,
2000), 346.
2 Schlesinger, Life, 346.

3 Steven Gillon, Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947-1985 (New York,
1987), 3.









and through which, liberals in the South can communicate with each other, and work out

common plans for action." The letter was sent to dozens of potential participants, but Loeb

informed them that a maximum of thirty people would be at the meeting. He also noted that

"since ADA has no desire to exploit the meeting in publicity, no press releases will be issued

before or after the conference."31 He knew that a large meeting would attract attention, and he

wanted to reassure people who did not want public association with ADA's "radical" politics that

their participation would not be a matter for public discussion.

Despite these repeated assurances, many southern liberals avoided the Atlanta conference.

Most respondents who declined invitations did so because of financial constraints or prior

engagements, but these excuses may have been hiding other political or social considerations.

The truth was that many southerners, even liberals who shared ADA's views on civil rights,

labor, and health care, were skittish about cooperating with ADA, even in the most indirect way.

This reluctance was partly due to the general southern unwillingness to acknowledge northern

criticism of their society and economic structure. Even committed liberals such as Frank

Graham and Dorothy Tilly of the Southern Regional Council, the two southern members of the

President's late Commission on Civil Rights, argued for softening that group's recommendations

and deplored the "bias" they detected in To Secure These Rights, the report the group submitted

to Truman in October 1947. Virginius Dabney, editor of the Richmond (VA) Times-Dispatch and

one of the "notables" Thomason had named as a potential participant in Atlanta, had publicly

declared that criticism from Americans outside of the South was delusionaryy and self-

defeating."32


31 Loeb to W. Harold Flowers et al., January 25, 1949, reel 57, no. 4, ADA Papers.

32 Morton J. Sosna, In Search of the Silent .,nalh i .inlhei n Liberals and the Race Issue (New
York, 1977), 150-160 (quote on 158).









While he tried to educate outsiders about his home state, Lambert traveled the state looking

for ADA prospects. His August 1953 reports were mixed. He was optimistic that he could start

several chapters in Texas before his six-month trial run ended. Things had progressed slower

than he had hoped, partly because his wife had been forced to have surgery over the summer.

Nevertheless, he thought there was a place for ADA in each city.30 Fort Worth was his most

problematic city because his main concern there was to create an "organization of the

Independent liberals, presently largely without organization, and to make them an effective force

in the political situation in the community." In order to do that, he needed to find the right

leaders, and this meant finding people with experience, contacts in the liberal community, and

practical political skills. By the end of August, Lambert was convinced that he had done so.31

Another of Lambert's August reports was more pessimistic, however, not only about the

chapters but about the whole ADA enterprise. He believed that Texas liberals were spread too

thin and had too many competing loyalties. For example, in August the Dallas County division

of the DOC asked him to "put together a schedule of activities through next year's primaries and

conventions, arrange for the printing of precinct maps showing the new precincts in Dallas

County, arrange for printing of letterheads and other material for the Committee," and draw

up their budget. Lambert did as he was asked, but these tasks took him away from his job as

ADA organizer.32

There were also logistical and political problems that hamstrung Lambert's efforts. For

example, in late August Lambert told Gunther that he had attempted to issue a statewide ADA



30 George Lambert to Hollander, August 8, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers.

31 George Lambert to Gunther, August 11, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers.

32 George Lambert to Hollander, September 6, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers.









CHAPTER 2
RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: SOUTHERN LIBERALISM, COMMUNISM, AND THE
UDA/ADA IN THE 1940S


In the immediate wake of World War II, American liberals faced two key dilemmas: how

to deal with Communists and their political allies; and what to do about the American South.

The liberals who founded the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) explicitly addressed the

former issue. Their concern about pro-Soviet elements on the American left, and the effect these

elements had on the ability of liberals to win and retain political power, was the issue that

originally brought them together in January 1947. Concern over what to do about the South's

political conservatism, its hostility toward organized labor, and its racial injustices would emerge

as another key challenge as ADA activists sought to build a vigorous national organization.

In the same period, tensions among white southern liberals replicated the challenges that

ADA activists faced nationally. Throughout World War II, two liberal organizations vied for

influence in a South undergoing rapid industrial and demographic change. While the leadership

of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW) openly welcomed Communist

participation, the leaders of the Southern Regional Council (SRC) criticized SCHW's approach

and explicitly banned Communists and socialists from participating in their organization. With

signs of progressive political rebirth emerging in the aftermath of war, the South posed both a

complex dilemma and a rare opportunity for liberals at the national level.

Underscoring all of this were the events of 1945, which shook all Americans in a profound

way. By August, Germany and Japan had surrendered to the Allies. Harvard-trained historian

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. was in Paris at the end of the war, freshly drafted into the U.S. Army

after several years of working with the Office of Strategic Services in England and France as an

intelligence analyst and writer. For many Americans, the end of the war was a curious moment.









organization; each person on the lists would then receive a letter from the national office in

Washington inviting them to the conference. This was a decentralized approach to organization,

which made financial sense to Taylor. He also expressed some trepidation about organizing the

region by himself, and he wanted to solicit advice from long-time liberal activists. Taylor cast

his lot with those in ADA who wanted no compromise on its platform. "Only those who have

accepted the policies and principles laid down by the Committee of the whole should attend," he

declared, and he recommended that "no time be wasted in appeasing race-baiters."13

As Taylor made these recommendations, Loeb disseminated information from

Washington to prospective members everywhere, including the South. When dealing with

southern contacts, he assured them that the South was a priority. For example, he assured Nelle

Morton, general secretary for the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, "we are very anxious to do

some work in the South, but we realize that the South presents a special problem which much be

handled separately and with considerable delicacy."14 Morton was optimistic, calling ADA "the

most hopeful sign in the political horizon I have seen."15

Many liberals thought the South desperately needed political change, and they thought

even an "outsider group" such as ADA had a unique opportunity to foster that change. Such was

the perspective attorney Moss A. Plunkett of Roanoke, Virginia, president of the Southern

Electoral Reform League, who had made unsuccessful runs for Congress in 1942 and governor

in 1945. Plunkett was determined to break the Harry F. Byrd machine that controlled

Democratic politics in Virginia, and he saw a chance to do that in a 1948 referendum on ending


13 Taylor to Loeb, "Memorandum on a Southern Conference of Americans for Democratic
Action," February 12, 1947, reel 78, no. 94, ADA Papers.

14 Loeb to Nelle Morton, February 20, 1947; reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.

15 Morton to Loeb, March 14, 1947, reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.









Deal as "something to be defended and preserved, but also a roadway into the future through

future acts of reform."7 This work was important, but it was not particularly exciting, especially

when compared with the struggles of the 1930s. Leftist critics of "Cold War" liberals agreed,

and they thought this approach was flawed because of its rejection of radical change and its

detachment from the lower classes, which the liberal consensus seemed to ignore.

In the intellectual and political climate of postwar America, the South represented an

opportunity for liberals. It opened the possibility of restoring a crusading, moralistic spirit to

liberalism, a spirit that had animated the Progressives around the turn of the century.8 Since the

beginning of Franklin Roosevelt's presidency, liberals had been able to "solve" so many

American problems, but the South had remained beyond their collective reach. The idea that

"life in the region was so harsh and so at odds with the nation's self-understandings that America

repeatedly had to step in and clean up the messes the South had intentionally or otherwise

created" was nothing new for liberal reformers.9 What made postwar liberals unique was their

optimistic belief that they could convince the South to embrace liberalism if they worked hard

enough and educated enough people on what liberalism truly meant. It was a political crusade in

which success would have placed postwar liberals on a pedestal that previous generations had

failed to reach.

This belief in the importance of this "crusade" explains why early failures in the South

failed to convince ADA's national staff to abandon the South. By the late 1940s, several events

reinforced the idea that the South was an opportunity for liberals. The renegade southern


7 Piereson, Camelot, 7.
8 Piereson, Camelot, 5.

9 Larry J. Griffin, "Why was the South a Problem to America?", in Griffin and Don H. Doyle,
eds., The .N',,/i as an American Problem (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995), 13.









worked hard for the Truman ticket. With good people in national and statewide offices, he

recommended a renewed focus on the "minor offices" and less attention "just on the

congressional and gubernatorial offices."65

The problem with the latter approach, according to Dobbins, was that local officials

controlled the Democratic machinery in Alabama, which meant that when liberals attempted to

fight Dixiecrats and conservatives, they were starting with a tremendous disadvantage. Another

Alabaman, John Schulter of the CIO's Birmingham office, thought the best way to win those

battles was through conscientious work on building a coalition in the state "marrying labor to the

Tuscaloosa and Auburn [university] intellectuals who refuse taking a stand... plus a marriage

with Folsom's [small] farmers," who were prominent in Folsom's governing coalition.66

The final two states covered were Louisiana and South Carolina, two states that voted for

the Dixiecrats in 1948. Dr. E. Terry Prothero, an assistant professor of psychology at Louisiana

State University, led the discussion on his "reactionary" state, where the most important political

issue was "absentee ownership" of land and industrial enterprises. Prothero, like his colleagues

in Mississippi, thought Louisiana liberals could make an issue of "outsiders" controlling the state

politically and economically. ADA leaders would also have to reckon with the divide between

New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana.67

In South Carolina, Judge Foster talked about the deep split in Democratic ranks that had

resulted from the Dixiecrat schism, to the point where there were now two Democratic parties in

the state. ADA's task was to build up the "real" Democrats so that they could challenge



65 Taylor, "Notes on Atlanta Meeting," 19-21.

66 Taylor, "Notes on Atlanta Meeting," 19-21.

67 Taylor, "Notes on Atlanta Meeting," 21-22.









final victory for Texas liberals, but he thought that the state party's influence could be tempered

to the point that Shivers would not be a national spoiler in 1956.

Butler's tour began in Lubbock on June 14. Lambert thought Butler began timidly with a

speech that stressed a hope for party unity, and Lambert speculated that this was because Butler

feared that much of the audience would be pro-Shivers. For his part, Butler saw few avowed

Shivercrats in the Lubbock audience. The only major figure in the Shivers camp who attended

the event "refused to sit on the platform and his introduction was met with something less than

cordial recognition by the crowd." Lambert sensed a change in Butler's mood, however, when

the crowd refused to acknowledge Senator Johnson but loudly cheered when he mentioned

Rayburn's name. This happened frequently during Butler's tour, and Butler tailored his message

for the liberals and loyal Democrats who were showing up to hear him. He did not repeat the

mistake he had made in Lubbock, when a remark praising Shivers "had a deadening effect on the

crowd from which it never quite recovered, even when towards the end of his talk he got on to

more safe and familiar ground by delivering an able attack on some of the more glaring

deficiencies in the Republican Administration's record in office."63

His next stop, two days later in Dallas, showed that Butler had learned an important lesson

about the dynamics of Texas Democratic politics. It did not hurt that twelve hundred people

came to his Dallas event, double the size of the Lubbock crowd. As a result, Butler gave the

"wild-eyed radicals, left-wingers, ADAers and fellow Democrats" (to quote a Shivercrat press

statement that criticized the Dallas gathering) who came to hear him a stronger performance. He

urged "real" Democrats not to support Republican candidates and criticized the "infiltration" of

the party by those who had no intention of supporting its principles. In a meeting with local


63 Lambert, "Report from Texas," 8-11.









for the integration of the university, but CADA's true impact on the process is not clear. Stephan

Mickle, one of the seven black students that enrolled at the University of Florida in 1962, credits

George Allen, the university's first black law school graduate, with convincing him to be a

pioneer. He makes no mention of CADA as a group that assisted him in any meaningful way,

though he does acknowledge that he "was able to establish some relationships with some of the .

.. more friendly] and liberal white students" later in his career at UF.115 It is possible that some

of these "friendly" students were members of CADA, but Mickle does not mention any group

affiliations these friendly students had. Since Dean and other CADA members never mentioned

Mickle's name in any of their correspondence concerning their campaign, it is possible that he

received assistance from the NAACP or other organizations instead.

In the two decades prior to the mid-1960s, Gainesville is the only success story of any

significance in the history of the student wing of ADA as it attempted to organize southern

students and mobilize them for action against the entrenched political and social structure of the

region. In most cases, attempts to organize SDA and CADA chapters at universities in

Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Texas produced minimal results. Liberal

students on southern campuses fought against student apathy, hostility from university

administrations, and smear campaigns orchestrated by conservative students. Despite the

obstacles, SDA and CADA leaders continued to organize, recognizing that the South had

become an important battleground in American politics. As the fight for black civil rights

intensified in the 1950s and 1960s, campus liberals continued to agitate for change. In the end,

campus liberals who joined the student wing of ADA became loud voices for liberalism in a way




115 Mickle interviewed in Pleasants, Gator Tales, 340.









organizations such as ADA.38 By the end of 1953, ADA leaders understood that they had been

unable to convince more than a handful of Texas liberals to join their organization.

Nevertheless, in November 1953 Dallas chapter chairman Carl Brannin suggested that the

50-50 arrangement for Lambert's employment should continue through January 31 of the

following year. Brannin had no illusions about Lambert's ability to recruit Texans for ADA

chapters, but he thought Lambert had furthered "the cause of liberal democracy in this area and

[increased] awareness of liberal political organization in the Democratic Party over the State."

He also praised Lambert's wife, calling the couple "a good team, devoted to the work and

effective."39 Hollander echoed Brannin's assessment of Lambert's work, saying, "We also have

been very much impressed with the activities in Texas and with the good job that George has

done."40

This short-term arrangement did not address Lambert's future with beyond January.

Brannin wanted to know whether ADA official wanted Lambert to continue his work in

"[guiding] the liberal program toward a practical political orientation," not to mention his role

"as an unofficial secretariat for the Democratic Organizing Committee on the county and state

level in Texas." Brannin credited the organization of the DOC on the county level in Dallas

almost entirely to Lambert's efforts. However, Brannin also knew that the Dallas chapter did not

have the money to continue paying Lambert beyond January. Still, he thought that losing an







38 Gunther to George Lambert, October 28, 1953, reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers.

39 Carl Brannin to Hollander, November 11, 1953, reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers.

40 Hollander to Brannin, November 13, 1953, reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers.









from Georgia, but Loeb also recommended Kenneth Douty of the Textile Workers (CIO) and

Frank McAllister of the Georgia Workers' Education Service as participants. Instead of

newspaper editor and author Hodding Carter, Loeb wanted Charles G. Hamilton, who was

chairman of the Young Democrats of Mississippi ("about as powerful as the Mississippi ADA,

which in turn is non-existent") and, on several occasions, an unsuccessful congressional

candidate.26 These men and women were not nearly as famous as the people Thomason

suggested, but they had shown a commitment to ADA that Thomason's list lacked.

With Loeb's suggestions in mind, Thomason spent the last weeks of 1948 preparing for a

tour of the South that included visits with prominent elected officials, journalists, and several

long-standing ADA members. In Thomason's view, "the convention prospects in Atlanta look

good... If the interest continues all over the South at the high level I have so far found it, I have

no fears on the success of the meeting and the prospects for a good follow-up throughout the

Southern states." He also noted that, "practically every one I have talked to agrees that several

Negroes should be invited and that their support will be valuable. It is pretty generally

recognized now," he added, that "in most Southern states that Negro support politically is no

longer the kiss of death."27 Thomason's optimism on the subject of race stemmed in part from

the positive results of the recent elections, in which southern whites had rejected what liberals

considered to be the poisonous racial politics of the Dixiecrats and stayed loyal to a Democratic

party that had committed itself to racial reform. This was "one more golden opportunity-in

retrospect, [the South's] last best chance-to take control of its own social reformation," and





26 Loeb to Thomason, December 18, 1948, reel 59, no. 18, ADA Papers.

27 Thomason to Loeb, December 22, 1948, reel 51, no. 301, ADA Papers.









These are questions that ADA leaders would have to answer as they organized in the South, and

opinions would vary widely on what needed to be done.

Loeb also wanted to know how ADA would fit into the liberal political picture in the

South. In late April 1947, Taylor and Rev. Samuel F. Freeman, Jr. of Pulaski Heights Christian

Church in Little Rock, Arkansas discussed this very issue. Taylor wrote to Freeman in an

unofficial capacity, but he was already singing ADA's praises, and he pressed Freeman to

disassociate himself from the Southern Conference. Taylor noted that the NFLU and CIO had

cut off support for SCHW and that several of its most prominent members had resigned, and he

recommended ADA "as a more effective and reliable substitute," especially on the issue of

Communism. Freeman disagreed. He chided Taylor for giving him "great concern that the

liberal forces of our Southland and the nation are so much divided and separated from one

another." Freeman was "not greatly interested in labels. I am convicted with ideals, issues and

men." He declined Taylor's offer to join ADA because he did not want to divide his energies

between two liberal organizations.12 Many southern liberals shared Freeman's caution about

ADA, wondering what it could do that SCHW or SRC were not already doing. If Taylor and

ADA were going to succeed in the South, they need to tell people about what made them

different from other liberal groups.

This issue notwithstanding, Taylor was eager to get ADA off the ground in the South,

and in February 1947 he outlined the prospects of a regional conference to be held in Atlanta or

Birmingham in March or April. Liberals would be invited from Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia,

Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. Taylor recommended that

southern ADA members submit lists of people they should consider for membership in the

12 Taylor to Rev. Samuel F. Freeman, Jr., April 25, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers; Freeman
to Taylor, May 1, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.









Communism in Louisiana which Bernstein described as a "farce." Despite the obstacles,

Bernstein thought "a fairly active chapter can come out of Tulane." The other main possibility in

New Orleans was the city's main black college, Dillard University, where Bernstein believed

that SDA could work as a useful front for the NAACP and other unaffiliated liberals.90

His first-hand experience of the situation in Louisiana convinced him that the state was

potentially a civil rights battleground. In the mid-1950s, the state NAACP found itself in a tough

spot because the state government had forced the organization to turn over its membership rolls

"under an old anti-[Klan] Statute [the NAACP] helped pass." Bernstein thought they had a good

chance of getting the courts to throw out the request, but the pending case hampered NAACP

organization. As he put it, "The issues are clear, but there is fear." On a more positive note, "the

Catholic Church has taken a firm and absolute stand in favor of immediate integration, and [New

Orleans] is predominantly catholic [sic]." This was important because "more students attend

Catholic school than public school. The Unitarians have, of course, taken a similar stand, but

here, the main force for integration is the Catholic Church, and in my opinion, if I had to have an

ally, I would take the Church."91 The Archdiocese of New Orleans had not yet desegregated its

schools, but Archbishop Joseph Rummel had admitted black students to the Notre Dame

Seminary and desegregated mass services in the city.92 Bernstein hoped that SDA would "bring

together the liberal catholic, the liberal non-catholic and the Negro elements." These groups had





90 Bernstein, "Louisiana till 4/9/56," undated, reel 127, series VIII, no. 60, ADA Papers.

91 Bernstein, "Louisiana till 4/9/56."

92 Peter Finney, Jr., "Lay persons launched 1961 desegregation drive," New Orleans Clarion-
Herald, January 10, 2001, http://clarionherald.org/20010118/art501.htm (accessed October 25,
2007; article no longer available online).









the effort of a handful of committed students who corresponded with black leaders in the state

and pressured state and university officials to integrate the campus. The successful integration of

the university was ADA's most tangible contribution to liberalism in the post-war South.

This success, however, did not translate into the kind of organization ADA enjoyed outside

of the South. The bulk of its membership continued to come from the Northeast, particularly

New York and Washington, as well as Chicago, Los Angeles, and other large cities outside of

the South. ADA members from the South attended board meetings and national conventions

throughout this period, but in most cases they existed merely as curiosities, people who would

normally have little contact with members from the rest of the country. They also failed to create

a strong financial base in the South: most of the money ADA used in its organizing came from

labor unions and wealthy patrons outside of the South, meaning any activity in the region was a

financial drain throughout the two decades following World War II. The political fortunes of

New Deal liberalism in the South were better than this record indicates, especially when

considering the civil rights successes of the period. However, it would be a mistake to credit

these accomplishments to the efforts of ADA.

It is also important to acknowledge that as ADA was trying to change the South, the

organization itself was changing during the decades that followed the end of World War II.

What it meant to be a liberal was also changing during that period, and many on the left had

become disenchanted with Cold War liberalism by the 1960s. This disenchantment was partly

philosophical, since the "New Left" was more concerned with personal liberation and tired of

worrying about "great-power" politics. However, the rift within liberalism also had its practical

causes. Many people believed that old-style liberalism was reaching the limits of its

effectiveness, and the South was the most damning example of liberalism's failure. ADA's









The enlistment of southern college students in ADA was not a phenomenon unique to the

1950s, however. SDA had been created at the same time as the parent organization, and the

South was one of its top priorities almost from the beginning. Its first field secretary, Charles G.

Sellers, Jr., was a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and he spent much

of 1947 traveling through the South to gauge how much support SDA might be able to attract.

He told one potential campus leader, Brandon Locke of the University of Virginia, that "about

fifteen new SDA chapters [would] result" from his efforts. Like his ADA counterparts, Sellers

understood that southern students faced "a very discouraging situation" in places such as

Charlottesville. However, he hoped that Locke would take the lead in forming an SDA chapter,

since the conservative nature of the university's politics "[made] it even more imperative that a

dissenting voice be raised on the campus."5

Locke's response to Sellers' request to form an SDA chapter illustrates one of the unique

problems SDA faced in trying to organize students. Locke told Sellers that, since they had met

over the summer, "many scholastic problems have come up that kept me close to my books."

Liberal students may have been committed to liberalism, but they could never forget that they

were students first, and their academic responsibilities had to take priority. He had also talked

with leaders of other liberal groups, including the American Veterans Committee (AVC), about

liberal prospects at Virginia, only to be told that they "[were] not at all optimistic about the

chances of success of a SDA chapter and felt that it would entail an enormous amount of time if

attempted."6 This problem was more familiar to ADA leaders. Liberals who had tried to

organize in the South over the previous decades had become profoundly pessimistic about the

5 Charles G. Sellers, Jr. to Brandon Locke, August 18, 1947, reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA
Papers.

6 Locke to Sellers, August 25, 1947, reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers.









Taylor also had to deal with the issue of Communism. Liberal intellectuals dismissed

concerns about Soviet infiltration of the United States as paranoid and without merit. However,

Communists, socialists, and fellow travelers had been influential in the formation of

organizations such as the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW), standing side-by-

side with Eleanor Roosevelt and Frank Porter Graham to denounce segregation and economic

exploitation. ADA leaders thought they had dealt with the issue of Communists in the liberal

movement as best they could.6 Its leaders had loudly and repeatedly claimed that Communists

were not welcome in their organization. Despite these denials, many southerners, particularly

those in the print media, claimed that the doctrines of the New Deal and Fair Deal, which ADA

supported, had links to Communism. Taylor did his best to convince people that ADA was not

linked in any way to the Southern Conference, and he worked to limit the Conference's

influence. He also worked against the 1948 presidential campaign of Progressive Party

candidate Henry Wallace, whom the Communists supported. Many southerners, including some

who might have otherwise been interested in joining the chapters Taylor was trying to create in

the South, continued to believe that ADA was a Communist organization as a result of the

Wallace campaign.

Taylor's bitter resignation from ADA in 1948 reflected liberal frustration with the South's

resistance to liberal reform. The question had become whether ADA leaders should write off the

South as hopeless for liberal organization. The political and business class of the South had

revealed itself as the stiffest domestic challenge to American liberalism, but what made the

South interesting was the challenge it presented to ADA. By the late 1940s, liberals outside the

South had become temperamentally conservative. According to Piereson, they saw the New

6 Richard H. Pells, The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age: American Intellectuals in the 1940s
& 1950s (New York, 1985), 263.









personal connections to the Senator were still strong. In fact, Smathers had met with Pepper in

the summer of 1949 to tell him that "a lot of people have approached me about" running for the

Senate in 1950, only to have Pepper dismiss the notion of a Smathers campaign. Pepper's

victories in 1938 and 1944 had deluded the senator into thinking that he could convince the

voters of Florida to overlook what they might consider "troublesome" views on foreign policy

and civil rights and re-elect him anyway.84

Pepper may not have sensed the danger Smathers posed, but his supporters, including

Hopkins, did. Contrasting his situation with Graham's, Hopkins told Loeb that Pepper "will

definitely have opposition unless a miracle intervenes; and will have a hard race. Again, Miami

is the toughest locale for Pepper in '50 for several reasons, including the fact that Smathers is

Miami's native son and congressman." She conceded that liberals "feel less strongly about

Pepper than Graham for obvious reasons; but, he does have the most consistently liberal voting

record of any Southern Senator."85

The obstacles facing Hopkins in Florida would be similar to those she faced in North

Carolina, especially since Miami "needs plenty of attention to get started right and to build up in

a reasonably short period to its potential membership, effectiveness and lucrativeness." Only a

full-time organizer could provide this attention, and she believed that "Miami is too important to

take a chance on haphazard organizing by committee members who can give it only such time as

they can spare from their own jobs." Nevertheless, she found the Florida situation far preferable

to North Carolina. She agreed wholeheartedly with organizers who had worked with

organizations like the American Veterans Committee (AVC), who had told her that "North


84 Clark, "Road to Defeat," 137-152 (quote on 150).

SHopkins, second memo to Loeb, December 31, 1949, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers.









the SRC); H.C. Nixon of the Vanderbilt University Press; and William L. Kolb, a professor of

sociology at Tulane's Newcomb College in New Orleans.49

Taylor was not sure that ADA was viable in the South, but he refused to give up. He

wrote, "generally, people I meet everywhere are inclined to delay things until after Labor Day.

We, too, are enjoying (?) the record heat wave. The fall, however, should see excellent results

from this summer's groundwork." As of early August, chapters or organizing committees

existed in Memphis (where the focus that summer was on registering voters for the 1948

Democratic primaries), Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Nashville, and Atlanta, where 340 people had

responded to Arthur Joy's initial ADA mailing. Prospects were bright for New Orleans, Baton

Rouge, and cities in Tennessee and the Carolinas. Taylor was "very much encouraged by recent

progress in all areas and believe that a regional meeting for the late fall would be a good idea." 50

Despite these encouraging signs, in late August Taylor cautioned the national office about

several continuing problems. He wrote, "We are still lacking in publicity all over the south and

need to do something slightly sensational in order to get ADA before the public." As Taylor saw

it, "what is done this fall will be indicative of ADA's future both in the south and elsewhere." In

addition, more mundane problems provided an important reminder of the financial constraints

under which he was operating. For example, Taylor did not have his own letterhead; he was

forced to use the national office's letterhead and attach a crude addendum to it. He also received


49 Letters to Taylor written between August 4 and August 8, 1947, reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers.
Kolb's letter of August 8 was especially interesting to Taylor because Kolb expressed his
dissatisfaction with the fact that "many of the liberal faculty are dissatisfied with the only
possibly liberal organization in the field, the Southern Conference for Human Welfare. I say
possibly liberal because there are many of us who suspect this organization of being Communist
infiltrated." Given Taylor's dislike for SCHW, Kolb's expression of disgust with the group
likely found a sympathetic ear.
50 Taylor, memo to Loeb, August 8, 1947, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers.









In the years following Lambert's failed effort in Texas, ADA officials avoided large-scale

organizational efforts in the South. Instead, its leaders decided to wage a long-term campaign

aimed at creating liberals who would be politically active in the 1960s and beyond. The vehicle

for this campaign was its student division, Students for Democratic Action (SDA). In the wake

of the Brown decision and the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955-1956, the campaign for black

civil rights became a national story, and liberals again tried to convince themselves that they

were not dealing with a monolithic, reactionary southern population. They hoped college

administrators would be particularly understanding of their desire to organize on campus, since,

at least in theory, they would be committed to free speech and would welcome diverse political

opinions.

SDA organizers ran into trouble on political grounds, however. Concerns about

Communist influence over American institutions extended to academia. Beginning in the early

1950s, congressional investigations of colleges and universities touched nearly every institution

in the country formally or informally. 11 These investigations had at least some merit for those

who wanted to purge American liberalism of Communists and fellow-travelers, but the manner

in which conservatives conducted these probes angered Cold War liberals. They deplored the

way in which federal and state politicians ignored concerns about civil liberties, and they hated

how administrators caved to political pressure and dismissed politically "questionable" faculty.

SDA chapters in the South were quick to protest against civil liberties violations on campus, but

this left them vulnerable to attack from the same administrators and politicians. The more SDA

protested, the more its leaders might be seen as "troublesome" and "radical," and students would

be less likely to join SDA if the group appeared to be too radical.


11 Pells, The LiberalMind, 287-295.









Association that recruits too few of its members from more recent classes."4 In order to forestall

movement toward radical solutions that would undermine conventional liberal reform, he argued,

ADA officials needed to make their organization more relevant to a new generation of liberals.

ADA's experiences in the South in the years following World War II helped to pave the

way for the radicalization of a significant portion of its membership in the 1960s. For twenty

years, its leadership attempted to organize liberals in the region, and it had tried to do so as

quietly as possible. Their view of the South was complicated. They believed that conservatives

controlled government, the business community, and social institutions. ADA leaders regarded

hostility of these "reactionaries" as irrational, and they believed that conservatives would react

violently to any attempt to challenge the political status quo, whether through incendiary rhetoric

or actual violence.

The hopes of ADA leaders, and of liberals more generally, rested on what they believed to

be the latent sympathies of the general southern population. These hopes rested on two

important assumptions. First, ADA leaders believed that the South was not nearly as politically

and socially retrograde as intellectuals had always believed it was. Its leadership may have been

reactionary and anti-democratic as ADA philosophy defined it, but southerners were

fundamentally no different from their counterparts in the rest of the country, and liberals had

convinced Americans everywhere else of the righteousness of strong, New Deal liberalism.

They saw no reason why the South had to be any different. The story of ADA in the South

suggests that this liberal optimism about the South was exaggerated. Southerners continued to

elect conservatives because they were conservative themselves, not because politicians were

deceiving them.

4 Steven M. Gillon, Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947-1985 (New
York, 1987), 152.









the organization's founding. ADA liberals had always reassured southerners that they were not

radicals, but the events of the 1950s and early 1960s had convinced many liberals that more

radical solutions were needed. They concluded that the South needed a crusade, and younger

liberals were determined to recapture the crusading spirit of previous generations.

One defining characteristic of this spirit was impatience. Younger liberals were impatient

with resistance from the southern power structure and the resulting slow pace of reform, largely

because they were so convinced that integration was necessary. If something was morally right,

why was it necessary to wait to achieve it? They were also growing impatient with fellow

liberals who refused to answer this question to their satisfaction. They could not understand why

people who publicly proclaimed their commitment to civil rights balked at the opportunity to act

on their ideals.

One of the elder statesmen of ADA liberalism, Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey,

had made this very point in 1948, when he was a younger politician seeking a seat in the United

States Senate. His famous speech at that year's Democratic convention in Philadelphia argued

that the country had waited nearly two centuries too long to live up to its promise of equality for

all. By the time of the 1964 Democratic convention in Atlantic City, an older Humphrey,

seeking his party's vice-presidential nomination, had reversed course. He urged the

representatives of the Mississippi "Freedom Democrats," who had traveled to the convention

intending to challenge the all-white regular Democratic delegation of that state, to compromise

their principles in the interest of political unity.12 Humphrey's backroom dealing was the

antithesis of his eloquence in Philadelphia sixteen years earlier, and many liberals believed that

he (and others like him) had betrayed their principles to benefit their own careers.


12 Gillon, Politics and Vision, 162-163.




Full Text

PAGE 1

1 EMOCRATIC ACTION IN THE SOUTH, 1947 1963 By DOUGLAS STEVEN GALLAGHER A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIR EMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2008

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2 2008 Douglas Steven Gallagher

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3 To my parents, for their love and support

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS This project could not have been completed without the moral and financial support of my parents, Douglas an d Susan Gallagher. They have never wavered in their belief that I was capable of accomplishing everything I set out to do. I also thank the members of my dissertation committee for their input on this project, as well as the staff at the University of Flo rida Libraries and all libraries in which I conducted research. However, I must pay special tribute to my advisor, Dr. Robert H. Zieger. His editorial skills are second to none, and his support for my work was constant and tireless. I cannot ever truly repay the debt I owe to him.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 4 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................................ ..... 6 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTI ON ................................ ................................ ................................ .................... 8 2 RED LIGHT, GREEN LIGHT: SOUTHERN LIBERALISM, COMMUNISM, AND THE UDA/ADA IN THE 1940s ................................ ................................ ............................. 24 3 ND THE FIRST INCARNATION OF THE ADA SOUTHERN OFFICE IN MEMPHIS, 1947 1948 ................................ .............. 49 4 JOHN THOMASON, THE ATLANTA CONFERENCE OF FEBRUARY 1949, AND ................................ .............. 90 5 THE REINCARNATION OF THE ADA SOUTHERN OFFICE, 1949 1950 .................... 128 6 THE LIMITS OF LIBERALI SM: GEORGE LAMBERT, THE ADA IN TEXAS, AND THE FIGHT FOR THE TEXAS DEMOCRATIC PARTY, 1953 1956 ............................. 179 7 CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT, AND THE FIGHT FOR SOUTHERN LIBERALISM .... 212 8 CONCLUSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ..................... 264 LIST OF REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 282 BIOG RAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 286

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6 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy FOR DEMOCRATIC ACTIO N IN THE SOUTH, 1947 1963 By Douglas Steven Gallagher May 2008 Chair: Robert H. Zieger Major: History My study explore d the history of the liberal political organization Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) as its leaders attempted to establish a series of chapters in the southern United States and influence the political fortunes of liberals in those states in the period following the end of the Second World War. ADA boasted a number of prominent members in i ts ranks and claimed to have a great deal of influence in national politics, but its efforts in the South were largely unsuccessful in attracting new members and contributing to the debate in southern politics. ADA leaders made no fewer than three separat e attempts to organize southern chapters South was the result of a combination of factors. Its leaders were never able to sustain organizational efforts finan cially as a result of chronic shortages of money throughout its early history. They also had to deal with frequent charges that ADA, despite a clear repudiation of Com munists and their allies. The charge carried some weight in the South because of the

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7 willingness of other southern liberals to work with Communists during the Great Depression and World War II. erstand the political dynamics of the South during this period. Liberals in positions of national prominence hoped that the long standing conservatism of southern politics was coming to an end, and the election of several liberals to state and national of fice in the post war years buoyed their optimism. However, several years of struggling to attract southerners to ADA did not create the network of chapters its leaders had hoped to create, and this dissertation shows how and why that process failed and co ntributes to the political history of the post war South.

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8 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Those southern liberals who worked against the prevailing conservative nature of politics in the South have always seen themselves as at least somewhat exceptional and un ique. As a result, it is not surprising to learn that modern historians of southern liberalism have treated their subjects in a similar fashion. Over the past thirty years, historians have produced dozens of biographies that have attempted to explain how these men and women arrived at their views and how they responded to the challenges they faced as a result of their convictions. For example, as president of the Un liberalism, and his association with organizations such as the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW), led to charges that he was a Communist and un American. 1 Each southern southern way of life united them. 2 1 Warren Ashby, Frank Porter Graham: A Southern Liberal (Winston Salem, N.C., 1980), 155 156. 2 For additional examples of biographies of southern liberals, see Charles W. Eagles, Jonathan Daniels and Race Relations: The Evolution of a Southern Liberal (Knoxville, 1982); Wilma Dykeman, Seeds of Southern Change: The Life of Will Alexander (Chicago, 1962); Barbara Barksdale Clou se, Ralph McGill: A Biography (Macon, GA, 1998); Louise Blackwell and Frances Clay, Lillian Smith (New York, 1971); Anne C. Loveland, Lillian Smith, A Southerner Confronting the South (Baton Rouge, 1986); John Salmond, A Southern Rebel: The Life and Times of Aubrey Willis Williams, 1890 1965 (Chapel Hill, 1983).

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9 As historians have told the individual stories of southern liberals, they have also sought to explain how their col lective efforts affected the course of southern history in the twentieth century. The most important difference between these historians concerns the importance they place on racial issues. Morton J. Sosna, John Dittmer, David Chappell, and Jason Sokol h ave all concentrated almost exclusively on the process by which certain southerners became racial liberals and traced the effect these liberals had on the debate over legal and social segregation in the South. 3 In Search of the Silent South is mos t explicit in defining southern liberalism lynching legislati on, voting rights for blacks, and desegregation of public facilities. 4 Other historians have advocated a more comprehensive view of what it meant for a twentieth Days of Hope does not deemphasize ra cial issues, but she does believe that southern liberals who were politically active 5 Numan Bar activism, though he detects a shift in liberalism between the end of World War II and the mid 1950s. During the post mic reform had gone out of 3 Morton J. Sosna, In Search of the Silent South: Southern Liberals and the Race Issue (New York, 1977); John Dittmer, Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi (Urbana, Ill., 1994) ; David L. Chappell, Inside Agitators: White Southerners in the Civil Rights Movement (Baltimore, 1994); Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945 1975 (New York, 2006). 4 Sosna, viii. 5 Patricia Sullivan, Da ys of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill, 1996), 2, 3 5.

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10 liberals in a difficult position, and many liberals became moderates who tried to gradually change the South without resorting to 6 the period following the Second World War. However, one aspect of the history of southern liberalism that has not re ceived enough attention from historians concerns how southern liberals interacted with their northern allies. One of the most important liberal organizations of the mid twentieth century was Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), founded in the wake of th e 1946 Republican congressional landslide. From the beginning, this organization, which included such New Deal luminaries as Eleanor Roosevelt, economist John Kenneth Galbraith, United Auto Workers president Walter Reuther, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, an d Pulitzer Prize to the principles of freedom and those who were Communists, or those who wanted to work with Communists (or fascists) to achieve the goals of New Deal domestic liber alism. 7 define liberalism along these lines and work to convince Americans that their prescriptions would lead to freedom and prosperity. 6 Numan V. Bartley, T he New South, 1945 1980 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995), 70 73. 7 Peter Beinart New Republic December 13, 2004, p. 18.

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11 The fate of ADA liberalism in the South is the subject of this study, and it shows how the entrenched political conservatism of the region frustrated liberals who had convinced themselves that their philosophy could succeed in the South. In the period between 1947 and 1963, ADA leaders worked hard to establish a political and o rganizational presence in the South, and they believed they could succeed. According to historian Kevin Mattson, Niebuhr and Schlesinger think beyond the interests 8 The problem for ADA liberals was that they possessed an inflated view of their own effectiveness. As Mattson has noted, they wrote for the best magazines and newspapers, held well influence over public debate did not translate into tangible political power Their chosen presidential candidate in 1952 and 1956, Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, lost each election he contested. In addition, political conservatives had organizations and intellectuals of their own making their 9 ADA liberals did have some success to show for thei r efforts. At the 1948 Democratic National Convention, Hubert H. Humphrey, mayor of Minneapolis and soon to be elected senator from Minnesota, stirred the delegates with his call for a strong stand on civil rights. His e rushing this issue of civil rights, I say to them, we are 172 8 Kevin Mattson, When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Postwar Liberalism (New York 2004), 8 9 9 Mattson 12 14.

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12 Dixiecrat ticket with South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond at its head. 10 In the face of this c also had influence on any number of state and local races, particularly in the Northeast and on the West Coast. In this first election since its creation, congressional candidates, governors, and mayors consulted ADA, counted on its support, and worked for legislation to promote fair employment practices, expand public housing and education, extend Social Security and labor rights, and combat Soviet influence around the world. ability to wield influence in Washington masked serious political and organizational problems. While ADA boasted of its political effectiveness, it faced chronic shortages of almost everything such a group needed to remain a significant political force. One such shortage was in membership. As Steven M. Gillon notes in hi s comprehensive history of the ADA, and as its cite one example, the publicity brochure The Story of ADA exceeded 40,000, but ADA records showed that the real figure was closer to 20,000. 11 The understandable, but staffers and board members knew the truth. Organizations such as ADA f aced two additional problems, each tied strongly to the South: the limits of cooperation with political parties and other liberal organizations; and the 10 Humphrey quoted in Steven M. Gillon Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism 1947 1985 (New York, 1987), 48. 11 Gillon, 57 58.

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13 commit ments to other groups, including the Democratic Party, labor unions, ethnic organizations, and the NAACP. ADA leaders tried to address this problem by portraying the organization as a clearinghouse for liberals. Its leaders acknowledged the role that oth er groups played in highlighting injustices on a narrower front (with the NAACP leading the fight on racial issues and civil rights, for example) while billing ADA as an organization for people who were concerned about all of the important issues of the da y and needed a place to pool their intellectual and financial resources. Thus, ADA national conventions became gathering places for the liberal elite, whether or not attendees were actually members of the organization. The other problem ADA faced, the pr oblem highlighted in this study, was regional. If expand its base of support in regions where liberalism had not been strong. Local chapters in the Northeast, the i ndustrial Midwest, and California did not have trouble finding liberals committed to the ADA platform, but the same could not be said of Texas, Alabama, and Georgia. Nevertheless, the importance of the South in national politics and the intransigence of i ts politicians dictated that ADA needed to make strong efforts in the region, and between 1947 and the mid 1960s ADA leaders worked hard to interest southerners in their program. Liberals had long wanted to break what they thought of as a self destructive cycle in southern politics, educating southerners on the virtues of liberalism so that they would begin to reject the conservative politicians they routinely elected. By electing people who were not afraid of integration or government intervention in the economy, liberals believed that southerners would accelerate the long, hard task of bringing their region in line with the rest of the country, which they believed had already accepted the New Deal.

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14 In order to do this, ADA members needed to perform the long, hard work of writing Committee called for an expanded budget of $30,000 for organizing activities in regions where ADA did not yet have a large presence, in cluding the South. According to the minutes of the was for additional field staff. He pointed out, for example, that we had only one organizer for the whole M idwest and only one for the whole South. The $30,000 proposed budget will permit several additional organizers. 12 However, Loeb was speaking of an ideal financial and political situation for ADA, one which he hoped southern contributions would enhance. It is clear that ADA faced a dilemma in the South: it certainly would have attracted many more members if it had organizers in every southern state, but it could not commit resources until organizers were sure that they could recruit more dues paying membe rs. national ADA figures such as Mrs. Roosevelt and Schlesinger claimed, in the media and before mmanded all of its members to adhere to all of its policy pronouncements, in fact deep disagreements over the nature and extent of economic, political, and social change were rife. This was particularly true in the South, where national leaders and local members engaged in a difficult, tricky dance over other fields, but not its commitment to integration. Southern ADA members never explicitly 12 Minutes of ADA Executive Committee meeting, May 3, 1947 reel 33, n o. 63 A mericans for Democratic Action Papers, University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville microfilm collection (hereafter cited as AD A Papers)

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15 pressured national leaders to change the platform, and many southerners shared their beliefs in voting rights and fair employment practices. At the same time, however, in most cases they did all they could to deemphasize civil rights when appealing to prospective members. For example, southern ADA members pressed for changes in ADA literature so that civil rights declarations would appear at the end of pamphlets instead of the begin ning. Southern liberals thought ADA leaders were forcing them to make uncomfortable choices, and many potential members stayed away from the organization because of its liberal stance on civil rights. The decisions about when and how stringently to pursu e organization in the South were but the effects of these decisions were felt at the southern grass roots level. In the first three years of its existence, ADA e mployed two Southern Field Representatives. Barney Taylor and Alden Hopkins traveled thousands of miles, speaking to hundreds of southerners, including labor leaders, prominent southern blacks, college presidents and students, and unaffiliated liberals wh o saw ADA as a chance to connect with liberalism on a national level. They reported promising leads, started chapters and exploratory membership committees, and engaged in fund raising drives. In the end, however, their efforts were largely unrewarded. No southern chapters created in this period attracted more than fifty members. Taylor and Hopkins never raised more than a few hundred dollars for ADA (and spent thousands of dollars raising that money), and many of the people who expressed interest in AD A never actually became members. As tireless as these early organizers were (and as promising as their leads seemed), they were stretched thin considering the territory they had to cover. In the end, the organizers had to make decisions about which areas they were to cover, and electoral politics dictated these

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16 confined her organizing to North Carolina and Florida. She did this because each of these states was el ecting a United States senator in 1950, and each incumbent was a prominent southern liberal with significant political problems. One of them was Frank Porter Graham, whose affiliation with SCHW, coupled with accusations that Graham supported integration, h elped conservative Democrats had criticized Claude Pepper for his pro Soviet sentiments. In the 1944 election, when the United States was a wartime ally of the Stalinist state, this had not hurt Pepper. In 1950, these associations were among the factors that caused his bitter loss to ADA leaders knew that Graham and Pepper needed all of the assistance they could get. This was the main impetus for sending Hopkins to these two states during the primary campaigns. However, she found it difficult to organize in the South. Indeed, in North Carolina and Florida, the politicians she was attempting to help did no t want her help. The organizational problems were primarily political: it was difficult to sell big government liberalism in the South, particularly if liberals also championed black civil rights. That being said, the requirements for organizing a workin g chapter (25 dues paying members) were not onerous, even if potential could never attract competent local leadership. During her time with ADA, Hopkins traveled consta ntly, but she could not be in all places at once. There was only so much she could do via telephone, telegram, and the mail to rally support during those long stretches when she could not be in Charlotte, Raleigh, Tampa, or Miami. In her absence, the ADA staff in Washington needed committed volunteers to pick up the slack, but these men and women often did not exist.

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17 Taylor before her, were frustrated, and in 1950 she left ADA. However, her passion on the subject of sout h ern organization was not dead She had always acknowledged the difficulty of organizing ADA chapters in the South without compromising on the core ideals for which the organization stood, especially its support for racial integration. Nevertheless, Hopki ns believe d that liberals could be elected to Congress from the South especially from major cities such as Nashville, New Orleans, and Atlanta Her commitment to the South had not dissipated organizatio n in the South is much more than a matter of political expedience; it is a matter of political life or death nationally 13 Hopkins thought that the fate of liberalism in the 1950s ity at home and abroad. Hopkins certainly believed in the political importance of the South, but that did not change the fact that, most of the chapters Taylor and Hopkins attempted to organize failed to last beyond 1950. Hopkins believed that getting AD A off the ground in the South was a matter of organizing dollars to the region for such modest results when the same financial resources yielded far greater r eturns in New York, Washington, or Los Angeles. ADA leaders never stopped trying to attract support for liberalism in the South, but after 1950 it did so in a far more informal manner, waiting for inquiries about its platform from interested southerners b efore approach. This approach mirrored important trends in liberal thinking during the 1950s, when 13 Alden Hopkins memo to J ames A. Loeb, December 31, 1949, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers

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18 intellectuals concentrated on consolidating liberal gains made over the previous decades instead of attempting to conquer new territory. This passivity did not, however, preclude more substantive attempts at organization if an interesting possibility presented itself. One such opportunity arose in 1953, national AD A leaders seized an opportunity to organize in Texas, with the help of a former labor organizer, George Lambert. Texas was a unique case for ADA because of the open intransigence and double inued to proclaim themselves to be members in good standing of the national Democratic Party. However, these conservatives thought that their nominal loyalty to the party should have allowed them to exercise an absolute veto over the Democratic platform a 1948 and 1952, conservatives had thrown their support behind the Republican ticket when the national Democratic Party failed to conform to their agenda. Texas liberals such as Maury Maverick, Wright Patman, and Ra lph Yarborough worked hard to lessen the power of influence liberals actually had. In 1953, Lambert proposed that ADA join the liberal campaign to blunt the power of Go positions of power and influence within the Democratic Party. Lam bert and his allies in Texas wanted to expose Shivers and his allies, and ADA leaders approved a campaign designed to boost membership in the state while working with local liberals to reduce conservative power within the party. They wanted national Democ rats to look past the money and power Texas conservatives controlled and excommunicate them as punishment for attempting to destroy the

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19 party from the inside. Lambert also wanted to send a message to two prominent Democrats in Washington, Representative S am Rayburn and Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. These two Texans were particularly susceptible to outside pressures: while they were enormously influential in Washington, D.C., they were vulnerable to challenges from Shivers, who always suspected them of being too liberal in supporting public housing, education, and government health insurance. For their part, liberals thought Rayburn and Johnson too conservative on civil rights and too zealous in protecting Texas oil and gas industries. Each side thought it c ould influence these two powerful men and seize control of the state Democratic Party in the mid 1950s. In the end, neither side truly won the war. Rayburn and Johnson fended off challenges to their political positions through deft maneuvering that kept e veryone off balance, and Shivers organization amounted to little for Lambert beyond a few new ADA chapters in Fort Worth, Houston, and several smaller communi ties. Like Hopkins, Lambert found that organizing a place such as Texas required finding committed and hard working people in those communities who were willing to sacrifice for the sake of their chapter, and those people were hard to find. He also suffe red even more acutely as a result of the financial burdens ADA was carrying in the 1950s. Lambert was tireless in his quest to foster ADA liberalism to Texas. However, his efforts went largely unrewarded. The national organization ended its financial s upport for Lambert before the 1956 elections, in which Texas again cast its electoral votes for the Republican ticket. Clearly, a new strategy for ADA organization was needed, and while ADA leaders never truly gave up on the South, their focus shifted to A Democratic Action (SDA) before 1958 and Campus ADA (CADA) afterward. This

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20 organization, whose local leaders during the period included future Michigan Senator Carl Levin and future Vice President and Democratic founded at the same time as ADA, but the bulk of its work in the post war South happened after 1955. Before that year, the SDA chapters that had been formed at southern universities were much like their AD A counterparts: small, ineffective, and contributing little to the fight for liberalism. One of the main problems the student affiliates faced was that SDA members did not know what kind of relationship they should have with other liberal groups, especial ly on the campuses of historically black colleges. In 1955, new SDA Field Secretary Yale Bernstein, who had spent several years working in New York state as an ADA organizer, brought new energy to the task of starting new chapters and cajoling existing one s into stronger action. Bernstein was especially eager to organize the South either on the student or adult level, in the South. Some church groups, sometimes som e of the unions, and sometimes the NAACP will be active. These groups do not however, because of their restrictive membership attraction, reach the majority of the believed that SDA could bring about a push toward this new South, which would be far out of proportion to its numbers, and could bring into the active, aware political arena, many students who would otherwise be lost to the movement. 14 assistance of newly energized young libera ls, SDA and CADA were far bolder in addressing important political issues of the South in the 1950s and 1960s. SDA students assisted blacks who boycotted the bus system in Montgomery, Alabama in the wake of the Rosa Parks incident. They also protested ba ns on interracial athletic competitions in Mississippi and Georgia, 14 mocratic Action national office, reel 122, series VIII, no 2 ADA Paper s

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21 supported the Freedom Riders of the early 1960s, and fought for freedom of expression at div ision ever did. The biggest impact this younger generation had on ADA was its willingness to challenge the status quo. Most ADA leaders who thought about the problems of the South had been cautious when addressing problems such as segregation. They knew that many potential members who might have agreed with them on other issues were unwilling to integrate schools and public accommodations. They also believed the primary goal of the organization was organizing: recruiting members, starting chapters, solic iting contributions, finding common cause on issues that could lead to successful campaigns for political change. Student organizers, 1947 and the Brown decision of 1 954. Timidity, compromise, and vacillation for the sake of the organization would no longer help liberals. In the end, though, these students had an inconclusive impact on southern politics. The problems they faced were twofold, and they could do little about either. First, liberal students were largely unwilling to compromise their beliefs on civil rights in order to attract more members, and this made them pariahs on many campuses. Second, the transitory nature of the college experience meant that cha pters were in a constant state of flux, with politically experienced students leaving the scene as they graduated. This meant that an organization such as SDA or CADA was unable to sustain pressure for liberal change on southern campuses. It also meant t hat this pressure was largely the work of committed individuals at certain flashpoints. The most significant of these campaigns was the 1962 fight to integrate the University of Florida in Gainesville. Campus ADA was involved in this fight largely becaus e of

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22 the effort of a handful of committed students who corresponded with black leaders in the state and pressured state and university officials to integrate the campus. The successful integration of liberalism in the post war South. This success, however, did not translate into the kind of organization ADA enjoyed outside of the South. The bulk of its membership continued to come from the Northeast, particularly New York and Washington, as well as Ch icago, Los Angeles, and other large cities outside of the South. ADA members from the South attended board meetings and national conventions throughout this period, but in most cases they existed merely as curiosities, people who would normally have littl e contact with members from the rest of the country. They also failed to create a strong financial base in the South: most of the money ADA used in its organizing came from labor unions and wealthy patrons outside of the South, meaning any activity in the region was a financial drain throughout the two decades following World War II. The political fortunes of New Deal liberalism in the South were better than this record indicates, especially when considering the civil rights successes of the period. Howe ver, it would be a mistake to credit these accomplishments to the efforts of ADA. It is also important to acknowledge that as ADA was trying to change the South, the organization itself was changing during the decades that followed the end of World War II. What it meant to be a liberal was also changing during that period, and many on the left had become disenchanted with Cold War liberalism by the 1960s. This disenchantment was partly iberation and tired of causes. Many people believed that old style liberalism was reaching the limits of its effectiveness, and the South was the most damni

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23 failure to organize in the South, given the intellectual and political weight behind the organization, is an important aspect of the story of how a seemingly ascendant liberalism responded to the challenges its ad herents faced in post war America.

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24 CHAPTER 2 RED L IGHT G REEN L IGHT : S OUTHERN L IBERALISM C OMMUNISM AND THE UDA/ADA IN THE 1940S In the immediate wake of World War II, American liberals faced two key dilemmas: how to deal with Communists and their poli tical allies; and what to do about the American South. The liberals who founded the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) explicitly addressed the former issue. Their concern about pro Soviet elements on the American left, and the effect these elements h ad on the ability of liberals to win and retain political power, was the issue that political conservatism, its hostility toward organized labor, and its racial in justices would emerge as another key challenge as ADA activists sought to build a vigorous national organization. In the same period, tensions among white southern liberals replicated the challenges that ADA activists faced nationally. Throughout World W ar II, two liberal organizations vied for influence in a South undergoing rapid industrial and demographic change. While the leadership of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW) openly welcomed Communist participation, the leaders of the Souther and explicitly banned Communists and socialists from participating in their organization. With signs of progressive political rebirth emerging in the aftermath of war, the South posed both a complex dile mma and a rare opportunity for liberals at the national level. Underscoring all of this were the events of 1945, which shook all Americans in a profound way. By August, Germany and Japan had surrendered to the Allies. Harvard trained historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. was in Paris at the end of the war, freshly drafted into the U.S. Army after several years of working with the Office of Strategic Services in England and France as an intelligence analyst and writer. For many Americans, the end of the wa r was a curious moment.

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25 They were enthusiastic about the prospect of peace, but the death of President Franklin D. had been a great deal of speculation on Roosev age hardly remembered any president before FDR. We unconsciously supposed that he would 1 career to that point reflected his liberalism. His Pulitzer Prize winni ng Age of Jackson published in 1945, was a self conscious attempt to place the events of pre Civil War America in the context of the Great Depression and New Deal, arguing that the Jacksonian Democrats were proto New Dealers like himself. Now the great c hampion of American liberalism had died, and 2 He had been so effective in pushing the country to accept liberal legislation such as Social Security, banking reform, public power, a nd labor legislation. Moreover, he had created a solid Democratic coalition that passed liberal legislation and protected the gains of the New Deal from a conservative backlash. Now he was gone, and liberals were not at all sure where they fit in under R 3 1 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Life in the 20 th Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917 1950 (Boston 2000), 346. 2 Schlesinger, Life 346 3 Steven Gillon, Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947 1985 (New York, 1987), 3.

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26 particularly the vast majority of elected officials and power brokers in the Democratic Party, had cooperated wit h the New Deal only begrudgingly, if at all. They looked forward to dealing with Atlanta Constitution edito r his respects, and he recorded his impressions of the trip through rural Georgia for his newspaper. cal classes felt toward Roosevelt, reporting instead on the respect and admiration ordinary Americans had for the man who had been their greatest champion, even if his rhetoric often outpaced his achievements. This reaction, in part, led McGill to write t 4 challenges of post war life, with or without Roosevelt. The divisions that had existed in the United States before the war had not disappeared, but had merely faded as international problems took precedence. One of these divisions was between North and South. Many Americans, particularly liberals, emerged from the war with the sense that they could no longer ignore pressing social and economic problems in their own country. Some of them were native southerners whose opinions, particularly on racial issues, had not survived their wartime experiences. Liberals hoped that this cohort of southerners was a large 4 McGill quoted in John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South (Chapel Hill 1995), 332.

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27 of our fighting men have had experiences which have taught them a new appreciation of their 5 McGill was also sure that the South would become more liberal. He acknowledged the problems and divisions that were a fundamental part of the postwar political and social landscape. Ho wever, he also thought that the problems the United States faced should be viewed in the context of the five years that had just passed. His country was the most powerful, and richest, on earth, possessed of technology (including the atomic bomb) that now awed the world. armies mankind had ever produced. Under such circumstances, how could any challenge be e were basically decent and that, 6 outlook were not so sure, and events in the months that preceded the founding of ADA in January 1947 showed that New Dealers wh o wanted to keep their vision of the country alive in First, liberals had to reckon with a new president. Almost from the moment he assumed the office, Harry Truman had appeared unable to grasp the enormity of his position, and New Deal liberals had no confidence in his ability to lead as Roosevelt had. He took the side of large defense contractors when these businesses laid off tens of thousands of workers who were no longer needed in a p eacetime economy. In May 1946, he shocked liberal sensibilities when he asked Congress for authorization to draft striking railroad workers, claiming that a national 5 Johnson quoted in Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945 1975 (New York 2006), 20. 6 McGill quoted in Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 332 333.

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28 emergency necessitated the move. 7 Although he publicly proclaimed his support for a perm anent Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) to combat racial discrimination in the workplace, he did not fight for it when powerful southern members of Congress blocked it. Several resigning to protest what they considered to be troubling trends toward moderation or conservatism. In short, liberals had convinced themselves they would have to fight to remain a viable force within the Democratic Party. 8 Truman appeared to be equally unsure of his footing in foreign affairs. His limited experience in the international arena did not inspire confidence, especially in a postwar world where everyth as well, but liberals were less sure of what that legacy was. The wartime Allies had defeated fascism and Nazism, but with that common enemy no longer a threat, prewar diffe rences between the coalition partners reasserted themselves. Roosevelt had overcome these differences with deft personal diplomacy, especially in talks with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. However, by the end of the war many Americans had come to the conclu sion that Stalin could not be trusted. It remains unclear whether the Soviet Union was a real threat to the United States in the early years of the Cold War, but the anxiety with which Americans regarded Stalin was certainly real. 9 Truman believed that a n American projection of strength would force Stalin into uncomfortable 7 Gillon, Politics and Vision 4. 8 Patricia Sullivan, Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill 1996) 223 225 (quote on 225). 9 John Lewis Gaddis, The L ong Peace: Inquiries Into the History of the Cold War (New York, 1987), 20 29; Walter LaFeber, America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945 2002 (Boston, 2002), 29 31.

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29 positions, and his earliest use of this tactic came at the July 1945 conference held in Potsdam, Germany, where Truman casually informed Stalin that the United States, working with Bri tish and other Allied scientists, had successfully tested a special weapon (the atomic bomb) in the deserts of New Mexico. Truman hoped to scare Stalin into keeping his promises concerning self determination in Eastern Europe with this new weapon, though he thought he could accomplish this whether or not the bomb worked. 10 climactic, as Stalin showed little interest in it beyond its potential use in ending the war against Japan. The reason his reaction was much less dramatic than Truman had wanted it to be was that the Soviets already knew about the bomb. A German born British scientist, Klaus Fuchs, had been passing alon g detailed scientific and mechanical information about the research at Los Alamos to Communists in Britain, who which had begun in 1942, to progress much faster than it would have otherwise. It also meant that Stalin was well therefore, was not news to Stalin. 11 Klaus Fuchs was not the only person working for the government of the United States who ha d a hidden agenda. Communist spies in the American government were active and important, and recently declassified documents have revealed important details about these spies. For example, although Alger Hiss defended himself to the end of his life again st charges that he passed secrets from his offices in the State Department and White House to top level Soviet 10 David McCullough, Truman (New York, 1992), 442. 11 McCullough, Truman 442 443.

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30 agents, in fact he was a long time member of the Communist Party and had been leading a double life during and after the Second World War. 12 He w as one of several well positioned government functionaries who were spying on behalf of the Soviet government during the 1930s and 1940s. 13 The public had little knowledge of this espionage as it was happening, but Americans across the political spectrum we re already coming to the conclusion that while the Soviets may have been wartime allies, Communism and capitalism were fundamentally incompatible. New Deal liberals in particular found themselves at a crossroads as they debated how the United States shoul d deal with Communism. Some, including former vice president and Secretary of Commerce Henry A. Wallace, saw no reason why the wartime alliance could not continue. He argued that the United States should recognize Soviet influence in Eastern Europe and s hare military and nuclear knowledge with the Soviets, believing that confrontation with Communism ntry, especially in the South. 14 12 G. Edwar d White, Glass Wars: The Covert Life of a Soviet Spy (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004) 220 230. 13 Revelations about the extent of Soviet espionage within the Manhattan Project continue to this day. One such spy was Dr. George Koval, an Iowa born scientist who worked at the Oak Ridge nuclear laboratories in 1944 and 1945 after earning his doctorate at the Mendeleev Institute in Moscow and receiving special training from Soviet military intelligence. American intelligence kept his espionage a secret for decades, but his usefulness to the Soviets became clear in November of 2007, when Russian President Vladimir Putin posthumously honored Koval as a his courage and heroism while carrying o ut special missions Bomb to Kremlin New York Times 12 November 2007, available from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/us/12koval.html (accessed January 8, 2008). 14 Sullivan, Days of Hope 225 227.

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31 Others, including Schlesinger, theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, and New York Post editor James Weschler, thought there was no contradiction between a continued commitment to the New Deal and recognition of the Soviet Union as an enemy that needed to be confronted. These men believed that the United States was far from perfect, and that domestic reform was vital to the realization of American greatness. No liberal could be completely proud of his nation while legal and cultural barriers separated blacks from whites in everyday life, or when thousands of American workers found themselves unemployed after they had helped to defeat fascism and Nazism through their efforts on the home front. However, they did not believe that Commun ism had any solutions to offer the United States. Not only did they believe that Communism did not work economically or socially, but they abhorred the fact that Communists, in practice, refused to allow any formal opposition of any kind. No good liberal could work with any person, American or otherwise, who would allow such infringements on human rights. 15 The division among liberals had its parallels in the South as well, though the debate was somewhat different. While Communism was a significant marker of the battle lines among liberals, a far more important issue in the South was how one stood on racial issues. The debate Depression, the New Deal, and World War II h ighlighted the role of the federal government in race relations. Roosevelt did not overtly challenge the South on its racially segregated practices during his presidency, but he did make many enemies in the region with his harsh words toward those congres smen who opposed his reforms. He was not anti southern, but he did want the confront them. Northern liberals agreed with Roosevelt, laying down a clear challenge t o their 15 Kevin Mattson, When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Postwar Liberalism (New York 2004), 50 51, 65.

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32 southern brethren and imploring them to solve these problems before outside pressures forced change upon the region. 16 Southern liberals wanted to show their support for New Deal reforms in the South. As a result, in November 1938, a group of these liberals attended a political conference in Birmingham, Alabama that acted as the opening meeting for the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW). A flyer urging people to attend the Birmingham meeting advertised the existence of a liberal South, bu scattered, the effectiveness of their work limited by their lack of coordination. The Conference, by providing a meeting ground for all Southern progressives, will promote mutual trust and 17 The conference also vowed to the segregationist customs of Birmingham during the meeting itself. The Birmingham meeting attracted over 1,200 participants, 20 percent of whom were black. The liberal star power present at the meeting was impressive: Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, University of North Carolina President Frank Porter Graham, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt each addressed the convention. 18 Few remembered what these attendees said, police reminded conference organizers that their meeting was to be strictly segregated, the 16 Morton J. Sosna, In Search of the Silent South: Southern Liberals and the Race Issue (New York, 1977), 88. 17 Sosna, In Search of the Silent South 90 18 While Graham and Roosevelt certainly qualified as racial liberals, it should be noted that other attendees, including Senator Lister Hill and Governor Bibb Graves of Alabama, did not share the liberal views of many at the confer ence. Their attendance stemmed primarily from their reputations as good New Deal liberals on non racial issues. Sosna, In Search of the Silent South 91 92.

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33 organizers complied, but Mrs. Roosevelt refused to move from her seat among the black participants even after police ordered her to move. After the confrontation, organizers placed themselves on the side of the First Lady by resol ving never to hold another segregated meeting. This was an important symbolic confrontation with the conservative power structure that signaled at least some liberals were willing to cast aside their customary caution in challenging the status quo. This cost SCHW some members in the short term, but many liberals throughout the country praised the stand the Southern Conference took in Birmingham. 19 It was more difficult for many liberals to accept that SCHW welcomed the assistance of Communists in their wor k. At least six known members of the Communist Party attended the Birmingham conference. Conservative southerners seized upon this fact, and the anti segregation resolution passed at the end of the conference, to confuse the two issues, implying that all racial liberals were Communists and vice versa. The issue of Communism in America (and in the Southern Conference) did not take center stage in the country for some time, especially after the outbreak of war and the creation of a tenuous alliance with the Soviet Union for the duration of that war. Graham, for one, refused to allow this talk to dissuade him from participating in SCHW, maintaining that Communist influence in the organization was insignificant. 20 ept Communists into the fold before the war caused the group serious problems after the war ended. While the war raged, liberal southerners on the home front focused on ending voting restrictions that prevented thousands of blacks and poor whites from goin g to the polls. They reasoned that a true majority of southern voters would reject the racially poisonous politics of 19 Sullivan Days of Hope 99 101. 20 Sosna In Search of the Silent South 97 98.

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34 elected leaders such as Senator Theodore Bilbo of Mississippi and Governor Eugene Talmadge of Georgia. There was an important strain of optimism in this logic that colored the thinking of liberals throughout the era. Liberals worked and organized in the South under the assumption that the region was not as politically reactionary as most Americans made it out to be. They disagreed when i t came to determining why southerners continued to elect conservatives to public office, however. Some argued that the true voice of the South was never really heard, since thousands of potential voters had never cast their ballots. Others argued that th e political class that ruled the South had misled the voters, keeping them focused on relatively unimportant racial issues while failing to address the economic and social problems that had plagued the region for decades. Either way, liberals were convinc ed that a systematic, sustained campaign to register voters and educate them on the issues would result in a change in liberal electoral fortunes. 21 Another trend in the fight for southern liberalism was that liberals in the region needed to continually rem ind southerners of their own southern roots. They wanted to defuse the notion that the real impetus behind southern liberalism came from outside the South. Florida Senator Claude Pepper made such an argument in 1942, when he introduced a bill that would have outlawed poll taxes in all federal elections. Responding to criticism from Alabama Governor t had a direct ancestor who 22 This declaration of loyalty to the South did not prevent reactionaries from labeling him a Communist or integrationist, but Pepper vowed that 21 Sosna In Sear ch of the Silent South 98. 22 Sosna In Search of the Silent South 101.

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35 these slanders would not prevent h im from fighting for what he thought was right, and thousands of southern liberals made similar arguments during and after World War II. In the end, liberals were unable to force large scale reforms to the poll tax system in the South. Anti poll tax bills introduced into Congress died quickly, and states refused to budge on the issue. Despite these failures, however, the transformations of the war years had heartened liberal reformers, especially in 1944, when the Supreme Court declared the all white Demo cratic primary in Texas to be unconstitutional in Smith v. Allwright The decision did not prevent southern states from placing legal barriers between black voters and the polls, but it did signal that practices that had not been challenged for decades we re coming under fire. 23 Liberals also benefited from wartime changes to the southern economy. Southerners had eagerly sought defense contracts and welcomed the creation of large new factories to fill them. Along with these economic opportunities, however, southerners had also accepted increased scrutiny of their way of life. Labor leaders, for example, had long lamented the manner in which southern factory owners prevented them from organizing workers, and the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) ha d failed to establish a foothold in the South despite its aggressive approach to organization. During the war, however, CIO leaders vehemently argued that the southern status quo resulted in wasted manpower and production delays that hurt the war effort. 24 southern liberals in their quest for reform. The most significant victory won on this front during the war was won by A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, 23 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 380 381. 24 Sullivan Days of Hope 135.

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36 who had threatened President Roosevelt with a march on Washington in the summer of 1941 if the government did not end discriminato ry practices in defense industries. Roosevelt responded to the pressure with Executive Order 8802, which established a Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC) to investigate hiring and labor practices, as well as racial discrimination against workers i n defense and government. The creation of the FEPC did not stop racial discrimination, nor did it prevent reactionaries from stalling change to the status quo in the South. Nevertheless, it showed that the federal government was willing to investigate wh at was really going on in the South. 25 As these events unfolded, SCHW continued to grow under the leadership of executive Theological Seminary, and the co founder o f the Highlander Folk School in rural Tennessee. ideas conflicted with t he policies of the CIO, which financed Highlander and wanted to avoid In December 1941, this issue caused Dombrowski to resign from Highlander and join SCHW. He effort to defeat fascism. He also blocked changes in SCHW bylaws, proposed by board member Frank McAllister in 1943, that would have barred Communists from the group, ar guing that such a change would have hindered the campaign to promote democracy and liberal values. 26 This 25 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 213 216; Michael S. Sherry, In the Shadow of War: The United States Since the 1930s (New Haven, 1995), 50, 145 146. 26 Sullivan, Days of Hope 150 155; Sosna In Search of the Silent South 142 144.

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37 policy battle attracted little attention during the war, but it would cause serious problems for the Southern Conference after the war. The other majo r organization for southern liberals, the Southern Regional Council (SRC), was a product of the war itself. It differed from the Southern Conference in several key respects. It kept membership rolls small, as opposed to SCHW, which sought to attract as m any members as possible. SRC cultivated ties to middle class Southerners, while the Southern Conference concentrated on the working classes. Most importantly, SRC projected a relatively conservative public image, excluding not only Communists and Sociali sts but members of the NAACP as well. Certainly NAACP members were not pleased at being associated with political radicals, members agreed that reform was needed. Its resolutions supported FEPC and condemned the white primary and the poll tax. However, the organization did not endorse an immediate end to racial segregation. Some individual members did advocate desegregation, either as a practical reallocation of huma n resources or as a needed moral reform. Most, however, were either against desegregation entirely or wanted to avoid a confrontation that would provoke the wrath of reactionaries. Throughout the 1940s, SRC and SCHW were rivals for the affections of sout hern liberals, though many people, including SCHW President Clark Foreman and Fisk University president Charles S. Johnson, became members of both. 27 In 1947, the rivalry between the two groups continued. Other reports out of the South during the war were more ominous. They showed that the problems of the region went far beyond the failure to hire or train black workers for jobs in southern defense plants. Southern blacks began to challenge segregationist practices in the 27 Egerton Speak Now Against the Day 432 439.

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38 military, on public transportatio n, and in education, and white reactionaries responded violently. Lynchings, which had been declining for years, increased throughout the South, and white mobs often targeted decorated black soldiers as a sign that military bravery was no protection again st entrenched white supremacy. 28 Politicians seized on the fears of whites, both during and after the war, though the results of such fear intimidation for many, particularly in the 194 2 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Ironically, universities to lose their national accreditation. The public embarrassment the scandal generated caused voters to turn to his opponent, former state attorney general Ellis Arnall, as a credible alternative. Arnall won the election, and his term as governor included successf ul efforts to end the poll tax, end rebates for railroads, and destroy the Klan in Georgia. His governorship seemed to indicate that liberal political change was possible in the South. 29 However, reactionaries and conservatives still held a great deal of p olitical power in the South. Many observers concluded that the fate of the South was uncertain, since both sides could claim successes. For example, while Arnall was able to push through liberal reforms in Georgia, Talmadge did not fade away. He spent t compliance with Smith v. Allwright to win the governorship back from Arnall. 30 28 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 358 375; Sosna, In Search of the Silent South 34 36. 29 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 378 379. 30 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 385 386.

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39 victory served as a reminder to liberals that success was often temporary, and that permanent realignment in favor of liberalism was going to be difficult to achieve. In short, the South appeared to be up for grabs in the wake of the changes brought on by World War II. Liberals and con servatives alike were eager for the opportunity to take advantage of this situation. Nowhere was the battle for the region more noticeable than in Georgia, where for all when the governor elect died of cancer be fore he could assume the office. Because Talmadge was such a polarizing figure, and because Talmadge forces were his father. The controversy over the governorship of Georgia lasted several months, with Arnall and Talmadge supporters literally fighting one another outside the capitol when Talmadge attempted to claim the office. Pro Talmadge men changed the locks on office, but his supporte rs had shown that they were willing to do almost anything to stop liberal reform. 31 In this highly charged atmosphere, it was difficult for the Southern Conference and its allies to find solid footing. The problem for SCHW was its close association with kn own Communists and fellow travelers, which became a problem once the bitterness of the struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union became clear. In March 1946, when Winston rn Europe (with President Truman in attendance), Americans believed him, and they blamed Communists for this. As the 31 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 386 389.

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40 political realignment that resulted from the Cold War became clear, people associated with Communism became targets, whether or not their associations had national security implications. No one could reasonably claim that James Dombrowski posed a threat to the United States, but SCHW and its liberal all ies began to feel immense pressure, in part because their organization had never been more successful than at the end of World War II. By the end of 1945, SCHW had three thousand members, including most of the prominent southerners who had been present at the Birmingham meeting, and it boasted a budget of $85,000, augmented by fund raising events held throughout the country. Dombrowski and Foreman looked forward to continued growth in the post war years. However, the success it enjoyed during this period did Georgia chapter refused to take a public stand on the Arnall private sympathy for Arnall. Political observers had long thought Georgia had the best financed, either because it did not want to associate with what they saw as a losing cause or because it did ances at victory with their endorsement, was difficult for fellow liberals to understand. 32 That same year, SCHW suffered a more significant blow to its effectiveness when the CIO, its main financial backer, withdrew most of its support. The roots of CIO d isaffection with term unemployment, particularly in the South. CIO leaders wanted to organize these workers, but to do that meant that the federation needed to signi ficantly expand its presence in the region. 32 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 440 441; Sosna In Search of the Silent South 144 145.

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41 workers to their ranks by the end of the decade and using a war chest of one million dollars to underwrite the effort. One key to the campaign was its determination to avoid discussion of racial segregation in southern factories. Conservatives in the CIO argued that challenging white racism was futile and would distract the federation from its stated goal of attracting southern workers. At the press conference announcing the program, Operation Dixie director Van Bittner also announced that he wanted no help from Communists, Socialists, or their allies, which included SCHW. As a result, CIO support for the Southern Conf erence gradually declined, falling to almost nothing by the end of 1947. The decision devastated Foreman and Dombrowski, but they could do little to stop it. 33 They also saw dozens of SCHW members come to the conclusion that the organization no longer repr esented them, primarily because of their personal anti Communism. Frank Graham, Eleanor Roosevelt, and novelist Lillian Smith were among those who cut their ties to the Southern Conference after the war over this issue. Smith, a native Floridian who had lived most of her life in Georgia, had always suspected that political radicals had played too prominent a role in SCHW, and it had taken years of persuasion from friends before she agreed to a position on the board in 1942. When she resigned in May 1945, she told Foreman and Dombrowski that she did not like that board members associated openly with Communists. Moreover, she did not like the way the board had excluded her from its decision making processes, complaining, 34 She still believed in racial 33 Sulli van Days of Hope 208; Egerton Speak Now Against the Day 442 443. 34 Egerton Speak Now Against the Day 442.

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42 equality and political reform, but she did not believe that these goals could be achieved through the Southern Conference, and this conclusion lead to her resignation. The tension within southern liberalism was palpable. It mirrored a similar split among liberals at the national level in which the question of what to do about Communism was pivotal. reserva tions about a tough stance toward the Soviet Union, especially because of the wartime Communist policies was a member of his own cabinet, Secretary of Commerce Wallace, who would have become president himse lf had Truman about the dangers of Communism became public knowledge when the secretary gave a speech at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Wallace warned that a great power rivalry with the Soviets would lead to an expensive, dangerous arms race that neither side would truly to control certain areas of Easte rn Europe. He also lamented the tendency of some Americans to use Communism to demonize fellow citizens and play upon their fears of subversion. 35 He enjoyed support in this fight from Florida Senator Claude Pepper, who also spoke at Madison Square Garden. Pepper had first been elected to the Senate in a special election in 1936. In 1938 and 1944, he had won re election campaigning as a committed New Dealer and an early critic of Hitler. Near the end of World War II, Pepper had traveled to the Soviet Uni on, where he met with Stalin and expressed his admiration for the Russian people and the Soviet leader. On March 20, 1946, he had spoken on the Senate floor urging the United States to destroy its nuclear arsenal as a sign to the Communist bloc that it ha d no intention of starting 35 Sullivan Days of Hope 225 227.

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43 from the American press and from fellow politicians, most of it negative. His decision to cast his lot with Wallace had important con sequences for his political career and for ADA. 36 For the time being, Wallace, Pepper, and the Southern Conference challenged those political challenges these pro So Communist liberals. American liberalism was in trouble without Roosevelt, and Truman did not appear to be the strong leader liberals wanted. Conservatives were more united and had as their goal a return to power after nearly two decades without it. Liberals were fighting to hold on to what they had, a difficult task in the best of times. Ironically, progressives and anti Communist liberals agreed on a great deal, including the general outlines of the New Deal and the need for racial justice in the South. Could these two factions afford a fight with each other over foreign policy and domestic Communism when other issues demanded that they cooperate? Labor unions faced the same problem, as organi zers debated whether they wanted the assistance of Communists or fellow travelers. On the one hand, Communists had proven in the past that they could reach workers and swell union ranks. However, the leaders of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and United St eel Workers (USW) knew that attracting a few thousand new members with Communist assistance would mean little if their opponents were able to discredit them by portraying them as Communists. As a result, the leaders of many AFL and CIO unions, including U AW President Walter Reuther, worked to convince their members that a purge was necessary. Reuther argued that unions needed political purity in order to tackle the 36 ( Ph.D. diss ., Unive rsity of Florida, 1998), 58 60, 70 73, 76 77, 80 82.

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44 challenges of the post war world, especially since Republicans and conservative Democrats w ere giving every indication that they wanted to roll back the power of the unions. 37 In 1946, the tension between progressives and anti Communist liberals caused a formal peech. Wallace used his immense personal popularity to create a new liberal coalition which included Clark Foreman and NAACP President Walter White. In December 1946, these liberals founded the Progressive Citizens of America (PCA), explicitly committing themselves to a New Deal main liberal rivals was the Union for Democratic Action (UDA), which had been founded in 1941 by disgruntled Socialists and liberals wh ideology of the war period. They appealed to educated, politically minded northerners who wanted to join a liberal organization free of ties to Communism, but throughout the war UDA remained small compared t o its progressive counterparts. 38 The stakes for liberals were never higher, and not just because of the PCA UDA rivalry. Conservatives had taken advantage of divisions within liberal ranks, suspicions of Communist influence in the Democratic Party and lab or unions, and a national desire for political change to make significant gains in the 1946 mid term elections. Republicans captured a majority of seats in the House and Senate and strengthened their alliance with conservative southern Democrats on labor and anti Communism. A now formally divided liberal coalition now had to reckon with a conservative resurgence in American politics. 37 Sullivan Days of Hope 228 229. 38 Sullivan, Days of Hope 230.

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45 The conventional wisdom among liberal politicians and strategists was that the Communism issue had been decisive in the 194 6 Republican victory, affecting liberals regardless of their stance on international affairs. Conservatives had been able to convince voters that liberal candidates who accepted the support of the unions, the NAACP, or other liberal organizations were und credence to this idea among a crucial part of the electorate. Certain Communists, after all, made no secret of the fact that they were members of the party, and that meant any organization which the late 1930s and the war period. James Dombrowski and Clar k Foreman did not think that accepting Communist support was a problem, but voters and politicians did, and this hurt the public perception of all liberals. 39 One group of liberals, however, presented itself as a viable alternative to the PCA and the Southe rn Conference. On May 13, 1946, in a letter to The New Republic James A. Loeb, lations of human rights and economically stagnant policies. He asked whether people who were enthusiastic supporters of the Soviet Union, taking direct orders from Moscow, should be welcomed into progressive organizations. He also warned that Communists had a long track record of subverting those groups that they joined, warning that it would happen again to the Wallace coalition if it was not pro active in preventing it. Anti Communist liberals who wanted to avoid 39 Sosna, In Search of the Silent South 145 146.

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46 these problems were welcomed in UDA, an d Loeb made an explicit plea for new membership at the end of the letter. 40 Another prominent UDA member, Arthur Schlesinger, also spoke out, writing an article for Life magazine in July 1946 that attempted to unmask the Communist movement in the United Sta tes. In preparing his article, Schlesinger spoke with former Communist Party leader Earl Browder and Time to reveal the scope of the Communist conspiracy. The product of that research w as a stinging indictment of American Communism, which Schlesinger asserted had more in common with religions such as the Mormons or Jesuits than other political parties. He did not think the Communist Party posed a threat to the internal stability of the United States, at least not at that moment. Instead, he criticized the dishonesty that was central to Communist political tactics, and he warned that their organizing talents could appeal to Americans if the American economy suffered through a second depr ession in the postwar years. 41 The conclusions Loeb and Schlesinger drew about Communism created controversy, but they reflected a growing consensus about which political philosophies American voters would accept in the postwar period. If liberals wanted t o compete in this new political environment, they would have to purge Communists and their sympathizers from their ranks. This would make liberalism more appealing in the long term, which would allow liberal ideas to have a better chance at political succ ess. Subsequent legislative successes would, in turn, make the United States a better place to live, thereby decreasing the appeal of radical ideologies. This was the plan UDA liberals wanted to implement, and they thought that as the only liberal 40 Sosna, In Search of the Silent South 231; Gillon Politics and Vision 11. 41 Schlesin ger, Life 398 400.

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47 organi zation that had never accepted Communism, they would be able to attract non Communist liberals, academics, labor leaders, and independents into the fold. In January 1947, UDA leaders convened a conference to plan for the future of liberalism in America. T he Washington conference attracted numerous dignitaries, including Eleanor Roosevelt and her son Franklin Roosevelt, Jr., Reinhold Niebuhr, New York Post editor James Weschler (a former Communist himself), and lawyer Joseph Rauh, who had served as a law cl theater before opening a private practice in Washington after the war. Others included Walter Workers Union (ILGWU), and Minneapolis mayor Hubert H. Humphrey. This became the founding meeting for Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), and this group announced its opposition to the progressive coalition now under the leadership of Henry Wallace. 42 W political culture of the South. The Southern Conference had attempted to attract southern sm caused problems, and it appeared that the Southern Conference would be nothing more than a fringe group. The Southern Regional Council had fewer problems with the Communist issue (though conservatives would often accuse SRC of being in league with Comm unists anyway), but its membership was so small and so politically diverse that agreement on key issues was difficult. ADA liberals wanted to avoid the problems both had suffered, openly rejecting the assistance of Communists and refusing to accept them as members while offering a platform that championed the New Deal and sought to expand it. ADA would work closely with some SRC 42 Schlesinger, Life : 410.

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48 members, but they wanted independence from all groups, including the existing Democratic power structure. This was particularly important in the South, where elected Democrats could be counted upon to oppose ADA at every turn. They wanted to prove that social and economic reform was possible without radical ideology. The numerous problems of the South presented a perfect opportun ity to agitate for that change, especially since southern politics were in such a state of transition.

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49 CHAPTER 3 HE HELL WITH I T ARNEY T AYLOR AND THE FIRST I NCARNATION OF THE ADA S OUTHERN O FFICE IN MEMPHIS 1947 1948 In January 1947, when a group of anti Communist liberals formed Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), the political situation in the South was not their primary focus. The threat posed by the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) and the Progressive Citizens of America (PCA), le d by former Vice President Henry A. Wallace, was the main impetus behind the creation of ADA. 1 decision to form ADA. president. They also asked several well known southerner s to join ADA, including Delta Democrat Times editor Hodding Carter of Greenville, Mississippi; Dr. Rufus Clement, president of Atlanta University; Representative Estes Kefauver of Tennessee; novelist Lillian Smith of Clayton, Georgia; and Congress of Indu strial Organizations (CIO) organizer Franz Daniel of Spartanburg, South Carolina. 2 The liberals who founded ADA wanted their organization to be truly national, and the way in which they reached out to these distinguished southerners showed that they did n ot want to ignore the South. Several events in the years following the end of World War II indicated liberalism had a fighting chance in the South following the social and political upheaval of the Second World 1 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Life in the 20 th Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917 1950 (Boston, 2000) 394 417. 2 Inclusion on this list did not mean that the chosen individual would become an integral part o f mailed appeals for ADA ; others, including Carter, wanted little to do with ADA.

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50 War. Reform minded liberal and moderate gov ernors had been elected in the mid 1940s, seemed to be a refreshing change from politics as usual. 3 The Southern Regional Council (SRC), religious leaders, university professors, and liberal politicians had joined forces with labor unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) and the CIO to form a loose coalitio n of liberal southerners that hoped to disrupt pre war patterns of political and economic life in the South. 4 CIO leaders had already shown a commitment to changing the South with the launch of its southern organizing campaign in March 1946. The CIO hope add one million southern workers to membership rolls by the end of the 1940s. ADA leaders, including Executive Secretary James Loeb, corresponded with southerners of all races and economic backgrounds in an attempt to determ ine how best to deal with the region. Their advice was varied. David Burgess, executive director of the Fellowship of some of the ideologically homeless can fin d an abode with the like formation of a thir claimed that unless something was done, the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW) 3 John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South ( Chapel Hill 1995), 378 383. 1946 defeat and the spectacle in which out of office destroyed his political repu tation 4 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 397.

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51 5 The Southern Conference main tained an unsavory reputation because of its acceptance of Communists and other radicals as members. Loeb needed no prompting to keep an eye on SCHW, having campaigned against it for years prior to the founding of ADA. He also communicated with Barney Tay lor, the Memphis based director of organization for the National Farm Labor Union (NFLU). Taylor was a native of Belton, Texas and a graduate of Texas A&M. He had served in World War II and participated in Operation Overlord, suffering combat wounds that caused him to lose one eye and the use of his right leg. He received a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Service Cross for his service. In 1946, he joined the NFLU and moved to Memphis with his wife Laura, a former first lieutenant in the orps. He became an ADA member in 1947. He also joined the SRC, NAACP, fide war hero and a committed liberal with experience in dealing with southern liberals, and hi s input shaped the thinking of Loeb and other ADA leaders. 6 skills when Taylor began a leave of absence from NFLU in late January 1947. Loeb wanted to know how the bit terness between the AFL and CIO would affect ADA organization, what ADA should do about SCHW, and whether or not a regional conference in and about the South would serve any useful purpose. 7 Taylor saw no reason why labor leaders would not assist ADA unle ss 5 David Burgess to James A. Loeb, January 13, 1947, r eel 59, n o. 18 A mericans for Democratic Action Papers, University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville microfilm collection (hereafter cited as ADA Papers) 6 Barney Taylor memo to John F. P. Tucker, June 10, 1947, r eel 50, n o. 270 ADA Papers 7 Loeb to Taylor, January 24, 1947 r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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52 anor Roosevelt, to leave the organization. Finally, Taylor agreed that a regional conference was an important step and offered his services as a part time assistant to organize it. 8 However, two factors tempered Tayl Firs t, he wondered he thought ADA needed to make any conference multi racial so that it could address the political, economic, and social problems black southerners faced He also refer red to th e logistical nightmare a n interracia l conference would entail since finding a hotel or meeting space that would allow such a conference to take place would be difficult at best. 9 Second, Taylor brought up the subject of Atlanta Constitution editor Ralph M cGill, whom Loeb had menti oned as a potential ADA member. Others had objected, saying McGill was not favored the New Deal and a tough stance toward the Soviet Union many southern liberals believed his racial vie ws were troubling and inconsistent. 10 Taylor understood Loeb trepidation in approaching McGill, but he warned that 11 Would ADA force its potential members to take a racial litmus t est before joining? Would ADA accept members who fell short of the agreeing to its entire platform? If it did require southerners to agree with each plank of the platform before joining, how many members could ADA possibly attract? 8 Taylor to Loeb, February 1, 1947 r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 9 Taylor to Loeb, February 1, 1947 r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers. 10 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 256 258. 11 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 256 258

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53 These are questions t hat ADA leaders would have to answer as they organized in the South, and opinions would vary widely on what needed to be done. Loeb also wanted to know how ADA would fit into the liberal political picture in the South. In late April 1947, Taylor and Rev. Samuel F. Freeman, Jr. of Pulaski Heights Christian Church in Little Rock, Arkansas discussed this very issue. Taylor wrote to Freeman in an disassociate himself fro m the Southern Conference. Taylor noted that the NFLU and CIO had cut off support for SCHW and that several of its most prominent members had resigned, and he as a more effective and reliable substitute Commun great concern that the liberal forces of our Southland and the nation are so much divided and separated from one another. ted with ideal s, issues and between two liberal organizations. 12 ADA, wondering what it could do that SCHW or SRC were not already doing. If Taylor and ADA were going to succeed in the South, they need to tell people about what made them different from other liberal groups. This issue notwithstanding, Taylor was eager to get ADA off the ground in the South, and in February 1 947 he outlined the prospects of a regional conference to be held in Atlanta or Birmingham in March or April. Liberals would be invited from Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. Taylor recom mended that southern ADA members submit lists of people they should consider for membership in the 12 Taylor to Rev. Samuel F. Freeman, Jr., April 25, 1947 reel 50, no. 264, ADA Papers ; Freeman to Taylor, May 1, 1947, reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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54 organization; each person on the lists would then receive a letter from the national office in Washington inviting them to the conference. This was a decent ralized approach to organization, which made financial sense to Taylor. He also expressed some trepidation about organizing the region by himself, and he wanted to solicit advice from long time liberal activists. Taylor cast his lot with those in ADA who nly those who have accepted the policies and principles laid down by the Commi no time be wasted in appeasing race baiters. 13 As Taylor made t hese recommendations, Loeb disseminated information from Washington to prospective members everywhere, including the South. When dealing with southern contacts, he assured them that the South was a priority. For example, he assured Nelle Morton, general secretary for the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen, w e are very anxious to do some work in the South, but we realize that the South presents a special problem which much be handled separately a 14 Morton was optimistic, calli the most hopeful sign in the political horizon I have seen. 15 Many liberals thought the South desperately needed political change, and they thought the perspective attorney Moss A. Plunkett of Roanoke, Virginia president of the Southern Electoral Reform League who ha d made unsuccessful runs for Congress in 1942 and governor in 1945. Plunkett was determined to break the Harry F. Byrd machine that contro lled Democratic politics in Virginia and he saw a chance to do that in a 1948 referendum on ending 13 Taylor to Loe reel 78, n o. 94 ADA Papers 14 Loeb to Nelle Morton, February 20, 1947; r eel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 15 Morton to Loeb, March 14, 1947, reel 59, no. 18, ADA Pape rs

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55 focus on ending the poll tax, and the precarious state of his personal finances would not permit him to assist ADA at tha t time he wrote Loeb, but he did express his [cannot] make a greater contribution to world government than she is now making is that we do not have democracy in the South. Virg inia should take the le insisted. 16 For his part, Loeb knew that the South was going to present special problems for ADA. He discussed with Franz Daniel the possibility of seven or eight regional conferences throughout t he country, including one in the South. He listed three major problems he thought ADA would onymous in southern minds. While Loeb could not come up with a solution to the first two problems, he had one for the latter. He wanted to get Frank Porter Graham on board with ADA and to get him away from the influence of SCHW and its secretary, Clark F oreman. 17 Graham had been intimately involved with SCHW since 1938, when he had attended its inaugural conference in Birmingham active in SCHW for several more year by the Southern Conference, they could defeat any Communists or fellow travelers in any fair 18 16 Moss A. Plunkett to Loeb, March 24, 1947 reel 78, n o. 100 ADA Papers 17 Loeb to Franz Daniel, February 1, 1947 r eel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 18 Warren Ashby, Frank Porter Graham: A Southern Liberal (Winston Salem, N.C., 1980), 154 168, 234.

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56 While ADA leaders worked on Graham, in May 1947 Loeb and other ADA officials approac hed leave of absence from NFLU 19 Taylor had been working for ADA on a part time volunteer basis as an informal liaison between southern liberals and the ADA leadership in Washington but Loeb wanted to make Taylor a permanent ADA employ e e. For his part, I have a completely open (or blank) mind; and will need guidance by better bra made a concession to the national office on policy matters. As he put it, b e assured that I am organizationally minded enough to carry out policy thoughtfully arrived at, whether it represents 20 In return, Taylor wanted a three month commitment from ADA beginning in May 1947, which would c oinc ide with his NFLU leave. He wanted to postpone any regional conference, arguing that we will work on actual organization of community and campus chapters at the d contribution income to the National Office. That policy will also make toward a more representative subsequent conference by having chapter delegates as well as prominent liberal labor leaders among those present. outhern Organizer to I feel that I must avoid being regarded as a paid local executive secretary, and plan to form working organizing committees in each state, city and community 21 19 There Executive Board in mid May 1947. He suggested that H.L. Mitchell, president of NFLU, serve in his place. Taylor to Loeb, May 16, 1947 r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 20 Taylor to Loeb, April 17, 1947 r eel 78, n o. 94 ADA Papers 21 Taylor to Loeb, April 17, 1947 r eel 78, n o. 94 ADA Papers

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57 Loeb agreed to each of Tay southern h eadquarters in Memphis, where Taylor had been working since the end of Wo rld War II. This was important for personal reasons, as expecting their first child. He also thoug ht it would help in getting the project up and running quickly, as physical setup in readiness to begin fulltime operations May 1 the office rented, necessary equipment pu rchased, telephone installed, 22 National headquarters next three months and a n additional $3,000 for expenses, including rent, telephone and telegraph service, office supplies, postag e, and printing costs. T here was every indication that if T aylor succeeded, he might be rewarded with an extended ADA contract or with reduced responsibilities that might make his job easier. Loeb to the ADA Executive Committee at their May 1947 meeting, calling the need He he $30,000 proposed budget will permit several additional organizers. This [budget] item covers not only the salary of the organizers but also 23 The South had become a part of the larger ADA organizational strategy that focused on putting maximum pressure on southern liberals. The more noise ADA could make the better for attracting new memb ers, and Loeb The desire to get ADA going in the South animated a meeting Taylor convened in Atlanta on May 9. Participants included Lillian Smith, Dorothy R. Tilly from the Pres Commission on Civil Rights, Guy John of the Southern Regional Council, and Frank McAllister 22 Taylor to Loeb, April 17, 1947 r eel 78, n o. 94 ADA Papers 23 ADA Executive Committee meeting minutes, May 3, 1947 r eel 33, n o. 63 ADA Papers

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58 of the Georgia Workers Education Service. These Georgians wanted to create an Atlanta chapter of ADA, but they also wanted to assist Taylor in his larger s outhern project. They concluded should not attempt to get an impressive [regional] gathering until September. T hey believe that chapter organization, plus an intensive mail and personal campaign should precede the meeting and they do no t believe that two months is sufficient time. the date forward 24 As a member of the commission that was due to submit its comprehensive report on civil rights to the President before the end of the year (it was submitted in late October), Tilly knew that ADA had to position itself to take advantage of the publicity the report was bound to generate. These so utherners knew they were fighting an uphill battle, but good timing would help Taylor maximize the impact of the regional meeting he wanted to convene. On May 26, Taylor told ADA headquarters about the energetic schedule he planned to eek of May] has been spent in the formation of an organizing committee for Memphis, in compiling card files of liberals throughout the South, in forming a southwide Southern Committee and in initiating correspondence with every lead or contact in my poss ession. contacts and attend the state AFL convention, as well as travel to Birmingham and Montgomery, Alabama for more meetings 25 the South, he also committed to work with Memphis liberals in forming their ADA chapter. In a confidential memorandum to the national 24 Taylor memo to Tucker, May 13, 1947, reel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers 25 reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers

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59 enthusiasm resulted from create mailing lists down to the block level in the city and submit recommendations durin g elections, [ support ing] candidates put forward by a broad cross namely ADA. Allen of the Memphis Industrial Union Council (CIO) and Frank Mil es of the Tennessee State Federation of Labor (AFL), as well as several local attorneys, two journalists (including John Rodgers of the Memphis Press Scimitar a past president of the Newspaper Guild of Memphis), and two local Episcopal ministers. 26 The tim Crump, a former mayor of Memphis and congressman who had run the city politically for more than three decades, primarily through proxies he controlled. He had a reputation for cle an government, but liberals detested the way in which his machine anointed governors and senators without consulting liberal elements in the city or state. 27 Crump had been able to keep most tions presented an opportunity to at least cut down the customary machi ne majority [in Memphis] to the point where [Representative] Estes Kefauver can be elected to the Senate. 26 Taylor confidential memo to Loeb, May 29, 1947 reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers 27 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 225.

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60 House colleague Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. of New York to one evening and to speak at an open mass meeting the following evening. Mr. Crump, bless his heart, has helped considerably in making the name Roosevelt a magic one in this area s constant criticism of the New Deal and Truman. Taylor sensed that the 1948 election would be important for liberals in their efforts to preserve the Tennessee Valley Authority, repeal the poll nt procedures. 28 In order to make this plan work, Tennessee liberals had to engage in some political maneuvering of their own. Kefauver was reluctant to leave his relatively safe seat in the House for a Senate run, and former governor and World War II vete ran Gordon Browning wanted to run for the Senate on the anti Washington leadership would help their plans. If Loeb could convince Kefauver to run for the Senate, they could then convince Brow ning to make another run for the governorship. 29 The 1948 congressional elections were important to Tennessee liberals, but Taylor had other issues with the Memphis chapter that needed his attention. He was concerned about the heavy union representation in the Memphis chapter, which would cause critics to call ADA little more than a labor front organization. Taylor tried to counter that impression by keeping the Memphi Taylor met with Hollis Price, president of historically black LeMoyne College, to get his advice. the Ne gro leaders will advise [ lia i son ] rather than integration. agree that it would be well 28 Taylor confidential memo to Loeb May 29, 1947, r eel 50, n o. 26 9, ADA Papers 29 Taylor confidential memo to Loeb May 29, 1947, r eel 50, n o. 26 9, ADA Papers.

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61 for me to accept their advice. We seem to have the choice of being a principled but futile liberal inter racial outpost or a suc cessful political movement. membership standards, and he was unsure how his employers in Washington would react. 30 Loeb chose to trust T I think we would all agree that we want to be a successful political movement. If you accept advice from the progressive Negro leaders of the South, I am sure that that ad 31 This was not ideal for ADA, but Loeb also realized that problems in the South were different from those in other parts of the country, and so he hoped that a cautious initial approach would a llow them to be more aggressive in the future. Conditions also varied state by state, and Taylor saw this at the end of May when he took his scheduled trip to Arkansas. Publicly, Taylor would not go into details, saying only that sas, by its very na ture will function more effectively with a statewide unit than with city chapters. Little Rock is practically the only thing resembling a city in the state. He expressed mild concern at the fact that Rev. Freeman feels that he must continue with organi zation of SCHW. Since he knows most of the liberals in Arkansas, his attitude will present a distinct handicap. 32 Privately, Taylor was far less restrained in his criticism of the Southern Conference. He had conversed extensively with Freeman in person and in writing, and he thought he had struck up a friendly rapport with him, only to find out that Freeman was still 30 Taylor confidential memo to Loeb May 29, 1947, r eel 50, n o. 26 9, ADA Papers 31 Loeb memo to Taylor, June 5, 1947 r eel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers 32 Taylor to Loeb, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers

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62 continuing with SCHW work. Taylor also continued his feud with SCHW leaders Clark Foreman and James Dombrowski, who found themselves under siege for their associations with Communists and criticized anti Communist liberals, including Taylor, as being responsible for wrote letters teeming with indignation, contain i 33 While dealing with criticism from the left, Taylor tried to set regional policy on matters such as anti lynching legislation. Most southern liberals wanted to end lynching, but many agre ed with southern conservatives that this was an issue that southern legislatures, not Congress, should handle. However, by 1947 several failed attempts at federal legislation and a new wave of violence against southern blacks, including some decorated Wor ld War II veterans, was changing the political climate, or so Taylor thought. In discussions with Frank McCallister, Taylor mentioned that Loeb had told him ADA would endorse new efforts at national anti lynching legislation and told McCallister that mos t thoughtful southerners now believed that federal legislation is necessary. matter. 34 willingness to consider federal anti lynching legislation showed his frustration was something that ADA could use to appeal to pro civil rights southerner s. 33 Tayl or confidential memo to Loeb, May 31, 19 47, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers 34 Taylor to Frank McCallister, May 29, 1947 reel 50, n o. 275 ADA Papers

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63 Another positive for the ADA effort in the South was their enlistment of novelist Lillian Smith to their cause The Florida native first came to public attention with her 1944 novel Strange Fruit whose indictment of the racial status quo in the South and unsparing depiction of an interracial romance caused a sensation. The Boston Public Library banned the book, and the Postal Service would not allow it to be mailed in the U nited States 35 Smith was a loud voice for liberalism in the South, and she had no problem helping anyone who was willing to address the in justices about which she wrote She had joined ADA C ommittee of the Whole, attended its first convention, and offer ed her services for ADA speaking engagements, including one in Boston after t banned her book. In late May, Loeb talked to Smith about assisting in recruitment efforts in the South, and prepared to do anything the ADA asks her to do, including the signing of an appeal letter. send her a draft; she will rewrite it in her own style; we will then have the letters, envelopes and everything prepared and stamped, and send them to Memphis to be dropped in the mailbox so that the postmark is Memphis. The return envelopes, with the mo ney, will be addressed to [Taylo r office. 36 would be especially powerful given her southern roots, which would hopefully overcome some join the group, contribute money, and contribute to a liberal revival in the region. mass mailing dated June 20, 1947, tragic events that have piled up so tall a monument to rac cluding 35 For more information on the controversy surrounding Strange Fruit and an analysis of what made it so pro vocative, see Louise Blackwell and Frances Clay, Lillian Smith (Ne w York, 1971), 37 41. 36 Loeb to Taylor, May 29, 1947 r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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64 several lynchings that had occurred in Georgia and the Carolinas in the first six months of 1947. There was nothing especia lly unique about these murders as thousands of them had occurred in the past several decades across the South. However, Sm ith now had a platform from which to criticize these crimes and ADA gave her a chance to spread that message throughout the country. tensions, whipped on by a loose floating hate that is sweeping across the minds of men everywhere, it has reached proportions so destructive of law and order and justice and human 37 Rejecting the old philo We are asking our own people to help us now, Americans like ourselves, whose concern it is and who should share in this responsibility. Only by our securing a Federal bill against l ynching can we draw fully upon the resources of our government and our Federal courts to help us meet this cultural disaster. in democratic ways, [is] trying to make democracy work in this c ountry and throughout th ive them your money and your support; do it now while we have the chance to stop this infamy. 38 Taylor sent this letter to 5,000 ADA supporters out of the Memphis office, and the response to her appeal encouraged pe ople in Memphis and Washington. Assistant Executive Secretary John F. P. Tucker told Smith he had received over 230 responses to the letter and contributions to the southern office totaling over $1,100. 39 37 Lillian Smith m ass mailing, June 20, 1947, reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 38 Lillian Smith m ass mailing, June 20, 1947, reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 39 Tuck er to Smith, July 23, 1947, reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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65 While Taylor worked with Smith, he continued to tra vel the South. In early June, he traveled to Birmingham and met with Charles Fiedelson, a former regional director for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and current associate editor and columnist for the Birmingham News as well as local United Mi ne Workers (UMW) leader William Mitch. Taylor I talked with so me 25 people there, almost all of whom expressed resentment against at least one or two others. However, [ F ie delson ] and Mitch appear to have the approval of all. With these two men on board, Taylor hoped to have an organizational meeting by the end of June. He had also wanted to meet with enigmatic Southern Farmer editor Aubrey Williams with Taylor. 40 Taylor also returned to Little Rock in mid June, which see ms surprising given the generally negative reception he had received from local liberals earlier in the year. However, an Arkansas born architecture student at Cornell, Scott D. Hamilton, Jr., was firmly convinced that Little Rock needs ADA, and ADA need s Little Rock! n the past, liberals have never been outstanding locally. A union endorsemen t has been the kiss of death to leaders running fo r office. To the average Arkansan anything to the left of status quo arch conservatism [sic] talk little and do much cautiously. perienced organizer here are many businessmen and leaders 40 Taylor reel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers

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66 who will find a means of independent political expression in a Little Rock ADA willingness to work with liberal college students at s tate universities won Taylor over, and he made plans to meet with Hamilton. 41 Taylor also thought things were looking up in Arkansas this hurts us more than it helps [ in the short term] since the SCHW has a good many of the Arkansas liberals somewhat gun shy. 42 Taylor saw numerous positive signs for organizing the South, but there was one looming lynching appeal had office was no exception. These problems became the subject of a rather testy exchange between Taylor and the national office in late June, as Taylor had used much of his mailing budget on the all items of the Southern Office costs are exceeding its approved budget. This is impossible both because this office cannot authorize such excesses, but a lso because the financial receipts during the summer months are reduced to a point that makes it essential to scrutinize carefully the most modest expenditures. amp without first consulting Washington about the purchase. They did not appreciate that Taylor had made this purchase without considering the fact that the national office was sacrificing similar creature comforts for the benefit of the field offices. T he budget ADA approved for Taylor had not allowed for such extravagance, and Tucker wanted him to bring the situation under control. 43 41 Scott D. Hamilton, Jr. to Taylor, June 9, 1947 r eel 50, n o. 274 ADA Papers 42 Taylor to Loeb, reel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers 43 Tu cker to Taylor, June 25, 1947, reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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67 Taylor was not willing to admit he had been wrong. He wrote, a close examination of expenditures of this office fails to rent on their office space; and sixty dollars remained from the initial ADA appropriation. As for be glad to pay for it herself in case the national office disapproved d. Taylor acknowledged in return that your office expedite, better than it has in the past, approval or disapproval of such requests. 44 The tension between the local and national o ffices concerning financial matters was quite clear. Despite this tension over finances, ADA could not claim that Taylor was not working hard to organize chapters in the South. At the end of June, Taylor summed up his early activities in his weekly report to Loeb. He had finally started a chapter in Memphis, and in early July he planned to head to Birmingham to chair an organizational meeting headed by Fiedelson and Mitch, though their participation was not yet official or public knowledge. He touted th e next most likely spots Nashville and Chattanooga. My most extensive list of names, however, are [sic] from North Carolina, where I should make an extensive trip as soon as possible. Chapters, I believe, can be rather easily established at Chapel Hill, Greensboro, Raleigh and Charlotte. 45 reassuring residents who were 44 Taylor to Tucker, June 27, 1947 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 45 Taylor to Loeb, port June 30, 1947 reel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers

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68 or anything else. Once the requisite number (usually 25) of liberals had signed on and crafted a charter, Taylor generally left them alone, concerning himself with repeating the process in ot her cities. The chapters, with the exception of Memphis, would be forced to sink or swim on their own, through the time and effort of the local leadership. Considering the time and financial pressures Taylor faced, as well as the physical limitations his war wounds had caused, this was a sound, prudent strategy. However, the timing of this southern campaign had some problems. No major local or national elections were taking place in 1947. That is not to say that there were no important issues for politi cally conscious Americans. The year featured debates over the Truman Doctrine, anti lynching legislation, the creation of a permanent Fair Employment Practices Commission, the Taft Hartley Act, and hearings that began to probe into the extent of Communist influence on American life, particularly in the entertainment industry. While politicians and strategists were gearing up for elections the following year and ADA prepared itself to be fully functioning when the campaigns began, the general public was of ten focused on other things, and Taylor could do little to interest people not already engaged by local or national politics. He also had to deal with summer weather, a problem that he should have expected to face having been a labor organizer in the South for some time before coming to ADA. Taylor began his work during May and June, and southerners knew that those who could escape the heat, in an era of minimal air conditioning, would do so. That is not to say that Memphis or Birmingham were completely e mpty, but many of the people who might have been interested in joining ADA had left for vacation homes in other parts of the country. It was unusual to have someone such as Scott Hamilton come from upstate New York to Arkansas for the summer. As a result Taylor had to deal with local organizers such as Frances Schulter of Birmingham, whose husband John

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69 a very small attendance t sort of nurse [the chapter] along until after the summer was over before trying to hold a mass meeting. 46 In a situation where momentum was so important, having local chapters stop their organizing activities for months at a time was a bad blow to Taylo Moreover, bureaucratic snafus plagued his campaign, especially since Taylor only had the assistance of one or two other people in Memphis. For example, in late May Taylor inadvertently sent ADA membership appeals to several individuals who we re already members, including Arthur C. Joy of Atlanta, a local NLRB field examiner. Joy chided Taylor for the members. There is too much need of both the funds a nd the energy. I was getting set to slightly bawl [Taylor] out for not answering my letter of May 24 th but when I opened my file I found both the original and carbon copy of said letter. Consequently I must admit that you have the best of reasons f or not answering the letter [you] never received. Ironically, the failure of these two men to communicate did not prevent Joy from be ing to build ADA chapte rs in as many cities and towns as possible. I am convinced that there is a surprisingly large number of real liberals in the South, 46 Frances Schulter to Taylor July 27, 1947, reel 50, n o. 273 ADA Papers

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70 but they need to be dug up and coordinated. To do this is going to require a substantial amount of work and cooperati on from the members. 47 Buoy Taylor continued his organizing activities. However, his correspondence began to betray a lack of confidence in the results he was achieving. In July, for example, he traveled to Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee; Charlot te, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, North Caroli na; Rock Hill and Spartanburg, South Carolina; and back through Birmingham. publicity department to announce the formation of organizing committees in Nashv ille, Chattanooga, and Chapel Hill. Privately, h e expressed frustration toward circumstances and individuals he thought were hind ering his activities. His trip through the Carolinas, Tennessee and Alabama had convinced ADA organization in the south [sic] is the virtually complete lack of publicity. Many otherwise intelligent and well informed people had never heard of ADA, to door sa les job and while he thought he could make the sale given enough time, he wrote, I t is only too apparent that there is no wave of enthusiasm sweeping the south [sic] He almost felt guilty for but if the organization can stand it, I am certain that ADA will grow to potency in the south in another 6 months. 48 This optimism stemmed in part from letters of interest he continued to receive from people such as Harold L. Trigg, newly elected president of gh, North Carolina (and an Associate Executive Director with 47 Arthur C. J oy to Taylor, July 30, 1947, reel 50, n o. 275 ADA Papers 48 Taylor memo to Loeb, July 30, 1947 reel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers

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71 the SRC); H.C. Nixon of the Vanderbilt University Press; and William L. Kolb, a professor of 49 Taylor was not sure that ADA was viable in the South, but he refused to give up. He wrote, g enerally, people I meet everywhere are inclined to delay things until after Labor Day. We, too, are enjoying (?) the record heat wave. The fall, however, should see excellent results dwork. existed in Memphis (where the focus that summer was on registering voters for the 1948 Democratic primaries), Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Nashville, and Atlanta, where 340 people had responded to very much encouraged by recent progress in all areas and believe that a regional meeting for the late fall would be a good idea. 50 Despite these encouragi ng signs, in late August Taylor cautioned the national office about e are still lacking in publicity all over the south and need to do something slightly sensational in or der to get ADA before the public. As Taylor saw addition, more mundane problems provided an important reminder of the financial constraints under which h e was operating. For example, Taylor did not have his own letterhead; he was 49 Letters to Taylor written between August 4 and August 8, 1947 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers culty are dissatisfied with the only possibly liberal organization in the field, the Southern Conference for Human Welfare. I say possibly liberal because there are many of us who suspect this organization of being Communist likely found a sympathetic ear. 50 Taylor memo to Loeb, August 8, 1947 reel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers

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72 bill by the end O.K., so be it. If it gets cut off, it gets cut off 51 kansas, where Rev. Samuel Freeman continued to resist moving away from the Southern Conference in favor of ADA. Before returning to Cornell for the fall semester, Scott Hamilton provided one more update on the rivalry. Taylor, because of his respect for I do not want to give the appearance of being competitive with their efforts. If the Southern Conference is now a more or less dead issue, then I want to come down as soon as possible and get an ADA organizing committee started. 52 Hamilton consulted Freeman on the future of SCHW, and Freeman remained adamant about e eman] is still sticking by SC HW, for he feels he cannot run away. It seems that a great deal of pressure was applied to his board members. 53 I cannot appear completely enthusiastic either for A.D.A. or S.C.H.W. Neither of them has yet sufficiently recognized the fundamental change which must come in our Society for Human Welfare therefore, both talk of working within two morally dead parties each competing with reaction against the other. 54 Freeman sounded like a beaten man und er the pressure of liberal factions pulling him in different directions. 51 Taylor memo to Loeb, August 27, 1947, reel 50, no. 269, ADA Papers 52 Taylor to Hamilton, August 13, 1947 reel 50, n o. 274 ADA Papers 53 Hamilton to Taylor, August 17, 1947 reel 50, no. 27 4 ADA Papers 54 Fre eman to Taylor, August 19, 1947, reel 50, no. 27 4 ADA Papers

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73 the House Un American Activities Committee (HUAC) that had criticized SCHW for soliciting the help of Communists for organizing and fund raising activities. The bigger problem for SCHW, however, was that it never created a base of support in the South. It depended far too heavily for financial support from outside sources, including CIO unions. 55 Taylor and his allies in the South may have claimed that their true motivation for fighting SCHW was to free southern liberalism from the taint of Communism in a time of Cold War, but the situation was more ust as precarious as that of the Southern Conference, and perhaps even more so. Taylor and Loeb were fearful of following in the failed for ADA. There was always a chance that the support they expected to find was not there. Therefore, Taylor was after one of two things: either confirmation that ADA could be organized in the South, or confirmation that his efforts would prove useless in the end. Either way, he wante d to know so he could plan accordingly, and the national office acknowledged I am sure it is warm and uncomfortable in Memphis as it is in Washington, if not more so, but nevertheless, I am constrained to ask for a little more patience with us from you. correspondence, including a heavily reduced staff duri ng the summer months and the national one of the 55 Morton J. Sosna, In Search of the Silent South: Southern Liberals an d the Race Issue (New York, 1977), 145, 146.

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74 chief reasons for the existence of this office is to service our people in the field and believe me, we are anxious to do it with the maximum disposition. 56 I count impatience among my principal virtues. From long experience with liberals and laborites I have discovered that lit tle gets done without prodding, needling, agitating, office personnel may continue to expect prompt reaction on my part to any delay or mistake on your part including delays in reimbursement for expenses or troubles with delivery of the ADA World why the hell any part of the staff of an organization just beginning to get under way should be on vacation at a time as crucial as this. I suppose, however, it would cause riot and revolution if anyone was asked to forego vacation, since all you Yankees are vacation mad anyhow. he should be do big things in as short a time as possible. Ye may ask for patience, John, but ye shall not receive. 57 organizing however. In the late summer of 1947, Taylor worked harder than ever to enhance well as newcomers such as Dr. Kolb at Tulane. On September 1, Dr. Kolb told T aylor about the He dismissed the Communists in SCHW and student organizations at Tulane as keepers of a 56 Tucker to Taylor, August 25, 1947 reel 52, n o. 304 ADA Papers 57 Taylor to Tucker, August 28, 1947 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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75 who are unconcerned about the problems of cooperating with communists (or who feel that they can outwit them in the struggle for power). larger liberal communit y of New Orleans, would pose major problems, according to Kolb. 58 picture of the general groups is generally typical of liberals throughout the south, although not to the ext ent that your l etter indicated. ADA has offered me a means of implementing my liberal views with leaders and members in whom I have full confidence. There were no such means previously available. In short, realistic non 59 Taylor was attempting to stay positive, but these statements must be examined in the context of his frustrated tirades against Tucker which he wrote at approximately the same time. Taylor was frustrated, but he nevertheless continued his e xhausting travel schedule, which included stops in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Chattanooga during the month of September. He also saw major promise in his home base of Memphis, where an organizational meeting at the end of September promised what Taylor cryp a few bombshells 60 On September 20, James Loeb made a report to the ADA Executive Committee about Taylor that glossed over the problems of the Southern Offic e and gave the impression that Taylor 58 Dr. William Kolb to Taylor, September 1, 1947 reel 50, n o. 277 ADA Papers 59 Taylor to Kolb, September 4, 1947 reel 50, no. 277, ADA Papers 60 Taylor memo to Loeb, September 5, 1947 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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76 was making progress. 61 According to Loeb, Tennessee looked most promising, with chapters or organizing committees established in Memphis, Nashville, and Chattanooga. Their success was especially vital because of the n eed to help Kefauver and Browning in 1948. Loeb also mentioned several communities in North Carolina and Louisiana where work was just beginning or would begin shortly, arguing that ADA had more work to do in the South and that funding for t should continue. 62 In addition, Atlanta seemed to be coming around, though this development barely received relatively light turn out attendee, but the group they had assembled seemed committed to making ADA work, and they had established good relations with people like Tilly, who now worked for the SRC. 63 As Director of Organization Evelyn Dubrow told Vice President Carmen Lucia of the United Hatters, Cap and Millinery Workers International Union we are delighted to see ADA going so well in Atlanta because we think of your city as a stronghold of liberal ideas where our organization should flourish. 64 The key, according to Arth ur Joy, was continued effort at the local and regional level to get people The very fact that we had only between 45 and 50 at the meeting in response to 340 invitations ; the rather apathetic reaction of the gathering; and the fact that only 14 of those present signed applications 61 Th e report was based in early September det ailing his work and the backgrounds of the people he had brought into the fold. Taylor to Violet Megrath, September 5, 1947 reel 52, n o. 305 ADA Papers 62 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 63 Phillip G. Hammer to Taylor, September 17, 1947 reel 50, n o. 275 ADA Papers 64 Evelyn Dubrow to Carmen Lucia, September 25, 1947 reel 61, n o. 33 ADA Papers

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77 (of course, some were already members) are all indicative of the fact that there is a real job to be done. instead of attempting to start chapters in Chapel Hill or New Orleans. 65 Taylor moved quickly to Atlanta. 66 One way in early November. Their six point program called for a new approach to the public housing proble balanced program of demolition and replacement, financed by public funds if necessary by caretakers, new programs to increase the number of public parks and playgrounds, changes in give adequate and fair attention to social, racial and economic problems increase in the number of black officers on the police force, and progressive taxation to pay for new social programs. 67 Local politi of this pamphlet was an important act. As Taylor noted, one of his main goals in working with convincing a large number of people that ADA does not propose to be a dil letantish 68 He hoped to do so in Memphis as well by leading the fight against the Crump machine, which was already in trouble thanks to a new wave of political activity by soldiers freshly home from the Second World War. 65 Arthur C. Joy to Hammer, Se ptember 21, 1947, reel 50, n o. 275 ADA Papers 66 Ta ylor to Hammer, September 25, 1947 reel 50, no. 275, ADA Papers 67 November 3, 1947, reel 61, n o. 33 ADA Papers 68 Taylor memo to Loeb, October 1, 1947 reel 52, n o. 305 ADA Papers

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78 The executive committee of the Memphis chapter sought to capitalize on discontent with failure of democracy to function in Memphis and Shelby County [which] has given rise to a form of political metho ds which has the dangers of dictatorship and the eventual loss of freedom of the ballot stir up interest in real elections in the democratic tradition of the nation, encourage unbossed candidates w ith proper qualifications, real integrity and moral honesty to run for office, and to do all that it can to see that real competition exists in all races for public office candida te of [their] choice without being told by any political boss, corporation executive, labor leader or anyone else for whom to vote. 69 The local chapters of ADA were showing signs of moving beyond talking and toward action. Any hope of changing the politi cal climate in the Memphis chapter for its willingness to take a public stand against the Crump machine. Despite the promise of success, by late September and early Oct ober 1947, the job was t will be nice having you to work with; but look out for all sorts of bitching and complaints from the impatient individual who does your southern organi zing. You have probably already been warned that chewing the staff is my personal pastime. CIO situation cleared up so that all of these local southern CIO people understand that membership and partici pation in ADA on local and state levels is not forbidden by the national body. ost of them seem to have the impression that [CIO president] Phil 69 September 30, 1947, reel 50, n o. 289 ADA Papers

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79 Murray definitely disapproves of us and has pronounced a plague on the houses of both ADA and PCA [Progressive Citizens of America] with fine impartiality. 70 Taylor knew this because he was regularly receiving communications from southern union leaders such as Paul R. Christopher of the CIO Organizing Committee in Knoxville, who declined Taylor progra m, and both PCA and ADA are left off the recommended list of political organi zations to join. So I would not be able to join ADA however sympathetic I may be toward it or how much I might prefer ADA over PCA 71 efforts to get labor on board with ADA, and his frustration was palpable. agreeing with his private pessimism about the job. In September, for example, Atlanta attorney (and local organizing committee member) Joseph Jacobs had written Loeb on this issue. Unlike Taylor, Jacobs had not been impressed with the diversity of the initial Atlanta gathering. He here were no particularly outstanding people in the community; there was a dearth of what might be called New Dea lers and college people. of labor unions, and ADA had always tried to avoid the impression that it was not just an extension of the AFL or CIO. Non affiliated liberals had stayed away in Atlanta, and Taylor could no It was the feeling of a 70 Taylor to D ubrow, September 23, 1947, reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 71 Paul R. Christopher to Taylor, December 22, 1947 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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80 number of us that if Barney would be able to spend some time in here that he might be able to persuade some of these so th us. 72 Loeb tried to persuade Jacobs that Taylor was not foolishly optimistic about ADA in indicated that the Atlanta ADA was going to sweep the community over night. territory is really too big for one per son. 73 organizers to work on a state by state basis, so Taylor was forced to solve the problems he encountered as best he could, with no guarantee of additional support from Washington. In fact, Taylor had compla ined about this issue in one of his reports. In early October 1947, he asked, from [Loeb or Tucker] iew is good, bad or indifferent. 74 my correspondence is piled so high at the moment that it looks as if it will be impossible to get through it. I was very much impressed that you had assembled all of the labor element in the Memphis group; but, of course, there is a 72 Joseph Jacobs to Loeb, September 18, 1947 reel 61, n o. 33 ADA Papers 73 Loeb to Jacobs, October 2, 1947 reel 61, no. 33, ADA Papers 74 Taylor to Loeb, October 1, 1947 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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81 danger they will become just a unified labor committee. 75 The withdrawal of the local chapter chairman, attorney C. Rudolph Johnson, from ADA activity did not help this impression. Loeb e south on his problem has us completely floored. There are only a few people the Chapters want, and we have worked these people to death. Most of them will do two or three meetings for ADA and then will beg off 76 Arthur Schlesinger and Eleanor Roosevelt could only be asked to do so much. Despite this problem, and continuing financial our Chapters have become increasingly active, are taking the leadership on many issues, and are doin g a pretty good job. We are not at all discouraged. Quite the contrary. ADA is growing both in size and in guts. 77 Taylor continued to work into October and November 1947, traveling to New Orleans to formally started on October 14 with forty persons of considerable means 78 He continued to answer inquiries from Tennessee, the Carolinas, and Virginia about the progress of chapters in those 75 The irony of such a statement was that, as ADA historian Steve Gillon notes, and CIO affiliated unions, even if certain labor leaders (like CIO president Phillip Murray) were cool to AD n M. Gillon, Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947 1985 (New Yor k, 1987), 13. 76 Even when prominent speakers were in areas where their presence would be a positive, hington would often be most acute. For example, Taylor lamented the fact that he had not been told that ADA National Chairman (and former Louisville mayor) Wilson W. Wyatt was in Nashville in early November, while Taylor had been in Nashville meeting with local liberals (including H.C. Nixon of the Vanderbilt usually finding out that national leaders of ADA are in the South by accident, and always too late to m emo to Dubrow, November 12, 1947, reel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers 77 Loeb to Taylor, October 4, 1947, Reel 50, No. 264 ADA Papers 78 Taylor memo to Dubrow, October 24, 1947 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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82 cities, and he continued to request assistance from national headquarters as questions arose. Finally, he supervised a campaign by the Memphis chapter urging quick congressional action on Truman D octrine. 79 city. It criticized the city government after the American Heritage Foundation pulled Memphis off the Freedom Train schedule when the city refused to modify i ts segregationist laws to The Communist Party has ridiculed the Freedom Train and has put pickets around it at s everal stops. Totalitarian communism, they realize, cannot compete with Americanism as exemplified by the documents the Train carries [which included the Declaration of Independence and Constitution] Nor can any other form of totalitarianism. 80 All of t which he previewed during a late October conversation with ADA Political Director Andrew Biemiller. In it, Taylor broke down the political climate in each state where he had bee n active, and he previewed what he wanted to do in the year leading up to the Democratic primaries of 1948. For example, Taylor was optimistic about the chances of Sidney McMath, the populist district attorney of Hot Springs, to become governor of Arkansa s, and urged ADA to assist McMath. He thought ADA could have a major impact in Tennessee, where Gordon Browning 79 The let ters from Memphis to southern members of Congress came at the behest of the ADA Executive Committee, which was coordinating a national campaign to support what became known as the Truman Doctrine. Hollis Reid mass mailing to members of Congress, October 13, 1947 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 80 Memphis ADA resolution, November 25, 1947 reel 50, n o. 289 ADA Papers

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83 and Estes Kefauver had a good chance of upsetting the plans of the Crump machine. However, the Atlanta chapter was in a bad spot because both incumbent M.E. Thompson and challenger Herman Talmadge, were reactionaries. Taylor [the] election of a liberal fr om the Atlanta Congressional District liberal was not yet clear. 81 I am still of the opinion that political action in the south, outside of Tennessee, is not worthwhile in view of our limited budg assessment of southern politic we re an excellent anti Crump candidate in Tennessee, adding that he had met with the Congressman recently to both financial aid and the planting of stories with columnists. 82 In short, Biemiller thought liberals had a very good chance of earning some key electoral victories in the South in 1948. However, he did not think Taylor could have an impact on those chances. Birmingham, Nashville, and Atlanta, places where he believed that cha pters with 75 to 100 members could be built during the first three months of 1948. Limiting his travels to larger cities would allow these chapters to work for liberal candidates during the primaries. He refused to 81 Taylor memo to Andrew Biemiller, October 28, 1947 reel 50, n o. 269 ADA Papers 82 Biemiller memo to Taylor, December 8, 1947 reel 50, n o. 269, ADA Papers

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84 abandon the Carolinas, telling his supe n addition to [numerous contacts in] Durham, Greensboro, Chapel Hill and Charlotte a recheck of my correspondence files show equally good prospects for Raleigh, Asheville and Winston Salem. 83 Taylor was impressed with the work that CIO State Dire ctor William Smith was doing in Charlotte, planning a series of meetings in early January that would feature Jim Loeb as a dinner speaker in Durham, Raleigh, and Charlotte. 84 However, Taylor was not in a position to exploit those contacts at the beginning of 1948, when Alabama and Tennessee consumed his attention. rather severe appendicitis attack. across the region looked to him for assistance. 85 In addition, the Nashville chapter Taylor had hoped would be organized by the end of February had collapsed. The acting secretary of the Nashville group, Adele R. Schweid, had told Taylor that a late February meeting would signal the start of a membership drive, but the meeting never took place because of scheduling conflicts. Over the next few weeks, some of the Nashville liberals who had taken an early the ou tlook for an active, energetic Nashville chapter was so gloomy that we felt it would be wiser, not only from our own standpoint, but for ADA, to give up the idea and urge those interested to be members at large of the National. Communist liberals in Nashville were tired of giving their time and effort to 83 Taylor to Dubrow, January 15, 1948 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 84 Smith letters to ADA Washington office, n.d., reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 85 Taylor to Dubrow, March 2, 1948 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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85 just another small gathering of the few Nashville liberals abandoned the idea of a Nashville chapter for the foreseeable future. 86 Taylor had come to similar conc lusions about the entire southern project, and he tendered his resignation to the national office on March 21, 1948, with his last day scheduled for April 24. It was an unusual decision, given that important election campaigns were getting underway. In h does not offer any I believe I have made clear to you and to others on the staff, that I am totally without any personal funds no savings, no bonds and nothing much that a pawnbroker would have. It has therefore been almost impossible for me to work to the best advantage without regular and prompt payments of expenses. I have been repeatedly embarrassed by long delays in payment of rent and telephone bills. Office had finally brought Tay lor to the breaking point. 87 the toughest assignment of all, covering the enormous area in the South. important to set the record straight regarding Taylo I must confess that it has been our impression from time to time that you considered our financial difficulties as applying only to yourself. I have been at work in the liberal movement for seven years, and finances have always been the biggest headache. hen we originally discussed this job, you were 86 Adele R. Schweid to Tay lor, March 12, 1948 reel 50, n o. 290 ADA Papers 87 Taylor to Loeb, March 21, 1948 reel 52, n o. 304 ADA Papers

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86 quite convinced that some considerable funds could be raised in certain states of the South. During this year, our receipts from our Southern Chapters have amounted only to minimum membership requirements [$1.00 per member per year] and nothing more. 88 As to the possibility of finding a successor to Taylor, Loeb was of the opinion tha t hiring a new southern organizer would not be prudent in 1948 because of the possibility that President Truman would win the Democratic presidential nomination. ADA was hoping to organize a movement to draft NATO commander Dwight D. Eisenhower or Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas at the Democratic convention that summer. However, if Truman fended off those our staff and then find in three months that we coul d not go on. 89 On April 22, 1948, and denied he was but he also saw a n opportunity to [get] Taylor chided the Washington staff for failing to ke ep him abreast of the unexpected problems they were having with raising money, expe nditures the national office was reimbursing him for expenses and petty cash outflow in a timely fashion. In short, Taylor thought that he was not D espite his d issatisfaction with how matters were ending with ADA, he wrote, kno organized labor and public relations. 88 Loeb to Taylor, April 19, 1948 reel 52, no. 304, ADA Papers 89 Loeb to Taylor, April 19, 1948 reel 52, no. 304, ADA Papers

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87 He would do so with the United Auto Workers, working as a top public r elations lieutenant for UAW president Walter Reuther. 90 Loeb said that he ha fine work Barney has done for ADA throughout the South. work would continue. He wrote to assure [the chapters] that while waiting to name his su ccessor, the National Office will do everything to preserve and develop an effective movement. We shall give direct supervision and service to the established chapters and organizing committees as well as undertake the setting up of new groups in as many Southern communities as possible. things would go on as they had while Taylor had been in Memphis. He did not tell them that ADA leaders had no intention of naming a new southern organizer until after the 1948 general election, if at all. 91 had ever drafted a comprehensive, coherent plan for what Taylor was supposed to accomplish in the South, beyond the c in the national office considered how local issues would affect recruitment, counting on Taylor and local liberals to be their eyes and ears on these matters. The approach made some sense, 90 Taylor to L oeb, April 22, 1948 reel 52, no. 304, ADA Papers 91 Loeb to southern ADA chapters, April 24, 1948 reel 42, n o. 162 ADA Papers

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88 on the energies of individuals on the ground in those cities where chapters had formed. Because fruitful ground for fund raising and membership. This allowed the chapter to campaign against segregationist practices, host panel discussions on hot button issues like the role of the $1,000 to the chapter), and become a small thorn in the side of the already embattled Boss Crump. 92 H owever, Memphis was the only chapter that could point to any significant presen ce at their meetings. One thing they did accomplish was adding to the Washington speakers that would drum up interest in local liberal activity. The problem was that local leaders However, the most important problem Taylor faced when attempting to organize liberals in the South was money. When the southern project began in May 1947, ADA budgeted thousands an organization that had several field organizers already in place, an office in Washington with numerous salaried employees, and a total annual budget of less than $200,000. 93 This budget 92 Minutes of Memphis ADA Executive Committee meetings, Decembe r 15, 1947 and January 13, 1948, r eel 50, n o. 289 ADA Papers 93 Clifton Brock, Americans for Democratic Action: Its Role in National Politics ( Washington 1962) 67.

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89 operations had to be rethought. The problems ADA experienced nationally during its first mont hs were especially acute in financial troubles combined with bureaucratic snafus, Taylor began to express frustration at Washington for failing to support his effort s, which led to resentment on both sides because Loeb, Tucker and others thought Taylor did not understand their problems. The ad hoc nature of term organizational plans doomed their chances at effective action in the South, a place where long term planning was crucial. The planned, more thought would be put into where to organize and how organization would be attempted. However, the question of whether the South would accept ADA liberalism had yet to be answered definitively in the late 1940s.

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90 CHAPTER 4 JOHN T HOMASON, THE ATLANTA C ONFERENCE OF F EBRUARY 1949, AND A R EASSESSMENT OF FUTURE IN THE S OUTH In the wake of the startling Democratic victory in the 1948 elections, ADA leaders renewed their efforts to create a viable presence in the South. Encouraged by the election of to carry seven southern states despite the challenge of the insurgent Dixiecrats, they organized a conference to meet in Atlanta in February 1949. There southern liberals reviewed the prospects and challenges for ADA in a South undergoing rapid political and economic transformation. Those attending the conference, which resulted in a new ADA funded effort to build local organizations in several southern states, discussed at length such topics as the role of race and civil rights, the condescending attitud es toward the South held by northern liberals, and the distinctive problems facing liberals in the various southern states. Indeed, the frank and free ranging discussions brought forth a number of difficulties facing a southern liberal initiative. Probabl y the most contentious issue related to race relations, with Others outlined the distinctive dilemmas of the various southern states, the problematic relations b etween organized labor and other activists, and the need to reassure even liberal southerners of crippling for the liberal organization, the Atlanta conferen ce did result in the appointment of a new southern organizer and a renewed commitment, one everyone hoped would benefit from presence in the heart of Dixie. In that sens forced ADA to reassess its efforts in the South. This was particularly true considering the

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91 importance of the South on the national stage in this presidential election year. ADA liberals had been convinced that Harry Truman, who had not yet been elected president in his own right, had little to no chance of winning in 1948. Former Vice President Henry Wallace, at the head of the Progressive ticket, seemed certain to take vo tes away from the Democrats in the fall, weakening Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July spoiling for a fight. James Loeb, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and others campaigned to remove Truman from the ticket entirely and supported either NATO Commander Dwight Eisenhower or Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas in his place. When those campaigns failed to rouse any significant support, ADA activists tur ned their attention to the Democratic platform, determined to force the Democrats to adopt liberal positions. 1 Taylor was not part of the ADA team in Philadelphia, having left the organization for a job with the United Auto Workers in Detroit. His stint in Memphis, however, did have an important long term impact on ADA. Over a period of eighteen months, its leaders had tried to accommodate themselves to the peculiarities of the South and work within the system. The end result of this effort wa s disappoi nting at best, and liberal s were now convinced that if real political change was going to come to the South, they had to confront the system. In July 1948, the confrontation came over a proposed amendment to the Democratic platform plank on civil rights. President Truman and his allies had written the plank as an innocuous call for legislation on any consideration of race, religion, color or national ori the Democratic platform for decades, and pro civil rights Democrats had not added stronger 1 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., A Life in the 20 th Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917 1950 (Boston, 2000), 458 459, 462.

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92 language because of the influence of the southern caucus within the party. These southerners did not want the Democrats to com mit to specific legislation in their platform, and the threat of a walkout by southern Democrats had hung over previous party gatherings. 2 ADA functionaries, on the other hand, wanted to call the bluff that southerners had been playing for years. President Truman himself, writing in his diary during the convention, believed that 3 and they also wanted to expose the two faced nature of politicians who wanted to remain in good standing with the party during election cycles while denouncing most of what the party stood for at all other times. The best way to do that was to change the platform on which the Democratic candidate would be forced to stand, most notably on civil rights. Thus, ADA and CIO leaders worked to craft an alternative plank. Their final product also denounced discrimination in general terms, but it differed dramati cally in that it offered concrete proposals to be submitted to the next Congress. The liberal alternative called for anti lynching legislation, an end to segregation in the armed forces, and the creation of a permanent fair employment practices commission based on the wartime Federal Employment Practices Commission (FEPC). 4 year, and Truman had endorsed them in the State of the Union message at the beginning of 1948 meaning that liberals believed their modifications could succeed. 2 Steve n M. Gillon, Politics and V ision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947 1985 (New York, 1987), 48. 3 Gillon, Politics and Vision 49. 4 Gillon, Politics and Vision 48; Kari Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932 1968 (Chapel Hill, 2001) 129.

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93 When the Democratic platform committee rejected the liberal draft, liberal delegates were happy to make its case before the full convention and a national radio and television audience on July 14. They had wanted to force a dramatic showdown on the issue. Former Wisconsin congressman (and ADA National Board member) Andrew Biemiller placed the plank before the convention. The most dramatic moment, however, came when Minneapolis mayor and Minnesota Senate candidate Hubert H. Humphrey, an ADA member, implored the convention to two years too rights for all citizens. 5 This was an open challenge to southern Democrats who had been threatening to walk out of any convention that adopted such a platform, and liberals had thrown down the gauntlet. The challenge became even m ore apparent when the convention adopted the ADA supporte d civil rights into the platform. The southern Democrats reacted angrily to this defeat, though many de legates did not follow through on their threat to publicly bolt from the convention. Alabama and Mississippi led the way for those delegates who did walk out of the convention, following not supporting Truman if he was re nominated and not supporting the civil rights plank as written. Other southerners were extremely unhap py with the 1948 convention, but they did not walk out, choosing instead to support Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell as a protest presidential candidate and casting 263 votes for him. The public relations effect of the 5 Fred erickson The Dixiecrat Revolt 129.

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94 conven tion as a whole was all that liberals could have hoped for. Press reports stressed their one observer) who had looked like children who had taken their ball and gone home when they did not get their way. 6 In the aftermath of the 1948 convention, the Truman Democrats and their liberal allies, including ADA, essentially wrote off the South in terms of campaigning and fund raising. In uston for their own convention, nominating South Carolina governor Strom Thurmond and Mississippi governor Fielding Wright as their presidential ticket. This presented obvious problems to a Democratic party that had presidential elections, but Truman and the loyal dissidents would be unable to break those bonds in most of the southern states. In the end, Dixiecrats were un able to supplant Truman on the ballot in many states, despite their best efforts. 7 votes, however, the Democrats thought they had a chance to win the election anyway. Their growing strength in large metropolitan areas and among black voters outside the South, who reacted favorably to the new civil rights plank, would more than counter expected southern white defections. 8 ADA was not an official arm of the Democratic P 6 Frederickson The Dixiecrat Revolt 130 131. 7 Frederickson The Dixiecrat Revolt 147 186. 8 Frederickson The Dixiecrat Revolt 130 131.

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95 They were already receiving sign al s that indicated their actions in Philadelphia were not playing well in many parts of the region. Forrest F. Reed, the owner of the Tennessee Book Company in Nashville, was one such angry southerner. He claimed to be a supporter of civil rights, but he thought ADA had gone about forcing changes in the wrong way. As he put it, rights for e very citizen of America regardless of race or creed, and that includes the right to vote, but I do not believe in unconstitutional and dictatorial methods of guaranteeing those rights. It is historically clear that mistaken laws do more harm than good. he race problem in America has not yet approached solution for the simple reason that for more than one hundred years the wrong methods have been used to solve it. d declared, they should work to repeal the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution, which expressly granted states certain rights. 9 Of course, more southerners were angry with ADA because of the way in which they had committed the Democrats to specific civil rights proposals in the platform. Nevertheless, ADA had cast its lot with Truman and the Democrats, and its leaders saw the 1948 campaign as an opportunity to force voters to make real choices. A policy statement from the Democratic Pa objectives. 10 9 Forrest F. Reed to ADA, August 4, 1948 reel 49, n o. 250 A mericans for Demo cratic Action Papers, University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville microfilm collection (hereafter cited as ADA Papers) 10 reel 45, n o. 188 ADA Papers

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96 rights and other important liberal issues, then they would be left behind. The pra ctical uncompromising rhetoric on display here. Even so, ADA leaders did not abandon all efforts to start chapters in the South during 1948. For his part, Jim Loeb wanted to encourage small groups of liberals to organize whenever possible, and he even took time out of the fall campaign season to take a short trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, where several local people had expressed an interest in forming a chapter. Ten peopl have a full and free discussion of all of our common problems in terms of the possibility of an ADA in Charlotte. 11 Loeb, in essence, was doing the job Taylor had been doing while in Memphis, traveling to promi sing locations and encouraging committed liberals to join ADA. hours meeting with William Smith, the CIO Regio nal Director based in Charlotte who had been his primary contact, was significant because it concerned John Thomason. Thomason had come to the meeting from Greensboro, where he had been working with the World Federalist movement to reform the United Natio ns and make the UN the basis for a single world government. Thomason expressed an interest in working for ADA during the meeting, but his commitment to world federalism seemed much too What concerned me was the rather tends to show a kind of inflexibility which might be a severe handicap in organizational work for 11 James A. Loeb to Rev John H Morgan, October 1, 1948, r eel 42, n o. 162 ADA Papers

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97 ADA. 12 In a subsequent letter, Loeb said as mu here are a good many people in ADA, I suspect, who accept your viewpoint on world government and on international affairs generally. 13 e South seemed to be of minor importance in light of the upcoming election. The fate of the Dixiecrats had been sealed long before Election Day, since they had been unable to get their candidates on the ballots in many southern states as replacements for the regular Democratic ticket. Their victories in four states (South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, and Louisiana) took 39 electoral votes away from the Democrats, but Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, and several others voted for Truman. Their support helpe d put Truman over the top in the electoral count with 303 votes compared with 189 for Thomas Dewey, the Republican governor of New York whom most observers had expected to win. The Truman upset in 1948 pleased most liberals, even those who had wanted him o ff the Democratic ticket just a few months earlier. Indeed, there were signs that the liberal trend was not confined to north of the Mason Dixon Line. In Arkansas, World War II veteran Sidney McMath, returning from the Pacific theater committed to libera l political reform, capped his rise to prominence with a narrow victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary (which guaranteed victory in the general election at this time). W. Kerr Scott, a former dairy farmer and the North Carolina Commissioner of Ag 12 Loeb to William Smith, October 25, 1948, reel 42, n o. 162 ADA Papers 13 Loeb to John Thomason, October 25, 1948, reel 42, n o. 162 ADA Papers

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98 Chattanoo term congressman who had supported the Tennessee Valley Authority and repeal of state poll taxes that prevented most blacks (and many poor whites) from voting, won election to the U.S. Senate. His win defied the machinations of Democratic Party since the early 1930s. None of these men were completely satisfactory to ADA, but their victories were significant steps toward liberal reform in the S outh. 14 Hard work would be needed, however, to translate this apparent surge in liberal sentiment and translate it into organizational achievements for ADA. In December 1948, the ADA position in these formerly one party states, the whole politica l situation is chaotic at the moment. It is precisely at this point that the liberal labor coalition can and should make itself felt. 15 ADA liberals, most of whom were based in the Northeast and around Washington, knew that they ran the risk of being too the South represents a special problem which the members of the subcommiss ion feel incompetent to discuss[,] w e urge the national office to appoint a special subcommission to consider political policy in the South. 16 While the national Executive Committee did not act on that proposal at their December 1948 meeting, the committee did endorse a second wave of organization and activism a systematic attempt to organize chapters in the South, both in cities and, where possible, in rural areas the addition of new Southern members to the National 14 Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt 49, 155 ; John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South (Chapel Hill, 1995), 511 512. 15 Year Plan: November 1948 er 30, 1948 reel 33, n o. 63 ADA Papers 16 Minutes for meeting of Subcommission on Political Policy, November 7, 1948 reel 33, no. 63, ADA Papers

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99 Board of ADA. Finally, the subcommittee decided that DA should [call] a conference of Southern liberals to consider the immediate prospects of liberals there and the special problems which confront them in connection with the civil rights program. 17 If national officials needed any further convincing that southern liberals wanted ADA to play a role in the South, some new voices began to provide it. William Billingsley, who was the results of the election last month seem to me to mak e it clearer than ever that a great deal of intensive work by labor and liberal forces must be concentrated in this region if we hope to re mold the Democratic e the National ADA is going to have to subsidize the South for several years. It would appear to me that there should be several ADA representatives in this region. Billingsley added that these should not have to be 18 Support also came from Dr. Frank Porter Graham, president of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who telegrammed ADA National Direc consideration of the South for your new fund allocation 1948. 19 the S I wish the 17 Papers 18 William Billingsley to Loeb, December 1, 1948 reel 42, n o. 162 ADA Papers 19 Frank Porter Graham telegram to Leon Henderson, December 9, 19 48, reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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100 ADA had the kind of finances your letter suggests. You indicate that there should be several representatives of ADA in the South alone. Unfortunately, we do not hav e the finances of the suggest, if you could figure out how to finance it. 20 At the moment, Loeb declared, the more e South, and that meant acting on the Executive Committee recommendation for convening a regional conference to explore that role. Loeb enlisted John Thomason to organize the conference, to be held in Atlanta on February 19 20, 1949, and enlist prominent s outhern liberals to participate. In the end, this project. He negotiated a fee of one hundred and fifty dollars per week with the national office plus expenses, a nd he began to compile a list of southerners with whom he wished to talk. His initial list included journalists, politicians, lawyers, businessmen, clergymen and labor leaders, with names like Ralph McGill, Douglas Southall Freeman, Estes Kefauver, Florid a Governor Fuller Warren, and even incoming Vice President Alben Barkley scattered throughout. 21 It was obvious at this juncture that Thomason was aiming high in his effort to solicit opinions about the viability of southern liberalism. Loeb was also clear about the purposes of the conference, especially when he thought I want to be completely institutional, and I would th He did not want to conference to turn into a meeting where the participants discussed politics 20 Loeb to Billingsley, December 7, 1948 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 21 Thomason to Loeb, December 16, 1948 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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101 This conference is being called on the p remise that the ADA has a role in the South. The purpose of the conference is to decide what that role is. [and] it is our general concept that the ADA can, and should, be the agency in which, and through which, the good, solid non Communist liberal s find means of communicating with each other and working out their common strategy. 22 That common strategy would also have to take into account a vital question Thomason asked Loeb about the proposed conference. He wanted to know whether the national off ice include Negroes in the conference and, if so, [as] what percentage of the total? 23 In asking the question, Thomason acknowledged the thorny nature of the entire enterprise and returned to a question that had dogged Taylor throughout his ten reflected his own uneasiness with the matter, not out of any personal animosity toward black On the one hand, we do not want, nor can we afford, a Jim Crow ADA in the South. On the other hand, it is of no advantage to our Negro friends to build an organization which will work exclusively on race relations and which will therefore accomplish little, either for the South generally or for Southern Negroes. Loeb was thinking specifically of the example of t he Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW), founded in 1938 as an integrationist (and fully integrated) liberal organization that had run into trouble in recent years because of its suspected ties t if all of you consider it feasible, one or two of the more knowledgeable and realistic Negro leaders should definitely be invited thrash ] out th e 22 Loeb to Thomason, December 18, 1948 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 23 Thomason to Loeb, December 16, 1948 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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102 problem Remember that this is an off the reco rd meeting with no publicity purposes at all. 24 National leaders would defer to locals for their opinion on how closely they would want to be associated with black churchmen or newspaper editors, several of whom were included on Loeb also had some misgivings about the viability of some of the individuals Thomason might want to stay away from ADA whether Ralph McGill would touch ADA with a 10 foot pol He thought it would be a terrible idea to invite Florida Senator Claude Pepper because of his friendly on e tend to discourage ADA organization in the South. After all, Sparkman is the national spokesman for the anti civil rights people. the record conference with the Vice Presi dent of the United States in Atlanta. 25 It is obvious that Thomason wanted to hold a conference that, though off the record, would attract some political star power to Atlanta, while Loeb wanted to focus on building the organization through contacts that had already been established. but they were all committed to ADA. Instead of the two senators from Alabama, for instance, Loeb suggested inviting John and Frances Schult er of Birmingham. Frances had tried unsuccessfully to start a chapter there, and John had numerous labor contacts deriving from his work with the local CIO. Writer Lillian Smith would add some star power as a potential invitee 24 Loeb to T homason, December 18, 1948, reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 25 L oeb to T homason, December 18, 1948, reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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103 from Georgia, but Loeb also recommended Kenneth Douty of the Textile Workers (CIO) and newspaper editor and author Hodding Carter, Loeb wanted Charles G. Hamilton, who was chairman of the Young D about as powerful as the Mississippi ADA which in turn is non candidate. 26 These men and women were not nearly as famous as the people Thomason suggested, but th tour of the South that included visits with prominent elected officials, journalists, and several long stan he convention prospects in Atlanta look good If the interest continues all over the South at the high level I have so far found it, I have no fears on the success of the meeting and the prospects for a good fol low up throughout the Southern states. ractically every one I have talked to agrees that several Negroes should be invited and that their support will be valuable. It is pretty generally recognized now in most Sou thern states that Negro support politically is no longer the kiss of death. 27 the positive results of the recent elections, in which southern whites had rejected what liberals considered to b e the poisonous racial politics of the Dixiecrats and stayed loyal to a Democratic in to take control of its own social refo 26 Loeb to T homason, December 18, 1948, reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 27 Thom ason to Loeb, December 22, 1948, reel 51, n o. 301 ADA Papers

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104 men like Thomason wanted to be at the head of the fight against the conservatives who still politically controlled most southern states. 28 compromise, at least according to Thomason, and he wanted part of the Atlanta meeting to be devoted to working out a package of reforms that ADA leaders could present to politicians. These reforms would include repealing poll taxes and providing stronger protections against lynching while eschewing mention of the creation of a permanent FEPC or a movement to end segregation in public accommodations or education. Loeb was uneasy about the idea of the southerners creating their own platform, since he did not want the southerne positions contradict the national office. 29 Nevertheless, it was an encouraging sign that matters of political policy were taking center unsuccessful was that he had devoted nearly all of his energy to organi zational and bureaucratic minutia. He spent comparatively little time on substantive matters. His decision to do so was understandable, particularly in light of the need to attract new members who might have fled an overly doctrinaire organization. On t and a comprehensive approach to political matters and policy proposals. 1949 tempered his optimism about the prosp ects for the Atlanta conference. He made a 28 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 513. 29 Loeb to T homason, December 29, 1948, reel 51, n o. 301 ADA Papers

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105 systematic analysis of the realistic prospects for existing and future chapters in the region, on the basis of the assessments long time ADA members gave him. For example, he reported that has the best of intentions but is too much dominated by labor leaders. These persons have statewide interests, which will be helpful to our conference, but cuts its effectiveness in the Fulton County area. defeated by their estimate of the in part because they wanted to emphasize civil rights to the detriment of the rest of the liberal agenda. He could not even arrange a meeting with his contacts in Memphis, despite having spent days putting together an itinerary that would a llow such a meeting. Thomason y conclusions after this trip are the task before us is much bigger than even the most pessimistic had imagined. He also rejected the notion one man for the South aided only by voluntary supporters could undertake the task, noting that oney is naturally the princi pal problem and I must confess that there is little hope that the South can provide enough to do the job. 30 Despite the pessimism with which Thomason now regarded organizing southern liberals, plans for the Atlanta conference went forward. Loeb drafted t he formal letters inviting important southern politicians, educators, labor leaders, and private citizens to the February meeting. In it, he pointed to the success liberals had enjoyed in the November elections and reiterated that this success presented a unique opportunity to liberals in upcoming legislative Americans for Democratic Action which, as you know, has become an effective focal point for non Communist liberal activity nationally can be the agency in which, 30 Thomason to Loeb, January 12, 1949 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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106 and through whi ch, liberals in the South can communicate with each other, and work out common plans for action. informed them that a maximum of thirty people would be at the meeting. He also noted that ince ADA has no desire to exploit the meeting in publicity, no press releases will be issued before or after the conference. 31 He knew that a large meeting would attract attention, and he wanted to reassure people who did not want public association wit their participation would not be a matter for public discussion. Despite these repeated assurances, many southern liberals avoided the Atlanta conference. Most respondents who declined invitations did so because of financia l constraints or prior engagements, but these excuses may have been hiding other political or social considerations. labor, and health care, were skittish about coo perating with ADA, even in the most indirect way. This reluctance was partly due to the general southern unwillingness to acknowledge northern criticism of their society and economic structure. Even committed liberals such as Frank Graham and Dorothy Til ly of the Southern Regional Council, the two southern members of the To Secure These Rights the report the group submit ted to Truman in October 1947. Virginius Dabney, editor of the Richmond (VA) Times Dispatch and elusionary and self 32 31 Loeb to W. Harold Flowers et al., January 25, 1949 r eel 57, n o. 4 ADA Papers 32 Morton J. Sosna, In Search of the Silent South: Southern Liberals and the Race Issue (New York, 1977), 150 160 (quote on 158).

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107 These criticisms struck a chord among many southern moderates and liberals. However, another factor was at work with regard to the timing of the Atlanta conference and the organization that hosted it. Though none of the n egative responses to the invitation mentioned their decisions as well. ADA had taken a very public lead in the fight to commit the Democrats to a stronger position on civil rights and southern reform, and they now wanted to take that fight into the South itself, even though their initial steps were tentative and low key. ADA and its leaders, particularly Senator Humphrey, had taken a great deal of heat from southern po liticians and journalists for their actions in Philadelphia. Many liberals who might have been inclined to join the Atlanta meeting declined with their reputations in mind. At a moment when being labeled as an ADA liberal was a potential political liabil ity, even the most informal meeting could have severe negative consequences for participants. Despite the logistical and political problems the Atlanta conference posed, a strong list of participants eventually emerged. Skittishness about being associated with ADA did not prevent Frank Graham or Dorothy Tilly from being present, and Hodding Carter came from Greenville, Mississippi along with his wife Betty, his partner in running the Delta Democrat Times Several residents of Atlanta attended, as did repr esentatives from chapters in New Orleans and Chattanooga, Moss Plunkett from Virginia, and Charles Hamilton from Mississippi. The delegates represented eight of the eleven states mentioned as possible targets for ADA growth. erator and as the main voice for the national organization. 33 The conference also included Thomason, who had announced that he would be leaving his post with ADA after the conference ended. He had accepted a publishing job in northern 33 20, 1949 p. 1, r eel 61, n o. 33 ADA Papers

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108 Virginia two weeks be fore the meeting. He lamented the fact that he would be leaving what he the most challenging opportunity I have ever known in every way possible with the national D.C. chapter offices to further Harry F. Byrd. He also told Loeb that he would be kee ping an eye out for potential successors. 34 Despite the fact that Thomason would be leaving ADA in February, his final correspondence with Loeb continued to think the problems ADA would face in the South. In his were] many opportunities to contribute to an acknowledge the force of ingrained social habits. the special pleader for any par ticula existed for that purpose. What it could do in the evolving political environment of the late 1940s fill the aching need for a spokesman for the not inconsiderable group of people who oppose th e ownership of the Democratic Party by traditional rulers. court rulings, [and] appeals to reason and education llace and the Southern Conference typically used in pursuit of liberal reform. 35 Thomason thought that there was another aspect of the political situation in the South that needed to be addressed, both at the Atlanta conference and in subsequent campaigns. He questioned whether Southern representatives misrepresent or truly reflect the desires of their 34 Thomason to Loeb, February 6, 1949 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 35 Th omason to Loeb, February 6, 1949 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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109 constituents. If they are misrepresentatives, the job will be much simpler (certainly such a tag should be placed upon them). If our national representativ es are gauges of our wishes, education remains the sole method of replacing them. 36 most reactionary politicians had begun their careers portraying themselves to the voters as ious as Strom Thurmond had begun his political life as a integration. 37 in South Carolina, or Eugene Talmadge in Georgia, if they had presented a false face to the voters. Thomason was a lifelong southerner himself and even he could not be sure of the true political leanings of most southerners. There was also the matter of where the working c Thomason criticized mainstream black organizations (though not by name), saying that they infamously reactionary except on the race question. olitical freedom for Negroes could res u he primary objective of a labor group is to organize workers. There is no requirement that the workers be liberal. A real danger is that a str ong, reactionary labor movement will develop in the South. 38 Conservative unionists had seized upon the issue of Communism in CIO locals to draw strength away from their left wing counterparts. At its 1949 convention, the CIO countered the conservative b acklash by expelling more than one million workers who belonged to Communist backed locals. The South was 36 Thomason to Loeb, February 6, 1949 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers 37 Frederickson, The Dixiecrat Revolt 50 52. 38 Tho mason to Loeb, February 6, 1949, r eel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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110 becoming a significant battleground for the labor movement after the war, as thousands of jobs in textiles and heavy industry were moving south, in p art because the business climate was largely anti union. 39 Thomason hoped that unions would attract liberal members, but there was no guarantee that workers who joined ADA Thomason wanted to make sure Loeb understood that. going to have to overcome to organize the region. He thought characterizations of the South as here is some justifi cation for this united front against he South has been the colonial province of Eastern banking and industrial interests for a long time. defensiveness on political matte They are made to appear narrow and partisan because they point out that there is just as much race hatred in New York, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Los Angeles as can be found in the South. They see growing tens ions in the North whil [sic] the problem in the South has been steadily declining. 40 Indeed, try immediately placed the southern liberal in a defensive posture. This was nothing new to the social and political history of the United States. While southerners claimed to a distinctive regional identity in contrast to northerners, northerners have o 39 Numan V. Bar tley, A History of the South, Volume XI: The New South, 1945 1980 (Baton Rouge, 1995), 58 60. 40 Thomason to Loeb, February 6, 1949 reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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111 their identity in contrast with the South. 41 tries to push it toward a more liberal posture, exemplified this recurrent theme. Given the problem s southern liberals faced, the question remained: what should they advocate, and how should they go about getting what they wanted? Thomason argued that while he South needs federal aid in the areas of health, education, [and] housing [,] it would be mor e healthy to make it possible for the South to take a fairer share of the load. wanted the Atlanta conference to advocate expanding social security benefits, repeal or reform of the anti labor Taft Hartley Act, raising the federal minimu m wage, national health insurance, and legislation against lynching and the poll tax. As for how to achieve these goals, Thomason in relations between North a nd South. He wanted the Atlanta meeting to present a united front on the issues that mattered to those attending, showing that southern liberals truly wanted these things and that they advocated these policies without northern pressure or influence. He k new all programs they oppose as projects of Northern with the effort anyway because liberal ideas were worth th e fight. 42 It was in this atmosphere of cautious hope that the ADA and its southern allies gathered in Atlanta on Saturday morning, February 19, 1949, to discuss the possible future of their organization in the South. Interestingly, one of the first decisi ons taken that morning was to brief statement for release to the wire services, the two Atlanta newspapers, and John Popham of 41 James C. Cobb, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity (New York, 2005), 7. 42 Tho maso n to Loeb, February 6, 1949, reel 59, n o. 18 ADA Papers

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112 the Chattanooga Times who had requested the statement in the first place. Loeb was the first to he wants to know what southern liberals are thinking and doing, particularly in view of the change in the South since the last election. purpose, as well as to put southerners who might otherwise have been isolated in contact with information and support that would help them in their struggles. 43 The next to speak was Frank Graham, who declared that the conference would be a I think it is good for us once in a while to g et together to just sit down and talk possible in the near tion of state minimum wages that would exceed the federal wage, and continued implementation of the Truman Doctrine and Marshall Plan. The issue of education was of particular importance to this university president, especially since the United States cou ld no longer rely on recruiting intellectuals from European institutions; most of whom f we could unite North and South, East and West this could be a great Congress. Or else it can bog down because of extremists on both sides 44 Graham thought any national liberal program might founder over the civil rights issue, endorsement, however qualified, o 43 44 2 3.

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113 every meeting of southerners should just let that matter take over, when there are other things that are important. rights obody knows what T platform. Above all, he did not want too much attention, financial and political, to go to black southerners at the expense of the problems white southerners faced. Graham believed that liberal pressure against segregation could not proceed until liberals were able to implement broader economic and social refor advocated during his time with SCHW. 45 He wanted ADA to keep these considerations in mind he thing that appeals to me about ADA is that it do iples, but it is also willing [to] fight for things that are possible 46 a permanent FEPC by the 81 st Congress. Loeb thought it would be tough to get FEPC through in 1949, and he dissuaded the participants from making it their top organizational and political priority, since most of the votes for FEPC would come from outside the South regardless of how hard they worked to earn votes from southern congressmen. The conferees believed that most civil rights measures, especially FEPC, would provoke an almost uniformly negative reaction in the southern political class. Chattanoog ur problem is not one of finding compromises and substitute measures [on race] but a problem of keeping ADA from being solely a civil rights organization omise Smith 45 Bartley, The New South 64 65. 46 3 4.

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114 As far as ADA nationally is concerned, it continues its own program on civil rights. As far as any program in the South is concerned, strategy and tactics would be taken into account by local groups. 47 Loeb was serious in his commit ment to an understanding of the peculiar problems southern liberals faced on several fronts, and his willingness to allow southern members to go their own way on civil rights was one example of this commitment. On Sunday, South Carolina county court judge Richard Foster an SRC member, asked another important, narrower civil rights question. He wanted to know whether or not southern ADA chapters should hold meetings and receptions that were fully integrated. The minutes everal persons said they had found it best not to make an issue of Negro Martha Raglan d of Chattanooga offered a compromise on black membership, saying that e principle of non 48 The willingness of the participants to at least temporarily accept this type of solu tion shows how distasteful the whole question was for so many of them. No one had the stomach to tackle the question in any depth. Loeb also wanted to discuss the constraints under which ADA was working and how that would affect the South. He reiterated expect organizers who would concentrate on single states. At best, southerners could expect one full t Memphis. 47 5 6. 48 26.

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115 there was no way around the money issue. There was also the matter of attracting speakers who could (a) draw large crowds to ADA events and (b) not alienate a significant percentage of potential ADA members. This was one of the reasons Loeb had vetoed the idea of bringing Hubert Humphrey to the conference. Humphrey close association with the civil rights issue meant that any ADA event he headlined would be controversial f rom the start, and ADA would bringing in Illinois Senator Paul Douglas, Con necticut Governor Chester Bowles, and others, 49 There was also the question of how many new members chapters should be looking to attract. Stanton Smith asked Loeb about this, and Loeb cautioned that is not a mass merely gear up for certain candidates or campaigns. Ch apters would instead focus on issues, and ] constantly in mind the question of the structure and control of the political parties. it is better to start as a small group and then, if we find we can become a larger gro up, we can do that. 50 49 26. ran in both directions. While worrying about whether southerners would listen to what someone like Douglas or Bow les had to say, he wondered whether these speakers would agree to go south without some assurance that their speeches would be well attended, thus making it worth their while. 50

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116 dominating ion that they wanted ADA to the yeast or the conscience of a community or an entire state. Stanton Smith di d not think this description went far enough, and he did not see how ADA was going to function effectively without either casting its lot with a political ou have to remember that the labor gr oups are going to retain their own separate going to have a tough time overcoming that separateness without a clear plan of its own. 51 However, attorney Jim Hart of Roanoke, Virginia cautioned that ADA faced an even more basic problem He said, ADA sent to the South would ha ve to introduce the va rious liberal elements in a given community to each other Therfore, Hart wanted representatives making up an over all coordinating group with some representatives from Raleigh (NC) News and Observer agreed, adding that it is terribly important to have that state set up. It would give encouragement to the local groups, particularly in the South where your cities are small and your p eople are scattered. get a certain amount of confidence behind their ideas. 52 51 27. 52 28.

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117 There was the question, however, of just how much encourageme raised the question of whether a local independent organization is better than a local division of a national organization. the former was better in a place like South Carolina, explaining that liberals in the state had formed a Democratic Voters League that used ADA literature. This allowed South Carolina not identify itself with ADA because it was not expedient for them to come out for FEPC her words, liberals could express their support for most of the points on the liberal agenda, including public housing, increased spending on education, and the Marshall Plan, while tically. 53 The Atlanta conference came to no definitive conclusions on any of these issues, primarily because the majority of the time allotted to the conference was devoted to what Loeb called the ical realities of the situation in each southern sta te. Loeb wanted the delegates to discuss th in the one party South. Loeb decided to tackle these questions on a state by state basis, recognizing that a consideration of local con dition s w as vital The first state to be considered was Tenn over or both the Kefauver campaign and the Democratic Party overa ll, lauded this but 54 The real issue in Tennessee she insisted, was dissatisfaction w ith Crump, particularly in his home base of 53 54 7.

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118 Memphis. Kefauver benefited from the fact that he had faced two opponents in the Democratic finished third in a humiliating repudiation of the machine). 55 Indeed, d espite the anti machine vi ctories the previous year, Ragland was not at all optimistic about liberalism in the short term. Cru mp was giving no indication of fad ing away to educat e the public about t seems to me we should emphasize as much as we can the point that we are implementing the platform of the [D] emocratic party. ionate defense of liberalism during the campaign, noting that Kefauver emphasized world peace and TVA. He was for federal aid to education, [and] anti poll tax. it politically possible for him to continue to be as good, as senator, as he has been a congressman. 56 Virginia attorney Moss Plunkett was next with a discussion of his home state. The Old has a national reputat t is the most con away from the Byrd machine. Nevertheless, there were practical pr oblems to keep in mind. opposition to Byrd in the state was scatt ered and ineffective, which hurt liberals and labor t is a thousand times harder to be elected to an office at the local level than to the U.S. 55 For a breakdown of the 1948 Tennessee Democratic primary, see William D. Miller, Mr. Crump of Memphis (Baton Rouge, 1964), 32 2 333. 56 Taylor, 10.

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119 Senate. Any program we have must start at the local level 57 Moreover, there was also little chance of help for liberals through the media, since most newspapers and radio stations sided with the machine. As with Tennessee, the climb for liberals in Virginia would be tough. Mississippi presented its own peculiar problems. Rev. Charles G. Hamilton spoke for his ticket and received 80,000 votes. Despite his relatively strong showing, Hamilton was not We are the poorest state in the union. As a result, we depend for everything from the outside. We have to depend on outside money for elections. The corporations, of course, are the only donators of outside money. e need for the public to learn about the corporation backing of Dixiecrats. We need it in magazines, in newspapers. We need a book on it. ew Orleans businesses as large contributors to the Dixiecrats. Hamilton thought this activity would be relatively easy to publicize and would play into the natural resentment Mississippians had get someone on th e problem of starting to educate Negroes in voting. If 20,000 or 30,000 voted in the next election, blacks would become a potential swing vote in the next campaign cycle, and liberals needed to make sure they voted for liberals. He was already sure that the next generation of Mississippi Democrats would be better liberal on all of the issues we have raised today. ne tenth [of white Mississippians] would be in fav or of abolishing segregation. 58 57 Taylor, 12. 58 Taylor, 14.

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120 [a] 9 month state Union of Americ a (TWUA) local in Greensboro, lauded the political power labor had wielded in the election, especially as it the unions had helped Scott win in November. Billingsley also he Progressive party had counted on a lot of support from the Negro community but did not get it. the innate good sense of the Negroes that had formed in Greensboro, Chapel Hill, and Durham. 59 highlighted the importance of the state by state approach ADA wanted to follow in this meeting. 60 Liberalism had dimmer prospects in Georgia than in Tennessee or North Carolina, he said. The election of Herman Talmadge as governor in 1948 only highlighted the problems 59 Taylor, 16. 60 y Tilly, also highlighted an the Council had come to embrace the not ion that change in southern race relations would that conclusion. Ro C at the conference of Florida, Gainesville, October 23 26, 2003 (in

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121 liberals faced. 61 Mitchell reiterated that the most important pr county unit apportionment system, which allowed conservative rural areas to exert power far n the city of Atlanta a vote counts about 1/200 as much as it does in some of the rural counties the big obst campaigns. 62 chances in he liberal forces are split. If the labor groups could have some sort of effective working relationships, it could be a tremendous force. 200 to 250 thousand organize here are places where local unions have done magnificent jobs, are completely organized and completely active. They have the balance of power in those counties. he only real leadership against the Talmadge administration is the Atlanta Journal he became increasingly bitter as he came out of of fice. The farther he traveled from home, the more liberal he became, and this worked to his discredit here 63 Without a popular and effective leader to unite liberals, they stood little chance of overturning the county unit system and, thus, little chanc e at winning political power except at the local level. 61 Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day 382 389. 62 16 17. 63 17 18.

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122 Florida was another state in which liberals believed there was potential that ADA could told the attendees how he thought they could do that. He sang the praises of Senator Pepper, somebody that can think in the language of the people ives who for among them. Others had spoken of the need for liberals to unite around a common platform, but Carter was most explicit. a ll the disgruntleds, soreheads [and] free thinkers, rally and fight each other, until the common enemy loo ms into sight. very amenable to his friend 64 Liberals were less sure about prospects in Alabama, and former Montgomery Advertiser editor Charles D perhaps paradoxical, for he said he was hopeful about Alabama, the only state in the union that would not let its citizens vote for the President of the United States dual character. stands for the right things but he has compromised himself in some ways that have shaken the real liberal leadership in Alabama for example, putting a candidate out against Sparkman. e has, to his credit, absolutely refused to make any use of the Negro issue. Unfortunately he has surrounded himself with men of second and third rate quality l delegation, including Senators Hill and Sparkman, each of whom had 64 18 19.

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123 worked hard for the Truman ticket. With good people in national and statewide offices, he recommended a renewed focus on the minor offices and just on the congressional and gubernatorial offices. 65 The problem with the latter approach, according to Dobbins, was that local officals controlled the Democratic machinery in Alabama, which meant that when liberals attempted to fight Dixiecrats and conservatives, they were star ting with a tremendous disadvantage. Another marrying labor to the Tuscaloosa and Auburn [small] farmers 66 The final two states covered were Louisiana and South Carolina, two states that voted for the Dixiecr ats in 1948. Dr. E. Terry Prothero, an assistant professor of psychology at Louisiana rothero, like his colleagues politically and economically. ADA leaders would also have to reckon with the divide between New Orleans and the rest of Louisi ana. 67 In South Carolina, Judge Foster talked about the deep split in Democratic ranks that had resulted from the Dixiecrat schism, to the point where there were now two Democratic parties in at they could challenge 65 19 21. 66 21. 67 21 22.

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124 Carolina. One big problem for loyal Democrats, as a o person in South Carolina could run on the platform of the national democratic party [sic] and get 68 These reports took a lot of time, but they gave the participants had a great deal to ponder, as Loeb had undoubtedly hoped they would. The reports had served two main purposes. First, national ADA wanted to introduce these liberals to each other in a politically safe environment fo r an open discussion of the problems they faced in organizing the South. Second, Loeb wanted to get a sense of the relative difficulties each southern state presented. Even if those outside the South did not see it, southerners themselves were well aware that Tennessee and North Carolina is group was brought together in a hit or miss fashion. Yet there was a common approach, while there were differences in strategy and tactics 69 It would be now much easier to determine where and when effort and money would be expended most effectively. Before adjourning, Loeb asked for short term suggestions that would allow ADA to act on the advice they had been given quickly. Some of these sugges tions included a series of large scale mailing campaigns, contacting local labor federations to inquire about office space, and enlisting people who were already traveling to certain locations for volunteer work while they were in those communities. Plunk ett suggested, to widespread agreement, that the first membership drive after Atlanta begin in Tennessee. Loeb offered $400 500 to states for 30 day 68 22 23. 69 25.

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125 organizing drives, with the idea that a full time organizer would be on board after that period. Hart ask ed Loeb for help with the national news outlets hoping to get news concerning liberal activities in the South into national publications. t would be of great value to us to get something in the New York Times in Time Newsweek and so on 70 On that note, the Atlanta conference came to a close, with mutual promises to provide whatever assistance would be needed in making the recommendations of the conference a reality. The press release ADA sent to media outlets after the conference talked about the subjects he discussion was devoted to those [ par t s ] of a liberal program which have to do with building up the South in the broader fields of education, health, housing, citizenship, industrial and agricultu ral development and race relations. emphasized that the conference was a decidedly informal affair that was not meant to draw up a detailed program for action. 71 As informal as the discussion may have been, it was vitally important to the future activities of Americans for Democratic Action in the South. The national office may not have known who would be their next southern organizer, but they had a better idea of what that spokesman should be saying and where he or she should be saying it. The liberals who gathered in Atlanta were optimistic that many of the ideas liberal politicians and journalists championed in the rest of the country could become part of the political agenda of the South as well. They saw no reason why southerners would not support public housing, laws to protect unions, and increased funding for education, if they were only given the facts on each of these issues. ADA had already prepared literature and solicited the talents of public speakers that could make the case for t hem. The election of politicians like 70 29 30. 71 ADA press release, Febru ary 19, 1949, reel 61, n o. 33 ADA Papers

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126 Estes Kefauver and Kerr Scott was also an encouraging sign, especially since they made no secret of their stands on the issues. Much was possible for liberals in the South, as long as too much was not made of the civ il rights issue. In a surprising development, Jim Loeb, speaking for ADA in Atlanta, had even showed a willingness to back off the harsh anti southern rhetoric that had marked the Democratic National Convention in 1948 in their deliberations. If a de emp hasis on racial issues would increase ADA membership, this was a risk Loeb wanted to take, at least in the short term. As for where the organizer was expected to go, the consensus seemed to be that it would not be prudent to send that person into certain s tates, especially the four states the Dixiecrat ticket had carried the previous year. There was no sense that Mississippi or South Carolina was ripe for a large scale liberal effort, and so correspondence would be the main tool an organizer would use in t hese states. The organizer would concentrate on states like Tennessee, North Carolina, and Florida. The election results of 1948 had seen several promising liberals elected to higher office in these states, signaling a potential turn away from reactionar y politics. If the South was going to change, it would change first in these states, creating a base from which further campaigns would be possible in more difficult areas. The plan of action was, in this sense, almost military in nature, though no one d iscussed it in these terms. sending an organizer throughout the South, at great expense, with the hope that he would be able to stir up liberal sentiment across a broad area. The end result of his work was a few small southern chapters and no significant financial windfall. If ADA leaders wanted to reignite its southern efforts (and it is clear that they did), the next campaign had to be planned in much more detail. ADA also had to acknowledge that their image had changed since Taylor left his job in

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127 April 1948. Most southerners knew something about ADA, and it was likely that their opinion of ADA was not positive. Despite the fallout from Philadelphia, however, the results of the elections of 1948 offered at least some hope that the South could change politically and socially, and ADA wanted to make these changes possible. The Atlanta conference offered a glimpse of what policies could secure the most support (and which wo uld have trouble), where to organize (and where not to), and how any newly appointed organizer should go about their duties (and South, and it signaled that th e next two years would be a crucial period in its history.

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128 CHAPTER 5 UR P ROPOSED S OLUTION H AS C H OPKINS AND THE R EINCARNATION OF THE ADA S OUTHERN O FFICE 1949 1950 thern director, Alden Hopkins, both learned from the mistakes of her predecessor Barney Taylor and encountered variations of the same problems that had bedeviled him. During her stint, which lasted from April 1949 to February 1950, Hopkins found that thre e major problems frustrated her efforts in North Carolina and Florida. Too often, she found, the distasteful legacy of the Southern Conference and the failed presidential campaign of Henry Wallace lingered, both dividing liberals and tainting ADA activist s with an unearned but tenacious association with allegedly pro Soviet views. Equally troublesome for her, as was the case with Taylor, was the problem of race and civil rights: African Americans were the most consistent liberal group she encountered, but at the same time no issue was more divisive, even among relatively progressive whites, than civil rights. Finally, Hopkins found that electoral politics simultaneously provided the most significant focal point for liberal initiatives and distracted her a nd fellow liberals from the difficult task of building a liberal political infrastructure. By February 1949, when ADA officials convened its informal meeting of southern liberals in Atlanta to discuss the prospects of New Deal liberalism in the South, ADA had existed for more than two years. This meeting was the first moment at which ADA leaders openly discussed the question of whether liberals could win converts in the region. It was also the first time these men and women had raised questions of strateg y and tactics. They attempted to strengthening old ones, and backing liberal candidates for state and federal office. The consensus reached in Atlanta centered

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129 states where liberal candidates had succeeded in the past. He or she would organize the rest of the Sout h primarily through correspondence and over the telephone. ADA leaders would be happy to help liberals in Mississippi and Alabama if they wanted to start chapters or join ADA as individuals, but the new organizer would not be sent these places to invigora te the process. Liberals would have to show their commitment to political action without someone like Taylor to hold their hand. There was already evidence that certain southern cities had committed liberals in place and would carry on with ADA work with or without the help of a regional organizer. For example, John Schulter of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (CIO) in Birmingham, who attended the Atlanta meeting, informed ADA Executive Secretary James Loeb Birmingham News shortly after his return from Atlanta in mid February. Schulter wanted to sound out this unnamed editor on the a Liberal Labor coalition in this state [Alabama] and the possibility of a meeting to c reate such a coalition. News writer suggested that such a meeting would be most productive if Schulter could convince Frank Graham, who had just chaired the Atlanta out traveling to Birmingham to speak before about fifty Alabama liberals, while Schulter would the group. His final request reminded everyone involved that the South was far from being a liberal utopia. He t this time it would be better to refrain from inviting any of the leaders of the negro [sic] community as it might give the oppositi on the kind of ammunition that they would use to

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130 destroy such a coalition. 1 Indeed, the question of what to do with black southerners remained a vexing one, even for those whites who supported changes to the segregationist status quo. While Schulter and others forged ahead, ADA concentrated on finding a new southern organizer. One advantage this new organizer would have was time, a luxury that Taylor had never enjoyed. In May 1947, Taylor had been thrown into his ADA job with no real thought as to what he should do, beyond identifying southern liberals and encouraging the formation of ADA chapters. He was also stuck with the task of handling the affairs of the Memphis chapter, by far the most politically and organizationally active during his time with ADA. Most significantly, he had only a few months to focus on these tasks before the 1948 presidential campaign began to monopolize the attention of those in Washington whose help he required to election helped Harry Truman upset ADA work in the South. In 1949, however, with no major electoral contests on the horizon, e energy available to devote to organizational matters. several significant races in the 1950 congressional elections, where liberals with strong ties to ADA faced significa nt challenges. One such contest in Florida featured incumbent Senator Claude Pepper, whose previous elections to the Senate in 1938 and 1944 had been close, hard fought affairs. Pepper had always had an uneasy relationship with New Dealers who were also hard line cold warriors. In 1949, his standing within the Democratic Party was under serious party run for the 1 John Schulter to James A. Loeb, February 21, 1949, Reel 42, N o.162 A mericans for Democratic Action Papers, University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville microfilm collection (hereafter cited as ADA Papers)

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131 at the senator had been too supportive of the Soviet Union in his statements opposing an American nuclear build up. picked slate of delegates to the 1948 Democratic Conventi rights slate pledged to Mississippi Governor Fielding J. Wright. Wright would end up as Strom from supporting W right showed how vulnerable his political situation was. 2 Soviet views, the senator did share some common ground with ADA. For example, once his personal presidential aspirations appeared dead, Pepper had jo ined with ADA in supporting former Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower as the Democratic nominee in Philadelphia. The fact that Eisenhower expressed no interest in being President and repeatedly declined to run did not stop Pepper, ADA officials and other disaffected liberals from trying to draft him. When the general finally convinced liberals he was not interested, Pepper revived his own candidacy as an anti Truman alternative for liberals. He publicly declared himself a candidate on the sec ond day of the convention, an Leon Henderson distanced himself from the senator. Even before voting began, Pepper withdrew his name from nomination, and he supported the Democratic ticket in the fall, but his presidential aspirations had dire political consequences in 2 J eat in the 1950 Florida Primary ( Ph.D. diss University of Florida 1998), 111 118 125 127

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132 1950. 3 It wo uld be very difficult for the organization to support Pepper in his re election fight, but liberals had few southerners they could rely on in the Senate, and they could ill afford to lose one, regardless of his views on Communism and the Soviet Union. The other battleground on which ADA leaders focused in preparation for the 1950 election cycle was North Carolina, where, not long after the Atlanta conference adjourned, an unexpected opportunity presented itself. On March 6, 1949, former governor and newly elected Senator J. Melville Broughton died, leaving Governor Kerr Scott the task of naming a s, though some of the When Scott offered Graham the job, Graham balked, protesting that he already had a job as president of the University of North Carolina. It is possible that Graham may have also had political reasons for initially refusing a seat in the Senate. Graham knew that he had potential liabilities as a candidate and that his enemies would use his past as a founding member of the Southern Conference for Human Welfare (SCHW) to accuse him of Communist sympathies, if not outright membership in the party. Earlier in 1949, he had endured a taste of what his life might be like in Washington. In January, he learned that the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) had been investigating him for more than two years without his knowledge, trying to find reasons Nuclear Studies. The AEC report found fault with Graham for his allian 3 119 131 ; John Egerton, Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South (Chapel Hill 1995), 479

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133 secrets. 4 Graham was used to people questioning his political associations, but his post at North Carolina offered a safe haven from the troubles he faced. The United States Senate would be a In the end, however, Raleigh News and Observer editor (and ADA member) Jonathan Daniels convinced Graham that it was his duty to accept the office. He pointed out that in the appointment at a UNC faculty dinner stunned everyone, but in fact the reacti ons were predictable. Liberals were ecstatic, none more so than those in ADA. Jim Loeb sent a telegram and claiming that the decision confirms our conviction that new liberal leadership in the South will serve to unify America and wipe out anachronistic sectional divisions. 5 He told Duke the greatest thing that ever happened in North Car olina certainly give a shot in the arm to all liberal organizational work in the State of North Carolina. 6 In a radio address delivered on the day Graham was sworn in as a senator, Loeb identified him as one of three southern s vote with the liberals on all important questions, including most of the civil rights issues. 7 4 Warren Ashby, Frank Porter Graham: A Southern Liberal (Winston Salem, N.C. 1980) 237 238, 243. 5 Loeb to Kerr Scott, March 23, 1949 reel 17, n o. 1 ADA Papers 6 Loeb to Douglas B. Maggs, March 2 9, 1949 reel 17, no. 1. ADA Papers 7 Transcript of Loeb radio addr ess March 29, 1949 r eel 42, n o. 163 ADA Papers

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134 Claude Pepper and Estes Kefauver of Tennessee were the other senators Loeb singled out for praise, and this short list provided the impetus f months. Kefauver would not be up for re election until 1954, but Pepper and Graham would be on the ballot in 1950, and each would face a difficult battle to remain in the Senate. Graham had an indication that certain people would not welcome him to the Senate the day after Scott announced his appointment. On March 23, isolationist Ohio Republican John W. Bricker stood on the floor of the Senate and denounced Graham for his association with the Southern Confere nce. North Carolina Democrat Clyde Hoey and Oregon Republican Wayne Morse, an haracter in open debate. 8 Nevertheless, Graham knew this was only the beginning of his political troubles. knew such attacks would happen during his re electi on bid in 1950. ADA leaders knew that too, and they wanted to help Graham in any way they could. pledge [d] fu llest possible organizer would have to concentrate all of his or her attention on Florida and North Carolina for the next 12 18 months. One additional reason for focusing on these two states was a series of encouraging signs from cities that indicated they would be rece ptive to the ADA message. In early April, John Schulter traveled to Miami April for a meeting with James Crawford. Crawford was a native Miamian with strong ties to ADA through the American Veterans Committee (AVC), an organization of liberal veterans be gun as an alternative to the conservative American Legion and Veterans of 8 Ashby Frank Porter Graham 244 246.

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135 Foreign Wars. Crawford was positive about possibilities for liberal initiatives in Dade County, since a large contingent of New Yorkers and other northerners had made the area their second ince this is the home state of Claude Pepper 9 On April 15, Loeb would contact Crawford directly, but Loeb could do little at that moment because he had failed to hir e an organizer as of that date. Indeed, the two months between the February conference in Atlanta and the end of April represented a lost opportunity Believe it or not, I sti ll have the same problem that I discussed with you, I his hard work in setting up the conference, but his commitment to the World Fede ralist movement precluded him from taking a job with ADA. On the other hand, Loeb did have some We cannot expect one person to do the whole South within a few months. We must therefore concentrate on those areas where we think o rganization is most possible and also where we think the political situation in 1950 will be most significant. As a result, Loeb wrote, From the polit ical point of view, the most important races for liberals in the South will be in North Carolina and in Florida. election of Pepper and disprove once and for all the theory that no one can be elected in the South unless he has racist ideas. 10 It would also prove that ADA anti Communist liberalism had a fighting chance at success in the South, which would boost membership and fund raising efforts significantly. 9 Schulter to Loeb, April 6, 1949 reel 49, n o. 261 ADA Papers 10 Loeb t o James Crawford, April 1 5, 1949, reel 17, n o. 1 ADA Papers

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136 These chances for success largely depended on finding the right person to handle the task, I am negotiating with a person who has been highly recommended in Chattanooga and who attended our National Convention. 11 He did not name this person, but her identity became public knowledge soon enough. Alden Hopkins was a graduate of Goucher College, a small liberal a rts school in Baltimore, and the University of North Carolina. She had been working for the past five years as a field examiner for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), traveling through Texas, Alabama, the Carolinas, and Florida conducting surveys and examining workplace complaints in factories and mills. At the time of her first contact with Jim Loeb, she was the head of the NLRB field office in Chattanooga and, during her time there, had become an ADA member. 12 Hopkins was willing to take on the c representative, but she would not do so without assurances from Washington about her financial security. In her negotiations with Loeb, she requested a $5,000 annual salary plus expenses, though the question of which expenses would be covered could wait. She would work alone out of her home or apartment, though she had not yet decided where she would live. Finally, Hopkins wanted to maintain a post office box for official correspondence, and to hire a stenographer f or a few days each month to assist her with answering it. 13 Hopkins had high ambitions for this project, and she wanted all of the tools she needed to be in place as she began her work. She did not want to spend time worrying about office supplies and exp ense reimbursement, as Taylor had been forced to do in the first incarnation of the southern office. 11 Loeb t o James Crawford, April 15, 1949, reel 17, n o. 1 ADA Papers 12 Alden Hopkins to Loeb April 18, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 13 Hopkins to Loeb, April 13, 1949, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers

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137 Loeb readily agreed to her basic salary demands. He also agreed to pay for her meals, hotel costs, and telephone expenses, and to provide twenty dollars m inimum per week for her automobile for time spent on behalf of ADA. However, he had one request for Hopkins. Mindful of the importance of North Carolina in the upcoming election cycle, Loeb wanted her to establish her base of operations in the state. He anticipated that North Carolina would be the permanent headquarters would be doing most of her organizing work in the state. Because Loeb and the Washington office wanted this new so uthern project to be sharply focused, having Hopkins based in North quite confident that we shal l have no confiden I feel equally certain that you will receive from your association with the ADA family a real sense of satisfaction in terms of your contribution to the t hings that are really of importance in this crazy world. 14 number of l iberals, including students, faculty, local union leaders, and other liberals. With that detail settled, she wanted to set up a better communication process between southern chapters, mainly through encouraging each chapter to send copies of its correspo ndence to the officers of the other chapters. 15 Hopkins wanted the more active southern chapters to motivate those that were less active with news of their successes. News that the Atlanta chapter had helped to elect 14 Loeb to Hop kins, April 29, 1949 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 15 Hopkins to ADA southern chapters, May 20, 1949 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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138 liberals to the school board or the ci ty council, for example, might motivate the Greensboro chapter to work for liberals running for the city council there. This correspondence network would also serv e as a spur to increased activity. She also undertook an assessment of the chapters in her home base of North Carolina. She wanted to know how committed the officers of these chapters were to the ADA project, and she wanted to know how many members these chapters could count upon. Her first stop was Chapel restart the c arrival in the state, it fell to sociology professor Nick Demirith and history graduate student Charles Sellers to force Robson to call two informal meetings, which had a fe w dozen interested liberals. This turnout was fairly encouraging, but Hopkins did not expect Robson to translate in Chapel Hill. 16 failures and was willing to step aside for the good of the chapter. Hopkins wanted Helen Gillin, a former orga who recommended her for the job also thought she would not accept. The bad news was that as surprised [at] how much conservative element there is in Chapel Hill, and [there was] also 16 Hopkins to Loeb, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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139 considerable anti Graham feeling among faculty because of his alleged non aggresiveness [sic] as a money raiser and salary raiser. election campaign would be a plus for ADA, and she was willing to test that hypothesis in June when senator would be willing to make some a other cities to help with membership and fund raising. 17 She also stopped in Greensboro, where the roster of thirty five members was more diverse than the one in Chapel Hill had been. There were some stud College in the chapter, but there were also labor organizers, a few local lawyers, and several students and faculty members from the two black colleges in the city. The prospect of expanding the chapter beyond the existing member s was poor, however, and much of the blame again fell on a lack of leadership. The chapter chairman was attorney Robert S. Cahoon, 18 but much of the age and long, disappointing experience with liberal organizations ambitions. 19 Getting new leadership for these two chapters became extremely imp ortant. Events at the state and local level were accelerating, and ADA needed to work hard to ensure that liberal 17 Hopkins to Loeb, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 18 Cahoon would later become famous as one of the court appointed lawyers for the Ku Klux Klan members who shot and killed several members of the Communist Workers Party during a Greensboro anti Klan rally in December 197 e Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Public Hearing #2 of the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission http://www.greensborotrc.org/cahoongreesonwall.doc (a ccessed January 30, 2008) 19 Hopkins to Loeb, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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140 causes in North Carolina had an effective champion. For example, the Greensboro chapter of the NAACP was planning to file suit in state cou highways. In 1948, S cott had campaigned on the issue, which was one of the main reasons liberals had been so excited about his candidacy. Hopkins wanted to show that ADA recognized the opportunity these bonds represented by campaigning hard for their passage. 20 There was also the matter of the U.S. Senate race of 1950, in which Graham was not at all up for re theories should a good candidate be put up against Hoey, whom Gr aham would like to support, [North Carolina Democrats] may ask Graham to maintain a hands return for his being unopposed in his race. 21 If he campai gned against Hoey, the state party election more tenuous. However, as of May 1949 there did not appear to be a serious candidate running against Graham. Graham would remai campaign manager, had considered running against Hoey until President Truman appointed him as U.S. appointment, was not appealing as an opponent for Hoey, especially after Hopkins learned of a 20 Hopkins to Loeb, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 21 Hopkins to Loeb, reel 40, n o. 137 A DA Papers

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141 conversation he had had with Duke law professor Douglas Maggs. Hopkins had thought of Daniels as a potential ally in the state, but Maggs found Daniels to be much less liberal than According to the Duke professor, labor is just trying to use the negr o for its own purposes it is dangerous to have negroes voting [and he] cussed out ADA, primarily on account of [its] civil rights stand at Philadelphia. Greensboro lawyer L. P. McLen don, who had supported Scott in 1948. However, most of his liberals and labor especially the latter could not work up much enthusiasm about campaigning for him. 22 popularity in the state was heartening, and her schedule did not betray any doubts she had about the possibility of succeeding in the state. In late May, she traveled to Wrightsville Beach on the Atlantic coa st for the state CIO convention, met with several promising contacts at a dinner for the Fellowship of Southern Churchmen in Greensboro, and found another possible political ally as fine a liberal as you would find in a Southern state. He is for the public housing bill, federal aid to education, etc. He is against compulsory health insurance, but has entered a bill for aid in hospital and medical school construction he would not need ADA support for his 1950 campaign, but she was heartened to find that someone like Deane was representing North Carolina in the House. 23 22 Hopkins to Loeb, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 23 Hopkins to Loeb, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers

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142 Hopkins also strengthened her contacts with prominent North Carolina Democrats. For example, she met with Capus Waynick in the weeks before he left the United States for his ambassadorial appointment in Nicaragua. She wrote that m any ADA members saw Waynick, k Graham In late May, she saw him in action arguing in favor of Not all liberals in the state were in favor of the bond, believing that the state needed to spend money on education and agr iculture instead. Nevertheless, Hopkins thought Waynick was impressive, and she listened closely to his advice. 24 opposition, and he hoped the same would be true for Senator Hoey. that the 73 year old Hoey would either die in office before his full term expired allowing for Governor Scott to appoint another liberal in his place. If Hoey survived his six year term, Waynick believed that liberals would someone good to run against him in 1956. This view reflected m about North Carolina politics. He told Hopkins, progressive, liberal trend running in the State the [conservative] f adroitly led and handled, this trend will result in the kind of state we would like to see. The people, if properly led, will go along with a liberal program generally but not with civil rights or spending which would put the 25 A bright future for liberalism did not necessarily translate into a bright future for ADA however. A week after their meeting, Waynick told Ho pkins [the ADA] material [she had given to Waynick] but I will do so at my first opportunity, in order 24 Hopkins to Loeb, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers 25 Hop kins to Loeb, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers

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143 to familiarize myself with your cause. As I assured you in Durham, I am not sufficiently acquainted with it to have a very clear notion of its value. 26 ADA was still an unknown commodity, even to liberal North Carolinians, and no one knew whether they would respond positively to ADA. If Hopkins needed further proof that ADA faced a tough task in the state, she needed only to look at her home base of Durham. Hopkins was surprised to learn that ADA had not been able student body and faculty. There was also a tradition of labor activism in the city, making the best organized city in the state organized 13,000 workers, over half members. Hopkins did not think all of these workers were candidates for ADA membership, but a good nucleus of liberals would lik ely be found among union members. Durham also benefited from a tradition of political action through the Voters for Better Government (VBG), founded in January 1948. VBG featured a cross section of Durham liberals, including several AFL and CIO leaders, the federal and state level, worked to get its members elected to precinct committees, and helped ouncil, E.R. Williamson, in 1948. 27 All of this activity was promising for liberals, but there was one glaring problem that Hopkins would have to address: why would Durham need Hopkins to come in as the representative of an entirely new organization if a gr oup like VBG had already proved its 26 Capus Waynick to Hopkins, June 7, 1949 reel 50, n o. 281 ADA Papers 27 Hopkins memo to Loeb, June 6, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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144 effectiveness? However, VBG had a significant problem in that, once the 1948 campaign ended, its energy had dissipated. According to Hopkins, Councilman Williamson was disappointed recently by the results of a trial m ailing to 500 union members asking them to join for $1; they only got 4 replies. Wil draw on intellectual talent in the area, and Hopkins wanted the chapter to help the various liberal factions to agree on a candidate to oppose conservative congressman Carl Durham in his re election campaign in 1950. Most anti Durham people wanted Mayor Edwards to run against the congressman, but Hopkins was skeptical about liberal influence in labor unions. As a member of the state legislature, Edwards had voted agai Hartley Act, 28 Hopkins had no litmus test for political candidates. However, she had enough experience with southern politics to know that libe ral candidates had a habit of distancing themselves from liberals once in office. Another problem that became clear as Hopkins traveled across North Carolina was the legacy of the Southern Conference. During his time in Memphis, Barney Taylor had been for ced to deal with SCHW on several occasions. Some SCHW members had been unwilling to join ADA, and conservatives had succeeded in convincing many southerners that SCHW leaders represented all liberal opinion. This was particularly bad for ADA because of S SCHW had attracted over one hundred members in Asheville. However, the chapter had fallen apart in May 28 Hopkins memo to Loeb, June 6, 1949 r eel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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145 Communist liberals were active in th e Conference [were] very discouraged about the organization of another group Some Asheville liberals even organize a chapter but just get together a few individuals to work for liberal ends without any 29 ADA leaders had done all they could to convince people of the organizatio Communist credentials, but they faced an uphill battle in this regard. Hopkins believed that this controversy was not going to fade quickly, especially in North Carolina. Some of the most notorious incidents of the 1948 campaign had occurred in t he state during the southern campaign of Progressive presidential candidate Henry A. Wallace in August of that year. Wallace enjoyed support from several SCHW officers, including chairman Clark n audiences reacted negatively to segregation message, and North Carolina set the tone. Hundreds of protestors greeted Wallace everywhere he went in the state, waving Confederate flags, heckling his speeches, and throwing tomat oes and eggs at him and his supporters while threatening violence against the candidate. The near 30 The Progressive Par ty and the Southern Conference collapsed in the wake of the 1948 election, but Hopkins understood that liberals would have to deal with its legacy. As Hopkins The history of the Southern Conference will have a definite influence on ADA. Just 29 Hopkins to Loeb, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 30 Patricia Sullivan, Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era (Chapel Hill 1996) 260 264; John Egerton, Speak Now Aga inst the Day: The Generation Before the Civil Rights Movement in the South (Chapel Hill 1994), 504 505.

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146 ADA. Certainly, for many, the experience was discouraging and dampens their enthusiasm for ADA. 31 Even those who remained enthusiastic might not be welcome i n ADA because of their association with Wallace or the Southern Conference, which might tar ADA with the Communist let anyone know you ever had anything to do nd the basis for this. to keep Charlotte attorney Charley Myers out of ADA completely, fearing that his outspoken connections to Wallace would hurt ADA in the long run. 32 s ironic, considering that one of the most prominent figures associated with the legacy of liberal political action in the South was Frank Graham, who had been present at the 1938 founding of SCHW in Birmingham and had served on its board for several years Hopkins may have wanted to distance herself from the Southern Conference, but she had no problems working with Graham to support his election to the Senate with ADA help. She kept up a running correspondence with Graham, much of which was designed to e ncourage his liberal tendencies. For example, she noted that the AFL and CIO appreciated his efforts in support of a bill to repeal the Taft Hartley Act sponsored by Utah Democrat Elmer Thomas. 33 heir appreciation will un questionably be expressed in more concrete form at the polls next spring. 34 North Carolina liberals such as Hopkins wanted Graham to resist the temptation toward conservatism that had 31 Hopkins memo to Loeb, June 6, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 32 Hopkins to Bob Sain, July 11, 1949 reel 50, n o. 280 ADA Papers 33 For more on Time February 7, 1949 republished online : http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,799744,00.html (accessed online January 31, 2008) 34 Hopkins to Graham, July 2, 1949 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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147 ensnared so many promising politicians in the past. She wanted Graham to be a candidate worthy of their continued support. In June, she met personally with the senator in Washington at an informal dinner in his reaction to her was troubling. get a line on how t himself She found it curious that Graham stressed that does the best job (I agree, but it made me wonder what his motive was for stressing that fact). If ADA is going to entitled to a clearer understanding of our relationship to him and his campaign. 35 In truth, his campaign, but only if its role was kept as quiet as possible to avoid the risk of emba rrassment to the senator. intention of moderating his liberal positions while in the Senate. Old friends were already cautioning him that being a member of the Senate was no t the same as being a university moderates, who held the key to his election. However, he served notice to friends and critics alike that he would not compromise hi s deeply held beliefs. He continued to favor an end to the 35 Hopkins to Loeb, June 17, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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148 short, he was, ADA label was toxic, especially in southern states where negativity remained from the 1948 election. Graham thought his ties to the group would harm his political fortunes, so he wanted to make the election a referendum on his personality and character, where he believed he would hold an edge over potential opponents. He would keep his associations with groups such as ADA as informal as possible. 36 strated Hopkins, but there was little she could do to change his mind. The disposition of some North Carolina chapters added to her frustration and Charlotte, for ins tance, things were so bad in late June that Hopkins indicated she quit [the state] chapter here as what we have now. ip recruited scared to death of another Southern Conference the Charlotte chapter. One member, dentist Sam Freed would join only as a member at large, with the understanding that he would not be identified with the local group in any way. 37 Another problem was that the Charlotte chapter was not representative of the community as a whole. Most of the members were either black or Jewish, and the four Protestant members 36 Julian M. Pleasants and Augustus M. Burns III, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race in North Carolina (Chapel Hill 1990), 40, 42, 44 45. 37 Hopkins memo to Loeb, July 1, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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149 an ADA chapter will never get anywhere in Charlotte without some good native, Trinitarian leadership and membership. The present members realize this as much as I do. bad news in a city that was the center of opposition to Graham. If Hopkins could not create a Communist taint, Graham and other liberal politicians would never work with her. 38 In Charlotte, the best Hopkins could do for the time being was to install a new chairman, Charlotte News state government correspondent Robert Sain, and hope that she could convince liberals that ADA was not another SCHW. 39 leadership was willing to step aside to make her job easier. Not everyone was so pleased with her work, however. Will iam J. Smith, the director of the state CIO organizing committee and a work with labor leaders such as himself, though he hoped that could be corrected with a f ew face to methods of approach in handling individuals 40 Smith did not elaborate, but the tone of her communications with Washington clarifies his meaning. Ho pkins was not happy with the North Carolina chapters, and she was not willing to hear excuses from people skeptical of the ADA program. She wanted ADA to campaign hard for Graham in the coming months, and they would not be able to do so if chapters were n ot yet functioning. 38 Hopkins memo to Loeb, July 1, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers. 39 Hopkins m emo to Loeb, July 23, 1949, reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers 40 William Smith to John F. P. Tucker, July 19, 1949 reel 49, n o. 261 A DA Papers

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150 Hopkins had reason to be careful about the kinds of associations ADA made in the South, especially since the North Carolina media was beginning to take an interest in her organization. One example appeared in the July 21 edition of the Charlotte Observer which published a Observer referred to ADA as a its anti cl inging to the old absurdity that prices could be cut back 10 per cent and wages could be raised 15 per cent at the same time. compliment to ADA for opposing the Wallace campaign and supporting the Marshall Plan, but declared t Communism did not go far enough. According to the Observer t he final straw was the 1948 presidential campaign, includin g the civil had campaigned against him at the convention. 41 Hopkins sent this editorial to Washington, though the rhetoric of the piece was nothing new to those closel y associated with ADA. What in the state and gave no indication that the paper knew anything about what she was doing in North Carolina. One of the reasons the Observer said nothing about Hopkins was that she had little to show for her efforts over the previous three months. In late July, h er exasperation with the situation boi led over o be liberal in the South is to endanger your friendsh ips and your capacity to make a good living. This is not to say that I am discouraged, but I have had to readjust my thinking, attitudes and expectations a l 41 Charlotte Observer July 21, 1949 page 8 A, reproduction in reel 50, n o. 280 ADA Papers

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151 trouble finding more than a handful of people outside of the unions and the universities to whom one can give [ADA literature] without getting sort of a horror reaction. Hopkins wrote, e are asking a very great deal of southerners, all in one step; to be liberal economically possible the hardest person t o find is an economic liberal; to be liberal on all other issues; and, lastly, to join an interracial group. 42 I do think I can do better than Barney, but I am going to do one thing differently: I will try to give you all as honest a picture of the situation as I can. Organizing her f the National office can stand it, so can I. 10 people down here can do as much in politics as 100 up north. She thought this was the result of several factors, including general political apathy, the very poor o rganization of the Democratic Party as a result of its having had no serious opposition for decades, the small size of the electorate and the small number of those registered who vote in elections, etc A wanted in the South, her chances of organizational and electoral success were much greater. 43 Unfortunately for her, ADA leaders in Washington had not learned an important lesson attempting to do political work in the South during the summer of a year when no state or national elections were about the fact that many of the people he wanted to recruit were vacationing, and their absence 42 Hopkins memo to Loeb, July 23, 1949, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 43 Hopkins memo to Loeb, July 23, 1949, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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152 this is one h --of a time of year to be organizing. Everybody is on vacation. It has been over 9 0 in the Carolinas for six weeks; over 95 every day the last two weeks; and hit 100 today. I see little use in trying to do mu She useless to sell people in August and then have to come back in September and sell them again. That is bad selling technique anyway giving people a chance to think things over and change their minds 44 Hopkins was not happy with the idea that her hardest organizing push would have to wait a month, but she could n ot avoid acknowledging the vacation patterns of her North Carolina neighbors. As Hopkins contemplated the future of ADA in North Carolina, she was hearing interesting things about Florida, the other major liberal battleground of the 1950 campaign. A small group of attorneys, government employees, and college students had been working since May to start an ADA chapter in Miami, and they were looking to Washington for organizational help. They had gathered lists of potentially interested parties, mailed sev eral hundred individuals whom they thought were good candidates, and had spent the summer of 1949 contemplating further action. Loeb attempted to encourage these activities, telling one potential member that the reelection of Senator Pepper in Florida is important. While some of us have had disagreements with Senator Pepper, particularly on matters of foreign policy in previous years, we all recognize that he has been a stalwart fighter for liberal issues, and his defeat would be disastrous to the whole development of liberalism in the South. 45 44 Hopkins memo to Loeb, July 23, 1949, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 45 Loeb to Robert G. Beeler, May 5, 1949 reel 61, n o. 32 ADA Papers

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153 that his race was the top priority of the national office. However, it appeared that no one else was taking the job as ser iously as she was. For example, she wanted to meet with former Congressman John Folger to get his assessment of the political climate, only to be turned down. 46 She could not organize a meeting of the Charlotte chapter, since one or more officers were con sistently out of town at any given moment. This was important, since it appeared that no one was willing to take the lead in organizing and recruiting new members. 47 One of the few places where she received any sort of positive response was from labor. I n September, she spoke at the annual conference of the North Carolina Federation of Labor and reported that m y speech [on ADA] was well received and generated considerable interest in political action; numerous delegates voluntarily approached me for info rmati put someone on in the state if at all possible. The importance of the Graham race cannot be overemphasized and, in my opinion, is second only to [that of Robert A. Taft the Ohio Republican running for reelection to the Senate in 1950] done anywhere to change the complexion of our southern delegation in Congres s. 48 of 1949 she began to echo the frustration Taylor had expressed two years earlier. She told the hings are not going well in the S hi had, from the viewpoint of doing it right. 46 Charl es M. LaFollette to John Folger, September 14, 1949, reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 47 Hopk ins to David Wallas, September 11, 1949 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 48 Hopkins to William G. McSorley, Jr., September 25, 1949 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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154 of gathering people in a room, proclaiming them to be a chapter, and moving on to the next community without subsequently f Anybody, including myself, could set up chapters down here like the one in Charlotte or the ones Barney set up. Perhaps effectively result of the fact that, in the South, movements are identified with local personalities; personalities are more important than ideals or issues. One factor that benefited ADA was the personality of Senator Graham whom everyone, regardless of their politics, seemed to like. With that in mind, Hopkins vowed to make one more [by the end of October], then I will resign with very real regret, having come to the moment of history by me or anyone else I know of. 49 She had the full support of Jim Loeb, who had been touring Europe during the summer and meeting with numerous social democratic politicians on the Continent. Loeb returned to the United States with what he referred to as a which came from European liberals who looked to ADA for reassurance that liberalism had a fighting chance in America. He wro t seems to me that we have to build in as many communities as we can reach groups of understanding American progressives, no matter how small they may be or how difficult the circumstances. conceded had always be en the most difficult section of the country to organize. He knew that Hopkins never had any illusions about the difficulty of the task, but he assured her that she was one of those front line fighters who are tackling the toughest of all American proble ms, and also the most essential. nce we admit that the South is hopeless, we give up on 49 Hopk ins to Loeb, September 23, 1949, reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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155 the whole country, since we cannot solve the national problem without solving the Southern problem. 50 They were not going to fight a losing battle forever, and it was looking more likely that Graham would face opposition in the 1950 Democratic primary, so Hopkins would need to show real progress in recruiting members. Nonetheless, Loeb told her she could count on his continued support. There was, ho wever, a continued gap between the hopeful and supportive rhetoric of the Washington staff and the practical assistance Hopkins was receiving on the ground. This was ed starting to have the same sorts of problems in the fall of 1949. In mid September, she or several weeks I h ave not received any mimeographed directives, pronouncements, legislative news letters, etc. from National ADA. acknowledgements of contributions, memberships, etc. fr om the Southern states. 51 Many ADA prospects in the South had no contact with Hopkins because they did not know who she was or at receiving correspondence from, and paying their membership dues to, the national office without joining a chapter. Hopkins wanted to know about these isolated members and where they were so that she could encourage them to start organizing chapters in their communities. However, the n ational office was not staying on top of these developments, and Hopkins wanted more help from them. 50 Loeb to Hopkins, Septembe r 27, 1949 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 51 Hopkins to Olga Tabaka, September 19, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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156 e, E. Terry Prothro had been an assistant professor of psychology at Louisiana State University in December 1948 when he first contacted ADA. When he contacted Washington again in October 1949 to inquire about ADA, he had joined the psychology department at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. What made Prothro unusual was that he knew about the Atlanta conference, but he was under the at that meeting it was tentatively decided that a new southern field representative would be appoin ted, and that he should begin his work in the state of Tennessee. 52 members did not know ab out this. Postal problems might account for this communications mix up, but Taylor and Hopkins had experienced similar problems, suggesting that the problems may have originated in the national office and were systematic within ADA. Another problem that H main reason for her move to North Carolina. In the fall of 1949, the entire ADA enterprise in the state was in limbo, in part because the Graham campaign was itself in limbo. The problem was that no one seemed to know who would run against Graham. Early speculation centered on Young Democrats at their mid September convention. Graham also spoke before the Young Democrats, but delegates showed little enthusiasm for him, particularly when he spoke in favor of civil rights for racial minorities. Another problem, according to close friend and political est that he would have to be pushed 52 E. Terry Prothro to Loeb, October 17, 1949 reel 78, n o. 94 ADA Papers

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157 PAC candidates to stay out of the race, Graham stayed i n the background. One close advisor claimed 53 It was difficult for Hopkins to get people excited about the Graham candidacy, and liberalism more gen erally, if the candidate himself appeared indifferent about the whole exercise. personal integrity and his jovial personality to resonate with North Carolina voters, and Hopkins now believed that personal relationships counted for a great deal with potential candidates for ADA membership. For example, when Hopkins met with one potential member in Charlotte, he had lost some of the enthusiasm he had expressed to her at the inally found leadership of it. 54 In an effort a liberal with an unimpeachable name. She thought it was an important f Mr. segregated organization. the job: former Congressman John Folger, Jonathan Daniels, and Mayne Albright, a Raleigh lawyer and Graham supporter who had finished third in the 1 948 Democratic gubernatorial primary. Unfortunately for Hopkins, none of them wanted the job. Albright was pessimistic 53 Pleasants and Burns, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race 48 52. 54 Hopkins memo to Tucker, October 24, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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158 liberal groups in the state. Daniels coul threw the book at yet allow their names to be used for ADA. segregation platform was simp ly too radical for Daniels, even though she did extract a promise from him that he had been in the hospital for some time and unavailable for a meeting with Hopkin s. 55 In the end, them ADA would be an effective political force. and p president of the Tobacco Workers International Union, she thanked him for his praise of ADA and claimed ADA has made a real dent in the political picture in cities and states where it is well the best way for lab or to achieve political unity and liaison with other liberal groups and independent voters in their communities. your staff members and Local officers in the various cities in Nor th Carolina a short letter endorsing ADA and urging their participation in the formation of chapters. 56 55 Hopkins memo to John F. P. Tucker, October 24, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 56 Hopkins reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers

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159 materials about ADA. 57 This was especially helpful to Hopkins because of the unique import ance the tobacco industry had in the state. It would have been even more helpful to Hopkins had she stayed in North Carolina. point. She still thought Graham ha d a good chance of winning the 1950 Democratic primary civil rights when he agreed to the appointment of a black North Carolinian, Leroy Jones, to the United Sta tes Military Academy at West Point. 58 Jones was only a second alternate for the the reaction seems to hav e died down [on the Jones issue] and the status quo is restored. 59 Graham was only part of her problem. The bigger problem, Hopkins believed, was that the labor people are awfully dumb about politics and candidates, particularly those staff people who tr avel and do not have opportunities to keep in touch with other liberal elements and political powers in the community. wanted liberals to keep their support for him low hurting Grah am and helping Hoey when they [kept] announcing support of the former and opposition to the latter. She did not think ADA should put any pressure on Graham to vote for a permanent FEPC, either. Finally, there was the communication issue, both between th e national office and Hopkins, and a gold engraved 57 to Hopkins, November 1, 1949 reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers 58 Ashby Frank Porter Graham 262. 59 Hopkins memo to Tucker, October 24, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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160 statement signed by the Attorney General that ADA is not a subversive organization and has never been investigated by Congress or the time with such a gimmick. not want to join an integrated organization. One possible solution to this problem was a change in ADA printe which over emphasized civil rights even for the Northern member, and was particularly repulsive to our over sensitive Southern liberal. Sensitivity to southern sensibilities would [recrui ting] problem somewhat without forcing ADA to compromis e its principles 60 en there was a good chance of organizing six additional Chapters in North Carolina. He recommended that that another three months be given to organizing in North Carolina as a testing ground for organizational work in the South, and that ADA later give consideration to 60 Hopkins memo to Tucker, October 24, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers This topi c was of particular importance to Hopkins, and she would continue to emphasize it. In late November, move the civil rights plank further page of Where We Stand [the pamphlet ADA distributed to members and interested parties which contained its platform]. I believe I mentioned this in my very 1 st report, and that simple little gimmick has made WWS utterly useless to me as organizing material. I bring it up now memo to Tucker, November 27, 1949 reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers

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161 ry campaign if opposition developed. 61 At the same time, Loeb was writing Lillian Smith about her recently published Killers of the Dream certainly anything but an authority on the Southern problem myself t 62 There are two possibilities: either Hopkins was sending mixed messages to Loeb in her correspondence and in their one on one meetings, or Hopkins was telling him the bleak truth about Nort h Carolina and Loeb was ignoring her reports. The latter scenario seems more likely. claims about new chapters and fund raising in face to face meetings or corr espondence with her superiors. Another sign of lack of enthusiasm about North Carolina was her willingness to travel to Miami in early November. Robert Beeler, a part time employee with the New York Stock Exchange who lived in Miami during the wi nter, informed Hopkins that o ur local group down here [wa s ] 63 The group in Miami had spent much of the year gathering names and raising money for a new chapter, and they wanted to Roosevelt Jr. in a large, heavily advertised banquet to be held in early December. 64 The national office thought it would be difficult, if not impossible, to get a n ationally known figure to Miami on su ch short notice, but Loeb did think it would be a good idea for 61 Minutes for A DA Executive Committee meeting, October 31, 1949 reel 33, n o. 63 ADA Papers 62 Loeb to Lillian Smith, November 3, 1949 reel 50, n o. 262 ADA Papers 63 Beeler to Tucker, October 26, 1949 reel 61, n o. 32 ADA Papers 64 Bee ler to Tucker, November 2, 1949, reel 61, no. 32, ADA Papers

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162 knowing some of the people involved, and I think that it is well that we not make an exception in this case. Also, Florida might be very important, and it is just as well that the thing get [s] off to a According to Loeb, her Miami trip was which testifies to your devotion to ADA, and we are fully aware of it. election to the Senate was a priority, he has been very friendly [with ADA] during the past year. He has been particularly friendly with [Humphrey] w ho has a great respect for him. perfect candidate, particularly since it was likely that he would have to oppose civil rights legislation during the campaign. Nevertheless, ADA leaders thought his re election was important to the o verall success of their agenda. 65 One thing the national office could count on from their people in Miami was enthusiasm. The events of the postwar period had convinced Beeler of the immediate need for decisive political action to keep our country going o n a sound basis; that seems to be very well recognized by most active progressives. a long range program which will produce an ultimate goal and a working philoso phy for the liberal movement. socialist organization. Beeler had been a member of the Socialist Party, and he was convinced the ADA economic program is practically socialist, although it stops short of pu blic ownership of banks and the credit s ystem and socialization of land conservative critics had labeled the organization as socialist, but Beeler did not see anything wrong with that label. If ADA chose to reject socialism, Beeler did no how it can get many 65 Loeb to Hopkins, November 8, 1949 reel 50, n o. 264. ADA Papers.

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163 new members or obtain anything more in the way of social progress than the present limited welfare legislation now pending in Congress would feel inclin ed to help another 66 Beeler wanted ADA to operate more like the British Fabian Society, but Loeb balked at his tour of Europe. In mid there is much to be said f or the kind of non doctrinaire liberalism that has been in the American tradition as against the doctrinaire variety which is current in Europe Loeb acknowledged that long term political education was important to the long term success of liberalism. 67 Most liberals in Miami were not socialists, nor did they want ADA to become a not bode well for the Despite these ominous signs, Hopkins traveled to Miami in November. When she arrived, she found that the leadership in South Florida was far from ideal. She wrote that Max Singer, the ary and a Deputy Commissioner of the Dade County was organizing ADA as a political machine and primarily from the m otive of self interest; and [he] had planned a chapter with seg regated white and negro ed to use ADA as a launching pad for his own political ambitions, and he had taken advantage of the relative disinterest of the rest of the Miami group. 68 Singer had also personally with every 66 Beeler to Loeb, November 11, 1949 reel 61, n o. 32 ADA Papers 67 L oeb to Beeler, November 17, 1949, reel 61, no. 32, ADA Papers 68 Hopkins memo to Loeb, N ovember 27, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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164 AFL representative who was halfway progressive and who could be seen in two days talked with people at the American Jewish Congress, the Dade County Democratic Party, and the University of Miami, where thirty students turned out for Hopkins also ran afoul of local government over her desire to hold an integrated executive committee meeting. She told Loeb that Singer had already publicized the meeting in a mass had chosen a meeting place which does not allow non segregated meetings, in a town Coral Gables in which a negro [sic] is not allowed after 6:00 p.m. It was impossible to secure the coo peration of either the Coral Gables mayor, which [University of Miami student James Strachan] tri ed, or the Police Department, which [Singer] tried halfheartedly. Under the would have a couple negro speakers. es made him unacceptable as the driving force behind the chapter. She did not want Singer to resign from told him we would postpone the question until December 3 rd when the Executive Board would meet and could make a policy decision for all Southern chapters to follow. Board had no intention of doing this, but she wanted to avoid the negative publicity that might 69 get control of the organization away from Singer at the same time insuring that we would have some active people to carry on the work. ally in this work would turn out to be Kurt Singer (no relation to Max ), a writer from Miami 69 Hopkins memo to Loeb, November 27, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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165 United States from Germany (via Sweden) during the 1930s. 70 When Hopkins inquired as to whether Kurt would assist her in forcing Max Singer out of the Miami chairmanship, his positive next series of ADA meeting s. They even convinced Max to drop his objections to integrated ADA meetings. Once that had been accomplished, however, Hopkins was unsure of what to do h im. He was anti election, and he did have a following in Miami In the end, Hopkins thought Max Singer would do l ess damage to the liberal cause in south ern Florid a if she could keep him on the fringes of the Miami c hapter during the 1950 election cycle. 71 As Hopkins attempted to put the Miami situation on a more solid foundation, she continued her work in North Carolina. In some cases, she could not solve the problems she encountered. For example, the Greensboro cha pter had blatantly disregarded national rules and set up two organizational structures, one for white members and another for blacks. Hopkins appreciated that the Greensboro chapter was willing to accept black members, but having a white chairman and a bl ack chairman only perpetuated the notion that southern ADA chapters were going to be perpetually segregated. 72 Like most liberal southerners, the Greensboro ADA was attempting to follow the path of least resistance, not wanting to provoke an open confronta tion 70 Beeler to Loeb, May 22, 1949 reel 61, n o. 32 ADA Papers 71 Hopkins memo to Loeb, November 27, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 72 reel 40, no. 137, ADA Papers

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166 Lillian Smith, whose 1949 book Killers of the Dream had received widespread acclaim from liberals (and ringing endorsements from Loeb, National Chair man Robert LaFollette, and other ADA leaders), was an anomaly in her passionate denunciation of segregation. 73 Hopkins was She had become as frustrated with the South as Barney Taylor had been, and she did not hide her disappointment and anger from her correspondents in the national office. After what [should] give up our p olicy of non segregated meetings in the he thought ADA needed tried to work here on a non segregated basis and my own experiences in trying to organi ze abandon the idea of integrat ed chapters. She wanted to keep working in the South because of its importance to nation al politics, believing that i n the long run, liberals are either going to have to defeat every Republican outside the S outh and replace him with a Democrat in Congress; or else we are going to have to start sending a substantial number of Fair ad to encourage southern liberal s to seize control of the Democratic Party, but a t the end of 1949 all Hopkins could see that abandoning integrated chapters was a drastic step for ADA to take, but since N egroes will not come to our meetings unless we go out and practically force them to, the practical effect of the change was minor. 74 73 Morton J. Sosna, In Search of the Silent South: Southern Liberals and the Race Issue (New York 1977) 172, 186 197. 74 Hopkins memo to Loeb, December 14, 1949, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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1 67 Hopkins was imploring the national office to think in a practical manner, and LaFollette to make a busin ess of soliciting, urging, or forcing ny decision to remain in the South on any ot her basis is a surrender of principle which I do not think ADA should make in the interest of political expedience 75 Loeb agreed with LaFollette, telling Hopkins that ADA could not sponsor a local chapter that excluded black members, at least not without some kind of a meeting with our Negro friends, in order to determine on a policy which would be carried out with their understanding and on their recommendations. 76 Hopkins thought the idea of a conference with black leaders to discuss changes in ADA pol icy was fine, as long as southerners were included in the conversation. However, she also thought Loeb, LaFollette, and the rest of the Washington staff were not her most important audience Her biggest problem was that southerners were beginning, once a gain, to defend their society and their traditions in the wake of the 1948 Dixiecrat campaign. Some historians have integrationist liberalism to the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education 77 Hopkins would have disagreed with this historical verdict. She wrote, M any, many persons have pointed out to me the severely aggravated feelings on the race question, especially non segregation. There is a rising tide of feeling [since the 1948 election] ; the atmosp here of fear is heavier; the consequences for a person who violates the traditional customs are more serious, in terms of earning a living, keeping his friends and mai ntaining his 75 LaFollette memo to Loeb, December 19, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers. 76 Loeb to H opkins, December 29, 1949, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers. 77 Brown J ournal of American History 81.1 (June 1994), 81 118.

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168 st outherners do not think of non segregation as a civil rights question, or a question of justice, but as a social question. 78 If they did not wake up to the consequences of their philosophy, the results would be disastrous, both for the organization and for the natio nal hopes of anti It would not be hard to elect liberal Congressmen from any of the larger cities in the South, with proper organization. the South. As Hop n Chattanooga, we have either two or four Negro members in a total of 80, and there is usually one Negro at our meetings. Think for a minute what real purpose is accomplished by this token attendance? Only one, which is to keep away a numbe r of white liberals who would come in otherwise. 79 She believed that ADA needed to take a more practical approach to political organization in the South, which meant working with potential members and supporters instead of alienating them. She had return ed to the question that had At the same time that she was trying to persuade Loeb on the segregation issue, she wanted to change to the focus of the southern office. On December 31, 1 949, she informed the national office that she wanted to move her base of operations from North Carolina to Florida, Miami is almost certainly the only place in the South where we can b uild a strong and sizable ADA chapter, comparable to, say, the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh was also the only place in the South where ADA could raise a substantial amount of money. Hopkins also lik t 78 Hopkins first memo to Loeb, December 31, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 79 Hopkins first memo to Loeb, December 31, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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169 is more cosmopolitan statewide, due to the influx of Northern residents. were still questions about some prominent Democrats and officeholders in Flori da, she was convinced that they would work for ADA. 80 The final reason Hopkins wanted to work in Florida was political. She knew that Frank Graham had not been the most attentive candidate in shoring up his political base and dissuading potential rivals fo r the Democratic nomination, and even Governor Scott expressed his surprise he had no organization in place, no campaign headquarters, and no plans to raise money for a campaign. 81 ot only is it entirely possible Graham will be unopposed, but even if he has opposition, both conservatives and liberals predict he will win in a walk. 82 Her North Carolina correspondent s had apparently reinforced this impression, and the withdrawal of former Senator William Umstead from the Graham race for health reasons strengthened the idea that Graham would have an easy time winning his Senate race. 83 ull term in the Senate, however, was another matter. He had a serious opponent, two term Congressman George Smathers of Miami, who had actually had won his seat in Congress as an anti Communist Democrat, and he had broken with the Dixiecrats in 1948 by supporting President Truman at the Philadelphia convention and campaigning for him. By October 1949, he had decided to run against Pepper, though his 80 Hopkins second memo to Loeb, December 31 1949, r eel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 81 Pleasants and Burns, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race 51 52. 82 Hopkins second memo to Loeb, December 31, 1949 r eel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 83 Pleasants and Burns, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senat e Race 53 54.

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170 personal con nections to the Senator were still strong. In fact, Smathers had met with Pepper in Senate in 1950, only to have Pepper dismiss the notion of a Smathers campaig victories in 1938 and 1944 had deluded the senator into thinking that he could convince the and civil rights and re elect him anyway. 84 Pepper may not have sensed the danger Smathers posed, but his supporters, including will definitely have opposition unless a miracle intervenes; and will have a hard race. Again, Miam i el less strongly about Pepper than Graham for obvious reasons; but, he does have the mos t consistently liberal voting record of any Southern Senator. 85 The obstacles facing Hopkins in Florida would be similar to those she faced in North needs plenty of attention to get started right and to build up in a reaso nably short period to its potential membership, effectiveness and lucrativeness. Only a full time organizer could provide this attention, and she believed that Miami is too important to take a chance on haphazard organizing by committee members who can give it only such time as they can spare from their own jobs. to North Carolina. She agreed wholeheartedly with organizers who had worked with organizations like the American Veterans Committe North 84 Clark, Road to Defeat 137 152 (quote on 150). 85 Hopkins second memo to Loeb, December 31, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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171 Carolina was the hardest state to organize scenery. 86 Jim Loeb told her, lthough we are looking for another organizer in California, you are now the only full time organizer on our staff. on the southern project. However, her disillusionment with North Carolina liberals was clear, it is apparent that you are somewhat discouraged and that you have sought a Loeb was that ADA had never planned on having a full ti me organizer in Florida, and she could not move without first consulting the Executive Committee or National Board. 87 In the end, Loeb allowed Hopkins to temporarily move her base of operations to Miami, it would seem that there are financial possibi lities in Miami. should organize a fund raiser for the end of February, and he told her he would try to convince Hubert Humphrey to speak at the gathering. In order to maximize the benefit to the Miami chapter, Loeb even offer keep one hundred percent of the profits from the dinner. If the Miami chapter did not succeed in experime nt, perhaps not a failure, but certainly not sufficiently a succ terminate her contract, which was scheduled to expire on January 27, 1950. 88 86 Hopkins second memo to Loeb, December 31, 1949 reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 87 Loeb to Hopkins, January 1 1, 1950 reel 50, n o. 276 ADA Papers 88 Loeb to Hopkins, January 11, 1950 reel 50, n o. 276 ADA Papers.

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172 Hopkins understood the time and financial constraints under which she would be operating in Miami, but she wanted to continue her work for ADA beyond the timeframe Loeb had suggested, though she was unsure about how to proceed. At first, she wanted to borrow organizational techniques from the CIO, which had successfully created new locals on an ad hoc also thought a targeted campaign that concentrat ed on major cities like Houston, Atlanta, and ue to their size, those cities should be potential ADA material because there are a sufficient number of liberals to form an effective chapter. ith that idea was the size of the territory an organizer would have to cover, which would necessitate a large travel budget that ADA could not afford. 89 to send an organizer into a city whenever National receiv es information that there is an interested group of individuals ready and willing to organize a chapter. ADA would always have someone available in case an interested liberal asked the n ational office for literature, membership cards, or other material that might be useful in getting people excited founding of a new chapter. It was a less ambitiou s alternative to what ADA had been attempting to do for the previous three years, but given the modest results their approach had shown to this point, a change in tactics was reasonable. Hopkins even offered to be the on call organizer for the South. 90 89 Hopkins m emo to Loeb, January 18, 1950, r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 90 Hopkins m emo to Loeb, January 18, 1950, r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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173 Hop January 1950, however, when Dr. Thomas Wood, a professor in the government department at the University t the It is our belief that at the present time it is unfortunately out of the question that we should undertake the financial responsibility for an organizer although we have reason to believe that after the middle of the year or perhaps somewhat sooner we shall be in a position to aid substantially in underwriting an organizer for this area. in the immediate future our funds will scarcely be adequate to carry on our activities here in Greater Miami. admission of failure for the Miami chapter. In fact, the chapter was receptive to the idea o f a Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. or Democratic Senator Herbert Lehman of N ew York, noting that the could better promote [their] New York interest by a speech in Miami than in any other city in the country outside of New York. was critical, especially since the P epper Smathers election was beginning to heat up. 91 time organizer for the Miami chapter and his our proposed solution to the Hopkins p roblem has collapsed e find no alternative to that of merely saying, as I suggested in my previous letter, that the Southern experiment, without being a total failure by any manner 91 Dr Thomas Wood to Loeb, January 19, 1950 reel 61, n o. 32 ADA Papers

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174 of means, did not prove to be sufficiently successful to warrant its continuance. we have all appreciated your devotion to ADA and the self sacrificing job you have done for us in the most difficult section of the country but it was little consolation for 92 of success in both North Carolina and Flori da, an immediate change of scenery would have been understandable. However, she refused to accept defeat without making an effort at holding the the group, particularly the university and labor members underestimated the financial possibilities of a Miami Beach cocktail party and Fair Deal meeting in Miami with Humphrey. d the Pepper campaign, with her salary of one hundred dollars a week divided equally. The Miami chapter would cover the ADA salary once it had raised sufficient funds from the late February banquet, and she asked the national office to cover her salary un til then. 93 determined to make the Miami chapter work, and she did everything in her powe r to convince Senator Humphrey to come south for the February banquet. However, in a series of telegrams attempting to make final arrangements with the senator, it became clear that the national office not see [a] sufficiently definite prospect of Humphrey visit Miami to make feasible 92 Loeb to Hopkins, January 21, 1950, r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 93 Hopkins memo to Loeb, January 23, 1950 r eel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers

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175 undertaking arrangements we have discussed for you. 94 organizer came to an end. options open. A con fidential memo from Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. to Joseph Rauh and Jim Loeb hints at another possible course of action in the South. Schlesinger sent the memo shortly ADA had created to honor the former president, in January 1950. He was positive about the meeting, welcome d] no rthern prodding and [acknowledged] th at the South would do very little without it 95 Still, there were problems in the South that he could not ignore. At the forefront was the civil rights issue. Schlesinger agreed with Hopkins, saying that while no one thought ADA should modify its support life is made more difficult for [southern liberals] by anything which makes ADA seem exclusively or largely concerned with the civil rights issue. there seems to be some feeling [in the South] that while Lillian is an admirable moral character, that her thinking and influence are somewhat irrelevant in the south to those concerned with politica l problems and particularly with influencing political leaders in a liberal direction. words, he wanted a distinguish repare a program, addressed 94 La Follette telegram to Hopkins, February 2 1950 reel 50, n o. 264 ADA Papers 95 Arthur M. Schles inger, Jr., confidential memo to Rauh and Loeb, January 25, 1950, reel 78, n o. 95 ADA Papers

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176 particularly to the economic and political problems of the South, pointing out what could be done by federal, state and local action to improve the regional position of the South. Civil rights could be put in its appropriate place in that program. [ADA leaders would t hen ] call a meeting in the South with representatives from all existing ADA chapters, and have them adopt the program. 96 This was an intriguing suggestion from an important libera l, but its timing meant that nothing would come from it. It would have been much better for all concerned if ADA had crafted this sort of program immediately after the 1949 Atlanta conference. This would have ensured that southerners would understand exa ctly where ADA stood on issues that mattered to them. Such a platform coming from the likes of Frank Graham, historian C. Vann Woodward, political scientist V. O. Key, and Lowell Mellett, who had written the Report on the South in 1938 for President Roose velt, all of whom Schlesinger suggested, would have given Hopkins a head start in convincing interested southerners that ADA was right for them. Instead, she organized the region much as Barney Taylor had. Like Taylor, she had to spend too much time find ing out where liberals were and not enough time trying to prod them to join local chapters. When liberals proved unwilling to listen, either because they disagreed with parts of the ADA platform or because they remembered the examples of other failed libe frustration level grew. frustration. She thought any further work in the region had two major obstacles to overcome. articularly in the smaller ci ties, it takes too long to find enough real liberals who will serve on an organizing committee. with liberal tendencies thought identification with ADA would hurt them in the long run. Frank 96 Arthur M. Schles inger, Jr., confidential memo to Rauh and Loeb, January 25, 1950, reel 78, n o. 95 ADA Papers

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177 Grah hen you do get a group sold on organizing ADA in their community, the organizer has already found a large number of the available liberals and c rossed off other possibilities. Then they meet lack of interest in some of the remaining people and fear or distaste in others. communities of North Carolina and Flo rida, and they prevented a significant number of liberals from being interested in dealing with ADA even if they did agree with the program. 97 She also thought that it would be difficult for ADA to attract a new organizer to work in the South. She wrote th at a nyone who took on this job had to have the best qualities of a also have to deal with a staggering amount of clerical work, including bookkeeping, correspondence with chapters throughout the South, and the memos and letters that kept the national office informed about his or her activities. She thought a potential s olution to this to spend a little more money on part time clerical assis tance or public it necessary for the professional to do all the clerical work. 98 The biggest obstacle to finding her replacement, acc ording to Hopkins, was the dismal track record ADA had built over the previous two and a half years. Two separate southern organizers, based in three different states, had accomplished almost nothing. The decision to focus her attention on North Carolina had much to recommend it, especially since Frank Graham 97 Hopkins memo to Loeb, February 23, 1950, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers 98 Hopkins memo to Loeb, February 23, 1950, reel 40, n o. 137 ADA Papers

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178 had received his unexpected appointment to the U.S. Senate not long before she got the job. ADA wanted Graham elected for a full term in 1950, and functioning chapters supporting the former college president seemed like they could only help him. Unfortunately for Hopkins, long standing rivalries within the liberal community and a general lack of interest in many North Carolina cities meant that those chapters which Hopkins did found during her year in the state were small, ineffectual, and unable to raise money for their activities. seeming indifference with his political fate, which would prove costly to him during t he 1950 Democratic primaries. He won the first primary, but his failure to capture a majority forced a run race one of the most notoriously racist liberals had about North Carolina in particular and the South more generally. 99 The other southern candidate ADA supported Florida Senator Claude Pepper, also lost a racially charged understanding changes in the foreign policy climate in his state also contributed to his defeat. G raham and Pepper were the southern candidates on which ADA, and most other liberals, had invested so much hope, and both lost. Not only did they lose, they did so in a manner that was terribly discouraging for liberals who had hoped the changes which Worl d War II had caused might have some political effects on the region. It was now clear that conservative politics still had tremendous appeal in the South, and that liberalism had not made as much headway as its adherents believed it had. 99 Pleasants and Burns, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race 203 246.

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179 CHAPTER 6 T HE LIM ITS OF L IBERALISM : G EORGE L AMBERT THE ADA IN T EXAS AND THE F IGHT FOR THE T EXAS D EMOCRATIC P ARTY 1953 1956 the expansion of the welfare state at home and Communism abroad. 1 conservative nature of the era. Bec 2 The problems Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) libe rals faced in the South in the aftermath of World War II had not responded to grand organizational plans in favor of smaller scale efforts. However, ADA leaders wor king during the 1950s did not give up on the South. They still believed that if they did enough work, southerners would finally join the national consensus in favor of their program. One of the most important places where ADA tested this belief was Texas The state offered some intriguing possibilities for liberals. Texas was a right to work state, as was North Carolina and Florida, but its larger population (7.7 million in 1950) meant a pool of unionized workers that numbered in the tens of thousands a nd was reliably liberal. Texas was also more culturally diverse than the rest of the South. Its black population was much smaller than in other southern states, but the southern half of the state was between ten and 1 Charles C. Alexander Holding the Line: The Eisenhower Era, 1952 1961 (Bloomington, 1975), xvi. 2 Richard H. Pells, The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age: American Intellectuals in the 1940s & 1950s (New York, 1985), viii, ix.

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180 fifteen percent Hispanic, and Texas l iberals had begun to appeal to black and Hispanic included House Speaker Sam Rayburn and Senate Democratic leader Lyndon Johnson, were not as beholden to the racis t politics prevalent in other states. Liberals also thought they would transcend the racial and social conservatism of his southern colleagues in the Senate. In a sense, Johnson fulfilled these liberal hopes when he almost single handedly steered the 1957 Civil Rights Act through a deeply divided Congress. 3 There were promising signs for liberals in Texas, but other trends seemed to indicate that they would hav e a tough time reforming the state. The dominance of conservatives, most of whom had made their money through the oil business and related industries such as insurance and banking, had faced continued challenges from liberal and progressive interests dati ng as far liberal attempt to challenge established national and state interests, with mixed success. This history of political combat affected Texas dramatically, though that change was difficult for outsiders to notice because these battles almost always took place within the Democratic Party. 4 A combination of policy differences and personal antagonism fueled the divisions within the Texas party that emerged after the end of the war. Democrat Allan Shivers, who served six 3 Jack Bass and Walter DeVries, The Transformati on of Southern Politics: Social Change and Political Consequence Since 1945 (New York, 1976) 328 329, 336 337; Chandler Davidson, Race and Class in Texas Politics (Princeton, N.J. 1990) 18 23; Numan V. Bartley, A History of the South, Volume XI: The New South, 1945 1980 (Baton Rouge, 1995), 48 49; William Earl Maxwell and Ernest Crain, Texas Politics Today (St. Paul, Minn., 1978), 156 States and Texas Populations, 1850 http://www.tsl.state. tx.us/ref/abouttx/census.html (accessed January 30, 2008). 4 Bass and DeVries, Transformation 305 307 ; Davidson, Race and Class 18 23

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181 conservative. He brooked no opposition to his rule over the party. He and his conservative allies thwarted lib eral challenges to the status quo and made sure that Texas Democrats who served in two most significant political victories came during the 1952 and 1956 presiden tial elections. While Rayburn and Johnson worked for Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson, Shivers delivered the state to Republican nominee Dwight Eisenhower, a native Texan with whom he had served during World War II. 5 His most important liberal opponent at the state level was Ralph Yarborough. This county court judge began his feud with Shivers in 1952, when the governor refused to allow him to run arrogance, Yarborou gh ran for governor instead, winning 36% of the vote as the liberal candidate in the Democratic primary. He ran against Shivers again two years later, this time winning 47% of the primary vote. By 1954, Yarborough had become the champion of liberal cause s in the benefits, an end to restrictive electoral laws that discouraged political participation for poor, black, and Hispanic voters, higher tax rates for upper income Texans, and regulation of the oil and gas industries. Some of these issues were unique to the state, but the overall philosophy that governed liberal thinking on these issues placed them squarely within the mainstream of national liberal politics in the era. 6 5 Bass and DeVries, Transformation 309 310. 6 Davidson, Race and Class 26 28.

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182 In this complicated and combative political climate, ADA leaders wanted to play a part, though its leaders were critically lacking in information that could guide their efforts to organize liberals in Texas and turn the tide toward liberal po litics. ADA officials wanted to join the fight conservatives that had been in power for decades. Political scientist (and Texas native) V. O. Key was convinc ed that there were possibilities for southern liberalism, particularly among the party system effectively excluded liberals from participation, which helped conservative Democrats to m onopolize both elected offices and the bureaucracy. Liberals wanted to break up this monopoly, but they also wanted to work within the system rather than try to overthrow it. In this effort, they could count on fierce resistance to expanding the electora te, since conservatives knew that expanded voter participation would hurt their hold on political power. 7 Eisenhower in 1952, ADA leaders turned to George Lambert, a vete ran liberal labor activist and former Socialist, in an effort to learn more about Texas politics. 8 Between 1953 and 1956, in a reported on the personality conflicts w ithin the Texas Democratic Party, his efforts to expand Democrats in the short term, prior to the 1956 presidential election. 7 Davidson, Race and Class 19. 8 Unive rsity of Texas at Austin, The Handbook of Texas Online http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/LL/fla61.html (accessed January 30, 2008)

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183 dated to 1946, the year before it reorganized out of the ashes of the wartime anti fascist and anti Communist Union for Democratic Action (UDA). His wife Latane, a long time political and labor activist in her own right, joined the Dallas Committee for De raising parties in local homes to raise money for the Austin based Texas Spectator weekly n ewspaper. 9 She campaigned for liberal candidates for the Dallas County Democratic executive committee, established connections between ADA and other prominent liberal groups (including the NAACP), 10 and worked unsuccessfully to secure the re nomination of Leland Olds as chairman of the Federal Power Commission in 1949, a major liberal cause of the time thwarted in no small part by the efforts of newly elected Texas Senator Lyndon Johnson. 11 record in the state consisted of failed measures, organization in fits and starts, and electoral setbacks that count on little from people at the national le problems. Declining contributions from labor unions and increasing expenditures forced ADA 9 Latane Lambert to Badger Reed, March 8, 1947, box 2, folder 8, George and La tane Lambert Papers, Texas Labor Archives, Un iversity of Texas at Arlington Special Collections (hereafter cited as Lambert Papers) 10 Minutes of DCDA meeting, March 14, 1948, b ox 2, f older 8 Lambert Papers 11 Latane Lambert to ADA National Director Charles LaFollette, Octobe r 10, 1949 reel 42, n o. 154 Americans for Democratic Action Papers, University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville, microfilm collection (hereafter cited as ADA Papers) For more details on the Olds nomination, see Robert A. Caro, The Years of Lyndon John son: Master of the Senate (New York 2002), 232 303.

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184 to operate with tens of thousands of dollars in debt through most of the 1950s. 12 As a result, ons went largely unrealized. One of these continuing ambitions was the creation of a network of southern chapters. In the whole political situation [in the South] is chaotic . the liberal labor coalition can and should make itself felt. 13 North Carolina liberal activist John Thomason, whom ADA executive secretary Jim Loeb had hired in o riginally wanted to stop in Dallas during his trip. However, he was not sure that Texas should expressed the opinion that Texas should be lumped together with several other states for a Southwestern region include Arkansas and Oklahoma. 14 organizers had concentrated on organizing chapters in Tennessee, Florida, and North Carolina, ignoring Texas almost completely. Despite th ese obstacles, by the early 1950s liberals had come to believe that something had to be done to force liberal political change in Texas. As one correspondent wrote just before the 1952 election, [Democratic presidential candidate Adlai] Stevenson? 15 It was with this in mind that George Lambert 12 Steve n M. Gillon, Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947 1985 (N ew York 1987) 58. 13 Year Plan: November 19 48 r eel 42, n o. 146 ADA Papers 14 John Thomason to James A. Loeb, December 22, 1948 reel 51, n o. 301 ADA Papers 15 R.V. Shoemaker to ADA, October 13, 1952 reel 49, n o. 261 ADA Papers

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185 al survey of the South before the 1954 and 1956 elections. Dall assisting liberals in Austin as they tried to create their own chapter. He asked the national office for local subscription lists to liberal publications such as The New Repu blic and The Nation and he wanted ADA leaders to invite prominent Texas liberals, including state representative Maury should be members of ADA logical people to take the initiative in establishing ADA Chapters in their communities 16 wrote ADA Exec we are at present in the posi tion of having to determine whether it might not be better for us to use our limited available funds for continuing and expanding our program here. The expenses of a convention delegation would divert a needed part of our resources from our total program and obligations here. Lambert acting as the paid organizer for the state. The Dallas chapter would contribute 50% of ional office in Washington would provide the rest, and 16 George Lambert to Reginald Zal les, March 2 2, 1953 and April 14, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers

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186 Lambert would organize chapters, report on local conditions, and work to bolster liberalism in Texas. 17 On May 24, 1953, Lambert spoke on behalf of this idea at the monthly National Board meeting, arg uing that the need for organizing Texas (and the Southwest more generally) was acute and needed help from the national level to succeed. Lambert carried the Dailey proposal osed that Dallas and half to be paid by the national office. 18 The timing of the Dallas proposal was perfect, since ADA leaders had just approved a larger project at th e 1953 national convention In June, Political Secretary Violet Gunther detailed the project in a memorandum to other top ADA officials. In an effort to better understand the South S tates. he purpose of this survey would be to make an on the spot study of the Democratic Party in the several Southern States with a view to developing allies in e effort of the non Fair Deal Southern Democrats to take over both the policy direction and the nominating machinery at the llected in the survey would increased ADA work in the South and to es tablish state and local contacts, both as a continuing source of information and as a basis for cooperative work on mutually agreed upon political 17 Patric k Dailey to Zalles, May 9, 1953, reel 78, n o. 97 ADA Papers. 18 Minutes to ADA National Board meeting, May 24, 1953 r e el 46, n o. 194 ADA Papers

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187 this projec how important they believed the South to be. 19 Lambert knew what he was getting himself into, especially in a conservative city such as Dallas. In March 1953, he told the na tional office that an editorial in the Dallas Morning News out half As far as Lam have had no official reporters at our meetings in the past three months, and the only non ADA people who have been at our meetings have been those associated with a gr could possibly be disapproved of by [Wisconsin Senator] Joe McCarthy. 20 Despite the political and organizational obstacles, he began soliciting Texa s liberals and taking notes about the political developments in the state. The job was difficult, as Lambert knew it would be. Part of the problem was that ADA, though affiliated with liberal Democrats in Texas, organized separately from them. The fortun es liberals. 21 Formed in May 1953, the Committee was meant to counter the strength of the Shivers led conservative Democrats in the official Democratic organization of Texas. Lambert, like most liberals, wanted badly for it to succeed, but he worked for ADA, and they were paying 19 Violet Gunther memo to Robert reel 39, n o. 129 ADA Papers 20 George Lambert to Gunther, March 7, 1953 reel 78, n o. 97 ADA Papers 21 George Lambert as June 14, 1953 reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers

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188 his salary. Was Lambert attempting to build an independent liberal organization, or did local political conditions mean that taking energy an d money away from loyalist Democrats would do but the eventual goal of his work remained unclear. 22 While leaders in Dallas and Washington worked to establish thes e long term goals, Port liberal political stronghold of any size and impor other smaller communities. Lambert expected to spend two weeks in San Antonio and two weeks in Houston, indicating the br eadth of the work he hoped to accomplish in those cities. The short term goal was to assist the Democratic Organizing Committee of Texas in November maintain con trol of the party machinery. 23 Lambert also provided ADA leaders with his detailed reports about mat ters of national interest. His first report covered June 1953. Many liberals feared Mitchell none of them had been consulted before the trip. Lambert thought that Governor Shivers would use the trip to get back in the good graces of the party he had spurned in 1952, and liberals did not trust Rayburn or Johnson to lead the anti Sh ivers movement. Johnson in particular was difficult to gauge, and Lambert believed 22 Pat Dailey and Bette Morgan to Hollander, June 21, 1953 reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers 23 Dailey and Morgan letter to Ho llander, June 21, 1953 reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers

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189 conservatives with his tepid support for Stevenson in 1952 and liberals wit h his conservative voting record in the Senate. 24 In the end, liberal s. According to Lambert, Mitchell acknowledged the role the Organizing Committee had had in campaign Mitchell also noticed that Shivers and other conservatives stayed a way from the events on the tour. M any of the conservatives went out of the ir way to denounce Mitchell publicly. I f there was no public embracing of the leaders of the Organizing Committee and of the Loyal Democra electoral vote from being stolen from Roosevelt and Truman and Stevenson, at the same time ther e was no public or, as far as can be determined, private embracing of Shivers and the Shi vercrats. 25 was an important success for Texas liberals By the summer of 1953, people outside of ADA were beginning to recognize Lambert as a potential source of informati on about Texas. In late July, Reporter magazine writer Dorothy Kahn contacted him seeking information that for a possible upcoming issue on Texas politics. 1938, with conservatives dominating the state politics and challenged by a much smaller group of liberals and loyal Democrats. Republicans were a non factor, having thrown their support behind conservative Democrats for political and financial reasons. Lamber t told Kahn that one the Republicans would not even run candidates for any 24 George Lambert to Hollander, July 8, 1953 reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers 25 George Lambert to Hollander, July 8, 1953 reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers

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190 cost of staging their own primaries 26 His fru there are several Republican controlled States, some almost continuously Republican, that have such things as Minimum Wage Laws, FEPC Laws, little Wagner Acts, progressive taxatio n, adequate control of utilities, higher unemployment compensation, and other types of socially advanced 27 The DOC was the first major attempt at changing this status quo to be a ttempted since 1932. It was the only institution in the state that could effect change, but no one knew whether Rayburn or Johnson intended to challenge Shivers. Lambert was particularly dismissive of Johnson as a liberal savior, indicating that the Sena would maintain control of the state party and Johnson would avoid a contest in the 1954 Democratic primary 28 Lambert had a great deal of contempt for Johnson, but he knew liberals had to deal with him Lambert suggested that Kahn cover several issues in her articles on Texas, including whether Republicans intended to make Texas a true two party state, election in 1954, and the hold oil companies had over the entire political system. 29 26 George Lambert to Dororthy N. Kahn, July 22, 1953, re el 78, no. 97, ADA Papers. 27 George Lambert to Dororthy N. Kahn, July 22, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers. 28 George Lambert to Dororthy N. Kahn, July 22, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers. 29 Ironically, nothing actually came of these conversations, since Lambert indicated in a subseque nt letter to the national office that edit or at Reporter had told him there was Gunther, August 11, 1953 reel 78, no. 97, AD A Papers

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191 While he tried to educate outsiders about his home state, Lambert traveled the state looking for ADA prospects. His August 1953 reports were mixed He was optimistic that he could start several chapters in Texas before his six month trial run ended. Things had progressed slower than he had hoped, partly because his wife had been forced to have surgery over the summer. Nevertheless, he thought the re was a place for ADA in each city. 30 Fort Worth was his most organization of the Independent liberals, presently largely without organization, and to make them an effective force in the po litical situation in the community leaders, and this meant finding people with experience, contacts in the liberal community, and practical political skills. By the end of August, Lambert was convinced t hat he had done so 31 Another report s was more pessimistic, however, not only about the chapters but about the whole ADA enterprise. He believed that Texas liberals were spread too thin and had too many competing loyalties. For example in August the Dallas County division of the DOC conventions arrange for the printing of precinct maps showing the new precincts in Dallas County, arrange f or printing of letterheads and o and draw up their budget. Lambert did as he was asked, but these tasks took him away from his job as ADA organizer. 32 There were also logistical and political problems that hamstrung Lamber example, in late August Lambert told Gunther that he had attempted to issue a statewide ADA 30 George Lambert to Hollander, August 8, 1953 reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers 31 George Lambert to Gunther, August 11, 1953, reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers 32 George Lambert to H ollander, September 6, 1953, reel 78, n o. 97 ADA Papers

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192 newsletter, only to find that the duplication facilities he wanted to use at the state CIO in Austin could not accommodate his project. He also h 33 Lambert decided to tighte n screening procedures for new members in response to questions from potential anti Communism meant that financial and political resources that would have gone towar d organization and political activity could not be used for those purposes. 34 summer Violet Gunther effusively praised his work on the Mitchell trip and the Kahn letter. She in Texas. She wanted Lambert to find out whether the DOC would be re presented at a Democratic Party caucus in Chicago in mid September, assuming that both sides in the fight for control of the Texas party would make their case at the meeting Liberals feared that Texas Democrats who supported Eisenhower in 1952 would atte mpt to return to the party as if nothing had happened, and that Mitchell would not stop them from doing so. 35 In early September, Gunther made her concern more explicit, worrying that Shivercrat Democratic National 33 George Lambert to H ollander, September 6, 1953, reel 78, n o. 97 ADA Papers 34 Hollander to George Lambert, September 9, 1953 reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers 35 Gunther to George Lambert, July 31, 1953, reel 22, n o. 1 ADA Papers

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193 Committeeman Wright Morrow would be allow ed to remain in the party after the Chicago meeting. 36 Lambert, recognizing that liberals had to work against conservatives who acted as though birds with one sto ne. Harris County (Houston) Democratic executive secretary Bernice Smith all but one of [whom we re ] very favorable to ADA and would be pleased with the opportunity of meeting liberals at an ADA sponsored gathering there. be to work against the Shivers forces, but Lambert realized that the national ADA leadership would be able to meet with the Houston group in Chicago and exch ange ideas and policy proposals. 37 No minutes from this meeting survive, but Gunther believed that the Chicago gathering a give and take of information and ideas about how Northerners could help the Democratic Organi zing Committee in Texas get recognized by the National Party. t here was no formal decision o about what to do next, and many of the leading lights of ADA, including Philadelphia Mayor Joseph Clark and Minnesota S enator Hubert Humphrey, were not able to meet with the Texans because they were at party functions. The lack of action in Chicago frustrated Gunther, and it seemed to sum up the relationship between liberals in Texas and the leadership of national liberal 36 Violet Gunther to George Lambert, Septem ber 1, 1953, reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers 37 George Lambert memo to Hollander 1953 reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers

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194 organizations such as ADA. 38 By the end of 1953, ADA leaders understood that they had been unable to convince more than a handful of Texas liberals to join their organization. Nevertheless, in November 1953 Dallas chapter chairman Carl Brannin suggested t hat the 50 through January 31 of the to recruit Texans for ADA chapters, but he thought Lambert had furthered the cause of liberal de mocracy in this area and [ increas ed] awareness of liberal political organization in the Democratic Party over the State. a good team, devoted to the work and effective. 39 e also have been very much impressed with the activities in Texas and with the good job that George has done. 40 This short Brannin wanted to know whether ADA official wanted Lambert to continue his work in the liberal program toward a practical political orientation not to mention his role as an unofficial secretariat for the Democratic Organizing Committee on the county and state lev el in Texas. Brannin credited the organization of the DOC on the county level in Dallas have the money to continue paying Lambert beyond January. Still, he thought that losing an 38 Gunther to George Lambert, October 28, 1953 reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers 39 Carl Brannin to H ollander, November 11, 1953 reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers 40 Hollande r to Brannin, November 13, 1953, reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers

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195 liberals in Texas. 41 submitting memos to the nati onal office concerning the prospects for liberals as they tried to seize control of the state Democratic Party. His reports were not encouraging. On January 6, any chance of there being an effective statewide political program an d organization to return the Democratic Party to the Democrats in Texas this year is dead. many liberals, Lambert blamed Rayburn for failing to organize anything more than scattered opposition to Shivers, and for de emphasizing the DOC in favor of an (Democratic Advisory Council, or DAC) with the limited announced purposes of raising money for the National Party and advising it, through Sam Rayburn, of the political situation in Texas mbert worried that Rayburn would support conservative Georgia Senator Richard B. Russell as the Democratic nominee for President in 1956. The problem for Rayburn was the quixotic nature of such a campaign, since t is hard to conceive that he seriously b elieves that Russell stands a chance of being nominated for control of the party. 42 Up to this point, Lambert had merely reported what had been happening in Texas, but he was now offering opinions on what this all meant to Texas liberals. Rayburn wanted desperately to be Speaker of the House again, but he also worried about his own prospects for re election in 41 Brannin to Hollander, January 6, 1954 reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers 42 George Lambert, confidential memo to National ADA, Politi 1954, pp. 1 3, reel 52, n o. 308 ADA Papers

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196 1954. This may seem somewhat odd considering that he ended up winning three quarters of the beginning of the year. 43 Most of his worries centered on a pending redistricting plan that would 44 election bid more difficult, but Ray burn also knew that how Dickson is of the opinion that Rayburn is afraid to be identified with any effective organization a gainst Shivers, and that he will actively sabotage any o record was generally good, but they hated that his pol itical survival appeared to be more important than his principles. 45 significant as an example of the service Lambert provided to ADA officials in Washington. It allowed them to understand what was going on in Texas, from a point of view they would not have received from the largely conservative press in the state. except for the very good results that have accrued from the arrangement up to now, we would have felt 43 Congressman Sam Rayburn (New Brunswick, N.J., 1984) 131 136. 44 ned just over 210,000 people when he first won the seat in 1912; by the 1960 census, the Fourth had just under 260,000 in a state that had grown from 3.9 million in 1910 to 9.6 million in 1960 All census figures from Champagne, Congressman Sam Rayburn 1 3 14, except for 1960 state census figures from Texas State Library and Archives Commission, 200 6 http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/census.html (accessed January 30, 2008) 45 5 7.

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197 compell ed to terminate the arrangement also needed to earn a living, and Hollander was not sure ADA could keep him as an employee. The National Board wanted Lambert to continue his work, but only if Dallas could finance pay for it. 46 The limbo under which Lambert operated continued into mid March, when Brannin told Hollander that the Dallas chapter would conducting a membership and fund raising drive in an att 47 In the meantime, Lambert was remained an ADA employee, but he had no assurances that he would remain on the payroll for long. Until the Dallas chapter raised more money, the national office decided to pay all of ry for the first few months of 1954, but Hollander told Lambert that these arrangements could not last much longer without assistance from Dallas. Hollander regretted the situation, but he could not disagree with those ADA officials who cautioned that at least a modicum of financial prudence has to take precedence over our hopes and ambitions. There is no doubt we are over extended and that we must be prepared to retrench if additional funds are not forthcoming. 48 No matter how productive Lambert was, a nd no matter how important Texas was to national Democratic politics, cost cutting was vital for an organization facing tens start. 49 While the national office deb ated whether or not to keep Lambert on the payroll, he continued to tell the office in Washington about political events in Texas. In February 1954, he 46 Hollander to Brannin, February 16, 1954 reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers. 47 Brannin to Hollander, March 13, 1953, reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers 48 Hollander to George Lambert, June 9, 1954 reel 22, no. 1, ADA Papers 49 Robert Nathan to Louis J. Hexter, June 7, 1954 reel 40, n o. 130 ADA Papers

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198 Democratic o rganization that had backed Stevenson in 1952. The Governor wanted to control al party. In late March, to confer legitimacy on his group, Shivers invited Stevenson and Mitchell to speak to that an invitation to Stevenson would tend to show the good faith of the Shivers crowd when they took over the Young Democrats or at least would give them a powerful argument for recognition by the National organization. of them were between fifty an d seventy years of age, a fact that even conservative newspapers could not ignore in their coverage of the Shivers meetings. 50 On March 6, traveled to Miami for Dinner, and he reported a few of [his] persona l impressions with some of the reasons for [his] having gotten these impressions any of the large conclusions for you and others to draw both from my information and other information you, and others, may have on this affair. 51 Lambert was willing to take direction from ADA leaders, but he also had strong opinions about what that direction should be. about civil rights, labor legislation, or changes to American foreign policy, although he was there also must have been some sort of an agreement by the Southerners not to wave the bloody shirt of FEPC, school segregation, strict er labor legislation, [or] 50 George Lambert, memo to National ADA, February 14, 1954, reel 52, n o. 3 08 ADA Papers 51 George Lambert, memo to National ADA, ated, reel 52, n o. 308 ADA Papers

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199 y had at other Party functions. He was frustrated with the almost complete lack of minorities at the dinner, noting that that the three or four black Democrats present had been functionari es who, it was known, would not be embarrassed by their presence whether he was as out of touch as he seemed at one of his pre dinner p ress conferences. On the other hand, the selection of Texas Agricultural Commissioner John C. White as a speaker at the functions preceding the dinner was encouraging, since White had been the only state official in Texas to back Stevenson in 1952. Lambe a direct slap at Shivers some of whom were in Miami. Even this encouraging sign was not without its problems, there seemed to have been a deliberate effort made to assure that [these policy discussions] w 52 As for the dinner itself, Lambert tried to gauge the popularity of Democratic leaders, especially southerners, based on the reception they received when they rose to speak (he had also done this when Mitchell toured Texas the previous year). Rayburn received a long standing somewhere in the middle. Lambert paid attention not only to what was said, but what the c onservative Texas Democrats were doing during the speeches. For example, Lambert noted that when Johnson spoke out against Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wallace Savage, whom Lambert senator and began taking notes. He barely acknowledged the popular Rayburn when he spoke. According to Lambert, 52

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200 handclaps lit a cigarette in what looked like a gesture of contempt. 53 One thing that seemed of Democrats to commit to more substantial reform was a bad sign for liberals. The usefulness of reports like these to ADA leaders convinced them to keep Lambert on the payroll through the 1954 Democratic primaries, even though the Dallas chapter had not raised any money toward his salary. 54 Looking at the quality and detail of the information Lambert was providing, it is eas y to see why ADA officials did not want to lose him. He had a gift for telling liberals in Washington what was going on in Texas from a unique point of view. With this in mind, the Washington office was willing to swallow an expense that might have seeme d prohibitive under any other circumstances. However, Lambert knew that he had to deliver tangible results to ADA if its officials were going to continue to fund him. In mid May, after the window of opportunity for candidates to register for the Democrati c primaries in Texas had closed, he summed up where liberals stood at that moment. He was not Democratic Advisory Council beyond turning it into a personal fu nd raising tool that would funnel money to the national party. Rayburn would not let the group back liberals and loyalists in the primaries and would not invite Stevenson to Texas for speeches or fund raisers. As a result, liberals had washed their hands of the DAC for the time being, choosing instead to Work and money is being shifted to the Yarborough campaign in the hope that Yarborough can be elec ted and that, if elected, his prestige as Governor will cause enough of the 53 on Regional Dinner 54 Hollander to Ruth Ellinger, July 7, 1954 reel 78, n o. 97 ADA Papers

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201 County level politicians who normally control delegates from their Counties to the State Conventions to vote with him in the Conventions to enable The and Dallas, also encouraged Lambert. Nevertheless, Lambert was not expecting miracles in ic machinery would be difficult 55 As a result, when the 1954 Texas Democratic primaries ended with victories for Rayburn, Johnson, and Shivers, liberals in the st ate knew that they had failed to significantly influence the summer could no longer be ignored. On November 19, 1954, not long after the birth of the Lambert out of Texas Bob [Nathan] and I have rather over stretch ed the instructions of the Executive Committee in carrying [the project] this long. 56 Lambert accepted the decision of the Executive Committee humbly. He wrote, feel that my work here merits the praise you gave it in you r letter. He also unders tood that we somehow should have been able to justify it more fully in terms of additional organization and resources for ADA. only basis, and the national office agreed to retain him in this capacity. 57 He also continued to 55 George Lambert, reel 52, no. 308, ADA Papers 56 Hollander to George Lambert, N ovember 19, 1954 reel 24, n o. 1 ADA Papers 57 George Lambert to Hollander, November 29, 1954 reel 78, n o. 97 ADA Papers

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202 fight attacks on ADA from both sides of the political spectrum. For example, in April 1955, he Texas because the Southern Conference Educational Fund, which had organized in the wake of 58 However, ADA work wa s that he had begun to believe that liberals and loyal Democrats in Texas were gaining the upper hand. In 1955, Indiana lawye r Paul Butler had become chairman of the national party, and one of his first actions as chairman was a visit to Texas He wanted to end the split between conservatives and liberals in the party 1956 Democratic presidential nom inee unless he was able to play the role of kingmaker and they also wanted most of the money Butler raised on his trip to be turned over to the liberal faction H owever, Lambert found out that Butler and Shivers had been quietly begun meeting to work out a truce for the sake of Democratic unity. Lambert did not know exactly what had been promised, but he suspected that the deal involved r eplac ing f any kind from the Texas delegation in 1956. 59 Lambert did not know the details, but he had a true Democratic Party contributions [would be] handled by a man who had just announced flatly and publicly, as Allan S hivers just had, that he would again nominee. 60 58 Hollander to George Lambert, April 29, 1954 reel 78, no. 97, ADA Papers 59 Alfred Steinberg, Sam Rayburn: A Biography ( New York, 1975), 300. 60 August 15, 1955 p. 4, reel 52, no. 308, ADA Papers

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203 Despite their suspicions of Butler, liberals decided that the best thing to do under the circumstances was to suppo rt his tour. If Butler chose to refuse that support, they could expose that dealing with Shivers would do nothing to assist the national party and might hurt it significantly. Liberals, the major labor federations, and ADA leaders agreed that helping Butler was the best course of action, and they had support from DAC leaders in several East Texas counties who refused to have anything to do with Butler unless h e refused to associate with Shivers. 61 In the end, however, Shivers turned out to be the best friend of the loyalist Democrats. In blicly announce, through his political lieutenants, that suit and de nounced Butler, but liberals and loyalists exploited the opportunity. The East Texas loyalists who had threatened to ignore Butler now arranged a luncheon in his honor. Democrats across the state now lined up for tickets to Butler events, and Shivers was chairman to a private lunch in Austin at a point in the schedule when Butler could not possibly accept. Shivers then turned around and blasted Butler for snubbing him, conveniently ignoring Shivers [had] earlier anno unced that he would completely ignore the visit of the man with whom a few weeks earlier he had been so chummy 62 Lambert did not see this as a 61 Lambert, 5 6. 62 Lambert, 7 8.

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204 to the poin t that Shivers would not be a national spoiler in 1956. speech that stressed a hope for party unity, and Lambert speculated that this was because Butler feared that muc h of the audience would be pro Shivers. For his part, Butler saw few avowed Shivercrats in the Lubbock audience. The only major figure in the Shivers camp who attended refused to sit on the platform and his introduction was met with something less than cordial recognition by the crowd. the crowd refused to acknowledge Senator Johnson but loudly cheered when he mentioned Butler tailored his message for the liberals and loyal Democrats who were showing up to hear him. He did not repeat the had a deadening effect on the crowd from which it never quite recovere d even when towards the end of his talk he got on to more safe and familiar ground by delivering an able attack on some of the more glaring 63 His next stop, two days later in Dallas, showed that Butler had learned an important lesson about the dynamics of Texas Democratic politics. It did not hurt that twelve hundred people came to his Dallas event, double the size of the Lubbock crowd. As a result, Butler gave the w ild eyed radicals, lef t winger statement that criticized the Dallas gathering) who came to hear him a stronger performance. He the party by those who had no intention of supporting its principles. In a meeting with local 63 Lambert, 8 11.

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205 labor leaders after the speech, he declared himself a liberal in the Roosevelt Truman tradition, supported civil rights legislation and national health in surance, and urged the defeat of Butler was calling for the defeat of the entire Texas congressional delegation, since even Rayburn hated the idea of a permanent Fai r Employment Practices Commission. He was stunned that Butler would say these things when he could be fairly certain that these statements would get back to Johnson and Rayburn. 64 Lambert and other liberals were ecstatic about the ight have on their political fortunes in Texas, and Lambert communicated that sentiment to Washington. Still, liberals and loyalists could not be overly confident about where they stood in Texas. Butler attempted to tailor his message to the audience befo re whom he spoke. In Waco, he echoed the sentiments of his Dallas speech in a liberal city that backed Stevenson strongly in 1952. When he traveled to McAllen and Corpus Christi, however, he toned down his criticism of conservative Democrats in front of crowds that backed Shivers. 65 reached Houston for the Young Democrats convention on June 18, no one was quite sure what to make of him. At a press conference prior to his Houston speech, Butler revealed that Shivers would have to appeared to be a strong statement in support of Democrats who would not betray the pa rty in future elections. However, as had been the case so often on the tour, Butler remained enigmatic. He promised Shivers a great deal of influence in the selection of the Texas delegation to the 1956 64 Lambert, 11 14. 65 Lambert, 14 17.

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206 convention. This caused a poor reception to his sp eech before the Young Democrats, who because Butler limited his attacks to Eisenhower and the Republicans. 66 In the end, Lambert and the liberals did not know where they stood and what the Butler tour would mean. Lambert tried to reach some conclusions about the Butler tour in a separate report to the national office. The central question was how ADA leaders should reconcile ported the GOP to make a clean break and join the had helped their cause, and he listed several reasons for his optimism. First, large numbers of loyalists h raising for the hundreds of people gathering together to denounce Shivers sent the message tha t he was not invincible. Third, and most importantly, the Butler tour had forced many Texas Democrats to choose sides, especially after Shivers turned his back on Butler publicly. Even Rayburn and committee, and had convinced Bu tler that Shivers could not be trusted. 67 Lambert acknowledges their reasoning as well. Some activists worried that Butler would not press for concessions from Shivers be yond replacing Morrow on the National Committee. The 66 Lambert, 17 19. 67 George Lambert, GENERAL OBSERVATIONS undated, pp. I IV, reel 52, no. 308, ADA Papers

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207 money (more than $20,000) that the national party had raised in Texas had not yet been transferred to the party loyalists, and some liberals were beginning to think they would never get their hands on i t. In fact, some of the more conspiratorial liberals thought that Shivers would That Shivers is shrewd enough to try to make this kind of trade is not doubted. That the National Party leadership could resist the temptation is considered most doubtful. anonymous Texan as saying that if the national party wanted to sell out to Shivers, they needed to ask for $10 million instead. Another problem for liberals was on the personality of Governor Shivers, the liberal loyalist opposition depended heavily on Speaker Rayburn, and he could disband the DAC at any time, without explanation. 68 Who was right? Lam bert acknowledged in August that he would not know for some time. Since 1955 was not an election year, the political game slowed down considerably after the lead ership. He reported on a potential schism within the anti Shivers ranks over the makeup of the delegation they would choose for the 1956 national convention. Rayburn and Johnson had expected the DAC to allow them to choose a delegation as they saw fit, b ut the DAC board rejected their request by a 9 2 vote. Instead, liberals pressed for New Deal, Fair Deal, and probably pro Stevenson proposed liberal delegation would be beholden to no one and had to pledge its support for the Democratic ticket before that ticket was selected. Rayburn wanted the delegation to support 68 GENERAL OBSERVATIONS VI VII.

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208 Johnson himself withd rew. 69 Once again, liberals were in a bind. They could not support Shivers, of course, but they did not want Rayburn to turn the state Democratic Party into a pro Johnson organization either. of the Texas delegation to the Democratic convention. There was every indication that several DAC members would members favored Stevenson, and Rayburn wanted within the party, in the sense of allowing the organizers and activists to decide on policy for themselves. 70 Rayburn was also feeling heat from the right. On March 25, Shivers appeared on Meet the Press to 71 Therefore, Lambert was quite optimistic that the circumstances of the moment precluded given the kind of terms Shivers could be expected to exact Shivers as delegation Chairman, and a majority of Shivercrats (disloyal Democrats) on the delegati on and the consequences of these terms to the national Party prestige of both Rayburn and Johnson if they should again show up in Chicago supporting, or as part of, a party bolting delegation alternative would l ikely be more palatable. 72 69 George Lambert, March 18, 1956 pp. 1 2, reel 52, no. 308, ADA Papers 70 2 3. 71 Steinberg, Sam Rayburn 301. 72 3 4.

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209 In mid April, Lambert again reported to ADA from Chicago in a manner that, in his own fully reported in the press members in Washington, but he told them that he thought he had the power to decide who would be representing Texas at the 1956 national convention, where he fully expected to be a strong contender for the nomination despite recent health problems. 73 delegation representing Texas, an d he would be using his own organization at the 1956 also Eisen hower Democrats sides of the party, telling liberals in Washington that he had not yet decided to be a candidate while giving the opposite impression to Rayburn and others within the DAC. 74 Lambert thought that this meant Johnson was over confident in his ability to round up the delegates for the convention, only to be quickly disabused of that notion by some of his people in the state the day after the DAC meeting. On March 23, 1956, Johnso n returned to Texas for meetings with his top political advisors. Lambert thought Johnson was fearful of repeating his 1952 performance, when he had stayed out of the credential fight within the Texas delegation contested between Rayburn and Shivers. His neutrality in that fight earned the nickname of sub committee proposa l that [sic] fav orite son candidate and delegation chairman only if the loyal Democratic delegation is 73 See Caro, Master of the Senate 801 830 74 George Lambert, pp. 1 3, reel 52, no. 308, ADA Papers

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210 selected through DAC and the delegation is under no obligation to Johnson other than to v ote for him on the first ballot. Democratic leaders and found that a majority of them were refusing to give Johnson the power he wanted. 75 The next domino to fall in the fight over the Texa s delegation was Rayburn, who had did reach Rayburn in Washington, however, for an off the record conversation about the proposal. Voigt spoke on behalf of the loyal Democrats in insisting that something be done to get the rank and indicated he was willing to work with DAC liberals to protect his own interests. This represented the end referred to as [and] the feeling of kinship and the dynamic liberalism he found there Democr atic Party in Texas. His struggles highlight in miniature the dilemma Americans for Democratic Action faced in the years following World War II. 76 The biggest problem ADA faced was that its leaders were primarily outsiders, and like reformers throughout American 77 ADA officials never explicitly put matters in those terms, but that was how many Texans viewed northern liberals, and the gap between these regions was never truly bridged in the years 75 4 5. 76 Hollander to George Lambert, November 19, 1954 reel 52, no. 308, ADA Papers 77 Larry J. Griffin and Don Doyle, introduction to The South as an American Problem Griffin and Doyle eds. (Athens, 1995), 4.

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211 nly way to force change. Others wanted national liberals to stay out of the fray, thinking their efforts would be counter productive at best. Lambert was often caught in the middle of these arguments, appreciating the perspective the national office coul d provide while advising them to stay out of the fights between liberal and conservative Democrats. There was also deep skepticism about whether ADA should shoulder the task of attempting to change Texas, or the South more generally. Part of this skeptic ism was and Lyndon Johnson fought each other for control of the state while Lambert was working for ADA undoubtedly confused national liberal leaders observing the s ituation at a distance. In illuminating example of that.

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212 CHA PTER 7 S OUTH I S A FLAME TUDENTS FOR D EMOCRATIC ACTION, TH E CIVIL R IGHTS M OVEMENT AND THE F IGHT FOR S OUTHERN L IBERALISM In the mid 1950s, responding to past failures in the South, ADA leaders abandoned regional organization in the South. They never stopped seeking out individual liberals who might have been good candidates to start chapters, but they had abandoned ambitious, costly projects designed to accelerate this organization. There is evidence that ADA officials had learned this lesson long b efore they began to apply it. As early as March 1951, James A. Loeb, who had been with ADA since its birth, admitted to the organization Executive Committee that here are certain communities, states and even regions in the U.S. where, for different reas ons, it is neither feasible nor possible to organize active, functioning chapters of ADA. places, including Wisconsin, this was because the regular Democratic organization was strong enough, and liberal enough, to satisfy ADA leaders. In the Sou th, however, the opposite was ADA organization in the South is next to impossible and often self defeating [,] except in a few communities where special circumstances prevail. organize southern liberals in the future, it could do so only at the state level and only with Washington collecting all dues from individual members. 1 However, ADA had not completely given up on the South. The 1950s was a decade in which economic, political, and social change in the region was a national priority for liberals. In March 1956, as one anonymous correspondent wrote the official publication ADA World In the areas of the hard core of resistance [to integration] the atmosphere is for all the world like McCarthyism. He or she believ White people 1 James A. Loeb, memorandum to ADA Executive Committee reel 33, n o. 63 Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) Papers, Universi ty of Florida Libraries, Gainesville, microfilm collection (hereafter cited as ADA Papers)

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213 are afraid of white people, and look over their shoulders before they speak. Negro people are not afraid in the sense of a new panic, but have a stolid determination to see it through. hing he old patterns will no longer do (and all know this, consciously or not) and the new ones have not been established. all the harshness and tension of the last ditch stand that cannot win but can take a terrible toll. 2 Something had to change, but no one truly knew how it would change. There was the hope that a new generation of southerners could spark social and political change in the region, and ADA and other liberal o rganizations could participate in that change. Liberals hoped that this new generation would not adhere to the political and racial conventions of the past. The vehicle through which ADA hoped to mold southern liberalism was its student division, first k nown upon its founding in 1947 as Students for Democratic Action (SDA) and renamed Campus ADA (CADA) in 1958. Since its founding, SDA organizers had been creating chapters across the country, but in 1956 a new executive secretary, Yale Bernstein, saw pote ntial for the liberal students in the South. By the mid fruitful, but necessary for the hopes of liberalism, both regionally and nationally. 3 The increased interest in civil rights issues that resulted from the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education in some of the most imp ortant events of the civil rights movement that followed Brown These included bus boycotts in Montgomery, Alabama and Tallahassee, Florida; northern boycotts of 2 ADA World 11.3 (March 1956), 2M reel 141, series IX, n o. 2 ADA Papers 3 Yale Bernstein memorandum to Students for Democratic Actio n (SDA) nat ional office, February 29, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 60 ADA Papers

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214 southern colleges that refused to allow black athletes to participate in intercollegiate athl etics; and the campaign to desegregate the University of Florida. SDA and CADA chapters were not often the driving forces behind these campaigns, but the association with ADA gave these students an important organizational backing for their activities. I t also gave ADA leaders a chance to affect the next generation of southern liberals and create a base from which liberalism could grow in the coming decades. The actions of these students, most of them white, flew in the face of the conventional wisdom ab Barney Taylor, Alden Hopkins, and George Lambert had all traveled the South attempting to attract support for ADA liberalism, but they had convinced themselves that liberal southerners recognize that this minority could potentially be decisive in the struggle against segregation. Historians have begun to reevaluate the strength of integrationist sentiment in the white South. y were useful to the civil rights movement as an example of the kind of new southerner movement leaders wanted to create. 4 Novelist Lillian Smith, who had been a founding member of ADA and had written passionate pamphlets for ADA criticizing southern soci ety, was the embodiment of the kind of southerner ADA had always wanted to attract. Students who joined SDA or CADA thought of themselves as part of the vanguard of southern liberalism. 4 David L. Chappell, Inside Agitators: White Southerners in the Civil Rights Movement (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994), xxi, xxii.

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215 The enlistment of southern college students in ADA was not a phenome non unique to the 1950s, however. SDA had been created at the same time as the parent organization, and the South was one of its top priorities almost from the beginning. Its first field secretary, Charles G. Sellers, Jr., was a student at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, and he spent much of 1947 traveling through the South to gauge how much support SDA might be able to attract. abo ut fifteen new SDA chapters [would] result a very discouraging situation Charlottesville. However, he hoped that Locke would take the lead in forming an SDA ch apter, it even more imperative that a dissenting voice be raised on the campus. 5 problems SDA fac ed in trying to organize students. Locke told Sellers that, since they had met many scholastic problems have come up that kept me close to my books Liberal students may have been committed to liberalism, but they could never forget th at they were students first, and their academic responsibilities had to take priority. He had also talked with leaders of other liberal groups, including the American Veterans Committee (AVC), about liberal prospects at Virginia, only to be told that they not at all optimistic about the chances of success of a SDA chapter and felt that it would entail an enormous amount of time if attempted. 6 This problem was more familiar to ADA leaders. Liberals who had tried to organize in the South over the previous decades had become profoundly pessimistic about the 5 Charles G. Sellers, Jr. to Brandon Locke, August 18, 1947 reel 136, series VIII, n o. 183 ADA Papers 6 Locke to Sellers, August 25, 1947 reel 136, series VIII, n o. 183 ADA Papers

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216 prospects for southern liberalism, and they had shared their negative attitude with Sellers and others. Despite this consistent negativity from liberals in the South, SDA continued with its sout hern efforts. Many of those efforts centered on Nashville, where in May 1950 twenty one students from Vanderbilt, Scarritt, Peabody, Cumberland, Fisk, and Tennessee A&I formed an SDA chapter. Campus liberals formed the chapter at a moment when Vanderbilt was beginning Branscomb had become chancellor in 1947, and he wanted to make the university a national institution. In order to do that, Branscomb had to curtail the powe Trust, and in June 1950 he succeeded in convincing the board to remove older, more conservative board members from active duty on the board. This was important to campus liberals because the old alumni had a reputation for b These board member s were never able to stop reform, but they held powerful positions on the have a better chance of making their voices heard. 7 In 1949, Ralph Dummit had become SDA Field Secretary, and he saw the creation of the Nashville chapter as an encouraging sign for southern organization. The inclusion of students to get six chapters in the South in order that a Southern Region may be set up. If such a Region is established, there are hopes for a full time field organizer and an office for 7 Paul K. Conkin, Gone with the Ivy: A Biography of Vanderbilt University (Knoxville, 1985) 434 435, 450 455.

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217 the South. w members, showing that it was possible to expand an SDA chapter beyond a small core of already committed liberals. 8 The Nashville chapter also proved that it could be politically effective when it helped convince a local theater, the Circle Player, to in tegrate its seating arrangements. Sherman Conrad, a Vanderbilt student and the chapter secretary, credited a quiet campaign from arthest step f orward so far 9 While that was an sign for its future prospects. In February 1951, the situation appeared so positive that David Hei nlein, the Vanderbilt extreme problems of succes sful action and growth enable the Nashville unit to function as a recognized campus organization, facilitating the growth and increasing the activity of the unit, but in no way impairing the cooperation of the Nashville SDA groups. Vanderbilt had built up their numbers to a point where they were able to function on their own. Until then, the Nashville students would remain a single chapter. 10 The situation in Nas hville seemed positive, except when SDA officials actually looked at their records to determine how many members the Nashville chapter actually had. Al Ettinger, 8 Ralph Dummit to Lee Levitt, May 16, 1950 reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 9 Sherman Conrad to Dummit, September 11, 1950 r eel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 10 David Heinlein t o SDA National Board February 15, 19 51 reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers

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218 up activities in Nashville, assuming there was still a functioning chapter there. 11 The most intriguing aspect of this situation is that Ettinger wrote his letter to Hei nlein in January 1952, ten months after Heinlein had reported that two separate Nashville chapters had to be formed. Why had Heinlein not written a report to the Washington office since then? Why had no one in Washington noticed that the membership incre ase in Nashville had featured no corresponding increase in the financial contribution the chapter was making to SDA? Why was no one communicating with anyone? No correspondence exists to explain the complete collapse of the SDA chapter in Nashville or th e lack of communication between the Nashville chapter and Dummit hoped that Knoxville, home of the University of Tennessee, would be a more promising city for SDA organization, but the situation at UT presented in microcosm t he various difficulties that SDA faced in attempting to establish liberal student organizations. Like many university president Dr. Cloide Everett Brehm was adept at fending off politicians who criticized 12 At first glance, it appeared that liberals who wished to organize on the UT campus would have relatively minor problems in so doing, but prospective SDA leaders in Knoxville faced several challenges. Initially enthusiastic student leaders lost interest or abruptly left school. At times students who bravely headed up SDA efforts on campus proved also to be headstrong and lacking in tact. Timid university 11 Al Ettinger to David Heinlein, January 21, 1952, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 12 James Riley Montgomery, Stanley J. Folmsbee, and Lee Seifert Greene, To Foster Knowledge: A History of the Univ ersity of Tennessee, 1794 1970 (Knoxville, 1984), 224 227.

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219 admini mass of students remained politically inert or, when race issues emerged, actively hostile to progressive efforts. Nevertheless, Dummit encouraged students in Knoxville to form a chapter. His point man in that effort was UT student Lee Levitt. In late April 1950, Levitt had called a meeting in late April to discuss the prospects of SDA on the campus. He had also attempted to meet with the dean of students at UT concerning whether SDA would have a charter to operate on campus. officially non partisan stance would side rties could follow the lead of students in Nashville by starting a chapter with no official ties to the school. They could also attract students from surrounding colleges with an unofficial chapter, including predominantly black Knoxville College, thereby creating a second integrated chapter in Tennessee. 13 The issue of obtaining official permission for the UT chapter, however, proved to be a stumbling block. Levi tt placed the issue before the dean of students, and provided him with 14 Six months after Levitt had first approached the dean, he had received no word on their appli cation, these intentions soon conflicted with another basic fact of life on a college campus. Levitt, like many college students, changed his plans in the middle of h is UT career and in late July he 13 Levitt to Dummit, May 18, 1950 reel 135, series VIII, no. 170, ADA Papers 14 Levitt to Dummit, May 26, 1950, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers

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220 weekly about 50 miles west of here two other students, Harry Cohany and Buford Rhea, neither of whom had the kind of personal relationship with the administration that Levitt had claimed to have. 15 lication, but the council forced them to endure another delay while it sent the matter to a subcommittee for further study. While Cohany and Rhea were the com mittee, the delay into November would severely hamper further organization, as would 16 disgusting performance of the Administrative Council there was lit academic freedom in a McCarthyist atmosphere would cause college officials across the South to balk at allowing SDA on their campuses. He also suffered, as ADA organizers had, under a debilitating lack of information from those chapters he had been able to organize. In November 1950, when Dummit resigned from SDA to join the Ar my, the situation at Tennessee had not yet SDA is about dead there. administration there had much to do with its collapse thanks to its foot application to become an official o rganization on campus. 17 15 Levit t to Dummit, September 16, 1950, r eel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 16 Levit t to Dummit, September 16, 1950, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 17 Dummit to Conrad, November 28, 1950, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers

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221 application, and it had done so without making public its reasons for doing so. Levitt, who had remained in contact with the UT chapter since his departure, suspected that his own reputation as to be pushed to the forefront of our campaign to get on the campus out that Levitt had been one of the most outspoken students at the university, and his opinion columns for the Daily Beacon a bitter fight a m onth or so ago over the abolishment of U edited last year most of the members of our chapter were involved in the same controversies I was or else expressed strong sympathetic opini few of them were as directly associated with previous battles with the Administration as I was. student at UT, but his past actions were ca Korean War had drawn in most of the promising members of the chapter or was threatening to do so. 18 In short, the appearance of a strong start to the University of Tennessee SDA chapter was illusory. SDA in Knoxville had been able to do little to protect student publications from regulation by the UT administration, and they had been ineffective when it came to the other major issue for campus liberals. Liberals had been pushing for the integration of sou thern universities since the end of the Second World War, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) had brought several lawsuits against those schools that continued to 18 Levitt t o Dummit, December 1, 1950, reel 135 series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers

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222 discriminate against black students. In 1950, the Sup Sweatt v. Painter had integrated the law school and graduate school at the University of Texas. Other cases were making their way through the judicial system, but liberals were pressuring segregated schools to admit black students b efore the courts forced them to do it. In December 1950, SDA leaders petitioned UT to end its segregationist policies, but the ADA World official newspaper, had already cred ited Tennessee with integrating its state universities, and Robert K. Owens, chairman of the Knoxville ADA chapter, attempted to correct that misconception. While state Attorney General Roy Beeler had ordered the integration of and professional schools, the university administration in Knoxville the Constitution and the statutes of the State of Tennessee expressly provide that there shall be segregation in the education of the races in schools an d colleges in the state and that a violation of the laws of the state in this regard subjects the violator to prosecution, conviction and punishment as therein provided 19 Owens and other liberals protested the justice of this decision, but they feared th at the final dispensation of the case would take another court case that would last for years. Despite repeated failures in Nashville and Knoxville, SDA kept trying to gain a foothold in the South. In the spring of 1952, the SDA National Board approved an other Southern organizing trip to connect with liberal students in the region and assess organizational possibilities. Sherman Conrad traveled to New Orleans, Atlanta, and several cities in Texas on his tour. In Houston, he suffered a broken nose in a co nfrontation between a group of liberal students he was meeting at a local hotel and a group of conservatives, meeting at the same hotel, who supported 19 Robert K. Owens, letter to the editor, ADA World December 11, 1950 reel 135, s eries VIII n o. 170 ADA Papers

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223 recommended that SDA the line of duty, and that Sherman Conrad be the first recipient of this distinguished award. 20 Despite this painful incident, Conrad believed that SDA still had a chance of succeedi ng in the South, and Ettinger agreed with his optimism. In the summer of 1951, he had seen encouraging signs at the University of Miami, where student liberals had decided, in lieu of starting an SDA chapter, to attempt a takeover of the Young Democrats i n Dade County. Ettinger thought this made sense because the Florida Democratic Party was loosely organized. by enlisting a sufficient number of liberals in the organization we can gain control and influence a more liberal trend in state policy and legislation. Young Democrats would not preclude the creation of a chapter in the future, since the two keep alive liberal issues and serve an important edu c based Young Democratic Club. The attempt to take over the Young Democrats eventually failed because of the strength of its conservative faction, but E ttinger liked the way the Miami students were thinking, and in 1952 liberals at St. Petersburg Junior College and the University of Florida in Gainesville also started SDA chapters. 21 The chapter in St. Petersburg was a particular point of pride for Ettinge r because of its leader, Bill Haddad, who had attracted significant attention to SDA in the fall of 1951 with his the living verbal hell out of the KKK 20 Galen A. Martin, SDA National Bo ard minutes, May 17, 1952, reel 129, series VIII, n o. 108 ADA Papers 21 Ettinger to George H. Jones, Jr., May 10, 1951 reel 51, n o. 299 ADA Papers

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224 in a constant state of turmoil, and they manage to find a way to operate and publicize their position in every situation that arises. to the real change. As Ettinger wrote at the time, i n terms of ideology, we have everything on our side all the salient values of democracy. But without aggressive people w ho are willing to proclaim and work for that ideology, it is nothing. 22 Ettinger best described his organizing philosophy for the South in his response to criticism he had received from John H. Harris, a student and SDA member at the University of North Ca rolina in Chapel Hill. Harris believed that the college campuses of the South were too inherently conservative, that students were too apathetic to care about politics, and that chapters could not receive meaningful assistance from the national office. E ttinger believed that the in other respects, I believe [southern universities] are frequent ly more liberal than northern colleges. For example, accomplishments of the New Deal are held in much higher regard by people in the south than they are in the north. sense of p urpose than northern liberal student, who had comparatively less to do. 23 informed and eff ort in the Chapel Hill community. Ettinger knew that the effects of McCarthyism were taking a toll on college students, but he thought the result was fear, not apathy, and fear, as he put it, 22 Ettinger to Jack W. Hopkins, November 6, 1951 reel 51, n o. 299 ADA Papers 23 Ettinger to John H. Harris, May 18, 1951 r eel 51, n o. 299 ADA Papers

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225 has a tendency to inspire action of one kind or another. students thought that the government or school administration was attempting to take away their rights, chances were good that they would fight back. 24 Finally, if Harris believed that the national office in Washington needed to do more for SDA chapters, an increased flow of communication from the chapters would help. not drop out of the blue by parachute of their own inspiration. They are usually requested by the local chapter and the request is acted upon by the national office whenever poss ible. Ettinger had only received two letters from SDA at North Carolina in the spring of 1951, and neither letter had requested a speaker, he had assumed the UNC chapter did not desire one. Ettinger knew that SDA members were receiving regular com If you have not seen these memos, or read the material in our chapter mailings especially the staff letters and the Executive Committee minutes, I can only attribute this either to irresponsibility of your chapter chairman or your own disinterest. 25 Ettinger was harsh with Harris, but he did not want to take the blame for the unwillingness of liberal students in the South to organize and work for what they wanted. tudents elsewhere were doing their best for liberal causes. It was a difficult challenge, made more difficult because of how discouraging it is for a few people to try and carry the whole load of organizational activity. And yet, that is the way it usua lly is. few people inspired by 24 Ettinger to John H. H arris, May 18, 1951 r eel 51, n o. 299 ADA Papers 25 Ettinger to John H. Harris, May 18, 1951 r eel 51, n o. 299 ADA Papers

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226 a vision called by whatever name do most of the thinking and the work. They try to inject enthusiasm and rally support even when they feel there will be no response. 26 In late 1951, Ettinger left SDA. His replacement as SDA executive secretary was Galen A. Martin, a West Virginia native who had been active in the SDA chapter at Berea College in Kentucky while he was a student there. He would later refer to his time with SDA as a 27 H is first major project with SDA was an attempt to revive the chapter in presidential campaign of Tennessee Senator Estes Kefauver. On two separate occasions in the summer and fall of 1952, Martin contacted Vanderbilt political science professor Lee McLean, sponsor at Vanderbilt. 28 Martin had also written liberal contacts at William a nd Mary in Virginia, North Carolina A&T and the University of North Carolina to gauge their interest in did not indicate th at it would be worth [his] while to xtended trip through the South. 29 optimistic. He recounted the history of the Nashville SDA chapter, noting that its biggest ts meetings were restric ted to the campuses of our two Negro schools here. Due partially to the inconvenience in going crosstown to attend meetings, the white 26 Ettinger to John H. Harris, May 18, 1951 r eel 51, n o. 299 ADA Papers. 27 Galen Martin interview by Betsy Brinson November 4, 19 99, p. 9, Kentucky Civil Rights Oral History Project, Kentucky Oral History Commission, Kentucky Historical Society, http://205.204.134.47/civil_rights_mvt/media/KCRP.20.B.28.Martin.pdf (accessed January 30, 2008) 28 Martin to Lee McLean, Ju ly 8, 1952 and October 25, 1952, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 29 Martin to McLean, February 11, 1953 reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers

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227 membership was small and the organization was not as effective as it might have been. McLean wanted to restrict any ne w SDA activity to Vanderbilt. He also wanted to make sure any new organizing had better timing. Liberals had spent the fall semester working for Adlai a somewhat natural despondency among the liberal element at Vanderbilt. This malaise had carried over to the spring, and the time is not ripe now believed that a chapter with fifteen or twenty students, organized that spring, wo uld make less of an impact than a chapter with fifty or one hundred students might make in the fall of 1953. ecoming increasingly concerned about the willingness with which the American people seem to be accepting McCarthyism and its challenge to civil liberties. I am convinced now is the time we must ascert [sic] ourselves even more than before, even though these are certainly distress ing days. 30 McLean was determined to go ahead with a Vanderbilt group, and Martin pledged to help him. In the summer of 1953, he encouraged McLean to send someone to the SDA annual convention in August so that he or she could meet with fellow liberals and exchange ideas on how best to promote liberal causes. 31 McLean had also pass along favorable reports on the possibilities at the University of Kentucky and the University of Alabama, though Martin wanted more information on whether any previous efforts at those schools had borne fruit before 30 McL ean to Martin, February 3, 1953, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 31 Martin to McLean, February 10, 1953, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers.

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228 proceeding. 32 Part of the problem was that Martin could not think of anyone potential members at Kentucky or Alabama beyond those students who had supported Stevenson. 33 The name McLean passed along to Martin was that o f Marshall Cox, whom Martin urged working with SDA by spelling out the platform on which they would organize. Their top issue for 1953 and 1954 was opposition to the Bri cker Amendment, which would have restricted the for which earmarked re venue from off shore oil drillin g in the Gulf of Mexico toward federal aid to education. Finally, Martin wanted SDA to focus on discrimination in the broadest possible sense. This meant continuing to campaign for the desegregation of southern universities, but he also wanted SDA chapters to work for the repeal of the McCarran Walter Act of 1952, which had introduced of quotas to restrict immigration. What made the bill truly President Truman had vetoed the bill, but a conservative coalition of Republicans and Democrats had overridden the veto, and Martin wanted SDA chapters to get behind a campaign to repeal it. The bill was a reminder to liberals that Americans did not discriminate merely against African Americans. 34 Vanderbilt was not the only school that was pro active in organizing SDA chapters In August 1953, Arnold Rieger, a student at the University of Virginia, told Martin he want ed to 32 McLean to Martin, March 30, 1953, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 33 Martin to McLean, April 10, 1953, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers 34 Martin to Ma rshall Cox, April 10, 1953, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 170 ADA Papers

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229 revive an inactive chapter at the school. 35 As was the case in Nashville and Knoxville however, the hope for a breakthrough in Charlottesville tur ned out to be unrealistic. The biggest problem Rieger faced at Virginia was a university culture in which, as the student Cavalier Daily frequently, and have a notion that they should care about world affairs or reforming campus life, and this allowed a small group of committed students to control campus affairs. Unfortunately for Rieger, mo st of these students were conservative, leaving a small pool of liberals for him to organize. 36 As a result, in the fall of 1953, w hen Rieger returned to Charlottesville he found that nce a liberal member of the faculty to sponsor SDA, finding them either in poor health, out of the country, deeply involved with their own research, or unwilling to organize a chapter He also had to deal with the Young Republicans and Young Democrats wh o formed the soli dly conservative political bloc on campus. As R ieger later wrote, main lieutenant with SDA urged Rieger to work with the conservative Young Democrats in lieu of the loaded name I am a fighter, and I will not call a spade a diamond. 37 Rieger may have welcomed the ADA label, but he also knew the political climate in Charlottesville, and his experiences with the Young Democrats on campus taught hi m to keep 35 Martin to Arnold Rieger, August 17, 1953 reel 136, series VIII, n o. 183 ADA Papers 36 Virginius Dabney, (Charlottesville, 1981), 301 302. 37 Rieger to Martin, October 4, 1 953 reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers

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230 a speaker from National Headquarters could either (1) serve as an incentive for those al ready interested, or (2) cause resentment among the student body, which spontaneously from its number, and not from outside pressures. He did this is the time to take such a risk. Charlottesville f or private consultations. 38 Southerners seemed not to know whether they wanted to operate out in the open or behind the scenes, and they often changed their minds on t his subject. National SDA officials did their best to understand the predicament southern liberals faced, but the confusion hampered effective organization. It also fueled the delusions of those reactionaries who thought SDA and ADA were part of some lar ger liberal conspiracy that was never willing to show itself publicly. Martin showed as much patience as he could with his southern contacts. In October 1953, the difficult en viro a publicized visit from an outside 39 understanding could only last so long, and the news Rieger reported to Martin in the last months of 1953 only got worse. Martin already knew that the conservative Democrat Thomas B. Stanley i s nothing but a puppet for 40 38 Rieger to Martin, October 4, 1953 reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers 39 Martin to Rieger, October 6, 1953 reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers 40 Rieger to Martin, November 7, 1953 reel 13 6, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers

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231 Things were not much better for the chapter in Charlottesville, either. In November 1953, conservative students at Virginia began to accuse SDA of being a Communist organization. This was a familiar tactic for conservatives to try, but Rie ger could not pinpoint who was behind it. support, you are licked. You also had to deal with infiltrators to SDA meetings, mainly from the Young Republicans, who showed up only to cause trouble. In this kind of hostile environment, roud dig in . send their membership cards filled in, or forever hold their peace. 41 The fights of the fall semester had taken their toll on Rieger. If he could no t convince campus liberals to join SDA, he would close down the chapter. He could take some solace in the association with General Douglas MacArthur and radi o commentator Fulton Lewis, Jr. Rieger took some credit for the decision to turn down SFA As bad as things had become for him, he God knows, if they ever get rolling my head will be the first to go on the block. 42 of all political persuasions. Mar on the basic consideration of their right to be 41 Rieger to Martin, November 7, 1953 reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers 42 Rieger to Martin, November 14, 1953 reel 136, series VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers

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232 recognized as a campus group, I think we must support them. liberal and conservative student groups at other schools, and Martin wanted their position to be consistent throughout the country. Martin also considered the moral ramifications of SDA I should think it would be rather embarrassing to them for us to defend their rights after the way they have attacked [SDA] . if they were recognized on your campus, I do not see how they could possibly fail to recognize SDA, if we had sufficient members there. moral high ground because of their positive program, while SFA appeared to exist just to attack other 43 In the end, SDA at the University of Virginia u failed experiment Rieger tired of the constant criticism from conservati ve groups, and he decided to close the chapter in the spring of 1954 However, by this point Albert Leong at the University of Texas in Austin had contacted Martin about starting a chapter there motivation for organizing SDA at Texas was straightforward. As he put it, f actors like regimentation, conformity, loyalty oaths, and indirect methods of suppression of free thought all engende r distress and alarm among both faculty and students. 44 One available for constant consultation. This would ensure that there would be no problems of communication betwee n the local SDA and the national office. Martin expressed concern about we would 43 Martin to Rieger, November 23, 1953, reel 136, serie s VIII, no. 183, ADA Papers 44 Albert Leong to SDA, November 20, 1953 reel 135, series VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers

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233 whom we would like to have in SDA. 45 For all of the talk about fighting against loyalty oaths and advocating intellectual diversity, it was somewhat ironic that Martin asked Lambert to help make sure that the Texas SDA would be politically acceptable. Lambert believed Leong was a solid liberal with good organizational skills, though he was ability to find enough like minded people the undergraduates to get together a Chapter 46 Leong had no such reservations, in part because he had done a great deal We have secured two of the finest professors on the campus as sponsors; we have adopted a constitution and by laws; we have official school approval; we are cooperating wholeheartedly with th e Austin ADA; we have elected officers; [and] we are planning top notch discussions and debates between prominent faculty members 47 who can institute a progr essing, expanding program which, when developed, can be applied to augment membership. 48 In January 1954, Leong established a chapter with eleven paid members, and he immediately began sponsoring events for local liberals. His first major SDA event was a How Economics Has Influenced American and Russian Political Development The topic was intellectually intriguing, but Leong had scheduled the event at the same time as we attrac ted some thirty students along with two staunch reactionaries the questions of the latter livened the meeting considerably. All in all, it was a success with informative talks and the collection of badly 45 Martin to George Lambert, November 20, 1953 reel 135, series VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers 46 Lambert to Martin, December 20, 1953 reel 135, series VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers 47 Leong to Martin, January 5, 1954, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers 48 Le ong to Martin, January 11, 1954, reel 135, series VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers

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234 needed dues. 49 It was successful enough that Leong scheduled a debate on the Bricker Amendment for February 16, even though, as Martin noted, the Senate would have voted on the amendment by that date. 50 After the defeat of the Bricker Amendment, Leong sponsored a panel discussion on Indochina in February a had important problems he needed to address. He had to deal with harassment from right wing group s on campus, though it amounted to little more than the defacing of a few posters. The lack of funds and a non expanding membership. Liberal students attend our discussion meetings but hesitate to join. Our development seems to have reached an impasse. 51 current events from a liberal perspective. However, he w anted to encourage students to take a stand by joining SDA, and on that score he had little success, mirroring the experiences of students at Tennessee, Vanderbilt, and Virginia. The national office responded by telling Leong play up and publicize the more famous liberal names in ADA a discussion meeting in which you discuss just such a problem so as to bring the question out into the open to thoroughly ventilate it and thus put to shame those p eople who are frightened. 52 49 Leong to Martin, February 3, 1954 r eel 135, s eries VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers 50 Martin to Leong, February 4, 1954 r eel 135, s eries VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers 51 Leong to Martin, March 3, 1954 r eel 135, s eries VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers 52 Hug hes to Leong, May 25, 1954, r eel 135, s eries VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers

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235 leadership decided to move beyond education and into action on local issues. The main issue in Austin, as it was in many southern cities, was segregation. The chapter did not press the university to expand the mandate of the Sweatt decision and admit black students to its undergraduate programs. Instead, SDA leaders focused on forcing the integration of public blic schools. As part of the campaign, chapter chairman Leslie Ghetlzer surveyed several restaurants near the campus in May, asking them if they would serve black patrons. Some respondents favored immediate desegregation, while others told her they would integrate their facilities only if the courts or the city ordered them to do so. She also polled the student population to find out where they stood on the issue. 53 The enthusiasm and energy of SDA at the University of Texas was a good sign for the future efforts in Tennessee and Virginia, that Yale Bernstein worked as SDA Field Secretary. He began working with SDA in the spring of 1954, but he did not make his first tour of the South decision in Brown v. Board of Education two years earlier had become clear by this point. any efforts to integrate schools in his state, and in 1956 a group of southern members of disposal to turn back deseg regation. In such a politically charged environment, the universities 53 Leslie Ghetzler, Texas SDA Chapter Mo eel 135, s eries VIII, n o. 172 ADA Papers

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236 It was this South that Bernstein toured in 1956. His first impression of southern must be organized in 1956 or at some future moment. 54 Like other SDA organizers who had visited these cam puses, he found a mixed reception for SDA. He met with the student body president and vice could start a chapter there immediately. Meanwhile, at Duke, he could barel y rouse a response from liberal students, even those who had expressed interest in SDA. 55 The University of North Carolina also looked to be a tough sell for Bernstein, especially since campus liberals were more concerned with a campaign to reinstate the ed itors of the university funded student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel The editors had criticized the Tar Heel nned to emphasize athletics at the integrating the university was the real reason behind the campaign to fire these editors. Nevertheless, he found himself impres the were doing. Stevenson and Kefauver for the 1956 presidential campaign, but he thought their maturity would moderate any rifts that might occur over the summer. 56 54 Bernstein memo to SDA, January 18, 1956, r eel 127, series VIII, n o. 60 ADA Papers 55 Bernstein zing Trip, 1/30/56 2/ eel 127, series VIII, n o. 60 ADA Papers 56

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237 In the end, Bernstein was extremely optimistic about the overall results of his North Carolina trip. If he was able to get through t we will hav e the top three in UNC and Duke) plus several smaller Negro colleges. e will have a Carolina thought was worth t he effort There was, however, one problem that needed to be addressed, here is no disagreement as to ends, and not even a strong one as to means, but the di sagreement seems to be that the white liberals view the situation is [sic] more complex than do the Negro, and the whites are looking for lasting solutions. His solution was to convene a series bring ] th em together into an effective team. I believe the differences are semantic and superficial. 57 Ironically, Bernstein wanted SDA members at black colleges in North Carolina to push the benefits of SDA over the summer, when they attended local and statewide NAACP conventions. 58 Bernstein wanted NAACP members to join SDA, but he also thought the NAACP needed to change its tactics in North Carolina for the sake of liberal unity. As he traveled the South in 1956, Bernstein also engaged in a larger reconsiderati on of the question of race and segregation and how it affected the drive to attract southern whites to SDA chapters. Bernstein believed that white and black students were talking past each other. White n on their campuses, but they did not want to or 57 58 Bernstein, memo to SDA national office, February 14, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 60 ADA Papers

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238 nothing approach. Acco discrimination must be fought on the economic sphere before it could be won on the social sphere. They believed that the political and economic battles (and general liberal measures raising the standard of living and bringing industrialization) must be fought first and that demand for immediate integration was forcing the issue into a two sided war where the 3 rd force was being silences by both sides. They favored integration, but they thought an open confrontati on with segregationists would delay the desired outcome. 59 In this sense, the new generation of white liberals had the same approach to the issue as older liberals. 60 It was the attitude that Martin Luther King would 61 Bernstein did not attack the motives of white liberals in the way King did. He saved his Many I spoke with were liberal as they come, but so ingrained with their southern past that they could not recognize the reasons for integration. separati on was desirable. were held by people, [who were surprising ly] liberal in general, and surprisingly educated, intelligent, and politically aware. the attitudes of these 59 Bernstein, memo to SDA national office, February 14, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, no. 60, ADA Papers 60 Chappell, Inside Agitators 48 49. 61 King quoted in Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954 1963 (New York, 1988), 739.

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239 we must alter 100 years of upbringing, an upbringing they themselves are uneasy about. 62 Finally, Bernstein considered the black liberals he had encountered, who often posed the most complicated problems. He believed that the leadership of the NAACP and other black woefully unaware of most of the non racial issues around us and their relation to the race question. It is easy to understand their primary concern, but they do not hav e the tools wi th which to fight those tools being general political awareness. black students were even less likely than adults to making these kinds of connections. He thought it was not a question of goals, but of the tactics needed to achieve them. he ] disagreement seems to be that the white liberals view the situation is more complex than do the Negro, and the whites are looking for lasting solutions. the average Negro student s so I am told by the leaders I met, have a background themselves up. 63 How could SDA leaders help the problems liberals faced on southern campuses? Bernstein thought that SD the most effective solution to th One Issue organization Its leaders could see the complexity an d SDA can be the meeting ground. The whi tes can be made to understand the tactics and ideas of the Negro liberals and the Negroes can be made to understand the tactics and ideas of the white liberals. 62 Bernstein, memo to SDA nat ional office, February 14, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 60 ADA Papers 63 Bernstein, memo to SDA nat ional office, February 14, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 60 ADA Papers.

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240 the South into national discussions about tactics and politics. I think our meetings in the North have been void of any real appreciation of the problem. 64 Bernstein thus allied himself with a particular strain of northern thinking on the South, one which believed that the region was fundamentally different from the North. Consciously or not, Bernstein was agreeing with the 65 In mid February 1956, Bernstein visited campuses in Nashville and Knox ville, and his If we can program in civil rights and toward the economic problems of the south [sic] we w ould be accomplishing what would be, in my opinion, the most worthwhile of all possible SDA projects. SDA as of now is the ONLY student organization training the necessary leadership ability in the South where the outcome of the t otal situation depends on this leadership. a Southern conference next year by SDA could be a milestone in student liberalism orrow (especially in the Negro schools). The South is aflame and SDA can capture this fire. had also concluded that a broader program for action, though still desirable in the long term, was Th e race question in its broadest terms 64 Bernstein, memo to SDA nat ional office, February 14, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, no. 60, ADA Papers. 65 James C. Cobb, Away Down South: A History of Southern Identity (New York, 2005) 215 216.

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241 (including the southern economic question), is, in my opinion, THE issue. Academic freedom is NOT an issue here. 66 in his rhetor ic. In his opinion, SDA re evaluating our reasons for existing. A short time in the South would answer these questions. W e do sell ourselves here program for our southern chapter [s] can be part of the future. It can be built into a force that w i ll help solve the race question that will aid the unionization and industrialization of the South and ultimately the backbone of the emerging liberal politics in this area. for the first time since I took this job, I feel a s if faced in the South, even when a police officer drew his weapon against Bernstein while he was in a parked car having a conversation with a black female stude nt. It seemed that nothing could temper his excitement about the possibility of SDA becoming a force for liberal politics in the South. 67 l leaders, including executive director Edward Hollander. and in February 1956 Hollander asked George S. Mitchell, the executive director of the Southern 66 Bernstein memo to SDA nat ional office, February 29, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 60 ADA Papers 67 Bern stein memo to SDA nat ional office, February 29, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, no. 60, ADA Papers

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242 Regional C there are constructive purposes to be served under the circumstances in our continuing to organize among Southern students. be en overweighted [sic] with intellectuals from the Atlantic Seaboard whose principal activities have been to agitate themselves and ADA on some very fine almost theological point of academic freedom. s o much more reality and significance than the comparatively sterile issues on which many of the students have concentrated their energy, that it would be very healthy for the organization, as such, to build up a wider membership of students in the South wh t would seem to us that establishing communications and avenues of collaboration among white and Negro students woul d be constructive for its own sake, apart from the benefit to SDA as an organization. 68 no other l iberal organization is [organizing liberals at southern colleges] The Young Democrats o f course are not liberal in this sense and the NAACP student organizations are under severe handicaps of course and cannot organize in white colleges. endorsement, however, Hollander wanted to know whether SRC or ot her liberal groups would object to a new, aggressive SDA campaign. 69 Mitchell raised no such objections, telling your warned ADA leaders about the demographic differences between the southern states and included a deta iled map to highlight those 68 Edward Hollander to George S. Mitchell, February 24, 1956 re el 40, n o. 135 ADA Papers 69 Hollander to Mitchell, February 24, 1956

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243 differences. The available statistics on race in the South forced Mitchell to conclude that the though Mitchell still encouraged for ays into those states. He thought that Bernstein should concentrate on areas outside the Deep South, including North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida, 70 One other aspect of the southern polit ics in the mid 1950s that Hollander and Mitchell considered was the changing political awareness of southern blacks. From Washington, the tendency of the Southern Negroes to cut loose from the ir dependence on the goodwill of the whites and to organize themselves He believed this added a new dimension which is only very slowly being recognized in the North. 71 Mitchell agreed, but he thought southerners were ju st as slow to recognize this growing political consciousness. Whites who had joined the suppose d] that they are dealing with the Negro people ace; by threats and scaring this one and that. ancient stereotype, and SDA leaders needed to recognize this fact. 72 By the spring of 1956, it was clear that the nature of race relations i n the South had changed dramatically. No single event symbolized that change more than the bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, which started in December 1955. The catalyst for the boycott had been the arrest of local NAACP secretary Rosa Parks for her re fusal to adhere to the segregated 70 Mitchell to Hollander February 27, 1956 reel 40, n o. 135 ADA Papers 71 Hollander t o Mitchell, March 12, 1956, reel 40, n o. 135 ADA Papers 72 Mitchell to Hollander, March 16, 1956, reel 40, n o. 135 ADA Papers

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244 leaders, including the young Atlanta born Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., organized a boycott of ystem that eventually lasted more than a year. Thousands of people who had depended on buses for transportation to work or school now walked, used Montgomery Improvem ent Association (MIA). MIA leaders suffered persistent police uncon stitutional. 73 way it could. On March 24, when the SDA National Board convened in Philadelphia, Civil suggested that SDA underta ke a national program to provide some kind of aid to the Montgomery boycott and that campus activity commence. decided unanimously to proceed pending the expres sed approval of the MIA. 74 Kotelchuck immediately wrote Martin Luther King for approval. He referenced a speech closest advisors, in which Abernathy had pleaded for a ssistance from students in the MIA felt a conscious desire to lend our moral and financial support, especially to the many young people who are participating effectively in this program. To that end, he announced the creation of Indorse Montgomery Protest Action City Transit or 73 Branch, Parting the Waters 128 203. 74 SDA National Board mee ting minutes, March 24 25, 1956 reel 129, series VIII, n o. 108 ADA Papers

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245 Dr. King that IMPACT would raise money for the purchase of a station wagon that the boycotters cou ld use in their carpools. 75 across the country, before King could respond to his letter. In the appeal, Kotelchuck implored refusal to ride in shame desire to walk in dignity sustained the boycott, as well as the urgent financial needs of the MIA. The circular estimated the cost of a station wag on for the boycotters at $2,500. He hoped that IMPACT would raise enough money to provide more than one car to the MIA. All it required was that members 76 Perhaps realizing that his enthusiasm had led to undue haste in his solicitat ions Kotelchuck sent King a copy of the March 29 circular one week after he had sent it to SDA cannot encourage this interest and channel it into activity conne cted with IMPACT, until we hear April, the U.S. Supreme Court outlawed segregation in intrastate commerce, and Montgomery City Lines had subsequently announce the boycott remained in doubt, Kotelchuck informed the chapters that actual solicitation of funds [should] be suspended briefly. 75 David Kotelchuck to Martin Luther King, Jr., March 28, 1956, reel 127, s eries VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers 76 SDA mailing to chapters on IMPACT project, March 29, 1956 reel 127, s e ries VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers

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246 Kotelchuck that deeply gratified to know that your organization is interested in contributing a station wagon to aid in our struggle here. I assure you that this would be a most welcomed gift. I am sure that it would give a big lift to our people both morally a nd physically. 77 With that encouragement, Kotelchuck restarted IMPACT with the encouragement of ADA is a wonderful way to involve students on campuses across the nation in co nstructive action in support of the boycott. Court ruling against segregation in intrastate commerce. Rauh, whose legal expertise was well respected in Washington, argued that the Sup reme Court had side stepped the issue. As a result, the IMPACT campaign was still viable. 78 efforts to raise money for IMPACT, designating the period between May 7 and May 20 as a special period for fund raisi ng activities. 79 These activities appeared at first to make a significant raising goals. The chapter at Temple University in Philadelphia, for example, sent $130 to Washington toward the station wagon. 80 Unfortunately for SDA, the Tem ple contribution was one of very few that the organization collected in the spring and summer of 1956. As had been the case in previous campaigns and Student s had scattered for the summer, which meant that fund raising appeals and other 77 King t o Kotelchuck, May 1, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers 78 Joseph Rauh to Sam uel Perelson, May 2, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers 79 Kotelchuck mass mailing to SDA chapters, May 4, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers 80 Evelyn Jones to Rosalind Schwartz, June 25, 1956 reel 127, series VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers

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247 correspondence were not getting to liberal students. These circumstances forced SDA to reintroduce the IMPACT campaign when students returned in the fall. The Montgomery boyc ott continued, and the appeal the organization sent out in August suggested that every member To spend one day working for the dignity of man is little enough to ask of anyone. If makes it a personal obligation to contribute, Montgomery can have its station wagon within a month. other communities in the South if the boycott ende Should the Montgomery boycott be settled before the station wagon is purchased, the money will be sent to Tallahassee, Florida site of another bus boycott or it will be used for some similar purpose. 81 In the end, IMPACT failed to raise the $ 2,500 necessary to buy an automobile for the Montgomery boycotters, but SDA leaders earned a great deal of praise for their efforts. Martin a big lift to our people both morally and physically g a ve ] us renewed coura ge and vigor to carry on. 82 a wonderful way to involve students on campuses across the nation in constructive action in support of the boycott. 83 81 SDA mailing to chapters on IMPACT, August 7, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers In fact, some of the money from IMPACT eventually found its way to the Tallahassee equiva lent to the MIA and pledged, live in the north or the south, whatever our race or color, the struggle for equality that is going on in Tallahassee is our fight as well; and our dignity and value as human beings is going to be tte Lubin to Dr. M.C. Williams, November 27, 1956 reel 127, series VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers 82 King to Kotelchuck, May 1, 1956 reel 127, series VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers 83 Rauh t o Kotelchuck, May 2, 1956, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 73 ADA Papers.

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248 by passing a mot ion that publicly supported the effort to help the people of Montgomery. 84 Even though IMPACT was ultimately a failure, everyone associated with it thought it had been a noble effort. The effort was necessary for moral reasons, but there was also a politic al dimension to unsure of how the civil rights issue would affect the nation politically. Since the 1930s, black voters had largely supported the Democratic Party, but there were signs that an electoral realignment was occurring in the black community. The continued intransigence of many March 1956, was disheartening to many b lacks. They also recognized that the administration of President Dwight Eisenhower was taking steps to deal with racial issues. As a result, the November election dealt a harsh and surprising blow to the Democrats. Eisenhower had received nearly 60% of the black vote in the election, stunning Democrats who had counted on that constituency as part of their electoral strategy for nearly a generation. 85 In order to counter growing Republican strength among black voters, liberals needed to show their commitm ent to the movement, and IMPACT was one way to do that. that message throug hout 1956. In April, he wrote a confidential memorandum to the here are few, if any, organizations working for liberalism, either on the stude 84 ADA Executive Committee meeting minutes, May 24, 1956 reel 34, n o. 63 ADA Papers 85 Branch, Parting the Waters 180 182, 191 192.

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249 oppor could become the clearing house of student and adult liberalism in many areas of the South, and because of its political orientation could provide the necessary informed leadership so lacking in the South. definition of what it meant to be a southern liberal. Civil rights was still the most important issue to liberal students, many of the liberal concepts and principles assumed by students in the North are unheard of in the South. In this area, SDA co uld perform an educational job which is not being done by the established educational institutions. 86 He then addressed the question of how best to attract southerners to SDA. He recommended that be someone who understands the thought processes and the problem in that area confidence from the wavering whites. would be important to get help from the Southern Regiona l Council, the NAACP, and the largest liberal labor unions in the South, and a southerner would more easily attract that kind of help from fellow southerners. 87 Bernstein then discussed where he would send a new southern organizer. He thought Virginia, Ten he chapters would not be large, [they] could be effective. orgia, Mississippi, and Louisiana, were far less ambitious, and he invoked the example of the Roman general Fabius Cunctator, who famously avoided battle with the Carthaginian general Hannibal Often SDA [chapters] as such cannot be organized, but 86 Bernstein reel 122, series VIII, n o. 4 ADA Papers 87

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250 88 kind of tactics that liberals had vehement ly criticized Communists and Socialists for using in the 1930s and 1940s. In the late 1940s, for example, ADA leaders had explicitly dismissed the Southern Conference for Human Welfare as a front organization. Now Bernstein was asking his superiors to en dorse a similar strategy in the Deep South, where organizational prospects seemed bleakest. There were potential bright spots. Bernstein thought the contacts SDA leaders had established with Martin Luther King during the Montgomery boycott would help them in Alabama, and he believed that many of the predominantly black schools in Georgia and he most important thing is to get the job done, whether it be done under the title SDA or not, and in the deep South, often a front 89 Bernstein traveled across the South as he mapped out this strategy. In late March and early April 1956, he met with prospective members on campuses in Louisiana. He met with nine potential members at Tulane in New Orleans, only to find that most were graduating seniors or graduate students. In additi on, they were all Unitarians in an overwhelmingly Catholic city. Finally, Tulane liberals had endured persistent investigation by authorities at the state and federal level. Senator James Eastland of Mississippi had taken a particular interest in whether Communists were at work on the Tulane campus. He had sponsored a Senate investigation into 88 89

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251 a fairly active chapter can come out of Tulane. er main possibility in that SDA could work as a useful front for the NAACP and other unaffiliated liberals. 90 His first hand experience of the situation in Louisiana convinced him that the state was potentially a civil rights battleground. In the mid 1950s, the state NAACP found itself in a tough spot because the state government had forced the organization to turn over its membership rolls under an old anti [Klan] Statute [the NAACP] helped pass. chance of getting the courts to throw out the request, but the pending case hampered NAACP The issu the Catholic Church has taken a firm and absolute stand in favor of immediate integration, and [New Orleans] is predominantly catholic [sic] ore students attend Catholic school than public school. The Unitarians have, of course, taken a similar stand, but here, the main force for integration is the Catholic Church, and in my opinion, if I had to have an ally, I would take the Churc 91 The Archdiocese of New Orleans had not yet desegregated its schools, but Archbishop Jo seph Rummel had admitted black students to the Notre Dame Seminary and desegregated mass services in the city. 92 Bernstein hoped that SDA would together the liberal catholic, the liberal non catholic and the Negro elements. These groups had 90 undated, reel 127, series VIII, n o. 60 ADA Papers 91 92 Peter Finney, Jr., New Orleans Clarion Herald January 10, 2001, http://clarionherald.org/20010118/art501.htm (accessed October 25, 2007; article no longer available online)

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25 2 been i SDA can solve that [problem] by 93 that SDA should, (and this should be its first project) raise enough money ( $5,000 ) to get a FULL TIME ORGANIZER IN THE SOUTH. THIS PERSON SHOULD BE SOUTHERN AND SHOULD STAY IN THE SOUTH FOR A YEAR. thirteen different southern states by April 1957 and that SDA would work with t he NAACP, It can easily be done. It should be done. 94 prospects was not limitless, and in th e summer of 1956 he left his post as SDA organizer. Would his departure signal an end to talk about organizing SDA in the South? IMPACT had been an interesting campaign, but it had only raised a few hundred dollars before it had ended. Still, there were other issues that could focus attention on the South, including segregation in college athletics. Some SDA leaders recognized the impact athletics had on southern universities and hoped to exploit it. For example, in November 1956, Tony Adona, an office at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, wrote other chapters across the country urging northern universities not to play football or basketball games against southern schools. No southern university had integrated its athletic teams a s of 1956, but the fact that several southern racial discrimination is incompatible with good 93 94 Bernstein,

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253 sportsmanship which had canceled a fall tour of the South despite not having a single black player on its roster. 95 SDA leaders still thought a great deal about southern issues. One student who took notice of what and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. In October 1957, he wrote SDA in Washington to express thought the campaign would responsibility for major educational decisions in the hands of students (and their leftist friends) instead of in the constituted leaders responsible for these decisions. SDA a shadowy pressure group working for its self assigned goals and using any methods (boycott pickets pressure) to do it. Brownfield found it ironic that many of the schools trying to force integration on southern schools were barely integrated themselves, sometimes with only three or four black students on campuses with enrollments in the thousands. He concluded omino usly, We in the schools of the South (no matter what we personally believe about the race problem) will not be slapped in the face. If you succeed and some colleges refuse to play us well it 96 Realistically, Brownfi the region did very little during the 1956 campaign season. While ADA publicly campaigned fo r 95 Tony Adona to SDA chap ter officers, November 13, 1956, r eel 124, s eries VIII, n o. 25 ADA Papers 96 Allan C. Brownfield to SDA, October 17, 1957 reel 136, series VIII, n o. 183 ADA Papers

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254 the Democratic ticket of Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver and participated in discussions nothing. In fact, there is no indication from SDA records that any of the ir southern chapters functioned at all during the 1956 1957 school year, even during the fall semester, when the presidential campaign was in full swing. The reasons for this inactivity are unclear, though continued financial problems and fear of the Citi repeated and passionate insistence that the South was ripe for organization, and vital for national liberal That does not mean that SDA was permanently inactive, however. The October 1957 edition of ADA World Help, Support for Southern Liberals Sought in North highlighted a new area upon which SDA wanted to concentrate. The article talked about the intersection of academic freedom issues and civil rights in cases where professors and students who had spoken out against segregation. An SDA report on the issue c one of the fundamental conditions for academic freedom is integration. But, while this may be so, academic freedom is also a necessary condition for integration. Their opponents recognized this dependence and so have sought to stifle dis sent and the free exchange of ideas with special legislation, dismissals of professors, expulsions of students, and a powerful campaign of intimidation directed against the universities. chapters to condemn the dismissal of faculty an d students who did not support segregation. let those who have been silenced knows that they do not stand alone 97 97 ADA World 12.8 (October 1957), p. 4.

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255 The easiest way to convey that message was to fight against the forces that made segregation possible. As SDA lea ders rebranded their organization as Campus ADA in 1958, southern members began to embrace a more direct approach to the problem that mirrored the confrontational approach civil rights leaders embraced in the 1950s and 1960s. In 1960, the ADA Executive Co no longer be met by half hearted gestures or facile compromise particularly upset was that such defiance continued even in the face of congressional legis lation and Supreme Court decisions in favor of voting rights and desegregation. 98 As they had learned during the 1950s, however, strongly worded resolutions and expressions of support for civil rights legislation could only do so much. They still needed t o win the support of southerners who could use their influence on the ground, and students remained a vital part of that effort. In the spring of 1960, for example, CADA members at the University of Texas demonstrated against segregation on the streets of Austin. The university had officially desegregated in 1950 as a result of the Supreme Court decision in Sweatt v. Painter but the protestors demanded steps that would completely integrate the campus, including integrated student housing, black participa tion in productions of the drama and music departments, and integration of the did not want attached to their campaign. As chapter secretary Hubert Beare note the demonstrators did not want any outside group sponcering [sic] it. 99 Austin were an encouraging sign. The same could be said for developments at the University of 98 reel 34, n o. 63 ADA Papers 99 Hubert W. Beare, Jr. to Sheldon Pollack, March 26, 1960, r eel 139, series VIII, n o. 234 ADA Papers

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256 F lorida. In the spring of 1961, history graduate student Warren Dean organized a chapter and presented its credentials to the national office in the summer. Dean worked quickly to make the expressed support of the Jackson, Miss issippi Freedom Riders through wires to the New York Times and Jackson, Mississippi; then we obtained a great deal of publicity by welcoming another group of Freedom Riders who came to Gainesville. activity brought Dean to the attention of the Gaine sville NAACP chapter and liberal students at all black Bethune Cookman College in Daytona Beach. 100 More importantly, he had become active in the effort to integrate the university. The UF law school had admitted its first black graduate student in 1958 und er pressure from the NAACP 1961. Dean had worked with other campus liberals to prepare admission applications for five black students. At the beginning of the f all semester, these applications were still pending before give our membership a great feeling of accomp lishment and also will give liberalism a real boost here. he asked CADA officials in Washington for help in obtaining legal rep resentation for the black applicants if they needed it. 101 Dean even contacted Martin Luther King in the fall of 1961 to ask his assistance in will back down without a court struggle if th ey are confronted with qualified students. the climate 100 Wa rren Dean to Howard Wachtel, August 2, 1961, re el 138, series VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers 101 Dean to Wachtel, August 2, 1961

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257 of opinion on campus is not at all rabid in fact, a majority of students in a poll taken a few years ago came out in favor of integration. supporting the for the co students. southern universities, which was taking place in th e early 1960s across the region. 102 working with the principals of black high s chools in the state to secure financial assistance that We have a couple of possibilities, but you [in the Washington office] might be considering a fund of our own if only one or two students qu alify. 103 In late January 1962, Dean finally received a reply from King, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) chairman did express support for the the principals of the Negro high schools in Florida [would be] anxious to participate in this project 104 The activist nature of the chapters in Gainesville and Austin was an encouraging sign for the national office. So too was the organization, in March 1962, of the Southern Student Freedom Fund (SSFF). SSFF partnered CADA with several important liberal organizations, including Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and the National Student Association (NSA), and SDA chairman Howard Wachtel explained that the coalition would educate non southern sections of the country to the problems which confront Southern Negroes embark 102 Dean to King, November 21, 1961 r eel 138, s eries VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers 103 Dean to Lambert, December 27, 1961 reel 138, serie s VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers 104 King to Dean, January 27, 1962 reel 138, series VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers

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258 upon a nationwide fund raising campaign on U.S. campuses for groups involved in the front line fight for equal rights for all. f the increased radicalization of CADA leaders, Wachtel announced that the first recipient of SSFF money would be the Student Non Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), which had already gained a reputation for its radical approach to civil rights activism liberalism. As Wachtel noted, subsistence wages, administrative expenses, and many other vital items. Several fund r aising affairs are already planned at NYU, Columbia, the University of Chicago, Swarthmore and several other schools. 105 The establishment of SSFF benefited CADA as well, since SSFF acted as a clearinghouse that brought liberals from several different organ izations together. This was good news for Warren Dean, whose work in Gainesville was now gaining national attention from liberals. Wachtel made sure that Walter Williams of the NSA, who administered SSFF, knew what Dean was trying to accomplish at UF. W achtel noted that the integration campaign had spread, with sixty black students preparing applications for admission to the university in the fall of 1962. 106 Williams wrote Dean directly after hearing of his project, calling it ng Dean for additional information on what sort of assistance he might want. 107 Dean would need considerable assistance to make the project work. In May 1962, he succeed 105 Wachtel mass mailing to CADA chapter chairmen, March 27, 1962 reel 137, series VIII, n o. 204 ADA Papers 106 Wachtel to Walter Williams, April 10, 1962 reel 138, series VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers 107 William s to Dean, April 18, 1962, r eel 138, s eries VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers.

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259 since there are bound to be a high number of drop outs the financial burden on whoever would be supporting the students would decline significantl y for the second year, and other sources probably be able to cover the survivors for the sophomore year. three chapters in Washington and several cha pters in the Midwest. However, Dean wanted to you have no objection campaign in Florida designed to flood the university with black applicants, though Dean was not yet sure how many they had collected. 108 This was the most significant project a student chapter of ADA had undertaken in the South since its founding fifteen years earlier, and Dea n expressed great satisfaction with it. You ] a cat in the dog kennel the local chapter of the Jo administration. Many of the forty members of the chapter would not be present to see the end lorida of the previous months had convinced Dean that have played a part in cracking them. 109 The culmination o Richard Lambert to inform him that the university had accepted one of the seven black 108 Dean to Lambert May 13, 1962, reel 138, s e ries VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers 109 Dean to Lambert, May 13, 1962

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260 applicants who had been working with CADA in preparing his application. The school had also accep ted another female student who had applied without any assistance from CADA or the NAACP. 110 In total, there were seven African American students accepted into the University of e thousand chapter of CADA trumpeted their accomplishments to the university community in a public statement that recounted the beginning of the campaign and the abortive attempts at admitting three Daytona Beach students in the fall of 1961. The chapter acknowledged the financial help Lambert and others in the national office provided for the project, and the release also detailed several trips chapter members h ad made to Jacksonville, Miami, and other cities looking for qualified black applicants. Once CADA in Gainesville had found the applicants, the chapter made sure their applications received proper consideration, found additional funding for one of the stu dents from Gainesville ll of the students were welcomed on arrival to provide tutorial sessions f or first semester students who request them. 111 erupted earlier that year when James Meredith had attempted to integrate the University of Mississippi, was a great cou p for the Gainesville chapter of CADA. However, Dean did not want to stop their campaign. A November 1962 resolution commended the university 110 Richard Lamber n o. 211 ADA Papers. 111 UF Campus ADA 1962, reel 138, series VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers.

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261 the creation of a public school and higher educ ation system second to none in the nation the infringement of academic freedon [sic] and inquiry 112 Their target was the Johns Committee, a Florida nment, academia, and society. Under the leadership of former governor Charley Johns, the committee targeted suspected Communists and homosexuals in a campaign that destroyed the reputations of many UF faculty members and students. 113 The Johns Committee had been operating in the state for eight years by the time the self appointed heresy hunters and thought controllers campaign for the chapter. The resolution also called for the immediate reinstatement of professors and students whom the Johns Committee had targeted, and it asked the university protect faculty and students from att acks by those who are insulated from civil action for slander a committee which has brought only disgrace rather than honor to the State of Florida and its citizens 114 Clearly, liberals and conservatives were still contesting the meaning of academic freedom and the extent of Communist subversion in American institutions on the UF campus. It is also clear that the UF chapter of Campus ADA was the organizat active fifteen year history. Dean and his lieutenants deserve some credit 112 UF Campus ADA resolution, November 2, 1962, reel 138, series VIII, n o. 211 ADA Papers. 113 Julian M. Pleasants, Gator Tales: An Oral History of the University of Florida (Gainesville 2007), 48 50. 114 UF Campus ADA resolution, November 2, 1962 reel 138, series VIII, no. 211, ADA Papers

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262 for the integration of the universit true impact on the process is not clear. Stephan Mickle, one of the seven black students that enroll ed at the University of Florida in 1962, credits pioneer. He makes no mention of CADA as a group that assisted him in any meaningful way, though he does acknowledg 115 It is possible that some group affiliations these friendly students had. Since Dean and other CADA members never mentioned received assistance from the NAACP or other organizations inst ead. In the two decades prior to the mid 1960s, Gainesville is the only success story of any significance in the history of the student wing of ADA as it attempted to organize southern students and mobilize them for action against the entrenched political and social structure of the region. In most cases, attempts to organize SDA and CADA chapters at universities in Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia, Florida, and Texas produced minimal results. Liberal students on southern campuses fought against studen t apathy, hostility from university administrations, and smear campaigns orchestrated by conservative students. Despite the obstacles, SDA and CADA leaders continued to organize, recognizing that the South had become an important battleground in American politics. As the fight for black civil rights intensified in the 1950s and 1960s, campus liberals continued to agitate for change. In the end, campus liberals who joined the student wing of ADA became loud voices for liberalism in a way 115 Mickle interviewed in Ple a sants, Gator Tales 340.

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263 that their adult counterparts could never truly manage, though their record of successful action is less than impressive.

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264 CHAPTER 8 CONCLUSION In the fifteen years following the end of World War II, Americans for Democratic Action (ADA) attempted to position itself as an anti Communist, politically savvy liberal alternative to movements before the war. One aspect of their approach to the problems America faced was very different from their rivals on the left. While some people on the left believed that reformers needed to loudly and publicly proclaim the need for economic reform or black civil rights, ADA leaders were more conservative and defensive in their approach to political organization. They believed that liberals needed to defend what they had won during the New Deal and World War II, protecting themselves against big business conservatism and McCarthyism at home and the influence of the Soviet Union abroad. This approac h did not preclude further reform, but they wanted to protect the liberal consensus with which they believed most Americans had come to agree. Some Americans remained unconvinced, of course, but ADA leaders believed that a steady application of reason and political pressure would move more citizens into agreement with the assumptions of liberalism. This approach to liberal organization worked for ADA outside of the South, where large chapters with hundreds of members exerted real influence over local and n ational politics. However, the defensive liberalism of ADA did not work in the South, though its failure was not from a lack of trying. ADA leaders tried to organize southern chapters in several waves of b ased efforts in 1947 and 1948. After Taylor resigned from the organization, ADA commissioned an extensive reexamination of their prospects in the South, decided that a renewed effort was needed, and enlisted labor bureaucrat

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265 year organization abandoned the idea of costly, regional organizing in the South, endorsing small scale local activity instead. Taylor, Hopkins, and Texas organizer George Lambert were all conscientious, hard working ADA organizers, but the entrenched conservatism of southern politics proved too difficult to change. While ADA leaders never stopped encourag ing southern liberals to join the group, in the mid 1950s their emphasis shifted toward the younger generation of southerners, and their student auxiliary could point to some success in the South, especially on the movement for social and political integra tion of African Americans. At a time when civil generation made an impact on the debate in the South, particularly at the local level. Nevertheless, by the mid 1960 s even the most optimistic liberals were willing to concede that a shift had taken place within the liberal movement. The murder of President Kennedy in November 1963 had stunned the nation, but liberals had a particularly difficult time dealing with its meaning. Many on the left saw this as a moment in which great possibilities and hopes died along with the president, and it deeply affected intellectual liberals, including Arthur become the unofficial historian of his administration. Political scientist James Piereson has convincingly looking doctrine 1 It is possible, however, to note this transition toward pessimism and radicalism among liberals before the Kennedy assassination. In November 1962, for example, Arthur Gorson, 1 James Piereson, Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism (New York 2007), x.

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266 had also agreed to financially su 2 By March of 1963, G Albany, Georgia, that CADA had approved the project, and the first payment of funds to SNCC was made in May of that year. 3 ts history. While SNCC was not yet the lightning rod for criticism it later became, even among some within the civil rights movement, its methods and goals were certainly far more radical than the methods and goals ADA had embraced at its founding in 1947 By the 1960s, the lack of political and organizational progress in the South had led to deep frustration and an embrace of more radical solutions, which the partnership with SNCC hinted at. Until now, younger liberals had acquiesced to what many consid ered to be a relatively conservative, gradual approach to reform during the postwar period. They also consented to an approach that agreed with conservatives on the importance of the Communist threat. By the 1960s, a growing number of left leaning Americ ans had concluded that this approach had failed. Many ADA members had come to agree with New York Post mating ground for those with sentimental ties to the liberal and radical past, a s ort of Alumni 2 Arthur Gorson memo to CADA chapters and National Board, November 1962 reel 137, series VIII, n o. 204 Americans for Democratic Action Papers, University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville, microfilm collection (hereafter cited as ADA Papers) 3 Gorson to Charles Sherrod, March 13, 1963 reel 137, series VIII, no. 204, ADA Papers.

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267 4 In order to forestall movement toward radical solutions that would undermine conventional liberal reform, he argued, ADA officials needed to make their organizatio n more relevant to a new generation of liberals. way for the radicalization of a significant portion of its membership in the 1960s. For twenty years, its leadership att empted to organize liberals in the region, and it had tried to do so as quietly as possible. Their view of the South was complicated. They believed that conservatives controlled government, the business community, and social institutions. ADA leaders re garded violently to any attempt to challenge the political status quo, whether through incendiary rhetoric or actual violence. The hopes of ADA leaders, and of liberals more generally, rested on what they believed to be the latent sympathies of the general southern population. These hopes rested on two important assumptions. First, ADA leaders believed that the South was not nearly as politically and sociall y retrograde as intellectuals had always believed it was. Its leadership may have been reactionary and anti democratic as ADA philosophy defined it, but southerners were fundamentally no different from their counterparts in the rest of the country, and li berals had convinced Americans everywhere else of the righteousness of strong, New Deal liberalism. They saw no reason why the South had to be any different. The story of ADA in the South suggests that this liberal optimism about the South was exaggerate d. Southerners continued to elect conservatives because they were conservative themselves, not because politicians were deceiving them. 4 Steven M. Gillon, Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947 1985 (New York, 1987), 152.

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268 Their second assumption was that the dislocations and upheavals of World War II had created an especially positive atmo sphere for liberal reform. Many southerners had begun to publicly question the beliefs of previous generations as they served with black soldiers in the Army, worked in large government installations that contributed to the war effort, or joined labor uni ons that had begun to organize in southern factories. Each of these actions validated liberal assumptions, and ADA officials saw no tangible reason why these trends could not continue after the war. 5 ut the South, however. They knew they faced powerful obstacles to their program in state and local government in the South. Moreover, most of the print and broadcast media in the region was conservative and therefore unlikely to be sympathetic to liberal organizations or politicians. First impressions counted for a great deal, and ADA leaders wanted to make sure the initial contacts its representatives had with southerners were as free from prejudice as possible. ADA leaders thought that if southerners saw ADA members as people just like them, southerners would be more likely to listen to their program and, therefore, to discount the incendiary rhetoric politicians and writers often used to paint ADA as subversive. In order to make the best first impres sion, however, most ADA leaders wanted to keep their activity as quiet as possible until their chapters had reached a critical mass of local support. The first place where ADA officials thought they had created that kind of liberal community was Memphis in 1947 and 1948, where war veteran Barney Taylor had set up the Postwar Memphis was a promising place in which liberals could operate, primarily because the 5 Jason Sokol, There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Rights, 1945 1975 (New York 2 006), 19 22.

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269 reform term trend in the history of ADA r and his successors had to be selective in terms of where they operated. The staff in Washington, in concert with Taylor, selected Memphis not only because it was convenient for Taylor but because it offered a chance to affect the 1948 gubernatorial and senatorial elections in Tennessee. ADA leaders wanted to slowly chip away at the entrenched position conservative Democrats enjoyed in the South. They hoped that the results of the 1948 elections, in which Gordon Browning returned to on and Estes Kefauver was elected to the Senate, were the start of a liberal trend in the South that would make the region more politically balanced. The elections of Browning and Kefauver in Tennessee were good news for liberals, but these electoral victo ries did not translate into increased support for ADA, in Memphis or anywhere else in the South. The financial troubles of the organization meant that it had to concentrate on achieving the most possible success with the least expense. ADA leaders had to became apparent that those places were all outside the South. The staff could not afford to spend thousands of dollars on a southern organizer if that organize r could only recruit a few dozen new members. Taylor had some important assets he could bring to bear, most notably the indignant eloquence of Lillian Smith, who continually implored southerners to reject their retrograde assumptions on race and class and embrace modernity. However, in fact the majority of the from outside the South.

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270 Taylor also had to deal with the issue of Communism. Liberal intellectuals di smissed concerns about Soviet infiltration of the United States as paranoid and without merit. However, Communists, socialists, and fellow travelers had been influential in the formation of organizations such as the Southern Conference for Human Welfare ( SCHW), standing side by side with Eleanor Roosevelt and Frank Porter Graham to denounce segregation and economic exploitation. ADA leaders thought they had dealt with the issue of Communists in the liberal movement as best they could. 6 Its leaders had lo udly and repeatedly claimed that Communists were not welcome in their organization. Despite these denials, many southerners, particularly those in the print media, claimed that the doctrines of the New Deal and Fair Deal, which ADA supported, had links to Communism. Taylor did his best to convince people that ADA was not influence. He also worked against the 1948 presidential campaign of Progressive Party candidate Henr y Wallace, whom the Communists supported. Many southerners, including some who might have otherwise been interested in joining the chapters Taylor was trying to create in the South, continued to believe that ADA was a Communist organization as a result of the Wallace campaign. resistance to liberal reform. The question had become whether ADA leaders should write off the South as hopeless for liberal organization. The political and business class of the South had revealed itself as the stiffest domestic challenge to American liberalism, but what made the South interesting was the challenge it presented to ADA. By the late 1940s, liberals outside the South had becom e temperamentally conservative. According to Piereson, they saw the New 6 Richard H. Pells, The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age: American Intellectuals in the 1940s & 1950s (New York, 1985), 263.

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271 7 This work was important, but it was not particularly exciting, es pecially and they thought this approach was flawed because of its rejection of radical change and its detachment from the lower classes, which the liberal consen sus seemed to ignore. In the intellectual and political climate of postwar America, the South represented an opportunity for liberals. It opened the possibility of restoring a crusading, moralistic spirit to liberalism, a spirit that had animated the Prog ressives around the turn of the century. 8 Since the American problems, but the South had remained beyond their collective reach. The idea that understandings that America repeatedly had to step in and clean up the messes the South had intentionally or otherwise 9 What made postwar liberals unique was t heir optimistic belief that they could convince the South to embrace liberalism if they worked hard enough and educated enough people on what liberalism truly meant. It was a political crusade in which success would have placed postwar liberals on a pedes tal that previous generations had failed to reach. reinforced the idea that the South was an opportunity for liberals. The renegade southern 7 Piereson, Camelot 7. 8 Piereson, Camelot 5. 9 iffin and Don H. Doyle, eds., The South as an American Problem (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995) 13.

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272 Democrats who became Dixiecrats in the summer of 1948 generated a lot of noise, but their ern members of Congress and governors who had run on progressive platforms or had challenged entrenched political machines. Most importantly, ADA had played a prominent role in shaping the national debate during the year, committing the Democratic Party t o a stronger position than southerners had wanted in favor of black civil rights. It was in this cautiously optimistic atmosphere that ADA leaders now explored their possibilities in the South with the assistance of North Carolina activist John Thomason. controversial group, even if its staff did not think of liberalism as particularly controversial. The list of invitees for the Atlanta conference it convened in Febr uary 1949 was short on elected officials and long on labor leaders, independent liberals, and academics. Thomason and Loeb understood that southern liberals did not appreciate outside criticism of the South any more than conservatives did, so they careful ly emphasized that they would engage in as little criticism as possible. The records of the conference show a group trying to find its way through a confusing political landscape. The southerners defended traditional patterns of racial relations against northern criticism while acknowledging that changes had to be made, though the southerners warned against concentrating on civil rights and ignoring education, public works, and other issues. They concluded that the southern political class did not truly represent the people, but they did not necessarily trust politicians who claimed to be liberal or progressive. Above all, so.

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273 This Atlanta meeting was a catalyst time southern organizer in the spring of 1949. Another catalyst was a change in strategy, also related to the conclusions of the conference. Taylor had traveled extensively from his home base in Memphis, visiting l iberal prospects in cities throughout the South. It had been a grueling schedule, and it problems were critical. The second southern office, run by former Na tional Labor Relations Board researcher Alden Hopkins, concentrated its efforts in North Carolina and Florida, states that appeared to have better prospects for liberals. Coincidentally, these states also had prominent liberal politicians facing tough ele ctions in the summer of 1950. Senators Frank Graham and Claude Pepper were darlings of the liberal establishment in Washington, which made them obvious targets for conservative Democrats. two states showed that reliable politicians could expect the enthusiastic backing of liberal activists. Graham and Pepper would welcome the assistance of outside organizations. The same would be true of their conservative southern opponents. The 1950 e lection cycle was the first that registered the effects American government. The truth of his allegations notwithstanding, his charges affected voter perceptions in seve them vulnerable to McCarthyist charges. Reactionaries also assailed the senators for their support of anti poll tax and anti lynching legislation, which branded them as radicals in southern

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274 politics. 10 Under such powerful attack, it would seem to make sense for Graham and Pepper to accept help from liberal organizations, no matter how much their opponents criticized those groups. As Hopkins found out, however, neither Graham nor Pepper welcomed ADA assistance. Hopkins quit ADA well before either Democratic senatorial primary in 1950, but her experience showed that the long standing tension between activists and politicians was still strong. She had to deal with the legacy of the 1948 campaign in North Carolina, where some of the most in lumping it e help her cause that when she traveled the state, she discovered that the vast majority of the members ADA organizers had attracted were on the fringes of the liberal movement. Moreover, in 1949 she had to deal with the uncertainty plaguing the Graham campaign, primarily because no one seemed to know who would run against the senator in the Democratic primary. When it became clear that Hopkins would get nowhere with her efforts in North Carolina, she abandoned the state at the end of 1949 and traveled to Miami, where a new, more election the following year. The liberals in South Flori da were more doctrinaire and intellectual in their approach than those in North Carolina, who were drawn more heavily from the labor community 10 Julian M. Pleasants and Augustus M. Burns III, Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race in North Carolina (Chapel Hill, 1990), 147 149, 20 3 246; James C. Clark, Road to Defeat: Claude Pepper and Defeat in the 1950 Florida Primary (Ph.D. diss University of Florida 1998), 169 176, 180 189.

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275 in the state. Hopkins did her best to steer the Miami liberals toward a more practical political approach that w ould have less concern with doctrinal purity. She continued to run into trouble, however, particularly on issues of race. She could never convince southern ADA chapters to totally embrace integration. ADA leaders had run into this question in the past, and they continued to do so throughout their attempts to organize in the South. Its platform repeatedly called for an end to segregation in support of black civil rights, but how could the organization advance such views when its southern chapters held se gregated meetings, as they often did? Was ADA attempting to organize all liberals, or should it concentrate on attracting only white liberals to its banner? Hopkins failed to persuade her superiors in Washington to relax restrictions on segregated meetin gs, no matter how distasteful she thought they were personally. This conflict was a key factor in her failure to establish an independent source of financial The same finan cial constraints that frustrated Taylor and Hopkins also doomed the efforts of Texas liberal activist George Lambert, who went to work for ADA in 1953 in an attempt to wer in the 1952 presidential election had frustrated liberals, particularly because conservative Democrats had been so instrumental in throwing Texas into the Republican column. Liberals wanted to cut into the power Governor Allan Shivers had over the sta to understand how it worked before they could do so. That is where Lambert entered the picture. throughout the state and enco uraged the creation of chapters in Houston, San Antonio, and how bright liberal prospects truly were.

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276 The problems Lambert faced were the same as those that v exed Taylor and Hopkins. The most important problem was the fitful financial and political support from Washington and the almost universal hostility of the local press. One additional problem, however, was unique to Texas. The state had a fairly fluid political situation that most liberals found confusing. As was the case in most southern states, the bipartisan politics familiar to the rest of the nation took place entirely within the confines of the Democratic Party. Liberals had to contend with the constantly shifting loyalties of Shivers, who worked to maintain his good standing with the national Democratic establishment while undermining its liberal principles with nearly every action he took in office. They also had to reckon with Sam Rayburn and Lyndon Johnson, whose national leadership positions within the party did not guarantee them political survival in Texas. Could reflected his ambivalence toward th e two, especially Johnson, whose ties to conservatives made him nervous. Between the 1952 and 1956 elections, Lambert worked for ADA, producing a series of fascinating memorandums and confidential reports about the activities of the various Democratic fact behind Shivers and the conservatives would do the party no good, but Shivers had numbers on his side. Thus, national Democrats sought to avoid confrontation with the governor in the hopes that he would support the national ticket in 1 956. In the end, Lambert experienced the same sort of frustration that plagued other southern organizers, but his detailed reports on Texas politics represent an intriguing, and underused, source of information about the subject.

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277 In the years following La scale organizational efforts in the South. Instead, its leaders decided to wage a long term campaign aimed at creating liberals who would be politically active in the 1960s and beyond. The vehic le for this campaign was its student division, Students for Democratic Action (SDA). In the wake of the Brown decision and the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 1956, the campaign for black civil rights became a national story, and liberals again tried to co nvince themselves that they were not dealing with a monolithic, reactionary southern population. They hoped college administrators would be particularly understanding of their desire to organize on campus, since, at least in theory, they would be committe d to free speech and would welcome diverse political opinions. SDA organizers ran into trouble on political grounds, however. Concerns about Communist influence over American institutions extended to academia. Beginning in the early 1950s, congressional investigations of colleges and universities touched nearly every institution in the country formally or informally. 11 These investigations had at least some merit for those who wanted to purge American liberalism of Communists and fellow travelers, but the manner in which conservatives conducted these probes angered Cold War liberals. They deplored the way in which federal and state politicians ignored concerns about civil liberties, and they hated how administrators caved to political pressure and dismiss SDA chapters in the South were quick to protest against civil liberties violations on campus, but this left them vulnerable to attack from the same administrators and politicians. The more SDA protested, the more it be less likely to join SDA if the group appeared to be too radical. 11 Pells, The Liberal Mind 287 295.

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278 SDA organizers also dealt with more mundane organizational problems, including the transitory nature of college l ife and the fact that the students most likely to be politically motivated were often more concerned with their studies. As a result, many of the schools where SDA was most active, including the University of Florida, Vanderbilt University, and the Univer sity of Texas, had chapters that formed, dissolved, and re formed on at least one occasion. chapters they formed during the post war period. The issues they dealt wi th during the 1950s and early 1960s, including McCarthyism and civil rights, were familiar, but they brought an enthusiasm to these issues that led to louder calls for change and more action. SDA and Campus ADA chapters on southern campuses organized deba tes on hot button issues of the day, sent numerous letters to campus newspapers opposing segregation and supporting federal aid to education, and urging qualified black students to apply for admission to their schools. The civil rights issue was most cruci Yale Bernstein, the SDA organizer who was most adamant about the need to organize in the South, knew that layers of distrust existed between white and black students in liberal organizations. He tho political and economic change that had to precede integration. In working toward such change, white and black liberals would each have to compromise. Whites would have to acknowledge t he importance of civil rights, while southern blacks would have to expand their definition of could be the catalyst for such change because it had no natura l constituency to placate. ADA leaders had always thought of themselves in these terms, and now it had a chance to make a difference in the South.

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279 In the end, the students ADA recruited in the South were not able to live up to the lofty ideals of Bernstei n and other national SDA leaders, who had convinced themselves that a large, untapped reservoir of liberal students existed in the region. However, their accomplishments were more noticeable than those of their ADA counterparts, who never seemed to act in favor of liberal reform in the South. SDA publicly supported the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955, raising money to help boycotters with their transportation needs and earning the praise of Martin in such a campaign was a calculated new wave of student activism. The confrontational ethos of SNCC, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and other groups be came a defining characteristic of the 1960s, but it did not emerge suddenly. In the late 1950s, many younger liberals had already begun to reject the approach to the South in the same period. SDA leaders thought they could channel this dissatisfaction into support for a comprehensive liberal program that included, but was not limited to, civil rights. encompassing approach to liberal reform in the South was that, by the late 1950s, civil rights had become the issue in the region, at the expense of other important political and economic issues. This was not necessarily a detriment to campus organization, since liberal students came to recognize they could make a difference on a local level, whether through organizing boycotts of intercollegiate athletics in southern states that refused to allow integrated competition or encouraging qualified black students to apply for enrollme nt in southern schools. This brought liberals in direct conflict with the political and academic power structure of the South, something ADA officials had been trying to avoid since

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280 rs that they were not radicals, but the events of the 1950s and early 1960s had convinced many liberals that more radical solutions were needed. They concluded that the South needed a crusade, and younger liberals were determined to recapture the crusadin g spirit of previous generations. One defining characteristic of this spirit was impatience. Younger liberals were impatient with resistance from the southern power structure and the resulting slow pace of reform, largely because they were so convinced th at integration was necessary. If something was morally right, why was it necessary to wait to achieve it? They were also growing impatient with fellow liberals who refused to answer this question to their satisfaction. They could not understand why peop le who publicly proclaimed their commitment to civil rights balked at the opportunity to act on their ideals. One of the elder statesmen of ADA liberalism, Minnesota Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, had made this very point in 1948, when he was a younger politi cian seeking a seat in the United that the country had waited nearly two centuries too long to live up to its promise of equality for all. By the time of the 1964 Democratic convention in Atlantic City, an older Humphrey, presidential nomination, had reversed course. He urged the intending to challen ge the all white regular Democratic delegation of that state, to compromise their principles in the interest of political unity. 12 antithesis of his eloquence in Philadelphia sixteen years earlier, and many liberals beli eved that he (and others like him) had betrayed their principles to benefit their own careers. 12 Gillon, Politics and Vision 162 163.

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281 The frustration that accompanied that conclusion was palpable, and it was the result of ld in the South represent a small part of that process, one that highlights the obstacles liberals faced in the region. It is surprising that, in the face of intense opposition from southern politicians and their allies in the press, ADA leaders made nume rous separate attempts to organize chapters and create interest in their brand of Cold War liberalism. They did so because liberals had convinced themselves that the South represented a last frontier for their ideas, which they believed a majority of Amer icans had permanently and irrevocably embraced. By reaching out to the South, liberal intellectuals and activists could recapture the crusading spirit that had animated previous generations and p. The fact that many southerners either actively campaigned against ADA or simply ignored consensus philosophy in the post war period, one that its adhere nts believed all Americans would eventually embrace. The recalcitrance of the South in the two decades following the end of World War II appeared to be empirical evidence that contradicted this theory, and it led many on the left to abandon traditional li reforms, as too pragmatic to affect far reaching changes, as too boring to command the interest of c 13 The shift away from consensus liberalism and toward radicalism part of the experience that caused such a change to take place in the 1960 s. 13 Piereson, Camelot 24

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282 LIST OF REFERENCES Alexander, Charles C. Holding the Line: The Eisenhower Era, 1952 1961 Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. Ashby, Warren. Frank Porter Graham: A Southern Liberal Winston Salem, N.C.: John Blair Publishers, 1980. Bartley, Numan V. A History of the South, Volume XI: The New South Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1995. Bass Jack, and Walter DeVries. The Transformation of Southern Politics: Social Change and Political Consequence Since 1945 N ew York: Basic Books, 1976 Beinart New Republic 231 (December 13, 2004). 17 19, 22 24, 29. Blackwell, Louise, and Frances Clay. Lillian Smith New York: Twayne Publishers, 1971. Bran ch, Taylor. Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954 1963 New York: Simon and Schuster, 1988. New York Times November 12, 2007. http ://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/us/12k oval.html Brock, Clifton. Americans for Democratic Action: Its Role in National Politics Washington: Public Affairs Press, 1962 Caro, Robert A. The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate New York : Vintage Books, 2002. Champagne, Antho ny. Congressman Sam Rayburn New Brunswick, N J : Rutgers U niversity P ress 1984 Chappell, David L. Inside Agitators: White Southerners in the Civil Rights Movement Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994. Clark, James C. Defeat: Claude Pepper and Defeat in the 1950 Florida Primary Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of Florida, 1998 Clouse, Barbara Barksdale. Ralph McGill: A Biography Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 1998. Cobb, James C. Away Down S outh: A History of Southern Identity New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

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283 Conkin, Paul K. Gone with the Ivy: A Biography of Vanderbilt University Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1985. Dabney, Virginius. A History Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1981. Davidson, Chandler. Race and Class in Texas Politics Princeton, N J : P rinceton University Press, 1990. Dittmer, John. Local People: The Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 1994. Time February 7, 1949 R epublished online : htt p://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,799744,00.html Dykeman, Wilma. Seeds of Southern Change: The Life of Will Alexander Chi cago: University of Chicago Press, 1962. Eagles, Charles W. Jonathan Daniels and Race Relations: The Evolution of a Southern Liberal Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1982. Egerton, John. Speak Now Against the Day: The Generation Before t he Civil Rights Movement in the South Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995. Erickson, Jack T., ed. Americans for Democratic Action Papers, 1932 1965 Sanford, N.C.: Microfilming Corporation of America, 1978. Microfilm collection. University of Florida Libraries, Gainesville. Finney, Peter, unched 1961 desegregation drive. New Orleans Clarion Herald January 10, 2001. http://clarionherald.org/20010118/art501.htm (accessed October 25, 2007; article no longer a vailable online). Frederickson, Kari. The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932 1968 Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001 Gaddis, John Lewis. The Long Peace: Inquiries Into the History of the Cold War New York: Oxford University Press, 1987. Gillon Steven M. Politics and Vision: The ADA and American Liberalism, 1947 1985 New York : Oxford University Press, 1987. Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commiss ion. Public Hearing #2 of the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission http://www.greensborotrc.org/cahoongreesonwall.doc

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284 Griffin Larry J., and Don Doyle, eds. The South as an American Problem Athens: Uni v ersity of Georgia Press, 1995. North. ADA World 12, no. 8 (October 1957). Page 4. Klarman, Michael J. Brown Changed Race Relations: The Backlash Thesis. Journal of American History 81, no. 1 (J une 1994): 81 118 LaFeber, Walter. America, Russia, and the Cold War, 1945 2002 Boston: McGraw Hill, 2002. Lambert, George. George and Latane Lambert Papers, 1943 1987 Texas Labor Archives. University of Texas at Arlington Special Collections. Loveland, Anne C. Lillian Smith, A Southerner Confronting the South Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1986. Martin, Galen. I nterview by Betsy Brinson Kentucky Civil Rights Oral History Project, Kentucky Oral History Commissio n, Kent ucky Historical Society. November 4, 1999. http://205.204.134.47/civil_rights_mvt/media/KCRP.20.B.28.Martin.pdf. Mattson, Kevin. When America Was Great: The Fighting Faith of Postwar Liberalism New York : Routledge, 2004. Maxwell, William Earl, and Ernest Crain. Texas Politics Today St. Paul, Minn.: West Publishing Company, 1978. McCullough, David. Truman New York: Touchstone, 1992. Miller, William D. Mr. Crump of Memphis Baton Rouge: Louisian a State University Press, 1964. Montgomer y, James Riley, Stanley J. Folmsbee, and Lee Seifert Greene. To Foster Knowledge: A History of the University of Tennessee, 1794 1970 Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1984. Norrell, Robert J. il in the C ivil at the conference Counci l and the Civil Rights Movement. University of Florida, Gainesville, October 23 26, 2003. Pells, Richard H. The Liberal Mind in a Conservative Age: American Intellectuals in the 1940s & 1950s New York: Harper & Row, 1985.

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285 Piereson, James. Camelot and the Cultural Revolution: How the Assassination of John F. Kennedy Shattered American Liberalism New York : Encounter Books, 2007. Pleasants, Ju lian M. Gator Tales: An Oral History of the University of Florida Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2007. Pleasants Julian M., and Augustus M. Burns III Frank Porter Graham and the 1950 Senate Race in North Carolina Chapel Hill: Universi ty of North Carolina Press, 1990. Salmond, John. A Southern Rebel: The Life and Times of Aubrey Willis Williams, 1890 1965 Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983. Schlesinger, Arthur M., Jr. A Life in the 20 th Century: Innocent Beginn ings, 1917 1950 Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 2000. Sherry, Michael S. In the Shadow of War: The United States Since the 1930s New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995. Sokol, Jason. There Goes My Everything: White Southerners in the Age of Civil Right s, 1945 1975 New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006. Sosna, Morton J. In Search of the Silent South: Southern Liberals and the Race Issue New York: Columbia University Press, 1977. Steinberg, Alfred. Sam Rayburn: A Biography New York: Hawthorn Books 1975. Sullivan, Patricia. Days of Hope: Race and Democracy in the New Deal Era Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996. 1850 brary and Archives Commission. http://www.tsl.state.tx.us/ref/abouttx/census.html University of Texas at Austin. The Handbook of Texas Online University of Texas at Austin. http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/LL/fla61.html Whi te, G. Edward. Glass Wars: The Covert Life of a Soviet Spy New York : Oxford University Press, 2004.

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286 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Douglas Steven Gallagher was born in 1977 in South Miami, Florida. The oldest of four children, he grew up in South Miami and Coral Gables, Florida, graduating from Coral Gable High School in 1995. He earned his B.A. in history, with a minor in philosophy, from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee in 1998, graduating summa cum laude He earned his M. A. in history from the University of Florida in 2001 where he has worked as a teaching assistant and teaching associate since 2001