1960 April 25

“Dragonslayers” Speech: Rep. Jimmy Roosevelt Calls for Abolition of HUAC


Rep. Jimmy Roosevelt (D–California), member of Congress and son of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, on this day delivered his “Dragonslayers” speech, calling for the abolition of the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC).

The speech invigorated the movement to abolish HUAC. Just a month later, San Francisco was the scene of the largest public demonstration against HUAC, which was holding hearings on alleged Communist influence in the Bay Area. The demonstrations began on May 12, 1960. Roosevelt’s speech and the San Francisco demonstrations marked a significant turn in public opinion against HUAC and its long-running assault of the freedom of belief and association.

The House of Representatives finally abolished HUAC on January 14, 1975.

Watch an Interview with Jimmy Roosevelt: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvCH3ThsNr0

Read about the history of HUAC: Walter Goodman, The Committee: The Extraordinary Career of the House Committee on Un-American Activities (1968)

Watch the documentaries on the famous 1960 anti-HUAC demonstrations, The HUAC version, “Operation Abolition”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MeiW63M3bcI

And the ACLU reply, “Operation Correction”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be8fZNZAWN4

Learn more about HUAChttp://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/huac

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