Eason Monroe, Fired For Refusing to Sign Loyalty Oath, Becomes Head of ACLU of Southern California
Eason Monroe was a faculty member at San Francisco State University, who was fired in 1950 when he refused to sign the University of California system’s loyalty oath (see April 21, 1950). On this day, he became head of the ACLU of Southern California, and went on to lead the organization for 20 years. He eventually sued to regain his position at the university and, in December 1971, the California Supreme Court ordered him reinstated. He resigned his ACLU position in 1972 and rejoined the San Francisco State University faculty that fall.
The insidious aspect of the University of California loyalty oath, and of all loyalty oaths during the Cold War, was that it had nothing to do with any specific criminal or unprofessional conduct on the part of individuals required to sign it. The state Supreme Court declared the University of California loyalty oath unconstitutional on October 17, 1952.
Learn more: http://www.csudh.edu/oliver/eason/eason2.htm
Learn more at an oral history interview with Monroe: http://texts.cdlib.org/view?docId=ft4g5005d0&doc.view=entire_text
Read: David Gardner, The California Oath Controversy (1967)
Learn more at a timeline on the California loyalty oath controversy: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/collections/loyaltyoath/timeline_test.html