1960 February 22

Groups Criticize President Eisenhower’s New Security Order for Defense Workers


On this day, civil rights and labor groups criticized the new rules for security investigations of defense industry workers proposed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The president’s proposal was prompted by a Supreme Court decision, in Cole v. Young, on June 11, 1956, holding that the federal loyalty program did not apply to non-sensitive national security-related jobs. The Workers Defense League (WDL) criticized a loophole in Eisenhower’s new order: The head of an accused employee’s agency could determine whether cross-examination of a witness against him or her would be permitted. The WDL argued that this made the agency head both prosecutor and judge.

President Harry Truman launched the federal loyalty program on March 21, 1947. The standard for the mandatory review of all federal employees embodied the principle of guilt-by-association: you were suspected of disloyalty based on friends or groups you may have belonged to. An important element of the federal loyalty program was the Attorney General’s List of Subversive Organizations, which became an official government blacklist (December 4, 1947).

Learn more about the federal loyalty program here.

Find a Day

Abortion Rights ACLU african-americans Alice Paul anti-communism Anti-Communist Hysteria Birth Control Brown v. Board of Education Censorship CIA Civil Rights Civil Rights Act of 1964 Cold War Espionage Act FBI First Amendment Fourteenth Amendment freedom of speech Free Speech Gay Rights Hate Speech homosexuality Hoover, J. Edgar HUAC Japanese American Internment King, Dr. Martin Luther Ku Klux Klan Labor Unions Lesbian and Gay Rights Loyalty Oaths McCarthy, Sen. Joe New York Times Obscenity Police Misconduct Same-Sex Marriage Separation of Church and State Sex Discrimination Smith Act Spying Spying on Americans Vietnam War Voting Rights Voting Rights Act of 1965 War on Terror Watergate White House Women's Rights Women's Suffrage World War I World War II Relocation Camps


Tell Us What You Think

We want to hear your comments, criticisms and suggestions!