1919 March 26

New York Lusk Committee to Investigate Alleged Radicals


The New York Legislature created the Joint Legislative Committee to Investigate Seditious Activities, known as the Lusk Committee, on this day to investigate alleged radicals in the state. The investigation produced a four-volume report, Revolutionary Radicalism, released on April 24, 1920, which established the model for later legislative investigations of political beliefs and associations. The most important such investigations were conducted for 37 years by the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC), created on May 26, 1938. The report indulged in guilty-by-association to smear pacifists, civil libertarians, socialists, liberals and others for the alleged association with communism.

The Lusk Committee was an important part of the post-World War I Red Scare that included the infamous Palmer Raids, November 7, 1919, and January 2, 1920, in which thousands of alleged radicals and left-wing labor union members and leaders were rounded up by federal authorities.

Read the notorious report: Revolutionary Radicalism, 4 vols. (1920): https://archive.org/details/revolutionaryra00luskgoog

Learn more about the Red Scare:  http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/SaccoV/redscare.html

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