1966 August 17

“Riotous” HUAC Hearings; Witnesses’ Lawyer Evicted


Arthur Kinoy, a noted civil liberties attorney, was forcibly evicted on this day by U.S. Marshals from a hearing by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) on the anti-Vietnam War movement. Seven other attorneys, including the Director of the ACLU, walked out in protest. A federal judge had blocked the hearings the day before they were to begin, but an appeals court immediately overturned his order. The first day of the hearings, August 16, 1966, were also marked by shouting matches and the eviction of witnesses.

The Vietnam War created a number of civil liberties crises. They include (1) the lack of a Congressional Declaration of War as required by the Constitution (June 3, 1970); (2) threats to freedom of the press in the Pentagon Papers case (June 30, 1971); (3) spying on the anti-war movement by the CIA (August 15, 1967); (4) threats to freedom of expression, for example high school student protests (February 24, 1969); censorship of television programs (February 25, 1968); and directly and indirectly some of the events that led to the Watergate Scandal (May 9, 1969; January 27, 1972).

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

Learn more: Terry H. Anderson, The Movement and the Sixties: Protest in America from Greensboro to Wounded Knee (1995)

Read the recollections: Ron Chepesuik, Sixties Radicals, Then and Now: Candid Conversations with Those Who Shaped the Era  (1995)

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