1913 March 29

Theodore Roosevelt Warns That U.S. Threatened by “European Extremists” — Artists


Former President Theodore Roosevelt on this day published an article warning that the U.S. was being threatened by “European  extremists.” He was referring to artists, who had exhibited at the landmark Armory Show in New YoCity. The show is one of the most famous events in the history of art in America, as it exhibited for the first time in this country a large number of modern artists, including Kandinsky, Matisse, Braque  and Picasso. Roosevelt saw them as the “lunatic fringe” of the art world.

Roosevelt also saw European political radicals, especially anarchists, as threats to the U.S. And during World War I he argued that workers who did not work to their fullest capacity should be shot.

In one of the most famous instances of the censorship of art, future Vice President of the U.S. Nelson Rockefeller on May 9, 1933 ordered the destruction of murals at the new Rockefeller center in New York City, which had been painted by the famed Mexican artist Diego Rivera. Rivera had included left-wing themes in his murals.

Read Roosevelt’s 1916 speech “America for Americans” here.

Read: Roger Daniels, Debating American Immigration, 1892 – Present (2001)

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!