1927 April 17

WW I Veterans Charge Schools Teach “Radicalism”

 

An investigating committee for the American Legion Post in West Chester, Pennsylvania, charged on this day that the Liberal Club at West Chester Normal School was creating “disrespect” for the U.S. government and had sponsored a number of allegedly radical speakers, including a leader of the ACLU. The controversy was one of several during the 1920s over alleged “radicalism” in the public schools. Several involved efforts to prevent ACLU leaders from speaking in New York City schools (see May 21, 1926, and April 19, 1929).

The American Legion, founded on November 10, 1919, was an aggressive anti-civil liberties force for decades. Some of its attacks on civil liberties occurred on August 3, 1929, October 2, 1932, August 6, 1954, and February 22, 1964.

Learn more about the ACLU and civil liberties in the 1920s: Samuel Walker, In Defense of American Liberties: A History 0f the ACLU (1990)

Learn more about the AAUP and the freedom to teach: http://www.aaup.org/report/freedom-to-teach

Watch a debate over academic freedom: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCjuu6n6wqU

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