Finding Aid for the Dorothy Healey Papers, 1930-1978

Processed by Manuscripts Division staff; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé and edited by Josh Fiala.
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Manuscripts Division
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 2005
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Dorothy Healey Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1930-1978
Collection number: 1245
Creator: Healey, Dorothy
Extent: 4 boxes (2 linear ft.)
Abstract: Dorothy Healey (b.1914) was a member of the Young Communist League (1928-), and the Communist Party (1932-1973). She was appointed a deputy labor commissioner by Governor Culbert Olson (1940), and served as the Chairman of the Los Angeles Communist Party (1945). In 1952, she was arrested under the Smith Act. She appeared on college campuses in support of the antiwar movement in the 1960s, and in 1969, and openly opposed the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia (1969), effectively removing herself from the Party. Following her formal resignation in 1973, she became active in the New American Movement and the Democratic Socialists of America. The collection consists of photocopies of U.S. government documents obtained by Dorothy Healey under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, and correspondence with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and government agencies regarding release of her files. Also contains materials released by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Defense, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Advance notice required for access.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Dorothy Healey, 1979.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Dorothy Healey Papers (Collection 1245). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

Biography

Healey was born Dorothy Rosenblum in 1914 in Denver, Colorado; her mother was a founding member of the Communist Party of the United States; her parents moved to California in 1921, and Dorothy grew up in Oakland; joined Young Communist League in 1928, and was arrested during the May Day unemployment demonstrations there in 1930; left high school in 1931 to work in a cannery in San Jose; joined the Communist Party when she turned 18; became organizer of migrant farm workers, and in 1940 was appointed a deputy labor commissioner by Governor Culbert Olson; in 1945 she became the Chairman of the Los Angeles Communist Party; arrested under the Smith Act and jailed in 1952; appeared on college campuses in support of the antiwar movement in the 1960s; in 1969 she openly opposed the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, effectively removing herself from the Party; following her formal resignation in 1973, she became active in the New American Movement and the Democratic Socialists of America; Marxist commentator on KPFK radio (Santa Monica) for 20 years; wrote (with Maurice Isserman) Dorothy Healey remembers: a life in the American Communist Party (1990).

Biographical Narrative

Dorothy Healey was born in Colorado in 1914. Her family moved to California in 1291. At the age of 14, she joined the Young Communist League and was arrested in 1930 during May Day unemployment demonstrations in Oakland. In 1931, she left high school to work in a cannery in San jose. She joined the Communist Party at 18, the earliest she could do so constitutionally. During the years she organized cannery and migratory workers, hundreds of Communists were among those beaten, jailed, killed. For more than 20 years, she served as chairman of the Southern California party, and she was, as Jessica Mitford has written, “a name to conjure within California when the party was at its zenith.” Her life spans the era of House Un-American Activities Committee hearings and the McCarthy witch hunts. Dorothy Healey resigned from the party in 1969 because of its pro-Soviet stand over Czechoslovakia. She remains a dedicated Marxist.

Scope and Content

Collection consists of photocopies of U.S. government documents obtained by communist leader Dorothy Healey under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts. Includes correspondence with Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, with government agencies regarding release of her files, and with others. Also contains materials released by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Department of Defense, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). These include surveillance requests and reports, phone tapping requests, a file designed for prosecution of communist functionaries under the Smith Act, and information about Angela Davis and the Angela Davis defense fund.

Expanded Scope and Content

The Dorothy Healey papers were purchased by the library of the California State University, Long Beach. These UCLA papers consist of photocopies of materials obtained by her under the Freedom of Information and Privacy acts. The correspondence with government agencies reveals her difficultires even at this stage, under the law. A brief perusal of the documents gives evidence to the fact of years of surveillance of her activities, when sometimes her statements to that effect may have been dismissed as a sense of persecution. As if in response to accusations such as George Putnam's - “Come, come now, Dorthy--perhaps under Communism--perhaps under the Nazis--but it just doesn't happen in the United States of America” - Ms. Healey has given this material to the Library. There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.
Dorothy Healey has been interviewed by the UCLA Oral History Program.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Healey, Dorothy
Communists--United States--Archival resources.

Related Material

Tradition's chains have bound us [oral history transcript] / Dorothy Healey, interviewee. UCLA Oral History Department interview, c.1982. Available at Department of Special Collections, UCLA.

Container List

 

Correspondence

Box 1, Folder 1

DH's lettters to: Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Attorney General, and Internal Revenue Service. April 1976

Physical Description: (Photocopies)

Scope and Content Note

Asking for action on her requests for information.
Box 1, Folder 2

Replies to DH's requests for information, and to her appeals. 1975-1978

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by U.S. Department and Agency.

Scope and Content Note

Includes letters from the following:
  • Central Intelligence Agency
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • U.S. Department of Defense
    • Headquarters U.S. Army Intelligence Agency
    • U.S. Army Counterintelligence Support Detachment
    • National Security Agency-Central Security Service
  • U.S. Department of Justice
    • U.S. Attorney General
    • Office of the Deputy Attorney General
    • Deputy Assistant Attorney General-Criminal Division
    • Federal Burueau of Investigation
  • U.S. Department of State
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury
    • Office of the Secretary of the Treasury
    • Internal Revenue Service
Box 1, Folder 3

Letter to DH from Jeanne Davis. July 1976

Box 4, Folder 1

Replies to DH's requests for information. July 1980

Creator/Collector: Headquarters Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Rolling Air Force Base, Department of the Air Force; and the United States Department of Jusitice, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Physical Description: (Photocopies)

Note

[Addition, 1980]
 

Copies of Released Information

Box 1, Folder 4

Primarily copies of seized correspondence between DH and Mrs. Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, Moscow. ca. 1958-1971

Creator/Collector: Central Intelligence Agency
Box 1, Folder 5

Commisioner Kenneth A. Cox's dissenting opinion on DH's right to reply to George Putnam, KTTV. 1970

Creator/Collector: Federal Communications Commission
Box 1, Folder 6

[No further description available] 1952-1958, 1968

Creator/Collector: U.S. Department of Defense - U.S. Army
Boxes 1-3

Reports, phone tapping requests, etc. 1941-1973

Creator/Collector: U.S. Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation

Scope and Content Note

Some are for specific purposes, most are for general knowledge of DH's activities. Most originate from Los Angeles. Some photocopies are of documents by J.Edgar Hoover.
Box 1, Folder 7

1941

Scope and Content Note

Includes HUAC hearings transcripts, San Francisco.
Box 1, Folder 8

1942.

Box 1, Folder 9

1944.

Box 1, Folder 10

1945.

Box 1, Folder 11

1946.

Box 1, Folder 12

1947.

Box 1, Folder 13

1948.

Box 1, Folder 14

1949.

Box 1, Folder 15

1950.

Box 1, Folder 16

1951.

Box 1, Folder 17

1951-1956.

Scope and Content Note

Special file of information designed for: “prosecution of additional communist functionaries under the Smith Act...”
Box 2, Folder 1

1956-1958..

Box 2, Folder 2

1958, 1959..

Box 2, Folder 3

1958-1961..

Box 2, Folder 4

1958-1961..

Box 2, Folder 5

1962-1965..

Box 3, Folders 1-2

1965-1966..

Box 3, Folders 3-4

1966-1967..

Box 3, Folder 5

1968-1973..

Box 3, Folder 6

1972..

Box 3, Folder 7

1966-1967..

Creator/Collector: SAC, San Francisco
Box 3, Folder 8

1942, 1942, 1965.

Scope and Content Note

Various topics.
Box 3, Folder 9

Information pertaining to DH's request for a passport. 1961-1967

Creator/Collector: U.S. Department of State
Box 3, Folders 10-11

Miscellaneous. 1930s, 1950s-1960s

Creator/Collector: Agency unknown
Box 3, Folder 10

1930s..

Box 3, Folder 11

1951-1965.

Box 4, Folders 2-3

Copies of released information. 1941-1973

Creator/Collector: U.S. Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Investigation

Note

[Addition, 1980]
Box 4, Folder 2

1941-1949, 1953, and 1955-1956.

Box 4, Folder 3

ca. 1962-1973.

Scope and Content Note

Includes information about Angela Davis and the Angela Davis defense fund.