Overview of the Collection
Arrangement of Materials:
Scope and Contents
Overview of the Collection
Collection Title: John Walton Caughey School
Caughey, John Walton, 1902-1995
1.00 linear feet
Language of Materials:
Abstract: A professor of History at UCLA, John
Walton Caughey wrote extensively on the history of California and the United States. He
was a representative on the State Superintendent's "Committee of
Sociologists," an advisory committee on school segregation at UCLA, and worked with
the ACLU on the Crawford school desegregation case. The Caughey Collection includes
biographical data, legal briefs, plans and reports related to integration of Los Angeles
public schools, and more specifically with the Mary Ellen Crawford vs. Los Angeles Board
of Education desegregation case.
John Walton Caughey was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1902. He graduated from high school
in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1918, received a B.A. from the University of Texas, an M.A. and
a Ph.D. from the University of California in 1928.
Between 1937 and 1968, Caughey's various literary assignments included editing
The Pacific Historical Review,
American Heritage, and
Chronicles of California. He also served as a consultant for
the California Department of Justice on constitutional rights in the "tidelands
litigation" and litigation on Newport Bay. During this period, he was also a
representative on the State Superintendent's "Committee of Sociologists,"
an advisory committee on school segregation at UCLA. Mr. Caughey was also a member of
the Western Advisory Committee for the Social Science Research Council.
As a professor of American History at UCLA, he wrote extensively on the history of
California and the United States, and collaborated on other books such as
Land of the Free. His main focus
of scholarship concentrated on imperilment and denials of constitutional protections of
civil liberties and rights in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, with particular
reference to mid-twentieth century and to segregation. In 1949, Caughey began a protest
of the University system's loyalty oath.
The fact of school segregation was brought to the official attention of the Board of
Education as far back as June 7, 1962 when an injunction was sought to desegregate two
Los Angeles high schools--one predominantly white and the other black. A class action
lawsuit was filed in 1966 on behalf of Mary Ellen Crawford who attended the black
school. The suit sought desegregation of Los Angeles public schools and charged that the
school district practiced "defacto" segregation, as most of its minority
students attended non-integrated schools. The Crawford trial began in October 1968. In
continuing court hearings that ended in 1970, the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled that
integration was indeed necessary to correct racial imbalances throughout the school
district. Judge Alfred Gitelson's decision called for the LAUSD to present a plan
to the court to integrate the schools. The LAUSD appealed the ruling and in 1975 the
California Supreme Court heard the case. In June 1976, the state Supreme Court upheld
the ruling of the lower court. The school district was required to take steps to
alleviate segregation. The case was returned to the Los Angeles Superior Court where
Judge Paul Edgley was appointed in February 1977.
In 1967, when Eason Monroe of the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU] persuaded Bayard
Berman to be volunteer counsel for petitioners in the Crawford suit, he asked the
Caugheys to help Berman by giving educational advice and doing what research was needed.
They agreed and helped through pretrial, trial, and the appeal stages of the case. In
1977, when Edward Medvene became lead counsel for the ACLU and was joined by counsel for
both the NAACP and the Mexican Center for Law and Justice, the Caughey's continued
to assist the litigation.
In the second phase of the compliance hearings, beginning in the fall of 1977, there was
another change in lead counsel. Although the Caughey's continued their research and
offered suggestions, certain differences arose. All told they presented 26 briefs,
studies, or comparable documents, supportive of positions of counsel for the original
petitioners and for intervener Integration Project by offering expert information or
reasoning that might not otherwise have reached the court. In 1977, they relinquished
the chairmanship as education counsel for the ACLU but continued wherever possible to
aid the advancement of school integration.
This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Genre/Form of Material:
Los Angeles (Calif.) --
Los Angeles (Calif.). Board
San Fernando Valley
(Calif.) -- Race relations
Busing for school integration
Civil rights -- California -- Los
Robert G. Marshall, Elda I. Arrieta,1991
Conditions Governing Use:
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s)
of this collection has not been transferred to California State University,
Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or
reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond
that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners.
Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of
the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
Conditions Governing Access:
The collection is open for research use.
For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style
manual, or see the
Citing Archival Materials
Arrangement of Materials:
Series I: Background Papers and Notes, circa 1980
Series II: Court Documents, 1977-1980
Series III: ACLU Legal Documents and Writings, 1962-1980
Scope and Contents
The Caughey Collection includes biographical data, legal briefs, plans and reports
related to integration of Los Angeles public schools, and more specifically with the
Mary Ellen Crawford vs. Los Angeles Board of Education desegregation case. Of particular
interest are the papers written by John and LaRee Caughey as consultants for the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) that document the history of school integration
from 1962 through 1980. The collection has been divided into three series: Background
Papers and Notes (circa 1980), Court Documents (1977-1980), and ACLU Legal Documents and
Series I, Background Papers and Notes, consists of background notes on the collection,
an index to court documents, two reports and a resume written by Caughey. The files are
arranged in alphabetical order.
Series II, Court Documents, consists of briefings and pleading documents presented to
the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles [Case No. C
822 854] and the Supreme Court of the State of California [Case No. 31299] in response
to the case; Mary Ellen Crawford vs. Los Angeles Unified School District. The documents
are arranged first by court then chronologically.
Series III, ACLU Legal Documents and Writings, consists of bound typescripts of the
legal documents and related papers written by the American Civil Liberties Union in
response to the Crawford case. The volumes are arranged in chronological order by