Guide to the John Walton Caughey School Integration Collection, 1962-1980

Special Collections & Archives

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California State University, Northridge
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Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: John Walton Caughey School Integration Collection
Dates: 1962-1980
Identification: URB/JWC
Creator: Caughey, John Walton, 1902-1995
Physical Description: 1.00 linear feet
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Urban Archives
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.

Biographical Information:

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, Frontier, 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 California Heritage, California's Own History , and 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.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Paper records

Geographic Name:

Los Angeles (Calif.) -- Race relations
Los Angeles (Calif.). Board of Education.
San Fernando Valley (Calif.) -- Race relations

Personal Name:

Crawford, Mary Ellen

Topical Term:

Busing for school integration
Civil rights -- California -- Los Angeles

Administrative Information

Processing Information:

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.

Preferred Citation:

For information about citing items in this collection consult the appropriate style manual, or see the Citing Archival Materials  guide.

Related 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 Writings (1962-1980).
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 title.

Collection Contents

 

Series I: Background Papers and Notes, ca. 1980

 

Box 1

Folder 1

[Caughey]: Biographical Notes; Document Index, ca. March 1980

Folder 2

[Caughey]: "Desegregation Impact Report On Los Angeles Board Plan", 1978 October 10

Folder 3

[Caughey]: "Findings Based On The Los Angeles Board Of Education's Official Racial And Ethnic Census Of 1979-1980", 1979 November 15

Folder 4

[Caughey]: "Inventory Of The Segregated And Non-Segregated Schools Of Los Angeles", 1977 June 7

 

Series II: Court Documents, 1977-1980

 

Box 1

Folder 5

Superior Court - Pleadings: [Caughey] Amicus Briefs On Definition, 1977 September 30; November 15; December18; 1978 February 6

Folder 6

Superior Court - Pleadings: [Board Of Education] Memorandum Of Points And Authorities In Reply To Amicus Curiae Brief Of Mr. John Caughey, 1977 October 18

Folder 7

Superior Court - Pleadings: [Caughey] Memorandum Amicus Curiae Answering Respondent, 1977 November 15

Folder 8

Superior Court - Pleadings: [Caughey] Application For Leave To Represent Myself As Amicus Curiae In The Definition; Brief, 1977 December 18

Folder 9

Superior Court - Pleadings: [ACLU] Petitioners' Memorandum Of Attorney's Fees And Costs Pursuant To Request Of Respondent, 1978 February 7

Folder 10

Superior Court - Pleadings: Minute Order (Court Appointed Experts), 1978 February 22

Folder 11

Superior Court - Pleadings: [Caughey] Brief Amicus Curiae Re: Recalcitrance, 1979 October 5

Folder 12

Superior Court - Pleadings: [Caughey] Amicus Brief: Objections To The Intended Order Of Judge Egly, June 1980

Folder 13

Superior Court - Pleadings: [Dreebin] Application For Leave To File Brief Amicus Curiae In Support Of Emergency Petition For Writ Of Mandate Or Other Extraordinary Relief; Brief, 1979 October 11

Folder 14

Supreme Court - Case LA #31299: Pleadings: [Real Parties In Interest] Application For Leave To File Brief Amicus Curiae In Support Of Emergency Petition For Change Of Jurisdiction, Reversal Of Order, Or Other Extraordinary Relief, 1980 April 11

Folder 15

Supreme Court - Case LA #32199 - Pleadings: [Caughey] Brief Amicus To The Supreme Court Supporting Emergency Petition For Change Of Jurisdiction, Reversal Of Order, Or Other Extraordinary Relief, 1980 August 11

Folder 16

Supreme Court - Case LA #31299 - Pleadings: [Real Parties In Interest] Brief In Support Of Brief Of Amicus Curiae, Dr. John Caughey, 1980 August 26

 

Series III: ACLU Legal Documents and Writings, 1962-1980

 

Box 2

Folder 1

ACLU: Pleadings To The Los Angeles Board Of Education For School Integration And Related Papers, Volume 1, 1962-1966

Folder 2

ACLU: Pleadings To The Los Angeles Board Of Education For School Integration And Related Papers, Volume 2, 1967-1972

Folder 3

ACLU: Pleadings To The Los Angeles Board Of Education For School Integration And Related Papers, Volume 3, 1973-1976

Folder 4

ACLU: Pleadings To The Los Angeles Board Of Education For School Integration And Related Papers, Volume 4, 1976

Folder 5

ACLU: Memoranda To Counsel For Petitioners In Crawford And Related Papers, January-July 1977

Folder 6

ACLU: Writings In The Course Of The Compliance Phase Of Crawford, July-December 1977

Folder 7

ACLU: Writings In The Course Of The Compliance Phase Of Crawford, 1978

Folder 8

ACLU: Writings In The Course Of The Compliance Phase Of Crawford, 1979

Folder 9

ACLU: Writings In The Course Of The Compliance Phase Of Crawford, 1980