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Orilla Winfield Papers, 1948-1953
MSS 62  
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The collection papers are of Orilla Winfield, a Los Angeles County social worker. Materials consist of the correspondence from the Los Angeles County Department of Charities regarding the dismissal of Winfield in 1948 due to her refusal to sign a loyalty oath. There are also photographs of pickets, clippings and circulars from the United Defense Committee of Public Employees Against "Loyalty" Checks surrounding the civil rights case of Los Angeles County workers fired for failure to sign a loyalty oath.
Orilla Winfield was a social worker in the County of Los Angeles Department of Charities. On July 26th, 1948 she was discharged from her position for failure to sign a loyalty oath. Sixteen other county workers were also fired at the same time for the same reason. An additional 78 workers refused to sign a section of the oath affirming no affiliation with a list of over 130 organizations. Among the listed organizations, identified by California State Senator Jack Tenney, were : Bay Area Council Against Discrimination, California Conference for Democratic Action, Hollywood Cultural Committee, Hollywood Independent Citizens Committee of Arts, Sciences and Professions, Hollywood League for Democratic Action, Hollywood Theatre Alliance, Los Angeles County Political Commission, Los Angeles County Trade Union Commission, Motion Picture Cooperative Buyers Guild, Motion Picture Democratic Committee. The firings were appealed to the County of Los Angeles Civil Service Commission by the employees and upheld by the county. The AFL-CIO local of the Public Employees Union created the United Defense Committee of Public Employees Against "Loyalty" Checks to appeal the firings in California District Court and the United States Supreme Court. John McTernan handled the appeal.
1 legal folder

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