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Abraham Minkus Papers: Blacklisted Teachers in Los Angeles, 1945-1983
MSS 040  
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Collection Overview
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Part of the larger Blacklisted Teachers in Los Angeles Collections, the Abraham Minkus Papers contain the materials created or collected by Minkus, a blacklisted Los Angeles teacher. The collection contains materials relating to Minkus' dismissal and subsequent lawsuits, as well as information on the cases of other blacklisted L.A. teachers.
The individual collections within the Blacklisted Teachers in Los Angeles Collection share a common historical framework, the Anti-Communist fervor of the Cold War Period and what is commonly referred to as the McCarthy Era. After the end of World War II, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in the ideological battle known as the Cold War. The identification of communists and other radicals through the use of federal and state legislative investigative committees and the punishment of those identified through firing and blacklisting comprised a successful U.S. tactic. The investigations spread from federal and other government employees to the entertainment industry, the professions, labor unions, and the private sector. The major players in these campaigns included, on the Federal level, Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). In California major players included California State Assemblyman (later State Senator) Nelson S. Dilworth, and State Senators Jack B. Tenney and Hugh M. Burns. All three served on the Joint Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities in California (1945) and first Tenney and later Burns chaired the [California] Senate Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities. Of special note are the Levering (1952) and Dilworth (1953) Acts. The Levering Act made refusal to fully cooperate with any state committee grounds for firing a teacher and the Dilworth Act gave local school boards investigating authority and also required that all teachers sign an oath denying any Communist affiliation. Abraham Minkus was a major figure in the Los Angeles Federation of Teachers. A tenured teacher, Minkus was suspended and then dismissed from his job as an elementary school teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District after invoking the Fifth and First Amendments during a House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) Hearing held in March 1953. He unsuccessfully fought the dismissal all the way to the California Supreme Court. In 1977, he was a party to several suits seeking reinstatement and back pay for himself and other blacklisted teachers.
4 boxes

1 1/2 linear feet
Copyright has not been assigned to the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research. Researchers may make single copies of any portion of the collection, but publication from the collection will be allowed only with the express written permission of the Library's director. It is not necessary to obtain written permission to quote from a collection. When the Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research gives permission for publication, it is as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
The collection is available for research only at the Library's facility in Los Angeles. The Library is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Researchers are encouraged to call or email the Library indicating the nature of their research query prior to making a visit.