Date of Award

2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

History

First Advisor

Colleen O'Neill

Abstract

The University of California (UC) and its notorious 1949 loyalty oath scandal may be the most popular and widely discussed case study of post-WWII political repression within American universities, but it was not the first casualty. That "honor" goes to the University of Washington (UW) in 1946, a year before President Truman enacted Executive Order 9835 requiring federal employees to sign oaths of loyalty to the US Constitution. That year, Washington became one of the first states to create its own internal fact-finding committee on un-American activities. And, among this committee's first targets for rooting out Communists, fellow-travelers, socialists, or any other unsavory subversive types was the University. University president Raymond B. Allen supported and facilitated the witch hunt on his campus in every way possible. In a menacing, albeit possibly intending to be helpful gesture, before the committee arrived on campus, Allen warned Communist faculty members to leave their positions immediately, to quit their careers, before they were smoked out.

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