No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118

The Loyalty Oath Controversy

I'm getting close to the end of California: An Illustrated History, a big coffee table book from the 70s. And there was a discussion of the Loyalty Oath Controversy at the UC. I still remember the odd feeling of signing a loyalty oath when I went to work for the library system. But since I was not actively seeking to overthrow the government, and I wasn't a member of the Communist Party, it was easy enough to sign so I could get my seven bucks an hour.

But I guess in 1950, when anticommunism was really at its height, the Regents of the UC went a bit further with their loyalty oaths, requiring them of professors. Some 31 refuseniks were dismissed (though they were ultimately reinstated, after the inevitable court case). Among them was UCLA physics professor David Saxon, who later became president of the UC. He passed away in 2005, and this eulogy offers more details, and incidentally shows Saxon kinda rocking the Indiana Jones/professor look.

And while we're at it... Prop 14.

The Rumford Act had banned discrimination in housing. The California Real Estate Association put Prop 14 on the ballot. It forbade the government to "deny, limit or abridge, directly or indirectly, the right ... to decline to sell, lease or rent such property to such person or persons [wink wink] as he, in his absolute discretion, chooses."

It passed by a 2 to 1 margin. (Yes, the state and US Supreme Courts struck it down.)
Tags: california, history, physics, politics, ucla

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