January 19-March 20, 1998
Allen Library Balcony
"He then handed
me his calling card"
(Ted Astley Papers, Box 1, Folder 24, Manuscripts & University Archives, UW Libraries.)
Excerpts of notes of Ted Astley, U.W. graduate student and veterans' counselor.
Visit from Mr. Tibbetts
4-22-48 approx 1:10 PM. Mr. Tibbetts met me in the
hallway of the Guidance Center near my office and said "Are
you Mr. Astley" "Yes" ....."I invited him to
have the chair beside my desk. He then handed me his calling card
and said that he was calling on me for the Committee. .....I
replied that I had "nothing to say to the committee"
Mr. Tibbetts then stated that the committee was investigating
communism, that certain professors on the campus are not teaching
their subjects but instead teaching communism in their
(Visit from Mr. Tibbetts, 4-22-48, Astley 1/18.)
Photo of Canwell Committee
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer Collection, Museum of History and Industry)
Members of the Canwell Committee include the chair, Rep. Albert Canwell, in the center holding the index card. Other committee members are (left to right) Rep. Grant Sisson, Chief Investigator William J. Houston, Sen. R.L. Rutter, Rep. Sydney Stevens and Sen. Thomas Bienz.
|Sixteen U.W. professors were subpoenaed by the Canwell Committee. Professor Ralph Gundlach (Psychology) tried to persuade the other subpoenaed professors to issue a joint statement denouncing Canwell and announcing that that would not honor the subpoenas. This strategy soon fell apart when U.W. President Allen announced that the University would dismiss any professor who did not honor the subpoena. Fearing for their jobs, most professors did not publicly criticize Canwell. When the attempt to coordinate a joint response failed, each subpoenaed professor hired his or her own attorney and worked out strategy individually.|
President Raymond Allen
(Washington Post, March 27, 1949.)
Melville Jacobs letter to President Allen
(excerpt, 7-15-48 Melville Jacob Papers, 120/51, MSS & UA)
Summary of President Allen's interview with Professor Herbert
(U.W. President 70-29, 5/56 MSS & UA)
Canwell called 12 professors to testify at the Committee's public hearing in July 1948. Only one professor was willing to provide the names of people that he had seen at Communist Party meetings.
|Dr. Garland Ethel, University of Washington assistant professor
of English, is pictured on the witness stand at the state un-American
activities committee hearing. |
(Seattle Post-Intelligencer Photo by John M. "Hack" Miller.) July 21, 1948.
Professor Garland Ethel (English) set a brave precedent. He testified about why he had joined the Communist Party and why he had left it, but he refused to name other people as communists. Ethel later said, "I was willing to take responsibility for my own activities, but I didn't want to damage anyone else's reputation." Ethel received loud applause form the audience when he stuck to his position even after Canwell threatened him with a jail sentence. Ethel's performance on the witness stand strengthened the resolve of the other subpoenaed professors. All the professors called to testify after Ethel also refused to "name names."
|Excerpt of Garland Ethel
Testimony quoting Hamlet
(Second Report Un-American Activities in Washington State, 1948. Report of the Joint Legislative Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities)
Funding for this virtual exhibit is made possible by a generous grant from both the Pequod Fund of the Tides Foundation, and the Kenneth S. Allen Endowed Library Fund.
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