“Senator Claims ‘Documentary Proof’ of Communist Activity Among Members of U. Faculty”

In 1937, in the midst of fevered anti-communist politics, Minnesota State Senator J.V. Weber (1892–1946) claimed to have “documentary evidence” of communist activity among faculty at the University of Minnesota. He attacked five distinguished members of the faculty because of their principled support for students to have the right to form organizations for debate and the exchange of ideas, which included a “Communist Club.” Faculty members included William Anderson, Chair of Political Science; Assistant Professor Benjamin Lippincott, Political Science; Joseph B. Ward, English; Herbert Soreson, Education; and Harold Benjamin, Chair Center for Constitution Study. Despite President Coffman’s insistence that there was “no communist activity among the faculty members,” Weber persisted in his resolution to oust faculty associated with the student group. Weber claimed he would provide evidence that these members of the faculty were Communists in the future, though he presented none that could be documented.

CreatorMinnesota DailySource“Senator Claims ‘Documentary Proof’ of Communist Activity Among Members of U. Faculty,” Minnesota Daily, March 12, 1937, pp. 1, 4.Date12/03/1937RightsImage is available courtesy the University of Minnesota Archives. For additional information about the use or re-use of this image please contact the University of Minnesota Archives at www.lib.umn.edu/uarchives.CoverageUniversity of MinnesotaTime Period1930s