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“A Shooting Star of Conservatism”: George S. Benson, the National Education Program and the “Radical Right”



This article reassesses the so-called “Radical Right,” a political phenomenon that emerged in the early 1960s and was especially associated with a controversial conservative anticommunism. The article argues that the National Education Program (NEP), which was founded in Arkansas in 1943, made an important and unheralded contribution to the Radical Right and the consequential activism it stimulated in pockets of the South and Southwest. The article also, however, argues that the Radical Right ultimately made a less significant contribution to the subsequent resurgence of conservatism than has often been suggested. Conventional wisdom maintains that it aligned religious, economic, and racial concerns under the umbrella of anticommunism and thereby fostered a distinctly modern conservatism; the NEP demonstrates that these concerns were not as disparate or marginal prior to the 1960s as this narrative assumes. The Radical Right's fixation with communist subversion also often diluted efforts to promote conservative principles – the NEP became less focussed on advancing ideological principles during this period. After the mid-1950s, moreover, the declining legitimacy of McCarthyite politics outwith parts of the South and Southwest undermined the NEP's wider efforts, precipitated the organization's terminal decline, and ensured that the Radical Right created problems for the broader conservative movement.



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1 “Thunder on the Far Right,” Newsweek, 4 Dec. 1961, 18–20, 22, 27–28, 30; Cabell Phillips, “Wide Anti-Red Drive”; Philip Horton, “Revivalism on the Far Right,” The Reporter, 20 July 1961, 25–29; David Gredler, “Right Wing,” Boston Globe, 26 Feb. 1962, 3; Thomas O'Neill, “Politics and People,” The Sun, 29 July 1962, 12; Julius Duscha, “Little College at Center of Right,” Washington Post, 4 Oct. 1964, 3; Fred J. Cook, “Juggernaut,” The Nation, 28 Oct. 1961, 276–337; “Organizations: The Ultras,” Time, 8 Dec. 1961, 22–24; Group Research Inc., “Special Review, Harding College and the National Education Program,” 15 Jan. 1964, George S. Benson Papers, unprocessed (hereafter GSBP); Forster, Arnold and Epstein, Benjamin R., Danger on the Right (New York: Random House, 1964); Sherwin, Mark, The Extremists (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1963); Suall, Irwin, The American Ultras: The Extreme Right and the Military–Industrial Complex (New York: League for Industrial Democracy, 1962); Dudman, Richard, Men of the Far Right (New York: Pyramid Books, 1962).

2 McGirr, Lisa, Suburban Warriors: The Origins of the New American Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2001); Schoenwald, Jonathan M., A Time for Choosing: The Rise of Modern American Conservatism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001); Brenner, Samuel, “Fellow Travelers: Overlap between ‘Mainstream’ and ‘Extremist’ Conservatives in the Early 1960s,” in Gifford, Laura Jane and Williams, Daniel K., The Right Side of the Sixties: Reexamining Conservatism's Decade of Transformation (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 8399; Crespino, Joseph, “Strom Thurmond's Sunbelt: Rethinking Regional Politics and the Rise of the Right,” in Nickerson, Michelle M. and Dochuk, Darren, eds., Sunbelt Rising: The Politics of Place, Space, and Region (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2011), 5881; Mulloy, D. J., The World of the John Birch Society: Conspiracy, Conservatism and the Cold War (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2014); Nickerson, Michelle M., Mothers of Conservatism: Women and the Postwar Right (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012); Hubert Villeneuve, “Teaching Anticommunism: Fred C. Schwarz, the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade and American Postwar Conservatism,” Ph.D. Thesis, McGill University, 2012; Toy, Eckard V. Jr., “The Right Side of the 1960s: The Origins of the John Birch Society in the Pacific Northwest,” Oregon Historical Quarterly, 105, 2 (Summer 2004), 260283; Miller, Edward H., Nut Country: Right-Wing Dallas and the Birth of the Southern Strategy (Chicago: the University of Chicago Press, 2015).

3 Hicks, for example, suggests that the NEP “weathered the storm” of the early 1960s, when, in reality, the NEP was permanently and seriously damaged. Hicks, L. Edward, “Sometimes in the Wrong, but Never in Doubt”: George S. Benson and the Education of the New Religious Right (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1994), 7783. Benson's career also receives some attention in Darren Dochuk's work, though he ultimately remains peripheral. Dochuk, Darren, From Bible Belt to Sunbelt: Plain-Folk Religion, Grassroots Politics, and the Rise of Evangelical Conservatism (New York: W. W. Norton, 2011).

4 See, for example, Schoenwald; Mulloy; Crespino; McGirr.

5 Dochuk; Kruse, Kevin Michael, One Nation under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America (New York: Basic Books, 2015); Grem, Darren E., The Blessings of Business: How Corporations Shaped Conservative Christianity (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016). Although many scholars have emphasized the significance of an intellectual project to fuse economic and social conservatism in the 1950s, most suggest that such ideas emerged in the popular realm in the 1960s and 1970s. See, for example, Nash, George H., The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America since 1945 (New York: Basic Books, 1976); Schoenwald; McGirr.

6 See, for example, Crespino. Lisa McGirr's study of Orange County in southern California acknowledges the region's distinctiveness, but also postulates that the region was “the nucleus of a broader conservative matrix evolving in the Sunbelt and the West”. McGirr, 4, 13–14. For studies which suggest alternative developmental trajectories for Sunbelt conservatism see, for example, Shermer, Elizabeth Tandy, Sunbelt Capitalism: Phoenix and the Transformation of American Politics (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013); Cunningham, Sean P., Cowboy Conservatism: Texas and the Rise of the Modern Right (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2010).

7 NEP, “Your Grassroots Report,” Nov. 1950, GSBP, Ann Cowan Dixon Archives and Special Collections, Brackett Library, Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas; “Number of Newspapers, by States, Having Made Arrangement for Running Regularly the Syndicate Weekly Column, ‘Looking Ahead’,” Henry Morgenthau Diaries, World War II and Postwar Planning, 1943–1945, UPA Microform, HMD43–45, Reel 67, Vol. 843, 1–2 May 1945, Library of Congress, Washington, DC.”

8 “Expansion Plan Approved,” 10 Oct. 1946, J. Howard Pew Papers, Box 9, Folder H-1946, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.

9 “Combined Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forums I through VII,” 27 Oct. 1950, “Final Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum IX,” 22 March 1951, both GSBP; “Invitation to Freedom Forum XIX,” 7 April 1958, “Revised Roster of Attendance of Freedom Forum XX,” April 1959, “Final Roster of Attendance, Freedom Forum XXIII,” April 1962, all GSBP.

10 Shermer, Elizabeth Tandy, “Counter-organizing the Sunbelt: Right-to-Work Campaigns and Anti-union Conservatism, 1943–1958,” Pacific Historical Review, 78, 1 (2009), 81118.

11 NEP, “Your Grassroots Report,” July 1958, Herbert A. Phibrick Papers, Box 147, Folder 8, Library of Congress, Washington, DC; Kathleen Hall to author, email, 30 Oct. 2011, in author's possession; “Education Program Raises G. E. Morale,” New York Times (hereafter NYT), 30 April 1952, 42.

12 Dochuk; Kruse; Grem.

13 George Benson, “My Favorite Sermon,” n.d., 1954, GSBP. Kruse; Dochuk.

14 Benson to Claude Fly, 20 Feb., 20 June, and 23 Aug. 1927, Benson, “Major Problems”; Benson, “America's Future,” n.d., c.1959, GSBP.

15 George Benson, “Looking Ahead” (hereafter “LA”), 22 July 1942, GSBP; Benson, “LA,” Casa Grande Dispatch, 19 Dec. 1947, 6.

16 Harding desegregated in 1963, after coming under pressure from some within the church, the student body, and faculty, and in response to the threatened withdrawal of federal funding. Key, Barclay, “On the Periphery of the Civil Rights Movement: Race and Religion at Harding College, 1945–1969,” Arkansas Historical Quarterly, 68, 3 (2009), 283311; George Benson, “H.C. and the Colored Problem,” 7 Jan. 1956; Benson, “H.C. and the Negro Question,” 11 Jan. 1958, both GSBP.

17 See, for example, “LA,” Aspermont Star, 29 June 1944, edn 1; George Benson, testimony before House Committee on Education and Labor, 3 May 1945, Congressional Record, 79th Congress, Washington, DC, United States Government Printing Office, 537–568. Sitkoff, Harvard, A New Deal for Blacks: The Emergence of Civil Rights as a National Issue (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978); Biles, Roger, The South and the New Deal (Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2006); Kruse, Kevin Michael and Tuck, Stephen G. N., eds., Fog of War: The Second World War and the Civil Rights Movement (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012); Farhang, Sean and Katznelson, Ira, ‘The Southern Imposition: Congress and Labor in the New Deal and Fair Deal,’ Studies in American Political Development, 19, 1 (2005), 130. Benson's reluctance to focus more overtly on racial matters was perhaps a consequence of his ambition to articulate a hybridized conservatism capable of transcending regional discrepancies.

18 Key; Benson, “Colored Problem”; Benson, “Negro Question.”

19 George Benson, “Today's Challenge to Americans,” 5 March 1952, “Dr. Benson Eyes Reds,” Gadsden Times, clipping, 11 Oct. 1961, “‘United States Day’ Speaker Claims,” Flint Journal, clipping, 26 Oct. 1963, all GSBP.

20 “LA,” Cedar Rapids Tribune, 27 Jan. 1948, 4; George Benson, speech draft, “Evansville, Ind.,” 22 April 1949, GSBP.

21 Benson, “Today's Challenge to Americans,” Benson, “Speech Draft: Communism in America,” 31 Jan. 1953, “Today's Challenge to Christian Youth,” 30 May 1959, all GSBP; “LA,” Waterville Times, 29 Jan. 1959, 4.

22 Some southern Democrats, whose attacks on the civil rights movement were unsubtly expressed through anticommunist discourse, provided an exception to this decline among politicians in Washington. Heale, M. J., American Anticommunism: Combating the Enemy within, 1830–1970 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990), 145202; Woods, Jeff, Black Struggle, Red Scare: Segregation and Anti-communism in the South, 1948–1968 (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004), 85199.

23 Himmelstein, Jerome L., To the Right: The Transformation of American Conservatism (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1990), 2943.

24 “LA,” 2 July 1958, James D. Bales Papers, unprocessed (hereafter JDBP), David W. Mullins Library, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Heale, 194–96.

25 “LA,” Virginia Farm Bureau News, Dec. 1958, 2; “LA,” Malakoff News, 19 July 1957, 2; clipping, “LA,” 25 Feb. 1959, JDBP; George S. Benson, address to “Fall President's Council Luncheon Pepperdine College,” 7 Oct. 1958, Norvel M. Young Papers (hereafter NMYP), Box 56, “Subject files/Personal corresp re coming to Pep; Corres. Copies ’61–’62, Pepperdine Publications,” Payson Library Special Collections, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA; J. Edgar Hoover to [redacted], 5 July 1961, Freedom of Information File, Communist Target – Youth-HQ-5, Ernie Lazar Freedom of Information Act Collection (hereafter ELFOIA),, at, accessed 8 Aug. 2014; Donald P. Garner, “George S. Benson: Conservative, Anti-communist, Pro-Americanism Speaker,” Ph.D. thesis, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1963, 165; Heale, 197; Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing, 35–38, 45.

26 “Organizations: The Ultras”; Brenner, “Shouting at the Rain”; Schoenwald, 35–123; Woods; Mulloy, The World of the John Birch Society; Crespino, “Strom Thurmond's Sunbelt”; Miller, Nut Country.

27 Miller; Villeneuve, “Teaching Anticommunism”; Critchlow, Donald T., Phyllis Schlafly and Grassroots Conservatism: A Woman's Crusade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005), 6288; McGirr, Suburban Warriors, 96, 102–9; Skousen, Willard Cleon, The Naked Communist (Salt Lake City: Ensign Publishing, 1961).

28 Woods.

29 “Organizations: The Ultras”; Brenner, “Fellow Travelers,” 87–88; Forster and Epstein, Danger on the Right; Lichtman, Allan J., White Protestant Nation: The Rise of the American Conservative Movement (New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2008), 202–4.

30 “LA,” Virginia Farm Bureau News, Dec. 1958, 2; George Benson, “Challenge to Take Home,” 10 April 1958, Herbert A. Philbrick Papers (hereafter HAPP), Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Box 147, Folder 2.

31 “LA,” Virginia Farm Bureau News, May 1960, 5.

32 George Benson, “Major Problems Facing America Today,” 1959, JDBP; Benson, “State of the Nation's Thinking”. Benson did conclude that subversives were laying the foundations for military takeover once the United States was severely weakened from within. War We Are In, Part II: Communism Vs. Capitalism (1963), Prelinger Archives, at, accessed 8 Aug. 2014.

33 Benson, “President's Council Luncheon Pepperdine College.”

34 Brenner, “Shouting at the Rain,” 148.

35 “Revised Roster of Attendance of Freedom Forum XX”; “Preliminary Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum XVIII,” April 1957, “Revised Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum XXI,” April 1960, both GSBP; Schoenwald, 103–4; “Army Neuropsychiatrist Speaks at Freedom Forum,” Searcy Daily Citizen, 18 April 1962, clipping, Gene Foreman, “Forum Turns Guns on Fulbright,” Arkansas Gazette, 19 April 1962, clipping, Flyer for Freedom Forum XXIV, April 1963, all GSBP; Perlstein, Rick, Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (New York: Hill and Wang, 2001), 43, 120–57; Dochuk, Bible Belt to Sunbelt, 150; Villeneuve, 207, 302–3; Forster and Epstein.

36 Pierce, Michael, “John McClellan, the Teamsters, and Biracial Labor Politics in Arkansas, 1947–1959,” in Zieger, Robert H., ed., Life and Labor in the New New South: Essays in Southern Labor History since 1950 (Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2012), 45–76, 47; Frederickson, Kari A., The Dixiecrat Revolt and the End of the Solid South, 1932–1968 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001), 152–53; Going Places: A Journal of Action for Free Enterprising Arkansans, April 1949, J. William Fulbright Papers (hereafter JWFP), BCN 48, Folder 47, David W. Mullins Library, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Bob Brown, “Labor Battle in Arkansas Near Head,” Hope Star, 10 Oct. 1946, 1; “Arkansas Works on Closed Shop Teeth,” Daily Capital News, 30 Jan. 1947, 10; Green to J. William Fulbright, 31 Dec. 1948, 2 Feb. 1949, both JWFP, BCN 48, Folder 47.

37 Green to J. William Fulbright, 31 Dec. 1948, 2 Feb. 1949, Going Places: A Journal of Action for Free Enterprising Arkansans, April 1949, all JWFP, BCN 48, Folder 47. Pierce; Frederickson, 152–53. Letter from Green cited in Schoenwald, 63–64.

38 “LA,” Beckley Post-Herald, 18 March 1960, 4.

39 Welch to Bales, 3 Nov. 1959, Welch to New Member, Dec. 1959, Perry Mason to Ward Pogg, 15 April 1961, Bales to Ward Pogg, 23 April 1961, all JDBP.

40 See, for example, Bales, James D., Senator Fulbright's Secret Memorandum (Searcy, AR: Bales Bookstore, 1962); Bales, , Communism and the Reality of Moral Law (Nutley, NJ: Craig Press, 1969).

41 Benson to James Bales, 8 May 1962, JDBP.

42 Harding College, “The President's Report to the Board of Directors,” Nov. 1949, Irénée du Pont Papers (hereafter IDDP), Accession 1034, Box 11, File 155; NEP, “Your Grassroots Report,” 1951, GSBP; Hicks, “Sometimes in the Wrong”, 64; NEP, “Your Grassroots Report,” 1958, HAPP, Box 147, Folder 8. For examples of these films see John Sutherland Productions, Inc., Meet King Joe (1949), Prelinger Archives,, accessed 8 Aug. 2014, Fotovox, Inc., A Story of Enterprise (c.1955), the Schwarz Report,, accessed 8 Aug. 2014.

43 Cabell Phillips, “Wide Anti-Red Drive,” NYT, 18 May 1961, 26; Benson to “Fellow American,” 7 Aug. 1961, JDBP; Jerry Fairbanks Productions, Inc., Herbert Philbrick, presenter, What Is Communism?, 1963, Youtube, at, accessed 8 Aug. 2014.

44 “National Program Letter,” Oct. 1961.

45 Cook, “Juggernaut”; “Organizations: The Ultras”; Villeneuve, “Teaching Anticommunism,” 267. On the importance of JFK's election see also Woods, Black Struggle, 149; McGirr, Suburban Warriors, 68.

46 Group Research, “Special Report”; “NEP Annual Report 1962/1963,” GSBP.

47 Villeneuve, esp. 8–11, 436–37; Joanne Smoot, “2,000 Hear Schwarz on Communism,” Arizona Republic, 28 Feb. 1961, 1, 16.

48 Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing, 62–100; Darren Dochuk, Bible Belt to Sunbelt, 265; Villeneuve, 436; Mulloy, The World of the John Birch Society, 75.

49 Keith Harnish, “Letters to the Editor,” San Marino Tribune, 2 May 1962, 9.

50 “LA,” Odessa American, 5 March 1961, edn 1; “LA,” Lima News, 6 Dec. 1963, 19; McGirr, 109–10; Dochuk, 188.

51 Reprint, “Special Report from the Evening Tribune,” July 1961, GSBP.

52 Paul Terry to Orval Faubus, 6 Nov. 1962, Orval Eugene Faubus Papers, David W. Mullins Library, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Series 8, Subseries 4, Box 326, Folder 15; Chalmers Roberts, “Thunder on the Right–V,” WP, 22 Dec. 1961, 6; “Revised Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum XXI,” April 1960, GSBP; Glenn Green and Doyle Swain to Benson, 22 July 1960, Clifton L. Ganus Papers, unprocessed (hereafter CLGP), Ann Cowan Dixon Archives and Special Collections, Brackett Library, Harding University, Searcy, Arkansas; Villeneuve, 344–45.

53 Roberts, “Thunder on the Right–V.”

54 Fotovox Inc., Glenn Green, scriptwriter, Communist Encirclement, 1961, at,, accessed 8 Aug. 2014; Benson to Erich Gottlieb, 13 Feb. 1962, GSBP; “TV,” Miami News, 17 May 1962, 3; “5-Channel Cable TV,” Cumberland Evening Times, 11 May 1962, 13; “Your Television Schedule,” Brownwood Bulletin, 23 Dec. 1962, 12; “GOP Group Sets Election,” Express and News, 6 Sept. 1964, B1; “Sunday TV,” Del-Rio News-Herald, 25 Oct. 1964, 20; W. R. McBee to All Dallas Employees, Memorandum, 5 Oct. 1961, Earle Cabell Papers, Mss 16, Box 10, Folder 11, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas.

55 Hendershot, Heather, What's Fair on the Air? Cold War Right-Wing Broadcasting and the Public Interest (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2011), 68.

56 Ibid., 58; “Preview of Today's TV,” Los Angeles Times (hereafter LAT), 14 Dec. 1961, A14; NEP, War We Are In, Part III: Challenge to Americans (1963), Ann Cowan Dixon Archives and Special Collections.

57 Clipping, “LA,” n.d. [1962], Robert Duncan, “Statement Re Recent Supreme Court Decision vs Prayers in Public Schools,” 28 June 1962, both JDBP; Fred J. Cook, “The Ultras: Aims, Affiliations and Finances of the Radical Right,” The Nation, special issue, 30 June 1962; Suall, The American Ultras, 33–39; McGirr, 56–60, 159–60; Williams, Daniel K., God's Own Party: The Making of the Christian Right (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), esp. 62–67, 181; Roche, Jeff, “Cowboy Conservatism,” in Farber, David R. and Roche, Jeff, eds., The Conservative Sixties (New York: Peter Lang, 2003), 80–81; Dochuk, esp. 198–210.

58 NEP, “Grassroots Report,” 1958. Principals, teachers, and other representatives of educational institutions also participated in the NEP's Forums. NEP, “Preliminary Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum XVIII,” April 1957, NEP, “Preliminary Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum XIX,” 26 May 1958, NEP, “Revised Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum XXI,” April 1960, NEP, “Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum XXII,” April 1961, all GSBP.

59 Dick Turpin, “Report Asks Retention of School Films on Reds,” LAT, Sept. 8 1961, 23; “Choose Six New Films for Schools,” Valley News, 28 Sept. 1961, B13; Philip Horton, “Revivalism on the Far Right,” Reporter, 20 July 1961, 25–29; Paul Terry to Glenn Green, 23 June 1960, Green and Swain to Benson, 22 July 1960 both CLGP; Richard Kennan to Benson, 10 May 1962, GSBP; Villeneuve, 344–46; Zimmerman, Jonathan, Whose America? Culture Wars in the Public Schools (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), 106; DeRosa, Christopher S., Political Indoctrination in the U.S. Army from World War II to the Vietnam War (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006), 189; Le Roi Eldridge Eversull, “The Americanism Versus Communism Unit in the Public Secondary Schools of Louisiana,” Ed.D. thesis, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, Louisiana, 1963.

60 Donald Janson, “Rightists’ Press Drive in Schools,” NYT, 29 Jan. 1962, 22.

61 “Crisis for Americans,” Pepperdine Alumni Voice, 1961, 14–15, George Pepperdine Family Papers, Series 11, Box 6, File 5, “Pepperdine College, 6/59-10/9/69.”

62 Group Research, “Special Review”; “Event Sponsored by LCC,” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 4 May 1963, 8A; “Sessions Sponsored by LCC,” Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, 29 April 1964, B1, B12; flyer for Freedom Forum XXIV; Pepperdine College Freedom Forum promotion flyer, April 1962, NMYP, Box 90, Folder “Memory Book, 1962”; Dochuk, 220–21.

63 Glenn Green and Doyle Swain to Benson, 22 July 1960, CLGP; Swain to Benson, 25 Jan. 1961, NMYP, Box 26, Folder “Benson, George, Young: Corres/Sub”; Program, One Day Freedom Forum, Birmingham, 30 Aug. 1961, “National Education Program List: Materials/Services,” n.d. [c.1962], Benson to Erich Gottlieb, 13 Feb. 1962, all GSBP; Paul Terry to Edward Rickenbacker, 5 June 1962, W. P. Burns to Marguerite Shepard, 25 Sept. 1962, both Edward V. Rickenbacker Papers, Library of Congress, Washington, DC, Box 30, Folder “Invitations Accepted, A-L-1962”; “200 Get Basic Lessons of Global Fight,” Blytheville Courier News, 29 July 1960, 1.

64 “NEP Annual Report 1962/1963,” GSBP.

65 W. P. Strube to Clifton Ganus, 1 April 1960; Smoot, “2,000 Hear Schwarz”; “See and Hear,” Port Angeles Evening News, 9 Feb. 1962, 3; Benson to du Pont, 10 Oct. 1960, IDDP, Accession 1034, Box 3, File 102; “St. Louis ACLU Issues Schwarz Crusade Text,” Civil Liberties, June 1962, 3; CLGP, Villeneuve, 326, 420, 438.

66 In Houston the CACC worked with the Missouri Synod Lutheran Churches of Greater Houston to devise a Seminar for Christian Victory over Communism, which also featured NEP materials. Villeneuve, 420; Pamphlet, “What Can Students Do?,” n.d. [c.1961], pamphlet, “Seminar for Christian Victory over Communism,” Feb. 1962, both FBI Freedom of Information File: “Fred Schwarz HQ-5,” ELFOIA; “Anti-Communism Group to Meet in Yucaipa,” Redlands Daily Facts, 3 Jan. 1962, 3; “LA,” Beckley Post-Herald, 1 April 1960, 4.

67 Lawrence Spivak and Welch, transcript, “NBC Presents: Meet the Press,” 21 May 1961, Scribd, at, accessed 8 Aug. 2014. Although they were less significant, the NEP maintained relations with other leading anticommunist organizations, including the Christian Crusade and the Manion Forum. Manion Forum, transcript, 9 April 1961, OEFP, Series 5, Subseries 10, Box 150, Folder 8; Christian Crusade, “Tapes with the Ring of Freedom,” May 1962 OEFP, Series 5, Subseries 10, Box 150, Folder 7; James D. Bales, “Hindering the Gospel through Misunderstanding,” n.d. [c.1964], Billy James Hargis Papers, Box 3, Folder 36, David W. Mullins Library, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville; Lienesch, Michael, Redeeming America: Piety and Politics in the New Christian Right (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1993), 6.

68 “Faculty Named for Student Freedom Forum,” Sunday News and Tribune, 15 July 1962, 7; “Citizenship Seminar Enrollments Coming In,” Michigan Farm News, 1 June 1964, 7; Clifton Ganus to Benson, 12 June 1961, JDBP; Benson to John Stevens, 8 March 1990, NEP, “Materials Ordered for Distribution, Fiscal Year Sept. 1–Aug. 31,” 1964, “Little Rock Hosts Freedom Forum Beginning Tuesday,” Arkansas Gazette, clipping, 2 Feb. 1964, all GSBP; Berger, Samuel P., Dollar Harvest: The Story of the Farm Bureau (Lexington, MA: Heath Lexington Books, 1971), 139–59.

69 Ray Fleischman to Ganus, 20 Dec. 1960, Ganus to Fleischman, 4 Jan. 1961, Dick Anderson to Ganus, 6 Feb. 1962, all CLGP.

70 Dochuk, 194, 215; McGirr, Suburban Warriors, 62, 98–102.

71 “A ‘Must’ for Every American,” Redlands Daily Facts, 15 Aug. 1961, 5.

72 “K. C. Council to Show Films,” Torrance Herald, 14 Sept. 1961, 11; “Film about Communism to Be Shown Tomorrow,” Torrance Herald, 8 Dec. 1961, 41; “Mothers Club Sponsors Anti-Communism Lecture,” Torrance Herald, 6 May 1962, 10; McGirr, 62, 103. Operation Abolition (1960) was produced by HUAC and detailed “communist-inspired” anti-HUAC protests in San Francisco. “The Investigation,” Time, 17 March 1961.

73 McGirr, esp. 81–95; “Mothers Club Sponsors Anti-Communism Lecture.”

74 “Communism Film Will Be Shown,” LAT, 7 May 1961, A21; “Here Aug. 20–22,” Florence Times, 13 Aug. 1961, 3; “Sun Spots,” Baytown Sun, 11 Oct. 1961, 1; “600 Will Attend Kiwanis Session,” Arkansas Gazette, clipping, 27 Sept. 1964, GSBP; “Now Is the Time …,” LAT, 24 Sept. 1961, WS4; Villeneuve, esp. 133, 191, 203–4.

75 Ira Smith to Glenn Green, 13 Sept. 1960, Benson to Irénée du Pont, 10 Oct. 1960, both IDPP, Accession 1034, Box 3, File 102; “Anti-Communist Films Stir Nationwide Storm,” LAT, 26 Feb. 1961, C1; “Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum XXII”; “Final Roster of Attendance, Freedom Forum XXIII”; Cook, “Juggernaut.”

76 Cook, “Juggernaut”; Dudley Lynch, “America's Right-Wing Propaganda Center,” Texas Observer, 23 Jan. 1970, 1–6.

77 CACC Newsletter, May 1958, Schwarz Report Archives, at, accessed 8 Aug. 2014; “Final Roster of Attendance at Freedom Forum IX,” 22 March 1951, GSBP; “LA,” 11 Feb. 1953, JDBP; “Your Grassroots Report,” Jan. 1957; Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing, 62–99; Mulloy, The World of the John Birch Society; Villeneuve, esp. 326–35; Hendershot, What's Fair?, 60–61.

78 Perlstein, Before the Storm, 146; Bogle, Lori Lyn, The Pentagon's Battle for the American Mind: The Early Cold War (College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2004), 136–37, 143–45; Bell, Daniel, “The Dispossessed,” in Bell, ed., The Radical Right: The New American Right Expanded and Updated (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1963), 56.

79 Suall, The American Ultras, 23; Bogle, 149–50.

80 “‘Alert’ Repudiates,” WP; “Preview of Today's TV,” LAT, 14 Dec. 1961, A14; Bell, “Dispossessed,” 3; Green and Swain to Benson, 22 July 1960; “Sarasotans Urged to Be ‘Alert,’” clipping, n.d. [1960], JDBP; “Map Turns Red,” Hattiesburg American, 22 March 1961, 8A; “Red Subversion Seminar Topic,” El Paso Post Herald, 28 March 1961, 6; “Repudiate Communism, ‘Project Alert’ Speaker Urges,” Illinois State Register, clipping, 26 Sept. 1961, “Searcians Speak at Seminar,” Searcy Daily Citizen, clipping, 3 April 1962, both GSBP; “‘Alert’ Repudiates Hang Warren Blast,” Washington Post, 14 Dec. 1961, 12; Chalmers Roberts, “Thunder on the Right IV,” Washington Post, 21 Dec. 1961, 4, Bogle, esp. 150, 156–58; Villeneuve, 415–18, 435.

81 Green and Swain to Benson, 22 July 1960, CLGP; Benson to Queeny, 24 Oct. 1960, MCR, Series 14, Box 17, Folder “Queeny, EM – Correspondence, Harding College”; Murray Illson, “Norman Thomas Hits Birch Group,” NYT, 20 April 1961, 19; “Memorandum Submitted to Department of Defense on Propaganda Activities of Military Personnel,” 2 Aug. 1961, US Senate, 87th Congress, Congressional Record, 107, Part 11, 14433–39; “Thunder on the Far Right”; Suall; Bogle, 133–63.

82 Ganus to Col. Paul Dolan, 13 July 1959, Dolan to Ganus, 15 Feb. 1960, CLGP; Program, Freedom Forum XXII; “200 Get Basic Lessons of Global Fight.”

83 “Sarasotans Urged to Be ‘Alert’”; “Map Turns Red,” Hattiesburg American, 22 March 1961, 8A; “Wardle to Present Anti-Communist Program Thursday,” Redlands Daily Facts, 13 Feb. 1962, 5; Benson et al. to editor, Kansas City Star, 26 Feb. 1962, JDBP; “Legion Program Will Stress American Heritage,” Catholic Weekly, 18 Oct. 1963, clipping, GSBP.

84 McGirr, Suburban Warriors, 85–86; Bogle, 133–63.

85 See, for example, Schoenwald; Brennan, Mary C., Turning Right in the Sixties: The Conservative Capture of the GOP (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995).

86 James Bales to Benson, July 18 1961, JDBP; Bogle, 134; Woods, Randall Bennett, Fulbright: A Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995), 37; “Reading of Memorandum Submitted to Department of Defense.”

87 “Reading of Memorandum Submitted to Department of Defense”; Alexander Holmes, “Fulbright Memo Was Written by Aide,” LAT, 14 Aug. 1961, 1; J. William Fulbright Recorded Interview by Pat Holt, 8 July 1964, John F. Kennedy Oral History Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, at, J. William/JFKOH-JWUF-01/JFKOH-JWUF-01-TR.pdf accessed 8 Aug. 2014.

88 “Walker Receives Distinguished Award,” Kerrville Mountain Sun, 24 Sept. 1959, 1; “Freedom Forum Facts,” 1959, IDPP, Accession 1034, Box 11, File 155; Dochuk, Bible Belt to Sunbelt, 235; Schoenwald, 100–23.

89 Lichtman, Protestant, 236; Villeneuve, 541–62; Dochuk, 236; Mason, Robert, “Kennedy and the Conservatives,” in Hoberek, Andrew, ed., The Cambridge Companion to John F. Kennedy (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015), 225–39, 227–28.

90 Bell, “The Dispossessed,” 5–6.

91 Suall, The American Ultras, 17.

92 James A. Savage, “Save Our Republic: Battling John Birch in California's Conservative Cradle,” PhD thesis, University of Kentucky, Lexington, 2015; James Clayton, “John Birch ‘Antis’ Point Unwelcome Spotlight,” Washington Post and Times-Herald, 26 March 1961, 2.

93 Bjerre-Poulsen, Niels, Right Face: Organizing the American Conservative Movement 1945–65 (Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum, 2002) 205–7.

94 George Sokolsky, “These Days,” Boston American, 14 Jan. 1961, 12; Sokolsky, “These Days,” Washington Post and Times-Herald, 14 March 1961, 1; Sokolsky, “These Days,” Times-News, 10 April 1961, 2; Brenner, “Shouting at the Rain,” 220–22; “Gen. Walker Criticized,” San Bernardino County Sun, 14 April 1962, 44.

95 Ganus to Green, 25 July 1961, CLGP; Statement of Strom Thurmond, 26 July 1961, United States Senate, 87th Congress, Congressional Record, 13594–617; Villeneuve, 9–10, 386–92; “Thunder on the Far Right”; Dochuk, 234–37; Crespino, “Strom Thurmond's Sunbelt.”

96 See, for example, “Debate between Harry Bridges and Fred Schwarz before Commonwealth Club,” 22 Oct. 1962;, atv, accessed 9 Jan. 2011; W. Cleon Skousen, ‘The Communist Attack on the John Birch Society,’ 1963, JDBP.

97 Forster and Epstein, Danger on the Right, 98; “National Program Letter,” Oct. 1961, HAPP, Box 147, Folder 5; Bales, Memorandum; Benson, “Revolution against Freedom,” 21 April 1964, JDBP.

98 Benson et al. to editor of Kansas City Star, 26 Feb. 1962, “From the People,” Arkansas Gazette, 3 May 1964, clipping, both JDBP; Benson, “Objections from Arkansas,” The Sun, 18 Aug. 1962, 12; Clifton Ganus et al. to Turner Catledge, 1 Oct. 1964, “George S. Benson,” Arkansas Gazette, 18 Oct. 1964, clipping, both GSBP.

99 George Benson, “Address to Freedom Forum XXVI,” April 1965 GSBP; Bales to Benson, 3 May 1965, JDBP.

100 Villeneuve, 390–93; Cabell Phillips, “Right-Wing Officers Worrying Pentagon,” NYT, 18 June 1961, 1; “Dr. Benson Widens His Target Sights,” Arkansas Gazette, 16 Sept. 1961, 4.

101 “Michigan Halts Showings of ‘Distorted’ Films,” WP, 7 April 1961, 19; “Anti-Communist Films Stir Nationwide Storm,” LAT, 26 Feb. 1961, C1.

102 Hoover to [name redacted], 5 July 1961, ELFOIA, “Communist Target – Youth-HQ-5”

103 Villeneuve, 533.

104 Benson to Irénée du Pont, 29 Aug. 1959, IDDP, Accession 1034, Box 3, File 102; “National Education Program Annual Report 1962/1963,” GSBP; “NEP Annual Report 1962/1963”; “LA,” The Courier, 29 Dec. 1977, 4; Group Research, “Special Review”; Benson, “Letter to Editor,” Washington Post, 11 Nov. 1964.

105 Villeneuve, 606–7; Forster and Epstein, 81–86.

106 Mulloy, The World of the John Birch Society; Hendershot, What's Fair?, 68; Martin, William, With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Religious Right in America (New York: Broadway Books, 1996), 76.

107 Carleton, Don E., Red Scare! Right-Wing Hysteria, Fifties Fanaticism, and Their Legacy in Texas (Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1985), 304; Cunningham, Cowboy Conservatism, 40–68, passim.

108 Roche, “Cowboy Conservatism,” 82–83; Bell, Jonathan, California Crucible: The Forging of Modern American Liberalism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012), 169–82; McGirr, Suburban Warriors, 119–21; Schuparra, Kurt, Triumph of the Right: The Rise of the California Conservative Movement, 1945–1966 (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 1998), 5758; James A. Savage, “Save Our Republic: Battling John Birch in California's Conservative Cradle,” PhD thesis, University of Kentucky, Lexington, 2015.

109 “Benson is Out of Race,” Searcy Daily Citizen, 2 May 1962, clipping, GSBP; Woods, Fulbright, 298.

110 Shermer, Sunbelt Capitalism.

111 Woods, Black Struggle.

112 See, for example, Cook, “The Ultras”; Forster and Epstein; Bell, Radical Right.

113 “Gov. Nelson Rockefeller is Out to Stop Senator Barry Goldwater,” Daily Banner, 18 July 1963, 1; “LA,” Malakoff News, 24 July 1964, 2; Cook, “The Ultras”; McGirr, 110–46; Schoenwald, A Time for Choosing, 61–161; Brennan, Turning Right; Brenner, “Shouting at the Rain,” 247–48.

114 Schoenwald, 61–161.


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