Published online by Cambridge University Press: 24 February 2017
Despite widespread support for the postwar expansion of higher education, U.S. colleges and universities in the early 1950s were not isolated from broader social currents, and the deep social anxieties and political tensions of the Cold War found their way onto college campuses. In 1952, the University of California was still reeling from the loyalty oath controversy. In the late 1940s the University of California, like other universities nationwide, had been viewed with increasing suspicion by anti-Communist groups. The search for subversives in California institutions, spearheaded by the Tenney Committee of the California State Legislature, led the University of California's Board of Regents to add a disclaimer of membership in any organization advocating the overthrow of the United States to the oath of allegiance already required of faculty. In an atmosphere of rising hysteria about possible subversives and Communists in academia, on February 24, 1950, the Regents voted to fire anyone employed by the University of California who failed to sign the oath. This decision led to strong opposition from students and faculty. Despite these protests, and particularly after the outbreak of the Korean War in June, 1950, the Regents held firm. On August 25, 1950, thirty-one members of the University of California faculty were dismissed because they refused to sign the loyalty oath. None of them was accused of being a Communist or subversive. After an appellate court ruled against the Regents, in October 1951 the Regents voted to rescind the oath, but maintained their stance that the university would not employ Communists. Although the California Supreme Court upheld the ruling of the appellate court and the non-signers were reinstated to the university, the mood at the university, as in the nation as a whole, continued to be one of anxiety and unease.
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40 Ibid., 1073.
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43 Ibid., 286.
44 Ibid., 286–87.
45 Ibid., 288.
46 Ibid., 292.
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48 Ibid., 299.
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55 Ibid., 55.
56 Ibid., 151.
57 Ibid., 157.
58 Ibid., 314.
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70 Ibid., 331.
71 Ibid., 324–25.
72 Ibid., 325.
73 Ibid., 332.
74 Ibid., 333.
75 Ibid., 335.
76 Ibid., 336.
77 Ibid., 332.
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