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California Senate Factfinding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities

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Title: California Senate Factfinding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities  
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Subject: Vietnam Day Committee, Hollywood blacklist
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California Senate Factfinding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities

California Senate Factfinding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities (SUAC) was established by the California State Senate under authority of paragraph 12.5 (13) of the Standing Rules Committee of the State Senate. The committee was a subcommittee of the general Research Committee of the California State Senate. SUAC was the California equivalent of the House Committee on Un-American Activities.


From 1941 through 1949 the Subcommittee was run by Senator Jack Tenney as the Tenney Committee, notable for its vigorous and ineffective investigations of Communists. The conduct of the hearings in those years "egregiously violated due process"[1] and of the hundreds of people subpoenaed and interrogated in its eight years, not a single one had been indicted, much less convicted, of any sort of subversion.[2]

The 12th report of the Subcommittee was published in 1963, and included investigation of the Communist Party, the Constitutional Liberties Information Center, so-called Front groups and Black Muslims. The committee conducted an investigation of the John Birch Society, examining its literature, sent investigators to talk with supporters and critics, examined press accounts and worked for two years. On June 12, 1963, the subcommittee filed its 62-page report and released copies to the press.

13th Report Supplement of the Subcommittee appeared in 1966 with information gathered on something called the Kerry Analysis; on Martin Kamen; Chancellor Edward W. Strong; The Filthy Speech Movement; Clara Ontell; Virginia Taylor Norris; Campus Speakers; Margaret Gelders Frantz; The Young People's Socialist League; Sam Kagel; Present Kerr and the Regents; and had chapter headings such as; "Radical Groups Capitalize on Rule Weaknesses"; "Pious Disclaimers'; "Half-Truths and Distortions"; "Telescoping of Time"; Leon Wofsy; Douglas Wachter; The Element of Time; "Guilt by Juxtaposition"; Developments since July, 1965; The Vietnam Day Committee; Old Leaders - New Cause; Teach-In at Berkeley, May, 1965; Demonstrations on October 15 and 16, 1965; Demonstration on November 20, 1965; Berkeley Campus Softened Up; Comfort for the Enemy; Vietnam Propaganda at Garfield Junior High School; Chancellor Heyns Discusses the Demonstrations; International Control and Collaboration; The San Francisco Mime Troupe; Vietnam Day Committee Dance March 25, 1966; Homosexuality; The Eli Katz Case.

The 14th report of the committee was published in 1967 and although it claimed to deal with the Delano grape strike, it was an anti-communist and anti-"subversive" effort on behalf of state government. While the committee reports stated that no inference of subversive activity should be construed by mention of a person or organization in their reports, the result was less circumspect. The report of 1967 claimed that agricultural labor had been a target of Communist infiltration for thirty years due to the migratory and deprived state of agricultural workers. Chapters included the Delano Grape Strike, Spring Mobilization, The Community for New Politics, Responses from Virginia Norris Taylor and other exhibits.


  • 12th, 13th and 14th Report(s) Un-American Activities In California 1963, 1966, 1967 - Report of the Senate Fact finding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities. Regular session of the California Legislature, Sacramento CVA.


  1. ^ Embattled Dreams: California in War and Peace, 1940-1950 By Kevin Starr, page 307
  2. ^ Embattled Dreams: California in War and Peace, 1940-1950 By Kevin Starr, page 307

External links

  • on the John Birch society
  • Short history of UC speakers ban
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