McCormack, John W.

1941 TLS as House Majority Leader to an African-American journalist, likely backing investigation into revocation of head of German-American Bund‘s citizenship

Price: $35.00

Description:
(1892-1980) Massachusetts US Rep (D) 1929-1971, served as House Majority Leader 1940-47, 1949-53, and 1955-61. He served as Speaker of the House of Representatives 1962-71. He was a highly influential figure in the shaping of legislation in the mid-60's, steering passage through the House of domestic legislation including the LBJ "Great Society" anti-poverty bills. Upon LBJ’s assuming the presidency on Kennedy’s assassination, McCormack, as Speaker, was next in succession. TLS on 10 ½ x 8 official “Office of the Majority Leader/House of Representatives U.S.” letterhead, Washington, May 23 1941, to William Harrison, Executive Secretary, Boston (likley Bill Harrison, Executive Secretary of the Boston NAACP). McCormack has Harrison’s letter regarding “…the Resolution introduced by Congressman Ford of California and it is needless for me to tell you that I do favor such an investigation and am against discrimination of any person because of race, color, or creed.” BILL HARRISON (1910-1964) African-American journalist, Assoc. Editor of the Boston Chronicle ("New England’s Largest Weekly Negro Newspaper") 1939-64. Harvard graduate, he was of the 1st Julius Rosenwald Fellowship recipients at Cambridge University, studying in England, Belgium and Germany. Before joining the Chronicle, he worked for the WPA Writers Project, was Acting Secretary of the Writers Union, and was briefly a columnist for the African-American Boston Guardian. Harrison joined the Communist Party in 1944 and was elected state board VP. He was an active member of the Boston branch of the NAACP serving on the Executive Board and advisor to its Youth Council. LELAND M. FORD (1893-1965) California businessman, US Rep (R) 1939-43. In May 1940, Ford introduced a House resolution to revoke the citizenship of Fritz Kuhn (1896-1951), controversial leader of the pro-Hitler German American Bund before WW II. Ford asked the House to revoke Kuhn's citizenship on the grounds that he had "mental reservations" when pledging his allegiance in his Dec. 1934 naturalization proceedings. On Dec. 5, 1939, Kuhn was sentenced to prison for tax evasion & embezzlement. During WW II, after his release, he was arrested as an enemy agent and held at an internment camp in Texas. His citizenship was canceled June 1, 1943 and in 1945, he was released, sent to Ellis Island, and deported to Germany. IMAGE NOTE: THERE IS NO COLOR SHADING OR TONING ON THE ORIGINAL!

Condition: Very good
Type:Letter






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