Big leaguer | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Big leaguer

Posted By on Thu, Dec 18, 2008 at 6:41 AM

An early riser points me to a curious turn of phrase from a 1958 newspaper article reprinted in the "Other Days" column in today's D-G.

50 YEARS AGO Dec. 18, 1958

A professional Negro witness testified here today that the Little Rock integration effort was a test battle in a vast subversive scheme involving the NAACP backed by Communists. Manning Johnson said that Arkansas “was made the goat” in the impasse resulting from efforts to integrate Central High School here last year.

PS -- Pine Bluff Commercial had a similar item today, though it didn't refer to a "professional Negro," witness or otherwise.

December 17, 1958

LITTLE ROCK — A former employee of the House Un-American Activities Committee testified today that the University of Arkansas, the College of the Ozarks and three Negro institutions in the state “have been successfully penetrated” by Communists.

J.B. Matthews, appearing as a witness at the legislative investigation into possible Communist influences in Arkansas’ racial troubles, said the Negro institutions were Arkansas AM&N at Pine Bluff and Arkansas Baptist College and Philander Smith College at Little Rock.

The testimony did not imply, according to Attorney General Bruce Bennett, that the colleges and universities identified were controlled by Communists, nor that certain faculty members he had in mind were Communist Party members. Some, though, he said, were unwitting dupes of the Communists through membership in Communist-front organizations.


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