This first item is an article from the Chattanooga New-Free Press about Eleanor's association with the Highlander Folk School in Monteagle, Tennessee, a school regarded as left-wing and communist leaning.
The Highlander Folk School at Monteagle, Tennessee, has earned its bad reputation over a long period of years as a result of its left wing programs, the Communist-front taint of its leadership and the disgraceful conduct of school leaders when called upon by congressional committees to answer justified questions about its operations.
More recently, attention has been centered on Highlander Folk School because of its emphasis on forcing racial integration and the accompanying deterioration of harmony and disruption of goodwill upon the South. It is a gathering place for leaders in agitation of racial issues. When criticism arises, the school has always been able to count upon statements of defense from a clique of left-wing "do gooders" whose prominent positions in various fields have been tarnished by their misuse of them in this and similar respects.
It is not at all surprising, but is noteworthy, that one of Highlander's integration workshops this year will be addressed by none other than Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt. Mrs. Roosevelt's name long has been linked with the school, she having been one of its early contributors and sponsors.
Mrs. Roosevelt's participation in the Highlander Folk School program will not raise either its reputation or hers. But considering both the school's record and Mrs. Roosevelt's record, their new association will probably damage neither, since both already have sunk so low.
This second item is a copy of a $100 check from Eleanor made to the Highlander Folk School.
This third item is a letter regarding the Ku Klux Klan's plans to stop Eleanor from making a speech in Monteagle, Tennessee.
May 2, 1959
U.S. Klans, Knights Of the Ku Klux Klan, Incorporated Internal Security - Klan
Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt is scheduled to make a speech at Monteagle, Tennessee, 6/16/58. A confidential informant of the Knoxville Office, who has furnished reliable information in the past, advised that at a meeting of U.S. Klans, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Incorporated, the scheduled talk by Mrs. Roosevelt was discussed. It was mentioned that Klansmen plan to go to Monteagle and stop the talk "even if they had to blow the place up."
Same informant advised it was also mentioned that XXXXXXXX had been contacted regarding this matter and XXXXXXXXXX advised the Klan he will not interfere with them if they come in and break up the meeting.
Knoxville advised in view of the above information concerning XXXXXXXX Memphis should inform state authorities in Nashville concerning contemplated Klan action to XXXXXXXX and intelligence agencies of the Armed Forces and instructing Memphis to advise appropriate state authorities at Nashville. Both offices being instructed to alert informants to this matter and keep Bureau advised.
(1) There is attached for your approval a letter to Knoxville and Memphis instructing Knoxville to disseminate this information concerning contemplated Klan action to and intelligence agencies of the Armed Forces and instructing Memphis to advise appropriate state authorities at Nashville. Both offices being instructed to alert informants to this matter and keep Bureau advised.
This fourth item is an article concerning Eleanor and accusations of 'fifth column' encouragement.
Charges First Lady Aids 'FIFTH Column'
Also Accuses Miss Perkins in Debate in House
by Willard Edwards
Secretary of Labor Frances Perkins and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt yesterday were named by Representative Noah M. Mason (R) of Illinois, as having extended sympathy, encouragement, and protection to the so-called "fifth column agents" in the United States.
Mason spoke in the House in opposition to the proposed transfer of the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization from the Department of Labor, headed by Miss Perkins, to the Justice Department. The move was designed to cover up Miss Perkins' mismanagement of the bureau, he declared.
"The results desired by the President can be much more quickly and effectively secured by demanding the resignation of Madame Perkins and appointing a competent administrator in her place," he told members.
The Illinois Representative proceeded to relate "concrete examples of protection, of sympathy and of encouragement lately given to 'fifth column agents' that are at work in our midst." Mason is a member of the Dies Committee, and some of the facts he gave the House had not previously been made public.
"I call attention to the astonishing appointment two months ago of William Hinckley as administrative assistant to the commissioner of education," Mason said. "It is my understanding that Hinckley obtained his position through the recommendation of Mrs. Roosevelt. Hinckley was for a number of years national chairman of the American Youth Congress, a subservient follower of the Communist party line. It is Stalin's 'fifth column' among the youth of this country."
Testimony before the Dies Committee proved that Hinckley was an active member of the Communist party, Mason said. He cited numerous instances of Hinckley's radical theories and his connections with communistic organizations.
"It is nothing short of a national disgrace that one so prominent in the operations of the Communist 'fifth element' as Hinckley should be placed in a strategic position in our Federal Government and particularly in our Department of Education," he remarked.
Next Category: Eleanor Clubs
My American Experience
How has a First Lady inspired you or someone you know? Who was president when you were young, and what were your impressions of the First Lady? What First Lady has most influenced the world around you, and how? Share your stories with AMERICAN EXPERIENCE.