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Harry Steinmetz Papers, 1917-1986 | Special Collections & University Archives

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Collection Overview

Title: Harry Steinmetz Papers, 1917-1986Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Steinmetz, Harry C.

Extent: 23.75 Linear Feet

Arrangement:

I. Personal Papers

II. Correspondence

III. Education and Social Awareness Groups

IV. Various Articles and Newspapers

V. Periodicals

VI. Oversized Materials

VII. Miscellaneous

Date Acquired: 03/08/1983

Subjects: Communism, San Diego State University--Faculty--Biography--Sources, Steinmetz, Harry C.--Archives, United States--Social conditions--20th century--Sources, World politics--20th century--Sources

Forms of Material: Personal Papers

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The collection focuses primarily on international foreign relations from a social and political perspective.  The time period for this material starts in the early 1900’s and extends until the late 1980’s.

The collection is divided into seven series.  Each series is further divided into local, regional, national and international sections.

Biographical Note

Harry Steinmetz was a professor of Psychology at San Diego State College from 1930 until 1954. His career was subject to controversy, as he was dismissed from his teaching position on grounds of insubordination and subversion stemming from allegations of Communist affiliation. California law was significantly altered for the purpose of expediting his dismissal.

A Seattle native, Steinmetz received his bachelor's degree in Psychology from Purdue University, his masters from the University of Maryland, and his PhD from UC Berkeley. He began teaching at San Diego State College in 1930, serving as an associate professor of Psychology, and sat as chairman of the department for several years.

Though it was well known that Steinmetz held liberal political views, he became more conspicuous once faculty members became aware of his political involvement outside of campus. In 1935, Steinmetz unsuccessfully ran for mayor on a Socialistic platform and held high offices in local labor organizations. His position as an educator caused some to become suspicious of him in the conservative political climate after WWII. The first formal action taken against Steinmetz came from San Diego County Posts of the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans Association. His influential position at the University gave these organizations reason to believe that he could coerce impressionable students into adopting Communist values.

San Diego's post-war conservativism and strong ties to the military influenced the public's willingness to embrace an intolerance of non-conformity. Though Steinmetz was unthreatened by legal action at this point, local newspapers and media portrayed the professor in a suspicious light; associating him with Communist organizations and institutions. This attention was eventually enforced by legislative action made by state Senator Fred H. Kraft of San Diego. The senator was once a part of the California Legislature's Investigating Committee on Un-American Activities, and he created a bill that would have provided for the "dismissal of employees of state colleges" by expanding "unprofessional conduct" to include "persistent active participation in public meetings conducted or sponsored by a communist front organization," and "willful advocacy of communism, either on or off campus." Further, it allowed dismissal proceedings to be initiated by anybody who wished to file a complaint.  This proposal was vetoed by Governor Earl Warren, yet the anti-Communist sentiment permeating the country set the stage for further legal action against the professor.

On March 26, 1953, Steinmetz received a subpoena from the House Un-American Activities Committee, chaired by Congressman Harold Velde, and was required to appear before the committee. As Steinmetz once held a position with the American Federation of Teachers, he was questioned as to whether or not there had been any Communist infiltration of the organization. As the professor wished to protect himself from self-incrimination, he invoked the Fifth Amendment, creating an even greater air of suspicion surrounding his involvement with the Communist party.

Breaking what had been several months of silence, Steinmetz gave a vehement speech before 300 students, speaking out against the methods and purpose of the questioning committee. The speech was met with rancorous reactions from several prominent community members; many of which called for San Diego State College to dismiss the professor. Finally, on February 5, 1954, Steinmetz was fired from San Diego State College. He spent two years in appeals, where his lawyers challenged the constitutionality of the Luckel Act, which incorporated many of Senator Kraft's early proposals. The courts contended that although Steinmetz may have not been a threat to national security, he was definitely guilty in terms of his subversion of students. It was not until 1968 that the Luckel Act was ruled as unconstitutional, when it was too late for the professor.

Steinmetz spent the rest of his working career "hiding out," though he did continue to be active in left-wing causes. He practiced psychology in San Diego and Los Angeles, and lived in Europe, Canada, Michigan, and Georgia. He returned to SDSC in the late 60's, eventually receiving the title of Professor Emeritus. Steinmetz died on February 15, 1982 at the age of 82.

Subject/Index Terms

Communism
San Diego State University--Faculty--Biography--Sources
Steinmetz, Harry C.--Archives
United States--Social conditions--20th century--Sources
World politics--20th century--Sources

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Harry C. Steinmetz

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Harry Steinmetz Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal Papers],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Education and Social Awareness Groups],
[Series 4: Articles and Newspapers],
[Series 5: Periodicals],
[Series 6: Oversized Materials],
[Series 7: Miscellaneous],
[All]

Series 1: Personal PapersAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: PersonalAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Steinmetz Will and Life Insurance, 1937-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Sketch of a Family TreeAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: DiaryAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Address Book, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Who's Harry Steinmetz, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Monthly Planner, 1969-1970Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Pardon Proclamation to Steinmetz from President Gerald Ford, c. 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Vita of Harry Steinmetz, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Veterans Administration Application for Burial Benefits, 1981Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Certificate of Death, 1981Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Doctor Harry Steinmetz Personal - Resumes, Letters about himself, 1970-1972Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Steinmetz's Residential Property, 1971-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Life Insurance, 1930, 1937Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Information of Autobiography, c. 1956-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Autobiography of Harry Charles Steinmetz, 1976Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: EducationAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Steinmetz Educational Records, 1924-1947Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: RecognitionAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 17: The Daily Worth Fiftieth Anniversary Honorary Award to Steinmetz, June 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Certificate of Appreciation to Steinmetz - Guest Speaker at the North Park High 12 Club, November 1976Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: Personal AssetsAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Medical Bills, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Medical Bills and Reports for Steinmetz, 1979-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Medicare - Bills, Receipts, Forms, 1975-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Money Loans - Receipts, Contracts, Letters, c. 1926-1981Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Steinmetz Family Business, 1960-1968Add to your cart.
Utility Bills, House Repair Bills, Income Tax Forms, Small Claims, Court Reports, Miscellaneous Receipts
Folder 24: Automobile - Invoices of Repairs, Tows, Ordered Parts, 1940-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Mexican Bank Investments Via Allen W. Lloyd and Associados, S.A., 1969-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Allen W. Lloyd and Associados, Investment Brokers, 1975-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Home Exchange Services, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 28: The City of San Diego Housing Authority, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Shipper's and Export Declaration, Bill of Lading, c. 1958-1960Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Nutrition and Your Mind, by Harry C. Steinmetz, 1973Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 5: Academic WritingsAdd to your cart.
Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Discovery in Dalmatia, 1961Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Articles in Preparation for Lectures, 1933Add to your cart.
Folder 33: What is Attitude? Essay by Harry Steinmetz, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 34: Steinmetz's Personal Notes, c. 1970sAdd to your cart.
Folder 35: Steinmetz's Personal Notes, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Article about Doctor Harry Steinmetz, 1955Add to your cart.
Folder 37: Academic Literature, 1966-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 38: Academic Writings (Romania), 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 39: Academic Writings, 1959-1968Add to your cart.
Folder 40: Book Reviews and Academic Writings, 1973-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Autobiography Courses, 1970-1971Add to your cart.
Folder 42: Autobiography Writing Course taughty by Harry Steinmetz, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 43: List of Publication of Steinmetz, 1921-1933Add to your cart.
Folder 44: Miscellaneous Writings, 1938-1970Add to your cart.
Folder 45: Book/Article Reviews, 1958-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 46: Reflection Writing, 1970-1971Add to your cart.
Folder 47: Reflective Writings, 1977-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 48: Book Reviews by Steinmetz, 1969-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 49: Academic and Philosophical Writings, 1960sAdd to your cart.
Folder 50: Writings by Harry Steinmetz, 1952-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 51: Writings by Harry Steinmetz, 1961-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 52: Soviet Political Writings, 1959-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 53: Soviet Political Writings, 1970sAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 6: Psychological Evaluations by Harry SteinmetzAdd to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Jerry S. Ayers, 1949Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Carol and Eugene Dente, 1951-1952Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Charles and Donna Venner, 1944-1946Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Eileen and Harry Eaton, 1950-1951Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Mr. and Mrs. Fleig, 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Mr. and Mrs. Hansen, 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Dorothy Harris, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Milton W. Henderson, 1945-1951Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Hermal Douglas Jacobs, 1944-1945Add to your cart.
Folder 10: James A. Jumps, 1944Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Mary Koehler, 1945Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Verne E. Lory, 1947Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Bruce Lovelace, 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Lein Pearl, 1947Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Rubert Walton Phibbs, 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Sylvia and Joel Stoneham, 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Psychological Tests, 1952-1966Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 7: Legality IssuesAdd to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Central Intelligence Agency, 1951-1958Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Case Versus Atlanta ConstitutionAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: Assembly California Legislature, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 21: Federal Burreau of Investigation, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 22: United States Department of Justice, 1942-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Central Intelligence Agency, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 24: United States Senate, 1976-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 25: The House of Representatives, 1977-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Julian Bond - House of Representatives, 1966-1967Add to your cart.
Folder 27: President Jimmy Carter, 1969-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 28: United States Department of State Bureau of Public Affairs, 1979-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Affairs, 1979-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Steinmetz Case Material, 1976-1981Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Steinmetz Case Material, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Steinmetz Case Material, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 33: Steinmetz Case Material, 1979-1981Add to your cart.
Folder 34: Communist Accusations, 1962Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 8: MiscellaneousAdd to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Autobiography of John W. BakerAdd to your cart.
Folder 36: Notes on "New Directions for Free - Lance Writers", 1974Add to your cart.
Classes taken at University of California-San Diego
Folder 37: University of Lagos, c. 1968Add to your cart.
Folder 44: Miscellaneous Notes, 1970sAdd to your cart.
Found in a Ring Binder
Folder 45: The Living Language Seminar, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 46: "Footnotes to History" by Your Uncle HarryAdd to your cart.
Folder 47: United States Farm News, November 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 48: Taped Literature of Huynh Vang Hong, 1970sAdd to your cart.
Folder 49: Madison High School Commencement Exercises, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 50: Max Halber's Application for Passport, 1967Add to your cart.
Folder 51: Manual of Industrial Efficiency Rating, by Harry Steinmetz, 1943Add to your cart.
Folder 52: Parks, 1952-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 53: Correspondence Regarding: Seven Vietcong in San Diego and The Golden Fleece, by Huyhn Vang Hong, 1973-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 54: Huyhn Vang Hong - Book Chapters, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 55: Chapters of a Book, No DateAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Personal Papers],
[Series 2: Correspondence],
[Series 3: Education and Social Awareness Groups],
[Series 4: Articles and Newspapers],
[Series 5: Periodicals],
[Series 6: Oversized Materials],
[Series 7: Miscellaneous],
[All]


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