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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 3: Education and Social Awareness GroupsAdd to your cart.
Sub-Series 1: Local Educational GroupsAdd to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Autobiographies as History Course San Diego State College Extension Course, History 180, Fall 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Educational Growth Opportunities (EGC) - San Diego State University, 1976-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Institute for Continued Learning (ILC), Winter 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Intercultural Council of the Arts San Diego County Community Arts Program, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 5: San Diego Historical Society, 1970-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 6: San Diego Regional Education Consortium of Agin/Western Gerentological Society, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 7: San Diego Society of Clinical Psychologists, 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Senior Citizens Survey, San Diego State University Foundation, February 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 9: TORIMEG Community Psychological Health and Organization Developement Research Program, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Wild World of Animals Zoological Society of San Diego, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Wild World of Animals Zoological Society of San Diego, 1972-1975Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 2: Regional Educational GroupsAdd to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Abstracts by Warren Thorngate, Department of Psychology, University of Atlanta, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 13: California Association of School Psychologists and Psychometrists (CASPP), 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Media on Conflict, Change, and Global Interdependence - List of Films/Sildes Compiled by the: Center for War/Peace Studies Regional Office, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Southern Conference Educational Fund (SCEF), 1965-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 16: The New School Institute for Retired Professionals, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 17: The Southern California Library for Social Studies and Research, 1970-1971Add to your cart.
Folder 18: The Society for Off-Season Amenities, 1971-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 19: The Woodsworth - Irvine Socialist Fellowship, 1973Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 3: National Educational GroupsAdd to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 20: Applied Kinesiology Conference presented by The Touch of Health Foundation, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 21: American Friends Service Committee, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 22: American Institute for Marxist Studies, 1963-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 23: American Institute for Marxist Studies, 1972-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 24: American Social Research Foundation, 1975-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 25: American Social Research Foundation, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Association for Advancement of Behavior Theory, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Catalog of Education and Psychology Materials - Association of American Publishers, Incorporated, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Center for the Healing Arts, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Educational Growth Opportunities, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Educational Growth Opportunities, 1977-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Educational Growth Opportunities Gazette, 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Program for Afloat College Education, 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 33: Sigma XI, The Scientific Research Society, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 34: Society for the Philosophical Study of Dialectical Materialism, 1964-1967Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 1971-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 36: The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 1972-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 37: The Psychological Corporation - Revised Price List, 1974-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 38: The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 1972-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 39: The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, 1971-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 40: Society for Social Responsibility in Science, 1969-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Society for Social Responsibility in Science, 1971-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 42: Eleventh Annual Southern California Conference on Behavior Modification, October 12-14, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 43: Soviet Psychology, Youth, and Peace, 1972Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 4: International Educational GroupsAdd to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 44: Canadian Peace Research and Education Association (Institute), 1966-1967Add to your cart.
Folder 45: International Society of Political Psychology, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 46: International Council of Psychologist - Doctor Frances Mullen, 1976-1977Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 5: Local Social AwarenessAdd to your cart.
Box 7Add to your cart.
Folder 1: ADHOC Committee on Chicano Rights, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Arab American Society of San Diego, 1974-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Association for Friendship and Cultural Relations / United States of America - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1963, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Berrigan Defense Committee, 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Coalition for a New Foreign Military Policy, 1976-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Friends of Kids Across the Border, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Friends of the San Diego Public Library, 1979-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Greene Group, 1971-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Helen Marston Beardsley, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 10: Katherine L. Camp, 1971-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Metropolitan Transit Development Boards, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Institute on World Affairs - San Diego State College, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Peace Committee, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 14: Planning Reports: City Planning Department, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 15: San Diego Legislative Council for Older Americans, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 16: San Diego Memorial Society, 1971-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 17: San Diego Memorial Society, 1972-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 18: San Diego Mental Health Association, Incorporated, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 19: San Diego County Organizations, Services, 1975-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 20: San Diego County for Cultural Relations, 1973-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 21: San Diego SERVAS Association, 1967-1971Add to your cart.
Folder 22: San Diego Soviet Friendship Mailing List, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: San Diego / Soviet Friends Administrative Materials (Memos, Goals, Meetings), 1973-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 24: SERVAS, 1976-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 25: SERVAS Directory, c. 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Talk - Footnotes to San Diego History, September 28, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 27: The Committee of 100 for the Preservation of the Spanish Colonial Architecture in Balboa Park, 1971-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 28: The San Diego Society for Natural History, 1975-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 29: The Society for Trade and Cultural Relations with Socialist Countries Newsletters, 1973-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Unitarian Fellowship of San Dieguito - Directory, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 31: United Nations Association of San Diego, 1974-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 32: United Nations Association of San Diego, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 33: United States Department of State Bureau of Public Affairs - Reports, 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 34: Robert Hedgecock Reports, Spring 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), By-laws, Constitution, Rules of Procedure, 1962-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), 1973-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 37: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), San Diego / La Jolla Branch - Meeting Agendas/Minutes, 1975-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 38: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - San Diego / La Jolla Branch Newsletter, January 1975 - March 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 39: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - Membership, 1976-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 40: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), 1977-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - Minutes (La Jolla Branch), 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 42: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - Calendar of Events, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 43: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - San Diego Branch Directory, 1979Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 6: Regional Social AwarenessAdd to your cart.
Box 7Add to your cart.
Folder 44: American Social Research Foundation, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 45: Assemblyman Pete Chacon Reports from Sacramento, April 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 46: Atlanta International Friends, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 47: Committee for a Democratic Far Eastern Policy, 1944-1949Add to your cart.
Folder 48: Committee for Nonviolent Action, c. 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 49: First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles, 1960-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 50: Georgia Psychological Association - Membership Directory, September 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 51: Koinonia Partners - in Americus, Georgia, 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 52: Fred Warner Neal, 1974-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 53: Oakland Psychiatric Center, 1967-1970Add to your cart.
Folder 54: Seattle-King County Convention and Visitors Burreau, 1967-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 55: The Perspective of an Ex-Offender by Archie V. Connett, 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 56: Promoting Enduring Peace, 1973-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 57: Union of Concerned Scientists, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 58: Unitarian-Universalist, Atlanta, Georgia, 1963-1964Add to your cart.
Folder 59: Western Gerontology Society, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 60: Western Regional Peace Science Society, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 61: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - Western Regional Conference, Fresno, June 18-20, 1976-1981Add to your cart.
Folder 62: Wisconsin Alliance, 1970Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 7: National Social AwarenessAdd to your cart.
Box 8Add to your cart.
Folder 1: American Civil Liberties UnionAdd to your cart.
Folder 2: American Committee on Africa, 1968-1972Add to your cart.
Folder 3: American Field Service, 1974-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 4: American Society to Defend Children, 1966-1967Add to your cart.
Folder 5: American Soviet Youth Forum, 1974-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Coalition of Elders, Incorporated, 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 8: Emergency Civil Liberties Committee Rights and House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), 1967-1968Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Environmental Defense Fund, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Friends of Democrats and other Democratic Issues, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Health Committtee, Organizations, and Agencies - Related Material, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Humanism - Associations, Councils, and Issues, 1960-1972Add to your cart.
Folder 13: Institute for a Citizens Government Friends Committee on Legislation, 1955-1970Add to your cart.
Folder 14: Fund for Peace, 1976-1980Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Methodist Federation for Social Action, Incorporated, 1964-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 17: National Council of American Soviet Friendship Administrative Material, 1970-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 18: National Council of American Soviet Friendship, 1970-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 19: National Council of American Soviet Friendship Administrative Material, 1970-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 20: National Council of American Soviet Friendship, 1973-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 21: National Council of Senior Citizens, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 22: Natural Resources Defense Council, Incorporated - Progress Report, January 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 23: Peace - Issues, Flyers, Pamphlets, Clippings, 1975-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Promoting Enduring Peace Incorporated, 1966-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Promoting Enduring Peace Incorporated, 1968-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Promoting Enduring Peace Incorporated, 1975-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Republican National Committee, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 28: The American Civil Liberties Union, 1970sAdd to your cart.
Folder 29: The American Society of African Culture, 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 30: The Friendship Force, 1977-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 31: The President's Club of the Democratic Party, 1977-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 32: The Retired Public Employees' Association, 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 33: United States Committee for Friendship with the German Democratic Republic We Pledge Peace: A Friendship BookAdd to your cart.
Folder 34: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - Biennial Meetings, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) United States Section, 1971-1978Add to your cart.
Sub-Series 8: International Social AwarenessAdd to your cart.
Box 9Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Association for Friendship and Cultural Relations / United States of America - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1972-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Association for Friendship and Cultural Relations / United States of America - Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1971-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 3: International Programs, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: International Institute for Peace Vienna: Peace and the Sciences, April 1978 - February 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 5: International Women's Day, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Medical Aid for Vietnam, 1971-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 7: National Council of American Soviet Friendship, 1973-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Peace Science Society (International), 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 9: SERVAS Administrative Material, 1962-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 10: SERVAS, 1971-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 11: SERVAS, 1971-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 12: SERVAS Committee, Incorporated - Application and Letter of Introduction for SERVAS Travelers, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 13: SERVAS Committee (To Serve), 1972-1975Add to your cart.
Folder 14: SERVAS Internal Literature, 1977-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 15: SERVAS Mailing List, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 16: SERVAS Propaganda Brochures, 1961-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 17: SERVAS International, 1973-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 18: SERVAS International Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, 1976-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 19: United Nations, 1974-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 20: United Nations Day - World History, 1969-1972Add to your cart.
Folder 21: United Nations Membership / Administrative Material, 1965-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 22: United Nations Program Material, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 23: United States Committee for Friendship with the German Democratic Republic Literatures, 1975-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 25: United States and Soviet Women Power: Communicating Common Concerns in the Struggle for Peace and Justice, 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - Reports, Revolutions, Budget, 1959-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 27: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) International, 1973-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) CongressAdd to your cart.

Houston, Texas - November 1977

Mexico City, Mexico - 1975

Japan - August 1968

Folder 29: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - Directory, October 1972-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) - List of Literature and Publications, 1970sAdd to your cart.
Folder 31: World Hunger, 1975Add 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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