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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 5: PeriodicalsAdd to your cart.
Box 17Add to your cart.
Folder 1: About Face! The United States Servicemen's Fund Newsletter, 1972-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Age of Reason Magazine, May 1956Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Allgeimener Deutscher Nachrichtendienst Bulletin, May 1980Add to your cart.
(Published by the News Agency of the German Democratic Republic)
Folder 4: American Friends Service Committee Reporter, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: American Russian Institute Newsletter, 1971-1976Add to your cart.
Folder 6: The American Institute for Marxist Studies - Newsletter, May-June 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 7: American Society to Defend Children Newsletter, 1966-1967Add to your cart.
Folder 8: American Soviet Youth Forum - Newsletter, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 9: The Appalachian South: Cultural Heritage - Folklore, Song, History, People, 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Applause: San Diego Magazine of the Arts - Volume 4, Number 2, June 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Arab States Newsletter, o DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 12: Arabesque Newsletter, May-June 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 13: The Atheist - Volume 56, Number 1Add to your cart.
Folder 14: The Atlanta University Bulletin, December 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 15: Benjamin Rush Newsletter: Issued by teh Benjamin Rush Society for the Study of the Behavioral and Psychological Sciences from the Viewpoint of Dialectical - Historical Materialism, March 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 16: Bill Sullivan's San Diego Leisure Letter: Great Ways to Spend Your Days in San Diego - Volume 1, Number 12, March 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 17: Black Liberation Journal - Volume 3, Number 3-4, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 18: Book Newsletter - Volume X, Number 3, Novemeber 1974 - January 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 19: Bulletin of the World Council of Peace, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 20: California AFL-CIO News: Official Publication of the Dalifornia Labor Federation, AFL-CIO - Volume 16, Number 45, November 9, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 21: California Farm Reporter, July 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 22: California Farmer Consumer Reporter - Volume 33, Odtober-November 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 23: California Journal: The Monthly Analysis of State Government and Politics, April 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 24: The California Professor - Volume 8, Number 5, January/February 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 25: "Call to Women" - Number 67, October 1968Add to your cart.
Folder 26: Cavalcade of BooksAdd to your cart.
Folder 27: CRE Newsletter (Center for Radical Education), August 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 28: The Christian Science Monitor, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 29: The Churchman: A Humanistic Approach to Religion, Ethics and Education, December 1979 - February 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 30: Civil Liberties, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 31: Clergy and Laity Concerned - Volume 6, Number 4Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Common Cause San Diego - Number 1, Spring 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 33: Common Sense: People's Bicentennial Commission, c. 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 34: Community Acts Newsletter an Intercultural Council of the Arts Project, May 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Concern (Published Monthly by the National Victim / Witness Resource Center), February 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Congressional Reward Proceedings and Debates of the Ninety-Third Congress - Volume 120, Number 51, April 9, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 37: Constructive Alternatives: Newsletter of California State University Chapter of University Professor for Academic Order (UPAO) - Volume 1, September 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 38: Contaminated Times, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 39: CE Current (Division of Continuing Education, Office of the Chancellor, the California State University and Colleges) - Volume 4, Number 1, October 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 40: Care, Published Bimonthly by the Congress of Racial Equality, March-June 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Council of Human Relations of Greater, Atlanta - Newsletter, May 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 42: Covert Action Information Bulletin - Number 8, March-April 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 43: The San Smoot Report, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 44: The Defense Monitor - Volume 5, Number 7, September 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 45: The Democrat, February/March 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 46: Democratic Report, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 47: Disarmament Times, January-February 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 48: Division for Economic and Social Information (Department of Public Information), February 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 49: Economic Outlook (Congress of Industrial Organizations) - Volume 6, Number 1, January 1954Add to your cart.
Folder 50: Environment Southwest - Number 470, April-May 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 51: Evening Star, May 1961Add to your cart.
Folder 52: Facts for Action - Number 1, March 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 53: FIL American Express - Volume 4, Number 4, July 31, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 54: Flashlight: In Search of Peace Club NetworkAdd to your cart.
Folder 55: Flashlight: Palo Alto Peace Club NetworkAdd to your cart.
Folder 56: Gist: A Quick Reference Aid on United States Foreign Relations, July 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 57: Globe Community Network (GCN) Newsletter, March 1980, May 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 58: Higher Education and National Affairs, October 1960Add to your cart.
Folder 59: Humanist Student Union of North America - Newsletter, Winter 1967-1968Add to your cart.
Folder 60: I.F. Stone's Weekly, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 61: Information (Published by the Peace Council of the German Democratic Republic), July 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 62: International Society for Research on Aggression Newsletter, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 63: Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society - Volume 13, Number 1, February 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 64: Israel: Economic Relevance NewsletterAdd to your cart.
Folder 65: The Journal of Liberal Religion - Volume 7, Number 3, Winter 1946Add to your cart.
Folder 66: Kitty Litter, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 67: Letter from China, 1963-1969Add to your cart.
Folder 68: National Farm Worker Ministry Newsletter, March 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 69: National Guardian: The Progressive WeeklyAdd to your cart.
Folder 70: National Land for People, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 71: The New Gadfly, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 72: The New Leaf: "Equal Opportunity for All, Special Privilege for None" Published by Land Equality and Freedom, February/March 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 73: NACLA Newsletter (North American Congress on Latin America) - Volume 2, Number 2, April 1968Add to your cart.
Folder 74: The Nationa, April 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 75: New World Review - Volume 44, Number 1, January-February 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 76: NACLA (North American Congress on Latin America) - Volume 14, Number 3, May-June 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 77: Northern Neighbors, October-November 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 78: Nuclear Information (NI), September 1959 - June/July 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 79: The Open Forum, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 80: People Above Race: On / Inside View of the Urban League, 1964Add to your cart.
Folder 81: Peace Action Newsletter, 1977-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 82: Peace and Freedom (Women's International League for Peace and Freedom), 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 83: Peace and Freedom, 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 84: Peace and Freedom, 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 85: Peace and Freedom, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 86: Peace and Freedom, 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 87: Peace and Freedom, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 88: Peace and Freedom, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 89: Peace and Solidarity - Volume 7, Number 3, May 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 90: People's World, No DateAdd to your cart.
Box 18Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Plowshare Press (Published by the Mid-Peninsula Conversion Project), Summer, Fall 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Plowshare Press, Winter, Summer 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Political Affairs, Journal of Marxist Thought, May 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 4: The Power Line (Published by the Environmental Action Foundation) - Volume 1, Number 2, August 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Psi Chi Newsletter - Volume 5, Number 2, Spring 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Public Employee, March, June 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Quick Strokes - Volume 3, Number 2, Summer 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Radical Equality Bulletin, June / July 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Reader - Volume 3, Number 31, August 9, 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Research and Educational Project Opportunities (San Diego State University Foundation) - Volume 2, Number 14, May 8, 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 11: Retired Public Employees Association of California Newsletter, March 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 12: Rights, May 1961Add to your cart.
Folder 13: San Diego and Point Magazine, January 1966Add to your cart.
Folder 14: San Diego Campaign for Economic Democracy Newsletter, May - JuneAdd to your cart.
Folder 15: San Diego Center for Appropriate Technology Newsletter - Number 3, May-June 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 16: San Diego County, ADHOC Committee Newsletter, August 1976Add to your cart.
Folder 17: San Diego History NewsAdd to your cart.
Folder 18: San Diego Holiday, October-November 1970Add to your cart.
Folder 19: The San Diego (Humanist Association of San Diego), July 1977 - December 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 20: San Diego Memorial Society: The Annual Newsletter of the San Diego: Memorial Society - Number 20, January 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 21: San Diego Society for Cultural Relations with Union of Soviet Socialist Republics - Newsletter, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 22: Scientist and Citizen (SC), May/June 1965 - August 1966 (Incomplete)Add to your cart.
Folder 23: The Scope: for State Universities and College Faculties, May 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 24: Scroll: Senior Citizens Recreation Organization Lively Newsletter - Volume 1, Number 8-10, July 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 25: Senior Citizens News, February 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 26: SERVAS International Newsletter, 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 27: SERVAS International Newsletter, 1978-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 28: Senior World - San Diego City and San Diego County - Volume 2, Number 11, November 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 29: Silver and Gold Report: an Independent and Impartial Precious Metal Newsletter - Volume 5, Number 9, May 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 30: The Skeptical Inquirer: The Zetetic - Volume III, Number 2, Winter 1978Add to your cart.
Folder 31: Social Questions Bulletin - Volume 59, Number 3, March 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 32: Socialism, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 33: Socialist Revolution, October 1976, June 1977Add to your cart.
Folder 34: The Society for the Advancement of Social Psychology, 1974-1979Add to your cart.
Folder 35: Society for the Philosophical Study of Dialectical Materialism Newsletter - Number 2, December 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 36: Society for the Philosophical Study of Marxism Newsletter - Volume 1, Number 6-9, 1974-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 37: The Society for Trade and Cultural Relations with Socialist Countries Newsletter, 1973-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 38: Sometimes - Volume 1, Number 6Add to your cart.
Folder 39: Southern California Clergy and Laity Concerned Newsletter, March 26, 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 40: The Southern Patriot, Published by the Southern Conference Educational Fund, June 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 41: Spotlight (American Friends Service Committee) - Volume 1, Book 4Add to your cart.
Folder 42: Statecraft: A Journal of Political Education, April-May 1969Add to your cart.
Folder 43: Teaching and Learning on Campus - Volume 1, Number 1, October 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 44: TODAY in San Diego - Volume 11, Number 5, May 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 45: The Tribunal #2 (Los Angeles Committee for the Defense of the Bill of Rights), No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 46: The Tummy Letter: Bringing a Better Understanding for the United States Senate to Californians, December 1972Add to your cart.
Folder 47: The Umbrella: "We're All Friends Under the Umbrella" to Promote Ideas, Activities, and Gifts to the Central Library Branches, January 1979Add to your cart.
Folder 48: Unitarian Universalist Action, April-June 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 49: Unitarian Universalist World, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 50: United Nations Association Newsletter, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 51: United States Farm News, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 52: The United Professors of California Advocate, September 1973Add to your cart.
Folder 53: University of San Francisco Law Review, October 1971Add to your cart.
Folder 54: The Utopian for Seniors - Volume 1, Number 7, June 1968Add to your cart.
Folder 55: Viking Vistas: The First SCAN-PRESS in America - Volume 3, Number 4, April 1975Add to your cart.
Folder 56: The Voice - Volume 6, Number 3, June 1965Add to your cart.
Folder 57: Views (War Registers League), No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 58: The Washington Spectator and Between the Line, March 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 59: William Winter Comments: World Monthly Personal Newsletter on Current Affairs, January 1980Add to your cart.
Folder 60: Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Newsletter - La Jolla, California Branch, 1974-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 61: World Congress of Peace Forces - Bulletin 2, September 1974Add to your cart.
Folder 62: Young Socialist Forum, December 1967Add to your cart.
Folder 63: Zoological Society of San Diego Quarterly - Volume 1, Number 1Add to your cart.
Folder 64: Miscellaneous Newsletters, No DateAdd to your cart.
Folder 65: Miscellaneous Newsletters, Magazines, 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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