Civil Liberties / Interview Theme Index / BC After /

BC After

Bill Taylor

— I went to the Library of Congress and there was a book, sort of a compilation — all the newspaper stories that Harry Gideonse ever was in. And if you start reading these things you find that the pattern repeats itself time after time. I mean, it happened before Vanguard. It happened at Vanguard. And then a few years later, it happened again. It was just fascinating to me. This was a stream that really, one way or another, ran throughout his career.

Ann Lane

— He was supposed to be rewarded. Did he get a diplomatic position? Did he get to be an ambassador some place? There was talk about the reward to Gideonse for having cleaned up the Reds. And what was clear to us, now that I'm thinking about it, was that we were part of the whole clean-up process...

Al Lasher

— We sort of almost got even with Gideonse but he never knew it. Within a year of this event happening, we get a call from one of the editors of the school newspaper at the University of Chicago. Gideonse was still president of Brooklyn College. I didn't know at time but he was looking for another job. So we get this call — the trustees are considering Harry Gideonse as a replacement for the then-president of the University of Chicago. We put a brief together. I mean, within twenty-four hours we had a package going out to the chairman of the Board of Trustees and the editor of the newspaper. The editors ran a huge article on what a miserable person Gideonse was. He never got the job. He may not have gotten it anyway.

Ann Lane

— I'll tell you the other thing about Brooklyn College. They had, as it turned out, people compiling lists of radical students. And I suspect a lot of the students and teachers were involved in it. If I knew it then, I don't remember it now, but it was in the air. I mean, it was a time of things closing down. And that's probably why nothing more continued and why the students didn't rise up in protest.

Bill Taylor

— I was talking to a group of people, and there was a big group of people around Pete Seeger and so I managed to go over. And he was telling war stories about his experiences. And when he was all through I introduced myself and I said, "You know, Mr. Seeger, I've had some similar experiences because I was editor of a newspaper at Brooklyn College in 1950." And he said, "Oh, Harry Gideonse.” And I said, "That's very good." He said, "Well, it's not so good. The reason why I remember," he said, "I was banned from performing with the Weavers on the Brooklyn College campus until Gideonse left, I think in nineteen hundred and sixty-two." So, you know, he was pretty thorough, Gideonse was.

Download MP3

Herb Dorfman

— I came back as a faculty member to Brooklyn College in 1983. They were looking for somebody to set up a broadcast journalism thing, which I had been doing. I went to see them and they offered me the job. They never asked me about Vanguard. They didn't know and I never told them, not that I thought it would make a difference. Never went over to Kingsman and no one ever asked me about it. Every so often I tried to push it into a conversation with the students. They didn't know what I was talking about.

Myron Kandel

— You know, I have great feelings about Brooklyn, interestingly enough. From an educational point of view I think I share everybody's feeling about wonderful education, wonderful friends, wonderful faculty. Vanguard people have been in touch. Many of us are still close friends. We've had a couple of reunions and so on. A couple of our people have gone back to teach. And I've been part of a small group of people who are sort of advising on this fundraising operation. And I'm very impressed by what I've now heard about the college and what it's doing and what it has done and what its plans are. I'm very proud of being an alumnus. The idea of trying to help on this campaign is giving back a little bit after all these years. And secondly, being able to help a school that has new waves of first-generation people. I'm obviously prejudiced, being part of the first generation, but it seems to me people have made sort of disparaging remarks about the new type of students and the new waves that came from various places, some of them with different colored skins or different backgrounds, and so on. But that's why Brooklyn College was so great, and is so great, and why the country is so great, because we keep refreshing our brain pool and our labor pool, and so on, with whole new types of people. So I feel very deeply about that.