Communist Party Memorabilia
Headed to NYU
The songwriter, labor organizer and folk hero Joe Hill has been the subject of poems, songs, an opera, books and movies. His will, written in verse the night before a Utah firing squad executed him in 1915 and later put to music, became part of the labor movement’s soundtrack. Now the original copy of that penciled will is among the unexpected historical gems unearthed from a vast collection of papers and photographs never before seen publicly that the Communist Party USA has donated to New York University.I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night, alive as you or me...
No word on whether there are any bombshells in there, like correspondence between Earl Browder and Alger Hiss.
The good news is that the reason this stuff is being given over is that the CP-USA is a spent force:
The Communist Party USA contacted Tamiment, which is devoted to the study of labor history and progressive politics, a year ago. Mr. Nash said he was surprised when he got the call. “I didn’t really realize it still existed,” he admitted.
During the summer, Mr. Nash said, he and a group of students scoured the party’s offices on West 23rd Street in Manhattan. They frantically packed up papers before contractors came in to renovate the space, which was being rented out. The donation includes 20,000 books, journals and pamphlets and a million photographs from The Daily Worker’s archives.
Labels: Communist Party, NYU