House Un-American Activities Hearings – July 1-2, 1963 – Los Angeles – Recap – KPFK-FM – July 1963 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
House Un-American Activities hearings as they took place on July 1-2 in Los Angeles and broadcast as a recap by Pacifica Station KPFK later on that month.
The recording is not very good because the original recordings themselves were not very good to begin with – a faulty Public Address system made recording directly from the podium and the HUAC questioners impossible other than by makeshift recordings made by reporters transcribing in the room. Coupled with the fact that no complete recording of the hearings was allowed to be made, make this somewhat clandestine report a miracle of its sheer existence. But it gives some idea how these hearings were conducted and offers proof that House Un-American Activities hearings were still going on, well into the early 1970s.
At issue was travel to Cuba and what was, not only illegal at the time, but also considered subversive by the U.S. government. At the center of this storm of exchanges was Mrs. Helen Travis as well as five other defendants accused of traveling to Cuba for, what the committee described as “possible subversive activities”. All pleaded the fifth Amendment and attorney Rose Rosenberg laid into HUAC Representative Edwin Willis (D-Louisiana) over the Committee’s overstepping its legal grounds and conducting a smear campaign. The Hearings went on for two days before the committee packed up and headed back to Washington. Whether or not the defendants were found guilty and what, if any, repercussions were had is hard to tell. But the fact that hearings like this were going on all over the U.S. at the time, in various major cities and in fact more frequent as the opposition to the Vietnam War increased, only intensifies the notion that we were living in complicated times – and those times were sticking around for a while.
Here is a recap of that particular session of House Un-American Activities Hearings as it took place on July 1-2, 1963.