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Additional Resources: Timeline

Mar. 11, 1947- New Jersey State Assembly passes Concurrent Resolution No. 11 requesting the governor to form a 'commission to investigate communistic and Un-American teachings and activities.

1949- Three University of Washington (Seattle) faculty members fired for holding suspected ties to communist groups.

1951- McCarran Act passed. The Senate Internal Security Subcommittee (SISS) begins interrogating public schoolteachers and professors from the New York City area. This group was part of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Sept. 5, 1951- While testifying before the House Committee on Un-American Activities, Dr. Karl Wittfogel states that Moses Finley is a communist.

Mar. 28, 1952- Professor Moses Finley appears before the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) in Washington, D.C. During the interrogation, he uses the Fifth Amendment regarding questions about his connections to communism. Rutgers University issues no public comment.

Sept. 24, 1952- Professor Simon Heimlich testifies before the McCarran Subcommittee (SISS) in New York City. He also pleads the Fifth. The interrogation starts a wave of public concern in Rutgers and surrounding New Jersey communities.

Sept. 26, 1952- Dr. Lewis Webster Jones, President of Rutgers University, announces his intention to appoint Trustee and Faculty committees to review the Professor Heimlich's case.

Sept. 27, 1952- Pres. Jones states that the committees' inquiries will include a review of the Finley case.

Sept. 30, 1952- Appointment of the Trustee-Faculty-Alumni Committee to review the Heimlich-Finley cases. Tracy S. Voorhees has been named chairman.

Oct. 14, 1952- Trustee-Faculty-Alumni Committee reports refusals by Heimlich and Finley to answer questions from the Senate Internal Security Subcommittee raises 'a real question as to their fitness to continue as teachers on the university faculty.' Committee recommends a formal review corresponding to university statutes by a faculty committee.

Oct. 16, 1952- Pres. Jones announces the members of the Faculty Committee to review the Heimlich-Finley cases. Dr. Bennett M. Rich, Associate Professor of Political Science, has been named chairman.

Nov. 15, 1952- FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover meets with Pres. Jones to discuss the Heimlich and Finley cases. Jones and Hoover agree to share personnel and FBI files regarding the professors.

Dec. 3, 1952- Faculty Committee reports to Pres. Jones, 'No changes should be preferred against Heimlich or Finley,' therefore recommending that, 'No further action be taken.'

Dec. 12, 1952- Board of Trustees resolution declared that, 'It shall be cause for immediate dismissal of any member of faculty or staff' to refuse answering any questions relating to Communist affiliation on the grounds of the Fifth Amendment. Unless Heimlich and Finley conform to the Board of Trustees' requests, they will be dismissed Dec. 31, 1952.

Dec 15, 1952- Two hundred Rutgers University protest the forthcoming dismissals of Heimlich and Finley in a motorcade traveling from Newark to New Brunswick.

Dec. 31, 1952- Rutgers University fires Heimlich and Finley for failing to comply with the Trustees' decision.

Jan. 19, 1953- Emergency Committee of Rutgers Faculty issues a statement to the Board of Trustees asking the group to reconsider their decision in the Heimlich-Finley cases.

Jan. 24, 1953- President Jones publishes an official statement on Academic Freedom and Responsibility defending the university's right to dismiss professors that invoke the Fifth Amendment in government testimonies.

March 12, 1953- Professor Abraham Glasser appears before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He pleads the Fifth Amendment.

May 1953- Harvard's trustees refuse to fire professors that cited the Fifth Amendment during their testimonies. This calls Rutgers University's nationally recognized policy into question.

Aug. 26, 1953- Faculty committee from the Rutgers School of Law upholds Jones's and the trustees' belief that Glasser must be dismissed unless he complies with the HUAC.

Sept. 11, 1953- Professor Glasser resigns from his faculty position at Rutgers School of Law.

Apr. 7, 1956- Based on Heimlich's and Finley's dismissals, the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) censures Rutgers University for denying academic freedom on campus. Four other universities are condemned at the conference.

Apr. 9, 1956- In the Slochower case, US Supreme Court rules the firings of New York City schoolteachers for pleading the Fifth Amendment unconstitutional.

Apr. 27, 1956- After the Supreme Court decision challenges university policy, Glasser writes another letter demanding his reinstatement. Rutgers Board of Trustees decide no to hear the professors' cases again.

Fall 1957- Earl Browder, the former leader of the American Communist Party, holds several lectures at Rutgers University.

May 15, 1958- American Association of Law Schools (AALS) censures Rutgers School of Law in Newark for forcing Glasser's resignation.


'Chronology of Events.' Inventory to the Records of the Office of Pres. Lewis Webster Jones; Academic Freedom Cases, 1942-1958. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Libraries, 1994.

Richards, Thomas F. The Cold War at Rutgers: A Case Study of the Dismissals of Professors Heimlich, Finley, and Glasser. Diss. Rutgers University, 1986