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Guide to the Sam Wallach Papers TAM 241

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Jan Hilley

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on May 08, 2018
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Title: Sam Wallach Papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1921-2001
Dates [bulk]: 1935-1999
Abstract: The Sam Wallach Papers include materials from Sam Wallach (1909-2001) and Rose Russell (1899-1965) New York teachers who were active in the Teachers' Union in the 1940s and 1950s. Wallach was fired by the New York City Board of Education in 1951 for refusal to cooperate with various bodies investigating Communism.
Quantity: 3.75 Linear Feet in 3 record cartons and 2 manuscript boxes
Location: Series V: Audiovisual materials stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu at least two business days prior to research visit.
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: TAM 241

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Historical/Biographical Note

Born in Dolina, Poland, on July 1, 1909, Sam Wallach came to the United States with his parents when he was about 10 months old. He grew up in Brooklyn, the oldest of four children. After attending Brooklyn Technical High School, he studied at City College of the City of New York, graduating in 1929. He was a playground director in Brooklyn and then a high school teacher of economics and history. He joined the Teachers' Union and became one if its leaders, serving as President from 1945 until 1948.

In 1948, Wallach was called by the Hartley Congressional Labor Committee in its investigation of the Teachers Union. He repeatedly asserted that the Committee had no right to investigate personal or political beliefs. His statement, published in The New York Times, was defended by sixty notable thinkers and educators, including Albert Einstein.

In 1949 The New York State Legislature passed the Feinberg Law, which demanded that the Board of Education seek out subversives and Communists and bar them from teaching. From 1951 to 1956, dozens of city school teachers were dismissed and blacklisted; Sam Wallach was one of the first.

He worked in a variety of jobs after his dismissal, including creating educational filmstrips for National Teaching Aids, and then took a position at Maimonides Developmental Center advocating for mentally retarded children. He helped formulate strategy for "mainstreaming" students and for establishing residential group homes for the retarded.

In December, 1976, as he was about to retire from Maimonides, he and nine of the other teachers who had been dismissed in the 1950s, were reinstated and awarded pension benefits by the New York City Board of Education.

Sam Wallach was married for 56 years to Lottie Tanenbaum. They had two daughters, Joan Wallach Scott and Ruth Wallach Frankel. Wallach died on February 14, 2001, at the age of 91.

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Scope and Content Note

The Sam Wallach Papers include materials from Sam Wallach (1909-2001) and Rose Russell (1899-1965). The collection includes Wallach's correspondence; clippings; materials relating to Wallach's suspension, dismissal and subsequent reinstatement; his FBI surveillance file and items from his second career working with the mentally retarded. The bulk of Rose Russell's material is correspondence relating to the Teachers' Union and photographs of union events. The collection also includes audio materials (vinyl records and reel to reel tapes).

Arrangement

Folders are arranged alphabetically. The collection is composed of the following four series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Personal Papers
  2. Series II: Rose Russell Material
  3. Series III: Subject Files
  4. Series IV: Photographs
  5. Series V: Audiovisual Materials

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Russell, Rose.
  • Wallach, Sam
  • O'Casey, Sean, 1880-1964
  • Wallach Scott, Joan

Document Type

  • Photographs.
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Slides (photographs)
  • Black-and-white photographs.
  • Minutes (administrative records)
  • Eulogies.
  • Correspondence.
  • Legal documents.

Subject Organizations

  • Teachers' Union of the City of New York

Subject Topics

  • Teachers' unions -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Teachers' unions -- New York (State) -- New York -x History -y 20th century.
  • Academic freedom -- New York (State) -- New York.

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Administrative Information

Custodial History

Gift of Joan Wallach Scott, 2001. The Rose Russell material was entrusted to the Wallach family by Harris Russell, Rose Russell's husband, after her death in 1965.

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Any rights (including copyright and related rights to publicity and privacy) held by Joan Wallach Scott, the daughter of Sam Wallach, were transferred to New York University in 2001. Permission to publish or reproduce materials in this collection must be secured from the Tamiment Library.

Preferred Citation

Published citations should take the following form:

Identification of item, date; Sam Wallach Papers; TAM 241; box number; folder number;
Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012, New York University Libraries.

Related Material at the Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Frederic Ewen Audiotape and Videotape Collection. Contains the transcript of an interview with Sam Wallach on May 2, 1990 (OH 52)

Audiovisual Access Policies and Procedures

Access to audiovisual materials in this collection is available through digitized access copies. Researchers may view an item's original container, but the media themselves are not available for playback because of preservation concerns. Materials that have already been digitized are noted in the collection's finding aid and can be requested in our reading room. Materials not yet digitized will need to have access copies made before they can be used. To request an access copy, or if you are unsure if an item has been digitized, please contact tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu with the collection name, collection number, and a description of the item(s) requested. A staff member will respond to you with further information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were donated by Joan Wallach Scott in 2001. The accession numbers associated with this collection are 2001.201, 2001.202, and NPA.2008.006.

Processing Information

Photographs were separated from this collection during initial processing and were established as a separate collection, the Sam Wallach Photographs (PHOTOS 251). In 2013, the photograph collection was reincorporated into the Sam Wallach Papers. Audiovisual materials were also separated from this collection during initial processing and were reincorporated into the Sam Wallach Papers as Series V in 2014.

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Container List

Series I: Personal Papers, 1937-2001

Scope and Content Note

Directly related to Sam Wallach's personal life, this series contains correspondence, notes, published and unpublished writings, and transcripts of several interviews. Legal documents, newspaper clippings and official communications relating to his suspension and dismissal from public school teaching, along with letters of support from former students, are included in the series. There are also many items concerned with his subsequent reinstatement. Of particular interest is his lengthy FBI file, obtained under the Freedom of Information/Privacy Act in 1998.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 "Abolish the Regents Examinations in New York City," Sam Wallach
1937
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Board of Education of the City of New York
1951-1976
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Correspondence and Notes
1967-1987, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Correspondence: Harris Russell and the Wallachs
1965-1966
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Eulogies and Written Tributes (A-H)
1962-1994
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Eulogies and Written Tributes (J-V)
1945-1994
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Feinberg Law: Opinions Concerning Constitutionality (U.S. Supreme Court)
1952
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Feinberg Law: Opinion Declaring Law Unconstitutional (Supreme Court of the State of New York)
1949
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Freedom of Information/Privacy Act: Request
1994-1998
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Freedom of Information/Privacy Act: Response - FBI File, Samuel Wallach (I)
1952-1973
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Freedom of Information/Privacy Act: Response - FBI File, Samuel Wallach (II)
1952-1973
Box: 1 Folder : 12 Freedom of Information/Privacy Act: Response - FBI File, Samuel Wallach (III)
1952-1973
Box: 1 Folder : 13 Freedom of Information/Privacy Act: Response - FBI File, Samuel Wallach (IV)
1952-1973
Box: 1 Folder : 14 Interviews
1986, 1996, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 15 Maimonides Develpmental Center
1974-1976, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 16 Maimonides Developmental Center: Correspondence
1974-1983
Box: 1 Folder : 17 Maimonides Developmental Center: Retirement
1977-1979
Box: 1 Folder : 18 Memorial Invitation
2001
Box: 1 Folder : 19 "More than Good Will Is Needed," Samuel Wallach and Herbert M. Chamais
1944
Box: 1 Folder : 20 Reinstatement (I)
1972-1980, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 21 Reinstatement (II)
1972-1980, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 22 Reinstatement: Clippings
1948-1982
Box: 1 Folder : 23 Reinstatement: Resolutions and Agreement
1976-1977
Box: 1 Folder : 24 Suspension and Dismissal
1948-1960, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 25 Suspension and Dismissal: Official Communication
1952-1953
Box: 1 Folder : 26 Suspension and Dismissal: Legal Documents
1951-1952
Box: 1 Folder : 27 Teachers' Union
1938-1950, 1964
Box: 1 Folder : 28 Teaching
1937-1952, undated

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Series II: Rose Russell Material, 1921-1965

Scope and Content Note

The bulk of this series is correspondence, much of it in the form of tributes to Rose Russell on celebrating the tenth and twentieth anniversaries of her association with the Teachers' Union. Tenth anniversary tributes (1954) come from union representatives, university professors, attorneys, politicians and religious leaders; correspondents include such well-known individuals as W. E. B. DuBois, Joseph P. Selly, Morris Schappes, Cedric Belfrage and Scott Nearing. In 1964, at the twentieth anniversary celebration, Russell was presented with several leather binders full of tributes. Among them are letters and telegrams from notables such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, Langston Hughes, Abraham Beame, Frederic Ewen, I. F. Stone, Irving Adler, Linus Pauling, Alexander Meiklejohn, Corliss Lamont, and a host of state senators and assemblymen, journalists, Board of Education members and staff, union members, court officers, representatives of a wide variety of organizations and personal friends. The Irish playwright Sean O'Casey corresponded with Ms. Russell for a number of years. One of his letters in the collection, a moving condolence written on November 20, 1963, after the assassination of President Kennedy, was subsequently published in The New York Times.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 29 Bachelor of Arts Diploma, University of Michigan: Rose Russell (Gutterman)
1921
Box: 1 Folder : 30 Correspondence: Lamont, Corliss
1954, 1960
Box: 1 Folder : 31 Correspondence: Meiklejohn, Alexander
1953
Box: 1 Folder : 32 Correspondence: O'Casey, Sean
1956-1964, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 33 Correspondence: Pauling, Linus
1958
Box: 1 Folder : 34 Correspondence: Various
1953, 1964, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 35 Memorial and Obituary
1965
Box: 1 Folder : 36 Scroll of Honor Award (Teachers' Union)
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 37 Scroll of Honor Award (Teachers' Union): Presentation Frame
1947
Box: 1 Folder : 38 Tenth Anniversary Testimonial Dinner: Correspondence
1954, undated
Box: 1 Folder : 39 Twentieth Anniversary Tribute to Rose Russell
1964
Box: 1 Folder : 40 Twentieth Anniversary Tribute to Rose Russell: Album of Tributes (Volume 1)
1963-1964
Box: 1 Folder : 41 Twentieth Anniversary Tribute to Rose Russell: Album of Tributes (Volume 2)
1963-1964
Box: 2 Folder : 1 Twentieth Anniversary Tribute to Rose Russell: Presentation Album
1964

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Series III: Subject Files, 1935-1999

Scope and Content Note

This series contains a variety of materials touching on subjects and individuals of interest to Sam Wallach with particular emphasis on the Teachers' Union and its activities. There are also many items collected by Wallach on the topic of mental retardation.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 2 Folder : 2 Adler, Irving and Joyce
1993, 1999, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 3 Anti-Communism
1941-1975, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 4 Cammer, Harold I.
1983-1993
Box: 2 Folder : 5 Clippings and Articles: Various Topics
1945-1996, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 6 Education: General
1952-1971, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 7 Jews for Racial and Economic Justice
1995-1998
Box: 2 Folder : 8 Jews for Racial and Economic Justice: Marshall T. Meyer Risk-Taking Award
1996
Box: 2 Folder : 9 Katz, Blanche and Al
1989-1993, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 10 Mental Retardation (I)
1969-1979, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 11 Mental Retardation (II)
1969-1979, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 12 Mental Retardation: Employment
1964-1975
Box: 2 Folder : 13 Mental Retardation: Employment
1977-1978, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 14 Mental Retardation: Minutes - Brooklyn Boro-Wide Council for the Mentally Retarded
1974-1979
Box: 2 Folder : 15 Non-Sectarian Anti-Nazi League to Champion Human Rights: Brochure
undated
Box: 2 Folder : 16 The Social Frontier: Articles
1935-1938
Box: 2 Folder : 17 Teachers' Union
1937-1964, 1996, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 18 Teachers' Union: Award - Abraham Lederman
1956
Box: 2 Folder : 19 Teachers' Union: Award Plaque ("To Eleanor Roosevelt...")
1939
Box: 2 Folder : 20 Teachers' Union: Conferences
1962-1963
Box: 2 Folder : 21 Teachers' Union: Draft Article Annotated by Sam Wallach
[1997]
Box: 2 Folder : 22 Teachers' Union: Film - Dreamers and Fighters
1949-1997
Box: 2 Folder : 23 Teachers' Union: Teacher News Issues
1938-1959
Box: 2 Folder : 24 Teachers' Union: Teacher News Issues
1960-1964, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 25 Teachers' Union: Teaching Materials
1940, 1955, undated
Box: 2 Folder : 26 United Federation of Teachers
1995-1996
Box: 2 Folder : 27 "Zeal for American Democracy": Special Issue of School Life
Feb 1948

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Series IV: Photographs, circa 1940-1970

Scope and Content Note

Approximately 225 black and white mostly 8 x 10 photographs and 13 black and white slides separated from the Sam Wallach Papers. Most of the images document the activities of Rose Russell in the Teachers Union, and its successor organization, the United Federation of Teachers. Many of them were shot by the photographer and Teacher's Union member, Mildred Grossman. Dates appear range from 1940s to the 1960s.

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 3 Folder : 1 7x11 Prints and Smaller
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 2 Miscellaneous
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 3 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 4 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 5 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 6 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 7 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 8 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 9 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 10 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 11 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 12 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 13 Photographs
undated
Box: 3 Folder : 14 Slides
undated

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Series V: Audiovisual Materials, circa 1949-1958

Scope and Content Note

This series includes 23 records and 10 reel-to-reel tapes. Many of the records are labeled recordings of Teachers Union events, most seeming to involve Rose Russell. There is also an interview of Rose Russell by Mike Wallace

Reel-to-Reel Tapes

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 4 Unlabeled (4 reels)
undated
Box: 4 7th Annual Educational Conference Recordings (3 reels)
Mar 28, 1953
Box: 4 Wilson-Hutchins Hearings (1 reel)
undated
Box: 4 Hodges and Lumpkin (1 reel)
1958
Box: 4 Rose & Prof Dunham (1 reel)
undated

Vinyl Records

Container 1     Title Date
Box: 5 Rose Russell Interview by Mike Wallace on "Nightbeat"
May 15, 1957
Box: 5 Excerpts and Highlights - Teachers Union Annual Conference
undated
Box: 5 5 Unlabeled Records
undated
Box: 4 Complete Speeches of Rose Russell, John De Boer and Abe Lederman from Teachers Union Annual Conference
1949

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