Posted on: Oct 12, 2021 at 4:33 AM
Oscar Shaftel and the Menace of McCarthyism
The Queens College Library’s Department of Special Collections and Archives seeks your support for an exciting new digital exhibition, Oscar Shaftel and the Menace of McCarthyism. The project is supported by a dynamic team, including Head of Special Collections and Archives Annie Tummino, Professor Emeritus of Sociology Dean Savage, Professor of History Carol Giardina, and consultant Ann Shaftel.
Oscar Shaftel was one of the original faculty members when Queens College opened its doors in 1937, hired to teach English. He was beloved by students and known for his meritorious service as a member of the United States Air Force during World War II.
In 1953 Shaftel was one of three Queens College faculty members was fired for citing the Fifth Amendment and refusing to answer questions about Communist affiliation in academia before the Senate Internal Security Committee. This McCarthyistic purge had long-lasting repercussions for Queens College, New York State, and more personally, Shaftel’s family. Through it all, Shaftel never gave up the fight for restitution, which he finally won thirty years later.
The Oscar Shaftel and the Menace of McCarthyism digital exhibition will use primary sources and personal testimonies to present an educational and artistic journey. Through Shaftel’s story, viewers will gain a greater understanding of this dark and debilitating chapter in American history, as well as the heroic fight waged by Shaftel and others for democratic, First Amendment rights.
Funding is needed to appoint Ann Shaftel (Oscar’s daughter) as a consultant for the exhibition. Ann will contribute personal memories and never-before-seen documents that will bring the exhibition to life. Additionally, funding will support an internship stipend for a student from the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, who will serve as a research and design assistant.
Contributions can be made to the Queens College Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Please see the next page of this letter for specific instructions for how to make a donation. I am also happy to answer any questions.
Many thanks in advance for your consideration and support. Sincerely,
Annie Tummino, Head of Special Collections and Archives 917-842-5306 | email@example.com
Thanks again for your contribution!
In order to ensure your contribution is correctly deposited for the Shaftel project, please fellow these instructions:
Checks should be sent with a memo that it's for the Civil Rights Archive Fund 90045. Mail to Special Collections and Archives, and I’ll personally hand the check off to the Queens College Foundation:
Queens College Library
Attn: Annie Tummino, Archives 65-30 Kissena Boulevard Queens, NY 11367-1597
Alternatively, contributions can be made by credit card on the Queens College Foundation website https://qccommunity.qc.cuny.edu/queenscollege/donatenow.
Make sure to fill the fields out as follows:
• Designation: Department
• Donation Comments: For Civil Rights Archive Account 90045
• Name of Department: Library
If you have any questions about making a donation to support this project, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Hi Obies, I remember fondly the student-produced musical that was performed during our fresh-person orientation. Does anyone else remember it? It starred Steve Schwartz, who also sang in the choir with Robert Fountain. I was awe-struck of the talents of Oberlin students. It started my love-affair with musical theater. Fifty years later, I have written a musical on Madame Curie. It's going to be streamed starting tomorrow night by Cape Cod Theatre. You're cordially invited. https://capecodtheatrecompany.org
Stay well. Dave