Chris Iannicelli: This begins an interview with Mr. Harry Kranz and his wife, Shirley, on April 26, 1996, with Chris Iannicelli. I would like to begin by asking you a bit about your parents. Your father was born in Austria. I was wondering what led him to America.
Harry Kranz: ... Well, actually, both my parents were born in what was then Austria. Currently, it's Poland. They were born about thirty or forty miles apart, but, they never met 'til they came to this country.
HK: And, it could be economic reasons, wanting to better his life, and ... that was probably the primary reason.
CI: Okay. Roughly when did he leave Austria?
HK: He left in the early 1900s. He was born in 1894, and he must have been about, I have no precise data, but, off the top of my head, it must have been about [the] early 1900s, because, after a couple of years of trying to be a baker, which he didn't succeed at, and a painter, he ran off and joined the Army, before World War I.
HK: And, he served in the US Army, mostly in the Southwest, in the cavalry, which was mostly horses in those days. They were just beginning to mechanize and that's how he learned to drive. I'm skipping around, but, when he came out with his driving skills, he formed a bus company with his brother-in-law. One bus, and that ran up from Hudson, New York, to Albany, and ... they were the first bus company up there, and then, he also drove taxis during a lot of those early years, and throughout the Depression, he was a taxi driver, which was very difficult. ...
CI: Your father served in the cavalry, which sounds pretty interesting.
HK: Actually, yes, he did. He was with General Pershing, who, at that time, was in charge of the US Army in the Southwest, before World War I, and he was involved in the group that chased Pancho Villa into Mexico.
CI: Oh, wow.
HK: He claimed, I don't know whether it's true or not, ... that he rowed the boat [with] General Pershing across the Rio Grande. That could be something. He actually enlisted, or tried to enlist, the year before he was eligible, and since his parents weren't here, ... in fact, his father ... had died a few months before he was born, so, he never saw his father, and his mother was still in Europe, ... his parents couldn't give consent. ... His brother, then, was the one that would have to consent to him joining the Army, and I don't know if it was before sixteen or what the age ... was then, and so, he had to wait another year. Finally, his brother signed the papers that allowed him to enlist in the US Army and that's where he picked up the driving skills that led to much of his career, before he became a grocer.
CI: Okay. What about your mother's experience?
HK: She also came here in the early 1900s from virtually the same area of Austria, ... a few miles apart from where my father came from, and she was part of a larger family. ... One member of the family came, and then, sent home the money for another person to come, and so on, and, gradually, she and her sister came over the same time. Her father, ... my grandfather, came back, and went back and forth, once or twice, before he finally settled down here. ... My mother, at a very early age, went to work in a garment shop in the Lower East Side in New York and she was there ... the day of the tragic fire, not at her place, but, across the street.
CI: She worked at a similar sweatshop?
HK: Yes, ... and she witnessed the Triangle [Shirt] waist fire. Have you heard of that one?
HK: Okay, and people plummeting out of windows from the upper floors, trying to escape the flames. She had to walk to work. It was too expensive to take a trolley, which was probably a couple of pennies. ... So, she walked to work, walked to collect her pay each week, too. ... Eventually, when my father got out of the Army with the start of World War I, ... he was not yet a citizen, and so, he was discharged from the Army, because, of course, when you're fighting ...
CI: So, he was serving in the United States Army as an Austrian citizen?
HK: Right, for four or more years, but, with the start of World War I, since Germany and, I guess, Austria, too, who we were at war with, ... they discharged him honorably, but, because he was considered ... from a country we were ...
CI: A Central Power.
HK: Yeah, and so, ... he was still in uniform when he came East and he met my mother. Somebody introduced him to my mother and ... she wanted to wait with the marriage. They weren't going to get married until her parents came over from Europe. She wanted her parents to be there. So, they waited a short time and, finally, they were married. ...
CI: This was in New York City?
HK: In New York City, right, and ... he drove buses out of Hudson, New York, for a couple of years with his ... brother and a brother-in-law. The reason they went to Hudson was because the brother-in-law ... [and] my father's sister lived in Hudson, New York, and they said they could start a bus company. ... Actually, the brother-in-law had a fruit truck and they converted the fruit truck to a bus before they could afford to buy a bus.
HK: And then, they ran this bus back and forth, at set times in the day, from ... Hudson to either Albany or a place called Philmont, which, I don't know, ... it was a nearby town. For some reason, people wanted to go to Philmont and, ... eventually, he sold out to his brother. He sold the bus, and moved to New York, and ... [in] New York, he first had a grocery store, which didn't succeed, and then, he started driving the taxi, and then, the Depression hit, and people weren't taking taxis very much, and he would drive at night. On rainy nights, he would do well, because people had to get a cab, but, most of the time, he didn't do too well, and he first bought a cab, ... he was paying it off. [In the] Depression, he lost the house, couldn't meet the mortgage payments, and lost the taxi. So, he had to go to work for a taxi company as an employee. As soon as he got enough money saved up to ... put a down payment on the cab, he'd buy it. He wanted to work for himself all the time, as you can see from the grocery store, from the taxi, and the bus. ... During the Depression, we were on relief, the whole family in the Bronx, New York, then, the family moved to Jersey City, which is where two close friends of his, from the same home town [in] Europe, ... they already had grocery stores in Jersey City in two different locations. They lent him the money to start a third grocery store, his own grocery store, in Jersey City in a different location. So, that's when we moved. ... May of 1935, we moved to Jersey, Jersey City.
CI: So, you were around twelve or thirteen?
HK: In '35, I would have been ... going on twelve, because I was born at the end of '23, December '23.
HK: Christmas. So, I was eleven plus when we moved to Jersey City and that's where I finished up what was a grammar school. It was a special school for kids with heart disease, like me, the A. Harry Moore School, it was called.
CI: That was in Jersey City?
HK: In Jersey City, and it would happen to be right next door to the high school I then attended, and I graduated. There was no junior high at that time. So, I did eight years, finished the eighth grade at the A. Harry Moore School, which was for crippled kids. That's what they actually called it and most of the kids were polio victims, braces and crutches. Then, there was also one class for blind kids and ... one class for kids with heart disease, like me, but, most of the school was kids that were [on] crutches and they picked us up by bus at home.
CI: You said you lived very close.
HK: Well, no.
CI: Oh, that was the high school.
HK: The high school was right next door to the A. Harry Moore School. ... When I went to high school, ... I would still ... have the bus pick me up and bring me to school. But, in the afternoon, I got involved in extracurricular activities and I never could make the bus, so, I would walk home in the afternoon. It was mostly downhill going home.
CI: So, when were you first diagnosed?
HK: That goes back to the age of six, when I had my tonsils taken out, and I was in the hospital, I guess, overnight. In those days, it was a rather brutal operation, taking tonsils out, and ... they actually put something in, and ripped it out, and they gave you ether to put you to sleep, and ... so, then, as you're recuperating in bed at night, they gave you plenty of ice. They give you buckets of ice to suck on, which was supposed to dull the pain. The ice ... was a great sport with the kids in this ward, 'cause what we'd do is take the ice and throw it on the floor under the beds. You could hear it going down the floor, and then, they would throw ice back, and, fortunately, no one threw ice overhead. It was all on the floor.
CI: It was something to do.
HK: Yeah, something to do. ... So, while I was there getting my tonsils out, the doctor examined me, and he told my mother, afterwards, to take me to a specialist, because he thought I had ... a heart murmur.
CI: Okay, so, that was a really hard thing?
HK: That was about six years of age and ... I also, apparently, had some rheumatic fever at that age. Rheumatic fever? Well, it's a ... germ. It attacks the heart and, frequently, it damages the heart. It causes the valve not to close fully, so, that's exactly what I had. ... My aortic valve was not closing fully. When it should have closed, blood would leak through, and ... that caused the murmur. They would hear the gurgling. That's why they called it a murmur, but, the fact was that the heart had to work harder because it wasn't fully closing and cleaning the blood as it should. ... In later years, it was determined, yes, I did have rheumatic fever and, yes, I did have a murmur, but, the two were not related. That is, ... the rheumatic fever did not cause the defect, and, apparently, I was born with the heart murmur, and ... only about six years ago, 1990, I finally had ... open heart surgery, and they gave me a new valve, a metallic one, that replaced my defective aortic valve and it's been working wonderfully ever since.
CI: That makes you think. I mean, you made it all those years without anything.
HK: Well, it was, you know, ... getting hard to walk up hills, to breath, to ... to exert myself, and so on. As a result, in 1990, my cardiologist said ... there were also these three arteries, I'm not sure which, [that] were closing. One or two had closed completely. So, I had to have a bypass operation, to bypass three blockages, and, at the same time, they replaced the valve.
CI: So, when you were young, I guess, obviously it kept you from doing things most kids did.
HK: Exactly. I was restricted from phys. ed. and, obviously, in grammar school, and high school, too, I couldn't do any of the sports. What I ended up doing in high school was reading up on sports, and I read all the books on all the rules, and so on, and that's how I started covering high school sports. I became sports editor of the high school newspaper, and then, I started covering high school sports for ... two daily newspapers, one, theJersey Journal, and one, the ... Hudson Dispatch, ... which I was paid for covering various ... sporting events in my high school, and that was my, ... what's the word? ...
CI: It was basically your contribution to high school athletics.
HK: It was my way of compensating.
HK: Compensating for not being able to do it. ...
CI: To stay involved when everyone else was doing it.
HK: Yeah. Right, and so, I learned all of the sports from books and from observing, but, I was not able to participate during those years, and ... during my earlier years, after the six-year-old determination, my mother really babied me. I couldn't do a lot of the things the kids on the block were doing, ... any of the games that kids of that age indulge in. I spent time in bed, I guess, on doctor's orders, ... because of the alleged rheumatic fever, and I, generally, took things easier, and I also went to these special schools where I didn't have to walk stairs, there were usually elevators, and ... where I ate lunch at the school, had rest period, all of those things that gave me special care.
CI: Were you very isolated from the other kids?
HK: ... No, because I got active in so many other things to compensate, like the newspaper. I did acting, I appeared in plays, I wrote poetry. I did all kinds of other things.
CI: You were well-rounded.
HK: I read a lot books. Yeah, I walked to the library regularly and took out books ... while we were in the Bronx, and so on. ... I read every book on journalism before I went to high school. So, I learned how to write a lead of a news story, or how to write a news story, so that, by the time I got to high school, I could write very well. In fact, my senior year, ... Scholastic Magazine made awards for ... high school journalism, I won the award for writing the best news story and the best sports story in the State of New Jersey, ... in my senior year.
CI: That was from the school newspaper?
HK: From the school newspaper, yeah. I also ended up being editor of the school yearbook. The school newspaper, I was sports editor, and I also wrote news stories, the result of which, I got the award for writing the best, both sports and regular, news from Scholastic Magazine. This was a national competition.
CI: Can you explain what the article was?
HK: No, I don't remember. [... Of course, I had it written down.] ...
CI: Did you submit that to them?
HK: ...Well, again, I can't remember that. ... We had advisors for both the school newspaper and the yearbook and, maybe, they submitted it, or I could have very well submitted it. I've rarely been bashful. ...
CI: I would like to get back to just asking a little bit about your two neighborhoods when you were growing up, the neighborhood in the Bronx and in Jersey City. Do you have memories of them?
HK: Yes. ... In the Bronx, ... I was actually born in Manhattan, on Christmas Day, ... but, after less than a year, my parents ... bought this house in the Bronx. It was the first house on a new block that was opened up, which now it's called the South Bronx, ... near East 165th Street. The name of the street was Longfellow Avenue and it's below Southern Boulevard. It was a particular area in the Bronx, not too far from Yankee Stadium, which, by the way, I never visited. I did go to the Polo Grounds. ... On my block, it was a row of four-family houses on both sides of the street, identical houses, ... and my parents owned this place and rented three of the four apartments out. We lived in one, in the biggest of the apartments, in a four or five room apartment.
CI: How did your father afford this?
HK: Oh, mortgage. Yeah, he made the down payment, and was paying the payment off, and ... it was 1924. I was born the end of '23, so, by the end of 1924, by early 1925, we had moved into this house, and the Depression didn't hit until four or five years after that. So, he was able to do ... fairly well with ... driving the taxi and renting out the apartments, making the mortgage payments, 'til after the Depression came and taxis weren't doing well. ... My mother ... stopped working once I was born, so, she never went back to work until they had the grocery store, and then, she worked at the store with my father, but, during the Bronx years, she was not working. She was taking care of the house, and, eventually, a couple years after I was born, I had a sister, who is still living, ... and my mother brought us up. My father worked, usually he worked at nights, and ... it was a limited amount of time that I had with him during the years I was growing up. I do remember sitting in the bathroom and watching him shave, ... and the old-fashioned brush and razor, and that was, you know, the most time I had with him, watching him shave in the morning.
CI: He was always at work.
HK: He was always working the rest of the time, or I was in school. ... There was only one kid my age who lived in an apartment in our house. They were a fairly well-to-do family, one of the renters in our house. They had one of the first radios, a big, what do you call those? when you open the doors?
Shirley Kranz: Console?
HK: Console. Yes, thank you, dear. A console radio, and ... so, I used to go to their apartment and listen to some of the radio programs there, 'cause we ... couldn't afford a radio at that time. ... His name was Walter and he was one of my playmates. In the next two or three houses, there were kids. One of my closest friends was a kid named Mendi and he and I did mischievous things. ... One episode I remember, we didn't live too far from the Bronx River, which passed maybe four or five blocks from our house. So, one day, he and I went down to the Bronx River, and were throwing rocks at the river, and, ... somehow or other, I was walking on rocks in the river, and fell in, and got soaked. I couldn't swim at the time and I thought I would drown. The water was only a few inches deep. The most important thing was that I got drenched, and muddy, and, "How am I going back to my mother with these muddy, dirty clothes and explain that I was in the river?" and so on. Mendi ran off. He ran home and I ...
CI: He saw you fall ...
HK: Yeah, and he ran. ... So, now, I'm wet, and I come up on the bank, and I figure, "Well, the thing to do, I'll get here behind some wood, take off my clothes, and put 'em up to dry, and wait 'till they're dry, and then, I'll go home. They may be dirty, but, they won't be wet." So, that lasted all of about fifteen [minutes]. I did take off my clothes and hang 'em up, and, in a few minutes or so, giant rats came running by, you know, by the water, and I put the wet clothes back on and ... got the hell out of there as fast as I could. I got yelled at a lot when I got home, but, I wasn't going to stay there with those monster rats, river rats they were. These things were as big as cats and scared the hell out of me. So, that was one of my memories of ... the Bronx.
CI: Was the neighborhood primarily working class? You said there was a well-to-do family there.
SK: ... Primarily.
HK: I don't know what the father did in that family. He must have owned some kind of store. ... They were fairly well-to-do, obviously. The block was largely middle-class. ... It wasn't poor people who were buying these houses at that time, and the tenants went to work every day, and ... I don't know what people on that block did, but, they all seemed to work. Houses were ... kept up very nicely. In fact, in recent years, Shirley and I drove by there. They were just as nicely kept up now, forty, fifty years later, ... except that, now, they have more grass and a tree out front of each house, whereas, one block away, in that section of the Bronx, it's devastation. That block was apartment houses and was part of the riots and burnings.
CI: Just one block over.
HK: Yeah. Just one block over it's hell, but, this block was really a very nice block of middle-class homes. I presume mostly black and Puerto Rican, now. ...
CI: At your time, it was mostly ...
HK: Largely Jewish and Italians.
CI: You went to public school in the Bronx?
HK: I went to PS 75, which was three blocks away from my house, 'til ... they started treating my heart disease, that's when they determined I should go to this special school in the Bronx, where the bus would pick me up and take me. ... It was a one room class for several grades in a regular public school building that they had set aside for kids with heart disease. I don't remember any crippled kids or handicapped, in that respect, but, I know they had the fourth, fifth, and sixth grades in that school, ... one of which I skipped, to my amazement, because I was a terror on the teacher. I did all kinds of terrible things in class, and ... I got a D in deportment, and then, she skipped me a grade, but, she didn't get rid of me, because she had to teach the next grade. I asked her, "How come?" you know ...
CI: She just wanted to get you out of the class?
HK: No, she didn't, because I asked her, "How come, ... of all the bad things I did this time, you skipped me." She said, "You did the work and you can go on." ... So, I don't [know] whether it was 6A or 6B, but, one of those classes, they were in that area that I skipped, but, I started the same teacher for the next grade. So, she didn't really get rid of me, but, ... we used to have a rest period in that class, and, ... like two in the afternoon, they would ... bring out these chairs that had footrests, ... and you could actually lay back in the chairs, and we were supposed to close our eyes to try and nap for ... thirty, forty, fifty, or maybe an hour, and they even had blankets you can put on to help you go to sleep. ... I would get out of the chair, hang my blanket over a couple of chairs, get underneath, and then, do broadcasting, "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century," which was one of the big radio programs at that time, and so on, and, you know, she would come to me, and say, "Get back in the chair," but, ... I would be a pest.
CI: Did you always have an interest in broadcasting?
HK: Well, yes. ...
CI: It seems so, even from this early age. Was it that radio that the other family bought that started everything? Did you spend a lot of time listening to radio programs?
HK: No, not a lot. ... I can't say I spent a lot, but, I did periodically visit their apartment and listen to the radio there. ... The first time I heard radio, actually, ... my mother was in the hospital having my sister, and I was four-years-old, I guess, so, that's right. Four-years-old, I went to the hospital to visit my mother, and they had these earphones, radio crystal sets, I think they must have been in those early days. That would have been ... 1928, and so, I'd sit at the hospital quite a while, 'cause I could put the earphones on and hear music ... coming on the radio, which was an amazing thing when you're four-years-old.
HK: Never heard it. So, that was my first exposure to radio, and, in later years, ... also during the Bronx years, I appeared on a NBC spelling bee program. I didn't win, but, I was one of those trying to spell hard words. I don't know what you call them nowadays. We called them, "Doctor Somebody's Spelling Bee." ...
HK: And, in those times, NBC had the red channel and the blue channel. NBC was broadcasting on two different channels and I think this was the blue channel. The announcer would announce which color channel was broadcasting from Radio City, New York.
CI: So, you went to Radio City, to the studio?
HK: Yeah, to the studio, and in a line of other kids, maybe twenty or thirty kids. We took our chances in trying to spell correctly these terrible words he was throwing out at us. I did that at least twice, I can recall, and I didn't win, of course.
CI: So, you must have won a spelling bee at your school.
HK: I was pretty good, yes, in spelling, ... and, of course, I read a lot at an early age, and learned a lot of words, and [that] partly triggered my interest in journalism, I suppose.
CI: This is going back a bit, but, your father and mother, what were their educations?
HK: ... Well, very little. My father probably had no more than one or two grades in Austria before he came to this country, but, he got some education in the Army, obviously, and ... he and his brother went to night school in New York, while working during the day, to learn English and everything, and then, in the years in the Bronx, I remember, he was getting correspondence courses from a correspondence school, which is probably still in existence. They would mail him lessons. He'd read them, and fill out a paper, and send it back. ... There was ... nothing to be gained except education out of it and he took these correspondence courses for many years in the Bronx, while driving the cab, and so on. ... But, he was a fabulous reader, and fabulously interested in the news, and ... every day, in the cab, he would come home with two or three newspapers. I guess, while waiting for customers, he would read, and he would bring them home and read, and then, when he had the grocery store, too, every day, he read at least one, usually more than one, newspaper. ... In New York, he read the oldWorld Telegram. He read the Evening Sun and, ... [in] later years, I think, he even bought one of the tabloids, The Mirror or The Daily News. ...
CI: Did he read these to you when you were young?
HK: No. He read himself and he also read the stock market, yeah, 'cause ... he had some investments, which he lost ... during the Crash. Oh, and he, also, every day, would go to the corner candy store, and place a few cents bet on a number. He bet, played the numbers every day, like, I suppose, a lot of people do. ... Maybe that's where I get my interest in gambling. They would pay something like six hundred to one if you won your number, so, a penny would get you six dollars.
HK: And, a dollar would get you six hundred. Those were big odds and the candy store was the numbers drop every day. Bought a newspaper and put up some money for the numbers.
CI: That was all run by the underworld, right?
HK: It was allegedly run, yeah, by the Mafia in the underworld. It was illegal in New York.
CI: You would just go to the local store?
HK: But, all over the city, people would take your number bets. They may have even taken race track bets off track, but, he didn't bet on the races. He bet on the numbers, and, as for my mother, ... she, too, had very little education. Again, I don't know what she had in Europe, probably very little, and ... she had some evening education in New York City as well. She was working.
CI: So, both your parents had this desire to learn, just to better themselves?
HK: Yeah, right, but, neither of them had made it through even grammar school, let alone high school. ... But, my father, I thought, was a very well-educated man. ... He was always on top of the news, because of the newspaper reading.
CI: Did they instill this desire in you? Did they push you?
HK: No, ... I don't think so. ... I assumed, from my earliest days that I would be a journalist. ... Actually, I went away three times from home to institutions or camps for kids with heart disease. Once, I was away nine whole months, ... at a place called, "Irvington on the Hudson." It was Irvington House. It was a place that was set up by the American Heart Association to both treat and conduct research on kids with heart disease and I was gone [on] about two different occasions. ... How did I get into that? What led me off into that diversion? Oh, yeah. While at one of those places, I wrote home ... saying that I had decided what my future career was going to be, and ... I couldn't have been much more than eight, nine, [or] ten at that period, and I wrote that I was going to be a newspaper ... correspondent in Argentina, covering Argentina for a New York paper, one of the New York papers. So, I'd have to learn Spanish, which I eventually did study, both in high school and college, to get ready to be a correspondent.
CI: Why this sudden interest in Argentina?
HK: I have no idea now, but, it was that, or, I was going to be a foreign correspondent. So, I was, ... you know, going to write from my earliest days, and, obviously, that meant I had to go to college, and I never gave it a second thought, ... that I was going to go to college.
CI: That is great.
HK: I knew from a very young age that's what I was going to do, and ... one of the funny things is, I was writing that thing I wrote home, about what I was going to be when I grew up. ... I could barely write, and the teacher had to write it in a blue pencil, and I would go over it in a black pencil, what she had written, but, obviously, I told her what I wanted to write. I would follow her blue pencil by writing over it. It was my way of writing at the earlier stage.
CI: So, you said you spent nine months there?
HK: ... On one occasion, I was away for nine months. I think they finally threw me out 'cause I was a rebel there, too. ... I once cursed the nurses, and I remember, my punishment was, at night, I was put in a room, all by myself, no lights, ... and, I think, only underwear, and it was a scary thing at night to be alone at that age, away from the ward, where all the other kids were. Oh, and the other thing was, my mouth was washed with soap, because I was cursing. ... I don't even know what curse words I knew in those days. I think I could do much better now, but, ... whatever it was, it was not passable. It was one of my escapades even when I was away in this home.
CI: Being that young, you must have felt homesick.
HK: Oh, I did, and ... I don't think my parents visited me more than once or twice during that period, 'cause they'd have to drive up from New York, ... had to drive up from the city. This was ... up the Hudson River, toward Albany, this place was, and ... I was there twice. In-between, it burnt to the ground and they had to rebuild it.
CI: Was it primarily for medical care?
HK: Medical care and research.
CI: They were doing research on you?
HK: Yeah, on kids like me, and, ... also, we got schooling there, meals, physical exams. It was basically a big laboratory on heart disease and many of the doctors from there wrote papers that became important in medical research. ... I've read some of the stuff that, was published; they determined what was some of the stuff that was causing some of these heart problems. ... For many years after I left there, every year, I'd go for follow-up heart exams to NYU, I guess it was probably a medical school. ... Yeah, I'd go there every year, and they'd do a follow up physical exam of me, and, at some point, they told me I really didn't have a ... bad heart, that most of it had healed as I'd grown up, most of it had closed, and that I could go and do anything I wanted now. ... I was already in my twenties before I got that good word, and so, then, I began doing a lot of things. ...
CI: So, you actually were cleared to be more active?
HK: I was cleared to do anything, pretty much. ...
CI: Did you go right out and run outside?
HK: Not quite, but, ... I did some things that I hadn't done before and ... was not afraid to do them anymore. I wasn't going to drop dead of a heart attack. So, that was good news, and so, eventually, medical science told me, and that's when I learned that the rheumatic fever and the leaky valve were not cause and effect, that they were separate incidents, and that the valve, apparently, had pretty much closed up and was not leaking as much. ...
CI: So, what did you begin to do? Did you play sports?
HK: I played some ball, yes, some football. In fact, at Rutgers, jumping to Rutgers, ... I didn't get on any teams 'cause I was busy covering them. ... I did do a lot, all the intramural stuff there, including football, ... and, when I cut, I cut a lot of my phys. ed. classes, and, at the end of the year, you had to make them up by doing so many laps around the track, for every cut, and so, I did an awful lot of running around that track.
CI: So, you had phys. ed.?
HK: I had phys. ed., yes. ... I really learned how to swim well at Rutgers.
CI: Phys. ed. was mandatory?
HK: Yes, well, if you were physically able, and, at that point, apparently, I was physically able to do it, even though I was 4-Fed for the draft. So, I did, but, I was never on any formal team. I was all intramural and all informal stuff at Rutgers.
CI: You looked like you were a pretty large fellow, from the pictures I have seen. Were you ever pressured into sports?
HK: No, no, again, I enjoyed the press box more than anything else, so, I'd cover the sports. ...
CI: What was your neighborhood in Jersey City like?
HK: Okay. There were two neighborhoods in Jersey City, that is, two locations of my father's store. The first one was down on West Side Avenue, which was almost entirely an Irish neighborhood, and ... that's where we moved in 1935 when he opened the grocery store there, and that's when I went to the A. Harry Moore School and Snyder High School, ... in Jersey City, and I graduated from that high school while we were still living there. ... Somewhere around 1942, they moved the grocery store, while I was at Rutgers, to a corner opposite City Hall in Jersey City, Grove and Montgomery Streets. All the buses turned the corner there and City Hall was across the street. So, they bought that grocery store and they moved temporarily, for a year or so and lived down the block in an apartment, but, eventually, my father bought that house in which the grocery store was and we lived above the grocery store.
CI: Were these grocery stores, like corner stores?
HK: Yes. The second one was a corner store. The second one was in a Polish neighborhood and my parents could speak some Polish. ... So, they did pretty well and, during the war, they finally got above water and did very well for a few years, 'til he died. ... So, the first Jersey City store was on West Side Avenue, ... a street that led, if you went all the way, out to the bay where the Jersey Giants Baseball Stadium had been built. That's important, because I used to take a bus out there and sell peanuts and cigarettes in the parking lot outside the Jersey Giants Stadium. I was there opening day when it was first dedicated by Mayor Hague and a lot of other officials, and then, I'd go back on weekends, periodically, to sell peanuts and cigarettes, which, of course, I bought from my father's grocery store, got wholesale prices, and sold in the parking lot, because, obviously, as an independent vendor, I was not allowed in the park. ...
HK: And, I was competing with them. I would say, "Here, get your bag of peanuts here for a nickel. Inside it's going to cost you a quarter."
CI: Were you ever run off?
HK: No, and cigarettes I would sell, I think they were ten or fifteen cents a pack, in those days, and, "Inside, you're going to pay a quarter or fifty cents for it." ...
CI: Get the deal out here.
HK: Get the deal out here and I'd sell out every time, you know, 'cause there's only so much I could carry in a thing around my neck. ... You've seen them, these Phillip-Morris guys, "The Call for Johnny," he's carrying a tray like that around his neck. ... That was the first money I earned, was selling peanuts and cigarettes that way. ... In fact, the first day I did that was at the dedication of the Jersey City Medical Center Maternity Center when President Franklin Roosevelt came into Jersey City.
CI: That was the pride of Jersey City.
HK: Yeah, and ... must have been tens of thousands of people turned out for that event, at the front of the Medical Center of Jersey City, and so, I was there when FDR spoke, and, again, I sold cigarettes and peanuts in that mob, and, as soon as I ... paid off my parents for the stuff, I had this amount of money. I don't know how much it was, and my mother walked me down to the bank, and I opened my first bank account, and, thereafter, I would build on it ... with sales at the stadium. ...
CI: When did you work?
HK: On weekends.
CI: Did you ever work in your father's store?
HK: I worked at my father's store, yes.
CI: Were you paid there?
HK: I got an allowance. The movie was only ten cents on Saturday, and, you know, that was part of the allowance I got, I could go to the movies. ... There was a neighborhood movie [theater] about five blocks away. I'd see those serials. That was the big thing every week. ... Flash Gordon would be on the verge of being killed as the serial came to an end, and then, the next chapter, you'd find out ...
CI: They were made to keep you going.
HK: There's usually thirteen or fifteen. ...
CI: It was like a comic book.
HK: Thirteen or fifteen chapters, and, every week, there was somebody on the edge of being wiped out, the hero, and so, ... yup, I worked in the grocery store. I used to do, ... among other [things], besides waiting on customers, I would, in the back, take a hundred-pound sack of flower, or sugar, or potatoes, these would all come in hundred-pound sacks and make smaller bags of one, two, and five-pounds, 'cause customers would buy [those], and these would not come, you know, [packaged like that]. You had to buy them from the grocer, who packaged them. So, my task was to make one-pound bags, two-pound bags, and five-pound bags of each of these commodities, and, sometimes, when my father got sick, ... I would also, in the back, candle eggs. Now, what that meant, you got a crate full of eggs, ... at least twelve dozens, maybe even forty-four dozen. I'm not sure how many, but, each egg you then put up to a box with a light ... and a hole in it, and you hold the egg up to the light, and you could see whether it's clear or whether there's something [there, if] a chicken is forming. ...
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CI: You did this with the whole crate?
HK Yeah, yeah, ... a crate of white and a crate of brown, 'cause we sold both brown eggs separate and white eggs separate, and ... the bad ones, you would put aside in the little box and the good ones in the wire basket, which we, then, would carry out to the front of the store, and put them where people could buy the eggs, and they would buy one, or two, or five, or six, or ten eggs. You know, you didn't have to buy a dozen or a packaged half-dozen as you do nowadays. You could buy as many eggs as you wanted. ... I, also, ... in those days, butter did not come in packages either. It came in a big tub, and you'd have to take the tub, the tub was concaved, turn the tub over, lift the top off, so, there's this hunk of butter, and then, you would have to go through and slice them into slices of about two-inches thick, and then, when you got back, you put the top back on, turned the thing back [over], put it in the refrigerator. ... You can sell it by cutting wedges, and it would only be a two-inch thick wedge, because, ... if you hadn't cut those wedge, those slices, ... it would come out a mess. This way, you had even amounts, and then, you could pretty much guess what they would ask for, a half-pound, you could pretty much guess how big of a slice was needed. ...
CI: Then, you would throw it on the scale?
HK: Yeah. First, you put it on wax paper, and then, you put in on the scale. So, these were a lot of [the] retail things of that nature, in those days, that are no longer there.
HK: We had a cat who served as the mouse catcher.
CI: Just think about a store now with mice, you would not be in business.
HK: And so, ... we didn't [do] too well in the Longfellow Avenue store, ... but, there, too, I would deliver. Some people would want somebody to carry the groceries home for them, and ... there were one or two customers who came in regularly that I regularly carried stuff home [for] and got a tip as a result of carrying it. One Irish lady, I remember carrying [her groceries] two long blocks uphill, two big bags of stuff for her every week. She ... wouldn't pay 'til she got her check. So, they would run up a bill at my father's store. ... I don't know for how many weeks, or whether it was a monthly check or twice a month, but on credit, and my father would give credit to quite a few people like that and they would come in periodically to settle up their bills.
CI: That is something that does not happen now.
HK: It doesn't happen now, yeah. Those were among the chores that I did. I would do my studying in the back of the store. ... Behind the store, there was a big stock area, shelves to stock things before they would go to the front, and then, behind that, at the very back, was a kitchen where we ate most of our meals, the family, ... so we wouldn't be away from the store, and behind the kitchen, we had a little garden, ... a little, green space where the back door [was]. You could go out there and that's where, of course, we let the cat out there, periodically, and ... next to that store was a great, big, vacant lot. It was never, never used for anything. In front of it was a billboard, so, behind the lot, behind the billboards, ... basically, we had a play area, and we had a short fence between our house, our backyard, and this big yard, but, we could easily walk around the thing. It's not closed off. So, whenever family or friends came over, we'd go out and play stickball, or whatever, out in that big lot.
CI: That was creative.
HK: Yeah. That was my big play area on Longfellow Avenue, and then, ... when we moved to the other location across from City Hall, there was no such lot. There still was a little place to meet in back of the store. We would have some of our meals there. ... The heater, or burner, back there, a small burner, my mother could cook food on. When we moved in upstairs, there was also a backdoor to the stairway up to our apartment, so we can go upstairs, too, but, this was a very busy intersection, the corner across the street from City Hall, and people would wait for buses right on the corner there. ... They did quite well during the war years in that location, but, the hours were terrible. They had to work hard. My father would open up six, seven in the morning, ... bread and milk would be left out for him to bring in. ... They never quit before midnight, and during the afternoon, my mother would relieve him, and he would go off and take a nap for two hours, and that's how he could go on, year, after year, those long, long hours.
CI: Every day, right?
HK: Every day and, of course, we had to do our own unpacking of these crates of groceries that would come in. You would have to put them on the shelves. I did a lot of that shelving of food [in the] ... grocery store.
CI: So, it was just the family working there?
HK: Family, yeah, right. We had barrels of pickles in the front, too. My daughter loved to look at the pickle barrels. She remembers that. She was a little girl.
CI: You mentioned Mayor Hague. What are your memories of him, since you lived right across the street from City Hall?
HK: ... I have an interesting story connected with Mayor Hague. ... During those years, we moved in in '35, when the CIO was formed, ... around '35, '36, and they were trying to organize.
CI: He was trying to keep them out?
HK: He was trying to keep them out and it was a famous Supreme Court case, you probably [know of it], ... CIO vs. Hague. It's still a leading case today on free speech, and the right to organize, and picket, and so on. Well, Hague ... wanted to keep the CIO out of Jersey. In fact, he had Norman Thomas, the socialist leader who came to speak for the CIO, ... physically carried out ... of the city one day. There were pictures of him being toted out by the police, and ... Hague was claiming that he was fighting Communism by trying to keep the CIO ... out of Jersey City, and so one day, ... he and his cohorts decided they were going to have a big parade through town, to show the public was behind him in his drive against the Communist CIO, and they mobilized the police department, the fire department, the schools, everybody. That was a mammoth parade, with lighted torches, and flags, and stuff. I was on that parade with everybody else that day, marching against the CIO. ... Our whole school, our whole class, virtually, ... was out there on that day, and so, ... I had a great time marching against the CIO for Hague, in those days, in Jersey City, and a few years later ...
CI: Everything would be a lot different.
HK: It was a lot different, yes. I was working for the CIO, ... negotiating with Hague and the people who succeeded him.
CI: Do you have any stories that you would like to tell about him, about your meetings with him?
HK: No, by the time I got to the CIO, ... it was his son, I believe.
CI: Or his nephew.
HK: Yeah, I met with Eggers. ...
CI: But, it was still the same, old system?
HK: It was the same machine, but, now, we were working together for Democratic candidates, and I think that was the reason we met with Eggers, the CIO ... that I was a part of, but, I don't have any [other experiences], other than the meeting to coordinate activities. I do have one photo, downstairs, ... taken when Harry Truman came to Jersey City during his big 1948 campaign, and, in the photo, there I am, with a cigarette in my mouth, and my boss then, Carl Holdeman, president of the CIO, was next to me, and Truman is coming by, accompanied by Hague, so, it's a nice photo. ... I'll show it to you later on, before you leave, ... that someone took.
CI: Do you have any other memories of the city on that note? There was a lot of police corruption, and so, forth, do you have any recollection of that?
HK: No, my memories of the police were all quite good in Jersey City, actually. They ran a monthly show, and, I mean, show a movie and live acting in ... the high school near where I went, near where I lived, every month, and General Motors would produce a new film every month on safety and whatever that they would show, and there would be an entertainment film. Plus, they would have all these cops ... in costumes, and ... comedians, singers, dancers, put on a fabulous show. So, the whole neighborhood would go, it was free. You'd go and pack the auditorium to watch the police show every month. So, that was one way, you know, they solidified the support among the population. ...
CI: So, people were, in general, supportive.
HK: In general, yeah. Yeah, there was not much ... crime at that point. ...
CI: Everybody felt safe?
HK: In fact, my main high school girlfriend, and I won't spend too much time on her, she was my first big love, her father was a cop, and ... we thought very highly of the police. I didn't go with her because he was a cop. I found out he was a cop later on.
CI: You were saying that in high school you began writing for the school newspaper?
HK: Yes, ... as soon as I could, I started writing. ... I don't know whether news came first and sports later, but, I ended up as sports editor, and I'd do a monthly column on sports, and I'd try to make it a humorous column. I don't know if I succeeded, but, ... I'd write a monthly sports column for the high school paper. ... I covered all the sports that the ... high school team was involved in. ... They didn't travel very far. When they played football, they played somebody in Jersey City or in Hudson County. I would go wherever they went and cover it. ... I remember covering football, baseball, basketball was not big in those days, for some reason. I remember very, very little about basketball, but, swimming was, and I became quite an expert, and I was covering swimming meets for a couple of papers, because I, somehow, knew an awful lot about it, and I'm not sure I could yet swim at that point. I knew all there was to know about swim meets. ...
CI: How did you get your start at the school newspaper?
HK: Oh, yeah, in the school newspaper, and then, eventually, I worked on the yearbook one year, and then, the next year, I was elected ... editor-in-chief for the yearbook, so, I spent a whole year putting that thing together. ...
CI: So, that was your primary interest in school.
HK: That, the writing, and I also was politically active. ... I helped form the student government there and was elected vice-president of the first student government that the high school had ever had.
CI: What drove you to do that?
HK: ... I have been in politics since I was about eight-years-old. Back in the Bronx, my father was a ward healer. That's not what they called them, they called them ward workers, I guess, for Boss Flynn, one of the famous bosses, with Hague and Daley of Chicago. Boss Flynn was in control of the Bronx, and my father ... worked the polls, and went from door to door. Well, on Election Day, ... it so happened that it was the first election of Franklin Roosevelt, and, ... at eight-years-old, I went, and, ... there was an ... orange crate, you know what an orange crate [is], and, on top, you'd put literature, and as people went into the polls and into the schools to vote, you'd give them a leaflet. So, and when my father went inside to check who had voted, so he would know who to go out and drag into the polls, they hadn't yet voted, he would check against ... the eligible list, to check who actually voted. Then, you see who's not voted and go get 'em. When he would go in or go get 'em, I would man this orange crate, and hand things out, and I'm eight-years-old, and ... I was very interested in who won that night, and, ... in subsequent elections. The Democrats split in the Bronx, and my father was on one side or another, and, because of the split, Fiorello La Guardia got elected as the fusion candidate, because the two Democrats were splitting the Democratic vote. So, we were disappointed that La Guardia won.
HK: Because our guy got beat. So, I had both victories and defeats.
CI: You had these Democratic tendencies early.
HK: Yeah. So, politics was something I was interested in early. ... When I had graduated from Rutgers, and was working for the ... Plainfield Courier News as a reporter, I was not yet twenty-one, ... and you couldn't vote 'til you were twenty-one, but, if you were going to be twenty-one that year, you could register early and vote, even before you were twenty-one. That's what I did. I registered at twenty and voted before I became twenty-one, in December. ... In that election, I worked as executive director ... of the Independent Citizens League for Roosevelt in '45, in Plainfield. So, I was always active in politics, from an early age.
CI: In high school, were you the class president?
HK: No, I was vice-president of the student government. ... In the class voting, I got elected, "Most Likely to Succeed," "Did Most for the School," "Class Politician," but, I didn't make it as the class dancer, or best looking, or any of those good things.
CI: "Most Likely to Succeed," sounds good.
HK: Yeah, that was nice.
CI: How did you do in school?
HK: It was a big, big high school, hundreds of kids at the high school, and I finished, I think, seventh in my graduating class, which was pretty high, ... in view of all the other activities I was carrying on, including acting in several plays a year, and ... Spanish Club, student government, yearbook, and newspaper.
CI: Did you have fun?
HK: That's a few of the items. Yes.
CI: You still found time to study?
HK: Yeah, and I found time to study.
CI: What first sparked your interest in Rutgers?
HK: ... I had already determined, as I told you, one, I was going to college, and, two, I was going to be a journalist. ... So, my junior or senior year of high school, I'm not sure which, ... probably the senior year, I investigated what colleges were good for journalism, and I applied to ... three of the best, Columbia University School of Journalism, Rutgers School of Journalism, and University of Missouri, which had a terrific reputation. Also, those were the three top journalism schools in the country, at that time, and I got accepted to all three. The only one that offered me a scholarship was Rutgers. That's how I went to Rutgers.
CI: You could not afford Columbia.
HK: No, I couldn't afford Columbia, well, ... I would have had a tough time without the scholarship, even at Rutgers.
CI: Did Rutgers offer you a scholarship or did you get a state scholarship?
HK: I got a state scholarship. ... There were only two hundred in those days, before Rutgers was a state university, and the state legislature appropriated, I think it was a million dollars a year for these two hundred state scholarships, and each member of the legislature got to designate some of those recipients, not all of them, but, you had to go through a competitive test first. ... I went through the competitive test, and then, my father went and saw the councilman from our area, and I got to Rutgers.
CI: I guess the political connections helped.
HK: Yeah, sure it did. I mean, he never said anything and I never said anything, but, I just assumed that visit to Assemblyman Pesin, I think was his name, could not have hurt me at all, 'cause, shortly thereafter, I got the scholarship.
CI: So, you were happy about this?
HK: Yeah, that's how I came to go to Rutgers and the School of Journalism.
CI: Do you remember your first impressions of the campus when you arrived in 1941?
HK: Well, ... my first couple of years, I did not live on campus. I lived off campus. ... The place that I rented, the first place I rented, just off of College Avenue, was 100 Hamilton Street, if I recall the number. It was a private home, and two old brothers owned the building, and they lived downstairs, and a young family, a husband and wife, and ... she had just had a baby, lived upstairs, and ... I guess they were having a hard time, so, they were renting a room, a bedroom, out, and I rented that room, and it was perfect for me, because it was around the corner from Targum, across the street from the journalism building, across the street from the student union, and less than a block from Winants, which was where we ate. That was where the cafeteria was. So, I was really centrally located for all the things that mattered to me.
CI: How did you find out about this place to live in as a freshman?
HK: I don't know how, whether it was a newspaper advertisement in the Home News or how I heard.
CI: Was it cheaper?
HK: Oh, I'm sure it was cheaper, yes, and ... it seemed ideal to me, because I had a desk in the room, two chairs, a double bed, a dresser, and a closet, and I used the same bathroom the family did, down the hall. ... But, it was a quiet place. ... I had a lamp, I could study late, and, again, it was so close to everything that the only thing that it was distant from was the gym, and I wasn't too anxious to get down there. ... So, when I came, that was ... my headquarters, really, was 100 Hamilton Street, where I lived, and I could go to all these other things, and then, there were two other places I visited occasionally for meals. One was about a block away, Stollman's, I don't know if it's still there, but, ... it was a candy store, restaurant. ...
CI: Was that on Hamilton?
HK: No, it was on ... the block where Rutgers ends, if you went down College Avenue all the way.
HK: Somerset, yeah, I think it was on Somerset. ... There was Stollman's, and I would go there, occasionally, for a hot meal and get away from the Rutgers cafeteria, and then, ... the corner from there, and I'm sure that's still there, was the Corner Tavern, and, occasionally, I would go there for beers. ...
SK: I do not think Stollman's is there anymore.
HK: Could be.
CI: It might be New Jersey Books or something.
HK: Yeah, it's about that location, ... and then, after the first months, I guess, maybe for a year, I would go home on weekends. I would go home Friday night, come back Sunday night, usually, because I had this date, this high school sweetheart of mine, ... 'til, of course, I met Shirley, and, also, ... a little point about going home on weekends. Yeah, I took the train from New Brunswick to Newark, from Newark the tubes to Jersey City, which let me off a few blocks from my house. ... Oh, I know what it was, the laundry bit. Every weekend, I'd take my dirty laundry home and my mother would do it while I was home, until I found out [that] a block from where I was living was this Chinese laundry that would do it just as well and I didn't have to make my mother do it.
CI: Sounds like what I used to do.
HK: ... So, I, eventually, after a year, maybe, I started taking my shirts to the Chinese laundry, and, eventually, all of my laundry. I didn't burden my mother with it anymore, but, she ... seemed to be happy doing it every weekend. ... She wanted to make sure I would come home that way for clean clothes. She didn't know I came home for Thelma, the girl. ...
CI: I guess not.
HK: The other places I lived, by the way, I think I went into Winants, at one point. I know I lived [there] some time. ...
CI: Winants was a dormitory?
HK: Was a dormitory and, also, had the cafeteria, at that time. I know, now, it's [used by] alumni and lots of other things, but, it's still there.
CI: That is right by the chapel.
HK: It's right next to Olde Queens, near Olde Queens, and then, ... during the war, when the Army came to campus, and we'll get to that, ... the university took over all the dormitories for the Army, kicked us out, ... and they even took over some of the fraternity houses, but, there were a few fraternity houses left, and we were forced to live in those fraternity houses. So, that's how I came to live in Kappa Sigma for a year, although I never joined a fraternity, never would join a fraternity, ... until we were married, and then, I moved in with my wife in Highland Park, where she was then living, and I lived with her until I graduated.
HK: We were married during, I guess it was, my senior year. ... We were married in December and I graduated the following June.
CI: How did you meet?
HK: How did we meet? ... Blind date. It was one of those packed college weekends. There was a dance and lots of other things going on, a basketball game which I was covering, and I had brought a date up from Jersey City, not my first girlfriend, but, my number two girlfriend from Jersey City, and she left me after the first night of the weekend. ... It was the last time I ever saw her. She went back to Jersey [City], told me she was going to another date at NYU for the rest of the weekend. She had made two dates for the same weekend, and so, ... I had no date for the second night, and I was covering ... this basketball game, and some of my friends said, "Hey, we're going to Newark after the game for dancing and drinking afterwards," after the game, I think. "Do you want to join us?" and ... I said, "Well, I don't have a date. She's gone on me." They said, "Oh, we'll fix you up." So, one of the guys called his girlfriend, who was going to go, and she called her girlfriend, which happened to be Shirley, and Shirley was reluctant. Her mother had to throw her out the door to make her go. She reluctantly went on this blind date with this Rutgers guy, and so, ... we went to Newark, to the Meadowbrook, where we danced, and I wrote her a poem, and we drank, and we came home, and we lived happily ever after.
CI: Over fifty years.
HK: Yeah. Fifty-two ... and then, we dated fairly regularly. That was in, I think, in February; her birthday was in March, and by December, we were married. So, it didn't take very long and that's when I moved into her house in Highland Park. They had an attic which had a bed in it. ... We moved into the attic, the two of us, ... 'til I graduated, and got the job in Plainfield, and we moved to Plainfield.
CI: You entered Rutgers just prior to the beginning of the war. How did you perceive the changes occurring around campus, politically, I guess, student attitudes towards the war before and after Pearl Harbor? I believe you arrived right before the Fall of 1941.
HK: I arrived, ... yeah, September of '41, and I told you, I was going home weekends, and this particular weekend, I went home, and the family went visiting with me, on Sunday, to a relative who lived in Jersey City, and while we were at the relative's, the radio brought over the news of Pearl Harbor, and so, ... got my clean laundry, and hopped the train back to campus, and the next morning, we gathered at the Student Union, across the street from where I lived, ... to listen to FDR's speech calling for declaring war on Japan, and that was the start. That was December 8th of '41. ... Attitudes? It's hard to say. I do know right after war was declared, a lot of guys enlisted and went off to war, and things began to change on campus and we'll get into that. ... But before the war, I don't know if there was much discussion of it. I can't really recall any attitudes about it before the war actually, before Japan attacked. Then, our initial attitude, at least my family and me, was, "Oh, we're going to show those Japanese they can't do that to us. You know, we'll knock 'em off right away." It was going to be an easy win and it wasn't. It dragged on for four, more than four, years, but, at that time, we thought that the US was invincible. ...
HK: On September 17, 1941, the Targum headline read, "480 Incoming Freshmen Commence University Life," and I was one of the 480, and ... that's when I came up, in September, '41, from Jersey City, to rent this private room at 100 Hamilton Street in New Brunswick. ... I've already mentioned about how we heard about Pearl Harbor, and ... the fact that we listened to Roosevelt's message to Congress about, "The Day That Will Live in Infamy," requested a declaration of war against Japan, and two days later, Germany declared war on us, and our Congress reciprocated. ... On campus developments followed quickly as the nation mobilized for war. Many students enlisted or were called up in the draft. I completed two years of training in the Rutgers Reserve Officer Training Corps, ROTC, but, was classified 4-F because of my heart condition and [was] rejected by Selective Service after my physical exam, as well as by the Navy and the Air Force when I tried to enlist. In February 1942, I wrote a Targum byline story headlined, "Three Minute Blackout Held On Douglass Campus," and the story began, "What would happen to a Rutgers student during an air raid on NJC?" It was called NJC, New Jersey College for Women. "It was discovered by this Targumreporter on Thursday night when a test blackout occurred on the Douglass campus." ... In a scrapbook that I started keeping, at that time, of my college clippings and souvenirs, I pasted under the blackout story a postcard I had received from the Bureau of Social Hygiene of the Jersey City Medical Center, which stated, "Dear Sir, the examination of your blood on May 7, 1942 does not show evidence of syphilis." At that time, I thought the juxtaposition of the two items on the same page was funny, that is, about the NJC night air raid and my not having syphilis. Incidentally, I don't know why I took the syphilis test, because I hadn't had intercourse up to that time. Some of the bylined stories I wrote for Targum after war was declared, and these were, I'll read off some, ... just the headlines, for you, to give you a feel for what was going on. "Pratt, Sanderson, Psych Profs, Do Their Part In War Effort." "Phi Gams Look For Planes From Midnight To 4 A.M." "Post-War Socialism Called Important Factor In Establishing A Permanent World Peace." "'State Faces Post-War Chaos,' Charles R. Ederman, State Municipal Aid Director Says At Rutgers Parley." "Proposed New Draft Age Spurs Enlistment Of Campus Students." "'If Russia Holds, War May End In Two Years'-President Clothier. 'If Russia Survives This Fall, The War May End In 1944 Or 1945,' Says Rutgers President." That was pretty accurate, actually.
CI: Yeah, it was.
HK: "Army, Navy To Mobilize Rutgers As Pre-Induction Training Center; Huge CPT Expansion Seen As Result Of War Department's New Strategy." "Expect Four Hundred Students To Enlist In New Air Corps Program This Week." "No Jobs Open For 1-A Seniors; Summer Opportunities Available." "First Local Test Blackout Tonight Finds Little Preparation On Campus." "Blackout In Twelve Seconds Called Best Job In Area." "Clothier Dedicates Rutgers Entirely To War At Fall Opening Convocation." "'Press Serves Bravely And Well,' Asserts US Censorship Chief Byron Price," and those were some of the headlines of the stories I wrote forTargum during that period.
Early in 1942, I received a phone call that my father, who had served in the regular Army for four years before World War I, had volunteered for the New Jersey Home Guard, a military group organized to take the place on the home-front of the State's National Guard, which had been federalized and called up for national service. By coincidence, my father had been assigned to patrol, with a rifle and in uniform, the bridge on Route 1 over the Raritan River, near the Rutgers campus. He was, then, forty-seven-years-old. One day in January, I walked with him across the bridge and back before returning to campus. Thanks to my father's efforts, the bridge was never sabotaged. He served only a few weeks before the regular Army took over and he returned to his grocery store. In April 1942, I went to Fort Belvoir, Virginia, with my uncle, Izzy Alter, to see his son, my cousin, Joe, graduate from the US Army's Combat Engineers and receive his second lieutenant's bars. We took the Pennsylvania Railroad to Washington, DC, where we changed to a Virginia railroad for the trip to Fort Belvoir. It was the first time I had encountered segregation, as the conductor asked us to sit up at the front of the train, apart from the blacks. My uncle and I deliberately moved to the back and sat with the few blacks aboard. My uncle returned home after the ceremonies, but, since I had an Easter vacation, I decided to visit Washington, DC for a few days. In the Senate Gallery, I met an attractive girl from Brooklyn, with whom I shared a platonic friendship and a room in a DC hotel near the Capitol that night. When I returned to New Brunswick, I wrote a long article debunking many of the myths about rooms being hard to find, everything [being] too expensive, and the difficulty [of] meeting government officials. At my request, I even got ushered into Vice-President Henry Wallace's suite in the Senate, where I interviewed him on various wartime topics. My article was published on the front page of the New Brunswick Sunday Times and, also, the Targum.
Early in 1942, the Rutgers Personnel Office announced that jobs were available, day or night, part-time or full-time, at the High-Grade Meat Products, also known as A. Fink and Sons, or Fink's Plant, on the border between Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey. Short of able-bodied men, the factory was recruiting on campus and paying sixty-five cents an hour, and time-and-a-half, or ninety-eight cents, after forty hours per week. Jumping at the chance to earn extra money for my weekend dates with Thelma, I signed up with Fink's. I took the Pennsylvania train from New Brunswick to Newark, and then, a bus to the factory. I punched in my timecard whenever I arrived and whenever I left. I arranged my classes so that I could work fifteen to twenty hours consecutively at Fink's, frequently all night, and amass more than forty hours in three or four days of part-time work. Frequently, I arrived back on campus in the morning tired and haggard and reported for phys. ed. or an early Spanish class.
Fink's used part-timers like me wherever there was a shortage of help at a given place. Thus, I could start out loading crates from a loading dock on to trucks. Then, without being asked to wash my hands, I was assigned to a very cold refrigerated room to take strips of bacon from a conveyor belt and package them in a cellophane wrapper. From there, I might be assigned to help mix steaming vats of meat, which were converted into cans of Spam for the troops. Most of the workers at the Fink's Plant, at this time, were women, and I had a great time joking and flirting with them. When I finally was too tired to work, I washed my hands, punched out, and took the bus and train back to campus, or, if it was a Friday night, to my parents' home in Jersey City. I was paid in cash the following week. My bylined story in the Targum on this experience read, in part, [Headline] "State Defense Plants Engage Students In Night, Day Shifts.
[Article] At one of these plants, for instance, more than a score of men are packing meat for the Army. This plant, the A. Fink and Sons Meat Packing Company, located midway between Newark and Elizabeth, recently received large government contracts and immediately started employing large numbers of men. [The] majority of the students employed at Fink's, however, work on the afternoon shift during the week and on the morning or afternoon shift on Saturday. The morning shift starts at seven a.m. and works 'till three p.m., while the afternoon shift usually starts at about 2:30 p.m. and quits at 11:30. Pay, which is distributed on Wednesday, is at the rate of sixty-five cents per hour." The article then listed the names of seven students working at Fink's, but, did not include mine.
News of Rutgers men in the armed forces began to take up more space in the Targum. Some of my bylined articles in 1942 about them had these headlines, "Rutgers Man Sends AP News From Philippines." It was about Clark Lee with MacArthur in January 24, 1942. He was the AP correspondent who covered ... MacArthur during that whole period. "Two University Alumni Killed; Six Students Join Air Corps." "Two Alumni Hold Key Positions In Production Of Super Air Fleet." "Rutgers Men Report Activities From All Over The Globe." "With Rutgers Service Men In Training, Active Duty," reported that, ... "William Corrigan, former head of the Campus Dramatic Society for two years, having enlisted in the Coast Guard as a seaman first class a few months earlier, was now driving admirals and other high naval officials about New York in a station wagon while awaiting an ensign's commission." More headlines, "John Sullivan Left Football Behind To Join Flying Force." "Bob Stein, '41, Drives Ambulance With British Army In Egypt." "On Land, Sea, And Air, University Men Battle The Axis." "Two More Rutgers Men Reported As Missing In Action." "Agronsky, '36, Keeps Jump Ahead Of Nazis, Japs To Insure News Flow For NBC Radio Listeners." "News Pours In Of Rutgers Men In Service." "Five-Zero Victory Of Son's Plane Thrills Mother" "It's Janoff Of The Air Corps; Ex-Targum Head Now Ex-Civilian." "Morrison, '23, Reporting War In Africa For ... CBS And Chicago Sun." "Four Thousand Rutgers Alumni Wear Khaki Or Blue; Council Hears Problems Of Communicating With Grads." "College Men Plan Overseas Reunion." It's the end of those quotes.
The departure of many Rutgers students from campus in 1942 also opened up many journalistic opportunities for me. In late 1942, I began covering the campus, news and sports, for the Associated Press, the first time a sophomore had covered Rutgers for any newspaper or press association. The AP proved to be my most lucrative job. They paid me by the word. Depending on the urgency of the story, I sent my copy to the AP Bureau in Newark by Western Union wire. There was a Western Union office on George Street, or by telephone, or by mail. Occasionally, I would also mail or hand-carry photos to the AP photo desk in Rockafeller Center in New York City. Later in my sophomore year, I added the New York Herald-Tribune, which paid by the inch, to my string. From then on, I was self-sustaining, paying all my non-tuition costs at Rutgers. Tuition and fees, including books, were covered by my state scholarship.
In my sophomore year, late 1942, I was chosen by the Targum Governing Board, composed of students and faculty, as managing editor of the paper, another first for a sophomore. In this assignment, I had to give all the news and feature assignments, make up the paper, edit copy, and write many stories myself.
In the fall of 1942, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Targum, decrying racial prejudice and discrimination at Rutgers and Princeton. The letter said, in part, "The current controversy boiling at our good neighbor university, Princeton, over the admission of Negroes to that venerable institution brings up memories of the Alpha Zeta affair begun a few years back at Rutgers on the same question. The Daily Princetonian began the campaign to allow Negroes admission to Old Nassau, where they have been banned since that college's inception. Various polls were taken on the Princeton campus, one showing fifty-two percent of the men opposed while another appeared with only fifty-one percent in favor of admitting non-whites. The Princeton faculty, which has usually shown a greater intelligence than its students, voted three to one in favor of the motion. A Negro, born and raised in Princeton, wrote Princeton's students last week that, 'If you discriminate against me because I am uncouth, I can become mannerly. If you ostracize me because I am unclean, I can cleanse myself. If you segregate me because I lack knowledge, I can become educated, but, if you discriminate against me because of my color, I can do nothing. God gave me my color. I have no possible protection against race prejudice but to take refuge in cynicism, bitterness. and hatred,' end quote of his letter.
Lacking the backbone of the Rutgers Student Council, which, last year, asked the Board of Trustees to drop Alpha Zeta as an honorary society because of its anti-Negro clause, the Princeton Undergraduate Council recommended that Negroes be admitted to the graduate school now, and that at a later date, after the student body has been properly oriented, they be admitted to the college itself. The vote was seven to six, and said, in effect, 'Forget about it, boys.' If Negroes are ever to be granted the social equality for which the Civil War was fought, it must come now, when so many members of their race are fighting to establish, 'the four freedoms' as a basis of world peace. We at Rutgers cannot feel too superior to the gentlemen from Princeton because Negroes have not been barred from this University. Until the Alpha Zeta ban is lifted, until Negroes and other minorities are granted full social privileges here, Rutgers cannot be called a truly liberal college. The attitude expressed by some students that nothing can be done about it is the same defeatism that loses wars. It is the duty of [the] Student Council, the Targum, and every student on campus to keep the question alive until a decision compatible with the ideals of democracy is reached. Harry Kranz '45," end quote of my letter.
In 1943, I was named editor-in-chief of the Targum, but, resigned a few months later in a censorship controversy that made the front pages of New York and New Jersey dailies, more on that later. During the early part of my sophomore year, I had also been assisting the assistant director of the Rutgers Public Relations Department in gathering news and sports material for stories. When he resigned in the summer of 1943, I was appointed assistant director for a few months, until a permanent replacement was found. Part of my pay from Rutgers was in the form of a National Youth Administration, NYA, monthly grant for which I qualified financially. Thus, while carrying on my studies and newspaper jobs, I also wrote all Rutgers news and sports publicity and handled the odd jobs falling to a university PR person. One of these was [to be the] chief and only editorial writer for the Rutgers Athletic News, the program sold at each home football game. In the fall of 1943, I wrote several long articles for the Rutgers Athletic News, otherwise known as the Rutgers football program, and sold at the stadium on game days. My first article, entitled, "Autumn Scarlet 1943 Edition-The Finest Spirit I've Ever Seen, George E. Little," described how Rutgers had put together a limited, eight game season, pulled together some 4-Fs and some deferred players for the team and only two veterans, and argued the case in favor of continuing football at Rutgers during the war, despite the difficulties.
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CI: Please continue.
HK: ... Okay, okay. Besides the money I earned, another advantage of the newspaper jobs was that I worked out an arrangement with Dr. Fred Merwin, Dean of the School of Journalism, whereby I was relieved from the task of attending two terms of the Reporting class, one of the major courses in the school. Instead, each week, I handed in carbon copies of several of my stories that had already been published to demonstrate my mastery of reporting. Each term I received an A, or a "one," rather, equal to A, in this course. In late 1942 and 1943, because of the war, Rutgers accelerated the school year and offered courses in a summer term. Accordingly, I completed two years of college work in little more than a year. In my sophomore year, in the fall of 1942 and spring of '43, I took two terms of American Government, Political Science, Development of the United States, English Literature, Spanish, General Economics, Introduction to Journalism, Military Science, or ROTC, and Phys. Education. My average grade was two, with an occasional one or a three. In that summer term of 1943, I crammed in eight courses, Public Finance, International Economic Relations, American Literature, Shakespeare, Modern European History, General Psychology, Public Speaking, and Physical Education. I managed to get twos in all my courses, except psych, where I earned a three. In the fall term of 1943, I handled ten courses, including Citizenship in the US, International Economic Relations, Money and Banking, Public Finance, Shakespeare, Phys. Ed., and six journalism courses, Editorial Interpretation, Law of the Press, Newspaper Advertising, News Editing, Development of the Modern Newspaper, and Reporting, which I didn't have to attend personally. Once again, I got mostly twos, plus one four, in Editorial Interpretation, the only four or poorer I received at Rutgers, and a couple of ones in the Shakespeare and Reporting.
It should be noted here that, on December 18, 1943, eight days before my wedding to Shirley Lipnick, Dean Fraser Metzger, a long-time nemesis of mine about whom I shall write more later, sent a memo to members of the faculty concerned, which said, "Harry Kranz, '45, informs me he will be absent from classes on December 27, 29, 31, January 4 and 6. He also tells me you have been consulted and arrangements have been made to make up work that will be missed. I understand this absence is incurred because of his honeymoon. This hardly constitutes a basis for an excuse card, but, is deserving of exception and consideration. Very truly yours, Fraser Metzger, Dean of Men." I didn't get that note, by the way, the text of it, 'til many years later, when somebody on the Rutgers faculty, cleaning out Metzger's belongings, gave me the original. I won't tell you who that was, by the way, who did that. Well, actually, it's contained in here, the name, and, in fact, he's a vice-president of Rutgers.
Despite the honeymoon and other significant events in 1944, I finished off my necessary credits in the spring term that year with nine more courses, Money and Banking, Shakespeare, American Literature, Constitutional Law, Phys. Ed., and five more journalism courses, including Press and Public Opinion, News Editing, Writing Special Articles, Newspaper Advertising, and the non-attendance Reporting class. Marriage agreed with me. I rolled up six ones and three twos in this final term. Because of the wartime acceleration and my heavy workload, I was able to complete my four-year Journalism degree in less than three years, the first Journalism School graduate to accomplish this. I had accumulated more than 147 credit hours with a grade point average of 1.88. With my wife, mother, and mother-in-law in attendance, I received my Bachelor of Letters degree from Rutgers in June, 1944.
Phys. Ed. proved both popular and otherwise, as these stories I wrote during the war indicate, "Gym Classes Prove Successful In Survey Of Campus Opinion; Once-Distasteful Compulsory Phys. Ed. Found Enjoyable, Helpful By Students Questioned; Forty Minutes Of Exercise Two Or Three Periods A Week; Calisthenics, Boxing, Relay Races, Swimming, Tumbling, Showers." Another story, [Headline] "'Rutgers Rangers In Training.' [Article] Phys. ed. faculty plans a commando course which includes running up a four-foot flight of steps and jumping across a water-filled ditch, negotiating a ten-foot plank set high off the ground, squirming under a low platform, clambering over a four-foot wall, and clearing a group of three-foot high hurdles, followed by a fifty-foot sprint down the home stretch." Another article, [Headline] "Injuries, Complaints Bring About Adjustments In Gym Routines," N[ew] Y[ork] Times, February 6, [Article] "Toll of injuries, seven shoulder and one leg injury, among Rutgers students stirs protest over phys. ed. drill instituted January 19 to harden the physiques of its 1,700 students for eventual military service." [A] Targum editorial, February 7, "You Can't Begin To Tear Men Down Until You've Built Them Up," blamed phys. ed. faculty for accelerating too fast. "Cuts For Phys. Ed. May Prevent Many Students From Graduating," is another story, and then, there's a longer story, "Four Profs Laugh Last, Plan New Commando Course." The Harry Kranz byline story in Targum read, "We walked out on Neilson Field Tuesday afternoon, took one look, and laughed. Then, we looked again and groaned. Upon further investigation, we screamed. It had become a habit among Rutgers men to challenge their gym instructors to do some hard work for a change, in order that they might realize the strain involved in negotiating the training course. That's why we laughed Tuesday afternoon, for working in the rain were Makin, George E. Little, director of athletics, Harry Rockafeller, assistant director and grid coach, and George Dochat, soccer and boxing coach. With Makin yielding a crowbar, Little and Dochat hacking away with their little axes, and Rockafeller sorting the wood, the four men were tearing down the old grandstand. Exaltation turned to dismay, however, when Little revealed what was flying. Said he, 'We're tearing down this section of the grandstand and we intend to use the wood to construct a new commando course.' A few months ago, Makin, a man beloved by all phys. ed. cutters, revealed plans to construct a much more difficult and more elaborate training course on Neilson Field. Little said Tuesday that a lack of building materials had delayed initiation of the construction work, but, 'you can't keep four good men down.' The shrieks came yesterday when the Physical Education Department revealed that students would be drafted from their gym classes to aid in the destruction and construction work on Neilson Field. That's just adding insult to future injuries."
Despite my heart disease, I was permitted to participate in all the regular physical education classes and activities at Rutgers. Thus, I learned to swim better in the pool, to play intramural sports like basketball, baseball and football, boxing and track. When I cut phys. ed. classes early in the morning, I had to make them up by running a lap around a half mile track for each cut. At one point, near the end of a term, I ran, and ran, and ran to make up [all my] phys. ed. cuts. I also participated in ROTC and was promoted to corporal the second year.
In early 1944, while I was studying Shakespeare with Professor Donald McGinn, our class took a trip to New York to see Paul Robeson performing on Broadway in the lead role of Shakespeare's Othello. About fifteen minutes before curtain time, I went backstage, asked for Robeson's manager, and, after telling him I was from the Rutgers Targum, asked if I could interview Robeson. He was gone only a few seconds and returned to tell me to follow him. The next day, I wrote two bylined stories, substantially similar, about the interview, one for the Targum, "'Progressive Leaders Can Solve Minority Problems,' Says Robeson," and the other for the New Brunswick Home News, "Robeson Calls For Progressive Leaders To Protect Minorities."
The Targum story tells what happened that day, "You walk through the stage door entrance of the Shubert Theater in New York City, turn right for about ten feet, walk into a small dressing room, and Paul Robeson, '19, the greatest Othello of them all, waves you into a seat. That's what happened to this correspondent last Saturday night just ten minutes before curtain time. We were among several hundred University students and faculty members who attended a performance of Shakespeare's Othello, starring the former all-American university end. With a bluntness that was welcomed by his interviewer, Robeson wasted few seconds of the ten minutes available for the interview before he was due on stage. 'Negroes and other minorities in American will attain their political, economic, and social rights after the war,' Robeson said, 'if, and it's an important if, a progressive government is in power.' Although the American people haven't given much thought to the problem before, I believe there will be understanding of the Negro's problems after the war. I think we know what oppression means to a people now. We've seen what has happened to all the people in Europe who have been denied their rights. 'After all, the English people could have been under Hitler's feet now, and then, where would we be?' he asked.
As he spoke, his normal voice is much lower than his deep, penetrating stage voice, Robeson dabbed a touch of rouge-like grease paint on his cheeks. The beard and mustache he wears in Othello needed no adjustment. He had spent many months growing them especially for his role as the noble moor of Venice, who loved not wisely, but, too well. As he completed his make-up, his giant frame covered the wall mirror into which he gazed. When we first entered the dressing room, we got the impression that the stage managers had measured Robeson's six-feet, four-inch height and his girth, and then, just built the dressing room to those measurements. With the air of a man who is too absorbed in his topic to notice that we were observing his appearance, Robeson went right on talking and applying greasepaint. 'The Negro question,' he pointed out, 'involves many considerations.' 'It is not a Negro problem alone,' he said, 'it involves our treatment of Spanish-Americans, Italians, and Jewish people, as well.' 'The American people must approach these problems seriously,' he warned. 'I believe that, the war being won, with a progressive government in power in the United States, and with the United Nations cooperating with each other, the system will change, and minorities, including Negroes, will obtain their rights,' he predicted.
Robeson said that he hoped to see President Roosevelt re-elected this year, adding, Willkie seems to be the most progressive Republican. At any rate, 1944 will be the decisive year in solving the problems of American minorities. Robeson lashed out fearlessly at obstructionists. 'If the people who get in power are unsympathetic to minorities, men like McCormick (Colonel Robert R. McCormick, editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune) it will be very difficult for us to make real progress,' Robeson declared. Since Negroes are mostly a working people, Robeson thinks, 'the Negro problem is tied up with the rights of labor.' 'What benefits labor, therefore, benefits the Negro,' the Rutgers alumnus stated.
At this point, the stage manager thrust his head into Robeson's dressing room and shouted, 'places, places, Paul.' Robeson said, 'Good-bye and give my regards to everyone up at Rutgers,' and dashed off to his place on stage. We raced to our seat in the theater as the curtain went up on Othello. When the play ended and Robeson and his fellow actors had received five curtain calls, we realized why Othello had received such raving reviews. Robeson, on stage, is as great as he is off stage." What I didn't include in my article, but, still remember vividly, was that, when I entered Robeson's tiny dressing space, I was so overwhelmed by his domineering presence that I was dumbstruck for at least ten to fifteen seconds. He put me at ease, however, by asking me what questions I had for him. End of the Robeson story.
My favorite professor in all my years at Rutgers was my political science instructor, John J. George. He was over six-feet tall and very thin. He didn't sit and lecture, but, roamed the front of the room and waved his arms about, raised and lowered his voice, bent his narrow body in half to make a point, and didn't hesitate to tell where he stood. He also taught me and other students to play the card game hearts after class, at a table set [up] on the lawn in front of a fraternity house. Here's an article I wrote about him in Targum, [Headline] "Independent George It Is Now As Prof Ventures In[To] Politics Again.
[Article] Professor John J. George of the Political Science Department has been the most popular of all Rutgers professors, as evidenced by the annual senior poll. Partly responsible for his popularity are his daily revolts against conventionality. Thus, after many years in politics, none of his friends were the least surprised when he said, 'I have never been a narrow-minded party man.' That statement came after he had been ousted from the North Brunswick Democratic Club and has been voted into the First District Republican Club of the township. In 1939, George was elected to the governing committee of North Brunswick on the Democratic ticket. Having had a taste of Democratic and Republican party politics, George, up for re-election to the township committee on Tuesday, will have his name listed on the Independent ticket. Although he has been a resident of North Brunswick for eleven years and has lectured to students on political science for thirteen years, his work as a member of the township committee was his political debut. While he is running as an independent this year, the tall, bespectacled instructor says his friends are in both parties. A staunch New Dealer at heart, George predicted President Roosevelt's third-term re-election in 1940 while opposing Wendell Willkie. He thinks there are few men who can draw more listeners and less voters than Norman Thomas, perennial Socialist candidate for president."
I was elected to various things at Rutgers, but, I received my most significant Rutgers awards after Who's Who which I was listed in went to press. I won the Suydam Senior English Essay Contest prize and the Upson Junior Debating second prize. Each carried a small cash award. My topic in both was, "A Postwar Program for Rutgers." In addition, I won an award from the American Newspaper Publisher's Association for one of the four best monographs on newspaper achievements and responsibilities in post-war readjustment in their annual national essay contest for journalism students.
A number of stories I wrote for the Targum and other newspapers gave somewhat the flavor of Rutgers in wartime. Here's a sampling of some of those articles, [Headline] "A Rare Species, The Automobile.
[Article] The pre-war sight of college students driving around in shiny, new limousines is a rare sight on campus now, for only one student in eight now has access to an automobile, and of the one hundred and eighty students who do possess cars, one hundred own autos more than five-years-old, a survey disclosed today. Last year, one out of every five college men owned cars, but, gasoline, tire, and automobile rationing have dropped the percentage down to twelve percent of the university's enrollment. The shortage of rooming accommodations in New Brunswick has caused an increase in the number of freshmen who drive to their homes every night by car, with thirty-six freshmen, twenty-seven sophomores, twenty-two juniors, and twenty-one seniors driving to campus daily. Of the sixty-five Rutgers men who have means of transportation at the university, only five have better than an A ration card and none possess the coveted S card. Of the hundred [and] eleven students who travel to the university, however, sixty-seven have A cards, twenty-one possess B coupons, twenty-two C tickets, and two own S cards. The last two students drive in trucks used for business purposes." The cards and the posting determined how much gas you could get on the rationing system, in effect, during the war.
CI: Could you just explain what the S card was?
HK: No, I can't remember what it stood for, but, evidently, that was the most difficult to attain, and it says, "the two who owned S cards drive in trucks used for business purposes." So, I guess, that got you more gas. Among the other ... wartime related headlines from my Targum stories, "Merwin," that was ... dean of the Journalism School, Fred Merwin, "Sees Good Chance For Women. 'Newspapers May Hire Them At Forty Dollars A Week To Replace Departing Male Staffers,' According To Journalism School Dean." Another one, "Academic Year To Open Monday With More Than 550 Freshmen." This was in the Fall of '42. "While the Class of 1946, with ... approximately five hundred-fifty students, is the largest yearling group in university history, the armed forces have stripped the three upper classes of twenty-seven percent of their members in the spring. One out of every four of those who were here for the second semester in May have either been drafted or have enlisted and gone on active duty."
And then, some stories I did for the Herald-Tribune in 1943, "Fraternities At Rutgers To Hold Scrap Contest." "Service Plaque Dedicated; Dr. Clothier Honors Allied Fighters." "Son Missing In Action; Rutgers Controller Receives Word From Army." "Two Hundred Sixty Five Rutgers Students Do War Jobs In Spare Time."
And then, on February 12, 1943, I wrote an editorial for the Targum, entitled, "Get Into The Scrap Now," which said, in part, that, "the University had done many things for the war effort, students were studying harder, and giving up some social opportunities, and some were working part-time in war plants, but, ... all these factors are negative contributions to the war effort. What has Rutgers, the student body itself we mean, done so far to make the [war] one day shorter, to kill another Jap or Jerry, to save another life among the United Nations? A seemingly small, but, nevertheless, powerful way in which we can accomplish the purpose cited above has presented itself. Student Council, perhaps belatedly, has announced its intention of sponsoring a competitive scrap drive among campus living groups, beginning today, and lasting to Washington's Birthday, February 22. News of the proposed campus scrap drive was flashed all over the country. People everywhere will be watching to see what Rutgers men will accomplish. Who knows but that the scrap we collect this week may build the plane, or gun, or tank, or ships that will save our lives when we enter active combat in the near future. Let's scrap the junkers with junk and scrap." That was the end of my editorial. I don't know how successfully the scrap drive was, but, we did win the war.
One of my more memorable stories was when I covered Eleanor Roosevelt's visit to Rutgers. She came to speak on behalf of the US War Bond drive. She arrived on the Pennsylvania Railroad train, from New York, I think, and took a taxi to the college site of her talk. When she finished, she asked me to call a cab for her, which I did, and accompanied her to the railroad station for her trip to Washington. I can't remember any of our short conversation, but, I was amazed that she traveled alone on this trip.
Some of the other non-sports stories I wrote in 1943 for my clients, May 16, "Rutgers Class Hears Plea For Peace Parley Now. Dr. Clothier, At Baccalaureate, Bids Allies Chart Plans." September 4, 1943, "Twenty-Second Annual Newspaper Institute At Roger Smith Hotel, New Brunswick. Hoyt Asks Aid In Revealing War's Horrors, Tells New Jersey Editors OWI Doesn't Want To Leave Grimness To The Pacifists. Newark NewsGets Excellence Award As Best Daily In State." July 24, "Rutgers Men's Colleges Show Enrollment Drop, 1,361 At University, With 768 As Army Trainees. Singing Axis Songs Part Of War Training; Strange Things Happening On Rutgers Campus As German And Italian Songs Fill The Air. Fraternity House Taken Over By Wives Of Students." October 2, "Three Thousand New Jersey Newsboys Sell $3 Million War Stamps."
I covered many graduations during this hectic period. Some sample headlines from the graduation stories, May 14, 1943, Targum, "177th Commencement Exercises, Sunday May 23. J. Edgar Hoover, FBI Chief, To Address Graduating Class, More Than Two Hundred Seniors Will Receive Degrees, Recipients Include Thirty Seven ROTC Men In Uniforms." May 22, "Rutgers To Give Degrees To 178 Seniors Today; J. Edgar Hoover Will Make Address At University's 177th Graduation Rites." May 23, 1943, "FBI Chief Calls For US Leadership; Hoover Gets Honorary Degree At Rutgers As 178 Graduate." "Grew Talks At Rutgers Graduation. Former Ambassador To Japan Grew Says Enemy Plans Long War, May Keep Fighting On For One Hundred Years, Awarded Honorary Degree With Edge, Governor Edge Osborn And Slater. Second Mid-Winter Commencement And The Fourth Graduation At Rutgers In The Past Year; Fifty-One Seniors Got Bachelor Degrees." March 26, 1944, from the Herald Tribune story, "Graduation Due Today; 380 ASTP Trainees To Receive Diplomas At Rutgers." New Brunswick Home News, byline story, "Rutgers To Give 385 Certificates To US Trainees, Graduation Of Army Men To Reduce Enrollment To New Low Point. College Studying Post-War Problem, Help For Returning Veterans Also Planned By University." About May 1, 1943, Targum headlines, [Headline] "Targum, Scarlet Letter To Suspend For Duration. War Conditions Cause Discontinuance; Social, Other Activities Also Abandoned. Publications To Renew Activities After War When Boards Direct.
[Article] Suspension at the close of the present semester of the Targum and Scarlet Letter for the duration of the war was announced today by Dean of Men Fraser Metzger. Dean Metzger said that the councils of both publications had decided that war conditions made continuance impossible. Present at the Targum council meeting Monday at which the decision to abandon the seventy-four-year-old publication was made were only four of the six regular members, Dean Metzger, Edward H. Brill, University purchasing agent, Dr. Earl Reed Silvers, director of the Department of Alumni and Public Relations, and Jack Brown, '44, business manager of theTargum. Unavoidably absent were Kenneth MacDonald, '43, Student Council president, who was on his honeymoon, and Ripley Watson, '44, editor-in-chief of the Targum, who was attending a class at the time. A survey of the Targum staff last night showed that nearly all members are willing and anxious to continue publishing the paper and that many will be available to carry on next term."
A second story in the next column headlined, "Upper-Class Societies Join Other Abolished By Exigencies Of War." The story read, "University social and extra-curricular activity sank to its lowest ebb this week with the announcement by Dean of Men Fraser Metzger that all honorary societies but Cap and Skull have suspended activities for the duration because of the war. Among the activities abandoned, according to Dean Metzger, are Scarlet Key, junior honorary host society, Crown and Skull, junior honorary society, Student Council, undergraduate government body, all class offices, prep school weekend, the Targum, Scarlet Letter, annual yearbook.
Included among those activities already abolished for the duration are The Anthologist, monthly magazine, Queen's Players, theater group, Scarlet Rifles, Alumni Day, Alumni Military Field Day. Those organizations which have virtually abandoned all activity because of the scarcity of members and the lack of interest include Pi Gamma, honorary journalism fraternity; the glee club, the University band and orchestra, the journalism club, Alpha Zeta, honorary agricultural fraternity. Dean Metzger indicated that Cap and Skull, honorary senior fraternity, would tap its members at a special convocation on May 3."
Same date, I had a byline story, "Poll Finds Students Opposed To Abandoning Targum, Suggests Caellian Merger." It read, "With student opinion nearly unanimous in condemning the announcement today by Dean of Men Fraser Metzger suspending publication of the Targum for the duration, Caellian Editor-in-Chief Bernice Scarr, NJC '43, agreed today with a suggestion that the University and NJC newspapers merge for the duration. A sample survey of twenty University men, representing every class, living group, and interest on campus, disclosed today that nineteen are opposed to curtailment of the Targum because it is essential to the maintenance of an intelligent student body and the morale of alumni in the armed forces, while one student observed, 'If it's okay with the University officials, it's okay with me.'
July 24, 1943, Associated Press, [Headline] "Rutgers Revives Targum, Undergraduate Newspaper Will Appear Twice Monthly. [Article] Sufficient civilian student personnel was found available to staff the paper for the summer semester, the Targum Council announced. The four-page paper, formerly published bi-weekly, will now appear twice a month. Ripley Watson, Jr., editor-in-chief, said that much of its space will be devoted to activities of the ASTP units at the university." July 24, "Nazi Youth Seen Allied Reich Occupation," and, in the New Brunswick Home News, "Post-War Help For Veterans Workers Aired, Problems Of Rehabilitation Are Discussed At Conference Here, Educator Offers Five Point Program. Wilson Asks Opportunity For Happiness As Well, As Jobs."
At the same time the campus was being deserted by Rutgers men leaving for the armed forces and civilian activities were being curtailed, the university was being utilized as a training center for the Army. Here are some of the stories I wrote in 1942 and later, in the Targum and other newspapers, describing the military's activities. AP and other non-Targum stories, January 1942, "Status Of College Students Clarified By Army, To Call ERC, Contract Facilities Under New Plan." December 19, 1942, New Brunswick Home News, "Favor Including Service Men In Specialized Training Intercollegiate Athletic Programs, ASTP Announced Yesterday." January 24, 1943, AP, "'American Soldiers Trained To Kill The Enemy, Not To Die For Country,' Says General Drum At First Rutgers Winter Commencement. Says Colleges Soon, Maybe Rutgers, Will Be Teeming With Men Sent To School By The Army And Navy." "ASTP Due To Arrive On Rutgers Campus In First Week Of February, 1943." New Brunswick Home News, "Army Gets Two Hundred Rooms At Rutgers, First Contingent Expected March 1." Herald-Tribune, March 6, 1943, "200 Army Men Begin Rutgers Classes Monday."
In March 1943, I wrote these Targum stories on the ASTP, "University Moves To Provide Room In Case Soldiers Arrive; Undergraduates Will Move To Dormitories, Fraternity Men To Go To Respective Houses. University Postpones Deadline For Evacuation Of Quad Dormitories; Advanced ROTC Men May Get Active Duty When Army Comes In." "Army Trainees Expected By Monday, Michelin House Evacuated For Possible Use As Infirmary Annex." "Two Hundred Army Engineering Trainees Arrive Here Monday. Colonel Koehler Picked As Commandant Of Trainees, Daggett To Supervise Scholastic Work; Thirty-Six Class Hours Feature Hard Schedule." "Rutgers Will Be First University In The Country To Receive The Men Under The Army's Specialized Training Program." "First Army Specialists Arrive Here For Training, Classes To Begin March 29 After Week Of Orientation." "ROTC Placed On Active Duty At $50 Monthly, Move Into Hegeman Tomorrow With Army, Get Week's Furlough."
May 9, 1943, I had a two-page story and photo spread headed, "Soldiers Taking To Life At Rutgers Like Ducks To Water." "Rutgers Leases Eight Frat Houses For Third Group Of ASTP And Regular Students. Kappa Sigma Was Among Frat Houses Leased For Civilian Undergraduates." That's where I lived in 1943 until my marriage that Christmas. "Rutgers AST Courses To Continue; Officials To Defer Technical Students; Army Countermands Orders To Curtail Language, And Area Students. Courses To Continue After April 1." "Most Comprehensive Targum Poll Queries Civilians, Army Trainees, 'ASTP Men Don't Uphold Traditions,' Say The Civilians, 'Relations Between Two Groups Good,' Soldiers." In that same issue, I wrote an editorial, "A Ten Point Program," which said, in part, "We feel that University officials have been the cause of the large breach between ideal soldier-civilian comradeship and the present negative attitude of, 'you don't bother me and I won't bother you.' Of the ten point program we have drawn up to improve and strengthen relations between the servicemen and the undergraduates, no less than seven require official University action before they can take effect. ... Action is awaited from Old Queens." That was the end of that editorial.
Among the sports stories, I covered all sports at Rutgers, first for Targum, in early 1942 and, later, for the Associated Press, the New Brunswick Home News and Sunday Times, the Newark News and my other clients. In 1942, as my Targum headlined stories said, "The Future Of Athletics On Campus Uncertain," and, "Freshmen Will Play On Varsity Teams Beginning With The Fall Term Of 1942." 1942 sports stories for the AP, "Four Rutgers Teams, Boasting Twenty Soldiers, To Go Into Action." "Triangular Regatta Opens Eastern Crew Season." In August 12, 1943, I wrote an editorial in Targum entitled, "Army Football Policies," which said that, "Following the arrival on campus of another six hundred Army trainees, Director of Athletics George E. Little announced that a major football program is being developed for intramural play by the trainees, but they're barred from playing with the Rutgers civilian students in intercollegiate competition." The editorial concluded, "Why can't these Army trainees participate with civilian students in intercollegiate competition? This is not an argument aimed at obtaining more football players for the Scarlet squad, since coach Harry Rockafeller has already decided on his starting line-up. Nor in criticizing the War Department will we cite the old story of the Navy's use of phys. ed. periods to allow its men to train for football. All of us, however, owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Little for his new football program, which shows the Army what can be done and what should be done to provide the Army trainees with beneficial, enjoyable, and morale-building physical education activities."
Some of the stories in '43 about Rutgers football, "65 Rutgers Candidates Report To Football Coach." October 15, '43, Targum story by me, "Rutgers To Start Football Program For ASTP Men; Trainees To Participate In Intra-Company Competition; Set-Up Would Also Include ASTP Varsity Squad To Scrimmage Scarlet Varsity."
Among the stories I wrote at that period, one which was headlined, "Robert Louis Stevenson In Rutgers Frosh Composition Class," he was a namesake and relative, "A Third Cousin Of Famed Poet-Novelist Majors In Engineering." [Headline] "Thompson Information Inc., Answers Many Strange Queries For Many Strange Characters. [Article] Dorothy Thompson, secretary to Earl Reed Silvers, director of University Department of Public Relations, incidental to acting as a one-woman information bureau, Dotty acts as Silvers's secretary. She also wrote an article for the Rutgers Football News last year on a football widow. Filling the role of Dotty's gridiron husband was Vinnie Utz, class of '41, former Scarlet fullback, who is now carrying the torch for Uncle Sam."
There was a story in the Targum, January, 1943, about two interesting stories, "Students Cover Two Drownings, Wallet Mystery; Unusual Events Afford Journalism Reporters Exciting Opportunities." My story read, "The mystery of the slashed wallet and the death by drowning of two five-year-old boys gave university journalists their most exciting week since the Opera House murder three months ago." By the way, I covered that when a woman was murdered in the Opera House, which was a theater in New Brunswick, and it got big headlines all over, "Murder In The Opera House." This story went on, "Pieces of a slashed, black wallet were found by Mr. and Mrs. Jack Unger of 100 Hamilton Street last Saturday and turned over to this correspondent on Sunday for investigation. They had been found scattered on Neilson Campus from the statue of William the Silent to the Engineering Building. Subsequent search of the area yielded the following articles which were turned over to the New Brunswick Police Department Sunday night." The story then listed articles ranging from a soldier's passport and furlough pass to photos and medicine bottles. "The mystery deepened yesterday when a call from the Provost Marshall's office revealed that the soldier, McDevitt, is in the Camp Kilmer Station Hospital awaiting discharge from the Army for a physical disability. He had left his bed for a drinking spree in New Brunswick on the night of January 3 and, many hours later, was picked up by military police and taken back to the camp. He did not remember what had happened to him, all his pay, which he had received a few days before was gone, having been in the wallet."
The Targum story then told that two Rutgers journalism students had been assigned to cover the drowning of two five-year-old boys in the Raritan Canal. "They rushed down to the banks of the canal, about two hundred yards beyond the Albany Street Bridge, and arrived at the same time as a police safety squad. Spectators had watched the boys, who were sliding on the ice, fall through the inch-thick coating on the still water, but, none had gone in to aid them. Police and firemen launched a boat and pulled one of the boys out nearly a half hour after he had been immersed. The other was pulled out twenty minutes later. The two Rutgers students and this corespondent watched while policemen, firemen, and three civilians struggled vainly over the lifeless forms for two hours in an attempt to revive the boys by artificial respiration and by the use of an inhalator. For an hour after the boys had been pronounced dead by University Physician Norman Reitman, the three civilians, all fathers of young sons, continued their resuscitation efforts."
I covered a number of mysteries during my Rutgers years. One was headlined in the Targum as, "Rutgers Campus Daubed With Princeton Colors, Mysterious Vandals Paint Buildings And Walks In Orange And Black. Early Saturday, Nazi Swastika Found On Wall." Stories for my clients were headlined on March 24, 1944, "Rutgers Daubing Mystery Solved," Newark News. "Vandalism Laid To Princetonians, Metzger Says, 'College Authorities Will Settle Issue On Painting,'" New Brunswick Home News. "Rutgers Campus Daubers Were Princeton Students, But, Rutgers Men Previously Had Invaded Princeton," New York Herald Tribune. "In fact, it was learned that the New Brunswick police, alerted by a Rutgers night watchman, had caught eighteen Princeton students in the act of painting the campus and had locked them up for the night. They were later released. Rutgers, learning of their own marauders the night before, did not press charges against the Princeton invaders." April 4, 1943, "Acute Shortage Of Doctors Looms In New Brunswick. Only Twenty-Four Physicians Left, Survey By Times Reveals," five-column, bylined story in New Brunswick Sunday Times. August, 1943, The New Brunswick Daily Home News had an "Inquiring Reporter," column in which I was one of those asked, "What do you think of the bombing of Rome?" My response, "Harry Kranz, 38 College Avenue, journalism student, 'I think it's a very good idea. The Germans and Italians did not hesitate in bombing cultural objectives, including six hundred churches in Great Britain in 1940. When the shoe is on the other foot, however, they scream for mercy and hide behind the false cloak of religion.'" And, finally, come to The Targum controversy.
The Targum was the oldest, continually published college newspaper in North America when I came to Rutgers in 1941. I immediately starting writing for the twice-weekly paper and, in 1943, became managing editor. In May, 1943, Dean of Men Fraser Metzger announced that the student newspaper, along with many other campus organizations, would be suspended for the duration of the war. The Targum published a student poll, which I conducted and wrote about, showing students uniformly opposed to the shutdown. Thus, in July, 1943, it was announced that enough students had been recruited to work on the paper and it was being revived as a twice-monthly four-pager. Rip Watson was named editor-in-chief and I was managing editor. [By the way, Rip went on to become a correspondent ... for the AP, one of the AP writers out of Newark for many years, and he's been class correspondent all these years for the Rutgers monthly.]
I should mention here that the paper was ostensibly governed by the Targum council, composed of Dean Metzger, self-appointed chairman, Dr. Earl Reed Silvers, director of the Department of Alumni and Public Relations, Dr. Edward Hopkins Brill, university purchasing agent, the editor of Targum, Rip Watson, and, later, me, and the Targum business manager, Jesse Greenberg. In other words, university officials outnumbered and outvoted student representatives by three to two at all times.
Dean Metzger, a former minister, was a reputed anti-Semite. As chairman of the Scholarship Committee, he is said to have stated, if the choice were between a less qualified Christian applicant and a more qualified Jewish one, he would award the scholarship to the Christian student. He denied Jewish students absolution from compulsory Sunday chapel at which Christian services predominated. He declined to attend events sponsored by the Rutgers Hillel Foundation, which served as a social outlet for Jewish students. On the Targum Council, Brill and Silvers were subordinate to Metzger. I have already mentioned the begrudging note Dean Metzger wrote to my professors about giving me time off for my marriage and honeymoon between Christmas and New Year's, 1943.
After I returned to campus and Rip Watson graduated in January 1944, I was the logical choice to succeed Rip as editor-in-chief of the Targum. However, Dean Metzger evidently feared that I might expose a number of campus abuses, of which there were many at the time. In a letter I wrote at the time to John P. Lewis, managing editor of the liberal New York daily PM, in which I told him about the Targum story, I mentioned some of the abuses. [There were] several in the University's Medical Department, a student died last year after he had been sent to his home without proper medical treatment, or those in the Department of Physical Education, where civilian students are forced to play basketball in sub-zero temperatures on outdoor courts or do calisthenics in the balcony seats of the Rutgers gym while the Army trainees use all the university's athletic facilities, including the swimming pool, the gymnastic equipment, the handball courts, and the indoor basketball courts, or those in the Department of Buildings and Grounds, who have thrown civilian students into the oldest fraternity houses on the campus, packing them in like sardines, while the ASTP trainees are quartered in the finest dormitories of the college, all of them, in fact, and in the newest and largest fraternity houses.
Thus, in the fear that I might speak out against campus abuses, as I wrote John Lewis, the three faculty members of the Targum Council on January 13, 1944, the day they named me editor-in-chief, adopted the following resolution, "Inasmuch as the Targum Council is directly responsible for the publication of the Targum, the editor be required to submit to Dean Metzger, Mr. Silvers, Mr. Jennings, Silver's assistant, or Mr. Brill, controversial editorials before publication and that any special feature material be submitted to the same men." As I wrote John Lewis on February 4, 1944, "Rather than submit my editorials or feature articles to such a censorial board, I have refrained from writing anything controversial, which means to them anything which exposes abuses in the University, and, thus, have kept this seventy-five-year-old publication going. For, Dean Metzger warned, if I did not accept that stipulation, I would not be promoted from my position as managing editor to the editorship and since our previous editor-in-chief graduated this January, Dean Metzger, with obvious glee, declared that would mean that the student newspaper would be discontinued. In its place, a monthly propaganda sheet would be issued by the Department of Public Relations containing announcements of interest
---------------------------------END OF TAPE TWO, SIDE ONE--------------------------------------
HK: ...My only alternative was to accept the position and the restriction in the hope of combating certain abuses through campus polls and news stories. Shortly after I wrote that letter, all hell broke loose. The edition ofTargum I sent to the printer the second week of February contained a poll of ASTP trainees critical of Rutgers and my editorial, criticizing University officials for refusing to comment publicly on blind State Assemblyman Muir's perennial bill mandating a study of converting Rutgers into a state university. The printer had evidently been alerted to read my copy carefully for possible subversion and he rushed a proof of the proposed editorial to Dean Metzger. I was called to the dean's office on Friday, February 11, and told by the faculty member of the Targum Council, Metzger, that the editorial had to be revised or removed. Anticipating this, I came armed with a letter of resignation as editor-in-chief, which denounced the proposed censorship as a violation of freedom of the press. I was told that the Targum Council would meet the next day, Saturday, and decide whether or not to accept my resignation. I, then, went to a friend of mine, Al Reitman, who had previously worked on the Targum and, now, was a regular employee of the New Brunswick Home News and Sunday Times. [By the way, Al later became the public relations director for the American Civil Liberties Union and an officer in the organization.] I told Al the full story. [By the way, he's a brother of Doctor Reitman, who was a Rutgers physician for many years.] We agreed that, since the Targum Council was to meet Saturday, we would hold up on the story until after that meeting, releasing it for Sunday morning papers. However, as I explained in an apologetic letter February 20, 1944, to Ronald Dixon, state editor for the Associated Press, "The Council took no action Saturday, but, tabled the matter until Monday afternoon." While I was at the Home News Saturday afternoon, Dr. Silvers asked me not to take any hasty action, to hold right until Monday, and not to release the story. At this time, I believe, Dr. Silvers had changed his mind and decided to let the editorial be published in the Targum. Thus, I would have continued as editor and the Targum would not have been forced to suspend publication.
Nevertheless, two members of the Sunday Times staff, smelling money, sent parts of the story, which they picked up from Reitman's notes, to two papers for which they were New Brunswick correspondents, i.e. theNewark Sunday Call and the New York Times. I believe Reitman was correspondent for the Sunday Call. The New Brunswick Sunday Times carried four paragraphs, stating that a meeting would be held Monday to consider my resignation. When I read the stories in the New York Times and the Call on Sunday, I decided that no good purpose could possibly be served by keeping the story quiet any longer. I, therefore, gave the AP a full story Sunday night. I had been scooped on my own story.
Had I realized, Friday afternoon, what action the university would take and what malicious and false statements they would make, I would have released the story immediately. As in the past, I tried to obey university wishes in holding up a story. This failed, however, and it only bears out what I have learned through bitter experience, suppression never pays. What had happened in the week of February 13th to 20th was that, after the wide publicity my resignation and the editorial received, the university had allowed Targum to go to press with my editorial, but, accompanied by a university statement denying their attempted censorship, accepting my resignation, and shutting the Targum down for the duration of the war. During that and the following week, I kept busy churning out stories about the controversy for my newspaper clients and, particularly, for a non-client but supportive newspaper, my hometown Jersey Journal. I answered the university mis-statements and challenged them on the Muir Bill and a state university. The following year, the first law passed the state legislature designating Rutgers as the State University of New Jersey.
Immediately after the story broke in New York and New Jersey newspapers, letters of congratulation poured in from New Jersey editors, as well as Rutgers alumni, here and overseas. My strongest support came from editors. J. Albert Dear Jr., executive editor of the Jersey City Journal, wrote me, February 15, "The day will come when thousands of talented poor boys and girls in New Jersey will be able to get a higher education at state expense and they will remember that you have played the part of martyr to the cause of freedom. Despite open and secret hostility, and legislative maneuvering, and selfish lobbying, you, by your courage, have brought nearer the day when there will be established, in New Jersey, New Jersey University. It will be an honest-to-God state university which the people can recognize as their own, in which they will take pride, and to which they will give adequate and enthusiastic support. I congratulate you upon your stand. Every real lover of American freedom who knows the inside story is on your side. You were the editor of the Targum. As a newspaperman, you tried to bring before the public both sides of a public question when you requested the authorities of private Rutgers explain their attitude toward the Muir Bill, which would establish New Jersey University under the control of a state board of education as essentially a part of the free public school system. The newspapers of the state, too, would be glad to publish Rutgers' defense of a private college taking state money, but, the trustees won't talk, and you are no longer editor of your college paper. You have lost your position because you insisted upon free discussion. The people of New Jersey are entitled to think that if Rutgers has been unable to think up an answer in fifteen years, the reason is plain, there is none."
Two days later, I responded to Dear with thanks for his letter, commenting that I could now see that the Muir Bill and the free state university must have many advantages, adding, "In normal times, when Rutgers has an enrollment of about 1,500 students, approximately one hundred state scholarships are awarded annually to freshmen. This means that, at most, four hundred students obtain state aid to receive college educations each year, since the scholarships are renewable annually. Since I would not have been able to attend college but for one of these state scholarships, my sympathies go out to those poor boys and girls of New Jersey who, although mentally qualified, are financially incapable of receiving a higher education under the present educational system. That this monetary qualification for college training will be abolished in the not-too-distant future is my fondest hope."
Commenting on the freedom of the press issue, I also wrote, "We see here the spectacle of a privately-managed university, which annually receives an appropriation of more than a million dollars from the state, depriving a student of his right of expression. We also see university officials attempting to control, allegedly as publishers, a student newspaper which is now financed by receipts from advertising and funds accumulated from the sale of the Targum in past years to Rutgers students. Only through the administration's domination of the Targum Council is this possible."
Shortly after the Dear correspondence, I received a copy of a letter from Lewis Herrmann, editor of the New Jersey Labor Herald, and, in later years, a Republican member of the state legislature who sponsored the legislation that set up a labor management institute at Rutgers, after it became the state university. His letter to Mal Dodson at the Atlantic City Press Bureau in [the] Atlantic City Convention Hall, nominated me for an award. Herrmann's letter read, in part, "I am enclosing, herewith, a story that I clipped out of the Newark Star-Ledger, telling of a single-handed battle for freedom of the press that has been carried on by one Harry Kranz, editor of the Targum, Rutgers University's undergraduate newspaper. It occurred to me that it might be fitting and proper for the Headliners Board of Judges to give serious consideration in recognizing the courage of this editor in bucking the whole shebang of moss-back gents who make up the faculty of that college. It strikes me as an important stroke in behalf of freedom of the press and I do hope you will submit it for consideration by the committee." I thanked Lew for his nomination of me, but, I never heard from the Headlines Club, which annually made some awards.
I received a number of letters from Rutgers graduates, former Targum and Caellian staff members, and the general public. I replied to all of them. One of the first pieces of mail came dated February 13, from PFC Leonard Goldblatt, formerly a Targum editor, but, now, in the Army ASTP program at Princeton. [By the way, Len became editing manager of the Bergen Evening Record.] Len wrote me, in part, "I must say, you really poured ... a gallon of salt in Rutgers' most mortal wound, the state university question. From an editor of Targum who was once also called dangerous, erratic, and idealistic, I congratulate you. I hope it has given a few minutes of discomfort to smilin' Bob Clothier and his money bag factotum, Sy Johnson. For years, the same point has come up and, as I can remember, the only ... [person] outright in his hostility to equality in New Jersey higher education was Earl Reed Silvers Jr., the son of the Rutgers public relations director and Targum Council member. Harry Jaffe, now missing in action, Sam Zagoria, and Janoff, and I were vitally interested, but, were stymied by the Council. Remember that the Targum Council rule on submission of all editorials, I think it calls for page proofs, was imposed directly against the staff in my year. My criticism of the metropolitan papers was that they didn't mention the composition of the council and the fact that it is administration dominated. The impression to an uninformed reader is that you bucked the student body. So, Anderson, the printer, ran to Silvers with the copy. That guy ought to get the Rutgers Medal next year for his loyalty to a bunch of the biggest reactionaries in the world. I sort of feel a longing to be back there at Rutgers now and join with you. Since that's impossible, all I can do is give you my best and hope to hell that someday there'll be other Targum editors like you and some of the guys we used to know. Those other guys are now fighting for the beliefs they once wrote about. No swivel chair college official who thinks of education in terms of endowments and tradition alone will ever get them to shelve their ideas. You know, Harry, a scrap like this brings the would-be demagogues into the brilliant light of state-wide publicity and I think they don't relish it in the least. Give 'em both barrels!"
I responded to PFC Goldblatt on February 17, in part, as follows, "This week, I became completely convinced of the insincerity of Dr. Silvers. The statements he has issued for the Targum Council and for the university in regard to this controversy were mainly lies. The Targum, as issued by Dr. Silver's department, ... as touched up by Ken Jennings, has been distorted in a few spots. Despite what Dr. Silvers may say, I submitted my resignation after he said that he and Metzger had decided that the editorial was definitely not to appear. They reversed their decision and decided to print it after it had received wide publicity. I have been trying to smoke them out on the Muir Bill, state university study, but, as yet, have not succeeded in getting them to issue any statement on the question." Early in 1944, a few months after the unfavorable publicity Rutgers received, University officials had introduced into the state legislature bills to designate Rutgers as the state university. My bylined article on page one of the New Brunswick Home News was headlined, "Plans Disclosed At Rutgers For Changes In University; President Clothier Reveals Report Of Faculty Committee On Educating Veterans Along Lines Of New Federal Legislation." My story began, "What will Rutgers University be like after the war, a confused public wondered today. Introduced into the state legislature Wednesday, and supported by Rutgers officials, were a series of bills providing for a consolidation of all the state's educational agencies into one department and the designation of Rutgers and all its branches as the State University of New Jersey. If passed, these bills will bring Rutgers closer to public administration and control than it has been since the colonial college was chartered 178 years ago."
And, ... that, pretty much, ends the Targum story. ... I finally got the text of my editorial, ... and then, after they printed my editorial, the university ran a note ... which said, "The above editorial was written by Harry Kranz for the Targum before his resignation as editor. The University has, at all times, been glad to discuss in public hearing and in formal conference anything affecting the best interest of higher education in New Jersey, including the Muir Bill, and it's glad to make any and all information available to responsible persons. ... Mr. Walter Dear, the newspaper publisher whom the editorial refers to, is a former president of the American Newspaper Publishing Association and has consistently demonstrated his deep interest in and has supported the educational program at the university." That's the same Dear who wrote me that letter commending me for the editorial. ... Ironically, next to my editorial in that final issue, dated February 16, 1944, was a letter to the editor from Dr. John J. George, the professor annually voted most popular by students. His letter read, "Few of us are news hawks, but, most of us will bet you are doing close coverage of what's being done around the campus and of the main thought prevailing here at the moment. What you select for inclusion is effectively presented. Most important is your interventionist resolve at hard-hitting realism, now characteristic of Targum operations. Congratulations on your spirit and achievement and power to you to carry on." That was in the final issue, right next to the editorial.
CI: So, you received a lot of praise and the backing of your fellow students. I mean, everybody felt like the Targum Council was trying to stifle you.
HK: Yeah, they were afraid that, you know, that poll I published, ... of ASTP students being critical of some things at Rutgers, were the kinds of things they didn't want. They wanted to publish, and did for the rest of the war, ... basically a handout from the Public Relations Department praising everything that was going on.
CI: Were they fearful of criticism just because they wanted to hang on to their traditions, and so, forth?
HK: Yes, and ... they had now been challenged on the state university issue, which that editorial, I didn't bother reading it, but, I assume you've read it also. ...
CI: The one that talks about making Rutgers a state university and moving ahead.
HK: Well, there were several things. First of all, ... there were a lot of things, as I mentioned, in that letter to John Lewis they didn't want published, things that were going bad on campus. ... They had put that clause in because they couldn't trust me. They figured I might go and publicize some of those things and that's why they had the guy bringing the paper up to them for approval.
CI: Why did they feel they could not trust you ?
HK: Because I had written stories that indicated that I was not beholding to the administration, stories that there was something wrong or something to be publicized. Those editorials I wrote with a ten point program, what Rutgers should be doing for the Army and the civilians, seven of which required Metzger's action, were not something that they liked. It put them in a bad light.
CI: So, Dean Metzger and his associates were watching their own backs.
HK: Right. They didn't want to expose things that were wrong, both with the Army and with the civilians on campus, and ... they figured, if they got this thing shut down, then, they could put out their own propaganda and, ... you know, not worry about what was going on.
CI: And, they did.
HK: And, they did, for the rest of the war, 'cause Targum wasn't resumed until after the war.
CI: That is ironic. In the beginning of the semester, for a class project, we each had to get a semester's worth of the Targum, and look through the entire semester, and, basically, write an essay on how campus life was portrayed in the Targum for that semester. The people that had 1945, they said the Targum stopped publication because of the war. Everyone always thought it was because of the war. No one ever mentioned that it may have been because of this council trying to keep problems stifled.
HK: And, when I resigned as editor, they really ...
CI: There was no one there to stop them.
HK: There was very little [staff] there that could continue to edit it, you know, and that was fine with them, fine with the administration.
CI: But, as you said, Dean Metzger was happy.
HK: He was happy. He was happy when he first tried to shut it down several months earlier, when he shut down all the other campus activity, but, ... we put the heat on, quoting the students and everybody else, ... indicating there were enough people to put the thing out. So, they had to let it go again for some time and that's what exacted that promise from me that I would clear any controversial stuff. By the way, the definition that something ... [was] controversial or harmful would be something that was harmful to the alumni, the faculty, the students, ... and the university, and I didn't consider that editorial harmful at all to any of those. I thought it would [be] ...
HK: So, I had my own interpretation of the condition they put on me when I ran the editorial.
CI: How did they react to your First Amendment claims of free speech?
HK: Well, their argument was, you know, they're the publisher, 'cause, three to two, ... the administration controlled the Targum Board. They shouldn't have been and, later on, I was delighted when Targum became completely independent.
CI: There is actually another student in this seminar, her name is Karen Auerbach. She is actually going to be transcribing this interview. She is doing a separate project, interviewing former Targum editors. She possibly may want to interview you again and she wanted me to ask you if there was ever any talk about Targum becoming independent when you were there.
HK: ... This incident certainly stirred that up, the idea that it had to be independent. ... But, at that time, we were going along. This was the way it was and ... the administration dominated the Targum Council. In fact, I didn't know about it 'til I became editor. You know, who bothers to check ... who the administrators are, or the board is, ... 'til you have to face it, and then, I learned, you know, that this was the board that ... ran Targum, even though the income was not coming from the university anymore. It was coming from the students and from advertising. ... I was delighted in later years, fairly recent years, actually, ... [that] Targum went completely independent.
CI: So, your stories were being censored?
HK: No. The only time there was any censorship was on that editorial, when the editorial was [pulled]. ... That was the first time.
CI: That was the first time it went into effect?
HK: That time, ... I knew what was coming when I was called. I went with ... this letter of resignation in my pocket already.
CI: So, you were not even going to try and stay on?
HK: ... Well, I figured ... the threat to resign, claiming freedom of press, might get them to change their position and let it go, but, it didn't. ... As I say, over that weekend, maybe they might [have] changed their [minds] if someone else hadn't broken the story. I'll never know that, but, ... once the publicity ran all over and they began ... the siege, that's when they decided, "Well, all right. We'll let him print the damn thing." ...
CI: Did they alter it in any way?
HK: They didn't alter the editorial, they just ... added that paragraph giving their side of it. ... There were minor changes made in some of the story, but, nothing significant ... was altered and the editorial ran completely as I wrote it.
CI: Did this cause an uproar on campus or were there more important things for people to be worrying about?
HK: That's right. It was war time, there were relatively few civilian students left on campus. ... The Army people, I suppose, didn't care that much. They didn't know what the hell [the controversy was about]. They may have read the Targum, so what? They'll read a handout.
CI: Yeah, they really did not follow these events.
HK: ... So, you know, there were no demonstrations, no big deal. All of the heat came outside, off-campus, these other editorials and other people writing in. ... I assumed they wrote Metzger and the President as well as writing me, because it did get the publicity all over the East and New York, New Jersey.
CI: Well, I guess fellow editors also were fearing this censorship, right?
HK: You mean fellow Targum editors?
CI: No, fellow editors at other papers who wrote on your behalf.
HK: Oh, well, the only ones that I kept in touch with were New Brunswick and Jersey City, ... and Jersey City was very strong, had several editorials on this, and tying it in with the Rutgers-state university issue, which Dear was very much involved with.
CI: Your interview with Vice President Wallace really interested me. Do you have any memories of that?
HK: Well, it was in the Senate. ...
CI: How did you get this interview?
HK: Well, again, it was much easier in those days. ... I had met this gal who was also visiting Washington at the time and the two of us walked in the Senate. We asked, "Where's the Vice-President's office?" 'cause the Vice-President, in those days, he had nothing much to do but preside over the Senate, 'cause ... Roosevelt didn't give Wallace much to do, and vice-presidents, in general, didn't have much to do other than presiding. So, he spent most of his time, when he wasn't campaigning, in an office ... where the President of the Senate presides, in the back there. So, I went around there, and found out where his office was, and ... I guess I went up to the office and asked if I could interview the Vice-President, and I was ushered into him, it was that easy, and with this gal with me. We introduced ourselves, and sat down, and he chatted with us, and we asked some questions, ... and it was all on current events at the time. ...
CI: This was in 1942?
HK: I think it was '43, I think it was. I couldn't give you the date, but, I think it was '43, and, ... you know, finished there, and we went up in the Senate gallery, and watched the session.
CI: That is amazing.
HK: Yeah, and the Paul Robeson thing was pretty good, too, fortunate, too.
CI: Oh, yeah.
HK: Getting in on the spur of the moment, with fifteen minutes before play time.
CI: He talked a lot about progressive leadership, new leadership. This must have affected you later. Did this steer you in any way towards what you later did?
HK: No, ... I wasn't for Wallace, but, I was obviously on his side on the minority issue, and ... pro-Roosevelt, and so on. So, having worked for Roosevelt at eight years of age, I was still interested in the second, third, and fourth terms as well.
CI: It sounds like you were ahead of your times in terms of civil rights and minority rights. You mentioned how you were on a train, and the porters wanted you to sit in front, and you went and sat in the back. I am trying to figure out where all this came from. I picture people back then being much more racist in their thinking and you, clearly, were not.
HK: No, ... again, I go back to eight years of age for FDR and my father being a strong Democrat, ... and I never did accumulate the race prejudice, I guess, and ... I've been active in civil rights activities of one sort or another most of my life, but, ... there was no one [thing that influenced me]. ... No, if anything, this was my first exposure to segregation, ... and my uncle, of course, agreed with me completely, so, the two of us moved together.
CI: I have read articles and books about men who were drafted and ended up going to military camps in the South. Their first experience with segregation was on those trains where they saw the colored section. This was something totally new to them.
HK: Well, in the Bronx, in the Bronx and Jersey City, I didn't see ... that kind of segregation. There may have been discrimination there, [there] probably was, but, it wasn't noticeable, but, here, it was so ... open and that that shook me. That was my first exposure to that, I can recall. When I was at Rutgers, I wrote the editorial [and] letters to the editors about Princeton and discrimination, so, I was always feeling that way, right, early in my Rutgers days, '42.
CI: Was there open segregation here? Was there a lot of student activism to open up the doors here?
HK: Well, there weren't very many blacks at Rutgers. ...
CI: Yeah, it seems that way.
HK: When I was there. ... There was one guy who was, when I was in Winants Dormitory. He was there and he was the only black guy I remember. He later became a municipal judge in Newark, New Jersey. ... Harry something, but, ... other than that, I don't remember many blacks at Rutgers during that period.
CI: How did students treat blacks?
HK: I didn't see anything unusual at Rutgers during my days there, but, again, there weren't that many blacks to be mistreated, ... obviously. By the time I got to Rutgers, I already felt that racism, and discrimination, and segregation are wrong and I was just acting out my beliefs at that time. Before I got there, I don't know.
CI: You were forced to attend mandatory chapel.
CI: Were you observant in your religious beliefs?
HK: No, ... no. As a matter-of-fact, I think [I] went to synagogue twice a year and, usually, when I was forced by my father, on the high Jewish holidays, but, other than that, no. I was not observant, but, I still didn't want to go to church, church services, on Sunday morning, which we were required to do. Now, I understand, that's optional, chapel. They still have services, I assume.
CI: They have services, but, it is not mandatory. You go to where you want to go. Is there anything else you would like to talk about concerning Rutgers?
HK: No, I think I acquired a very strong feeling for Rutgers, despite my feeling about ... some faculty, particularly Metzger, but, Rutgers, as a whole, I came away with very favorable feelings about, and that's why I supported Rutgers financially and otherwise all these years, ... because I got the opportunity for an education, met my wife, and other good things happened to me at Rutgers.
SK: We even got a vase from one of the faculty.
HK: No, I don't remember any of that. It's a what? A vase? ...
CI: It seemed that Rutgers was more personal then, like your relationship with the deans and faculty. Did you know them by their first names, like the professors?
HK: I knew all my profs, but, not by first names. Even George, my favorite, I don't think I called him John. I'm sure I called him Professor George.
CI: He knew who you were?
HK: Oh, yeah, yeah.
CI: It was very personable?
HK: Yes, and my journalism profs, I was very friendly with.
CI: You said you were taught cards by ...
HK: By, yeah, John J. George. ... I remember sitting ... on the front lawn of a fraternity house with a card table on the lawn. Somebody brought the card table out, and chairs, and he taught me and others how to play hearts, and I had no idea what that game was about, and I couldn't play it if you asked me to, but that was the game he taught and that we played. ... He was that sociable with the students, not just me, but, that was not typical. I mean, George was unusual in his ease with students, and visa versa. ... I was very friendly with Dean Merwin of the School of Journalism, who excused me from ... one of his classes. I told you, I handed in copies, carbon copies, of my stories. ...
CI: You were doing the stories hands on.
CI: You also mentioned that you were taking about eight classes every semester.
HK: Yeah, eight, nine, ten.
CI: How long were these courses, during the week, I mean? Would they meet once or twice a week?
HK: No, I don't recall.
CI: There is no possibly way we could do that now. You are in a class twice a week for an hour and a half. I do not think there would even be enough hours.
HK: Per subject?
CI: Yeah, for each class, each subject.
HK: Some of these, I'm sure, were multiple classes per week. I know the editing class in journalism, for example, we took wire copy off the AP wire, and then, we'd have to edit it and write headlines for it, and that ran quite a while, and we were there quite a bit every afternoon, editing the copy as if it were going to be set in type and writing headlines for it. I mean, there was a big murder trial going on down in the Bahamas that we covered. ... Some of the classes ran lengthily as well as more often than once a week, but, I can't tell you now, but, ... that was everything. Phys. ed. was more than once a week.
CI: Were you in favor of the university becoming public?
HK: Oh, yeah. I think ... my fight, and the hubbub that ensued, was one of the triggers that led to Rutgers becoming the state university, because ...
CI: It seems so, yeah.
HK: The following year, Rutgers even supported a bill for that effect. ... It was passed, and then, over time, the state's involvement got even more so, but the first real step was a year after this hullabaloo over the editorial.
CI: How does that feel, to look back and see that you made that kind of difference?
HK: I think it was wonderful, because that's what I wanted, ... and I knew that ... more kids would get educated who couldn't afford it otherwise, unless there was more state involvement, and then, tuition kept down or nonexistent for state residents.
CI: I know I could not have gone.
HK: Are you on a state scholarship?
CI: I have scholarships, yeah. I have federal loans also, but I had to get some money from the State of New Jersey. It is the Garden State Scholarship.
HK: The cost has gone way up, compared to [my day].
CI: Oh, yeah, they are trying to raise the tuition. There is a battle now to raise it, like, four percent, I believe. After you graduated, you continued working for three daily newspapers, correct? What was the most shocking story you covered, the most interesting or most shocking?
HK: After graduation?
CI: Yeah, after, once you actually got into it full time. Were you actually out on the street digging up stories?
HK Well, ... I'm just trying to think now, ... I spent a year at the Plainfield Courier News right after graduation. In fact, I started working there before graduation, a week or two before graduation, ... and, again, ... a Rutgers professor, one of my professors, had a bunch of us go to the Plainfield Courier News as students and conduct an advertising survey for them. What we did was go to selected neighborhoods that they had selected, and go door to door, and show the people an ad or a story, and say, "Have you read this story in the Plainfield Courier News, in yesterday's paper?" and we'd mark up how many had read, ... and do percentages, so they could determine what was attracting readers, both in advertising and news. ...
HK: Yeah, that was one of our projects, and, at the end of the day, the prof, I think the advertising prof I had, 'cause this was largely to determine the effectiveness of advertising, he had time, he was just sitting around thePlainfield Courier, chatting with the managing editor while we were out there working, and he must have told him, because he told me this later, that I was the best journalist student they had. ... So, the managing editor thought, well, he would interview me, which he did, and offered me a job the same day of the poll, and at the magnificent sum of forty-five bucks a week, and I grabbed it. That was big pay. I think I was, again, one of the highest paid ... newspapermen on each of the papers I went to. ... A week or two later, whenever the class finished, but, before the graduation ceremonies, I went there and started working. ... We were married and we moved. We got an apartment about two blocks ... from the paper and my wife was working, too. She was working for the Army in Belle Mead, both before and after we were married. ... She could commute from Plainfield, and so, we moved there, and then, ... after I had started working a week or two, I don't remember how many weeks, then, I went back to Rutgers for my graduation ceremony.
I discovered, when I was there, that ... there was no union for the editorial employees. The printers were organized in the union, but, not the editorial. It was a Gannett paper and Gannett was notorious, I learned later, for not having unions in his papers. ... The main paper was up in Rochester, New York, but, he began to pick up papers all over the US. It is one of the major chains today, the Gannett chain, and ... my assignments there were as police reporter. I covered ... everything with the police, and the local court, the city court, people who had been arrested on local charges (in Union County, this was). I did some rewrite. People would phone in who died, the wills and probate in Elizabeth, New Jersey, and I would write stories about that, but mostly it was police news that I covered in Plainfield, and ... fires. I covered a couple of big fires that I wrote stories about.
One of the stories I broke was, ... I didn't own a car at the time. I didn't own a car until I worked in Asbury Park, which was my second newspaper job, so, ... if we wanted to visit her mother in New Brunswick, or Highland Park, at the time, we'd have to take the bus from Plainfield, and I was riding the bus one day, and I discovered a bunch of Italian prisoners of war on the bus, ... and, it turns out, I found out they were kept at Camp Kilmer. ... The war was still going on, but, they were allowed to go out for recreation, and dance with Italian girls in Plainfield, or wherever. So, I broke the story about the prisoners of war running around. ...
CI: In Plainfield.
HK: In Plainfield, taking the bus from Camp Kilmer.
CI: I guess they were not too dangerous.
HK: Probably not, no. ... Maybe, by that time Italy had dropped out of the war, it's possible. They weren't German prisoners, they were Italian. So, that was one of my stories that I remember from Plainfield, but, the big one, the one that actually got me fired, was about an inventor named Saums and he had invented ... an elixir that was used on ... the USS Constitution, all those old boats, to preserve them.
CI: The wood.
HK: Yeah, the wood. ... He had died, and he had kept this formula to himself, and he was the only one manufacturing the stuff ... [in] the U.S., and everyone else bought from him, ... and the question arose, "What happens to the secret formula of Mr. Saums, the Saums elixir?" So, I covered that story for the Plainfield paper, more stories about the will, and whether or not the formula was going to be there, and ... all about the possibilities of what this formula can do. Well, that was fine, and then, one day, I got the idea, "Well, why not make this into sort of a feature story about, maybe, the secret formula ... will also preserve human life forever, as well as wood, and that sort of speculation, and that it might be used to preserve other things besides wood, but, where is it, who owns it, and how is it going to be?" ... Anyhow, I wrote a long piece on that for what I figured would be a Sunday paper, Sunday magazine or special section, and I ... tried to sell it to the New York Journal American, which published a big Sunday paper with a lot of feature stories of this type. They rejected it. ... So, then, I decided, "Well, okay, I can't sell it." ... Oh, and by the way, I had gone to his relatives, ... some of his relatives lived in New Brunswick, and interviewed them, and I also got them to give me a copy of a picture of him, so I could illustrate the story, and I also got a picture of the USS Constitution. So, I had some artwork to go with my story. Finally, having been unable to sell it elsewhere, I went to my editor and said, ... "Would you like to buy this story that I wrote on my own time?" ... and he said, "Well, everything you write belongs to us. There's no such thing as you writing something ... that doesn't belong to us," and I was fired over that. Alleged disloyalty they called it. The fact of the matter is, at that time, ... I and someone else had organized all the editorial employees into the Newspaper Guild, signed them up. We ... had an election, and the guild had won the election, and we were in the midst of negotiating for the first contract with management.
CI: So, that was the real reason.
HK: So, that's why they fired me. I was secretary/treasurer of the local.
CI: So, you would have been fired for anything.
HK: That's right. That gave them a good ... excuse to fire me. ... So, during the war time, the National Labor Relations Board had been suspended. There was no way I could really appeal the firing. ... So, that ended the Plainfield episode. ... While in Plainfield, I had told you, I was not yet twenty-one, but, I had become active in this Independent Citizens League for Roosevelt, and ... I registered voters, and was issuing press releases ... in the name of this Independent Citizens League, working in the black area of Plainfield, come to think of it, to get out a good vote for FDR, and, ... because I was active ... in the Plainfield Citizen's League, I got elected to the board of the state organization. In the state league, I met two people that had an effect on my life. One was Carl Holdeman, president of the CIO in New Jersey, who, later on, hired me, ... and a guy named Jim Imbrie, who was executive director of the state Independent Citizen's League for Roosevelt.
After I had been fired, I worked for several months for the CIO in Newark, because I had met Holdeman and I went to work. ... I commuted, actually, from Plainfield to Newark, still not owning a car. I wrote a book, my first book for the CIO, which was based on, in effect, an expose of the government of Essex County, New Jersey, which the Republicans had controlled for many years. A guy named Vanderbilt, who was later a Supreme Court justice in the State of New Jersey and was also, I think, dean of the NYU Law School, was the boss of Essex County, the Republican boss, and ... the Democrats were trying to break into Essex County. They hadn't elected anybody to the board of freeholders or anything else for the longest time. So, the CIO Political Action Committee was trying to get the Democrats in. Anyway, I was hired to do research on [the] Essex County government, everything there was about it, and write it up, and I ended up investigating various departments. I visited the mental institution, which was terrible, and ... the courts, and various other things, and then, I wrote up this, what turned out to be a book, which, then, was the basis for ... the campaign. That is, ... press releases and leaflets I wrote based on my findings in the book, and issued them in the name of candidates, and in the name of the CIO. So, that took me several months, ... after I had been fired, but, then, that came to an end with the election that fall, and I was still unemployed. I had no regular salary, although I had gotten some income. ...
----------------------------------END OF TAPE TWO, SIDE TWO-------------------------------------
CI: You had just gotten done working for the CIO's campaign.
HK: Yeah, in Newark, and I met this guy, Imbrie, through the Independent Citizens League, and ... he was planning to start a new daily newspaper in Trenton, New Jersey, he said, a liberal paper modeled on the liberal daily in New York, at that time, called PM. I don't know if you've heard of it, but, it was a tabloid, liberal [paper for] many years in New York. It went out of business, like many other papers in New York. He interviewed me and hired me to be editor of this new liberal daily in Trenton. ... I was going to be editor of this paper at about twenty-one years of age, a fantastic opportunity, and I was going to get to hire the whole staff. Well, with that, we packed up in Plainfield and moved to a suburb of Trenton, ready to go. Shirley was pregnant with our daughter and ... unable to work at that time. It was winter. We had a miserable existence. I used up all eighteen weeks of my unemployment benefits during that period. That's all, at that time. ...
SK: Eighteen dollars a week, at that time.
HK: Yeah, eighteen dollars a week. ...
CI: After making forty-five, that must have been tough.
HK: And, only eighteen weeks worth. That was it, and I used up the last week, ... we rented this house, and ... I had to go down and put coal in the stove, in the furnace, and, ... each week, we would wait for her father to drive by. He worked during the week in Philly. He managed a trucking company for someone else in Philly, and he would drive home to New Brunswick, and he would stop in Trenton and drop off the salami, and that would keep us for a couple of days. I mean, we would look forward to his visit for the ... salami. We were in bad shape and if I had to make a call to her doctor about what was happening with the baby, I'd have to go three blocks down to the tavern, where they had an outdoor phone in a phone booth, and call the doctor from there, because, again, we couldn't afford a phone. So, that was a low point. I was writing like crazy on my portable typewriter, trying to sell plays, radio programs. I wrote several radio shows, all of which were rejected. I put together a quiz show that I was trying to get a bank to sponsor in Trenton, unsuccessfully, and then, one day, came a phone call from one of my former Rutgers classmates. ...
CI: You were still waiting for this paper?
HK: Oh, yeah. ...
CI: What were you hearing at this time?
HK: I'd keep calling him, and visiting him, and calling him, and he'd [reply], well, his wife hasn't sold all her property, yet. He's depending on his wife to supply the money for this paper. ...
SK: And, you had a signed contract.
HK: Oh, yeah. I had ... a signed contract with him laying out all my responsibilities, how much money I would get, and it was going to be a lot more than fifty bucks a week. I think it was going to be up to seventy-five dollars a week, a big increase for me, and I would be able to hire the staff, and have all kinds of freedom, and so on. Never came through. We were there, I don't know how many months we were in Trenton, six months waiting for this paper to start, which never started, and ... things were getting kind of desperate. So, fortunately, one day, ... I got a phone call from a former classmate who was working for the AP in Newark at that time, a gal, and I think she may have been editor of the NJC paper when I was editor of Targum. Anyhow, she had heard of a job. A new paper was going to start in Asbury Park and would I be interested? and, of course, I was, and I talked to the guy who was going to be editor of that paper, and was hired, and off we went, to Asbury Park ... from Trenton, ... which never panned out, and they did start the paper in Asbury Park, a competitor of the Asbury Park Press. This was called the Asbury Park Sun. It was being financed by Walter Reade, the theater magnate who had had a lot of fights with the Republican city government in Asbury Park and wanted a paper that basically exposed the inefficiencies of the present administration; I was hired as the city hall reporter to do the exposing. I had a ball for a year. ... Almost every day, I had a front page byline with some crookedness that I had uncovered in Asbury Park.
CI: I saw a press clipping from in your alumni file. You were trying to get into the courthouse with two city officials blocking you.
HK: City Hall, it was.
CI: City Hall.
HK: They were throwing me out during the picture, yes?
CI: Like they had had enough of you. What was the story there? [laughter]
HK: Well, ... there was a City Council, I think of five members, and a mayor. All of them had been elected. Every one of them had his hand in the trough, somehow. One guy ... rented the Armory, at very little cost, to run his boxing and wrestling matches. One guy was an undertaker, and, every time somebody died poor and couldn't afford to be buried or ... died on the street, the undertaker would get x dollars for burying the stiff. ... The mayor owned the lumber yard, and every year or so, the boardwalk would get wrecked by a hurricane or a storm, and he would, of course, get the wood job to redo ... the boardwalk. The city attorney actually bought City Hall one day. He bought the building ... and raised the rent on the city of which he was city attorney. I mean, everybody had their hand in the trough, and I had a ball writing all these stories, and I had a couple of good tipsters who would tell me. I had somebody who worked for City Hall. I never knew who she was. She would call me at home, and, when I say home, most of the time in Asbury Park, again, we didn't have a phone. So, I had ... to be called at a pay phone, and ... she would call me and tell me what to look for in City Hall, because this dirty work is going on. So, that was one day I went into City Hall, and asked to look at the books, or to look at certain records, and that was the picture. Of course, I had a photographer with me, and they threw me out, and, ... one day, they threw out the photographer when we brought a second photographer along, and we had a picture of him being thrown out. We had a ball, ... and so, unfortunately, that only lasted a year. I had expose after expose, front page bylines.
CI: Did anything ever happen?
HK: Yes, yes, eventually. ... There was a grand jury presentment. The thing was presented to a grand jury. The Supreme Court justice responsible for the area ... called for a grand jury investigation in[to] all this stuff. This business of the councilmen enriching themselves ... that way was illegal under New Jersey law. You couldn't ... benefit by a contract that you voted for, and so on, which they were all doing, ... and it went to the grand jury, and the grand jury issued a presentment condemning all these things, but, they never indicted anybody. ... After a year, Reade got tired of putting out money, 'cause it was a losing proposition, and ... the paper folded. There, I had been elected president of the guild, we formed a guild local there, too, and I was elected president of the local, and we were negotiating for a contract there, and, one day, I called everybody together in a meeting, and urged them to take a strike vote ... [that] we strike, 'cause they weren't going to give us the pay increase, and, by the way, I was the highest paid member of the staff there, from City Hall reporter, with all this publicity I was getting. The city editor left and I was promoted to city editor, but, I was still writing, though. So, I was doing two jobs, and was the best paid guy on the staff, and I'm the one urging everyone to strike, because they can't get a contract. They voted it down. The membership wouldn't go out to strike. I never succeeded in getting a strike, or a contract for that matter, 'cause, within a year, they shut the thing down. Two weeks later, fortunately, [I was only unemployed two weeks that time,] I got a job as editor of the Lakewood Daily Times. Lakewood was, oh, what would you say? Twenty miles away, Shirl, from ... where we lived?
HK: About twenty, but, now I finally had bought a car. I put "car" in quotes. ... While I was working there, the guy who was our advertising/circulation manager, he had to deliver newspapers all over town, the stores, and so on. Well, he had this black coupe with a rumble seat in the back, and he had torn out all the upholstery from the car so he could stuff it with newspapers, and, during the war, they weren't making cars, they were making tanks, so, there were no new cars available. Well, this was my first car. I think we paid either two or three hundred dollars for this, what we called the black bomb, and ... it was really a wreck, but, that was my first car. One of the reporters, his wife taught me to drive, and so, that's the car I used to commute to Lakewood and back everyday for the number of months, I forget how many, now, that I was editor of the Lakewood Daily Times.
So, this was my third and last newspaper job, at the Lakewood Daily Times. Since I was editor, ... there was no union to be had here. There were ... practically no employees on the editorial side. I had to do everything. The publisher, this was [what] drove me away ... from newspapering, ... was the county judge of Ocean County, New Jersey, and ... he was, I think, somewhat insane. Unfortunately, he presided over the court that dealt with orphans, wills, criminal matters, divorces. Everything you can imagine went through his court. This guy was over sixty-five. ... The outstanding image I have of him [would be] his coming in with this long, black coat in the wintertime, 'cause this was the wintertime, and him using the corner of his coat to blow his nose on. He would come in, in the morning, get all the mail and open the mail up, and give me press releases, or whatever he thought I should see, and, ... advertising, he'd give to the printing guy to be set in type, and then, he'd go preside in court. So, one day, I got a letter from Carl Holdeman, whom I had met, president of the CIO. Oh, I had written to him, saying I was tired of working for this crazy guy, and ... I had worked for the CIO on that Essex County thing, was there a job for me? He had written me and said, "Sure, yeah, come in for an interview." I never got the letter. The judge opened the mail. ... So, weeks went by, and, finally ...
CI: What do you think he did with the letter, just throw it out?
HK: Yeah. Anything ... he didn't want me to see, he threw out. He was a little nutty, and so, ... a week or two later, Holdeman called me, ... "How come ... I didn't hear from you?" I said, "I never got your letter." So, we set up an interview, and I went down, and was interviewed, and ... I was hired then, ... originally, as the public relations director for the State CIO.
CI: So, you continued doing the same thing that you had done in Newark, research?
HK: No, now it was, well, very shortly after I got there, the job branched out. I, then, became education director as well, ran classes for union people. ... Eventually, within a year or two, I became the lobbyist, the state legislative director. So, I branched out. ... Originally, I was largely there doing press releases, speeches, written stuff. ... But, very quickly, my personality and Holdeman's jived very well, and I got more and more independent control and power, and go to it almost anything I suggested. Eventually, I didn't clear my press releases with him anymore, I just did 'em. I'd send 'em out, had the girls Xerox 'em, not Xerox. In those days, it was mimeographed, mimeographed and mailed out. ... I improved public relations one thousand percent for the CIO. ... You know, I wrote first class news releases, ... like you would write for a newspaper, and ... they didn't seem like propaganda pieces when I wrote them. I wrote laws, yeah. Eventually, I became the lobbyist and that meant I spent ... at least two days a week in Trenton, after stopping in my office in Newark first in the morning. Then, I'd hop the Pennsylvania train and have lunch on the train.
CI: Where were you living now?
HK: ... We moved. Well, I was commuting to Newark from Neptune, outside Asbury Park. ... That was the fourth place we lived, in and around Asbury Park. Matter-of-fact, ... we lived in ten or twelve different places in our early life. Now, we've been in one place for thirty-five years. So, things have changed.
CI: So, you would commute to Newark.
HK: So, I commuted to Newark, ... eventually moved to Union, New Jersey, and ... I drove to work, and then, after spending some time in my office in Newark, then, I would catch the train to Trenton. The legislature stayed there. I usually was one of the last lobbyists to leave. ... I and the woman from the League of Women Voters stayed there late.
CI: What are some of your memories of lobbying in the early years?
HK: ... There were quite a few bills that I got passed, that I had drafted. ... Usually, the bills were drafted by our lawyer. I would tell him what the bills were, and he would draft the bills, and then, I'd go up, and get some legislator to sponsor the bill, ... but, usually, in those days, the governor was Republican and both houses of the legislature were Republican.
CI: So, you were up against an opposition.
HK: And, I was ... from the CIO, so, it wasn't exactly an easy thing, but, ... I usually tried to work with the governor, or the governor's office, Driscoll, who was there most of the time when I was there. He was a very good governor, friendly to labor, as I saw it, and I was able to work with him and ... his guy who did most of the legislative work for him. ... Once he pushed something, ... it would go through the legislature. ... So, I did a lot of that. I got increased unemployment benefits, workers compensation, temporary disability benefits, did a lot of consumer legislation.
One of the funny ones I remember was a bill introduced that would have allowed them to ... put fifteen-and-a-half ounces in a pound of butter, and ... it turns out that the previous law allowed them to put fifteen-and-three-quarter ounces in a pound of butter, for shrinkage or whatever reason. So, now, they're going to cut it down some more, and I figured out how many cents a pound of butter that would amount to, and made a big stink about it, and killed the bill. So, that was just one, but, I remember the butter scam that I was able to block. ... Every week, I wrote a big legislative newsletter that went out all over the state, to every local in the state. We had over 400 locals and a quarter of a million members and I would hold meetings of my legislative committee. I'd have people come down from Trenton. Once a year, I ran a big ... session in Trenton, four, five, six hundred delegates from all over the state, and ... get the people to lobby on specific bills ... with their own legislators from their county. Usually, the governor would come and address that meeting. Eventually, Holdeman was appointed, when Bob Meyner got elected, ... state labor commissioner, and he left, and ... he, too, spoke at some of our events. There were ... lots of high points in those ten years that I spent with the CIO in New Jersey, from '47 to '57. ...
SK: You also ran for office.
HK: Well, that was, yeah ...
CI: I was going to ask you about that, the City Council.
HK: Yeah, I did run, ... one year, for City Council in East Orange. The Democrats had not won many elections in East Orange before that. First, ... there [were] ... several wards in East Orange, and the mayor was city wide, but, the wards were where the council members [ran]. ...
CI: What year was this?
HK: This was in the '50s. ... We left in '57, maybe around '54, I think. It was not too long before we left, in '57.
SK: You handed out the stuff with your name on it, ... about '54.
HK: Yeah. About '54, 'cause we left in '57, and that wasn't too long after. ... Again, my biography, and that I'll give you a copy of, has the specific dates in it, so, I don't have to be too precise right now. ... But, the first task, ... we got organized again to support Adlai Stevenson for president. ... It was, again, an independent group of us ... in East Orange ... for Stevenson, and ... that would have been, let's see, ... the two times he ran against Eisenhower, that would have had to have been '52 or '56. So, this came, it must have been after the '52 election. ... Several of us who had worked for Stevenson decided that the Democratic Party was dormant in East Orange, that they were being run over by the Republicans, and we had to do something about it. ... So, in our ward, we formed the Third Ward Democratic Club, which was our ward, and ... I was the leader. Shirley became the precinct chairperson for our part of the ward. ... What'd they call them? Committeeperson, that's what they were, committeeperson. There were about twelve committeepersons from each ward and ... we, then, ... went around and organized opposition in all twelve committee posts to elect our own council people, committeeperson. These are the people who go around, and ring doorbells, and bring out the vote, and, also, they, then, in turn, vote for the ward leader, the Democrats, and the ward leader was the guy I wanted to get rid of, because he had just been a patsy for the Republicans. Anyhow, he decided not only to run for reelection as the ward chairman, but, also, [to] oppose me in the primary for the council. So, we took him on and we won. ... I won the primary. ... We won most of the committee seats in the ward, practically every one of them. So, my people were in power in the Democratic Party and we kept the organization together, this Third Ward Democratic Club, even after the election. Well, I lost by only two or three hundred votes. It's a small number, out of eight or nine thousand. ...
CI: The closest margin.
HK: That was the closest, yeah, and, after that, within a year or two, the guy who was my campaign manager got elected to the council from our ward, and the Democrats gradually took over the whole [of] East Orange. They've been there ever since, but, ... it was our group that started the revolution there. So, that's the story of my run for East Orange City Council.
CI: So, that was your only attempt at office?
HK: That was the only public office. ... I tried to be a delegate to several Democratic National Conventions, ... but, the guy I pick ... always drops out of the race too early, or he's too liberal, or something. ... So, I haven't made it because my candidate is gone by the time the election comes up for delegates. This year, I'll be ... for Clinton. He has no opposition.
CI: You were entering the CIO right after the great strikes of 1946 that spread all across the country. Did those strikes leave an impression on you?
HK: No, because, ... in '46, that would have been my period in ... Asbury Park ... and Lakewood, yeah, ... '47. The day I went to work for the CIO was in June, I think 14th, 1947. It happens to be the day that ... Congress overrode Truman's veto of the Taft-Hartley law and [it] became law. So, that was the day I went to work for the labor movement.
CI: I was going to ask you about that also, the Taft-Hartley Act.
HK: The day Taft-Hartley became law, and so, for a long period there, we were interested in getting Taft-Hartley changed, or repealed, and I made many speeches. That's another thing. I was very, very active in the CIO position in other organizations, coalitions, speechmaking. ... During Truman's period, he was the first one that raised national health insurance, and I became very involved in the drive to get the national health insurance bill that Truman was pushing enacted, and so, I would end up, night after night, debating a guy from the Medical Society who was against national health insurance. We'd go around different organizations, different places, debating that issue. ... So, there was no TV, ... TV wasn't prominent at that time. I'd go around and do radio programs, as well as ... public speaking on it.
CI: What was your position on it?
HK: Oh, for it, of course.
CI: I mean, why?
HK: Why? Oh, well, because, today, we have so many millions of people who are not covered, have nothing, and we're the only ... industrialized nation in the world without a national health program, and ... it's a tremendous problem for so many families and for so many people. ... You know, go out again, the last two or three years, I've made lots of speeches on that subject. ... I produced newspaper articles on the question of national health insurance. I testified. ... Yeah, so, national health insurance was something I [pursued].
Also during my period with the CIO, ... [I] was appointed to the board of the New Jersey Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the non-profit plan. I was representing the CIO on that board and that got me deeply involved in the intricacies of medical care, and hospital expenses, and so on. I was being involved with policy making on Blue Cross and Blue Shield. ... I mean, that didn't interfere with my being for national health insurance. It just gave me more knowledge and more interest in the field dealing with health.
So, I ran the gamut of all the issues that one can imagine that might affect consumers or labor. As the lobbyist for CIO-New Jersey, I got involved with the Congress and the senators from New Jersey. I would write letters to them about legislation that we were interested in, in Washington, and, periodically, I'd be called on by the CIO to come to Washington and lobby, and I, eventually, arranged yearly breakfast meetings between our top CIO leaders from New Jersey with members of Congress, senators and Congressmen. Not everybody accepted our invitation, but, quite a few did, including quite a few Republicans. Then, we would talk to them about what legislation we were interested in. ... So, that got me down to Washington, occasionally, for lobbying purposes.
I also got involved with the National CIO, ... because I had ... worked with the Chamber of Commerce in New Jersey, actually, to develop a new approach to unemployment insurance in New Jersey. They wanted certain changes that we wanted, and we tried to work them out, and, eventually, we got a bill through, and ... I learned a lot about unemployment insurance, the intricacies of it, during that period. The CIO was interested in having something put together to guide all state organizations of labor on unemployment insurance, which can be complicated at times, and so, I was asked to write a book on it for them, and I did. I wrote a book, ... which, again, required me to do a lot of research, and become very well acquainted with all the intricacies of unemployment insurance, and then, not only to come up with how it works, but, how it should work, what it should be on all these different questions, durations, qualifications, rationales justifying a larger amount, weekly amounts, and so on. So, it was a book that the CIO published. ... Unemployment Insurance was the title of it. Basically, the CIO guide for state [unemployment insurance].
They said, "Oh, now, we've got to educate all these states on this. So, how about going all over the country and lecturing to the ... state organizations about the subject?" ... They also had a book written at the same time on worker's compensation by another guy, from another [state], Ohio CIO, ... and so, the both of us, then, went to, I don't know, six or eight regional meetings all over the country, my first extensive travel around the US.
CI: Where did you go?
HK: ... I do remember places like Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, first visits with Mormons, ... Atlanta, I think New Orleans, and, obviously, New York, ... and I would spend a full day leading discussions ... on unemployment insurance, and, the next day, my buddy would spend the full day on worker's compensation, and these were basically from several states in that region, the state leaders of the CIO in that state.
CI: So, you were educating the ...
HK: Leaders, yeah. What the law's about, and what they should strive for, and how to go about getting it.
CI: Okay. Oh, it was still going.
HK: ... I got to get around the country, both that and, also, the lobby in Washington. So, those were educational experiences for me. I kept learning from all of those experiences.
CI: Do you have any memories of the campaign to purge Communists from the CIO? In 1949, I read that the CIO expelled nine unions in New Jersey, I believe, and nationally.
HK: Yeah, there were at least nine Communist dominated unions in '47, which was my first year with the CIO-New Jersey, ... or later, maybe into '48, or even later. I'm not sure [of the] exact years. In that '47 to '49 period, we, New Jersey-CIO, ... had some unions that ... were following the Communist Party line, and then, ... the National CIO decided to oust these, I think it was a dozen, unions. The one that ... I paid the most attention to was the electrical workers union, because they were the biggest one in New Jersey, as far as Communist domination, and, ... preparing for the ouster, I think it was underway, there were hearings being held, and you knew pretty much what was coming. ... Jim Carey, who was then the secretary/treasurer of the CIO under Phil Murray, was going to form a new electrical workers union called the IUE, ... the International Union of Electrical Workers. He had been in the UE, he was part of the UE, and he was now going to form a new, non-Communist union, and try to win over all of the people in locals ... from the UE, after it was expelled, and, ... to do that, you had people in control of the local unions who were generally Communist Party members, or ... followers, so, you had to build up new leadership for these new locals.
So, we in the state CIO organization were asked, and we did set up classes for some of the key people in these locals who were aspiring to lead the new IUE, or had already been elected to lead, but, now, they needed training in everything from parliamentary procedure to the history of the labor movement, or what have you, and there were all kinds of issues that they needed ... instruction on. ... These classes, some of them had to be held surreptitiously, because the UE was still in existence, and I remember, occasionally, going up to bars. Upstairs, above the bar, there would be a class assembled, and I would run a class in whatever the subject was, whether it was public speaking, or parliamentary procedure, or ... labor law, or what have you, and some of the people I trained later became officers of those local unions. Some became national officers from New Jersey of those unions in the IUE. That was the union that I had the most contact with on the Commie issue, ... though there were other unions that similarly were expelled and most of those locals came back to the CIO under the IUE banner.
CI: So, how did you feel about Communism?
HK: Well, ... obviously, I had had a personal experience which soured me. ... In fact, first of all, ... I was a Democrat, both with a capital D and a small d. When we were living in Union, New Jersey, in an apartment there, across the hall from us was a couple, and ... the guy, who evidently was a Commie, he never said so to me, but, he obviously was, would ... try to convince me about the Communist line. ... Day after day, he'd talk to me, and try to get me involved, and, ... most of the time, I could see through [it], the stuff was a lot of bullshit, and ... if the party changed the line, he would change his line. So, I had this personal contact which soured me on Communists. ... When I was back in Plainfield, then, I was active in that Independent Citizens League. There was a Communist Party cell in Plainfield. They tried [to get] me to come ... and join their cell. I said, "No soap." So, I had some personal experience with the people. I could never be that disciplined to follow a foreign power or to follow somebody's [line]. ...
CI: You seemed pretty independent.
HK: Yeah, they jump around, and, one day, the Yanks are not coming, and then, the Yanks are coming tomorrow, when it came to opening a second front in Europe, where the line changed overnight. ... So, those were my personal experiences with Communists and, ... apart from [that], the ideology doesn't grab me.
CI: It does seem like you do have socialist tendencies, from your stance towards national medicine.
HK: Well, it is not. ... National health insurance is not socialized medicine. The state does not hire the doctors, as you do in socialized medicine. What we have here is an expansion of social security. The state collects taxes, ... either from payroll or from income, in one form or another, like social security, and the state, ... or the state meaning the national or state government, pays the doctors and the hospitals for the services. So, for me, it's an expansion of social security, not socialized in a sense that all these people are working for the government. They're not and ... you have a choice.
CI: Is it your feeling that labor unions were attacked in the name of Communism, that it was a way of weakening the labor movement?
HK: Oh, yeah. There was a period there where this was the ... way the right wing was using to attack the CIO. When I worked for Reuther, the same ... people were trying to smear the UAW and the CIO with the brush of Communism, ... because most Americans didn't like Communism. If you could smear someone with that brush, then, they wouldn't like the [CIO]. ... To put it mildly, the attacks on labor [persisted] ... 'til the CIO kicked the Communist unions out.
CI: Did you have anything to do with Operation: Dixie, the effort by the CIO to unionize the South?
HK: No, no.
CI: Nothing? Do you have any opinions on that?
HK: Obviously, it ...
CI: ... Failed.
HK: Yeah. It needs to be done, but, ... no, I had nothing to do with that, and, other than the newspaper guilds that I organized, I ... [had] nothing to do really with organizing the workers, ... after those first two experiences.
CI: So, it was just lobbying after that?
HK: Right. Lobbying, and public relations, and speeches, ... yeah. Representing the labor movement, representing workers, educating, but, not organizing. ...
CI: Could you discuss the position of the AFL during the post-war years as compared to the CIO? What did you think of George Meany?
HK: Well, ... I was one that regretted that the CIO merged with the AFL, because I figured that the CIO was doing a great job. ... We were the union that not only kicked the Communists out, but, were doing a lot in the civil rights field. We did not have any locals, or internationals, that discriminated on the basis of race, or color, or sex, whereas there were many locals discriminating on the AF of L side, many international units that had discrimination. The day that Martin Luther King had the big event on the Mall, which I was there, ... the AF of L did not participate. The CIO unions were all over the place participating in that, but, Meany refused to participate in it. So, as late as that period, there was still this ... racial animus there, ... and so, apart from the race issue, apart from greater militancy, more action on legislation, very active in political action, all these were to the CIO's benefit, compared to the AF of L.
In New Jersey, where I was a lobbyist, I used to observe the lobbyist for the AF of L, who happened to be their state president, off in a room there, playing poker with some of the guys from the legislature, while I was out pounding my feet on the floor lobbying. ... So, I had somewhat unfavorable impressions of the AF of L at that period, and, when the merger came, New Jersey-CIO was the last state to merge with the State AFL, and all our guys felt very strongly about it, and, to this day, they have a separate organization, the New Jersey Industrial Union Council, which the former CIO unions still belong to, even [though] they're part of the State AFL-CIO, and that's very rare among the various states, but, they felt so strongly about it, they still [maintain that organization]. ... I once asked Walter Reuther, when I was working for him, ... I was writing for him, and I was writing things that attacked the AF of L, this was after they merged, attacked Meany for some issue that he had done something wrong [on], whether it was civil rights or foreign policy, and so, ... [we] were on the outs, somewhat, with the AF of L after the merger. I asked Reuther, "How come you even merged, given what you know about the AF of L, ... and so on?" and his answer was that, "Well, a couple of the CIO unions," and he mentioned specifically who they were and who the individuals were, "were preparing to desert the ship and go into the AFL."
CI: So, you had to bring them back.
HK: And, he figured that, ... better march them all in together and make the best deal possible, rather than seeing the CIO split that way, with two or more of its biggest unions breaking off and going back to the AF of L. So, that was his answer and excuse of why the merger came about. A couple of years later, the UAW ... withdrew from the AF of L over some foreign policy issues and ... it wasn't until several years later ... that it came back into the AFL-CIO. So, there were strong feelings about ... the conservativeness, if you will, of the AF of L, compared with the CIO.
CI: How did you come to your position with Reuther?
HK: After ... I was there ten years with the CIO-New Jersey, 'til '57, ... after I got defeated for City Council, somewhere around that time, Carl Holdeman left the CIO to become the state labor commissioner after Bob Meyner was elected. I had an idea that I might run for president of the State CIO, after he left. He did not support me, Holdeman that is. He supported one of the other guys on the staff, ... several of the staff. ...
CI: Why was that?
HK: ... The other guy treated him as a father. Actually, the other guy didn't have a father, and ... they got very fraternal, father-son kind of relationship, and, of course, I was always independent, so, I didn't need the father. I had a father. I think that's the principle reason that, you know, they felt emotionally joined together. ... The guys on the staff split. Several of the guys, at least three of them, were for me, and ... Holdeman was for the other guy, and then, ... a third guy entered into the picture from our biggest union, so, this was all before any election came up, and ... it looked to me like the ... third guy, who had not been on the staff at all, he was a stranger, might win, because he had the big union with him, and so, ... I decided to back off. I didn't want him to win, and I proposed a solution, or a proposal to all the guys, which was to have a triumvirate run the organization. ... One of the guys backing me was the secretary treasurer, and he would be one of the triumvirate, the guy who Holdeman liked would be a member of it, and the new guy, who ... had the biggest political following, would be the president, but, those three would run things. I would remain in my position as the lobbyist and public relations director. So, that's what happened, and that's what they were elected, the triumvirate, and, again, my relations with them were very good, right up to the last day. ... We've been friends ever since, too. ... One of them is dead.
After fifty-two years, your wife is free to say anything, ... just as the husband is free to say anything he wants. She keeps me up straight most of the time. ... So, having lost the election, having lost another election, in effect, an offer was made to one of the other guys on the staff. There was an opening in the CIO Legislative Department in Washington. When they merged, the organization, the old legislative departments were merged, and there were so many from the CIO and so many from the AFL. Now, one CIO guy leaves, they got to get another CIO that'll replace him. It's a patronage kind of thing. So, the offer came to one of the guys on the staff who would have liked to see me leave, so I wouldn't be a future contestant, but, he was still friendly. I mean, I don't really mean that in a bad sense, but, it wouldn't hurt to get me out of the way. So, he didn't want to take this job in Washington. He mentioned it to me and I jumped on it, ... as a lobbyist for the national organization in Washington, ... but, there was a hitch. You had to get approval of the three, ... the leaders of the three biggest CIO unions, to get a job. That was part of the patronage.
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HK: I had steel and IUE. Now, I needed the auto workers president, which was Reuther, and ... it was arranged, again, by ... one of this triumvirate who knew Reuther well, for Reuther to interview me, and Reuther was going to be in New York on Lincoln's Birthday. He was going to make a speech at a regional meeting of the auto workers in New York. We went over to New York and met him. It was in a ... hotel room there, met him for the first time, and ... we chatted, and I had sent him, before the meeting, a bunch of my writings, everything from the Unemployment Insurance book, to press releases, to the annual reports that I used to write for the CIO-New Jersey, legislative stuff, all kinds of stuff. Apparently, he had read it, and, ... after a very short time, he said, "If you're as good as they tell me you are, I don't want you to go to work for George Meany. Why don't you come to work for me in Detroit?" I said, "Oh, well," ...
CI: Well, you were not expecting that.
HK: Yeah, I wasn't expecting it. Of course, I was delighted to hear it. Walter Reuther was a god, and so, I said, "Well, I'll have to check with my wife. I'll get back to you." I knew what the answer was going to be, but, I ... said I would check with her and get back to him. That's what I did. She was downstairs waiting for me and we walked around the block. A couple days later, I guess this was on a weekend, the following Monday, I called Detroit and told him, "Yes, I would."
We had discussed, then, what I would do while we were still having this interview, and ... what I would do was a couple of things. One is, I would handle all of his incoming mail, and I didn't realize how great it was 'till I got there, from outside the union. ... The UAW mail, there was a guy who handled that mail, that was largely internal political stuff, ... but, the mail from other unions, or from the public, I would handle for him, decide whether he needed to see it, ... or sign it, or whether I could take care of it. ... So, that was one. Number two, the most important, was, ... he put out, periodically, something called the Administrative Letter, which was usually four pages, and, in it, he discussed anything and everything in the world, whatever happened to be the topic that he wanted to talk to ... the people about, and this went to every union officer, UAW, all over the country, as well as the international union staff. So, it was an internal thing, but, it had ... the UAW line on Meany, or on collective bargaining with General Motors, or about the sheriff in Michigan, or anything. ... It would depend on the issue. I would write that for him and ... I think those were the two. Oh, one other thing, ... Jimmy Hoffa was then being grilled by the McClellan Committee on the Hill. The Congress was still on this anti-labor kick, and ... they thought that the UAW might be coming up next for hearings, and, therefore, I was to keep tabs on that, and prepare the testimony when and if ... they had to go up and testify. Meanwhile, I would be preparing for that, whatever needed to be prepared. So, those were the three principal things and those are the things I did, and I, for many months, ... gathered material to defend the UAW against various charges. ...
CI: Were you allowed to write the newsletters independently or did he formulate these periodicals?
HK: No, the Administrative Letter ...
CI: Was he just dictating it?
HK: No, no. ... Frequently, ... either he or his number one administrative assistant, a guy named Jack Conway, would give me the topic, or, ... you know, suggest that we draw up an Administrative Letter on this, or, sometimes, Walter would have made a speech somewhere, and it would be transcribed, and I would take the speech, and convert it into the Administrative Letter. ... It was basically his ideas on some subject. ... Sometimes it [was] based on, like, when the UAW created a new public review board, which had outside people, ... where union members could complain to them about violations of the ... UAW constitutions by the officers, so, [it] gave the membership a chance to, ... in effect, bring the officers up on charges of violating the constitution in some way, and the public review board would review the charges, and issue a decision on it. When that was first created, it was rather novel. Very few unions had a public review board to review their activities, and so, ... I wrote up letters announcing that, giving the background, indicating that it's kind of rare in the labor movement, we were way out front. That was the sort of thing.
When it came to George Meany on some foreign policy issue, again, I would get a trigger, and, sometimes, I would get a copy of the speech that had been transcribed, or something else that would give me some clues to his more intricate thinking on a subject, and, occasionally, of course, I would go with him, and listen to his speech, and get some material from that. ... Rarely did he use a prepared speech. [He] often would speak. If he only spoke for an hour, he figured it was a short speech. He would always go over an hour and he would never read the speech. He would, at most, ... have a little card with one, or two, or three words on it to give him clues, what he wanted to touch on in this particular place, and the only time that he used a prepared thing was before that congressional committee, which came up a couple of years later. ... I did the first and the last draft, but, in-between, there must have been twelve other drafts of the testimony by lawyers, ... Joe Rauh was the lawyer, and others got involved, ... between the first draft and the last draft.
CI: What was the testimony about?
HK: Well, basically, it was that the UAW is a clean union. We have this public review board, we ... don't have any Communism, we don't have any gangsters. ...
CI: Was that all? I mean, as far as you know.
HK: ... Well, the thing they really went after the UAW on was alleged violence in strikes. That was the big issue with us. We had had a long, long strike at the guy who makes the toilet appliances, Kohler, in Wisconsin. The Kohler strike had been a long and bloody one and it had a, twenty years before that, history, when it had a long and bloody one to organize the Kohler plant. Now, they were out, I don't know, over a year, and there was a lot of times when things got rough on the picket line, ... when they brought in scabs, and so, ... the UAW, at that point, was being accused ... of violence on picket lines, based on the Kohler strike, and, maybe, one other. So, most of the defense, most of the questioning from Goldwater, who was on the committee, and Mundt, one of the committee members, Republicans, ... and Jack Kennedy was on the committee, and Bobby was counsel to the committee, and, ... after they got done with Hoffa, they figured, now, they have to ... rough up one of their friends in order to counterbalance that, and, of course, the Republicans ate it up, but, Walter amazed them. You know, not just with the prepared testimony, but, he turned everything into an attack on the Republicans, and, ... after one day, they said they didn't want any more.
CI: So, he just shot from the hip.
HK: Yeah, right, right, and ... he was so eloquent, and so wise, and so knowledgeable. ...
CI: You have a lot of respect for the man.
HK: Oh, yeah. I said many times, "When I went to work for him, he was God. When I left, he was only son of God." [laughter]
CI: Is there anything else you want to talk about concerning the UAW?
HK: Well, from the UAW, again, through a friend, I heard ...
CI: You moved back East.
HK: Yeah, ... American University, here in Washington, was looking for someone to head up a ... foreign labor training program. It was called the Foreign Trade Union Training Program. The AU had gotten a contract from ... the ICA, the Foreign Aid Program, and the State Department. They would bring over a group of union leaders from a particular country, usually the top brass, the George Meanys and others of that country, ... and we would get them at American U. for three weeks of orientation to American democracy and American unions. Then, they would go out and visit the country. The people would take them around to different unions, and factories, and so on. This was a sort of a broad knowledge base for them, to what they were going to see in the US, and hear in the US. AU was getting this contract, and they needed somebody to manage the program. ... I had already started law school at night in Detroit when I was working at the UAW. ... I had done my freshman year at Wayne State, at that point, and I was interested in continuing the law school, and heard that AU had a law school, and, if I was on the faculty, I could get free tuition. So, that made it doubly interesting, and so, ... I accepted the position.
I knew what had to be known about the American labor movement at that time, and there would have been no great challenge, and I had done educational work over the years, setting up courses, and training programs, and arranging training. ... Every month, 'cause the group would be there three weeks, we'd get a week in-between, then, the next country would come in. So, every month, we'd have a new group.
I took it, we moved to Washington, and ... I did that a couple of years, 'til Kennedy got elected. I ran the program and I had an assistant. So, he and I split the teaching up, one in the morning, one in the afternoon. ... We each came from different parts of the labor movement, so, we balanced each other out very nicely, and ... each month, I put together a new curriculum ... for this particular group. If they were rubber workers, I tried to invite someone from the rubber workers union here in Washington to come, and that sort of thing, and, ... I think, yeah, and then, Kennedy got elected, and I decided that I'd like to go with the new administration. I was very impressed with Kennedy ... and I applied to two things with the administration. One was the Equal Employment Opportunity Committee. It wasn't called that, but, that's what it was. ... This was going to be under Vice-President Johnson, and the other was the Peace Corps, which was just ... about to be set up, and the first one that called was the Peace Corps. ... I called to talk to Harris Wofford. Does that ring a bell with you, that name? He was a senator from Pennsylvania a couple of years ago. He's now the head of Clinton's program with young people.
CI: The All-America Job Corps?
HK: Yeah, ... not the job corps, but, the Americorps.
HK: Yeah, he's the head of that. At that time, he had been one of Kennedy's closest ... advisors, and he was working for the Democratic National Committee, and he was helping to ... bring people into the Peace Corps, and plan it, at that time. ... So, I wrote him and he asked me to put together two papers, one on ... what the volunteers should be taught before they go overseas. So, I put together a curriculum outline which, eventually, became the first training program for the Peace Corps volunteer and a second one on, "How would the labor movement be involved with the Peace Corps?" and so, ... at any rate, I got called, and ... became the assistant to the associate director who was in charge of all the domestic side of the Peace Corps, recruitment, selection, and training of the volunteers, all before they went overseas, and, ... in that role, I wrote the first training program. ...
CI: What was the training?
HK: Oh, obviously, language training, ... country information about that country where you're going, American studies, you know, what is it about the US that you need to make sure to know and tell people. ... Those were the three principle issues. ... I forget what else it was. ... So, Harris Wofford passed my stuff on to the guy who became the first associate director. Later on, it was Bill Moyers, and then, I was Bill Moyers' assistant. ... Bill was deputy director of the Peace Corps. At any rate, I went on from that to ... become the coordinator of all three of these branches, recruitment, selection, and training. ... You had to make sure you recruited enough people with the right qualities, and selected the right ones, and put them into training at the right kind of ways to make sure you could fill the overseas requirements. ... The timing of all this had to be figured out. Also, you had to get contracts with the universities to do the training, and, eventually, we set up training in Puerto Rico. ... One of my last positions was ... coordinator of Peace Corps activities in Puerto Rico, which included everything from physical training in camps, to university ... training, and then, practical experience with Puerto Rican government departments, particularly for those going to Latin America.
So, I was hired. I may have been twentieth on the payroll in the Peace Corps in the planning days, before there was a Peace Corps, and then, ... Kennedy issued his executive order creating us, and ... we went through all these things. We had people ready to go overseas before Congress passed the law, which didn't come 'til the fall and just as they were about to take off for the first country. Oh, and then, ... the first country, ... what did they call me? Training officer for the group that went to Rutgers for training to go to Colombia, and CARE, ... you know what CARE is?
HK: CARE was the co-sponsor of that group ... which trained at Rutgers for a couple of months and they went on to ... Colombia.
CI: So, these were just individuals from around the country that went to Rutgers to train for the Peace Corps?
HK: Yeah, ... volunteers, right. The volunteers, well, one of the earliest things that I had to do there, when Kennedy first announced this, people wrote in, and so, when I came in, there was a desk full of thousands, maybe tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands. ...
CI: Tremendous interest.
HK: Letters, you know, "I want to join." Well, you had to get all those, had to send them the form to fill out, 'cause you couldn't let 'em join on the basis of a handwritten note. So, we had to devise a form. We got the forms out. People sent the forms in, then, you had to devise a selection procedure. ... From all these people applying, let's say you're going to go to Colombia. What should the people for Colombia who are gonna do farming work, let's say, or agricultural or community development, whatever, what kind of people are you looking for? Well, the selection people, ... from the University of Michigan, we got the head of the Psych Department there. They had a hundred and ten psychology professors at the University of Michigan at the time, and the head of the department came on for the group to formulate the selection issues, and process, and one of the key decisions was that the selection would continue through the whole two month training period. ... You would have Peace Corps ... selection officers visiting the group while they were in training at the university, or wherever, and making decisions, so that before they went overseas, you would wash out some people who, during training, showed that they were not the type you wanted to send overseas. So, it was an extended selection process, and then, ... the people were sent overseas, and ... with a country director, and so on. ... My role ended once they left, took the plane and went overseas. ... Well, I had several roles [with] the Peace Corps in those early days. ...
CI: What are your memories of Sargent Shriver?
HK: ... They were all pretty good. ... He was a terrific leader. ... I remember one thing that was distinguishing. He had this, what we called the squawk box, next to his desk and he was able to plug in thirty different department heads. You know, push a button, and they would come on the squawk box, and he would talk to them, or issue an order, and ... when I was teaching management, or studying management, they used to say, you know, nobody should ... try to direct more than x number of people, I don't know ... if it was seven, or fourteen, or some number. He would direct thirty people with no effort, and successfully, and ... there was everything from physicians to doctors, you know. We'd give them the medical part of it, psychologists, educators, ... and all kinds of foreign experts, you know, people who would ... run around foreign countries, and sign agreements for what they wanted, and people who would ... talk to ambassadors, and so on. So, you had a great diversity of people and ... he managed all that very effectively.
Subsequently, I've had contacts with him. About a dozen years after my Peace Corps service, ... I wrote another book, which ... was based on my dissertation in 1974 ... for my Ph.D., and it got published, and, ... before it was published, I asked Sarge to write the forward in the book, because ... the book dealt with ... affirmative action, equal employment opportunity, ... focused on minorities and women. That was [the] ... direction I went, but, it was called The Participatory Bureaucracy: Women And Minorities In A More Representative Public Service, and how to bring that [about, since], one, ... we don't have a representative public service, two, ... why is it a good idea to have one and how do you go about getting it. Those are the issues I covered, and so, I sent it to him ... to write the forward, and he did, and ... right after that, he called me in with two or three others, ... a Catholic priest, a guy who wrote speeches for John Kennedy, and a fourth person, I can't remember who the fourth was now, anyhow, to help him write a speech for Notre Dame University, where he [Shriver] was going to get the highest award that Notre Dame gives to civilians. ... He got that human rights award and ... they would expect him to make a major address. So, he wanted help from the four of us to put this speech together.
CI: Good thing he had the priest. [laughter]
HK: Yeah, the priest was in there, oh, yes, ... Father So-and-So, I can't remember his name, from Georgetown, and ... we met over dinner, and then, we decided to split up parts of the speech, and I did the part that dealt with bureaucracy, about ... that, you know, there are lots of good things in the bureaucracy, it isn't all bad, and ... how it could be made better, and then, ... the speechwriter took these pieces, and integrated them into the speech, and it was eventually printed, and ... my piece went in pretty much as I wrote it. ... So, that was my way of reciprocating for his forward to my book, and I've seen him several times, and we've met ... just this year. They had the thirty-fifth anniversary of the Peace Corps here in Washington, only about a month or two ago, and we had a chance to chat there. ... So, I'm still very high on Sarge.
CI: How do you feel about what the Peace Corps has accomplished?
HK: I think they've done an awful lot and they could do more, if Congress would give them more money, 'cause there's a lot of countries asking for volunteers ... [and] we can't meet their needs right now, ... but, we could do more. It's the cheapest form of foreign aid, and it's great for America, and it's great for the people, 'cause, when they come back, I hear all the things they've gone into and done, from writing books to getting elected to Congress and the Senate.
HK: We have four senator who are former Peace Corps people, ... big batch in the House, and this is gonna increase, the seeds, the leaders of tomorrow, basically. Although, ... they do take older people in the Peace Corps. It's not just ... youngsters.
CI: I am sure you favored most of the other programs, such as the Job Corps and Head Start.
HK: Job Corps, for a while, I ran the Job Corps, later on. ...
CI: You did?
HK: Yeah. ... When Kennedy decided that this is a good idea with the Peace Corps, "We'll see, maybe, how about something like that in domestic?" and ... they set up a task force to study it. I was asked to come on board and did. ... Actually, [I was] the only one from the Peace Corps who went over to help form the domestic Peace Corps, what later became VISTA, and I was director of recruitment, selection, and training for the President's Study Group on the national Service Corps, which was what it was called when we were planning it, and ... were in an old mansion near the White House. ...
CI: Did you ever meet President Kennedy or Robert Kennedy?
HK: ... Bobby, yes, Jack, no. I heard Jack speak a couple times, but, I never shook his hand. ... Bobby, I met, yes, 'cause Bobby headed this task force that I joined to plan the domestic Peace Corps. It was funded largely out of the Justice Department, but, there was also some money from HEW. This was all done on presidential initiative, like the Peace Corps. ... I actually went on the payroll of Smokey the Bear, the Agriculture Department paid me, the department that had Smoky the Bear. That's what I was being paid out of while I worked with this. ...
CI: So, there was nothing coming from Congress?
HK: No, not at this time. It was all planning, again, ... and this was fabulous, 'cause ... one of my jobs was to go around the country and visit places that could use a domestic Peace Corps. I visited an Indian tribe or two, the ... Oglala Sioux, particularly, the second largest tribe in the United States, which was in terrible shape then, and it still is. They don't have gambling. I visited a mental institution here in Maryland, which was horrible. ... I went through the Mississippi Delta and four or five of these exploratory things, and then, I wrote 'em up. When we finally got a guy to head this task force, this domestic Peace Corps planning group, he happened to be the former ... commander of the Nautilus, that went around the North Pole ... Commander ...
HK: Anderson, yeah, he was the guy. So, now, they wanted me to take Anderson around to all these places I had ... checked out and show him what was going on there. I said, "I'll take you here, I'll take you to this. But, I won't go to the mentally retarded institution." I said, "That's too bad. I can't go back there. You'll have to do that on your own or with someone else," and so, I did take him around to some of these places. I wrote it up. It then became part of our report to the President, ... the need for ... the domestic Peace Corps, what it would do, and so on. ... Kennedy ... decided to go ahead with it, and so, then, we drew up the legislation. We then wrote the speeches for both the Democratic and Republican members of Congress who were going to speak on this subject. We wrote the testimony of the people who came to the hearings to testify from organizations all over the US that favored the idea. We made sure that their testimony was accurate, and full, and so on. This really gave me an inside view into how legislation is created at the federal level. Congressmen rarely write the bill or anything else. It's all done by lobbyists. ... Many are from the government side. In this case, the government did most of the [work]. ...
CI: So, you would hand testimonies to the participants?
HK: Right. We would prepare it. ... I wasn't the lobbyist on this, you know. We had a guy who would go up to the senator, or the congressman, or whoever, and deliver it, but, ... I wrote some of it, and I did write a major thing for the President ... about the need for the domestic Peace Corps. ... It's funny, 'cause, at some point, in the summer of '63, I decided to take my first vacation in a long time. Me and the family went up to a place we'd been to many times in Ontario, a place to fish up there in a lodge, and, ... after a couple of days there, there were no phones at that time on the place, but, a Canadian ... what do you call those Canadian police? ...
HK: Mountie came down with a canoe down, down the lake. ...
CI: He had an important message. [laughter]
HK: Actually, there was a phone, you know, about a half a mile away, but, ... he was bringing me a telegram from Washington, saying I was out of a job. Congress had refused to appropriate and ... one of the congressmen had put a clause in that the President couldn't use money from other departments to continue us in existence, and so, ... as of June 30th, the fiscal year ended, that's when we were done, and I'm up there like the Fourth of July, up in Canada, and I get this message. Well, I decided we ... were going to enjoy the rest of the vacation. I'll worry about it when I get home, which is what happened. When I got home, I made a couple of calls and ... was hired by the Labor Department within a week or so. I hadn't used up my annual leave yet, so, I really never was unemployed. ...
SK: When did you go to the Corps?
HK: That came later. I didn't go to it. ... I helped create it. ... So, in about the second or third week in July, I went to work for the Labor Department, which I then did for almost twenty years. ... At first, I had two job offers with the Labor Department. I took 'em both. The first one was going to be a short-term thing. It was to start a manpower training program in New York City. ... Senator, now he's the senator from New York, at that time, he was assistant to the President ...
HK: Moynihan, yeah, thank you dear.
SK: Patrick Moynihan.
HK: Yeah, Patrick ... had been deeply involved with Mayor Wagner in New York City and city politics, and he had gotten one of the first grants, the manpower training program had just been passed, and he had gotten a big grant, $2 million, from the City of New York to train ... unemployed young people, youth between the ages of seventeen and twenty-one for jobs [and] look around for jobs. So, New York had gotten this award from the Labor Department and they didn't know what to do with it. Nobody had ever done this before with "disadvantaged youth," as they were called in those days, and so, ... I was hired by ... this special office of the Labor Department that dealt with these special grants to go up to New York, and get them off the ground. ... I said, "Well, I want to take this permanent job ... with the Bureau of Employment Security in the department." I was offered that, and, here, I'm going to be assistant administrator in this bureau, and ... it's, like, a long-term thing, but, okay, I'll take this just to get ... my feet in the water and, ... in a couple of weeks, I should have them off the ground.
Well, I didn't know New York City and how difficult it is to get anything done there. ... It took me three months to get out of the city and ... I dealt with twenty or more organizations. I hired two secretaries and turned them over, eventually, to the guy that the city finally appointed to run the program from the city's viewpoint. ... They were supposed to open storefronts all over the city. The first storefront didn't open 'til the week I left, after [the] three months it took them to get a lease through the city bureaucracy, and so, ... I helped them write the training program and ... everything to get this thing. What they were going to do was train ... two thousand youth a year, ... for jobs, and this was to prepare them in all kinds of ways, not just technical training, but, how do you fill out an application, everything.
I finally got that thing off the ground, and, after three months, went to the other job in the Labor Department, where I stayed in the Labor Department, in the Employment and Training Administration, for the rest of my career in the Labor Department, which was seventeen years, because I ended up with twenty years in the government before I left. ... In that, I held a number of different jobs, and the one that ... probably gave me the greatest satisfaction was something I created my first or second year at the Labor Department, and that was what we referred to as Project CAUSE. ... CAUSE, I even made up the initials. It was the Counselor Advisor University Summer Education Project, CAUSE, and what it involved, patterning ... on the Peace Corps and domestic Peace Corps, ... there was a shortage of counselors to counsel youth in employment. ... The employment service was short of counselors. They could only hire Master's degree counselors, and they were very short, ... and so, I decided that I would create a system, a Peace Corps-type system, to train counselors to advise youth, and, at the same time, I created Youth Opportunity Centers, which would be separate offices of the employment service all over the country just for this seventeen to twenty-one year age group, and it would appeal to them in many ways, many unique ways. This office would be different from the kind of office that the employment service had. ...
CI: How is that?
HK: Everything from magazines on tables, and easy chairs, and no counters, and things like that.
HK: That would be different from an ordinary office, ordinary employment service. Well, all of this came to pass. We got over a hundred youth opportunity centers set up all around the country. I went around making dedicating speeches everywhere from Alaska to California, four different dedications in Ohio in one day, in the four big cities in Ohio, and so on. ...
CI: What sort of budget were you allowed?
HK: Well, there was no appropriation by Congress. What I did was dream up that I could use the manpower development and training funds to train people for jobs. All you had to be was unemployed or underemployed. Well, I broadened the definition of underemployed. If you weren't making enough money, you were underemployed, and, again, it was the same type of Peace Corps recruitment. We put out recruitment [materials], we ran a test in every employment service in the country, one weekend day when people can come in and take a test that our selection people had devised especially for this kind of thing, and it was a unique kind of test. ... It tested [what] you were likely to face in a youth counseling situation. ... "This kid comes in with this, blah, blah, blah, ... which of these five things would you do?" You know, you had to pick one of the five, ... and, also, a special ... application blank that could be graded like, "Have you ever been to a ... storefront church?" You know, we were looking for minorities and ... people who didn't fit the typical picture of a Master's degree counselor, and we got thousands of people who applied for this, and ... our selection people devised this ... terrific selection procedure. Again, I used the people from the University of Michigan. Not the head of it now, this was one of the guys who would become friendly with me. ... He and his colleagues devised this process, selected the people, and we sent them to training during the summer at twenty odd universities all over the United States, ... a training program devised specifically for this. So, they ended up, and because it was all day, it wasn't no leisurely five hour class, it was like the Peace Corps, practically a whole day in the two summer months, they got a degree in counseling. If they had a Master's, it would be upgraded. If they had a Bachelor's, they get a Master's degree out of this concentrated training. They'd have training in everything that was relevant to this program, including poverty, youth counseling, and so on.
CI: I just do not understand. This program was targeting underprivileged youths?
HK: It was unemployed and underemployed people.
CI: And, these were people with Bachelor's degrees?
HK: Some of them did, yes, and then, we had a third program where we had people with ... no degrees, and these got training to be, that's where ... we created a new position called counselor advisor, ... to include these people in who did not have any ... academic degrees. ... They were the ones who were going to be most of the outreach workers, and go out, and find the youth, and not just wait for them to walk through the door, ... but actually go out, and recruit, and bring them in. And so, we created this new position, and, ... again, we had signed up twenty or more universities around the US to give this training, according to our specifications, 'cause, again, ... our training people put together what they should be trained on during this period,
After, as it was ending, we, then, arranged with most of the states to hire these people, despite their civil service laws, and that was fun, trying to get them to go around, or overcome, or say, how this didn't match with their civil service laws. The worst time we had getting people hired over civil service was the District of Columbia, believe it or not. They are so rigid ... that it took us a long time before we got our people hired in Washington, DC. Naturally, we wanted to get people hired where they lived, no matter where they were trained or came from, and so, ... eventually, we had practically a hundred percent placement, and, now, just at that time, as we were setting up these youth opportunities, the poverty program that was enacted, a lot of these people then went into jobs ... for the poverty program. ...
SK: When you say these people ...
HK: The ones, the CAUSE trainees, ... who graduated from the CAUSE program, those are the ones, the two thousand. We did this two years in a row. So, in two years, we trained four thousand people ... for these jobs, and I, again, was successful in using manpower development and training funds on the grounds that we were selecting people who were underemployed or unemployed, and they met the definition under ... the Manpower Development and Training Act. ... What was unusual is, it wasn't being done by the states, it was really the federal uncle, actually, doing the recruitment, selection, training, and then, trying to get them hired by the state afterward, which we were successful in most cases, and then, ... with the poverty program, these people were natural to run the community action programs, and all the Head Start and other things of the poverty program, and the Job Corps. ... So, we had almost one hundred percent placement of all these people for two years and, ... after two years, the states got tired of the feds telling them what to do, and the program was killed and cut off, but, I won the department's highest award for that, for creating this whole Project CAUSE and the Youth Opportunity Centers. ... That was the highlight of my life, I would say, the Project CAUSE.
CI: That was your cause.
SK: In your mind, have you got it separated, training counselors ...
CI: Yeah, they were training the counselors?
SK: And, setting up the offices at the employment center for the youth?
HK: Youth opportunity centers.
SK: For the youth. Those are two separate things. You asked a few questions where I thought maybe ...
CI: It was a lot.
HK: It was two separate things, but, I was running them both simultaneously. I was in charge of ... the establishment of the youth opportunity centers. I was also in charge, ... at the Labor Department, I was liaison with the poverty program. I went over and negotiated with the Job Corps people to have the employment service do the recruitment and selection of people for the Job Corps, and we would do it through our new youth opportunity centers, who would get at these poverty kids that the Job Corps was looking for. So, I got an agreement with them ... to do that. ... In fact, again, we were on vacation in Puerto Rico, and I got a call from my boss at the Labor Department, "Come home, you've got to negotiate with Shriver tomorrow on the Job Corps issue," and we cut a day off our [vacation]. I remember we drove back all night from New York to Washington.
SK: I remember we were up in the mountains in New York and you had to fly back for a day on a little plane.
HK: That was different. That was on the lawsuit in Freehold. Yeah, that was when I was sued for libel. That was a different [occasion]. ...
CI: What was this?
HK: That was way back there, in Asbury Park.
HK: I told you, I was attacking all these city officials. ...
CI: Oh, you were sued.
HK: ... The gal who was the city clerk sued me for libel. Actually, it was more than that, they sued the paper ... because I wrote the stories. I was named as a defendant, and Walter Reade, of course, was the big pockets they were looking for. ... After a year or so, I was off working for the CIO already, the thing finally came to trial in Freehold. I was on a vacation up in Pennsylvania and everything seems to happen when we're on vacation.
CI: When you are on vacation?
HK: ... I had Walter Reade send a pilot and a plane up to where I was in Pennsylvania to pick me up and bring me to Freehold, and I got there, and that whole day, I sat around, didn't testify. I had to go back the next day. So, they drove me back and forth by small plane, and I testified, and I won the case for them. They never had to pay a nickel. The jury agreed we did not libel them, that everything I had written was true.
CI: I wanted to ask you about your time in Mississippi, 1967, 1968, at the height of civil rights strife. What was that like? What were you doing there?
HK: Well, ... I agreed to take that assignment on. There were several things during the poverty program at the Labor Department that I got involved with. After the riots, ... there were, what we called "hot cities," this was under President Johnson, and I got ... Watts in California, that was my hot city. ... I went there several times and set up training programs. ... One of their big deals was, they wanted buses, because transportation was lousy, to get to jobs in LA from Watts, and so, we worked out [a plan with] ... a leader of that local group, ... his name was Ted Watts, I think, the same name as the place, and he had been a UAW union guy. He was the leader of it. Anyway, we worked out [an] arrangement to get money so that they could set up a program of small buses, like in Puerto Rico, to come through Watts and take people to jobs. There were other things that we set up. Anyway, Watts was one of mine. Newark, New Jersey, after the riots, was another one that I [had]. ... What was the one you asked me about?
CI: Just now?
HK: Yeah, just before I got off into Watts?
HK: Mississippi, yeah, and, ... eventually, I was asked to set up a program in Mississippi, eighteen counties along the Delta, which is basically ... northwestern Mississippi, including Greenville and Greenwood, among other places, north of Jackson, the state capital. ... The department, again, had put up several million dollars, and OEO was in there with money, and ... HUD was in there with money, and they wanted someone to coordinate all these different activities in these eighteen northwestern, Delta counties, in Mississippi. I'm trying to think of the name of the program. ... At any rate, I agreed to take it for six months.
CI: Manpower Administration representative.
HK: Yeah, Manpower Administration rep, but, the program had a name. Yeah, it had a name and ... I can't think of the name of it, but, ... at any rate, I was there for six months. I traveled back to home, occasionally. ... While I was there, I lived in a motel ... and, at the exact day, at the end of the six months, I said, "I'm leaving." [laughter] ... I said, "I won't stay another day, goddamn." What's the song? "Mississippi Goddamn." I could sing that song with her.
CI: It was a terrible place?
HK: It was a bad place.
HK: Yeah, ... but, at any rate, in that period, I was able to get these eighteen or twenty different local groups to work together and ... get another manpower training program, train people, again, unemployed ...
-------------------------------------END OF TAPE THREE, SIDE TWO--------------------------------
HK: ... Everything had initials for an eighteen county area, coordinating the activities and services of more than a dozen federal, state, and local agencies on behalf of two million unemployed Delta residents. Okay, you can have that.
CI: Great. What were the labor conditions like in this area?
HK: Well, the housing was awful. They had a lot of, what they called, these shotgun houses, one story, one big room, open. You could shoot a shotgun through the whole house. ... The front door was open, so, they called them shotgun houses. A lot of them are in bad shape. ... Unemployment was rife, cotton was down, lots of unemployed, people on welfare, ... discrimination rife. It was just beginning to change, ... certainly in Greenville, where I was. That was one of the most ... enlightened places, I would say. It had the Delta Democrat Times newspaper. The publisher was Hodding Carter, this was Junior, I guess. He later ... became spokesman ... for the State Department under President Carter, and, currently, ... he does TV shows, and so on. ... At any rate, I got to know him. I went to see him on my arrival there.
Wherever I worked, I tried to get ... to see key people right away, and then, ... make alliances and friendships ... [with] people I would need to call on for help at times. So, he was one of those I saw and we got very friendly. I met his father, had dinner with him. His father won the Pulitzer Prize for editorials opposing segregation in Mississippi, ... in the early days. Father is now retired, but, teaching journalism at ... Tulane in New Orleans, commuting.
I met the police chief. He, too, had a good reputation in Greenville. ... I don't know whether this story was true, but, they told the story that, ... when the Ku Klux Klan painted some kind of sign in town, he went to the guy who headed the Ku Klux Klan, with a machine gun in hand, and said, "If you people do any of that again, I'm going to just cut you in half." ... They didn't do it again, and, apparently, things were pretty calm in Greenville, at that point.
There was a big turnout, when we opened up the first center, to sign people for training, long lines. Lots of people wanted to get in on the training program to get jobs. ... I hired a black secretary and a black administrative assistant, which was almost unheard of, and, after I left, I made sure they got jobs with the employment service, so they could be permanently employed. ... Again, these were one of the first blacks hired by the employment service after I left, because I had hired them as a federal employee during the six months that I was there, sort of gave them a blessing. ... Mississippi was still benighted. Oh, I met ... the gal who's now the national head of [the] children's prog[ram]. ...
HK: Right. Marion Wright Edelman. She was, then, the only attorney for the NAACP in Mississippi, the only woman attorney in the whole state, and ... she was working for the civil rights issues, and I met Fanny Lou Hamer, who was, then, ... one of the big shots in the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. My daughter knew her, because my daughter had worked for the Mississippi Freedom Democrats, ... including when they were in Atlantic City, trying to oust the regular Democrats from representing Mississippi in the Democratic Party, and they won. ... So, she knew Fanny Lou Hamer, and ... she came to visit me in Mississippi, and we both went to meet her, and I wanted to get her support for these programs I'd be running. So, I went around, every group that I could get my hands on, to talk to them about this new program and how it's going to help people. ... That was Mississippi, six months, good-bye.
CI: You had enough.
HK: Also, ... I had a funny experience. I had to go to meetings, periodically, in Jackson, Mississippi, and, ... from Greenville, that was ... quite a trip. I forget now how much, whether one hundred or two hundred miles, and ... I had to be in a lot of places in Mississippi at meetings. So, I arranged to get a private plane ... from the Greenville Airport to fly me up to Jackson, wait around, and drive me back by plane, and, meanwhile, I'd get some lessons on driving this plane from the pilot, and then, I put my bill in at the Labor Department, not just for mileage on the car, but, also, for hiring a plane. Wow! The guy who was responsible ... for signing off on this called me, you could imagine. I mean, he could understand, maybe, if I went on a commercial plane. I said, "There's no commercial planes between Greenville and Jackson," but, "A private plane?" "Yup," and, I think, I actually put together a memo indicating how this was saving the government money, because it would save me time, and look how much money I'm making, and, ... all these [reasons], so I rationalized. I got paid every cent, but, it was the first time, I think, ever, that anybody, ... for the government at least, had rented planes without authority and gone off. I did like this, I guess, three or four times, and ... I was learning to pilot the plane. If I had done it another six times, I might have gotten my license.
CI: You had to be compensated in some way for being there.
HK: Yeah. ... Driving to Jackson, once, I was stopped [by] a state trooper for speeding and ... I didn't relish any more of that.
CI: They really did not like people from the North, did they?
HK: No. Well, I had a car, rented car, ... you know. I flew into Memphis usually, and then, ... rented from there, and drove down to [Mississippi], ... 'cause Memphis was closer to Greenville than Jackson, Mississippi, or New Orleans, which were south of there.
CI: How do you, in a way, gauge the ideals that were expressed in these programs, job training programs and such, and how do you gauge what actually happened, the results of these programs?
HK: You trigger a thought in me, which is that, as I look back over my career, my whole career, almost every position I was in, I was the first incumbent. I either created the position, or, if someone else did, I was the first one hired to fill it, and ... I think there was a pattern there, ... both ways, that is. I like to pioneer, to innovate. I didn't really want to run things forever, and ... people knew that I was good at getting things off the ground, starting things, and so, they hired me when there was something new to be done. ... Practically every job, and I must have had ten different assignments at the Labor Department over the years, each one of them was usually starting something, or ... I would recommend some new thing, and then, I'd get to run it. ... So, you asked me, you know, years later, if I look back on the Peace Corps, I was only there the first two years, say, sure, it looks great and successful, but, when I left, who would know? I was only there to get it off the ground at the start and, right now, ... they obviously aren't using the same training program, lots of things have changed, but, it was very satisfying to me to help create those new programs, whatever they were. The only time I ever was the second incumbent in a job was the Job Corps. For a while there, I ran, ... in the Labor Department, both the Job Corps and a similar program for older workers, forget the name of it, but, they were both in ... one office, and so, ... someone else had preceded me in that, but, ... that was the only exception to my general rule of being [first incumbent]. ...
CI: You seem to either get restless or want to do something new. Most people get stuck in one thing, go for twenty-five years, and retire.
HK: Even though I was seventeen years at the Labor Department, it was very, very new, every other day, 'cause there were, maybe, ten different assignments or activities.
CI: But, every time, it seemed to be a new administration, in terms of organization and goals.
HK: Oh, yeah. The Labor Department was one of those places where they reorganized every time there was a new administration. That was one way for the new administration people to get rid of people and to put their own people in, ... in order to change what they didn't like about what was going on there. So, they always announced a reorganization. Well, a reorganization had the effect, many times, of stopping or slowing down things. People didn't know what they were supposed to do, who was the new boss, when are we going to get the new office, and so, ... much time and money was wasted in these reorganizations, but, that ... seemed to be habitual. In my seventeen years, there must have been four or five major reorganizations in the Employment and Training Administration, which was part of the Labor Department, which handled all these manpower training things, the employment service, and all those things.
CI: You spent your entire life working in both the labor movement and the government. How do you feel about labor's present conditions, the future of the labor movement, the Labor Department, and programs for these new conditions?
HK: I don't really know ... what the Labor Department's going to be. I think, if Clinton's re-elected and a Democratic majority comes in, then, there will be more activity out of the Labor Department, because Reich seems to be bent on expanding training ... as a way to deal with many of the country's problems, both to get already employed people's skills upgraded to take care of the hi-tech world we're coming into and to get unemployed people into jobs that pay more. ... So, I will be confident, if the Clinton administration and the new Congress come in, that there will be new emphasis on training. OSHA will probably come back into being an important part of government. Now, it's been cut back, and ... a lot of the inspectors are gone, and so on. So, the Labor Department, I think, will have a new birth ... with a Democratic Congress and [the] re-election of Clinton. ... Otherwise, things will just go completely downhill over there.
As far as the labor movement, I'm excited about the new officers that have been elected to lead the AFL-CIO and their plans for the future. Everything is still in the not-yet-off-the-ground stage. They're ... planning to recruit a thousand young people this summer, put them on the payroll for three or four weeks with some training to do both organizing work and political activity leading up to the November elections. ... Getting those people involved and interested is something that will, hopefully, ... go with them for the rest of their lives, those young people. ... I'm encouraged that the labor movement ... will be picking up and will have a new birth. At least I'm hopeful of that, what with this new administration. ... There are plans to do organizing, to ... do more political activity. These are all for the good and, ... as I say, I'm looking forward to it. ... I'm still involved with them. ... This is my fourth year as president of an organization here in the Washington area, the National Capital Area Trade Union Retirees Club. ... All the members are people who have worked for unions, either been in elected office or appointed office to national unions. Lane Kirkland just joined last month, after he stepped down as president of the AFL-CIO. So, we have former national union presidents as members. We have people who were staff with the AFL-CIO or different unions and ... it's a very active and interested group. We meet monthly. We have a speaker and we're involved with lobbying. That's how I got to testify on the ... health care legislation last year, three times. I was called upon, as president of this group, to speak up. I also got to be with Clinton the day he vetoed the Republican Budget Reconciliation Bill. ... On your way out, you can look at the photos hanging on the wall there of me and my family with Clinton ... in the Oval Office.
CI: Oh, so, you met the President?
HK: Oh, yeah. His hand I shook many times.
HK: ... We were delighted to be called upon. They wanted three families to be behind the President when he vetoed the reconciliation, families that had health problems, ... young people for education, and they were planning to cut aid to education for colleges, and so, ... my family, ... (there were five of us there, my grandson, Avi, was one of them,) was one of the three families that ... stood behind the President when he vetoed the bill, and then, we posed for separate pictures with him afterwards. ... So, yeah, through this retirees' club that I'm president of, we get involved in lobbying, ... through the speakers that we bring in, ... we keep up to date on all the latest stuff going on in government and elsewhere, and ... we are currently doing an oral history project of all these people before they die off. Some of our members are in their eighties and ... a couple in their nineties. That's where I got to do my oral history of the labor movement last year, and it still hasn't been ... totally transcribed because of some of the technical problems, which I won't get into.
We teach teachers from the Washington area about the labor movement and, twice a year, we invite teachers from the three state area around here, actually, West Virginia as well as Virginia, and Maryland, and DC, to a full day training program ... at the George Meany Center, which is where we meet. ... I don't know if you know about it, but, it's a college where they train union people, and we invite the teachers there for a full day. Our members do the teaching on four or five different labor subjects, everything from labor history to current events in the labor movement. This year, we've also done one ... that deals with practical training for jobs, various things. At any rate, we train the teachers, these are mostly high school teachers in social studies and history, ... that come to these. ... Upwards of fifty come to each of our training programs. Most of them know very little about unions, and ... this is quite an experience for them, to be exposed to ... guys who actually have lived through some of this stuff and can talk about it. ... Then, also, we ... take classes of high school kids to the George Meany Center. There's also an archives there and a museum ... of labor history, ... not just [of] George Meany, but, other union leaders and ... other events. So, we've also raised money to pay for buses to bring some of these high school classes to the Meany Center, where our guys are the docents, and take them around, and not only show them, but, also, talk to them about labor.
So, those are among our projects that we carry on. We're a pretty active group. ... That has kept me close to the labor movement, involved in all these issues, apart from the fact that I'm deeply involved in ... senior affairs here in Maryland. I've been on the Montgomery County Commission on Aging for over a year now, and I'm chairing the public policy committee, which deals with legislation at the federal, state, and local levels. As a result of that, I served on the United Seniors of Maryland, which is all the senior organizations in the state lobbying in Annapolis, and I also am representing another organization as a legislative rep, [the] National Association of Retired Federal Employees. I used to be president of the local chapter, and, now, I'm their ... state legislative person. So, all that keeps me going to ... a lot of meetings.
CI: Keeps you busy.
HK: A lot of meetings, ... a lot of meetings. I also do arbitration work ... of two types. One, labor management, through the American Arbitration Association, and the other, ... Maryland has a program called Health Claims Arbitration. ... You can't sue a doctor or a hospital directly in regular court. You have to go [to] arbitration with your malpractice claim, and I get to be a judge, and ... decide in those cases.
HK: ... I chair the panel. I'm the lawyer on the panel, so, I get to chair the panel, ... the other members of the panel include a doctor and a citizen. The three of us hear the final case, ... but, before the final case, all the legal decisions leading up to the hearing I make as the lawyer member, and ... most of those do not appeal. They can appeal to the regular court, if they're dissatisfied, ... but, most of them do not. They rest on ... what our arbitration panel decided. ... So, most of the malpractice claims in Maryland are handled through that form of arbitration. So, these are not obviously full time things. I do these occasionally and, ... up to last year, I had been teaching at two universities in the Washington area. I've stopped this year, but, I was teaching a course in labor relations, public sector, at American University and a course in public management at the University of Maryland.
CI: Were these undergraduate courses?
HK: No, no. These were graduate courses, ... the labor course on weekends, and the University of Maryland was like an extension division night class. Both of these are part-time things. So, I've been busy. I don't know how I ... ever had time for a full-time job, I'm having so much fun in these part-time things.
CI: So, you are saying you do not know how you had time for a full time job? You are retired now?
HK: Oh, I've been retired from full-time work ... for fifteen years, already. I've been retired from the Labor Department.
CI: But, it is a full-time job?
HK: Yeah, all this other stuff.
CI: Is there anything else you would like to discuss?
HK: Well, I did mention my kids and you met my wife. ... My son is in California. He's a Rutgers graduate in journalism, and he took a Master's in American U. in communications, and ... he's been in publishing. He published his own magazine and other things.
SK: When he was at Rutgers, he published his own paper.
HK: Yeah, ... when he was at Rutgers, he published, ... I'll give you the title, it's called, All You Can Eat. So, it was an alternative paper, as they say, ... and it was during the period of anti-Vietnam stuff, and he was involved in demonstrations at Rutgers. He and others took over the President's office and that wonderful president Mason Gross bought them lunch. ... Clothier, I know, wouldn't have done that. Clothier would have called the cops and ... I don't know about this president. ...
CI: How did you feel about Vietnam?
HK: I started out like everyone else, thinking it was a good idea, but, after the Tet offensive and other things, get out, the quicker the better, and, eventually, I was marching in Washington to get out of Vietnam.
HK: ... I was marching with Martin Luther King on the [Mall]. ... My son, now, however, ... he's progressed a bit. He doesn't wear long hair anymore. ... He wears a regular suit. He wears a tie and he's now the ... director of advertising for the LA Times, Los Angeles Times, ... Orange County edition. They have a half a million circulation in Orange County, put out a separate paper there, and he's the director of advertising.
CI: He is in the newspaper business, too.
HK: Yeah. He's also in the newspaper [business], but, he didn't go into writing. He's sales and advertising, and my daughter, she, too, had a journalism ... undergrad, and then, she got her Master's in library science, and she's been involved with bookstores and related things.
CI: She worked for Ralph Nader.
HK: Oh, yeah. She worked for Ralph Nader, Consumer Affairs, and, ... as I told you, she was with the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. She was with something with Marion Barry in the old days, SNCC. ... Yeah, then, she got her Master's. ... In recent years, she's been running her own store in Georgetown. ... It's a paper store called ... Perfect Papers, but, it had everything, ... not just paper, cards, desk pieces, everything you might want in a den. ...
SK: Made out of paper.
HK: Made out of paper, yeah, something that was very novel, and ... the first of the year, she just shut that store down and closed up, and, now, she's working part-time for another bookstore in Washington. ... Her husband, my son-in-law, has contracted a pretty vigorous form of cancer. ...
CI: I also just want to say, Mrs. Kranz, that I am sorry I could not include you in this, but, I think your life would have been a whole other interview.
SK: Well, ... I lived in New Brunswick. I was born in New Brunswick, and grew up in New Brunswick, and, when I had to do homework for New Brunswick High School, I used to [go] to the Rutgers Library and get the books out.
HK: ... The piano lessons.
SK: ... I went to NJC for piano lessons.
HK: We went to all the Rutgers events, the reunions.
SK: We used to go to all the Rutgers home games, football.
CI: Oh, okay.
HK: When we lived in Jersey. Yeah, now, once a year, maybe.
SK: We used to drive up from here, sometimes. ...
HK: ... Well, I've been up with Avi ... each year, at least once. Since the new stadium opened, I think, I've been there a couple [of times]. You were there at the new stadium already, in fact. Yeah.
CI: I would like to thank you, Mr. Kranz, Mrs. Kranz, for this interview. This concludes the interview.
---------------------------------------------END OF INTERVIEW------------------------------------------------
Reviewed by Bojan Stefanovic 11/11/99
Reviewed by Shaun Illingworth 11/16/99
Reviewed by Sandra Stewart Holyoak 11/18/99
Reviewed by Harry Kranz 12/5/99