Two City of Seattle employees lose jobs for refusing to sign a loyalty oath on September 7, 1951.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 8/10/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 4225
On September 7, 1951, two City of Seattle employees lose their jobs because they refuse to sign a loyalty oath. The loyalty oath is required by state law as a condition of employment. Approximately 7,500 other employees sign the oath.

Jean E. Huot was a junior cataloger at the Seattle Public Library. She signed the oath "under protest" (Seattle P-I) and then resigned. She stated, "If I have ever been guilty of thoughts, actions, or associations which were any in any way subversive, I am not aware of it."

Fire Department employee F. Grimes Schneider was unwilling to sign his oath without qualifications and he was fired.

Loyalty oaths were required by the state legislature out of fear the Communist sympathizers had infiltrated government jobs, particularly teaching. In 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down loyalty oaths as unconstitutionally vague and a violation of due process.


Sources: "Employees Pay To Be Stopped," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, September 8, 1951, p. 16; Historylink.org Online Encyclopedia of Washington State History, "U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down Loyalty Oaths" (by Kit Oldham), http://www.historylink.org/ (accessed July 27, 2003).

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