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Feb 28

February 28th, 1952: Coleman A. Young

On this day in 1952, Coleman A. Young testifies before the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, a controversial congressional unit hell bent on identifying and rooting out communist sympathizers in America during the Cold War Era.

The feisty labor activist becomes one of the first witnesses to confront the committee, described by some as rouge and overzealous, by calling it “un-American.” When committee legal counsel Frank Tavenner says to Young during testimony, “…I understood from your statement you would like to help us.”

Young, who is represented by attorney George W. Crockett, Jr., snaps back: “You have me mixed up with a stool pigeon.” His appearance before the committee is broadcast on local radio and Young becomes a hero.

Photo: On this day in 1952, Coleman A. Young testifies before the U.S. House Un-American Activities Committee, a controversial congressional unit hell bent on identifying and rooting out communist sympathizers in America during the Cold War Era. 

The feisty labor activist becomes one of the first witnesses to confront the committee, described by some as rouge and overzealous, by calling it "un-American." When committee legal counsel Frank Tavenner says to Young during testimony, “…I understood from your statement you would like to help us.” 

Young, who is represented by attorney George W. Crockett, Jr., snaps back: “You have me mixed up with a stool pigeon.” His appearance before the committee is broadcast on local radio and Young becomes a hero.

Thank you to Ken Coleman on Facebook www.onthisdaydetroit.com