Thompson, Robert George, 1915-1966

Hide Profile

Robert George Thompson (1915-1966) fought in WWII and won the Distinguished Service Cross - the nation's second highest military award - for "extraordinary heroism." He was also a veteran of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade. Thompson was a leading spokesman for the New York State Communist Party and was convicted in 1949 of conspiring to teach or advocate the overthrow of the Government by force. After his death in 1966, his widow, Sylvia Hall Thompson, asked that he be buried in Arlington National Cemetery--which anyone who served honorably in the Armed Services was entitled to at the time. But the Attorney General of the United States denied Thompson's burial at the cemetery, leading to a court case which claimed the Defense Department acted beyond all statutory and constitutional authority in barring the interment. A District Court judge ruled that the government may issue regulations governing the exclusion of certain individuals from the cemetery.

From the guide to the Robert George Thompson Papers, undated, (Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Communist Party of the United States of America Records, Bulk, 1950-1990, 1892-2009 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
creatorOf Robert George Thompson Papers, undated Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Simon W. Gerson Papers, 1925-2001 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
referencedIn Arthur H. Landis Oral History Collection, 1963-1965 Tamiment Library / Wagner Archives
Role Title Holding Repository
Direct Relationships
Relation Name
associatedWith Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, Va.). corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Gerson, Simon W. person
associatedWith Landis, Arthur H., 1917-1986 person
associatedWith Thompson, Syliva Hall person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Communist trials--United States


Birth 1915

Death 1966

Related Descriptions


Ark ID: w6b43s6n

SNAC ID: 11801822