Johnson, Arnold Samuel, 1904-1989.

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Arnold Samuel Johnson was a Communist Party, USA official. As a young man, Johnson was drawn to Christian Socialist philosophy, and in 1932 received a B.A. in Divinity from Union Theological Seminary. In 1929 and 1930 Johnson helped to organized Sherwood Eddy's "American Seminar in Europe", first visited the Soviet Union, and in 1931 was involved in the National Miners' Union struggle in Harlan, Kentucky, where, as a representative of the American Civil Liberties Union he was arrested on criminal syndicalism charges.

In 1932 he joined the Conference for Progessive Labor Action and in 1933 he was appointed Ohio organizer of its Unemployed League and later that year was elected its national secretary. Also in 1933, Johnson met and married Aurelia Ricci. Johnson supported the 1936 merger of the Unemployed League with the Communist-organized Unemployed Councils to form the Workers Alliance and became its national secretary and joined the Communist Party. From 1940 to 1947 he was state chairman of the Ohio Communist Party.

In 1947 Johnson left Ohio for New York to become National Legislative Director of the CP. In addition, Johnson also became a representative of the Civil Rights Congress and later was Vice Chairman of New York State CP, Public Relations Director of the CPUSA and Chairman of its Political Action Commission. As Public Relations Director Johnson received and responded to Lee Harvey Oswals's inquiries about the CPUSA in 1963. He also represented the Communist Party in various peace coalition movements such as the New Mobilization against the War in Vietnam (New Mobe).

Johnson's activities on behalf of the Communist Party were interrupted on several occasions by federal investigation, the most serious being his 1951 Smith Act conviction for which he served 29 months in jail from 1955 to 1957. Johnson was indicted on two other occasions, in 1962 under the McCarran Act, for refusing to register as a Communist Party member, and in 1970 by the House Internal Security Committee for refusing to cooperate with the investigation of the New Mobilization Against the War in Vietnam. Arnold Johnson retired from active involvement in the Communist Party in 1979 after a stroke and a heart attack had left him in ill health. He died in 1989.

From the description of Papers, 1926-1989. 1951-1979 (bulk). (New York University). WorldCat record id: 477247311

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Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Johnson, Arnold Samuel, 1904-1989. Papers, 1926-1989. 1951-1979 (bulk). Churchill County Museum
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Relation Name
associatedWith American Civil Liberties Union. corporateBody
associatedWith California Christian College. corporateBody
associatedWith Citizens Emergency Defense Conference (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Civil Rights Congress (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Columbia University. Teachers College. corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America (New York) corporateBody
associatedWith Communist Party of the United States of America (Ohio) corporateBody
associatedWith Conference for Progressive Labor Action. corporateBody
associatedWith Davis, Eugene. person
associatedWith Dennis, Eugene, 1905- person
associatedWith Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963. person
associatedWith Eddy, Sherwood, 1871-1963. person
associatedWith Foster, William Z., 1881-1961. person
associatedWith Hall, Elizabeth. person
associatedWith Hall, Gus. person
associatedWith Johnson, Aurelia Ricci, d. 1989. person
associatedWith McAvoy, Clifford T. person
associatedWith Meyers, George A. person
associatedWith National Miners' Union (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith New Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam. corporateBody
associatedWith Ohio Workers Alliance. corporateBody
associatedWith Oswald, Lee Harvey. person
associatedWith Union Theological Seminary (New York, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Congress. House. Committee on Internal Security. corporateBody
associatedWith Workers Alliance of America. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
United States
New York (State)--New York
Labor leaders
Communist parties
Anti-communist movements
Communist trials
Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements
Communism and religion
Political candidates
Peace movements
Christian socialism
Public relations and politics
Miners--Labor unions


Birth 1904

Death 1989

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Ark ID: w63v3ssb

SNAC ID: 34201043