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May 13: Einstein’s Granddaughter and the Start of the Sixties
Albert Einstein’s 18-year-old granddaughter Evelyn was among 64 high school and college students sprayed with high-pressure water hoses and arrested by San Francisco police at City Hall during protests on this date in 1960 against the House UnAmerican Activities Committee. Three members of HUAC had come to the Bay Area to investigate the nascent peace, civil rights and civil liberties movements and to try to undermine the bargaining power of the International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union (ILWU), led by Harry Bridges, a labor militant. HUAC’s junket turned out to be its last, as more than a thousand young activists turned out to protest the Committee’s presence in town and a propaganda film made by HUAC, Operation Abolition, which included footage of the City Hall protests, became an object of ridicule. For many activists in the Bay Area, this “Black Friday” marked the start of the Sixties. To read all about it (with video and photos), click here.
“It was the cops, the Committee
and J. Edgar Hoover
Not a fair contest.” —Bob Meisenbach, “Einstein’s Granddaughter”