Pete Seeger testifies at HUAC hearing, as reported by The Associated Press on Aug. 18, 1955

  • by: The Associated Press , Associated Press
  • Updated: January 29, 2014 - 8:10 AM

EDITOR'S NOTE — On Aug. 18, 1955, The Associated Press reported that Pete Seeger and others testified before a House Un-American Activities Committee hearing in New York investigating alleged communist activities in the entertainment industry. Seeger, then 36, refused to answer any questions about his "associations, philosophy or religion." That refusal led to his conviction for contempt of Congress in 1961; the conviction was later overturned. Reporting on the 1955 hearing, the AP described Seeger as a "lanky man wearing a brown suit, plaid shirt and yellow tie" who called himself a "banjo picker." He told the committee: "I have sung to many audiences. I have sung in hobo jungles and I've sung for the Rockefellers. I've never refused to sing for anybody. That's the only answer I can give. I'm proud I've sung for Americans of every political persuasion." Fifty-nine years after its original publication, the AP is making this report of the HUAC hearing, which includes Seeger's comments, available.

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