Oral Histories

Interview of Jack B. Tenney

U.S. senator from 1943 to 1955 and 38th district California State Assembly member from 1936 to 1942. Head of the California Senate Factfinding Subcommittee on Un-American Activities ("Tenney Committee") and leader of anti-communist investigations.
Jack B. Tenney: California Legislator
Politics and Government
Social Movements
Film and Television
Schippers, Donald J.
Tenney, Jack B.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Childhood in St. Louis; family background; early education and employment; World War I military service; return to Los Angeles; work as musician; joining American Federation of Musicians, Local 47; organist at La Petite Theater, Ocean Park; pianist in orchestra at Ballroom, Ocean Park; studies law; elected to represent Forty-sixth Assembly District, 1936; vice president, Local 47, 1937; president, Local 47, 1938; legislative activities as assemblyman, 1937-42; relationship of communism to labor; Culbert L. Olson and politics in California; Local 47 and Labor's Non-Partisan League; United Studio Technicians Guild's organizing tactics; defeated for presidency, Local 47, 1939; establishment of Assembly Interim Committee on Un-American Activities, 1941; service in California Senate, 1943-54; investigation of UCLA Writers Congress, 1943; political philosophy and switch to Republican Party; chairmanship of Joint Fact-Finding Committee on Un-American Activities, 1943; unsuccessful U. S. Senate candidacy, 1944; activities in American Legion; vice presidential candidacy (alongside presidential candidate Douglas MacArthur) for Constitutional and Christian Nationalist parties, 1952; Gerald L. K. Smith; unsuccessful congressional campaign, 1962; return to law practice; views on welfare state, freedom in United States, human rejects and communism, Franklin D. Roosevelt, fascism, Christianity, and Western civilization.