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Title: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, November 27, 1990. Interview L-0064-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Electronic Edition.
Author: Pollitt, Daniel H., interviewee
Interview conducted by McColl, Ann
Funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services supported the electronic publication of this interview.
Text encoded by Jennifer Joyner
Sound recordings digitized by Aaron Smithers Southern Folklife Collection
First edition, 2008
Size of electronic edition: 144 Kb
Publisher: The University Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
2008.
© This work is the property of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It may be used freely by individuals for research, teaching and personal use as long as this statement of availability is included in the text.
The electronic edition is a part of the UNC-Chapel Hill digital library, Documenting the American South.
Languages used in the text: English
Revision history:
2008-00-00, Celine Noel, Wanda Gunther, and Kristin Martin revised TEIHeader and created catalog record for the electronic edition.
2008-02-19, Jennifer Joyner finished TEI-conformant encoding and final proofing.
Source(s):
Title of recording: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, November 27, 1990. Interview L-0064-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0064-1)
Author: Ann McColl
Title of transcript: Oral History Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, November 27, 1990. Interview L-0064-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Title of series: Series L. University of North Carolina. Southern Oral History Program Collection (L-0064-1)
Author: Daniel H. Pollitt
Description: 170 Mb
Description: 43 p.
Note: Interview conducted on November 27, 1990, by Ann McColl; recorded in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Note: Transcribed by Unknown.
Note: Forms part of: Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007): Series L. University of North Carolina, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Note: Original transcript on deposit at the Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
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Interview with Daniel H. Pollitt, November 27, 1990.
Interview L-0064-1. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007)
Pollitt, Daniel H., interviewee


Interview Participants

    DANIEL H. POLLITT, interviewee
    ANN McCOLL, interviewer

[TAPE 1, SIDE A]


Page 1
[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]
ANN McCOLL:
This is an interview of Dan Pollitt being conducted on Tuesday November 27 at the Law School in his office. The interviewer is Ann McColl and this is the first in a series of interviews with Professor Pollitt.
Professor Pollitt if you would start first by telling me something about your family; your parents and some of their background.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Okay. My father was born in Kentucky and his father, my grandfather, was a Methodist minister. He went to college and Divinity School which set him apart in that time. I think he had been the president of something called Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky and I don't know how you edit a Bible, but he edited a Bible. My grandmother was a woman named Daisy Hubbard who was the sister of Elbert Hubbard who was a prominent writer and craftsman and whatever of the day.
ANN McCOLL:
What time period was this?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
We're talking about the turn of the century. She was the vice president of the Women's Christian Temperance Union and was active. So, my father was born in Frankfurt and went to the University of Cincinnati where he met my mother who was a student there. Her father was English and had immigrated to America with his wife, my mother's mother and my mother's grandmother. So that was the family. He was an alcoholic.
ANN McCOLL:
Your grandfather?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. He recovered and then operated a mission down on the waterfront in Cincinnati. But he died when my mother was

Page 2
very young, maybe two or three. Her mother and grandmother died when she was ten or eleven or something. So there she was. She was born in America, but her parents were English. So she was adopted or put in a foster home or something with a woman doctor in Cincinnati which was fairly unusual in those days. We're talking 1910 and that sort of thing. Then she went to the University of Cincinnati and graduated at age nineteen. The war came on and she married my father, a classmate, who enlisted in the Marine Corps. They moved to Washington, D.C. where my mother got a job in the Department of Agriculture and my father was stationed at Quantico. Then he became an officer and decided to stay in the Marine Corps. They, for some reason, wanted lawyers, so the Marine Corps sent my father to George Washington Law School and he graduated first in his class. He had some offers, but he was in the Marine Corps. This was the mid 1920's or thereabouts, and there was an economy wave and they were going to role back the size of the Marine Corps, which they did. So they told him that he could go to Nicaragua and fight for Samoza and put him in power because the Marines went there and occupied the country. He didn't want to do that, so they released him. So that was the Marine Corps thing. I would have been born in Quantico, Virginia at the Marine Base had they had any hospital there at the time which they didn't. So I was born in the Navy Hospital in the district.
ANN McCOLL:
What year was that?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
1921. I had an older brother who is eighteen months older and he'd been born in Huntington, West Virginia where my

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grandfather had a parish or parsonage or whatever. So there we were in D.C. My father taught. He was offered a job at George Washington Law School so he joined the faculty there and was there two years. He'd never practiced and he was offered a job in a big New York Wall Street firm, so he thought he would like to try that which he did. He liked it I guess, but he would rather have been a teacher.
ANN McCOLL:
He was quite successful wasn't he in his law firm practice?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. But then he decided to teach. So we were living on Staten Island and he was on Wall Street and Rutgers, which is in Newark, offered him a job teaching law. So we moved to Montclair, New Jersey and he joined the faculty at Rutgers. That's where we were. Then my father got encephalitis which is like Parkinson's disease with the tremor and the voice problem. He got a year's leave of absence and we went to Arizona to live in the warm sunshine and see if that wouldn't do anything. But it didn't. He got a Fellowship at Harvard Law School and so we went to Harvard and lived in Cambridge while he got an advanced degree of some sort. Then the New Deal came. My father had taken a seminar with Frankfort and so Frankfort got him a job in the Department of Justice. My father had been an expert in bankruptcy. There's a book on Coca-Cola cases. I don't know what that's about. But in any event, we moved to Washington again and the tremor didn't mind so much. He wrote the Reorganization Act for the railroads. They were all bankrupt so

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they reorganized that. Then he worked on the hot oil cases which was the NRA.
ANN McCOLL:
How old were you during this time?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I was fourteen or fifteen. I left out a stage. When my father got his degree at Harvard, then we went to Florida. We moved outside of Miami to Coconut Grove hoping again that this would help my father's illness, but it didn't. But then he got the job in the Department of Justice. So we moved to Washington from Florida. I was in junior high at that time. I went to Gordon Junior High and was put in the dumb section because I was from Florida. So I was with the good dummies. We had a good time. So that's where I stayed in essence. And then my father did not get better and he had emotional problems and was committed to the mental institution. He stayed there for about ten years. My mother had committed him and he was angry with my mother and divorced my mother and went back to Florida where he met a woman he used to date at the University of Cincinnati who was a good friend of my mother's. So he married her and she was my step mother and we were very close. We'd go to Florida until he died.
ANN McCOLL:
Did he ever recover?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
He never recovered from the tremor and the voice. It was difficult because he had a very large vocabulary and he would use it. One of his adjectives was "egregious". Now a lot of people if they hear "egregious" will have no idea what the person is saying and if someone with encephalitis says it, they have a much more difficult time understanding. But it was difficult to

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understand. When we went to New Jersey, he had organized a Marine Corps Reserve Unit and was the commanding officer and he ran for Congress from there as a Democrat or maybe as a Socialist. I forget. We were for Norman Thomas in 1928. He joined the Marine Corps Reserve. The Marine Corps League is like the American Legion or something, but this is just for Marines. He was the Adjutant General of the Marine Corps League. He was that forever. I mean, they would re-elect him at every annual convention. And he had trouble speaking, but they all loved Basil. "How you doing Basil?" I had to go to the damn fool things myself. So it was unfortunate that he had this disease. He ran for Governor of Florida when he got to Florida, too. He was a man of ambition who would not take a physical impediment as a reason for not trying. All the time he wrote. Even when he was in the mental institution, he worked on the bankruptcy book. It was a ten volume book and it had to be updated every year. So we lived on his work on Remington on Bankruptcy and they were connected to disability.
When my father was teaching law at Rutgers and we were maybe in the first grade or something, she started to take courses at Rutgers. Then when we went to Arizona she didn't and then we went to Boston and she enrolled in Yale Law School somehow and took courses at Yale. Then when we went to Washington, she went to G.W. and got her law degree from G.W. When my father got sick she got a job as first a librarian at the Department of Justice. They all knew her. Then she passed the Bar and became a lawyer.
ANN McCOLL:
What year was that?

Page 6
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, I don't know. This was 1937 or '38 when she went to work at the Department of Justice as a librarian, but she used to say that she passed every part of the D.C. Bar eight times, but never could get them all together at the same time. So it took her eight times to pass the Bar. She kept trying it and didn't give up.
ANN McCOLL:
She must have been one of the first women lawyers.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
She was a very early lawyer. I think there four or five women lawyers in the Department of Justice and they were all in the Lands Division which is eminent domain things, not considered fit for men's work or something. Then she went to the Department of Interior where she was assigned to writing the book on Indian law. A man named Felix Cohen was the solicitor or the Chief Counsel at the Department of Interior. And this was when Harold Ickes was the Secretary of Interior. They decided to compile a book on Indian law, so they did. It's called Cohen on Indian Law and in the beginning he acknowledges two or three people including my mother. So she spent a couple of years on that. Then when World War II came along, she went to the War Relocation Authority which was when they interned the Japanese and so there was a small complement of people. They were mostly social workers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Work to take care of the Japanese in their internment. There was a small handful of lawyers including my mother. So she would go to the various camps and talk to the people who had legal problems. So, she was the spokesperson for the Japanese and their wants.

Page 7
ANN McCOLL:
You've written about this since then. Did you become interested in it because of your mother's work?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, yes, because by that time I was in the Marine Corps in the Pacific and was fighting the Japanese. I'd get the letters from all these remote places and my mother would be telling me what a horrible life the Japanese had. They'd take one family of five and put them in a one room place and destroy their dignity. I'd get these letters and I'd write back and say, "Gee, it's tough." So that's what she did. Then when the war was over, she went back to work at the Department of Interior. She did tort work. Whenever there is a Department of Interior agent of instrumentality causes damage and it's under five thousand dollars, you file an administrative claim and it went to my mother. If she thought that there was fault or negligence she would void the thing. So she would write opinions. People would be bitten by the squirrels at the White House or I remember when the canoe turned over in Monmouth Cave. But mostly it was Department of Interior trucks would hit somebody.
ANN McCOLL:
So she was like an administrative law judge?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. Then she fell down in the bathtub one night. It was when Eisenhower took office and they brought in some young lawyer to share her office who didn't do anything except watch her. All the lawyers in her area, the General Counsels, suddenly were given a roommate. So they figured as soon as the roommate caught on they were going to be fired, because they had no security as lawyers then. She fell down and hurt her head and they gave her physical retirement. So she retired and practiced

Page 8
law out of her apartment in Georgetown. She did a lot of lobbying for people and did all the neighbors' problems. So she did that until she died which was two or three years ago.
ANN McCOLL:
How old was she when she died?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
She was eighty-eight or something.
ANN McCOLL:
So, she continued to practice law into her eighties?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. She had all sorts of cases like. For a while we lived in an apartment in Georgetown. She'd call me up and say, "The janitor's having trouble. He wants to get a divorce so he can marry his wife." And I said, "What do you mean?" "Well, he had never divorced his wife of twenty years ago and wanted to marry the woman he had been living with ever since." So I would do that or she would do it. People would get hit by cars. The first negligence case that recovered against Georgetown Hospital when a doctor cut off the wrong leg. He actually did. It was a neighbor and my mother sued. At that time doctors would not testify against other doctors and there were really no malpractice cases. She did that [unknown] bit, you know. She got money for the guy. He was an old fellow and lost his leg, met a young woman and got married, went to Florida and died about three months later. So that's my mother.
My father was the law professor. My step mother was very nice. Inez. She was a nurse and very good and a widow. She had three children who I am very close to. My brother, my older brother was bright. We didn't have much money, but he got the Harvard scholarship when he was sixteen. So he went to Harvard and graduated at nineteen or something and went to work at the War

Page 9
Department as it then was known as a P-1 or a Professional One or whatever he did. But that was not very long before Pearl Harbor, so he went in the Air Force. When the war was over, he went to Columbia Law School and then practiced law in New York. He just says he's retired but he still does estates and things for people in the neighborhood. He represented a left wing union for a long time, the United Electrical Workers of America, and did labor law for them. Then they sort of came on hard times and he lived in Brooklyn Heights which is an expensive area of Brooklyn. His wife was a classmate at Columbia Law School. She was in real estate, so my brother got into real estate.
ANN McCOLL:
What was your brother's name?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Basil. So that's what he did. And my younger sister is maybe four years younger. It's sort of interesting. When she went to Western High School in Washington, which we all did, she was the president or vice president of her class. But she would always take off in the winter months and go to Florida and live with my father. And she was the vice president or something of her class at Ponce de Leon down there, so she was a class officer of two classes in two different high schools. She got the Vassar scholarship when she was sixteen, so she graduated from Vassar at age nineteen as a math major and went to work for IBM in their pre-computer stuff. She stayed with them until she married my brother's best friend who was a Navy officer. They live out in San Rafael, California across the bay from San Francisco.
ANN McCOLL:
So she's not a lawyer.

Page 10
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
She's not a lawyer. She went to law school. She went to George Washington Law School at night when she was working for IBM to be a lawyer. But then she got married and her husband was in the Navy. He was a Navy aviator and they lived up and down and around and about. I have seven nephews and nieces and they were all born in a different state. She has seven children. So that sort of ended the law degree. So that's where she is.
ANN McCOLL:
Well, that's understandable.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
So that's that family. My wife was the daughter of Wiley Rutledge who was a Supreme Court Justice and his father was a Baptist minister in Kentucky.
ANN McCOLL:
So both of you have ministers as your grandparents?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. His father remarried while he was sixteen or seventeen and he was sort of thrown out or ignored. So he went to a small little college in Tennessee near Knoxville. Maryville College which is a denominational college where he met his wife who was on the faculty. She taught classics, Latin and Greek. They got married and then he went to Wisconsin to finish his college. So he graduated from the University of Wisconsin. Then he got TB. There's a TB sanitarium near Asheville and he went there and lived for a while. He married his wife while he was in the TB sanitarium. Then they went to Albuquerque, New Mexico with a high, dry climate and so on where he taught mathematics at a high school. She taught classics, Latin and Greek at the high schools. Then he took a correspondence course in law and liked it. So then he got a scholarship at the University of Colorado which is next to New Mexico and graduated from there and was

Page 11
offered a job in Denver, I guess. He worked there for a couple of years and then was offered a job teaching at Colorado which he took. Then he moved to be the Dean at Washington University in St. Louis. Then he went to be the Dean at Iowa. From there, he went to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and from there to the Supreme Court. The way he was picked was sort of…. All these things are fortuitous, you know. When he had been in St. Louis it was during the height of the Depression. He was active in the efforts to help the homeless and all that sort of thing. He became very good friends with a man named Brandt. I can't think of his first name right now. He became the great biographer of Madison and wrote eight or nine volumes and was a very nice person. But Brandt became the Washington correspondent for the St. Louis newspaper, their great newspaper. From there he became a great friend of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Roosevelt asked him to go to Russia to look around for three months and so on and come back. "Where they hungry? Do they like it?" To take the pulse. So he did on the pretext that the newspaper sent him there which it did, but he really went for Roosevelt. And then the Court Packing Plan of 1936 or '37, it started off well and then bogged down. Then there was a lot of opposition to it. This is a story that very few people know. Irving Brandt. That's his name. Roosevelt asked Irving Brandt if he couldn't get some academics to come and testify to the Senate in favor of the Court Packing plan. So Irving Brandt asked Wiley Rutledge if he would come from Iowa. He was a Dean and they got two other deans whom I don't recall who they were.

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But the three of them came to Washington to testify. Now at that time, Iowa was very, very Republican and very, very conservative. So Dean Rutledge told the college president that he was going to Washington to testify in favor of Roosevelt's Court Packing plan. The president said to him that "The moment you begin your testimony I accept your resignation." So he went anyway expecting not to come back or something. Well, as things turned out, they never called them. They never had the hearing. But there he was. And I thought that was a very courageous thing for him to do. It was 1937 and the Depression and jobs were hard to find and so on. But in any event, I think Roosevelt knew about it then or after the event. Irving Brandt must have told him what had happened. So that's what brought him to the attention of Roosevelt. Here's a man who is going to lay his job on the line to testify to what he thinks is right. So he got on the bench. He and Murphy were very close friends and they were the left wing of the Court. Then came Black and Douglas who were sort of the central. Then Roberts, maybe and Stone and then over to the right with Frankfurter and Jackson. It's odd to think how far the Court has moved. But in any event, he was on the Supreme Court for about five years and then died suddenly of a heart attack at a very young age, like fifty, fifty-five or something.
ANN McCOLL:
Did you get to meet him?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. When I was in law school I went to see him for a job.
ANN McCOLL:
And this was before you knew your wife?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
This was before I knew my wife

Page 13
ANN McCOLL:
You were asking him for a job when he was on the Supreme Court?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. And we had a very nice chat. He told me he was going to hire the younger brother of a former clerk who did know my wife at that time. But he called Murphy to say that he had me in the office and Murphy might want to talk to me. Murphy already had a clerk. And then he called Black. So I went around to see Black and Black told me that he only hired people from the South. I said, "Well, I'm from the District of Columbia." He said that he wanted people from the South. Then as I was leaving, young Hugo Black who was the son of the judge, came in. We had lived about two blocks from the Blacks and I'd had the newspaper route. It was the "Evening Star" and you'd get a wagon to carry them all. When I quit the route, Hugo, Jr. took over the route and he had my Star wagon. Now this is when we were in high school and we are now with college and World War II and law school behind us, so he said, "Hey Dan, I still got that Star wagon." And his father said, "Oh, do you know each other?" And he said, "Yes, Dan used to deliver us the Star and he said, "Well, come on back in the office." So he said he did have this Southerner, but he'd call Douglas. So I went to see Douglas and Douglas told me he only hired people from the West Coast and I could not qualify for that. So I saw Wiley Rutledge and Black and Douglas all in one afternoon. I went home and told my mother none of them would hire me.
ANN McCOLL:
When did you meet your wife?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I did get a job for Judge Edgerton who was on the Court

Page 14
of Appeals for the District of Columbia. He had a dinner party and my wife Jean Ann was there. We met at this dinner party where she'd been invited to meet Henry Edgerton's son, John. That's why I think she was invited. But in any event, we married six months later. She was a lawyer. We got married…. We were engaged and then we had to wait until she graduated from law school, so she graduated and we got married ten days later or thereabouts.
ANN McCOLL:
So your wife was a lawyer and your mother and father were lawyers and your older brother was a lawyer?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. And Jane's younger brother, Neil. I knew Neil. Jane grew up in an area of Washington called Spring Valley and I grew up in an area called Wesley Heights and they were both developed by the same real estate people and they were adjacent. We all had one football team and all that. But when I went to work for Judge Edgerton, Neil Rutledge went to work for Charlie Fayhe who was also a judge on that court. And at that time each judge had one law clerk. There were nine judges and nine law clerks and we had lunch regularly, daily. So it was a close little community. So I knew Neil pretty well. I think he's one of my best friends today. We are very close. Then he went on to clerk for Hugo Black and then he went to Los Alamos for awhile and then he went to Florida and worked for Senator Pepper. Then Senator Pepper got elected to the House and Neil stayed in Florida for a number of years. He represented most of the unions in Florida. He represented the Railroad Brotherhoods during a long bitter strike of the East Coast Railroad. He represented

Page 15
all the maritime unions in Miami and the building trades. And the bus drivers.
ANN McCOLL:
Did you talk about your unions?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No. I was in Washington representing the unions because I went to work for Rale and Deevy. Our chief client was the Auto Workers. We also represented the Shoe Workers and the Farm Workers and Timber Workers out in the far West. Neil was representing the unions down in Florida. Occasionally, there would be a CIO lawyers' convention or something. We'd see each other fairly regularly. Then as a matter of fact, he decided he wanted to go into teaching. I interviewed him up here. They didn't like him or they didn't have any room for him. But I think it was because they would have brought him in at a higher level. So I called Ken Pie who was the Dean at Duke. I told him that Neil Rutledge was here and he said, "Send him over. Bring him over." So he was hired on the spot over there at Duke. So he moved up from Florida to Durham and taught there for three years, I guess. They had a change of deans and they had a very conservative dean and Neil didn't get along too well with him and he decided to leave. He went to his law school roommate who started a law firm and had a big law firm, so Neil went up there to be the Chief Litigator. So he went to a big Washington, D.C. law firm where they represent the bums…. the corporate interests of America.
ANN McCOLL:
You went from unions to…
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
To teaching. And he taught a course in Georgetown at night, you know, in labor law I think.

Page 16
ANN McCOLL:
Now this wasn't during the same time that you were teaching at George Washington in the summer, is it?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I taught at Georgetown, too, so we overlapped a little bit. We'd go up every summer and we lived two blocks apart.
ANN McCOLL:
So you grew up in Washington from when you were about…
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Junior high. We lived there when I was a baby; a couple of years. Then we moved back when I was in junior high and we stayed there. Then I went to Wesleyan University in Connecticut for college.
ANN McCOLL:
Why did you choose to go there?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I didn't get a scholarship for anyplace at the age sixteen. I graduated at a normal age and had no scholarships and I had no special…. I didn't want to go to Harvard where my brother was. All through high school I had all the teachers he'd had, you know: "Oh you're Basil's brother. We expect great things of you." I'd show them, boy. They'll be getting great things out of me. [laughter] So I think I went to Wesleyan sort of…. I have an ancestor who started the place, so that was about the only reason. I sort of wanted to go to the University of Virginia. I had an aunt and uncle who live in Charlottesville, but my mother thought they drank too much in Virginia. So I went to a small men's college in New England.
ANN McCOLL:
Well, when you were young did you always think you'd be a lawyer?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No. I did not want to be a lawyer.
ANN McCOLL:
Why didn't you want to be a lawyer?

Page 17
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, all the family friends were lawyers. We had roomers. We lived in a very fashionable area of town in a fairly large old Victorian house without much income. There was my father's disability and my mother's librarianship, you know. So we'd have roomers. We always had two roomers; we had two bedrooms. And they'd always be young lawyers from the Department of Justice who just arrived looking for a place to live. And so we were just filled with…. And they'd always eat there and have breakfast. So all our friends were lawyers, all the family friends. I got back from the war and I didn't know what to do particularly. I thought I'd really like to be a newspaper person, so I went to Florida. Miami. My father got me a job on the "Miami Daily News". He was always an active Unitarian and the editor of the "Daily News" was a Unitarian. I got a job there for a short while and I didn't like living with my father. I mean, I'd been in the war.
ANN McCOLL:
How old were you at this time?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I was twenty-five or something like that and so I thought if I wanted a beer I could have a beer. "Liquor is the curse of the veterans," my father would say. So I went to Washington and got a job on the "Post", not a very important job; a copy boy on the Post where I met Pete Williams who later became the senator from New Jersey. We started the Georgetown American Veterans Committee group and so on. Then after about a year I thought I'd go to law school.
ANN McCOLL:
What made you change your mind?

Page 18
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, I was sort of hanging around and not doing much and my mother thought I ought to go and my brother was enjoying it and my sister was going to George Washington at night. I was sort of hanging around the house, so I thought I'd go and give it a try. I didn't like it.
ANN McCOLL:
You didn't like law school?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Not the first time. I didn't know what they were talking about and I decided I would not quit before I got my grades and then I would leave with my colors flying. I would work real hard and get at least a C average and quit. So the grades came out. The semester ended in January and we didn't get the grades until May or March. I was number one in the class at that time, so it was too late to quit. So I stayed the next six weeks and that one year, which I did. And then I went to my sister and I went to Europe to the Academy of International Law in Holland.
ANN McCOLL:
For the summer?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
For the summer. And then we toured around. We lived in Paris for awhile. I ran into a guy I'd known at college who was working for the Paris edition of the "Herald Tribune". So I thought, "I'll get a job on the Trib and stay over here and enjoy life in France for awhile."
ANN McCOLL:
And just not go back to law school?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. And so I did. I got a job on the Trib. And there were about three people like me; New England colleges and out of the war. I had been the editor of our college literary magazine and they had, too. And then all of them decided to go

Page 19
to law school. And I thought, "Well, you know, I already have a year of law school. What am I doing here?" So I sent a post card to the dean saying, "I'm coming back." And I arrived back a little bit before Thanksgiving, I think.
ANN McCOLL:
And so you got back in for the spring semester?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No. I asked all my friends, I said, "What have I missed? Can I borrow your notes?" And they all said, "We haven't taken any notes. Nothing has happened the first month and a half of law school." [laughter] So then I was on the Law Review and that was interesting to be on the Law Review.
ANN McCOLL:
What did you like about it?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, you do your own research and so on. It's not just reading cases and taking notes. You are participating. You are a participant rather than a recipient. I liked that. And then when I graduated…. I still had a year left on the GI bill so I thought I'd go somewhere. Most people in my class wanted to work for the U.N. This was '49 and everybody in my class was a veteran and most of them had seen combat and wanted to work for World Peace. So we all went to the U.N. and we all got rejected because we were Americans and there are too many Americans. "It's too bad you're not Indonesian," or whatever. So that was what I really wanted to do. Then I thought I'd go abroad for a year and use up my GI bill and go to some London School of Economics or someplace. So I applied to the London School of Economics and was rejected. They said there were too many Englishmen and people in the Empire who wanted to go and they weren't taking outsiders. So I thought I'd look for a job

Page 20
in Washington. I didn't want one. And that's the only way to get a job.
ANN McCOLL:
Is to not want it?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Not want one. And I'd go, "What do you do in this firm," you know, "Do you have fun?" I got offered everyplace I went I got a job offer. I took one with a small law firm, McFarland and Sellers. There were seven in the firm and they both had been Assistant Attorney Generals during the Roosevelt years and the others had been the head of Anti-Trust Division or something.
ANN McCOLL:
Did you at this point have a strong sense of what it is you wanted to be doing with your legal career?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
This was really corporate in the sense we represented the National Association of Manufacturers. Mr. Sellers, who was a partner, had been the war Food Administrator during World War II and he had administered all the food, so we represented the Cotton Seed Association and the Soy Bean Association and the American Stock Yard Association. So we had all these trade associations. The Milk Producers of America. And they would have litigation…
[END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A]

[TAPE 1, SIDE B]

[START OF TAPE 1, SIDE B]

Page 21
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Then we had some important litigation. It was a Supreme Court litigating firm and we had a couple of Supreme Court cases.
ANN McCOLL:
Do you remember any of the names of them?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. Whether the Lobbying Act applies to the NAM. That was NAM against Clark who was then the Attorney General. We sued the Attorney General. We won, but not really. And then we had a [unknown] derivative action against the rail road which I had to work on. And we had the Ute Indians. Fortunately at the end of one year, we won the Ute Indian case and we got the value of Utah as of the time they violated the Treaty back in 1860 or '70. So the attorneys' fees were the largest attorneys' fees ever recovered as of that time. It was a Court of Claims awarded the attorneys' fees, so there was a million dollars for all the partners in the firm and there were two associates. I was one of them. Nothing for us.
ANN McCOLL:
There were seven partners?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. So the firm broke up. And Mr. McFarland, who was the senior partner, had been from Montana and they offered him the Presidency of the University of Montana. He was the head of the Alumni Association and one of their successful alumni and he had gone back in the summers to teach at the Law School. Mr. Wilkinson had been the same at Brigham Young, so they offered him the Presidency of Brigham Young. So they went there and one guy went to be the General Counsel of the National Association of Manufacturers. Another guy went over to Germany to head up the

Page 22
Dee Cartel program and break up the trusts in Germany. So I was offered jobs at all these places, but I got offered a job with Henry Edgerton on the Court of Appeals which I took and enjoyed tremendously and I admire him. He was by far one of the giants of the Court of Appeals judges and was a New Deal Roosevelt appointee.
ANN McCOLL:
Why did you decide to go work for a judge instead of continuing in law firms?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, Mr. McFarland, my boss, taught administrative law at Virginia at the same time. He'd go down on Saturdays and teach on Saturdays. I drove him down and graded the papers and so on and I thought I'd like to teach administrative law at the University of Virginia which I thought this was great. So Mr. McFarland told me it would be good if I had been a clerk.
ANN McCOLL:
So you clerked with the idea of being a teacher?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Of being a teacher. But in any event, it was the greatest experience you can get in the District of Columbia where you get all the suits against the government. We had loyalties, security cases, McCarthy and passport cases. All the exciting social drama.
ANN McCOLL:
What years were you there?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I was there in 1950 and then when I left I went with Joe Rauh who was the head of the Americans for Democratic Action and the General Counsel for the United Auto Workers and a very personal friend of Walter Luther. So we represented all the liberal elements and their Washington problems.
ANN McCOLL:
Did you pick the final cause of that?

Page 23
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Oh, yes. I was not going go back to a firm that…. I spent a lot of time working for the National Association of Manufacturers and preferred bond holders and I thought that's a waste of my life. I wanted to do something that to me would be far more meaningful, which it was. And I did a lot of loyalty security cases. At that time there was a loyalty program and they were firing people for…
ANN McCOLL:
Sort of the McCarthy era?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
The McCarthy era. And I think I had forty or fifty of those people and then they were deporting people for past membership in the Communist Party. There were a lot of them in the United Auto Workers and we represented them. Then the House Committee on Unamerican Activities was looking into things and I went up before the Congressional committees with people who would plead the Fifth Amendment. It was a harrowing experience. Jean Ann, my wife, and I had a nice little apartment in Georgetown and Georgetown was filled with recent Ivy League graduates. There'd be a cocktail party every Saturday afternoon somewhere in the neighborhood. So if you wanted to get to the bar all you have to say is, "I was before [unknown] on Wednesday," and they were like the Red Sea would open up. What happened was that they assigned a committee to Vice President Nixon so that when they took office there were fifty-four Communists in the State Department and they threw them all out, or whatever the number was. He would go around the country bragging about how the administration had thrown out all the Communists that the Democrats had had.

Page 24
ANN McCOLL:
This was Vice President Nixon?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. So the Democrats were in control of the Senate and Senator Johnson from South Carolina had the appropriate committee on post office and civil service or something, so he had some hearings and they couldn't get many people to come and testify about what went on. I got a chance. They asked me and I did. I was, I guess, the lead-off witness and I had a fifteen point program for improving things. I had represented the only Communist in the State Department who had ever been fired for being a Communist. He was a mail messenger; a black mail messenger who didn't know the difference between the union and the Communist Party. In any event, I had my picture in the paper and so on. It was "Pollitt testifies" about something or other. Then I got a phone call from the the Dean at American University who asked me if I would like to teach a course in securities starting in a couple of weeks. He was short-handed. I thought this came about from the picture in the paper and he was talking about the loyalty security programs and I thought, "Yes, I think I could work something up." You know. [laughter] So I started to compile all the cases on loyalty security programs and the Coast Guard and the Maritime and so on. Then we had lunch and he said, "I brought you the book." It was Sales and Secure Transactions or something which I had not taken in law school. It was miserable.
ANN McCOLL:
So did you teach the class?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I taught the class and it was sort of fun because we met on Friday night for two hours or three hours and there were

Page 25
fifteen in the class and they all worked in the daytime. Half of them worked on Capitol Hill. Bobby Baker who later became famous was in my class. They had three waves from the Navy finance who wanted it and I had Judge Hugo, [unknown] judge on the International World Bank or something. And I had the chief salesman for Uncle Joe Churner's Used Cars and he was our saviour. "What in the hell is this? A bill of lading with site bill attached." Only they were never attached. They'd always gotten lost. He would explain and he'd bring in the illustrations and we'd discuss these things. We became close and we'd all go out to a nearby place and have a sandwich and a beer and go to the bus stop and go home. But I enjoyed it ultimately. I did so well at it that they asked me to teach the next semester a course in bills and notes, also which I had not had.
ANN McCOLL:
Did you do that?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I did that and I did that twice. The second time I learned how I'd gotten payees and payors confused the first time around.
ANN McCOLL:
Can you talk some more about basic loyalty and security cases and the Congressional hearings? I mean what was it like to represent them? What did they do?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
It was tough. The sequence would go like this. They would find somebody who had been a member of a Communist study group or like…
ANN McCOLL:
Who would be finding these?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, I represented some people from the "Brooklyn Eagle" and there had been a group of young people in the

Page 26
"Brooklyn Eagle" newspaper in the late '30's. They'd joined the Newspaper Guild which was just sort of starting out at that time and they'd had a strike. And some of them had been members of the Communist Party and they were either in the Guild or the Communist Party or both and it didn't make any difference to any of them what it was. And there was some son of a bitch whose name I forget who was CBS correspondent in Rome and he covered the Vatican and he'd been there at the "Brooklyn Eagle". Somehow they got him to go before House Committee on Unamerican Activities, and he said, "I was a Communist and I was duped and I regret it and now I'm a loyal American and please let me have my job with CBS. I'll name names and here are the names who were with me." So he named six people. He named my client who had not been a member of the Communist Party, but whose wife had been a member of the Communist Party. This CBS fellow had dated his wife and lost out to my client. And he didn't name the wife, but he named the guy who wasn't. So there we are. We're up there and all of them, I think, pleaded the fifth. My guy pleaded the fifth, but they took a recess. Well, first you go into Executive Session. This was a Senate committee of some sort and you go into Executive Session; they want to find out what you are going to do. You say, "I'm going to plead the fifth. My client's going to plead the fifth. Leave us alone." And you go in there and we had the recess. I went out to tell the wife what was going on and they were getting my client and saying that he was being duped by a Communist lawyer. Me. And then one of the Senators - I'll never forget it - came up to me outside and said,

Page 27
"You look like a loyal American. Why don't you do your client a favor and have him name two names and we'll let him go."
ANN McCOLL:
What senator was this?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
It was the senator from Idaho. At the time I thought this was disgusting. So we went back in and we pleaded the fifth and then they say, "Okay, you pleaded the fifth. You're not going to cooperate. We're now going to put you in the public session." So we go into the public session and there are the lights and the television and they always have a big audience. There's somebody in town; the Women's Club from something.
ANN McCOLL:
And this was sort of a sort of a sport to come in and watch this?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. It was a big thing to go down and watch HUAC and so on. So then you plead the fifth and they say, one guy said, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party." "On the advice of counsel I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that it will incriminate me." "Well, would it incriminate you…. Did you ever engage in espionage? Will a truthful answer to that incriminate you?" And then, "On advice of counsel…." Then they'd say, "Were you ever a member of a Communist group?" "On the advice of counsel…." And then they'd say, "Was so and so in your group?" And they'd name his boss who had never been in the group. Now what's the guy going to say? Fifth Amendment? "You mean to tell me that answering an honest question about your boss would incriminate you?" See, if you answer anything you open the door and you waive your rights. So that was their trick. So I had some people from Harvard Medical School and they asked him, "Is

Page 28
the President of Harvard in your study group?" "Fifth Amendment," you know. But you were a pariah. You walk out of there and everybody gets out of the way. Nobody wants to be near you. The client loses his job. One guy from the "Brooklyn Eagle" was in public relations. He represented the City of New York. They cancelled before he got back to New York. We represented Arthur Miller.
ANN McCOLL:
The playwright?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
The playwright. We represented a lot of big shots as well. What's her name? Marilyn Monroe. She was married to Arthur Miller.
ANN McCOLL:
Lillian Hellman.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Lillian Hellman. She was great. The story with Lillian Hellman is that she sort of had a crush on my boss, Joe Rauh. It's like a doctor, you know. You are emotionally at the lowest ebb possible and you're seeking support and here's a big, tall, strong man who knows what he's doing and you can cry on his shoulder. Well, he didn't particularly like her. So we went in and Lillian Hellman said a very famous thing. "I will not cut my fashions to meet this year's something or other," you know. So we left there in a taxi cab and Lillian says to Joe Rauh, "I'd like a drink. Why don't we stop at the Statler?" which is a block from the office. It was eleven o'clock in the morning. And Joe says, "Okay, Dan will take you in and I'll go to the office and see about phone calls. Then I'll join you." So he stopped at the Statler and Lillian and I go in and I said, "I don't know whether he's coming back or not. I sure hope he

Page 29
does." Because we went in and ordered a martini. Then I thought that Joe wasn't coming. It had been a half an hour. I reached for my wallet and I don't have my wallet. I don't have any money. So I could think of nothing to do except have another martini. So we were on about the fourth martini and Joe was obviously not coming and we're both pretty looped. Avril Harriman came in who had been the Ambassador to Russia during World War II when Lillian Hellman had gone there to cheer up the troops or something. And she'd got stuck and so she had to spend three weeks in the embassy and she knew him pretty well. So he saw us and he came over and sat down. I excused myself to go to the bathroom and kept going.
[laughter]
ANN McCOLL:
And so they were left with the tab?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
They were left with it, but he's a millionaire and a billionaire so it was all right. But that was Lillian Hellman. But the serious part was that she got called because somebody had named her. She was willing to tell all about herself and deny that she'd ever been a Communist. But she, in actor's classes or whatever, Screen Writers Guild, had known some that were. But she was not going to name them. She wrote a letter to the committee saying, "I will tell you all about myself waiving my rights to the Fifth Amendment if you will agree not to ask me about anybody else. And if you want information how it all worked, I'll tell you all about me." But we didn't get a reply so we got into the committee room and it was packed. It's a great big room. There were five hundred people there to see Lillian Hellman and they said, "Are you now or have you ever been

Page 30
a member of the Communist Party?" And she said, "Well, did you get my letter?" And they said, "Yes," or something. They have the press table there and the press reached over for a copy of the letter. Joe Rauh gave me a bundle and said, "Give them to the press." So I got up to give them to the press and the chairman said, "We don't allow Communists to hand out propaganda in our hearing room." So I looked at Joe and Joe said, "Give them the things." So I started to give them and the chairman said, "Sergeant at Arms, arrest that man." So I threw the letters at the press table and ran back and sat down on the other side of Lillian. I'd rather be thrown out than lose my job, you know. Then she said it so well. And only a playwright of great repute could…. It was a very moving statement. And they were not moved and dismissed us and we left. Now she had written a play, "The Children Upstairs" or something. It was a very famous play and they were having a re-run. It was opening on Broadway that very night. The American Legion picketed it and it closed after one showing because the publicity of "Lillian Hellman pleads the fifth before Congressional Committee."
ANN McCOLL:
So the horror of what happened to people in the committee is that it wasn't the committee so much. It was just the publicity of being…
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
There were 120 congressmen who wanted to be on HUAC one year and every one of them that was on went up to the Senate. Richard Nixon was one of them. So you get your picture in the paper every day. You get somebody famous and badger them and you know, say how patriotic you are and why don't they be patriotic

Page 31
and occasionally you get a John Wayne or Ronald Reagan who would come in and say, "Yes, I dealt with them and I hate them and here's who they are. I'm a loyal American." And the Chairman comes down and puts his arm around them and the picture is snapped.
ANN McCOLL:
Was the whole point of these hearings to get the names?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes, the whole point was to get publicity for the members. That's about it. Well, I think we've done enough for tonight.
ANN McCOLL:
Sure.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
One time we represented about four United Auto Workers, organizers, and they had been in the Farm Equipment Workers Union which was a left wing union and then it merged with the United Auto Workers. And they made farm tractors and things in the quiet city of Iowa and Illinois. They were subpoenaed. One of them, a very nice guy decided that none of them are going to name names. They were all going to plead the fifth. And one of them said that his daughter was…. It was the night of the high school prom and he didn't want to be on the 6:00 news back in his home town where his daughter is going to the prom that night. And could we do something about that? So I called up the council for the committee and said, "You've got the four subpoenaed. Three of them will be there, but the fourth has a personal problem and would like to come next week if it's possible. Put him on next week." And the guy said, "What's his problem?" And I said, "Well, it's a personal problem." And he said, "What is it?" And I said, "Well, his daughter is graduating from high

Page 32
school tonight and he doesn't want to be on the news." He said, "Bring him in." And I said, "Well, we'll come but don't put him on camera." And he said, "Well, we'll see." So there had just been a recent decision saying you don't have to be on camera because that makes you nervous and therefore the Congress can't get the information that it's entitled to if you're nervous so you don't have to testify on camera. And that was just out, so Joe Rauh says, "Don't worry. We're not going to have the camera. You don't have to have the camera and no matter what they say, we're not going to go on the camera." So we were second or third and then they called our crowd. We got up and they put the camera on us. And Joe says, "Hey what are you doing? You agreed no camera." And they said, "That's when he's testifying. When he's walking up we can take the pictures." So Joe Rauh ran over and pulled the plug out of the socket which gave the lights…
ANN McCOLL:
In the whole room?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Not the whole room. They had the head lights, but not the T.V. lights. So he pulled the damn plug out and says, "We're not coming." And he says, "Put your handkerchief on your face." We all did, you know. [laughter] "We're not coming forward until you live up to your agreement. You agreed no camera and I'm not going to have you fooling around." So we went up and pleaded the fifth and the guy was not on the news. But you do a lot of crazy things to help out the client. There are dirty tricks. I played a lot of dirty tricks. I forget who it was or the circumstances, but I had somebody that couldn't be there. His wife was having an operation or something and I went to see

Page 33
the counsel who is sort of famous now. He's an editor of the right wing Buckley newspaper. He was the Assistant Counsel. I saw him and I said, "The guy can't be here. His wife's having an operation and he'll be here later." And the fellow says, "Okay, don't worry." So I don't trust him. So I went to the hearings by myself and sat in the second row and what do they do? They call the guy. "Will so and so please come forward? Where is the guy?" "He's not here." "We'll have to issue a subpoena and send the marshall out to arrest him. We can't have these people so and so." I stood up and said, "Hey, we had an agreement. The agreement was that he didn't have to come today. He'll be here next week as agreed." And they said, "We didn't have any agreement. Who are you? You can't use our committee as a Communist dump." [laughter] I got the word in, you know. And it's very embarrassing to have to do that. But it was sort of a war, you know. I mean, you couldn't trust them one minute and they probably felt the same way about us. But the dirtiest thing, the first time I went there by myself it was some CIO people and I saw the Associate General Counsel of the CIO. We did all the CIO people in addition to the Auto Workers. And it was a guy named Tom Harris, a very nice fellow who was the Associate General Counsel of the CIO. And I said, "Tom, why don't you go down?" "No, no, no. We have a lot of conservative unions we represent and they don't want to be involved, so you go." And I said, "Okay. What do I do if they ask my client if they got their lawyer through the Communist Party," which they had to ask. He says, "There's only one thing you can do. Stand

Page 34
up, walk over and hit the guy in the lip." [laughter] I said, "Tom, come on." He says, "That's the only thing you can do." So those were my instructions. They didn't ask for it. But I wouldn't have done it.
END OF INTERVIEW ON NOVEMBER 27

START OF INTERVIEW ON NOVEMBER 28
ANN McCOLL:
Let's start with your telling me about your passport hearings.
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I thought of the guy's name. Max Shackman. And Max Shackman had been an original member of the American Communist Party and he was expelled in 1928 or thereabouts and started his own splinter group. It was either the Socialists' Labor Party or the Socialist Workers' Party. I could never keep them apart. He had applied for a passport. He wanted to go visit in Spain. There was a branch of his party and also in Burma and that's about it. But he wanted to go to Spain to make contact with his party and they wouldn't give it to him. So he appealed from the initial decision. And there was a board within the State Department. And Mr. Nicklaus was the chair of that board. And we got there and Mr. Nicklaus opened up with the comment that, "It has come to the attention of the State Department that you are the head of an organization that describes itself as being revolutionary and wants to overthrow the entire political and social structure of the United States." Words to that effect. To which Mr. Shackman said, "Mr. Nicklaus, if that has not come to the attention of the State Department, my life's work has been in vain." So we didn't get the passport, but we did go to court

Page 35
and filed a suit and it was the first suit, the first passport suit. We argued that you couldn't deny him a passport unless there was some…. Well, we argued several things. One, that there was no valid reason why he couldn't go to Europe and talk to his friends in Spain. And secondly, that the State Department had no authority to pick and choose who can…. It was a right to travel and it's up to Congress and Congress has not delegated this authority to the Executive branch. I think we won both of them in the Court of Appeals. It was the first passport case and that was good. Also, Mr. Nicklaus said, "Mr. Shackman, why do you want to go to Spain? Do you want to talk about armed revolution?" And Shackman said, "Oh, no. We leave that to the State Department armaments. We deal in the more important concept of ideas." [laughter] So you can give eighteen trillion dollars worth of arms to Spain, but we're going to deal with ideas. So it was nerve racking, but a fun occasion, you know, to get with them. So we did several passport cases.
ANN McCOLL:
Were those less frequent than the things you were telling me about yesterday?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes, there weren't so many of those. What happened, we were across the street from a law firm. It was a two man law firm with a couple of associates and they represented General Electric in big matters. And sometimes a General Electric scientist or something, or an engineer would have to go somewhere abroad and couldn't get a passport because when they had been in college they had done something and the firm that represented GE didn't want to dirty their hands with this stuff so they slammed

Page 36
it up to us. So I guess we had as big a passport practice as anybody, but most people who were denied passports would just let it go.
ANN McCOLL:
You were telling me yesterday about the loyalty security type cases that there were only about nine lawyers or law firms that did it. Is that also true for the passports?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. Same people. We had a guy who I knew socially; he was a good friend of a good friend and we'd meet on Saturday nights at parties and stuff. But he became the head of the Republican Party in the District of Columbia. He was interviewed by Tony Lewis. Anthony Lewis of the "Times". He was then a young reporter on the "Washington Daily News" which was a tabloid thing. He did a series of articles on the loyalty security program and got a Haywood Brune award or something. But in his articles he saw this Republican and said, "Would you take a loyalty case?" And he said somebody came in and said they had a loyalty security case. "Would you take it?" And he said, "Oh, no. I couldn't take it. I've got a reputation." And then they said, "What would you do? Would you refer him to somebody else?" And he said, "Oh, no. I wouldn't do that because the person I referred him to might think that I think he has Communist leanings or something." So that captured the atmosphere of the day.
ANN McCOLL:
Did you feel any social repercussions from your involvement?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No. Not as far as…. You know, you never know, but I was fairly recently out of Cornell and there were maybe

Page 37
twenty of us in Washington and we used to have Cornell parties. And then I'd been a Lockhart and there were nine Lockharts and we were pretty close and did things together, you know. Those were my friends.
ANN McCOLL:
And you did all these cases while you were with Joe Rauh?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes.
ANN McCOLL:
Was the name of the law firm then Rauh and Silard?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
No it was Rauh and Levy. They had been clerks together a long time ago. Joe had worked for Cardoza and Irv Levy had worked with Brandeis. Irv Levy had been the Chief Counsel for the Department of Labor and then after World War II he and Joe Rauh got together and opened a law firm. Walter Luther was about the first client. So he did labor unions. It was primarily a labor union clientele.
ANN McCOLL:
You left them in 1955. Why did you decide to leave the firm?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, my father had been a law teacher and my father-in-law had been a law teacher and I'd always thought I'd like to be a law teacher and I'd had five years of practice. I'd been teaching nights at American University.
ANN McCOLL:
Those were your sales and securities classes?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. I figured if I liked to teach security transactions it would be really great to teach something fun.
ANN McCOLL:
What did you end up teaching? Did you have specific courses in mind that you wanted to be able to teach?

Page 38
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. I wanted to teach administrative law because we'd done a lot of that and I wanted to teach Constitutional law, but I taught a number of things.
ANN McCOLL:
And so this is when you went to Arkansas?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Arkansas, yes.
ANN McCOLL:
And how did you wind up getting a job in Arkansas?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
A friend of a friend. I just told people I was sort of interested in teaching and a friend of mine who was really a friend of a family friend was teaching at Arkansas and ran into my mother. My mother said, "Why don't you ask Dan?" So he asked me and I thought it would be fun to go to Arkansas.
ANN McCOLL:
So was it?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. It was a great little place. We got there. We had two children then, very young. There were several things…. I'd wanted very much to write up my experience representing people who take the fifth amendment. I'd seen the Ford Foundation which was then under Hutchins and they told me that they would sponsor it and they'd give me twenty-five thousand. They were going to get somebody to do the publicity who could write something up in the New Yorker. It was sort of a managed thing, but they had to give it to somebody scholarly like the Bar Association. I went to the AAUP.
ANN McCOLL:
What does that stand for?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
The American Association of University Professors, because I knew the Executive Director who was named Ralph Foushe. And I said to them, "You know a lot of professors are pleading the Fifth Amendment these days and I have this money and I need a

Page 39
co-sponsor. I'll do it. What do you say?" He said, "Great." And he went to the board they said no, they didn't want to take any money from Ford Foundation to study the Fifth Amendment. So we thought maybe Arkansas would do it. So when I got there, I had this grant. I was getting paid five thousand or something.
ANN McCOLL:
So when you got there, they knew that this is what you wanted to do?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes. And they decided that maybe we ought to get the Arkansas Bar Association involved. They were not interested and then the University was not interested. I never did get the twenty thousand, but I did it anyway. It was published in the Pennsylvania Law Review. Griswold of Harvard, when he read it, I didn't sent it to him. He'd read it and he stole from it, too, in his book on the Fifth Amendment. But he wrote Henry Brandeis who was a dean here, because it came out when I was here. And Henry went over to the administration and showed them the letter from the Dean of the Harvard Law School, so I got a five hundred dollar raise or something, which was a lot because I hear I got seven thousand. But in any event, we went to Arkansas and it was a delightful. It's up in the mountains. It was then a small law school.
ANN McCOLL:
How many students did they have?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
I don't know, but I had to teach sales again. I had six in my class. And I taught administrative law and that was my first thing I was to teach. I worked hard on my first lecture. I went in there and there were five people. I went over and did the shades and was waiting for the rest to come and nobody else

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came and I said, "Is this all?" And they said, "Yes." And I said, "Well, why you five and none of the others?" And they said, "Well, it's either you or Judge Merryweather who had taught property. We know Judge Merryweather and we don't know you." [laughter] So that's how I got my five students. And in sales I had about seven. I taught bills and notes again and that was a compulsory second year class. I had twenty-five or something like that.
So there weren't more than a hundred in the whole law school if that. And there were seven faculty members. So it was a very close-knit small group. It was a very nice pleasant group. So we enjoyed it, but it was '55 and Brown against school board was '54 and '55. They had the school integration problems and what they'd been doing…. This was Fayetteville, Arkansas. They didn't have a black high school. They'd driven the black high school students to Fort Smith which was about sixty miles away and you have to go up and over some mountains and things. So the school bus would leave for Fort Smith at 6:30 or something and get back around 6:30 and then the bus broke down or something, so they figured instead of repairing the bus, they'd just integrate. So the blacks students came into the white high school. There was a black primary and a white primary school and they just said, "Everybody on this side of town goes here and the other side of town goes to the other." But our first year there, which was 1955, a young black kid went out for the football team.
ANN McCOLL:
At the high school?

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DANIEL H. POLLITT:
At the high school. And he made the squad, but he didn't make the team. He weighed about 130 pounds. So the traditional Thanksgiving day game was with Springdale, if I'm right, which was twenty miles up the road. They wouldn't play unless we left the black kid at home. The team voted not to go. The kid is on the squad. He goes where they go. And if they don't like it…. So they cancelled the traditional Thanksgiving day high school game, so I was very proud of that. But then things got tough in Arkansas and I got active in NAACP affairs. There were a couple of school integration problems which were pretty ugly.
ANN McCOLL:
With violence?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, we had a lawyer's meeting and we'd met in the guy's basement and we came at fifteen minute intervals or something. There were five of us. So nobody would know we were there. And then came Faubus. Governor Faubus was elected. He was a liberal. He did a complete turn about once he got elected governor. Arkansas then was a liberal state. The governor was Sid McMath and he was a fairly young Marine major veteran who had been a lawyer and head of the Young Democrats. He went off to World War II and came back with a lot of decorations. He became the DA in Hot Springs which is where they have hot springs and they had gambling there. He drove out the gamblers. So he was honest and clean and young and a veteran and a lawyer, so he ran for governor and got elected. And the coalition that really put him there was organized later. And the NAACP and the REA, the Rural Electrical Association, that was the coalition that made

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him the governor. So when his four years were over, his hand-picked successor was Orval Faubus who was highway commissioner or something like that. Faubus is the one who put Central High School off limits to the blacks and Eisenhower had to send in the 82nd Airborne.
ANN McCOLL:
There was a case on that wasn't there?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Yes, it went to the Supreme Court. But Little Rock was the big thing. So what they did was, the Legislature…. Again, this is crazy. Right after World War II a number of states passed loyalty oath laws which were disclaimer laws and you had to swear that you were not a member of any organization on the Attorney General's list. And the Attorney General of the United States had compiled a list of subversive organizations so called, to be used in connection with the loyalty security hearings for government employees. So a number of states had passed these. There had been a state senator from Little Rock who was a plumbing contractor or something and he had introduced these bills whenever the Legislature met and they'd always been denied. They'd always voted them down. Well, then at about the time that they started to integrate Central High School and Faubus was going crazy, this guy had a heart attack and he went to the hospital and they thought he would die. So his fellow legislators said, "Gee, you know, we ought to pass his bill as a final mark and show of affection or something." So they passed his bill. So that required all state employees, including me, to swear that we were not a member of any organization on the Attorney General's list. Then at the same time, or a little bit

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later, not much later, they passed another act which says that you had to swear you were not a member of the NAACP or contributed to the NAACP and that if you had you would be fired from the State appointment. That was later modified to say…. Well, that was struck down by a District Court judge because a lot of blacks were school teachers and members of the NAACP. There was a suit filed in the District Court that you can't fire the teachers because of membership, whereupon they then took away all tenure and passed a law saying that you have to list all your organizations and they have to be open to the public. So what happened if you listed NAACP and it would be open to the public, your contract would not be renewed at the end of the year. That was the scheme. So they had these acts. There's a woman named Daisy Bates who was a very attractive, fairly young black woman who was the head of the state NAACP and they subpoenaed her and wanted her to bring the records and she wouldn't do it. There was Bates against Arkansas; a Supreme Court case. So all these things were going on in Arkansas and I decided I wasn't going to sign the disclaimer.
ANN McCOLL:
Is this the one that required you to say about the NAACP or the state one?
DANIEL H. POLLITT:
Well, both. I wasn't going to sign anything.
END OF INTERVIEW