Corliss Lamont

Monday, October 20, 1952

American author and social reformer Corliss Lamont (1902-1995), former director of the American Civil Liberties Union in 1982. (Photo by Nancy R. Schiff/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Editors from four college newspapers question Corliss Lamont, the American Labor Party Candidate for US Senator from New York. Panel includes Maureen O'Neill of the Hunter College Arrow, Martin Deutsch of the City College Observation Post, Erwin Chafkin of the New York University Washington Square College Bulletin, and Jack Freeman of the Fordham College Ram. Topics include the Korean War, Russia and Communism, the Cold War (he calls the threat of a Russian attack against Western Europe or the US "bunk" and American propaganda that keeps people in a state of alarm), atomic control agreements with the United Nations, disarmament, Iron Curtain, nonviolent socialism, the Smith Act, campaign finance. Lamont states his opinion that there would be no danger of a military nature to the US if western European countries had become communist decades earlier; the communists do not work through military aggression. Also, communists should only be punished for actions; prosecution for speech or thought violates civil liberties.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 68633
Municipal archives id: LT56

Hosted by:

Gabe Pressman


Erwin Chafkin, Martin Deutsch, Jack Freeman, Corliss Lamont and Maureen O'Neill


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About Campus Press Conference

This is not your run-of-the-mill 'student conference.'

"For the answers to these and other questions..." Each Campus Press Conference (1951-1962) begins with a slew of questions from the student editors of New York City college newspapers, delivered with the controlled seriousness of a teenager on the radio for the first time. Despite their endearing greenness, the student editors pose sharp inquiries to guests from the fields of science, finance, culture, and politics. 

With the country on the cusp of radical cultural and political change, these recordings offer insight to student empowerment movements, flower power, and hippie culture – a time when the youth of America began to realize their tremendous impact and ability to shape their futures. The passion and curiosity of young people is heard through interviews with elected and appointed officials and experts.

Notable guests include Jackie Robinson, Joseph Papp, Averill Harriman, and Senator Jacob Javits.


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