Emanuel Celler

Saturday, October 10, 1959

Emanuel Celler, three-quarter length portrait, seated, facing front in 1951. (Wm. C. Greene, New York World-Telegram and the Sun staff photographer/Library of Congress)

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

Jay Nelson Tuck moderates.

Guest is Honorable Emanuel Celler, Chairman of the House of Representatives
Judiciary Committee.

Panelists include Jack Parker, Stan Siegel, and Barbara Benmolche.


Civil rights bill - and "unholy alliance" between Southern Democrats and Republicans barred the Cellar Civil Rights bill from passing through to the House. Celler believes that Civil Rights legislation will pass in the next session of Congress. He is opposed to the United States giving aid to any country that does not support Civil Rights. He specifically mentions Saudi Arabia banning Jewish soldiers. He does not believe Franco's Spain qualifies as a nation that does not uphold Civil Rights.

Southeast Asia and Laos - Celler believes a great amount of money has been poured into Laos, but with little in return. He speaks briefly about India and Cashmere. Discussion of the Soviet Union and "Red China."

Specifically questioned about the book "The Ugly American," which he calls a badly written book with kernels of good ideas.

Responds to reports about Lyndon Johnson holding back appointees until he got the position he wanted in Texas. Calls it "reprehensible to play fast and loose with the judiciary."

Goes on to discuss juvenile delinquency in New York City and elsewhere. Particularly mentions Puerto Rican youths. He says there is no juvenile delinquency in Puerto Rico, but that when the youth come here a "derangement" happens. Recommends works camps for youth - rather than sending them to adult jails.

Celler speaks out gainst the Walter McCarren act. He disagrees with quotas that favor certain races and nationalities. He feels this is discrimination.

Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection

WNYC archives id: 72098
Municipal archives id: LT8434


Barbara Benmolche, Emanuel Celler, Jack Parker, Stan Siegel and Jay Nelson Tuck


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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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