American civil liberties union
This collection consists of the papers received and generated by the staff of the Washington, D.C. Office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) during the 1950s and 1960s. The ACLU is a leading defender of civil liberties in the United States. Founded in 1920, it has been the recipient of sharp criticism for its willingness to defend unpopular causes and has participated in a majority of the landmark cases to come before the Supreme Court in the twentieth century. The Washington Office's primary responsibility is to monitor legislative issues. In the 1950s the office worked against abuses caused by McCarthyism, including loyalty oath requirements, powers of legislative investigating committees, and censorship of free speech and expression. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the office focused on civil rights issues and the defense of alternative means of self expression. The Washington Office was also deeply involved with defending the civil liberties of those associated with the federal government and its agencies.