Here We Go Again

Memorandum to Ruth Schmidt regarding charges against her.

Memorandum to Ruth Schmidt from Douglas McKay. 

In this letter, Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay lists the reasons Schmidt is being charged with disloyalty and that her "activities, behavior and associations tend to show" that she is "not reliable or trustworthy." McKay also informs her that she has 30 days upon receipt of the memorandum to submit any responses and affidavits to show that she should not be removed from her employment. 

Read the full document. 

Ruth's response to charges, 1954.

Ruth Schmidt's response to charges. 

Schmidt promptly responded to McKay's memorandum. In her response, "for the convenience of the Secretary of the Interior" she included her 1950 response to charges addressed to E.L. Compton, Secretary, Interior Department Loyalty Board.

Read Schmidt's response to charges. 

Letter from Secretary of the Interior, Douglas McKay, 1954.

Letter from the Secretary of the Interior regarding Schmidt's Loyalty Board Hearing information. 

In late June 1954, Douglas McKay sent Schmidt another letter labelled "personal and confidential." McKay informed Schmidt that her response to the charges and supporting documents she sent "do not constitute sufficient grounds to reinstate" her employment and the case will go to hearing.  

Read the letter. 

Letter from Ruth Schmidt to John Coyle asking for affidavit.

Letter from Ruth Schmidt to John Coyle asking for affidavit. 

Schmidt wrote to acquaintance John Coyle asking for him to write an affidavit in her favor. She also explains why she is being charged and that Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay had a rejected her response and would like her case to go to trial. Schmidt asks Coyle to specifically recall any conversations they may have had in the past that prove she is not a communist. 

Read a pdf of the letter. 

Affidavit written by A.H. Shapley to the Secretary of the Interior regarding Ruth Schmidt's disloyalty charges.

Affidavit written by A.H. Shapley on behalf of Ruth Schmidt. 

On August 6, 1954, Schmidt's friend and colleague A.H. Shapley wrote an affidavit and sent it to the Secretary of the Interior. Shapely recalls their meeting in 1946 through the Washington Association of Scientists and that they had remained close friends ever since. Shapely also mentions that Schmidt had spoken "disapprovingly of Russian actions." 

Read the document.

Jo and John's letter regarding the charges against her.

Schmidt's friends respond to charges. 

Schmidt wasn't the only one surprised at the charges against her. Her friends, Jo and John state in this letter "We're certainly sorry to learn that you're a victim of the Republicans security program." 

View a pdf of this document.