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Subject Focus: WDET in the UAW Years

(30590) WDET FM Radio Flyer

Metro Detroiters recognize radio station WDET 101.9 FM as Wayne State University’s local voice for National Public Radio. Prior to 1952, however, WDET served as the local voice for labor. Unhappy with the critical representation of the labor movement in newspapers and on the radio, in 1944 the United Automobile Workers filed applications with the Federal Communications Commission to run independent radio stations in six markets with strong labor ties: the UAW’s hometown of Detroit; Flint, Michigan; Cleveland, Ohio; Los Angeles; Chicago; and Newark, New Jersey.  read more »

Trial of the Michigan Six

(30532) Communists, "Michigan Six," Smith Act, Trial, 1953

On October 14, 1949, 11 members of the National Board of the Communist Party of the United States (CPUSA) were convicted of violating the Smith Act of 1940 by advocating the overthrow of the government of the United States with force and violence. The ten-month trial, which took place in New York City, captured the country’s attention with its sensational events both inside and outside of the courtroom. More importantly, it established a precedent for prosecuting other communists across the country.  read more »

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