Attorney General's list

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The Attorney General's list originally known as the Biddle list (after Attorney General Francis Biddle) began during the administration of U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1941, during the Nazi-Soviet pact, to track Nazi, fascist and Soviet-controlled subversive front organizations. The original list had only eleven organizations but was greatly expanded by the end of the decade.[1]

On March 21, 1947, President Harry Truman promulgated Executive Order 9835,[2] directing the Attorney General to furnish the Loyalty Review Board with:

the name of each foreign or domestic organization, association, movement, group or combination of persons which the Attorney General, after appropriate investigation and determination, designates as totalitarian, fascist, communist or subversive, or as having adopted a policy of advocating or approving the commission of acts of force or violence to deny others their rights under the Constitution of the United States, or as seeking to alter the form of government of the United States by unconstitutional means.[3]

Attorney General Tom Clark compiled the list, and on March 20, 1948 it was published in the Federal Register.[4] It did not list individuals.

Communist groups, which emerged both in the pre-war and the post-war list, are marked by one "". In the meantime some trade unions communists had excluded other openly communist groups from their membership lists, were dissolved, partially also by government resolution. The Venona project intercepted and translated messages of Soviet spies inside the U.S. reporting to Moscow, but the information was not translated until years later and was not used by the Attorney General to make the list.

Thousands of people with an inclination for radical thinking signed petitions or became members of these groups without being aware of the Communist control of the group.

Biddle list

The 1948 list

  • Alabama People's Educational Association
  • Florida Press and Educational League
  • Oklahoma League for Political Education
  • People's Educational and Press Association of Texas
  • Virginia League for People's Education
  • Congress against Discrimination
  • Congress of American Revolutionary Writers
  • Congress of American Women Congress of the Unemployed
  • Connecticut Committee to aid Victims of the Smith Act
  • Connecticut Ste Youth Conference
  • Council for Jobs, Relief and Housing
  • Council for Pan-American Democracy
  • Council of Greek American
  • Council on African Affairs
  • Daily Worker Press Club
  • Dennis Defense Committee
  • Detroit Youth Assembly
  • East Bay Peace Committee
  • Emergency Committee to Save Spanish Refugees
  • Everybody's Committee to Outlaw War
  • Families of the Baltimore Smith Act Victim
  • Families of the Smith Act Victims
  • Finish-American Mutual Aid Society
  • Frederick Douglas Educational Center
  • Freedom Stage, Inc.
  • Friends of the Soviet Union
  • George Washington Carver School, New York City
  • Harlem Trade Union Council
  • Hawaii Civil Liberties Committee
  • Hellenic-American Brotherhood
  • Hollywood Writers Mobilization for Democracy
  • Hungarian-American Council for Democracy
  • Hungarian Brotherhood
  • Idaho Pension Union
  • Independent Party, Seattle, Washington
  • Industrial Workers of the World
  • International Labor Defense
  • International Workers Order, its subdivisions, subsidiaries and affiliates*
  • Jewish Culture Society
  • Jewish People's Committee
  • Jewish People's fraternal Order
  • Joint Anti-Fascist Refugee Committee
  • Joseph Weydemeyer School of Social Science, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Labour Council for Negro Rights
  • Labor Research Association Inc.*
  • Labor Youth League
  • League for Common Sense
  • League of American Writers*
  • Macedoman-American People's League
  • Maritime Labor Committee to Defend AI Lannon
  • Massachusetts Committee for the Bill of Rights
  • Massachusetts Minute Women for Peace
  • Maurice Braverman Defense Committee
  • Michigan Civil Rights Federation
  • Michigan Council for Peace
  • Michigan School of Social Science
  • National Association of Mexican Americans
  • National Committee for Freedom of the Press
  • National Committee for the Defense of Political Prisoners
  • National Committee to Win Amnesty for Smith Act Victims
  • National Committee to Win the Peace
  • National Conference on American Policy in China and the Far East
  • National Council for American-Soviet Friendship
  • National Federation for Constitutional Liberties
  • National Labor Conference for Peace
  • National Negro Congress*
  • National Negro Labor Council
  • Nature Friends of America
  • Negro Labor Victory Committee
  • New Committee for Publications
  • North American Committee to Aid Spanish Democracy*
  • North American Spanish Aid Committee
  • North Philadelphia Forum
  • Ohio School of Social Sciences
  • Oklahoma Committee to Defend Political Prisoners
  • Pacific Northwest Labor School, Seattle, Washington
  • Palo Alto Peace Club, Palo Alto, California
  • Peace Information Center
  • Peace Movement of Ethopia
  • People's Drama, Inc.
  • People's Educational Association (Los Angeles Educational Center)
  • People's Institute of Applied Religion
  • People's Programs (Seattle, Washington)
  • People's Radio Foundation, Inc.
  • Philadelphia Labor Committee for Negro Right*
  • Philadelphia School of Social Science and Art
  • Photo League
  • Pittsburgh Art Club
  • Political Prisoners' Welfare Committee
  • Polonia Society of the IWO
  • Proletarian Party of America
  • Protestant War Veterans of the USA Inc.
  • Provisional Committee of Citizens for Peace, Southwest Area Provisional Committee on Latin American Affairs
  • Quad City Committee for Peace
  • Queensborough Tenants League
  • Revolutionary Workers League
  • Romanian-American Fraternal Society
  • Russian American Society, Inc. [1]
  • Samuel Adams Scholl, Boston, Massachusetts
  • Santa Barbara Peace Forum, Santa Barbara, California
  • Schappes Defense Committee
  • Schneiderman-Darcy Defense Committee
  • School of Jewish Studies
  • Seattle Labor School, Seattle, Washington
  • Serbian-American Fraternal Society
  • Serbian Vidovidan Council
  • Slavic Council of Southern California
  • Slovak Workers Society
  • Slovenian-American National Council
  • Socialist Workers Party, including American Committee for European Workers' Relief
  • Southern Negro Youth Congress
  • Syracuse Women for Peace
  • Tom Paine School of Westchester, New York
  • Trade Union Committee for Peace
  • Trade Unionists for Peace
  • Tn-State Negro Trade Union Council
  • Ukrainan-American Fraternal Union
  • Union of New York Veterans
  • United American Spanish Aid Committee
  • United Committee of Jewish Societies and Landsmannschaft
  • United Committee of South Slavic American
  • United Defense Council of Southern California
  • United Harlem Tenants and Consumers Organization
  • United May Day Committee
  • United Negro and Allied Veterans of America
  • United World Federalists
  • Veterans of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade
  • Virginia League for People's Education
  • Voice of Freedom Committee
  • Walt Whitman School of Social Science, Newark, New Jersey
  • Washington Bookshop Association
  • Washington Committee for Democratic Action
  • Washington Committee to Defend the Bill of Rights
  • Washington Commonwealth Federation
  • Washington Pension Union
  • Wisconsin Conference on Social Legislation
  • Workers Alliance Yiddisher Kultur Farband
  • Young Communist League*
  • Yugoslav-American Cooperative Home, Inc.
  • Yugoslav Seamen's Club, Inc.

See also


  1. M. Stanton Evans, Blacklisted by History: The Untold Story of Senator Joe McCarthy and His Fight Against America's Enemies (New York: Crown Forum, 2007) ISBN 978-1-4000-8105-9, pp. 55-60, notes).
  2. Executive Order 9835, National Archives
  3. Executive Order 9835, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
  4. Attorney General's list, Federal Register 13, (20 March 1948).