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November 1, 1935, Page 1

Delegates from New York Colleges
      Petition for Release of Herndon

            (By a delegate to Washington)  President Roosevelt was not at home–he had gone to Annapolis; his secretary, Mr. McIntyre, not in either–had gone to his daughter's wedding yet the five young people who, without food or rest, wind-beaten and travel jarred, had come more that. 250 miles to appeal for humanity and justice at the White House were not disheartened.

            They were a delegation of college editors who had gone to Washington to petition for a re-hearing of the Herndon case. Aroused by the Supreme Court's decision with regard to this young Negro, sentenced to 18-20 years on the Georgia chain gang for leading whites and Negroes in a relief demonstration, they had come to the Supreme Court to plead for mercy and justice in the form of the twenty-two year old youth's release from a fate far worse than death. Believing that a grave miscarriage of justice had occurred in convicting Herndon under a law passed in the Civil War period and apparently pertaining only to the critical situation then existing, they had come to appeal to Senators George and Russell of Georgia to exert all efforts in securing the release of the young Negro.

            They presented their petition for justice to a marshal at the White House, to the secretarial office of the Supreme Court, and to the secretary of Senator George. They wrote the Georgia senator that "the state of Georgia has acted contrary to the fundamental American principles, the right of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, which we students cherish and hope are still guaranteed to all;" continuing, "as believers in democracy, liberty, and justice we feel that this injustice should he remedied before it is too late."

            They realized that more than their appeal was needed to secure Angelo Herndon's release; but they had demonstrated their belief that America's inalienable rights are truly inalienable.

            The delegates and the colleges they represented. were Roger E. Chase, editor of the Columbia Spectator, Margaret Cummings, editor of the Columbia Teachers College News, Jack Kalish, secretary of the City College School of Commerce Student Council, Ida Schwalberg, editor of the Brooklyn College Spotlight, and Eli Jaffe, editor of the Brooklyn College Pioneer.


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May 20, 2004