Pete Seeger, aged 2, with family (1921)


persecuted by the House Unamerican Activities Committee died yesterday.

Back when the federal government at least had the dignity to accuse one in hearing.

Requiescat In Pace, Pete.

Why is his dad wearing a tie in the wilderness?

He was a professor. Seriously: people didn’t change into jeans on their days off the way we do now.

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Thanks. I thought it quirky but endearing anyway.

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that’s a pretty sweet steampunk laptop his dad is working on.

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I was raised on folk music so I always had an appreciation of the weird, wild, and sometimes wacky folks who love to play it, but I was never really schooled on Seeger and what a kick-ass dude he was. Reading the transcript of his testimony before the HUAC, I found this bit particularly lovely:

MR. TAVENNER: You did know, at that time, in 1953, that V. J. Jerome was a cultural head of the Communist Party and one of the Smith Act defendants in New York City? MR. SEEGER: Again the same answer, sir. MR. SCHERER: You refuse to answer that question? MR. SEEGER: Yes, sir. MR. TAVENNER: I hand you a photograph which was taken of the May Day parade in New York City in 1952, which shows the front rank of a group of individuals, and one is in a uniform with military cap and insignia, and carrying a placard entitled CENSORED. Will you examine it please and state whether or not that is a photograph of you? (A document was handed to the witness.) MR. SEEGER: It is like Jesus Christ when asked by Pontius Pilate, "Are you king of the Jews?" CHAIRMAN WALTER: Stop that.
Simply awesome. I apologize in advance for the comment, but truth-to-power like that takes big ole' steel balls. Well done, Mr. Seeger, you won't be forgotten.

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