This timeline is a chronological overview of the loyalty oath controversy. While it covers dates ranging from 1940 to 1956, most of the events featured date from 1949 to 1951, a period considered to have been the height of the controversy. Events are arranged in seven sections adapted from the chapter divisions of the book The California Loyalty Oath Controversy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1967) by David P. Gardner. Topical headings describe how each set of events related to the debate.
Content of the timeline is drawn in part from summary and expanded timelines that were compiled by Steven Finacom for The University Loyalty Oath: A 50th Anniversary Retrospective Symposium and Websource web site, part of the UC History Digital History Archive.
Click on the links at the top of the screen to explore major events that took place during a designated time span. Selected entries on each section page feature links to digital objects that illustrate the event described. The audio clips included are drawn from oral history interviews conducted by Gardner with loyalty oath principals in 1965. Each section is further illustrated by an image chosen to represent the time period.