Dr. Kate Bell Collection MSS.0098
Dr. Kate Bell, a teacher with the Houston Independent School District (HISD), was elected president of the Texas State Teachers Association in 1953. During her tenure, the HISD school board decided to fire Dr. George Ebey, hired by the school district as deputy superintendent in 1952, because of his "controversial" actions, notably his support for racial equality and interaction.
Ebey's opponents claimed he supported communism. Although the school board found no evidence that Ebey was himself a communist, they agreed that he had worked with known subversives, and on that basis, decided to fire him. The Minute Women, a right-wing pressure group formed in the atmosphere of the Cold War, supported the school board's actions. The case attracted attention to Houston and caused national outrage.
Dr. Bell, one of Ebey's supporters, pushed for an outside investigation into HISD's actions by the National Education Association which determined that Houston teachers were under pressure to modify liberal political and social views. In response, Bell's opponents tried to have HISD cancel her teaching contract. In 1958, her support of liberals for school board positions again almost cost Bell her job with HISD as opponents rallied unsuccessfully to have her fired.
Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Dr. Kate Bell Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.
Kate Bell Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.
Processed by Suzanne L. Summers, April, 1990.
Detailed Description of the Collection