Houston Public Library, Houston Metropolitan Research Center

Dr. Kate Bell Collection MSS.0098

Descriptive Summary

Creator Bell, Kate
Title: Dr. Kate Bell Collection
Dates: 1952-1958
Identification: MSS.0098
Quantity: 0.25 Linear feet, 1 box
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library

Historical Note

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.


Access Restrictions


Use Restrictions

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.

Index Terms

Bell, Kate
Ebey, George, 1907-
Houston Independent School District
Minute Women of the U.S.A., Inc. Houston Chapter
Anti-communist movements--Texas--Houston
Houston Independant School District (HISD)
School elections--Texas--Houston
School superintendents--Texas--Houston

Related Material

MSS 70, Dr. George Ebey Collection

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Kate Bell Collection. Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library.

Processing Information

Processed by Suzanne L. Summers, April, 1990.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Box Folder
1 1 Brochures, Statements, etc.

Box Folder
1 2 Correspondence

Box Folder
1 3 Photographs

Box Folder
1 4-7 Newspaper Clippings