John Birch Society

 

John Birch Society Pamphlet ca. 1980

This week’s highlight is from The John Birch Society. The JBS was founded in 1958 in Belmont, Massachusetts (later moving to Appleton, Wisconsin) by Robert Welch. Gordon Hall once described the John Birch Society saying “No one loves America more than the John Birch Society and no one understands it less.”[1] The Society became one of the largest right wing groups in the country with 50,000 to 60,000[2] members in the mid-sixties and still functions today with a much smaller membership. The JBS is also one of the most prolific right wing groups, primarily through the “American Opinion” publication.  The Society focuses on limited government and anti-communism and is probably best known for a 1963 publication called “The Politician”  in which Welch accused Dwight Eisenhower of being a communist saying:

“But my firm belief that Dwight Eisenhower is a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy is based on an accumulation of detailed evidence so extensive and so palpable that it seems to me to put this conviction beyond any reasonable doubt.” [3]

John Birch Society Map (Inside pages of the pamphlet)

There are over 1000 publications from the John Birch Society in the Hall Hoag Collection Part II.   This post contains two samples;  a pamphlet from the 1980s about the global communist threat and a 1960s postcard regarding the United Nations.

1960s Postcard from the John Birch Society

 

Back of the Postcard


[1] The Harvard Crimson ( February 17, 1965) http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1965/2/17/hall-expert-on-extremism-claims-birchers/

[2] George, John and Laird Wilcox “Nazis, Communists, Klansmen, and Others on the Fringe” Prometheus Books (1992) pp.220

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_W._Welch_Jr.