The Harvard Teachers' Union was founded in the autumn of 1935 at a time when the New Deal was still gathering momentum.* The initiative was taken simultaneously but independently by two small groups the members of which did not even know each other until their representatives met at the Cleveland Convention of the American Federation of Teachers in the summer of 1935. Both groups were trying to find out how to form a local at Harvard, and they naturally joined forces. Back in Cambridge when the fall term opened, they sent out a call to like-minded members of the teaching staff. They had no idea how many would answer the call, still less who they would be.
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