On the Road In the Good Old Days

Saul Moskoff traveled quite a bit during his 1951-1958 years investigating the TU and the teachers. His expense vouchers were every bit as detailed as the records he kept on the investigations, whether they were for his subway fares (30 cents) or for out of town trips to Albany, Washington, D.C., and other places. He would also put in for dinner on late nights. Looked at overall, they indicate the range of his contacts and what was happening in the investigations.

Just an example or two: Moskoff advanced the expenses for a February 8, 1955 trip he and his investigator John Dunne made to Albany in connection with the appeal of four teachers to the commissioner of education. Total costs for both were $29.34, including the train, taxi in Albany, and lunch and dinner.

Expenses were a bit higher when Moskoff and Dunne went to Washington on November 19-20, 1956, “at the request of Dr. Jansen in connection with official business of the Board of Education of the City of New York,” the expense voucher said. Fares, meals hotel, and taxi totaled $97.98. He noted that he was returning $2.22 from the $100 advance he’d gotten. I don’t (yet) know what the “official business” was, but a lot was going on in the city’s hunt for classroom communists. New York State’s education commissioner, James E. Allen, Jr. had handed down his decision against forced informing in August. Moskoff’s to-do list also included also included dealing with the appeals of  the 4 teachers and a principal who had been suspended for refusing to cooperate with his investigation by providing names. As for the reason for the D.C. trip, Moskoff made no secret of his frustrations with the impact of the Allen ruling. His own October 29th deposition in the appealed case of the 5 educators noted that his sources were drying up for a number of reasons, with the Allen ruling being one. Another was that “national security regulations and requirements have made such sources unavailable.”

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