Monsignor George Higgins Oral History
Scope and Content
Collection consistst of an audio recording. Higgins talks about his long involvement, through his leadership in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, with the United Farm Workers and association with Cesar Chavez. He offers his perspectives on Chavez's legacy, the need for a thorough history of the man and the movement, and the importance of open access to relevant archival material.
The interview can be divided approximately as follows: scholarship on Cesar Chavez and UFW history to date, Reuther Library’s acquisition of the UFW records, Higgins’ concerns about access to the records and need for serious historical studies of Chavez and the movement, Higgins’ first meeting of Chavez, work to organize Bishops’ Conference support for the UFW boycott, discussion of other relevant collections at the Reuther Library including labor reporter John Herling’s UAW oral histories, Higgins’ assistance in securing funding for creation of the Herling transcripts; meetings and interactions between UFW and Teamsters; differences between UFW and Teamsters, Coachella organizing drive, recommendation to consult Roger Mahoney’s detailed notes on the Farm Labor Committee, personality and leadership style of Cesar Chavez, lack of documentation on Chavez’s key decisions, Cesar Chavez funeral (side 1); reiteration of hopes for a thorough history of Chavez and importance of open access to UFW records, Leslie Woodcock Tentler’s teaching and scholarship on UFW history; importance of Chavez’s and UFW’s practice of nonviolence, contrasts and accords in Chavez’s and Higgins’ philosophies and approaches, Cesar Chavez Day and his own admiration for Chavez, recollections and admiration of Dolores Heurta, Heurta’s differing negotiating style and tactics, effects of Chavez’s hunger strikes, comparisons to Polish Solidarity movement, further speculation on existence of papers of others involved including Bill Kircher, interactions with and thoughts on UAW president Stephen Yokich, retirement from the Bishops’ Conference (side 2; tape ends mid-sentence).
- Higgins, George (Interviewee, Person)
Language of Materials
Material entirely in English.
Collection is open for research.
Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library
Rules for Use of Archival Materials.RESTRICTIONS: Due to the personal nature of oral history, the Library prohibits use of the material in any way that infringes on individual right to privacy, or results in libelous statements or slander, in accordance with U.S. law.
In 2000, Fred Stielow interviewed "labor priest" Monsignor George Higgins.
1 items : (1 audiocassette).
In 2000, Fred Stielow interviewed "labor priest" Monsignor George Higgins. Collection consists of an audio recording. Higgins talks about his long involvement, through his leadership in the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, with the United Farm Workers and association with Cesar Chavez. He offers his perspectives on Chavez's legacy, the need for a thorough history of the man and the movement, and the importance of open access to relevant archival material.
Donated by Fred Stielow, in or after 2000.
Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on October 26, 2016.
- Guide to the Monsignor George Higgins Oral History
- Processed by Rebecca Bizonet.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.