Skip to main content

Monsignor George Higgins Oral History

 Item
Identifier: LOH002289

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).

Dates

  • 2000-10-27

Creator

Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.

Access

Collection is open for research.

Use

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.

History

In 2000, Fred Stielow interviewed "labor priest" Monsignor George Higgins.

Extent

1 items : (1 audiocassette).

Abstract

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.

Acquisition

Donated by Fred Stielow, in or after 2000.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Rebecca Bizonet on October 26, 2016.

Creator

Title
Guide to the Monsignor George Higgins Oral History
Status
Completed
Author
Processed by Rebecca Bizonet.
Date
2016-10-26
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
English
Sponsor
Description made possible by funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

Contact:
5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA