High School Board Apologizes to Pete Seeger 50 Years Later

Wednesday, Feb 11, 2009  |  Updated 12:36 PM CDT
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High School Board Apologizes to Pete Seeger 50 Years Later

Getty Images/Chris Hondros

Where have all the Commies gone?

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Having solved all of its other problems, the San Diego Unified School District board turned its attention to Pete Seeger on Tuesday night.

Amid McCarthyism fears nearly a half century ago, folk singer Pete Seeger faced an ultimatum from the San Diego school district: Sign an oath against communism or cancel a high school concert appearance.
 
Seeger, who found widespread fame with the song, "Where have all the flowers gone?" and other classics, refused to sign the oath and a judge allowed the concert to proceed anyway.
 
The board has now an apologized for that ultimatum.
 
The school district approved a resolution Tuesday night saying the board "deeply regrets its predecessors' actions" and offered an apology to a man who has become "one of our dearest national treasures."
 
The 89-year-old songwriter appears willing to accept the board's apology, saying the board's resolution is a "measure of justice that our right to freedom of expression has been vindicated." Seeger also noted the board's demand for the oath in 1960 may have helped his career by drumming up publicity for his concerts.
 
"I like to misquote Thomas Jefferson in saying, 'The price of liberty is eternal publicity,' " Seeger told The Associated Press.

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