Jerry P. Shinley Archive:Subject: The Suspension of Gordon Novel
The Suspension of Gordon Novel
Date: 2/12/99 9:04 AM Eastern Standard Time
Willie Rainach and the Defense of Segregation in Louisiana, 1954-1959
Stowe, William McFerrin, Jr. Ph. D.
Texas Christian University, 1989
[When the New Orleans Branch of Louisiana State University (LSUNO) was opened in 1958, a federal court had ordered that it must be integrated.]
Following the LSU Board's declaration thet blacks were not wanted at LSUNO, there were several demonstrations by whites, and [LSUNO Dean Homer] Hitt had issued a warning that he would not "permit our academic program to be disrupted by boisterousness and violence." On the same day that he met with [State Senator Willie] Rainach and [Segregation Committee Counsel William] Shaw, the dean had suspended four white students for anti-black activities and for being insubordinate to a security officer. Rainach received a telephone complaint about the suspensions three days later and sent James E. Beeson to investigate.
Beeson found that the student upon whom the complaint centered, Gordon Novel, "had been in minor disciplinary trouble in high school" where he was a "member of a youth organization known as 'Storm Troopers'"...
Rainach telephoned [LSU Dean Troy] Middleton in Baton Rouge to intercede on the boys' behalf. Middleton agreed to meet with the suspended students to discuss the situation but upheld the suspensions ...
[end of excerpt]
Here are some citations from the New Orleans Times-Picayune relating to the above. The reason for the suspensions were not given publically.
Oct 10, 1958 P1
Four Students are Suspended
LSUNO Will Not Reveal Exact Cause
Oct 11, 1958 P36
LSUNO Trio to Ask Return
Gordon Novell [sic], 21
A. Roswell Thompson, Jr.
[A. R. Thompson SENIOR was a Klansman
and a friend of Thomas Beckham.]
Oct 16, 1958 P1
LSUNO's Ouster of Four Upheld
Gen. Middleton Backs up Suspensions
Here's another interesting excerpt from the Stowe dissertation:
(sic's as in original)
Rainach had been tracking the Southern Conference Education Fund since at least 1956, when he received a "strictly confidential" report, probably from Hubert Badeaux, of a New Orleans Police Department investigation of individuals who were "known Communists." The report stated that several of these people had an organization "called the Southern Conference Education Fund" composed of "negroes [sic], Jews and some catholics [sic] that believe in integration." See rport, "RE: NEW ORLEANS CASE #A-4865," September 12, 1956, RC-LSUS [Rainach Collection - LSU Shreveport]...
[end of excerpt]
In 1956, Badeaux reported directly to Guy Banister at NOPD. The SCEF is the civil rights group that was harassed by Jim Garrison's office.
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