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Dr. Kate Bell Papers

Identifier: MSS 0098


  • 1952-1958

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from MSS 0098 Dr. Kate Bell Papers must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Historical Note

Dr. Kate Bell, a teacher with the Houston Independent School District (HISD), was elected president of the Texas State Teachers Association in 1953. During her tenure, the HISD school board decided to fire Dr. George Ebey, hired by the school district as deputy superintendent in 1952, because of his "controversial" actions, notably his support for racial equality and interaction.

Ebey's opponents claimed he supported communism. Although the school board found no evidence that Ebey was himself a communist, they agreed that he had worked with known subversives, and on that basis, decided to fire him. The Minute Women, a right-wing pressure group formed in the atmosphere of the Cold War, supported the school board's actions. The case attracted attention to Houston and caused national outrage.

Dr. Bell, one of Ebey's supporters, pushed for an outside investigation into HISD's actions by the National Education Association which determined that Houston teachers were under pressure to modify liberal political and social views. In response, Bell's opponents tried to have HISD cancel her teaching contract. In 1958, her support of liberals for school board positions again almost cost Bell her job with HISD as opponents rallied unsuccessfully to have her fired.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

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Processing Information

Processed by Suzanne L. Summers, April, 1990.
Dr. Kate Bell Papers
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Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


(832) 393-1662

The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
M Closed | T 10-6 | W 10-6 | Th 12-8 | F 10-5 | Sa 10-5 | Su Closed
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002
M Closed T 10-6 W 10-6 Th 12-8 F 10-5 Sa 10-5 Su Closed