Published: May 21, 2018

Clinton Jencks was a life-long progressive activist. As a student at the University of Colorado in the late 1930s, he was the president of the American Student Union and was involved with pushing the first civil rights effort at the university. After the war, as a member and organizer for the Mine-Mill, he helped train the officers of IUMMSW Local #890, a nearly entirely Latino local in New Mexico. They called him “El Palomino” for his wavy blond hair. He was investigated for communist ties during the 1950s. In 1954 Jencks ran afoul of the anti-communist hysteria when he was sentenced for perjury under the Taft-Hartley Act. After his conviction was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court, Jencks pursued an academic career becoming a professor of economics at San Diego State University.

In 1967, when the WFM/IUMMSW merged with the Steelworkers, Jencks, ever the CU alumnus, arranged for the papers to come to CU. The Clinton Jencks collection contains scattered historical records of WFM locals and districts, IUMMSW Executive Board Minutes, General Proceedings, U.S. vs. Maurice Travis, organization summaries (1950-1964), depositions re George Pettibone, legal transcripts of anti-communist trial proceedings including U.S. v. Clinton Jencks. Also included are runs of labor publications.

Moleskin with International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelterworkers embossed. Old copies of Miner's Magazine. Paperwork from the Miners guild.

The logo of the CU Archives 100 Stories for 100 Years The University of Colorado Boulder Libraries will celebrate the centennial anniversary of the Archives on June 6, 2018. This is story #83 in our series: 100 Stories for 100 Years from the Archives!