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The League of Women Voters Through the Decades! - The 1950s

Delegates to the 1954 convention voted to group League program into Current Agenda ("CAs") government issues chosen for sustained attention and concerted action, and Continuing Responsibilities ("CRs") positions on governmental issues to which the League had given sustained attention and on which it could continue to act. In 1951, "The National Voter" magazine was first published and in 1957 the League of Women Voters Education was established. (For more detail, see the section titled League of Women Voters Education Fund and Overseas Education Fund.)


The witch hunt period of the early fifties inspired the League to undertake a two-year community education program focusing on the individual liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. Next came an evaluation of the federal loyalty/security programs and ultimately a League position that strongly emphasized the protection of individual rights. In 1955 League President Percy Maxim Lee testified before Congress against Senator Joseph McCarthy's abuse of congressional investigative powers . "I believe tolerance and respect for the opinions of others is being jeopardized by men and women whose instincts are worthily patriotic, but whose minds are apparently unwilling to accept the necessity for dissent within a democracy."

Dating back to a 1920s study of the Tennessee Valley Authority, the League's concern about the depletion and conservation of natural resources was rekindled in the mid-1950s with a study of water resources.

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