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Moe FonerMoe Foner
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employers to set up the 1199 Children's Camp and Scholarship Program, and the first year we gave away two scholarships, one thousand dollars each. Then four, then eight. The first year of the camp program, I worked out arrangements with camps, inter-racial camps, which were very, very hard to find in those days. We would send, first, twenty kids to three- and four-week vacations, all expenses paid, then forty. Now, for us, that was a lot of kids, and do it year after year, with interviews and arrangements, visiting the camps, doing pictures, interviews with the kids. It was new stuff. Later on it became accepted and general, but when we were doing --

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-- the things that we did in that period. One, we decided that we should make a film, a documentary film about the drug workers. Faith Hubley, who was a very good friend of mine, I met with her on it, and she and -- I forget the name of the woman, another woman who is now dead, the film maker Leo Hurwitz was married to her --Peggy Lawson, Peggy volunteered to do the shooting with Faith and to edit the film, and it was no more than a ten- or twelve-minute film. We'd go to picket lines, that kind of thing. It was put together. Then the question came up, should it be a sound film. They said, “The sound would cost another two hundred dollars.” So we said, “Well, we better not do it.” So what we did instead was, I wrote a narration, and I was the narrator. You couldn't show this film without me. I'd put it on and run to a mike, because I knew where the timing was and do it. That was the first experience I had in making a film. It was in the Fifties, and it was shown to our members.

The other thing we did is we celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of 1199, which was formed in 1932, so it would be in 1957. It was a banquet at a hotel. I forget which hotel, one of the big hotels. At that event, where we presented the first checks to the winners of the college scholarship program, one scholarship was for a member who was studying pharmacy at a college of pharmacy, and Mayor Wagner was there, too. But also I got Ossie to work with Bill Cahn. We put out that Twenty-five Years of 1199, that book that Stanley did. Bill Cahn wrote the text of it. Ossie agreed to dramatize it into a living newspaper and the entertainment was the dramatization of the history of the union, which was with Ossie and Ruby and Pete Seeger doing the songs, and Will Geer and Will Lee, and a guy named Gilbert Green [not the Gil Green]. Tony Schwartz, whom I knew, came, and I asked Tony, “Would you tape it?” And he came and he taped it, and we then put out a record, “Twenty-five Years of 1199,” with an introduction by Davis and the dramatization.

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