Respondent
Damick, Marian
Interview Date
2000
Abstract
Respondent Community activist, born 1925.
[T1S1] Respondent provides background information: father. Nathan Schein, born in St. Petersburg, Russia, mother, Sarah Jacobson Schein, born in Syracuse, NY; notes mother involved with National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) at early age; mentions both parents graduates of Cornell University; father civil engineer with city of Pittsburgh. Respondent continues discussion on paternal and maternal families; family attendance at B'nai Israel Synagogue, describes brother: severely retarded, from age 11 resided at Polk Institute, now deceased; adds background information; family not religious, attended Rodef Shalom Temple. Respondent describes home: lived in same house all of her life, reflects on mother and her life; attended Linden Elementary School and Taylor Allderdice High School: graduated 1941 at age 16; elaborates on memories of elementary school: experiences with teachers. Respondent discusses high school years and participation in various activities; attended Penn State University: graduated 1945 with Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and english, attended New York University, graduated 1947 with Master degree in communications. Respondent gives vivid description of Pittsburgh in early 1930s: city dirty with much soot; mentions flood of 1936, people used candles; recounts circus coming to East Liberty; adds detailed discussion on people and activities.
[T1S2] Respondent reflects on university life at Penn State: attended during war years, social life and men from various branches of the military; notes involvement with theater groups; discusses life at New York University and return to Pittsburgh, 1947. Respondent explains 1<sup>st</sup> job in advertising and other positions that followed; gives vivid and lengthy discussion of Pittsburgh after her return: mentions theaters, department stores and Syria Mosque; describes meeting husband, Arthur: met at poker party, reflects on courtship and marriage, 1950; provides names and birth dates of 3 sons: David, Danny, Dean, notes Danny died in plane crash in Peru, 1970. Respondent describes children, holidays, membership at Rodef Shalom Temple and confirmation of 2 boys; adds information to her places of employment and beginning of volunteer work at Montefiore Hospital: worked in physical therapy department, learned Braille and passed certification, read to blind, work with handicapped law students. Respondent begins discussion of involvement with American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and work with House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); worked as volunteer for ACLU, then hired to run organization, set up office in Respondent's basement, law students offered help.
[T2S3] Respondent mentions purchasing property in Clarion, PA, took children there every summer; provides lengthy discussion on ACLU: mentions names of lawyers involved, comments on Woody Guthrie case; decision to open office in Respondent's basement; reflects on week end work for physical therapist and introduction to Pennsylvania School for the Blind; active in ACLU from 1963 until retirement, 1993. Respondent describes purpose of ACLU: to protect and defend constitution of United States; gives detailed description of cases: <i>Pittsburgh Press</i>, March in Skokie, Illinois, by small band of Nazi's, case in Pittsburgh concerning nativity scene in Courthouse
[T2S4] Respondent notes group started in 1920; often agrees in principle but not on issue; notes dissent about support of protesters at abortion clinics; very little done unanimously, notes ACLU opposed to Megan's Law: deals with sex offenders, must register with police upon leaving jail; comments on free speech and separation of religion. Respondent discusses impact of work with ACLU on her children; made them aware of civil liberty issues; discusses husband's work: designing implements, did first electron magnifier. Respondent details activity in other organizations: NCJW, Family Services of Western PA, Association for Retarded Citizens (ARC); lists many other activities; comments on mother's motivation for giving of herself to community: describes her volunteer work, repeats information on earlier days in Pittsburgh: shopping in Homewood, Northside and Squirrel Hill.
[T3S5] Respondent repeats information from previous tapes; comments on work with various institutions including Polk: did spot checking, among group that discovered some institutions using cages for discipline; member of Human Rights Committee for Western State Hospital, now closed; details purpose of committee; repeats information on children and their careers. Respondent notes outstanding accomplishment: 50 years of marriage; "wants to be remembered for trying to be a social activist, to see change, a supporter of underdog causes", among them, aids and gay rights; adds to description of early Pittsburgh: Market Square, Duquesne Gardens; mother's kindness to the poor; travels with mother. Respondent provides detailed list of awards received; describes artwork in home and various places from which they came, notes home always filled with other people living there: gives explanation; discusses work with Squirrel Hill branch of Carnegie Library: coordinated all events from opening to present time, member of founding committee.
[T3S6] No abstract for this side.
Subjects
American Civil Liberties Union; House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC); National Council of Jewish Women; Pittsburgh (Pa.)
Length (hours)
2.5
Interviewer1
Weiss, Selma
Interviewer2
Goodman-Leib, Cindy
Indexer
Berger, Betty
Collateral Materials
Box 101 FF 3
Identifier
ais196440.090
Rights
All rights reserved. University of Pittsburgh