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others the following program is a presentation of national educational television the third in a series on the malcontent political minority both left and right soybean and corn country central missouri rolling farmland broken by little town one factory dominates the town one man dominates the fact that manned as guy no chance member of the council of the john birch society and radical over conservativism would just the private positive mr jones and there would be no television program and his radical thinking is imposed in subtle and overt ways below three thousand persons will live in centralia and how another father reserve report the radical american series this program does not deal with large issues or national movements of radicals and radicalism
it a study of one small town where the radical right is dominant and the town heels to the philosophy of one man after no chance the wealthiest man in town who controls a factory in town where most of the men in town work the activities of the radical right have split centralia down the middle this division in pta churches booster clubs even divisions in families would be an absorbing story under any circumstances what makes it worth reporting is that opposition to the radical right is repressed there is a clear pattern of reprisal here economic reprisal social reprisal against those persons who speak out openly against the radical right most of the open critics have been forced to leave town are in effect exiles the people who remain are too afraid to talk i called every person in town was alleged to be involved on either side people who were alleged to be members of a radical right
organization the john birch society refused to talk at all <unk> chance declined an invitation to appear a public relations man at the chance factory told me that no official of the company would speak to me at any time about anything on orders of f the no chance people who would talk anti radical right anti john birch society would only talk in private when i visited their house as i did so at night so that a strange car and a stranger would be less noticeable some people prefer to drive twenty miles away to meet me in another time many said they were even afraid to talk to their friends because they didn't know their friends work anymore i was in the office of a prominent real estate man who'd agreed to go before my camera and be interviewed about the town about how people fought in the town when they felt like it why they felt the way they did an interview i hoped that would simply help to explain to me this town and help to explain the town to the audience
his secretary came in announced gents was on the phone i heard the voice on the phone say don't cooperate with them and this man who'd previously agreed to go on camera then refused and that's the way this town is its radical its repressive it's centralia missouri schools in the city government and the quality of civic clubs and center area are dominated by the by the chancellor resigned question about that i was on the library board for a short time and there was even dissension among members of the board is to have the type of books and materials and supplies into your discovery would provide for the library and some of the so called quote right wing material at one time you couldn't go to work to the
pta and enforce an opinion that would then coincide with the with chants of union because you'd be been practically blew down on the judge and so in terms of his employees at one time partner ten or twelve years ago to send their shirts to washington this was quite a campaign to all send the shirt off your back and settle a tax you could afford now you're sending the shirt off your back if you think that this one industry kind of founders things that many many books written on the phenomenon a sociological phenomenon and there is this tendency sometimes when you find these anxious hostile individuals managing these industries then this need to prove themselves adequate strong manly individuals interested in and they control not only for industry
but the town itself joe turner used to work a chance a lecture he saw the beginnings of the john birch society in the very early stages of the john birch society as those master chants became a member and therefore brothers that you're back and very possibly i was one of the first people are i don't know exactly why fairly strong worker in the democratic party i've been an officer of the union at first people were willing to call it the birch society the john birch society and more willing to sound off against that this was something that they were willing to do part of that to those of his element before that at the only thing he did say was was
the chance nomination and nobody was willing to say that in centralia very few although it was a reporter for the local weekly newspaper has now moved on to a better job and he saw the town as an outsider i think i think central use unique branches unique this is an industrial voices so speak in the heart of an agrarian society had an agrarian area or you got people normally world agriculture mr moore no industrial complex for survival their attitudes were lost these are still perhaps more agrarian but they're living in a society that so the industry and its dominated by the white collar people
who are strangers who were foreigners you are a healing and to all the normal way of life in that section and nationally voted the top and then become the dominant force there always constant complaints about that well we vacated such and such as streets were tears come they could expand their their factory operations across the street therefore we have no more street people and presented at times the year the bigness of the community of the corporations influence upon the community but they're not like two well a shop here and this is where my this is my livelihood so i'm not gonna rock the boat and i know there were a few probably listening five or six people who are very outspoken and who could perhaps have started something at the right time but i think it's
much to pay the home of mr and mrs toby meager wisdom ego wrote to the editor of the paper in nearby mexico missouri supporting labor is right to strike and another time he supported an agnostic point of view at a ymca debate than a grain dealer than a quarter of a million dollars gross a year but the support of labor and his part in a ymca debate will cost them almost everything it started over membership in a club they wanted all i want to go on ice about particular had never done anything about john scher like we need more members would like him it's ok but he was blackballed fella came back to me and he said i just saw that well us came into the meeting and he said that mr james had a file on you saying that you were a communist that's going on that's really interesting
as an unrelenting this information because of been hearing these are rumors though as three or four years are now mostly mr chan so we arranged a meeting with the chants there was mr janssen mr bob martinez public relations managers make and i said you have a pile and he said well yes i have an awesome what's its pollster what has forced to be you said well it's really just a hobby of mine after three years he finally did bring ohio that contained nothing more than a group of clippings from columns the letters to the people there and to the post dispatch and then the collection he told us that this has been in the room for his country and he was interested in the us your time later there was an article came out in the globe democrat and thinking those stating that his future files on
at seven missourians that he considered to be a communist for travelers the article let the implication that mr chance was either in the fbi or a consultant fellow well he's there that is filing up who we were communists or not congress the implication is that he keeps a file you are a couple mrs vega applied for a position as a teacher in the center a public school because it with a tremendous shortage of teachers particularly qualified teachers with degrees and she submitted her application here is together with her references and together with her transcript of contracts and nothing at the start of the school year and with unqualified teachers and she didn't hear a thing of art and where's your applications at bacteria that time around the hole that they held a healthy actually started
school with a force the thing that came up at that time was the girl came on principle animal been around for about a week and i knew something was wrong so funny i asked her what happens is that the girls had been playing house and her because he was a communist and then that same city or in october some of the former customers would formally so disorderly yesterday anyway these images though they're saying you know i wanted to play and the book and it just too dangerous for me to be in this massive the wine recently said the latino always said they're saying your communist message is that saddam hussein and he said well he said you know around century who starts a historian who runs a town well the next thing as i
recall it was that in nineteen fifty four we had had a very visceral and we were selling cold wind rain out that since it would be much grain decided we would teach the reply dear sir we both got jobs there and it was less than two weeks actually in school open that is the question mr morris it is not surprising that no words coming around and now i won the school board in the primaries and it is the thing we should do fortunately it material shortages to board an additional periods and then that water because it just forget all things to more suitable me a letter saying that there was
not one single word of adverse comment but as i met him in prison for a reason to write just a chance to get something from him in writing all this led to the menu at daimler your industry can support mr morsi and insecure letter about mr and mrs make him are required to your question you know it must make its college the tendencies would be no i answer your question you know it really is the consumers would also now in about there were earmarks mr morsi gunfire that he was a superintendent next mr sampson principal fired and then <unk> and i got fired and mr robert and white images going to have a big headline makers fiery speeches have ended and another exiled from centralia perry white emperor was an engineer at the chance of actually was president of the
pta and the oneness and cub scout master and was board member of the methodist church he is now none of these at the surge he wants the radical right at work in a friendly debate mrs mclelland besides foreigners church and mrs all think i'm the program opposing a mother's church hall in the program went along and as they say in progress all mrs mclelland didn't have much literature on at her disposal to support a mother's church but she but honorary knight program came assist thinks turned put on her little talk she hello and luminous file of maternal as she passed around major maternal well my wife were sitting next to me and she asked me think or she got all this in turn argue that would come out of that was this is i just got as paro was passed to me i recognized i heard mr
chen says tol one gingerbread i reckon as many articles these were the same articles as presidents frank where you get these articles agreeable or a mile she says i got them for mr jones i says i refuse to believe anything to chance we have this a bottom of the church supervisor i had in our calling to the vice president of engineering told us to more my evaluation sheet well it does sound like i wrote myself was not a lot to offer critical went to florida that was not true that i really got down to the end of the last question he says now here's where i disagree with it just really disagree with what has a right to put down and harry likes his work he says harriet does not like his work if kerrigan talk about the chants the way there's an online they're tolson who is mature chances sister in law the wife of a
prison the company he says if he can align their tolson and talk about much as weight as he doesn't like his work well it's not a lot of space for not just five people to me that you said you refused to believe anything that a chance would have to say therefore ugly was true it would you tell me a word was said notice i want that was saying i'm eating acid would you tell me who sent us it says no i don't he said no i can't tell you i won't tell you rather who said he says i believe you're given joe turner was not fired he got out raised on a farm work in a factory became union president but the pressure to conform was too much this pressure included attending the ultraconservative freedom forum at harding college says the art and so we asked what they talk there they may yet teach as much as possible i think to get the point
across to you that we get wrong with that our giveaway programs we can't go on with our welfare programs well you get the idea that wheat we just can't go on that's all they thought that they could continue to persuade us through what we learned that as seriously to change our politics and to work when we got back that's what we were told to do to work to get to overcome the other people in the union to to see that side of the picture we learned a lot of work a lot of things that the commonest had done several years ago the columnist at that time or about debt in this country understand that there's joe biden you know classes were held in the factory itself on the evils of taxes the government communist cheers employees were
invited to all my letter they weren't invited to take part in its clans brought me forty a time plus we run for three hours in the morning while all week between fifteen hours are all you may get attacked new glass and fifteen hours a week on leashes of classes went on for boyd cicero months until almost all employees an opportunity to to foreign climes of this was in total freedom or regimentation of all it said that this ad was the phrase said ann the other sad appalling sad was regimentation all saying that the regimentation was a commerce type of society and there's a was the all freedoms of all it was pretty easily say that aldous for you said was a right wing side of the gentlemen who put on the program mr roberts of chicago i'll
say it was a democrat he was not a democrat in my with it was at a very ultra conservative and i said to the uk we follow the bible which was afraid and saddened me qantas finally manifest overcome his manifesto empty i said that to come this will not be trusted and loner and of course we said that though economists said they'll broken or word fifty six times so we shouldn't iran into question at all anymore and i raise the question us is wow this is so the book you talk about over the bible says you shall forgive your brother seventy times seven places that doesn't apply to come to the us is that the book also says this man is also your brother he says it doesn't apply or so after that you avoid my questions there were also invitations to join the john birch society is joe turner i receive some cards announcing the dates of meetings and at one time
secretary call my home and i told my wife and said that i would be expected to be there i ride another camp i first got an indication of what the john birch society was or that it was kind of four armor mr raul who is that and a composure the newspaper and then asked to attend the meeting which had been arranged by just a chance that either the chants home or at the church halls community halls to discuss another one of those ideas and so mr all went and i wasn't invited and all of that would we want to go and he came back the next morning and was all about and this was the john birch society no lawyer and other and said i'm a member of the verses set and therefore i oppose this higher is they once a
schoolteacher of taught his classes all i knew that he was a job or so later by his own admission he was a job or so later and by his teaching aisle you could see all the john birch influence and he was continually government and the church i talked to two of the pastors are very good friends of mine weeks to me that the corner drugstore have a general bull session and now there had been talk that had told that there have been attempts by certain members of the congregation to censor some of the sunday school literature that and that was distributed and particularly in the methodist church of the pastures are no longer in the community the centralia far as i've gotten weekly newspaper editor and publisher john roll one day at agreed to talk to us and the next day he
refused the schmidt thinks he knows why but the newspaper itself is dependent upon the year at chan's copy we do all the jobs right here we did at the time i was there so much so i think there was a period in there when the most or all put one of our own job printers on the road is a saleable in an attempt to open up new accounts or we would not be that depend upon this was an abandoned shortly thereafter after three weeks or so at that time i'm sure it still true today if we lost buildings at the beach and coming ones and very fireside guard his face is obscured because he's afraid he fears retaliation against his children social ostracism of his wife he has the courage to oppose what he
feels is wrong he has the courage to talk but even this courageous man is afraid to show his face i realize the time you're a large factory into town that the owner such factor or the one a control z our largest anderson factory or high rate and flows but i am firmly convinced that this is a conspiracy rule they control job for control and credit and it don't control it directly to control your old is your son your daughter your trusty in a church position of other honor guard duty they will see a cheerleader and if you dared to oppose you're awfully attractive in such worries is harassment by phone call these calls usually come overnight when you answer
the phone nor does it is there that is the standard for location in the color all of the usual vicious rao profane like journal no longer employed of the company who has ever tried to run for public office against one of his company sponsored candidates all of those who have tried to do so no longer loans and very meager have been hurt and have survived there now social workers in st louis there are philosophical about their painful and covered with the radical right you know you must not place the blame on these individuals and managed even one industries in small town because people themselves did not have a need for this kind of an individual they would not permit actually when takes place is it is it is psychological exploration of the people
of the navy come to mobilize the bacteria that i think it isn't very strongly in the fact that these people must make a living they are dependent on this man or the industry and in this sense they have to conform well as a desire for control tire of power on the part of people who are frightened in secure inadequate and are is anxious and alienated from the mainstream of american why they seem to have no concept of what democratic democracy democratic principles are and actually it was situation to say community you behind the privacy of these from those what is centro isn't a second unit everyone admits the prominent role of the factory in
old town visit it pays taxes which officials own homes in town educate their children in town and and naturally involved in town affair so on the surface centrella is a commonplace with petty gossip and petty frictions common to small towns of centralia is different people are afraid to oppose the radical right they're afraid to discuss it with outsiders more revealing they're afraid to discuss it with each other they're afraid that with experience teaches the opposition is costly leaks by fbi guys became next week on the revolutions we look at
medical colleges both live animals became because he's been at the national educational television network fb
Radical Americans
Episode Number
The Right Takes Over
Producing Organization
WGBH Educational Foundation
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
Library of Congress (Washington, District of Columbia)
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Episode Description
This is a town of 3,000 persons almost dead center in Missouri and very near the center of the continental United States. It is a one-factory town. The factory dominates the town, which is surrounded by farmland. One man dominates the factory. That man is F. Gano Chance, member of the national committee of the John Birch Society. Mr. Chance has been active in radical right causes for years. Workers in his factory, the AB Chance Co., manufacturers of electrical equipment, have had indoctrination classes in the factory on extreme conservative politics and economics. Other workers have been sent to the ultra-conservative Freedom Forum at Harding College, Searcy, Arkansas. According to producer Donald Fouser, this in itself is interesting but harmless. More important is local politics in Centralia. No one working for the factory dares run for public office against the stated policy of company officials; church congregations are split asunder by the political philosophy of the radical right, merchants fear opposition to the factory officials because of possible economic reprisal, the local paper is dependent on the factory's job printing to stay in business, Mr. Fouser notes. It is a story of repression and a hard story to get because most people in Centralia were afraid to talk to the producing crew. The people who did talk freely were maligned by having false rumors spread about them that they were communists and atheists. Only one man still living in town would talk for attribution, that is, on camera, and that man was afraid to show his face for fear of reprisals to his wife and family, the producer observed. It is a frightening story because the people of Centralia have lost the courage to do something themselves about this repression, and now, often deny even to themselves that it exists, though it is there for anyone to see, Mr. Fouser concludes. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Series Description
The growing wave of radical movements in the United States today both on the left and the right are examined in first-hand, on-location reports, interviews, coverage, and commentary throughout a cross-section of the country. The Radical Americans explores the underlying concern of both poles, the threat to individual freedom. What the left and right wing radicals have to offer as solutions, the means they use to proselytize their views, the real motivations and historical impact of their power are probed in the series. Camera crews traveled throughout the US documenting campuses, ghettos, towns, cities, in meetings, the views and actions of well-known and obscure citizens and groups involved directly and indirectly with radical movements. The gamut of spokesmen includes politicians, historians, Communists, Black Muslims, members of the John Birch Society, ultra conservative and liberal professors, writers, and civil rights leaders. In documenting coverage, the production crews of The Radical Americans at times were met with resentment, fear, and opposition by people in places chosen for the series report. The Radical Americans is a 1966 production of National Educational Television and WGBH, Bostons educational television station. The 6 episodes that comprise this series each run about 30 minutes. (Description adapted from documents in the NET Microfiche)
Broadcast Date
Asset type
Social Issues
Politics and Government
Published Work: This work was offered for sale and/or rent in 1972.
Media type
Moving Image
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Associate Producer: Bywaters, Thomas
Producer: Fouser, Don
Producing Organization: WGBH Educational Foundation
Reporter: Fouser, Donald
Writer: Fouser, Don
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: 00107A (WGBH Item ID)
Format: 16mm film
Generation: Print
Duration: 00:30:00
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2295834-1 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 2 inch videotape
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2295834-2 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: 1 inch videotape: SMPTE Type C
Generation: Master
Color: B&W
Library of Congress
Identifier: 2295834-3 (MAVIS Item ID)
Format: U-matic
Generation: Copy: Access
Color: B&W
Indiana University Libraries Moving Image Archive
Identifier: [request film based on title] (Indiana University)
Format: 16mm film
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Chicago: “Radical Americans; 3; The Right Takes Over,” 1966-04-17, WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed February 24, 2024,
MLA: “Radical Americans; 3; The Right Takes Over.” 1966-04-17. WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. February 24, 2024. <>.
APA: Radical Americans; 3; The Right Takes Over. Boston, MA: WGBH, Library of Congress, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from