Both the Young Republicans and Young Democrats Clubs were formed in 1960. Gordon C. Redmond won the Young Republicans photo contest with this shot of Walter Knott addressing the group in 1960.
Knott (1889-1981), who created Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, spoke on “the issues before young voters.” The two political clubs existed peaceably until 1965, when the Young Republicans issued a volatile report accusing the Young Democrats of “using school and club money” to support “a representative of a communist-front organization.” The Young Democrats had posted signage around the campus for a February 22, 1965 speech by the Reverend Fred Shuttleworth, President of the Southern Conference Education Fund, an arm of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the civil rights group led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The SCEF was listed in the House Committee on Un-American Activities Guide to Subversive Organizations and Publications (1951), and the Young Republicans believed that Shuttleworth was infiltrating the campus. The headline for the April 30, 1965 Hornet was: “Republican Charges Young Demos Back Commie Front.”