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Loretta S. Stack; Prosecuted During 'Red Scare' of 1950s

Obituaries

February 17, 2001

Loretta Starvus Stack, 85, one of 15 members of the Communist Party in California arrested during the "Red scare" of the 1950s. Stack's arrest made headlines in 1951 when the political climate was rife with fears of Communist conspiracy. Stack was a party organizational secretary in Northern California who was accused of inciting women to take up arms in support of Socialism. She and the others were tried in Los Angeles, where a witness testified that Stack learned to use a bayonet and won shooting prizes in Russia in 1932. Stack was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in 1952, but her conviction was later reversed. She subsequently left the Communist Party. A Connecticut native who moved to San Francisco after World War II, she worked as a waitress and bookkeeper. In her later years she fought to improve bus service and organized a cooperative housing project. On Feb. 7 in San Francisco.

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