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May 26, 2015

Louise Todd Lambert

Louise Todd Lambert was a prominent activist, organizer, and political candidate in California during the 1930s and 1940s. She is best known for her significant leadership roles within the Communist Party. Read on to learn more about this remarkable woman.

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Louise Todd Lambert

The California Historical Society is home to a wonderful collection of oral histories, recorded in the 1970s, documenting the lives and activism of women labor activists and radicals in California. One of the most fascinating of these interviews was conducted with Louise Todd Lambert, state organizational secretary for the Communist Party in California in the 1930s and ’40s. Lambert’s oral history is an extraordinary document: the record of a courageous, self-reflective life, it provides moving insight into the essential role women played in the radical movements of the ’30s and ’40s—and of the personal sacrifices they made, including imprisonment, childlessness, and exile, in the service of a collective vision. Lambert herself served thirteen months at the Tehachapi Correctional Institute for Women on charges of perjury.

Louise Todd Lambert, circa 1930, California Historical Society

I contributed a Wikipedia article about Lambert as part of a May Day Wikipedia editing event sponsored by the Society of American Archivists’ Labor Archives Roundtable. You can read the Wikipedia article here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Louise_Todd_Lambert

Marie Silva
Archivist & Manuscripts Librarian