View Full Version : Information concerning Gus Hall?

Tuomas Savonen
02-05-07, 23:57
My name is Tuomas Savonen and I am a graduate student of history at the University of Helsinki.

I am working on a study concerning Gus Hall, the long-time general secretary of the Communist Party of the USA. His parents were immigrants from Lapua, which makes him an interesting character from a Finnish point of view.

So far I have been able to figure out the basic facts about Gus Hall’s life and his origin. I have studied academic research concerning American communists, Communist Party publications and several online databases.

However, I would be very interested to hear if anyone using the Finlander Forum has any personal recollections or other detailed information concerning Gus Hall. I am especially interested in the years 1959-2000 when he served as the general secretary.

Please do not hesitate to contact me. Even the smallest bits of information may be useful for my study.

You can contact me through Finlander Forum or by sending e-mail to tuomas.savonen*gmail.com

Yours sincerely,
Tuomas Savonen
Helsinki, Finland

June Pelo
03-05-07, 00:55
You have probably read this, but I didn't know he ran for President four times. Here's his picture: http://www.mugshots.com/Historical/Gus+Hall.htm


19-06-08, 04:24
Mr. Tuomas Savonen,

I saw where you are going to be making a presentation on Gus Hall at FinnFest 2008:

I took note of this on the FinnFest 2008 Website:

Thur, July 24 - 12 pm, A Finnish-American Don Quixote, with Tuomas Savonen
Starting from his Finnish roots and Minnesota childhood, Savonen will look at Gus Hall's studies in Moscow's International Lenin School, his actions as a labor organizer in Ohio in the 1930s, the Smith Act trial of the late 1940s and his prison sentence in Leavenworth. His four decades as the general secretary of the CPUSA, his presidential campaigns and his relations with the Soviet Union will also be discussed. A brief look at the dissolution of the CPUSA in the early 1990s will conclude the presentation

Tuomas Savonen is a 38-year old journalist and a graduate student of history from Helsinki. He earned his Master's degree in history from the University of Helsinki in 1997. Since 2000 he has worked as a journalist for the Finnish News Agency STT.

Tuomas Savonen

I think this is great that such a prominent and distinguished member of the Finnish media would undertake this project… however, I have noticed on the information provided on the FinnFest 2008 website, that you will mention the “dissolution” of the Communist Party USA--- as if the CPUSA does not exist anymore; in fact, it does exist and there are members here in Minnesota, including myself. There is also a Gus Hall Action Club in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There were serious problems in the CPUSA during the period you reference, many of those problems exist today… but, what is new? If it were not for problems life would be rather boring and you probably would not have a job in the news business. We are working on resolving the problems.

I will be distributing a leaflet at FinnFest 2008… “Gus Hall… North America’s most famous Finnish-American and the “Red” Finns of the Iron Range…. Because of their struggles and sacrifices working people have Social Security, unemployment compensation and powerful unions like the United Steel Workers, the United Auto Workers and the Teamsters Union today.”

I knew Gus Hall personally, and you are very likely to come across many of his friends and relatives while spending time at FinnFest 2008.

I hope your presentation will encourage many people to join the Communist Party USA, get involved in the peace movement and the struggle for socialized health care.

Please feel free to check out my blogs… the link is below.

I assume you have available the Gus Hall bibliography… it is a great informational book about Gus Hall and his writings.

Here is a list of some of the other blogs by Communists here in Minnesota:




I have a number of blogs you may find of interest, including these two:



You might consider taking a visit to historic Mesaba Co-op Park about an hour’s drive, west, from Duluth while you are at Finn Fest; this was the meeting place of the “Red” Finns for over 50 years.

I am sure in doing your research on Gus Hall, you have come across some very slanderous, anti-communist materials. This is nothing new in the United States. Anti-communism is like a state religion here as you are probably aware. Even Barack Obama is being attacked just because his “mentor,” Frank Marshall Davis, was a member of the Communist Party USA.

By the way, Mesaba Cooperative Park will have a table at FinnFest 2008… they will be selling their 75th Anniversary publication and you will find material in there about Gus Hall and the Communist Party USA including two big advertisements from the Communist Party, so, you know the Communist Party USA is still around and kicking… our activities are reported in the media in Minnesota and Communists often write letters to the editors of their local newspapers as well as participate in all kinds of labor, environmental, civil rights and peace activities. You might want to mention in your presentation that many of us learned about the class struggle and socialism from Gus Hall and we continue to fight on… As American Communists, we are naturally very proud of Gus Hall’s very important legacy and his many contributions to helping working people think through some very complicated and complex problems as they organized.

You may not be aware, but you can find tremendous historical materials about Gus Hall in the Communist Party USA files recently donated to the Tamiment Library in New York.

I have shared this letter with several others including the Communist Workers’ Party of Finland.

I have also shared this e-mail with John Meyers, a reporter for the Duluth News-Tribune; perhaps their newspaper would like to send a reporter to cover your presentation.

I travel widely and will prepare a poster on your talk encouraging people attending FinnFest 2008 to take in your presentation on Gus Hall.

Oh, and it is unfortunate that publications written by Gus Hall are no longer available through International Publishers, the publishing house of the Communist Party USA… but, for an explanation of this you might want to contact Betty Smith who is associated with a new group of “leaders” who are mired in confusion, hence, perhaps, giving you the idea that there has been a “dissolution” of the CPUSA. Betty Smith can be contacted at: service*intpubnyc.com

I hope to meet you at FinnFest 2008.


Alan L. Maki

58891 County Road 13

Warroad, Minnesota 56763

Phone: 218-386-2432

Cell phone: 651-587-5541

E-mail: amaki000*centurytel.net

Check out my blog:

Thoughts From Podunk