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Rand School (former)

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American socialist educational institution, offering vocational classes as well as ideological ones

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Union Square
Institution, Education

Place Matters Profile

The Rand School, founded in 1906, was one of many educational institutions created by the American Socialist Society expressly for the transmission of socialist ideas. It is arguably the first, but unquestionably the longest-lived of these schools. Housed for many years in a former YWCA building on East 15th Street, the school is particularly remembered for the integral role it played in the lives of its many working-class students. The school closed in 1956.

The Rand School was founded by the American Socialist Society and named for Carrie Rand, who bequeathed $700,000 to the Socialist Party with the express intention of founding an educational institution. Initially established to extend the "understanding and practice of socialism," it soon expanded its course offerings to include vocational training and non-socialist courses in the humanities. During its peak years in the early 1920s, the school counted over 5,000 enrolled students and held frequent lectures...

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Cornell, Frederic. "A History of the Rand School of Social Science, 1906-1956." PhD dissertation, Columbia University Teachers College, 1976.

New York Times. "Rand School." January 11, 1923.

Phillips, Aliza. "Workers' Paradise: When Labor Met Leisure in the Pocono Mountains." Forward, July 5, 2002.

Socialist Collections, 1872-1956. The Tamiment Collection/Bobst Library, New York University.

On The Web

The Taniment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives


Israel Kugler, Ph.D.

School dedicated to education for trade unionists; it was also national headquarters of the Socialist Party and the Young People's Socialist League.

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