Amid McCarthyism fears nearly a half century ago, folk singer Pete Seeger faced an ultimatum from the San Diego school district: Sign an oath against communism or cancel a high school concert appearance.
Seeger refused to sign the oath and a judge allowed the concert to proceed anyway.
There is now an apology for that ultimatum.
The school district approved a resolution Tuesday night saying the board "deeply regrets its predecessors' actions" and offered an apology to a man who has become "one of our dearest national treasures."
The 89-year-old songwriter appears willing to accept the board's apology, saying the board's resolution is a "measure of justice that our right to freedom of expression has been vindicated." Seeger also noted the board's demand for the oath in 1960 may have helped his career by drumming up publicity for his concerts.
"I like to misquote Thomas Jefferson in saying, 'The price of liberty is eternal publicity,' " Seeger told The Associated Press.
Also on Tuesday night, the school board OK'd $32 million in cuts for the current school year. Among other moves, the board cut $7.7 million from central office departments. The board will likely have to take even more draconian measures next, year, when the budget gap is forecast to be as high as $63 million.