Screening of ‘Behind Closed Doors: The Dark Legacy of the Johns Committee’

Oct. 21, 7pm  – Free In-Person Program

The Matheson History Museum and Pride Community Center of North Central Florida invite you to join them on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7pm at the Matheson for the screening and discussion of the 2000 documentary Behind Closed Doors: The Dark Legacy of the Johns Committee. This program coincides with one of the Matheson’s current exhibitions—McCarthy Moment: The Johns Committee in Florida. 

For the safety of staff and attendees, capacity will be limited to 50 people and masks are required. Admission is free but registration is required. Registration information is at:

This award-winning documentary was produced by Allyson A. Beutke, a graduate of the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. The film explores the dark legacy of the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, better known as the Johns Committee, which was created by State Senator Charley Eugene Johns in 1956 to uncover subversive activity in Florida. 

From 1958 to 1959 the Johns Committee tried to weed out Communists and homosexuals from the University of Florida. Committee members threatened people with exposure and prison if they did not cooperate. This reign of terror led to dozens of professors and students leaving the university. 

This program is sponsored in part by Visit Gainesville/Alachua County, FL and by the Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of the Arts and Culture, and the State of Florida. 

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