In 1950, the legendary folk singer rented a Brooklyn public housing apartment from New York real estate tycoon Fred Trump, the father of real estate tycoon and current GOP front runner Donald Trump. It inspired a song by Guthrie that has been newly discovered by Guthrie historian Will Kaufman in which the folk singer essentially calls Trump a racist.
In a new story for Quartz, Kaufman, author of several books on Guthrie, said the song and others were found while doing research at the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Guthrie, the author of "This Land is Your Land," quickly found out the building didn't allow African Americans tenants and his disgust propelled some of Guthrie's most bitter writing, Kaufman said, with one of the unpublished song lyrics calling out the elder Trump by name.
"I suppose/Old Man Trump knows/Just how much/Racial Hate/he stirred up/In the bloodpot of human hearts/When he drawed/That color line/Here at his/Eighteen hundred family project," he wrote.
It was neither the first not last time Guthrie wrote about racism he saw, but one that he seemed to take more personally than others, as his two-year lease at Beach Haven went on.
"Beach Haven looks like heaven/Where no black ones come to roam!/No, no, no! Old Man Trump!/Old Beach Haven ain't my home!" he wrote.
The elder Trump was later sued by the U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division in 1975 and forced to open up his housing to minority tenants.
"Woody Guthrie had no time for 'Old Man Trump,' Kaufman wrote. "We can only imagine what he would think of his heir."