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American Politics in the Early Cold War—Truman and Eisenhower Administrations, 1945-1961
The Cold War takes center stage in the Truman files on international relations, and the stalling of Truman’s Fair Deal program are documented in the files that pertain to domestic concerns. The Eisenhower files focus on national defense, Cold War preparedness, relations with the Soviet Union, and economic issues and tariff negotiations. With the publication of this module, History Vault will include, in different modules, White House files for the presidents from Franklin D. Roosevelt through Richard M. Nixon.
Reconstruction and Military Government after the Civil War
From heart-wrenching personal letters to bills of lading for office supplies, this module offers remarkable insight into the early Reconstruction period in the American South. The correspondence of the U.S. Army’s Office of Civil Affairs reveal efforts to foster democracy and rebuild communities in the divided and war-torn former Confederate states. The files include letters, petitions, court proceedings and internal documents related to elections. Another prominent subject is the fair administration of the election process. Troubles often arose as African Americans prepared to exercise their newly won rights to vote and run for office; many letters in the collection call for military intervention to secure these rights. Also included are Letters Received by the Attorney General pertaining to law and order in southern states from 1871-1884 and records of the Freedmen’s Hospital and the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company.
World War I: Records of the American Expeditionary Forces, and Diplomacy in the World War I Era
This module offers extensive documentation on the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) during World War I as well as materials on U.S. intelligence operations and the post-war peace process. AEF documents consist of correspondence, cablegrams, operations reports, statistical strength reports and summaries of intelligence detailing troop movements and operations of Allied and enemy forces. The vast majority of the AEF documents date from April 26, 1917 - July 2, 1919.
Other notable collections include Select Reports of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace and Reparations Papers of the Allied Powers Reparations Commission, and Records of the Conference on Limitation of Armament, 1921-1922. Finally, this module includes an important collection on diplomacy and the intelligence work of the U.S. State Department during World War I and in the decade after: State Department Collection of Intelligence, 1915-1927: Records of the Office of the Counselor, Undersecretary of State, and the Chief Special Agent.
Fall Winter 2017
Records of the Children's Bureau, 1912-1969
Though it’s one of the lesser-known federal agencies, the Children’s Bureau is one of the richest sources for understanding American society and social welfare. The Bureau's correspondence, research reports, radio scripts, brochures, bills and laws, court hearings and speeches represent the largest collection of primary material for the study of the family and the health and well-being of children in the 20th century; as well, they throw a fascinating light on the way welfare policies affected women.
Students for a Democratic Society, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and the anti-Vietnam War Movement, 1958-1981
Key collections offer new opportunities for research on the 1960s through the lens of two influential anti-war organizations. In its heyday, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) emphasized participatory democracy, community building, and creating a political movement of impoverished people. As U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War escalated, SDS became involved in the anti-war movement, before splintering and disbanding by 1970. Vietnam Veterans Against the War (VVAW) organized major national protests, including Operation Dewey Canyon III (1971), which catapulted VVAW to a position of leadership within the antiwar movement. Following Dewey Canyon, an ideological split led to a decline in membership; however, VVAW survived to the end of the Vietnam War by focusing on veterans' benefits and, after 1987, on the Agent Orange health issue. In addition to the SDS and VVAW collections, this module contains documents of 10 other anti-Vietnam War organizations.
Labor Unions in the U.S., 1862-1974: Knights of Labor, AFL, CIO, and AFL-CIO
Unique, important documentation on the growth and transformation of four major labor organizations takes history, business and other research topics in exciting new directions.
In the 19th century, the Knights of Labor was the first national labor force to recruit women and African Americans as a matter of policy, to organize throughout the country, and to attempt to unify industrial and agrarian workers. This module presents the papers of executives Terence V. Powderly and John W. Hayes, which span the life of this powerful organization.
In 1886, the founding convention of the American Federation of Labor (AFL) elected five men to lead an organization of fewer than 200,000 members. By 1955, a committee headed by George Meany unified the American Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which today numbers 5+ million and is a powerful political lobby. AFL records illuminate years of strikes and boycotts, competition with rival organizations, political developments, antitrust laws, pensions, and the direct election of U.S. senators; plus internal AFL matters such as membership, relations with international and local unions, and state labor federations.
The CIO was at the center of labor activism from 1935 to 1955 – years characterized by mass organizing, nationwide strikes, and bitter ideological and political conflict. The records in this module consist of Minutes of the Executive Board of the CIO and the papers of Adolph Germer, a longtime member of the United Mine Workers and a leader in the formation of the CIO. Closely related are the papers of John Mitchell, president of the United Mine Workers and a vice-president of the AFL. Records that document the AFL-CIO in this module consist of State Labor Proceedings for 1885-1974 with the 1955-1974 portion of the records pertaining to the AFL-CIO.