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Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series II: Intra-Office Communications

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series II: Intra-Office Communications

Descriptive Summary

Title: Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series II: Intra-Office Communications
Creator: Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
Inclusive Dates: 1943-1971
Language(s): English
Extent: 31 box(es) (15.25 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL001RBR_C_II
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: The Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, series II. Intra-Office Communications comprehensively reveals Richard Russell's daily activities as a United States Senator representing the state of Georgia. Materials in this series are divided into four categories: Memoranda, Appointment Books, Guest Registers, and Mail Desk Diaries. Not many files survived from Russell's first eleven years in office; the main series for this time period are Early Office, Political, Political Patronage, Personal, and a few files in General.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Richard Brevard Russell, Jr. held public office for fifty years as a state legislator, governor, and U.S. senator. The highlights of his legislative career included support of non-interventionist foreign policy, passage of the National School Lunch Program, securing funding for military installations and research facilities—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—and his opposition to equal rights for African Americans, most evident in the filibuster of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Russell was born in Winder, GA on November 2, 1897, to Judge Richard B. Russell, Sr. and Ina Dillard Russell, a teacher. He was the fourth of thirteen children and the first son. He earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Georgia in 1918. After a brief period practicing law, Russell ran for and won a seat in the Georgia House of Representatives in 1920. In 1927, he was elected Speaker of the House, a position he held until 1931. In 1930, Russell ran for governor against a crowded field of seasoned candidates, but he was victorious thanks to a grassroots campaign and his skill in door-to-door canvassing. He took the oath of office in June 1931 but only spent eighteen months as governor before the death of Senator William J. Harris presented him with the opportunity to run for the United States Senate.

Russell entered the U.S. Senate in 1933 and served until his death in 1971. He became one of the Senate's most influential members. During his tenure, he served sixteen years as chair of the Armed Services Committee and held a seat on the Appropriation Committee that spanned his tenure in the Senate. Additionally, Russell held positions on the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, the Committee on Immigration, the Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee, and the Democratic Policy and Democratic Steering Committees.

Although he wielded considerable power through these committee appointments, Russell did not seek a position in the Senate leadership. Instead, he supported the ambitions of his protégé, Senator Lyndon Johnson from Texas for majority whip and later for majority leader. Russell ended his career as president pro tempore of the Senate—a post reserved for the member with the longest tenure in the Senate—making him third in the line of presidential succession.

Russell was known for his support of national defense, non-interventionist foreign policy, and his advocacy for agricultural interests (particularly those in Georgia). Russell opposed the United States entangling itself in international conflicts, especially in Vietnam and the Congo. In agricultural policy, the creation of the National School Lunch Program in 1946 was his most significant achievement for the nation's farmers. The program had the double effect of providing nutritious meals for schoolchildren while avoiding an economic crash by giving farmers a way to sell their surplus produce.

Russell's opposition to civil rights legislation overshadowed his many legislative achievements. He began contesting civil rights legislation as early as 1935 when he joined other southern senators to block anti-lynching bills. Over three decades, Russell developed a reputation as a defender of "white traditions" and white supremacy.

During the Senate's debate of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, Russell led the Southern Bloc in a sixty-day filibuster in an attempt to prevent the bill's passage, vowing to "resist to the bitter end any measure or any movement which would have a tendency to bring about social equality and intermingling and amalgamation of the races." The filibuster came to an end only after a partnership of moderate Republicans and northern Democrats introduced a compromise bill that garnered the sixty-seven votes needed to invoke cloture and end the filibuster. The substitute civil rights bill passed on June 19 by a margin of 73-27.

Though Russell advised against attempts to resist the Civil Rights Act at the state level, he remained unapologetic in his criticism of it. In a speech given in the Senate on June 18, 1964, Russell sought to encourage the other members of the Southern Bloc, saying "…there will never come a time when it will be necessary for any one of us to apologize for his conduct or his courage."

Russell left behind a list of political and legislative achievements and a reputation for mastery of legislative strategy. Despite his other distinctions, racial animus and obstructionism would become the most remembered aspects of his legacy. As biographer Gilbert Fite noted, Russell might well have achieved more, were it not for his racial views.

Scope and Content

Subgroup C. United States Senatorial Papers comprehensively reveals Richard Russell's activities as a United States senator representing the state of Georgia. This series documents Senator Russell's daily activities throughout much of his career in the Senate, from 1943 until 1971. Materials in this series are divided into four categories: Memoranda, Appointment Books, Guest Registers, and Mail Desk Diaries. Subject matter relates to all series in the senatorial papers.

Organization and Arrangement

Subgroup C, Series II. Intra-Office Communications is organized into four subseries: A. Memoranda; B. Appointment Books; C. Guest Registers; and D. Mail Desk Diaries. Each subseries is arranged in reverse chronological order.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions


Preferred Citation

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Georgia.

Processing Notes

Clippings have been copied onto bond paper for protection of content. Artifacts, photographs, books, and audiovisual materials have been separated for preservation purposes and inventoried.

User Restrictions

Library acts as "fair use" reproduction agent.

Copyright Information

Before material from collections at the Richard B. Russell Library may be quoted in print, or otherwise reproduced, in whole or in part, in any publication, permission must be obtained from (1) the owner of the physical property, and (2) the holder of the copyright. It is the particular responsibility of the researcher to obtain both sets of permissions. Persons wishing to quote from materials in the Russell Library collection should consult the Director. Reproduction of any item must contain a complete citation to the original.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared on: 2008.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

African Americans -- Civil rights
Assassination -- Investigation -- United States.
Civil rights movements -- Georgia.
Civil rights movements -- United States.
Congressional records.
Georgia. Governor (1931-1933 : Russell)
Governmental investigations -- United States.
Governors -- Georgia.
Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963 -- Assassination.
Kennedy, Robert F., 1925-1968 -- Assassination.
Korean War, 1950-1953 -- United States.
Lawrence, Alexander A., 1906-
Legislative hearings -- United States.
Legislators -- Georgia.
Legislators -- United States.
Literacy tests (Election law) -- United States.
MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964.
Military bases -- Georgia.
New Deal, 1933-1939.
Patronage, Political -- United States.
Poll tax -- United States.
Prayer in the public schools -- United States.
Presidential candidates -- United States.
Russell, Ina. (Ina Dillard), 1868-1953.
Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1861-1938.
Russell, Richard B. (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
School integration -- Arkansas -- Little Rock.
School integration -- United States.
Tariff on jute -- United States.
United States -- Defenses.
United States -- Foreign policy -- 1933-1945.
United States -- Foreign policy -- 1945-1989.
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1933-1945.
United States -- Foreign relations -- 1945-1989.
United States -- Race relations
United States. Congress. Senate -- Cloture.
Vietnam War, 1961-1975.
World War, 1939-1945 -- United States.

Related Collections in this Repository

Richard B. Russell, Sr. Papers

Russell Family Collection

Patience Elizabeth Russell Peterson Papers

Hugh Peterson, Sr. Papers

Herman E. Talmadge Collection

Lamartine G. Hardman Collection

Related Collections in Other Repositories

John C. Stennis Papers, Mitchell Memorial Library, Mississippi State University

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Gubernatorial Papers, Georgia Department of Archives and History

Lyndon B. Johnson Papers, Lyndon B. Johnson Library

U.S. Senate. Committee on Appropriations, Center for Legislative Archives, NARA

U.S. Senate. Committee on Armed Services, Center for Legislative Archives, NARA

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing


Subgroup C. United States Senatorial Papers

This subgroup of papers comprehensively reveals Richard Russell's activities as a United States senator representing the state of Georgia. The papers are divided into twenty series, two of which are closed; some files are restricted. Closed or restricted files are governed by donor agreement, Executive Orders, or privacy considerations. Not many files survived from Russell's first eleven years in office; the main series for this time period are Early Office, Political, Political Patronage, Personal, and a few files in General. In 1943 and 1944, Russell's staff members reorganized the office filing system, and from that point on, the files are very complete.

II. Intra-Office Communications , 1943-1971

( 31 box(es) ) ( (15.25 linear feet) )
This series documents Senator Russell's daily activities throughout much of his career in the Senate, from 1943 until 1971. Materials in this series are divided into four categories: Memoranda, Appointment Books, Guest Registers, and Mail Desk Diaries. Subject matter relates to all series in the senatorial papers. Arrangement is by form, thereafter in reverse chronological order.
The subseries Memoranda includes all correspondence and notes between the staff and Senator Russell, including "day sheets" (listing of visitors and telephone calls) of both the Washington and Winder offices, daily pages from the desk calendar, and schedule cards (which Senator Russell carried with him). Generally, the desk calendars record Senator Russell's personal, social, and political activities. Often, there are precise lists of each day's events, such as meetings with individuals or senate committees, and social functions, such as dinner with friends, Russell family activities, or a Washington Senators baseball game, along with schedules for medication. Senator Russell was an avid note maker and frequently wrote notes on telephone conversations and meetings or to remind himself of events or things to do; these appear on the day sheets, the desk calendars, schedule cards, and scraps of paper. With the possible exception of the Dictation Series and Speech file, nowhere does Russell's personality and thoughts come through more vividly in the collection. One should also see parallel files in Subgroup D. Winder Papers. The Appointment Books (1962-1971), with the memoranda, are a detailed register of Senator Russell's activities on a daily basis. Guest Registers (1964-1971) record visitors to the Washington office, and Mail Desk Diaries (1963-1971) reveal the volume of incoming mail and number of correspondence assignments per staff member. Earlier books, registers, and diaries were destroyed by the office in the 1960s.
A. Memoranda
11Memoranda, 1970 April-December
12Memoranda, 1970 January-March
13Memoranda, 1969 December
14Memoranda, 1969 November
15Memoranda, 1969 October
16Memoranda, 1969 September
17Memoranda, 1969 August
18Memoranda, 1969 July 15-31
19Memoranda, 1969 July 1-14
110Memoranda, 1969 June 12-30
111Memoranda, 1969 June 1-11
21Memoranda, 1969 May
22Memoranda, 1969 April
23Memoranda, 1969 March
24Memoranda, 1969 February
25Memoranda, 1969 January 16-31
26Memoranda, 1969 January 7-15
27Memoranda, 1969 January 1-6
28Memoranda, 1968 November-December
29Memoranda, 1968 October
210Memoranda, 1968 September
31Memoranda, 1968 August
32Memoranda, 1968 July 17-31
33Memoranda, 1968 July 1-16
34Memoranda, 1968 June
35Memoranda, 1968 May 13-30
36Memoranda, 1968 May 1-12
37Memoranda, 1968 April
38Memoranda, 1968 March
39Memoranda, 1968 February
310Memoranda, 1968 January
311Memoranda, 1967 December
312Memoranda, 1967 November 15-30
313Memoranda, 1967 November 1-14
41Memoranda, 1967 October 19-31
42Memoranda, 1967 October 1-18
43Memoranda, 1967 September
44Memoranda, 1967 August
45Memoranda, 1967 July
46Memoranda, 1967 June 12-30
47Memoranda, 1967 June 1-11
48Memoranda, 1967 May 19-31
49Memoranda, 1967 May 9-18
410Memoranda, 1967 May 1-8
411Memoranda, 1967 April 21-30
412Memoranda, 1967 April 11-20
51Memoranda, 1967 April 1-10
52Memoranda, 1967 March 14-31
53Memoranda, 1967 March 1-13
54Memoranda, 1967 February 20-28
55Memoranda, 1967 February 8-19
56Memoranda, 1967 February 1-7
57Memoranda, 1967 January 21-31
58Memoranda, 1967 January 12-20
59Memoranda, 1967 January 1-11
510Memoranda, 1966 December 16-31
511Memoranda, 1966 December 1-15
61Memoranda, 1966 November 11-30
62Memoranda, 1966 November 1-10
63Memoranda, 1966 October 11-31
64Memoranda, 1966 October 1-10
65Memoranda, 1966 September 21-30
66Memoranda, 1966 September 1-20
67Memoranda, 1966 August 17-31
71Memoranda, 1966 August 1-16
72Memoranda, 1966 July 20-31
73Memoranda, 1966 July 1-19
74Memoranda, 1966 June 21-30
75Memoranda, 1966 June 10-20
76Memoranda, 1966 June 1-9
77Memoranda, 1966 May 19-31
78Memoranda, 1966 May 16-18
79Memoranda, 1966 May 10-14
710Memoranda, 1966 May 1-9
81Memoranda, 1966 April 23-29
82Memoranda, 1966 April 14-22
83Memoranda, 1966 April 1-13
84Memoranda, 1966 March 25-31
85Memoranda, 1966 March 16-24
86Memoranda, 1966 March 8-15
87Memoranda, 1966 March 1-7
88Memoranda, 1966 February 16-28
89Memoranda, 1966 February 1-15
91Memoranda, 1966 January
92Memoranda, 1965 December
93Memoranda, 1965 November
94Memoranda, 1965 October 14-30
95Memoranda, 1965 October 1-13
96Memoranda, 1965 September 17-30
97Memoranda, 1965 September 1-16
101Memoranda, 1965 August 19-31
102Memoranda, 1965 August 10-18
103Memoranda, 1965 August 1-9
104Memoranda, 1965 July 23-31
105Memoranda, 1965 July 14-22
106Memoranda, 1965 July 1-13
107Memoranda, 1965 June 14-30
108Memoranda, 1965 June 1-13
109Memoranda, 1965 May
1010Memoranda, 1965 February-April
111Memoranda, 1965 January 18-31
112Memoranda, 1965 January 1-17
113Memoranda, 1964 December
114Memoranda, 1964 November
115Memoranda, 1964 October
116Memoranda, 1964 September 15-30
117Memoranda, 1964 September 1-14
118Memoranda, 1964 August 13-31
119Memoranda, 1964 August 1-12
121Memoranda, 1964 July 22-31
122Memoranda, 1964 July 1-21
123Memoranda, 1964 June 18-30
124Memoranda, 1964 June 1-17
125Memoranda, 1964 May 12-31
126Memoranda, 1964 May 1-11
127Memoranda, 1964 April 17-30
128Memoranda, 1964 April 1-16
129Memoranda, 1964 March 19-31
1210Memoranda, 1964 March 1-18
1211Memoranda, 1964 February 18-29
131Memoranda, 1963
132Memoranda, 1963 October 1-11
133Memoranda, 1963 October 14-31
134Memoranda, 1963 November 1-13
135Memoranda, 1963 November 14-29
136Memoranda, 1963 December 1-11
137Memoranda, 1963 December 12-31
138Memoranda, 1964 Janauary 1-17
139Memoranda, 1964 January 18-31
1310Memoranda, 1964 February 1-17
141Memoranda, 1963 September
142Memoranda, 1963 August 16-31
143Memoranda, 1963 August 1-15
144Memoranda, 1963 July 16-31
145Memoranda, 1963 July 1-15
146Memoranda, 1963 June 14-30
147Memoranda, 1963 June 1-13
148Memoranda, 1963 May 14-31
149Memoranda, 1963 May 1-13
1410Memoranda, 1963 April 11-30
1411Memoranda, 1963 April 1-10
1412Memoranda, 1963 March 14-31
151Memoranda, 1963 March 1-13
152Memoranda, 1963 February 16-28
153Memoranda, 1963 February 1-15
154Memoranda, 1963 January 15-31
155Memoranda, 1963 January 1-14
156Memoranda, 1962 November-December
157Memoranda, 1962 October
158Memoranda, 1962 September 13-30
159Memoranda, 1962 September 1-12
1510Memoranda, 1962 August 16-31
1511Memoranda, 1962 August 1-15
161Memoranda, 1962 July
162Memoranda, 1962 June
163Memoranda, 1962 May
164Memoranda, 1962 April
165Memoranda, 1962 March 15-31
166Memoranda, 1962 March 1-14
167Memoranda, 1962 February
168Memoranda, 1962 January
169Memoranda, 1961 December
171Memoranda, 1961 November
172Memoranda, 1961 October
173Memoranda, 1961 September
174Memoranda, 1961 August 15-31
175Memoranda, 1961 August 1-14
176Memoranda, 1961 July 15-31
177Memoranda, 1961 July 1-14
178Memoranda, 1961 June 13-30
179Memoranda, 1961 June 1-12
1710Memoranda, 1961 May 11-31
1711Memoranda, 1961 May 1-10
181Memoranda, 1961 April 17-30
182Memoranda, 1961 April 1-16
183Memoranda, 1961 March 16-31
184Memoranda, 1961 March 1-15
185Memoranda, 1961 February
186Memoranda, 1961 January
187Memoranda [includes notes regarding Kennedy appointments for Secretary of Agriculture, Under Secretary of Agriculture, Secretary of State Dean Rusk], 1960 December
188Memoranda [includes note regarding Kennedy's appointment of Dean Rusk as Secretary of State], 1960 November
189Memoranda , 1960 August-October
191Memoranda, 1960 July
192Memoranda, 1960 June 15-30
193Memoranda, 1960 June 1-14
194Memoranda, 1960 May 18-31
195Memoranda, 1960 May 1-17
196Memoranda, 1960 April
197Memoranda, 1960 March
198Memoranda, 1960 February
199Memoranda, 1960 January
1910Memoranda, 1959 November-December
1911Memoranda, 1959 October
201Memoranda, 1959 September
202Memoranda, 1959 August
203Memoranda, 1959 July
204Memoranda, 1959 June 16-30
205Memoranda, 1959 June 1-15
206Memoranda, 1959 May 18-29
207Memoranda, 1959 May 1-19
208Memoranda, 1959 April
209Memoranda, 1959 March
2010Memoranda, 1959 February
2011Memoranda, 1959 January
211Memoranda, 1958 December
212Memoranda, 1958 November-December
213Memoranda, 1958 January-September
214Memoranda, 1957
215Memoranda, 1954-1955
216Memoranda, 1953 June-August
217Memoranda, 1953 May
218Memoranda, 1953 April
219Memoranda, 1953 March
2110Memoranda, 1953 February
2111Memoranda, 1953 January, undated
221Memoranda, 1952 July-December, undated
222Memoranda, 1952 May-June
223Memoranda, 1952 April
224Memoranda, 1952 March
225Memoranda, 1952 February
226Memoranda, 1952 January
227Memoranda, 1951 November-December, undated
228Memoranda, 1951 October
229Memoranda, 1951 September
2210Memoranda, 1951 August
231Memoranda, 1951 July
232Memoranda, 1951 June
233Memoranda, 1951 May
234Memoranda, 1951 April
235Memoranda, 1951 March
236Memoranda, 1951 February
237Memoranda, 1951 January
238Memoranda, 1950 October-December
241Memoranda, 1950 July-September
242Memoranda, 1950 April-June
243Memoranda, 1950 January-March
244Memoranda, 1949 August-October
245Memoranda, 1949 January-July
246Memoranda, 1944, undated
B. Appointment Books
251Appointment Book, 1968
252Appointment Book, 1967
253Appointment Book, 1966
254Appointment Book, 1965
25.21Appointment Book, 1969
261Appointment Book, 1964
262Appointment Book, 1963
263Appointment Book, 1962
C. Guest Registers
271Guest Register, 1970 July 27-1971 February
272Guest Register, 1969 September 5-1970 July 27
273Guest Register, 1968 July 1-1969 September 5
281Guest Register, 1967 May 8-1968 July 15
282Guest Register, 1966 March 30-1967 May 3
283Guest Register, 1965 April 6-1966 March 30
284Guest Register, 1964 June 1-1965 April 5
285[Guest Register], undated
D. Mail Desk Diaries
291Mail Desk Diary, 1971
292Mail Desk Diary, 1970
293Mail Desk Diary, 1969
294Mail Desk Diary, 1968
295Mail Desk Diary, 1967
296Mail Desk Diary, 1966
301Mail Desk Diary, 1964
302Mail Desk Diary, 1963
303Mail Desk Diary, 1963