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Congressional Correspondence, 1906-1978

 Series 2

This series consists of correspondence with and about members of Congress. Also included are copies of the voting records of members of Congress on labor-related bills. The bulk of the material dates from 1950-1970.

Responsibility for the compilation of voting records remained one of the major duties of the AFL Legislative Committee after the expansion of the federation's role in politics following the issuance of labor's "Bill of Grievances" in 1906. Files in the series identified by state name followed by "voting records" contain records of members of Congress for whom there were no other accompanying documents. These files also include a small, but important, number of letters 1906-1914 documenting city and statewide political and legislative activities of central labor unions and federation affiliates.

Significant correspondence also relates to activity of local and state affiliates in opposition to candidates supported by the AFL during William Green's adminstration as president, particularly in Minnesota, New Jersey, Michigan, and Alabama; and cooperative efforts of the AFL and CIO bodies to elect pro-labor congressional candidates in the 1930s and 1940s. Other important topics include: AFL efforts to unseat Senator Albert J. Beveridge of Indiana; local labor politics; the Henry Wallace campaign of 1948; the Louisiana gubernatorial campaign of 1930; Davis-Bacon; Work-or-Fight legislation, civil rights; right-to-work; the equal rights amendment; Area Redevelopment Act; environmental protection; and the bracero program.

While correspondence with members of Congress does provide important information on the relationships established with the federation, files for some of the main proponents of labor legislation were not found in the records during processing. These figures include Robert F. Wagner, Robert La Follette, Sr., and Fiorello LaGuardia.

Important correspondents include: Irving Abramson, Alben Barkley, Samuel Gompers, George L. Googe, Hubert H. Humphrey, W.H. Johnson, Robert La Follette, Jr., Joseph Keenan, Estes Kefauver, Edward M. Kennedy, J.B. Lawson, Homer Martin, Frank Morrison, Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neal, and James Roosevelt.


  • 1906-1978

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.


36.00 Linear Feet