Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XI: Rivers and HarborsRichard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XI: Rivers and Harbors

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XI: Rivers and Harbors

Descriptive Summary

Title: Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XI: Rivers and Harbors
Creator: Russell, Richard B., (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
Dates: 1937-1970
Extent: 26.0 boxes (12.25 linear feet)
Collection Number: RBRL/001/RBR
Repository: Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies
Abstract: The Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XI. Rivers and Harbors contains correspondence, printed materials and publications relating to federal river and harbor projects. Files are subdivided into General, Corps of Engineers, Individual Projects, and Flood Control Projects. The individual projects were relevant to the constituents of the state of Georgia and its neighbors. Any additional non-textual materials originally filed with papers were removed for preservation purposes and improved access. These materials include photographs, audiovisual items, scrapbooks, vertical files, memorabilia, and books.

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 the other 17 senators in the Southern Bloc in voting against the Costigan-Wagner anti-lynching bill. 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, Series XI. Rivers and Harbors contains correspondence, printed materials and publications relating to federal river and harbor projects. Files are subdivided into General, Corps of Engineers, Individual Projects, and Flood Control Projects. The individual projects were relevant to the constituents of the state of Georgia and its neighbors.

Organization and Arrangement

Subgroup C, Series XI. Rivers and Harbors is organized into four subseries: A. General, B. Corps of Engineers; C. Individual Projects; and D. Flood Control.


Administrative Information and Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Case mail, cross-reference copies, and military academies are closed. Additional files are restricted throughout the collection, as noted in the container listing.

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 by Russell staff, 2008.


Related Materials

Access Points

Buford Dam (Ga.)
Dams--Georgia
Harbors--Georgia.
Legislators--Georgia.
Legislators--United States.
Richard B. Russell Dam (Ga. and S.C.)
Rivers--Georgia.
Russell, Richard B., (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
United States. Congress. Senate.

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

Lyndon B. Johnson Papers, Lyndon B. Johnson Library

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

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

Scope and Content: 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.
The 1943 filing system places the incoming letter with a copy of Russell's reply (the yellows) attached, and the correspondence is filed by subject; these files compose the majority of the senatorial papers. Subsequent letters from the constituent and copies of Russell's replies on the same subject continued to be attached to the original correspondence and filed under the date of the latest communication from Russell. Theoretically, at the end of each Congress, these files would have been retired to storage (with the possible exception of case mail); in practice, however, there was no consistency to the length of time the subject files were retained in the active status. To respect provenance of the files and to preserve the utility of the cross reference copies, the subject files are subdivided so that within each series they are arranged chronologically by the most recent date of correspondence (with all other correspondence attached thereto). A second copy of a Russell letter (the pinks, or Cross-Reference Copies Series) was made and filed separately by correspondent's surname in a chronological file. Intra-Office Communications and Speech/Media are form files. If Russell personally dictated any portion of a letter or added a postscript, two extra copies on onionskin paper (one for the Winder office and one for the Washington office) were made and filed by subject (Dictation Series), separate from the yellow and pink copies.The flexibility of the system allowed for much divergence in filing according to the discretion of the staff member involved. Thus, as personnel changed, their interpretations on how broad or specific they should be were reflected in the filing system itself. For example, "Foreign Aid" under the General Series and "Foreign Relations" under Legislative Series. The filing system indicates that correspondence relating to proposed or pending legislation was filed under committee in Legislative and relating to action taken on passed legislation or programs administered by government agencies was filed accordingly in General. In reality, two subject headings as similar as foreign aid and foreign relations could easily be interfiled.For the most part, original order was maintained for the senatorial papers. Exceptions are Civil Rights and MacArthur Hearings Series, which were originally part of the Legislative Series. These were separated because of their research potential and the influence Senator Russell had in each area. The Barboura G. Raesly File was added to the papers subsequent to the library's establishment and contains records and materials she kept in her position as personal secretary to Russell. The Exhibit B Series, which was closed by donor agreement, contains files pulled from other series and maintained separately. When files in this series opened, Exhibit B was arranged as a parallel file to the other senatorial papers series.



XI. Rivers and Harbors, 1937-1970

Extent: 26.0 boxes
Extent: (12.25 linear feet)
Scope and Contents note: This series contains correspondence, printed materials and publications relating to federal river and harbor projects. Files are subdivided into General, Corps of Engineers, Individual Projects, and Flood Control Projects. The individual projects were relevant to the constituents of the state of Georgia and its neighbors.
A. General
1. Correspondence
BoxFolder
11Correspondence, 1966-1971
12Correspondence, 1961-1964
13Correspondence, 1959-1961
14Correspondence, 1950-1958
15Correspondence, 1948 June-July
BoxFolder
21Correspondence, 1948 January-1948 May
22Correspondence, 1947 July-December
23Correspondence, 1947 April-June
24Correspondence, 1947 January-March
2. Material
BoxFolder
25Material, 1968
26Material, 1960-1966
27Material, 1944-1959
B. Corps of Engineers
1. Correspondence
BoxFolder
31Correspondence, 1971
32Correspondence, 1970 October-December
33Correspondence, 1970 July-September
34Correspondence, 1970 March-June
35Correspondence, 1970 January
36Correspondence, 1969 July-November
37Correspondence, 1969 June
38Correspondence, 1969 April-May
39Correspondence, 1969 January-March
BoxFolder
41Correspondence, 1968 July-December
42Correspondence, 1968 January-June
43Correspondence, 1967 August-December
44Correspondence, 1967 January-July
45Correspondence, 1966 July-December
46Correspondence, 1966 January-June
47Correspondence, 1965 November-December
2. Materials and Publications
BoxFolder
51Water Resource Development Reports, 1957-1969
52Materials and Publications, 1966-1967 June
53Materials and Publications, 1966 January-May
54Materials and Publications, 1965
55Materials and Publications, 1962-1963
C. Individual Projects
1. Alabama - Coosa
BoxFolder
61Coosa, 1948-1970
62Coosa, 1957-1965
63Coosa, 1941-1946
64Coosa, 1938-1941
2. Alapaha River
BoxFolder
65Alapaha River, 1970
BoxFolder
71Alapaha River, 1969
3. Alcovy River
BoxFolder
721970
4. Allatoona Dam
BoxFolder
731964-1970
74Etowah River, 1951-1963
751962-1963
5. Altamaha River
BoxFolder
811970-1971
821970
831969 August-December
841969 January-July
851968
861966-1967
871965
881964
891960-1963
8101955-1959
8111954-1967
8121968
6. Apalachicola - Chattahoochee - Flint
BoxFolder
911965-1970
921957 May-1964
93Flint Material
7. Armuchee Creek
BoxFolder
941964-1965
8. Buford Dam
BoxFolder
1011967-1969
1021963-1966
1031961
1041960
1051958-1959
1061957
1071956
1081949-1954
1091950-1957
9. Carter’s Dam
BoxFolder
1111962-1969
1121961
1131960
1141959
115Carter’s Dam Material
10. Clark Hill Dam
BoxFolder
1211966-1968
1221962-1965
1231960-1961
1241954-1959
1251949-1953
126Clark Hill Dam Material
127Clark Hill Dam Material
BoxFolder
1311949
1321948 May-December
1331948 January-April
1341946-1947
1351937-1944
1361936
11. Columbus Levee
BoxFolder
1411962-1965
1421962
12. Coosa River
BoxFolder
1431969-1970
144(folder 1 of 2), 1968
145(folder 2 of 2), 1968
1461963
13. Flint River
BoxFolder
1511966-1970
1521964-1965
1531963
1541962 September-October
1551962 July-August
1561962 April-June
1571962 January-March
1581949-1961
1591962-1963
14. Florida Canal
BoxFolder
1611937-1939
162Florida Canal Material
15. Walter F. George Dam
BoxFolder
1631964-1970
1641962-1963
1651955-1961
16. Georgia Waterways Canal
BoxFolder
1661963 June-1967 November
1671963 April-May
17. Hartwell Dam
BoxFolder
1711965 January-1969 March
1721962 January-1963 December
1731959-1961
174Weir Dam on Tugaloo in connection with Hartwell, 1959-1961
1751949-1958
1761949-1957
18. Hells Canyon Dam
BoxFolder
1771957
19. Lake Lanier
BoxFolder
1811969-1970
1821968 October-December
1831968 January-August
1841967
185[at Buford Dam], 1966
186[at Buford Dam], 1961-1965
187[at Buford Dam], 1959-1960
20. Miller’s Ferry Dam
BoxFolder
1911959-1960
21. Ocmulgee Dam
BoxFolder
1921962-1969
22. Oconee River
BoxFolder
1931962-1970
23. Oustanaula River
BoxFolder
1941954-1959
195[Tributary of Coosa in Rome, Georgia]
24. Satilla River
BoxFolder
1961969-1970
1971960-1966
25. Savannah River
BoxFolder
1981967-1971
1991966
BoxFolder
2011965
2021962-1964
2031961
2041945-1960
2051964-1966
2061962
2071961
BoxFolder
2111952-1960
212Newspaper Clippings: 1945-1960
213June 9, 1944 (1 of 2)
214June 9, 1944 (2 of 2)
26. Southern Water Study Commission
BoxFolder
2151964-1971
2161962-1963
2171963-1966
2181962
27. Tallow Hill Dam
BoxFolder
2191960-1968
28. Trotters Shoals Dam
BoxFolder
2211966-1971
2221965 July 21-December
223Trotters Shoals Dam, Duke Power Company Dam, 1964-1965 July 20
224Also Duke Power Company Dam 1963
225October- December 1962
226September 1961- September 1962
2271961-1965
29. Water Pollution Lab
BoxFolder
231Material
30. Watershed
BoxFolder
232Watershed Material
31. West Point Dam
BoxFolder
233Correspondence, 1967-1970
234Correspondence, 1966
235Correspondence, 1964-1965
236Correspondence, 1961-1963
32. Jim Woodruff Dam
BoxFolder
237Correspondence, 1949-1966
D. Flood Control
1. Correspondence
BoxFolder
2411965-1966
2421957-1964
2431965-1966
2441963-1964 December
2451963 May- November
2. Material
BoxFolder
251(Folder 1 of 2), 1966 August 1
252(Folder 2 of 2), 1966 August 1
2531964-1966 April
2541961-1963