Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XII: MacArthur HearingsRichard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XII: MacArthur Hearings

Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XII: MacArthur Hearings

Descriptive Summary

Title: Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XII: MacArthur Hearings
Creator: Russell, Richard B., (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
Dates: 1951-1953
Extent: 7.0 boxes (3.5 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 XII: MacArthur Hearings documents the work of the Joint Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations from Russell's perspective. The four subseries are correspondence file, subject file, hearings materials, and committee prints. This series includes correspondence, reports, memoranda, briefs, newspaper clippings, speeches, press statements, and printed materials. The hearings materials consist of an accordion folder and a black notebook, which was carried by Senator Russell to the hearings. Both contain notes written by Russell during the hearings, speeches and statements by Russell, analyses of testimony for purposes of strategy, hearing summaries, and printed reports.

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

The Richard B. Russell, Jr. Collection, Subgroup C, Series XII: MacArthur Hearings documents the work of the Joint Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations from Russell's perspective. The four subseries are correspondence file, subject file, hearings materials, and committee prints. This series includes correspondence, reports, memoranda, briefs, newspaper clippings, speeches, press statements, and printed materials. The hearings materials consist of an accordion folder and a black notebook, which was carried by Senator Russell to the hearings. Both contain notes written by Russell during the hearings, speeches and statements by Russell, analyses of testimony for purposes of strategy, hearing summaries, and printed reports.

Organization and Arrangement

Subgroup C, Series XII: MacArthur Hearings is organized into four subseries: A. Correspondence, B. Subject Files, C. MacArthur Hearings Material, and D. Committee Prints.


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

Governmental investigations--United States.
Korean War, 1950-1953--United States.
Legislative hearings--United States.
Legislators--Georgia.
Legislators--United States.
MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964.
Russell, Richard B., (Richard Brevard), 1897-1971
United States--Defenses.
United States--Foreign policy--1945-1989.
United States--Foreign relations--1945-1989.
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.



XII. MacArthur Hearings, 1951-1953

Scope and Contents note: On 11 April 1951 President Harry Truman announced his removal of General Douglas MacArthur as commander of the United Nations and United States troops in the Far East. The dismissal of a popular military hero in the midst of an unpopular war brought a flood of criticism against Truman; emotions ran high.
It was in this atmosphere that Senator Russell chaired the Joint Senate Committees on Armed Services and Foreign Relations which investigated the dismissal of General MacArthur. The hearings earned Russell kudos in the nation's headlines for his skill in defusing the MacArthur firing and gained the senator the reputation as one of the most powerful men in the Senate.The MacArthur Hearings series documents the work of this joint committee from Russell's perspective. The four subseries are correspondence file, subject file, hearings materials, and committee prints. This series includes correspondence, reports, memoranda, briefs, newspaper clippings, speeches, press statements, and printed materials. The hearings materials consist of an accordion folder and a black notebook, which was carried by Senator Russell to the hearings. Both contain notes written by Russell during the hearings, speeches and statements by Russell, analyses of testimony for purposes of strategy, hearing summaries, and printed reports.
A. Correspondence
1. Special
BoxFolder
1 1-2 Special
2. Answered by Russell's office
BoxFolder
13July 1952-July 1953
14July, 1951-October, 1951
15July 3, 1951-July 10, 1951
16June 21, 1951-June 30, 1951
17June 13, 1951-June 20, 1951
18June 11, 1951-June 14, 1951
19June 1, 1951-June 7, 1951
110May 28, 1951-May 30, 1951
111May 24, 1951-May 26, 1951
112May 21, 1951-May 23, 1951
BoxFolder
21May 17, 1951-May 19, 1951
22May 15, 1951-May 16, 1951
23May 10, 1951-May 14, 1951
24May 8, 1951-May 9, 1951
25May 5, 1951-May 7, 1951
26May 2, 1951-May 4, 1951
27May 1, 1951
28April 30, 1951
29April 28, 1951
210April 27, 1951
211April 25, 1951-April 26, 1951
212April 15, 1951-April 24, 1951
3. MacArthur Letters Answered - Form Letter
BoxFolder
31June 2, 1951-August 24, 1951
32May 11, 1951-May 30, 1951
33May 1, 1951-May 10, 1951
34April 22, 1951-April 30, 1951
35April 17, 1951-April 21, 1951
36April 15, 1951-April 16, 1951
37April 13, 1951-April 14, 1951
3 8-9 April 12, 1951
3 10-11 April 11, 1951
312April 9, 1951-April 10, 1951
4. MacArthur Letters Answered - Telegrams
BoxFolder
41April 12, 1951-April 20, 1951
4 2-3 April 11, 1951
44April 9, 1951
5. MacArthur Letters Answered - Answered by Armed Services Committee
BoxFolder
45May 22, 1951-August 9, 1951
46May 10, 1951-May 21, 1951
47May 1, 1951-May 9, 1951
B. Subject File
1. Analysis of MacArthur Testimony
BoxFolder
51Analysis of MacArthur Testimony, May 7-14, 1951 Inclusive
52Analysis of MacArthur Testimony, May 8, 1951-May 12, 1951
53Analysis of MacArthur Testimony, May 3, 1951-May 7, 1951
54Analysis of MacArthur Testimony, Bradley Ruling, [May 18, 1951]
55Analysis of MacArthur Testimony, Miscellaneous Articles and Editorials, [May 28, 1951-August 20, 1951]
56Analysis of MacArthur Testimony, Miscellaneous Articles and Editorials, [May 2, 1951-May 26, 1951]
5 7-8 Analysis of MacArthur Testimony, Reports and Memoranda, undated
5 9-11 Analysis of MacArthur Testimony, Speeches and Press Statements, undated
2. Transcript of MacArthur Testimony New York Times and other papers
BoxFolder
61Transcript of MacArthur Testimony New York Times and other papers, June 2, 1951-August 20, 1951
62Transcript of MacArthur Testimony New York Times and other papers, May 22, 1951-May 30, 1951
63Transcript of MacArthur Testimony New York Times and other papers, May 10, 1951-May 15, 1951
64Transcript of MacArthur Testimony New York Times and other papers, May 4, 1951-May 9, 1951
65U. S. News and World Report, June 29, 1951
66U. S. News and World Report, May 11, 1951; May 18, 1951
67U. S. News and World Report, Wake Island, [May 3, 1951-May 5, 1951]
68U. S. News and World Report, Wedemeyer, [May 3, 1951-May 4, 1951]
C. MacArthur Hearings Material
BoxFolder
6 9-10 [from accordion folder], Oct-54
BoxFolder
71Witnesses, undated
72Statements, undated
73Aaron Burr Trials, undated
74Notes, statements and reports, undated
75Wake Island talks (NY Times vs. Declassified Version), undated
76Russell notes, undated
77Possible outline of committee report, undated
78Report to the President by Lt. General A. C. Wedemeyer, Sep-47
7 9-10 Materials, undated
711Brief Statement from Committee Chair [Richard Russell], undated
712Russell handnotes, undated
D. Committee Prints
BoxFolder
713Charter of the United Nations, 1945
714Basic Information on the Implementation of the North Atlantic Treaty, 1951
715National Security Act of 1947, 1947
716Powers of the President to Send the Armed Forces Outside of the United States, undated
717Background Information on Korea, undated
718Background Information of the Use of United States Armed Forces in Foreign Countries, undated
719Substance of Statements made at Wake Island Conference on October 15, 1950 by General Omar Bradley, 15-Oct-50
720Compilation of Certain Published Information on the Military Situation in the Far East, undated
721General of the Army Douglas MacArthur and the American Policy in the Far East: Joint Statement by the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations United States Senate, 28-Jun-51
722Senator Bridges Copy #1: Military Situation in the Far East Report of Certain Members of the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations, 1951
723MacArthur Inquiry: Transcript of Hearings Before the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, undated