MG-191. DAVID L. LAWRENCE PAPERS, 1959-1966.
Governor of Pennsylvania from 1959 to 1963, David Leo Lawrence (1889-1966) also served as the secretary of the Commonwealth from 1935 to 1963, was chairman of President Johnson’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in Housing, 1963-1966, and was elected to an unprecedented four terms as mayor of his native Pittsburgh. The papers are arranged into the following series: Appointment Files, 1959-1963; Subject File, 1959-1963; Legislative File, 1959-1963; Speeches, 1963-1966; General Correspondence, 1963-1966; and Photographs, 1963. Within each series, files are arranged alphabetically by subjects or names of persons or organizations. Within each file, papers are arranged chronologically. The following series contain information on African Americans:
GOVERNOR’S PAPERS, 1959-1963.
Appointments File, 1959-1963.
Statutory Appointments, 1959-1963. These records are divided into three categories labeled the Live File, the O.K. File, and the Dead File that provide information on candidates considered for appointment to various posts. In the live files may be found information on candidates seeking appointments at Cheyney State Teachers College, the State Advisory Committee on Civil Rights, and the Human Relations Commission. The O. K. files provide additional materials relating to appointments at Cheyney State Teachers College and the Human Relations Commission as well as information on Migratory Labor Camps. The dead file contains appointment materials relating to the Scotland School for Veterans’ Children.
General File, 1959-1963. The following files contain information on African Americans:
• African Methodist Episcopal Church of Philadelphia (Bethel), 1959-1961. Contains a copy of the autobiography of the founder, Rev. Richard Allen, and materials relating to the history of the church and its bicentennial celebration.
• Andrew M. Bradley, 1959-1962. Bradley was Pennsylvania’s first African American secretary of Property and Supplies. This file contains materials relating to Emancipation Proclamation Day, civil rights legislation, educational opportunities for African Americans, housing discrimination, the Human Relations Commission, the NAACP, Leon Higgenbotham Jr., and the Freedom Jubilee in Pittsburgh, and also contains an Ebony magazine article about Bradley.
• Catholic Interracial Council of Pittsburgh, 1960-1962. Contains a newsletter with information on African Americans.
• Civil Rights File, 1959-1961. Contains correspondence concerning the governor’s Civil Rights Conference, news releases, and summaries of legislative hearings.
• Commission on Human Relations, 1959-1962. Contains copies of the Pittsburgh Human Relations Review.
• Cheyney State Teachers College, 1959-1962. Contains a news release dated March 2, 1959 that provides information on budget authorizations for 1957-59 and 1959-61 and a February 17, 1960 letter to Governor Lawrence from Cheyney President James H. Duckrey informing him of the death of former Cheyney President Dr. Leslie P. Hill. Also present is a letter dated January 19, 1962 addressed to Superintendent of Public Instruction Charles H. Boehm and signed by Cheyney staff and faculty that objects to comments made by Boehm concerning a proposal to merge Cheyney with West Chester State College. Finally, in a letter dated April 3, 1962, Harry E. Brumbaugh writes "that the sanctuary of Cheyney College should be rededicated to the purpose of graduate study in the humanities."
• Congo Youth Project, 1961. Contains materials relating to Pittsburgh YMCA fellowship program between the United States and the Republic of Congo.
• Alice M. Cookman, President, Security Civic League of Pittsburgh. In a letter dated May 1962 Cookman complains to Governor Lawrence about abusive and racist language the Democratic ward chairman had directed toward her and other voting poll workers in Pittsburgh’s Seventh Ward.
• Emancipation Proclamation, 1963. Contains speeches, letters, and news releases pertaining to the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.
• Greater Zion Baptist Church. Contains an invitation to Governor Lawrence to attend a 1962 concert in Harrisburg.
• Judge A. Leon Higgenbotham, 1959-1962. Contains materials relating to the NAACP, civil rights legislation, and desegregation.
• Hill City Youth Municipality, 1959-1962. This was a community service bureau that provided consultation and guidance to the African American residents of the Hill District and the Homewood community in Pittsburgh who were experiencing either community or family conflicts. The file contains a progress report for 1959, minutes dated March 28, 1959, a newsletter dated March 25, 1960, a list of nominees dated 1959, and an undated amendment to the bylaws. Board members included Rev. Charles H. Foggie, Mrs. Robert L. Vann, and Daisy Lampkin.
• Dr. Alma Johnson Illery. Contains correspondence addressed to Governor Lawrence concerning the George Washington Carver Day celebration.
• K. Leroy Irvis, State Representative. Contains materials relating to an article entitled "Negro Voters on the Fence" that is contained in the 1962 Democratic Campaign file.
• Frances Jones. Contains materials relating to Jones election as a state representative, and a newspaper article, transcripts of speeches, and tributes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
• Lincoln University, 1959-1962. Contains a history of the school, invitations to commencements, and an honorary degree conferred on Governor Lawrence.
• Mercy Hospital, 1960-1962. Among the items in this file are an "Adjudication and Order in the Matter of the Application of Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh for Registration and Permit to Conduct Pharmacy" and letters concerning the application and problems involved in establishing a pharmacy at Mercy. Other materials include a grant proposal for installing a closed circuit television and computer system, an application to the Hill Barton Fund to fund building improvements, a letter concerning the admission of the governor’s wife as a patient at the hospital, and an undated letter from a Mercy Hospital employee to the local bus company complaining of the impact of a bus company strike.
• National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 1959-1962. Contains materials relating to discrimination and civil rights protests. These focus on Governor Lawrence’s record on civil rights, NAACP protests of a 1959 Memorial Day service honoring the Confederate flag, a 1960 protest of segregation in national Civil War commemoration ceremonies, unfair housing practices in Harrisburg in 1961, inadequate youth programs in Chester in 1961, the harassment of African American Pennsylvanians by Delaware State Police in 1962, and remarks by Governor Lawrence to the Annual Pennsylvania State Conferences of the NAACP held at Philadelphia on July 10, 1961 and at Harrisburg on October 26, 1962.
• Negroes. Contains letters concerning racial discrimination, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, Negro History Week, and National Negro Newspaper Week.
• Norristown High School, 1960. Contains material concerning the robbery of a gas station by two African Americans on October 31, 1960 and how the Norristown police subsequently entered the Norristown High School where they lined up approximately a hundred African American students and examined their shoes for evidence of blood.
• United Negro College Fund, 1959-1963. Contains correspondence concerning fund drives and sponsors.
Subject File, 1959-1963. Includes the following subjects:
• "Below the Belt" Correspondence, 1959-1963. Contains two derogatory letters dated August 28, 1961 and November 16, 1962 criticizing Lawrence’s stand on civil rights.
• Capital Cases, 1959. A record of eleven capital cases including that of defendant Isaiah Greene, an African American convicted for the murder of an elderly white shopkeeper.
• Citations and Recommendations, 1959-1963. Includes a letter recommending Dr. Harold F. Grim of Lincoln University for consideration as a positive role model for African Americans.
• Governors’ Conference on Civil Rights, 1959-1960. Letters and proceedings relating to the Third Annual Conference of Governors on Civil Rights held March 3-4, 1960.
• Housing File, 1959-1962. Covers cases of discrimination in housing.
• Human Relations Commission File, 1959-1962. Contains letters, complaints, and reports concerning discrimination in housing, employment, and communities.
• Migratory Labor File, 1959-1960. Contains letters proposing the construction of Negro Glade Lake in Somerset County, 1960-61.
• Presidential Campaign of 1960. Contains copies of the fiftieth anniversary edition of the Pittsburgh Courier and materials relating to African American voting patterns in the 1960 presidential campaign.
• Segregation File, 1962. Contains materials on discrimination in schools, the Educational Equality League, civil rights cases, the NAACP, prison riots, and John F. Kennedy press releases.
Photographs, 1963. A photograph album entitled "Football’s Greatest Weekend" contains a collection of photographs taken at the dedication of the National Professional Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, September 7-8, 1963. One of the photographs shows Ohio Governor James A. Rhodes tossing a coin at the opening of the Hall of Fame football game in Fawcett Stadium. The honorary captains were Justice Byron S. (Whizzer) White of the United States Supreme Court, a former Pittsburgh Steeler, and Marion Motley, a former Cleveland Browns back.
Finally, the Correspondence and Speeches series contains a variety of materials relating to the Presidential Committee on Equal Opportunity in Housing, 1963-1966.