MG-301. JOHN CRAIN KUNKEL COLLECTION, 1798-1873, 1936-1966.

Born in Harrisburg on July 21, 1898, John Crain Kunkel served
a total of nine terms as a United States representative from Pennsylvania, 1938-1950 and 1961-1967. During his congressional career, Kunkel held posts on the Banking and Currency Committee, Revision of the Laws Committee, and Select Committee on Foreign Aid. A prominent Harrisburg attorney and businessman, he also served as a Dauphin County commissioner from 1952 to 1956 and on the boards of Wilson College, St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, the Harrisburg Boys Club, and the Lions Club. Both his grandfather and great-grandfather were also members of Congress. The collection contains business, congressional, county commissioner, personal, and political files that include correspondence, pamphlets, news clippings, tape recordings, and videotapes.


Administrative File, 1961-1966. Contains information on legislation authored, sponsored, or lobbied for by Kunkel. Several items that refer to African Americans are included in the following subseries:

General File, 1964. Provides information on such varied subjects as the armed forces, the Atomic Energy Commission, the 1964 Civil Rights Act, funding for Housing and Urban Development programs, rationing, banking, immigration, price fixing, communism, flood control, farming, and labor. Also present are two audio tapes of a program broadcast on WHP, Harrisburg, on January 23, 1964 and February 2, 1964, respectively, in which Kunkel discusses civil rights along with other national and world affairs.

General File, A-Z, 1966. Includes a copy of the itinerary of the 1966 Candidates’ Conference at which J. Earl Dearing and William D. Johnson delivered a speech on "The Negro Vote." Also included are typed telephone messages relating to the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Harrisburg dated September 29, 1965 concerning a church banquet scheduled for October 15, 1965 and one on May 24, 1965 requesting a flag for Cub Pack #239 of Wesley Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church. Also present are numerous political campaign pamphlets from the 1964-65 campaign season and a "Special Release" concerning the accomplishments and failures of the 89th Congress. In the "Did Not Do" category, regret is expressed over failure of the legislature to strengthen Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, a ten-page news release issued by the Republican National Committee on the subject of housing and urban development programs, and a booklet issued for the Republican congressional campaign that provided source material for campaign speeches on such issues as voting rights.

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