MG-374. AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION, HARRISBURG CHAPTER RECORDS, 1955-1957, 1969-1971, 1974-1983.
The Harrisburg Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is a local part of the state ACLU chapter. As a national organization, the American Civil Liberties Union champions the rights set forth in the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution, including freedom of speech, press, assembly, and religion. The ACLU is a strong proponent of due process of law and fair trial and equality before the law regardless of race, color, sexual orientation, national origin, political opinion, or religious belief. ACLU activities include litigation, advocacy, and public education. The records include correspondence, business records, minutes, membership data, copies of papers filed with the court, and materials pertaining to various issues of interest to the Harrisburg Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. Included in the Minutes are an October 8, 1980 account of a discussion concerning Ku Klux Klan membership among the Harrisburg police and the activities of white policemen which aggravated racial tensions in the city. Also present is a February 13, 1980 report by an ACLU member on the Society of Friends’ resolution condemning the KKK killings in Greenville, North Carolina, and a copy of a resolution condemning Klan-Nazi terrorism by the Harrisburg Area Concerned Organizations and providing information on a rally in Harrisburg. The Newsletters include copies of Civil Liberties, the national ACLU newsletter, containing articles on desegregation in schools and discriminatory harassment, and copies of the newsletters of the Harrisburg Chapter. The Complaints File contains a letter addressed to the mayor of Harrisburg concerning investigations of officers in the city police force suspected of belonging to the KKK and accusations of discriminatory behavior of policemen while on duty. There were also allegations that minority groups were receiving less effective police protection; a letter from the Cumberland Valley Human Rights Organization to a local newspaper cites what the author perceived to be a misleading photographic portrayal of an African American.