Daniel Augustus Powell papers, 1945-1983 (1950-1981).

Creator: Powell, Daniel Augustus, 1911-1983.
Collection number: 4364
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Abstract: Daniel A. Powell was born on 29 July 1911 in Wilson, N.C. In the 1930s Powell worked as a salesman for the American Circulation Company, the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company, and as advertising salesman for the Memphis Press-Scimitar. He was an account executive for the O’Callaghan Advertising Agency in 1939-1940 and served in the United States Army Air Force in World War II. Powell was briefly the Assistant Information Director for the West Tennessee Office of Price Administration in 1945 and in the same year became the Southern Director of the Political Action Committee of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.When the CIO merged with the American Federation of Labor in 1955, the AFL’s League for Labor Education joined with the CIO’s PAC to cbecome the Committee on Political Education (COPE). Powell then became director of COPE Region 5, roughly the same territory he had covered for PAC. Powell served in that position until his death, 6 Aug Correspondence, subject files, audio tapes and discs, photographs, and other material of Daniel Augustus Powell (1911-1983), labor union official and civic leader of Memphis, Tennessee. The great bulk of these papers relates to the work of the AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education (COPE) for Area 5, which Powell directed from 1955-1983. There is also material on Powell’s work as head of the CIO Political Action Committee (PAC) in the southeast from 1945-1955; his membership in the Newspaper Guild; and his activities with the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Memphis, the West Tennessee Civil Liberties Union, the Tennessee Council on Human Relations, the United States Civil Rights Commission, and the Tennessee Committee for the Humanities.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Correspondence in Series 1 (AFL-CIO PAC/COPE: State Files) contains letters to and from PAC/COPE national officers discussing topics such as responding to issues of race, anti-union activity, and the rise of the radical right.

Series 3 contains Powell’s personal writings. Folder 293 contains materials relating to the Civil Rights Commission of 1966 – 1977.

Folders 297 – 300 contain texts of reports or notes for speeches on such subjects as the attitudes of African Americans in various American cities in 1964, the Memphis garbage strike in 1968, and the rise of the radical right in American politics.

Audiotape T-4364/32 consists of recordings from the 1970 Symposium, “The Emerging South” of the LCQ Lamar Society. Participants include George Esser and Maynard Jackson; topics discussed include “The Black Man in Southern Politics”

Image folder P-4364/26-32 contains an image of a parade in Memphis after Martin Luther King Jr.’s¬†assassination in 1968.