Frank Porter Graham papers, 1908-1972 (bulk 1928-1960s).

Creator: Graham, Frank Porter, 1886-1972.
Collection number: 1819
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Abstract: Frank Porter Graham was president of the University of North Carolina, a U.S. senator, and a United Nations official. The collection includes correspondence, congressional and campaign files, speeches and other writings, notes, photographs, sound recordings, and other materials documenting the personal and professional life of Frank Porter Graham. Included are materials reflecting his service as president of the University of North Carolina, 1930-1949; U.S. senator from North Carolina, 1949-1950; United Nations representative in the dispute between India and Pakistan; and in various other capacities during the New Deal, World War II, and the Cold War. The papers reflect Graham’s interests and activities in education, race relations and civil rights, labor arbitration, southern regional development, international mediation, and other southern and national liberal concerns. The addition of 1994 includes materials relating to Dr. Frank: The Life and Times of Frank Porter Graham (1994), a documentary biography film by John B. Wilson, Jr., and Martin Clark for the Arts and Sciences Foundation of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina Center for Public Television. Included are logs documenting contents of video tapes, typed transcriptions of parts of interviews with Frank Porter Graham and others, and video tapes in various formats. Among the topics covered are civil rights; race relations; education, with emphasis on Graham’s career at the University of North Carolina; and Graham’s political activities and government service. Included are interviews with several persons involved in the bloody 1950 senatorial campaign. Persons important in these materials include Warren Ashby, William B. Aycock, Augustus Merrimon Burns, Julius L. Chambers, John Hope Franklin, William C. Friday, Alexander Heard, Douglass Hunt, Charles Kuralt, William Edward Leuchtenburg, Benjamin Elijah Mays, Claude Pepper, Julian M. Pleasants, Julian M., John L. Sanders, Terry Sanford, J. Carlyle Sitterson, Mack Smith, William D. Snider, George Brown Tindall, Willis P. Whichard, Tom Wicker, and Edwin Yoder. Materials in other additions are similar to those in the original deposits.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The papers reflect Graham’s interest and activities in race relations and civil rights. Numerous documents relate to North Carolina and national race relations. Correspondents in Series 1 included John Hope Franklin and Julius Chambers. The following subjects and folders may be of particular interest: folders 1948/81-82, President’s Committee on Civil Rights, pertain to public response to Graham’s signing of the controversial report “To Secure These Rights,” in 1949, 1950, and other years. folders entitled Communism, concern charges of made against Graham and others, his responses to those charges and other measures aimed at restricting civil liberties. Folders 1944/70 and 1953/40-48 document the controversies within the Presbyterian Church of Chapel Hill regarding civil rights and the pastorship of Charles Jones. Series 4 also contains numerous speeches on civil rights (see folders 4578 – 4585).

Some materials from this collection have been digitized. Click here to link to the finding aid and access the digitized material.