Collecting area: Vietnam War

Cohen, Alvin P.

Alvin P. Cohen Collection

1957-1968
2 boxes 1.6 linear feet
Call no.: FS 145
Depiction of Free Speech Movement newsletter
Free Speech Movement newsletter

As an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley in the late 1950s, Alvin P. Cohen planned on a career in engineering, but after earning his bachelors degree and working as a laboratory technician, he returned to undergraduate status and then to graduate school in Chinese. Cohen’s time at Berkeley coincided with the turbulence of the first wave of student revolt, the civil rights and antiwar movements, and the Free Speech Movement, however as a married man with children, he was more an observer than activist. After completing his dissertation, The Avenging Ghost: Moral Judgment in Chinese Historical Texts, in 1971, he joined the faculty at UMass Amherst, initially with a split appointment teaching Chinese and working as East Asian bibliographer in the library. Over the next three and a half decades, he helped build the Program in Asian Languages and Literature, becoming its Chair in the 1990s and President of the Warring States Project.

Consisting of newsclippings, fliers, and other ephemera collected as the Free Speech Movement was at its height, the Cohen collection provides a valuable window on 1960s activism and the cross-fertilization between the various student movements. The materials cover a range of issues from free speech on campus to the California legislature, civil rights, the war in Vietnam, and the House Un-American Activities Committee. Of particular interest is a letter received by Cohen from a friend Doug Wachter in 1960, shortly after Wachter had been called before HUAC.

Subjects

College students--United States--Political activityStudent movements--CaliforniaUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Program in Asian Languages and LiteraturesVietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

Cohen, Alvin P.
Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991

Silvio O. Conte Papers

1950-1991
389 boxes 583.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 371
Depiction of Silvio Conte, 1973
Silvio Conte, 1973

Massachusetts State Senator for the Berkshire District, 1950-1958, and representative for Massachusetts’s First District in the United States Congress for 17 terms, 1959-1991, where he made significant contributions in the areas of health and human services, the environment, education, energy, transportation, and small business.

Spanning four decades and eight presidents, the papers offer an extraordinary perspective on the major social, economic, and cultural changes experienced by the American people. Includes correspondence, speeches, press releases, bill files, his voting record, committee files, scrapbooks, travel files, audio-visual materials and over 5,000 photographs and slides.

Subjects

Massachusetts--Politics and government--1951-Massachusetts. SenateUnited States--Politics and government--20th centuryUnited States. Congress. House

Contributors

Conte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991

Types of material

PhotographsScrapbooksSound recordings
Crowe, Frances, 1919-

Frances Crowe Photograph Collection

ca.1969-1987
1 box 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: PH 092
Depiction of Frances Crowe, ca.1983
Frances Crowe, ca.1983

A founder of the Western Massachusetts branch of the American Friends Service Committee and the Traprock Peace Center, Frances Crowe was a legendary peace activist. Born in Missouri in March 1919, Crowe became a committed pacifist in 1945 after learning of the devastation of the bombings in Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Moving to Northampton in 1951 with her husband Thomas, a physician, she began organizing for peace and against nuclear weapons, increasing her peacework during the Vietnam War, she she worked as a draft counselor in Northampton. A member of the Society of Friends, she joined the War Resisters League, SANE, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, among many other organizations, and was arrested dozens of times for civil disobedience during protests opposing war and militarism, nuclear energy, American imperialism in Central America, and apartheid, and she became a war tax resister after the first Iraq War. An activist to the very end, she died on Aug. 27, 2019, at the age of 100.

This small collection of photographs was kept by Frances Crowe in her role as contributor to Peace Work, the newsletter of the American Friends Service Committee, or for inclusion in the AFSC files. Concentrated in the early 1980s, they depict a range of peace and antinuclear protests in western Massachusetts. The majority of the images were taken by Crowe’s associate, Miriam Leader.

Gift of Eugene Povirk, Oct. 2019

Subjects

Anti-war demonstrations--Massachusetts--PhotographsAntinuclear movements--Massachusetts--PhotographsDemonstrations--Massachusetts--PhotographsPeace movements--Massachusetts--Photographs

Contributors

Leader, Miriam

Types of material

Photographs
Ellsberg, Daniel

Daniel Ellsberg Papers

ca. 1935-2020 Bulk: 1950-2000
Call no.: MS 1093
Daniel Ellsberg is seated at his desk with a telephone in his left hand while reaching for a paper on his desk.

Daniel Ellsberg ca. 1982

For the latest updates and information about this collection, visit our research page on Ellsberg.

Author, Activist, Veteran, Civil Servant, Whistleblower, Cold Warrior, Academic, Patriot. Daniel Ellsberg has spent the bulk of his 89+ years asking questions and seeking truth. From his beginnings in government service as a marine operations officer, where he first received top secret clearances and saw war plans for the Suez Crisis in 1956-57; to his time in the Pentagon where he was involved in high level decision-making around nuclear policy and the Vietnam War; and to his moral awakening in 1968-69 when he decided to begin copying the Pentagon Papers for public release; Daniel Ellsberg has utilized his whip-smart intellect to dissect and disseminate complex government policies for those seeking to understand and critique the moral failings of their leaders.

In his singular career, Ellsberg traced an arc from Cold Warrior to antiwar and antinuclear activist. Initially, he seemed primed for the soft chair of the academy. As an undergraduate at Harvard, he produced a brilliant thesis in economics on “Theories of Rational Choice Under Uncertainty,” which fed decades of further research—his own and others—on the questions of ambiguity and decision-making. A prestigious year as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow at Cambridge would ordinarily have led to the next logical step toward an academic coronation, a doctorate at Harvard, but with his educational deferment running out and conscription looming, Ellsberg applied to become an officer in the Marine Corps. By the time he resumed doctoral research (on game theory), he had acquired a personal understanding of the military from the perspective of a platoon leader that would in the years to come leaven his scholarship.

As he wrapped up his dissertation, Ellsberg accepted a position with the RAND Corporation, placing him in the cold heart of where Cold Warriors honed their thoughts. An analytical mind and keen insight into decision-making fit neatly into the demands of understanding the problems of command and control in nuclear war. At RAND, Ellsberg found himself drawn into assignments such as the formal review of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, which he conducted as a consultant to the Pentagon. What he witnessed from the privileged perch of top-level clearance was unsettling: he saw a shocking and persistent gap between what the best intelligence indicated and what the political establishment said and did.

Dan Ellsberg emerging from a hole in the ground with his left hand on the ground looking at the camera

Ellsberg emerging from a National Liberation Front tunnel system in South Vietnam. ca. 1966

Vietnam emerged as a particular focal point for Ellsberg in 1964, establishing a powerful symmetrical concern with the nuclear threat that had been consuming his days. That summer, Ellsberg was attached to the Pentagon to assist in a strategic analysis to contribute to escalating the war, beginning his assignment ominously on the day of the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Less than a year later, he traveled to Vietnam as a high-level official of the State Department to work under Maj. Gen. Edward Lansdale, tasked with reviewing “pacification” efforts in the provinces. This was no desk job, nor would he be a mere observer. For much of 1966, Ellsberg traveled the country, machine gun in hand, often engaging in forward combat operations with U.S. forces. By the time he returned to RAND, his experiences had led him to conclude that the war was simply not, as many had argued, a civil war in which the U.S. had intervened, but a war of foreign aggression—American aggression. Having been an official of both the Defense and State Departments for years and having had high-level, authorized access, he had a unique perspective on the backdrop of official dishonesty, of secrets and lies and pro-war manipulations on the part of the military and political establishment, and he began to find common cause with the antiwar movement.

The germ of what would become the Pentagon Papers was planted at a War Resisters League conference at Haverford College in 1969, when Ellsberg encountered a draft resister, Randy Kehler (whose papers are also ensconced in SCUA). Kehler’s deliberate, direct confrontation of the system and his unstinting, willing acceptance of the consequences were moving, and by October, Ellsberg lit upon the idea of copying the secret, and deeply revealing reports on the war that he was reviewing for RAND. He knew well that if discovered, his actions could result in decades behind bars. For several weeks, Ellsberg and his colleague Anthony Russo surreptitiously photocopied a trove of 47 volumes and thousands of individual pages of sensitive documents that clearly revealed the extent to which four presidents over two decades had concealed and misrepresented the war and its dim prospects in the hopes, in part, of gaining electoral advantage and out of fear for being seen as the man who lost the war.

Initially, Ellsberg sent copies of the Pentagon Papers to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and sympathetic members of Congress in the hope of creating a political momentum against the war from within the system. None spoke up. Only when the strategy of drawing congressional support failed did Ellsberg leak copies to the media—nineteen newspapers in all. To make a long (and frequently cinematized) story short, The New York Times struck first, publishing excerpts from the papers beginning on June 13, 1971, leading to the first four injunctions in American history constituting prior restraint against publication, and ultimately to prevailing in the Supreme Court over by the end of the month, voiding those injunctions. To make another long (and frequently cinematized) story short, Ellsberg set off a chain of events that played a catalytic role in the Watergate scandals and the undoing of President Richard Nixon.

Daniel Ellsberg holding an arrest card being photographed by police in front of a school bus

Ellsberg holding his arrest record at the Lawrence Livermore Lab protests in 1982

In January 1973,  Ellsberg went on trial for his part in copying and distributing the Papers. Facing decades of prison time, he waged a resilient defense over the next four months and eventually won. Having survived the full force of the governmental onslaught, Ellsberg persisted. With the charges against him dismissed on the grounds of governmental misconduct, he returned to the front lines of opposition to tackle nuclear weapons, war, and governmental secrecy. He speaks, writes, and educates in the cause almost continuously, and he has taken part in protests and civil disobedience at sites such as the Pentagon, the Department of Energy, the Rocky Flats Nuclear Production Facility, and the Lawrence Livermore Laboratories.

The scope of the Ellsberg collection is vast; from family mementoes and correspondence during his time in the Marines in the 1950s, to research material collected during the War on Terror in the early 2000s. The collection provides researchers with a trove of valuable material on U.S. Government decision-making and secrecy from the Cold War to War on Terror eras, as well as Ellsberg’s personal life. Ellsberg’s time at RAND is well represented with unclassified reports and studies as well as notes, correspondence, analysis, and clippings. His trip to Vietnam in 1966 is chronicled with notes, correspondence, photographs, reports, and a series of reel-to-reel tape recordings. There are a voluminous amount of legal files and material acquired through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests from his Pentagon Papers trial in 1973, which also bleeds into material on Richard Nixon and the Watergate crisis. His post-government anti-nuclear efforts are represented with correspondence, subject files, clippings, notes, and drafts of his 2017 book, The Doomsday Machine.

Anchoring much of the material are Ellsberg’s period notes taken during meetings, briefings, phone calls, and writing sessions while he worked at RAND and the Pentagon. They provide firsthand evidence of statements made by various government officials in the Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon administrations as well as Ellsberg’s own observations and insights at the time.

The collection rounds out with clippings,  magazines, newspapers, audio recordings, and video/film documentaries about Ellsberg, personal correspondence with friends and family, and  material related to his advocacy on behalf of 21st century whistle blowers Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, and Julian Assange.

Acquired from Daniel and Patricia Ellsberg, May 2019

Subjects

Afghan War, 2001-AmbiguityAntinuclear movementArab-Israeli conflict -- 1948-1967Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962DisarmamentEllsberg, DanielIraq War, 2003-2011Nixon, Richard M. (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994Pentagon PapersPersian Gulf War, 1991RAND CorporationSecrecySecurityUnited States--Officials and employeesVietnam War, 1961-1975WarWar on Terrorism, 2001-2009Watergate Affair, 1972-1974

Contributors

Ellsberg, DanielRAND Corporation

Types of material

Clippings (information artifacts)Drafts (documents)Electronic mailFliers (Printed matter)Legal documentsManuscripts (document genre)Motion picturesNewslettersPamphletsPersonal correspondencePhotographsReportsSound recordingsVideotapes
Restrictions: collection in-process. available upon request.
Entin, David Hudson

David Entin Papers

1966-2015 Bulk: 1966-1968
2 boxes 1 linear feet
Call no.: MS 876
Vietnamese children
Vietnamese children

A worker in the struggle against poverty and racism for five decades, David Entin was raised in New York City environs until his family moved to Jacksonville, Florida in 1953 when he was twelve years old. He began his anti-poverty work with the North Carolina volunteers, a pioneering early effort where he worked with low-come families in Durham, NC. David then joined the North Carolina Fund, a statewide Ford Foundation project where he helped develop and wrote the first rural anti-poverty program under the new Economic Opportunity Act for Craven County (New Bern), NC. From there he helped start the initial anti-poverty program in Jacksonville. His new career was interrupted by Vietnam War service with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Stationed in Quang Ngai Province, a Vietcong stronghold, and Da Nang between 1966 and 1968, Entin oversaw redevelopment projects and while not caught up in the fight itself, he was charged with assessing damage in Region One following the Tet Offensive. After returning home to Florida, Entin resumed his antipoverty work.

The collection centers around 51 detailed letters describing the two years that David Entin spent in Vietnam working with USAID; these letters serve as a diary recording Entin’s daily activities and observations and accompany several hundred slides and photographs. Also included in the collection are a series of short autobiographical essays that detail his childhood, early career, and service in Vietnam.

Subjects

Economic assistance, American--VietnamTechnical assistance, American--VietnamUnited States. Agency for International DevelopmentVietnam War, 1961-1975--Children--PhotographsVietnam War, 1961-1975--Civilian reliefVietnam War, 1961-1975--Personal narratives

Contributors

Entin, David Hudson

Types of material

Color slidesPhotographsSlides (Photographs)
Famous Long Ago Archive

Famous Long Ago Collection

ca.1960-2005
Depiction of The barn, Montague Farm Photo by Roy Finestone, Oct. 1976
The barn, Montague Farm Photo by Roy Finestone, Oct. 1976

Ray Mungo’s Famous Long Ago (1970) and Steve Diamond’s What the Trees Said (1971) are classic visions of late 1960s counterculture and of life in New England communes. The communes on which Mungo and Diamond settled, Packer Corner and the Montague Farm, became the center of what might be considered a single extended community, embracing the Wendell Farm and Johnson Pasture and Tree Frog Farm in Vermont. The Farmers themselves were, and remain, a diverse group, including photographers, novelists, and poets, artists, actors, and activists.

An umbrella collection, the Famous Long Ago Archive contains a growing number of collections relating to the communes at Montague Farm, Packer Corners, Johnson Pasture, Wendell Farm, and Tree Frog Farm. These range from the papers of Steve Diamond, Raymond Mungo, and Jonathan Maslow to Randy Kehler and Betsy Corner (the latter of whom lived at Montague Farm), the records of the Liberation News Service, the Alternative Energy Coalition, and Musicians United for Safe Energy, to the photographic collections of Roy Finestone and Stephen Josephs. View all the Famous Long Ago Collections.

Collections include:

Subjects

Antinuclear movement--MassachusettsCommunal living--MassachusettsCommunal living--VermontJohnson Pasture Community (Vt.)Montague Farm Community (Mass.)Packer Corners Community (Vt.)Political activists--Massachusetts
Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-

Kenneth R. Feinberg Papers

1980-2011
217 boxes 325.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 755
Depiction of Ken Feinberg at JFK Library
Ken Feinberg at JFK Library

One of the most prominent and dedicated attorneys of our time, Kenneth R. Feinberg has assumed the important role of mediator in a number of complex legal disputes, often in the aftermath of public tragedies. Frequently these cases necessitate not only determining compensation to victims and survivors but also confronting the very question of the value of human life. A native of Brockton, Massachusetts, and a graduate of UMass Amherst (1967) and New York University School of Law (1970), Feinberg served as a clerk to Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld, as a federal prosecutor, and as Chief of Staff for Senator Edward M. Kennedy. After acting as the mediator and special master of the high-profile Agent Orange settlement, he administered the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, Virginia Tech’s Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, and the BP Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF). Feinberg has taught at several law schools; is the author of the books What is Life Worth? and Who Gets What and numerous articles; and is a devotee of opera and classical music. He practices law in Washington, D.C., and continues to be guided by a commitment to public service.

The Feinberg Papers contain correspondence, memos, drafts, reports, research files, and memorabilia. The collection is arriving in stages and is being processed. Some materials will be restricted.

Gift of Kenneth R. Feinberg, 2012-2017

Subjects

Compensation (Law)--United StatesCompromise (Law)--United StatesDamages--United StatesProducts liability--Agent OrangePublic Policy (Law)--United StatesReparation (Criminal justice)--United StatesSeptember 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001

Contributors

Feinberg, Kenneth R., 1945-

Types of material

Correspondence (letters)Legal filesVideotapes
Field, William Franklin, 1922-

William F. Field Papers

1948-1986
27 boxes 13.5 linear feet
Call no.: RG 030/2 F5
Depiction of William F. Field relaxing on couch, ca. 1971
William F. Field relaxing on couch, ca. 1971

The University’s first Dean of Students, William F. Field held the post from 1961 until his retirement in 1988. The 27 years Field was Dean of Students was a critical time of growth and unrest, as the University’s student population more than tripled in size and the nation-wide movements for civil rights and against the Vietnam War were reflected through student activism and protest on the University’s campus. Responsible for ending student curfews and overseeing all dorms becoming co-ed, Field also worked with minority students and faculty to support the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.

The William F. Field Papers document Field’s career as an administrator at the University of Massachusetts and specifically his role as Dean of Students from 1961-1988. The correspondence, memoranda, reports, notes, and other official printed and manuscript documents are a rich resource for one of the most important and volatile eras in the University’s history. Of particular interest are extensive files on student protests and activism in the late 1960s and early 1970s and the growing diversity of the campus student population, flourishing of the Black Arts Movement on campus and the founding of the W.E.B. Du Bois Afro-American Studies Department.

Subjects

African American college students--MassachusettsField, William Franklin, 1922-Race relations--United StatesUniversities and colleges--United States--AdministrationUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst--FacultyUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Dean of StudentsUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst. Department of Afro-American StudiesVietnam War, 1961-1975--Protest movements--United States

Types of material

CorrespondenceMemorandums
Fitzgerald, John J., 1941-

John J. Fitzgerald Collection

1964-1975
1 box 1.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 938
John J. Fitzgerald, 1968
John J. Fitzgerald, 1968

A graduate of Holyoke High and UMass Amherst (BA 1963), John J. Fitzgerald entered the Army after graduation and served in Vietnam as a Captain in the 25th Infantry Division. He earned a Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his service, having been wounded at Cu Chi in June 1966, before leaving active duty in 1968. Returning home to Holyoke, Fitzgerald entered the master’s degree in political science at UMass (MA 1978) and renewed his longstanding interest in politics. Taking an interest in the progressive, antiwar candidate Eugene McCarthy, he became head of the McCarthy campaign in Holyoke and won election as a delegate to the Democratic national convention. Fitzgerald remained involved in local Democratic politics, and in addition to teaching history in local schools for many years, he wrote and lectured on topics ranging from nuclear power to his experiences in Vietnam.

The Fitzgerald collection contains four scrapbooks relating to his involvement in politics in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Two of the scrapbooks document national and local reaction to the McCarthy campaign and include some articles on Fitzgerald and some ephemera. The other scrapbooks document the McGovern campaign in 1972 and politics in Holyoke in mid-1970s. The collection also includes a copy of Fitzgerald’s commission as a Reserve Commissioned Officer in the Army (1964) and two posters: Jack Coughlin’s, Weapons often turn upon the wielder. . . (1968) and Viet-nam veterans speak out. . . Viet-nam Veterans for McCarthy (1968), an antiwar petition signed by Fitzgerald. Books that arrived with the collection have been transferred and catalogued into SCUA’s general collection.

Gift of John J. Fitzgerald, 2016

Subjects

Holyoke (Mass.)--History--20th centuryMcCarthy, Eugene J., 1916-2005Presidents--United States--Election--1968Vietnam War, 1961-1965

Types of material

PostersScrapbooks
Foster, Georgana

Georgana Foster Collection

1970s-2007
3 boxes 4.5 linear feet
Call no.: MS 544

Collection of chiefly newspaper clippings compiled by Georgana Foster documenting the response of the western Massachusetts community to a variety of local and national topics such as the Vietnam War, communes, the re-elections of Congressmen Silvio Conte and John Olver, the Amherst Peace Vigil, the Peace Pagoda in Leverett, and the Iraq War.

Subjects

Activists--MassachusettsAmherst (Mass.)--Politics and governmentConte, Silvio O. (Silvio Oltavio), 1921-1991Peace movements--MassachusettsVietnam War, 1961-1975

Contributors

Foster, Georgana