Newly Opened Collection: Ace of Clubs Records

by Lauren Wallace, Graduate Student Intern (Simmons College GSLIS)

We are pleased to announce that the Ace of Clubs Records is now open and available for research. This collection features the administrative, social, and photographic records of the Ace of Clubs Charitable Organization. From charity events to by-law revisions, President’s books to Secretary journals, the collection documents the charitable activities of the organization, founded in 1911 by Rose Fitzgerald (later known as Mrs. Rose Kennedy) and Miriam Finnegan. The object of the Club was to foster its membership’s interest in social, educational, cultural, and charitable activities.

Initially founded as a limited membership club for unmarried Catholic women who had traveled or been educated abroad in the early 1900s, it later grew into a club of social elites, with up to 400 members. The Ace of Clubs gave women a chance to expand their intellectual, social, and cultural enrichment by hosting guest speakers, balls, fundraisers, art auctions, fashion shows, and many other activities.

To facilitate educational enrichment, the Ace of Clubs hosted a series of lectures for its members. Among some of the more notable speakers were: John F. Kennedy during his time as Senator of Massachusetts; John F. Fitzgerald, former Mayor of Boston and father of Rose Kennedy; and Letitia Baldrige, former White House Social Secretary to Jacqueline Kennedy. Included here are various documents that highlight the important records within the collection.

Below are Club meeting minutes that document a speech given by John F. Fitzgerald. He appeared as a guest speaker for the Ace of Clubs and spoke on the “Future of Boston” on November 28, 1932.[1]





The Second meeting of the Ace of Clubs was held at the Hotel Somerset on Monday, November twenty-eight at one o’clock. A complimentary luncheon for the members was greatly enjoyed. The president, Mrs. William B. Burkes introduced the guest speaker. The Honorable John F. Fitzgerald who made an appeal to the Catholic Women to assist in the future of Boston. It was voted to hold a dance, the date left to the discretion of the board. An interesting exhibit of handicraft followed. Prizes being voted to Miss Hannah Reardon, first prize, Miss Katherine Manning, second prize, and two honorable mentions, one to Miss Marie Quinlan and to Miss Gladys Carew. The new members introduced to the club were Miss Hannah Reardon, Mrs. Nom Blakes, Virginia Manning, Isabel MacDonald, Marion Maloney, Margaret Quinn. Mme. Joly spoke to the members about forming a French class. A group was formed. Respectfully submitted, Gladys Carew. Secretary.”


During his term as U.S. Senator, John F. Kennedy spoke to the Ace of Clubs on “Current Events” at the Harvard Club of Boston on May 13, 1957. Below is the meeting minutes entry by Club Secretary, Esther F. Ronan:[2]






“The Seventh meeting of the 1956-1957 year was held at the Harvard Club of Boston. The Club was most fortunate to hear Senator John F. Kennedy Speak on ‘Current Events.’ This evening meeting was well attended by members and their guests. Respectfully submitted, Esther F. Ronan.”

View the entire folder here.






The Ace of Clubs hosted an annual fundraising event to sponsor a selected charity. Events included balls, art auctions, and fashion shows. Several charities of note sponsored by the Ace of Clubs were the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, and the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.




The 1963-1964 Ace of Clubs scrapbook documents the Club’s activities. Featured right are materials from monthly meetings in February and March 1964. Included are programs and clippings from the newspaper column, “Social News,” covering luncheons and charity events. The collection holds several scrapbooks documenting the organization through the late 1990s.

View the entire folder here.










Featured right is the Club’s charity fundraising event, “Gentleman’s Night.” The event was postponed for two months in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s death. The Club President at the time was President Kennedy’s cousin, Pauline Fitzgerald.

View the entire folder here.





Overall, the Ace of Clubs supported many charities and institutions over its ten decades of service.[3] As seen above, the Club continually supported the Kennedy family, whether by staying in contact with Rose Kennedy long after she stepped down as an officer, or sponsoring activities in support of the family during times of mourning. In May 1964 the Club received thanks from Jacqueline Kennedy for its donation to the John F. Kennedy Library in memory of President Kennedy. Additionally, the Club received several thank-you letters from Rose Kennedy and Edward M. Kennedy for its continued support, examples of which are featured below.[4, 5]




[Left] Letter from Rose Kennedy to Mrs. John Reilly thanking Mrs. Reilly for her recent note and update on the program activities of the Ace of Clubs, December 6, 1968.

View the entire folder here.


[Right] Letter from Edward M. Kennedy to Mrs. John M. Slattery thanking her for the Club’s recent contribution toward the establishment of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, January 15, 1970.

View the entire folder here.




Over the years, the Ace of Clubs strove to maintain and to stay true to the founding goals established by Rose Kennedy and Miriam Finnegan in 1911. Due to declining membership, the Club was disbanded in 2011 after celebrating 100 years of service. During those 100 years, the Ace of Clubs succeeded in providing financial support to local charities as well as educational and cultural enrichment to its membership.



1. Box 12, Folder: “Scrapbook: 1963-1964 (1 of 2 folders),” pages 11-12 [AOCR-012-004-p0015 and -p0016].
2. Box 4,  Folder: “Correspondence: Signed letter from Rose Kennedy, 6 December 1968″ [AOCR-004-014-p0001].
3. Box 4, Folder:  “Correspondence: 1954-1981″ [AOCR-004-013-p0037].
4. Box 15, Folder: “Secretary’s Journal: 1925-1939″ [AOCR-V0015-001-p0018].
5. Box 16, Folder: “Secretary’s Journal: 1953-1969″ [AOCR-016-001-p0047].



Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/02/newly-opened-collection-ace-of-clubs-records/


The Kennedy Library Remembers Warren Cikins

We are very sad to report that Warren I. Cikins, whose personal papers reside at the Kennedy Library, passed away on December 13, 2014. Cikins was a dedicated public servant at both the federal and local levels. He began his lengthy career as a legislative assistant to Congressman Brooks Hays of Arkansas, and went on to work for several federal agencies. He was a White House staffer during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (1962-1966). In 1975, Cikins was elected to the Board of Supervisors in his local community of Fairfax, Virginia. He also worked for the Brookings Institution for nearly two decades.


Photograph of Warren I. Cikins





The collection guide to the Warren I. Cikins Personal Papers is available on our website.

Warren Cikins’ obituary and memorial service (click “on demand viewer”) are also online for those who would like to learn more about this most interesting gentleman.






Those of us at the Kennedy Library who had the good fortune to work with Mr. Cikins knew him to be a very kind, compassionate, and generous man who took great pains to ensure that his papers and his long political career were described accurately. He provided great assistance to the Archives staff and always did so with good humor and warmth.

We will miss Warren Cikins, though are heartened to know that his legacy will live on for generations to come.



Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/01/the-kennedy-library-remembers-warren-cikins/


Newly Processed Collection: James Saxon Personal Papers

by Christina Lehman Fitzpatrick, Processing Archivist

We are pleased to announce that the James Saxon Personal Papers are open and available for research. Saxon served as Comptroller of the Currency during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations (1961-1966). As an independent bureau of the U.S. Treasury Department, the Office of the Comptroller is charged with regulating and administering the system of national banks.

James Joseph Saxon was born on April 13, 1914, in Toledo, Ohio. After studying economics and finance, he joined the Treasury Department in 1937 as a securities analyst in the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. During World War II, Saxon served as Treasury attaché in the Philippines, where he dealt with seized Japanese assets and advised the Army commanders on financial issues. After several years representing the Treasury abroad, Saxon returned to Washington and was appointed assistant to the Secretary of the Treasury in December 1947. He received a law degree from Georgetown University in 1950, then became special assistant to the Treasury’s General Counsel. After a brief stint with the Democratic National Committee, Saxon was named assistant general counsel of the American Bankers Association in 1952. In August 1956, he was hired as an attorney by the First National Bank of Chicago. Saxon was appointed Comptroller of the Currency by President Kennedy on November 16, 1961, and was confirmed by the Senate on February 7, 1962.

Soon after I began processing the collection, I started seeing clues that Saxon was not just another mild-mannered banker. The press dubbed him “that feuding comptroller” and the newspaper headlines blared:


“Saxon, Comptroller of US, Keeps Banking in a Whirl”

“Currency Comptroller is Most Controversial”

“U.S. Comptroller Flaunts Tradition”

“Comptroller Saxon Seems to Enjoy Maverick’s Role”


Who was this government official and how had he caused such an uproar?

I discovered that Saxon’s term as Comptroller was actually quite exciting. He took a much more active role than his predecessors and instituted many reforms in both the agency and the national banking system. These included expanding bank powers, overhauling and streamlining procedures, and lifting restrictions on certain banking products; granting approval to many new banks and branches to encourage expansion and increase competition; creating a network of regional comptrollers with more authority, as well as an international banking unit; adding a new department of trained economists; and raising hiring standards for bank examiners.




(Left) Chart showing the high number of new banks chartered during Saxon’s term. View the entire folder here.





(Right) Saxon discusses his mission and goals in this draft speech. View the entire folder here.







As Saxon explained in one speech (shown above at right):


“When I came into the office of the Comptroller of the Currency, my object was [to] see the commercial banking business inoculated with a spirit of progress, initiative, and innovation. It seemed at the time that unless the commercial banking business could be unshackled and got off dead center, it would continue to stagnate and that the economy and the society would thereby suffer. It appeared that a massive effort should be made to modernize the archaic banking structure and its operational powers and capacity, so as to make it more dynamic and competitive. This program had President Kennedy’s support, without which the controversial forward-looking program which was developed over a period of years would not have been possible.”


Saxon’s innovative approach soon caught the attention of the U.S. Congress, which was worried that he was approving charters for too many new banks. After a string of high-profile bank failures, Saxon was called to testify before Congress and defend his policies. He also butted heads with the other regulatory agencies (most notably, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC) while asserting the authority and independence of the Comptroller’s Office. Even though several of his regulatory initiatives were later overturned by the courts, Saxon left a lasting mark on the banking industry that can still be seen today.







(Right) Sample question from the briefing book Saxon used to prepare for the Congressional investigation into national banks. View the entire folder here.



(Below) Memo from Saxon to G. d’Andelot Belin, General Counsel for the Treasury Department, expressing his displeasure at perceived encroachment on the Comptroller’s authority. View the entire folder here.




















Upon his resignation at the end of 1966, Saxon received an outpouring of congratulations from bankers around the country. David Rockefeller of the Chase Manhattan Bank wrote:


“I am sure that when the final version of the history of banking in the United States is written, your role as a stimulating, activating, organizing force will loom large. These past few years have been turbulent and exciting. The industry needed to be stirred up and modified, and you [helped] to do both. Congratulations on the fine services you have rendered our country!”






Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/01/newly-processed-collection-james-saxon-personal-papers/


Newly Opened Collection: John H. Sharon Personal Papers

by Abigail Malangone, Processing Archivist

We are pleased to announce the opening of the John H. Sharon Personal Papers collection.

John H. Sharon was a Washington, D.C.-based attorney whose personal papers document his interest and involvement in the Democratic Party in the 1950s and 1960s. The materials in this collection focus primarily on Sharon’s association with Adlai Stevenson and John F. Kennedy.

Sharon was a supporter of Adlai Stevenson, serving as Director of the National Stevenson-Kefauver headquarters in the 1956 presidential campaign. Sharon’s 1956 campaign files cover a variety of topics including: television publicity, delegates, campaign finances, and hydrogen bomb testing. The hydrogen bomb testing issue became a major focus of Governor Stevenson’s campaign against President Eisenhower. Sharon compiled a report entitled “The History of the H-Bomb Issue in the 1956 Presidential Campaign” at the request of the Dean of the George Washington University Law School, Sharon’s alma mater.






Table of contents and excerpt from the hydrogen bomb report written in May 1958. View the entire folder here.







Sharon also served as the deputy campaign manager for the “Stevenson for President” organization in 1960. He worked to galvanize support for Stevenson’s potential third consecutive presidential run.







Pages from Sharon’s to-do list before the 1960 Democratic Convention. View the entire folder here.








Sharon’s association with John F. Kennedy began in 1950. Before practicing as an attorney, Sharon was an aide to Congressman Charles Howell of New Jersey; Congressman Kennedy occupied the office next door. They had contact over the years; Sharon even contributed funds to Kennedy’s 1958 Senate campaign.











Letter from John Sharon to Senator John F. Kennedy, 30 October 1958. View the entire folder here.















In November 1960 Stevenson wrote a memorandum to President-elect Kennedy sharing his thoughts on the foreign policy outlook for the new administration. The memo was delivered by Sharon and George W. Ball (a Sharon colleague and future Undersecretary of State for Economic and Cultural Affairs). Kennedy soon requested that Sharon and Ball organize foreign policy task forces to aid in the presidential transition; he further requested that the two compile pertinent foreign policy questions for him to discuss with President Eisenhower during their December 1960 meeting. Final task force reports were presented to President Kennedy in January 1961 on the following subjects: Africa, balance of payments, disarmament, foreign economic policy, the United States Information Agency, and State Department operations overseas and in Washington.












Page one of the press release describing the task force reports submitted to President-elect Kennedy, 13 January 1961. View the entire folder here.













Sharon talked and met with John F. Kennedy on a number of occasions during the transition and into the early months of Kennedy’s presidency. According to meeting notes written by Sharon in March 1961, President Kennedy offered Sharon an appointment in his administration. Sharon deferred, as he preferred to “…remain at his [the President's] disposal on the outside reporting in, rather than reporting up the chain.”














Excerpt of a memorandum of conversation between President Kennedy and John Sharon, 28 February 1961. View the entire folder here.











Sharon remained outside the White House and continued to practice law, working at several firms over the course of his career. He passed away in 1980 at the age of 53.



Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/12/newly-opened-collection-john-h-sharon-personal-papers/


Grabaciones de audio del director del USIA Edward R. Murrow digitalizados y disponibles en la red

por Bill Bjelf, archivero digital asistente por las colecciones audiovisuales
traducción por David Castillo, Interna en la Biblioteca Presidencial John F. Kennedy


(See English translation here.)

Se ha digitalizado una serie de grabaciones del United States Information Agency Audio Recordings Collection del Kennedy Library y se puede accederlas en nuestro archivo digital. Los Director Edward R. Murrow Recordings, 1961-1965, constan de grabaciones de audio de discursos y otras apariciones públicas del antiguo director del United States Information Agency (USIA), Edward R. Murrow. Además incluyen grabaciones de retrospectivas sobre la vida y carrera profesional de Murrow que se hicieron después de su fallecimiento en 1965.




JFKWHP-ST-C61-1-61. Presidente John F. Kennedy saluda a Edward R. Murrow en la investidura de Murrow como director del USIA, 21 Marzo 1961.

[Ver la carpeta entera aquí: http://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/Archives/JFKWHP-1961-03-21-E.aspx]




En aquella época, el USIA actuaba como una agencia independiente de relaciones exteriores dentro del departamento ejecutivo del gobierno de los Estados Unidos. La agencia se encargaba de comunicar y promover la política exterior y los intereses de los Estados Unidos por una variedad de programas de información en el extranjero. Un objetivo clave era fomentar un entendimiento entre los Estados Unidos y otros países por medio de actividades educativas y culturales.

Antes de trabajar en el USIA, Edward R. Murrow hacía una carrera larga y prestigiosa como reportero de radio y televisión. En una de las primeras grabaciones—un comentario en una merienda en el National Press Club (USIAAU-002)—Director Murrow se refirió en broma a su cambio de profesión:


Me siento una mezcla de placer y asombro estar con vosotros hoy…placer en estar otra vez con mis colegas anteriores…asombro que ahora, me fruncís los ceños y me miráis con desaprobación cuando anteriormente, estaba sentado con vosotros con ceño fruncido.


La serie Director Edward R. Murrow Recordings trata de las actividades, metas, y desafíos del USIA; de comunicaciones y los medios; de asuntos relacionados a la Guerra Fría; y de otros temas. Grabciones de interés incluyen:


Por favor, consulte al inventario de la colección para más información. También, le animamos echar un vistazo a las grabaciones digitalizadas del USIA.

Debido a cuestiones de derechos de autor, una pequeña cantidad de grabaciones no son accesibles en nuestro archivo digital. Por favor, para más información, póngase en contacto archiveros de referencias audiovisuales: JFK.AVarchives@nara.gov.

Están en proceso la digitalización de más grabaciones del United States Information Agency Audio Recordings Collection relacionadas al Presidente Kennedy y su época y tendremos disponibles en seguida en nuestro archivo digital.



Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2014/11/grabaciones-de-audio-del-director-del-usia-edward-r-murrow-digitalizados-y-disponibles-en-la-red/

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