David Finkelstein Papers, 1964-1966

Summary Information
Title: David Finkelstein Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1964-1966

  • Finkelstein, David, 1929-
Call Number: Mss 221

Quantity: 0.4 c.f. (1 archives box)

Archival Locations:
Wisconsin Historical Society (Map)

Papers of a physics professor at Yeshiva University who participated in a visiting scientists program at Tougaloo College. Finkelstein also helped to found Public Radio Organization, Inc., which aimed at operating a radio station to provide central Mississippi blacks with unbiased news reporting and a community forum. Included are by-laws, minutes, correspondence, financial and legal materials, Freedom News Report newsletters, and clippings of PRO; and correspondence and grant applications of the visiting scientists program sponsored by the American Association of Physics Teachers and American Institute of Physics. Prominent correspondents include Clifford P. Case, Jacob K. Javits, Robert F. Kennedy, William Kunstler, Newton N. Minow, and Carl T. Rowan.

Language: English

URL to cite for this finding aid: http://digital.library.wisc.edu/1711.dl/wiarchives.uw-whs-mss00221
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Dr. David Finkelstein, professor of theoretical physics at New York's Yeshiva University, served on the Mississippi Project Parents Committee in 1964, and he developed a security system for the Mississippi voter registration project based on citizen band radio units. Searching for additional ways to open up what many considered the “closed society” of the South, Finkelstein directed and participated in a Visiting Scientists Program in physics at Tougaloo College in Mississippi; the program ended after the academic year 1964-1965 when Tougaloo added two physicists to its faculty. Finkelstein was also instrumental in establishing the Public Radio Organization (PRO), which was incorporated in New York in November 1965 as an educational non-profit corporation to operate an AM-FM community radio station in central Mississippi. The station, conceived as a sort of “Radio Free Mississippi,” was intended to be “an open channel in a closed society” which would provide both white and black Mississippians with full and unbiased news broadcasting and give them a forum for discussion of their problems. The station was endorsed by such civil rights organizations as NAACP, CORE, SCLC, and SNCC; and by the AFL-CIO, which encouraged its black locals to contribute funds.

Scope and Content Note

The David Finkelstein Papers, 1964-1966, include material on PRO and on the Visiting Scientists Program in physics at Tougaloo. Documenting PRO are clippings, by-laws, minutes, correspondence, financial and legal papers, and material concerning the development of PRO's newsletter, Freedom News Report. Important correspondents include Clifford P. Case, Jacob K. Javits, Robert F. Kennedy, William M. Kunstler, Newton N. Minow, and Carl T. Rowan. Concerning the Visiting Scientists Program in physics at Tougaloo, there is correspondence as well as grant applications and class material.

Administrative/Restriction Information
Use Restrictions

Finkelstein has relinquished his literary rights to material in this collection.

Acquisition Information

Presented by David Finkelstein, New York, New York, January 27, 1967. Accession Number: M67-42

Processing Information

Processed by Eleanor McKay and SHR (FGH intern), May 25, 1973.

Contents List
Public Radio Organization, Inc., 1964-1966
Box   1
Folder   1
By-laws, minutes, clippings
Box   1
Folder   2
Box   1
Folder   3
Financial and legal papers
Box   1
Folder   4
Freedom News Report
Visiting Scientists Program in Physics at Tougaloo College, 1964-1966
Box   1
Folder   5
Box   1
Folder   6
Grant applications and class papers