Amzie Moore Papers, 1941-1970

Container Title
Mss 479
Part 1 (Mss 479): Original Collection, 1934-1977
Physical Description: 2.0 c.f. (5 archives boxes) 
Scope and Content Note

The records, which span the years 1934 to 1977, document both the activities of the Wisconsin Civil Liberties Union, and its predecessor, the Wisconsin chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union. The earlier organization is represented primarily by correspondence, which concerns the formation of local committees throughout the state. The 1940s, a period of relative inactivity, are documented only by scattered correspondence. The years following the founding of the WCLU in 1953, to 1965, are also not well documented, and the records appear to be the personal files of the donor, William Gorham Rice, Jr., rather than the official records of the organization. Much of the correspondence from 1965 to 1977 was either addressed to or written by Rice, who was an ACLU national board member from 1968 to 1974, as well as an active WCLU member and general legal counsel. Unsigned carbon copies of letters, as well as handwritten notes located in the subject files, are also of Rice's authorship.

The collection is divided into three major series, Organizational Papers, Activities, and Subject Files. Many of the ORGANIZATIONAL PAPERS consist of materials duplicated for the membership, and include the WCLU constitution as amended in 1973, policy statements concerning litigation, memos, annual reports, and financial reports. The folder of minutes contains scattered material from 1959 to 1973, and a more complete run dating from 1973 to 1977. Also contained in this series are correspondence, membership lists from 1939 and 1954, undated lists of “contacts” for the organization, and a 1976 list of cooperating attorneys. The Committees file contains scattered minutes of several WCLU committees, such as the law and psychiatry, and women's rights priorities committees. Due to Rice's participation, both the legislative and privacy committees' files are substantial, containing correspondence, memos, notes, and reference materials.

The ACTIVITIES series consists of folders entitled 1971-1972 and 1973 legislation, which include correspondence, notes, and reference materials pertaining to that Wisconsin legislation which was of interest to the WCLU. The dockets list cases in which the WCLU was involved during the period 1971-1977.

Most of the SUBJECT FILES date from the late 1960s and 1970s, and contain correspondence, memos, Wisconsin legislative bills and amendments, reference materials, and notes pertaining to a variety of issues in which the WCLU was interested. The issues involved, although national in scope, are predominantly Wisconsin-related in this series. A large file of policy statements, reports, and flyers, published by the ACLU national office, and distributed to affiliates and chapters, have been separated to the ACLU collection. However, those statements on which annotations have been made, generally by William Rice, have been retained in the appropriate subject files.

Most of the folder titles are self-explanatory, however, a few warrant further discussion. Three folders concern closely related issues -- aid to public schools, church and state, and Marquette Dental School; the latter deals with the controversy surrounding public funding of the privately-owned school. The Dirksen Amendment file pertains to the Congressional attempt to overturn the principle of “one man-one vote,” and the opposition of the WCLU. Material on impeachment refers to Richard Nixon, as well as Andrew Johnson; included is a typescript of notes taken during impeachment proceedings by Rice's grandfather, New York Congressman John V.L. Pruyn. The Communism File pertains to ACLU policy statements regarding the Communist Party and the response of the Wisconsin ACLU. Files of legal cases include the suit of the Communist Party challenging its exclusion from the Wisconsin ballot, the denial of reinstatement of a medical license, and a case involving the issues of forced confession, denial of counsel, and misconduct of trial counsel. Items listed as “other subjects” are single-sheets or small groups of documents, which did not warrant individual folders. Subjects included are civil disobedience, rights and freedoms of students, First Amendment rights of Nazi Party members, and Wisconsin legislation regarding rape.

Also present in this collection are two small folders of records of other organizations. The CAPITAL AREA CHAPTER OF THE WISCONSIN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION file contains announcements of meetings, scattered correspondence, and several reports. The file of the WISCONSIN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION FOUNDATION includes a copy of the proposed by-laws of 1969, minutes dating from October 1974 to December 1977, and a number of reports.

Series: Organizational Papers
Box   1
Folder   1
WCLU Constitution, 1973
Box   1
Folder   2
Policy Statements
Box   1
Folder   3-8
Correspondence, 1934-1977
Box   1
Folder   9
Memos and Correspondence to Members
Box   1
Folder   10
Membership Lists, 1939, 1954; and , 1976 Board Directory
Box   1
Folder   11
Cooperating Attorneys List, 1976; and “Contacts,” , undated
Box   2
Folder   1-2
Minutes, 1959-1977
Box   2
Folder   3
Director's and Annual Reports, 1965-1977
Box   2
Folder   4
Finances
Box   2
Folder   5
Election Reports
Box   2
Folder   6
Committee Papers
Box   2
Folder   7
Legislative Committee
Box   2
Folder   8
Privacy Committee
Series: Activities
Box   2
Folder   9
, 1971-1972 Legislation
Box   2
Folder   10
, 1973 Legislation
Box   3
Folder   1
Dockets, 1971-1977
Series: Subject Files
Box   3
Folder   2
Abortion, Contraception, Sterilization
Box   3
Folder   3
Academic Freedom
Box   3
Folder   4
Aid to Private Schools
Box   3
Folder   5
Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin-Academic Rights
Box   3
Folder   6
Cable Television
Box   3
Folder   7
Campaign Financing
Box   3
Folder   8
Church and State
Box   3
Folder   9
Civil Disobedience
Box   3
Folder   10
Communism
Box   4
Folder   1
Decriminalization of Marijuana
Box   4
Folder   2
Dirksen Amendment
Box   4
Folder   3
Discrimination in Private Organizations
Box   4
Folder   4
“Dying with Dignity”
Box   4
Folder   5
Fair Housing
Box   4
Folder   6
Freedom of Speech
Box   4
Folder   7
Impeachment
Box   4
Folder   8
Indigents
Box   4
Folder   9
International Affairs
Box   4
Folder   10
Journalistic Privilege
Legal Cases
Box   4
Folder   11
Black
Box   4
Folder   12
Communist Party
Box   4
Folder   13
Margolis
Box   4
Folder   14
Zuhlke
Box   4
Folder   15
Madison Police Department
Box   4
Folder   16
Marquette Dental School
Box   4
Folder   17
Medical Experimentation on Human Beings
Box   5
Folder   1
Mental Confinement
Box   5
Folder   2
Military
Box   5
Folder   3
Obscenity and Censorship
Box   5
Folder   4
Other Subjects
Box   5
Folder   5
Police Misconduct
Box   5
Folder   6
Prisoners' Rights
Box   5
Folder   7
Recruiters on College Campuses
Box   5
Folder   8
Revision of the U.S. Criminal Code
Box   5
Folder   9
Secrecy in Government
Box   5
Folder   10
Sex Discrimination
Box   5
Folder   11
Students' Role in Academic Government
Box   5
Folder   12
Miscellany
Box   5
Folder   13
Series: Capital Area Chapter of the WCLU, 1968-1975
Box   5
Folder   14
Series: WCLU Foundation, 1974-1977