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Records of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders – Embargoed Series [preliminary description] (1963 - 1968)
RepositoryLyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library [preliminary]
Collection IDMaterial prefixed with letter “E”
Size85 archival boxes and 4 metal card boxes
Collection Description
President Lyndon B. Johnson, on July 29, 1967, by Executive order 11365, established the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders to investigate the causes and factors leading to the summer riots of 1967, to develop techniques for averting or controlling similar disorders, to study the appropriate role for law enforcement agencies and government authorities in dealing with civil disorders, and to report these findings to the President with recommendations. The Commission was directed to make an interim report by March 1, 1968, and a final report not later than July 29, 1968. Governor Otto Kerner of Illinois was appointed Chairman. (Note that the Newark riots occurred July 12-17, 1967.)

Because time was an essential factor, the Commission decided in December that the interim and final reports would be issued as a single report by March 1, 1968. In this way their major conclusions and recommendations might be applied sooner, in hopes that a recurrence of similar disorders in the summer of 1968 could be avoided. On March 1, 1968, the 425-page document – “Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders” – was submitted to the President and the Commission was terminated.

The National Archives accessioned the main body of the Commission’s records on June 8, 1968. Approximately 29 cubic feet of material was “embargoed” for fifteen years. Once access restrictions were lifted, this portion of the collection was designated “Records of the National Commission on Civil Disorders (Embargoed Series)”; it is described here as a separate entry.
Collection Contents
This collection of previously embargoed material includes confidential and secret reports from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, other Government agencies, and the Commission staff, as well as some sound recordings made in the field. The 85 boxes are numbered sequentially from E01 to E85. The inventory available at the Library provides a relatively detailed description at the box level. Although mentions of Newark may occur throughout the collection, the following box descriptions include specific references:

Box E02: Interim Report-Office of Investigation, 2 folders labeled “Newark”

Box E06: Office of Investigation-Individual Files, Timothy Still (President, United Community Corporation, Newark)

Box E09: Office of Investigation–Individual Files, Thomas Emmett (Tom) Hayden and Everett Leroy (Leroi) Jones.

Also, Willie T. Wright. Note that there may be additional Newark-related witnesses or material in other individual files (Boxes E06-E12).

Boxes E25 and E26: Office of Investigation-City Files. Most folders focus on Newark.

Box E34: FBI-City Reports, folder labeled “Newark, New Jersey”

Box E39: Newark Depositions

Boxes E55 and E56: Field Research Reports and Field Interview Folders. Both boxes are Newark only, including Interview Reports, Reconnaissance Surveys, Survey of Political Climate, and Analysis of Arrest Reports.

Boxes E64 and E65: Tapes-Operations, Debriefing and Briefing, multiple Newark briefings and debriefings. NOTE: All recordings have been moved to the Library’s Audiovisual Archives under serial number SRT 7084.

Box E83: Investigations-Newark

In addition to references in the collection’s archival boxes, Box #4 of the metal card boxes contains “Guide Cards” to “Justice – Newark,” “Newspapers – Newark,” and “Team Evaluation – Newark.”
FormatsAudio materials; Photographic materials; Textual materials
SubjectsAfrican-American History / Race Relations; Police / Crime / Law Enforcement; Politics and Government
Time Period20th Century
LanguageEnglish
Access policyOpen for research
ProcessedYes