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American propaganda collection

Identifier: MSS 0254

Scope and Contents

The American Propaganda Collection consists of 1 linear foot of pamphlets, newsletters, leaflets, periodicals, books ranging from 1924-1962, with the bulk published between 1950 and 1959. The collection is arranged alphabetically – the first half by single publication, and the second half by the organizations responsible for publication.

This collection of propaganda includes a variety of organizations representing the political right in the United States during the 1950s. The more than two dozen groups include: the Christian Nationalist Crusade, the Cinema Education Guild, the Ku Klux Klan, and the Women’s Voice. All shared similar concerns, which reflected three major themes – anti-communism, anti-Zionism, and anti-internationalism. Within the context of these three themes authors discussed numerous issues to varying degrees including, but not exclusive to: opposition to Dwight Eisenhower, opposition to integration, opposition to Hawaiian statehood, opposition to the income tax, concern over the power of the United Nations, and attacks against Hollywood. Support consolidated around the actions of Senator McCarthy, nationalism, etc. Conspiracies figured into the reports of many publications from flying saucers to the Protocols of Zion to the use of fluoride in water. Christianity appeared in many of the publications, particularly as a foil to “Zionism”, though its centrality depended on the organization.

The entire collection originated from American presses with the exception of the publications of Arnold Leese (1877-1956) and the book Hidden Government by J. Creagh Scott – publications that expressed anti-communism and anti-Semitism from England. One Australian pamphlet advocated the removal of all bureaucrats to promote peace.

The compiler left autograph notes scattered throughout the collection that explain distribution of materials, indicate the dates on which the materials were received and, in a minority of the cases, react to the information within the publications. The name ‘Mrs. Maybelle Oakley’ of California appears on letters and mailing information approximately 4-6 times. While the publications tend to be national in scope, several connect to political questions specific to California or California organizations (such as the Ku Klux Klan leadership guidelines).


  • Creation: 1924-1962
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-1959

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Biographical / Historical

After the end of World War II, changes in the United States and at the international level caused anxiety among many Americans. Various individuals, organizations and government officials voiced concerns about communism, the diversity of the American population, and shifts toward more integration between nations as seen in the United Nations.

During the Cold War large segments of the American population felt concern about the spread of communism. Anti-communism existed before World War II and the government attempted to curb it in various ways, particularly through the creation in 1938 of the House Un-American Activity Committee (HUAC), which gained increasing popular support from the late 1940s into the 1950s. In addition to HUAC, Senator Joseph McCarthy (1908-1957) of Wisconsin, launched his own investigations into suspected communists, looked into possible espionage within the Army, and even attacked the Eisenhower administration, until the senate censured him in 1954.

During the 1950s advocates of civil rights gained major ground with the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka. The status quo of ‘separate but equal’ was challenged and the racial integration of schools began. Other efforts on the part of African American communities and organizations challenged the prevailing racial attitudes, not only in the South where racism was codified in the Jim Crow laws, but throughout the United States. The federal government initiated steps to secure more civil rights, but many state governments and private citizens resisted the change.

The creation of the United Nations (UN) on October 24, 1945 caused mixed feelings within the United States. While individuals and countries world wide hoped that the UN would be a positive step toward mitigating conflict between nations, others feared that the organization challenged national independence. The same government officials and private publications that voiced concern over communism and integration often condemned what they saw as the rise of World Government, through which the United States would cease to exist as a sovereign nation.

“McCarthy, Joseph Raymond, (1908-1957).” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed: November 7, 2006.“House Un-American Activities Committee.” The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project. Accessed November 7, 2006. Updated, September 25, 2006.“History of the United Nations.” United Nations. Accessed November 7, 2006. Updated, 2005.


1 linear foot (1 box)

1 oversize removal


Collection of publications representing issues from the political right in the United States during the 1950s.

Shelving Summary

Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS record center cartons Removals: Shelved in SPEC MSS oversize boxes (32 inches)

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Vess, November 2006. Encoded by Jaime Margalotti, July 2017.

Finding aid for American propaganda collection
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
2017 July 19
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the University of Delaware Library Special Collections Repository

181 South College Avenue
Newark DE 19717-5267 USA