Thursday, August 9, 2018

Documents ISO Historians: INSPIRE Records on the FTC and FCC

After checking a quote, it has occurred to me that an underutilized collection on the twentieth-century federal regulatory state deserve a plug.  The INSPIRE Records were created at the Georgetown University Law Center but are reposited in the Special Collections Department, University of Maryland Libraries, College Park, MD:
In 1976, The Institute for Public Interest Representation of the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. (INSPIRE), published a study on the history of appointments of commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission. Appointments to the Regulatory Agencies: The Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Trade Commission (1949-1974), examined regulatory appointments over 25 years and five administrations. Inclusive dates for the INSPIRE Records span from 1935 to 1976, although the bulk of the material dates from 1973 to 1976. The collection contains published information and unpublished information on the men and women appointed to the Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission from 1949 to 1974 including among others, Joseph Califano, Benjamin Hooks, Nicholas Johnson, Newton Minow and Caspar Weinberger. One part of the collection includes materials copied from the files of the Senate Committee on Commerce at the National Archives, the House Oversight & Investigations Subcommittee, the Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy Presidential Libraries, the papers of columnist Drew Pearson, and the papers of Senator Estes Kefauver. Records documenting the efforts by INSPIRE to produce their report make up the other part of the collection. Types of documents include correspondence, manuscript notes, written interviews, maps, graphs, photographs, charts and transcripts of 39 oral interviews. 53 audio tape cassettes make up part of the Collection but are stored separately with the Audio Tape Collection of the Library of American Broadcasting.
The link provides a list of interviewees, including, in addition to those named above, Philip Elman, A. Leon Higgenbotham, Jr., the (IMHO) estimable Rosel Hyde, Washington lawyer Paul Porter, and Michael Pertschuk.

The quote I tracked down, by the way, was Porter's claim that during the Eisenhower administration the Arnold, Fortas & Porter (as Arnold & Porter was then styled) considered dropping its communications practice, because matters “were not ‘tried’ but “arranged’ at the FCC in the fifties.”  Spoiler alert: AF&P didn’t.